there is an element in this nation that longs for anarchy. Piggybacking on racial tensions and stoking the fires of unrest is literally their business model. Antifa is the latest group of professional anarchists but they are nothing more than OWS rebranded. The anarchists never really went away. Agents of chaos still long to see this country burn and that’s who you see breaking windows and lighting fires. Sure, some genuine protesters may have followed but these people know how to use mob mentality for maximum damage.Read more here.
This is an organized, racist assault on peace and productive protesting aimed at placing the blame at the foot of the black community, just like they aimed to place the blame on sweet old ladies with homemade signs at Tea Party protests all those years ago.
But I know better and so do my colleagues who there that weekend in Denver. The agents of anarchy haven’t ever disappeared, they’ve only rebranded.
Sunday, May 31, 2020
“Barr about to unmask all of Antifa’s communications with their media and political allies,which also includes an important link to a piece by Kurt Schlicter. Read more here.
More White Antifa vandalizing property and ignoring the pleas from Black people to stop because they will get blamed— Tim Pool (@Timcast) May 31, 2020
The far left is using racial politics to manipulate people https://t.co/0RhqmaAssq
I’m sure Vox and The Atlantic can explain the mechanism that transmutes the beating a of a defenseless woman into salutary social reform. https://t.co/AtfhXlsqKS— Michael Brendan Dougherty (@michaelbd) May 31, 2020
"What about the “harms” of destroying other people’s property or bashing in their heads with a skateboard?"
...Many of the thugs looting and destroying property are white. So what we are witnessing is not a battle between black and white. It is a battle between the forces of civilization, on the one hand, and the forces of anarchy, on the other.Read more here.
...It is curious that the most egregious scenes of violence are taking place in blue states in cities run by left-wing mayors. Many of the mayors and chiefs of police are themselves black. In many locales, the police have been told to stand down as the mob rampages. The mayor of Minneapolis blamed “white supremacists” and “outsiders” for the violence.
Unfortunately for that assertion, there are no white supremacists to be found, only members of Antifa, Black Lives Matter, and kindred groups. An analysis of the zip codes of those arrested shows that they are overwhelmingly from the Minneapolis area.
Meanwhile, various celebrities are encouraging lawlessness by cheering on the malefactors, publicly promising to post bail for them.
Justin Timberlake, to take but one example, encouraged his fans to join him “in supporting the Minneapolis protestors” by donating to a “freedom fund” to combat “the harms of incarceration.”
What about the “harms” of destroying other people’s property or bashing in their heads with a skateboard? Ultimately, as Calvin Coolidge observed, “property rights and personal rights are the same thing.”
...There is some macabre irony in the fact that while most of the country is “locked down” by the diktats of the health police, enforced by power-mad governors and those aspiring to power in city councils and mayors’ offices throughout the country, abetted by virtue signaling sheep who scream at their neighbors if they get within six feet of them or appear in public without a mask, thousands of vicious criminals are given leave to loot and burn and pillage. The rules about “social distancing” are suspended so long as people are bent not upon making their living but destroying the livings of others.
...Many if not most of the violent hooligans defacing our cities today are young beneficiaries of the richest and most generous society the world has ever seen. At school, they were taught to despise their country as racist, sexist, colonialist, and exploitative, attitudes that were reinforced in college and from the megaphones of the media, Hollywood, and our elite universities. How thin is the line between civilization and violent anarchy!
El Nuevo Rodeo (hereafter ENR) is a front business. Nothing is as it seems.Read more here.
The background ownership of ENR takes you to a shady network of LLC’s and the name Omar Investments Inc. (est. 1996). Dig a little deeper and something else becomes evident… The ownership might connect to one or more U.S. three letter agencies.
The ownership network has previous interactions with FBI operations in/around Minneapolis. This is not surprising because Minneapolis Minnesota has more national security operations ongoing than any other community in the country. Various Somali groups are being watched, and anyone can do a google search to see when those security operations surface in the media.
Omar Investments Inc. owns El Nuevo Rodeo Cantina and night club since 1996. The principle of Omar Investments Inc. is Muna Sabri. In 2001 a close relative, Basim Sabri, was captured by the FBI in a sting operation.
…”In 2001, FBI agents recorded Sabri giving Herron $5,000, cash intended to curry the lawmaker’s support for his development. Sabri was later convicted on three bribery counts and fined $75,000.” (link)….
FBI intercept in 2001, there’s the capture. That’s the asset creation point for U.S. security to find a way to embed within Minneapolis, and assist the Sabri’s along the way.
The presented “former club owner”, Maya Santamaria, seen on television, appears to be a purposeful ‘front’ (a face useful in deflecting attention from the primary owner and operations). With that in mind, the scale of false information in/around the visible event, horrible as it was/is, creates layers and layers of purposeful misinformation and a need to control what the public sees in the media.
As I said before, I prefer to sit this one out; however, it is interesting. If you consider that El Nuevo Rodeo might likely be a front for a three letter national security agency; or at the very least a valuable inside source for domestic intelligence and surveillance, things start reconciling rather quickly.
ENR also looks like a money laundering operation. Part of that laundry operation appears to involve counterfeit currency. This enterprise, writ large, looks like the answer to ‘how’ a U.S. agency infiltrated the background criminal network in Minnesota to watch and monitor for domestic threats. So there are layers to what is visible and a myriad of interests involved.
Officer Derek Chauvin is a 19-year veteran of the Mineapolis police dept. Derek Chauvin also worked at ENR for 17 years. That timeline puts Derek Chauvin showing up to work security at El Neuvo Rodeo cantina and club right after the FBI busts Basim Sabri (everyone remembers what intel agencies were doing right after 9-11-01).
Recently – When the Wuhan Virus hits the night club needs to shut down. By extension this shuts down any illicit activity maintained by the legit operation. Any activity within a laundering operation would have to be paused. It would look silly, very suspicious, if the ENR club bookkeeper was making bank deposits while the business is closed.
However, this also means George Floyd was out of work.
...The police were called because George Floyd was passing counterfeit $20 bills.
Could the way Chauvin, and the responders writ large, interacted with George Floyd have been an outcropping of concern that Floyd was putting the ENR operation at risk?
Read the indictment. Everything was cool until the responding officers attempted to put Floyd in Derek Chauvin’s squad car. Floyd is presented as being ok with the arrest stuff; but really, really, didn’t want to get in Derek’s car.
17-years as a “security officer” for El Nuevo Rodeo. Was Chauvin the enforcer?
Does that explain why everyone seems casual, even the responding EMT’s?
Could the national security angle explain why no prior charges against Chauvin in a 2006 shooting were ever sought?
One thing is clear, as attested by Benjamin Crump, Derek Chauvin and George Floyd knew each-other; this was not some random street incident. Arguably, every single person in/around law enforcement and EMT response that day knew each-other.
Mike Wall reports in part in Science Journal,
The sun may be coming out of its slumber at long last.Read more here.
On Friday morning (May 29), our star fired off its strongest flare since October 2017, an eruption spotted by NASA's sun-watching Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO).
Many people are calling for federal intervention; however, that type of confrontation is the intended goal of the social anarchy crowd. The leftist chaos is purposeful bait.Watch videos of the violence and read more here.
Politically speaking, the merging of Antifa (revolution communists) & Black Lives Matter (sub-text political Islam), has a purposeful agenda unknown to the standard brick thrower. Suburban white liberals, essentially modern affiliates of the former Bill Ayers Weather Underground, are the organizing entities. Most of the people on the street are oblivious.
Local authorities in/around the urban danger zones have the primary responsibility to maintain domestic tranquility. Federal intervention to replace local political ineptitude, and lack of desire to confront a crisis of their own creation, is short-sighted.
If local officials and/or state governors are not going to take action; factually they do not want to take action because they are fearful of backlash from their own tribe; then federal assistance doesn’t work. It is better for President Trump to watch from a distance and keep reminding the U.S. electorate how he supports, but will not replace, local officials.
The 2020 Anger Games were predictable.
The king wanted to go fishing, and he asked the royal weather forecaster the forecast for the next few hours.
The palace meteorologist assured him that there was no chance of rain.
So the king and the queen went fishing. On the way, he met a man with a fishing pole riding on a donkey, and he asked the man if the fish were biting.
The fisherman said, "Your Majesty, you should return to the palace. In just a short time I expect a huge rainstorm."
The king replied: "I hold the palace meteorologist in high regard. He is an educated and experienced professional. Besides, I pay him very high wages. He gave me a very different forecast. I trust him."
So, the king continued on his way.
However, in a short time, torrential rain fell from the sky. The King and Queen were totally soaked.
Furious, the king returned to the palace and gave the order to execute the meteorologist.
Then he summoned the fisherman and offered him the prestigious position of royal forecaster.
The fisherman said, "Your Majesty, I do not know anything about forecasting. I obtain my information from my donkey. If I see my donkey's ears drooping, it means with certainty that it will rain."
So, the king hired the donkey.
And so, began the practice of hiring dumb asses to work in influential positions of government.
And thus, the symbol of the Democrat Party was born.
The practice continues to this day. H/T Hrothgar
"the opening volley in a business revolution encircling Earth and eventually stretching to the moon and Mars."
SpaceX delivered two astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA on Sunday, following up a historic liftoff with an equally smooth docking in yet another first for Elon Musk's company.Read more and watch the astronauts live here.
With test pilots Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken poised to take over manual control if necessary, the SpaceX Dragon capsule pulled up to the station and docked automatically, no assistance needed.
'Soft capture,' the moment when the spacecraft makes first contact and starts latching with the target vehicle, occurred at 10.16am ET
It was followed a few minutes later by 'hard capture' when an airtight seal was completed.
'We copy docking is complete,' said a member of the crew. 'It's been a real honor to be a small part of this nine year endeavor since the last time a United States spaceship has docked with the International Space Station.'
It was the first time a privately built and owned spacecraft carried astronauts to the orbiting lab in its nearly 20 years.
...The spacecraft had to perform a series of maneuvers to raise its obit to come close enough to dock at the space station.
The Dragon docked autonomously to a port on the bow section of the of the station’s Harmony module.
Once the capsule was latched securely to the space station, the congratulations flowed from NASA, SpaceX and the astronauts.
'Congratulations on a phenomenal accomplishment and welcome to the International Space Station,' SpaceX Mission Control said from Hawthorne, California.
'Bravo on a magnificent moment in spaceflight history,' NASA's Mission Control radioed to everyone from Houston.
NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy greeted the incoming crew by ringing the ship's bell aboard the space station.
Next, the vestibule between the Dragon and the ISS will be pressurized and the hatch will then be opened, in about an hour.
Once the Dragon is sealed in place Hurley and Behnken will join the three other space station residents, NASA's Cassidy and Russia’s Anatoli Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, to become members of the Expedition 63 crew.
The mission, named Demo-2, marks the first time NASA has launched astronauts from US soil in nine years.
NASA considers this the opening volley in a business revolution encircling Earth and eventually stretching to the moon and Mars.
Saturday, May 30, 2020
At the heart of the matter, in the real activity that took place, there was a multi-branch seditious effort to remove President Donald J Trump. Within that effort was a necessary group of embeds specifically assigned to conceal the activity. Dana Boente was one of those embeds.Read much more here.
Dana Boente has now been removed.
Last point – this would not be happening right now if Durham was not coming toward the end of his investigation. Generally speaking, DC provides identified corruptocrats with an opportunity for a graceful exit before the evidence against them surfaces publicly.
"CNN executives were baffled by a large crowd outside their offices and in their lobby Friday, not having seen an audience that size in many years."
From the Babylon Bee:
ATLANTA, GA—CNN executives were baffled by a large crowd outside their offices and in their lobby Friday, not having seen an audience that size in many years.
Execs quickly added the hundreds of people outside their offices to their audience numbers, more than doubling their ratings for the day.
"Woohoo! It's happening!" said the station's founder, Bob CNN. "Brian! Anderson! Come quick! We're finally drawing crowds! Years of hard work finally paying off!"
Peering out the window, Brian Stelter muttered, "No social distancing or masks though. But we'll take what we can get at this point."
Mr. CNN then walked through the lobby handing out fliers inviting the protesters back to watch CNN's failing weekend shows Saturday and Sunday. "This is where it all turns around for us."
Golden writes in part,
When Al Sharpton is on the scene providing leadership, you can guess how the situation will evolve — or devolve — from there. This is now about the riots and the media coverage of them, not about George Floyd. That’s the definition of self-defeat.
George Floyd’s death demands justice. Parts of his adopted city being reduced to ashes and rubble is the diametrical opposite of that.
One hopes the residents of Minneapolis will listen to his girlfriend — if just to honor the memory of the deceased. Please, let’s at least come together to do that.
President Trump thanked the Secret Service for the amazing job they did last protecting the White House from an angry mob of protesters.Read more here.
They kept the crowd away and did it will grace under pressure. Not overreacting but firm.
“Great job last night at the White House by the U.S. @SecretService. They were not only totally professional, but very cool. I was inside, watched every move, and couldn’t have felt more safe. They let the “protesters” scream & rant as much as they wanted, but whenever someone….
….got too frisky or out of line, they would quickly come down on them, hard – didn’t know what hit them. The front line was replaced with fresh agents, like magic. Big crowd, professionally organized, but nobody came close to breaching the fence. If they had they would….
….have been greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen. That’s when people would have been really badly hurt, at least. Many Secret Service agents just waiting for action. “We put the young ones on the front line, sir, they love it, and….
….good practice.” As you saw last night, they were very cool & very professional. Never let it get out of hand. Thank you! On the bad side, the D.C. Mayor, @MurielBowser, who is always looking for money & help, wouldn’t let the D.C. Police get involved. “Not their job.” Nice!”
The preliminary autopsy results of George Floyd found no evidence that he died of asphyxiation or strangulation, according to the criminal complaint filed against former Minneapolis police office Derek Chauvin, who is accused of kneeling on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes.https://www.westernjournal.com/george-floyd-autopsy-finds-no-evidence-asphyxia-strangulation-family-plans-second-examination/?utm_source=push&utm_medium=westernjournalism&utm_content=2020-05-30&utm_campaign=pushtraffic
Floyd’s family has now hired forensic pathologist, Dr. Michael Baden, to perform a second, independent autopsy, Baden confirmed to Fox News.
Baden, who formerly was New York City’s chief medical examiner, said he was set to travel to Minneapolis on Saturday and announce his findings next week.
Chauvin, 44, was arrested and charged Friday with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
The case, which grew out of an arrest over suspicion of Floyd trying to buy merchandise with a counterfeit $20 bill, became a national flashpoint after video of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck circulated on social media.
...His death has sparked protests across the United States this week, which in many cases have turned into riots.
According to the criminal complaint against Chauvin, Floyd fell to the ground when police sought to get him into a squad car.
“The officers made several attempts to get Mr. Floyd in the backseat of squad 320 from the driver’s side,” the complaint said. “Mr. Floyd did not voluntarily get in the car and struggled with the officers by intentionally falling down, saying he was not going in the car, and refusing to stand still.”
“While standing outside the car, Mr. Floyd began saying and repeating that he could not breathe,” the complaint added, saying that Chauvin “went to the passenger side and tried to get Mr. Floyd into the car from that side” with help from other officers.
Chauvin “pulled Mr. Floyd out of the passenger side of the squad car at 8:19:38 p.m. and Mr. Floyd went to the ground face down and still handcuffed,” it said.
While other officers held his back and legs, the complaint said Chauvin “placed his left knee in the area of Mr. Floyd’s head and neck.”
“Mr. Floyd said, ‘I can’t ‘breathe’ multiple times and repeatedly said, ‘Mama’ and ‘please’ as well,” the complaint said, later adding: “The officers said, ‘You are talking fine.'”
After several minutes, when officers could not find a pulse on Floyd, Chauvin “removed his knee from Mr. Floyd’s neck,” according to the complaint.
The complaint noted: “The Hennepin County Medical Examiner (ME) conducted Mr. Floyd’s autopsy on May 26 , 2020. The full report of the ME is pending but the ME has made the following preliminary findings.
“The autopsy revealed no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation.”
The complaint then cited other possible reasons Floyd died.
“Mr. Floyd had underlying health conditions including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease. The combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by the police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death,” it said.
“The defendant had his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in total. Two minutes and 53 seconds of this was after Mr. Floyd was non-responsive. Police are trained that this type of restraint with a subject in a prone position is inherently dangerous.”
Ben Crump and S. Lee Merritt, attorneys for Floyd’s family, said a second autopsy was needed, recalling the 2014 death of Eric Garner, who was put in a chokehold by New York City police and later died. Baden performed an autopsy in the Garner case.
“We saw in the Eric Garner case, and so many other cases where they have people who work with the city workers come up with things that are such an illusion — he had asthma, he had a heart condition — all these things that are irrelevant when they were living, breathing, walking, talking, just fine until the police accosted them,” Crump said at a news conference, according to ABC News.
Crump framed the case as an example of what he claimed is a national climate of racism.
“We have been dealing with the pandemic of racism and discrimination for far too long,” he said.
“It is a pandemic, a national pandemic, we cannot keep looking at this regionally, this is affecting all African-Americans, this a state of emergency.
“If we don’t address this in the next month or two we will see another senseless, unjustifiable killing of an African-American at the hands by people who are police or pretend to be police,” Crump added.
Friday, May 29, 2020
I just have one question after reading totally appropriate Flynn-Kislyak calls. Of the Obama officials who framed General Flynn as a clandestine agent of Russia, how many of them put their lives on the line for the United States like he did?
Mulder’s Lying Dog-faced Coping Pony Soldier liked
CNN HQ in Atlanta getting overrun by leftist protesters that they themselves whipped into a frenzy.
Many are defacing and vandalizing the giant CNN logo outside the building.
You're watching Dr. Frankenstein get destroyed by his own monster.
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s daughter, Isra Hirsi, used her large social media influence to try to get people to give “supplies” to rioters in Minnesota. The list she shared included a request for sticks, plywood and rackets.
In the Daily Wire, Ryan Saavedra points out that unlike what they did with President Trump, Twitter took no action against numerous tweets that appeared to encourage rioting, destruction of property, or fighting against law enforcement.
OPEN BACK UP: Covid-19 is battering independent physician practices. They need help now. Hospitals and medical practices never should have been shut down for “nonessential” services. That’s possibly the biggest mistake of many in this pandemic — and especially continuing the shutdown for months after it was obvious hospitals weren’t going to be flooded.
The relationship between the United States and the World Health Organization has ended.Read more here.
President Trump said in a Rose Garden address on Friday that he would terminate the relationship between the U.S. and the WHO immediately, accusing the organization of taking directives from China.
"China has total control over the World Health Organization despite paying only $40 million per year compared to what the United States has been paying, which is approximately $450 million a year," Trump said. "We have detailed the reforms that it must make and engaged with them directly, but they have refused to act."
"Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be today terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization and redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving urgent, global public health needs," Trump said.
...In the first two decades of the 21st century, the United States has faced three existential crises. The first was the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, which prompted a global effort to fight radical Islamic terrorism. The second occurred in 2008 when the U.S. financial system and stock market nearly collapsed. The third began earlier this year with the COVID-19 epidemic and quarantines that reduced the economy to its most shaky state since the 1930s.Read more here.
...During the first two crises, we snapped back the economy with low interest rates, increased government spending and larger annual deficits — and passed the greater long-term debt to another administration, another Congress and another generation of Americans.
We are postponing another rendezvous with reality. But as we near $30 trillion in debt, what cannot go on much longer soon probably won’t.
Denver: Female driver surrounded by masked rioters, including a masked man who jumped on the hood of her car, nearly runs over them during escape. #BlackLivesMatter #antifa #GeorgeFloyd pic.twitter.com/azyN1QNICv— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) May 29, 2020
...As our nation proceeds to reopen, the federal government can lead the way by providing guidance and assistance to protect elderly and vulnerable Americans in nursing homes.He then provides steps that can help significantly stem the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes here.
has called on the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Treasury Department to investigate Twitter over allegations the company breached U.S. sanctions against Iran. On Friday, Cruz wrote a letter to the Departments urging a criminal investigation into the social media giant for potential criminal activity related to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. According to Cruz, Twitter may have committed sanctionable actions prohibited by Executive Order 13876. Cruz wrote to Attorney General William Barr and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin regarding the allegations. The letter states that Cruz informed Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey early this year that:“Twitter and its principals face criminal liability and sanctions exposure for providing social media accounts to Iranian persons designated as Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs) by the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) pursuant to E.O. 13876.”
READ MORE: https://neonnettle.com/news/11478-ted-cruz-calls-on-doj-to-investigate-twitter-for-breaching-iran-sanctions
© Neon Nettle
Thursday, May 28, 2020
The methods, practices, and purposeful control of value; through a collusion of corporate interest specific to a planned and organized effort to control monetary benefit; is the part of their activity that is quantifiable, discoverable, easily provable, and ultimately unlawful.Read more here.
The financial distortion of internet commerce is the crack in the Big Tech stranglehold that affords the DOJ the opportunity to step in. Google (and all subsidiaries) will lose on the substance of their defense because ultimately their business practice has resulted in, and arguably they have engaged in, price-fixing.
It will take time, but eventually they will settle; and there will likely be a massive financial settlement in addition to a negotiated Consent Decree. Within the CD terms, we may even see a break-up.
The antitrust action is only tangentially related to the current POTUS confrontation with Twitter and big tech social media based on ideological lines. However, it is easy to see how the two issues will merge. The monetary distortions are based on ideology.
As soon as the DOJ takes action Silicon Valley will hold an even larger self-interest in the 2020 election outcome; and they will respond accordingly.
I'm still doing some research related to President Trump's "Preventing Online Censorship" draft Executive Order, and hope to post more about this today. But for now, I wanted to post some background I put together earlier about 47 U.S.C. § 230 (enacted 1996), the statute that is so important to the order; I hope people find this helpful.Read more here.
Section 230 makes Internet platforms and other Internet speakers immune from liability for material that's posted by others Congress enacted 47 U.S.C. § 230 (with some exceptions). That means, for instance, that
I'm immune from liability for what is said in our comments.
A newspaper is immune from liability for its comments.
Yelp and similar sites are immune from liability for business reviews that users post.
Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube (which is owned by Google) are immune from liability for what their users post.
Google is generally immune from liability for its search engine results.
And that's true whether or not the Internet platform or speaker chooses to block or remove certain third-party materials. I don't lose my immunity just because I occasionally delete some comments (e.g., ones that contain vulgar personal insults); Yelp doesn't lose its because it sometimes deletes comments that appear to have come from non-customers; the other entities are likewise allowed to engage in such selection and still retain immunity. Section 230 has recently become controversial, and I want to step back a bit from the current debates to explain where it fits within the traditions of American law (and especially American libel law).
Historically, American law has divided operators of communications systems into three categories.
Publishers, such as newspapers, magazines, and broadcast stations, which themselves print or broadcast material submitted by others (or by their own employees).
Distributors, such as bookstores, newsstands, and libraries, which distribute copies that have been printed by others. Property owners on whose property people might post things —such as bars on whose restroom walls people scrawl "For a good time, call __"—are treated similarly to distributors.
Platforms, such as telephone companies, cities on whose sidewalks people might demonstrate, or broadcasters running candidate ads that they are required to carry.
And each category had its own liability rules:
Publishers were basically liable for material they republished the same way they were liable for their own speech. A newspaper could be sued for libel in a letter to the editor, for instance. In practice, there was some difference between liability for third parties' speech and for the company's own, especially after the Supreme Court required a showing of negligence for many libel cases (and knowledge of falsehood for some); a newspaper would be more likely to have the culpable mental state for the words of its own employees. But, still, publishers were pretty broadly liable, and had to be careful in choosing what to publish. See Restatement (Second) of Torts § 578.
Distributors were liable on what we might today call a "notice-and-takedown" model. A bookstore, for instance, wasn't expected to have vetted every book on its shelves, the way that a newspaper was expected to vet the letters it published. But once it learned that a specific book included some specific likely libelous material, it could be liable if it didn't remove the book from the shelves. See Restatement (Second) of Torts § 581; Janklow v. Viking Press (S.D. 1985).
Platforms weren't liable at all. For instance, even if a phone company learned that an answering machine had a libelous outgoing message (see Anderson v. N.Y. Telephone Co. (N.Y. 1974)), and did nothing to cancel the owner's phone service, it couldn't be sued for libel. Likewise, a city couldn't be liable for defamatory material on signs that someone carried on city sidewalks (even though a bar could be liable once it learned of libelous material on its walls), and a broadcaster couldn't be liable for defamatory material in a candidate ad.
...Under current law, Twitter, Facebook, and the like are immune as platforms, regardless of whether they edit (including in a politicized way). Like it or not, but this was a deliberate decision by Congress. You might prefer an "if you restrict your users' speech, you become liable for the speech you allow" model. Indeed, that was the model accepted by the court in Stratton Oakmont. But Congress rejected this model, and that rejection stands so long as § 230 remains in its current form. (I'll have more technical statutory details on this in a later post.)
The United States has reached a grim milestone: 100,000 deaths from Covid-19. In addition to its toll in lives, the virus has also ushered in an economic downturn as deep as the Great Depression nearly a century ago, with more than 38 million Americans having filed for unemployment. Each state’s experience differs, with each paying its own price in lives or livelihoods. Governors should be judged by their own state’s record going into and coming out of this crisis. It’s a standard that surely elevates governors like Ron DeSantis and Bill Lee—and likely condemns Andrew Cuomo.Read more here.
Question: How do you drink a beer while wearing a mask?
"We didn't need to lock the country down; we just needed to keep the infected out of nursing homes."
The black community is playing checkers while the mainstream media is playing chess.
Our youth will be imprisoned.
Our neighborhoods will be destroyed.
Our inability to think through emotional tragedies is our biggest curse, and the Democrat Party’s biggest blessing.
Also on Twitter,
Andy Ngo posts video of a woman in a wheelchair being attacked inside Target, including being sprayed with a fire extinguisher at close range.
Another video in a nursing home of an elderly white man being savagely beaten by the fists of a young black man.
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
Videos hit social media showing escalating protests in Minneapolis, Minnesota, over the death of George Floyd, including a Target store being looted and an Autozone on fire.Go here to read more and watch videos of the rioting.
The protests grew after a viral citizen video emerged showing a Minneapolis Police Officer, Derek Chauvin, putting his knee on the neck of Floyd during an arrest for minutes, even after Floyd went silent and bystanders pleaded with the officers to check on Floyd’s welfare. Floyd was pronounced dead a short time later.
What started out as vigils quickly turned more chaotic in the streets. People were throwing Molotov cocktails, police were using tear gas, according to live CNN reports. Flash bangs could be used during the live broadcast. The scenes were starting to resemble the protests of a few years ago in Ferguson, Missouri and other U.S. cities after controversial police-related deaths.
"Maybe it’s time to jettison the self-infatuated press, exclude them from the briefings, and bring in ordinary Americans to ask the questions."
...Her job is to represent the Trump administration to the American people. By tradition, that has been through the medium of the press. Now that the press has for the most part become a mouthpiece of the establishment left, it is questionable whether the press as currently constituted is still the best vehicle for communicating to the American people. Maybe it’s time to jettison the self-infatuated press, exclude them from the briefings, and bring in ordinary Americans to ask the questions. I offer the idea free and for nothing as part of a larger plan to fumigate the smug, out-of-touch credentialed class.Read more here.
Twitter for the first time put a fact-check label on tweets from President Trump, using the controversial tactic on messages in which the president complained there is “no way” that “mail-in ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent.”Read more here.
It may be instructive that Twitter seized on the mail-in balloting tweets as the first issue from Trump’s rapid fire social media feed to slap with a fact-check label. Twitter did not disclose in its so-called fact-check it is partners with two groups financed by leftist donors that engage in voter participation efforts, including drives pushing mail-in balloting.
Twitter sits on the “Premier Partner” list of one of those groups alongside ViacomCBS, the merger of Viacom and CBS. Twitter’s so-called fact-check about Trump’s mail-in balloting cited CBS political reporter Grace Segers vouching for mail-in voting.
Each day that the Obama administration fades into the past, its wrongdoings manage to wander back into the present.Read more here.
After years of suppression, all sorts of strange events keep popping up to remind us of what little is left of the Obama years — the Susan Rice memo, Christopher Steele deleting his computer records, FBI-doctored and lost 302s, text messages wiped clean, the bizarre Obama January 5, 2017, Oval Office meeting, the ambush interview of Michael Flynn, the unmasking and leaking of redacted names swept up in reverse-targeting surveillance operations, the administration fraud perpetrated on the FISA courts. The list is so overwhelming and bizarre that it ensures that anything at any time can now appear. And the result keeps reminding Americans of how corrupt were the years between 2009 and 2017 and how untruthful was the coverage of such institutionalized wrongdoing.
Emeritus Barack Obama now and then ventures out to go through the motions of an enfeebled defense for what is becoming an increasingly discredited administration. But his heart is not in it. His mind is elsewhere. His cause is no longer social activism and community organizing, if it ever was, but lucre and the perceived well-earned good life. The arc of his moralizing universe is long, but for the anointed like him, it apparently bends toward the just deserts of riches and material bounty.
First lady forever and bestselling memoirist Michelle Obama sometimes takes a hiatus from making millions to offer a half-hearted progressive warning about the sudden heartlessness of the country — reminiscent of her transitory 2008 warnings about a downright mean country and one of which she had previously not been especially proud.
The remains of the Obama team (Susan Rice, Ben Rhodes, Hillary Clinton, John Brennan, James Comey, Samantha Power) are not offering much of a defense for the Obama years — they are now too busy scrambling to hide their own legal culpability and exposure. The bending arc of the 2009 dream team finally ends in the platitudes of “I can’t remember” and “Not to my knowledge” that will eventually find their way from CNN and MSNBC into the court room.
Obama entered office to gushes that he was a living god and the smartest man ever to enter the White House. He quickly won the Nobel Peace Prize and was courted internationally through a series of overseas tours. His brand was that he was not so much a citizen of an unexceptional America as a citizen of the now globalized world.
...There is nothing left of the Obama creed of the “most scandal-free” administrant in memory. Before the collusion/obstruction hoax, the Horowitz report, the failed Mueller investigation, and the release of classified information, the public knew well of Fast and Furious, the data surveillance of the AP reporters, the GSA and VA messes, the weaponization of the IRS, the Benghazi mythologies, the Bowe Bergdahl swap, and the echo-chamber silence about the hidden details of the Iran deal. Each time Susan Rice was wheeled out to swear the truth, the public assumed it was a lie. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
...We were supposed to see a fundamental transformation of the country between 2009 and 2025, as the Obama-Clinton 16-year regnum finally made America right and correct. Instead, we witnessed eight years that ended in scandal whose full dimensions of criminality will take years to process.
Obamagate is worse than a single surveillance scandal. It’s three huge ones, intertwined. All were abuses of power. Some were crimes.Read more here.
...Scandal No. 1: Massive, illegal surveillance of American citizens, using the database of the National Security Agency
...This illegal practice ended in summer 2016 when the agency’s head, Adm. Mike Rogers, learned about it. He stopped it immediately and reported it to the Rosemary Collyer, chief judge of the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) Court. Judge Collyer issued a scathing, heavily redacted report about the illegal activity, but, so far, no one has been indicted.
Scandal No. 2: Spying on the Trump campaign
When NSA surveillance was halted, the Obama administration lost its secret eyes on domestic political activity and especially on the rising Trump campaign. To regain that vision, the CIA and FBI launched new surveillance efforts. Three elements stand out. First, the executive branch, then controlled by Democrats, was determined to spy on the opposition party. Second, much of the spying was conducted by agencies that are limited, by law, to foreign operations. Since their goal was actually domestic surveillance and since that was illegal, they apparently outsourced some of it to friendly foreign governments, who relayed the information back to Washington. Third, since the FBI wanted to spy on Trump aides who were not actually suspected of crimes, they couldn’t get regular warrants. To work around that, the FBI (under James Comey) and Department of Justice (under Loretta Lynch) falsely claimed the targets were foreign spies, making them eligible for FISA warrants. They also tried to entrap them (with help from CIA assets abroad), hoping they would commit illegal acts or say their colleagues had done so.
...Scandal No. 3: Covering up this spying, continuing it during the new administration, charging that Trump was not legitimately elected, and impeding his presidency with major investigations, based on false charges
...What do these three scandals mean, individually and collectively? The first, accessing the NSA database, is the largest violation of basic constitutional protections against illegal search and seizure in American history.
The second, surveillance of the Trump campaign, involves illegally using of the government’s most powerful tools of national intelligence and law enforcement against an opposition political party. These crimes directly attack two pillars of constitutional democracy: (1) elections should be free and fair, not corrupted by the party in power, and (2) law enforcement and intelligence should never be used as partisan instruments.
The third scandal attacks yet another pillar of constitutional democracy: the peaceful transfer of power to a new administration. Handing government authority to the opposition party is a hallmark of stable democracy. Much as the Obama administration hated to see Hillary Clinton lose, it was obliged to transfer power seamlessly to Donald Trump. On the surface it did so. Beneath the surface, it erected every obstacle it could.
Sundance writes in the Conservative Treehouse,
By taking this position Twitter has put themselves into the position of arbitrating the opinions of general speech. This is a remarkable shift in the control mechanism of the platform which will likely have ramifications.Read more here.
However, beyond the intervention, it is worth pointing to the specific issue that has triggered their decision. Note the issue of greatest concern to the command authority of Twitter is specifically mail-in ballots; this is not accidental.
By taking this position Twitter has put themselves into the position of arbitrating the opinions of general speech. This is a remarkable shift in the control mechanism of the platform which will likely have ramifications.
...A federal bailout protects their prior overspending. Then, full control over the mail-in ballots provides them the security they need for the 2020 election. Do not expect UniParty Republicans to oppose this effort.
Just like when the DC republicans supported the attacks against the Tea Party groups (protect their own incumbency), the DC Decepticons will offer only weak verbal opposition to this effort; nothing of substance. In reality, the Democrats and Republicans both benefit from the removal of President Trump and a return to the status-quo.
Trump's attorney: "“They knew there was nothing to investigate. People subverted the system of justice. One corrupt act after another. It’s staggering. The lies were monstrous. It was all pretense and fraud." Mueller should not walk. Rod Rosenstein should not walk.”
And neither should James Comey, Andrew McCabe and disgraced ex-FBI agent Peter Strzok.Read more here.
...And as regards the “malignant” charge, while there are, obviously, good individuals who are atheist, atheism is morally worthless. It makes no moral demands, whereas Judaism and Christianity posit a God who demands people obey, for example, the Ten Commandments. Atheism demands nothing; it only destroys the Judeo-Christian bases of morality in Western civilization, the civilization that gave the world democracy, liberty, women’s equality and an end to slavery.Read more here.
In fact, evangelical Christians are the greatest defenders of Western civilization, while Pinker’s atheist colleagues at Harvard and elsewhere are the most active opponents of Western civilization. How does Pinker explain that? Which exactly is the “malignant delusion”?
...Evangelicals oppose the continuing of the lockdown because they, more than any other large community in America, continue to believe in freedom. Without the evangelical community, we will no longer have liberty. From before the birth of America, liberty has been the cornerstone belief because it was a cornerstone Christian value. The founders engraved a liberty-affirming verse from the Bible (Leviticus 25:10) in the Liberty Bell. At the same time, from Lenin to Soros and today’s Democratic Party, liberty has never been a left-wing value.
To Pinker and his colleagues, Patrick Henry’s famous plea, “Give me liberty, or give me death,” the foundational principle of our republic, must sound truly foolish. It must have been the product of a malignant delusion.
"no person and no party ever should be allowed to reach the conclusion that they have Blacks in their pockets and have the power to tell them how they are expected to behave,"
...If government had “offered” those handouts and that “largesse” to our parents and grandparents, do not be certain that many of our predecessors would not have become likewise addicted to the “largesse” of the Democrats. Thankfully, so many of our forebears preceded and thereby avoided the Great Society. Immigrants from Germany, Italy, and Eastern Europe were offered no bilingual education, no choices to press “2” on the telephone, no community organizers encouraging them to sue their teachers for perceived affronts and indignities. So they had to immerse in English immediately to swim in the economy and society, or they would get “left back” or drown. They were forced to learn American citizenship and culture. It was a time of the “melting pot,” when the immigrant was expected to adapt and participate in the national culture that made America unique — to cherish the language, heritage, and value structure that had combined to make this the haven to which they streamed. Immigrants still could retain their own ethnicities and traditions. No one was being forced to “dissolve,” only to “melt.” So the children of Italians, Irish, Germans, Poles, and East European Jews bought into the American way. The colleges to which those immigrants sent their children imposed demanding standards for admission and taught those students substantive subjects that could be leveraged for success in the American marketplace.Read more here.
That changed. But here is the thing about charity and handouts: No one ever is going to hand out as charity so much that it makes the recipient richer than the donor. As long as I rely on you for charity, I never can get as rich as or richer than you. If I want for my children to have all that yours have and more, the only way we ever will get there is by finding and paving our own road, not by relying on your crumbs, even if well meant. And if your crumbs are being sent our way because of cynical politically manipulative reasons, all the worse. Look at the Jackson–Sharpton–Charlatan race hucksters whose entire reason for being is to feed at the Democrats’ trough. Notice how all the race hucksters get personally rich that way. Jesse Jackson has a net worth of $10 million. No typo that. Even Obama: he and Michelle played the race card beautifully, walked away with millions upon millions, bought magnificent properties in the best White playgrounds of the rich and famous … and left African Americans no better off than they were before.
I am an Orthodox Jew, a descendant of immigrants exiled from the Holy Land by the Roman Empire and who eventually, centuries later, made their way to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty by way of Poland, Ukraine, and Russia. It is not my place to tell African Americans what is best for them, and it certainly is not my place to tell them whether they are or are not Black. I can only observe that no one owns me, except for my G-d. Not Democrats and not Republicans. And if someone were to tell me that, if I do not vote for his party then I “ain’t a Jew,” you can bet your family farm that, at least for the subsequent election, I would bullet vote for the other side just to make the point as clear as can be: No political party and no person owns me except for my G-d.
I wish and pray for Black voters that they someday come to the same conclusion. Because until they do, until they realize that absolutely no person and no party ever should be allowed to reach the conclusion that they have Blacks in their pockets and have the power to tell them how they are expected to behave, Black Americans will not be free.
From the Babylon Bee:
TALLAHASSEE, FL—While many governors followed Science and shut down their states early and still have stay-at-home orders in place, Florida kept its beaches open through Spring Break and has already begun its reopening plans. Science says Florida should have seen skyrocketing deaths from COVID-19, but instead Florida -- despite its large elderly population -- has not seen anywhere near the number of problems faced by states like New York and New Jersey. This has been ruled to be in complete defiance of Science.
“We had good Science telling us Florida should have seen massive deaths,” said far right-wing conservative Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin. “And now Florida is undermining our trust in Science by not dying. We cannot tolerate this. More Floridians need to die. To die for Science.”
California Governor and Science believer Gavin Newsom agreed. “Ron DeSantis is a witch! Burn him!” Newsom said about the Florida governor. Experts widely believe DeSantis used something anti-Science -- like black magic -- to violate what Science said should be true.
There is now a movement by Science-believing Democrats to actively try to infect Floridians to try to get their death count to match projections. Democrats have also called for DeSantis to be put in some sort of Science prison -- a cage made using force fields or lasers or other Science things -- though it is unknown if that would be able to imprison him, considering his Floridian black magic.
...As I have written before, I will not wear a mask as demanded by our modern petty dictators. If I need to wear one, it will because I might be around a sick person, or I myself have become sick, as has been the practice for more than a century.Go here to read more.
Otherwise, wearing a mask is nothing more than a feel-good empty gesture, imposed to instill fear and terror in everyone, while actually increasing the chances everyone will get sick.
Tuesday, May 26, 2020
...Joe Biden, the Democrats and the press that loves them found themselves in a spot of quicksand for a little while because of Tara Reade. But now they’ve found a lifeline to drag themselves out of it.What is it? They are portraying Tara as a victim, not of Joe Biden, but of her father, husband, mother, and others. Read more here.
...Conservatives are convinced that entrepreneurs and individuals will better save us. Most elites, they believe, were wrong in their modeling, their predictions, and their advice about the contagion. Many conservatives think that the best and brightest had little practical experience, less common sense, and did not live in the real world.Read more here.
Red-staters look at the lies of the Chinese, the enabling deceptions of the World Health Organization, and the initial failures of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
They conclude that transnational organizations are sometimes incompetent and corrupt, and that even our own bureaucracies are too unimaginative, sluggish, haughty, and territorial.
Is there any agreement between red-state and blue-state America?
Red-staters are not flocking to blue-state urban corridors, where the virus hit hardest. They are happy to live in less crowded places, rely on their own cars, have detached homes, and be free of government edicts that often make little sense other than to showcase the dictatorial powers of petty bureaucrats and local officials.
Even blue-staters are beginning to see their mass transit, high-rise living, and clogged streets more as incubators of disease than as the circulatory system of an exciting, high-end life.
Perhaps in this time of plague, Americans can at least agree that the romance of Arcadia is suddenly preferable to the allure of big-city lights.
What is moral narcissism?Read more here.
...“What you believe, or claim to believe or say you believe—not what you do or how you act or what the results of your actions may be—defines you as a person and makes you ‘good.’”
Isn’t that “virtue signaling?” Not exactly. Virtue signaling is what moral narcissists do. Moral narcissists are what virtue signalers and others are.
They do other things as well that are worse, such as lying in the press for what they convince themselves is the right thing.
...Since I wrote the book, really 2015 for 2016 publication, the moral narcissism of our media has become more severe almost by the day. They admit nothing. They say nothing about what occurred or why.
What was their role in the promulgation of the Steele dossier when so many, it has become obvious, knew it was a fraud? Do they regret it? Do they wish they had said something as it took off and became the bogus linchpin of the Russia investigation?
Why, to name but one name although one of singular importance, did Dean Baquet, executive editor of The New York Times, devote the attention of nearly his entire press room to a subject so fundamentally dishonest for months on end?
...It’s a greater sickness than I had imagined. If I were writing that book now, I would add a special chapter for our media and call their condition “Malignant Moral Narcissism,” because their form of narcissism has evolved into the dangerously clinical. It is beyond mere neurosis because it negatively impacts society at large to a maximum degree.
We are now a nation divided as never since the Civil War and these media lies are largely the instigator of that. This is especially bad because, coming out of a pandemic, the likelihood of our society to have the ability to work together is seriously undermined, perhaps for years to come.
I'd like to ask Chris Wallace a few questions, if a citizen is still allowed to ask his Media Masters questions:Read more here.
1. Why is the press the only institution in America which cannot be challenged or critiqued?
2. If critiquing institutions is dangerous and it undermines their credibility, why does the press critique critical institutions like the government, the military, etc.
3. Why is the press the one industry in America that is not helped by sunlight and criticism but threatened by it? If criticizing the press puts the lives of "journalists" in danger, does the press' nonstop attacks on the Trump Administration not likewise put Trump Administration officials' lives in danger?
Did you not think of that, or are you just sort of... intrigued by that possible outcome?
4. The only people who seem to be permited to criticize the press are the press' own minions, like Brian Stelter. This is like saying that only Baghdad Bob may criticize Saddam Hussein.
If the press refuses to criticize and correct itself, then they've deputized the rest of us to do that job for them.
Oh, I forgot to ask a question. So here's the question:
Go fuck yourself and die sobbing, Chris Wallace.
Monday, May 25, 2020
In late March Michigan Democrat Governor Gretchen Whitmer limited access for doctors to prescribe hydroxychloroquine and Z-packs, she banned seeds, American flags (because they are lawn decorations). Whitmer allowed the use of canoes and sailboats however banned the use of motorboats and jet skis.Read what happened next here.
Just a few days before the Memorial Day weekend Whitmer lifted her restriction on motorized boats and something very interesting happened.
An employee of North Shore Dock, a northern Michigan company that provides boat and dock services in northern Michigan posted a phone call he received from Whitmer’s husband. The employee reported that Whitmer’s husband called to see if they would be able to deliver their motorboat to their vacation home in the Birch Lake area.
When the campaign for re-lockdown begins, political leaders and the public should respond: thank you, but we are not going to make that mistake again. The unintended (to give you the benefit of the doubt) consequences of lockdowns have dwarfed in their malignity anything that the coronavirus could have inflicted, whether measured by lost and stunted lives or by the crushing of hope and enterprise. The coming depression will reduce global life expectancy more than the coronavirus ever could have. The infirm elderly — our parents — deserve our love and respect. We will focus on protecting them, but we will not shut down the economy to do so, because without economic life there is no public health. There will be more deaths from the coronavirus, as from other things. We will carry on, having relearned the necessity of balancing the benefits of any course of action against its costs. And we will remove from our daily repartee the injunction to ‘stay safe’ as an insult to human striving.Read more here.
From the Babylon Bee:
The Bible tells us to work smarter, not harder. Or, better yet, don't work at all if you can help it. You can look it up. It's in the Proverbs somewhere.
That's why we're announcing today that we will simply be republishing everything Joe Biden says word for word rather than spending a lot of time and effort writing satire.
We at The Babylon Bee realized we were spending all this time trying to satirize Joe Biden when, frankly, he just can't be satirized. He's doing all the hard work for us with statements like "You ain't black!" and, of gun violence, that "150 million people have been killed since 2007."
Every day is a real grind when we arrive at the sprawling Babylon Bee headquarters, settle in on our throne of Chick-fil-A sandwiches, and boot up the ol' PC to check what Biden said over the past 24 hours. We're tired of trying to out-parody things like "I got hairy legs that turn blonde in the sun and the kids used to reach in the pool and rub my leg down and watch the hair come back up again" and "Corn Pop was a bad dude."
Like, what do you do with that? Seriously. Go ahead. Try to satirize it. Anything you do just doesn't have that perfect mix of absurdity and reality that makes satire work so effective at communicating truth. So we're throwing in the towel.
We'd also like to take this opportunity to thank Joe Biden for being such a great satirical performance artist. You're the real hero, Joe. The people really need comedy in a time like this, and you're doing a great job. Keep it up!
Finally, laugh at these hilarious Babylon Bee headlines from our new best satirist, Joe Biden:
Biden: 'Poor Kids Are Just As Bright As White Kids'
Joe Biden Says All Men And Women Are Created By You Know The Thing
Presidential Candidate Nibbles On His Wife's Fingers
Joe Biden: 'I'm Going To Beat Joe Biden'
'Go To Joe 30330' Says Joe
Biden Tells Campaign Rally 'We Choose Truth Over Facts'
Joe Biden Calls Iowa Man 'Fat' And A '[FLOWERBED] Liar'
You can look forward to lots more content coming from your new favorite Babylon Bee writer any moment now.
Every Memorial Day, millions of Americans take time to remember those who have fallen in service to country — but for some, like Republican Texas Congressman Dan Crenshaw, it’s personal.
Crenshaw, a retired Lieutenant Commander and Navy SEAL, marked the day by sharing a series of photos memorializing his own brothers-in-arms — each of whom willingly paid the ultimate price for their friends, their families and millions of complete strangers.
“Enjoy your Memorial Day and let us remember why we celebrate. We celebrate the lives of the heroes we have lost. Never Forget,” Crenshaw tweeted, adding, “Read entire thread please.”
The rest of the post includes Crenshaw's photos of and stories about fellow soldiers who lost their lives fighting for us. Read it here.
he move appears to be a direct signal that communist Beijing will not longer accept or allow Hong Kong’s current autonomous status as a free democracy. Beijing signaling “enough is enough”, and Hong Kongers are rightly concerned. If Xi follows through, we can expect to see even more protests and confrontations; and the possibility President Trump will remove the “special trade status” the U.S. gives to Hong Kong.
Right now Hong Kong is exempt from U.S. tariffs and other economic measures the U.S. has deployed against China. If Beijing takes full control, that could quickly change.
Sundance links to this article from Reuters.
(Reuters) – Beijing appears determined to stamp out any renewed rebellion against the Communist Party’s authority over the former British colony. China’s largely rubber-stamp parliament, the National People’s Congress, is preparing to circumvent the city’s lawmaking body, the Legislative Council, in drafting the new laws.Read more here.
The fear among many in Hong Kong is that China intends to criminalize existing freedoms, including criticism of the central government and its policies. It is the latest and biggest step in a concerted effort by Beijing to assert control over Hong Kong and its 7.4 million people.
In recent weeks there had been widespread speculation here that Beijing was planning this move, described by some local commentators as the “nuclear option.” Thursday’s announcement by China nonetheless stunned pro-democracy lawmakers, business leaders and lawyers in the city. It was, they said, a historic turning point – the end of “one country, two systems,” the formula Beijing had promised would allow Hong Kong to retain its way of life and freedom for at least 50 years after the 1997 handover to Chinese rule.
“This represents a real demolition of the one country, two systems idea and also the idea of Hong Kong’s autonomy,” said barrister Wilson Leung, a member of the Progressive Lawyers Group. Leung said extremely harsh sentences had been imposed on dissidents, journalists and lawyers on the mainland under vaguely expressed but draconian laws. “These same vague concepts are now being introduced to Hong Kong,” he said.
Many details of the new laws and exactly how they will be absorbed into Hong Kong’s existing statutes remain unclear. But Beijing has openly expressed its intentions in recent months. It wants to end the cycle of mass protests that have thwarted successive post-colonial administrations each time they have moved to more closely align the city with China’s political and legal system.
[…] Hong Kong is a vital cog in China’s economy. While China still has extensive capital controls and often intervenes in its financial markets and banking system, Hong Kong is one of the most open economies in the world and one of the biggest markets for equity and debt financing.
China uses Hong Kong’s currency, equity and debt markets to attract foreign funds, while international companies use Hong Kong as a launchpad to expand into mainland China. The bulk of foreign direct investment in China continues to be channeled through the city. And many of China’s biggest firms have listed in Hong Kong, often as a springboard to global expansion.
Although Benito Mussolini, fascism’s artificer and personifier, died discredited in 1945, fascism’s socio-political paradigm, the administrative state, is well-nigh universal in our time. And as the European and American ruling class adopted Communism’s intellectual categories and political language, the adjective “fascist” became a weapon in its arsenal.Read more here.
...Hegel, as well as the positivist and Progressive movements, had argued for the sovereignty of expert administrators. Fascist Italy was the first country in which the elected legislature gave up its essential powers to the executive, thus abandoning the principle, first enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, by which people are rightly governed only through laws made by elected representatives. By the outbreak of World War II, most Western countries’ legislatures—the U.S. Congress included—had granted the executive something like “full powers,” each by its own path, thus establishing the modern administrative state.
...Rather than force, Mussolini’s primary means of government was the management of interests. That, plus exhortation. Force was reserved for outright opponents in the act of opposition. The kidnapping and murder of socialist member of parliament Giacomo Matteotti at the hand of fascists is so often mentioned precisely because it was such a rarity. The socialists and Communists who wished to continue in politics had to leave the country—the Communists to Russia, where Palmiro Togliatti headed Stalin’s Comintern, and the socialists mainly to France. Of the ones who stayed the most outstanding, like the Communist Antonio Gramsci (who had been socialism’s other intellectual star), got prison sentences during which they were free to write. The lesser ones were forced to keep their activism to family and friends lest they be beaten and forced to swallow laxatives. Murderous legal force was reserved for the mafia. A wave of extra-judicial killings, tortures, as well as the practice of using families as hostages and for reprisals largely extirpated the “black hand,” or forced its members to seek refuge in America.
...Mussolini’s 1929 concordat with the Roman Catholic Church, by far the country’s most influential element, was the culmination of his dealings with established interests. Under that arrangement, the pope recognized Italy’s sovereignty and Rome as its capital. Though the pope continued to appoint and remove bishops, these would swear allegiance to the state. The state recognized the pope’s independence and sovereignty over the Vatican, and Catholicism as the state religion. The state paid the priests. The Church administered religious instruction in public schools. This was a pact between alien forces whose best alternative was non-aggression. More than anything else, their mutual blessing defined daily life under fascism for most Italians.
Because commentary, as often willful as ignorant, confuses fascism and Nazism, we must observe that the concordat’s other party, Pope Pius XI (1922–1939), knew Germany as well as Italy intimately, and was Nazism’s first, most consistent, and arguably most feared enemy. In 1937 Pius XI wrote a fiery anti-Nazi encyclical, in German, Mit brennender Sorge (With Burning Anxiety), and ordered that it be read in every parish church. He organized opposition to Hitler. This most fervent of anti-Nazis died before Mussolini fully changed the regime for the sake of the German alliance. The pope condemned fascism’s racial laws of 1938 in the strongest possible terms: “I am ashamed of being Italian.” “For Christians, taking any part in antisemitism is forbidden. We are spiritually semitic.” He and his successor, Pius XII, did all in their power to subvert these laws. But he never compared them with Germany’s, or fascism with Nazism, because, while the former aimed at separation, the latter aimed at extinction.
The United States of America was the nation of which Mussolini spoke with the highest regard and with which he most assiduously cultivated relations, perhaps because, in the minds of the millions of Italians whose friends and relatives had emigrated there, the very word “America” was synonymous with all good things. Did he really mean that “the American government is more like the fascist state than any of Europe’s liberal democratic governments because the popular will is constitutionally circumscribed”? “Both nations,” he declared, “are young, full of faith in themselves and committed to becoming prosperous and strong. The American people must sympathize with our need for cultural and economic expansion because they are spreading their own economic empire over the whole world.”
...Ironically, while the media acknowledged that fascism was a new “experiment,” papers like the New York Times commonly credited it with returning turbulent Italy to what it called “normalcy.” In 1933, when Hitler came to power, the press and public opinion gave him a pass for about a half decade by treating him as “the German Mussolini.” Not so.
Mussolini’s invasion of Ethiopia, and Britain’s reaction to it, started the chain of events that led to World War II in Europe and, incidentally, to Mussolini’s own deservedly grotesque end.
Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia, another member of the League of Nations, exposed the League’s nonsense. Britain could have stopped the invasion by closing the Suez Canal to Italian shipping. This would not have avoided the consequences of alienating Italy, but it would have saved Ethiopia. Or, Britain could have sacrificed Ethiopia and the League for the sake of appeasing Mussolini in order to stop Hitler’s Anschluss of Austria. Instead, Britain and France doomed Ethiopia by keeping the canal open, and alienated Italy by instituting energy sanctions. The Italo-British interactions of 1935 might qualify as the 20th century’s dumbest, most tragic diplomatic démarche. Hitler was the only winner.
Seeing his chance, the Führer sent trainloads of coal to alleviate Italy’s energy shortage. A year earlier, as the two dictators had approached each other for their first meeting, Mussolini had said to his foreign minister, “non mi piace”: I don’t like the looks of him. For him, Hitler was semi-literate, and Nazi ideology, especially their racialism, was “boring and pretentious.” Moreover, the Germans had been “illiterate when Rome had Caesar, Virgil, and Augustus.” Now, Mussolini, stupidly grateful, guaranteed the Anschluss by throwing away the Stresa pact. Thus did he commit one of Machiavelli’s most prominent no-nos: putting his future in the hands of a power greater than his own.
Within five years, Charles de Gaulle aptly described Mussolini as riding a donkey behind Hitler’s war horse. Mussolini had secured the Catholic Church’s support. He had the finest relations with America. But, subsequent to his turn to Hitler, the Church de-legitimized and subverted him, and the Italian people found themselves at war against the country they admired most on behalf of the one they liked least. He ended up alienating even the Fascist Party.
...But Soviet influence in the Allied councils dragged out Supreme Allied Commander Dwight Eisenhower’s acceptance until September 3, by which time the Germans were ready to arrest Italian troops (some 815,000 became German prisoners of war). Germany also invaded northern Italy, rescued Mussolini from the king, transferred him to their occupied zone, and used him as a puppet until the end of the war. Mussolini ruled northern Italy for a year and a half as Hitler’s bloody agent.
In April 1945, when Communist partisans executed Mussolini and hung his body upside-down from a meat hook in a Milan gas station, there was some pity, but no regrets.
The U.S. occupation, eager to return responsibility to Italians for their own affairs, and confronted with multiple political parties clamoring for power, turned matters over to a consortium of parties that, rather than dismantling the fascist state, parceled its contents out amongst themselves. All subsequent political struggles into our time, regardless of the personalities and ideologies involved, have been quarrels about pieces of this patronage. In our time, Italy’s government appoints some 700 persons per year to very high-paying, powerful positions in “private” companies strictly on the basis of the relative weight of the parties in the governing coalition. That is in addition to the clearly public posts and sinecures it fills. Fascism lives!
In short, fascism was a reality limited to Italy. But fascist Italy was first to enact the disempowerment of legislatures and the empowerment of the administrative state that is now the Western world’s standard of government.