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  • Jack 3:11 am on December 14, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , , , ,   

    Fake Truth 

    The most effective way for the media to have refuted Donald Trump’s 24/7 accusations of “fake news” would have been to publish disinterested, factually based accounts of his presidency. The Trump record should have been set straight through logic and evidence.

    So one would think after a year of disseminating fake news aimed at Donald Trump (Melania Trump was leaving the White House; Donald Trump had removed the bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. from the West Wing; Trump planned to send troops into Mexico, etc.) that Washington and New York journalists would be especially scrupulous in their reporting to avoid substantiating one of Trump’s favorite refrains.

    Instead, either blinded by real hatred or hyper-partisanship or both, much of the media has redoubled their reporting of rumor and fictions as facts—at least if they empower preconceived and useful bias against Trump. But after the year-long tit-for-tat with the president, the media has earned less public support in polls than has the president. It is the age-old nature of politicians of every stripe to exaggerate and mislead, but the duty of journalists to keep them honest—not to trump their yarns.

    A Dangerous Tic

    Last week, ABC News erroneously reported that Michael Flynn, in a supposed new role of cooperation with the prosecution, was prepared to testify that Trump, while still a candidate, ordered him improperly to contact (and, by inference, to collude with) Russian government officials.

    For a while, the startling news sent the stock market into a fall of over 300 points. Was the purported pro-business Trump agenda shortly to be derailed by “proof” of a possible impeachable offense? A little while later, however, ABC was forced to retract that story, to suspend Brian Ross (the reporter involved), and to offer a correction that Trump actually had been president-elect at the time of the contact and completely within his elected purview to reach out to foreign governments.

    Reuters, likewise eager to fuel the narrative of a colluding Trump, asserted that the Mueller investigators had subpoenaed Deutsche Bank records of Trump and his family. Again, the leaked inference was that the inquiry suddenly was coming near to hard evidence of Trump wrongdoing and was thus entering its penultimate stage. In truth, Mueller has more routinely subpoenaed the records of Trump associates, not Trump himself or his family.

    In the most egregious example of peddling fake news, CNN reported that candidate Trump had once received an email entrée to unreleased Wikileaks documents—again suggesting some sort of collusion with Russian or pro-Russian interests. But that narrative was soon discredited, too. CNN failed to note that the email was sent 10 days later than it had originally reported, and instead referred to information already released into the public domain by Wikileaks.

    In this same brief period, Washington Post reporter David Weigel, perhaps eager to suggest that Trump’s popularity among his base was at last waning, tweeted a sardonic captioned photo of half-empty seats at a Trump rally in Pensacola, Florida. He soon offered a retraction and noted his tweeted image wrongly showed the venue well before the actual start of the event—a fact he surely must have known.

    The mainstream media has developed a dangerous tic: the more it warns about the dangers of Donald Trump deprecating the press for its fake news accounts, the more it cannot help itself in rushing out another news story about Trump that is poorly sourced and not fact-checked—and thereby substantiating his original accusation. The more it accuses Trump of exaggeration and prevarication, the more it fails to double- and triple-check its very accusations.

    Lies Live On

    Other unfortunate symptoms of the current epidemic of false assertions are the now familiar rounds of accusations of prejudice and bias in reporting of “events” that are soon revealed to be manufactured or staged. Next come the sometimes strange reactions to such retractions and corrections. In September, five cadets at the Air Force Academy alleged that racist threats were posted on their doors. That prompted Superintendent Lt. General Jay Silveria to lecture the student body with the stirring admonition, “If you can’t treat someone with dignity and respect, then get out.” Silveria became a virtue-signaling rock star when his YouTube sermon went viral—only later to learn that the cadets themselves had staged the supposed hate threats.

    Not much later, Marquie Little, a seaman on a U.S. aircraft carrier, posted photos that seemed to show his bed on the George H.W. Bush covered in trash and racial slurs. “I proudly serve the Navy and this is what I’m receiving in return,” Little lamented in a post. Later, Navy officials revealed Little himself had likely concocted the harassment.

    The late Michael Brown likely never uttered the refrain “Hands up, don’t shoot”—a veritable rallying cry that persists for a variety of social justice movements. The Duke lacrosse players were not, as alleged, racist rapists. A University of Virginia fraternity was not a den of jock sexual predators, as Rolling Stone reported. Nor was Lena Dunham, as she wrote, sexually traumatized by a right-wing assaulter while a student at Oberlin.

    What accounts for the latest epidemic of fake news and false allegations of prejudicial behavior? Examples above have preceded Trump’s presidency, but recently the trend has been reenergized by it.

    The singular media hatred of Trump’s style and agenda have galvanized wider elite resistance, in which a willingness to achieve perceived noble ends of removing Trump should justify almost any means necessary. In such a larger climate of “the Resistance,” we have witnessed a new assassination chic of threatening the president, coupled with sometimes vulgar attacks on the Trump family. A spate of supposed racial harassment fosters a narrative of renewed intolerance in the age of Trump.

    Fake news also channels the resistance of universities, Hollywood, and political operatives. And just as we have witnessed efforts to sue to overturn the tally of voting machines, and to nullify the Electoral College, or witness a House vote on impeachment, talk of invoking the 25th Amendment, and calls to sue under the emoluments clause, so, too, the media has substituted its original mission of disinterested reporting to keep everyone honest for one of trying to nullify the 2016 presidential election. Journalists such as Jim Rutenberg of the New York Times and Christiane Amanpour of CNN have at least confessed that, in such trying Trump times, journalists of character can no longer easily remain merely disinterested reporters.

    Second, for over a generation, postmodernism in the universities has seeped into the larger culture. The new relativism has postulated absolute facts and uncontested “truths.” do not exist as anything other than “social constructs.” Assertions of truth instead reflect the efforts of a race/class/gender-based hegemony to construct self-serving narratives. (Never mind that asserting there is no truth is, itself, an assertion of truth.) Today, the elites believe that a cadre of mostly white, male, and rich sanctions its narratives with uncontested and unearned authority, through which it further oppresses in insidious fashion the relatively powerless “Other.”

    “Truths” Bigger Than Facts

    Instead, “truth” consists of endless “my truth” claims versus “your truth” claims. Competing stories are then adjudicated by respective accesses to power—the ultimate arbiter of whether one particular narrative wins authority over another.

    In this context, if a sailor or cadet concocts a racist attack, what great difference do rather insignificant details of narrative make in the wider scheme of social justice and equality, given the larger and historical “true” canvass of racism?

    Upon the revelation that the cadets at the Air Force Academy faked their stories, Gen. Silveria seemed not especially bothered by it. Instead, he renewed his calls for increased awareness of racism at the academy—as if the fake news account could (or even should) have been true and thus an occasion for remediation: “Regardless of the circumstances under which those words were written, they were written, and that deserved to be addressed . . . You can never over-emphasize the need for a culture of dignity and respect—and those who don’t understand those concepts aren’t welcome here.” A noble sentiment to be sure, but are words written in falsity just as valid as those written in truth?

    When Brian Ross constructed a falsehood, or David Weigel concocted a fantasy about poor attendance at a Trump rally, the details apparently did not matter so much as the attention to the larger “Truth”: Trump surely must have collided with the Russians, or Trump by this point certainly must have been losing crowd appeal, so it does not matter all that much how reality is conveyed.

    On the one hand, larger “truths” exist of cosmic social justice; on the other, bothersome so-called “facts” are largely predicated on the prejudices and resistance of the powerful who unduly give them authenticity. In such a postmodern environment, the “truth” that Donald Trump is purportedly a reactionary sexist and bigot is what mostly matters, not the bothersome details of counter-progressive narratives or stories that in one-dimensional fashion claim to follow rules of evidence, but instead serve an illiberal reality over a liberal one. What do a few dates on the calendar matter, concerning when Michael Flynn consulted with the Russians—given the larger truth that they surely once sought to deny Hillary Clinton the presidency?

    In our brave new world, fake news is the truest news. Staged oppressions serve to remind us of the real ones. The higher “good,” not the lower facts, is all that matters.

    Source…

    See Also:

    (1) Fake News Firehose: Science Proves Media Are Not Making ‘Honest Mistakes’ About Trump

     
  • Jack 3:39 am on December 12, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , tom cotton, trial by media,   

    Moore Backup 

    MONTGOMERY, Alabama — Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) backed up GOP candidate Judge Roy Moore in an interview with the Associated Press as allegations against Moore crumble amid revelations of forgery.

    In the interview published on Saturday, Cotton compared the frivolous allegations against Moore to the frivolous allegations that came out against President Donald Trump before his landslide victory over Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton. Cotton said the voters would decide the veracity of the claims just like they deemed Trump to not be guilty last year, and that the news media should not determine whether or not people are guilty.

    Here is an excerpt from a much longer interview Cotton did with the Associated Press on multiple topics:

    Cotton declined to say whether he thinks equal standards apply in all cases against Franken, Moore and Trump, who has been accused by more than a dozen women of sexual misconduct and was recorded by “Access Hollywood” bragging about touching women without their consent. All three men have denied details of the accusations, if not the claims outright.

    On Moore and others, Cotton said, voters “are going to make that decision, just like the people of this country made their decision last year on Donald Trump.”

    He added that women should be able to complain of sexual assault and the accused should be able to defend themselves.

    “We shouldn’t have trial by newspaper,” he said.

    Cotton’s comments come as on Friday night in Pensacola, Florida, President Trump urged all Alabamians to vote for Roy Moore in the special Senate election Tuesday—and cast more doubt on the allegations against Moore amid the revelation that one accuser forged part of the inscription in her yearbook that she and her attorney, activist Gloria Allred, both originally attributed to Moore.

    “So did you see what happened today? Do you know the yearbook? Did you see that? There was a little mistake made. She started writing things in the yearbook,” Trump said. “Oh, what are we going to do? Gloria Allred, any time you see her, you know something’s going wrong.”

    Moore towers over radical leftist Democrat Doug Jones in the latest polling just days before the all-important election here. Former White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News, is coming back to Alabama on Monday night for a closing rally in Dothan after campaigning with Judge Moore this past week in Fairhope. In his AP interview, Cotton also signaled support for Bannon’s worldview on U.S.-China relations.

    “Cotton appears to be much more in line with Steve Bannon, the former Trump adviser who has called for the United States to be ‘maniacally focused’ on an economic war against China to narrow the trade deficit and pull manufacturing jobs back to the United States,” the Associated Press wrote.

    Cotton’s comments also seriously undercut Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s efforts to undermine Moore’s campaign. After spending more than $30 million in a failed effort to defeat Moore in the primary and runoff, McConnell then orchestrated an effort to push Moore out of the race after these allegations surfaced in the Washington Post. Within minutes of the Post story, first posted weeks ago, McConnell rallied his fellow establishment GOP senators to push Moore to “step aside.” McConnell and the GOP establishment failed. Moore is still standing and is poised for victory on Tuesday.

    Source…

    See Also:

    (1) Steve Bannon to Campaign with Roy Moore Election Eve in Dothan, Alabama

    (2) Klein: Doug Jones is a George Soros-Tied Radical Leftist Rebranding Himself as Moderate

    (3) Most Alabama Republicans say they are voting for Roy Moore

    (4) More Clinton ties on Mueller team: One deputy attended Clinton party, another rep’d top aide

    Watch:

     
  • Jack 3:26 am on December 10, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , michael taube, , , wilfred laurier university   

    Contagion 

    Many Americans lament the decline of the university. The treasured concept of academic freedom has become a rusty, broken-down relic in less than a generation. Meanwhile, the cherished principles of free speech and intellectual discourse on campus have been replaced by political correctness and the hurt feelings of the snowflake brigade.

    Yet the frustrating experiences of American students may actually pale in comparison to a recent incident at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario.

    Shepherd showed this debate during her tutorials. Students were apparently interested and engaged during this discussion, and the conversation was lively. But afterward, an unnamed student reportedly launched a complaint, and Shepherd was accused of violating the university’s gender and sexual-violence policy. This led to a meeting with Professor Nathan Rambukkana, who serves as her supervisor, Professor Herbert Pimlott, and Adria Joel, who manages the institution’s Gendered Violence Prevention and Support program.

    Shepherd recorded this conversation (publicly, not covertly) and later released the audio for public consumption. Here are several bizarre moments:

    • Peterson is accused of being part of the alt-right. He’s not, and considers himself an adherent to classic British liberalism.

    • Peterson was also accused of holding intolerant points of view. This doesn’t seem to be the case but, like many things in life, it’s often a matter of interpretation.

    • The clip is said to have contravened university policy by causing harm to “trans students” and creating a “toxic climate.” No proof is provided to back up that charge.

    • Her decision to show the video is said to have violated Section C-16 in Canada’s Human Rights Code with respect to hate propaganda and gender identification. A fascinating analysis, since this section has nothing to do with either transgender pronouns or discussions in university classrooms and tutorials.

    Here’s the real kicker. On the recording, Shepherd asks her supervisor, “But can you shield people from those ideas? Am I supposed to comfort them and make sure that they are insulated away from this? . . . Because to me, that is so against what a university is about. So against it. I was not taking sides. I was presenting both arguments.” These questions aren’t really addressed by her interlocutors, but when she goes on to suggest that “in a university all perspectives are valid,” Rambukkana responds, “That’s not necessarily true” and says her decision not to take sides was “like neutrally playing a speech by Hitler.”

    That’s right: Shepherd’s inquisitors argued that she should have been an active participant rather than a silent moderator because an imaginary line can somehow be drawn between an outspoken university professor and Adolf Hitler. This is what our universities have come to.

    A new, baffling twist in this story has just developed. National Post columnist Christie Blatchford wrote yesterday that well-known Toronto employment lawyer Howard Levitt, “who represents Shepherd pro bono,” contacted the university’s hired legal representative, Rob Centa, to find out more about the original complaint. This is part of what Centa sent to Levitt: “I do not believe there is a document that contains a ‘complaint’ made about Ms. Shepherd nor is there anything I would describe as a formal complaint under any WLU policy.”

    Fortunately, one good thing came out of this insane episode: The vast majority of right-leaning and left-leaning Canadians both recognized that Rambukkana, Pimlott, and Joel had made a mockery of free speech.

    Championing free speech and expression is a two-way street. You have to consistently defend speech that you fundamentally agree with as well as speech that you completely oppose. While you don’t have to defend an opposing point of view, you must support a person’s right to hold such a position in a free and democratic society.

    Wilfrid Laurier University was humiliated in the public eye, and was forced to apologize. Shepherd wisely questions the sincerity of this apology, and appears to be looking at this issue in a very different light. As for the future of free speech on Canadian university campuses, it is much like what one sees on American university campuses: a dimming light growing fainter by the minute.

    — Troy Media syndicated columnist and Washington Times contributor Michael Taube was a speechwriter for former Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper.

    Source…

     
  • Jack 3:25 am on December 10, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , , unesco,   

    Is UN Dying? 

    Hit by the departure of the United States and Israel, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recently welcomed its new Director-General, former French Minister of Culture Audrey Azoulay. Those who care about cultural diversity and Western civilization hailed her election, because the representative of Qatar’s Islamist regime had come close to winning UNESCO’s leadership race. But the real problem is that UNESCO has been abandoned to Islamist dictatorships. A battle to save the organization has begun.

    Among the critics of UNESCO there is a tendency to dismiss this agency as “irrelevant“. Yet, so long as UNESCO exists, the West cannot allow repressive regimes to dominate the world’s highest body supposedly in charge of culture, science and education. Richard Hoggart, the British scholar who served as UNESCO’s assistant director general from 1970 to 1977, once asked: “Should Unesco Survive?“.

    The UN agency is currently dominated by the most oppressive regimes in regards to education and culture. There is China, which in July let writer, poet and Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo die an agonizing death in prison, where he was serving an 11-year jail sentence for his support of human rights and democracy. Then there is Iran, where a dean of journalism, Siamak Pourzand, committed suicide to avoid more persecution by the regime. Last week, the assistant director for Education of UNESCO, Qian Tang, was in Iran to advance “cultural cooperation” with the Islamic Republic, but the issue of cultural freedom in the Iran was not even raised by the envoy of the UN agency. There is also Pakistan, a country that has sentenced to death essentially for being a Christian mother of five, Asia Bibi, whose condition has never even been questioned by UNESCO. There is Qatar, where a poet, Rashid at Ajami, was sentenced to three years in prison for a poem critical of the emir Hamad bin Khalifa at Thani.

    UNESCO has become a grotesque forum, hosting shows such as that orchestrated by Cuba. Last June, Cuba complained of a minute of silence for Holocaust victims, but was able to hold another one for the Palestinians. At the opening of UNESCO’s 39th General Conference in Paris, the United Arab Emirates’ delegation placed a box containing a medal on the desk of each foreign delegation in honor of the UAE having sponsored the renovation of the conference hall. No box, however, was placed on the desk of Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO, Carmel Shama-Hacohen. These farces are nothing new at UNESCO. And they must end. The UN agency cannot allow the “uncivilized regimes“, as Shama-Hacohen called them, to continue to bully and vandalize Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East.

    Islamic regimes launched a takeover bid for UNESCO by investing massive financial resources and political lobbying at the UN cultural agency. Qatar, the wealthiest state in the world per capita, provided extremely generous financial support. That is why a Qatari representative, the former Minister of Culture Hamad bin Abdulaziz al Kawari, for days led the recent race for the leadership of UNESCO. The Simon Wiesenthal Center charged Qatar with bribing countries to win votes for the UN agency post. The Wiesenthal Center then launched an appeal to prevent Iran from becoming the head of UNESCO’s executive board. Meanwhile, Turkey, another country with an Islamist regime that bullies culture and freedom, joined the executive board.

    This “lobbying” has enabled those Islamic countries to form the most powerful bloc at UNESCO. As Denis MacEoin has previously explained:

    “Of UNESCO’s 195 member states, 35 are fully Islamic nations, another 21 are members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and four are OIC observer states. That makes 60 who represent a bloc favourable to Muslim-inspired resolutions.”

    Qatar has been pivotal in sponsoring anti-Semitic resolutions. There was UNESCO’s resolution denying Jewish history in Jerusalem, Islamizing historically Biblical holy sites by magic wand legerdemain, as Islam did not even exist until 600 years later. In a speech to the UNESCO General Assembly last week, Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO Carmel Shama Hacohen said :

    “UNESCO has been hijacked and abused as a tool for the persecution of Israel and the Jewish people, while concocting fake facts and fake history, meant to erase our history in Jerusalem and rewrite global history.”

    The Islamists’ takeover of the agency does not affect only Israel. It undermines the universal noble goal of this UN agency, which should be the protection of cultural diversity, especially where it is endangered.

    The Preamble of UNESCO’s Constitution says: “Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed”. UNESCO is knowingly betraying its own message. It is allowing regimes that massacre the minds of men to take over the UN agency that claims to be precisely in charge of “defenses of peace”.

    Last March, UNESCO’s then Director-General, Irina Bokova, expressed appreciation for Qatar’s support with a $2 million loan as part of a commitment by the Qatari authorities to donate $10 million to UNESCO. UNESCO’s headquarter in Paris hosted a forum sponsored by Saudi Arabia on “cultural and religious diversity“. It was a capitulation to barbarism; Saudi Arabia tortures bloggers such as Raif Badawi, sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison. UNESCO also held a three-day event entitled “Saudi Cultural Days” with Saudi art, food, customs and dances. Saudi King Abdallah Ibn Abdul Aziz donated $20 million to the UNESCO Emergency Fund. Donations to UNESCO have been promised by other Islamic countries, such as Algeria, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Qatar and Turkey.

    The United Arab Emirates gave $6 million to UNESCO, while Kuwait gave $5 million. UNESCO now hosts the presentation of books such as The Foundations of Islam along with ISESCO, the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, whose director Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri met Flavia Schlegel, assistant director general of UNESCO, to advance the cooperation between the two agencies.

    At its headquarters in Paris, UNESCO also promoted a project, “Fighting Islamophobia through Education“. As the French author Pascal Bruckner explained:

    “The concept of Islamophobia masks the reality of the offensive, led by the Salafists, Wahhabis, and Muslim Brotherhood in Europe and North America, to re-Islamize Muslim communities — a prelude, they hope, to Islamizing the entire Western world.”

    Under UNESCO’s previous Director-General Irina Bokova, the organization allowed the “State of Palestine” to join as a memver, despite its not being a state and despite the Palestinians’ clear failure to protect holy sites. Palestinians destroyed the Jewish holy shrine of Joseph’s Tomb and attacked the holy site known as Rachel’s Tomb, while Palestinian terrorists invaded the Christian holy site of Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity. UNESCO also kept silent when Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist terror group governing Gaza, destroyed the ancient Anthedon Harbor, which includes the ruins of a Roman temple and archaeological remains from the Persian, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine eras.

    UNESCO’s concern for “endangered sites” — a travesty of language used by these regimes to mask the Islamization of Hebron’s Jewish cemeteries at the UN — quickly disappears when it comes to Christian churches in the Islamic world. Hagia Sophia, the great cathedral of Christianity in Istanbul, was re-Islamized by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The muezzin’s call to prayer resounded for the first time in 85 years since the country’s former leader, Ataturk, turned the cathedral into a museum. If UNESCO is really serious about reforming itself, it should immediately issue a statement against the Islamization of Hagia Sophia, a UN World Heritage Site.

    Novelist and filmmaker Zulfu Livaneli, Turkey’s goodwill ambassador to the UNESCO, resigned in 2016; he accused the UN agency of hypocrisy for ignoring the destruction of a heritage site in Diyarbakir during clashes between the Turkish army and militants in his country’s mainly Kurdish southeast. “To pontificate on peace while remaining silent against such violations is a contradiction of the fundamental ideals of UNESCO,” said Livaneli, who had held the goodwill post to promote UNESCO values since 1996. More officials and personalities should take the same position protesting against UNESCO’s silence on many other destructions.

    New UNESCO chief Azoulay said last week that the US “empty chair” cannot last. The American boycott, however, is not a matter of time, but of substance. The US and Israeli boycott will last until UNESCO returns to its original mission.

    When Pablo Picasso painted the famous frescoes at UNESCO’s headquarter at Place de Fontenoy in Paris, UNESCO’s founding fathers dreamed of the rebirth of Western culture after the horrors of the Holocaust and Nazism. Now the West, intimidated by physical terror and political ransom, is allowing UNESCO to be seized by regimes that hang dissidents, lash women, execute gays, imprison Christians and leave their own people illiterate.

    When did the West cynically decide that education and culture were worth less than a barrel of oil?

    Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.

    Source…

     
  • Jack 3:06 am on December 9, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , mikheil saakashvili, , , , , ukrainian politics, , ,   

    Loose Cannon 

    Even interventionists are regretting some of the wars into which they helped plunge the United States in this century.

    Among those wars are Afghanistan and Iraq, the longest in our history; Libya, which was left without a stable government; Syria’s civil war, a six-year human rights disaster we helped kick off by arming rebels to overthrow Bashar Assad; and Yemen, where a U.S.-backed Saudi bombing campaign and starvation blockade is causing a humanitarian catastrophe.

    Yet, twice this century, the War Party was beaten back when seeking a clash with Putin’s Russia. And the “neo-isolationists” who won those arguments served America well.

    What triggered this observation was an item on Page 1 of Wednesday’s New York Times that read in its entirety:

    “Mikheil Saakashvili, former president of Georgia, led marchers through Kiev after threatening to jump from a five-story building to evade arrest. Page A4”

    Who is Saakashvili? The wunderkind elected in 2004 in Tbilisi after a “Rose Revolution” we backed during George W. Bush’s crusade for global democracy.

    During the Beijing Olympics in August 2008, Saakashvili sent his army crashing into the tiny enclave of South Ossetia, which had broken free of Georgia when Georgia broke free of Russia.

    In overrunning the enclave, however, Saakashvili’s troops killed Russian peacekeepers. Big mistake. Within 24 hours, Putin’s tanks and troops were pouring through Roki Tunnel, running Saakashvili’s army out of South Ossetia, and occupying parts of Georgia itself.

    As defeat loomed for the neocon hero, U.S. foreign policy elites were alive with denunciations of “Russian aggression” and calls to send in the 82nd Airborne, bring Georgia into NATO, and station U.S. forces in the Caucasus.

    “We are all Georgians!” thundered John McCain.

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    Not quite. When an outcry arose against getting into a collision with Russia, Bush, reading the nation right, decided to confine U.S. protests to the nonviolent. A wise call.

    And Saakashvili? He held power until 2013, and then saw his party defeated, was charged with corruption, and fled to Ukraine. There, President Boris Poroshenko, beneficiary of the Kiev coup the U.S. had backed in 2014, put him in charge of Odessa, one of the most corrupt provinces in a country rife with corruption.

    In 2016, an exasperated Saakashvili quit, charged his patron Poroshenko with corruption, and fled Ukraine. In September, with a band of supporters, he made a forced entry back across the border.

    Here is the Times’ Andrew Higgins on his latest antics:

    “On Tuesday … Saakashvili, onetime darling of the West, took his high-wire political career to bizarre new heights when he climbed onto the roof of his five-story apartment building in the center of Kiev…

    “As … hundreds of supporters gathered below, he shouted insults at Ukraine’s leaders … and threatened to jump if security agents tried to grab him.

    “Dragged from the roof after denouncing Mr. Poroshenko as a traitor and a thief, the former Georgian leader was detained but then freed by his supporters, who … blocked a security service van before it could take Mr. Saakashvili to a Kiev detention center and allowed him to escape.

    “With a Ukrainian flag draped across his shoulders and a pair of handcuffs still attached to one of his wrists, Mr. Saakashvili then led hundreds of supporters in a march across Kiev toward Parliament. Speaking through a bullhorn he called for ‘peaceful protests’ to remove Mr. Poroshenko from office, just as protests had toppled the former President, Victor F. Yanukovych, in February 2014.”

    This reads like a script for a Peter Sellers movie in the ’60s.

    Yet this clown was president of Georgia, for whose cause in South Ossetia some in our foreign policy elite thought we should go to the brink of war with Russia.

    And there was broad support for bringing Georgia into NATO. This would have given Saakashvili an ability to ignite a confrontation with Russia, which could have forced U.S. intervention.

    Consider Ukraine. Three years ago, McCain was declaring, in support of the overthrow of the elected pro-Russian government in Kiev, “We are all Ukrainians now.”

    Following that coup, U.S. elites were urging us to confront Putin in Crimea, bring Ukraine, as well as Georgia, into NATO, and send Kiev the lethal weapons needed to defeat Russian-backed rebels in the East.

    This could have led straight to a Ukraine-Russia war, precipitated by our sending of U.S. arms.

    Do we really want to cede to folks of the temperament of Mikhail Saakashvili an ability to instigate a war with a nuclear-armed Russia, which every Cold War president was resolved to avoid, even if it meant accepting Moscow’s hegemony in Eastern Europe all the way to the Elbe?

    Watching Saakashvili losing it in the streets of Kiev like some blitzed college student should cause us to reassess the stability of all these allies to whom we have ceded a capacity to drag us into war.

    Alliances, after all, are the transmission belts of war.

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  • Jack 3:24 am on December 8, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , joel pollach,   

    Big Deal 

    President Donald Trump is announcing Wednesday that the U.S. officially recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and that the State Department will begin the process of moving the embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

    It might be unclear at first why that policy change is so important. Jerusalem is, after all, the de facto capital of Israel. The Israeli parliament (Knesset) is there, as are the prime minister’s office, the president’s residence, the Supreme Court, and all of the executive agencies. Israelis consider Jerusalem their capital whether or not the U.S. recognizes it as such. As a practical matter, the change is symbolic. But as such, it is still extremely important.

    To understand why, it is important to understand the history of the city. The Old Testament describes in 2 Samuel 5 how King David conquered the city and made it his capital, over 3000 years ago. It later describes in 1 Kings 8 how David’s son, King Solomon, built the Holy Temple and installed the Ark of the Covenant there. Since then, Jews have always faced Jerusalem in their daily prayers. It is the center of the Jewish faith and the core of Jewish history.

    The Bible also tells the story of how the Jews were exiled from Jerusalem by the Babylonians, and later returned to rebuild the Temple. Another exile happened after 70 A.D., when the Romans destroyed the Second Temple and the city itself. Still, many Jews remained, and Jews worldwide prayed for 2,000 years for a return to “Zion.” Jews have been the largest ethnic group in Jerusalem for nearly 200 years, and a majority since the mid-nineteenth century.

    Jerusalem is also holy to Christians and to Muslims, though it is less central to either. And under Israeli sovereignty, all religions have enjoyed the freedom to worship at their respective holy sites. The Temple Mount — or Haram ash-Sharif, to Muslims — has only been closed when there are imminent security threats, as radicals have sometimes used that holy site to attack Jews worshipping at the Western Wall — the last remnant of the Temple — below.

    Jews began returning to the region in large numbers in the late nineteenth century as part of the Zionist movement, which aimed to re-establish Israel as a modern state, and as a refuge for the persecuted Jews of Europe. In 1917, the British government backed the establishment of a Jewish “national home” in what was then called Palestine (though the Arabs of the region did not call themselves Palestinians), in lands under British control since World War One.

    The Jewish community of Jerusalem had, by then, expanded beyond the Old City and developed neighborhoods to the west. In 1947, the United Nations voted to approve the partition of Palestine west of the Jordan River into two states — one Jewish, one Arab. Jerusalem was to be an international city, not under the control of either side. The Jews accepted the plan and declared independence in 1948; the Arabs rejected the plan and declared war instead.

    During that war, Arab forces fought to sever the connection between the Jewish community in Jerusalem and the Jewish communities further west. There was only one road to Jerusalem, and it was constantly under attack. In the Old City, Jewish fighters were eventually overrun by Jordanian troops — which, trained by Britain, were the Arab world’s best. Jordan occupied the Old City and flattened the Jewish quarter, ethnically cleansing its inhabitants.

    From 1948 to 1967, Jerusalem was divided into two parts. On the western side, Israel established its capital amidst a modern city. On the eastern side, Jordan governed the Old City and the surrounding Arab neighborhoods of the West Bank. There was never any discussion of establishing a Palestinian state in the West Bank or a Palestinian capital in Jerusalem. Jews were denied access to the holy sites of the Old City, especially the Western Wall.

    In the Six Day War of 1967, Israel — under direct threat of destruction by the surrounding Arab states — won a surprise victory and took control of the Sinai peninsula, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights. Israeli troops also conquered all of Jerusalem, reuniting it and liberating the Old City. But the Arab states still refused to negotiate with Israel, and most countries declined to place their embassies there for fear of antagonizing the Palestinians.

    In the 1990s, when formal negotiations began between Israel and the Palestinians, Jerusalem was one of the most difficult issues — more difficult than the questions of borders and Palestinian refugees. Though Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act in 1995, it gave the president the power to sign a waiver every six months delaying the embassy move. The idea was to preserve the status quo in Jerusalem so as not to jeopardize ongoing peace talks.

    But as administration officials explained to reporters on Tuesday, after more than two decades, it was clear that recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was not a real obstacle to peace. It was clear to all that the western part of Jerusalem, at least, would be under Israeli sovereignty in any conceivable peace agreement. The idea that all of the city would be up for negotiation was little more than a concession to the most extreme Palestinian demands.

    As such, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the U.S. embassy there is just a recognition of reality. But it is also a courageous decision, showing that the U.S. will stand with our allies regardless of terrorist threats.

    President Trump’s decision also represents a guarantee of Israeli sovereignty in at least part of Jerusalem. As such, it represents the fulfillment of thousands of years of Jewish prayer, and over a century of Zionist efforts to establish and protect a Jewish state in the ancient homeland of the Jewish people.

    It is no exaggeration to say that for Jews, recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is an event of almost Biblical significance. And we are witnesses to it.

    Source…

    See Also:

    (1) Trump to Abbas: Negotiate

    (2) #NeverTrump on Jerusalem, Embassy Decision: ‘Good for Trump’

    (3) The Impending Death of Multiculturalism

    Watch:

     
  • Jack 3:23 am on December 8, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , tammy bruce, , ,   

    Not Helpful 

    We know the Nov. 5 Texas church shooting massacre should never have happened. Because we can never expect a moral position from a monster who would do that, as a nation we have regulations and laws in place that should have prevented the previously convicted domestic batterer from buying his firearms.

    But those laws failed when bureaucrats in the military failed to do the thing that bureaucrats are supposed to do best: follow procedure.

    Now we know the Air Force’s failure to submit shooter Devin Kelley’s court-martial to the FBI was not a one-off mistake; instead, it is apparently quite common for the military as a whole.

    A Department of Defense Inspector General report released Monday has revealed the extent of the incompetence of the military, in general, to report relevant courts-martial to the FBI.

    “U.S. military services collectively failed to submit reports on hundreds of qualifying court-martialed service-members to the FBI, a Monday Department of Defense Inspector General report examining procedures between 2015 and 2016 found,” the Daily Caller reports.

    “The military is required by law to submit both fingerprint cards and ‘final disposition reports’ to the FBI for certain court-martialed offenses. ‘Overall, of the 2,502 fingerprint cards required to be submitted, we identified 601 (24 percent) that were missing. Of 2,502 required final disposition reports required to be submitted, 780 (31 percent) were missing, the damning report concludes for just a single calendar year,” the Daily Caller notes.

    After the recent mass shootings, we have a replay of liberals demanding more regulations and more government involvement to stop the senseless murders. Yet, as in the aftermath of the deadly Texas shooting, we are reminded our society is willing and has been implementing controls intended to protect people from the beasts among us.

    But then we see the same gigantic, unaccountable and bureaucratic government we’re relying on to implement those rules making a deadly mockery of the entire effort.

    For anyone who still thinks we need more regulations and bigger government to implement them, consider this gem: Last year, the FBI tasked the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms with seizing 4,000 firearms from people who did not pass background checks.

    The New York Post reports, “Gun owners who were targeted by the feds were either barred from purchasing a firearm due to their criminal backgrounds, mental health issues or other various problems.

    ” ‘These are people who shouldn’t have weapons in the first place, and it just takes one to do something that could have tragic consequences,’ former ATF official David Chipman told USA Today. ‘You don’t want ATF to stand for “after the fact.” ‘ […] In total, the FBI referred 4,170 gun purchases to the ATF last year for seizure, up from the 2,892 requests that were made in 2015,” the paper reports.

    Despite this reality, liberals continue to call for more regulations, and more bureaucratic government, when it’s clear the very thing they’re arguing for does, in fact, make social problems worse.

    But then again, the goal of liberals isn’t to actually keep people safe while also protecting the constitutional rights; it’s to use chaos as the excuse to implement their unicorn-and-rainbow collective via even more government control over the American people.

    Just like how liberals and Hollywood crowed about being champions for women then ended up exposed as their victimizers, they also don’t really care about gun violence. For the left, every tragedy is simply a good crisis to be used to further their goal of a collective fascist state.

    Take, for example, the result of the Kate Steinle murder trial. A jury of San Franciscans agreed with a public defender from San Francisco and acquitted an illegal alien felon, the confessed shooter, of all crimes of violence — murder, assault and manslaughter. He was found guilty only of illegal possession of a firearm.

    What a revelation about San Francisco liberals — here they had the admitted killer, and they refused to punish him in any fashion for gun violence that took the life of a young woman.

    This columnist contends that the liberal sanctuary city policy and national debate is having more of a negative impact than we realized. The national hectoring by liberals about how illegal aliens need to be protected from the big, bad American rule of law, I contend, is contributing to a conditioned mindset among liberals that criminal illegal aliens simply should not be held responsible for anything they do.

    Their refusal to convict a man who used a firearm to kill a woman, even if not initially intended, is at least involuntary manslaughter. But no, San Franciscans let that slide, providing another example of the gobsmacking depth of liberal hypocrisy and fraud.

    Whether it be their liberal “feminist” political donors in Hollywood sexually assaulting women, or their romanticized and illegal alien criminals protected in “sanctuary cities, a” liberal leadership and policies continue to place all of us in existential danger.

    • Tammy Bruce, author and Fox News contributor, is a radio talk show host.

    Source…

     
  • Jack 10:44 am on December 6, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , , , hugh hewitt, , , , , , public anger, , , , , , washington post   

    Action Required 

    The Post reported that a former top FBI official, Peter Strzok, who had been assigned to and then removed from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation, had “exchanged politically charged texts disparaging [President] Trump and supporting Democrat Hillary Clinton” and that Strzok was “also a key player in the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server.”

    This is a blockbuster revelation, carrying the possibility of shattering public confidence in a number of long-held assumptions about the criminal-justice system generally and the FBI and the Justice Department specifically. The Justice Department should appoint a special counsel to investigate Strzok’s actions as soon as possible.

    The Strzok report comes on the heels of the widely derided Justice Department investigation into IRS discrimination against conservative groups, including the disposition of allegations against IRS senior official Lois Lerner, and after the wildly erratic behavior of then-FBI Director James B. Comey during 2016. It also follows the vote to hold then-Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt of Congress — the first ever against a sitting member of the Cabinet — with 17 Democrats voting in support. Mix into this battering of the Justice Department’s and FBI’s reputations the still-murky charges and counter-charges of abuse of “unmasking” powers during the waning days of the Obama era.

    As a result, a large swath of responsible center-right observers are demanding a full review of the investigation and prosecution powers wielded by the Obama-era Justice Department and FBI. Former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy wrote in National Review on Saturday that President Trump should call for a second independent counsel to investigate abuse of the counterintelligence authorities under President Barack Obama, abuses he suggests were undertaken to protect the controversial Iran deal on nuclear weapons.

    This is an excellent idea. The new special counsel could also review Strzok’s texts and, more crucially, his conduct throughout 2015 and 2016. Strzok may be completely innocent of everything except an offhand joke that the straight-laced Mueller deemed necessary to punish in a display of a “Caesar’s wife” sort of purity of purpose. But if his texts to FBI lawyer Lisa Page reveal a partisan animus toward Trump or admiration for Clinton, then the bureau and the department have a huge problem on their hands and not just with Strzok and Page.

    When FBI Special Agent Robert Hanssen was revealed to have committed espionage against the United States, it didn’t mean that even one other member of the bureau was guilty of Hanssen’s sins, but it did require a painstaking review of all of Hanssen’s activities and inputs, as all of them had to be reconsidered in light of his treasonous behavior.

    If Strzok’s texts reveal deep animus toward Trump or an operational effort to tilt one or more investigations, then all of his actions have to be reviewed to assure the public’s confidence in the bureau. That one or two agents or officials of the bureau are discovered to have been acting from improper motives would be bad enough. To try and sweep those activities under the rug would be worse. Against the backdrop of other recent controversies, it would be disastrous.

    Step one is a quick publication of the questionable texts. All of them. The public has a right to know what the predicate for Mueller’s extraordinary action was. The public also deserves a detailed account of Strzok’s (and Page’s) duties and authorities during the years in question. If an NBA official was discovered to have purposefully thrown even one game, every game in which he had carried a whistle would be under the microscope. That’s how it works.

    Unless there’s a coverup.

    Nevertheless, just as Hanssen was “one bad apple” who didn’t spoil the bunch, so even an out-of-bounds Strzok doesn’t necessarily mean anything about the FBI beyond him. To get to the truth, and restore confidence in federal law enforcement, a special counsel should conduct an inquiry, bring any necessary charges and make a report — someone without ties to the president or his opponents.

    They do exist, such men and women. Former federal judges make excellent candidates. But we need one appointed right now.

    Source…

    See Also:

    (1) Robert Mueller’s credibility plunging as Donald Trump probe implodes

    (2) The Incredible Tale of a Reckless, Partisan FBI Agent and Our Partisan Bureaucracy

    (3) Exclusive–Former Independent Counsel Slams ‘Brazen and Blatant Political’ Investigation of President Trump

    (4) Discovery of FBI Official’s Political Bias Clouds Hillary Clinton and Mike Flynn Investigations

    (5) Enough: FBI and Justice Department Corruption Needs to End

    (6) Is Flynn’s Defection a Death Blow?

    (7) Why weren’t Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills charged when they lied to Peter Strzok and the FBI?

    (8) Another One! Mueller Deputy Was Personal Attorney of Ben Rhodes, Represented Clinton Foundation

    (9) Mueller deputy praised DOJ official after she defied Trump travel ban order: ‘I am so proud’

    (10) Report: House Intelligence Committee to Begin Writing Contempt Resolution for FBI, DOJ Officials

    Watch:

     
  • Jack 3:24 am on December 6, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: burak bekdil, eu-turkey relations, , , , , turkey-world relations   

    Blind 

    Turkey’s strongman, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, may have exhibited all possible features of political Islam since he came to power fifteen years ago, but at least he has been bold and honest about his understanding of Islamism: There is no moderate Islam, he recently said again.

    This comment does not mark any U-turn, or a radical deviation from his earlier freshman-self back in the 2000s. The problem is that his Western “allies” have stubbornly preferred to turn a blind eye to his poster-child Islamism. Worse, they still do.

    Several years ago, Erdogan’s ideological-self clearly stated that “Turkey is not a country where moderate Islam prevails.” In the same speech, his pragmatic-self — the one that wanted to look pretty to a chorus of Western praise — added that, “We are Muslims who have found a middle road”. But which “middle road?”

    In the several years that followed, Erdogan proudly exhibited another feature of Islamism in a make-believe assertion: Muslims never do wrong; if a Muslim does wrong then he is not Muslim.

    In 2009, when Sudanese paramilitaries committed acts of genocide against the population of Darfur, and Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir, was guilty of the crimes for which he was indicted by the International Criminal Court, Erdogan simply said: “It is not possible for those who belong to the Muslim faith to carry out genocide.” Instead, he said, Israeli “war crimes” in Gaza are worse than anything that has taken place in Sudan . As he said that, victims in Sudan had already numbered in the hundreds of thousands.

    In February, at a meeting in Ankara, Erdogan slammed German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phrase “Islamist terror”. He angrily said to his guest, “Islam means ‘peace,’ it can’t come with ‘terror'”.

    When Erdogan (then prime minister) famously claimed that “there is no Islamic terror” in 2010, the satire website Zaytung fabricated a story, the lead paragraph of which read: “Erdogan’s claims that ‘There is no Islamic terror’ have left several Islamic terror organizations heart-broken. A press release from al-Qaeda’s press office read: ‘The prime minister’s remarks are very discouraging. We are doing our best!'”.

    In 2011, when Hamas’ charter called for the annihilation of the State of Israel by means of violence, Erdogan claimed that “Hamas is not a terrorist organization.” Instead, he said: “I don’t see Hamas as a terror organization. Hamas is a political party — it emerged as a political party that appeared as a political party. It is a resistance movement trying to protect its country under occupation”.

    In a similar show of ideological wishful thinking, Erdogan has often come out in defense of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, despite international pressure against the movement, particularly from the United States, which has debated listing the group as a terrorist organization. Erdogan said he did not consider the Brotherhood one because “it is not an armed group, but is in actual fact an ideological organization”.

    The Obama administration sounded as if it were trying to deal with the Turkey it wished it had, instead of dealing with the Turkey it had.

    In a 2010 interview with the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, Obama referred to Turkey as a “great Muslim democracy”. Obama should have seen that a democracy is a democracy — without any religious prefix. He would see in later years the difference between a democracy and a Muslim democracy.

    But it took Obama many years to see that. In 2011, Tom Donilon, Obama’s former national security advisor, said that the U.S. president regarded Erdogan as “a man of principle, and also a man of action.” In a 2012 Time interview, Obama named Erdogan as one of the five world leaders with whom he had the strongest bonds.

    Seven years after Obama’s pathetic diagnosis about the kind of democracy Erdogan brought to an otherwise secular country, the Turkish president said that “There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. There is only one Islam.” Worse, he claimed that the term “moderate Islam” had been fabricated by the West in order to weaken Islam. From the Muslim democracy to the former U.S. president, with love…

    The U.S. ambassador to Ankara from 2003 to 2005, Eric Edelman, said, “We basically have turned a blind eye to Erdogan’s drive towards an authoritarian, one-man system of rule in Turkey”. The journalist Jeffrey Goldberg wrote in The Atlantic’s April 2016 issue:

    “Early on, Obama saw Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the president of Turkey, as the sort of moderate Muslim leader who would bridge the divide between East and West — but Obama now considers him a failure and an authoritarian…”

    The Trump administration has two options: It can either deal with the Turkey it has or the Turkey it wished it had.

    Burak Bekdil, one of Turkey’s leading journalists, was recently fired from Turkey’s leading newspaper after 29 years, for writing what was taking place in Turkey for Gatestone. He is a Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

    Source…

    See Also:

    (1) Israel Sends Unmistakable Message to Iran by Bombing its Base in Syria

     
  • Jack 3:24 am on December 6, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: bitcoin, , monopoly money, political nightmare, richard rahn,   

    Losing Control 

    After two centuries of government monopoly money, private monies are re-emerging and will likely come to dominate ultimately. Back in 1976, Nobel Laureate F.A. Hayek published his little classic, “Denationalization of Money.” In essence, Hayek argued that money is no different than other commodities, and it would be better supplied by competition among private issuers than by a government monopoly. His book detailed the problems with government monopoly money and how most of these problems could be overcome with private competition.

    Even though many agreed with Hayek’s argument, it was not clear until now how the government monopoly on money would be broken. As with so many other things, technology has come to the rescue. We are now witnessing the beginnings of the development of practical, private, digital cryptocurrencies, the best known being bitcoin. Bitcoin and most of the other new currencies enable users to make transactions from person to person without going through a bank or other intermediary. This is accomplished through the use of a “blockchain.” Before the development of the blockchain, those who had developed cryptocurrencies were not able to solve the double-spending problem to keep people from copying or counterfeiting the digital coin, and the “Byzantine general’s problem” of how to keep a malicious party from intercepting and changing the transaction before it reached its intended recipient.

    The blockchain, by using what is called a distributed ledger, solved those problems. As a result, developers of cryptocurrencies now have the capability to exchange value in a frictionless way, without regard to national borders, censorship and other laws, or institutions. It re-establishes much of the financial freedom, which has been lost, to the consternation of those who want more government control.

    What really frightens the government regulatory class is that blockchains also allow and make unstoppable the development of “smart contracts.” A smart contract refers to computer code that will automatically execute contractual duties when a trigger occurs. As an example, if collateral of some sort is kept in a blockchain network, and if the debtor has not paid by a certain date, the computer will automatically transfer the collateral to the creditor, which guarantees certainty of performance. The smart contract can remove all human discretion in the execution and enforcement of contractual duties, and cannot be interfered with by third parties, including officers of court.

    Bitcoin is not money in the true sense of the word, because it is only unit of account and a method of exchange, and not a store of value. Combining claims on real assets such as gold, silver, aluminum, wood, wheat, oil and other commodities with blockchains will create true cryptomoney. Some of these are likely to be superior in a number of ways to government monies, particularly those that are afflicted with high rates of inflation or overregulation.

    Government officials who are concerned about money laundering and other illegal activities fear the new blockchain cryptocurrencies, because they enable a much higher degree of anonymity than traditional account-based transactions. That, coupled with the near instantaneous settlement of transactions, makes it almost impossible to know who has sent and who has received payment. There is no obvious way for regulators to overcome these problems without destroying the open internet.

    At present, the burden of almost all financial regulation, including anti-money laundering requirements, is placed on banks and other financial institutions. They are responsible for “knowing their customer” and the parties to a transaction. If they are suspicious of a transaction, they must report it to government authorities and not execute the transaction. Banks are also required to report all cash deposits and withdrawals above $10,000. The cost, both to the financial institutions and to the government of these tens of millions of reports (almost all of which are on innocent people and transactions) and related regulations, is enormous and places a much bigger relative burden on small financial institutions. This has caused banks to be much more restrictive in allowing people to open bank accounts and for fees to rise to a discouraging level. As a result, many, particularly low-income people, can no longer obtain bank accounts and other bank services and are forced to go elsewhere, often to black markets. The regulations have also slowed down many transactions, particularly foreign ones.

    When there is a market need, entrepreneurs always step in to try to solve the problem, either through legal or illegal ways — that is what is driving much of the effort to develop the best cryptocurrency. The energy and the intelligence are on the side of the entrepreneurs, not on the side of the government regulators. Ultimately, government central banks and financial agencies are going to lose this battle. They will be forced to go back to traditional methods of law enforcement that will still enable them to catch bank robbers, kidnappers and terrorists — as they did before 1986 when Congress passed the first anti-money laundering law.

    The courts are increasingly ruling that many of the invasive financial and other regulations violate the Fourth Amendment (“against unreasonable searches”). The choice is a world with much greater financial freedom and efficiency as a result of private cryptomoney, or a poorer and more oppressive world.

    Richard W. Rahn is chairman of Improbable Success Productions and on the board of the American Council for Capital Formation.

    Source…

     
  • Jack 11:21 am on December 5, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: alan m. dershowitz, , , , lt. gen. michael flynn, , , , , , ,   

    Legal Opinion 

    The charge to which retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn has pleaded guilty may tell us a great deal about the Robert Mueller investigation.

    The first question is, why did Flynn lie? People who lie to the FBI generally do so because, if they told the truth, they would be admitting to a crime. But the two conversations that Flynn falsely denied having were not criminal. He may have believed they were criminal but, if he did, he was wrong.

    Consider his request to Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the U.S., to delay or oppose a United Nations Security Council vote on an anti-Israel resolution that the outgoing Obama administration refused to veto. Not only was that request not criminal, it was the right thing to do. President Obama’s unilateral decision to change decades-long American policy by not vetoing a perniciously one-sided anti-Israel resolution was opposed by Congress and by most Americans. It was not good for America, for Israel or for peace. It was done out of Obama’s personal pique against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rather than on principle.

    Many Americans of both parties, including me, urged the lame-duck Obama not to tie the hands of the president-elect by allowing the passage of a resolution that would make it more difficult to achieve a negotiated peace in the Middle East.

    As the president-elect, Donald Trump was constitutionally and politically entitled to try to protect his ability to broker a fair peace between the Israelis and Palestinians by urging all members of the Security Council to vote against or delay the enactment of the resolution. The fact that such efforts to do the right thing did not succeed does not diminish the correctness of the effort. I wish it had succeeded. We would be in a better place today.

    Some left-wing pundits, who know better, are trotting out the Logan Act, which, if it were the law, would prohibit private citizens (including presidents-elect) from negotiating with foreign governments. But this anachronistic law hasn’t been used for more than 200 years. Under the principle of desuetude – a legal doctrine that prohibits the selective resurrection of a statute that has not been used for many decades – it is dead-letter. Moreover, the Logan Act is unconstitutional insofar as it prohibits the exercise of free speech.

    If it were good law, former Presidents Reagan and Carter would have been prosecuted: Reagan for negotiating with Iran’s ayatollahs when he was president-elect, to delay releasing the American hostages until he was sworn in; Carter for advising Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to reject former President Clinton’s peace offer in 2000-2001. Moreover, Jesse Jackson, Jane Fonda, Dennis Rodman and others who have negotiated with North Korea and other rogue regimes would have gone to prison.

    So there was nothing criminal about Flynn’s request of Kislyak, even if he were instructed to do so by higher-ups in the Trump transition team. The same is true of his discussions regarding sanctions. The president-elect is entitled to have different policies about sanctions and to have his transition team discuss them with Russian officials.

    This is the way The New York Times has put it: “Mr. Flynn’s discussions with Sergey I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, were part of a coordinated effort by Mr. Trump’s aides to create foreign policy before they were in power, documents released as part of Mr. Flynn’s plea agreement show. Their efforts undermined the existing policy of President Barack Obama and flouted a warning from a senior Obama administration official to stop meddling in foreign affairs before the inauguration.”

    If that characterization is accurate, it demonstrates conclusively that the Flynn conversations were political and not criminal. Flouting a warning from the Obama administration to stop meddling may be a political sin (though some would call it a political virtue) but it most assuredly is not a crime.

    So why did Flynn lie about these conversations, and were his lies even material to Mueller’s criminal investigation if they were not about crimes?

    The second question is why did Mueller charge Flynn only with lying? The last thing a prosecutor ever wants to do is to charge a key witness with lying.

    A witness such as Flynn who has admitted he lied – whether or not to cover up a crime – is a tainted witness who is unlikely to be believed by jurors who know he’s made a deal to protect himself and his son. They will suspect that he is not only “singing for his supper” but that he may be “composing” as well – that is, telling the prosecutor what he wants to hear, even if it is exaggerated or flat-out false. A “bought” witness knows that the “better” his testimony, the sweeter the deal he will get. That’s why prosecutors postpone the sentencing until after the witness has testified, because experience has taught them that you can’t “buy” a witness; you can only “rent” them for as long as you have the sword of Damocles hanging over them.

    So, despite the banner headlines calling the Flynn guilty plea a “thunderclap,” I think it may be a show of weakness on the part of the special counsel rather than a sign of strength. So far he has had to charge potential witnesses with crimes that bear little or no relationship to any possible crimes committed by current White House incumbents. Mueller would have much preferred to indict Flynn for conspiracy or some other crime directly involving other people, but he apparently lacks the evidence to do so.

    I do not believe he will indict anyone under the Logan Act. If he were to do so, that would be unethical and irresponsible. Nor do I think he will charge President Trump with any crimes growing out of the president’s exercise of his constitutional authority to fire the director of the FBI or to ask him not to prosecute Flynn.

    The investigation will probably not end quickly, but it may end with, not a thunderclap, but several whimpers.

    Alan M. Dershowitz is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School and author of “Trumped Up: How Criminalizing Politics is Dangerous to Democracy.”

    Reprinted from The Hill with permission. Copyright 2017 Capitol Hill Publishing Corp.

    Source…

    See Also:

    (1) ABC News president excoriates staff over Brian Ross’ Michael Flynn error

    (2) Why is Robert Mueller even investigating the presidential transition?

    (3) Instapundit makes notes…

    (4) Trump calls Flynn treatment ‘unfair,’ claims Clinton ‘lied many times’ with impunity

    (5) Exclusive: Trump lawyer claims the “President cannot obstruct justice”

     
  • Jack 11:21 am on December 5, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    Cruel Bullies 

    Observers look for some sort of common denominator that would make sense of the daily news blasts of nonconsensual sexual escapades of media, political, and Hollywood celebrities.

    No sooner are these lists of the accused compiled than they have to be updated, hourly. Long hushed, covered-up, or even forgotten sexual IEDs suddenly go off without warning and blow up a career.

    Weirder still, the now-outraged often overnight can become the outrageous.

    One moment Richard Dreyfuss expressed furor when he learned that gay actor Kevin Spacey long ago had groped his own son under the table (while the three were working on a script). The next minute, Dreyfuss himself was accused of an earlier repulsive unwanted sex act or advance toward a female subordinate.

    New York Times reporter Glenn Thrush condemns the bad behavior of journalist Mark Halperin — and then finds himself accused of similar coerced sexual behavior. Senator Al Franken’s often sanctimonious outrages over the Fox News harassers would soon apply just as easily to his own behavior. We forget that the original context of Juvenal’s famous quip “Who will police the police?” was the insidiousness of sex.

    Note these latest scandals are different from the age-old stories of consensual adultery. They are mostly not consensual affairs in the workplace, supposedly initiated by grasping subordinates or by oppressive bosses in midlife crises. Nor are they the connivances in dating and courtship — all the sort of consenting unions gone awry that are the stuff of novels and films.

    Instead, in nearly all these examples of sexual harassment, there is inherently a beauty-and-the-beast asymmetry, male arrogance — and spitefulness. What repels is not just unwanted or coerced sex acts — but the gratuitous cruelty that so often surrounds them.

    So what are the common pathologies to all these male icons — who are falling as fast as Confederate statutes a few months ago, in our earlier manifestation of collective moral frenzy?

    Was it male-menopause desperation on the part of these middle-aged men?

    Did fear of aging or death drive them to use their assumed power to get sex (of various sorts)?

    Did the terror of fading away bring Charlie Rose’s proverbial “crusty paw” out of his sleeve? His targets were almost always younger, less experienced, and attractive professional women.

    Few such women would probably have willingly consorted with someone like the septuagenarian Rose or the off-putting Weinstein (who had an uncanny resemblance to the late gruff American actor Kenneth McMillan, who played the creepy Baron Harkonnen in Dune)?

    Or were the prominent culprits more often liberals and progressives? Men of the Left assumed that their loudly professed feminist credentials earned them indulgences and exemptions to covet as they pleased.

    Many progressive predators assumed that if they were caught, most of the victimized women would weigh the damage that might be done to the liberal cause if they took out one of the good guys on their side. (Remember Bill Clinton’s progressive, “feminist” defenders of the 1990s.)

    Is the fuel of these accusations, then, loss of deterrence: Once a man of influence and power believes that his abstract morality can cloak his private immorality, there are few restraints left in our postmodern secular age to restrain his setting libido?

    Or was the catalyst for harassment age-old ego and narcissism?

    Being before the cameras and in the spotlight befuddled these celebrities into the delusional thought that their name recognition and petit fame meant that women — all women of every age and station — secretly wished to be part of their inner circle.

    Did they assume, despite their targets’ clearly expressed uninterest or outright resistance, that women “really” wished a Matt Lauer or Mark Halperin would flirt or make advances?

    Or was the problem occasionally rooted in the proverbial “revenge of the nerds” factor? The perpetrators were neither in their salad days nor athletes or physically robust. But mostly they were the former nerds of high school and college, who had been ignored by the dating crowd and who later excelled in writing, talking, making money, or administering.

    Once they found that their intellectual, artistic, or political niches worked like a narcotic on the naïve, perhaps they sought to make up for lost time. In other words, they would somehow do in their fifties, sixties, and seventies what they had failed to do in their twenties and thirties — now coercing with the brain and tongue what they had once failed to win with their biceps.

    Or were they just workaholic players who wished to engage in quickie impersonal sex? Their modus operandi was to skip the preliminaries and just crudely get down to business. And their warped logic was that for every ten targets that were repulsed by phallic exhibition, groping, or potty talk, there might be one who was some kindred demented spirit.

    All of the above may explain a similar pattern of behavior. But one ingredient seems missing in these analyses: gratuitous cruelty.

    Almost every allegation contains some theme of male orneriness.

    Think of the smirk on Al Franken’s face when he posed for the camera while fondling the breasts of a sleeping Leeann Tweeden. Why the need for a smile of triumph in humiliating an unaware target?

    Think of Matt Lauer’s purported sicko game of asking fellow grandees whether they would wish to marry, have sex with — or kill — his various female co-hosts? In what category would Lauer himself have fit, had his female subordinates played the same game about their bosses?

    Think of Bill Clinton allegedly smirking as he stalked out of a hotel room, advising the bleeding Juanita Broaddrick to “put some ice” on her lip that Clinton had just reportedly chewed.

    Think of Glenn Thrush fabricating stories of role reversal, to depict the victimized women as vixens for their supposed pursuit of him. Are we really to take seriously the claim of a dorky Garrison Keillor that he was groped dozens of times by nymphomaniac women, a victimhood apparently that offsets his victimizing?

    In the most macabre sense, think of the doomed Mary Jo Kopechne thrashing about in a sunken car, fighting for her young life, as the drunken driver and perpetrator — Ted Kennedy — sulked about on shore, worrying only about losing his Camelot career.

    Think of Charlie Rose’s victims who described the “fury” of his advances and his “animalistic” tactics. One victim said that Rose grabbed her hair and twisted her neck; another found herself trapped in his country house without transportation home, crying as Rose grew angry that she had not welcomed his sexual exhibitionism.

    Think of the similar sick exhibitionism of a Conyers or Weinstein. Both deliberately walked about in their underwear or in open robes, glaring at their grossed-out targets as they reacted negatively to their phallic exposure. (After how many terms in office, or after how many hit movies, did Conyers or Weinstein decide it was now an uplifting experience for a female subordinate to catch sight of his male organ?)

    Think of a Mark Halperin allegedly pressing a woman against a window, or masturbating behind a desk as he leered at her.

    The streak of malice is so frequent in all these allegations that it becomes a theme.

    Did the callousness result from the idea that such important men had a strict timetable, with not a second to be wasted by romance or even rudimentary expressions of professionalism and friendship? But why did they not even feign liking the women they coerced?

    Are feminist theoreticians on to something when they say that in these cases of sexual assault, physical gratification is only part of the equation (sometimes a small part) — that the real impetus might be the sadism of nastily humiliating someone judged weaker?

    I grew up on a farm and live there now, and for over half a century, I’ve at various times been surrounded by dogs, donkeys, horses, cows, and wild animals ranging from hawks to coyotes. One notices over the decades how animals eat and couple.

    They are utilitarian and in the human sense selfish to the core. The animal does not know where its next meal comes from, and so he bites, growls, and attacks any rival who gets too close as he almost instantaneously gulps down or swallows whole his meal.

    In matters of sex, the male animal, after an occasional rudimentary display of intention, simply approaches his target and attempts to mount; if he faces too much opposition, he tries again later or approaches another target. There is, of course, a Darwinian explanation for animal behavior. But humans are supposed to have developed over the centuries a civilized culture to repress our innate selfishness and cruelty in matters of food and sex.

    These men seemed to have enjoyed reverting to their premodern reptilian selves. Do they revert all the more easily to their instincts also because there are few marshals to take them down?

    In the old days, for every Weinstein or Charlie Rose, there would have been a get-even husband, outraged dad, family friend, big brother, or furious boyfriend who would have cornered the cowardly assaulter (called out as a “punk” or “bully”), and either knocked his block off or dressed him down. I once saw a tough old World War II veteran walk up and grab a stunned prominent local judge, raise him over his head, shake him good a few times, and say, “Listen, knock it off bothering my wife.”

    But is all that “toxic” masculinity now passé — killed off by the chaos of the Sixties and the assurances that the deep state could handle harassment? Women, we are told, don’t need deluded Gary Coopers or condescending Jimmy Stewarts around to open doors, pick up the tab, or play their historic chivalrous roles in protecting women from the cruel men among them.

    But the malicious men currently in the news knew that too often the slow-coach Human Resources Department would merely catalogue their assaults and weigh the costs and benefits of endangering the careers of rich, powerful, famous predators.

    Given that fact, lots of cowards like Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, or Harvey Weinstein did what all cruel bullies do. They attacked and humiliated the vulnerable without worry of repercussions — and they did so with wanton meanness apparently as sick relish.

    Source…

     
  • Jack 2:58 am on December 5, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , dan walters, , , , , , mercury news   

    Recession? 

    Twice each year, once in January and again in May, Gov. Jerry Brown warns Californians that the economic prosperity their state has enjoyed in recent years won’t last forever.

    Brown attaches his admonishments to the budgets he proposes to the Legislature – the initial one in January and a revised version four months later.

    Brown’s latest, issued last May, cited uncertainty about turmoil in the national government, urged legislators to “plan for and save for tougher budget times ahead,” and added:

    “By the time the budget is enacted in June, the economy will have finished its eighth year of expansion – only two years shorter than the longest recovery since World War II. A recession at some point is inevitable.”

    It’s certain that Brown will renew his warning next month. Implicitly, he may hope that the inevitable recession he envisions will occur once his final term as governor ends in January, 2019, because it would, his own financial advisers believe, have a devastating effect on the state budget.

    A new report from the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis, however, hints that the downturn may have already started.

    The BEA releases state-by-state economic data each quarter and its reports for the first and second quarters of 2017 are not good news for California.

    Last year was a very good one for the state’s economy. The 3.3 percent gain in economic output in 2016 was more than double that of the nation as a whole and one of the highest of any state.

    However, California stumbled during the first half of 2017. California’s increase was an anemic six tenths of one percent in the first quarter compared to the same period of 2016, and 2.1 percent in the second quarter, well below the national rate and ranking 35th in the nation.

    The report revealed that almost every one of California’s major sectors fell behind national trends in the second quarter, with the most conspicuous laggard being manufacturing.

    The only big California sector showing robust health was “information,” reflecting the unfortunate truism that the Silicon Valley-centered technology industry continues to prop up an otherwise lackluster overall economy.

    It may be only a hiccup in California’s $2.6 trillion economy, the fifth or sixth largest in the world were it a nation. But maybe not.

    Were the oft-predicted recession to finally hit, the most obvious effect would be on the state budget. It is highly dependent on income taxes paid by a handful of high-income Californians, particularly on their investment gains and particularly in the tech-heavy San Francisco Bay area.

    The last recession a decade ago revealed just how that dependency backfires in recession.

    The state is even more dependent now, thanks to voter-approved increases in marginal tax rates, so a new recession would have even harsher fiscal effects.

    Get tech news in your inbox weekday mornings. Sign up for the free Good Morning Silicon Valley newsletter.

    However, the impact would not be confined to the budget. We could see unemployment, which has been at record-low levels recently, skyrocket as it did a decade ago with collateral impacts on housing, retail sales and virtually every other economic activity.

    We would also see a new debate over whether California’s high taxes, high labor and housing costs and high levels of regulation have, as critics allege, made the state less attractive to job-creating investment and more vulnerable to recession.

    Will it happen? Yes. A recession is inevitable as Brown warns. What we don’t know is when and whether it would seriously impact the high-tech industry. It is so vital to California’s overall economic health that were it to falter, an otherwise mild recession could be devastating.

    Source…

     
  • Jack 4:22 am on December 3, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , david zukerman, , , new york times   

    Frenzy 

    The Times, in its lead editorial, December 1, 2017, “Help Wanted: Top Diplomat,” is troubled about rumors that CIA director Mike Pompeo may succeed Rex W. Tillerson as secretary of state. For the Times, Pompeo “may be too chummy” with President Trump. To boot, he is “a Tea Party conservative and a climate change skeptic.” And more, he is accused of “mixing politics with intelligence”!

    Of course, the Times has no difficulty with mixing politics and intelligence when the mix involves former Obama intelligence figures like John Brennan and James Clapper. After all, isn’t “Dossiergate” all about mixing up intelligence with politics for the purpose of forcing President Trump from office?

    The Times editorial also expresses difficulty with the rumored appointment of Sen. Tom Cotton to replace Mr. Pompeo as CIA director. Among Cotton’s faults, as perceived by the Times, he “has mocked the idea that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia in the presidential election.” Perhaps even worse for the Times, Cotton “has also been Congress’s most aggressive opponents of the Iran nuclear deal[.]” That is to say that we have a president who intends to staff his administration with officials who reflect America’s legacy of liberty in foreign as well as domestic policy.And consider this added criticism: the appointments of Pompeo and Cotton “would add two more white men to a cabinet dominated by them[.]” (It would be more precise, arguably, to note that “white men” would replace, not add to, other white men.)

    Behold the desperation of the swamp in its frenzy to retain dominance in U.S. politics: play the Russia card, add innuendo of right-wing extremism, and never forget to hurl the race card as well. Congressional Republicans should stand with the Trump administration in its commitment to drain the swamp and, thereby, restore to the people our legacy of liberty – and the idea of American greatness.

    Source…

     
  • Jack 3:06 am on December 2, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , california justice, , , , susan d. harris   

    Globalist Justice 

    While most decent Americans are lamenting the fact that our court system failed Kate Steinle and her family, I can’t help but think of people like George Soros and organizations like the Center for American Progress.  How large is our fight, and how determined are our foes!

    It may seem like a far-fetched connection, but it’s not.  Kate Steinle’s death and the ensuing nauseating injustice of her trial verdict are part of a much larger picture: the globalist push for open borders and mass immigration bent on destabilizing the West.  Soros is using his money and influence to make sure that destabilization happens, which will only ensure more Kate Steinles.

    Kate Steinle saw no unusual behavior and heard nothing odd before she was murdered.  She was just walking leisurely on a pier with her father, a fatal walk that would end with “Help me, Dad.”  She had no idea that her imminent murder would spark a debate that wouldn’t even have been possible twenty years ago.  Twenty years ago, George Soros and Interfaith organized progressives (private or institutionalized, like the Catholic Church) hadn’t yet spent millions of dollars conditioning Americans (and the E.U.) to tear down their international borders and private boundaries – this as a prerequisite to accepting any and all immigrants.  Twenty years ago, progressives wouldn’t have posthumously mocked Steinle as “Beautiful Kate,” as they did in Slate.com – even to make a point.  While Slate claimed that Trump was exploiting Steinle, those at Slate themselves called her murder “the most convenient of tragedies.”

    Slate went on to explain:

    Steinle’s death … gave Trump an opening to stoke the fears of primary voters.  If “beautiful Kate in San Francisco” – a young, innocent white woman – could be murdered in cold blood by a Mexican “animal,” so could any young, innocent white woman in any town in the United States.

    (It’s still disgusting to me that so many progressive outlets disapproved of calling a cold-blooded killer an “animal.”)

    Slate then made the case that Steinle’s murder was Trump’s ace in the hole.  They quoted David Frum in the Atlantic saying, “Something happened in July to send Trump’s numbers soaring…that something may have been the murder of Kathryn Steinle.”

    While Slate was busy resenting that “beautiful Kate” had been murdered at such a convenient time as to help Trump’s poll numbers, Matthew Vadum at Frontpagemag.com was penning the more accurate observation:

    Left-wingers in San Francisco should be hanging their heads in shame after their borderline seditious, destructive immigration policies allowed an illegal alien felon to murder a young woman randomly in broad daylight.

    How much more shall we say now?  Now – when defense attorney Matt Gonzalez decided to immediately thumb his nose at the U.S. attorney general, the vice president, and President Trump – by telling them:

    Let me just remind them: they are themselves under investigation by a special prosecutor in Washington D.C. and they may soon avail themselves of the presumption of innocence beyond a reasonable doubt, so I ask that they reflect on that before they comment or disparage the results of this case.

    From Gonzalez’s characterization, it seems to me that the Steinle verdict was payback for a Trump presidency, and setting a murderer free for political payback is such an egregious act that it’s nearly inconceivable.  But Kate Steinle is just one person, and the truth is that so many people – in so many countries – are in danger of similar payback for not submitting to globalists forcing mass immigration upon them.

    Jack Montgomery at Breitbart is documenting how Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán is fighting George Soros’s Open Society Foundations’ plan to “flood the continent with an unlimited number of third-world migrants.”  Orbán “has warned that the elites plotting a United States of Europe are using mass migration to engineer a post-Christian, post-national super-state.”

    Just this past October, Hungary detained a Pakistani wanted in his home country for murdering about 70 people.  This came after a tip from Austria…but how many more murderers, rapists and those bent on harm have already entered Europe and yes, the United States?  How many more are to come?

    The verdict on the murder of Kate Steinle did not happen in a vacuum.  There is a globalist push for Western destruction of what Hungary’s Orbán calls “conservative values centered on country, family, and tradition.”  Hungary is holding firm in their stance against forced acceptance of unchecked migrants, and the Hungarians must have George Soros rattled, because he issued a rare rebuttal of Hungary’s policies just days ago.

    The immigration war still rages across Europe and America, and only time will tell if Hungary will succeed in leading the resistance on that front.

    Right now, the U.S. is heavy laden with a populace that are themselves aliens.  We are fighting an uphill battle.  President Trump said it best on the campaign trail:

    American cities should be sanctuaries for law-abiding Americans, for people that look up to the law, for people that respect the law, not for criminals and gang members that we want the hell out of our country.

    For now, all we can say is, “We tried, Kate.”  Yet we must also add that such a miscarriage of justice has only sharpened our seething teeth against Soros organizations and progressives across this country who are willing to legalize murder in some deluded effort to promote social justice, peace, and harmony.

    Susan D. Harris can be reached at http://www.susandharris.com.

    Source…

    See Also:

    (1) Editorial: Justice not served in slaying trial of Kate Steinle

    (2) DOJ considering federal charges against illegal immigrant acquitted in Kate Steinle case

    (3) AG Sessions says Steinle verdict should force rethink for sanctuary cities

    (4) Donald Trump: ‘Build the Wall!’ — Verdict in Katie Steinle Case ‘Travesty of Justice’

    (5) Steve King Pledges to Block ‘Every Form’ of Amnesty for Illegal Aliens in Kate Steinle’s Honor

    (6) Left Smothers Kate Steinle Verdict with Progressive Narratives

    (7) Sarah Sanders on Kate Steinle Murder Verdict: Politicians Who Fail to Secure Borders ‘Share Responsibility for Preventable Crimes’

    (8) Exclusive- Kris Kobach on Kate Steinle Verdict: ‘Open Borders Liberals’ Continue ‘Putting American Lives at Risk’

    (9) ‘They Have Now Deified Criminal Illegal Aliens:’ Steve King Calls Out Dems After Kate Steinle Verdict

     
  • Jack 3:06 am on December 2, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , geraldo rivera, gerry rivers, , monica showalter, political meltdown, , , , , ,   

    Gerry Rivers? 

    As Matt Lauer’s ouster demonstrated, the great Hollywood-media-politics sex harassment shakeout isn’t anywhere near over.  One character quite a few of us have been waiting for revelations on has been Jerry Rivers, who in a desire to show himself as more Latino than thou now calls himself Geraldo Rivera.  And sure enough, the clock has been ticking.

    The most oafish, oleaginous, left-wing, and self-aggrandizing one of them all is hard to imagine as a gentleman around the ladies.  Yet it was downright odd that he wasn’t one of the first to topple among the media group, along with Matt Lauer, Mark Halperin, Charlie Rose, Garrison Keillor, Leon Wieseltier, Jann Wenner, Michael Oreskes, Glenn Thrush, Lockhart Steele, Hamilton Fish, Matt Zimmerman, a bunch of BuzzFeed guys, and quite a few other leading lights of the mainstream media.

    Geraldo has sex harassment written all over him.

    And well, yes, the suspicion turned out to have been probably true.  Stage diva Bette Midler has come out and accused Rivers of drugging her and groping her years ago and not apologizing for it.  Or rather, reminded, given that Rivers brazenly admitted the act himself in one of his memoirs.  That makes Rivers a sex-harasser like the rest of them, and probably on the worse end of the spectrum, given that the act involved coercion, not just personal grossness.

    Imagine carrying that around with you for decades, the knowledge that this self-loving TV personality was the type of guy who’d drug and grope and walk off thinking you were just a Barbie doll and the act didn’t matter.  Pretty disgusting, isn’t it?

    Rivera was last seen defending sex-harasser Matt Lauer.  Perhaps now he can start answering some questions about what women who have come forward are saying about him.  Based on Midler’s account, he doesn’t sound much better than Lauer.

    The sex-harassment shakeout has a long, long way to go for the media bigs.  The clock is ticking on Rivera, one of its least worthy members.

    Source…

    See Also:

    (1) Geraldo Rivera Apologizes For Matt Lauer Comments; Fox News “Troubled” By Tweets

    (2) Sexual Assault Stirring Change in Congress, Campaigns

    (3) When the prey becomes the predator

     
  • Jack 3:06 am on December 2, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , scott powell, , ,   

    Prosecute! 

    Few would deny that the ascendance of the United States from colonial poverty to the world’s top economic and military superpower in just 200 years is largely attributable to principles and rule of law in our founding documents enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. And so it should come as no surprise that America’s decline in the last 25 years has coincided with the erosion of the U.S. Constitution and the corruption of the nation’s law enforcement and judicial system.

    What has most greased the skids of America’s decline toward the ways of a banana republic is the emergence and acceptance of two-tiered justice and attendant cronyism and political corruption. And nowhere is this more obvious than in the pass given to the Clintons, and particularly former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

    When the Clintons left the White House in 2001, taking with them over $190,000 worth of heirloom china, flatware, rugs, and furniture as they cleared out—much of which they later had to return—they claimed they were flat broke. Today their net worth exceeds $150 million, accumulated not by traditional means of work and investment, but rather by pay-for-play influence peddling through speeches and Clinton Foundation fundraising — with the tacit understanding that the Clintons would be in a position to return favors to donors after Hillary won the 2016 presidential election.

    A key function of our law enforcement and justice system is of course the punishment of lawbreakers. But perhaps more important is the judicial system’s function in preventing repeat or escalated lawbreaking and deterring other would-be copycat lawbreakers.

    It is a felony, punishable by fine and imprisonment up to 20 years, according to 18 U.S. Code 1519, to destroy, conceal, cover up or falsify any record or document whether on paper or on any digital device with the intent to impede or obstruct the investigation of any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the United States.

    The pattern of deceit through withholding and destroying documents and records in order to obfuscate and facilitate self-dealing and political crime started early in Hillary’s career. While her husband would face impeachment, stiff monetary fines and a near million dollar settlement as well as disbarment for five years, Hillary Clinton skated with no accountability for anything in her checkered career.

    There were the missing records documenting the statistically impossible profits from cattle futures trading, the disappearance of Hillary Clinton’s billing records from the Rose Law Firm—under subpoena by Federal and Congressional investigators (which were found some two years later in the First Family quarters of the White House)—where she previously worked on matters related to the Whitewater real estate sham, the removal and destruction of a hard drive from the computer of her former Rose Law Firm partner and then White House Deputy Legal Counsel Vince Foster, whose death by gunshot wounds was ruled a suicide in the midst of the Whitewater investigation. And then there were the missing documents from the White House Travelgate firings—documents that would also surface after the scandal passed—showing Hillary’s duplicity and contradiction of her prior statements.

    As egregious, scandalous or unlawful as these were, it was small time and a warm-up for what was to come after Hillary became Secretary of State and insisted on using a private computer server and email address—about which she was warned would be vulnerable to hacking and security breaches. Her purpose in so doing was ostensibly to evade Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and Federal Government record keeping laws and obfuscate conflicts of interest such as indirectly helping the Clinton Foundation raise enormous sums from governments and parties with whom she was also interfacing as Secretary of State.

    But it all began to unravel after Hillary left office and was required to testify before a House committee on Benghazi in October 2015 and answer questions about the terrorist attacks on the U.S. Consulate on September 11, 2012. It was those hearings that brought to light the existence of Hillary Clinton’s secret, unsecured, do-it-yourself server. And then it was learned that she not only stored classified and top secret information in an unsecured location, but that she had also authorized the destruction of subpoenaed evidence—some 33,000 emails—after she was put on notice of the existence of the subpoena. These violations are felonies with stiff penalties and there were at least six other laws that appear violated for which Hillary could be indicted.

    What is now waking up Americans about the seriousness of Clinton family self-dealing and the need for prosecution is the realization that the Clintons were at the center of what appears to be the biggest political corruption scandal in U.S. history. The fact that the Clinton Foundation’s single largest aggregate donation of some $145 million came from various parties linked to the Uranium One sale to the Russian government nuclear agency Rosatum makes this the mega-case of Russian influence and corruption.

    Before the Declaration and the U.S. Constitution were even written, Samuel Adams observed that, “neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.” Political corruption in America has now become a cancer destroying people’s trust in government and their respect for the rule of law.

    The inclination to give a pass to high profile politicians once out of office would be a grave mistake. Boldness is needed and there is simply no more important or cathartic action to take to restore equality before the law and bring an end to cronyism and double standards than the prosecution of the masters of political corruption—the Clinton crime syndicate.

    Please adhere to our commenting policy to avoid being banned. As a privately owned website, we reserve the right to remove any comment and ban any user at any time.

    Source…

    See Also:

    (1) FBI investigating people animated by ‘Antifa ideology’

     
  • Jack 3:32 am on December 1, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: artificial intelligence, c. m. rubin, rubin world, us robotics,   

    Singularity 

    Singularity. It’s discussed by futurists and by scientists. Then there are the rest of us grappling to get our heads around the “reality” that within a decade or so, Artificial Intelligence will cause machines to become “smarter” than human beings. What does all of this mean for quality of life and future learning?

    Ray Kurzweil talks about “tools that will extend our reach.” He notes that they’re already “making us smarter,” and he believes they’re going to make us “funnier” and even “better at music.” In a nutshell, “we’re really going to exemplify all the things that we value in humans to a greater degree.”

    Elon Musk and a group of robotics and AI companies on the other hand have asked the UN to focus on the third revolution in warfare fueled by this technology. Once developed, lethal autonomous weapons “will permit armed conflict to be fought at a scale greater than ever, and at timescales faster than humans can comprehend.” These groups believe that the technology will create “weapons of terror, weapons that despots and terrorists use against innocent populations, and weapons hacked to behave in undesirable ways.”

    Who gets to control these machines? Where are the weekly forums on the pros and cons of this innovation with all the stakeholders involved? Indeed, does anyone other than a few experts and a few educated citizens really have a good grasp of what we’re dealing with here?

    One thing we all must do is continue to educate ourselves consistently and get engaged in global discourse on the implications of what all of this will mean for our children, their learning and the future we want.

    The Millennial Bloggers are based all over the world. They are innovators in entrepreneurship, journalism, education, entertainment, health and wellbeing and academic scholarship. This month we posed this question: Do we need to regulate AI now before it becomes a danger to humanity?

    “We are experiencing a time, where five companies are holding most of the economical (and even political) power in the world: Facebook, Alphabet, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft. These companies have the power to impact some of the biggest questions of our time,” writes Reetta Heiskanen. “We should think about fundamental questions: what are the elements that make human a human? And what are the ingredients that help us execute our own, individual potential?” Read: Humanity in the time of Artificial Intelligence.

    “It is crucial to control the power and availability of AI in order to prevent the dominance of powerful companies with large amounts of data and funding,” writes Sajia Darwish. “We need to ensure that AI is used solely for educational, medical, scientific, and social purposes to ensure that it does not harm broader communities and the security of the world.” Read: Who Decides the Future of AI?

    “Blade Runner 2049 had recently offered me a vision of a more emotionally evolved Alexa – Ryan Gosling’s flickering, buxom fantasy, who occupied his futuristically claustrophobic living unit with coquettishness and bonhomie that I suspect will remain more elusive for the enterprising engineers at Google,” writes James Kernochan. “Yet the quicksand of this visionary landscape remained just that, mixed in hues of orange desert, grey expanses of trash, and the ghostly black depths of the nighttime storm-tossed sea in the final standoff.” Read: Bright Lights Dead City Living with the Machine.

    “It saddens me to think that a technology that could improve the lives of billions, like implementing autonomous farming to ensure all of the world’s peoples are sufficiently fed is being warped into creating new age killing machines,” writes Wilson Carter. Read: Do we need to regulate AI now before it becomes a danger to humanity?

    “Perpetuating sexism and other harmful beliefs in our society is a danger, and it sheds light on who is currently producing these algorithms. Do we need to think more carefully about who controls and owns these means of production, and who they are accountable to?” writes Bonnie Chiu. “These discussions must not be contained within the techies and geeks, but must involve the wider society.” Read: Gender Politics of Artificial Intelligence.

    The Millennial Bloggers are Alusine Barrie, Sajia Darwish, James Kernochan, Kamna Kathuria, Jacob Deleon Navarrete, Reetta Heiskanen, Shay Wright, Isadora Baum, Wilson Carter III, Francisco Hernandez, Erin Farley, Dominique Alyssa Dryding, Harry Glass, Harmony Siganporia and Bonnie Chiu.

    (All photos are courtesy of CMRubinWorld)

    Top Row: C.M. Rubin, Alusine Barrie, Sajia Darwish, James Kernochan

    2nd Row: Kamna Kathuria, Jacob Deleon Navarrete, Reetta Heiskanen, Shay Wright

    3rd Row: Isadora Baum, Wilson Carter III, Francisco Hernandez, Erin Farley

    Bottom Row: Dominique Alyssa Dryding, Harry Glass, Harmony Siganporia, Bonnie Chiu

    Join me and globally renowned thought leaders including Sir Michael Barber (UK), Dr. Michael Block (U.S.), Dr. Leon Botstein (U.S.), Professor Clay Christensen (U.S.), Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond (U.S.), Dr. MadhavChavan (India), Charles Fadel (U.S.), Professor Michael Fullan (Canada), Professor Howard Gardner (U.S.), Professor Andy Hargreaves (U.S.), Professor Yvonne Hellman (The Netherlands), Professor Kristin Helstad (Norway), Jean Hendrickson (U.S.), Professor Rose Hipkins (New Zealand), Professor Cornelia Hoogland (Canada), Honourable Jeff Johnson (Canada), Mme. Chantal Kaufmann (Belgium), Dr. EijaKauppinen (Finland), State Secretary TapioKosunen (Finland), Professor Dominique Lafontaine (Belgium), Professor Hugh Lauder (UK), Lord Ken Macdonald (UK), Professor Geoff Masters (Australia), Professor Barry McGaw (Australia), Shiv Nadar (India), Professor R. Natarajan (India), Dr. Pak Tee Ng (Singapore), Dr. Denise Pope (US), Sridhar Rajagopalan (India), Dr. Diane Ravitch (U.S.), Richard Wilson Riley (U.S.), Sir Ken Robinson (UK), Professor Pasi Sahlberg (Finland), Professor Manabu Sato (Japan), Andreas Schleicher (PISA, OECD), Dr. Anthony Seldon (UK), Dr. David Shaffer (U.S.), Dr. Kirsten Sivesind (Norway), Chancellor Stephen Spahn (U.S.), Yves Theze (LyceeFrancais U.S.), Professor Charles Ungerleider (Canada), Professor Tony Wagner (U.S.), Sir David Watson (UK), Professor Dylan Wiliam (UK), Dr. Mark Wormald (UK), Professor Theo Wubbels (The Netherlands), Professor Michael Young (UK), and Professor Minxuan Zhang (China) as they explore the big picture education questions that all nations face today.

    The Global Search for Education Community Page

    C. M. Rubin is the author of two widely read online series for which she received a 2011 Upton Sinclair award, “The Global Search for Education” and “How Will We Read?” She is also the author of three bestselling books, including The Real Alice in Wonderland, is the publisher of CMRubinWorld and is a Disruptor Foundation Fellow.

    Source…

     
  • Jack 3:11 am on November 30, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: angelo codevilla, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    More Questions 

    The increasing energy going into the intractable issues that divide Americans is producing a vicious cycle naturally tending toward violence. Members of the bipartisan class atop our administrative-corporate state’s commanding heights believe they are entitled to rule inferior Americans, whose opinions they deem unworthy of respect. This has energized a sociopolitical revolt that has shrunk the Democratic Party’s hold on elective offices around the country and placed Republican leaders under siege by their own voters. As a result, there is no longer a major constituency for restraint.

    When Hillary Clinton put half of her opponents into a “basket of deplorables — racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic, you name it,” and the other half into a basket to be pitied, she was merely explaining her party’s longstanding business model: make the Deplorables into something like outlaws, driving them to society’s margins by depriving them of recourse against the administrative state’s instruments as well as the prerogatives of major private institutions; grow programs that put more of society’s money into ruling-class hands, and use some of it to buy the Pitiables.

    Republican and independent voters are not about to be persuaded that they are deplorable or pitiable. In 2016 they wanted to force the Republican Party to fulfill its promises, and looked for candidates who would return the ruling class’ disdain — with interest.

    Donald Trump was elected to lead revolutions against the ruling class in general and the Republican establishment in particular. Mr. Trump did not create the hopes and resentments that elected him. Nor is it in any man’s power quite literally to “make America great again.” Even to try would require dismantling the ruling class that has grown upon us for three quarters of a century, and building up a different one. Nevertheless, Mr. Trump’s election fed the sentiments that elected him. But the reality of a ruling class more aggressive than ever has leavened them with disappointment and bitterness.

    The ruling class’ “resistance” to the 2016 election results expresses its evolving moral and intellectual character. Growling and barking, “Racist! Sexist! Homophobic,” and now “Nazi,” it bandies projects of which previously it had spoken softly, such as requiring all hospitals, doctors and nurses — including Catholic ones — to perform abortions or at least to training to perform them, mandating that Catholic schools admit homosexual and transgender students, and ensuring that online transactions on such websites as Airbnb comply with evolving anti-discrimination standards.

    It is also morphing the concept of “hate crime” into the criminalization of “hate speech” — meaning opposition to what these loving folks demand. In this regard, the Sept. 11 Joint Congressional Resolution identifies the political right with political violence and encourages those who wield the U.S. government’s vast powers to treat the ruling class’ sociopolitical opponents as public enemies.

    Mistakenly, the ruling class believes that Mr. Trump is the ultimate expression of a passing populism. Discredit him, crush the Deplorables, buy the Pitiables, and they can rule unopposed. But their problem was, is and will remain not Mr. Trump but the indelible resentments that they have aroused. As the Sept. 26 Alabama Republican primary showed, not even Mr. Trump himself can save the rulers from a population that has come to understand them too well.

    That is why whoever wins elections henceforth is certain to do so as the representative of one side of America, antagonistic to the other.

    Were any Democrat to be elected president in 2020 he would make Barack Obama look conservative. Radical expansion of the concept of hate speech would restrict the exercise of religion and punish reticence to conform, as well as political opposition. The public sector’s transformation into the ruling class’ private preserve would be completed. The conservative side of American life, looking back to 2017, would try its own version of “resistance.” But whereas Donald Trump responded to “resistance” with complaints, the next Democratic president’s response would be to punish opponents — ignoring court orders, marshaling friendly corporations, and even using the federal agencies’ SWAT teams against them. “Stop me if you can.” The conservative side of American life will see no alternative to civil, or even violent disobedience. Then what?

    Anyone elected in 2020 by the anti-establishment side would know that the left sees tolerance as a one-way street, that it is no longer capable of practicing it, that the Republican Party committed suicide by not fulfilling its constituencies’ desires on guns, abortion, religion, education, taxes and immigration. Hence, he has no choice but to fulfill them. The resistance of judges, bureaucrats and corporate executives would be even fiercer. A conservative administration would have no alternative but to sweep them aside. Then what?

    In either case, both sides have already transcended the American republic in their hearts. When will they do so with their hands? We have stepped over the threshold of a revolution. It is futile to speculate where it will end.

    Angelo M. Codevilla is professor emeritus of international relations at Boston University. A version of this paper was presented at a Claremont Institute symposium in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 26.

    Source…

     
  • Jack 3:10 am on November 30, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , deroy murdock, , ,   

    Chutzpah Olympics 

    Several Americans at or near the tops of some of this country’s major institutions have become portraits in brass. How dare they behave this way? Their hubris and high-handedness are award-worthy — if nothing else, to showcase them as people not to emulate. Let’s call these the Olympics of Chutzpah.

    The 2017 gold medal for chutzpah goes to Roger Goodell. The NFL commissioner did little more than let his knees knock while leftist players turned a previously apolitical sports enterprise into a coast-to-coast social-justice workshop. Goodell should have told his league’s overpaid, childish athletes to get off their knees and reserve their activism to off-duty hours. Those who refused would be dismissed and replaced with any of the thousands of young men who would be thrilled to trade places with any of these ingrates.

    Instead, Goodell stands by cluelessly as the Bended-Knee Brigade repeatedly insults the American flag, the national anthem, and the U.S. armed forces. In so doing, they have pile-dived stadium attendance and ratings right through the 50-yard-line. Rather than resign in shame, Goodell demands a $50 million annual salary, lifetime private-jet travel, and health insurance until death, for him and his family.

    Astonishing.

    Team owners should have told him: “Just for that, you have five seconds to turn around, walk through the front door, and never show your face around here again. If not, we’ll call security.”

    The 2017 silver medal for chutzpah goes to Lois Lerner. The former IRS official presided over the political targeting and abuse of some 471 tea-party and limited-government groups that applied for 501(c)(3) non-profit status. They waited and waited and waited and waited and waited for the IRS to approve (or reject) their applications. Some tea-party outfits were instructed to list the books that their members were reading. Even more Orwellian, others were told to describe the content of their prayers. This anti-conservative discrimination was designed to keep center-right groups so dazed, confused, and poorly funded (due to their inability to solicit tax-deductible donations) that they could not educate citizens about Obama’s shortcomings before the 2012 election.

    This cynical ploy worked. These groups largely were muted. Obama won a second term for many reasons. Having the IRS put metaphorical duct tape over the mouths of these potentially vocal critics certainly helped him score four more years to cripple America.

    As the head of IRS’ tax-exempt-organizations division, Lois Lerner was this effort’s ringleader. Despite her anti–First Amendment actions, the destruction of relevant documents, and the annihilation of her computer hard drive in an AMERI-SHRED AMS-750 HD high-powered metal shredder (as Americans for Tax Reform reported), Lerner scored paid leave for five months. She kept collecting her $177,000 annual salary — $3,000 per annum more than if she were U.S. Senator Lois Lerner — without having to cope with pesky job duties or even show up at the office. (Really nice work, if you can get it.)

    Before she faced prosecution or otherwise answered for her misdeeds, Lerner retired. That clinched her cornucopia of benefits as a former federal bureaucrat, including full medical care and, the National Taxpayers Union Foundation estimates, an annual pension of $102,600.

    One would think Lerner would count her winnings and leave it at that.

    But no!

    Instead, she now wants her sworn deposition in related litigation to be sealed permanently. As if facing zero consequences for her actions were not sufficient satisfaction, she now wants to bury the records of her wrongs.

    Lerner claims that opening these records would inflame tax fighters and, thus, physically endanger her. Lerner’s attorneys point their trembling fingers at Tea Party leader Mark Meckler, who once called IRS agents “criminal thugs.”

    Meckler scoffs at this notion

    “Four years of harassing innocent American citizens for their political beliefs, and she’s scared of a guy in a cowboy hat talking to a bunch of little old ladies at a tea party event?” Meckler told the Washington Times, recalling the occasion where he made the “criminal thugs” remarks.

    The Trump Administration should apply public pressure, including an amicus curiae brief, calling on federal Judge Michael R. Barrett to release these documents. If these papers were posted online, rather than stashed in a courthouse vault, Americans could learn many more details about this grotesque abuse of power. Who knows, enough facts may emerge to trigger the prosecutions of Lerner and her conspirators.

    That would be justice.

    The 2017 bronze medal for chutzpah goes to Obama holdout Richard Cordray, the just-resigned chairman of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. He named his chief of staff, Leandra English, as his deputy just before leaving office. Cordray believed that move would make her the acting director upon his exit, until the Senate can confirm President Donald J. Trump’s potential designee as a permanent replacement. Soon thereafter, President Trump instead appointed Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney as CFPB’s acting director. The issue now heads to court.

    Liberals complain that Mulvaney is a CFPB critic who once called it “a sick, sad joke.”

    So what?

    Presidents are not limited to appointing agency heads who are enamored of those institutions. If so, Democratic chief executives would be restricted to naming war hawks, rather than doves, to the Pentagon. If Democrats have a problem with this, they should try harder in the 2020 presidential campaign.

    Trump’s appointment of Mulvaney should not be even microscopically controversial. The president of the United States appoints members of the executive branch, despite Democrats and the media (excuse the redundancy) conveniently forgetting Article II of the Constitution. After all — whether liberals like it or not — it’s the Trump administration. It’s not the Cordray administration.

    Source…

    See Also:

    (1) Who Watches the Watchmen?

    (2) Exclusive – Kobach: ACLU’s Latest Cause: Refusing to Stand for the Anthem in the Name of Islam

    (3) Agitprop that sows paranoia

     
  • Jack 3:10 am on November 30, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , katie grimes, , , , , ,   

    Hypocrites 

    If Rep. John Conyers and Sen. Al Franken ‘deserve’ due process as Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats insist, isn’t that a privilege provided to citizens held to all of the laws of the United States?With every Congressional session, lawmakers violate Federalist #57:

    “they can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as on the great mass of the society. This has always been deemed one of the strongest bonds by which human policy can connect the rulers and the people together.”

    The practice of Congress exempting itself from the laws it writes emerged as Congress began to adopt broad social policy legislation. From exempting themselves from insider trading rules, to Obamacare, to the Freedom of Information Act, to being exempted from prosecution for retaliating against employees who report safety and health hazards, to having to train employees about workplace rights and legal remedies, and record-keeping requirements for workplace injuries and illnesses, Congress gets a pass on important laws private sector businesses and states are required to adhere to – or be sued.

    As Federalist #57 said, one of the strongest points behind “they can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as on the great mass of the society,” was this: “This has always been deemed one of the strongest bonds by which human policy can connect the rulers and the people together. It creates between them that communion of interests and sympathy of sentiments, of which few governments have furnished examples; but without which every government degenerates into tyranny.”

    And what have we today?

    “In 1964, with great fanfare, President Johnson signed the landmark Civil Rights Act, including Title VII, which for the first time protected all Americans from employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin,” attorney Gerald Skoning wrote in the Wall Street Journal in 2013. “But the law exempted Congress from its coverage, so thousands of staffers and other employees on the Hill were left with no equal-opportunity protection. Staffers could be discriminated against or sexually harassed with legal impunity.”

    Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012

    For decades, critics tried to get Congress to eliminate the exemption. Finally, when it looked as if real reform would take place and the Civil Rights Act of 1991 would be passed and Congress could remove the exemption, they punted. Efforts to eliminate the exemption failed.

    Skoning points out that it took Peter Schweizer’s book, “Throw Them All Out,” and a “60 Minutes” episode for Congress to pass the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012, which banned insider trading by lawmakers and their staffs. “But just last week, while voters were focused on emotional issues such as immigration and gun control, House and Senate members voted to repeal a key provision of the so-called Stock Act—the one that required online posting of their staffs’ financial transactions,” Skoning reported in his 2013 op ed.

    As recently as 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission investigated Congress for insider trading however, Congress moved to block the investigation, undermining its own ethics rules, the Intercept reported.

    President Donald Trump has threatened to take away the Obamacare exemption from the 535 lawmakers and the more than 13,000 Congressional staffers, granted by former President Barack Obama. The bogus cries from Congress of “Health Care For All” ring hollow knowing they are exempted from the disastrous law.

    One surefire way to drain the swamp would be for Congress to lose all exemptions to laws they pass

    “Congress would be a very different institution if it were truly covered by the laws that apply to the rest of Americans,” Heritage Foundation scholar Dan Greenburg said in a 1993 speech. “Congressional coverage would give congressional employees the same workplace and equal opportunity regulations as the private sector. Congressional offices would have the same duties of record-keeping and disclosure that executive agencies have, allowing the public greater access to information about Congress. Members of Congress would share directly in the burdens and impositions of the laws they pass.”

    One surefire way to drain the swamp would be for Congress to lose all exemptions to laws they pass, and President Donald Trump is just the guy for the job.

    As for due process for Sen. Franken and Rep. Conyers, they deserve due process every bit as much as Judge Roy Moore does.

    Source…

    See Also:

    (1) California Fornication…

    (2) Democrat Raul Bocanegra Resigns over Sexual Harassment; Activist Runs for Seat

    (3) NPR Top News Editor David Sweeney Out over Sexual Harassment Accusations

    (4) Matt Lauer dismissal puts harsh new focus on NBC News boss Andy Lack after Trump tweet

    (5) NBC fires senior executive, who was Matt Lauer’s booker, for ‘inappropriate conduct’ with women

    (6) President Trump: ‘Investigate’ Joe Scarborough’s Dead Congressional Intern

    (7) John Conyers Is the Albatross that Democrats Deserve

    (8) Report: Congressional Black Caucus Members Trying to Convince Conyers to Resign

    (9) Donald Trump Scorches Joe Scarborough, Phil Griffin, and Andy Lack at NBC after Matt Lauer Firing

     
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