Author Topic: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces  (Read 883237 times)

Crafty_Dog

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WSJ: Baker: The Elite opened the Doors to Chaos
« Reply #2300 on: February 05, 2024, 06:33:20 PM »
The Elites Opened the Doors to Migrants—and Chaos
Bleeding-heart liberalism has taken a dangerous turn toward an ideology that rejects national borders.
By Gerard Baker
Feb. 5, 2024 3:37 pm ET


On the streets of New York, two police officers are beaten by a gang of eight migrant asylum seekers. Five of them are released without bail, one of them literally flipping the finger at the American public as he goes. The other three simply disappear.

On the streets of London, a woman and her two young children are doused with lethal chemicals. The suspect was twice denied asylum in the U.K. but managed to stay and was convicted of a serious sexual assault, then was granted asylum on appeal. The victims are left with life-altering injuries. A member of Parliament from the governing Conservative Party tells a television audience that this is a warning about the consequences of “microaggressions” that women face every day.


In Sweden a gang war between rival groups of migrants is unleashing havoc on the citizens of what was once a global model of social harmony. The European media descend on the country and publish dark warnings about the rise of “far right” anti-immigrant parties.

In Chicago, a “sanctuary city” recently inundated with illegal migrants, and where gang crime (most of it not migrant-related) is rampant, the City Council rouses itself from its indifference to pass a resolution that calls for antagonists to put down their arms—in Gaza.

It is tempting to look at these recent events across two continents and conclude that we in the West aren’t a serious civilization anymore, that our commitment to liberal principles, openness and tolerance have inured us to our peril; that our values are no longer fit for purpose in an open world of existential threats.

The deeper reality is that it isn’t our values that have failed. We are witnessing instead the most powerful indictment of a political and cultural elite whose hegemony is long overdue to meet its nemesis. The demographic reality of an overpopulated and still immiserated global south that is disgorging hundreds of millions of people to the wealthy north is making chaos of the attitudes and decisions of a ruling elite that—by design or accident—seems hell-bent on the West’s self-annihilation.

Perhaps I exaggerate. But the scale of the migration crisis in the west—more than the rise of China, the challenge of new technologies or the climate—seems to me the issue that will increasingly define the politics of our age.

Let’s be clear about migrants and crime. It has been pointed out that there is no evidence of greater criminal activity among illegal migrants than among the general population. There’s limited data on the subject but a 2020 study found that illegal immigrants in Texas are less likely to be arrested for a felony than native-born citizens or legal immigrants.

This makes sense. If you are here illegally you live life in a demimonde defined by evading detection, and therefore might be more likely to be drawn into crime. But it is also true that if you are here illegally you have an especially strong incentive to avoid doing anything that gets you into an encounter with law enforcement.

But the argument spectacularly misses the point. Of course the overwhelming majority of migrants here illegally don’t beat up cops or throw toxic substances at innocent women. But one single crime committed by one perpetrator who is in the country without legal leave is an especially heinous reality. One innocent victim whose life was ended or ruined by someone who should have been prevented from being in the country in the first place is a particularly noxious form of crime that naturally enrages citizens and immigrants who are here lawfully.

It is the blithe response to these shocking episodes of criminality that reveals the dysfunctions of which we are all victims, a response rooted in the idea that the rest of the world has as much right to be in our country as everyone else. This attitude, prevalent on the left, might once have been attributable to a misguided but understandable human empathy—what we used to call bleeding-heart liberalism. It is after all derived from the most fundamental Christian ideal—our obligation to take in and support our disadvantaged fellow humans.

But it seems now, in the post-Christian west, much more of an ideological postnationalism. You don’t have to believe in theories about a “great replacement” to see that the policies in the U.S. and Europe that have unleashed mass immigration in the past few years aren’t born of neglect or incompetence but are a deliberate choice to open their nations to all comers.

Unless we turn back now, the consequences of all this will overwhelm us. Migrant crime will surely get worse, our drug epidemic will widen, our exposure to terrorism will increase. Also in the U.K. this week, a leading Conservative who represents a constituency with a sizable Jewish population announced he was leaving Parliament because he can no longer deal with the death threats he has been facing from Islamists.

If we don’t act in the face of this building demographic wave to seize back control of our borders, the day is coming when we will no longer even be able to affirm the primacy of our values.


Crafty_Dog

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WSJ: Tower 22, you are on your own (drone bait)
« Reply #2301 on: February 06, 2024, 09:14:58 AM »


Tower 22, You’re on Your Own
Why did the U.S. leave soldiers defenseless in the middle of Jordan?
By Matthew Hennessey
Feb. 4, 2024 4:22 pm ET


It’s the name of the place that’s left me with an angry and unsettled feeling: Tower 22. Not a base or a camp, not even an outpost. Just a tower in the desert. News reports make it sound like an exposed jumble of sandbags, chicken wire and shipping containers tucked into a triangle of Jordanian bandit country between Syria and Iraq.


Those who died at Tower 22 never had a chance to defend themselves. They were likely sleeping when the drone attack happened, beat tired after a long day’s work in the sun. Perhaps they dreamed of their homes and families in Georgia, where it gets hot, but not as hot as it does in the desert.

President Biden told the world to expect a swift response. “While we are still gathering the facts of this attack, we know it was carried out by radical Iran-backed militant groups operating in Syria and Iraq,” he said in a statement. “We will hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner of our choosing.”

A week ticked by. In a surprise move, Kataib Hezbollah, the militia presumed responsible, pre-emptively surrendered, announcing meekly that it would no longer attack Americans. Pinky promise. In an even more surprising move, the Biden administration then telegraphed its punch, leaking to the press that the U.S. military had identified some targets that it would soon strike.

In the most surprising development, Politico reported Thursday night that U.S. intelligence officials now believe Tehran doesn’t actually exert all that much influence over groups like Kataib Hezbollah and Hamas. As Humphrey Bogart might say, it appears we were misinformed.

Why all the pussyfooting? The Biden administration, like the Obama administration, is a little too willing to let Iranian-funded militias and proxies kill Americans. Only when the home-front chirping grows too loud to ignore does the White House summon the will to retaliate. But before the bombs fall, the mullahs always get a courtesy call: Clear out boys, the Yanks are coming.

U.S. airstrikes over the weekend hit mostly evacuated Iranian and militia positions in eastern Syria and Iraq. It was a fireworks show. The actual Iranians had already scurried to safety. How many millions of dollars’s worth of munitions did we just detonate to get the president out of a tough news cycle?

It would be dispiriting, to say the least, if the Biden administration were willing to sacrifice some number of American soldiers during an election year because a wider war with Iran polls poorly. But the pussyfooting is so habitual that I often wonder if something more sinister is going on. What do the Iranians have on these guys?

In any Western movie, there’s a scene when the hero realizes he’s outnumbered and alone. Nobody’s coming to his rescue. That’s what America’s fighting men and women must be feeling these days. Our Red Sea sailors and Tower 22 soldiers could once have been called sitting ducks. Today we can call them drone bait.

This beef between the U.S. and Iran is now nearly half a century old. It’s time to settle it. If we aren’t going to do that, we should get our people the hell out of the desert. Send them back to their homes and families, where they belong.

Mr. Hennessey is the Journal’s deputy editorial features editor.

Body-by-Guinness

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It Ain’t an Accident
« Reply #2302 on: February 06, 2024, 08:08:06 PM »
VDH lays it out:

Is Biden Malicious, Incompetent, or Conniving?
81 Comments / February 5, 2024
Victor Davis Hanson
American Greatness

What Excites Biden?

Things are becoming so strange, so surreal, so nihilistic in contemporary America that the chaos can only be deliberate. Chance, incompetence, and accident could not alone explain the series of disasters we now daily witness that are nearly destroying the country.

When the ailing and non-compos-mentis president now speaks, he rarely becomes excited about Iranian or terrorist provocations. Biden seems restrained even at Russia’s outlawry in Ukraine. The atrocities of Hamas now earn only measured objections from Biden. He does not seem too angered by the collapse of the border. Nor do the deaths of 100,000 Americans to imported fentanyl earn a loud trademark Biden scream.

No, what earns his unchecked ire, often expressed in shouts and hysterical tones, are Donald Trump and his supporters. Most recently, out of nowhere, Biden resurrected the old and proven falsehood that Trump had libeled the Normandy dead as losers and suckers. He then compounded that libel by claiming Trump’s supposed dismissal of the heroic dead was a grievous family insult to his own late son, who did not die either in combat or while in uniform but in 2015, tragically, from brain cancer.

During these anti-Trump fits, Biden wakes up and his face tightens up. He begins screaming, in uncharacteristic, animated fashion, anytime he can smear half the nation’s voters as “semi-fascists” and “ultra-MAGA” extremists. In private, he swears that Trump is a “f—ing asshole” and “sick f—k.” If only Biden substituted “cartel” or “Iran” or “Hamas” for “Trump” or “MAGA.” we might see an animate president.

A Borderless Nation

Meanwhile, a mob of illegal aliens recently tried to kick and stomp sprawled New York peace officers into senselessness—felonies that would earn any such violent citizen a decade or more on Rikers Island.

Yet somehow, only a few were arrested. Stranger still, all of them were immediately let go without bail—as if freeing wolves to prey further upon sheep.

Upon release, a few smirked and flipped their middle fingers to bystanders. Apparently, they wished to show Americans that they are violent, crude, unrepentant, and exempt. And thus they tell us that their newfound hosts are fools for letting the likes of themselves in.

And why not, given the attackers bussed with impunity to California—the land of free everything if only one qualifies as illegally residing in the U.S.

These grotesque bullies are part of the eight-million illegal aliens who pranced across the southern border without background checks—all taking Biden up on his 2019 encouragement to “surge” the border with impunity.

Many brandish their cartel affiliations. Some pay for their transit by smuggling cartel fentanyl, which contributes to 100,000 American overdose deaths per year. Others sport lengthy criminal records. All seemed to have been welcomed out of their countries by conniving Latin American governments and mysteriously invited into our country by our derelict president.

The Death of the Law

There is a continuing pattern here. Sometime around late 2020, Americans woke up in a country they no longer recognized. That summer, tens of thousands of rioters had looted, burned, killed, maimed, and assaulted for four months with veritable impunity. Leftwing mayors and governors dubbed the violence as “largely peaceful” demonstrations or a “summer of love.”

The 2020 legacy of defunding the police and exempting criminals on the basis of their race or ideology is that each week now videos circulate of massive looting, smash-and-grab epidemics, and deadly car-jackings in our major cities. No one cares much about the small business owners who are ruined.

Who laments for the poor who lose their last shopping outlet? Does the Biden administration worry over the terrified employees who are ordered to stand back or the occasional security officer totem instructed to stand down?

Instead, we are to empathize with the thief, the assaulter, the rapist, and the carjacker—at least in the sense that he does not deserve punishment for the mayhem he caused, given we, not he, are supposedly the true guilty parties. A lot of innocent and defenseless people have been assaulted and killed since 2020 as the wage of that toxic theory.

So the subtext of all these violent acts is exemption based on perceived correct race, ideology, or membership in the supposed victim/oppressed binary. The perpetrators are either not arrested, let out the same day as arrested, never charged, or never convicted. And the result is a growing distrust of the law and a cynicism that there is little law anymore, just statutes used against political undesirables.

If, for just one month, the Biden justice department used the same resources and budget it has spent the last three years rounding up bystanders at the January 6 riot and instead prosecuted, convicted, and jailed these big-city violent assailants, then the crime epidemic could be solved.

The Implosion of the University

As a general rule, in 2024, the more “prestigious” our universities, and the more they prided themselves as elite or Ivy-League, the more likely there were racially segregated dorms and graduations, a virtual anti-Semitic hounding of Jewish students, grade inflation, watered-down courses, and pro-Hamas terrorist demonstrations.

For nearly a hundred years, universities told us that the SAT or ACT admittance exam was critical in determining their admissions. It was sold as a way to confirm the potential and preparation necessary to perform at a level demanded by these elite schools. The tests were praised as a meritocratic tool to determine talent by honing grade point averages and allowing opportunity to those without money and contacts. Then suddenly, in 2021, these tests were mostly junked.

That dismissal of standardized tests was a de facto admission that:

1) Universities had been admittedly wrong for a century that standardized admissions tests had any value in determining the degree of student preparation needed to complete a rigorous Ivy League class load.

or 2) in the interest of diversity, equity, and inclusion, the university would now be free to admit students who could not meet their prior unrealistic or unnecessary standards and instead would accommodate new students by suddenly inflating grades, introducing easier classes, or diminishing required course work.

Of course, the university admits to neither of these realities. It compounds the deception and fraud by claiming new generations of students are more competitive and gifted than ever and will leave with degrees that guarantee employers rigorously trained graduates. Time will soon tell.

The End of Deterrence

The same nihilism characterizes our foreign policy.

Our worst enemies could not have planned a more disastrous and humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan than the Biden administration’s August 2021 scamper. We simply, without an afterthought, abandoned billions of dollars of sophisticated weapons to Taliban terrorists.

We left behind a $1 billion new embassy and a remodeled Air Force base. We bragged about taking out terrorists with a “righteous strike” that wiped out an entire friendly Afghan family, while 13 American service personnel were blown up trying to secure a non-securable escape route.

Then followed the mysterious laxity as a Chinese spy balloon lazily traversed the U.S. with impunity. Next was the radical drop-off in military recruitment. If one wished to ensure that the one group that serves—and dies—in combat units at twice its demographics would exit the military en masse, prompting an enlistment crisis, the Pentagon could not have done a better job.

The top brass all but accused its white male recruits of being prone to toxic white supremacy, only to form a task force to root it out—and then discover such rage and hatred never existed in the first place.

It nonetheless drummed out 8,400 veterans for not receiving the mRNA vaccinations, many of whom had naturally acquired immunity and real doubts about the efficacy or safety of the inoculations. And, finally, the Pentagon made it known that prior standards of recruitment, promotion, and evaluation had apparently weakened the military. Therefore, new race- and gender-based criteria would ensure fewer and now unneeded white males in positions of rank and influence.

Abroad, China serially threatens to annex Taiwan. A hungry and perennially restless Vladimir Putin once upon a time thought he was restrained from invading his neighbors by fear of more costs incurred than the likelihood of benefits to be gained. But like an earlier reaction to a weakened U.S. in 2008 and 2014, Putin assumed that the 2022 Biden administration would likely do little if he annexed greater swaths of Ukraine. And so he invaded.

National security advisor Jack Sullivan, on the eve of the October 7 Hamas massacres of Jewish citizens, claimed the Middle East was at last calm. Now it is on the verge of a theater-wide war, once Iran sensed that the Biden team would appease and beg it to behave.

So the Biden administration was eager to end oil sanctions, plead with Iran to reenter the Iran Deal, remove the Houthis from terrorist designations, route billions of dollars to Tehran for hostages, junk the Abrams accords, and restore millions of dollars in please-be-nice bribe money to the Palestinians.

Biden’s abject misreading of human nature has ensured that a thuggish theocracy that slaughters abroad and tortures at home would interpret that reproachment as either naiveté or stupidity. And thus it would respond with contempt and escalating aggression. And so it has.

Somehow, over just three years, the Biden administration did to the Middle East what it did to the southern border: blew it up in the same exact manner of mindlessly undoing any policy that had previously worked with Trump’s finger prints on them.

What Is Going On?

What is the common denominator, what is the rationale behind the anarchy, and what is the reason why a president would so willingly rend the fabric of America?

Why would the government privilege the illegal alien over the law-abiding citizen? The violent pro-Hamas, anti-Semitic foreign-born protestor over the peaceful pro-Israel, U.S. citizen? The smash-and-grabber over the dutiful security guard?

We are nearing a French Revolution, reign-of-terror moment. The law seems to be what a cabal of hardcore leftists who control the Oval Office say it is.

Joe Biden’s administration offers no better confirmation of warnings from Thucydides to Thomas Hobbes that the veneer of civilization is precious, hard-won, quite thin, and beneath it churns innate human savagery and chaos roaring to be released.

So why did Biden unleash the hounds of anti-civilization? Did he despise the supposedly boring middle-class citizen who follows the law, pays all his taxes, and never gets arrested? Does he hate the idea of meritocracy? In Biden’s puppeteers’ dangerous calculus, is all this savagery and chaos a deliberate mechanism to ensure parity? Equity? Inclusion?

So is the deliberate nihilism—economic, social, cultural, social, and political—a way of leveling the field? Making life difficult for the more successful? Making those who cherish the traditions and protocols of America pay?

Is that the plan to take the country to near collapse, and then only at the abyss itself to force revolutionary change—or else?

How else can anyone explain the descent of our city downtowns into dank medieval cesspits, our notion of male and female transformed into the sexual circus right out of Petronius’s Satyricon, our race relations into a mixture of Rwanda and Yugoslavia, and our universities into Soviet-like “People’s Universities of Correct Thought?”

None of this was by accident. It is the dividend of a philosophy that says, “We have to blow up your America before we can reboot it for us.”


https://victorhanson.com/is-biden-malicious-incompetent-or-conniving/

Crafty_Dog

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WSJ: America is having the wrong election
« Reply #2303 on: February 10, 2024, 09:21:59 AM »

Contrast this with the Putin interview with Tucker!

=========================================


Opinion | America Is Having the Wrong Election

There’s a lot of ruin in a nation (as Adam Smith once put it). There’s a lot of ruin in Russia. Russia is a real state, with a real military tradition. Its badly treated soldiers perform rather than melting away. Its factories maintain a flow of war supplies. Its recruiters wangle bodies to throw into the ranks.

These unoriginal discoveries about Russia point to a certain outcome for Ukraine if the West is not involved or not sufficiently involved.

It seems worth mentioning that the $25 billion the Biden administration proposes to spend on the southern border plus the $60 billion it seeks to spend on Ukraine amount to just 1.3% of the federal budget. Laughable, except perhaps under today’s circumstances, would be any idea that Washington can’t do both simultaneously, plus the other 98.7% of federal activities.

The U.S. is the world’s top economic performer right now; NATO represents 24 times Russia’s gross domestic product, and that’s before you add Japan and South Korea.

From any clear-eyed view, the pygmy Mr. Putin is trying to bluff the collective West with a one-year Russian military spending increase of $35 billion. That’s a quarter of what Americans spend annually on pet supplies. It’s also an increase Mr. Putin can’t repeat next year, much less year after year into the future.


But listen to what certain voters are saying through their GOP representatives if only because it’s driving events: They won’t trust a government that allows its own border to collapse to pursue its aims in Ukraine, however urgent governing elites think those aims are.

For a historical parallel, Truman didn’t have to “scare the hell out of the country” over Korea, because he’d already scared the hell out of the country, in Sen. Arthur Vandenberg’s phrase, three years earlier over Greece and Turkey. Under way when North Korea, with Russian and Chinese backing, invaded South Korea was the Western military buildup and alliance strengthening that ultimately won the Cold War.

In turn, this allowed Truman-Eisenhower to settle for half a loaf in Korea eventually without sacrificing U.S. credibility (in fact the opposite).

But Joe Biden can’t level with the American people about the stakes. His electoral coalition would abandon him overnight. Even if (in a truly bizarre circumstance) he didn’t have to sell the country on a visibly senescent president being good enough right now, his allies have zero appetite for the necessary change in fiscal or policy priorities and he knows it.

In the tapestry of self-delusion, John Kerry turns out to be the key Biden administration figure. His hand-waving as climate envoy, his Potemkin pretense of bringing China along, helped the administration tie up trillions now and in the future in U.S. climate policy. This money will remain tied up even though China’s predictable noncooperation guarantees that it will have no actual effect on climate.

The other big Democratic coalition investment has been identity politics, good for sowing division that benefits the sowers, utterly inimical to rallying the country to meet a national security challenge.

You can expect Mr. Biden to double down on these coalition investments when he gives his State of the Union next month, never mind history screaming that preventing the next war needs to be the urgent focus.

Donald Trump is no better. Asked about Taiwan recently, he instantly changed the subject to the Taiwanese “stealing” our chip industry. NATO? The alliance is still ripping us off and always will be because that’s what his voters want to hear. (Even the most ardent Trump admirers might balk at him as a war leader.)

These are can-kicking answers by can-kicking politicians, understandably because both know nothing good comes to them from bringing voters the truth. Twice in the last century it cost the U.S. and the world dearly when the U.S. couldn’t get its act together to supply an ounce of deterrence when it was needed. Here we are again.

If the U.S. can’t find the focus and perseverance to steer the Ukraine war to an acceptable outcome, try figuring out how a future showdown over Taiwan ends.

China blockades and attacks the island. The U.S. tries to block China’s oil and grain imports.

The Chinese sink a couple of our ships. We sink a couple of theirs.

They bomb our bases on Guam or Okinawa. We bomb theirs on the mainland.

It’s not a war about Taiwan anymore. Both sides are fingering their nuclear weapons. It’s also a war neither side should want, but a paranoid and demonstrably obtuse authoritarian regime avoiding a disastrous miscalculation is a crummy variable to bet on. A sad and visible corollary right now is that the U.S., with all its allied strength and potential, hasn’t deterred much lately.

Body-by-Guinness

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Nothing but Selective Prosecution to Political Ends
« Reply #2304 on: February 10, 2024, 05:32:57 PM »
This is the best, concise, ardently argued piece on the topic of Trump’s selective prosecution:

[Steven Calabresi] Donald Trump is the Victim of Selective Prosecution

The Volokh Conspiracy / by Steven Calabresi / February 10, 2024 at 08:35AM

[Trump is the victim of political witch hunts by Democrats suffering from Trump derangement syndrome]

The U.S. Supreme Court has said that "A selective prosecution claim is not a defense on the merits to the criminal charge itself, but an independent assertion that the prosecutor has brought the charge for reasons forbidden by the Constitution."  United States v. Armstrong, 517 U.S. 456 (1996). The defendant must prove that "the *** prosecution policy 'had a discriminatory effect and that it was motivated by a discriminatory purpose.'" Tyler v. Boles, 368 U.S. 448 (1962).

Among the discriminatory purposes, which are barred by the selective prosecution doctrine are discrimination involving the Equal Protection Clause and on the basis of race, religion, sex, gender, or political alignment.  I think Donald Trump is absolutely right on the merits in the four criminal cases which have been brought against him and in the New York State civil fraud case. But, I also think that all five of these legal actions against Trump are nothing less than a political witch hunt that is motivated by political ambition in the two cases brought respectively by New York State Attorney General Letitia James and by District Attorney Alvin Bragg.  Trump's First Amendment rights are being stripped away by discriminatory legal actions brought against him because of his political views in flagrant violation of the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause.

The New York civil case in which Trump is at risk of being fined $370 million for fraud and being barred from ever doing business in New York State again is a victimless crime.  No bank or lender complained that Trump had defrauded them, and the Democratic State Attorney General's accusations that Trump inflated the value of his assets to get favorable loans is standard practice in the New York real estate market.  The banks that loaned Trump the money he borrowed discounted the value of Trump's assets from what he claimed, just as they do with every other real estate mogul in the New York real estate market.  Letitia James brought this civil action because New York State Democrats suffer from Trump derangement syndrome, and James wants to win some future New York Democratic primary.  In doing so, James is violating Trump's First Amendment rights and his rights under the Equal Protection clause.  James should have to show that some other New York businessman has been prosecuted for hundreds of millions of dollars and threatened with a ban on doing business in New York for conduct like Trump's.  She cannot do that because the politically charged Trump lawsuit she has brought against Trump is one of a kind.

Alvin Bragg's indictment of Trump for paying hush money to Stormy Daniels and not reporting it as a campaign expenditure is also a case of selective prosecution.  John Edwards, the Vice Presidential running mate along with John Kerry in 2004, had used more than $1 million in campaign money to hide his very own illegitimate affair.  Edwards case led to the U.S. Justice Department adopting guideline against brining charges about the use of campaign funds to cover up sexual affairs.  If John Edwards gets off, then Donald Trump should too. This is another case of selective prosecution based on Trump's political views to go after him so Alvin Bragg can win a Democratic primary in New York for some higher elective office.

The criminal federal classified document case brought in Florida by Jack Smith is yet another travesty of unequal justice based on party affiliation in violation of the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause.  For years, Barack Obama knew that Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, had an insecure personal computer at her home, which she was illegally using to store and exchange highly classified top secret information.  Neither Obama nor his Attorney General Loretta Lynch chose to prosecute Clinton for these violations of the criminal law.  Most recently, President Joe Biden was excused from prosecution for violations of the law concerning classified documents stored in one's house.  Donald Trump, however, does get prosecuted for mishandling classified documents.  This is a blatant double standard for Republicans and Democrats on the handling of classified information.  Again, Trump is being selectively prosecuted in violation of the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause.

The January 6th, 2021 indictments of Donald Trump are also blatantly unfair.  To begin with, Jack Smith is an unconstitutionally appointed Special Counsel for reasons I point out in my law review article with Gary Lawson: Why Robert Mueller's Appointment Was Unlawful? 95 Notre Dame University Law Review 87 (2019).  All Trump did on January 6, 2021 was to give his followers a fiery speech and urge them to "fight like hell." Trump never urged his followers to disrupt the counting of the Electoral votes from each state.  Trump had a First Amendment right to give the speech he gave at the Ellipse, and he is again the victim of a selective prosecution in violation of the Equal Protection Clause.

As for the Georgia case, Fani Willis is angling to win a future Democratic primary by going after Donald Trump over a phone call in which Trump exercised his First Amendment rights to ask if more Trump votes could be found in Georgia.  This is again selective prosecution of Trump by a Democratic prosecutor in violation of the Equal Protection Clause.

In my 34 years as a law professor, I have repeatedly seen the rules in legal academia bent dramatically to favor liberals over conservatives.  I thus identify with what Trump is going through in terms of selective prosecution.  Trump's First Amendment and Equal Protection Clause rights are being flagrantly violated, and the U.S. Supreme Court should put an end to this charade now.

The post Donald Trump is the Victim of Selective Prosecution appeared first on Reason.com.

https://reason.com/volokh/2024/02/10/donald-trump-is-the-victim-of-selective-prosecution/

Crafty_Dog

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Body-by-Guinness

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Progressive Barbarism Ascends
« Reply #2306 on: February 20, 2024, 01:20:11 PM »
This piece does a fine job of illuminating the various self-contradictions of today's "progressive" movement:

The rise of barbaric progressivism
Antisemitism, racial hierarchy, violence, and an alliance with radical Islam have seized the commanding heights of the movement.

BENJAMIN KERSTEIN
DEC 18, 2023

Shortly before he died in the late 1930s, Sigmund Freud, by then a refugee from Nazism, wrote, “We live in very remarkable times. We find with astonishment that progress has concluded an alliance with barbarism.” He was referring to the rise of fascism and communism, and their combination of the most modern forms of science, technology, economic theory, and even aesthetics with the most horrific and savage forms of violence and sadism.

Freud was a man of the Enlightenment—perhaps the last man of the Enlightenment—and equated modernity with progress and civilization. Thus, to witness the degradation of modernity as it comingled with the kind of animalistic brutality that he saw as belonging to earlier and less enlightened stages of human history was shocking to him, as it was to many.

His obsession with this problem dated back to the carnage of World War I, in which the most “civilized” part of the world had turned itself into a technological charnel house that consumed millions of lives seemingly without reason. In the face of this, Freud eventually reached very dark conclusions about human nature and the nature of human civilization. He concluded that because civilizational progress required greater and greater repression of the most basic human drives, people are more and more repressed and unhappy the more they progress and the more civilized they become. Eventually, this repression cannot hold, and the savage energies built up beneath centuries of sublimation explode in periodic eruptions of horrendous violence and destruction. Progress, in other words, leads inexorably toward barbarism.

Today, the most fervent believers in the power of progress in the United States are the members and supporters of the eponymous progressive movement. It is a bit difficult to fully define this movement, as it is easily confused with other movements of the left like socialism, communism, and even anarchism. It is possible, however, to say that its view of progress is the polar opposite of Freud’s. By and large, it holds that 1) Humanity can be made better and even perfected. 2) The history of humanity is the history of inexorable progress toward that perfection. 3) It is the duty of the individual and society to be on “the right side” of that history—that is, on the side of progress. 4)  Humanity’s ultimate state of perfection will take the form of a blessed society in which suffering, poverty, and oppression have been overcome. 5) Anything that opposes or retards progress is a form of metaphysical evil.

All of these sound like fairly “civilized” goals. Moreover, the movement itself has always been one of the elite upper-middle class and its intelligentsia, meaning that, by all rights, progressives ought to be the most “civilized” people in the world. Yet large factions of today’s progressive movement are showing clear signs that Freud was quite correct in his diagnosis of progress and its discontents.

While today’s progressivism maintains its façade of upper-middle class rectitude, it barely conceals a quasi-totalitarian mentality that puts down any dissent or opposition without much compunction. At the same time, many progressives have engaged in considerable violence and allied themselves with forces that are not only violent themselves, but categorically reject the values and mores that progressives themselves claim to hold sacred. Many progressives have gone so far as to adopt ideologies they claim to oppose passionately, such as racial hierarchy and antisemitism. The cost to the moral integrity of the movement has been immense, and there are no signs that the descent is slowing, let alone reversing itself.

The progressives’ turn to violence first appeared in the one institution over which progressivism exercises near-absolute rule—academia. Recent years have seen the emergence of a kind of progressive dictatorship of the professoriate, a totalitarian regime that denies its subjects the right not only to believe but even to hear ideas that might cast doubt on progressivism’s rectitude. For some time, this was accomplished by administrative corruption and quiet censorship. Today, however, it is largely accomplished by mob violence. The professoriate’s shock troops shout down and assault speakers; disrupt events; attack opposing activists; engage in intimidation, harassment, and psychological abuse; and aggressively “deplatform” anyone with whom they disagree. Thus, while freedom of thought and speech are not outright forbidden in the academy, they have become impossible to exercise, much as Islamic religious laws against depictions of Muhammad have been imposed on Western societies through the threat of terrorism.

This culture of progressive violence emerged in full during the events surrounding the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minnesota police. While the Black Lives Matter protests that followed were often peaceful, a very large number were not, and left-wing groups like Antifa played a large role in the looting, burning, vandalism, property damage, and general anarchy that devasted several urban centers and led to a massive spike in crime as police withdrew for fear of further public execration. Along with this, and not only in the US, a campaign of iconoclasm took place that saw statues pulled down and monuments destroyed and defaced, including a statue of Winston Churchill and the Cenotaph in London. Even statues of decidedly non-racist figures like Theodore Roosevelt and Ulysses S. Grant were allowed to be pulled down for fear of further mayhem. Many progressives who did not themselves participate in these brutal campaigns of intimidation and violence either excused or supported them.

Particularly disturbing is that a large number of progressives—perhaps a majority—have adopted two of the most egregious ideologies they purport to oppose: antisemitism and racism. It has often been said that all totalitarian ideologies eventually end in the Elders of Zion, and the examples of Hitler and Stalin appear to bear this out. Indeed, as it has become more totalitarian, progressivism has also become more antisemitic. It tends to couch this antisemitism in the language of anti-Zionism and criticism of Israel, but its rhetoric is so vitriolic and hateful, its violence against Jews and Zionists so intense, and its support for the most horrendous antisemitic atrocities so open and palpable, that no other conclusions can be drawn.

Progressive antisemitism is both a very old and a very new form of antisemitism. Its basis is as ancient as the Elders of Zion: The belief that the Jews are a corrupt, evil, and omnipotent plutocracy. But progressivism has recast this in the language of its own ideology, claiming that, in the form of Israel, the Jews victimize not only Palestinians but also people of color, the LGBT community, and other fetishized groups. Jews are seen as the ultimate manifestation and beneficiaries of “white privilege”—an amorphous and situational term at best—and this “privilege” must be smashed for justice to prevail. In effect, the Jews are cast as the enemies of progress itself. Thus, they are a metaphysical evil that must be scythed by the arc of history.

This antisemitism is intimately connected to the issue of race. It is, in fact, difficult to overstate the extent to which progressivism is now defined by racial politics and the idea of racial hierarchy. In effect, progressivism sees the world as a pyramid with Jews and “white people” at the top, and everyone else in a descending progression downward, with people of color and Palestinians at the bottom. Unlike in the past, however, today’s progressivism no longer wants to do away with this hierarchy, it simply wants to reverse it. It adopts the admonition of the Gospel of Matthew that “the last shall be first, and the first last.”

While perhaps admirable at first glance, the problem with this is obvious: Even if the last becomes first and vice versa, there is still a first and a last. That is, the ostensibly unjust hierarchy remains, it has simply been turned on its head. There is still oppressor and oppressed, superior and inferior, destroyer and destroyed. Nothing has been solved, nothing has been improved, and no one has been liberated. Nothing, in other words, has progressed.

Even more disturbing, perhaps, is a prevailing belief among progressives that was perhaps most succinctly put in a reported statement by a New York Times staffer: “I just feel like racism is in everything.” It is safe to say that this is the hegemonic view among progressives today, and the implications are extremely disturbing. While such comparisons are usually facile and by definition inaccurate, it is not an exaggeration to say that this is Nazism. That is, the basis and foundation of Nazism was that racism is in everything. It viewed race as the sole active metaphysical force in existence, permeating every aspect of human and indeed animal life, and racism as the only means of understanding and harnessing it. That many of today’s progressives now more or less agree both explains a great deal and bodes very ill for the future of the movement and the American society it seeks to radically change.

All of these pathologies seem to have coalesced around what critics call the “Red-Green Alliance,” a term that refers to a political axis composed of progressives and Islamic radicals. This seemingly bizarre phenomenon, which the philosopher John Gray calls “Islamo-Leninism,” has been developing for a long time, but it emerged in full during the ugly mob events that followed the October 7, 2023 massacre committed in southern Israel by the terrorist group Hamas. In a well-coordinated and well-funded attempt to prevent Israeli retaliation, celebrate the massacre, and express solidarity with the genocidal organization, thousands took to the streets of major cities in the US and Europe shouting antisemitic slogans and calling for Israel’s destruction. These mobs were composed almost entirely of progressive activists and radical Muslims. The same was true of those who harassed, intimidated, and physically attacked Jewish students in the streets and on college campuses. Anyone wearing recognizably Jewish clothing and symbols, or was simply known to be Jewish, became a target. In one case, a Muslim academic beat a Jewish man to death with a megaphone. The wave of racism and violence so shocked the American Jewish community that a protest march held in Washington, DC drew 300,000 people.

The sight of radical feminists marching side by side with those to whom patriarchy is a sacrament, LGBT people standing shoulder to shoulder with those who would gladly murder them in another context, socialists expressing solidarity with advocates of genocidal theocracy, and alleged human rights activists embracing supporters of religious apartheid and terrorism was incomprehensible to many, but it was not unprecedented. In the 1960s, for example, the radical left strongly supported Algeria’s terrorist FLN, which was influenced by political Islam to a far greater degree than many then and now have been prepared to acknowledge. In the 1979 Iranian revolution, leftists of all stripes helped Islamic radicals overthrow the Shah, only to have the theocrats slaughter them as soon as they had the power to do so. After 9/11, leftist sympathy for Osama bin Laden was not universal, but it was considerable and sparked a notable backlash. Today, progressives stand with, work with, and actively defend Islamic radicals in almost all aspects of life, especially political activism and most of all in anti-Israel incitement and violence.

The progressive movement’s total corruption of its own creed in the name of this alliance has not been a dignified spectacle, but it is not as incomprehensible as it seems. One of its causes is progressivism’s increasing antisemitism, which naturally leads it to align with fellow antisemites. Statistics have consistently shown that the Muslim nations are the most antisemitic in the world. Moreover, some 60% of Muslim Americans supported the October 7 massacre to some degree, meaning that they are, at the very least, fairly comfortable with the mass murder of Jewish people. That progressive antisemites find themselves in sympathy with radical Islam is natural under such circumstances.

Progressives share more with radical Islam than hatred of Jews, however. For example, both movements have an essentially messianic worldview. Islam has its final day of judgment and the progressives their blessed society. The two groups are also obsessed with the same alleged evils, such as imperialism, American foreign policy, and Western civilization in general. The alliance further plays to progressives’ obsession with race, as they have convinced themselves that all Muslims are “people of color” (they aren’t) and therefore oppressed by “white people” (they aren’t). Despite the Muslim world’s considerable trade in black African slaves, which continues to this day in various forms, progressives have decided that radical Islam is simply pursuing the shared task of overturning the global racial hierarchy and defeating “white supremacism.” That the Islamic radicals seek to replace it with Muslim supremacism does not perturb the progressives, as they likely consider it just revenge for centuries of depredation.

Most important of all, however, is that most of today’s progressives and all radical Muslims are against freedom. In the case of radical Islam, this is obvious, as they make no pretense of valuing freedom, and the movements and regimes they have built are, without exception, brutally oppressive, violent, terroristic, and totalitarian. In the case of progressives, the issue is less clear-cut, as they publicly proclaim that they value freedom, particularly for oppressed groups. But if we examine progressive actions rather than rhetoric, a different picture emerges.

It is notable, for example, that the institutions ruled by American progressives, particularly academia, are by and large the least free institutions in American society. They place a great deal of value on ideological conformity and almost none on fundamental liberties like free speech and assembly. Basic legal rights do not exist in the academic disciplinary system. Those who wish to avoid being fired or expelled for alleged transgressions must often submit to humiliating Maoist-style reeducation and struggle sessions during which they are forced to confess and repent their sins in a wretched public spectacle. As a result, progressive rule suffocates independent thought and silences criticism, thus destroying two of freedom’s greatest benefits. Similar circumstances prevail in those areas of corporate culture, the arts, the media, and even sports that are dominated or ruled by progressives.

Taken together, the above seems to indicate the emergence of a kind of barbaric progressivism. A progressivism that, while it advocates progress in certain areas, is also quite comfortable with supporting some of the most barbaric ideas imaginable, such as antisemitism, totalitarianism, religious fanaticism, theocracy, patriarchy, racism, anti-democratic politics, terrorism, rule by a designated minority, suppression of heretical ideas, and opposition to human freedom itself.

The question, then, is what Americans who have no desire to live under this kind of progressivism should do. Certainly, there are political and legal measures that could be taken, but the most important form of resistance must come from within the movement itself. Many good people in the progressive movement sincerely believe in its principles and do not want to see it collapse into barbarism. They need not exit the movement. Instead, they should stay and fight for a better progressivism, one that is at least vaguely worthy of the name. There are signs that this difficult and unhappy resistance is already underway. Whether or not it can succeed confronts the rest of us with one of the more ominous questions of our present moment.

https://benjaminkerstein.substack.com/p/the-rise-of-barbaric-progressivism

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces
« Reply #2307 on: February 20, 2024, 02:44:25 PM »
A quality read.

Crafty_Dog

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Doomino Theory 2.0 Ukraine, then Taiwan
« Reply #2308 on: February 24, 2024, 04:07:49 AM »
A interesting piece, but it would have been better with engaging with the consequences of losing Taiwan's chips.

====================================

https://amgreatness.com/2024/02/24/the-domino-theory-2-0-ukraine-then-taiwan/

The Domino Theory 2.0: Ukraine Then Taiwan?
See how those dominoes fall when policymakers and their elitist cronies put money over country and sell our communist enemies the rope they will use to hang us?

By Thaddeus G. McCotter
February 24, 2024
In yet another example of “how the more things change…”

When assessing the Domino Theory 2.0, one discovers the dominoes are in the details—or, more accurately, the lack of them.

The first incarnation of the “Domino Theory” argued that the triumph of communism in one nation would invariably lead to communism’s triumph in neighboring nations. Based on the rapid Sovietization and illegal occupations of eastern Europe in the aftermath of World War II, the Domino Theory predicted the same result would occur elsewhere. Unfortunately, the theory was less of a strategic assessment than it was a myopic prism, coloring every incident abroad as proof of its predetermined conclusion and justifying its efforts to stanch communism’s advance by any means fair or foul, including the deployment of the American military. So doing, the Domino Theory proved a blunt and, ultimately, deleterious instrument for stemming the advance of that hideous, anti-human ideology.

For Americans, the Vietnam War painfully revealed the counterproductive consequences of this overly simplistic theory. Between 1965 and 1973, more than 58,000 American service personnel, 250,000 South Vietnamese troops, 1.1 million North Vietnamese and Viet Cong fighters, and close to 2 million civilians of North and South Vietnam were killed, and more than $120 billion of U.S. tax dollars were expended on the war effort. At home, Americans were torn along political and generational lines over the draft and the war; youth was radicalized; and disillusionment with and alienation from representative institutions increased throughout the citizenry. When America ultimately failed to stem North Vietnam’s conquest of South Vietnam, the ensuing decade witnessed communism’s advance around the globe. At home, many of the political divisions spawned by the Vietnam War never fully healed.

Importantly, this was during a time when the Soviet Union and its proxies were in fact bent upon expanding communism across the globe, and most Americans understood this. Nevertheless, the failure to explain the rationale for the Vietnam War to the satisfaction of Americans, especially the young men being drafted and their parents, constituted the sifting quicksand that finally engulfed America’s war effort, especially when the government’s official statements continually failed to match the reality on the ground and the war dragged on.

In the aftermath of Vietnam, policymakers did learn the hard lessons of America’s military defeat. Communism remained an existential threat to free peoples, one the Soviets continued to spread. But America and her allies gradually became more attuned to the specific conditions within a communist endangered country, and, given the American public’s chary post-Vietnam attitude toward military interventions, became more circumspect in their assessments and responses to such threats. With fits and starts, wins and losses, by 1991, this more circumspect view of how to defeat communism through a more deliberative and discerning, holistic roll-back strategy facilitated the liberation of eastern Europe from communism and the Soviet Union’s implosion.

Failure might be an orphan, but it is a better teacher than success. While making room to stuff the Soviet Union in history’s trash can, policymakers retrieved from it the garbage theory, the “End of History.” In sum, Francis Fukuyama’s “end” was the absence of an ideological opponent to western democratic capitalism, which allegedly had forever won the hearts and minds of all peoples. It seems Mr. Fukuyama didn’t consult the over 70,000,000 members of the Chinese Communist Party (or radical Islamists, for that matter).

In the heady, heedless days following the demise of the Soviet Union, the botched, venal western “shock therapy” approach to Russian reconstruction led to the rise of an authoritarian regime headed by former KGB Lt. Colonel Vladimir Putin, a foreign intelligence officer. Due to western recklessness and covetousness, democracy and capitalism had an abysmal trial run in post-Soviet Russia. The people came to view the “end of history” as a dead end for Russia. With selective nostalgia coloring their memories, they reached back out for the iron hand of a strong leader (if not a Stalin, then an Ivan the Terrible) and a Russia that was feared and respected throughout the world. Mr. Putin and his thuggish ex-KGB cronies (Siloviki) readily obliged. The result is a revanchist, neo-imperial Russia currently on display in Ukraine.

Further, in the wake of the CCP’s barbaric butchering of pro-democracy protestors in Tiananmen Square, a similar response threw this hideous regime a lifeline: no amount of mass slaughter would stop western capitalists from enriching themselves in communist China. Throughout the ensuing years, policymakers and the elites have enriched themselves by, among other means, outsourcing American jobs to and investing in communist China, thereby making the regime both more secure and more potent as they engaged in unrestricted warfare against the United States. And a nation that, during Mao’s great famine, was still exporting wheat from the hands of starving peasants to ensure the communist regime had enough foreign reserves to advance the nation’s aims throughout the world, now holds over $850 billion of American debt. No doubt, Xi Jinping and his politburo pals will continue putting their current foreign reserves and their holding of the U.S. debt to effective, if not good, use against America.

In sum, today, policymakers and elites have now stuck the rest of us with the butcher’s bill for their arrogance and avarice: a revanchist, authoritarian Russia and an avowedly hostile, implacably aggressive communist China, both of which view the United States as their primary enemy.

This is the situation as American and other western policymakers tender their dire demands for taxpayer funding for Ukraine. For some abstruse reason, they expect the public to forget or ignore that these policymakers and their corporate cronies have been culpable for causing this crisis. These policymakers have forgotten the hard lessons of Vietnam, and in refusing to explain in detail the strategic stakes in defending Ukraine from Russia’s invasion, they have resorted to the Domino Theory 2.0.

Consider this February 12 tweet by Senator John Cornyn (R-Tex.), in which he cites an earlier statement by Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-La.): “Speaker Johnson is right: ‘We can’t allow Vladimir Putin to prevail in Ukraine because I don’t believe it would stop there. It would probably encourage and empower China to perhaps make a move on Taiwan.’”

And there it is. The assumption that an authoritarian victory will lead to another authoritarian’s invasion of another country.

Sure, the Speaker hedged with “probably.” Moreover, Senator Cornyn was citing an October 27, 2023, interview with the Speaker, wherein he, Johnson, also stated: “We’re not going to abandon them, but we have a responsibility, a stewardship responsibility, over the precious treasure of the American people, and we have to make sure that the White House is providing the people with some accountability for the dollars.” Oddly, the Speaker also hedged by adding “some accountability.”

Yet, this merely reinforces the point. The Speaker felt compelled to regurgitate the Dominio Theory 2.0. His admission that there needs to be “some accountability” underscores the absence of accountability to the American public regarding military aid to Ukraine’s. Excepting the rote invocation of the “Taiwan must be defended” mantra, it also unwittingly reveals policymakers’ almost zero discourse with the American people as to why a free Taiwan is an imperative in protecting our nation’s vital strategic interests. Instead, the public gets the Domino Theory 2.0.

It is beyond the purpose of this essay to delve into how the current efforts to aid the defense of Ukraine may or may not have already indicated to the CCP the probability of successfully subjugating Taiwan. What is obvious, however, is that despite Americans’ disapprobation for Mr. Putin and his regime, the continued funding for Ukraine’s defense is increasingly precarious, as public support is ebbing over time (due in no small part to the absence of “some accountability”).

Now consider this in light of what the Domino Theory 2.0’s proponent’s believe is the “hammer” in their argument for more Ukraine spending: the long-threatened communist Chinese invasion of Taiwan.

As the Vietnam War intensified, one of the arguments of anti-war protestors was that our kids were being sent to die in a country most Americans couldn’t find on a map. A terse expression of how policymakers had failed to adequately explain how America’s vital national security interests were involved, it was an inarguable indictment of the original Domino Theory. But it is important to note that the Domino Theory was initially sufficient for the American public to accept our nation’s involvement in Vietnam. Why?

Due to the Sovietization of eastern Europe, the communist capture of China, and the United States’ subsequent, excruciating experience in the Korean War (or maybe because of the sacrifices entailed to keep South Korea free), the American public recognized communism was an existential threat to our nation and allies. Engendering and perpetuating this recognition constituted a concerted national effort that endured over decades until America and her allies won the Cold War.

Today, this is decidedly not the case.

Feckless policymakers, in league with their rapacious corporate cronies and other greedy elitists, have divined a critical distinction between the defunct Soviet variant of the communist virus and that of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP): unlike the former Soviet Union, western elites can make a buck off the communist China.

But, you may ask, what about communist China’s “unrestricted warfare” against their primary enemy, the hegemonic United States? What about the communist regime’s repression of their own people, including the genocide of the Uighurs? How can American and western policymakers and their elitist cronies do business with a totalitarian government that is leveraging their own captive people as a “market” for western corporate investment? Or threatening to invade their neighboring free republic, Taiwan?

To keep their gravy train rolling requires the public to believe the policymakers’ and the elites false narrative that the communist Chinese regime is magically not in control of their totalitarian state. Somehow, despite all evidence and communist ideology to the contrary, communist China’s business sector (one cannot call it a “private sector”) is a sufficiently independent actor to ignore the regime’s aggressive domestic and global malevolence. In short, policymakers and elites need the American public to play “let’s pretend” along with them.

This deliberate downplaying of communist China’s aims promotes the willful misperception that there is a difference between the communist Chinese regime and its economy—one that is not recognized in that nation’s laws—and has not ended the American people’s distrust of the communist Chinese state. But it has had detrimental impact. While not spurring calls for peaceful coexistence or détente, it has negated a comprehensive estimation of the threat communist China’s unrestricted warfare poses to America’s vital strategic interests, as well as the measures required to protect and defend ourselves and our allies. Truly, then, it is odd how, in pushing the Domino Theory 2.0, policy makers and the elites are aiming to leverage a fear of communist China that they’ve spend decades trying to diminish.

This brings us face to face with the real Domino Theory of communism: namely, how the willful blindness to communist China’s avowed unrestricted warfare against our nation leads to the spread of the vile, murderous, anti-human ideology of communism at home and abroad.

For example, why should communist indoctrinators on campuses not be treated the same as Nazi indoctrinators? Why should an ideology responsible for killing more innocents than any other screed be considered acceptable in any quarter, let alone grow in popularity, especially among young Americans?

Why should Americans oppose the repressive communist Cuban regime, one that exports its hateful ideology and undermines free nations in Latin America, when the most populous and powerful communist nation in the world, China, despite being engaged in “unrestricted warfare” against the U.S., is being treated as a responsible international actor and business opportunity?

Equally, at a time when American elected officials are endangering national security by signing non-disclosure agreements with communist Chinese companies and, in the name of creating jobs their failed policies have precluded by any other means, are doling out billions in taxpayer dollars to them to locate in areas of America where it is all the better to engage in military and corporate espionage and other nefarious activities, why should the public respond to the Domino Theory 2.0’s concern for free Taiwan?

Indeed, while many policymakers, their elitist cronies, and the regime press pooh-pooh the public’s concerns about communist China buying American farmland, why would the public care about communist China invading Taiwan—let alone be prepared to risk World War III over it?

See how those dominoes fall when policymakers and their elitist cronies put money over country and sell our communist enemies the rope they will use to hang us?

Unless and until policymakers and their elitist cronies cease their remunerative apologies for the regime and commence defeating the existential threat of communist China’s unrestricted warfare, the Domino Theory 2.0 is a self-defeating piece of self-satire that merely serves to further disillusion and alienate Americans whose public support is needed to defend our republic and the entire free world.

In the end, of course, the question of whether the Domino Theory 2.0 works as the policymakers and the elites intend is a secondary consideration. The first consideration is to do what is comprehensively necessary as a nation to ensure that question never requires an answer.

An American Greatness contributor, the Hon. Thaddeus G. McCotter (M.C., Ret.) served Michigan’s 11th Congressional district from 2003-2012, and served as Chair of the Republican House Policy Committee. Not a lobbyist, he is a frequent public speaker and moderator for public policy seminars; and a Monday co-host of the “John Batchelor Radio Show,” among sundry media appearances.

Body-by-Guinness

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Of Trust and Moral Compasses
« Reply #2309 on: February 28, 2024, 10:08:34 PM »

Body-by-Guinness

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Lords of Chaos in the Empire of Lies
« Reply #2310 on: March 04, 2024, 04:10:28 PM »
Another cheery piece from Chiefio. Keep your powder dry:


Posted on 4 March 2024 by E.M.Smith
Just sharing the result of some pondering.

The Lies

I was having a bit of a retrospective on our society, actions of The West, how The Powers That Be, the Globalist Evil Bastards, our Governmental Rulers (as we have a “Rules based order” per them, we do not have “representatives”, but Rulers implementing the “rules”…) and how the High Political Mucky Mucks in the news have managed the world.

First off, I realized that just about everything we get is based on lies. I think it was Putin who coined the phrase “Empire Of Lies”. I did not hear him use it, nor saw it in print, but heard it ascribed to him by a western YouTube video. But his, or not, I think it applies.

Not just lies about “Ukraine Winning” or “Putin did all the evil in the world” nor even “Trump did it!”, or even the lies of Minsk 1 and Minsk 2 agreements that were a fraud; but also all the lies about Covid, The Jab, the border with Mexico, selling the Strategic oil Reserve (and the Strategic Helium Reserve), and so much more. National Inflation statistics buggered to lies. FDA “Food Pyramid” designed to make you fat and unhealthy while enriching the Processed Food Industry. Mandating medical treatments that enrich Big Pharma while not making you healthy. The Big Lie of “Global Warming” to take your car, meat and fuel.

Simply put, The West collectively, largely the USA, EU, UK, Canada and Australia; they all are managed and run via lies. That’s pretty clear. The only unclear bit is just where, if at all, there are agencies without lies. Is anything said by the Political Class NOT a lie?

The Chaos

How about those Color Revolutions, eh? The long slow march around the world over decades overthrowing elected governments. The destruction of whole industries. Coal. Oil. Cars. Banking Crisis. Money destruction. Ending trust in the Medical Establishment. Now trying to destroy farming and farmers. Trashing cities, the once beautiful “Baghdad By The Bay” great night life city of San Francisco turned into an open outhouse of filth and poverty. Shopping driven out, whole shopping districts empty and closed (due to organized theft gangs that do not get prosecuted, or even slowed down). Flooding nations with hoards of Illegal Aliens here just to take what they can (and break or kill what they can’t, from time to time).

That is chaos. And these rulers of ours, these who lord over us, are the Lords Of Chaos.

So welcome to the Empire of Lies run by the Lords of Chaos.

I just hope my little corner of Florida, that still has the old Standard American Values, can keep the Chaos out a few more years… because what is happening globally is not going to hold up.

The UK is at best stagnant as the Political Class works to thwart the will of the people to be fully out of the EU and the EU Drama. The EU is busy de-industrializing and searching for economic collapse, all while looking for genetic & cultural replacement via not having their own kids but importing a load of foreigners (who largely want to tear down European Values, History, and cultures). The USA is busy selling out to China while borrowing all the money it can to create wars around the world and a “Color Revolution” right here at home, too. Congress and The White House are busy ripping off and selling off everything they can.

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So how long can that continue without a full on collapse? Hopefully longer than I can… but I think it won’t.

I’ve listened to many bits of Putin’s State Of The Nation speeches. I’ve never seen him lie to his people or the Duma. His histories match known historical facts. He does not bluff, and when a warning is ignored, does exactly what he said he would do if it were ignored. He has warned NATO that if they put troops in Ukraine or start to directly attack Russia, he’s willing to move to a nuclear conflict if that is what it takes to protect Russia and Russians. Our Rulers act like that is a bluff. It isn’t, but they want to push it. “They have no reverse gear”- The Duran. I just hope we do not end up in a Global Thermonuclear War because they believe their own lies and bullshit instead of listening to the clear statements of a Man Who Does Not Bluff.

The Lords Of Chaos ruling over their Empire Of Lies may yet kill us all.

https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2024/03/04/lords-of-chaos-in-the-empire-of-lies/


DougMacG

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Re: Prager: Divide is not bridgeable
« Reply #2312 on: March 05, 2024, 11:30:03 AM »
https://dennisprager.com/column/the-left-right-divide-is-not-bridgeable?fbclid=IwAR1Xic2abA9HDf87u0ZG7UtW77LqzW1obNKH56-ZNBHAzP_9bJuQRggtBTM

This is really full of wisdom.

I like where he differentiates liberal and left.

I accused one of my friends of being a 'honest liberal'.  I meant it more as a challenge than an observation.  If he were completely honest with himself (as I see it) he might eventually lean toward (fact-based) positions I hold, like men and women are different, the war on poverty isn't working, we should regulate immigration as closely as we regulate housing, lasting peace comes through strength, and going broke is no way to run a country.

We must separate. Some people are persuadable. Some must be defeated at the ballot box.  The strange thing is, only in hindsight do we fully recognize who is persuadable.


Crafty_Dog

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George Friedman: America approaches the crisis
« Reply #2314 on: March 12, 2024, 06:43:40 AM »


March 12, 2024
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America Approaches the Crisis
By: George Friedman

We have recently discussed China's problems, Russia's ability to defeat Ukraine, the economic condition of Europe and the wars of the Middle East. All of these are extremely important, but none are as crucial as the United States, the country with the largest economy in the world and a military that, if fully deployed, can be decisive.

Some of you may recall our model of cycles, which is now signaling increasingly intense political, social and economic problems that will last until the election of 2028, when a new president will be elected and, regardless of his wishes, will dramatically shift the country's direction. A few months ago, I thought we would not have to wait until 2028, but that the 2024 election might signal the shift. That isn’t happening. Or, to be precise, the historical model of change every 50 years is continuing. The last transitional moment was the Reagan presidency, which started 43 years ago.

To understand the coming changes, it is useful to think of the last cycle in the 1970s. That decade was marked by a war with significant impact on the American economy, combined with an oil embargo. President Richard Nixon ended the link between the dollar and gold, and massive unemployment, dramatic inflation and staggeringly high interest rates ensued. Exports from Japan shocked domestic auto manufacturers. Anger at the Vietnam War led to social conflict in the United States, with racial conflict turning into riots in Detroit in the late 1960s, and in 1970, campus riots at Kent State turned deadly when students were shot by the National Guard. In the end, the president resigned to avoid impeachment and possibly prison.

The chaos grew through the 1970s, but it was the economic situation that drove it and in which the chaos was rooted, with the president trying to use the last cycle’s model to solve the problems. During the Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt tried to increase taxes on the rich and corporations and attempted to funnel money to the poor. That, plus World War II and the jobs it created, ended the crisis. Continuing that model into the 1970s, however, created a new problem: a shortage of investment capital. The only solution was transformation, shifting the tax burden from the investing class to the middle and lower classes, which increased corporate sales and demand for workers. President Jimmy Carter and the Democratic Party opposed this reversal of the Roosevelt model – which is normal for those linked to the last cycle – and in 1980 Ronald Reagan became president. Reagan pursued the only option: transforming the tax code. That worked well, but now that cycle is done. Nearly 50 years have passed, and a transition to a new model is inevitable.

Just as the economic crisis culminated in the latter half of the 1970s, along with all the other battles, the same thing is shaping up now in the 2020s and will become most intense by the elections of 2028.

The full order of battle is not yet clear, save for the economic crisis developing from the government creating excess money and the resulting inflation. As with Carter, however, it is not sustainable. Alongside this is the staggering amount of student debt, which flows into universities, allowing them to pursue projects that undermine their basic mission and maintain racial tension. The essential problem is again the relevance of the tax system in a shifting reality, but the system is merely the exterior of a much more complex reality.

Regardless of who is elected president, there will be rage and fear in the public, as there was in 1980 when voters elected an actor whose enemies believed he was an ignoramus. But in truth, the president presides; he does not rule. It is reality that forces action, and a new president will feel the pressure and respond. It is important not to focus on the president himself but on understanding the problem. As we look for leadership, neither candidate for the presidency will soothe the system. That must come later. I’ve spoken of this before, but we are now coming closer to the crisis

Crafty_Dog

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Christopher Caldwell forsees the West's defeat
« Reply #2315 on: March 12, 2024, 07:27:09 AM »


GUEST ESSAY

This Prophetic Academic Now Foresees the West’s Defeat
March 9, 2024
A photograph of Emmanuel Todd
Credit...Joel Saget/Getty Images
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202
Christopher Caldwell
By Christopher Caldwell

Mr. Caldwell is a contributing Opinion writer and the author of “The Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties.”  (MARC:  I have read this-- very deep and insightful)

“If anybody in this room thinks Putin will stop at Ukraine, I assure you, he will not,” President Biden said during his State of the Union address on Thursday night. Europe is “at risk,” he added, as he welcomed Ulf Kristersson, the prime minister of Sweden, the newest member of NATO.

But Mr. Biden also said he remains “determined” that American soldiers will not be necessary to defend Europe. As a White House spokesman put it last week, it is “crystal clear” that the use of ground troops is off the table.

Mr. Kristersson’s head must have been spinning. The prospect of further Russian incursions was the strongest argument that the United States relied on to draw NATO into the war, and to draw new members, like Sweden, into NATO. But if such incursions were a genuine concern, then ground troops would be an option for the United States and its allies almost by definition.

The rationale for NATO participation in the Russo-Ukrainian war is getting fuzzier at the very moment when one would expect it to be getting clearer.

This is a problem. Europeans, like Americans, are tiring of the war. They are increasingly skeptical that Ukraine can win it. But perhaps most important, they distrust the United States, which has done little in this war to dispel skepticism about its motives and its competence that arose during the Iraq war two decades ago. Unique though Americans sometimes believe their polarization to be, all Western societies have a version of it. As Europe’s “elites” see it, NATO is fighting a war to beat back a Russian invasion. But as “populists” see it, American elites are leading a war to beat back a challenge to their own hegemony — no matter what the collateral damage.

American leadership is failing: That is the argument of an eccentric new book that since January has stood near the top of France’s best-seller lists. It is called “La Défaite de l’Occident” (“The Defeat of the West”). Its author, Emmanuel Todd, is a celebrated historian and anthropologist who in 1976, in a book called “The Final Fall,” used infant-mortality statistics to predict that the Soviet Union was headed for collapse.


Since then, what Mr. Todd writes about current events has tended to be received in Europe as prophecy. His book “After the Empire,” predicting the “breakdown of the American order,” came out in 2002, in the flush of post-9/11 national cohesion and before the debacle of the Iraq war, to which Mr. Todd was fiercely opposed. Anglophone (his doctorate is from Cambridge) and Anglophile (at least at the start of his career), he has grown steadily disillusioned with the United States, even anti-American.

Mr. Todd is a critic of American involvement in Ukraine, but his argument is not the now-familiar historical one made by the dissident political scientist John Mearsheimer. Like Mr. Mearsheimer, Mr. Todd questions the zealous expansion of NATO under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, the neoconservative ideology of democracy promotion and the official demonization of Russia. But his skepticism of U.S. involvement in Ukraine goes deeper. He believes American imperialism has not only endangered the rest of the world but also corroded American character.

In interviews over the past year, Mr. Todd has argued that Westerners focus too much on one surprise of the war: Ukraine’s ability to defy Russia’s far larger army. But there is a second surprise that has been underappreciated: Russia’s ability to defy the sanctions and seizures through which the United States sought to destroy the Russian economy. Even with its Western European allies in tow, the United States lacked the leverage to keep the world’s big, new economic actors in line. India took advantage of fire-sale prices for Russian energy. China provided Russia with sanctioned goods and electronic components.

And then the manufacturing base of the United States and its European allies proved inadequate to supply Ukraine with the matériel (particularly artillery) needed to stabilize, let alone win, the war. The United States no longer has the means to deliver on its foreign-policy promises.

People have been awaiting this moment for quite some time, not all of them as far from the corridors of power as Mr. Todd. Mr. Biden mentioned in his 2017 memoir that President Barack Obama used to warn him about “overpromising to the Ukrainian government.” Now we see why.

Mr. Todd contends that Americans’ heedless plunge into the global economy was a mistake. Parts of his case will be familiar from other authors: The United States produces fewer cars than it did in the 1980s; it produces less wheat. But parts of his case involve deeper, long-term cultural shifts perennially associated with prosperity. We used to call them decadence.

In an advanced, highly educated society like ours, Mr. Todd argues, too many people aspire to the work of running things and bossing people around. They want to be politicians, artists, managers. This doesn’t always require learning intellectually complex stuff. “In the long run, educational progress has brought educational decline,” he writes, “because it has led to the disappearance of those values that favor education.”

Mr. Todd calculates that the United States produces fewer engineers than Russia does, not just per capita but in absolute numbers. It is experiencing an “internal brain drain,” as its young people drift from demanding, high-skill, high-value-added occupations to law, finance and various occupations that merely transfer value around the economy and in some cases may even destroy it. (He asks us to consider the ravages of the opioid industry, for instance.)

As Mr. Todd sees it, the West’s decision to outsource its industrial base is more than bad policy; it is also evidence of a project to exploit the rest of the world. But ringing up profits is not the only thing America does in the world — it also spreads a system of liberal values, which are often described as universal human rights. A specialist in the anthropology of families, Mr. Todd warns that a lot of the values Americans are currently spreading are less universal than Americans think.

Anglo-American family structures, for example, have traditionally been less patriarchal than those almost anyplace else in the world. As it has modernized, the United States has come to espouse a model of sex and gender that conjugates poorly with those of traditional cultures (such as India’s) and more patriarchal modern ones (such as Russia’s).

Mr. Todd is not a moralizer. But he insists that traditional cultures have a lot to fear from the West’s various progressive leanings and may resist allying themselves on foreign policy with those who espouse them. In a similar way, during the Cold War, the Soviet Union’s official atheism was a deal-breaker for many people who might otherwise have been well disposed toward Communism.

Mr. Todd does believe that certain of our values are “deeply negative.” He presents evidence that the West does not value the lives of its young. Infant mortality, the telltale metric that led him to predict the Soviet collapse half a century ago, is higher in Mr. Biden’s America (5.4 per thousand) than in Mr. Putin’s Russia — and three times higher than in the Japan of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

While Mr. Todd is, again, not judgmental on sexual matters, he is judgmental on intellectual ones. The inability to distinguish facts from wishes astounds him at every turn of the Ukraine war. The American hope early in the war that China might cooperate in a sanctions regime against Russia, thereby helping the United States refine a weapon that would one day be aimed at China itself, is, for Mr. Todd, a “delirium.”

For students of the Vietnam War, there is much in Mr. Todd’s book that recalls the historian Loren Baritz’s classic 1985 book, “Backfire,” which drew on popular culture, patriotic mythology and management theory to explain what had led the United States astray in Vietnam. Mr. Baritz concluded, “We are what went wrong in Vietnam.” Had Lyndon Johnson managed to impose his will on the Vietnamese, Mr. Baritz reflected, “an entire culture would have been utterly destroyed out of the goodness of the American heart.”

One is constantly reading in the papers that Vladimir Putin is a threat to the Western order. Maybe. But the larger threat to the Western order is the hubris of those who run it.

Fighting a war based on values requires good values. At a bare minimum it requires an agreement on the values being spread, and the United States is further from such agreement than it has ever been in its history — further, even, than it was on the eve of the Civil War. At times it seems there are no national principles, only partisan ones, with each side convinced that the other is trying not just to run the government but also to capture the state.

Until some new consensus emerges, President Biden is misrepresenting his country in presenting it as stable and unified enough to commit to anything. Ukrainians are learning this at a steep cost.

ccp

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'We were sold this unachievable dream'
« Reply #2316 on: March 14, 2024, 08:28:05 AM »
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/we-were-sold-this-unachievable-dream-georgia-woman-explains-the-broken-system-that-has-young-americans-fearing-for-their-futures-is-this-narrative-right/ar-BB1jSFtE?ocid=msedgntp&pc=DCTS&cvid=c095905dcfac434b8d7656e0cf9cd658&ei=38

how annoying

it is "the old white men"

as though if our leaders were women, black, and gay and young none of this would have happened.

" “Millennials and Gen Z are going to inherit a system that is broken,” Hardesty explained, “And we’re going to have to replace it all.”

Oh really? with what?



ccp

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Turley's analogy was correct
« Reply #2318 on: March 20, 2024, 01:10:41 PM »
think of police arresting two thieves in a bank vault

but only one gets carted off to jail.

I would go one step further.

think of the police catching them in the act and the allowing THEM to decide which one goes to jail and the other goes home.

The Dems know how to intimidate don't they?

Like we have seen Dershowitz recently point out that Trump is unable to hire top notch attorneys (apparently he does not think the ones he has are very good )

due to lawyers being afraid for their future careers if they were to defend Trump .

Seems like James Comey , William Barr, McAfee, Hur all seem to stop short when it counts the most.

All in favor of the crats.

Dersh says apparently it works, as he has had attorneys tell him point blank they are intimidated for their future employment and client referrals if they were to dare take a role in defending Trump.

we have a big problem in the US with the justice system and it ain't so much because it targets minorities.

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces
« Reply #2319 on: March 20, 2024, 01:45:35 PM »
"Trump is unable to hire top notch attorneys (apparently he does not think the ones he has are very good )
due to lawyers being afraid for their future careers if they were to defend Trump"

Well my post was about the well founded decline in trust in the integrity of our government, so we are drifting here into the litigation realm, but I would note that

a) the intimidation of lawyers into not defending Trump is quite real and exceedingly damaging to the integrity of our legal system, and

b) Trump is a notorious asshole in his dealings with his lawyers and bears some blame here; and

c) Trump is right, his current ones are not very good-- Eighth Amendment should be front and center here ono all the big fines.

Crafty_Dog

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With a permanent link
« Reply #2320 on: March 25, 2024, 05:37:07 PM »

Body-by-Guinness

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The Triumph of Trumpenfreude
« Reply #2321 on: March 27, 2024, 09:20:16 AM »
Think of him as you care to, but Trump does have a habit of turning attacks on their ears and into gold:

The greatest Trumpenfreude of all
They kicked President Trump off Twitter. That's about to make him $3,600,000,000.
MAR 26, 2024

Oh how they danced on the night Trump was banned.

NBC reported, “Twitter permanently suspends President Donald Trump.”

Andrew Marantz at the New Yorker gave the mainstream media take:

Nothing in the Constitution prohibits a private company from enforcing its own policies; if anything, the First Amendment protects a company’s right to do so. Now the harder questions. Does censoring a head of state set a dangerous precedent? Yes, it does, but so does allowing a head of state to use a platform’s enormous power, over the course of several years, to dehumanize women, inflame racist paranoia, flirt with nuclear war, and incite armed sedition, often in flagrant violation of the company’s rules. Is it worrisome that Jack Dorsey, a weirdly laconic billionaire with a castaway beard who has never been elected to any public office, is able to make unilateral, unaccountable decisions that may help determine whether our country survives or self-immolates? Yes, it is. But, given that Dorsey and a handful of other techno-oligarchs have this ability, they might as well be pressured (or shamed, or regulated) into using it wisely.

Of course, we found out in the Twitter files released after Elon Musk bought it that the government bribed Dorsey to censor conservatives.

Start your own Twitter, the media mocked him. He did. They hated it. NBC painted him as a hypocrite, reporting, “Former President Donald Trump pitched his new social media platform, Truth Social, as a haven for free speech and a counterweight to the big tech giants that have in recent years put a greater emphasis on moderating content users post to their sites.

“But as the platform’s terms of service agreement makes clear, not all speech will be permitted. Specifically, users are prohibited from speaking ill of the platform itself or its leadership.”

The media went out of its way to throw shade on his enterprise.

Axios reported, “Former President Trump is blowing the launch of his new social media company, via a series of unforced errors.”

The launch itself was buzzy, with Truth Social shooting to the top of Apple's App Store (there isn't yet an Android or web version).
But the vast majority of people downloading the app, me included, were given a waitlist number. Nine days later, most of us remain on that waitlist, with our number unchanged and without a word of communication from the company. A waitlist refresh icon doesn't work.
As of this writing, Truth Social has fallen to No. 57 in the App Store, just behind Tinder and Planet Fitness Workouts.”
So what? CNN’s ratings are below rerun channels. I would think starting off at No. 57 is great for a new social media outlet.

It looks like start-you-own-Twitter-ha-ha-ha was sound advice. Last week, Truth Social announced it was merging with one of Trump’s companies, which will sell shares in the merged company. Trump just doubled his pleasure, doubled his fun and doubled his wealth.

Bloomberg reported last night, “Trump’s Net Worth Hits $6.5 Billion, Making Him One of World’s 500 Richest People.”

So much for bankrupting the man.

Rolling Stone spun it, “The merger will be a lifeline to Truth Social, which incurred tens of millions in losses in 2023, and provide a massive windfall to its owner, former President Donald Trump. Given the current stock market value of Digital World Acquisition Corp., the combination of the two companies could net Trump a staggering $3.6 billion in shareholder value.

“As he’s currently drowning in a sea of legal bills, the merger may become a critical source of cash-on-hand for the former president, with one major caveat: He would only be able to cash out on his shares six months after the union officially goes public.”

Only in the insane world of journalism would cashing in for $3,600,000,000 be spun as a bad thing.

I didn’t invent the term Trumpenfreude. Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman did. I just changed the definition — like Google later did to the words insurrection and bloodbath.

Krugman sneered in December 2015 at the Republican establishment as the odds of a Trump nomination grew.

A year later, Trump got the last laugh on the AOC-hole.

Trumpenfreude thus went from Krugman’s feeling of joy about Republicans being stuck with Trump but that feeling of joy Trump supporters enjoy when another Trump hater goes down like Joe Frazier. At my old blog, I even made a list and checked it twice. It was fun to do. Someone even saved the list.

Let’s see, I wrote: “This is the official Trumpenfreude List of people who made the mistake of starting a feud with President Donald John Trump. Each wound up worse for the ordeal. Check back from time to time. The list continues to grow, which proves many human beings are idiots.”

The good old days.

The last few years have not been as fun as that first term but Democrat overkill — the constant political prosecutions and loony lawsuits in kangaroo courts — have turned the man into the leader in the presidential polls, something he never was in the previous two presidential elections.

The political windfall is matched only by the financial windfall he is in for. During his presidency, he accepted no pay as he gave his salary back to the government. His personal wealth fell by a billion bucks and the opportunity cost — meaning the money he would have made had he stayed on his job instead of working as president — easily matched the billion he lost on value of his real estate holdings.

Democrats tried playing lawfare with him, a name for tying a man in court to bleed him through legal fees. Trump is immune to this stuff.

Trump’s legal fees and the confiscation of his property by the state of New York amount to maybe $600 million — leaving the poor man only $3 billion richer. Only Elon Musk has the right to consider that amount of money as petty cash.

The state of New York allows violent criminals to walk free without posting bond but requires Donald Trump — and Donald Trump alone — to post 100% of the two judgments against him before it will consider an appeal. This is a clear violation of our rights under the Eighth Amendment.

Oh wait. Yesterday a judge said he only had to put up a ridiculous and punitive $175 million instead of $454 million to exercise his right to appeal the one of the two unconstitutional fines levied by a maniacal judge.

But the people rise against the tyranny of injustice in the Empire State. We know that if they can do this to President Trump, we are next.

And the wheels of commerce grind in his favor and as Bloomberg reported, he’s once again bounced back twice as high than he was when they pushed him down.

Scott Adams hit the nail with the old hammer in a Tweet entitled, “Trump's Third Act has begun. It's a beauty.” Adams ran a long post, but I liked this best:

The Democrats planned to cripple Trump financially so he couldn’t spend as much on the campaign. Trump turned Leticia James into his best fundraiser.

Lots of interesting developments lately on the topic of the 2020 election. The Simulation wants at least one of those fresh allegations to be a Kraken.

Trump's legal maneuvering is likely to keep him eligible for the election.

You can fantasize about a heroic Democrat such as Newsom swooping in and replacing Biden, but it's looking less likely every day. If it had always been the plan, it would have happened by now. Looks like Biden has to stay on the job to keep the Biden Crime Family out of jail.

The predictable Democrat Summer Hoax will add some excitement, but it will be forgotten and debunked by November.

Adams overlooked that Democrats want to put Trump’s head and his fortune on a pike as a warning to other billionaires to stay in the safe political pasture Democrats created.

I get that Adams is goofing on Democrats when he said Trump should consider the fines and legal fees to be a tip for the windfall he enjoys, but why should Trump give the Soviet Socialist Republic of New York a dime? The only fraud in the state’s case was committed by the fat lady prosecutor and the leering pervy judge. Did you see him grinning for the camera when the trial went on TV?

Trump saved The City once but New York’s majority wants Gotham to be Gomorrah. It’s time to sing arrivederci Gomorrah.

Tip them? Absolutely not. He will fight tooth and tong to keep what is his and not the state’s. He built this, not the government. Trump must fight the Squatters. He must not let the cheaters win because if he won’t fight for himself, then how can we expect him to fight for us.

But as I said, Adams was mocking the loser Democrats. We need a laugh now and again. Like most of us, he understands what is happening to America is destruction from within. History is erased by the Biden Banana Republic. Trump is the refrigerator light to the cockroaches who run DC. He has them scurrying for cover.

The tweet by Adams said, “The gears of the machine have become visible. We can all see the FBI is rotten and the DOJ is weaponized. We know the border is open intentionally. We know the cartels are working with our government.

“We know our elections are DESIGNED to not be auditable and there's only one reason for it. We can see Biden is not in charge. We know the Ukraine war was always about its energy resources and who gets to own them.

“We know our rising debt is ruinous. We know our experts are liars. We know our pharma and food industries are poisoning us. We know our government is racist. We know the corporate media is essentially owned by Democrats who are controlled by intelligence entities and they are actively brainwashing the population.

“We know the 1st and 2nd amendments, and X, are under sustained government attack because they are the public's last defense against the government.

“But we are not quitters.

“And the odds do not apply to us.”

We shall see if that last line comes true.

Readers occasionally ask me what we should do and my honest answer is pray, vote and keep the faith. You cannot cheat an honest man, which is why the repeated attempts to cheat Trump out of his wealth fail.

And this week, they will fail spectacularly as his wealth on paper rises thanks to the years of persecution he has suffered at the hands of Obama and the deep state. They kicked him off Twitter and made him billions of bucks.

We are not out of the woods by any means. But we do see the clearing ahead.

And we are laughing ourselves into a coughing spell as we relish the greatest Trumpenfreude of them all.

https://donsurber.substack.com/p/the-greatest-trumpenfreude-of-all?r=1qo1e&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=email&triedRedirect=true

Body-by-Guinness

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Tone Deaf Elitism of the Biden Admin
« Reply #2322 on: April 01, 2024, 07:51:29 PM »
Who need appeals to authority when you can appeal “Progressive” snobbery instead?

The Biden White House’s Beltway elitism shows on Easter

Sorry, that’s ‘Transgender Day of Visibility’

April 1, 2024 | 6:19 pm

Among the many political advantages of the presidency, surely one is the ability to extend warm wishes to Christians, Jews and Muslims on their holidays. It’s a golden opportunity to invite a few for pictures at the White House and explain how much the holiday has always meant to you. Easy-peasy. For a Catholic president such as Joe Biden, expressing solidarity with co-religionists on Easter ought to be a well-practiced routine.

It took genuine incompetence and obtuseness for the Biden White House to muck up the chance to reach out to fellow Christians on the holiest day of their calendar. But that’s exactly what the White House did on Sunday — Easter Day — by stressing its strong backing for Transgender Day of Visibility. All they had say was, “We love trans people and we will celebrate Visibility Day on Monday this year.” But noooooooo. It’s hard to think of a more obvious train wreck a-comin’. But this White House ignored the flashing red lights, drove right onto the tracks and parked.

Take the traditional White House Easter Egg Roll. The West Wing’s Ralph Wiggins Brain Trust decided to prohibit any religious symbols on the eggs, even though the whole point of the holiday is to celebrate religious renewal, specifically Christian renewal, as symbolized by eggs. Which voter group does the White House think its exclusionary message appeals to?

The answer to that Daily Double is “strongly ideological progressives.” These days, they are the very heart of the Democratic Party. What is so striking is that this White House is perfectly willing to alienate moderate, centrist voters — the ones needed to win in November — to cozy up to that activist base. Republicans do the same thing when they adopt positions like the six-week ban on abortion, signed into law by Florida governor Ron DeSantis. Cater to the hardcore base. Risk alienating everyone else.

Or take Biden’s decision to go to a fancy, high-profile fundraiser at the Rockefeller Center and skip any effort to comfort or even sympathize with the widow of a slain policeman and their young child, mourning after the officer was killed in cold blood while performing his duty. Even Al Sharpton criticized that obvious blunder.

Most of these observations have drifted across the conservative media. They have been ignored by the mainstream, naturally, because they would harm the candidate they support. Such is what passes for reporting today.

Still, there is one observation that even conservative critics have overlooked. It is the insular world from which these bad decisions emerge. That is the world in which White House staff and Beltway cognoscenti have been raised and educated. They continue to live in that house of mirrors, which is why they make such obvious blunders. They don’t notice them because, in their self-enclosed world, those aren’t blunders at all.

The “New” Democratic Party’s ignorance of ordinary voters’ views and feelings, indeed their sneering contempt for them, is a direct result of an educated elite that has been divorced from middle-income voters for their entire lives. They were raised in high-income ZIP codes, separated from the unwashed masses. They support those masses in principle — let them eat transfer payments — but that is simply their rigid, leftist ideology. They support the masses; it’s the actual people they don’t know. They just read polling data and focus group reports about them.

The progressive brain trust at the heart of the Democratic Party is far removed from the party of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman or even Lyndon B. Johnson. Today’s party activists went to elite schools where diversity means the children of orthopedic surgeons of different races, not students with diverse viewpoints or economic backgrounds. After college, they head to top law schools, where uniformity of thought reigns, and then into corporate law firms or hedge funds. The communications staff might have gone to journalism school, worked at a PR firm specializing in green energy and then a lobbying outfit with similar clients. At every stage, conformity of opinion is an absolute requirement for admission, hiring or friendship.

When you recruit your White House staff, communications team and campaign advisors from this shallow pool, filled with Fiji Water, it shouldn’t be a surprise that they choose policies, symbols and PR strategies that only not only fail to connect with ordinary voters, but actually offend them.

That is exactly what the White House has done repeatedly over the past few weeks. Joe Biden may constantly pitch himself as “Scranton Joe,” but his White House is Scarsdale and Stanford, not Scranton and Penn State.

Their insularity shows. It is another roadblock on Biden’s rocky path to reelection.

By
Charles Lipson

Charles Lipson is the Peter B. Ritzma professor of political science emeritus at the University of Chicago, where he founded the Program on International Politics, Economics and Security, and a Spectator contributing writer.

https://thespectator.com/politics/joe-biden-white-house-beltway-elitism-shows-easter/?fbclid=IwAR1hiB_eOkm8VeaIEpaEddFGYvV60EUH3eOUmb5i-1pTVYt6yLoJskED0DE

Body-by-Guinness

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Stagnation in US R&D
« Reply #2323 on: April 05, 2024, 05:08:15 PM »
Lots of formatting and graphs in the original, linked at the end of this piece. My big takeaway here is the reduction in R&D budgets and that impact on the future. Though it’s touched on, I suspect a lot of the “green” spending we currently endure sucks oxygen/monetary resources from R&D:

What the '3 Body Problem' teaches about stagnation

Warning: This essay contains significant spoilers about The Three-Body Problem, the best-selling science-fiction novel by Cixon Liu, also now a Netflix series.

The mysterious Trisolaran aliens in The Three Body Problem want to invade Earth and seize the planet for themselves. The rub? Although Trisolarans are a much older civilization and far more advanced than Earth’s dominant species, humans are way better at generating continuous technological progress. (One likely reason: Trisolaris, a planet in the Alpha Centauri star system, has a catastrophically unstable climate that causes repeated collapses of the aliens’ civilization. They’re constantly starting over, while humanity — blessed by a comparatively stable climate — continues to advance.) By the time the Trisolaran warfleet completes its 400-year journey to Earth at one-hundredth the speed of light, humanity will have far eclipsed its tech capabilities. In the book, a Trisolaran scientist explains to its superior the harsh reality of its herky-jerky linear progress versus human exponential progress:

Let’s observe the facts: Humans took more than a hundred thousand Earth years to progress from the Hunter-Gatherer Age to the Agricultural Age. To get from the Agricultural Age to the Industrial Age took a few thousand Earth years. But to go from the Industrial Age to the Atomic Age took only two hundred Earth years. Thereafter, in only a few Earth decades, they entered the Information Age. This civilization possesses the terrifying ability to accelerate their progress. On Trisolaris, of the more than two hundred civilizations, including our own, none has ever experienced such accelerating development. The progress of science and technology in all Trisolaran civilizations has been at a constant or decelerating pace. In our world, each technology age requires approximately the same amount of time for steady, slow development.”

The princeps nodded. “The fact is that four million and five hundred thousand hours from now, when the Trisolaran Fleet has reached the Earth, that civilization’s technology level will have long surpassed ours, due to their accelerating development. The journey of the Trisolaran Fleet is long and arduous, and the fleet must pass through two interstellar dust belts. It’s very likely that only half of the ships will reach the Earth’s solar system, while the rest perish along the way. And then, the Trisolaran Fleet will be at the mercy of a much more powerful Earth civilization. This is not an expedition, but a funeral procession!”

The Trisolarans, however, have devised a solution: slow humanity down. To do this, they create and send two protons to Earth — as subatomic particles, the protons can move at light speed — which then unfold into two-dimensional forms to create Sophons. These are essentially quantum computers capable of incredible feats, including the ability to interfere with Earth's scientific experiments (such as cutting-physics conducted by particle accelerators), monitor all human communication in real time, and spread misinformation — all happening with some help of human collaborators who treat Trisolarans as divine.

Beyond direct interference in scientific progress, Trisolarans hope the mere knowledge of Sophons and their capabilities can demoralize scientists, policymakers, and the general public. Knowing that any technological breakthrough could be monitored or thwarted by Trisolarans will create a sense of futility and despair in humanity, potentially slowing innovation through a decrease in effort and investment in research and development. People will lose hope in science, specifically, and progress, generally.

The Trisolaran plan is so diabolically clever, it almost makes me wonder if the true explanation for America’s Great Downshift — the surprise slowdown in tech progress and productivity growth since the early 1970s that I write about in The Conservative Futurist — is, well, aliens! I mean, if there were a couple of Sophons bopping around the planet and messing with us, how would the results be any different than what we’ve experienced for the past half century?

Think about it: Less frontier-pushing scientific effort? We can sure check that box. Federal R&D spending has declined by two-thirds as a share of GDP since 1964, according to the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


What’s more, perhaps these hypothetical aliens are right now continuing their dirty work and messing with our heads. That would sure explain how despite a) five decades of disappointing tech-driven productivity growth, b) the existence of a geopolitical competitor that wants to be the global tech and economic leader, and c) loads of research showing the growth impact of government science investment, Washington still won’t give a massive boost to R&D spending. The 2022 CHIPS and Science Act was supposed to provide a huge funding boost, but Congress has significantly underfunded key agencies and programs as intended.

As Politico reports:

While nearly $53 billion is going into reviving a homegrown semiconductor industry, Congress has gnawed away at the law’s ambitions on fundamental research and development aimed at staying ahead of China and other rivals in competitive fields like artificial intelligence. The latest example is the spending package lawmakers advanced over the past week: Biden’s signature enacts deep cuts to the National Science Foundation and stalls key offices in the Commerce and Energy departments that are supposed to deploy CHIPS money, turning a promised cash infusion of $200 billion over a decade into a humiliating haircut. And while it’s hardly the first time Congress has reneged on promised funds, it threatens an important pillar of Biden’s industrial policy. … The National Science Foundation offers a window onto the broader challenge, as the agency that expected to gain the most from CHIPS. The law authorized NSF to receive $81 billion over a five-year period that would ultimately double the agency’s budget by 2027. This year, the NSF should have gotten $15.64 billion, according to the CHIPS Act. Under the latest spending deal, lawmakers provided NSF with $9.06 billion — 42 percent short of the CHIPS target and an 8 percent cut to its current budget.


The Trisolarans are an impressive bunch, so it makes sense that some humans would be so dazzled that they would treat them as gods and be happy to do their bidding — including sabotaging their fellow humans. In our world, such a role is played by environmentalists and NIMBYs. These are folks who, over the past half century, have acted as Sophons in slowing tech progress.

For example: You can thank them for 1970s-era environmental regulations that make it maddeningly hard to build big projects in America, either quickly or cheaply. And you can thank them for continuing to use such regulations today. These are just a few of the headlines from the past month or so:

Tribes, environmental groups ask US court to block $10B energy transmission project in Arizona
Federal judge temporarily blocks plans to build transmission line crossing a Mississippi River wildlife refuge
Lawsuit challenges lithium project at California’s Salton Sea
Why Biden's climate law needs a permitting boost

More Sophons: Those in Hollywood who continue their public demoralization campaign about technology — AI will kill us, cancer cures will turn us into zombies — and the future. Next week, American moviegoers can watch the new film Civil War:

In the near future, a team of journalists travel across the United States during the rapidly escalating Second American Civil War that has engulfed the entire nation, between the American government, the separatist Western Forces of Texas and California, the Florida Alliance, and the New People's Army. The film documents the journalists struggling to survive during a time when the U.S. government has become a dystopian dictatorship and partisan extremist militias regularly commit war crimes

Alex Garland's “Civil War” Explodes Into Theaters April 12 - Irish Film  Critic

In my book, I highlight a study by Yale University economist Ray Fair that finds an interesting historical coincidence. First, US infrastructure spending as a percent of GDP began a steady decline around 1970, a pattern seen in no other rich country. (“The United States appears to be a special case in this regard,” Fair writes.) And at roughly the same time that America started ignoring its roads and bridges, Washington started running big budget deficits. As Fair sees it, the two trends provide evidence of a sustained change in national attitude: “The overall results suggest that the United States became less future-oriented beginning around 1970. This change has persisted.”

What’s more, Fair is “doubtful” the sustained shift can really be explained, not that he doesn’t float some possible explanations:

The years 1968, 1969, and 1970 had many noticeable events: the early baby boomers moving into their 20s; the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy; the beginning of the women’s movement; the draft, the bombing of Cambodia, and unrest on college campuses; Woodstock; Stonewall. Did any of these increase the impatience of the country in a permanent way? There are likely stories that could be woven, undoubtedly more than one, but it is unclear whether anything could be tested. The question is probably too big, but the fact is interesting.

In The Conservative Futurist, I float my own explanations for the Down Wing shift that underlay the Great Downshift in tech progress and growth. I try to explain why various macroeconomic headwinds (such as important breakthroughs requiring more resources than in the past) nor our policy mistakes (such as less R&D spending, more anti-growth regulation) provide a complete explanation of our current predicament.

From the book:

Yes, progress was harder than almost anyone imagined. But when progress failed to happen as expected, decade after decade—especially when it became clear our interventions weren’t working as well as hoped—why didn’t we work harder and smarter to make those Up Wing dreams come true anyway? Why did we let ourselves lose the future?

My answer is multi-causal:

The Vietnam War drove many, especially environmentalists and intellectuals, to see modern technology and large technological systems as inherently destructive forces.

Rising nuclear fears after WWII and incidents like the 1950s Castle Bravo test contaminating a Japanese fishing boat planted seeds of doubt about nuclear power and technological progress in general.

High-profile environmental disasters like the Santa Barbara oil spill and Cuyahoga River fire reinforced concerns about humans damaging the planet.

Influential books like Rachel Carson's Silent Spring and The Limits to Growth argued that unrestrained economic growth and technological development would lead to catastrophic pollution, resource depletion, and overpopulation.

The decline of optimistic Up Wing futurism in the 1960s, replaced by dystopian and apocalyptic visions in popular culture, deprived society of positive images of the future.

Sorry, it wasn’t aliens or Sophons. It was us.

https://fasterplease.substack.com/p/what-the-3-body-problem-teaches-about?r=1qo1e&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=email&fbclid=IwAR0oLKyUXwue1r-tNs8rK8xKYZQb9aHFoSylr2dC5DFzKPdYTopMgP12wrA&triedRedirect=true

Crafty_Dog

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Crafty_Dog

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VDH: America's Last Chance!
« Reply #2325 on: April 19, 2024, 09:19:02 AM »

ccp

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Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces
« Reply #2326 on: April 19, 2024, 09:40:35 AM »
Agree with VDH and share VDH's pessimism.

 :cry:

Zuckerberg and others know sooner or later someone will come for him (the Bell will Toll for him at this rate)
so  he builds fortress on isolated island.

I posted and VDH interview  of author recently. link to the podcast:
https://victorhanson.com/the-pensive-west-self-contempt-and-the-contemporary-campus/

Author Benedict Beckeld  felt Europe was too far gone and too late for them to stop the loss of their civilization but still some time for us.

 :cry:


Body-by-Guinness

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Of Butterknives & Electric Outlets
« Reply #2328 on: April 29, 2024, 12:28:46 PM »
This piece speculates that helicopter parenting that divorced children from the consequences of their action is responsible for much of the pro-Hamas asshattery found on college campuses these days. It also contains and interesting bon mot: “outside agitators” are paid $7800 by Soros funded groups for their Hamas advocacy on campus, while student organizers are paid $3600. Guess that’s one way to pick up some beer money:

https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2024/04/was_it_all_that_baby_proofing.html?fbclid=IwZXh0bgNhZW0CMTEAAR3OhgEVD5Q_Aj7gDr5gk33XaX93y45cKdpjKfoHI34UcGdJBu6q_xdsSq8_aem_AYZDYYJylKeSfE6IkwUJrPj2LYLQJszWyCfQ6ooMb3De6D2DJbR1_c8LtRrSJX7iPWngn9Q3HmYXwx-bG9tjJVt_

Body-by-Guinness

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The Two State Solution: Minnesota & Michigan?
« Reply #2329 on: May 06, 2024, 08:17:56 PM »
Some biting ironies herein:

President Biden just made a strong move against Israel, ordering the US government to stop shipping weapons supplies to the Israeli Defense Forces. It was his fine strategic mind at work, once again.

Usually the public defers to the president and his advisors on foreign policy, unless the issues become very prominent or the president forfeits their trust. Those are the two problems now facing the Biden administration. The war in Gaza is a major issue — and the public has zero confidence in Joe’s strategic wisdom. He lost the public’s confidence on that score after the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan and the failed attempts to appease Iran. Now, they are unlikely to defer to his judgment in distancing himself from Israel, America’s greatest ally in the region.

It’s an exaggeration to say the Biden administration is abandoning Israel outright. It isn’t. Rather, it is Joe’s latest, “on the one hand, on the other hand” policy move, and it is entangled with the riots and encampments on college campuses. A couple of weeks ago, Biden issued a brief condemnation of campus antisemitism, then remained silent as campus after campus erupted — and finally read a brief speech condemning the hatred. It was the least he could do. 

Biden’s immediate goal is to put visible American pressure on Israel to stop an invasion of the southern Gaza city of Rafah and to squelch the prospect of resuming major military operations. Biden would like to stop them at least until the November election is over. After that, who cares?

The administration’s moves are dictated less by international strategy than by US politics.  Biden fears he cannot win reelection if he loses Michigan and Minnesota, where Arab-American votes are crucial. He is also anxious about disaffected younger votes costing him other battleground states, either by voting for another candidate or not voting at all. For Biden, the “two-state solution” is less about Israel and Palestine and more about Michigan and Minnesota.

The dilemma for Biden and his party is that, when you look beyond voters under thirty and Arab Americans, the rest of the national electorate supports the Jewish state. Overwhelmingly. None of them teach anthropology at Columbia — and they are appalled by students’ open support for terrorism and the spread of vitriolic antisemitism. They are angered by administration efforts to appease students (and professional agitators) who hate Israel, openly support Hamas terrorists and have revived the old cry of defunding the police. (It’s a routine part of student demands.) 

Biden already faced serious headwinds with centrist voters because of inflation, an open southern border and weak economic growth. The troubles in the Middle East and on college campuses add to those headwinds. 

The dilemma for Biden is winning back those disaffected independent voters without losing those on the left. To solve it, the president has positioned himself squarely in the middle of the road, with cars and trucks whizzing past him in both directions. He ignored Margaret Thatcher’s admonition that standing in the middle of the road is where “you get knocked down by the traffic from both sides.” But that is exactly where Biden now stands.

It is not a happy position to be in, and neither side likes it. That opposition was clearest this weekend on the campus of the University of Alabama, where a pro-Israel, pro-America group faced off against an anti-Israel, anti-American group. In unison, both groups shouted “Fuck Joe Biden.”

He promised to bring the country together — and he has.

By
Charles Lipson

Charles Lipson is the Peter B. Ritzma professor of political science emeritus at the University of Chicago, where he founded the Program on International Politics, Economics and Security, and a Spectator contributing writer.

https://thespectator.com/politics/joe-biden-pause-weapons-shipments-israel-misstep/

Body-by-Guinness

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A Delicious Melange:
« Reply #2330 on: May 07, 2024, 11:47:27 AM »
This could be unpacked and posted under several different topics, but as I’m dashing around at semester’s end I’m too lazy to do so. Hence it all gets dropped here:

Politics Post Dobbs; ESG Beats Up Boeing; & EVs in a Death Spiral.

THE PIPELINE
MAY 07, 2024
Enemies of the People: Minouche Shafik


In his Editor’s Column this week, Michael Walsh tackles the present state of abortion politics.

On Abortion, Take the Win and Move On

In Hollywood, there's an unwritten writers' rule that when you've sold the project "in the room," get up and leave before the execs change their minds. Similarly, a good field commander knows that when you've won the local engagement, stop fighting and transfer your energies and forces to another spot on the battlefield where the conflict is still raging. In other words, once the immediate battle has been won, move on to a different front.

With its Dobbs V. Jackson decision in June 2022, the Supreme Court did two things that ought to have appeased the Right: in the matter of abortion, it overturned its Roe v. Wade decision from 1973 and it upheld the constitutional structure of federalism. And yet for some in the Stupid Party, that's not good enough. Which delights the Democrats who, saddled with Joe Biden, are desperately seeking an issue around which to rally their troops this fall.

That Roe was wrongly decided had long been a cardinal belief on the Right, both as a matter of law and of principle; Roe was promulgated during the Warren Burger court, and the gaseous, soft-headed opinion (which built on the "emanations" and "penumbras" cited in Earl Warren court's 1965 decision in Griswold v. Connecticut, which had to do with contraception) was written by the other member of the "Minnesota twins," Harry Blackmun. It was absurd on its face, and it handed a destructive social-policy win to the Left, whose totalitarian impulse is always to nationalize every issue and, literally, make everything a federal case. Having made "states' rights" into a phrase of obloquy by attaching it to even the principled opponents of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, they proceeded to do the same with abortion, pivoting from "abortion advocacy" to "a woman's right to choose" and thus laying the onus on those who opposed baby murder.

Still, there was the matter of the pesky Tenth Amendment, the last of the Bill of Rights, which reads in plain English: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” And nowhere in the constitution was to be found the word "abortion." Accordingly, the practice had been left up to the several states, which could either outlaw it completely or extend it to the moment of birth, as they chose. The Left, however, is never content to live and let die when it can force its desires on the entire body politic, and so the battle was fought for nearly half a century. And then, suddenly, it was won.

A smart political party would celebrate its win and move on. But no: malcontents on the Right… immediately began pushing to severely restrict the practice nationally.

Joan Sammon wrote about one company which has been ravaged by ESG.

Boeing: From Aviation Excellence to ESG Disaster

Since late January much has been discovered about Boeing Corporation in the wake of a near mid-air catastrophe at 16,000 feet when a panel, known as, the left, mid-exit door plug, blew off an Alaska Airlines 737-Max 9 aircraft. The dramatic event has been punctuated by revelations by multiple whistleblowers describing failed quality-control processes, documentation inconsistencies, petty bosses, and an adherence to prescriptive management tactics that flowed from the corporate board and C-suite.

The disastrous list of failures offers a prescient example of how influences from outside a company and even from outside an industry can distract a board and C-suite from its core business and cause irreparable damage. The accounts reveal how the decisions of three decades ago have intersected with the decisions of three years ago, leaving in their wake the death of innocent people, the stench of mediocrity, and a litany of leadership lessons from which other corporate leaders can learn.

In the days following the January door plug blow out, a post appeared on an aviation blog written by an anonymous, purported current employee. The author flatly asserted that four bolts that were supposed to hold the door plug in place were "…not installed when Boeing delivered the plane [to Alaska Airlines], our own records reflect this." The whistleblower further described the Renton, Washington-based 737 production system as a “…rambling, shambling, disaster waiting to happen” -- even asserting specific details about the exact plane that lost the door plug mid-air.

This check job [of the door plug] was completed on 31 August 2023, and did turn up discrepancies, but on the RH [right hand] side door, not the LH [left hand] that actually failed. …it was inevitable something would slip through- and on the incident aircraft something did.

While the account is stunning on its face, it aligns with similar details revealed in a whistleblower lawsuit brought by former Boeing employee John Barnett about the 787 program in South Carolina. Details of that complaint describe a similar fundamental shift away from the two factors that had made the Boeing brand an industry leader -- precision engineering and quality manufacturing. The suit describes a contentious work environment that fostered speed over quality. It describes how managers worked to force out senior employees who remembered the higher standards and Boeing’s brand promise of decades ago.

Barnett ended up dying from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound, after day two of what was supposed to be three days of testimony about what he allegedly knew about the Boeing failures, and what he had done to try to correct or effect the defective manufacturing processes. Barnett's curiously timed death is considered by family, friends and his attorneys to be suspicious.

But for many, the issues revealed by whistleblowers and Boeing clients and their passengers earlier this year are not new. The C-Suite and board’s emphasis on cost-cutting, its inappropriate regulatory relationships, influences by activist organizations regarding ideological themes, and a disregard for safety were revealed during the lead up and in the aftermath of tragedy that in late 2018 and 2019 led to two fatal crashes-- killing a combined 346 people. In those cases, it was the decision by Boeing to use Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, known as MCAS without communicating its existence to airline customers and their pilots, that led to those crashes.

Buck Throckmorton wrote about EV companies entering the death spiral.

EVs Enter the Doom Loop

The irrational exuberance of the electric vehicle bubble is reaching its denouement, as legacy automakers are backing off of their previously ambitious EV sales and production goals, proposed new EV manufacturing plants are being suspended, and lithium battery manufacturing operations are laying off workers.

There is an almost predictable storyline in how these ventures have played out, which is reminiscent of the dot-com bubble of a quarter-century ago, except that the dot-com bubble wasn’t suffused in eco-virtuousness nor did the companies of its era receive such heavy public subsidization before going bust.

The typical boom-to-bust storyline of companies in the EV-era starts with the much-hyped announcement of a “transformational” new manufacturing operation that will be built, bringing hundreds (or thousands) of environmentally responsible jobs, generously funded with federal and state incentive dollars, to produce something that will satisfy the imminent demand for a product (EVs) that actually has no history of consumer demand.

Politicians then proudly pose for photo ops with the enviro-hustlers to whom they are handing out tax dollars. The company also goes public, and despite a lack of profit or meaningful revenue, its stock price soars. As product demand fails to develop, the company continues to produce press releases promising fabulous things to come, which credulous media sources breathlessly republish as news. But the lack of revenue and cash flow ultimately catch up with the company; promised expansions are canceled; the stock price collapses; and the story ends with the promised plant either closing or never getting built in the first place.

Jack Dunphy evaluated the mismanaged response to the protests at UCLA.

On the Violent Left, Eternal Recurrence

Have we learned nothing from the past? It’s not as though we need to explore antiquity for lessons in how to confront today’s issues. While such an exploration would no doubt be helpful, any effort in that direction is beyond – far, far beyond – the stunted intellectual capacities of our current crop of ruling elites, certainly to include our degreed betters running our so-called institutions of higher learning.

But is 2020 so shrouded in the mists of history as to be inaccessible to the people who hold themselves out as arbiters of all that is good and just? Apparently so. Consider: it was a mere four years ago that every major city in America was convulsed in the paroxysms of violence that followed the death of George Floyd. We must, said these lettered sophisticates, allow the oppressed to vent their outrage at the death of one of their own at the hands of state oppressors. To deter them in any way would only deepen their pain. And never mind that our hero of the moment had lived a life of depredation and was found to have consumed a fatal dose of fentanyl. Such trivial details need not dim the luster of the man’s memory.

A result of the ensuing anti-police hysteria, one that was easily foreseeable in nature if not necessarily in its horrifying scale, was that the number of homicides in the U.S. rose by nearly 5,000 from 2019 to 2020, and that nearly 3,400 of these added victims, 68 percent, were black. But there must be martyrs to the cause, after all, and who is to say how many of those 5,000 people wouldn’t willingly have sacrificed themselves in the name of a more just society? Eggs and omelets, right, comrades?

Still, one prays for more wisdom in those we’ve entrusted with authority. For the most part, we pray in vain. Witness the chaos this week on display on college campuses across the country, where we find that the protesters who brought so much death and disorder in 2020 have swapped their BLM T-shirts for kaffiyehs and adopted the Gazans as their Cause of the Season. Same clowns, different circus.

In the small hours of yesterday morning, police officers at last routed the motley rabble of such people who had been occupying the main quad on the campus at UCLA, arresting more than 200 of them and scattering the rest. Left behind were tons of assorted garbage and graffiti covering some of the school’s most iconic buildings.

UCLA administrators had taken a hands-off approach to the encampment for days, this despite the fact that some of the occupiers had taken it upon themselves to limit access to one of the school’s main libraries as final exams were drawing near. A request sent out days earlier to other University of California campuses for additional police officers was withdrawn, leaving the 65-man UCLA P.D. to cope with what was clearly an escalating problem.

Late on Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning, counter-protesters arrived on campus, apparently compelled to action in the absence of legitimate authority. They brawled with the occupiers for hours until a sufficient number of officers from the LAPD, the L.A. Sheriff’s Department, and the California Highway Patrol could be assembled and restore order.

It need not have come to this.

And Tom Finnerty blogged about a Climate Discussion Nexus video examining the environmentalist claims about rising sea levels around the globe.

Are Sea Levels Rising, or Are Cities Sinking?

https://thisweekatthepipeline.substack.com/p/politics-post-dobbs-esg-beats-up?utm_campaign=email-half-post&r=19pel1&utm_source=substack&utm_medium=email


Crafty_Dog

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VDH: The End of Old Left Wing Mythologies
« Reply #2332 on: May 12, 2024, 05:09:58 AM »
The End of Old Left-Wing Mythologies
An eye-opening paradox at play.
May 10, 2024 by Victor Davis Hanson 4 Comments


The current radical and often violent protests on mostly blue-state, supposedly elite campuses have exposed in toxic fashion what the left has become. And yet, in a paradoxical fashion, the campus insanity has offered the nation some moral clarity.

What’s surprising is not that the demonstrators are violent and nihilist, but that they are, on the one hand, so openly and crudely anti-Semitic, racist, and anti-American, and yet on the other hand, so passive-aggressive, narcissistic, and weepy.

Nevertheless, the antics of the campus cry-bullies have exploded myths that were for so long foisted on the American people by politicos and the media.

#1. Anti-Israel/Anti-Semitic: We have been lectured ad nauseam that hating Israel has nothing to do with anti-Semitism. The last month has blown up that old shibboleth for good. The left makes no distinction in their eliminationist chants between Israel and Jews. “Go back to Poland” is a homonym for “From the River to the Sea.” Both are shorthand for eliminating Jews—aside from the explicit threats to kill Jews and occasional praise for Hitler and the Final Solution.

When pro-Hamas thugs chase Jews into libraries, block their entrances on campus, and scream “beat the Jew” as they hit piñatas, they do not first ask Jews whether they support Israel—because they could care less. For the Islamist Middle Easterner on a student visa or green card and his useful American student, it is enough that their targets are Jewish—period.

Remember, the protests started on October 7, not on October 27, when the IDF went into Gaza. At that point, campus and street protests merely changed from euphoric triumphalism on the news that Hamas had slaughtered, decapitated, mutilated, raped, or kidnapped hundreds of Jews (“exhilarated,” a Cornell professor gushed of the carnage), to furor and violence. So after three weeks of celebrating dead Jews, the street protests grew furious only when the IDF finally began fighting back and destroying Hamas, even as its terrorists cowardly hid beneath mosques, hospitals, and schools to ensure enough collateral damage to incite pro-Hamas Western throngs.

#2. Pro-Palestinian/Pro-Hamas: The left also blew up the ancient pretense that being “pro-Palestine” was not “pro-Hamas.” But the campus and street demonstrations now make no distinction between the two. The calls for the destruction of Israel and “death to America” come right out of the Hamas credo. Hamas (and Hezbollah as well) logos and flags are easy to find among the protestors. Interviews with the protesters repeatedly reveal massive support for Hamas, to the extent of staging lessons in hand-to-hand combat.

Polls in the Middle East still show strong Gazan support for their one-election/one-time Hamas autocracy. Apparently, any anger that Gazans bear toward Hamas for destroying the peace on October 7, wrecking their state, and getting civilians killed by using them as human shields is outweighed by the plus side on their ledger of the murder of 1200 Jewish civilians. In other words, the campus protests promote the fascistic, terrorist Hamas clique because of, not despite, its murder of Jewish civilians.

#3. “Elite universities.” The Ivy League, the premier UC campuses, Stanford, MIT, and others that considered themselves coveted brands that guaranteed elites their envisioned lucrative career trajectories are sadly becoming the stuff of jest. Ivy-League identification is in a CNN/Bud Lite/Disney freefall. America is getting a bellyful of mollycoddled students’ hatred of Jews, contempt for cops, janitors, and maintenance workers of the middle class, and the racist drivel they shout at African-American law enforcement. At George Washington University, a faculty member, Zein El-Amine, in racist fashion, smeared visiting African-American congressman Byron Donalds (R-Fl) as an “Uncle Tom,” a “bastard,” and a “race traitor.”

The protesting students, in their interviews with the toadish media, sound ignorant and arrogant. As wannabe Bolsheviks, they destroy property and vandalize classrooms and university facilities. The UCLA campus, like the buildings at Columbia and Portland State, was left a fetid mess after the students were cleared out. But then, as helicoptered children, they expect food delivery and catering to fuel their gluten-free nihilism and hoi polloi to clean up after them. Is the message something like, “As we trash your campus buildings, can you please send in some vegan dishes to fuel our destructiveness?”

The moment students speak to cameras, they become reflections of the ongoing wastage of the universities by political indoctrination of the faculty and DEI admissions that dropped the SAT and ignored the comparative high school GPA ranking. Half the shouting student body could not find the Jordan River on a map, define Transjordan, or know that Jews have been in “Palestine” for two millennia prior to the arrival of nomadic Arab invaders.

Universities quietly accept that most of their current students are not qualified to take the very courses these campuses used to brag as proof of their preeminence.

Such ignorance on elite campuses explains the grade inflation of 60-80 percent A’s, new gut classes, and watered-down existing courses. We are learning that at our “elite” campus, roughly a third of undergraduate and graduate students are full-paying foreign students on student visas. Most immigrants arrive from illiberal regimes with generous state funding and are the tip of the spear, fomenting violence and screaming venom at their hosts. They expect exemption from the consequences of their lawlessness and yet seem to harbor nothing but contempt for the accommodating, naïve leniency of universities.

Still, these foreign students’ trademark is, for all their campus braggadocio, abject fright that they might be expelled, deported, and thus have to return to the very Middle East medievalism they now praise from a safe distance.

Add up these days of embarrassing campus rage and Hamas pawns and fronts, and parents and employers are quietly concluding that elite campuses are becoming sources of mediocrity, not prestige, well apart from the violence and the likelihood that classes and graduations can be cancelled at any moment to appease violent protestors. Good students may increasingly avoid these often disturbing places and forego investing $90,000 a year to ensure their own sons and daughters will return home unrecognizable.

#4. “The Left-wing Democrat Base”: The old idea that Antifa, BLM, the Squad, the Obamas, the green extremists, the radical transgendered, and the Hamas/Hezbollah, anti-Semitic base threatened the Democrat Party has been exposed as a sort of fraud. No major Democrat politicians, Joe Biden, especially, can simply condemn the anti-Semitic violence and hate speech— constituting 99 percent of the protestors’ creed—without citing the mythic danger of Islamophobia, of which there is little sign on these campuses. In other words, Democrats would rather airbrush anti-Semitism with moral equivalence blather than dare suggest the pro-Palestinian movement is anti-Semitic.

So the violence at universities continues because left-wing faculty, left-wing administrators, left-wing mayors and city governments, and left-wing governors in these blue states and cities sympathize with the students. They are beginning to clamp down not because of the venomous and overt Jew hatred but because the media optics are terrible.

Their campuses have been turned into trash dumps, analogous to homeless camps—or much worse, given pampered rich kids battle blue-collar police on the premise that injuring cops won’t earn them any jail time, but more likely a campus cachet.

Democrats are terrified the entire revelatory circus will get Trump reelected. The Democrat Party is the Squad. Biden is the most radical president of the last half-century. He and his associates in the Senate want to replace the elected government of Israel; they favor Iran over the moderate Arab regimes. DEI, ESG, abortion on demand, radical transgenderism, open borders, and reparations have now become mainstream Democratic agendas.

#5. “Immigration is Our Strength”: It always has been, and can be again. But the left has misused immigration, legal and illegal, to create new constituencies that too often identify as victims, arrive with claims against their host, and see little need to quickly assimilate.

So in 2024, America has reached an impasse. Nearly 15 percent of the population was not born in the U.S., perhaps over 50 million residents, illegal aliens, and citizens—a record in both percentages and numbers. But the melting-pot’s task of integrating and assimilating newcomers has been all but disappeared, replaced by tribalism, salad-bowl separatism, and convenient and careerist venom expressed at their hosts.

Most immigrants, legal and illegal, now arrive from anti-American and illiberal regimes in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Upon arrival, too many sense American self-loathing and the left’s Marxist binaries of oppressor/oppressed, and thus find victimhood a convenient entry to the American rat race.

Sometimes the failure of both massive illegal and legal immigration is expressed by illegal aliens critiquing their free hotels and food in New York; sometimes with immigrants in Dearborn, led no less by the “Al-Quds Committee, Detroit” chanting “Death to America”; sometimes by Middle Eastern student and opportunistic activists barricading Jewish students in the library at the Cooper Union and banging on the doors screaming anti-Israel expletives—or yet another international soccer match between the U.S. and Mexico, held in Las Vegas or Los Angeles, disrupted and eventually cancelled due to unruly pro-Mexico fans (either illegal aliens, green-card holders, or U.S. citizens), screaming homophobic taunts at American players, supposedly their fellow citizens or fellow residents.

We are now well beyond the dangers of open borders, ten million illegal aliens arriving since the Biden inauguration, or 100,000 fentanyl deaths facilitated by an open border. There are nearly one million foreign students residing in the US, most of them unvetted. At the most recent violent protests, flag burnings, anti-Semitic rantings, and hate America fests, many Middle East students are at the center, assured their lawbreaking is exempt, and claiming they deserve entry into DEI intersectional victimhood.

We need an immigration timeout. That would mean an end to open borders and illegal immigration, but also a reduction of legal immigration to somewhere around 250,000 diverse, self-supporting, educated, and pro-American immigrants admitted on meritocratic criteria who can be quickly integrated into the U.S. body politic.

Joe Biden recently insulted India and Japan as “xenophobic” and said that “they don’t want immigrants.” Some in those libeled nations retorted that if our chaotic open border, 100,000 fentanyl deaths, two million illegal entries a year, and fifty million recent immigrants are the American exemplars, now expressed with daily illegal immigrant violence and campuses hijacked by Hamas agendas, they want no part of it.

In sum, the disastrous last year of the Biden presidency has ripped off the left’s disingenuous veneer. On matters of the Middle East, most protestors on American soil do not distinguish hating Israel from hating Jews. They are unapologetically pro-Hamas, not just pro-Palestinian but pro-terrorist. And the Democrat Party seems fine with all that.

Americans, thanks to the anti-Semitic takeover of their “elite campuses,” realize these prestige universities are by any fair measure no longer hallowed, but rather dens of mediocrity, spoiled and entitled students and faculty, hatred of Jews, disdain for the working class, and home to thousands of racist, foreign students who despise the United States, but not to the degree of returning to their own homelands.

As for the new Democrat Party, it cannot simply condemn anti-Semitism without its wishy-washy tic of citing both-sides “Islamophobia.” In truth, its racial obsessions have now reached full fruition with endemic anti-Semitism, the ultimate expression of a racist DEI industry that sought victimhood and thus found it could spew hatred with impunity.

Finally, the Biden administration has destroyed all support for open borders by welcoming in ten million illegal aliens, shrugging off 100,000 American deaths from imported Mexican fentanyl, and hosting thousands of anti-Semitic, racist Middle East students.

The one-eyed Jack American Left has been flipped over, and what turned up proved frightening.

Reader Interactions

Body-by-Guinness

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VDH Catalogs Biden's Failings
« Reply #2333 on: May 14, 2024, 08:55:36 AM »
A VDH Twitter post:

@vdHanson:
Has America Finally Had It With Joe Biden?

Joe Biden’s personal approval rating is at historic lows; almost all his policies do not poll fifty percent. He is behind Trump in almost all the swing states. And now he lies serially even to sympathetic interviewers. In short, finally Biden has been exposed for what he always was and represented.
Senator and Vice President Joe Biden was always sort of a buffoon. He is by nature a grandstander who handsomely profited from his office while posing as good ole Joe from Scranton.

He is a blowhard meddler, one who proverbially has been “wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades (Robert Gates),” from dissenting on the Bin Laden raid to his trisection of Iraq scheme.

He is a fabulist who believes that the more animated he misleads and slurs (“semi-fascists” “fat”, “lying dog-faced pony soldier”, “chumps”, “dregs of society”, etc), the more likely he is to get away with it. He is a confessed plagiarist. And he has also invented much of his biography, from would be star, college-scholarship athlete and brilliant law student to semi-truck driver and jailed civil rights activist. His uncle, we are instructed, was eaten by cannibals. Joe assures us that he was the first in his family to go to college.

And he is a racist with a repertory of racial taunts and smears unrivaled among modern politicians (“junkie”, “boy”, “you ain’t black”, “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy”, “put y’all back in chains”, the Corn Pop and golden-leg hairs sagas, the “racial jungle” memes, the strange brag about Delaware as a “slave state” (e.g., "You don't know my state. My state was a slave state. My state is a border state.”), and his encomia for the old Democratic racists of the Senate from former Klansman Robert Byrd (Biden’s self-described “mentor” and “guide”) to segregationist James Eastland (“never called me boy”).

Biden has always had a mean streak that explains why for years he lied about the tragic, fatal auto accident of his first wife and child, using it to libel the truck driver, who was neither drunk nor culpable but smeared publicly for years by Biden as intoxicated and guilty. For years he ignored the pleas of the trucker’s family to please stop libeling an innocent driver.

Biden just told his greatest whopper that inflation was at 9 percent (actually 1.4 percent) when he took office and yet soon spiked to 9 percent due to his reckless deficit spending and money printing spree.

But recently Biden has reached a nadir and even the Left is resigned to him as a mere construct. After bragging after October 7 that his support for Israel was rock-solid he is now cutting off military aid as it attempts finally to end the Hamas murderous threat—a reversion to old Joe Biden who in his long past has previously threatened to cut off Israel while boasting later that anyone who did so was reprehensible. (Leveraging congressional mandated aid for political advantage is precisely the (false) allegation of politicking that the Democrats demagogued to impeach Trump—to the then cheers of Biden himself).

But his sell out of Israel is but a small tessera in his election pandering mosaic. He will again begin drawing down the strategic petroleum reserve to lower gas prices during the campaign. He has badgered Ukraine not to hit Russian oil facilities. He has illegally forgiven billions in student loan aid to regain the elite youth vote. And as the campaign season begins, so too Biden suddenly poses as a border enforcer—after letting in nearly 10-million illegal aliens.

Biden has always put the agendas of his own and his family above the national interest. We witnessed that when he bragged that he fired the Ukrainian prosecutor looking into his son’s Burisma skullduggery. The Biden consortium is corrupt and was enriched with over $25 million through foreign interests’ assurance that Senator and Vice President Joe Biden would deliver on their quid pro quo investments in him.

Any other major politician who habitually invaded the private space of women and preteens to blow on their hair, gobble their necks, squeeze and hug far too long, and be accused of sexual assault would have long since been cancelled by the left.

Add the old disturbing narrative of a naked Vice President Joe Biden exiting his pool in front of female secret service agents, the showering with his pre-teen daughter, the Frank Biden and Hunter naked selfies, and there seems something eerie among the Biden family.
Despite fierce denials, the entire lawfare scheme directed at Trump originated with the White House. Biden was always said to have been exasperated with Merrick Garland for not hastily enough going after Trump.

The misadventurous Georgia prosecutor Nathan Wade met with and was tutored by the White House counsel’s office. One of the top Biden DOJ prosecutors was dispatched to rescue the bungling Alvin Bragg farce.

Jack Smith, appointed by the Biden DOJ to go after Biden’s 2024 presidential rival, timed his indictments to coincide with the campaign season, even as Smith’s office mishandled classified files taken at Mar-a-Lago to bolster its prosecution—and then lied about it.

Hard-won American deterrence was destroyed by the humiliation in Afghanistan and the lies surrounding the disaster, the Chinese balloon flight and the misinformation about it, the wars in Ukraine, Gaza, and on the Red Sea, and the accompanying disinformation from the White House.
Such recklessness abroad is the bookend to the home front where massive borrowing, the destruction of the border, crippling inflation, spiraling crime, and the epidemic of “progressive” anti-Semitism on campuses have made American almost unrecognizable.

Again, at the heart of this Biden catastrophe is the Faustian bargain of 2020 when unelectable leftist candidates dropped out in unison to use a fumbling Biden as their more presentable veneer. So he was foisted upon the nation to serve as “moderate” cover to advance a radical, veritable Obama third-term. In that sense, his duties were ceremonial—as the hard-left channeled through him the most radical agenda in U.S. history, and found his debility and dementia advantageous—the country be damned.

If Biden makes it to and through the convention, he and his record remain indefensible. And so expect his campaign largely to be waged through lawfare against Trump, and massive infusions of leftist cash to ensure record mail-in and early voting. In the campaign Biden will become an afterthought, a ghost, vapor, as his party seeks to construct the entire election one of leftwing, blue-city prosecutors, judges, and juries versus serial defendant Trump.
But will Nemesis first catch up to Biden’s long record of hubris and dishonesty?

Body-by-Guinness

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Goin' Down w/ Old Yeller
« Reply #2334 on: May 23, 2024, 11:02:44 AM »
As always, VDH surveys the landscape, connects the dots, and then lets fly with impeccable accuracy. Of his Twitter page:

@VDHanson
Will Biden Take Us Down With Him?

Biden’s handlers thought it was a sly Machiavellian move to coordinate local, state, and federal prosecutors to wear down Trump, bankrupt him, destroy him mentally and physically, and brand him as a criminal felon—through a long winter, spring, summer, and fall of lawfare of the sort never witnessed in America before.

But the latest Michael Cohen iteration—Liar, Crook, Spy, Grifter, and now Thief—along with Judge Merchan’s one-sided, adolescent pouts, have blown up Alvin Bragg’s circus—even if the biased judge warps the proceedings and a slanted jury were to nullify the evidence and convict Trump.

The judges—Lewis Kaplan (Carroll case), Arthur Engoron (James), and now, the most touchy, and prejudicial of the three, Juan Merchan (Bragg)— have proved so imprisoned by their Trump animus, so ideologically transparent, so intent on ignoring even the pretense of applying the law equally to all parties, that they have lost the American people. Ditto Fani Willis.
The nation is daily becoming more embarrassed—and angry over— how the world’s once finest example of jurisprudence has been reduced to the status of the Soviet show trials.
And for what? To ensure that the supposedly Satanic Trump not be voted into office by the voters through the machinations of lawyers?

The prosecutors, the judges—and the White House—do not realize what they have unleashed, a growing repugnance for the Left, spreading now across class, race and gender lines. Sometimes it is manifested in polls showing overwhelming support for Israel, and disdain for the pro-Hamas protests; sometimes in clear disapproval of the show trials; sometimes in Biden’s plummeting approval ratings  (36% in the latest poll); sometimes in the paranoia and panic that Biden may do to his party what McGovern in 1972 and Carter in 1980 accomplished.

When these ritual trials are over, the country won’t revert to square one. But instead, Americans will be permanently distrustful of their courts. In cynical fashion, they will never again quite believe the once American hallowed idea of blind justice and equality under the law. And we will forever remember who did all this to the country.

Biden’s Morehouse speech was one of the most bizarre graduation embarrassments in memory. It was more than just hateful and divisive, given it was anti-American to the core. In Biden’s demagoguery, 2024 black America must try “ten times harder” to excel than a hateful white America—now in the sixth decade eighth decade of affirmative action and the second decade of woke reparatory hiring and admissions.
Biden, heretofore infamous for compiling the most extensive corpus of racist drivel of any modern politician, screamed to a hard-working cohort of graduates that their country was racist, hopelessly flawed, and deserving of the smears he so insidiously leveled. Why even try after all that?

His graduation address was reminiscent of his prior creepy, red-twilight Phantom-of-the Opera “semi-fascist/Ultra-Maga” rant, and the SOTU shout-fest. In these diatribes and others, a hyped Biden screamed, slurred his words, grimaced, growled, and grumbled his way through smear after slur—presenting a challenge even for the Orwellian transcribers who sought to recreate what Biden should have said rather than what he actually said.

When Old Yeller shouted to the NAACP audience, he proved beyond comprehension requiring the transcribers to change at least nine incomprehensible shouts. (Note that the White House clerks edit the transcriptions to erase the blabbering—but not the lies, given there is assumed value in Biden repeating ad nauseam that he inherited 9 percent inflation.)
Meanwhile, Biden is reigning over a general, self-induced societal collapse. Anti-Semitism has been exposed as a campus religion, more so the more expensive, private, and supposedly elite the university. The DEI commissariat is transparently racist, anti-white, anti-Semitic, and keen to destroy meritocracy.

The Left blew up the notion of a magnanimous America welcoming in the best and brightest foreign students from across the globe, eager to receive unmatched education and exposure to a civilization guided by the Bill of Rights. Instead it has created campus enclaves of hatred, magnets for tens of thousands of guest students who are unabashedly pro-terrorist, pro-Hamas, pro-Hezbollah, anti-Jewish— interpreting the hospitality of their hosts as Western decadence to be mocked on the assurance that in our decline we have no values, no honor worth defending.

The radical foreign student presence on our campus is merely the elite bookend to a nonexistent southern border, through which 10 million unknowns have swarmed across, without audit, but with the correct assurance that Biden and the Left welcome them as useful constituents.

Biden inherited a calm world, and in less than four years it is on the brink of an existential end in Ukraine, a new war in the Middle East in which the Israeli homeland is now the target of Iranian missiles.
Biden apparently believes Iranian autocracy is more attuned to his values than democratic Israel, given he is doing far more to destroy the elected Israeli government than the dictatorship in Iran. China rightly feels that it can send with impunity a spy ballon across the continental U.S., send thousands of its young male citizens illegally across an American open border, and send poison fentanyl to cartels to partner in killing 100,000 Americans a year.

The only mystery?

Was all this historic chaos a dividend of a debilitated, calcified president or due to some destructive cunning and desire to end the country as we once knew it?


Body-by-Guinness

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With All the Strength of My Soul …
« Reply #2335 on: May 25, 2024, 10:15:02 AM »
This post, taken from the page of someone I follow, will leave a mark.

Dina Rubina, the Israeli author, was invited to a conference in the U.K., but asked to clarify her position in advance regarding the situation in Gaza:

"On October 7, Saturday, the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah, the ruthless, well-trained, well-prepared and well-equipped Hamas t*rrorist regime of Iran, Hamas, which rules in the Gaza enclave (which Israel left around twenty years ago), attacked dozens of peaceful kibbutzim, and bombarded my country with tens of thousands of rockets. 

Hamas has committed atrocities that even the Bible cannot describe, atrocities that rival the crimes of Sodom and Gomorrah. Atrocities filmed by the way, by GoPro cameras, the m*rderers having taken the horror to the point of sending the images to their families or on social networks in real time. 

For hours, thousands of happy, blood-drunk beasts r*ped women, children and men, sh*oting their victims in the crotch and heads, cutting off the women's breasts and playing football with them, c*tting off the babies from the wombs of pregnant women and immediately decapitating them, tying up and burning the small children.
There were so many charred bodies that, for many weeks, forensic pathologists could not cope with the enormous workload of identifying individuals. 

A friend of mine, who worked in the emergency room of a New York hospital for 20 years, then in Israel for 15 years, was one of the first to arrive in the kibbutzim, as part of a team of rescuers and of doctors.  She still hasn't been able to sleep since.
While she is an emergency specialist, accustomed to dissected bodies and corpses, she fainted when she saw the macabre sight and vomited all the way back in the car.
\
Among the Hamas militants, Palestinian civilians rushed in, participating in pogroms of unprecedented scale, pillaging, killing, dragging everything they could get their hands on. 

Among these "Palestinian civilians" were 450 members of this highly regarded organization UNRWA (United Nations Relief Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East). 

Judging by the utter joy of the population (also captured by thousands of mobile cameras), Hamas is supported by almost the entire population of Gaza.

But the essential is there for us:  More than two hundred Israelis, including women, children, the elderly and foreign workers, were dragged into the beast's den. 
A hundred of them are still rotting and d*ing in Hamas dungeons. It goes without saying that these victims, who continue to be mocked, are of little concern to the “academic community”. 

But that's not what I'm talking about right now. I am not writing this so that anyone will sympathize with the tragedy of my people. 
During all these years, while the international community has literally poured hundreds of millions of dollars into this piece of land (the Gaza Strip) - and UNRWA's annual budget alone is equivalent to a BILLION dollars! - During all these years, Hamas used this money to build an empire with a complex system of underground tunnels, stockpile weapons, teach schoolchildren from primary school to disassemble and assemble a Kalashnikov assault rifle, print textbooks in which hatred of Israel is indescribable, in which even math problems look like this: "There were ten Jews, the shahid killed four, how many are left?...", calling for the murder of Jews with every word. 

And now, when, finally shocked by the monstrous crime of these bastards, Israel is waging a war of annihilation against the Hamas t*rrorists, who so carefully prepared this war, who placed thousands of shells in all the hospitals, the schools, kindergartens... - this is where academia around the world is on the defensive, concerned about the "genocide of the Palestinian people" - based, of course, on data provided by... . Who ?

The academic community, which was not concerned about the massacres in Syria, nor the massacre in Somalia, nor the mistreatment inflicted on the Uighurs, nor the millions of Kurds persecuted by the Turkish regime for decades, this very worried community, which wears "arafatkas" - the trademark of m*rderers - around their necks and rallies under the slogan "Liberate Palestine from the river to the sea", which means the total destruction of Israel (and Israelis). "academics", as polls show, have no idea where this river is, what it is called, where certain borders are located.  And it is this same public which asks me "to express a position clear on the issue. 
Are you really serious? 

As you know, I have been a professional writer for over fifty years. My novels have been translated into forty languages, including Albanian, Turkish, Chinese, Esperanto... and many more. 

Now, with great pleasure, without choosing my expressions too much, I sincerely and with all the strength of my soul send to all the brainless "intellectuals" who are interested in my position to go fuck themselves. 

Dina Rubina

https://x.com/lelemSLP/status/1794007676759708106
« Last Edit: May 25, 2024, 10:18:46 AM by Body-by-Guinness »

ccp

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where is the film that shows the atrocities?
« Reply #2336 on: May 25, 2024, 11:35:34 AM »
I have never been able to find that movie played in NY that shows the horrors committed.
Marc Levin I thought stated he has it on his site.

But I cannot find it anywhere.
Anyone know where to find it if available?


Crafty_Dog

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Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces
« Reply #2337 on: May 25, 2024, 04:38:54 PM »
And let's snatch and save it for ourselves if and when we do find it!

Body-by-Guinness

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The Politics of Meaning
« Reply #2338 on: May 28, 2024, 03:38:02 PM »
I find this post interesting. Not only is there a lot of gamesmanship (‘scuse me “Progressives,” gamesfeatherlessbipedofallpossibleclaimedgendersship) but often it seems there is a race to be the first to assign a negative connotation to a meaning. Strikes me that this might rise to the level of being inducted into the fallacy of argument hall of fame:

Our Strange Politics of Meaning Assignment
The Volokh Conspiracy / by Orin S. Kerr / May 27, 2024 at 9:40 PM
[A thought.]

Recent stories about flags at the residence and vacation home of Justice Alito and his family remind me of something broader I'd been meaning to blog about: It's depressing, in our era of polarized politics, how much political attention focuses on interpreting the meaning of phrases and symbols that the other side uses.

The Alito flags raise one recent example, but I see this as a recurring dynamic. What does "from the river to the sea" mean? What is "critical race theory"? What does "all lives matter" mean? A surprising amount of politics ends up being channeled through contested meanings of used phrases and symbols.

I'm sure there's an academic phrase that already describes this.  But in the absence of knowing it, I will call this the strange politics of meaning assignment.  Here's the idea.  In a polarized political environment with little communication between the two sides, you can easily rile up your side by providing an uncharitable interpretation to the other side's symbols or phrases. This is what that means, you announce. Now you can see the real them. Finally, they are saying the quiet part out loud. This is who they are.

Sometimes that assigned meaning is correct, and being uncharitable is just being accurate.  In that case, fair enough. But, often enough to matter, meaning might be contested. A particular symbol or phrase may have different meanings to different people.  A particular use may be innocuous or in a context where the meaning is uncertain.  In that setting, assignment of meaning can cause a lot of trouble.  It can effectively create a meaning that isn't what those who use that symbol or phrase mean.

I have no personal knowledge of what particular flags mean, so I have no idea to what extent the Alito flag stories reflect this dynamic.  But it seems to me that a lot of attention in our politics raises this concern. A phrase or symbol is noted; someone on the other side will declare that this is what it means; and off the two sides go, with completely different understandings of the facts because they have assigned different meanings to symbols or phrases.

None of this is to doubt that there are real differences in political opinions, or that some symbols and phrases are profoundly disturbing.  But I wonder if something is lost when we focus on the symbols and phrases rather than try to address the underlying disagreements directly.

https://reason.com/volokh/2024/05/27/our-strange-politics-of-meaning-assignment/

Body-by-Guinness

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How Often Do They Have To Be Wrong Before We Ignore Them?
« Reply #2339 on: May 28, 2024, 05:25:25 PM »
2nd post. LawDog is a well regarded former LEO, publisher, and to my mind something of a renaissance man. To his list of abject doomstruck prophecy failures I’d add “peak oil,” “silent spring,” and of course everything associated with the Church of Anthropomorphic Climate Apocalypse:

BECAUSE WE’RE HERE, LAD
26 MAY 2024 LAWDOG 11 COMMENTS
In the classic 1964 film ‘Zulu’, there is a quietly moving scene where a junior soldier, realizing what is coming for them, plaintively asks, “Why is it us? Why us?”

Colour-Sergeant Bourne, ever-stoic, simply replies: “Because we’re here, lad. Nobody else. Just us.”

Rita is fond of quoting one of my own aphorisms back at me:
“Things never turn out as good as the optimists hope, nor as bad as the pessimists say.”

These two quotes are oft on my mind these days.

I tire of the doomsayers; of the “black-pilled” “prophets” who have been wrong at every historical and political turn in my lifetime, yet whom do not allow their past total abject failures at soothsaying deter them from once more forecasting of  Doom! And Gloom!

“Worst economy EVAH!” Well, it’s not good, but does no-one else remember stagflation in the 1970s?

“Worst political climate EVAH!” Not happy about it, but the America of the 1860s would like to have a word.

“World turmoil!” Yeah, that’s what the world does. Anyone else remember those decades where we were all going to die in atomic hellfire, with the few survivors being chased through a nuclear winter by mutant cockroaches the size of Volkswagen Beetles?

“Waaa-aaar!” I was raised in Africa. I have yet to see a decade, hell, a year, in which the Red Horseman isn’t plying his trade on at least one continent somewhere. I was a soldier during the era of Ronald Reagan, whose brash braggadocio and jingoistic rhetoric were “sure to start World War 3”; and I understood — and accepted — that my fate was to be a speed-bump, to die slowing down Soviet tank columns long enough to allow the Abrams crews to wake up.

Yet … here we are.

Remember the folks who wrote giant walls of text about how aeroplanes were going to fall out of the sky, cities would go dark, and the Internet crash, leaving all of us at the mercy of warlords ruling a post-Y2K apocalypse? Does anyone actually remember Y2K these days?

Remember That Guy who talked your ear off about how Carter, err — Clinton, err — Obama was going to declare martial law so he could stay in office after his mandated terms were up? (Insert Reagan, Bush, Bush, Trump for the other side of politics.) And — so far — wrong every time.

And probably the same guy who has a quick-draw dissertation on how — via some United Nations shenanigans and a convenient spouse or family member — the same aim would be achieved. And how many decades has that one come up wrong?

Sigh.

Are things great?

Oh, I didn’t say that. Politicians are lying, self-serving bags of o-rings, morally bankrupt; and greedy beyond any fevered dream of Mammon could have hoped for.

But … is anyone actually surprised by this?

The media are hypocrites, who dissemble with pious expressions or noble brow, all the while shrouded in cloaks of sanctimony and mendacity; safe and happy in the knowledge that they will never be held to any sort of account for their lies, perfidies, and libels.

No, you don’t hate journalists enough. You think you do, but you don’t.

Again, though:  Is anyone actually surprised that the Legacy Media has returned to their roots with William Randolph Hearst and Yellow Journalism? Were they ever actually that noble, or are we looking back through rose-coloured lenses at a carefully-curated image?

I realize that the afore-mentioned media has a vested financial and political interest in keeping the very worst of news up under your hat with you; that their profit margins require that they keep smacking us in the face in a 24-hour cycle of doom, gloom, and despair …

… But we don’t have to listen. We don’t have to watch.

I understand that social media has a vested financial and political interest in bringing the absolute worst that we as a species do on the regular as a barrage into our phones, and computers, and homes …

… But we don’t have to access social media.

Are things right now as good as the optimists claim? Hell, no. Are things as bad as the pessimists are dooming about? Also, hell, no.

Is it comfortable, nay, reassuring to be alive during this time? No. God, no.

But we’re here. Nobody else. Just us. And we can weather Teh Stupid that pretty much is the Sum Total of Human Existence (just writ large on Social Media and a 24-hour news cycle) with calm, confidence in our neighbors, and honest preparedness …

… Or we can run around with our hair on fire, listening to every kook who hasn’t been correct since Christ was a corporal, spewing panic, and just generally making things worse (as well as looking like a complete oik, historically)*.

I know which path I’m going to take. I invite you to take the same one.

LawDog

*Having seen how fast the average person panicked during the Recent Covid Unpleasantness™, I have my doubts, but I’m trying to  not to be a doomer here. Give me a break.

https://thelawdogfiles.com/2024/05/because-were-here-lad.html?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=because-were-here-lad

DougMacG

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Re: The Politics of Meaning
« Reply #2340 on: May 28, 2024, 06:03:23 PM »
Thanks BBG. This resonates with me. They say, politics of meaning. I've been saying, they're stealing our language. Good to see someone on it.

We are such sheep as a people to keep following these people with their nonsense terminology. Good examples in the article. Others: Affordable housing is anything but.  Affordable Care also means subsidies. 'Smart planning', really? Pro-choice means kill someone, but make kids go to the same bad schools?

Gay means happy and rainbow is a real thing, not a symbol.

A flag flying upside down means his wife was in distress, nothing to do with being a traitor.

Election stolen is an opinion, and you can have a different one, but it isn't something "falsely claimed unless you personally tracked every vote  and every tabulation.

And on it goes. Why are they always calling the shots?

Body-by-Guinness

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Re: The Politics of Meaning
« Reply #2341 on: May 28, 2024, 06:50:45 PM »
Thanks BBG. This resonates with me. They say, politics of meaning. I've been saying, they're stealing our language. Good to see someone on it.

We are such sheep as a people to keep following these people with their nonsense terminology. Good examples in the article. Others: Affordable housing is anything but.  Affordable Care also means subsidies. 'Smart planning', really? Pro-choice means kill someone, but make kids go to the same bad schools?

Gay means happy and rainbow is a real thing, not a symbol.

A flag flying upside down means his wife was in distress, nothing to do with being a traitor.

Election stolen is an opinion, and you can have a different one, but it isn't something "falsely claimed unless you personally tracked every vote  and every tabulation.

And on it goes. Why are they always calling the shots?

Every time I hear the term “inflation reduction act” I want to box the ears of the fool emitting it….

DougMacG

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Re: The Politics of Meaning
« Reply #2342 on: May 29, 2024, 07:33:52 AM »

Every time I hear the term “inflation reduction act” I want to box the ears of the fool emitting it….

RIGHT, perfect example!  The "Inflation Reduction Act" was a multi-trillion dollar spending bill - right while excess spending IS the problem.

Republicans had their own dark years.  Going back to the 70s, President Nixon had the "Price Wage Freeze" and Gerald Ford had buttons that said "Whip Inflation Now".  These were borne out of economic ignorance and are embarrassments of history and of past 'Republican' failure.  But out of that came Reagan and a grow-the-economy and empower-the-people mindset. 

With today's Leftist crowd, starting with candidate Barack Obama's answer to Charlie Gibson that it doesn't matter that raising capital gains tax rates brings in no new revenue, it isn't about ignorance.  It's about deception.

By now they know, the war on poverty is keeping people poor.  The open border is destroying our cities and our country.  Runaway spending is destroying our dollar.  The tax system, especially if Biden's new plan becomes reality, is destroying wealth.  They know pipelines are the safest way to move oil and gas, yet cancel them.  The know nuclear is the safest, cleanest source of 'round the clock energy.  They know American weakness doesn't prevent war.  They even know abortion isn't a constitutional right.  It's a matter that couldn't have been more specifically left to the states to decide, long before Roe or Dobbs.

How could they not know?

Yet onward they march with an angry, destructive, deceptive agenda, and most of their followers keep following...
« Last Edit: May 29, 2024, 07:36:48 AM by DougMacG »


Crafty_Dog

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After the Republic
« Reply #2344 on: June 01, 2024, 04:51:04 AM »

Crafty_Dog

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VDH: The Destructive Generation
« Reply #2345 on: June 08, 2024, 06:19:59 PM »
https://victorhanson.com/the-destructive-generation-proving-americas-weakest-link/The Destructive Generation—Proving America’s Weakest Link
89 Comments / June 3, 2024
Victor Davis Hanson
American Greatness

Governor Ronald Reagan, in his 1967 inaugural address, famously remarked, “Freedom is a fragile thing and it’s never more than one generation away from extinction.”

Reagan today might have expanded on his theme by declaring that civilization itself is both fragile and can lost by a generation that recklessly spends its inheritance while neither appreciating nor replenishing it—if not ridiculing those who sacrificed so much to provide it.

Such is the noxious epitaph of the Baby Boomer generation that is now passing after a half-century of preeminence and whose Jacobin agendas have nearly wrecked the nation they inherited.

In contrast to them, eighty years ago this week, the Allied powers of World War II—chiefly the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada—landed on five Normandy beaches to begin what Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, supreme commander of the Allied expeditionary forces, would call the great “crusade” to liberate Western Europe from four years of brutal Nazi occupation.

The plan was to land within a few hours and in stormy weather well over 150,000 Americans, British, and Canadians on the Atlantic Coast beaches of France, where they were to charge directly into the fire of tens of thousands of enemy troops. They were to charge uphill in the sand while being fired upon by entrenched German troops occupying the hills above. From there, the beachhead was to serve as the launching pad for two million more troops, who were to somehow drive eastward through France and into Germany to end the war and the devastation the Third Reich had inflicted on the world.

All that was accomplished in the ensuing 11 months. That can-do American generation assumed that impoverished teenagers emerging from the Great Depression, with equipment often inferior to their seasoned German enemies, would, over the ensuing months, surely prove able to route Waffen SS veterans. Many of them were hastily transferred from the murderous Eastern Front, such as the nihilist 2nd SS Panzer Division das Reich (“The Empire”). No matter, the Americans did the impossible in less than a year—from the Normandy beaches to well across the Rhine River.

That same generation went on to save South Korea, build an anti-totalitarian world order, defeat Soviet communism, and pass on to the Baby Boomer generation the strongest economy, military, and political system in history, or, to paraphrase the poet Horace, “monuments more lasting than bronze.” Or so we, the inheritors, thought.

And what are the now septuagenarian and octogenarian children of the veterans of Omaha Beach and Iwo Jima, leaving as their own legacy?

The self-infatuated and do-your-own-thing generation that gave us the Sixties and the counterculture has left the country $36 trillion in debt, now borrowing $1 trillion nearly every three months. Worse, there is not just no plan to balance budgets, much less to reduce the debt, but also no intention to stop or even worry about the borrowing of some $10 billion a day.

The U.S. military is almost unrecognizable to that of just a few decades ago. It was humiliated in Kabul. In surrealistic fashion, it abandoned some $50 billion in lethal weaponry to the Taliban—along with our NATO allies, American contractors, and loyal Afghans. And our supreme command labeled that rout a brilliant retreat. Meanwhile, the military suffers from depleted inventory of key munitions while being short 45,000 annual recruits.

The Pentagon is torn by internal dissension over DEI, woke, anti-meritocratic promotions, and a politicized officer class—well, apart from now also being outmanned and outgunned by the Chinese. Many of the world’s key maritime corridors—the Red Sea, the Straits of Hormuz, the Black Sea, and the South China sea—are apparently beyond our navy’s ability to ensure the world safe transit.

For perceived cheap political advantage, the Baby Boomers destroyed the southern border, most recently allowing in nearly 10 million unaudited illegal aliens. With the disappearance of our national sovereignty, so too was lost the once-cherished idea of a melting pot of legal immigrants arriving in America longing to assimilate, to integrate in self-reliant fashion, and to show gratitude for the chance of something far better than what they left.

The country’s major cities are increasingly medieval, with a million homeless camped on fetid streets. Criminals terrorize the law-abiding. They assume their violence will be contextualized away by vacuous “critical legal” or “critical race” or “critical penal” theories. This generation releases violent felons to prey on the weak and sheds hardly a tear as police officers are shot unnoticed at the rate of nearly one a day.

America’s once great universities—such as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, and MIT—are now into their fourth year of abolishing much of their prior standards. The youth who sought to wreck them from the outside in the 1960s now succeed in finishing the job as elders on the inside. These bankrupt campuses now adjudicate admissions and hiring by race, tribe and gender and then wonder why their students are entitled, ignorant, and arrogant yet unable to meet the very standards that the universities once insisted were critical to ensuring their preeminence.

Worse, the more elite the campuses, the more they became hotbeds of unapologetic anti-Semitism, gratuitous violence, and hatred for the country’s very institutions that guarantee their own freedom of action and speech. Who taught them and allowed them to think that as they illegally occupied buildings, defaced and defiled monuments, and shouted Jew hatred, they were absurdly entitled to free food deliveries and amnesties?

A rapacious higher education welcomed in profitable anti-American students and billions of dollars in hostile foreign cash from those who mock the laws of their host and feel a covetous America can be bought for 10 cents on the dollar. And as we learned after October 7, they were mostly correct.

Abroad, our nomenklatura opportunistically demonizes a democratic Israel trying to fight a terrorist Hamas that slaughtered 1,200 mostly unarmed citizens at a time of peace in the most grotesque fashion of the 21st century.

Yet our elite cannot distinguish killers from our democratic allies. Hamas deliberately drafted their own citizens to serve as shields to protect the terrorists safely ensconced in the tunnels below—on the sick assurance that Israel would surely try to avoid killing civilian shields whom the cynical Hamas apparat deliberately exposed to protect itself.

America hectors its most loyal ally in a way it does not its chief enemies, communist China and theocratic Iran. Not content with hiding its role in birthing the gain-in-function COVID-19 virus, now with impunity China helps kill 100,000 Americans a year through the export of fentanyl. It sends nearly 30,000 adult males into the US illegally. It relies on the espionage abilities of its students and visitors —and apparently exempt spy balloons—to ensure the People’s Liberation Army’s technological parity with the U.S.

But the greatest baleful legacy of this fading generation is the weaponization of the government against its own perceived American citizen enemies. That bastardization of institutions extends now to the very destruction of the once-hallowed tradition of American jurisprudence.

The degeneration was not just that our government and its political ancillaries cooked up the Russian collusion hoax that warped the 2016 campaign and crippled a presidency—but that, to this day, its unapologetic architects remain smug that they pulled it off and would do it again.

Ditto the efforts of “intelligence authorities” to delude the American people about “Russian disinformation” and the Hunter Biden laptop. The Sixties generation’s new normal is to impeach a president twice, to try him as a private citizen, and to seek to remove him from state ballots.

All that was now characteristic of a generation that learned in the 1960s that if it did not get its way, it would wreck what it could not control. So, it was logical that it sought to pack the court, to end the filibuster, to destroy the Electoral College—and to corrupt the law to achieve political ends. Or as the Sixties generation taught us, “by any means necessary”—an arrogant affirmation of Machiavelli’s dictum that “the ends justify the means.”

Now we are left with a final toxic gift from this generation: the destruction of jurisprudence, a system designed not to easily protect the popular and admired but those often pilloried in the public square, the unorthodox, eccentric, and unliked.

Even Trump’s antagonists know that had Donald Trump been a man of the left, or had he not run again for president, he would never have been charged, much less convicted, of felonies or been punished with nearly a half-billion dollars in legal fees and fines.

We all accept that the charges brought against him by a vindictive and left-wing Letitia James, Alvin Bragg, Fani Willis and Jack Smith—all compromised by either past politicized prosecutorial failures or boasts of getting Trump—have never before been brought against any prior political figure or indeed any average citizen. They were instead invented to target a single political enemy. So what hallowed law, what constitutional norm, what ancient custom, or what Bill or Rights has the fading left not destroyed in order to erase Donald Trump from the political scene?

There is now no distinction between state and federal law. Once a prosecutor targets an enemy, he can flip back and forth between such statutes to find the necessary legal gimmick to destroy his target.

Statutes of limitations are no more as errant prosecutors and political operatives in the legislature can change laws to dredge up supposed crimes of years past, to destroy their political enemies, by employing veritable bills of attainder.

The very notion of an exculpatory hung jury depends on who is to be hung.

Judges can overtly contribute to the political opponents of the accused before them. Their children can profit in the tens of millions by selling to politicos their relationship to the very judge who holds the fate of their political opponents in his hands.

In sum, the First Amendment guaranteeing the right of the defendant to free speech is now not applicable. Asymmetrical gag orders are.

The Fourth Amendment is now torn to shreds by those who boast of “saving democracy.” When the FBI, on orders from a hostile administration, storms into the home of the leading presidential candidate and ex-president’s home, armed to the teeth, treats a civil dispute as a violent felony, and then doctors the evidence it finds, then constitutional insurance against “unreasonable searches and seizures” becomes a bitter joke for generations.

The Fifth Amendment’s protection that no person “shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law” has been destroyed when an ex-president cannot summon expert legal witnesses to testify on his behalf and when he cannot bring in evidence that contradicts his accusers. There is no due process when one ex-president is indicted for the very crimes his exempted successor has committed.

The Sixth Amendment’s various assurances are now kaput. No one believes that Trump was tried “by an impartial jury of the State”—not when prosecutors deliberately indicted him in a city where 85 percent of the population voted against him and are by design of a different political party.

No longer will an American have the innate right “to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor” when Donald Trump was never informed by prosecutor Alvin Bragg of the felony for which he was charged, with little advance idea of all the hostile prosecutorial witnesses to be called, and with no right to call in experts to refute the prosecution’s bizarre notion of campaign finance violations.

The Seventh Amendment is likewise now on the ash heap of history. The publicity-seeking judge Arthur Engoron, a political antagonist of Trump, warped the law in order to serve as judge, jury, and executioner of Trump’s fate, without recourse to a jury of even his biased New York peers.

The Eighth Amendment will offer assurance no longer to the American people that “excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

Donald Trump was fined $83.3 million in the E. Jean Carroll case for an alleged assault of three decades past, brought by partisan manipulative waving of the statute of limitations, with the politicized accuser having no idea of the year the assault took place, with her accusations arising only decades later when Trump became a political candidate, with her own employers insisting she was fired for reasons having nothing to do with Donald Trump, and with her narrative eerily matching a TV show plot rather than any provable facts of the case.

By what logic was Trump fined $175 million for supposedly inflated asset valuation to obtain a loan that was repaid with interest to banks that had no complaint? Since when does the state seek to inflict such “unusual” punishments for a crime that never before had existed and never will again henceforth?

In sum, our departing weak-link generation leaves us this final Parthian shot— that when a toxic ideology so alienates the people who are rising up to prevent its continuance, then the desperate architects of such disasters can dismantle the rule of law to destroy its critics.

And so, a single generation has broken apart the great chain of American civilizational continuance. But if this weak-leak generation thinks the evil that they wrought is their last word, they should remember the warning of a great historian:

“Indeed men too often take upon themselves in the prosecution of their revenge to set the example of doing away with those general laws to which all alike can look for salvation in adversity, instead of allowing them to subsist against the day of danger when their aid may be required.” – Thucydides 3.84.3

 









Crafty_Dog

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ccp

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replacing beaureacrats is "un American"
« Reply #2347 on: June 16, 2024, 06:45:29 AM »
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/democratic-lawmaker-slams-project-2025-as-un-american/ar-BB1oiqLm?ocid=msedgdhp&pc=DCTS&cvid=de4907e8774f47ebb3484b9ae9a858c5&ei=39

Well in my mind having 90 % of these people on the national level be Democrats beholden to agendas and having Biden locking in his agenda deep into the workings of these agencies and making it near impossible to fire a federal employee
is rather "un-American".

government unions are "un-American".
I have posted even the biggest big gov guy of all, FDR considered Federal government unions a bad idea, or so I read.

private unions are American.

ccp

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more precise piece on FDR and gov. unions
« Reply #2348 on: June 16, 2024, 06:50:04 AM »
https://showmeinstitute.org/blog/government-unions/what-was-fdrs-stance-on-government-unions

seems like common sense to me.
gov employees work for us , we the people.

although this argument could be made at Trump's intention it is also clear we have people in gov. who slow walked Trump policies they do not like.
Or undermine them altogether.

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces
« Reply #2349 on: June 16, 2024, 07:47:59 AM »
I was in the Anti-Trust Division of the FTC when Reagan fired the striking air controllers.  What an uproar!  OTOH I thought it fg awesome :evil: