The EU

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Thursday, July 25, 2019


For John, BLUF It is the Gleichschaltung .  Which is why the First Amendment is so important.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media (Belmont Club), by Richard Fernandez, 22 July 2019.

Here is the lede plus two:

Intentionally or by accident, the West is developing the equivalent of the Chinese reputational rating system. The New York Times describes how in Xinjiang "children are interrogated. Neighbors become informants. Mosques are monitored. Cameras are everywhere." Then the data is fed into a system and scored according to a Communist Party virtue rating system. Fact-checkers monitor social media to see who's expressed offensive opinions or joined any Hate Groups. The virtuous are rewarded but low scorers on Beijing's community guidelines can be stopped from traveling, excluded from admission to schools, banned from social media platforms, charged in court and doxxed.

If non-Chinese find it disturbingly familiar it is no coincidence. The same technology is involved in policing both the West and the Middle Kingdom. In the West the social scoring system is not yet official but Newsweek has already asked: should racism and hate be illegal? It happily pointed out that "most of those who advocate a ban insist it need not interfere with American democracy. As Jack Greenberg of Columbia University points out, incitement to racial violence is outlawed in most liberal democracies, including Britain, Israel and most of Western Europe."

Organizations dedicated to identifying "hate groups" have proliferated, most notably the Southern Poverty Law Center. Its blacklist is so extensive it has to be divided into categories, including male supremacy, hate music, and radical traditional Catholicism. Ironically the SPLC has itself also been accused of being a hate group after its founder and guiding light, Morris Dees, was blamed for sexual harassment and racial prejudice. Over time there will be many more organizations dedicated to resource and platform denial.

Life is going to change if we don't develop some tolerance for diversity of ideas.  Maybe better, it will regress to what it was in the past.  Even Islam had a period of intellectual flowering, now crushed by the Wahhabist School.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Speaker Attacks From The Left

For John, BLUFI think Speaker Pelosi is doing a good job of trying to keep Democrats from veering too far left, and without much help from her associate, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Clamoring for her head because she isn't sufficiently pro-Squad, they seem to hate her more than they do Trump and the GOP.

From The American Conservative, by James P Pinkerton, 24 July 2019.

Here is the lede plus three:

For most Democrats, the take is that Donald Trump is a racist. For Woke Democrats, the take is that Nancy Pelosi is Trump’s patsy.

It might not have seemed like Pelosi was a Trump dupe when she pointed her snarky clap at him during the State of the Union, or when she dusted him during the partial government shutdown, or when she said that he belonged in prison. And yet in politics, the caravan is always moving on.

These days, Woke opinion holds that Pelosi has been so soft on Trump as to virtually be his friend. The speaker did, after all, oppose the Woke left in last week’s impeachment vote. Wokesters believe that Pelosi, desirous of keeping her majority in the House—and her own personal control of that majority—has been too tough on the Squad, that being the hip moniker for that noisy quartet of left-wing freshwomen.

The Squad has plenty of friends in high places. One such is Karen Attiah, global opinions editor of The Washington Post.  On July 14, taking note of Trump’s most recent anti-Squad animadversion—the instantly notorious “go back” tweet—Attiah volleyed her own strong tweeting:  “Make no mistake: Nancy Pelosi’s dogwhistling snipes at @AOC, Ilhan Omar, @RashidaTlaib and @RepPressley helped pave the way for this vicious, racist attack from the president.”

While this is good news for President Trump in 2020, it may not be good for the nation as a whole.

And now Speaker Nancy Pelosi finds herself in a sort of No Man's Land between the Left Democrats and the Republicans.  She is not alone, but may be lonely.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Comey Spying on Trump

For John, BLUFIt isn't good for the bureaucrats, including law enforcement, to be judging a president at the very beginning of an administration.  After all, the People did vote.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Real Clear Investigations, by Mr Paul Sperry, 22 July 2019.

Here is the lede plus seven:

Two U.S. officials briefed on the inspector general’s investigation of possible FBI misconduct said Comey was essentially “running a covert operation against” the president, starting with a private “defensive briefing” he gave Trump just weeks before his inauguration.  They said Horowitz has examined high-level FBI text messages and other communications indicating Comey was actually conducting a “counterintelligence assessment” of Trump during that January 2017 meeting in New York.

In addition to adding notes of his meetings and phone calls with Trump to the official FBI case file, Comey had an agent inside the White House who reported back to FBI headquarters about Trump and his aides, according to other officials familiar with the matter.

Although Comey took many actions on his own, he was not working in isolation.  One focus of Horowitz’s inquiry is the private Jan. 6, 2017, briefing Comey gave the president-elect in New York about material in the Democratic-commissioned dossier compiled by ex-British intelligence officer Christopher Steele.  Reports of that meeting were used days later by BuzzFeed, CNN and other outlets as a news hook for reporting on the dossier’s lascivious and unsubstantiated claims.

Comey’s meeting with Trump took place one day after the FBI director met in the Oval Office with President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to discuss how to brief Trump — a meeting attended by National Security Adviser Susan Rice, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and National Intelligence Director James Clapper, who would soon go to work for CNN.

In his memoir, the former FBI director denied having "a counterintelligence case file open" on Trump -- at least not in the "literal" sense.

In his recently published memoir, “A Higher Loyalty,” Comey denied having "a counterintelligence case file open on [Trump],” though he qualified the denial by adding this was true only in the “literal” sense.  He also twice denied investigating Trump, under oath, in congressional testimony.

Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, who has written extensively on the Trump-Russia probe as a columnist for National Review, said that just because the president’s name was not put on a file or a surveillance warrant does not mean the Comey FBI was not investigating him.  “They were hoping to surveil him incidentally, and they were trying to make a case on him,” McCarthy said.  “The real reason Comey did not want to repeat publicly the assurances he made to Trump privately is that these assurances were misleading.  The FBI strung Trump along, telling him he was not a suspect while structuring the investigation in accordance with the reality that Trump was the main subject."

But, former FBI counterintelligence agent and lawyer Mark Wauck said, the FBI lacked legal grounds to treat Trump as a suspect. “They had no probable cause against Trump himself for ‘collusion’ or espionage,” he said.  “They were scrambling to come up with anything to hang a hat on, but had found nothing.”

Standing back and seeing no FEC violations, one can't help but wonder if it wasn't just animus from the "Deep State".  Of course, the unwillingness of many Democrats to believe and accept the election results added to the problem.

And, we might ask how we would react if we came into a new job, under a cloud of suspicion and were not sure we Old trust the police investigators, who had been hiding things from us.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, July 22, 2019

The Four Classes of America

For John, BLUFPresident Trump is a disrupted.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Orange County Register by Mr Joel Kotkin, 20 July 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

America’s electorate in 2020 has been dissected by race, region, cultural attitudes and gender.  But the most important division may well be, in a nation that has become profoundly unequal, along class lines.  All politicians, from Donald Trump to Elizabeth Warren, portray themselves as “fighting for the middle class” and “working families.”

Yet our increasingly neo-feudal America is best broken down into four broad groups — the oligarchs, the clerisy, the yeomanry and the serfs.  The oligarchs dominate the economic realm, including control of information media.  Below them are sometimes allied members of the clerisy, the well-educated middle class who set the country’s intellectual and cultural context.

This is a better way of looking at the eectorate.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Coffee Run Obstacle Course

For John, BLUFThe homeless need our consideration, especially considering that in many places many are homeless as a consequence of government decisions.  On the other hand, those not homeless need to be considered also.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Starbucks is one of America’s growing cadre of “woke” companies. Now that one need not be a customer to hang out in a Starbucks store, the inevitable consequences are beginning to appear. These observations were penned by a friend of mine.

From Powerline Blog, by Blogger John Hinderaker, 12 July 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

When I quit smoking, coffee replaced cigarettes and I’ve been frequenting a Starbucks in downtown Minneapolis twice a day since November, 2017. One day in March 2018, I couldn’t. The branch, like every other one nationwide, had closed so staff could be trained in some sort of ‘social justice’ thing after some guys were kicked out of a Starbucks in Philadelphia for not buying anything. Starbucks’ response was to make their branches ‘safe spaces’ for anyone, whether they had bought anything or not.

At that point, Starbucks stopped being a chain of coffee shops and turned into a network of public urinals and flop houses with a coffee bar attached.

Actions have consequences.  Short term and long term.  Some consequences are diluted quickly, by other consequences, but others linger.  I wonder if larger firms should hire "Consequences Analysts" to explore these possible outcomes.  A sort of Devil's Advocate.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Iran and the West

For John, BLUFThe idea that we are going to have peace in the Holy Land by following the ideas of Senator E Warren is wrong, and deceptive, and pandering to an emerging American partisan faction.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Writer Roger L Simon, 10 July 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

Despite warnings from practically everyone, five Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps gunboats tried to seize a British oil tanker in the Persian Gulf Wednesday. They apparently backed off only when they realized the Brits were serious about defending themselves and had no interest in being held hostage, a standard Iranian tactic. Good for them.

The Iranians have been acting out quite a bit lately, testing the limits of our tolerance for violence and breaking the nuclear strictures (assuming there really were any) of the JCPOA, aka the Iran Deal. That deal was always an extreme head-scratcher, that the agreement prevents entry to Iranian military installations by nuclear inspectors was only the tip of an absurd iceberg. And when the Mossad lifted a ton (!) of nuclear documents from a Tehran warehouse showing that Iran had lied about practically everything, the whole thing seemed ridiculous, even though that should have been obvious from the outset.

I am opposed to war with Iran.  They seem like a natural ally in the region.  But, alas, they see the future emergence of the occulted Twelfth Imam and their important role in saving the world [for Allah]  Thus, the following excerpt is important:
It's worth paying attention when they shout "Death to America! Death to Israel!" as they have since most of their populace was alive.  And it's worth remembering what Elie Wiesel said when asked what was the most important thing he learned from the Holocaust (paraphrasing):  "If someone says he wants to kill you, believe him."
On the other hand, if this isn't the end of the world (Climate Change excepted), then we should consider being a refuge for all Jews (and Christians (and other minority faiths)) in the Middle East.  For example, bring Israel to the United States and settle the people in the Northern Plains States.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, July 11, 2019

E Warren Turns on Israel

For John, BLUFIf we are not expecting the Parousia any time soon then maybe we should consider moving Israel, lock, stock and barrel, to the Upper Plains States, and sit back and watch the evolution.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Victory Girls Blog, by Ms Kim Hirsch, 9 July 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

[Senator] Liz Warren has an Israel policy which has been “evolving” over the years, as liberals like to say.  First, in 2012 she said she would work as a senator to “ensure Israel’s safety and success.”  Then, in 2014, she voted to increase aid to Israel during the war on Gaza.

But that was then.  Now she wants to be President.

Last year she called on Israel to use restraint against Palestinian protestors.  Furthermore, a few months ago she opposed a bill which would fine businesses that participate in boycotting Israel.

Apparently Liz Warren could see the anti-Israel writing on that Democrat party wall, so she flipped to the Israel Bad playbook.

On Tuesday, she told a group she would make Israel end its occupation of the Gaza Strip.  She also beamed when young Jewish millennials told her they were thrilled with her promise.

The Corbynization of the Democratic Party.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Anti-Trump Coalition Breaks Down

For John, BLUFNever Trumpers fear the Democrats will abandon the "get Trump" fight for the quest for some leftist nirvana.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Bulwark, by Sarah Longwell, 9 July 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

It was bound to happen.

Like a summer romance, this relationship always felt doomed to fail.  Brought together by little more than the maxim “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” Never Trumpers and Democrats seem like they’re on the verge of a break up.

But unlike during the Kavanaugh hearing when both sides decided to go on a break, this time feels like it could be splitsville, for reals.  And like the divorce of that nice couple on Facebook you knew from high school, the drama is playing out in front of everyone on social media.

It is like LiMu Emu, in the Liberty Mutual ads.  Doug asks:  "What do these people have in common."  LiMu provides the answer—"Nothing."

As the Democratic Presidential Contenders drift left, and the Democratic Party controlled House refuses to Impeach, more voters will break away and go with Trump in 2020.

And at the end of the day, it doesn’t actually matter what Never Trumpers do.  We’re a hashtag, not a voting block.  What matters is what Democrats do after they take a good, long look in the mirror and contemplate all of the apocalyptic things they’ve said about Trump over the last three years.

And then decide whether or not they meant them.

They don't.  For the Democrats it is always Springtime for Hitler regardless of the Republican Candidate.  And House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, tacking back to the left, just yesterday said President Trump wants to Make America White Again".  Nice talk.  Just when I think she has gone straight, she swerves to the left.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, July 8, 2019

Speaker Emerging

For John, BLUFSpeaker Nancy Pelosi, who seemed a bit dazed and confused in the recent past, seems to be t the top of her game these days.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

“If the left doesn’t think I’m left enough, so be it,” she told me.

From The Old Gray Lady, by Columnist MoDo, 5 July 2019.

As I read this column, the House Speaker sees the need for Democrats to be seen not just in strong opposition, but also as doing things.  Thus these two excerpts:

The fracas over the border bill illustrates the treacherous nature of Pelosi’s job. Even with all her remarkable skill, it is a herculean task to weave together her anarchic progressives and the moderates who helped flip the House by winning in districts where Trump won in 2016.
“If the left doesn’t think I’m left enough, so be it,” she said, breezily. “As I say to these people, come to my basement. I have these signs about single-payer from 30 years ago. I understand what they’re saying. But we have a responsibility to get something done, which is different from advocacy. We have to have a solution, not just a Twitter fight.”
This does seem to be the needed leadership, leadership somewhat lacking in a number of the Democratic Candidates running for the nomination for President.

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, July 7, 2019

A Bad Take

For John, BLUFI am embarrassed for my nation that partisanship has led to an unwillingness to accept the results of an election, and thus to lack of cooperation on important issues.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

On June 17, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat of New York, posted an Instagram live video discussing the detention camps along the southern US border as “concentration camps” in which she used the phrase “Never Again.”  This drew sharp criticism the following day from Representative Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming, and others for allegedly misappropriating a slogan associated with the Holocaust.  After several days of heated media and political debate, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum released a statement on June 24 condemning the use of Holocaust analogies.  We received the following open letter addressed to the director of the museum, Sara J. Bloomfield, delivered by the signatories on July 1.

—The Editors

From The New York Review of Books, by Scholars Omer Bartov, Doris Bergen, Andrea Orzoff, Timothy Snyder, and Anika Walke, et al, on, 1 July 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

We are scholars who strongly support the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Many of us write on the Holocaust and genocide; we have researched in the USHMM’s library and archives or served as fellows or associated scholars; we have been grateful for the Museum’s support and intellectual community. Many of us teach the Holocaust at our universities, and have drawn on the Museum’s online resources. We support the Museum’s programs from workshops to education.

We are deeply concerned about the Museum’s recent “Statement Regarding the Museum’s Position on Holocaust Analogies.” We write this public letter to urge its retraction.

To say it flat out, I am disappointed in this.  This statement shows a total lack of perspective.  For one thing, this is not about people being uprooted and then sent to a camp, being ripped from their home, and then sent to a camp from which they were not expected to return.  No, this is about people who have voluntarily left their homes and illegally passed through other countries to enter ours, where reception facilities are inadequate and resources to improve those facilities have been stingily provides by the Congress, and workers, like those at Wayfarer, have been working to thwart improving said facilities.  And, what is the plan?  Open borders for the 42 odd million people of Central America, plus the people from other parts of the world filtering across our Southern Border.

I do wonder if this would have been published if the signers, and the Editors of The New York Review of Books had realized things were as bad under President Obama?

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, July 5, 2019

QB Fumble

For John, BLUFMr Kaepernick should fire his publicist.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Twitchy, by Greg P, 11:35 pm, 4 July 2019.

Here is the lede:

Failed NFL QB Colin Kaepernick thought it would be a good idea to share this Frederick Douglass quote in an effort to bash the United States on Independence Day.  His problem, however, is that he didn’t read the rest of the speech and sharing this quote out of context is just plain embarrassing, as Sen.Ted Cruz and Charles C.W. Cooke were so happy to point out.
Doesn't Mr Kaepernick have folks to review this kind of stuff for him, so he doesn't make this kind of error?  Or doesn't he care?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Farewell Fourth of July

For John, BLUFThis is very sad to see.  In the name of racial justice we are going to erase the path that allowed us to get to the point where we could usefully get to the point where we could ask about justice for all.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

If the trends continue, and a Democrat is elected President in 2020, there is unlikely to be much of a Fourth of July celebration in 2021, except in some more rural areas.

From the Associated Press, by Reporter Samantha Maldonado, 4 July 2019.

Here is the lede plus two:

San Francisco will spend up to $600,000 to paint over historical artwork at a public school depicting the life of George Washington, a mural once seen as educational and innovative but now criticized as racist and degrading for its depiction of black and Native American people.

The “Life of Washington” was painted by Victor Arnautoff, one of the foremost muralists in the San Francisco area during the Depression.  The San Francisco School Board’s decision to paint over the 83-year-old mural is prompting some to worry that other artwork from the so-called New Deal era could face a similar fate because of changing sensitivities.

In addition to depicting Washington as a soldier, surveyor and statesman, the 13-panel, 1,600-sqaure foot mural at George Washington High School contains images of white pioneers standing over the body of a Native American and slaves working at Washington’s Mount Vernon estate in Virginia.

What a waste of an educational moment, an educational opportunity.

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Meditation on the Fourth

For John, BLUF And NeoNeoCon has a take on our wide spread lack of interest in individual freedom and autonomy.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Pajama Media, by Author Sarah Holt, 4 July 2019.

Here is the lede plus two:

As some of you know, I’m an American by choice.  I left kin and country, culture and connections to throw in my lot with the freedom gang.

How did this come to happen? How could a girl raised in Portugal, of patriotic (fanatic, really) parents, get to the point where she felt expatriate, a stranger in a strange land?

Well, a lot of it had to do with what I read.  When I tell people I was raised on Robert A. Heinlein books, I wasn’t joking.  And there was something in those books that just made me American, before I even realized it was happening.

America isn't about soil or folk.  It is about the idea of freedom.  You either are in or you are a, perhaps whiny, free rider.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff