Day: November 5, 2017

Turning the Supreme Court into a Safe Space


On December 5, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commissioner, the controversial case about Jack Phillips, a Christian baker seeking an exemption from his state’s public accommodations law based on his First Amendment right against compelled speech.  This is a case that will shape our personal expressive liberties in profound ways for years to come.  It bears not only on religious freedom but on the potential for people to channel their creative energies into meaningful livelihoods rather than having to default to alienating jobs or embark on paths of ruthless careerism.

As the parties mobilize in anticipation, liberals befog the stakes with anti-right clichés.

Here are the basics.  Petitioner Jack Phillips maintains that his commissioned wedding cakes materially embody his ideas and beliefs about marriage.  Indeed, the wish to live and work in full harmony with his religious tenets explains his life decision some twenty-odd years ago to put his artistic skills to use as a baker and open his own business.  As the Justice Department as amicus put it (and kudos that the department weighed in on this one), “Phillips is a Christian who seeks to incorporate his religious principles into all facets of his business.”  When respondents Craig and Mullins initially expressed an interest in ordering a cake from him for their same-sex ceremony, Phillips therefore declined.  He explained that were he to fulfill this specific order (though not any others the couple might choose from his varied inventory), this would be tantamount to his sending a message of approval of the rite in which the cake would be featured.  He did not feel that approval, nor did he wish other people to mistakenly perceive that he did.     

A social media campaign, the terms of whose vilification of Phillips are easily imagined, ensued.  Another local cake-maker stepped forward and offered to supply the cake gratis.  The cake the couple picked bore a rainbow design – that is, it made the symbolic statement Phillips preferred not to link himself or his business to, pursuant to his (free speech-related) freedom of expressive association.  Meanwhile, Craig and Mullins lodged a complaint against Phillips with the state administrative agency empowered to enforce nondiscrimination laws, the one in question requiring vendors not to discriminate in the provision of goods and services on the basis of protected characteristics, including sexual orientation.  Phillips lost and was severely and degradingly penalized.  Left with no choice, he took the case up the chain.  Finally, he obtained the grant of certiorari from the U.S. Supreme Court that will be argued next month.  

There, Phillips will press his claim that by coercing him to contribute his artistry to the communicative aspect of Craig’s and Mullins’s event, the state is compelling him to convey an unwanted message.  On the other side, respondents will urge that the public accommodations law at issue does not intrude on creative activity.  The process of designing what they claim are standard-issue baked goods cannot in their view be distinguished from any normal sale of goods and services, an area long regulated by government.

But protected speech as understood by the Supreme Court has a penumbra around it that encompasses degrees of enacted, rather than exclusively spoken or written, expression.  There’s the rub.  Waving a flag is a substitute for verbalizing support for the nation that flag stands for.  It is considered “expressive conduct.”  Does the cake-creating process fall into this constitutionally privileged category? 

The lower court hedged on this.  If the cake emitted a “particularized message,” it said, a wedding cake could be deemed expressive.  But Craig and Mullins never reached the point of divulging the design they wanted.  The couple might have specified something “nondescript.”  Phillips therefore couldn’t have known that he would be, as the Department of Justice argues, “giving effect to their message by crafting a unique product with his two hands.”  What’s more, even if a wedding cake could under certain circumstances be considered to be “imbued with expressive elements,” any message it disseminated would be the customer’s, not the baker’s.

My focus here is not on the Supreme Court precedents that dispute this, but rather on the disconnect between respondents’ position and our hyper-deconstructed, market-driven culture.  Petitioner Phillips focuses rightly on the cake’s prominent ceremonial significance.  But there’s also the fact that everything, we are told by the social justice warriors – from hair braids to a pair of shoes worn by the first lady – carries meaning.  These meanings the New York Times and its ilk regularly “decode” for us, the cultural illiterati.  So, to select a few examples, elite critics call those who splash paint on buildings not vandals, but graffiti “writers.”  They decipher the “vernacular” of cityscapes.  They hail rights for nonhumans (in effect, endowing animals with voices).  And they hype commodities that have the power to “construct” – i.e., make readable – individual identity.  

Language, language everywhere.  Only Phillips’s edible monuments to marriage are mute.   This equates to their being excluded from the Sunday-magazine logosphere, where left-leaning authorities with superior savvy expatiate on everything from the crock pot you’re using (or should be using) to what we can’t possibly understand about the LGBTQ experience. 

Yet if Phillips’s commissioned wedding cakes are expressive nullities, they are so only up the point that they’re not.  That comes when the commentariat and the interests they serve cease to get their way.  At that point, the thought police mass, clamorously supplying the missing subtext.  The cake, or more specifically, Phillips’s refusal to contribute his artistic process to a ceremony he can’t condone, becomes not only symbolic.  It becomes the Ur-symbol, the archetype of everything hateful and destructive to enlightened society.  This from the SCOTUSblog:  

This cake is not really about a cake.  It is about equal citizenship of gay people, and whether we may engage in the kinds of ordinary transactions others take for granted in the commercial marketplace and beyond.  Will moral objections to who we are and whom we love be accorded constitutional supremacy over ordinary human decency, over the Golden Rule, over the long-standing American rule of businesses dealing with all comers?  Will these objections justify closing the door on LGBT people, and, once again, marking them – including the youth who had begun to hope they could live a full life – as outcasts and inviting further discrimination?

Defiling the Golden Rule…that’s a lot of symbolic freight to carry for a cake that a minute ago was a prosaic accessory to an “ordinary” transaction.

What are the expressive rights of commercial artists like Phillips, whom you’ll never see dressed in casual chic staging his social grievances in a layout in Vanity Fair?  Are they no more than a hired gun for progressives who declaim their sensitivities louder than the Christian photographer forced to take pictures at a same-sex ceremony or the Jewish sketch artist condemned by the state to get up close and personal with the attendees at a neo-Nazi convention?  These and other questions the Supreme Court will be called upon to decide.

It shouldn’t be easy.  But it isn’t helped when writers like Dorothy Samuels reduce the legal and human nuances involved to a “dishonest, if clever, distraction” concocted by the Justice Department.

By the way, if you’re marveling at the hubris of a few government lawyers trying to slip a fast one past nine justices, marvel no more.  Instead, do what the callow American Prospect contributor appears not to have done.  Read footnote 3.

On December 5, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commissioner, the controversial case about Jack Phillips, a Christian baker seeking an exemption from his state’s public accommodations law based on his First Amendment right against compelled speech.  This is a case that will shape our personal expressive liberties in profound ways for years to come.  It bears not only on religious freedom but on the potential for people to channel their creative energies into meaningful livelihoods rather than having to default to alienating jobs or embark on paths of ruthless careerism.

As the parties mobilize in anticipation, liberals befog the stakes with anti-right clichés.

Here are the basics.  Petitioner Jack Phillips maintains that his commissioned wedding cakes materially embody his ideas and beliefs about marriage.  Indeed, the wish to live and work in full harmony with his religious tenets explains his life decision some twenty-odd years ago to put his artistic skills to use as a baker and open his own business.  As the Justice Department as amicus put it (and kudos that the department weighed in on this one), “Phillips is a Christian who seeks to incorporate his religious principles into all facets of his business.”  When respondents Craig and Mullins initially expressed an interest in ordering a cake from him for their same-sex ceremony, Phillips therefore declined.  He explained that were he to fulfill this specific order (though not any others the couple might choose from his varied inventory), this would be tantamount to his sending a message of approval of the rite in which the cake would be featured.  He did not feel that approval, nor did he wish other people to mistakenly perceive that he did.     

A social media campaign, the terms of whose vilification of Phillips are easily imagined, ensued.  Another local cake-maker stepped forward and offered to supply the cake gratis.  The cake the couple picked bore a rainbow design – that is, it made the symbolic statement Phillips preferred not to link himself or his business to, pursuant to his (free speech-related) freedom of expressive association.  Meanwhile, Craig and Mullins lodged a complaint against Phillips with the state administrative agency empowered to enforce nondiscrimination laws, the one in question requiring vendors not to discriminate in the provision of goods and services on the basis of protected characteristics, including sexual orientation.  Phillips lost and was severely and degradingly penalized.  Left with no choice, he took the case up the chain.  Finally, he obtained the grant of certiorari from the U.S. Supreme Court that will be argued next month.  

There, Phillips will press his claim that by coercing him to contribute his artistry to the communicative aspect of Craig’s and Mullins’s event, the state is compelling him to convey an unwanted message.  On the other side, respondents will urge that the public accommodations law at issue does not intrude on creative activity.  The process of designing what they claim are standard-issue baked goods cannot in their view be distinguished from any normal sale of goods and services, an area long regulated by government.

But protected speech as understood by the Supreme Court has a penumbra around it that encompasses degrees of enacted, rather than exclusively spoken or written, expression.  There’s the rub.  Waving a flag is a substitute for verbalizing support for the nation that flag stands for.  It is considered “expressive conduct.”  Does the cake-creating process fall into this constitutionally privileged category? 

The lower court hedged on this.  If the cake emitted a “particularized message,” it said, a wedding cake could be deemed expressive.  But Craig and Mullins never reached the point of divulging the design they wanted.  The couple might have specified something “nondescript.”  Phillips therefore couldn’t have known that he would be, as the Department of Justice argues, “giving effect to their message by crafting a unique product with his two hands.”  What’s more, even if a wedding cake could under certain circumstances be considered to be “imbued with expressive elements,” any message it disseminated would be the customer’s, not the baker’s.

My focus here is not on the Supreme Court precedents that dispute this, but rather on the disconnect between respondents’ position and our hyper-deconstructed, market-driven culture.  Petitioner Phillips focuses rightly on the cake’s prominent ceremonial significance.  But there’s also the fact that everything, we are told by the social justice warriors – from hair braids to a pair of shoes worn by the first lady – carries meaning.  These meanings the New York Times and its ilk regularly “decode” for us, the cultural illiterati.  So, to select a few examples, elite critics call those who splash paint on buildings not vandals, but graffiti “writers.”  They decipher the “vernacular” of cityscapes.  They hail rights for nonhumans (in effect, endowing animals with voices).  And they hype commodities that have the power to “construct” – i.e., make readable – individual identity.  

Language, language everywhere.  Only Phillips’s edible monuments to marriage are mute.   This equates to their being excluded from the Sunday-magazine logosphere, where left-leaning authorities with superior savvy expatiate on everything from the crock pot you’re using (or should be using) to what we can’t possibly understand about the LGBTQ experience. 

Yet if Phillips’s commissioned wedding cakes are expressive nullities, they are so only up the point that they’re not.  That comes when the commentariat and the interests they serve cease to get their way.  At that point, the thought police mass, clamorously supplying the missing subtext.  The cake, or more specifically, Phillips’s refusal to contribute his artistic process to a ceremony he can’t condone, becomes not only symbolic.  It becomes the Ur-symbol, the archetype of everything hateful and destructive to enlightened society.  This from the SCOTUSblog:  

This cake is not really about a cake.  It is about equal citizenship of gay people, and whether we may engage in the kinds of ordinary transactions others take for granted in the commercial marketplace and beyond.  Will moral objections to who we are and whom we love be accorded constitutional supremacy over ordinary human decency, over the Golden Rule, over the long-standing American rule of businesses dealing with all comers?  Will these objections justify closing the door on LGBT people, and, once again, marking them – including the youth who had begun to hope they could live a full life – as outcasts and inviting further discrimination?

Defiling the Golden Rule…that’s a lot of symbolic freight to carry for a cake that a minute ago was a prosaic accessory to an “ordinary” transaction.

What are the expressive rights of commercial artists like Phillips, whom you’ll never see dressed in casual chic staging his social grievances in a layout in Vanity Fair?  Are they no more than a hired gun for progressives who declaim their sensitivities louder than the Christian photographer forced to take pictures at a same-sex ceremony or the Jewish sketch artist condemned by the state to get up close and personal with the attendees at a neo-Nazi convention?  These and other questions the Supreme Court will be called upon to decide.

It shouldn’t be easy.  But it isn’t helped when writers like Dorothy Samuels reduce the legal and human nuances involved to a “dishonest, if clever, distraction” concocted by the Justice Department.

By the way, if you’re marveling at the hubris of a few government lawyers trying to slip a fast one past nine justices, marvel no more.  Instead, do what the callow American Prospect contributor appears not to have done.  Read footnote 3.



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Hillary Clinton Meets the Underside of the Bus


The Democratic Party, Donna Brazile, Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, and Jake Tapper were not very nice to their former headmistress, Hillary Clinton, at all this week.  On Friday, a quick glance back at the resulting news cycle may seem on the surface to be full of new revelations, but in reality, it is not particularly new or surprising.  Oddly enough, it actually seems a plausible thought that in the upcoming weeks, month, maybe years, perhaps conservative writers and pundits will be treating Hillary Clinton with better regard than her own liberal allies.

All is fair in love, war, and politics.  This is demonstrated time and time again, yet for a superfluity of reasons, this week’s unprincipled, spineless Democratic Party SOP hit job is especially extraordinary, considering the sheer scope of this target, and what it says about the two-faced, lying, conniving, calculating former colleagues and sycophants having participated.

Think about the unblushing shamelessness of which Donna Brazile has just shown herself capable.  Even to conservatives watching this liberal-on-liberal, very public, very blatant power-grab, it might appear unusually savage.  Donna Brazile came out so suddenly and conspicuously against Clinton with charges of “hijacking” the DNC for her own sake, at the cost of many by robbing the DNC of all its wealth; rigging the democratic process; and stealing the election from Bernie Sanders.

Those are some pretty gigantic allegations coming from the CNN anchor who actually partook in facilitating that alleged theft of the election process from Bernie Sanders through ethics and integrity failures, cheating, and sending debate questions to Hillary’s campaign when Hillary was yet debating poor ol’ Bernie.  Did Bernie get the questions ahead of time, too, you ask?  Absolutely, not.  Does that make Donna Brazile even more of a shameless schlub to pull this?  Absolutely right.

Donna wrote this apparently totally unaware that the conservative media and many politicians have been pointing out all of this for the past sixteen months now.  It could be said that conservatives might owe Donna Brazile a thank-you for substantiating everything conservatives have been saying since the Democratic primaries, when these revelations were a secret only to liberal voters, most of whom almost certainly have little idea of who she is.

Check out this excerpt from Donna Brazile’s forthcoming book, The Inside Story of the Break-Ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the White House.  Behold her stupefying self-aggrandizing.  It is enough to make one blush.  Of course she would cast herself as the sacrificial heroine:

When we hung up, I was livid. Not at Gary, but at this mess I had inherited. I knew that Debbie had outsourced a lot of the management of the party and had not been the greatest at fundraising. I would not be that kind of chair, even if I was only an interim chair. Did they think I would just be a surrogate for them, get on the road and rouse up the crowds? I was going to manage this party the best I could and try to make it better, even if Brooklyn did not like this. It would be weeks before I would fully understand the financial shenanigans that were keeping the party on life support.

Although it’s pretty embarrassing to realize that this person was only an interim DNC chair and that it seems odd to imagine anyone at the DNC thinking about much of anyone or anything aside from her sixteen-year candidate of inevitability, Brazile’s most cringe-worthy lines actually kick the entire piece off: “Before I called Bernie Sanders, I lit a candle in my living room and put on some gospel music.  I wanted to center myself for what I knew would be an emotional phone call.” 

But that’s not even the real story here.  That’s just the story the DNC wants everyone to believe, and to cease critical thinking from that point henceforth.

It’s also rather odd, really, that Democrats would come out with this story, even though it kind of shines an awkward spotlight on how unprofessional, disingenuous, and irresponsible the entire Democratic Party is.  We get it: Senator Warren tried distancing herself while simultaneously endorsing this whole premise by repeatedly saying how surprised and disappointed she was.  But is anyone in this country actually going to buy that?  In all seriousness here, who does not know by now that the media class and the Democratic Party aided and abetted Hillary Clinton and her campaign in this scheme the entire time?  Of course, this magnificent quartet of idiots had to march someone off the plank besides Clinton to make it somewhat easier to swallow – and who better than Debbie Wassermann Schultz?

In Jake Tapper’s interview with Warren and Sanders, you can actually hear the giddy anticipation if you listen hard enough.  These brainiacs were all on the cutting edge of some bold, new, highly irrational plan to take the party back.

They demonstrated this by spending two days talking about what a mess the Democratic Party is.  How rather corrupt the Democratic Party is.  And how rather breathtakingly idiotic the lot of them are.

Hey, I have an idea. Even though we’re still going to hold onto this Russia narrative as to how Hillary of all people lost to Not My President Trump, let’s also, on top of that, blame Hillary for cheating to win against Bernie.  Double-whammy!  Pow!

The Democratic Party and their devolution into even further hypocrisy, lunacy, and shamelessness just keep getting worse when one thinks it no longer possible.  If watching these people over the past two days is any indication of how hilarious it’s going to be to sit back and watch them for the next three years, then count me in.

The Democratic Party, Donna Brazile, Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, and Jake Tapper were not very nice to their former headmistress, Hillary Clinton, at all this week.  On Friday, a quick glance back at the resulting news cycle may seem on the surface to be full of new revelations, but in reality, it is not particularly new or surprising.  Oddly enough, it actually seems a plausible thought that in the upcoming weeks, month, maybe years, perhaps conservative writers and pundits will be treating Hillary Clinton with better regard than her own liberal allies.

All is fair in love, war, and politics.  This is demonstrated time and time again, yet for a superfluity of reasons, this week’s unprincipled, spineless Democratic Party SOP hit job is especially extraordinary, considering the sheer scope of this target, and what it says about the two-faced, lying, conniving, calculating former colleagues and sycophants having participated.

Think about the unblushing shamelessness of which Donna Brazile has just shown herself capable.  Even to conservatives watching this liberal-on-liberal, very public, very blatant power-grab, it might appear unusually savage.  Donna Brazile came out so suddenly and conspicuously against Clinton with charges of “hijacking” the DNC for her own sake, at the cost of many by robbing the DNC of all its wealth; rigging the democratic process; and stealing the election from Bernie Sanders.

Those are some pretty gigantic allegations coming from the CNN anchor who actually partook in facilitating that alleged theft of the election process from Bernie Sanders through ethics and integrity failures, cheating, and sending debate questions to Hillary’s campaign when Hillary was yet debating poor ol’ Bernie.  Did Bernie get the questions ahead of time, too, you ask?  Absolutely, not.  Does that make Donna Brazile even more of a shameless schlub to pull this?  Absolutely right.

Donna wrote this apparently totally unaware that the conservative media and many politicians have been pointing out all of this for the past sixteen months now.  It could be said that conservatives might owe Donna Brazile a thank-you for substantiating everything conservatives have been saying since the Democratic primaries, when these revelations were a secret only to liberal voters, most of whom almost certainly have little idea of who she is.

Check out this excerpt from Donna Brazile’s forthcoming book, The Inside Story of the Break-Ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the White House.  Behold her stupefying self-aggrandizing.  It is enough to make one blush.  Of course she would cast herself as the sacrificial heroine:

When we hung up, I was livid. Not at Gary, but at this mess I had inherited. I knew that Debbie had outsourced a lot of the management of the party and had not been the greatest at fundraising. I would not be that kind of chair, even if I was only an interim chair. Did they think I would just be a surrogate for them, get on the road and rouse up the crowds? I was going to manage this party the best I could and try to make it better, even if Brooklyn did not like this. It would be weeks before I would fully understand the financial shenanigans that were keeping the party on life support.

Although it’s pretty embarrassing to realize that this person was only an interim DNC chair and that it seems odd to imagine anyone at the DNC thinking about much of anyone or anything aside from her sixteen-year candidate of inevitability, Brazile’s most cringe-worthy lines actually kick the entire piece off: “Before I called Bernie Sanders, I lit a candle in my living room and put on some gospel music.  I wanted to center myself for what I knew would be an emotional phone call.” 

But that’s not even the real story here.  That’s just the story the DNC wants everyone to believe, and to cease critical thinking from that point henceforth.

It’s also rather odd, really, that Democrats would come out with this story, even though it kind of shines an awkward spotlight on how unprofessional, disingenuous, and irresponsible the entire Democratic Party is.  We get it: Senator Warren tried distancing herself while simultaneously endorsing this whole premise by repeatedly saying how surprised and disappointed she was.  But is anyone in this country actually going to buy that?  In all seriousness here, who does not know by now that the media class and the Democratic Party aided and abetted Hillary Clinton and her campaign in this scheme the entire time?  Of course, this magnificent quartet of idiots had to march someone off the plank besides Clinton to make it somewhat easier to swallow – and who better than Debbie Wassermann Schultz?

In Jake Tapper’s interview with Warren and Sanders, you can actually hear the giddy anticipation if you listen hard enough.  These brainiacs were all on the cutting edge of some bold, new, highly irrational plan to take the party back.

They demonstrated this by spending two days talking about what a mess the Democratic Party is.  How rather corrupt the Democratic Party is.  And how rather breathtakingly idiotic the lot of them are.

Hey, I have an idea. Even though we’re still going to hold onto this Russia narrative as to how Hillary of all people lost to Not My President Trump, let’s also, on top of that, blame Hillary for cheating to win against Bernie.  Double-whammy!  Pow!

The Democratic Party and their devolution into even further hypocrisy, lunacy, and shamelessness just keep getting worse when one thinks it no longer possible.  If watching these people over the past two days is any indication of how hilarious it’s going to be to sit back and watch them for the next three years, then count me in.



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Why Is the Mueller Investigation like the Schleswig-Holstein Question?


I’ve been muddling through the week’s events respecting the special counsel’s activities, trying to provide a clearer road map. And even harder — trying to do it in a way that doesn’t make it seem more complicated than need be. A friend reminded me of Lord Palmerston’s observation: “The Schleswig-Holstein question is so complicated, only three men in Europe have ever understood it. One was Prince Albert, who is dead. The second was a German professor who became mad. I am the third and I have forgotten all about it.” 

Actually, it may be simpler than that, though not much more.

A good place to start is with Conrad Black. If you recall, he, too, was, was the victim of overzealous prosecution which destroyed his publishing empire and resulted in his serving jail time before much of the case was tossed on appeal.

After detailing the media’s uneasiness in the blowback disaster of the “Russian collusion with Trump” nonsense, he observes:

There is not a shred of evidence to support this, despite fervent efforts by the Obama administration and the special counsel to unearth some. Nor is there any evidence of actual Russian influence on the election result or of any policy change by the present administration toward Russia that the Kremlin would welcome. Nor, though The New York Times clings to the story, has any evidence surfaced that Fusion GPS was initially retained on this file by anti-Trump Republicans. [snip]


As this hydrogen balloon was blowing up like the Hindenburg at the mast at Lakehurst, New Jersey, in 1937, the Uranium One affair was boiling over as a new congressional investigation was launched into the whole issue of about $131 million to $145 million being pledged or paid to the Clinton Foundation as Bill Clinton was paid $500,000 for an ordinary speech in Moscow. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Attorney General Eric Holder agreed to sell 20 percent of American uranium resources to Russia, through Russian intermediaries then under intensive investigation by the FBI director, Robert Mueller, and by then U.S. attorney in Maryland Rod Rosenstein. [snip]


The trifecta was completed with the revelation that the investigation of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was not based on his brief relations with Donald Trump, but on his lengthy connection with the Democratic Podesta brothers, and the extent to which he helped them funnel wealthy and influential Russians into high governmental circles in Washington.


There need not be anything wrong with this either, but it has nothing to do with Trump and the entire fraudulent defamation that Trump did anything improper with the Russians, much less engage in anything compromising the validity of the 2016 presidential election. That claim is an outrage whose time for asphyxiation has come. Still to be unearthed are the full stories of the Wasserman Schultz skullduggery, and the real story of improper and probably illegal surveillance at Trump Tower. As that will get all the way to President Obama, it may be expected to ooze out slowly and reluctantly, sluggish and foul.[snip] The Russian collusion scam was just a convenient intersection between the denial syndrome of the post-defeat Clintonians and the fear and anger of the garrison of the Washington sleaze factory as the improbable avenger approached.

How far afield from the original appointment of Mueller as special counsel have we gone? Very. 

This morning’s Minneapolis Star Tribune reported, in a story that doesn’t seem to have gotten a lot of national attention, that William Mueller’s ever-widening investigation has ensnared Vin Weber, a former Minnesota Congressman and long-time Washington lobbyist: [snip]


Mueller’s operation is leaking on a more or less daily basis. Isn’t that illegal? Aren’t grand jury proceedings supposed to be secret? Maybe the Attorney General should appoint a special counsel to look into possible crimes associated with leaks by Mueller’s staff.


With the emphasis on the Ukrainian lobbying efforts, Mueller’s criminal probe is moving beyond investigating ties between the Trump campaign and Russia and is aggressively pursuing people who worked as foreign agents without registering with the Justice Department.


But wait! Mueller’s investigation isn’t supposed to “move beyond investigating ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.” The Order appointing Mueller empowers him to investigate “any links an or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; and… any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.” It seems that the current focus of Mueller’s efforts is lobbying that was carried out on behalf of one of Ukraine’s political factions, or, more broadly, failure to register as a foreign agent with the Justice Department by anyone, at any time. This is not what Mueller was appointed to do. [snip]


The special counsel statute is a very poor idea, and Mueller’s implementation of it illustrates why. The job of a special counsel (or special prosecutor, as he was formerly called) is to hang scalps on the wall. Whose scalps, or why they were taken, is incidental at best. President Trump would be fully justified in firing Bill Mueller, but a better idea, in my opinion would be to appoint several more special counsel to look into various Democratic misdeeds. That would bring this whole farce to a screeching halt. 

Conrad Black, writing that the Russian collusion story was blowing up, suggested that Wasserman-Schultz had engaged in skullduggery before former DNC head Donna Brazile threw this week’s latest bombshell at the DNC and in particular Hillary Clinton, whom the party appears eager to yank off the stage. Brazile charged that the DNC was nearly bankrupted by Obama and was saved only by cash infusions from Hillary Clinton, but in return for the lifeline, Clinton took control of the party and used that power to cheat Bernie Sanders out of the nomination. More, Brazile argued that the victory fund which was to be used to fund party races down ticket was instead grabbed by Hillary for her own campaign, with very little dribbled out to other candidates.

John Hinderaker, over at Powerline Blog, notes Brazile’s charges amount to a claim that Hillary and the DNC engaged in a “criminal conspiracy”

So Hillary’s campaign paid off the debt and “placed the [Democratic] party on an allowance.” Brazile said she had no knowledge of these arrangements — or even of the party’s perilous financial condition — even though she was an officer of the DNC. It was all Debbie’s fault.


Brazile endorses Politico’s assertion, made in May of last year, that Clinton’s arrangement with the DNC was “essentially… money laundering.” Which seems like a rather dangerous concession for a former DNC chair to make.


The campaign had the DNC on life support, giving it money every month to meet its basic expenses, while the campaign was using the party as a fund-raising clearinghouse. Under FEC law, an individual can contribute a maximum of $2,700 directly to a presidential campaign. But the limits are much higher for contributions to state parties and a party’s national committee.


Individuals who had maxed out their $2,700 contribution limit to the campaign could write an additional check for $353,400 to the Hillary Victory Fund — that figure represented $10,000 to each of the 32 states’ parties who were part of the Victory Fund agreement — $320,000 — and $33,400 to the DNC. The money would be deposited in the states first, and transferred to the DNC shortly after that. Money in the battleground states usually stayed in that state, but all the other states funneled that money directly to the DNC, which quickly transferred the money to Brooklyn [Ed: the Hillary campaign].


[snip]


So Brazile sadly told Bernie Sanders that what had been leaked was true: the DNC had rigged the nomination process to ensure Hillary’s victory. [snip]


I think this is grist for a third special counsel: the second, as I have said before, should look into Uranium One, the FBI’s apparent complicity in the cover-up of Uranium One, and collusion between the Clinton campaign and Russians. The third special counsel should investigate whether the Clinton campaign and the DNC violated campaign finance laws or other statutes through their “money laundering” agreement. 

Hillary’s refusal to accept the results of the election might prove to be a disaster to the DNC and its officials, but it might be boon to DC’s white-collar criminal defense bar. That is, if we don’t all grow sick and tired of special counsels and do away with them bipartisanly before we reach that point.

But there’s even more: a new report states that FBI Deputy director McCabe is himself in the hot seat.

Documents recently released by conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch show that while current FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe recused himself from the investigation of Hillary Clinton, he didn’t do so until days before November’s election. The information was obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the FBI that sought records related to McCabe’s involvement with the state Senate campaign of his wife, Dr. Jill McCabe.


McCabe was the Assistant Director in Charge of the Washington Field Office when the probe was going on, and therefore controlled resources for the investigation. While the investigation was still underway, in February 2016, McCabe became Deputy Director of the Bureau, thus overseeing the whole operation.


The Clinton investigation officially began in July 2015, but Clinton’s private email server became public knowledge that March. Days after that news got out, Jill McCabe was approached by Clinton associate Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe about running for office and Dr. McCabe announced her candidacy less than a week later. McAuliffe raised nearly $700,000 for the campaign. [snip]


An internal memo, “Overview of Deputy Director McCabe’s Recusal Related To Dr. McCabe’s Campaign for Political Office,” also addressed McCabe’s potential conflicts, including the Clinton investigation. The same document showed that FBI officials had a set answer to questions about McCabe and his wife’s campaign, and that was to say that he did not play any role, attend events, or help support the campaign at all. Despite this, a photograph surfaced of McCabe at a campaign event, and days before the election, a social media page of Dr. McCabe’s showed an image of Andrew with a sign saying, “I am voting for Jill because she is the best wife ever.”


“The FBI is compromised. Mr. McCabe should have been nowhere near the Hillary Clinton investigations,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “That he saw fit to recuse himself only days before the election further demonstrates the FBI’s Clinton email investigation was a sham. No wonder it took a year and a federal lawsuit to get these records. It is well past time for the Justice Department to reopen the Clinton email investigation.”

About the same time Mrs. McCabe was receiving almost ¾ of a million dollars from Clinton friends, a special FBI agent apparently began a criminal investigation of  the agencies involved in the Uranium One deal approval with requests that they preserve the records: 

Taken in their totality those FBI special agent notifications now encompassed every member of the CFIUS group who “signed off” on approval of the Uranium One deal.


It would be intellectually dishonest not to see the very likely attachment of the special agent’s action. That is to say an FBI probe originating as an outcome of information retrieved in parallel to the timing of the “criminal probe” of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email use.


The sequence of events highlights a criminal probe starting [early August 2015], followed by notifications to the “Uranium One” CFIUS participants [late August 2015].


If you consider the larger Clinton timeline; along with the FBI special agent requests from identified participants; and overlay the Nuclear Regulatory Commission as the leading entity surrounding the probe elements; and the fact that the CFIUS participants were the recipients of the retention requests; well, it’s just too coincidental to think this is unrelated to the Uranium One deal and the more alarming implications.


Further, if you consider this factual researched information against the backdrop of new and current information about the roles of each of the outlined participants; and the knowledge of the mystery FBI informant who was threatened to keep his mouth shut; well, it’s not a leap to connect the dots and see that the top-tier of the FBI (Robert Mueller, James Comey) and DOJ (Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch, Rod Rosenstein, et al), along with their subordinates, would potentially be in legal jeopardy….


And don’t think that in 2017 these people are not acutely aware of that risk, and signaling their audience [snip] Congress can get, and see, those FBI preservation notification documents without redaction. Congress could then interview the FBI special agent who was obviously in charge of key elements within the 2015 probe. Put the FBI special agent together with the unnamed FBI informant, question them, and discover what they know about the entire Uranium One deal — and there’s the road-map to tear this thing wide open.

Pressure is building to demand that Trump fire McCabe and Mueller and replace Sessions and Rosenstein. I understand the frustrations of those who are calling for such actions. Someday in the future, some or all of those actions might have to be taken. Someday, but not just yet. If the President removed them now, every media flake would be screaming Saturday Night Massacre and cover up. As the facts leak out, discrediting Mueller and his Clintonite crew, steam is building against them. For the moment, why not concentrate on reducing regulations, increasing employment, getting more nominations confirmed, moving a moribund economy back on track, and closing the borders (the importance of which was underlined this week by the horrible massacre in New York City). In the meantime, it appears that Monafort and Gates’ lawyers seem well equipped to pitch battle and I expect Vin Weber’s and Skadden Arps’ are, too. When the extent of the perfidy becomes clear and the first objectives met — and the midterms are over — it may be the right time to act. More simply put, I don’t feel equipped to second-guess a man who is such an artful strategist.

Especially when the people who pitched the grenade in his direction are watching it bounce back.

I’ve been muddling through the week’s events respecting the special counsel’s activities, trying to provide a clearer road map. And even harder — trying to do it in a way that doesn’t make it seem more complicated than need be. A friend reminded me of Lord Palmerston’s observation: “The Schleswig-Holstein question is so complicated, only three men in Europe have ever understood it. One was Prince Albert, who is dead. The second was a German professor who became mad. I am the third and I have forgotten all about it.” 

Actually, it may be simpler than that, though not much more.

A good place to start is with Conrad Black. If you recall, he, too, was, was the victim of overzealous prosecution which destroyed his publishing empire and resulted in his serving jail time before much of the case was tossed on appeal.

After detailing the media’s uneasiness in the blowback disaster of the “Russian collusion with Trump” nonsense, he observes:

There is not a shred of evidence to support this, despite fervent efforts by the Obama administration and the special counsel to unearth some. Nor is there any evidence of actual Russian influence on the election result or of any policy change by the present administration toward Russia that the Kremlin would welcome. Nor, though The New York Times clings to the story, has any evidence surfaced that Fusion GPS was initially retained on this file by anti-Trump Republicans. [snip]


As this hydrogen balloon was blowing up like the Hindenburg at the mast at Lakehurst, New Jersey, in 1937, the Uranium One affair was boiling over as a new congressional investigation was launched into the whole issue of about $131 million to $145 million being pledged or paid to the Clinton Foundation as Bill Clinton was paid $500,000 for an ordinary speech in Moscow. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Attorney General Eric Holder agreed to sell 20 percent of American uranium resources to Russia, through Russian intermediaries then under intensive investigation by the FBI director, Robert Mueller, and by then U.S. attorney in Maryland Rod Rosenstein. [snip]


The trifecta was completed with the revelation that the investigation of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was not based on his brief relations with Donald Trump, but on his lengthy connection with the Democratic Podesta brothers, and the extent to which he helped them funnel wealthy and influential Russians into high governmental circles in Washington.


There need not be anything wrong with this either, but it has nothing to do with Trump and the entire fraudulent defamation that Trump did anything improper with the Russians, much less engage in anything compromising the validity of the 2016 presidential election. That claim is an outrage whose time for asphyxiation has come. Still to be unearthed are the full stories of the Wasserman Schultz skullduggery, and the real story of improper and probably illegal surveillance at Trump Tower. As that will get all the way to President Obama, it may be expected to ooze out slowly and reluctantly, sluggish and foul.[snip] The Russian collusion scam was just a convenient intersection between the denial syndrome of the post-defeat Clintonians and the fear and anger of the garrison of the Washington sleaze factory as the improbable avenger approached.

How far afield from the original appointment of Mueller as special counsel have we gone? Very. 

This morning’s Minneapolis Star Tribune reported, in a story that doesn’t seem to have gotten a lot of national attention, that William Mueller’s ever-widening investigation has ensnared Vin Weber, a former Minnesota Congressman and long-time Washington lobbyist: [snip]


Mueller’s operation is leaking on a more or less daily basis. Isn’t that illegal? Aren’t grand jury proceedings supposed to be secret? Maybe the Attorney General should appoint a special counsel to look into possible crimes associated with leaks by Mueller’s staff.


With the emphasis on the Ukrainian lobbying efforts, Mueller’s criminal probe is moving beyond investigating ties between the Trump campaign and Russia and is aggressively pursuing people who worked as foreign agents without registering with the Justice Department.


But wait! Mueller’s investigation isn’t supposed to “move beyond investigating ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.” The Order appointing Mueller empowers him to investigate “any links an or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; and… any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.” It seems that the current focus of Mueller’s efforts is lobbying that was carried out on behalf of one of Ukraine’s political factions, or, more broadly, failure to register as a foreign agent with the Justice Department by anyone, at any time. This is not what Mueller was appointed to do. [snip]


The special counsel statute is a very poor idea, and Mueller’s implementation of it illustrates why. The job of a special counsel (or special prosecutor, as he was formerly called) is to hang scalps on the wall. Whose scalps, or why they were taken, is incidental at best. President Trump would be fully justified in firing Bill Mueller, but a better idea, in my opinion would be to appoint several more special counsel to look into various Democratic misdeeds. That would bring this whole farce to a screeching halt. 

Conrad Black, writing that the Russian collusion story was blowing up, suggested that Wasserman-Schultz had engaged in skullduggery before former DNC head Donna Brazile threw this week’s latest bombshell at the DNC and in particular Hillary Clinton, whom the party appears eager to yank off the stage. Brazile charged that the DNC was nearly bankrupted by Obama and was saved only by cash infusions from Hillary Clinton, but in return for the lifeline, Clinton took control of the party and used that power to cheat Bernie Sanders out of the nomination. More, Brazile argued that the victory fund which was to be used to fund party races down ticket was instead grabbed by Hillary for her own campaign, with very little dribbled out to other candidates.

John Hinderaker, over at Powerline Blog, notes Brazile’s charges amount to a claim that Hillary and the DNC engaged in a “criminal conspiracy”

So Hillary’s campaign paid off the debt and “placed the [Democratic] party on an allowance.” Brazile said she had no knowledge of these arrangements — or even of the party’s perilous financial condition — even though she was an officer of the DNC. It was all Debbie’s fault.


Brazile endorses Politico’s assertion, made in May of last year, that Clinton’s arrangement with the DNC was “essentially… money laundering.” Which seems like a rather dangerous concession for a former DNC chair to make.


The campaign had the DNC on life support, giving it money every month to meet its basic expenses, while the campaign was using the party as a fund-raising clearinghouse. Under FEC law, an individual can contribute a maximum of $2,700 directly to a presidential campaign. But the limits are much higher for contributions to state parties and a party’s national committee.


Individuals who had maxed out their $2,700 contribution limit to the campaign could write an additional check for $353,400 to the Hillary Victory Fund — that figure represented $10,000 to each of the 32 states’ parties who were part of the Victory Fund agreement — $320,000 — and $33,400 to the DNC. The money would be deposited in the states first, and transferred to the DNC shortly after that. Money in the battleground states usually stayed in that state, but all the other states funneled that money directly to the DNC, which quickly transferred the money to Brooklyn [Ed: the Hillary campaign].


[snip]


So Brazile sadly told Bernie Sanders that what had been leaked was true: the DNC had rigged the nomination process to ensure Hillary’s victory. [snip]


I think this is grist for a third special counsel: the second, as I have said before, should look into Uranium One, the FBI’s apparent complicity in the cover-up of Uranium One, and collusion between the Clinton campaign and Russians. The third special counsel should investigate whether the Clinton campaign and the DNC violated campaign finance laws or other statutes through their “money laundering” agreement. 

Hillary’s refusal to accept the results of the election might prove to be a disaster to the DNC and its officials, but it might be boon to DC’s white-collar criminal defense bar. That is, if we don’t all grow sick and tired of special counsels and do away with them bipartisanly before we reach that point.

But there’s even more: a new report states that FBI Deputy director McCabe is himself in the hot seat.

Documents recently released by conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch show that while current FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe recused himself from the investigation of Hillary Clinton, he didn’t do so until days before November’s election. The information was obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the FBI that sought records related to McCabe’s involvement with the state Senate campaign of his wife, Dr. Jill McCabe.


McCabe was the Assistant Director in Charge of the Washington Field Office when the probe was going on, and therefore controlled resources for the investigation. While the investigation was still underway, in February 2016, McCabe became Deputy Director of the Bureau, thus overseeing the whole operation.


The Clinton investigation officially began in July 2015, but Clinton’s private email server became public knowledge that March. Days after that news got out, Jill McCabe was approached by Clinton associate Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe about running for office and Dr. McCabe announced her candidacy less than a week later. McAuliffe raised nearly $700,000 for the campaign. [snip]


An internal memo, “Overview of Deputy Director McCabe’s Recusal Related To Dr. McCabe’s Campaign for Political Office,” also addressed McCabe’s potential conflicts, including the Clinton investigation. The same document showed that FBI officials had a set answer to questions about McCabe and his wife’s campaign, and that was to say that he did not play any role, attend events, or help support the campaign at all. Despite this, a photograph surfaced of McCabe at a campaign event, and days before the election, a social media page of Dr. McCabe’s showed an image of Andrew with a sign saying, “I am voting for Jill because she is the best wife ever.”


“The FBI is compromised. Mr. McCabe should have been nowhere near the Hillary Clinton investigations,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “That he saw fit to recuse himself only days before the election further demonstrates the FBI’s Clinton email investigation was a sham. No wonder it took a year and a federal lawsuit to get these records. It is well past time for the Justice Department to reopen the Clinton email investigation.”

About the same time Mrs. McCabe was receiving almost ¾ of a million dollars from Clinton friends, a special FBI agent apparently began a criminal investigation of  the agencies involved in the Uranium One deal approval with requests that they preserve the records: 

Taken in their totality those FBI special agent notifications now encompassed every member of the CFIUS group who “signed off” on approval of the Uranium One deal.


It would be intellectually dishonest not to see the very likely attachment of the special agent’s action. That is to say an FBI probe originating as an outcome of information retrieved in parallel to the timing of the “criminal probe” of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email use.


The sequence of events highlights a criminal probe starting [early August 2015], followed by notifications to the “Uranium One” CFIUS participants [late August 2015].


If you consider the larger Clinton timeline; along with the FBI special agent requests from identified participants; and overlay the Nuclear Regulatory Commission as the leading entity surrounding the probe elements; and the fact that the CFIUS participants were the recipients of the retention requests; well, it’s just too coincidental to think this is unrelated to the Uranium One deal and the more alarming implications.


Further, if you consider this factual researched information against the backdrop of new and current information about the roles of each of the outlined participants; and the knowledge of the mystery FBI informant who was threatened to keep his mouth shut; well, it’s not a leap to connect the dots and see that the top-tier of the FBI (Robert Mueller, James Comey) and DOJ (Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch, Rod Rosenstein, et al), along with their subordinates, would potentially be in legal jeopardy….


And don’t think that in 2017 these people are not acutely aware of that risk, and signaling their audience [snip] Congress can get, and see, those FBI preservation notification documents without redaction. Congress could then interview the FBI special agent who was obviously in charge of key elements within the 2015 probe. Put the FBI special agent together with the unnamed FBI informant, question them, and discover what they know about the entire Uranium One deal — and there’s the road-map to tear this thing wide open.

Pressure is building to demand that Trump fire McCabe and Mueller and replace Sessions and Rosenstein. I understand the frustrations of those who are calling for such actions. Someday in the future, some or all of those actions might have to be taken. Someday, but not just yet. If the President removed them now, every media flake would be screaming Saturday Night Massacre and cover up. As the facts leak out, discrediting Mueller and his Clintonite crew, steam is building against them. For the moment, why not concentrate on reducing regulations, increasing employment, getting more nominations confirmed, moving a moribund economy back on track, and closing the borders (the importance of which was underlined this week by the horrible massacre in New York City). In the meantime, it appears that Monafort and Gates’ lawyers seem well equipped to pitch battle and I expect Vin Weber’s and Skadden Arps’ are, too. When the extent of the perfidy becomes clear and the first objectives met — and the midterms are over — it may be the right time to act. More simply put, I don’t feel equipped to second-guess a man who is such an artful strategist.

Especially when the people who pitched the grenade in his direction are watching it bounce back.



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Time to Get Dead Serious: This Is War


In spite of our heroic military taking casualties, in spite of Trump-Mattis finally calling jihad the named enemy, most of this country is not yet serious.  This is war.  Our parents and grandparents did not hesitate to declare war on The Day that Lived in Infamy, the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.  But a morally weakened, liberal, and feckless U.S. Congress failed to declare war after 9/11/01, even after acts to murder of men, women, and children occurred time and time again, on our soil, and on the soil of our allies.  This is the most abject act of plain cowardice in American history, and conservatives now have their own web media to tell that truth.

The United States Constitution reads, “Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.” 

Who has given aid and comfort to our enemies?

First of all, the Democrats under Obama and Hillary, who have declared war – not on the murderous enemy of civilians in Manhattan the other day, but on our duly elected president of the United States.  The left-stacked courts may not go along, but the people of the United States can recognize it without the shadow of doubt.  Our proper response is not violence, but a loud and clear message by a hundred million voters for Trump that the behavior of the left will not go unanswered anymore.  It is time to get serious. 

Second, we know that Obama did everything in his power for eight years to surrender to jihad, to turn nuclear weapons over to Iran (which is known to collude with North Korea) with Putin’s collusion.  Putin and the Chinese have to know that the American people hold them responsible for their active support of the Iranian (jihadist) and North Korean (self-declared nuclear enemy) of the United States of America.

Third, patriotic Americans must act much more cohesively, in exactly the way we did with the National Football League, which is now in danger of bankruptcy for the way it allowed its employees to show open contempt for the flag of the United States of America.

Fourth, the left, which has a treasonous doctrine in Marx, Lenin, and the rest, must be deprived of our dollars, just as patriots deprived their favorite NFL of dollars in the face and plain and obvious disloyalty. 

Fifth, our government swarms with disloyalty to our constitutionally elected POTUS.  If the bureaucracy won’t fire known and suspected criminals, we can act with our votes, our voices, and our dollars to stop what is plain and obvious treason to common sense. 

Sixth, our armed forces, consisting of dedicated men and women who are sworn to uphold the United States Constitution, are showing signs of confusion and irresolution – though not in combat.  The U.S. Navy just accused its own personnel of human errors in failing to stop huge accidental ship collisions.  This is a major failure of elementary training in the Navy, and it has to stop. 

Seventh, the Democrats in Congress have apparently shielded, paid, and protected a ring of “I.T. experts” who all belong to the same Pakistani family, and who penetrated the electronic communications of the Intelligence Committee of the House.  None of the congressmen who colluded, actively or passively, in that plain and obvious endangerment of national security should be re-elected. Every single one, including the House leaders, should be targeted by American patriots for peaceful and legal retaliation. 

Eighth, patriots should demand that the recent slap on the wrist given by a military judge to a soldier who abandoned his unit in Afghanistan, leading to the deaths of six fellow soldiers who searched for him, that that soldier should be severely punished for desertion, for dereliction of duty.  A charge of treason in time of war should be considered by a court martial staffed by combat officers, not bureaucratic placeholder.

When the United States was attacked at Pearl Harbor by Imperial Japan in 1942, FDR acted like a war leader by dismissing the upper ranks of the U.S. Navy.  These individuals were not directly guilty of treason or sabotage, or anything near it.  But they carried command responsibility for the near destruction of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and were therefore fired.  Now that the United States has been attacked again and again, in clear and open violation of international law, we must show seriousness by holding commanders responsible for failures of training, or failures of duty, of all troops under their command. 

Senator Lindsey Graham has demanded military trials of jihad attackers.  Because our civilian courts have shown themselves to be incapable of actions to protect the United States of America, the military court system, which is legally entitled to detain and try enemy combatants, must do so. 

We have to get serious.  In World War Two, ordinary people reminded each other, “There’s a war going on.”  Well, we are in a defensive war, whether you like it or not. 

Conservatives have shown what works – without violence – by turning off NFL teams that allow their players to disrespect the flag.  That is how we should all act.  The left calls it nonviolent action.  Well, if it works, let’s do it.  Boycott all the corporations that give aid and comfort to the enemy.  The bureaucracies might be afraid to act, but the people can act. 

Electing Donald Trump was the first coherent American response to jihad.  If our politicians are too lazy, too cowardly, and too bought up by our enemies and their enablers, we should fire them, and let them know ahead of time.  No violence, no violation of civil law, but the unified voice of patriotic Americans should now be heard loud and clear. 

Congress has long been too cowardly to declare war, which is its constitutional duty. 

The word “treason” is a hard word, and it has to be used carefully.  But we have the definition of treason in time of war right in front of us.

American patriots must hold our flabby and treacherous politicians to strict account for their actions and failures to act.  Our politicians may be a sorry bunch, but we are not.  Peaceful but loud protests, peaceful demonstrations, open and vocal support for the duly elected president of the United States, and boycotts of organizations like the NFL that sponsor or tolerate acts of open rebellion and hatred for the United States of America must be punished by our purchasing decisions, until such time as the political elites catch on to return the force of law to plain and obvious acts of “aid and comfort in time of war” – treason as defined by the U.S. Constitution. 

Patriots must not engage in illegal actions, which are self-defeating. But we must let our voices be heard.  About one third of Americans understand exactly what is happening and are properly outraged by continued acts of violence against children, women, and civilian men engaging in peaceful activities.  Another third of the country has been suborned by the enemy and his domestic enablers.  There is a middle third that does not have the intelligence or the personal determination and courage to act according to the state of war that has been declared and waged against the United States. 

This is a time of declared war.  The U.S. Congress has shown itself too cowardly to recognize reality, and a number of its members have obviously given in to bribery and media pressure to fail in their duties.  We can tell who they are. 

War has been declared on us by the two big sources of jihad, Sunni and Shi’ite, over and over again.  Trump has now mobilized the Saudis and the Sunni world to publicly take our side, but there are obviously still trained murderers out there willing to mow down innocents on a bike path.  We must demand of any publicly declared ally of the United States to arrest, convict, and punish those who pose a clear and present danger to the United States of America.  That is what true allies do in time of war, and the Arab Gulf States owe us the loyalty due to an ally at war. 

In World War II, our parents and grandparents reminded each other, reluctantly, that “this is war.”  We, their children and grandchildren, can do no less. 

Didn’t you want to wipe the sneer off that kid’s face – the one who drove a truck into eight innocent people on that Manhattan bike path? 

The Manhattan truck killer should finally get all American patriots to cry out in outrage. 

In spite of our heroic military taking casualties, in spite of Trump-Mattis finally calling jihad the named enemy, most of this country is not yet serious.  This is war.  Our parents and grandparents did not hesitate to declare war on The Day that Lived in Infamy, the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.  But a morally weakened, liberal, and feckless U.S. Congress failed to declare war after 9/11/01, even after acts to murder of men, women, and children occurred time and time again, on our soil, and on the soil of our allies.  This is the most abject act of plain cowardice in American history, and conservatives now have their own web media to tell that truth.

The United States Constitution reads, “Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.” 

Who has given aid and comfort to our enemies?

First of all, the Democrats under Obama and Hillary, who have declared war – not on the murderous enemy of civilians in Manhattan the other day, but on our duly elected president of the United States.  The left-stacked courts may not go along, but the people of the United States can recognize it without the shadow of doubt.  Our proper response is not violence, but a loud and clear message by a hundred million voters for Trump that the behavior of the left will not go unanswered anymore.  It is time to get serious. 

Second, we know that Obama did everything in his power for eight years to surrender to jihad, to turn nuclear weapons over to Iran (which is known to collude with North Korea) with Putin’s collusion.  Putin and the Chinese have to know that the American people hold them responsible for their active support of the Iranian (jihadist) and North Korean (self-declared nuclear enemy) of the United States of America.

Third, patriotic Americans must act much more cohesively, in exactly the way we did with the National Football League, which is now in danger of bankruptcy for the way it allowed its employees to show open contempt for the flag of the United States of America.

Fourth, the left, which has a treasonous doctrine in Marx, Lenin, and the rest, must be deprived of our dollars, just as patriots deprived their favorite NFL of dollars in the face and plain and obvious disloyalty. 

Fifth, our government swarms with disloyalty to our constitutionally elected POTUS.  If the bureaucracy won’t fire known and suspected criminals, we can act with our votes, our voices, and our dollars to stop what is plain and obvious treason to common sense. 

Sixth, our armed forces, consisting of dedicated men and women who are sworn to uphold the United States Constitution, are showing signs of confusion and irresolution – though not in combat.  The U.S. Navy just accused its own personnel of human errors in failing to stop huge accidental ship collisions.  This is a major failure of elementary training in the Navy, and it has to stop. 

Seventh, the Democrats in Congress have apparently shielded, paid, and protected a ring of “I.T. experts” who all belong to the same Pakistani family, and who penetrated the electronic communications of the Intelligence Committee of the House.  None of the congressmen who colluded, actively or passively, in that plain and obvious endangerment of national security should be re-elected. Every single one, including the House leaders, should be targeted by American patriots for peaceful and legal retaliation. 

Eighth, patriots should demand that the recent slap on the wrist given by a military judge to a soldier who abandoned his unit in Afghanistan, leading to the deaths of six fellow soldiers who searched for him, that that soldier should be severely punished for desertion, for dereliction of duty.  A charge of treason in time of war should be considered by a court martial staffed by combat officers, not bureaucratic placeholder.

When the United States was attacked at Pearl Harbor by Imperial Japan in 1942, FDR acted like a war leader by dismissing the upper ranks of the U.S. Navy.  These individuals were not directly guilty of treason or sabotage, or anything near it.  But they carried command responsibility for the near destruction of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and were therefore fired.  Now that the United States has been attacked again and again, in clear and open violation of international law, we must show seriousness by holding commanders responsible for failures of training, or failures of duty, of all troops under their command. 

Senator Lindsey Graham has demanded military trials of jihad attackers.  Because our civilian courts have shown themselves to be incapable of actions to protect the United States of America, the military court system, which is legally entitled to detain and try enemy combatants, must do so. 

We have to get serious.  In World War Two, ordinary people reminded each other, “There’s a war going on.”  Well, we are in a defensive war, whether you like it or not. 

Conservatives have shown what works – without violence – by turning off NFL teams that allow their players to disrespect the flag.  That is how we should all act.  The left calls it nonviolent action.  Well, if it works, let’s do it.  Boycott all the corporations that give aid and comfort to the enemy.  The bureaucracies might be afraid to act, but the people can act. 

Electing Donald Trump was the first coherent American response to jihad.  If our politicians are too lazy, too cowardly, and too bought up by our enemies and their enablers, we should fire them, and let them know ahead of time.  No violence, no violation of civil law, but the unified voice of patriotic Americans should now be heard loud and clear. 

Congress has long been too cowardly to declare war, which is its constitutional duty. 

The word “treason” is a hard word, and it has to be used carefully.  But we have the definition of treason in time of war right in front of us.

American patriots must hold our flabby and treacherous politicians to strict account for their actions and failures to act.  Our politicians may be a sorry bunch, but we are not.  Peaceful but loud protests, peaceful demonstrations, open and vocal support for the duly elected president of the United States, and boycotts of organizations like the NFL that sponsor or tolerate acts of open rebellion and hatred for the United States of America must be punished by our purchasing decisions, until such time as the political elites catch on to return the force of law to plain and obvious acts of “aid and comfort in time of war” – treason as defined by the U.S. Constitution. 

Patriots must not engage in illegal actions, which are self-defeating. But we must let our voices be heard.  About one third of Americans understand exactly what is happening and are properly outraged by continued acts of violence against children, women, and civilian men engaging in peaceful activities.  Another third of the country has been suborned by the enemy and his domestic enablers.  There is a middle third that does not have the intelligence or the personal determination and courage to act according to the state of war that has been declared and waged against the United States. 

This is a time of declared war.  The U.S. Congress has shown itself too cowardly to recognize reality, and a number of its members have obviously given in to bribery and media pressure to fail in their duties.  We can tell who they are. 

War has been declared on us by the two big sources of jihad, Sunni and Shi’ite, over and over again.  Trump has now mobilized the Saudis and the Sunni world to publicly take our side, but there are obviously still trained murderers out there willing to mow down innocents on a bike path.  We must demand of any publicly declared ally of the United States to arrest, convict, and punish those who pose a clear and present danger to the United States of America.  That is what true allies do in time of war, and the Arab Gulf States owe us the loyalty due to an ally at war. 

In World War II, our parents and grandparents reminded each other, reluctantly, that “this is war.”  We, their children and grandchildren, can do no less. 



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Is Islamic Reform Possible?


In “Reform Islam or Live the ‘New Normal’ Forever,” Roger Simon argues that Donald Trump’s often frustrated travel ban on problematic countries, though not illegal, is insufficient. “It’s only a meager beginning in dealing with a situation that has not changed in any real sense since 9/11, as the events in New York Tuesday testify. If we do not move even more seriously to prevent them, they will indeed become the ‘new normal.’ ” The violence, he continues, “will never be squelched until the ideology is defeated and reformed… We must all now be obnoxious, politically incorrect busybodies and get in Islam’s face, demanding reform in every way possible, economically, socially, theologically and, yes, militarily.”

This is a bravely unpopular stance to adopt vis à vis Islam that will surely be opposed and condemned by progressivists and offended Muslims. In fact, however, it does not go nearly far enough. Islam is a notoriously resistant and tentacular faith. I have long argued in book and article that Islam cannot be reformed. For starters, it features no single “pontifical” authority that could institute real change. Moreover, the canonical network is too intricate and too vast to admit of effective modification. Expurgating the Koran, were it even possible, is only the tip of the sand dune. The hundreds of thousands of Hadith would need to be reviewed and amended, as would the Sunnah and Sirah, the five schools of jurisprudence, Twelver Shia, centuries of ulemic literature, and the underlying cultural predispositions, beliefs, ideals, and orthodox practices that form the bedrock of 57 Muslim nations and the West’s Muslim populations.

Tightening immigration protocols, as Trump is valiantly trying to do, may be a welcome step in the right direction, but it cannot meaningfully address the problem of jihadist violence or creeping Islamization. Ilana Mercer reminds us that “Religion is The Risk Factor, not chaotic countries-of-origin… The data show that young, second-generation Muslims are well-represented among terrorists acting out almost weekly across the West.”  

Trump’s initiative, then, would not have prevented truck-ramming Sayfullo Saipov, a legal Uzbek immigrant, from killing eight Americans; nor would it have prevented American Muslims, immigrant or native-born, such as the Fort Hood shooter, the San Bernardino couple, and the Orlando gay nightclub killer, from wreaking carnage and mayhem. The “new normal” will persist for the soldiers of Islam are already among us. Their agenda has been materially facilitated by a treasonable left-wing constituency and pandering political class in Europe and America, by the sentimental tolerance of current liberalism, and by the general ignorance of the tenets, doctrines and usages of Islam.

What is to be done? To begin with, we should stop all Muslim immigration to our shores for the foreseeable future, not just a selective minority from terror-sponsoring countries. Additionally, every mosque must be scrupulously investigated and many permanently closed, for it is among these putative houses of worship, as David Yurashalmi and Mordechai Kedar have shown in a Middle East Quarterly essay “Shari’a and Violence in American Mosques,” that terror breeds unabated. Of course, there are peaceable and “moderate” Muslims who wish only to get on with their lives. But as Bruce Bawer has cogently argued in an article treating of the Tariq Ramadan rape case, the “codes of Islam” are endemic and those who continue “to identify as a Muslim” while rejecting fundamental aspects of Islam are engaging in “sheer delusion.”

Bawer, like the much maligned Geert Wilders, who distinguishes between the private individual and an ideological machine, is right. It is not a question of individual Muslims, who may be decent people and law-abiding citizens, but of the faith they profess or nominally acknowledge, a faith whose “codes,” teachings and dogmas are conquest-oriented and which is materially sustained by its adherents, whether they know it or not. A militant and supremacist theology is thus reinforced by its communicants, no matter how innocent of malice they may be. Such is the Dar al-Islam, a theo-imperialist establishment which is sustained by its “moderates” no less than by its “radicals.” As Mercer points out, “The fact that there are moderate Muslims doesn’t mean there is a moderate Islam”

Those who contend, like Clifford Smith, Director of the Middle East Forum Washington Project, that a more discerning vetting process, a “holistic approach regarding applicants’ ideology,” can resolve the problem of distinguishing between “bona fide Muslim migrants” and those “placing violent ideologies over American law,” reveal a profound misunderstanding of the ancestral resilience of Islam. This approach merely fudges the issue and does not account for home-grown jihadists, as well as being vulnerable to the Islamic principal of taqqiyah, officially approved lying. Canonical Islam would still remain intact and continue to pose a threat to a pluralistic democracy with which it is incompatible. As former Israeli Consul General to the U.S. Yoram Ettinger writes, acts of terror are “not an aberration, but an integral episode of… 14 centuries of Quran-sanctioned terrorism against the abode of the ‘infidel’.” Jihad is “a fundamental pillar of Islam… which commands Muslims to emulate previous struggles against the enemies of Islam, within the context of an eternal battle.”

As for those proponents of the “new normal” who frivolously claim, for example, that more people are killed, say, by lightning than by jihad, the rebuttal is obvious. Simon points out that TheReligionofPeace website documents “34 jihadist attacks in 13 countries over just six days this past week (Oct. 21-27), resulting in 444 killed and 114 injured. That doesn’t include the horrific suicide bombing in Somalia on October 28 that took over two dozen lives — including three children and a beheaded woman.” On the other hand, how many were killed by lightning in the last six days?

Let’s be realistic. The “New Normal” is indeed here to stay — the invasion has become too expansive to be reversed — but its ravages and incidence can be reduced if we repudiate the cultural sedatives of the day and proceed, as Ettinger urges, to “pre-empt, rather than react,” that is, to act decisively on several related fronts: a recognition that reform cannot succeed, a strict moratorium on immigration, a relentless surveillance of terror-fostering mosques, and a refusal to succumb to the Kumbaya rhetoric of the politically correct.

Again, to be realistic, a sea-change of this nature is highly unlikely — since we appear to be as unamenable to reform as is Islam. Nevertheless, unless we come to our senses, realize that we are in the midst of a 1400-year civilizational war, and take appropriate measures, the sequel is a foregone conclusion. As the Gullah song goes, “Someone’s laughing, Lord, kumbaya” — but it won’t be us.  

In “Reform Islam or Live the ‘New Normal’ Forever,” Roger Simon argues that Donald Trump’s often frustrated travel ban on problematic countries, though not illegal, is insufficient. “It’s only a meager beginning in dealing with a situation that has not changed in any real sense since 9/11, as the events in New York Tuesday testify. If we do not move even more seriously to prevent them, they will indeed become the ‘new normal.’ ” The violence, he continues, “will never be squelched until the ideology is defeated and reformed… We must all now be obnoxious, politically incorrect busybodies and get in Islam’s face, demanding reform in every way possible, economically, socially, theologically and, yes, militarily.”

This is a bravely unpopular stance to adopt vis à vis Islam that will surely be opposed and condemned by progressivists and offended Muslims. In fact, however, it does not go nearly far enough. Islam is a notoriously resistant and tentacular faith. I have long argued in book and article that Islam cannot be reformed. For starters, it features no single “pontifical” authority that could institute real change. Moreover, the canonical network is too intricate and too vast to admit of effective modification. Expurgating the Koran, were it even possible, is only the tip of the sand dune. The hundreds of thousands of Hadith would need to be reviewed and amended, as would the Sunnah and Sirah, the five schools of jurisprudence, Twelver Shia, centuries of ulemic literature, and the underlying cultural predispositions, beliefs, ideals, and orthodox practices that form the bedrock of 57 Muslim nations and the West’s Muslim populations.

Tightening immigration protocols, as Trump is valiantly trying to do, may be a welcome step in the right direction, but it cannot meaningfully address the problem of jihadist violence or creeping Islamization. Ilana Mercer reminds us that “Religion is The Risk Factor, not chaotic countries-of-origin… The data show that young, second-generation Muslims are well-represented among terrorists acting out almost weekly across the West.”  

Trump’s initiative, then, would not have prevented truck-ramming Sayfullo Saipov, a legal Uzbek immigrant, from killing eight Americans; nor would it have prevented American Muslims, immigrant or native-born, such as the Fort Hood shooter, the San Bernardino couple, and the Orlando gay nightclub killer, from wreaking carnage and mayhem. The “new normal” will persist for the soldiers of Islam are already among us. Their agenda has been materially facilitated by a treasonable left-wing constituency and pandering political class in Europe and America, by the sentimental tolerance of current liberalism, and by the general ignorance of the tenets, doctrines and usages of Islam.

What is to be done? To begin with, we should stop all Muslim immigration to our shores for the foreseeable future, not just a selective minority from terror-sponsoring countries. Additionally, every mosque must be scrupulously investigated and many permanently closed, for it is among these putative houses of worship, as David Yurashalmi and Mordechai Kedar have shown in a Middle East Quarterly essay “Shari’a and Violence in American Mosques,” that terror breeds unabated. Of course, there are peaceable and “moderate” Muslims who wish only to get on with their lives. But as Bruce Bawer has cogently argued in an article treating of the Tariq Ramadan rape case, the “codes of Islam” are endemic and those who continue “to identify as a Muslim” while rejecting fundamental aspects of Islam are engaging in “sheer delusion.”

Bawer, like the much maligned Geert Wilders, who distinguishes between the private individual and an ideological machine, is right. It is not a question of individual Muslims, who may be decent people and law-abiding citizens, but of the faith they profess or nominally acknowledge, a faith whose “codes,” teachings and dogmas are conquest-oriented and which is materially sustained by its adherents, whether they know it or not. A militant and supremacist theology is thus reinforced by its communicants, no matter how innocent of malice they may be. Such is the Dar al-Islam, a theo-imperialist establishment which is sustained by its “moderates” no less than by its “radicals.” As Mercer points out, “The fact that there are moderate Muslims doesn’t mean there is a moderate Islam”

Those who contend, like Clifford Smith, Director of the Middle East Forum Washington Project, that a more discerning vetting process, a “holistic approach regarding applicants’ ideology,” can resolve the problem of distinguishing between “bona fide Muslim migrants” and those “placing violent ideologies over American law,” reveal a profound misunderstanding of the ancestral resilience of Islam. This approach merely fudges the issue and does not account for home-grown jihadists, as well as being vulnerable to the Islamic principal of taqqiyah, officially approved lying. Canonical Islam would still remain intact and continue to pose a threat to a pluralistic democracy with which it is incompatible. As former Israeli Consul General to the U.S. Yoram Ettinger writes, acts of terror are “not an aberration, but an integral episode of… 14 centuries of Quran-sanctioned terrorism against the abode of the ‘infidel’.” Jihad is “a fundamental pillar of Islam… which commands Muslims to emulate previous struggles against the enemies of Islam, within the context of an eternal battle.”

As for those proponents of the “new normal” who frivolously claim, for example, that more people are killed, say, by lightning than by jihad, the rebuttal is obvious. Simon points out that TheReligionofPeace website documents “34 jihadist attacks in 13 countries over just six days this past week (Oct. 21-27), resulting in 444 killed and 114 injured. That doesn’t include the horrific suicide bombing in Somalia on October 28 that took over two dozen lives — including three children and a beheaded woman.” On the other hand, how many were killed by lightning in the last six days?

Let’s be realistic. The “New Normal” is indeed here to stay — the invasion has become too expansive to be reversed — but its ravages and incidence can be reduced if we repudiate the cultural sedatives of the day and proceed, as Ettinger urges, to “pre-empt, rather than react,” that is, to act decisively on several related fronts: a recognition that reform cannot succeed, a strict moratorium on immigration, a relentless surveillance of terror-fostering mosques, and a refusal to succumb to the Kumbaya rhetoric of the politically correct.

Again, to be realistic, a sea-change of this nature is highly unlikely — since we appear to be as unamenable to reform as is Islam. Nevertheless, unless we come to our senses, realize that we are in the midst of a 1400-year civilizational war, and take appropriate measures, the sequel is a foregone conclusion. As the Gullah song goes, “Someone’s laughing, Lord, kumbaya” — but it won’t be us.  



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