Month: December 2017

CNN Declares War on Fox News


Since last spring, MMFA has been actively spearheading an effort to get viewers to boycott Hannity’s advertisers in an attempt to have him taken off the air. A similar advertiser boycott strategy last spring contributed to the demise of Fox News’ then #1 host, Bill O’Reilly, after he and his employer were accused of paying off women in the workplace who had accused him of sexual harassment. O’Reilly has consistently denied the allegations, none of which has ever made it to a court of law. No allegations of any kind of impropriety have ever been leveled against Hannity and, to date, MMFA’s efforts to get him canned have not been successful.

But now, MMFA has enlisted a prominent and enthusiastic ally – the Cable News Network – in its efforts to take down Hannity and to destroy the reputation of Fox News. Founded in 1980 as the first cable television channel devoted to reporting breaking news 24/7, CNN has always tilted somewhat left of center. In recent years, the channel, which broadcasts internationally as well as domestically, has morphed into a Deep State propaganda mouthpiece with a special antipathy towards President Donald J. Trump.

Brian Stelter introduces CNN’s Reliable Sources December 17, 2017

The overwhelming anti-Trump bias of CNN has been confirmed in recent studies by respected non-partisan groups. For example, the Shorenstein Center at Harvard University found that CNN’s reporting on the Trump administration during its first three months was 93 percent negative. The Shorenstein report (May 18, 2017) said “CNN and NBC’s coverage was the most unrelenting – negative stories about Trump outpaced positive ones by 13-to-1 on the two networks.” Meanwhile, the Fox News Channel, which CNN derides as lacking legitimacy, has provided relatively balanced coverage of Trump. Shorenstein: “Fox was the only outlet where Trump’s overall coverage nearly crept into positive territory. . . Fox’s coverage was 34 percentage points less negative than the average for the other six outlets.”

Only ten days ago, CNN ran with a demonstrably fake news account as its lead story both online and on television for eight hours before it was corrected. It was quickly seen as a stand-out failure and a textbook example of the fake news phenomenon that resulted in wide coverage and even some criticism from several other MSM news outlets.

A preview of Stelter’s Sunday December 17 Reliable Sources critique of Fox News came the night before, when CNN dot com published a 1,500 word article by Stelter, “How Fox News and President Trump create an anti-Mueller ‘feedback loop.’” Stelter is proposing a theory that Fox News’ “right wing” hosts, Hannity in particular, are the ideological tail wagging the Trump Administration dog:

An anti-Robert Mueller, anti-FBI fervor is intensifying among Trump supporters – partly thanks to a campaign by Fox News and other conservative media sources.


The right-wing commentary and President Trump’s criticism of the FBI are part of a vicious circle. The TV hosts encourage Trump, then Trump supplies sound bites for their shows, and then the hosts are even more emboldened. [emphasis added.]


With [Special Counsel Robert] Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election reaching closer to Trump’s inner circle, Fox hosts like Sean Hannity continue to demand Mueller’s firing. Every night, Hannity tells millions of viewers that Mueller’s probe is a corrupt plot to take down Trump and reverse the outcome of the election. Trump is a big fan of Hannity’s show, and the two men speak on a regular basis.

Stelter insists that not only the Trump Administration but Republican members of Congress are also taking cues on strategy from Fox News and Hannity:

Some Republican lawmakers have also spoken out forcefully against the FBI. When Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was questioned on Capitol Hill earlier this week, Hannity played highlights and said, “You’ve heard it here first. We’ve been doing this now for months.”

It’s apparent that MMFA, part of the David Brock empire of far left advocacy groups that have raised the practice of political hardball to an insidious new level, is a primary source for CNN. This fact is acknowledged in Stelter’s December 16 CNN.com article:

Media Matters for America, a liberal media monitoring group that has urged an ad boycott of Hannity’s show, recently estimated that “Hannity and his guests have questioned Mueller’s legitimacy or called for Mueller to remove himself or be fired 79 times since the special counsel was appointed.”

On Sunday morning, Stelter’s critique of Fox News took up the first 15 minutes of his Reliable Sources program. (Complete video embedded at the end of this article.) From CNN’s transcript of the broadcast:

BRIAN STELTER, CNN HOST: Robert Mueller is investigating Russia’s attack on the American election. But now, he is under attack. And this new assault is not coming from Moscow. It’s coming from Fox News headquarters right here in New York. And it’s coming from the White House.


It’s an anti-Mueller, anti-FBI feedback loop, claiming that Mueller’s probe is hopelessly biased and downright corrupt. Let’s cue Fox.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, FOX NEWS)


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE [Rachel Campos Duffy, substitute co-host, Fox & Friends Weekend]: I think what we have here is potentially one of the biggest scandals in American history where we’re seeing, you know, our justice system being used to really change the outcome of an election.


(END VIDEO CLIP)


STELTER: That’s from “Fox & Friends” just today. Now, let’s cue Trump aide Kellyanne Conway last night.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)


KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: The fix was in against Donald Trump from the beginning. And they were pro-Hillary.


(END VIDEO CLIP)


STELTER: This is the feedback loop in action. I want you to see it over and over again. Fox, Trump, his aides, GOP lawmakers, all of them, they’re taking a legitimate issue, which is the discovery of a Mueller team member who expressed his hatred of Trump in text messages, and then they’re blowing it up, trying to discredit the entire probe.

CNN’s in-house attorney, Jeffrey Toobin, has been making the case, including in Stelter’s December 16 article, that the only people concerned about the integrity and fairness of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and the FBI’s controversial activities re: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are viewers of Fox News. From the Reliable Sources December 17 transcript, with Stelter speaking:

KGB comparisons have been made on Hannity’s show, too. There’s been talk about “banana republics” and “third world countries.” Jeanine Pirro, a Trump ally who has a weekend show on Fox, has even urged arrests of FBI officials.


“There is a cleansing needed in our FBI and Department of Justice,” Pirro said last weekend. “It needs to be cleansed of individuals who should not just be fired, but who need to be taken out in handcuffs.”


It’s the kind of rhetoric that Trump hears on a regular basis. He claims that Fox News is the only major network news source that’s not “fake.”


Analysts say he sometimes parrots what he hears on Fox. “It’s a shame what happened with the FBI,” Trump told reporters on Friday. “It is very sad when you look at those documents,” he said, an apparent reference to the text messages [sent by FBI agent Peter Strzok to his girlfriend FBI attorney Lisa Page.]


“You have a lot of angry people that are seeing it. It’s a very sad thing to watch,” Trump added.


CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin reacted this way: “You know who ‘a lot of people’ are? ‘A lot of people’ are the people who watch Fox News. Other than that, a lot of people are actually not upset about this investigation. That’s shown over and over again in the polls.”

Later in the Sunday broadcast, Stelter amplified his spin:

Last night – I can’t believe this – Fox is asking if the FBI has engaged in a coup. This morning, the [Fox News Channel on screen] banner said the investigators are in the hot seat.

This isn’t just an alternate reality. This is a reversal of reality. Obviously, it’s Trump world that is on the hot seat. Four Trump associates have been charged with crimes. Two of the four have pled guilty. Mueller is investigating a massive fire. And everyone can see and smell the smoke.

But this, instead, is what the president is hearing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEANINE PIRRO, FOX NEWS HOST: The only thing that remains is whether we have the fortitude to not just fire these people immediately but to take them out in cuffs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STELTER: That is Jeanine Pirro, one of Trump’s informal advisers, not just calling for firings but arrests.

Look, I don’t say this lightly, but these FOTs, these friends of Trumps, they are – they’re talking like propagandists. This sounds like propaganda and it sounds dangerous.

Pirro is demanding a cleansing of the FBI. Sean Hannity is calling Mueller the head of the snake. Other Fox hosts are calling the FBI corrupt and out of control. Rush Limbaugh is describing it as a coup and guests on these programs are comparing the FBI to the KGB.

The conservative media choir is telling Trump that Mueller is out to get you, trying to reverse the outcome of the election. It doesn’t get any more dangerous than that.

L. to R. Brian Stelter, Kurt Bardella, Hadas Gold, David Folkenflik

For his panel of experts, Stelter introduced Kurt Bardella, a “former spokesman” for Breitbart and a disgruntled one-time Republican operative who has now flipped to the Democratic Party; David Folkenflik, National Public Radio media correspondent (enough said); and Hadas Gold, a CNN reporter since last September who worked for POLITICO for 5 ½ years before that. Bardella, by the way, who has quite a backstory in D.C. politics, resigned from Breitbart in March 2016 to protest the publication’s handling of its reporter Michelle Fields’ allegations of battery against Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski.

Rather than quote the droning one-voice comments of the four people on the Reliable Sources set, interested readers with a high tolerance for frustration can consult CNN’s transcript or the video of the program.

A comment by NPR’s Folkenflik pretty much summarized the discussion:

And sometimes, the message seems to be coming from around the White House where I think often it’s not – you are seeing these Fox hosts pushing forward messages they want the White House to hold on to, to grab hold of and to ride. And you’re seeing – it’s not just a synergy, it’s just this constant, current floating all in the same direction.

There are no admission of facts against interests on these shows that you’re talking about. And that, I think, is why it [that is, the Fox News Channel] is not news.

That’s the new meme: CNN is real news; it’s Fox News that is fake.

This spin has been tried before, including in 2009 when the administration of Barack Obama attacked Fox News as not news. On October 12, 2009, Fox News reported:

Calling Fox News “a wing of the Republican Party,” the Obama administration on Sunday escalated its war of words against the channel, even as observers questioned the wisdom of a White House war on a news organization. 


“What I think is fair to say about Fox – and certainly it’s the way we view it – is that it really is more a wing of the Republican Party,” said Anita Dunn, White House communications director, on CNN. “They take their talking points, put them on the air; take their opposition research, put them on the air. And that’s fine. But let’s not pretend they’re a news network the way CNN is.”

It should be remembered that Anita Dunn is the high-level Obama advisor who famously said in a speech at a high school graduation in 2009 that “two of my favorite political philosophers [are] Mao Tse Tung and Mother Teresa. . . the two people I turn to most often.”

Tamara Holder, CNN Reliable Sources December 17, 2017

Back to Sunday’s Reliable Sources: The entire show except for the last four minutes was devoted to Fox News, the proposed merger of 21st Century Fox and Disney, a detailed examination of the alleged climate of sexual harassment at Fox News, exclamations of shock about what Fox head Rupert Murdoch said in a new interview, and a report about the purported vulnerabilities of President Trump in the face of allegations that he harassed women in the past – a topic, in CNN’s view, not unrelated to Fox News.

In a live interview with Stelter, attorney Tamara Holder, a former contributor from the left at Fox News, detailed allegations against a Fox News executive who, she said, criminally harassed her. Holder was a Fox News contributor with a $300,000 a year salary. After being fired, because she reported the harassment, she said, she ultimately received a $2.5 million settlement from the company earlier this year. During her conversation with Stelter, Holder said she is so stressed from her experience at Fox News:

Like, I had to do an MDMA illegal [psychoactive drug] therapy to deal with my PTSD, because I couldn’t function.

Drawing the lens back for a wider view of these various goings-on, the big picture here is that Fox News is an essential target in the full-spectrum assault that is clearly aimed at taking down the big fish – President Trump. Fox News is the only MSM outlet that manages to present anything close to fair and balanced coverage of the news involving the Trump administration. Additionally, its nightly prime time (8-11 P.M. E.T.) opinion shows are hosted by the only conservatives on cable television news, Hannity, Tucker Carlson, and Laura Ingraham. They present right of center viewpoints while giving ample time to left and progressive guests to make their case, without insulting and demeaning them as CNN does when it includes a conservative guest on its left wing-dominated panels.

So, what is the response of Fox News to these developments? So far, nothing on the record. However, an email on Sunday from “a high-ranking Fox official” offered these exclusive comments for this article:

CNN has been attacking FNC this way for years, and it continues to fail. CNN’s performance under [CNN president] Jeff Zucker has been an abysmal failure. The ratings speak for themselves. CNN is now a distant third in the cable news race, and HLN [CNN’s sister cable channel] still has no audience despite numerous Zucker revamps.


The President [Donald Trump], having identified and exposed CNN as “Fake News,” clearly cuts very deep and personal.

Another Fox employee with “first-hand knowledge of CNN’s internal HR issues” added:

It’s well known in the industry that CNN has its own share of [skeletons in the closet potentially subject to exposure by the runaway #Me Too campaign], and it’s only a matter of time before that dam bursts. There are many nervous top executives and on-air talent at CNN tonight.


It’s only a matter of time before Jeff Zucker gets a thorough examination of his role at NBC while Matt Lauer was [allegedly] abusing and harassing women. Once the CNN floodgates open, people will see one common denominator: Jeff Zucker.

The cable news wars are a battle of attrition. The conflict is becoming increasingly ugly. The stakes – especially as they intertwine now with the fate of the President of the United States – couldn’t be higher. As we have noted all year during this evolving coverage of cable news and national politics at the highest levels, please stay tuned for developments. There will assuredly be more.

Here is the complete episode of Reliable Sources:

Peter Barry Chowka is a veteran reporter and analyst of news on national politics, media, and popular culture. Follow Peter on Twitter @pchowka.

CNN, never a friend of its competitor Fox News, now appears to have declared open war on the country’s #1 cable news channel (Fox) and its star host, the cable news ratings leader Sean Hannity. The latest salvo came on Sunday December 17, 2017 on CNN’s weekly media analysis program, Reliable Sources.

CNN sniping at Fox News is nothing new. The enmity between the two cable news giants goes back years. Recently, with opposition to President Trump turning white hot and talk of impeachment or obstruction of justice in the air, CNN has been aiming more of its fire at Fox News, the only mainstream media source that reports fairly about the president. Four weeks ago, Brian Stelter, the host of Reliable Sources, aimed a stinging broadside at Sean Hannity in a one-sided segment featuring Hannity’s leading adversary, Angelo Carusone, the one-time young Republican who now presides over the radical left anti-conservative advocacy group Media Matters for America (MMFA).

The Target: Sean Hannity

Since last spring, MMFA has been actively spearheading an effort to get viewers to boycott Hannity’s advertisers in an attempt to have him taken off the air. A similar advertiser boycott strategy last spring contributed to the demise of Fox News’ then #1 host, Bill O’Reilly, after he and his employer were accused of paying off women in the workplace who had accused him of sexual harassment. O’Reilly has consistently denied the allegations, none of which has ever made it to a court of law. No allegations of any kind of impropriety have ever been leveled against Hannity and, to date, MMFA’s efforts to get him canned have not been successful.

But now, MMFA has enlisted a prominent and enthusiastic ally – the Cable News Network – in its efforts to take down Hannity and to destroy the reputation of Fox News. Founded in 1980 as the first cable television channel devoted to reporting breaking news 24/7, CNN has always tilted somewhat left of center. In recent years, the channel, which broadcasts internationally as well as domestically, has morphed into a Deep State propaganda mouthpiece with a special antipathy towards President Donald J. Trump.

Brian Stelter introduces CNN’s Reliable Sources December 17, 2017

The overwhelming anti-Trump bias of CNN has been confirmed in recent studies by respected non-partisan groups. For example, the Shorenstein Center at Harvard University found that CNN’s reporting on the Trump administration during its first three months was 93 percent negative. The Shorenstein report (May 18, 2017) said “CNN and NBC’s coverage was the most unrelenting – negative stories about Trump outpaced positive ones by 13-to-1 on the two networks.” Meanwhile, the Fox News Channel, which CNN derides as lacking legitimacy, has provided relatively balanced coverage of Trump. Shorenstein: “Fox was the only outlet where Trump’s overall coverage nearly crept into positive territory. . . Fox’s coverage was 34 percentage points less negative than the average for the other six outlets.”

Only ten days ago, CNN ran with a demonstrably fake news account as its lead story both online and on television for eight hours before it was corrected. It was quickly seen as a stand-out failure and a textbook example of the fake news phenomenon that resulted in wide coverage and even some criticism from several other MSM news outlets.

A preview of Stelter’s Sunday December 17 Reliable Sources critique of Fox News came the night before, when CNN dot com published a 1,500 word article by Stelter, “How Fox News and President Trump create an anti-Mueller ‘feedback loop.’” Stelter is proposing a theory that Fox News’ “right wing” hosts, Hannity in particular, are the ideological tail wagging the Trump Administration dog:

An anti-Robert Mueller, anti-FBI fervor is intensifying among Trump supporters – partly thanks to a campaign by Fox News and other conservative media sources.


The right-wing commentary and President Trump’s criticism of the FBI are part of a vicious circle. The TV hosts encourage Trump, then Trump supplies sound bites for their shows, and then the hosts are even more emboldened. [emphasis added.]


With [Special Counsel Robert] Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election reaching closer to Trump’s inner circle, Fox hosts like Sean Hannity continue to demand Mueller’s firing. Every night, Hannity tells millions of viewers that Mueller’s probe is a corrupt plot to take down Trump and reverse the outcome of the election. Trump is a big fan of Hannity’s show, and the two men speak on a regular basis.

Stelter insists that not only the Trump Administration but Republican members of Congress are also taking cues on strategy from Fox News and Hannity:

Some Republican lawmakers have also spoken out forcefully against the FBI. When Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was questioned on Capitol Hill earlier this week, Hannity played highlights and said, “You’ve heard it here first. We’ve been doing this now for months.”

It’s apparent that MMFA, part of the David Brock empire of far left advocacy groups that have raised the practice of political hardball to an insidious new level, is a primary source for CNN. This fact is acknowledged in Stelter’s December 16 CNN.com article:

Media Matters for America, a liberal media monitoring group that has urged an ad boycott of Hannity’s show, recently estimated that “Hannity and his guests have questioned Mueller’s legitimacy or called for Mueller to remove himself or be fired 79 times since the special counsel was appointed.”

On Sunday morning, Stelter’s critique of Fox News took up the first 15 minutes of his Reliable Sources program. (Complete video embedded at the end of this article.) From CNN’s transcript of the broadcast:

BRIAN STELTER, CNN HOST: Robert Mueller is investigating Russia’s attack on the American election. But now, he is under attack. And this new assault is not coming from Moscow. It’s coming from Fox News headquarters right here in New York. And it’s coming from the White House.


It’s an anti-Mueller, anti-FBI feedback loop, claiming that Mueller’s probe is hopelessly biased and downright corrupt. Let’s cue Fox.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, FOX NEWS)


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE [Rachel Campos Duffy, substitute co-host, Fox & Friends Weekend]: I think what we have here is potentially one of the biggest scandals in American history where we’re seeing, you know, our justice system being used to really change the outcome of an election.


(END VIDEO CLIP)


STELTER: That’s from “Fox & Friends” just today. Now, let’s cue Trump aide Kellyanne Conway last night.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)


KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: The fix was in against Donald Trump from the beginning. And they were pro-Hillary.


(END VIDEO CLIP)


STELTER: This is the feedback loop in action. I want you to see it over and over again. Fox, Trump, his aides, GOP lawmakers, all of them, they’re taking a legitimate issue, which is the discovery of a Mueller team member who expressed his hatred of Trump in text messages, and then they’re blowing it up, trying to discredit the entire probe.

CNN’s in-house attorney, Jeffrey Toobin, has been making the case, including in Stelter’s December 16 article, that the only people concerned about the integrity and fairness of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and the FBI’s controversial activities re: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are viewers of Fox News. From the Reliable Sources December 17 transcript, with Stelter speaking:

KGB comparisons have been made on Hannity’s show, too. There’s been talk about “banana republics” and “third world countries.” Jeanine Pirro, a Trump ally who has a weekend show on Fox, has even urged arrests of FBI officials.


“There is a cleansing needed in our FBI and Department of Justice,” Pirro said last weekend. “It needs to be cleansed of individuals who should not just be fired, but who need to be taken out in handcuffs.”


It’s the kind of rhetoric that Trump hears on a regular basis. He claims that Fox News is the only major network news source that’s not “fake.”


Analysts say he sometimes parrots what he hears on Fox. “It’s a shame what happened with the FBI,” Trump told reporters on Friday. “It is very sad when you look at those documents,” he said, an apparent reference to the text messages [sent by FBI agent Peter Strzok to his girlfriend FBI attorney Lisa Page.]


“You have a lot of angry people that are seeing it. It’s a very sad thing to watch,” Trump added.


CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin reacted this way: “You know who ‘a lot of people’ are? ‘A lot of people’ are the people who watch Fox News. Other than that, a lot of people are actually not upset about this investigation. That’s shown over and over again in the polls.”

Later in the Sunday broadcast, Stelter amplified his spin:

Last night – I can’t believe this – Fox is asking if the FBI has engaged in a coup. This morning, the [Fox News Channel on screen] banner said the investigators are in the hot seat.

This isn’t just an alternate reality. This is a reversal of reality. Obviously, it’s Trump world that is on the hot seat. Four Trump associates have been charged with crimes. Two of the four have pled guilty. Mueller is investigating a massive fire. And everyone can see and smell the smoke.

But this, instead, is what the president is hearing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEANINE PIRRO, FOX NEWS HOST: The only thing that remains is whether we have the fortitude to not just fire these people immediately but to take them out in cuffs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STELTER: That is Jeanine Pirro, one of Trump’s informal advisers, not just calling for firings but arrests.

Look, I don’t say this lightly, but these FOTs, these friends of Trumps, they are – they’re talking like propagandists. This sounds like propaganda and it sounds dangerous.

Pirro is demanding a cleansing of the FBI. Sean Hannity is calling Mueller the head of the snake. Other Fox hosts are calling the FBI corrupt and out of control. Rush Limbaugh is describing it as a coup and guests on these programs are comparing the FBI to the KGB.

The conservative media choir is telling Trump that Mueller is out to get you, trying to reverse the outcome of the election. It doesn’t get any more dangerous than that.

L. to R. Brian Stelter, Kurt Bardella, Hadas Gold, David Folkenflik

For his panel of experts, Stelter introduced Kurt Bardella, a “former spokesman” for Breitbart and a disgruntled one-time Republican operative who has now flipped to the Democratic Party; David Folkenflik, National Public Radio media correspondent (enough said); and Hadas Gold, a CNN reporter since last September who worked for POLITICO for 5 ½ years before that. Bardella, by the way, who has quite a backstory in D.C. politics, resigned from Breitbart in March 2016 to protest the publication’s handling of its reporter Michelle Fields’ allegations of battery against Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski.

Rather than quote the droning one-voice comments of the four people on the Reliable Sources set, interested readers with a high tolerance for frustration can consult CNN’s transcript or the video of the program.

A comment by NPR’s Folkenflik pretty much summarized the discussion:

And sometimes, the message seems to be coming from around the White House where I think often it’s not – you are seeing these Fox hosts pushing forward messages they want the White House to hold on to, to grab hold of and to ride. And you’re seeing – it’s not just a synergy, it’s just this constant, current floating all in the same direction.

There are no admission of facts against interests on these shows that you’re talking about. And that, I think, is why it [that is, the Fox News Channel] is not news.

That’s the new meme: CNN is real news; it’s Fox News that is fake.

This spin has been tried before, including in 2009 when the administration of Barack Obama attacked Fox News as not news. On October 12, 2009, Fox News reported:

Calling Fox News “a wing of the Republican Party,” the Obama administration on Sunday escalated its war of words against the channel, even as observers questioned the wisdom of a White House war on a news organization. 


“What I think is fair to say about Fox – and certainly it’s the way we view it – is that it really is more a wing of the Republican Party,” said Anita Dunn, White House communications director, on CNN. “They take their talking points, put them on the air; take their opposition research, put them on the air. And that’s fine. But let’s not pretend they’re a news network the way CNN is.”

It should be remembered that Anita Dunn is the high-level Obama advisor who famously said in a speech at a high school graduation in 2009 that “two of my favorite political philosophers [are] Mao Tse Tung and Mother Teresa. . . the two people I turn to most often.”

Tamara Holder, CNN Reliable Sources December 17, 2017

Back to Sunday’s Reliable Sources: The entire show except for the last four minutes was devoted to Fox News, the proposed merger of 21st Century Fox and Disney, a detailed examination of the alleged climate of sexual harassment at Fox News, exclamations of shock about what Fox head Rupert Murdoch said in a new interview, and a report about the purported vulnerabilities of President Trump in the face of allegations that he harassed women in the past – a topic, in CNN’s view, not unrelated to Fox News.

In a live interview with Stelter, attorney Tamara Holder, a former contributor from the left at Fox News, detailed allegations against a Fox News executive who, she said, criminally harassed her. Holder was a Fox News contributor with a $300,000 a year salary. After being fired, because she reported the harassment, she said, she ultimately received a $2.5 million settlement from the company earlier this year. During her conversation with Stelter, Holder said she is so stressed from her experience at Fox News:

Like, I had to do an MDMA illegal [psychoactive drug] therapy to deal with my PTSD, because I couldn’t function.

Drawing the lens back for a wider view of these various goings-on, the big picture here is that Fox News is an essential target in the full-spectrum assault that is clearly aimed at taking down the big fish – President Trump. Fox News is the only MSM outlet that manages to present anything close to fair and balanced coverage of the news involving the Trump administration. Additionally, its nightly prime time (8-11 P.M. E.T.) opinion shows are hosted by the only conservatives on cable television news, Hannity, Tucker Carlson, and Laura Ingraham. They present right of center viewpoints while giving ample time to left and progressive guests to make their case, without insulting and demeaning them as CNN does when it includes a conservative guest on its left wing-dominated panels.

So, what is the response of Fox News to these developments? So far, nothing on the record. However, an email on Sunday from “a high-ranking Fox official” offered these exclusive comments for this article:

CNN has been attacking FNC this way for years, and it continues to fail. CNN’s performance under [CNN president] Jeff Zucker has been an abysmal failure. The ratings speak for themselves. CNN is now a distant third in the cable news race, and HLN [CNN’s sister cable channel] still has no audience despite numerous Zucker revamps.


The President [Donald Trump], having identified and exposed CNN as “Fake News,” clearly cuts very deep and personal.

Another Fox employee with “first-hand knowledge of CNN’s internal HR issues” added:

It’s well known in the industry that CNN has its own share of [skeletons in the closet potentially subject to exposure by the runaway #Me Too campaign], and it’s only a matter of time before that dam bursts. There are many nervous top executives and on-air talent at CNN tonight.


It’s only a matter of time before Jeff Zucker gets a thorough examination of his role at NBC while Matt Lauer was [allegedly] abusing and harassing women. Once the CNN floodgates open, people will see one common denominator: Jeff Zucker.

The cable news wars are a battle of attrition. The conflict is becoming increasingly ugly. The stakes – especially as they intertwine now with the fate of the President of the United States – couldn’t be higher. As we have noted all year during this evolving coverage of cable news and national politics at the highest levels, please stay tuned for developments. There will assuredly be more.

Here is the complete episode of Reliable Sources:

Peter Barry Chowka is a veteran reporter and analyst of news on national politics, media, and popular culture. Follow Peter on Twitter @pchowka.



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The Decline and Fall of American Nationhood


It’s a sad fact of man’s nature that we tend to operate based on emotion more than reason. This comes to mind when considering how illegal migration, a.k.a. invasion, has now again surged back to almost Obama-era levels. Some are theorizing why this is so, looking at the micro, but an important factor is minimized: not enough people care.

Oh, they care about some things: sports, entertainment, money, sex, bread and circuses. But the familial passion that should characterize a nation is largely absent.

Passion is the actuator. You don’t become a concert pianist because of a cold intellectual calculation that you may have some talent and, well, you could make some good money being on stage. It’s passion that motivates you to sink your teeth into practicing hours a day. Just consider the difference between a child forced to engage in an activity and one with self-motivating passion, or the difference between soldiers fighting simply because they must and those truly believing in their cause.

When hearing about invaders streaming across our border, often with a sense of entitlement, we should be filled with righteous anger motivating us to robustly defend the homeland. We’re not. Or not enough of us are. In fact, a good percentage of the country works against the common good, passionate about the wrong things and acting as traitors would. Too many of the rest are comfortably numb.

This is why invasion has been tolerated (and often encouraged), why we talk about amnesty for people who should be unceremoniously shipped south, and why there isn’t yet funding for a border wall despite a record Republican House majority.

The reason for this, sadly, is that we’re not a nation — properly understood. A nation is an extension of the tribe, which itself is an extension of the family; it’s defined by blood, faith, language and culture. For example, the Sioux Nation wasn’t a “country” or “state”; it was a very large family sharing the aforementioned elements.

This truth was once recognized and emphasized. It was mentioned among the Founding Fathers that we enjoyed the benefit of “consanguinity,” meaning, a relationship based on having the same remote ancestors. This became less of a reality after the waves of 19th-century immigration, yet emphasis was still placed on maintaining nationhood. For example, President Teddy Roosevelt said in 1907 that treating people with “equality” was not a given, but was “predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American.”

He went on to say, “Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all.” Now consider how many people will describe themselves as a/an _________-American or, worse still, will say “I’m _________” (fill in, Polish, Irish, Greek, Italian, etc.). They may not be bad people; they may mean well. But they’re unwittingly strengthening the all-too-prevalent internationalist mentality and are acting contrary to the cause of nationhood.

Nationhood was defended legislatively in 1921 with the Emergency Quota Act and in 1924 with the enactment of the National Origins Act, which used immigration quotas to maintain our country’s demographic balance. This is called “racist” today, even though some Europeans had greater quotas than other Europeans (and they’re the same race), but demographic upheaval is precisely how you destroy a nation. Ask the Tibetans, American Indians or the Ainu in Japan (if you can find any) about that.

This brings us to the most significant and disruptive piece of legislation in American history: The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. Introduced by Rep. Emanuel Celler (D-NY), co-sponsored by Sen. Philip Hart (D-MI) and promoted by lady-killer Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA), it should have earned them the designation (D-Demographic Destruction).

The act increased immigration levels from a historical annual norm of approximately 250,000 to more than one million; it also for the first time limited immigration from the Western Hemisphere. Since it took effect in ’68, 85 percent of immigrants have hailed from the Third World (70 to 90 percent of them vote Democrat upon being naturalized; this is the real reason leftists love immigration). America would never be the same again.

Not only did the rate of immigration exceed the rate of assimilation, but many newcomers are not easily assimilable. Moreover, assimilation is never a one-way street when at issue are large numbers of immigrants; for while they may change, they will also change the wider society. In addition, even a very basic level of assimilation isn’t a given, as the Amish, Hasidim and some other groups prove.

Couple this with the rise of multiculturalism and what underlies it, moral relativism/nihilism, where people are essentially told “Hey, it’s all perspective; whatever works for you (unless that happens to be authentic Americanism)” and it’s no surprise what we’ve become: a multitude of disparate peoples trying (not always too hard) to co-exist within the same porous borders. We’re not divided. We’re fractured — religiously, philosophically, politically, socially, ideologically and culturally. In fact, what unites us most today is sin.

Our unofficial motto, once E pluribus unum, has beome E pluribus plura — out of many, many more. This is why we fight over everything, from life’s origin to politics to football to baking cakes to marriage to, even, what boys and girls are. It’s why everything ends up in court.

As for the end game, people with badly conflicting values trying to co-exist under the same roof will eventually go their separate ways — unless, as with bickering children, an iron hand keeps them in line. The large groups of people known as countries are no different. Unless something radically alters our cultural trajectory, as a nuclear blast might alter an asteroid’s, our fate is either dissolution or despotism.

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com

It’s a sad fact of man’s nature that we tend to operate based on emotion more than reason. This comes to mind when considering how illegal migration, a.k.a. invasion, has now again surged back to almost Obama-era levels. Some are theorizing why this is so, looking at the micro, but an important factor is minimized: not enough people care.

Oh, they care about some things: sports, entertainment, money, sex, bread and circuses. But the familial passion that should characterize a nation is largely absent.

Passion is the actuator. You don’t become a concert pianist because of a cold intellectual calculation that you may have some talent and, well, you could make some good money being on stage. It’s passion that motivates you to sink your teeth into practicing hours a day. Just consider the difference between a child forced to engage in an activity and one with self-motivating passion, or the difference between soldiers fighting simply because they must and those truly believing in their cause.

When hearing about invaders streaming across our border, often with a sense of entitlement, we should be filled with righteous anger motivating us to robustly defend the homeland. We’re not. Or not enough of us are. In fact, a good percentage of the country works against the common good, passionate about the wrong things and acting as traitors would. Too many of the rest are comfortably numb.

This is why invasion has been tolerated (and often encouraged), why we talk about amnesty for people who should be unceremoniously shipped south, and why there isn’t yet funding for a border wall despite a record Republican House majority.

The reason for this, sadly, is that we’re not a nation — properly understood. A nation is an extension of the tribe, which itself is an extension of the family; it’s defined by blood, faith, language and culture. For example, the Sioux Nation wasn’t a “country” or “state”; it was a very large family sharing the aforementioned elements.

This truth was once recognized and emphasized. It was mentioned among the Founding Fathers that we enjoyed the benefit of “consanguinity,” meaning, a relationship based on having the same remote ancestors. This became less of a reality after the waves of 19th-century immigration, yet emphasis was still placed on maintaining nationhood. For example, President Teddy Roosevelt said in 1907 that treating people with “equality” was not a given, but was “predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American.”

He went on to say, “Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all.” Now consider how many people will describe themselves as a/an _________-American or, worse still, will say “I’m _________” (fill in, Polish, Irish, Greek, Italian, etc.). They may not be bad people; they may mean well. But they’re unwittingly strengthening the all-too-prevalent internationalist mentality and are acting contrary to the cause of nationhood.

Nationhood was defended legislatively in 1921 with the Emergency Quota Act and in 1924 with the enactment of the National Origins Act, which used immigration quotas to maintain our country’s demographic balance. This is called “racist” today, even though some Europeans had greater quotas than other Europeans (and they’re the same race), but demographic upheaval is precisely how you destroy a nation. Ask the Tibetans, American Indians or the Ainu in Japan (if you can find any) about that.

This brings us to the most significant and disruptive piece of legislation in American history: The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. Introduced by Rep. Emanuel Celler (D-NY), co-sponsored by Sen. Philip Hart (D-MI) and promoted by lady-killer Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA), it should have earned them the designation (D-Demographic Destruction).

The act increased immigration levels from a historical annual norm of approximately 250,000 to more than one million; it also for the first time limited immigration from the Western Hemisphere. Since it took effect in ’68, 85 percent of immigrants have hailed from the Third World (70 to 90 percent of them vote Democrat upon being naturalized; this is the real reason leftists love immigration). America would never be the same again.

Not only did the rate of immigration exceed the rate of assimilation, but many newcomers are not easily assimilable. Moreover, assimilation is never a one-way street when at issue are large numbers of immigrants; for while they may change, they will also change the wider society. In addition, even a very basic level of assimilation isn’t a given, as the Amish, Hasidim and some other groups prove.

Couple this with the rise of multiculturalism and what underlies it, moral relativism/nihilism, where people are essentially told “Hey, it’s all perspective; whatever works for you (unless that happens to be authentic Americanism)” and it’s no surprise what we’ve become: a multitude of disparate peoples trying (not always too hard) to co-exist within the same porous borders. We’re not divided. We’re fractured — religiously, philosophically, politically, socially, ideologically and culturally. In fact, what unites us most today is sin.

Our unofficial motto, once E pluribus unum, has beome E pluribus plura — out of many, many more. This is why we fight over everything, from life’s origin to politics to football to baking cakes to marriage to, even, what boys and girls are. It’s why everything ends up in court.

As for the end game, people with badly conflicting values trying to co-exist under the same roof will eventually go their separate ways — unless, as with bickering children, an iron hand keeps them in line. The large groups of people known as countries are no different. Unless something radically alters our cultural trajectory, as a nuclear blast might alter an asteroid’s, our fate is either dissolution or despotism.

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com



Source link

Have the Liberal Grinches Stolen Christmas?


I went Christmas shopping yesterday and confirmed what my wife had been telling me – namely, that the stores and malls were largely empty. I  went to one of the few remaining malls in the St. Louis area – the Galleria – and had no trouble parking and no waiting anywhere.  It was hardly as crowded as a normal Saturday would be.

Now, the Galleria has been one of the attack spots for Black Lives Matter, and I thought perhaps people were staying away for that reason.  But my wife said all the stores have been empty, too.  She hasn’t had to wait for anything.

Is this happening all over the country?  If so, what does it mean?

The economy is rising, and we should see a good Christmas for retailers.  If we are not, there has to be a reason.  Is the public shopping online these days?  Undoubtedly more so than in the past, but it still shouldn’t empty the stores and malls. I fear that people aren’t in the Christmas spirit this year.

My block is devoid of Christmas decorations and lights this year.  Granted, I live in the blue city of St. Louis, where probably ninety percent of my neighbors voted for Hillary Clinton.  Are they so depressed that they can’t celebrate Christmas this year?  Or is it something else?

Is the Trump economic boom ending?  Or are people so angry and depressed that they just don’t feel the Christmas spirit?

Whatever the case, it is cause for concern.  Either the economy is starting to tank or the American public has been so saturated with the ferocity of the political war that people just don’t care.  Neither is good for this country.  There clearly is no optimism.

Part of what drove Richard Nixon from office was the endless drumbeat of negativity from the media.  People were so sick of hearing about Watergate that they just wanted it to stop, and the spineless GOP pulled backing at a critical time from Nixon.  We got Gerald Ford, a lackluster guy who couldn’t inspire a doorknob.  In the end, the public was willing to “give Jimmy Carter a try,” and the rest was history.

It’s happened like that before.  The mainstream media will keep pushing, keep hounding, keep ruining people’s good times and generous spirits.  Depression and cynicism will grow, and eventually, people will tire of being miserable – even while the economy is growing and we should be in high times.  So support for Trump will erode until he is forced out.

That’s the thinking, and if the evidence of my senses is to be believed, it may be working.

Mattel backs this up.  From the article:

The toymaker behind such brands as Barbie, Fisher-Price and Fijit Friends said in a regulatory filing on Monday that it expects a poor holiday season, a worrisome admission coming with only two weeks before Christmas. Mattel said in the filing it will likely have to write-down inventory and heavily discount merchandise for the season because of sales now expected to decline by a mid-to-high single digit percentage. …


“Arch-rival Hasbro (has) recently told investors that holiday sales would take a hit this year, pointing to factors such as the recent Toys ‘R’ Us bankruptcy.


Mattel hinted at that in the filing and said it “will continue to be negatively impacted by key retail partners moving toward tighter inventory management.” The company’s problems stand in contrast to the overall toy industry’s good year, with sales are up 3% through the first nine months of the year, according to NPD Group. Many smaller brands have been running away with the prize this year.”

So toy sales appear to be down.  Or at least the big brands.

It should be pointed out that Black Friday sales were up, but only in the e-commerce areas; brick-and-mortar sales were down.  That bodes ill for small businesses, which cannot compete with Amazon or other massive corporate online outfits.  It’s strange; the Millennials are forever complaining about corporations, yet they do all their business with them, ignoring the small businesses.  And so many want socialism, thus having only one retail source.  If corporations are so bad, why not support the small shops?  Why support the notion of a single giant corporate entity?

Christmas tree sales are down, too.

The article blames the Obama recession for reducing plantings and rising tree prices, which have stagnated sales, but is that necessarily the case?  While prices are up, it is still a minor expense, and a people full of joy would gladly pay it.  I fear that many don’t have enough Christmas cheer to go to the trouble this year.

And of course, the media won’t call it Christmas.  Who can get in the spirit when it’s a holiday tree?  Martin Luther King Day is a holiday, too, but it hardly rises to the heights of Christmas, and that for a reason: Christmas is a spiritual holiday, a celebration of the birth of Jesus, the Savior.  The media, schools, and the left have done their level best to Grinchify the meaning of Christmas, to make it just a day to get drunk and wallow in avarice.

In fact, the U. of Minnesota banned any displays remotely related to Christmas.  For example, the memo (which was supposed to be kept from the public) called for the following:

In general, the following are not appropriate for gatherings and displays at this time of year since they typically represent specific religious iconography:


Santa Claus, Angels, Christmas trees, Star of Bethlehem, Dreidels, Nativity scene, Bows/wrapped gifts, Menorah, Bells, Doves, Red and Green or Blue and White/Silver decoration themes (red and green are representative of the Christian tradition as blue and white/silver are for Jewish Hanukkah that is also celebrated at this time of year).

Joy is a powerful thing, and people will do a lot to get it and keep it.

If this is correct, the media and the liberals in academia are the Grinch who stole Christmas.  Stole the feast, stole the presents, the decorations, and the log for the fire.  All of it.  I do believe that this is what they intended to do.  Don’t expect them to bring it all back, at least not until one of their own is put on the throne.

Read more from Tim and friends at The Aviary www.tbirdnow.mee.nu.

I went Christmas shopping yesterday and confirmed what my wife had been telling me – namely, that the stores and malls were largely empty. I  went to one of the few remaining malls in the St. Louis area – the Galleria – and had no trouble parking and no waiting anywhere.  It was hardly as crowded as a normal Saturday would be.

Now, the Galleria has been one of the attack spots for Black Lives Matter, and I thought perhaps people were staying away for that reason.  But my wife said all the stores have been empty, too.  She hasn’t had to wait for anything.

Is this happening all over the country?  If so, what does it mean?

The economy is rising, and we should see a good Christmas for retailers.  If we are not, there has to be a reason.  Is the public shopping online these days?  Undoubtedly more so than in the past, but it still shouldn’t empty the stores and malls. I fear that people aren’t in the Christmas spirit this year.

My block is devoid of Christmas decorations and lights this year.  Granted, I live in the blue city of St. Louis, where probably ninety percent of my neighbors voted for Hillary Clinton.  Are they so depressed that they can’t celebrate Christmas this year?  Or is it something else?

Is the Trump economic boom ending?  Or are people so angry and depressed that they just don’t feel the Christmas spirit?

Whatever the case, it is cause for concern.  Either the economy is starting to tank or the American public has been so saturated with the ferocity of the political war that people just don’t care.  Neither is good for this country.  There clearly is no optimism.

Part of what drove Richard Nixon from office was the endless drumbeat of negativity from the media.  People were so sick of hearing about Watergate that they just wanted it to stop, and the spineless GOP pulled backing at a critical time from Nixon.  We got Gerald Ford, a lackluster guy who couldn’t inspire a doorknob.  In the end, the public was willing to “give Jimmy Carter a try,” and the rest was history.

It’s happened like that before.  The mainstream media will keep pushing, keep hounding, keep ruining people’s good times and generous spirits.  Depression and cynicism will grow, and eventually, people will tire of being miserable – even while the economy is growing and we should be in high times.  So support for Trump will erode until he is forced out.

That’s the thinking, and if the evidence of my senses is to be believed, it may be working.

Mattel backs this up.  From the article:

The toymaker behind such brands as Barbie, Fisher-Price and Fijit Friends said in a regulatory filing on Monday that it expects a poor holiday season, a worrisome admission coming with only two weeks before Christmas. Mattel said in the filing it will likely have to write-down inventory and heavily discount merchandise for the season because of sales now expected to decline by a mid-to-high single digit percentage. …


“Arch-rival Hasbro (has) recently told investors that holiday sales would take a hit this year, pointing to factors such as the recent Toys ‘R’ Us bankruptcy.


Mattel hinted at that in the filing and said it “will continue to be negatively impacted by key retail partners moving toward tighter inventory management.” The company’s problems stand in contrast to the overall toy industry’s good year, with sales are up 3% through the first nine months of the year, according to NPD Group. Many smaller brands have been running away with the prize this year.”

So toy sales appear to be down.  Or at least the big brands.

It should be pointed out that Black Friday sales were up, but only in the e-commerce areas; brick-and-mortar sales were down.  That bodes ill for small businesses, which cannot compete with Amazon or other massive corporate online outfits.  It’s strange; the Millennials are forever complaining about corporations, yet they do all their business with them, ignoring the small businesses.  And so many want socialism, thus having only one retail source.  If corporations are so bad, why not support the small shops?  Why support the notion of a single giant corporate entity?

Christmas tree sales are down, too.

The article blames the Obama recession for reducing plantings and rising tree prices, which have stagnated sales, but is that necessarily the case?  While prices are up, it is still a minor expense, and a people full of joy would gladly pay it.  I fear that many don’t have enough Christmas cheer to go to the trouble this year.

And of course, the media won’t call it Christmas.  Who can get in the spirit when it’s a holiday tree?  Martin Luther King Day is a holiday, too, but it hardly rises to the heights of Christmas, and that for a reason: Christmas is a spiritual holiday, a celebration of the birth of Jesus, the Savior.  The media, schools, and the left have done their level best to Grinchify the meaning of Christmas, to make it just a day to get drunk and wallow in avarice.

In fact, the U. of Minnesota banned any displays remotely related to Christmas.  For example, the memo (which was supposed to be kept from the public) called for the following:

In general, the following are not appropriate for gatherings and displays at this time of year since they typically represent specific religious iconography:


Santa Claus, Angels, Christmas trees, Star of Bethlehem, Dreidels, Nativity scene, Bows/wrapped gifts, Menorah, Bells, Doves, Red and Green or Blue and White/Silver decoration themes (red and green are representative of the Christian tradition as blue and white/silver are for Jewish Hanukkah that is also celebrated at this time of year).

Joy is a powerful thing, and people will do a lot to get it and keep it.

If this is correct, the media and the liberals in academia are the Grinch who stole Christmas.  Stole the feast, stole the presents, the decorations, and the log for the fire.  All of it.  I do believe that this is what they intended to do.  Don’t expect them to bring it all back, at least not until one of their own is put on the throne.

Read more from Tim and friends at The Aviary www.tbirdnow.mee.nu.



Source link

A Time for War: Deep State's Strike and Trump's Counter-Strike


“All warfare is based on deception.”

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.”

“Opportunities multiply as they are seized.”

Today’s cold civil war has seen a series of strikes by the left on the presidency of Donald Trump.  The overwhelming wave of negativity toward him, as reported constantly by the old media, and the onslaught of wailing by the leftist Democratic Party, et al. have been a major part of life in the United States since November 9, 2016.

The strikes have been intensified by what is called “the Deep State,” meaning the D.C. bureaucracy and the powerful government agencies of the DOJ and the FBI.  Seeming chaos has reigned as leak after leak came out trying to damage the Trump administration.  What appeared to be damaging strikes were launched by the Democrat-media-Deep State complex.  The whole of Washington, D.C., along with the media, has never relented, going on a binge of hate-filled rhetoric and actions.  They are trying to convince an unwitting public that Trump is nothing but horrible news.

Thank goodness for the center-right new media.  Much of the truth about the Trump presidency has been getting out over the heads of the well organized leftist intent to cause chaos.

The counter-strikes from Trump have been less than obvious.  This brings us to that first precept: deception.  Many things are being hidden, some hidden in plain sight.

In plain sight, Trump is working to do what he said he would do during the campaign.  He and his administration have been persistent in pressing forward with this agenda.  On steroids.  At the speed of Trump.  There are even a few stray leftists who realize his accomplishments and are coming to the recognition that he’s winning.

While these folks have been busy dehumanizing Trump and swearing allegiance to the dumbest political narratives ever – Trump-Russia.  Trump-inhuman.  Trump-stupid.  Trump-incompetent – he’s been working at undoing the damage done by the Obama-Clinton cabal at a speed that has surprised even them.

I’ve mentioned the accomplishments many times.  They are legion.

But wait, there’s something stirring.  It’s the deep and quiet things we are seeing revealed now.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.”

Trump knows his enemy.  And fortuitously, the left thinks he’s stupid.  Leftists have no clue he sees them for what they are.  Blockbuster revelations are now seeping up through the ooze of the swamp.  There is a set of facts and circumstances that show us that Trump now holds the high ground, that he has dug into strong positions, and that bombshell after bombshell is about to go off against the left.

This began with Trump’s tweet about being “wiretapped” – which, dear leftist media, was not literal.  It got the point across.  Look what has come out since.  Drip by drip, the horrifying truth of what the Obama-Clinton cabal did to our DOJ, our FBI, and virtually everything they touched has been coming out.  They unmasked citizens unlawfully.  They colluded with the FBI and DOJ to work against the campaign of the opposition party.  They politicized intel.  They politicized everything they touched in the most despicable way.

Now we know there was an organized, political cabal at the FBI that worked against Trump not only during the campaign, but ever since.  It’s been known that the Mueller team was filled with Democrat partisans since they were appointed.  Charles McCullough, an Obama-appointed inspector general and head of the counter-intelligence division, was threatened for blowing the whistle on the Hillary server.  McCullough oversaw the intelligence community and was clearly upset with many of the wrongs being done.  There is an ongoing report by the inspector general about to come out concerning the politicization of the Justice Department in the next weeks.  It’s supposed to be thorough, damning, and a shocker.

Other revelations: Hillary’s campaign paid for the “Russian dossier.”  The FBI appears to have helped.  The FBI appears to have used it with the FISA court to start their “Trump-Russia” investigation and as a means to spy on Trump’s campaign.

We are seeing the picture come together – an unprecedented and ugly one.  Look at how many of these have been outed as wrongdoers in the past months.  McCabe.  Strzok.  Yates.  Lynch.  Comey.  Ohrs.  All toast.

The drips are on the verge of becoming a torrent.  And if the I.G. report is the blockbuster being touted, it will become a raging flood.  Suddenly, the Democrats are complaining about the text messages of Strzok being leaked.  And they were leaked from the I.G.’s office.  Suddenly, they are getting worried about the I.G. report.  With the FBI flatly refusing to release records to the House Oversight Committee, the I.G. office is now saying it has them and will release them.

And there is the real possibility that Mueller may not be going after Trump or process crimes (hat tip to Larry Schweiker).

So what is he going after?  We still don’t know. But Manafort was indicted for his work with the Podesta Brothers back in 2012, not with Trump.  Interesting that we haven’t heard from Tony Podesta in a long, long time.  The Flynn plea deal also has nothing to do with Trump-Russia, as was so poorly reported.  We have little to go on, because the mainstream media want it so badly to be about Trump-Russia that they’ve reported that as fact.  But it isn’t.  Say what you will, but Flynn is not stupid.  He knows more about this mess of counter-intelligence than anyone.  We know he despises the Obama-Clinton cabal, and we know he is a Trump-supporter, so something isn’t clear about his part.

Facts known:

Trump met with Mueller the day before Mueller was appointed as special counsel.

Trump learned about the “wiretapping” from someone who knew.

Trump not only saw the leaks, but vowed to stop them.

Trump understood quickly how much he has threatened “the swamp.”

Trump has always been proactive, thinking outside the box.

Trump understands stealth and surprise, while he appears to let it all hang out.

We can surmise:

Trump made a plan, because he understood his enemy.

Trump knew the entire scheme and who the bad actors were.

Trump knows his enemy’s weakness: they’re the smartest people ever.  Ever.

His enemies believed they will always get away with it, because they’re so smart.

Trump planned this counterstrike.  Quietly.  Take it to the bank.

What’s the evidence?

The recent outing of all the FBI “political” operatives.

The recent dribs and drabs about the I.G. investigation.

The sudden knowledge that some of Mueller’s staff were fired.

The new information about the Deep State’s unmasking plans and how they did it.

The revelations of Charles McCullough.

The knowledge that the Russia dossier was paid for by Hillary’s campaign.

The knowledge that the FBI interfaced with the inventor of the dossier.

The implication that the dossier was used to fool the FISA courts by the FBI.

The recent recusal of a FISA judge.

Rumors of reopening the case against Hillary; also the Uranium One scandal.

The scenario is of a horribly politicized, lawless operation within the FBI and DOJ, tied to the Obama-Clinton cabal.  It’s bad actors doing unthinkable, unprecedented, and horrid things.  This is far beyond Watergate.  It’s the worst political scandal we’ve ever seen, and it’s about to blow.

All these rumblings are the “opportunities to be seized” from Sun Tzu.  It’s been noted that so much is leaking out about all this, there must be a plan to slowly make the public aware of just how big the train is around the corner.  We can all hear it coming now.

Ladies and gentlemen, the fan is about to be hit.  Operation Counter-Strike.  Deceptive.  Yet right in front of us all.  The trap is sprung.  The Hessians were drunk on their own self-righteousness and sleeping while the battle crept up on them.  Planned by an orange oaf.

The history of war is filled with examples of effective strikes that were surprise attacks.  George Washington crossing the Delaware River to rout the Hessians on Christmas night is one example.  No one expected it.  D-Day itself was a huge surprise.  Hitler was looking at other areas while the allies stormed Normandy.

One of the world’s famous books is The Art of War by Sun Tzu.  It summarizes stealth and what is necessary to win wars.

“All warfare is based on deception.”

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.”

“Opportunities multiply as they are seized.”

Today’s cold civil war has seen a series of strikes by the left on the presidency of Donald Trump.  The overwhelming wave of negativity toward him, as reported constantly by the old media, and the onslaught of wailing by the leftist Democratic Party, et al. have been a major part of life in the United States since November 9, 2016.

The strikes have been intensified by what is called “the Deep State,” meaning the D.C. bureaucracy and the powerful government agencies of the DOJ and the FBI.  Seeming chaos has reigned as leak after leak came out trying to damage the Trump administration.  What appeared to be damaging strikes were launched by the Democrat-media-Deep State complex.  The whole of Washington, D.C., along with the media, has never relented, going on a binge of hate-filled rhetoric and actions.  They are trying to convince an unwitting public that Trump is nothing but horrible news.

Thank goodness for the center-right new media.  Much of the truth about the Trump presidency has been getting out over the heads of the well organized leftist intent to cause chaos.

The counter-strikes from Trump have been less than obvious.  This brings us to that first precept: deception.  Many things are being hidden, some hidden in plain sight.

In plain sight, Trump is working to do what he said he would do during the campaign.  He and his administration have been persistent in pressing forward with this agenda.  On steroids.  At the speed of Trump.  There are even a few stray leftists who realize his accomplishments and are coming to the recognition that he’s winning.

While these folks have been busy dehumanizing Trump and swearing allegiance to the dumbest political narratives ever – Trump-Russia.  Trump-inhuman.  Trump-stupid.  Trump-incompetent – he’s been working at undoing the damage done by the Obama-Clinton cabal at a speed that has surprised even them.

I’ve mentioned the accomplishments many times.  They are legion.

But wait, there’s something stirring.  It’s the deep and quiet things we are seeing revealed now.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.”

Trump knows his enemy.  And fortuitously, the left thinks he’s stupid.  Leftists have no clue he sees them for what they are.  Blockbuster revelations are now seeping up through the ooze of the swamp.  There is a set of facts and circumstances that show us that Trump now holds the high ground, that he has dug into strong positions, and that bombshell after bombshell is about to go off against the left.

This began with Trump’s tweet about being “wiretapped” – which, dear leftist media, was not literal.  It got the point across.  Look what has come out since.  Drip by drip, the horrifying truth of what the Obama-Clinton cabal did to our DOJ, our FBI, and virtually everything they touched has been coming out.  They unmasked citizens unlawfully.  They colluded with the FBI and DOJ to work against the campaign of the opposition party.  They politicized intel.  They politicized everything they touched in the most despicable way.

Now we know there was an organized, political cabal at the FBI that worked against Trump not only during the campaign, but ever since.  It’s been known that the Mueller team was filled with Democrat partisans since they were appointed.  Charles McCullough, an Obama-appointed inspector general and head of the counter-intelligence division, was threatened for blowing the whistle on the Hillary server.  McCullough oversaw the intelligence community and was clearly upset with many of the wrongs being done.  There is an ongoing report by the inspector general about to come out concerning the politicization of the Justice Department in the next weeks.  It’s supposed to be thorough, damning, and a shocker.

Other revelations: Hillary’s campaign paid for the “Russian dossier.”  The FBI appears to have helped.  The FBI appears to have used it with the FISA court to start their “Trump-Russia” investigation and as a means to spy on Trump’s campaign.

We are seeing the picture come together – an unprecedented and ugly one.  Look at how many of these have been outed as wrongdoers in the past months.  McCabe.  Strzok.  Yates.  Lynch.  Comey.  Ohrs.  All toast.

The drips are on the verge of becoming a torrent.  And if the I.G. report is the blockbuster being touted, it will become a raging flood.  Suddenly, the Democrats are complaining about the text messages of Strzok being leaked.  And they were leaked from the I.G.’s office.  Suddenly, they are getting worried about the I.G. report.  With the FBI flatly refusing to release records to the House Oversight Committee, the I.G. office is now saying it has them and will release them.

And there is the real possibility that Mueller may not be going after Trump or process crimes (hat tip to Larry Schweiker).

So what is he going after?  We still don’t know. But Manafort was indicted for his work with the Podesta Brothers back in 2012, not with Trump.  Interesting that we haven’t heard from Tony Podesta in a long, long time.  The Flynn plea deal also has nothing to do with Trump-Russia, as was so poorly reported.  We have little to go on, because the mainstream media want it so badly to be about Trump-Russia that they’ve reported that as fact.  But it isn’t.  Say what you will, but Flynn is not stupid.  He knows more about this mess of counter-intelligence than anyone.  We know he despises the Obama-Clinton cabal, and we know he is a Trump-supporter, so something isn’t clear about his part.

Facts known:

Trump met with Mueller the day before Mueller was appointed as special counsel.

Trump learned about the “wiretapping” from someone who knew.

Trump not only saw the leaks, but vowed to stop them.

Trump understood quickly how much he has threatened “the swamp.”

Trump has always been proactive, thinking outside the box.

Trump understands stealth and surprise, while he appears to let it all hang out.

We can surmise:

Trump made a plan, because he understood his enemy.

Trump knew the entire scheme and who the bad actors were.

Trump knows his enemy’s weakness: they’re the smartest people ever.  Ever.

His enemies believed they will always get away with it, because they’re so smart.

Trump planned this counterstrike.  Quietly.  Take it to the bank.

What’s the evidence?

The recent outing of all the FBI “political” operatives.

The recent dribs and drabs about the I.G. investigation.

The sudden knowledge that some of Mueller’s staff were fired.

The new information about the Deep State’s unmasking plans and how they did it.

The revelations of Charles McCullough.

The knowledge that the Russia dossier was paid for by Hillary’s campaign.

The knowledge that the FBI interfaced with the inventor of the dossier.

The implication that the dossier was used to fool the FISA courts by the FBI.

The recent recusal of a FISA judge.

Rumors of reopening the case against Hillary; also the Uranium One scandal.

The scenario is of a horribly politicized, lawless operation within the FBI and DOJ, tied to the Obama-Clinton cabal.  It’s bad actors doing unthinkable, unprecedented, and horrid things.  This is far beyond Watergate.  It’s the worst political scandal we’ve ever seen, and it’s about to blow.

All these rumblings are the “opportunities to be seized” from Sun Tzu.  It’s been noted that so much is leaking out about all this, there must be a plan to slowly make the public aware of just how big the train is around the corner.  We can all hear it coming now.

Ladies and gentlemen, the fan is about to be hit.  Operation Counter-Strike.  Deceptive.  Yet right in front of us all.  The trap is sprung.  The Hessians were drunk on their own self-righteousness and sleeping while the battle crept up on them.  Planned by an orange oaf.



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Why I Quit Teaching


Some years back, I decided I had to quit the teaching profession to which I had dedicated half my life.  The modern academy, I felt, was so far gone that restoration was no longer possible.  Indeed, I now believe that complete collapse is the only hope for the future, but as Woody Allen said about death, I’d rather not be there when it happens.

Three reasons determined my course of action.  For one thing, administration had come to deal less with academic issues and more with rules of conduct and punitive codes of behavior, as if it were a policing body rather than an arm of the teaching profession.  Woe betide the (male) student accused of sexual assault or misconduct; the administration will convene an extra-judicial tribunal to punish or expel the accused, often with a low burden of proof.  It will find ways to shut down conservative speakers.  It will browbeat faculty and students to attend sensitivity training sessions on matters of race and gender.  It will strike task forces to deal with imaginary issues like campus rape culture and propose draconian measures to contain a raging fantasy.  The administration is now beset by two basic compulsions: to expand its reach at the expense of the academic community and to ensure compliance with the puritanical norms of the day.  I thought it prudent to take early retirement rather than wait for the guillotine to descend.

For another, colleagues were increasingly buying into the politically correct mantras circulating in the cultural climate.  The dubious axioms of “social justice” and equality of outcome, the postmodern campaign against the Western tradition of learning, and the Marxist critique of capitalism now superseded the original purpose of the university to seek out truth, to pursue the impartial study of historical events and movements, and to remain faithful to the rigors of disciplined scholarship.  Most of my colleagues were rote members of the left-liberal orthodoxy: pro-Islam, pro-unfettered immigration, pro-abortion, pro-feminist, anti-conservative, anti-Zionist, and anti-white.  Departmental committees were now basing their hiring protocols not on demonstrated merit, but on minority and gender identities, leading to marked pedagogical decline.  Professional hypocrisy could be glaring.  Case in point: The most recent hire speaking at a department meeting was a white woman advocating for more brown and black faces on staff – though, as a recent hire, she had never thought of stepping aside in favor of minority candidates vying for her position.  In any event, faculties were and are progressively defined by firebrands on the one hand and soyboys on the other – partisans rather than pedagogues, plaster saints all.  I found I could no longer respect the majority of people I had to work with.

But the primary incentive for flight had to do with the caliber of students I was required to instruct.  The quality of what we called the student “clientele” had deteriorated so dramatically over the years that the classroom struck me as a barn full of ruminants and the curriculum as a stack of winter ensilage.  I knew I could not teach James Joyce’s Ulysses or Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain since they were plainly beyond the capacity of our catechumens – mind you, all old enough to vote and be drafted.  The level of interest in and attention to the subjects was about as flat as a fallen arch.  The ability to write a coherent English sentence was practically nonexistent; ordinary grammar was a traumatic ordeal.  In fact, many native English-speakers could not produce a lucid verbal analysis of a text, let alone carry on an intelligible conversation, and some were even unable to properly pronounce common English words.  I could not help thinking of Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End, in which the children of the planet are all translated into some otherworldly dimension.  I titled one of my books about our educational debacle The Turtle Hypodermic of Sickenpods, based on an initially mysterious phrase in a student’s essay by which, as I discovered after long consultation, he meant to say “the total epidemic of psychopaths.”  (This is a true story.)

Of course, many of my former colleagues insisted that their students were “just great,” that they constituted a “savvy generation,” that they were “a privilege to teach.”  The degree of self-delusion is off the charts, though I suspect that one motive for such professional vagrancy is the half-conscious awareness of a guilty complicity in the advancement of decadence.  The desire to vindicate their roles as teachers and to justify obscenely fat salaries takes precedence over simple honesty.

The problem is chiefly in the humanities and social sciences – English literature, cultural studies, gender programs, sociology, communications – where it must be frankly admitted that very few of the students enrolled have the intellectual equipment to meet traditional standards of achievement and performance.  These faculties have become a holding pen for incompetents, now known as “snowflakes.”  For a variety of reasons – defective early schooling, poor parenting, widespread permissiveness – these students are in desperate need of “safe spaces,” where they can hide from the real world and shirk the demands of mental maturity.  They are taught not to think independently, evaluate competing doctrines, or master the tools of cognitive proficiency, but to feel good about themselves.  Self-esteem subs for self-improvement.  Moreover, they are materia prima for anti-Western indoctrination by their politicized professors, mentors, and departments.

To put it bluntly, the administration is venal and unscrupulous.  Faculty is compromised and reprobate.  The student body is a haven for ineptitude.  Regrettably, the exceptions – for they do exist – cannot redress the balance.  What is perhaps most troubling is that the more reputable faculties and disciplines – math, physics, engineering, astronomy, medicine, law – are gradually but inexorably being eroded by the “social justice” meme and subject to extraneous cultural forces that are political in nature.  Even here, gender and race rather than scholarly accomplishment and talent are starting to predominate in hiring protocols.  These departments are slowly coming to be governed not by the principles of classical propriety, but by agendas alien to their mandates – agendas whose function is to promote the collectivity over the individual; so-called “human rights” over human excellence; and equality, however unearned, over freedom, however precious.  As a result, even among the purer disciplines, meritocracy will surrender to mediocrity.

For myself, those days are over.  I’m committed to writing in the study rather than teaching in the classroom.  The pressures that impinge are my own, and I don’t have to deal with the incompetent and corrupt, at the cost of my integrity, such as it is, and of my well-being.  True, writing may turn out to be as ineffective as teaching.  But one thing is for sure.  I can no longer be part of the decrepit circus that now passes for established education. 

Some years back, I decided I had to quit the teaching profession to which I had dedicated half my life.  The modern academy, I felt, was so far gone that restoration was no longer possible.  Indeed, I now believe that complete collapse is the only hope for the future, but as Woody Allen said about death, I’d rather not be there when it happens.

Three reasons determined my course of action.  For one thing, administration had come to deal less with academic issues and more with rules of conduct and punitive codes of behavior, as if it were a policing body rather than an arm of the teaching profession.  Woe betide the (male) student accused of sexual assault or misconduct; the administration will convene an extra-judicial tribunal to punish or expel the accused, often with a low burden of proof.  It will find ways to shut down conservative speakers.  It will browbeat faculty and students to attend sensitivity training sessions on matters of race and gender.  It will strike task forces to deal with imaginary issues like campus rape culture and propose draconian measures to contain a raging fantasy.  The administration is now beset by two basic compulsions: to expand its reach at the expense of the academic community and to ensure compliance with the puritanical norms of the day.  I thought it prudent to take early retirement rather than wait for the guillotine to descend.

For another, colleagues were increasingly buying into the politically correct mantras circulating in the cultural climate.  The dubious axioms of “social justice” and equality of outcome, the postmodern campaign against the Western tradition of learning, and the Marxist critique of capitalism now superseded the original purpose of the university to seek out truth, to pursue the impartial study of historical events and movements, and to remain faithful to the rigors of disciplined scholarship.  Most of my colleagues were rote members of the left-liberal orthodoxy: pro-Islam, pro-unfettered immigration, pro-abortion, pro-feminist, anti-conservative, anti-Zionist, and anti-white.  Departmental committees were now basing their hiring protocols not on demonstrated merit, but on minority and gender identities, leading to marked pedagogical decline.  Professional hypocrisy could be glaring.  Case in point: The most recent hire speaking at a department meeting was a white woman advocating for more brown and black faces on staff – though, as a recent hire, she had never thought of stepping aside in favor of minority candidates vying for her position.  In any event, faculties were and are progressively defined by firebrands on the one hand and soyboys on the other – partisans rather than pedagogues, plaster saints all.  I found I could no longer respect the majority of people I had to work with.

But the primary incentive for flight had to do with the caliber of students I was required to instruct.  The quality of what we called the student “clientele” had deteriorated so dramatically over the years that the classroom struck me as a barn full of ruminants and the curriculum as a stack of winter ensilage.  I knew I could not teach James Joyce’s Ulysses or Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain since they were plainly beyond the capacity of our catechumens – mind you, all old enough to vote and be drafted.  The level of interest in and attention to the subjects was about as flat as a fallen arch.  The ability to write a coherent English sentence was practically nonexistent; ordinary grammar was a traumatic ordeal.  In fact, many native English-speakers could not produce a lucid verbal analysis of a text, let alone carry on an intelligible conversation, and some were even unable to properly pronounce common English words.  I could not help thinking of Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End, in which the children of the planet are all translated into some otherworldly dimension.  I titled one of my books about our educational debacle The Turtle Hypodermic of Sickenpods, based on an initially mysterious phrase in a student’s essay by which, as I discovered after long consultation, he meant to say “the total epidemic of psychopaths.”  (This is a true story.)

Of course, many of my former colleagues insisted that their students were “just great,” that they constituted a “savvy generation,” that they were “a privilege to teach.”  The degree of self-delusion is off the charts, though I suspect that one motive for such professional vagrancy is the half-conscious awareness of a guilty complicity in the advancement of decadence.  The desire to vindicate their roles as teachers and to justify obscenely fat salaries takes precedence over simple honesty.

The problem is chiefly in the humanities and social sciences – English literature, cultural studies, gender programs, sociology, communications – where it must be frankly admitted that very few of the students enrolled have the intellectual equipment to meet traditional standards of achievement and performance.  These faculties have become a holding pen for incompetents, now known as “snowflakes.”  For a variety of reasons – defective early schooling, poor parenting, widespread permissiveness – these students are in desperate need of “safe spaces,” where they can hide from the real world and shirk the demands of mental maturity.  They are taught not to think independently, evaluate competing doctrines, or master the tools of cognitive proficiency, but to feel good about themselves.  Self-esteem subs for self-improvement.  Moreover, they are materia prima for anti-Western indoctrination by their politicized professors, mentors, and departments.

To put it bluntly, the administration is venal and unscrupulous.  Faculty is compromised and reprobate.  The student body is a haven for ineptitude.  Regrettably, the exceptions – for they do exist – cannot redress the balance.  What is perhaps most troubling is that the more reputable faculties and disciplines – math, physics, engineering, astronomy, medicine, law – are gradually but inexorably being eroded by the “social justice” meme and subject to extraneous cultural forces that are political in nature.  Even here, gender and race rather than scholarly accomplishment and talent are starting to predominate in hiring protocols.  These departments are slowly coming to be governed not by the principles of classical propriety, but by agendas alien to their mandates – agendas whose function is to promote the collectivity over the individual; so-called “human rights” over human excellence; and equality, however unearned, over freedom, however precious.  As a result, even among the purer disciplines, meritocracy will surrender to mediocrity.

For myself, those days are over.  I’m committed to writing in the study rather than teaching in the classroom.  The pressures that impinge are my own, and I don’t have to deal with the incompetent and corrupt, at the cost of my integrity, such as it is, and of my well-being.  True, writing may turn out to be as ineffective as teaching.  But one thing is for sure.  I can no longer be part of the decrepit circus that now passes for established education. 



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Midnight at the Democracy Dies in Darkness Café


The Democracy Dies in Darkness Café is located conveniently near the Capitol, the Hill and the FBI headquarters. It’s open all night and I stopped in for a late-night coffee with my friend, a fiction novelist who was depressed. “I spent a year writing about a coup attempt against an outsider who by strategic brilliance defeated the handpicked candidate of a cabal of establishment powerhouses. It involved the highest officials of the FBI and Department of Justice. They manipulated a FISA Court into letting them electronically surveil the candidate and all who worked with him, unmasked their names, leaked what they found, and they still couldn’t beat him. Then they engineered the recusal of the attorney general, got his deputy to appoint their bestest pal to be special counsel. Given free rein, he hired fierce partisans of the defeated candidate, used the ill-gotten information against her opponents to prosecute three people with minimal connection to the campaign — one for a dubious process crime dependent on the notes of an FBI agent who had earlier orchestrated lies about Benghazi, covered up for the misuse of classified information by the losing candidate, and oversaw the investigation into the president.”

“Sounds great,” I said, so why are you depressed?”

“Every publisher I sent it to rejected it as being too implausible to sell to readers.”

It was hard to talk much as the place was rocking. There was a private room to the side, packed with white collar criminal defense counsels drinking champagne and downing tenderloin. Every single one of them had fat retainers to defend the accused, the top brass of the FBI and former Department of Justice officials.

In another corner sat a well-known “women’s advocate” (against Republicans only) and her daughter. They looked morose, probably because it had just been revealed that donations had been sought to pay “victims” of the president, as if paying them to come forward publicly wasn’t paying them to lie. In any event, those they found had offered up stories so weak as to be risible, like the gal who claimed he’d seen her when she was in a robe, whining that she was naked under it. I mean aren’t we all naked under our clothing? And it didn’t escape attention that a few moments later she was going on a catwalk in a string bikini under which she was still naked.

At the bar sat what were a group of FBI agents belting down drinks at a rapid pace. They were talking so softly in all that din I could barely hear them. 

“Why was the judge recused in the Flynn case?” asked one. “Isn’t he one of the judges on the FISA court?”

“Do you suppose the Inspector General asked him why the warrant was issued? Do you think they’re onto the fact the phony Dossier was the basis and the likelihood that the cases may have to be ditched because they were the fruit of an illegal search?”

Another piped up, “Judge Sullivan is now handling the Flynn case. Remember how furious he was about all the shenanigans we pulled in the Ted Stevens case?”

“How much longer are we going to get away with refusing to do video interrogations and relying on 302 agent recollections — which in the Stevens case were written years later and backdated or never written at all if they were exculpatory, and in the Lewis Libby case were in conflict with the recollections of the second agent who was present?

“We all loved it when It was only our word against theirs. I’m sure that’s about to end. Hell, it’s hard enough to get anyone to even talk to us without a lawyer these days except when they are off guard and think the visit is about some other thing altogether.”

“How much longer after this mess will the FBI even have a counterintelligence portfolio? I mean those who have been arguing for years that the two missions are incompatible — one is to prosecute crimes and the other to keep track of foreign threats? Using the instruments of surveillance to play politics should finally end it. Heck, that’s what I thought after Garland, Texas, where to keep his cover, the idiot agent did nothing to stop the jihadis from trying to murder people.”

I had to move my chair to the other side of the table we were sitting at. The folks at the media table were so sloshed they were falling on the floor next to me mumbling stuff about fake news and the folly of using Adam Schiff as a source.

And then a dozen Congressmen walked in with their staffs trying desperately to console them They sat down and it was clear they were working to help their top staff find new jobs after they were going to resign as the sex harassment slush fund story was due to break. “Frankly, “observed one, it’s going to be hard to do. You can be sure there are no slots you can get in this Administration, the NGO’s are suffering cutbacks, the press is laying off people, the Democrat lobbyists aren’t hiring. If our replacements don’t hire you, maybe Amazon needs drivers.”

Equally morose was the passel of “public interest” honchos who fear the new tax law, which reduces the incentive to make contributions, would shutter their doors or at least trim their sails, the “green” operations who were cut off from the old EPA sue-and-settle scam, and the professional race baiters and agitators no longer being financed by the CFPB.

It wasn’t all sadness and gloom, though. The gang in the MAGA hats were having a great time of it.

The Democracy Dies in Darkness Café is located conveniently near the Capitol, the Hill and the FBI headquarters. It’s open all night and I stopped in for a late-night coffee with my friend, a fiction novelist who was depressed. “I spent a year writing about a coup attempt against an outsider who by strategic brilliance defeated the handpicked candidate of a cabal of establishment powerhouses. It involved the highest officials of the FBI and Department of Justice. They manipulated a FISA Court into letting them electronically surveil the candidate and all who worked with him, unmasked their names, leaked what they found, and they still couldn’t beat him. Then they engineered the recusal of the attorney general, got his deputy to appoint their bestest pal to be special counsel. Given free rein, he hired fierce partisans of the defeated candidate, used the ill-gotten information against her opponents to prosecute three people with minimal connection to the campaign — one for a dubious process crime dependent on the notes of an FBI agent who had earlier orchestrated lies about Benghazi, covered up for the misuse of classified information by the losing candidate, and oversaw the investigation into the president.”

“Sounds great,” I said, so why are you depressed?”

“Every publisher I sent it to rejected it as being too implausible to sell to readers.”

It was hard to talk much as the place was rocking. There was a private room to the side, packed with white collar criminal defense counsels drinking champagne and downing tenderloin. Every single one of them had fat retainers to defend the accused, the top brass of the FBI and former Department of Justice officials.

In another corner sat a well-known “women’s advocate” (against Republicans only) and her daughter. They looked morose, probably because it had just been revealed that donations had been sought to pay “victims” of the president, as if paying them to come forward publicly wasn’t paying them to lie. In any event, those they found had offered up stories so weak as to be risible, like the gal who claimed he’d seen her when she was in a robe, whining that she was naked under it. I mean aren’t we all naked under our clothing? And it didn’t escape attention that a few moments later she was going on a catwalk in a string bikini under which she was still naked.

At the bar sat what were a group of FBI agents belting down drinks at a rapid pace. They were talking so softly in all that din I could barely hear them. 

“Why was the judge recused in the Flynn case?” asked one. “Isn’t he one of the judges on the FISA court?”

“Do you suppose the Inspector General asked him why the warrant was issued? Do you think they’re onto the fact the phony Dossier was the basis and the likelihood that the cases may have to be ditched because they were the fruit of an illegal search?”

Another piped up, “Judge Sullivan is now handling the Flynn case. Remember how furious he was about all the shenanigans we pulled in the Ted Stevens case?”

“How much longer are we going to get away with refusing to do video interrogations and relying on 302 agent recollections — which in the Stevens case were written years later and backdated or never written at all if they were exculpatory, and in the Lewis Libby case were in conflict with the recollections of the second agent who was present?

“We all loved it when It was only our word against theirs. I’m sure that’s about to end. Hell, it’s hard enough to get anyone to even talk to us without a lawyer these days except when they are off guard and think the visit is about some other thing altogether.”

“How much longer after this mess will the FBI even have a counterintelligence portfolio? I mean those who have been arguing for years that the two missions are incompatible — one is to prosecute crimes and the other to keep track of foreign threats? Using the instruments of surveillance to play politics should finally end it. Heck, that’s what I thought after Garland, Texas, where to keep his cover, the idiot agent did nothing to stop the jihadis from trying to murder people.”

I had to move my chair to the other side of the table we were sitting at. The folks at the media table were so sloshed they were falling on the floor next to me mumbling stuff about fake news and the folly of using Adam Schiff as a source.

And then a dozen Congressmen walked in with their staffs trying desperately to console them They sat down and it was clear they were working to help their top staff find new jobs after they were going to resign as the sex harassment slush fund story was due to break. “Frankly, “observed one, it’s going to be hard to do. You can be sure there are no slots you can get in this Administration, the NGO’s are suffering cutbacks, the press is laying off people, the Democrat lobbyists aren’t hiring. If our replacements don’t hire you, maybe Amazon needs drivers.”

Equally morose was the passel of “public interest” honchos who fear the new tax law, which reduces the incentive to make contributions, would shutter their doors or at least trim their sails, the “green” operations who were cut off from the old EPA sue-and-settle scam, and the professional race baiters and agitators no longer being financed by the CFPB.

It wasn’t all sadness and gloom, though. The gang in the MAGA hats were having a great time of it.



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A Quick Fix to Restore Faith in Democracy


Democracy is just like anything else that’s good in life, and that means it has to be moderated.  To this a lot of Americans respond that we don’t live in a democracy; we live in a democratic republic, and I think saying anything this obvious and unhelpful should disqualify them for the vote.

In fact, there are too many voters to keep this republic afloat, too many voters who don’t know the difference between a federal and a national system of government, too many who can’t tell the difference between the judicial system and the legislature, who honestly believe that policing policemen is the business of the president, who believe that if we don’t have a transgender Siskiyou in office that neither transgenders nor Siskiyous are being represented in office, who insist the Bill of Rights was intended to be taken literally, that our civil rights began with the Civil Rights Movement, and that pure chaos wouldn’t result from a right to practice any religion in entirety.  A simple I.Q. bar of 80 would eliminate half of these dunces, probably a fifth of Americans in general, and a subsequent civics test would eliminate the other half – which would exclude another fifth.

There’s an idea that the more of us vote, the better, but this idea that people who are too dumb to understand anything other than physical pain or starvation or ugliness should be directing the nation is so absurd on its face that only recently has the majority even believed it.  We know that the Founding Fathers didn’t, and as such, I would add to this list of excludables people who don’t pay any federal income taxes or own property worth more than $50,000 – in other words, people who don’t actually give to the country and people who aren’t productive enough yet to actually own any of the country.  No stake, no payout.  All soldiers serving honorably would immediately get suffrage.

Rejects could vote in their own particular states if the states were dumb enough to let them, but the rest of us would be free of the other coast’s respectable citizens who think Obama is going to pay for new phones and end black-on-black crime in Chicago, or the trade union hillbillies who believe we shouldn’t be allowed to buy tires from China and that the Constitution was based on the Bible.  The payouts would be extraordinary.  The actual citizen of the United States of America would converse like a free citizen; the vote would be cherished like all cherished things (in other words, because of its rarity); and the underclasses and idiots, pandered to by the media and dragging the national dialogue down to prepubescent squabbles and Black Friday fistfights, would go back to watching their porn and arguing about basketball stats and inventing new handshakes to give one another.

There’s only one thing standing in the way: how would we go about doing this?  How could you convince more than a third of the American public that they don’t know anything about government and that this genuine ignorance, the kind that not only doesn’t know or want to know, but believes that it already knows as much as it needs to know, to throw away their so-called “unalienable rights,” the origins of which they can’t explain, supposedly from the God Who refuses to speak?

The answer is simple.  Insist, with every ounce of passion you can possibly muster, that people who’ve never studied the U.S. Constitution are incapable of understanding the government and that as you would never go to a doctor who’d never gone to college, and you’d never go to a mechanic who’d never spent time under a car’s hood, you would never want a master completely ignorant of political science.  We require everyone to pass a test before he’s allowed to drive a car, and in some places, you don’t even have to show an ID to drive the country.  You can’t even have sex with most strangers in many states until you’re 18, but the second you turn 18, you can screw over the nation.

Contrary to the brilliant and offensive suggestions above, all Americans could apply for this higher level of citizenship.  All of them could take a standardized test, written in plain language, about The Federalist, the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and in a dream world maybe even the Second Treatise of Government.  It wouldn’t even be written, but multiple choice, taken every four years, with a $40 fee and courses online and testing in every county.  You can retake it if you fail it, and the second time you take it, the fees are cut in half.

The argument against it will be that everyone, completely regardless of his stupidity or ignorance, should be allowed to literally direct the future of this country.  In this case, we’ll do the unthinkable.  We’ll take them at their word, threaten to open the vote to our three-year-olds, and say babies should be viable candidates for the presidency.

Jeremy Egerer is the author of the troublesome essays on Letters to Hannah, and he welcomes followers on Twitter and Facebook.

Democracy is just like anything else that’s good in life, and that means it has to be moderated.  To this a lot of Americans respond that we don’t live in a democracy; we live in a democratic republic, and I think saying anything this obvious and unhelpful should disqualify them for the vote.

In fact, there are too many voters to keep this republic afloat, too many voters who don’t know the difference between a federal and a national system of government, too many who can’t tell the difference between the judicial system and the legislature, who honestly believe that policing policemen is the business of the president, who believe that if we don’t have a transgender Siskiyou in office that neither transgenders nor Siskiyous are being represented in office, who insist the Bill of Rights was intended to be taken literally, that our civil rights began with the Civil Rights Movement, and that pure chaos wouldn’t result from a right to practice any religion in entirety.  A simple I.Q. bar of 80 would eliminate half of these dunces, probably a fifth of Americans in general, and a subsequent civics test would eliminate the other half – which would exclude another fifth.

There’s an idea that the more of us vote, the better, but this idea that people who are too dumb to understand anything other than physical pain or starvation or ugliness should be directing the nation is so absurd on its face that only recently has the majority even believed it.  We know that the Founding Fathers didn’t, and as such, I would add to this list of excludables people who don’t pay any federal income taxes or own property worth more than $50,000 – in other words, people who don’t actually give to the country and people who aren’t productive enough yet to actually own any of the country.  No stake, no payout.  All soldiers serving honorably would immediately get suffrage.

Rejects could vote in their own particular states if the states were dumb enough to let them, but the rest of us would be free of the other coast’s respectable citizens who think Obama is going to pay for new phones and end black-on-black crime in Chicago, or the trade union hillbillies who believe we shouldn’t be allowed to buy tires from China and that the Constitution was based on the Bible.  The payouts would be extraordinary.  The actual citizen of the United States of America would converse like a free citizen; the vote would be cherished like all cherished things (in other words, because of its rarity); and the underclasses and idiots, pandered to by the media and dragging the national dialogue down to prepubescent squabbles and Black Friday fistfights, would go back to watching their porn and arguing about basketball stats and inventing new handshakes to give one another.

There’s only one thing standing in the way: how would we go about doing this?  How could you convince more than a third of the American public that they don’t know anything about government and that this genuine ignorance, the kind that not only doesn’t know or want to know, but believes that it already knows as much as it needs to know, to throw away their so-called “unalienable rights,” the origins of which they can’t explain, supposedly from the God Who refuses to speak?

The answer is simple.  Insist, with every ounce of passion you can possibly muster, that people who’ve never studied the U.S. Constitution are incapable of understanding the government and that as you would never go to a doctor who’d never gone to college, and you’d never go to a mechanic who’d never spent time under a car’s hood, you would never want a master completely ignorant of political science.  We require everyone to pass a test before he’s allowed to drive a car, and in some places, you don’t even have to show an ID to drive the country.  You can’t even have sex with most strangers in many states until you’re 18, but the second you turn 18, you can screw over the nation.

Contrary to the brilliant and offensive suggestions above, all Americans could apply for this higher level of citizenship.  All of them could take a standardized test, written in plain language, about The Federalist, the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and in a dream world maybe even the Second Treatise of Government.  It wouldn’t even be written, but multiple choice, taken every four years, with a $40 fee and courses online and testing in every county.  You can retake it if you fail it, and the second time you take it, the fees are cut in half.

The argument against it will be that everyone, completely regardless of his stupidity or ignorance, should be allowed to literally direct the future of this country.  In this case, we’ll do the unthinkable.  We’ll take them at their word, threaten to open the vote to our three-year-olds, and say babies should be viable candidates for the presidency.

Jeremy Egerer is the author of the troublesome essays on Letters to Hannah, and he welcomes followers on Twitter and Facebook.



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Culture Wars: Our Fading Hope


It is a period of civil war.  Liberal filmmakers and lawmakers, striking from their elitist enclaves, have won their first victories against the forces of decency and godliness.

During the battles, liberal spies managed to infiltrate the highest echelons of government, media, and the arts, securing an obscene ruling that same-sex couples may marry.  Their goal is to destroy an entire civilization under their perverted view of fairness.

Pursued by the truth, liberal directors and actors race to the screen to indoctrinate audiences into this twisted notion and aid in further enslaving the masses of the planet into their mistaken worldview.

Please forgive me if that revised intro into the Star Wars universe sounds hyperbolic.  It’s to illustrate that liberal creative types can’t be content to entertain us with a movie when there is a culture war at stake.  Consider the quotes by two of the newest Star Wars contributors: psychologist J.J. Abrams and biologist John Boyega.  I’m sorry – that should be movie director J.J. Abrams and actor John Boyega, who both play make-believe for a living.

In March of 2016, Abrams said this about homosexual characters in the future episodes of the Star Wars franchise: “I would love it.  To me, the fun of Star Wars is the glory of possibility.  So it seems insanely narrow-minded and counterintuitive to say that there wouldn’t be a homosexual character in that world.”  Yes, J.J., I guess it’s also narrow-minded to say there are people who believe that entertainers should entertain and not preach, but that clearly won’t shut up liberal blabbermouths with an ax to grind.

In October of 2017, Boyega said: “There definitely is that responsibility, but more the responsibility to hire those from those experiences to share their creative light.  That’s the pivotal thing.  If you hire the same sort of people, you’re just getting the same sort of film.  It’s not wrong, but then there’s a lack of variety.  I think that Oscar [Isaac, who plays Poe Dameron] is always looking at me with love in his eyes, and I guess that the fans saw it.  And then they realized that either he needs to chill or come out.”  What exactly Boyega was prattling on about in the first two sentences is a mystery, but he got to the point afterward by stating that two dudes who’ve helped each other in various adventures naturally just want to share a roll in the intergalactic hay.

Aside from their nonsensical babbling about responsibility and narrow-mindedness, and translating a friendship between two men into a sexually repressed homoerotic sideshow, neither Abrams nor Boyega seems to understand what made Star Wars a long-lasting cultural juggernaut.  It wasn’t about lofty and vague notions about the responsibility to include homosexual characters, engineering longing looks between men, or appeasing liberal sycophantic friends.  It was about the ongoing battle between good and evil, and entertaining audiences in the process.  To be sure, George Lucas was and is a liberal whose original message behind Star Wars was how primitive societies could whip more technologically advanced societies, which stemmed from his resentment over the involvement of the United States in Vietnam in the 1960s.  He needed to overlook the fact that the Star Wars rebels destroyed every Death Star and killed off the Empire via technology, but idealists rarely stop to look at logic or evidence, even in a fictional world.

The libs are aglow with the prospect of two men declaring their erotic feeling for each other in a science fiction movie, regardless of how ridiculously misplaced such a thing would be.  Parent company Disney doesn’t seem to care, at least publicly, as long as tickets and merch are sold.

Current Lucasfilm president and Star Wars “brand manager” Kathleen Kennedy seemed to quash this notion, at least for now, by saying: “We’ve talked about it, but I think you’re not going to see it in The Last Jedi.  In the next six or eight months, we will have some meetings about the stories that we will develop next.”

So the issue clearly isn’t dead, and as with any liberal cause, they will never give up on it.  They’ll just develop better marketing, such as “marriage equality” instead of “legalized sodomy,” and move forward to their goal.

A same-sex relationship is not new for the Star Wars canon, as some were introduced to in a video game and a couple of their novelizations, but the big screen is the big prize for Abrams and his fellow libs.  In their worldview, it makes perfect sense for a same-sex couple to be together, despite the real-world logic that such a couple could never produce offspring and are a tiny percentage of Earth’s population.  Logic and evidence aside, it’s time for the rest of the world to be dragged into their idea of progress.  Calmer and more rational heads may prevail and jettison this idiotic plot detail, but expect this issue to be hotly contested in storylines for Episode 9 (or “IX” for purists) of the Star Wars saga.

The denizens of Hollywood are rife with those who seek to corrupt and pervert society through any medium at hand.  In the words of Obi-Wan Kenobi: “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.”

It is a period of civil war.  Liberal filmmakers and lawmakers, striking from their elitist enclaves, have won their first victories against the forces of decency and godliness.

During the battles, liberal spies managed to infiltrate the highest echelons of government, media, and the arts, securing an obscene ruling that same-sex couples may marry.  Their goal is to destroy an entire civilization under their perverted view of fairness.

Pursued by the truth, liberal directors and actors race to the screen to indoctrinate audiences into this twisted notion and aid in further enslaving the masses of the planet into their mistaken worldview.

Please forgive me if that revised intro into the Star Wars universe sounds hyperbolic.  It’s to illustrate that liberal creative types can’t be content to entertain us with a movie when there is a culture war at stake.  Consider the quotes by two of the newest Star Wars contributors: psychologist J.J. Abrams and biologist John Boyega.  I’m sorry – that should be movie director J.J. Abrams and actor John Boyega, who both play make-believe for a living.

In March of 2016, Abrams said this about homosexual characters in the future episodes of the Star Wars franchise: “I would love it.  To me, the fun of Star Wars is the glory of possibility.  So it seems insanely narrow-minded and counterintuitive to say that there wouldn’t be a homosexual character in that world.”  Yes, J.J., I guess it’s also narrow-minded to say there are people who believe that entertainers should entertain and not preach, but that clearly won’t shut up liberal blabbermouths with an ax to grind.

In October of 2017, Boyega said: “There definitely is that responsibility, but more the responsibility to hire those from those experiences to share their creative light.  That’s the pivotal thing.  If you hire the same sort of people, you’re just getting the same sort of film.  It’s not wrong, but then there’s a lack of variety.  I think that Oscar [Isaac, who plays Poe Dameron] is always looking at me with love in his eyes, and I guess that the fans saw it.  And then they realized that either he needs to chill or come out.”  What exactly Boyega was prattling on about in the first two sentences is a mystery, but he got to the point afterward by stating that two dudes who’ve helped each other in various adventures naturally just want to share a roll in the intergalactic hay.

Aside from their nonsensical babbling about responsibility and narrow-mindedness, and translating a friendship between two men into a sexually repressed homoerotic sideshow, neither Abrams nor Boyega seems to understand what made Star Wars a long-lasting cultural juggernaut.  It wasn’t about lofty and vague notions about the responsibility to include homosexual characters, engineering longing looks between men, or appeasing liberal sycophantic friends.  It was about the ongoing battle between good and evil, and entertaining audiences in the process.  To be sure, George Lucas was and is a liberal whose original message behind Star Wars was how primitive societies could whip more technologically advanced societies, which stemmed from his resentment over the involvement of the United States in Vietnam in the 1960s.  He needed to overlook the fact that the Star Wars rebels destroyed every Death Star and killed off the Empire via technology, but idealists rarely stop to look at logic or evidence, even in a fictional world.

The libs are aglow with the prospect of two men declaring their erotic feeling for each other in a science fiction movie, regardless of how ridiculously misplaced such a thing would be.  Parent company Disney doesn’t seem to care, at least publicly, as long as tickets and merch are sold.

Current Lucasfilm president and Star Wars “brand manager” Kathleen Kennedy seemed to quash this notion, at least for now, by saying: “We’ve talked about it, but I think you’re not going to see it in The Last Jedi.  In the next six or eight months, we will have some meetings about the stories that we will develop next.”

So the issue clearly isn’t dead, and as with any liberal cause, they will never give up on it.  They’ll just develop better marketing, such as “marriage equality” instead of “legalized sodomy,” and move forward to their goal.

A same-sex relationship is not new for the Star Wars canon, as some were introduced to in a video game and a couple of their novelizations, but the big screen is the big prize for Abrams and his fellow libs.  In their worldview, it makes perfect sense for a same-sex couple to be together, despite the real-world logic that such a couple could never produce offspring and are a tiny percentage of Earth’s population.  Logic and evidence aside, it’s time for the rest of the world to be dragged into their idea of progress.  Calmer and more rational heads may prevail and jettison this idiotic plot detail, but expect this issue to be hotly contested in storylines for Episode 9 (or “IX” for purists) of the Star Wars saga.

The denizens of Hollywood are rife with those who seek to corrupt and pervert society through any medium at hand.  In the words of Obi-Wan Kenobi: “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.”



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Trump's Reality Therapy on Jerusalem


President Donald Trump broke free of the self-absorbed fantasies of the “international community.” He spoke truth to it with his acknowledgment that it “was time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel” and adopt a new approach to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. 

Jerusalem was established as the Jewish capital by King David around 1010 B.C., and his son Solomon built the Temple in 964 B.C.  Jerusalem was captured a number of times by invading armies from the Romans to the Crusaders and Arabs. However, it has for three thousand years always been a holy site for Jews, and the city is cited about 350 times in the Bible.

As a result of the 1948-49 war caused by the Arab military invasion of the newly created State of Israel, the Arab Legion captured the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, and Jerusalem, for the first time, was divided between 1948 and 1967 by the so called Green Line of barbed wire and sandbags. Israelis were not allowed by Jordan, the occupying power, to pray at the Western Wall, to attend the Hebrew University on Mount Scopus, or to live in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City.

During the 1967 Six Day War, Israeli forces captured east Jerusalem which has remained under Israeli control ever since. On July 27, 1967 Israeli law and jurisdiction was extended to east Jerusalem: on July 30, 1980 Israeli law declared that “Jerusalem complete and unified is the capital of Israel.” 

For a variety of reasons, primarily Palestinian pressure, most countries did not legally recognize this declaration, or the reality on which it is based. At best, Jerusalem was identified as the seat of Israel government, while foreign embassies, including that of the U.S., are in Tel Aviv. Even in the November 29, 1947 UN General Assembly Resolution 181 that proposed partition of the disputed area, Jerusalem was viewed as a city to be accorded a special international status and placed under the administrative authority of the UN. 

Trump made clear that he was not taking a position on any final status issues, including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, or the resolution of contested issues. Those questions are up to the parties involved.

Trump argues that his decision on Jerusalem is combined with determination to broker a peace deal between the parties and reach a two-state solution. He was not preempting future discussion of final status. Not coincidentally, Jared Kushner has met three times with Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, with whom he has a close relationship, and also with Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

Trump was simply echoing the Congressional law of 1995 that recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and asserted that the U.S. Embassy should be established there no later than May 31, 1999. It provided that the President has to sign a national security waiver every 6 months to keep the Embassy in Tel Aviv. 

Trump did sign a six-month waiver, but he kept his frequently reiterated campaign promise with his statement of recognition of Jerusalem. 

Negative reaction from Palestinians and leaders of many Muslim countries to Trump’s remarks was to be expected and automatic, as well as from the usual chorus of  Western pro-Palestinian pressure groups, fellow anti-Israeli travelers and the polically correct usual suspects,  though almost all misstated Trump’s actual remarks.  Instead, the more extreme condemned Trump’s collusion with “Israeli racist manipulation and its creeping process of ethnic cleansing, and its disregard for international law.”

Instead of examination and discussion of Trump’s statement, the Arab call was for violence and hostile demonstrations.  Senseless belligerence extended to attacks on Israelis riding on the Light Rail, the line that runs through Jerusalem, regarded by Palestinian groups not as a benefit in quick transport for all citizens but as a symbol of Israeli occupation. Noticeably , the animosity went far beyond the Jerusalem question. The calls were “Zionism must die,” a reminder of the lives lost and property destroyed in the August 1929 riots by Palestinians caused by fake news over access to the Western Wall. 

The terrorist groups Hamas and Hezb’allah, and Iran-backed Shiite militia fighting in Iraq and Syria called for a new, a third, Intifada, and the continuation of violence.   Those groups recall that this is the 30th anniversary of the first Intifada in 1987. Hamas engaged in its favorite contributions to world peace, firing rockets against Israel from Gaza, and continuing to build tunnels from which to attack Israel.

The Arab lobby was at work with extravagant rhetoric. Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian “negotiator” who never negotiates, said Trump’s statement created international anarchy and disrespect for global institutions and law. For him, Trump had taken a step that prejudges the conflict and thus disqualifies the U.S. from any role regarding the conflict. 

 The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, OIC, held in an absurd statement that Trump had undermined all peace efforts, and given an impetus to extremism and terrorism.  It held that Trump was encouraging Israel’s colonialism, ethnic cleansing and apartheid. 

The persecutor of the Kurds, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, conspicuous for his tirades against the U.S. and refusal to recognize the authority of the present U.S. Ambassador in Turkey, enigmatically stated that Trump and the US had crossed a “red line.”

But it is more difficult to understand the quick negative reaction of European leaders, the punditry of former U.S. State Department officials, and the resolution of the UN Security Council on December 8, 2017 that Trump’s statement was unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the Middle East, and would arouse the Arab world.  This unhelpful approach neglects the realities on the ground and suffers from a number of problems. 

The naysayers have argued that Trump has put U.S. allies, moderate Saudi Arabia and UAE, on the defensive, deepened divisions in the Middle East and delays the peace process. Yet both Saudi Arabia, custodian of the holy sites of Mecca and Medina, and the UAE have been involved in friendly discussions with Israel, particularly in security and intelligence co-operation against the menace of Iran. It is fallacious to argue that Trump has left them in the lurch. It was noticeable that that at the OIC conference Saudi Arabia and Egypt were represented at a low level, and that an interfaith  Arab delegation from Bahrain visited Israel.

The second point, neglected by the naysayers, is that the Israel-Palestinian conflict cannot be conflated with the “Middle East conflict.” It is no longer the main issue in the “Middle East” conflict. It is relatively minor, and one of many issues among the many conflicts raging in the Middle East — where real violence is continuing.  Total casualty figures in the fighting between Israel and Palestinians are about 7% of those killed in the bitter six-year-old Syrian civil war, and the end is nowhere in sight. Similar figures can display the extent of the casualties in other conflicts, Iraq (probably over 100,000 killed), Syria (at least 200,000 deaths), Sudan, Libya, and Yemen.

A third point is that Arab counties are no longer patrons of Palestinians in the light of the challenge to Sunni states from Iran. The real menace comes from that country, not from Israel, and there is no rational reason to support Palestinian animosity or intransigence towards Israel.

There is no blank check being offered by Trump.  On the contrary, his statement provides an opportunity for the international community to try to bring Palestinians to the negotiating table. It is time for the UN and other bodies to end the antisemitic bombast of Israel as an apartheid state. They might go back to the dream in Hatikvah, to be a free people in the Jewish land.

President Donald Trump broke free of the self-absorbed fantasies of the “international community.” He spoke truth to it with his acknowledgment that it “was time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel” and adopt a new approach to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. 

Jerusalem was established as the Jewish capital by King David around 1010 B.C., and his son Solomon built the Temple in 964 B.C.  Jerusalem was captured a number of times by invading armies from the Romans to the Crusaders and Arabs. However, it has for three thousand years always been a holy site for Jews, and the city is cited about 350 times in the Bible.

As a result of the 1948-49 war caused by the Arab military invasion of the newly created State of Israel, the Arab Legion captured the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, and Jerusalem, for the first time, was divided between 1948 and 1967 by the so called Green Line of barbed wire and sandbags. Israelis were not allowed by Jordan, the occupying power, to pray at the Western Wall, to attend the Hebrew University on Mount Scopus, or to live in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City.

The Arab Legion in the process of destroying the Tiferet Yisrael Synagogue, Jerusalem, 25 May 1948

During the 1967 Six Day War, Israeli forces captured east Jerusalem which has remained under Israeli control ever since. On July 27, 1967 Israeli law and jurisdiction was extended to east Jerusalem: on July 30, 1980 Israeli law declared that “Jerusalem complete and unified is the capital of Israel.” 

For a variety of reasons, primarily Palestinian pressure, most countries did not legally recognize this declaration, or the reality on which it is based. At best, Jerusalem was identified as the seat of Israel government, while foreign embassies, including that of the U.S., are in Tel Aviv. Even in the November 29, 1947 UN General Assembly Resolution 181 that proposed partition of the disputed area, Jerusalem was viewed as a city to be accorded a special international status and placed under the administrative authority of the UN. 

Trump made clear that he was not taking a position on any final status issues, including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, or the resolution of contested issues. Those questions are up to the parties involved.

Trump argues that his decision on Jerusalem is combined with determination to broker a peace deal between the parties and reach a two-state solution. He was not preempting future discussion of final status. Not coincidentally, Jared Kushner has met three times with Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, with whom he has a close relationship, and also with Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

Trump was simply echoing the Congressional law of 1995 that recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and asserted that the U.S. Embassy should be established there no later than May 31, 1999. It provided that the President has to sign a national security waiver every 6 months to keep the Embassy in Tel Aviv. 

Trump did sign a six-month waiver, but he kept his frequently reiterated campaign promise with his statement of recognition of Jerusalem. 

Negative reaction from Palestinians and leaders of many Muslim countries to Trump’s remarks was to be expected and automatic, as well as from the usual chorus of  Western pro-Palestinian pressure groups, fellow anti-Israeli travelers and the polically correct usual suspects,  though almost all misstated Trump’s actual remarks.  Instead, the more extreme condemned Trump’s collusion with “Israeli racist manipulation and its creeping process of ethnic cleansing, and its disregard for international law.”

Instead of examination and discussion of Trump’s statement, the Arab call was for violence and hostile demonstrations.  Senseless belligerence extended to attacks on Israelis riding on the Light Rail, the line that runs through Jerusalem, regarded by Palestinian groups not as a benefit in quick transport for all citizens but as a symbol of Israeli occupation. Noticeably , the animosity went far beyond the Jerusalem question. The calls were “Zionism must die,” a reminder of the lives lost and property destroyed in the August 1929 riots by Palestinians caused by fake news over access to the Western Wall. 

The terrorist groups Hamas and Hezb’allah, and Iran-backed Shiite militia fighting in Iraq and Syria called for a new, a third, Intifada, and the continuation of violence.   Those groups recall that this is the 30th anniversary of the first Intifada in 1987. Hamas engaged in its favorite contributions to world peace, firing rockets against Israel from Gaza, and continuing to build tunnels from which to attack Israel.

The Arab lobby was at work with extravagant rhetoric. Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian “negotiator” who never negotiates, said Trump’s statement created international anarchy and disrespect for global institutions and law. For him, Trump had taken a step that prejudges the conflict and thus disqualifies the U.S. from any role regarding the conflict. 

 The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, OIC, held in an absurd statement that Trump had undermined all peace efforts, and given an impetus to extremism and terrorism.  It held that Trump was encouraging Israel’s colonialism, ethnic cleansing and apartheid. 

The persecutor of the Kurds, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, conspicuous for his tirades against the U.S. and refusal to recognize the authority of the present U.S. Ambassador in Turkey, enigmatically stated that Trump and the US had crossed a “red line.”

But it is more difficult to understand the quick negative reaction of European leaders, the punditry of former U.S. State Department officials, and the resolution of the UN Security Council on December 8, 2017 that Trump’s statement was unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the Middle East, and would arouse the Arab world.  This unhelpful approach neglects the realities on the ground and suffers from a number of problems. 

The naysayers have argued that Trump has put U.S. allies, moderate Saudi Arabia and UAE, on the defensive, deepened divisions in the Middle East and delays the peace process. Yet both Saudi Arabia, custodian of the holy sites of Mecca and Medina, and the UAE have been involved in friendly discussions with Israel, particularly in security and intelligence co-operation against the menace of Iran. It is fallacious to argue that Trump has left them in the lurch. It was noticeable that that at the OIC conference Saudi Arabia and Egypt were represented at a low level, and that an interfaith  Arab delegation from Bahrain visited Israel.

The second point, neglected by the naysayers, is that the Israel-Palestinian conflict cannot be conflated with the “Middle East conflict.” It is no longer the main issue in the “Middle East” conflict. It is relatively minor, and one of many issues among the many conflicts raging in the Middle East — where real violence is continuing.  Total casualty figures in the fighting between Israel and Palestinians are about 7% of those killed in the bitter six-year-old Syrian civil war, and the end is nowhere in sight. Similar figures can display the extent of the casualties in other conflicts, Iraq (probably over 100,000 killed), Syria (at least 200,000 deaths), Sudan, Libya, and Yemen.

A third point is that Arab counties are no longer patrons of Palestinians in the light of the challenge to Sunni states from Iran. The real menace comes from that country, not from Israel, and there is no rational reason to support Palestinian animosity or intransigence towards Israel.

There is no blank check being offered by Trump.  On the contrary, his statement provides an opportunity for the international community to try to bring Palestinians to the negotiating table. It is time for the UN and other bodies to end the antisemitic bombast of Israel as an apartheid state. They might go back to the dream in Hatikvah, to be a free people in the Jewish land.



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Why the God-Haters Hate Israel


One of the greatest evidences that there is a God — to whom we owe our very lives, and whose Word we are to follow — is the mere existence of a nation called Israel. Thus the rampant hatred for the children of Abraham. Nevertheless, science again makes clear what Scripture long ago revealed.

A 60 Minutes episode from the year 2000 — for which I have a transcript — reported on a genetics study that revealed a “priestly Y-chromosome” among the general Jewish population. In other words, all those who claimed to be Jewish priests (only males) shared a common male ancestor. As Lesley Stahl reported, “The results proved that Jewish priests from all around the world are, in fact, descended from one single man, a common paternal ancestor somewhere back in time.”

To tease her listening audience, Stahl asked, “How long ago did this great, great, great-grandfather live?” The scientist she was interviewing provided the answer: 3,000 years ago. In other words, right in line with the time-line presented by the Bible for when Moses’ brother Aaron — the patriarch of the Jewish priesthood — lived.

Likewise, in the year 2000, a study widely reported on revealed that the Jews and the Arabs shared a common genetic heritage. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, looked at the Y-chromosome — which is passed directly and unaltered from father to son — of male Jews and Arabs and found that they shared “a common set of genetic signatures.”

This should come as no surprise to anyone who knows — and believes — Scripture. The first two sons of Abraham were Ishmael — the son of Hagar and the patriarch of the Arabs — and Isaac, the son of Sarah and the patriarch of the Jews. Thus the “common genetic signature” is the result of both Jews and Arabs being descendants of Abraham.

Most everyone with at least a spotty Sunday school background knows something of the biblical account of “Father Abraham.” If nothing else, we can probably recall the ancient trilogy of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jacob — later named Israel — fathered twelve sons who would become the “twelve tribes of Israel” and would inherit the Promised Land. The Bible first mentions Abraham — initially named “Abram,” a descendent of Noah’s son, Shem — in the chronology given in Genesis chapter 11. Genesis chapter 12 begins with the telling “Call of Abram.” It reads,

The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.’

Note that the nation born of Abraham will be “a blessing” to the whole world. Scripture is replete with this theme. Genesis alone has several references. In addition to the above, there are Genesis 18:18, 22:18, 26:4, and 28:14. Without using the word “blessing,” Scripture makes it clear that Israel is the vehicle through which God — in multiple ways — will bless the earth.

Scripture also makes it clear that Israel was not chosen because it was the largest and most powerful nation (Deut. 7:7), or because of her righteousness (Deut. 9:5). In other words, Israel was not chosen for the glory of (or to glorify) Israel, but to glorify the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In other words, God chose the weak — Israel was in slavery when it became a nation — so that the world would know that the God of Israel was the one true God. (Egypt was the first to get a dramatic lesson.)

The idea that Israel was “set apart” as a “witness to the nations” is also a common thought throughout Judaism and Christianity — especially evangelical Christianity. Exodus 19:6 declares, “[Y]ou will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” Isaiah 43:12 reads, “‘You are my witnesses,’ declares the Lord, ‘that I am God.’” One of the ways Israel was (and is) a blessing to the earth is the testimony of the Jews to the very existence of God. In the late nineteenth century, England’s Queen Victoria reportedly asked her Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, “Mr. Prime Minister, what evidence can you give me of the existence of God?” After thinking for a moment, Disraeli replied, “The Jew, your majesty.”

A significant manner in which the Jews were a blessing to all of humanity, and another means through which they were a witness to all the earth, was through the written word of God. The Jews were God’s scribes, recording His words and deeds so that people might hear (or read) and believe. As the Apostle Paul, at the beginning of Romans chapter 3 notes, “What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew… Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God.” The oral, and eventually, the written Word of God is an amazing testimony of God’s existence, His presence, and His power.

And last, Christianity teaches that the redemption of all mankind came through the Jews. Jesus Christ, the Messiah, was a descendant of Abraham, born out of the tribe of Judah. As Paul also reveals in Romans, “the Jews and the Gentiles alike are all under sin” and in need of salvation. Of course, the message of Paul was the message of Jesus: whether Jew or Gentile, salvation is through Christ alone. Writing to the church in Rome, Paul concludes, “A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly… No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code.” (Rom. 2:28-29a)

As I noted in The Miracle and Magnificence of America, long before the Pilgrims departed Europe for a new home, the spiritual heritage of America has been linked with Jerusalem and Israel. Because of events such as the Great Plague, during the fifteenth century there was widespread belief that the end of time was near. Many Christians of this time also believed that before Christ would return, Jerusalem had to be in the hands of Christians. As the result of his study of Scripture, along with his study of the works of first century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus and noted theologian and philosopher Saint Augustine, Christopher Columbus believed the same. Thus Columbus literally saw himself as an agent of the apocalypse.

As life in Europe became increasingly difficult for the Pilgrims, in spite of what they were hearing concerning the death and destruction at Jamestown, more and more, God’s plan seemed to point to America as their home. The pastor of young William Bradford’s congregation at the time was John Robinson. During this time, Pastor Robinson revealed that he believed God was calling them to a New Jerusalem — in America. Robinson wrote,

Now as the people of God in old time were called out of Babylon civil, the place of their bodily bondage, and were to come to Jerusalem, and there to build the Lord’s temple… so are the people of God now to go out of Babylon spiritual to Jerusalem… and build themselves as lively stones into a spiritual house, or temple, for the Lord to dwell in… for we are the sons and daughters of Abraham by faith.

The God who spoke to Abraham and Moses is the same God who inspired the Pilgrims and the Puritans — the people who are most responsible for the founding of the United States. Though Christianity teaches that we are all under a new covenant with our Creator, the nation of Israel still stands as a testimony to the Truth. Thus any move that further legitimizes Israel — such as official recognition by the United States of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and placing our embassy there — will be strongly opposed by those who hate the Truth.

Trevor Grant Thomas

At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.

www.trevorgrantthomas.com

Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America

tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

One of the greatest evidences that there is a God — to whom we owe our very lives, and whose Word we are to follow — is the mere existence of a nation called Israel. Thus the rampant hatred for the children of Abraham. Nevertheless, science again makes clear what Scripture long ago revealed.

A 60 Minutes episode from the year 2000 — for which I have a transcript — reported on a genetics study that revealed a “priestly Y-chromosome” among the general Jewish population. In other words, all those who claimed to be Jewish priests (only males) shared a common male ancestor. As Lesley Stahl reported, “The results proved that Jewish priests from all around the world are, in fact, descended from one single man, a common paternal ancestor somewhere back in time.”

To tease her listening audience, Stahl asked, “How long ago did this great, great, great-grandfather live?” The scientist she was interviewing provided the answer: 3,000 years ago. In other words, right in line with the time-line presented by the Bible for when Moses’ brother Aaron — the patriarch of the Jewish priesthood — lived.

Likewise, in the year 2000, a study widely reported on revealed that the Jews and the Arabs shared a common genetic heritage. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, looked at the Y-chromosome — which is passed directly and unaltered from father to son — of male Jews and Arabs and found that they shared “a common set of genetic signatures.”

This should come as no surprise to anyone who knows — and believes — Scripture. The first two sons of Abraham were Ishmael — the son of Hagar and the patriarch of the Arabs — and Isaac, the son of Sarah and the patriarch of the Jews. Thus the “common genetic signature” is the result of both Jews and Arabs being descendants of Abraham.

Most everyone with at least a spotty Sunday school background knows something of the biblical account of “Father Abraham.” If nothing else, we can probably recall the ancient trilogy of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jacob — later named Israel — fathered twelve sons who would become the “twelve tribes of Israel” and would inherit the Promised Land. The Bible first mentions Abraham — initially named “Abram,” a descendent of Noah’s son, Shem — in the chronology given in Genesis chapter 11. Genesis chapter 12 begins with the telling “Call of Abram.” It reads,

The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.’

Note that the nation born of Abraham will be “a blessing” to the whole world. Scripture is replete with this theme. Genesis alone has several references. In addition to the above, there are Genesis 18:18, 22:18, 26:4, and 28:14. Without using the word “blessing,” Scripture makes it clear that Israel is the vehicle through which God — in multiple ways — will bless the earth.

Scripture also makes it clear that Israel was not chosen because it was the largest and most powerful nation (Deut. 7:7), or because of her righteousness (Deut. 9:5). In other words, Israel was not chosen for the glory of (or to glorify) Israel, but to glorify the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In other words, God chose the weak — Israel was in slavery when it became a nation — so that the world would know that the God of Israel was the one true God. (Egypt was the first to get a dramatic lesson.)

The idea that Israel was “set apart” as a “witness to the nations” is also a common thought throughout Judaism and Christianity — especially evangelical Christianity. Exodus 19:6 declares, “[Y]ou will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” Isaiah 43:12 reads, “‘You are my witnesses,’ declares the Lord, ‘that I am God.’” One of the ways Israel was (and is) a blessing to the earth is the testimony of the Jews to the very existence of God. In the late nineteenth century, England’s Queen Victoria reportedly asked her Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, “Mr. Prime Minister, what evidence can you give me of the existence of God?” After thinking for a moment, Disraeli replied, “The Jew, your majesty.”

A significant manner in which the Jews were a blessing to all of humanity, and another means through which they were a witness to all the earth, was through the written word of God. The Jews were God’s scribes, recording His words and deeds so that people might hear (or read) and believe. As the Apostle Paul, at the beginning of Romans chapter 3 notes, “What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew… Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God.” The oral, and eventually, the written Word of God is an amazing testimony of God’s existence, His presence, and His power.

And last, Christianity teaches that the redemption of all mankind came through the Jews. Jesus Christ, the Messiah, was a descendant of Abraham, born out of the tribe of Judah. As Paul also reveals in Romans, “the Jews and the Gentiles alike are all under sin” and in need of salvation. Of course, the message of Paul was the message of Jesus: whether Jew or Gentile, salvation is through Christ alone. Writing to the church in Rome, Paul concludes, “A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly… No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code.” (Rom. 2:28-29a)

As I noted in The Miracle and Magnificence of America, long before the Pilgrims departed Europe for a new home, the spiritual heritage of America has been linked with Jerusalem and Israel. Because of events such as the Great Plague, during the fifteenth century there was widespread belief that the end of time was near. Many Christians of this time also believed that before Christ would return, Jerusalem had to be in the hands of Christians. As the result of his study of Scripture, along with his study of the works of first century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus and noted theologian and philosopher Saint Augustine, Christopher Columbus believed the same. Thus Columbus literally saw himself as an agent of the apocalypse.

As life in Europe became increasingly difficult for the Pilgrims, in spite of what they were hearing concerning the death and destruction at Jamestown, more and more, God’s plan seemed to point to America as their home. The pastor of young William Bradford’s congregation at the time was John Robinson. During this time, Pastor Robinson revealed that he believed God was calling them to a New Jerusalem — in America. Robinson wrote,

Now as the people of God in old time were called out of Babylon civil, the place of their bodily bondage, and were to come to Jerusalem, and there to build the Lord’s temple… so are the people of God now to go out of Babylon spiritual to Jerusalem… and build themselves as lively stones into a spiritual house, or temple, for the Lord to dwell in… for we are the sons and daughters of Abraham by faith.

The God who spoke to Abraham and Moses is the same God who inspired the Pilgrims and the Puritans — the people who are most responsible for the founding of the United States. Though Christianity teaches that we are all under a new covenant with our Creator, the nation of Israel still stands as a testimony to the Truth. Thus any move that further legitimizes Israel — such as official recognition by the United States of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and placing our embassy there — will be strongly opposed by those who hate the Truth.

Trevor Grant Thomas

At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.

www.trevorgrantthomas.com

Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America

tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com



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