Month: February 2018

Pending Blackwater (in)justice


On Sunday, September 16, 2007, a Blackwater protective service detail (PSD), Raven 4, was assigned to a diplomatic protection mission at the Izdihar compound near Nisour Square in Baghdad.

The Blackwater teams always cleared alternate routes for a convoy or detail in advance, preparing for traffic, an ambush, or any other emergency.  Consequently, it had already been reported to the tactical operations center by a low profile (i.e. undercover) team that there was an unusual, heavy presence of Iraqi police and/or military in the square on this day.  The square was also near an Iraqi Army base and police station.

About one mile north of the square, A USAID (United States Agency for International Development) worker was in a meeting at the Izdihar compound when a very large bomb blast rocked the area nearby.  The bomb blast was so strong she was blown off her chair.  Smoke from the massive explosion of the vehicle borne IED (improvised explosive device) could be seen on satellite imagery.  The deafening blast was easily heard in the Green Zone, driving tactical support teams (TST), including Raven 23, quickly into action to respond the emergency.

Former Blackwater vice president and chief operating officer, Bill Matthews says, “Many of the attacks that our guys were killed in were multi-staged, multi-phased ambushes, which are often initiated with an IED and then followed up with small arms fire or more IED’s.  Very infrequently was it a single strike.  There’s usually a coordinated effort, so when you are responding to a distress signal, you are expecting a second attack of some type.”

In the weeks prior to the Nisour Square incident, the PSDs and TSTs had been briefed on an IED threats, including a white Kia sedan.  When Raven 23 entered the Square, a white sedan approached their convoy, ignoring multiple and various signals to stop.  The vehicle was engaged, and the occupants were killed in the process.  The convoy was also receiving small arms fire from within the square.

The media has most often reported this incident as a massacre.  Yet, there is video footage from a nearby tower of the immediate aftermath that tells a different story.

scren grab via YouTube

In a video still from the “crime scene,” there is not only absence of first responders, but more importantly, an absence of bodies.  If the Iraqi government and the FBI claim there were numerous Iraqis slaughtered in the square on this regretful day, where are the bodies?  Where are the first responders?  Frankly, where is the evidence of a massacre?

Tragically, members of Raven 23 (Dustin Heard, Evan Liberty, Paul Slough, and Nicholas Slatten) were charged with a number of very serious crimes as a result of the deaths that did occur, a number that has varied wildly as the investigation and prosecution progressed.  When all the facts are considered, only the unjust imprisonment of these four men exemplifies the fallout of this event.  Has the case been jaundiced against this Blackwater team from the very beginning?  After the case was initially — and harshly — dismissed by Judge Ricardo Urbina, it was returned on appeal for clarification.  By that time, Judge Urbina had retired and the case was assigned to another judge.  On the same day, the docket reflects that the case was directly reassigned to the judge that has it now, Judge Royce Lamberth.

There appear to have been a number of blatantly obvious mistakes associated with the case.  The case was moved to one of the most liberal circuits in the country — the DC circuit.  A valid defense motion concerning the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act (MEJA) was ignored, allowing jurisdiction where it did not apply.  A 30-year mandatory minimum sentence statute historically applied to drug traffickers and gangbangers in possession of automatic weapons was misapplied to the defendants after President Obama took office.  Photographic evidence was withheld from the defense for seven years, in clear violation of the ruling of Brady v. Maryland.  In addition, a witness’s statement produced on the eve of trial completely contradicted his four days of trial testimony, yet the judge refused to postpone sentencing, which would have allowed the perjury to be explored.

In spite of the sentences against Heard, Liberty, and Slough being ruled “cruel and unusual punishment,” Slatten’s conviction of murder being vacated, and all the obvious errors of the case, four men remain in prison, today.  Is there something more inflammatory still to be found below the surface?  There is a statement from Andrew McCabe suggesting the Blackwater convictions were not happening fast enough with the case.  Wikileaks also exposed that one of Hillary Clinton’s main concerns was to find a way to placate the Iraqis — financially, of course.

The defendants have not received a fair trial. Rather, they continue to appear to be scapegoats to diplomacy trumping the rule of law.  The Blackwater case gives some weight to the notion that the Obama DOJ, FBI, and folks like Hillary Clinton and Andrew McCabe may have been “meddling” with cases for quite a while.

Support raven23.com

J.M. Phelps is a Christian activist and journalist based in the Southeastern U.S.

On Sunday, September 16, 2007, a Blackwater protective service detail (PSD), Raven 4, was assigned to a diplomatic protection mission at the Izdihar compound near Nisour Square in Baghdad.

The Blackwater teams always cleared alternate routes for a convoy or detail in advance, preparing for traffic, an ambush, or any other emergency.  Consequently, it had already been reported to the tactical operations center by a low profile (i.e. undercover) team that there was an unusual, heavy presence of Iraqi police and/or military in the square on this day.  The square was also near an Iraqi Army base and police station.

About one mile north of the square, A USAID (United States Agency for International Development) worker was in a meeting at the Izdihar compound when a very large bomb blast rocked the area nearby.  The bomb blast was so strong she was blown off her chair.  Smoke from the massive explosion of the vehicle borne IED (improvised explosive device) could be seen on satellite imagery.  The deafening blast was easily heard in the Green Zone, driving tactical support teams (TST), including Raven 23, quickly into action to respond the emergency.

Former Blackwater vice president and chief operating officer, Bill Matthews says, “Many of the attacks that our guys were killed in were multi-staged, multi-phased ambushes, which are often initiated with an IED and then followed up with small arms fire or more IED’s.  Very infrequently was it a single strike.  There’s usually a coordinated effort, so when you are responding to a distress signal, you are expecting a second attack of some type.”

In the weeks prior to the Nisour Square incident, the PSDs and TSTs had been briefed on an IED threats, including a white Kia sedan.  When Raven 23 entered the Square, a white sedan approached their convoy, ignoring multiple and various signals to stop.  The vehicle was engaged, and the occupants were killed in the process.  The convoy was also receiving small arms fire from within the square.

The media has most often reported this incident as a massacre.  Yet, there is video footage from a nearby tower of the immediate aftermath that tells a different story.

scren grab via YouTube

In a video still from the “crime scene,” there is not only absence of first responders, but more importantly, an absence of bodies.  If the Iraqi government and the FBI claim there were numerous Iraqis slaughtered in the square on this regretful day, where are the bodies?  Where are the first responders?  Frankly, where is the evidence of a massacre?

Tragically, members of Raven 23 (Dustin Heard, Evan Liberty, Paul Slough, and Nicholas Slatten) were charged with a number of very serious crimes as a result of the deaths that did occur, a number that has varied wildly as the investigation and prosecution progressed.  When all the facts are considered, only the unjust imprisonment of these four men exemplifies the fallout of this event.  Has the case been jaundiced against this Blackwater team from the very beginning?  After the case was initially — and harshly — dismissed by Judge Ricardo Urbina, it was returned on appeal for clarification.  By that time, Judge Urbina had retired and the case was assigned to another judge.  On the same day, the docket reflects that the case was directly reassigned to the judge that has it now, Judge Royce Lamberth.

There appear to have been a number of blatantly obvious mistakes associated with the case.  The case was moved to one of the most liberal circuits in the country — the DC circuit.  A valid defense motion concerning the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act (MEJA) was ignored, allowing jurisdiction where it did not apply.  A 30-year mandatory minimum sentence statute historically applied to drug traffickers and gangbangers in possession of automatic weapons was misapplied to the defendants after President Obama took office.  Photographic evidence was withheld from the defense for seven years, in clear violation of the ruling of Brady v. Maryland.  In addition, a witness’s statement produced on the eve of trial completely contradicted his four days of trial testimony, yet the judge refused to postpone sentencing, which would have allowed the perjury to be explored.

In spite of the sentences against Heard, Liberty, and Slough being ruled “cruel and unusual punishment,” Slatten’s conviction of murder being vacated, and all the obvious errors of the case, four men remain in prison, today.  Is there something more inflammatory still to be found below the surface?  There is a statement from Andrew McCabe suggesting the Blackwater convictions were not happening fast enough with the case.  Wikileaks also exposed that one of Hillary Clinton’s main concerns was to find a way to placate the Iraqis — financially, of course.

The defendants have not received a fair trial. Rather, they continue to appear to be scapegoats to diplomacy trumping the rule of law.  The Blackwater case gives some weight to the notion that the Obama DOJ, FBI, and folks like Hillary Clinton and Andrew McCabe may have been “meddling” with cases for quite a while.

Support raven23.com

J.M. Phelps is a Christian activist and journalist based in the Southeastern U.S.



Source link

Postcard from a Coal Mine: CPAC 2018


What on Earth?

At its main website, CPAC describes itself as a lodestar for authentic conservatism.  Its summary includes a warm reference to Ronald Reagan and a claim that its yearly February gathering fosters a praetorian guard of “activists and campaign managers.”

Only a year ago, CPAC found itself in controversy for having scheduled as a keynote speaker Milo Yiannopoulos, the potty-mouthed homosexual enfant terrible.

When old video revealed that Milo had once been frighteningly blasé about sex with teenage boys, CPAC made a dramatic show of disavowing Milo.

Many fellow travelers came forward to defend Milo.  We viewed child molestation as detestable, but we consistently condemned it, even if this meant denouncing homosexual subculture.  Milo’s survival of childhood sex abuse explained much of his aberrant and disorderly behavior.

Why did so many conservatives goad Milo on for years, then turn on him once his past abuse cast a pall on his public witness?  For the type of conservatives who flock to CPAC – think-tank parvenus, Ann Coulter fans, Fox News oracles, College Republicans, emulators of Laura Ingraham and Steven Crowder – conservatism mixes rebellion, wit, professionalism, and prestige.  They sense that pointy-headed political correctness and taxes are bad, while anti-liberal snark and a rising Dow Jones are good.  They delight in mocking liberals who embarrass themselves and relish the indignant outrage they feel when gazing on liberalism at its worst: transgender bathrooms, campus madness, Harvey Weinstein hypocrisy, or historical illiteracy.  Such mainstream, young, and urbane conservatives do not necessarily like being told to show restraint, self-critique, and repentance.

They want conservatism to stay fun.  They turned against the left particularly because the left grew preachy, ugly, and glum.

It’s hard to know what left and right are anymore

In each institution the left has invaded, leftists have expelled all dissent and left themselves no check on their own errors.  In the wake of their collapse, opportunities will abound for enterprising and plucky people to mine the wreckage for profit.

Some will seize upon these opportunities to advance conservative beliefs because their traditional beliefs matter so much to them.  Others will seize upon such opportunities because they are opportunists.  If conservatives fail to discern their allies’ true motivations, they run many dangerous risks.

Will conservatism work if it rests on rejecting the left rather than on edifying traditional principles?  A practicing homosexual can say he is against something the left does (for instance, driver’s licenses for illegal aliens), but he cannot justify himself by citing tradition.  No tradition supports sodomy.

Therein lies the rub.  The assumption that conservatism means traditionalism can no longer go unquestioned, since so much of what we call “conservatism” lately entails opposition to the left, which can come from many sources that have nothing to do with tradition.

My first scholarly monograph, the long-forgotten Colorful Conservative: American Conversations with the Ancients from Wheatley to Whitman, diagrammed four political squares in American politics rather than two poles of left and right.  Back then, I had no clue that the model I suggested would play out vividly in my own life.




 

Untraditional

Traditional

Conventional

The left

Burkeans

Unconventional

Libertarians

Colorful Conservatives

The two axes that divided Americans politically, I posited, were convention and tradition.  While many dictionaries position these words as synonyms, their word roots betray a key difference.  Conventions come from the Latin sense of “coming together.”  Conventional beliefs and practices arise out of peer review, social approval, consensus, and Jefferson’s “decent respect to the opinions of mankind.”  Conventional conservatives can suppress some of their own impulses to respect the judgment of living peers.  They may be liberal, at times, in the sense that they will accept change or at least accommodate it if it seems a change has attained massive support among people whose opinions seem to matter.

Traditions have roots in a distant, mythical past, almost always a time so remote from the present that it cannot be edited or altered based on the fluxing whims of people alive now.  Many but not all traditions are rooted in godly faith.  Some traditions matter deeply to people because a traditional temperament leads people to trust, above all, what is time-honored, time-tested, and impervious to careless trends.  Traditional people are almost always conservative in their temperament.

As I argued in Colorful Conservative, Americans are not merely left-right, but really oriented toward four corners of political discourse.  The architects of the present-day left rejected anarchy and individualism in the twentieth century, when leftist intellectuals sided implicitly with the socialists’ emphasis on progress, collectivism, and egalitarian consensus.  Hence, what we call “the left” today, while dizzyingly fragmented, shares a conventional but untraditional sensibility.  Today’s left actively rejects the authority of the distant past, which explains much of the left’s problem with religions rooted in antique origins.  The left loves peer review and discourse based on pronouncements of experts while suffering from the chronic problems of groupthink and fads.

What now passes for the “conservative” movement is really an enormous smattering of disparate groups that have come to resist and repudiate the left.  Some “conservatives” share the left’s love of convention but resist the left because of the left’s allergy to tradition.  These, whom I called the “Burkean” conservatives in my 2011 monograph, defend ancient beliefs and time-honored customs by trying to persuade peers to join in honoring them.

These conservatives support religious doctrines but value tact and decorum. They will criticize the left-wing intelligentsia but will never criticize the idea of tenure; they do not want to destroy the lofty bureaucracies that issue political doctrines but rather wish to join and excel in such bureaucracies.  Their ideal ceremony is a wedding where plentiful guests cheer on elegant lovers while they recite vows written centuries ago.  From everything I have observed as an American Thinker contributor, these are not the conservatives who tend to prevail on this website.

American Thinker seems to gather people whom we call “conservative” today, who resist the left and also resist the very notion of convention – they are unconventional but traditional, so they have limited common ground with the Burkean conservatives and nothing but animosity toward the modern left.  These I call the “colorful conservatives,” whom I trace as a persistent vein in American arts and letters.  These socially defiant traditionalists tend to view the approval of peers as something to be sacrificed in order to stay true to foundational principles.  Among the religious, these conservatives exalt the Scriptures that tell us, “What is exalted before men is an abomination before the Lord.”  People who inhabit this square will reject not only specific peers, but popularity contests in general.  They will decry not only a worrying trend in academia, but the notion of a tenured professoriate functioning as a godless priesthood.  The colorful conservatives steer clear of groupthink but may be vulnerable to nostalgia.

One more group today falls into the same label of “conservative” only because of their hostility to the left.  Here I speak of those who are both unconventional and untraditional, the freethinking individualists who base all moral questions on their own conscience.  Whether they manifest their individualism as anarchy, libertarianism, or nihilism, they share a common propensity to rebuff the standards imposed by peers and the standards imposed by tradition.  They have nothing in common with the Burkeans and share with the colorful conservatives only a willingness to irritate and alienate their fellows.  They reject the left because of its political correctness, Orwellian insistence on forcing language on them, and taxes, even if they share with the left a rejection of tradition.

Can this a conservative movement make?

Trumpism is the ongoing struggle to make a chorus out of this anti-leftist din.  Why on Earth do we group libertarians, evangelical Christians, and Ivy League Republicans together in the same “conservative” movement these days?  They have little in common, but they all find reasons to fault the left.  The left’s tremendously successful takeover of cultural institutions, accompanied by the left’s utter failure to build anything socially functional, has created a vacuum that provides opportunities to the three other squares.  Yet if the left is finally defeated, who will rule the right?

Those who cannot surrender their principled objections to homosexuality serve as the canaries in the coal mine.  Conventional-traditional conservatives may pay lip service to heterosexual chastity but will respect the growing acceptance of homosexuality rather than alienate pro-gay peers.  They may say they support marriage, but they will lash out against other “conservatives” who violate the unspoken law against behaving crudely or disrespectfully in front of others.  Hence, Mass Resistance, full of Bible-quoters who fearlessly scream down principals and mayors to defend God’s design for sexuality, must be shunned by the conservatives who share the left’s love of convention.

The unconventional and untraditional types pose another challenge to the conservative movement.  Whether we call these libertarians, nihilists, pure individualists, or anarchists, the reality is that they are not conservative.  They are no friends to morality, antiquity, precedent, or decency.  They want most of all to have fun and feel good.  They have joined the conservative movement because in institutions controlled by the left, the political camp that attacks the left offers them the fewest rules and the most opportunities to let their hair down and have a good time.  Unfortunately, this libertine square provides the bulk of support for conservative causes among the young.

The influence of libertarians in the CPAC universe explains what happened with Milo and provides some context for the banishment of Mass Resistance.  Milo provided too much fun for anyone to slow him down until the seriousness of his past with sexual abuse made “conservatives” reconsider their allegiance to him.

When Milo was de-platformed, I thought he was the canary in the coal mine.  Maybe not.  By trying to get a seat at CPAC’s table, Mass Resistance tested the viability of the Burkean-colorful-libertarian alliance.  I lead Mass Resistance’s Texas chapter.  I know that our partisans defend their beliefs with dogged sincerity.  I also know that libertarians find us embarrassingly old-fashioned and Burkean mainstream conservatives fear we will not play well in Georgetown.

I spoke to Brian Camenker, the president of Mass Resistance, a few weeks before the CPAC brouhaha exploded.  At the time, I thought CPAC was a long shot, but I figured that if CPAC did not spike us, we would know that the ragtag alliance known as today’s “conservative” movement really had a chance.

The unconventional traditionalists, I believe, constitute the lion’s share of the Christian rank and file and Trump voters.  But we – I count myself among them – cannot fool ourselves that bons vivants or grant-starved bowtie-wearers want us at their shindigs.  For now, the Milo fanboys and Harvard graduates have joined ranks against us and made a separate truce with the left, brokered by the gays.  We were the canaries in the coal mine; we sniffed the gas and fell by the wayside.  What happens to the rest of the conservative movement is anyone’s guess.

One thing is clear: the 2018 midterms will be a difficult time for all.

You can follow Robert Oscar Lopez on English Manif.

As reported at the Resurgent, Breitbart, Barbwire, and LifeSiteNews, this year, the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) chose to embrace the sponsorship of the Log Cabin Republicans, a pro-homosexual organization, while denouncing and banishing Mass Resistance, a reputable grassroots network that defends traditional morality in schools and municipalities.

CPAC’s decisions stem from their belief that gay Republicans are socially acceptable while people who militate powerfully against LGBT curriculum in schools are not.

What on Earth?

At its main website, CPAC describes itself as a lodestar for authentic conservatism.  Its summary includes a warm reference to Ronald Reagan and a claim that its yearly February gathering fosters a praetorian guard of “activists and campaign managers.”

Only a year ago, CPAC found itself in controversy for having scheduled as a keynote speaker Milo Yiannopoulos, the potty-mouthed homosexual enfant terrible.

When old video revealed that Milo had once been frighteningly blasé about sex with teenage boys, CPAC made a dramatic show of disavowing Milo.

Many fellow travelers came forward to defend Milo.  We viewed child molestation as detestable, but we consistently condemned it, even if this meant denouncing homosexual subculture.  Milo’s survival of childhood sex abuse explained much of his aberrant and disorderly behavior.

Why did so many conservatives goad Milo on for years, then turn on him once his past abuse cast a pall on his public witness?  For the type of conservatives who flock to CPAC – think-tank parvenus, Ann Coulter fans, Fox News oracles, College Republicans, emulators of Laura Ingraham and Steven Crowder – conservatism mixes rebellion, wit, professionalism, and prestige.  They sense that pointy-headed political correctness and taxes are bad, while anti-liberal snark and a rising Dow Jones are good.  They delight in mocking liberals who embarrass themselves and relish the indignant outrage they feel when gazing on liberalism at its worst: transgender bathrooms, campus madness, Harvey Weinstein hypocrisy, or historical illiteracy.  Such mainstream, young, and urbane conservatives do not necessarily like being told to show restraint, self-critique, and repentance.

They want conservatism to stay fun.  They turned against the left particularly because the left grew preachy, ugly, and glum.

It’s hard to know what left and right are anymore

In each institution the left has invaded, leftists have expelled all dissent and left themselves no check on their own errors.  In the wake of their collapse, opportunities will abound for enterprising and plucky people to mine the wreckage for profit.

Some will seize upon these opportunities to advance conservative beliefs because their traditional beliefs matter so much to them.  Others will seize upon such opportunities because they are opportunists.  If conservatives fail to discern their allies’ true motivations, they run many dangerous risks.

Will conservatism work if it rests on rejecting the left rather than on edifying traditional principles?  A practicing homosexual can say he is against something the left does (for instance, driver’s licenses for illegal aliens), but he cannot justify himself by citing tradition.  No tradition supports sodomy.

Therein lies the rub.  The assumption that conservatism means traditionalism can no longer go unquestioned, since so much of what we call “conservatism” lately entails opposition to the left, which can come from many sources that have nothing to do with tradition.

My first scholarly monograph, the long-forgotten Colorful Conservative: American Conversations with the Ancients from Wheatley to Whitman, diagrammed four political squares in American politics rather than two poles of left and right.  Back then, I had no clue that the model I suggested would play out vividly in my own life.




 

Untraditional

Traditional

Conventional

The left

Burkeans

Unconventional

Libertarians

Colorful Conservatives

The two axes that divided Americans politically, I posited, were convention and tradition.  While many dictionaries position these words as synonyms, their word roots betray a key difference.  Conventions come from the Latin sense of “coming together.”  Conventional beliefs and practices arise out of peer review, social approval, consensus, and Jefferson’s “decent respect to the opinions of mankind.”  Conventional conservatives can suppress some of their own impulses to respect the judgment of living peers.  They may be liberal, at times, in the sense that they will accept change or at least accommodate it if it seems a change has attained massive support among people whose opinions seem to matter.

Traditions have roots in a distant, mythical past, almost always a time so remote from the present that it cannot be edited or altered based on the fluxing whims of people alive now.  Many but not all traditions are rooted in godly faith.  Some traditions matter deeply to people because a traditional temperament leads people to trust, above all, what is time-honored, time-tested, and impervious to careless trends.  Traditional people are almost always conservative in their temperament.

As I argued in Colorful Conservative, Americans are not merely left-right, but really oriented toward four corners of political discourse.  The architects of the present-day left rejected anarchy and individualism in the twentieth century, when leftist intellectuals sided implicitly with the socialists’ emphasis on progress, collectivism, and egalitarian consensus.  Hence, what we call “the left” today, while dizzyingly fragmented, shares a conventional but untraditional sensibility.  Today’s left actively rejects the authority of the distant past, which explains much of the left’s problem with religions rooted in antique origins.  The left loves peer review and discourse based on pronouncements of experts while suffering from the chronic problems of groupthink and fads.

What now passes for the “conservative” movement is really an enormous smattering of disparate groups that have come to resist and repudiate the left.  Some “conservatives” share the left’s love of convention but resist the left because of the left’s allergy to tradition.  These, whom I called the “Burkean” conservatives in my 2011 monograph, defend ancient beliefs and time-honored customs by trying to persuade peers to join in honoring them.

These conservatives support religious doctrines but value tact and decorum. They will criticize the left-wing intelligentsia but will never criticize the idea of tenure; they do not want to destroy the lofty bureaucracies that issue political doctrines but rather wish to join and excel in such bureaucracies.  Their ideal ceremony is a wedding where plentiful guests cheer on elegant lovers while they recite vows written centuries ago.  From everything I have observed as an American Thinker contributor, these are not the conservatives who tend to prevail on this website.

American Thinker seems to gather people whom we call “conservative” today, who resist the left and also resist the very notion of convention – they are unconventional but traditional, so they have limited common ground with the Burkean conservatives and nothing but animosity toward the modern left.  These I call the “colorful conservatives,” whom I trace as a persistent vein in American arts and letters.  These socially defiant traditionalists tend to view the approval of peers as something to be sacrificed in order to stay true to foundational principles.  Among the religious, these conservatives exalt the Scriptures that tell us, “What is exalted before men is an abomination before the Lord.”  People who inhabit this square will reject not only specific peers, but popularity contests in general.  They will decry not only a worrying trend in academia, but the notion of a tenured professoriate functioning as a godless priesthood.  The colorful conservatives steer clear of groupthink but may be vulnerable to nostalgia.

One more group today falls into the same label of “conservative” only because of their hostility to the left.  Here I speak of those who are both unconventional and untraditional, the freethinking individualists who base all moral questions on their own conscience.  Whether they manifest their individualism as anarchy, libertarianism, or nihilism, they share a common propensity to rebuff the standards imposed by peers and the standards imposed by tradition.  They have nothing in common with the Burkeans and share with the colorful conservatives only a willingness to irritate and alienate their fellows.  They reject the left because of its political correctness, Orwellian insistence on forcing language on them, and taxes, even if they share with the left a rejection of tradition.

Can this a conservative movement make?

Trumpism is the ongoing struggle to make a chorus out of this anti-leftist din.  Why on Earth do we group libertarians, evangelical Christians, and Ivy League Republicans together in the same “conservative” movement these days?  They have little in common, but they all find reasons to fault the left.  The left’s tremendously successful takeover of cultural institutions, accompanied by the left’s utter failure to build anything socially functional, has created a vacuum that provides opportunities to the three other squares.  Yet if the left is finally defeated, who will rule the right?

Those who cannot surrender their principled objections to homosexuality serve as the canaries in the coal mine.  Conventional-traditional conservatives may pay lip service to heterosexual chastity but will respect the growing acceptance of homosexuality rather than alienate pro-gay peers.  They may say they support marriage, but they will lash out against other “conservatives” who violate the unspoken law against behaving crudely or disrespectfully in front of others.  Hence, Mass Resistance, full of Bible-quoters who fearlessly scream down principals and mayors to defend God’s design for sexuality, must be shunned by the conservatives who share the left’s love of convention.

The unconventional and untraditional types pose another challenge to the conservative movement.  Whether we call these libertarians, nihilists, pure individualists, or anarchists, the reality is that they are not conservative.  They are no friends to morality, antiquity, precedent, or decency.  They want most of all to have fun and feel good.  They have joined the conservative movement because in institutions controlled by the left, the political camp that attacks the left offers them the fewest rules and the most opportunities to let their hair down and have a good time.  Unfortunately, this libertine square provides the bulk of support for conservative causes among the young.

The influence of libertarians in the CPAC universe explains what happened with Milo and provides some context for the banishment of Mass Resistance.  Milo provided too much fun for anyone to slow him down until the seriousness of his past with sexual abuse made “conservatives” reconsider their allegiance to him.

When Milo was de-platformed, I thought he was the canary in the coal mine.  Maybe not.  By trying to get a seat at CPAC’s table, Mass Resistance tested the viability of the Burkean-colorful-libertarian alliance.  I lead Mass Resistance’s Texas chapter.  I know that our partisans defend their beliefs with dogged sincerity.  I also know that libertarians find us embarrassingly old-fashioned and Burkean mainstream conservatives fear we will not play well in Georgetown.

I spoke to Brian Camenker, the president of Mass Resistance, a few weeks before the CPAC brouhaha exploded.  At the time, I thought CPAC was a long shot, but I figured that if CPAC did not spike us, we would know that the ragtag alliance known as today’s “conservative” movement really had a chance.

The unconventional traditionalists, I believe, constitute the lion’s share of the Christian rank and file and Trump voters.  But we – I count myself among them – cannot fool ourselves that bons vivants or grant-starved bowtie-wearers want us at their shindigs.  For now, the Milo fanboys and Harvard graduates have joined ranks against us and made a separate truce with the left, brokered by the gays.  We were the canaries in the coal mine; we sniffed the gas and fell by the wayside.  What happens to the rest of the conservative movement is anyone’s guess.

One thing is clear: the 2018 midterms will be a difficult time for all.

You can follow Robert Oscar Lopez on English Manif.



Source link

Time to Rebrand the Democratic Party as Socialists


Where do we drive the line between Liberalism and Socialism?

Liberalism is an idealistic political philosophy born after the defeat of Napoleon, a philosophy of freedom, which epitomized individual liberty, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and free elections.

Socialism, on the other hand, is a political philosophy and economic system that promotes egalitarianism — a theory of economic equality. Modern socialism originated in the eighteenth century as a working-class economic and political movement that opposed private property and criticized the effects of industrialization on society. It is usually defined as “common ownership of the means of production.”

With the passage of time, liberalism evolved into a broader vision of an ideal society, a brilliant future that also included economic equality. After the American liberals crossed the threshold of economic equality, which is incompatible with individual liberty, there was no longer a principal difference between the two ideological vistas.

Indeed, it was the point of no return; and like a fall that cannot be stopped halfway, it signified the evolution of the fruitful coexistence of liberalism and socialism in this country into an inevitable merger of the two ideologies.

Winston Churchill insightfully described the divergence: “Socialism seeks to pull down the wealth; liberalism seeks to rise up poverty.”

Therefore we shall not be confused by the ideological taxonomy.

The implications of the de facto conversion of liberalism into socialism were profound; socialism acquired a pragmatic political cover that preserves its enduring appeal, found acceptance by the American Left, and was gradually incorporated into the policies of the Democratic Party. Henceforth, socialist principles, built on concepts originally advanced by liberals, became the guiding factors of the party’s economic and social programs.

Back in 1927, an American socialist, Norman Thomas, made a stunning validation of the ideological link between liberalism and socialism, and inadvertently acknowledged the inherently fraudulent nature of the American liberalism when he clairvoyantly asserted that

The American people would never vote for socialism,… [but] under the name of liberalism [nowadays rebranded as progressivism], the American people would adopt every fragment of the socialist program until one day, America will be a socialist nation without even knowing how it happened.

The Democratic Party has been slowly accomplishing the amalgamation since the 1930s, dismantling American Judeo-Christian values and fomenting the ideological transformation of this country via public education, endorsement of socialist policies, proliferation of the welfare state and polarization of racial relations. The progression gained force with Franklin Roosevelt’s Economic Bill of Rights, which had its ideological roots in Russian Bolshevism.

Incidentally, this was a period of widespread infiltration of the U.S. government by communists, communist sympathizers, and NKVD (predecessor of KGB) agents, to the extent that by the1940s, to some erudite observers, the American government looked like an extension of the Kremlin. Overzealous NKVD agents, unable to contain their excitement, called FDR “the Kerensky of the American revolution,” to be replaced by Lenin.

Just as Norman Thomas predicted in 1927, the socialization of the Democratic Party progressed to the point that in 1944 this unimpeachable authority on American socialism announced his resignation:

I no longer need to run as a Presidential candidate for the Socialist Party. The Democratic Party has adopted our platform.

Socialism, a metamorphosis of liberalism, disguised in some corners as social justice, neoliberalism, and in others as progressive or “helper of the poor,” is now both the “basis” of the Democratic Party and the “source” of its moral decay.

During Obama’s era, the waning of moral vigilance has empowered the Democratic Party to accelerate its ideological conversion into the socialists.

With the chief components of socialism firmly in place – a welfare state, high taxation and intrusive government regulations aimed at control over the health care, financial and energy sectors —  the Party was about to take the nation in a direction decidedly not in keeping with the course charted by the Founding Fathers.

Although the election of Donald Trump has put a hold on the socialization of the USA, the socialist mission has not ceased. The Democratic Party has embraced a strategy of fanatical resistance. The Democrats are no longer acting as a political party — they are the socialist cause. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to recognize the Democratic Party for what it really is, and what it means for posterity.

Whether its policies are called liberal or progressive, or democratic, in terms of the issues and, especially in terms of tactics, the party became a plagiarizing scum of Lenin’s faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (RSDLP), or Bolsheviks, which coincidently also had “democratic” in its party name. A commonality of the ideological vocabulary of the Democratic Party leadership with Marxism; visceral hatred of capitalism and seductive promises of miraculous fulfilment of egalitarian dreams leaves little doubt about the Party becoming the source and spirit of a Marxist awakening.

Illustration by Gonzo Overkill

Where do we drive the line between Liberalism and Socialism?

Liberalism is an idealistic political philosophy born after the defeat of Napoleon, a philosophy of freedom, which epitomized individual liberty, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and free elections.

Socialism, on the other hand, is a political philosophy and economic system that promotes egalitarianism — a theory of economic equality. Modern socialism originated in the eighteenth century as a working-class economic and political movement that opposed private property and criticized the effects of industrialization on society. It is usually defined as “common ownership of the means of production.”

With the passage of time, liberalism evolved into a broader vision of an ideal society, a brilliant future that also included economic equality. After the American liberals crossed the threshold of economic equality, which is incompatible with individual liberty, there was no longer a principal difference between the two ideological vistas.

Indeed, it was the point of no return; and like a fall that cannot be stopped halfway, it signified the evolution of the fruitful coexistence of liberalism and socialism in this country into an inevitable merger of the two ideologies.

Winston Churchill insightfully described the divergence: “Socialism seeks to pull down the wealth; liberalism seeks to rise up poverty.”

Therefore we shall not be confused by the ideological taxonomy.

The implications of the de facto conversion of liberalism into socialism were profound; socialism acquired a pragmatic political cover that preserves its enduring appeal, found acceptance by the American Left, and was gradually incorporated into the policies of the Democratic Party. Henceforth, socialist principles, built on concepts originally advanced by liberals, became the guiding factors of the party’s economic and social programs.

Back in 1927, an American socialist, Norman Thomas, made a stunning validation of the ideological link between liberalism and socialism, and inadvertently acknowledged the inherently fraudulent nature of the American liberalism when he clairvoyantly asserted that

The American people would never vote for socialism,… [but] under the name of liberalism [nowadays rebranded as progressivism], the American people would adopt every fragment of the socialist program until one day, America will be a socialist nation without even knowing how it happened.

The Democratic Party has been slowly accomplishing the amalgamation since the 1930s, dismantling American Judeo-Christian values and fomenting the ideological transformation of this country via public education, endorsement of socialist policies, proliferation of the welfare state and polarization of racial relations. The progression gained force with Franklin Roosevelt’s Economic Bill of Rights, which had its ideological roots in Russian Bolshevism.

Incidentally, this was a period of widespread infiltration of the U.S. government by communists, communist sympathizers, and NKVD (predecessor of KGB) agents, to the extent that by the1940s, to some erudite observers, the American government looked like an extension of the Kremlin. Overzealous NKVD agents, unable to contain their excitement, called FDR “the Kerensky of the American revolution,” to be replaced by Lenin.

Just as Norman Thomas predicted in 1927, the socialization of the Democratic Party progressed to the point that in 1944 this unimpeachable authority on American socialism announced his resignation:

I no longer need to run as a Presidential candidate for the Socialist Party. The Democratic Party has adopted our platform.

Socialism, a metamorphosis of liberalism, disguised in some corners as social justice, neoliberalism, and in others as progressive or “helper of the poor,” is now both the “basis” of the Democratic Party and the “source” of its moral decay.

During Obama’s era, the waning of moral vigilance has empowered the Democratic Party to accelerate its ideological conversion into the socialists.

With the chief components of socialism firmly in place – a welfare state, high taxation and intrusive government regulations aimed at control over the health care, financial and energy sectors —  the Party was about to take the nation in a direction decidedly not in keeping with the course charted by the Founding Fathers.

Although the election of Donald Trump has put a hold on the socialization of the USA, the socialist mission has not ceased. The Democratic Party has embraced a strategy of fanatical resistance. The Democrats are no longer acting as a political party — they are the socialist cause. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to recognize the Democratic Party for what it really is, and what it means for posterity.

Whether its policies are called liberal or progressive, or democratic, in terms of the issues and, especially in terms of tactics, the party became a plagiarizing scum of Lenin’s faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (RSDLP), or Bolsheviks, which coincidently also had “democratic” in its party name. A commonality of the ideological vocabulary of the Democratic Party leadership with Marxism; visceral hatred of capitalism and seductive promises of miraculous fulfilment of egalitarian dreams leaves little doubt about the Party becoming the source and spirit of a Marxist awakening.

Illustration by Gonzo Overkill



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Hero Aaron Feis, the Disarmed School Guard


Aaron Feis was the right man in the right place at the right time but was legally prevented from using the right, constitutionally protected tool to do the job.  Mr. Feis was shot on Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, shielding students from a killer with his own body. Ultimately though, he and 16 other people, mainly students, died. Mr. Feis was truly a remarkable and courageous man. 

Most media reports have focused on his after school job as a Stoneman Douglas High football coach  (here, here, here, here and here); but, on Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Feis was doing his day job as a school guard.  Mr. Feis was legally disarmed by the federal government in his attempt to save potentially dozens of children from murder. 

It is necessary to consider this in light of the emotional trauma roiling the nation and the desperate calls “to do something.” Your author agrees something should be done. It should also be a solution today that in practical terms could save lives tomorrow.

Aaron Feis, husband, father, school guard and football coach, rushed towards the fire and, by all accounts, engaged the shooter Nikolas Cruz soon after Cruz started shooting.  The Sun-Sentinel reported that Feis “was one of the first to respond.” When the “Code Red” went off, Head football coach Willis May asked over the walkie-talkie whether the sounds were firecrackers, Feis retorted: “those aren’t firecrackers. I’m going in.”

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel informed the public at his press conference on Feb. 14 that the suspect entered the east stairwell of the school in Building 12 on the first floor at 2:19 P.M.  At 2:21 P.M. Cruz began walking down the corridor and shot into four classrooms along the first floor before entering the west stairwell and walking up to 2nd floor.  He shot one victim on the 2nd floor before taking the east stairwell to the 3rd floor.

Per Sheriff Scott Israel, Cruz then dropped his rifle and backpack and walked back down the stairs and exited the building.  It is not 100% clear exactly when and where Aaron Feis made contact with Nikolaus Cruz and we will not know for sure until the Sheriff’s office releases more crime scene data; but, we can make some reasonable inferences with the information which is available.

Broward County Superintendent Robert Runcie is reported to have stated at a Feb. 15 press conference: “We had an athletic director, a campus monitor who responded immediately when there was signs of trouble in the school.”  Dave Hyde of the Sun-Sentinel wrote that “Athletic Director Chris Hixon and Aaron Feis died in the same hallway.” Per the graphic in this Washington Post article, the four classrooms on the first floor in which Cruz shot people were all next to each other and close to the east stairwell. Only one person was shot on the 2nd floor.  This same article shows that Building 12 was adjacent to the school parking lot. It is logical to believe that Feis was in the parking lot ready to direct traffic as school was about to let out.  As it has been reported that Feis died while shielding multiple students and only one victim was shot on the 2nd floor, we can infer that Feis engaged the shooter on the first floor sometime soon after the shooting began.  Aaron Feis likely was in the right place at the right time to save lives.

So why was Aaron Feis disarmed?  Lisa Maxwell of the Broward County Principals and Assistants Association stated to the Sun-Sentinel:

“The only person trained and armed to fight back against an assailant at Stoneman Douglas is its one school resource officer, a Broward Sheriff’s deputy funded by the city of Parkland. But Maxwell said she doesn’t think he was on campus when the shooting happened.


‘I have been told by a couple of sources that the SRO was either called off campus responding to something happening or it could have been his day off,” she said. “They are stretched very thin.’”

This raises the question of why only one person was trained and armed to fight back against an assailant.  One reason is that the “Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990,” originally passed as part of the Budget Control Act of 1990, bars school personnel from arming themselves.  18 U.S.C. § 922(q)(2)(A) states:

“It shall be unlawful for any individual knowingly to possess a firearm that has moved in or that otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce at a place that the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone.”

18 U.S.C. § 922(q)(3)(A) states:

“Except as provided in subparagraph (B), it shall be unlawful for any person, knowingly or with reckless disregard for the safety of another, to discharge or attempt to discharge a firearm that has moved in or that otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce at a place that the person knows is a school zone.”

Supposedly, these laws are to protect us from ourselves while assuring us that the government will do its job. And yet, neighbors called the police dozens of times on Nikolaus Cruz yet no one connected any dots.  To be fair, the family which took Cruz in after his mother died last fall apparently did not notice anything out of the ordinary (armchair psychiatrists beware).  The FBI, however,  ignored two tips that Nikolaus Cruz was an imminent threat.  Precisely in order to protect us against evil men and government incompetence and malfeasance, the following words were written in 1789 into the 2nd Amendment by men who had pledged their lives and honor in pursuit of life and liberty:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”[author’s emphasis]

“Shall not be infringed” is an unequivocal command. It is a travesty of justice that Mr. Feis’ Constitutional right to protect himself and those innocent children was infringed.  Based on Coach May’s testimonial, Mr. Feis wittingly charged into the fray knowing that he would face powerful gunfire and that he was disarmed.  What would have happened if Aaron Feis had had a a Glock on his hip when the Code Red went off?  Two cases from the last several years serve as pertinent compare/contrast examples.

On May 3, 2015, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi attacked the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, TX where a free speech event was being held with about 150 people in attendance. Simpson and Soofi were armed with three pistols and three semi-automatic assault rifles.   Despite being heavily outmatched in firepower, a single police officer working as a security guard at the event armed only with a .45 caliber Glock pistol shot and wounded the attackers and stopped the attack without any loss of life.  Contrast this to the attack on the Charlie Hebdo magazine office in Paris on January 7, 2015.  Heavily armed men attacked Charlie Hebdo where they shot and killed 11 people and wounded many others. The first responder was a bicycle cop named Ahmed Merabet. As with Aaron Feis, Merabet had been disarmed by his government as France has some the strictest gun control laws in the world, much stricter than those now being emotionally advocated in the United States. Merabet was shot and wounded and lay helpless to defend himself against his AK-47 wielding attackers who then calmly walked over and shot him dead in the street.

If Aaron Feis had had a .45 caliber Glock in his hand and had been given the proper training he needed to do his job as school guard, I am convinced that he would have saved many lives after he bravely called out “I’m going in.” Rudyard Kipling once wrote: “Every so often, a few evil men must die so that weaponless dreamers may live in peace.” 

The delusional Left believes in the perfectibility of man, that inherent evil does not exist and that crime may be eliminated through social policy.  History since time immemorial proves, however, that evil men always have and always will be among us.  So, we must be prepared to protect ourselves and our loved ones against them.

Aaron Feis was ready but he had been unconstitutionally disarmed.  How often must we watch innocent children die before we realize that the illusions of weaponless dreamers aid evil men?

Aaron Feis was the right man in the right place at the right time but was legally prevented from using the right, constitutionally protected tool to do the job.  Mr. Feis was shot on Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, shielding students from a killer with his own body. Ultimately though, he and 16 other people, mainly students, died. Mr. Feis was truly a remarkable and courageous man. 

Most media reports have focused on his after school job as a Stoneman Douglas High football coach  (here, here, here, here and here); but, on Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Feis was doing his day job as a school guard.  Mr. Feis was legally disarmed by the federal government in his attempt to save potentially dozens of children from murder. 

It is necessary to consider this in light of the emotional trauma roiling the nation and the desperate calls “to do something.” Your author agrees something should be done. It should also be a solution today that in practical terms could save lives tomorrow.

Aaron Feis, husband, father, school guard and football coach, rushed towards the fire and, by all accounts, engaged the shooter Nikolas Cruz soon after Cruz started shooting.  The Sun-Sentinel reported that Feis “was one of the first to respond.” When the “Code Red” went off, Head football coach Willis May asked over the walkie-talkie whether the sounds were firecrackers, Feis retorted: “those aren’t firecrackers. I’m going in.”

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel informed the public at his press conference on Feb. 14 that the suspect entered the east stairwell of the school in Building 12 on the first floor at 2:19 P.M.  At 2:21 P.M. Cruz began walking down the corridor and shot into four classrooms along the first floor before entering the west stairwell and walking up to 2nd floor.  He shot one victim on the 2nd floor before taking the east stairwell to the 3rd floor.

Per Sheriff Scott Israel, Cruz then dropped his rifle and backpack and walked back down the stairs and exited the building.  It is not 100% clear exactly when and where Aaron Feis made contact with Nikolaus Cruz and we will not know for sure until the Sheriff’s office releases more crime scene data; but, we can make some reasonable inferences with the information which is available.

Broward County Superintendent Robert Runcie is reported to have stated at a Feb. 15 press conference: “We had an athletic director, a campus monitor who responded immediately when there was signs of trouble in the school.”  Dave Hyde of the Sun-Sentinel wrote that “Athletic Director Chris Hixon and Aaron Feis died in the same hallway.” Per the graphic in this Washington Post article, the four classrooms on the first floor in which Cruz shot people were all next to each other and close to the east stairwell. Only one person was shot on the 2nd floor.  This same article shows that Building 12 was adjacent to the school parking lot. It is logical to believe that Feis was in the parking lot ready to direct traffic as school was about to let out.  As it has been reported that Feis died while shielding multiple students and only one victim was shot on the 2nd floor, we can infer that Feis engaged the shooter on the first floor sometime soon after the shooting began.  Aaron Feis likely was in the right place at the right time to save lives.

So why was Aaron Feis disarmed?  Lisa Maxwell of the Broward County Principals and Assistants Association stated to the Sun-Sentinel:

“The only person trained and armed to fight back against an assailant at Stoneman Douglas is its one school resource officer, a Broward Sheriff’s deputy funded by the city of Parkland. But Maxwell said she doesn’t think he was on campus when the shooting happened.


‘I have been told by a couple of sources that the SRO was either called off campus responding to something happening or it could have been his day off,” she said. “They are stretched very thin.’”

This raises the question of why only one person was trained and armed to fight back against an assailant.  One reason is that the “Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990,” originally passed as part of the Budget Control Act of 1990, bars school personnel from arming themselves.  18 U.S.C. § 922(q)(2)(A) states:

“It shall be unlawful for any individual knowingly to possess a firearm that has moved in or that otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce at a place that the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone.”

18 U.S.C. § 922(q)(3)(A) states:

“Except as provided in subparagraph (B), it shall be unlawful for any person, knowingly or with reckless disregard for the safety of another, to discharge or attempt to discharge a firearm that has moved in or that otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce at a place that the person knows is a school zone.”

Supposedly, these laws are to protect us from ourselves while assuring us that the government will do its job. And yet, neighbors called the police dozens of times on Nikolaus Cruz yet no one connected any dots.  To be fair, the family which took Cruz in after his mother died last fall apparently did not notice anything out of the ordinary (armchair psychiatrists beware).  The FBI, however,  ignored two tips that Nikolaus Cruz was an imminent threat.  Precisely in order to protect us against evil men and government incompetence and malfeasance, the following words were written in 1789 into the 2nd Amendment by men who had pledged their lives and honor in pursuit of life and liberty:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”[author’s emphasis]

“Shall not be infringed” is an unequivocal command. It is a travesty of justice that Mr. Feis’ Constitutional right to protect himself and those innocent children was infringed.  Based on Coach May’s testimonial, Mr. Feis wittingly charged into the fray knowing that he would face powerful gunfire and that he was disarmed.  What would have happened if Aaron Feis had had a a Glock on his hip when the Code Red went off?  Two cases from the last several years serve as pertinent compare/contrast examples.

On May 3, 2015, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi attacked the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, TX where a free speech event was being held with about 150 people in attendance. Simpson and Soofi were armed with three pistols and three semi-automatic assault rifles.   Despite being heavily outmatched in firepower, a single police officer working as a security guard at the event armed only with a .45 caliber Glock pistol shot and wounded the attackers and stopped the attack without any loss of life.  Contrast this to the attack on the Charlie Hebdo magazine office in Paris on January 7, 2015.  Heavily armed men attacked Charlie Hebdo where they shot and killed 11 people and wounded many others. The first responder was a bicycle cop named Ahmed Merabet. As with Aaron Feis, Merabet had been disarmed by his government as France has some the strictest gun control laws in the world, much stricter than those now being emotionally advocated in the United States. Merabet was shot and wounded and lay helpless to defend himself against his AK-47 wielding attackers who then calmly walked over and shot him dead in the street.

If Aaron Feis had had a .45 caliber Glock in his hand and had been given the proper training he needed to do his job as school guard, I am convinced that he would have saved many lives after he bravely called out “I’m going in.” Rudyard Kipling once wrote: “Every so often, a few evil men must die so that weaponless dreamers may live in peace.” 

The delusional Left believes in the perfectibility of man, that inherent evil does not exist and that crime may be eliminated through social policy.  History since time immemorial proves, however, that evil men always have and always will be among us.  So, we must be prepared to protect ourselves and our loved ones against them.

Aaron Feis was ready but he had been unconstitutionally disarmed.  How often must we watch innocent children die before we realize that the illusions of weaponless dreamers aid evil men?



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Mental Health and Gun Control



“Your party voted to repeal the mandates on coverage for mental health,” Kimmel said. “So I agree, this is a mental illness issue because if you don’t think we need to do something about it, you are obviously mentally ill.”

What in fact happened is that President Trump and the Republican Congress removed regulations not designed to protect the public but intended to disarm innocent and law-abiding senior citizens based on the assumption that if they need help handling their finances they must be dangerous and must be disarmed. When was the last time grandpa shot up his nursing home?

The reality is somewhat different from Kimmel’s slanderous falsehood. As Snopes reports:

In the wake of a horrific school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead in February 2018, media renewed focus on an Obama-era regulation repealed in the early months of the Trump administration. That rule would have given the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which is used for gun sales, access to Social Security Administration data including the names of individuals receiving certain federal mental health benefits.


As we explained in a 17 February 2017 post, this rule — which never went into effect before being rescinded — did not change any existing laws regulating who is allowed to purchase guns. It merely would have provided a new way to enforce existing restrictions on gun sales by allowing a transfer of information from one agency to another. There are now, and have been for some time, laws that seek to limit gun sales to anyone “who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been committed to a mental institution” per Title 18 section 922(g) of the United States Code

Kimmel has advanced this canard about Donald Trump, mental health and guns before, most notably after the mass shooting in Las Vegas. In fact, there  was a delicious sense of irony in gun-control advocate Kimmel beefing up his armed security after the Las Vegas shooting, falsely claiming that President Trump had made it easier for the mentally ill to get guns. Guns are okay to protect the liberal elites, but not for the rest of us who can’t be trusted or don’t know any better.   

The same double standard exists for Democratic members of Congress who demand their constituents be disarmed even as they welcome back Rep. Steve Scalise, the victim of a shooting where a bad guy with a gun was stopped by a good guy with a gun. Many members of Congress are alive today only because Scalise, being a member of the House leadership, had his armed security detail with him:

Dr. Kimmel has no way of knowing even now that the Las Vegas shooter was mentally unstable. Certainly the meticulous planning and preparation by the shooter over a long period of time would seem to indicate that while the shooter was evil, he was perfectly competent and sane. Certainly Kimmel’s charge against Trump is not true:


Noting that President Trump had offered prayers for the victims’ families, and that Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, had said that this wasn’t the time for political debate, he went on: “We have fifty-nine innocent people dead. It wasn’t their time, either. So I think now is the time for political debate.” He reminded his audience that, in February, Trump had signed a bill that made it easier for people with mental illness to buy guns.

Steve Scalise owes his life to the Second Amendment, which was written not to shoot deer, but to shoot tyrants. The Second Amendment was written to protect the other nine in the Bill of Rights, including the First Amendment which gives Jimmy Kimmel the right to sound like the blooming idiot he is.

What President Trump signed was a bill overturning an executive order that would tar the innocent with the broad brush of mental illness, people which included the elderly and veterans, in order to pursue the Obama administration’s gun-control agenda:

Here’s what happened earlier this year: Congress voted to overturn a last-minute Obama-era regulation that would give the Social Security Administration the power to revoke a person’s Second Amendment rights based on whether he receives disability for a mental impairment that keeps him from working, or if he “[uses] a representative payee to help manage their benefits.”


As my Washington Examiner colleague David Freddoso explained at the time, the repeal of the Obama-era regulation, “doesn’t allow people to buy guns who have been properly adjudicated by a court of law as mentally ill or unstable.”


The Obama-era rule was designed to take away people’s rights without due process of law. It would have flagged the names of people who, for example, have an anxiety disorder or depression which keeps them from working, and who, as the SSA puts it, ‘need help in managing [their] personal money affairs,'” he added. “As the many non-political mental health and autism advocacy groups that supported the House action noted, there is no link between these factors and a propensity for violence.”

The Obama administration repeatedly tried to use mental health as a means, not to make us safer, but to deny us our gun rights. Consider Obama’s pick of Dr. Vivek Murthy to be our Surgeon General, someone who firmly believes gun control is a health issue, something that can and should be used to gut the Second Amendment. As Investor’s Business Daily editorialized during his confirmation process:

Murthy’s approach to attacking the Second Amendment has been to say private ownership of firearms is a public health issue. The 37-year-old Murthy is president and co-founder of the anti-gun group Doctors for America, which advocates ObamaCare and gun control laws. His group, which has been dubbed Docs vs. Glocks, has pushed Congress to ban “assault” weapons and “high capacity” magazines.


Doctors for America has promoted the invasion of privacy by doctors by advocating they ask patients if they have guns at home, including asking children if their parents own guns. He would have doctors counsel their patients against exercising their Second Amendment rights. One wonders how private that information would remain if entered into the medical records the government would be privy to under ObamaCare.

Back in 2013, a piece of legislation called Toomey-Manchin proposed that doctors be allowed to unilaterally place a patient’s name in the background check system in a way that violated patient doctor confidentially under HIPAA as well as our Second Amendment rights:

The Toomey-Manchin proposal contains a provision that lets a doctor add a patient to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) without ever telling the patient he or she has been added.


This would seem to violate doctor-patient confidentiality, due process and the presumption of innocence in one fell swoop.


As the Heritage Foundation reports, this “gun control legislation eliminates any (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) privacy protection for mental health records in connection with the NICS system, leaving only what privacy protection the attorney general cares to provide.”

The Obama administrations idea of keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill is based on a bizarre and discriminatory definition of who might be mentally unstable. Back in 2013 it was reported that the Veterans Administration was sending letters to vets warning them that they might be declared mentally incompetent and have their Second Amendment rights stripped unless they could prove otherwise:

The contempt by the Obama administration for our Constitution and our rights has reached a new low with news the Veterans Administration has begun sending letters to veterans telling them they will be declared mentally incompetent and stripped of the Second Amendment rights unless they can prove to unnamed bureaucrats to the contrary…


“A determination of incompetency will prohibit you from purchasing, possessing, receiving, or transporting a firearm or ammunition. If you knowingly violate any of these prohibitions, you may be fined, imprisoned, or both pursuant to the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, Pub.L.No. 103-159, as implemented at 18, United States Code 924(a)(2),” the letter reads….


While mental health is a factor in the current gun control debate and recent mass shootings in Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo., and elsewhere have in common the questionable mental state of the shooters, to single out returning vets from Iraq and Afghanistan this way is unconscionable and unconstitutional.

As the Los Angeles Times has reported, the Obama administration would have liked to make our Social Security records part of the background check system. The move would strip some four million Americans who receive payments though a “representative payee” of their gun rights. It would be the largest gun grab in U.S. history.

A potentially large group within Social Security are people who, in the language of federal gun laws, are unable to manage their own affairs due to “marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease.”


There is no simple way to identify that group, but a strategy used by the Department of Veterans Affairs since the creation of the background check system is reporting anyone who has been declared incompetent to manage pension or disability payments and assigned a fiduciary.

Keeping guns out of the hands of the truly mentally unstable is a worthy goal, but it should not be used as a cause for disarming veterans who carried a weapon in defense of their country or senior systems who might need some assistance in paying their bills. Being unable to balance your checkbook or handle complicated financial transactions without help is not a sign of mental illness. If it were, anyone who ever visited a professional tax preparer is crazy.,

They deserve the presumption of innocence, and sanity. Stripping away their Second Amendment rights in the name of mental health would be a gross injustice that would not make us safer, but would merely create millions of unarmed victims for the next shooter with an agenda.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.               

Never mind that the FBI failed to heed and follow up repeated and explicit warning about Nikolas Cruz before his shooting rampage in Parkland, Florida. Never mind the FBI was too busy chasing phantom Russian collusion to locate a future killer that any nerd living in his parent’s basement could have located with ease. According to mental health professional Jimmy Kimmel, Trump made Parkland happen by rescinding Obama administration regulations barring the mentally ill from getting guns:

Kimmel kept addressing Trump by adding that politicians and the president like to say that mass shootings are a mental health issue. He then said that one of the first acts of Trump’s presidency was to roll back a regulation designed to keep firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill.


“Your party voted to repeal the mandates on coverage for mental health,” Kimmel said. “So I agree, this is a mental illness issue because if you don’t think we need to do something about it, you are obviously mentally ill.”

What in fact happened is that President Trump and the Republican Congress removed regulations not designed to protect the public but intended to disarm innocent and law-abiding senior citizens based on the assumption that if they need help handling their finances they must be dangerous and must be disarmed. When was the last time grandpa shot up his nursing home?

The reality is somewhat different from Kimmel’s slanderous falsehood. As Snopes reports:

In the wake of a horrific school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead in February 2018, media renewed focus on an Obama-era regulation repealed in the early months of the Trump administration. That rule would have given the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which is used for gun sales, access to Social Security Administration data including the names of individuals receiving certain federal mental health benefits.


As we explained in a 17 February 2017 post, this rule — which never went into effect before being rescinded — did not change any existing laws regulating who is allowed to purchase guns. It merely would have provided a new way to enforce existing restrictions on gun sales by allowing a transfer of information from one agency to another. There are now, and have been for some time, laws that seek to limit gun sales to anyone “who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been committed to a mental institution” per Title 18 section 922(g) of the United States Code

Kimmel has advanced this canard about Donald Trump, mental health and guns before, most notably after the mass shooting in Las Vegas. In fact, there  was a delicious sense of irony in gun-control advocate Kimmel beefing up his armed security after the Las Vegas shooting, falsely claiming that President Trump had made it easier for the mentally ill to get guns. Guns are okay to protect the liberal elites, but not for the rest of us who can’t be trusted or don’t know any better.   

The same double standard exists for Democratic members of Congress who demand their constituents be disarmed even as they welcome back Rep. Steve Scalise, the victim of a shooting where a bad guy with a gun was stopped by a good guy with a gun. Many members of Congress are alive today only because Scalise, being a member of the House leadership, had his armed security detail with him:

Dr. Kimmel has no way of knowing even now that the Las Vegas shooter was mentally unstable. Certainly the meticulous planning and preparation by the shooter over a long period of time would seem to indicate that while the shooter was evil, he was perfectly competent and sane. Certainly Kimmel’s charge against Trump is not true:


Noting that President Trump had offered prayers for the victims’ families, and that Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, had said that this wasn’t the time for political debate, he went on: “We have fifty-nine innocent people dead. It wasn’t their time, either. So I think now is the time for political debate.” He reminded his audience that, in February, Trump had signed a bill that made it easier for people with mental illness to buy guns.

Steve Scalise owes his life to the Second Amendment, which was written not to shoot deer, but to shoot tyrants. The Second Amendment was written to protect the other nine in the Bill of Rights, including the First Amendment which gives Jimmy Kimmel the right to sound like the blooming idiot he is.

What President Trump signed was a bill overturning an executive order that would tar the innocent with the broad brush of mental illness, people which included the elderly and veterans, in order to pursue the Obama administration’s gun-control agenda:

Here’s what happened earlier this year: Congress voted to overturn a last-minute Obama-era regulation that would give the Social Security Administration the power to revoke a person’s Second Amendment rights based on whether he receives disability for a mental impairment that keeps him from working, or if he “[uses] a representative payee to help manage their benefits.”


As my Washington Examiner colleague David Freddoso explained at the time, the repeal of the Obama-era regulation, “doesn’t allow people to buy guns who have been properly adjudicated by a court of law as mentally ill or unstable.”


The Obama-era rule was designed to take away people’s rights without due process of law. It would have flagged the names of people who, for example, have an anxiety disorder or depression which keeps them from working, and who, as the SSA puts it, ‘need help in managing [their] personal money affairs,'” he added. “As the many non-political mental health and autism advocacy groups that supported the House action noted, there is no link between these factors and a propensity for violence.”

The Obama administration repeatedly tried to use mental health as a means, not to make us safer, but to deny us our gun rights. Consider Obama’s pick of Dr. Vivek Murthy to be our Surgeon General, someone who firmly believes gun control is a health issue, something that can and should be used to gut the Second Amendment. As Investor’s Business Daily editorialized during his confirmation process:

Murthy’s approach to attacking the Second Amendment has been to say private ownership of firearms is a public health issue. The 37-year-old Murthy is president and co-founder of the anti-gun group Doctors for America, which advocates ObamaCare and gun control laws. His group, which has been dubbed Docs vs. Glocks, has pushed Congress to ban “assault” weapons and “high capacity” magazines.


Doctors for America has promoted the invasion of privacy by doctors by advocating they ask patients if they have guns at home, including asking children if their parents own guns. He would have doctors counsel their patients against exercising their Second Amendment rights. One wonders how private that information would remain if entered into the medical records the government would be privy to under ObamaCare.

Back in 2013, a piece of legislation called Toomey-Manchin proposed that doctors be allowed to unilaterally place a patient’s name in the background check system in a way that violated patient doctor confidentially under HIPAA as well as our Second Amendment rights:

The Toomey-Manchin proposal contains a provision that lets a doctor add a patient to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) without ever telling the patient he or she has been added.


This would seem to violate doctor-patient confidentiality, due process and the presumption of innocence in one fell swoop.


As the Heritage Foundation reports, this “gun control legislation eliminates any (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) privacy protection for mental health records in connection with the NICS system, leaving only what privacy protection the attorney general cares to provide.”

The Obama administrations idea of keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill is based on a bizarre and discriminatory definition of who might be mentally unstable. Back in 2013 it was reported that the Veterans Administration was sending letters to vets warning them that they might be declared mentally incompetent and have their Second Amendment rights stripped unless they could prove otherwise:

The contempt by the Obama administration for our Constitution and our rights has reached a new low with news the Veterans Administration has begun sending letters to veterans telling them they will be declared mentally incompetent and stripped of the Second Amendment rights unless they can prove to unnamed bureaucrats to the contrary…


“A determination of incompetency will prohibit you from purchasing, possessing, receiving, or transporting a firearm or ammunition. If you knowingly violate any of these prohibitions, you may be fined, imprisoned, or both pursuant to the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, Pub.L.No. 103-159, as implemented at 18, United States Code 924(a)(2),” the letter reads….


While mental health is a factor in the current gun control debate and recent mass shootings in Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo., and elsewhere have in common the questionable mental state of the shooters, to single out returning vets from Iraq and Afghanistan this way is unconscionable and unconstitutional.

As the Los Angeles Times has reported, the Obama administration would have liked to make our Social Security records part of the background check system. The move would strip some four million Americans who receive payments though a “representative payee” of their gun rights. It would be the largest gun grab in U.S. history.

A potentially large group within Social Security are people who, in the language of federal gun laws, are unable to manage their own affairs due to “marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease.”


There is no simple way to identify that group, but a strategy used by the Department of Veterans Affairs since the creation of the background check system is reporting anyone who has been declared incompetent to manage pension or disability payments and assigned a fiduciary.

Keeping guns out of the hands of the truly mentally unstable is a worthy goal, but it should not be used as a cause for disarming veterans who carried a weapon in defense of their country or senior systems who might need some assistance in paying their bills. Being unable to balance your checkbook or handle complicated financial transactions without help is not a sign of mental illness. If it were, anyone who ever visited a professional tax preparer is crazy.,

They deserve the presumption of innocence, and sanity. Stripping away their Second Amendment rights in the name of mental health would be a gross injustice that would not make us safer, but would merely create millions of unarmed victims for the next shooter with an agenda.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.               



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Beware of the Real Russian Threat


One of the memorable anecdotes of Hollywood concerns the film noir The Big Sleep, starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, because of its complex story.  It is a puzzling story, almost incoherent, with its convoluted plot and many double-crossing characters who come and go.  Neither the original writer, Raymond Chandler, nor William Faulkner, one of the screenwriters, could fully explain what and why some incidents occurred.  The director, Howard Hawks, was particularly concerned with one plot point and telegraphed Chandler with the question “Who killed chauffeur?”  Chandler replied, “How the hell do I know?”

The same could be asked about the ongoing “Russian collusion” investigation.  It is sad to perceive that the behavior of some of the characters, if not as charismatic as Bogart, in the never-ending fantasy of the complex plot of collusion between the presidential campaign of Donald Trump and various Russians, is out-convoluting The Big Sleep.  One of the characters in the drama is the indefatigable Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, who asserts there is an “abundance of non-classified information that is evidence on the issue of collusion, and some … on the issue of obstruction.”  Schiff also points to evidence in the public domain: one meeting in June 2016 between Trump campaign members and a Russian lawyer.

Here comes the congressional facsimile of The Big Sleep to delight Raymond Chandler.  Despite his “evidence,” Schiff admits, “I’ve never said there was proof beyond a reasonable doubt.”  Moreover, he explained he could not go into “specifics” until they are declassified.  There are a lot of reasons, he said, why the names of U.S. persons and organizations are not used.

The cast of characters in the collusion drama changes almost daily.  Some remain in the shadowy background: Carter Page, Bruce Ohr, Sidney Blumenthal, Cody Shearer.

More central is Oleg Deripaska, the 50-year-old Russian self-made billionaire; the founder and owner of the Basic Element group of companies, one of the largest diversified industrial groups in Russia; and the president of number of other companies, including United Company Rusal, the second largest aluminum company in the world.  He was denied entrance to the U.S. because of alleged links to the mafia.

Whether those mafia connections are real or not, Deripaska does have numerous links.  One is to Paul Manafort, who was hired by Deripaska to work for pro-Putin oligarchs in Ukraine, 2006-2009.  More recently, he is suing Manafort regarding a $20-million investment and fees from a 2008 business deal in the Cayman Islands.

Deripaska has international connections.  He owns townhouses in Manhattan and has a stake in the Russian language paper V Novom Svete (New World) in New York.  He hosted and tried to cultivate British politicians Lord Mandelson and George Osborn, former chancellor of the Exchequer.

But his most pertinent dealings are with Christopher Steele, a key player in the collusion comedy of errors.  Steele was recruited by British MI6 immediately on graduation from Cambridge, where he was president of the debating society, and became head of its Russian desk.  In 2009, he founded his own private investigation agency, Orbis Business International, and in 2015 began working with the Democratic National Committee, creating the “Steele dossier” and planting information on journalists and others.

The dossier has still not been publicly revealed here, and the enigma remains: what are its contents, and what or who is the source of the information, true or false, in the dossier?  One intriguing puzzle is whether Steele worked with Paul Hauser, an American lawyer in London, who represents Deripaska.

Steele’s role is not akin to Bogart’s, but the respective scenarios are equally complex.  Part of it is the link between Steele and Mark Warner, ranking Democratic member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, through a man named Adam Waldman, a Washington lawyer who in 2009 registered as a U.S. agent for Deripaska “to provide legal advice on issues involving his U.S. visa as well as on commercial transactions.”  A year later, he was also an agent for Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.  Waldman is said to receive $40,000 as a monthly retainer for these services.  It was Waldman who on March 16, 2017 texted Warner that “Chris Steele asked me to call you.”

Russian connections and the appeal of Moscow are not new.  Writing during the Blitz over London by Nazi bombers in 1941, George Orwell, attempting to define British culture in his essay “England Your England,” wrote that “the intellectuals who hope to see [Britain] Russianized or Germanized will be disappointed.  The intellectuals in politics take their cooking from Paris, and their opinions from Moscow.”

Britain has had its experience with this.  The details of the pro-Soviet activities of the Cambridge Five, including Guy Burgess and Kim Philby, all of whom betrayed secrets to the Soviet Union, have become legendary.  Surprisingly, in February 2018, allegations have surfaced that in December 1986, an agent from the then-Soviet Bloc country, specifically Czech secret police, met three times with the young member of Parliament Jeremy Corbyn, now leader of the Labor Party.  Corbyn was and is no spy, but he is alleged to have reported on British security activities, and his hostility to the Thatcher government, and was positive about Soviet foreign policy and its “peace initiative.”

More important are other allegations, revealed first by British private-sector cyber-security experts, then by the U.K. government on February 15, 2018, and a day later by the U.S.: Russia is directly named responsible for the NotPatya cyber-attack in June 2017.  Its primary targets were Ukrainian financial, energy, and government sectors.  But its effects spread; it also affected European business and disrupted organizations and is estimated to have cost companies more than $1.2 billion.

British government ministers are clear and forthright.  The British defense minister, Gavin Williams, blamed Russia for malicious cyber-activity.  He commented that we are entering a new era of warfare – a destructive and deadly mix of conventional military might and malicious cyber-attacks.  Russia, he argued, is “ripping up the rulebook” by undermining democracy and affecting lives by targeting critical infrastructure and weaponizing information.  He pointed out that U.K. intelligence agencies have discovered the involvement of the Russian military.

His colleague, British foreign minister Lord Ahmad, also attributed the NotPetya attack to the Russian government, specifically the Russian military.  The Kremlin has positioned Russia in direct opposition to the West.  Ahmad called on Russia to be a responsible member of the international community, rather than secretly trying to undermine it.  Britain was committed to strengthening coordinated international efforts to uphold a free, open, peaceful, and secure cyberspace.

The U.S. Congress should learn from this British forthrightness.  This is even more the case since Special Counsel Robert Mueller on February 16, 2018 issued his report, and the Department of Justice announced the indictment of 13 Russians and the Russian Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg, for involvement in interfering in the 2016 presidential election and in a conspiracy to disrupt the election.  Equally pertinent is that no allegation is made that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity, along with no allegation that Russian conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election.  Congress, including Adam Schiff, can now concentrate on the cyberspace problem, and the Russian activity within it.

One of the memorable anecdotes of Hollywood concerns the film noir The Big Sleep, starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, because of its complex story.  It is a puzzling story, almost incoherent, with its convoluted plot and many double-crossing characters who come and go.  Neither the original writer, Raymond Chandler, nor William Faulkner, one of the screenwriters, could fully explain what and why some incidents occurred.  The director, Howard Hawks, was particularly concerned with one plot point and telegraphed Chandler with the question “Who killed chauffeur?”  Chandler replied, “How the hell do I know?”

The same could be asked about the ongoing “Russian collusion” investigation.  It is sad to perceive that the behavior of some of the characters, if not as charismatic as Bogart, in the never-ending fantasy of the complex plot of collusion between the presidential campaign of Donald Trump and various Russians, is out-convoluting The Big Sleep.  One of the characters in the drama is the indefatigable Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, who asserts there is an “abundance of non-classified information that is evidence on the issue of collusion, and some … on the issue of obstruction.”  Schiff also points to evidence in the public domain: one meeting in June 2016 between Trump campaign members and a Russian lawyer.

Here comes the congressional facsimile of The Big Sleep to delight Raymond Chandler.  Despite his “evidence,” Schiff admits, “I’ve never said there was proof beyond a reasonable doubt.”  Moreover, he explained he could not go into “specifics” until they are declassified.  There are a lot of reasons, he said, why the names of U.S. persons and organizations are not used.

The cast of characters in the collusion drama changes almost daily.  Some remain in the shadowy background: Carter Page, Bruce Ohr, Sidney Blumenthal, Cody Shearer.

More central is Oleg Deripaska, the 50-year-old Russian self-made billionaire; the founder and owner of the Basic Element group of companies, one of the largest diversified industrial groups in Russia; and the president of number of other companies, including United Company Rusal, the second largest aluminum company in the world.  He was denied entrance to the U.S. because of alleged links to the mafia.

Whether those mafia connections are real or not, Deripaska does have numerous links.  One is to Paul Manafort, who was hired by Deripaska to work for pro-Putin oligarchs in Ukraine, 2006-2009.  More recently, he is suing Manafort regarding a $20-million investment and fees from a 2008 business deal in the Cayman Islands.

Deripaska has international connections.  He owns townhouses in Manhattan and has a stake in the Russian language paper V Novom Svete (New World) in New York.  He hosted and tried to cultivate British politicians Lord Mandelson and George Osborn, former chancellor of the Exchequer.

But his most pertinent dealings are with Christopher Steele, a key player in the collusion comedy of errors.  Steele was recruited by British MI6 immediately on graduation from Cambridge, where he was president of the debating society, and became head of its Russian desk.  In 2009, he founded his own private investigation agency, Orbis Business International, and in 2015 began working with the Democratic National Committee, creating the “Steele dossier” and planting information on journalists and others.

The dossier has still not been publicly revealed here, and the enigma remains: what are its contents, and what or who is the source of the information, true or false, in the dossier?  One intriguing puzzle is whether Steele worked with Paul Hauser, an American lawyer in London, who represents Deripaska.

Steele’s role is not akin to Bogart’s, but the respective scenarios are equally complex.  Part of it is the link between Steele and Mark Warner, ranking Democratic member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, through a man named Adam Waldman, a Washington lawyer who in 2009 registered as a U.S. agent for Deripaska “to provide legal advice on issues involving his U.S. visa as well as on commercial transactions.”  A year later, he was also an agent for Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.  Waldman is said to receive $40,000 as a monthly retainer for these services.  It was Waldman who on March 16, 2017 texted Warner that “Chris Steele asked me to call you.”

Russian connections and the appeal of Moscow are not new.  Writing during the Blitz over London by Nazi bombers in 1941, George Orwell, attempting to define British culture in his essay “England Your England,” wrote that “the intellectuals who hope to see [Britain] Russianized or Germanized will be disappointed.  The intellectuals in politics take their cooking from Paris, and their opinions from Moscow.”

Britain has had its experience with this.  The details of the pro-Soviet activities of the Cambridge Five, including Guy Burgess and Kim Philby, all of whom betrayed secrets to the Soviet Union, have become legendary.  Surprisingly, in February 2018, allegations have surfaced that in December 1986, an agent from the then-Soviet Bloc country, specifically Czech secret police, met three times with the young member of Parliament Jeremy Corbyn, now leader of the Labor Party.  Corbyn was and is no spy, but he is alleged to have reported on British security activities, and his hostility to the Thatcher government, and was positive about Soviet foreign policy and its “peace initiative.”

More important are other allegations, revealed first by British private-sector cyber-security experts, then by the U.K. government on February 15, 2018, and a day later by the U.S.: Russia is directly named responsible for the NotPatya cyber-attack in June 2017.  Its primary targets were Ukrainian financial, energy, and government sectors.  But its effects spread; it also affected European business and disrupted organizations and is estimated to have cost companies more than $1.2 billion.

British government ministers are clear and forthright.  The British defense minister, Gavin Williams, blamed Russia for malicious cyber-activity.  He commented that we are entering a new era of warfare – a destructive and deadly mix of conventional military might and malicious cyber-attacks.  Russia, he argued, is “ripping up the rulebook” by undermining democracy and affecting lives by targeting critical infrastructure and weaponizing information.  He pointed out that U.K. intelligence agencies have discovered the involvement of the Russian military.

His colleague, British foreign minister Lord Ahmad, also attributed the NotPetya attack to the Russian government, specifically the Russian military.  The Kremlin has positioned Russia in direct opposition to the West.  Ahmad called on Russia to be a responsible member of the international community, rather than secretly trying to undermine it.  Britain was committed to strengthening coordinated international efforts to uphold a free, open, peaceful, and secure cyberspace.

The U.S. Congress should learn from this British forthrightness.  This is even more the case since Special Counsel Robert Mueller on February 16, 2018 issued his report, and the Department of Justice announced the indictment of 13 Russians and the Russian Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg, for involvement in interfering in the 2016 presidential election and in a conspiracy to disrupt the election.  Equally pertinent is that no allegation is made that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity, along with no allegation that Russian conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election.  Congress, including Adam Schiff, can now concentrate on the cyberspace problem, and the Russian activity within it.



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Barry Farber, the Godfather of Modern Talk Radio


Barry Farber is a legendary and influential figure in the history of modern American media.  He is best known for being a pioneering host of intelligent talk radio, on the air almost continuously since 1960 right up to the present time.  These days, at age 87, he is still going strong, hosting a nightly live hour-long talk radio program, The Barry Farber Show.

It was back in mid-20th-century America – the height of the post-World War II “American Century” – that Farber and a small group of colleagues experimented with and quickly established the enduring popularity of the innovative talk radio format on the highest rated stations in New York City, America’s #1 media market.  Other pioneers of radio were working the same magic in other American cities, big and small.  In the first three decades of radio, programming had centered on music, live and recorded; comedies, dramas, and sitcoms; and frothy variety shows.  Political and current events talk programming including interaction on the air with radio listeners was almost totally unknown.  That all began to change after World War II.

Farber was well prepared and well positioned for his decades-long career as a “talker.”  Early on, he displayed a unique and astounding facility for linguistics.  He eventually became fluent in at least 25 foreign languages.  His expertise with languages was tapped by the U.S. government, including during the Korean War.  In 1957, shortly after Farber moved to New York, William Safire – who went on to have a long and distinguished career in media, politics, and journalism – hired Farber as a producer of the seminal Tex and Jinx talk show on New York City’s flagship NBC-owned radio station, WNBC.  In 1960, at the age of 30, Farber got the chance to host his own talk program on WINS, another top station in New York.


Barry Farber on the air in the 1980s.

The rest, as they say, is history.  Farber’s mellifluous voice, with a touch of an appealing Southern drawl (he grew up in North Carolina), complemented his natural graciousness.  His obvious intelligence and familiarity with a wide range of issues including history, philosophy, and the news of the day added to his appeal and quickly endeared him to large mainstream audiences ranging from working stiffs to Upper-East-Side sophisticates in the Big Apple and beyond.  Thanks to Farber’s broadcasting for years on 50,000-watt clear channel stations that could be heard at great distances at night, when Farber did his shows, he developed a following in many states east of the Mississippi River.  Unlike some other more acerbic and confrontational talk hosts who enjoyed ratings success in the 1960s – Joe Pyne, for example – Farber never insulted any of his guests or talked down to his callers.  When he was on, he was always a gentleman.

In the 1980s, Farber gained an even larger audience when his eponymous program found a home on major national radio networks of the day, including ABC Talk Radio.  In 2002, Talkers Magazine, the leading professional journal in the field, included Farber on the top ten of its list of the 25 Greatest Radio Talk Show Hosts of All Time.

As a 2006 bio of him at Talk Radio Network put it:

As smooth and civilized as Jack Daniels whiskey, and with just as much kick, Barry Farber is one of America’s legendary talk show hosts.

As a high school student in a NYC suburb one night in 1965, I discovered the Barry Farber Show on WOR AM 710 in New York, the clear channel super-station where Farber spent 15 years on the air.  I was immediately hooked – on both Farber and talk radio.  I still have old reel-to-reel tapes that I recorded of some of his programs from the 1960s, exploring leading-edge political, social, and cultural issues of the day, including the first credible challenges by critics like attorney Mark Lane to the party line accounts of the JFK assassination.  Eventually, I worked in talk radio myself, in college and later as an occasional host and a frequent guest.  That experience made me realize that successes like Farber’s in the radio business are not as easy to achieve as one might think.


Barry Farber, candidate for NYC mayor, speaks to his supporters on Election Day, Nov. 8, 1977.

Farber’s only break from a lifetime of continuous broadcasting came in 1977, when he declared his candidacy for mayor of NYC and took some time off from radio.  A conservative, he ran initially as a Republican and came in a strong second in his party’s primary.  In the general election that November, he led the small Conservative Party’s ticket.  Also competing that year, and ultimately dominating the general election campaign, were future New York governor Mario Cuomo, a Democrat who ran for mayor on the Liberal Party ticket, and Ed Koch, another registered Democrat, who won the election.  Together, Koch and Cuomo captured 92% of the vote in that mostly liberal city.  One wonders how the future of New York and American history itself might have been different had Barry Farber won the race.

Back to the present: For the past decade, Barry Farber has been broadcasting his show weeknights between 8 and 9 P.M. E.T. on the CRN Digital Talk Radio HD channel, which is streamed on the internet and carried on a number of cable TV providers around the country, with free podcasts available at CRN, iTunes, and many other platforms.  The Barry Farber Show is a wonderful opportunity, which has been compared to enjoying a glass of fine wine, to hear someone who was there close to the beginning of talk radio and who has never lost his touch to inform and entertain an audience.

Listening to Barry Farber is like opening the door to a vibrant and living history of America from the middle of the 20th century onward.  At this point, I can’t think of anyone who would have more to offer us as we try to understand the history of our times and – just maybe – come together as a people to make America great again.


Two of Barry Farber’s bestselling books.

Not surprisingly, considering his facility with language, Barry Farber is also a widely published writer.  In addition to contributing articles to leading newspapers including the New York Times, he is the author of several books, including How to Learn Any Language and Making People Talk: You Can Turn Every Conversation into a Magic Moment.  Amazon currently has two used hardcover copies of the latter book, published in 1987, for sale at $6,890.10 and $9,029.00, not including shipping.  Since 2009, Farber has contributed an article per week at World Net Daily. His archive there numbers over 440 articles, published like clockwork every seven days.  This is a man with a strong, disciplined work ethic.  Like his nightly radio broadcast, his articles are well worth our attention.


Barry Farber today.

In November 2014, Farber’s original hometown newspaper, the Greensboro, North Carolina News & Record, published a feature article titled “Farber’s road to Radio Hall of Fame started here.”  The piece is rich with biographical detail.  It also includes a telling quote by Farber at the end, elicited from him when he was interviewed by his daughters, Celia Farber and Bibi Farber, women of significant accomplishments in their own right, who joined their father on his own radio program on November 7, 2014:

I would rather burn out than rust out.  I am one of those who will not retire.

It is a great gift to all of us that Barry Farber continues to feel that way.

Peter Barry Chowka is a veteran reporter and analyst of news on national politics, media, and popular culture.  He is a frequent contributor to American Thinker.  In addition to his writing, Peter has appeared as a guest commentator on NBC; PBS; the CBC in Canada; and, on January 4, 2018, the BBC in London.  For announcements and links to a wide selection of Peter’s published and broadcast work, follow him on Twitter at @pchowka.

Barry Farber is a legendary and influential figure in the history of modern American media.  He is best known for being a pioneering host of intelligent talk radio, on the air almost continuously since 1960 right up to the present time.  These days, at age 87, he is still going strong, hosting a nightly live hour-long talk radio program, The Barry Farber Show.

It was back in mid-20th-century America – the height of the post-World War II “American Century” – that Farber and a small group of colleagues experimented with and quickly established the enduring popularity of the innovative talk radio format on the highest rated stations in New York City, America’s #1 media market.  Other pioneers of radio were working the same magic in other American cities, big and small.  In the first three decades of radio, programming had centered on music, live and recorded; comedies, dramas, and sitcoms; and frothy variety shows.  Political and current events talk programming including interaction on the air with radio listeners was almost totally unknown.  That all began to change after World War II.

Farber was well prepared and well positioned for his decades-long career as a “talker.”  Early on, he displayed a unique and astounding facility for linguistics.  He eventually became fluent in at least 25 foreign languages.  His expertise with languages was tapped by the U.S. government, including during the Korean War.  In 1957, shortly after Farber moved to New York, William Safire – who went on to have a long and distinguished career in media, politics, and journalism – hired Farber as a producer of the seminal Tex and Jinx talk show on New York City’s flagship NBC-owned radio station, WNBC.  In 1960, at the age of 30, Farber got the chance to host his own talk program on WINS, another top station in New York.


Barry Farber on the air in the 1980s.

The rest, as they say, is history.  Farber’s mellifluous voice, with a touch of an appealing Southern drawl (he grew up in North Carolina), complemented his natural graciousness.  His obvious intelligence and familiarity with a wide range of issues including history, philosophy, and the news of the day added to his appeal and quickly endeared him to large mainstream audiences ranging from working stiffs to Upper-East-Side sophisticates in the Big Apple and beyond.  Thanks to Farber’s broadcasting for years on 50,000-watt clear channel stations that could be heard at great distances at night, when Farber did his shows, he developed a following in many states east of the Mississippi River.  Unlike some other more acerbic and confrontational talk hosts who enjoyed ratings success in the 1960s – Joe Pyne, for example – Farber never insulted any of his guests or talked down to his callers.  When he was on, he was always a gentleman.

In the 1980s, Farber gained an even larger audience when his eponymous program found a home on major national radio networks of the day, including ABC Talk Radio.  In 2002, Talkers Magazine, the leading professional journal in the field, included Farber on the top ten of its list of the 25 Greatest Radio Talk Show Hosts of All Time.

As a 2006 bio of him at Talk Radio Network put it:

As smooth and civilized as Jack Daniels whiskey, and with just as much kick, Barry Farber is one of America’s legendary talk show hosts.

As a high school student in a NYC suburb one night in 1965, I discovered the Barry Farber Show on WOR AM 710 in New York, the clear channel super-station where Farber spent 15 years on the air.  I was immediately hooked – on both Farber and talk radio.  I still have old reel-to-reel tapes that I recorded of some of his programs from the 1960s, exploring leading-edge political, social, and cultural issues of the day, including the first credible challenges by critics like attorney Mark Lane to the party line accounts of the JFK assassination.  Eventually, I worked in talk radio myself, in college and later as an occasional host and a frequent guest.  That experience made me realize that successes like Farber’s in the radio business are not as easy to achieve as one might think.


Barry Farber, candidate for NYC mayor, speaks to his supporters on Election Day, Nov. 8, 1977.

Farber’s only break from a lifetime of continuous broadcasting came in 1977, when he declared his candidacy for mayor of NYC and took some time off from radio.  A conservative, he ran initially as a Republican and came in a strong second in his party’s primary.  In the general election that November, he led the small Conservative Party’s ticket.  Also competing that year, and ultimately dominating the general election campaign, were future New York governor Mario Cuomo, a Democrat who ran for mayor on the Liberal Party ticket, and Ed Koch, another registered Democrat, who won the election.  Together, Koch and Cuomo captured 92% of the vote in that mostly liberal city.  One wonders how the future of New York and American history itself might have been different had Barry Farber won the race.

Back to the present: For the past decade, Barry Farber has been broadcasting his show weeknights between 8 and 9 P.M. E.T. on the CRN Digital Talk Radio HD channel, which is streamed on the internet and carried on a number of cable TV providers around the country, with free podcasts available at CRN, iTunes, and many other platforms.  The Barry Farber Show is a wonderful opportunity, which has been compared to enjoying a glass of fine wine, to hear someone who was there close to the beginning of talk radio and who has never lost his touch to inform and entertain an audience.

Listening to Barry Farber is like opening the door to a vibrant and living history of America from the middle of the 20th century onward.  At this point, I can’t think of anyone who would have more to offer us as we try to understand the history of our times and – just maybe – come together as a people to make America great again.


Two of Barry Farber’s bestselling books.

Not surprisingly, considering his facility with language, Barry Farber is also a widely published writer.  In addition to contributing articles to leading newspapers including the New York Times, he is the author of several books, including How to Learn Any Language and Making People Talk: You Can Turn Every Conversation into a Magic Moment.  Amazon currently has two used hardcover copies of the latter book, published in 1987, for sale at $6,890.10 and $9,029.00, not including shipping.  Since 2009, Farber has contributed an article per week at World Net Daily. His archive there numbers over 440 articles, published like clockwork every seven days.  This is a man with a strong, disciplined work ethic.  Like his nightly radio broadcast, his articles are well worth our attention.


Barry Farber today.

In November 2014, Farber’s original hometown newspaper, the Greensboro, North Carolina News & Record, published a feature article titled “Farber’s road to Radio Hall of Fame started here.”  The piece is rich with biographical detail.  It also includes a telling quote by Farber at the end, elicited from him when he was interviewed by his daughters, Celia Farber and Bibi Farber, women of significant accomplishments in their own right, who joined their father on his own radio program on November 7, 2014:

I would rather burn out than rust out.  I am one of those who will not retire.

It is a great gift to all of us that Barry Farber continues to feel that way.

Peter Barry Chowka is a veteran reporter and analyst of news on national politics, media, and popular culture.  He is a frequent contributor to American Thinker.  In addition to his writing, Peter has appeared as a guest commentator on NBC; PBS; the CBC in Canada; and, on January 4, 2018, the BBC in London.  For announcements and links to a wide selection of Peter’s published and broadcast work, follow him on Twitter at @pchowka.



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Mexican Nationals Meddled and Colluded in the 2016 Election


Special Counsel Robert Mueller laid out the law clearly in his indictment of numerous Russian nationals and groups for their attempts to interfere in the 2016 election.

As the indictment notes, the U.S. Department of Justice administers the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA).  FARA establishes a reporting protocol for foreign nationals, including non-government individuals “attempting to influence U.S. public opinion, policy, and law.”  To its credit, the FBI seems to have done a good job tracking Russian individuals and entities that violated FARA even if there was no evidence of collusion with the Trump campaign or Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee emails.  If there was a link between any of these groups and the Kremlin, the indictment made no note of it.

Most importantly, perhaps, the Mueller investigation has established that meddling by foreign nationals in a U.S. election is real and problematic.  This being so, the DOJ and FBI might want to turn their attention to the role Mexican nationals played in the 2016 election.  They will not have to dig deep to find evidence.

A good place to start searching would be the audio the journalists of Project Veritas recorded in their undercover stings of the Hillary Clinton campaign.  To make the search easier, James O’Keefe has documented many of these conversations in his new book, American Pravda.

In the course of one sting, Democratic operative Scott Foval explained to Project Veritas’s “Steve Packard” how he paid people to incite violence at Trump rallies.  “What I call it is ‘conflict engagement.’  Conflict engagement in the lines at Trump rallies,” Foval told Steve.  “We’re starting anarchy here.”

“I’m saying we have mentally ill people that we pay to do [s—],” Foval continued.  “Make no mistake.  Over the last twenty years, I’ve paid off a few homeless guys to do some crazy stuff, and I’ve also taken them for dinner, and I’ve also made sure they had a hotel and a shower, and I put them in a program.”  Foval had a particular affection for union supporters.  “They’ll do whatever you want,” he added.  “They’re rock ‘n’ roll.”

Foval led the Project Veritas team to a man named Bob Creamer, the head of a firm called Democracy Partners.  “I’m the white hat,” Foval told Steve.  “Democracy Partners is kind of a dark hat.  I will probably end up being a partner there at some point because our philosophy is actually the same.”

For the record, Creamer is a big-time Democratic player.  He is married to Chicago-area congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and is close to both the Obamas and the Clintons.  According to visitor logs, Creamer made more than 340 trips to the White House during the Obama years, with 45 of those meetings including the president in attendance.

“Bob Creamer is diabolical, and I love him for it,” Foval continued.  Foval was obliging enough to lay out the campaign’s organizational chart.  “The campaign pays DNC,” he told Steve.  “DNC pays Democracy Partners.  Democracy Partners pays The Foval Group.  The Foval Group goes and executes the [s—] on the ground.”

Ever enterprising, Project Veritas managed to get journalist Allison Maass an internship at Democracy Partners.  In answer to Maass’s question about a practice known generically as “bird-dogging,” Creamer explained his group’s hardball version thereof.  “You’re trying to actually confront people,” Creamer answered.  “The thing that makes the best television is, of course, the target: angry people.  That’s great TV.  Now, Trump – you don’t … maybe you want to get people to do something in advance to cause problems for him, and … I guess these guys are the DREAMers.  They’re just pros at this.”

“What do you mean by DREAMers?” Angela asked to get Creamer on record.

“DREAMers are the category of people brought here as children, as immigrants,” said Creamer, neglecting to say they came here illegally.

“So there’s, like, a specific group of DREAMers?” asked Maass.

“Well, there are organizations out there,” Creamer responded.  He identified a fellow named Cesar Vargas as the best of the organizers.  “This crew is spectacular at it,” Creamer added.  He explained that DREAMers have “a lot more legitimacy” because they are not specifically “operatives of the DNC or of the campaigns.”  Their presence at rallies, he believed, made for “good optics.”

“So Hillary is aware of all the work that you guys do, I hope?” Allison asked.

“Oh yeah,” said Creamer.  “Yes.  The campaign is fully in it.”

As Project Veritas learned, Vargas was a New York lawyer, the co-founder of the Dream Action Coalition, and a DREAMer himself.  “Only in the Democratic Party could an illegal alien achieve such heights without disguising his illegality,” O’Keefe writes.  Apparently, Vargas had known Creamer for years.

Here you have it.  Organized groups of foreign nationals were actively colluding at the highest levels with the DNC, the Hillary Clinton campaign, and quite possibly the Obama White House.  There is no mystery, no need to spend millions on high-priced lawyers. 

Let the investigation begin.

Image: Michael L. Dorn, Flickr.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller laid out the law clearly in his indictment of numerous Russian nationals and groups for their attempts to interfere in the 2016 election.

As the indictment notes, the U.S. Department of Justice administers the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA).  FARA establishes a reporting protocol for foreign nationals, including non-government individuals “attempting to influence U.S. public opinion, policy, and law.”  To its credit, the FBI seems to have done a good job tracking Russian individuals and entities that violated FARA even if there was no evidence of collusion with the Trump campaign or Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee emails.  If there was a link between any of these groups and the Kremlin, the indictment made no note of it.

Most importantly, perhaps, the Mueller investigation has established that meddling by foreign nationals in a U.S. election is real and problematic.  This being so, the DOJ and FBI might want to turn their attention to the role Mexican nationals played in the 2016 election.  They will not have to dig deep to find evidence.

A good place to start searching would be the audio the journalists of Project Veritas recorded in their undercover stings of the Hillary Clinton campaign.  To make the search easier, James O’Keefe has documented many of these conversations in his new book, American Pravda.

In the course of one sting, Democratic operative Scott Foval explained to Project Veritas’s “Steve Packard” how he paid people to incite violence at Trump rallies.  “What I call it is ‘conflict engagement.’  Conflict engagement in the lines at Trump rallies,” Foval told Steve.  “We’re starting anarchy here.”

“I’m saying we have mentally ill people that we pay to do [s—],” Foval continued.  “Make no mistake.  Over the last twenty years, I’ve paid off a few homeless guys to do some crazy stuff, and I’ve also taken them for dinner, and I’ve also made sure they had a hotel and a shower, and I put them in a program.”  Foval had a particular affection for union supporters.  “They’ll do whatever you want,” he added.  “They’re rock ‘n’ roll.”

Foval led the Project Veritas team to a man named Bob Creamer, the head of a firm called Democracy Partners.  “I’m the white hat,” Foval told Steve.  “Democracy Partners is kind of a dark hat.  I will probably end up being a partner there at some point because our philosophy is actually the same.”

For the record, Creamer is a big-time Democratic player.  He is married to Chicago-area congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and is close to both the Obamas and the Clintons.  According to visitor logs, Creamer made more than 340 trips to the White House during the Obama years, with 45 of those meetings including the president in attendance.

“Bob Creamer is diabolical, and I love him for it,” Foval continued.  Foval was obliging enough to lay out the campaign’s organizational chart.  “The campaign pays DNC,” he told Steve.  “DNC pays Democracy Partners.  Democracy Partners pays The Foval Group.  The Foval Group goes and executes the [s—] on the ground.”

Ever enterprising, Project Veritas managed to get journalist Allison Maass an internship at Democracy Partners.  In answer to Maass’s question about a practice known generically as “bird-dogging,” Creamer explained his group’s hardball version thereof.  “You’re trying to actually confront people,” Creamer answered.  “The thing that makes the best television is, of course, the target: angry people.  That’s great TV.  Now, Trump – you don’t … maybe you want to get people to do something in advance to cause problems for him, and … I guess these guys are the DREAMers.  They’re just pros at this.”

“What do you mean by DREAMers?” Angela asked to get Creamer on record.

“DREAMers are the category of people brought here as children, as immigrants,” said Creamer, neglecting to say they came here illegally.

“So there’s, like, a specific group of DREAMers?” asked Maass.

“Well, there are organizations out there,” Creamer responded.  He identified a fellow named Cesar Vargas as the best of the organizers.  “This crew is spectacular at it,” Creamer added.  He explained that DREAMers have “a lot more legitimacy” because they are not specifically “operatives of the DNC or of the campaigns.”  Their presence at rallies, he believed, made for “good optics.”

“So Hillary is aware of all the work that you guys do, I hope?” Allison asked.

“Oh yeah,” said Creamer.  “Yes.  The campaign is fully in it.”

As Project Veritas learned, Vargas was a New York lawyer, the co-founder of the Dream Action Coalition, and a DREAMer himself.  “Only in the Democratic Party could an illegal alien achieve such heights without disguising his illegality,” O’Keefe writes.  Apparently, Vargas had known Creamer for years.

Here you have it.  Organized groups of foreign nationals were actively colluding at the highest levels with the DNC, the Hillary Clinton campaign, and quite possibly the Obama White House.  There is no mystery, no need to spend millions on high-priced lawyers. 

Let the investigation begin.

Image: Michael L. Dorn, Flickr.



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Can't Anyone Take a Joke?


We have two adult daughters.  Both are married with children of their own.  One of them lives overseas in Italy.  (Don’t ask.  It’s a long story – but it gives us a great place to visit).  The other lives ten minutes away in the same upper-middle-class suburban town as my wife and me, in the eastern part of the country.  One of our local daughter’s neighbors is a broadcaster for a sports radio talk show.  He and his wife are perfectly nice, normal people.  Their young daughter plays with our daughter’s six-year-old several times a week.  They are remarkably unremarkable, regular in every sense.

A few days ago, he made an on-air a quip in which he mimicked the stereotypical speaking style of a foreign ethnic group.  It was a joke, the kind of thing every one of us has done a thousand times, in reference to any one of a dozen or two well known ethnic and national groups.

Well, apparently, in this highly charged, “everyone’s a victim,” incredibly thin-skinned, and humorless environment in which we all now live, it wasn’t a joke.  It was a heinous personal crime, betraying a shocking lack of sensitivity and cultural awareness on the part of the “joke”-teller, injurious to the self-image of the target group to an irreversible degree.  The morally indignant brigade struck with Blitzkrieg-like (I probably can’t say that, either) suddenness and fury: no fewer than three very high-profile sponsors immediately – and publicly – announced that they were pulling their advertising from the station.  The station, trying desperately to get in front of what could be a P.R. disaster, instantly issued a public apology on all fronts – on-air, on social media, and on its website. And of course, they wasted no time announcing that the offending on-air host was suspended at once without pay, pending further investigation – with the implication that a firing was imminent.

This relatively recent development of widespread social and professional victimhood coincides closely with the rise in identity politics, particularly as practiced by liberal politicians and supported by the liberal media.  Liberals seem to orient their political strategy and activity around the notion of identifying special interest groups based on age, ethnicity, sex and sexual orientation, religion, socio-economic class, and education.  Liberal politicians then convince the group in question that they’ve been victimized (either by society at large or by conservatives in particular), and so the liberal politician proposes a specific program to cure their ill and garner their vote.

Humor has no place in the liberal paradigm.  There is no innocent humor; there are only intentional, degrading insults, designed to maliciously hinder or prevent the group in question from advancing to its deserved standing in our culture.

Really?  Every joke is meant to harm someone and prevent him from progressing?

I work in the music industry, in the marketing department of a large company that owns and manufactures several well known brands of electronic musical instruments and keyboards, D.J. gear, recording equipment, and musical composition computer software.  It’s a “hip” company – everyone is into music, and we have frequent contact and interactions with today’s biggest recording artists and D.J.s (arranging endorsement deals, loaner equipment, etc.).  As the senior marketing person (both in age and tenure), I supervise the marketing department.  Our department is so diverse that the generals of the Politically Correct Army should pin medals on us.  You name the sex, ethnicity or race, age group, and sexual orientation, and we have it.

Connected by our love of music, our common professional drive for marketing and sales success in a highly competitive industry, and our shared familiarity and interest in the gear itself, we all get along great.  Pick your favorite cliché, and it fits: a well oiled machine, a winning team, an engine firing on all cylinders, whatever.  They all apply.

About a year ago, I began telling a quick joke at the end of the day once or twice a week, to send people off with a smile.  When a joke is going to stray off the straight and narrow path, I preface it with a humorous disclaimer:

This joke may be construed as being ever so slightly off-color or ethnically insensitive in nature.  If anyone here feels that such a joke contributes to a hostile work environment or that hearing it would be at all unwelcome, I invite you to avail yourselves of this opportunity to vacate the area.  I will take it as explicit approval anyone who chooses to stay.

People wait for the disclaimer itself, it’s so dry and tongue-in-cheek.  But I do say it, and it’s “on the record,” so to speak.  By the way, everyone always stays.  Everyone, always.

Then the joke follows.  Our 34-year-old female marketing coordinator is the most disappointed of all when the joke that day isn’t going to be off-color.  No one laughs harder than our black brand managers when I put on my exaggerated black affectation and do a rapid-fire string of “Yo Mammas.”  (I’m a middle-aged white Jewish guy, so it is particularly funny, I can assure you.)

People are people.  We can all tell when we’re being seriously disrespected and when it’s just a routine situation.  My feeling is that we’re united by things like humor, personal and emotional connections to other people, shared interests, and professional drive far, far more than we’re separated by any differences in ethnicity, age, or sexual orientation.

It was a joke on that radio station.  That’s a good thing, not a bad thing.  Let’s get more jokes into our everyday lives, and let’s take the transparently calculated hypersensitivity to well intentioned jokes out of politics and the media.  No joking.

We have two adult daughters.  Both are married with children of their own.  One of them lives overseas in Italy.  (Don’t ask.  It’s a long story – but it gives us a great place to visit).  The other lives ten minutes away in the same upper-middle-class suburban town as my wife and me, in the eastern part of the country.  One of our local daughter’s neighbors is a broadcaster for a sports radio talk show.  He and his wife are perfectly nice, normal people.  Their young daughter plays with our daughter’s six-year-old several times a week.  They are remarkably unremarkable, regular in every sense.

A few days ago, he made an on-air a quip in which he mimicked the stereotypical speaking style of a foreign ethnic group.  It was a joke, the kind of thing every one of us has done a thousand times, in reference to any one of a dozen or two well known ethnic and national groups.

Well, apparently, in this highly charged, “everyone’s a victim,” incredibly thin-skinned, and humorless environment in which we all now live, it wasn’t a joke.  It was a heinous personal crime, betraying a shocking lack of sensitivity and cultural awareness on the part of the “joke”-teller, injurious to the self-image of the target group to an irreversible degree.  The morally indignant brigade struck with Blitzkrieg-like (I probably can’t say that, either) suddenness and fury: no fewer than three very high-profile sponsors immediately – and publicly – announced that they were pulling their advertising from the station.  The station, trying desperately to get in front of what could be a P.R. disaster, instantly issued a public apology on all fronts – on-air, on social media, and on its website. And of course, they wasted no time announcing that the offending on-air host was suspended at once without pay, pending further investigation – with the implication that a firing was imminent.

This relatively recent development of widespread social and professional victimhood coincides closely with the rise in identity politics, particularly as practiced by liberal politicians and supported by the liberal media.  Liberals seem to orient their political strategy and activity around the notion of identifying special interest groups based on age, ethnicity, sex and sexual orientation, religion, socio-economic class, and education.  Liberal politicians then convince the group in question that they’ve been victimized (either by society at large or by conservatives in particular), and so the liberal politician proposes a specific program to cure their ill and garner their vote.

Humor has no place in the liberal paradigm.  There is no innocent humor; there are only intentional, degrading insults, designed to maliciously hinder or prevent the group in question from advancing to its deserved standing in our culture.

Really?  Every joke is meant to harm someone and prevent him from progressing?

I work in the music industry, in the marketing department of a large company that owns and manufactures several well known brands of electronic musical instruments and keyboards, D.J. gear, recording equipment, and musical composition computer software.  It’s a “hip” company – everyone is into music, and we have frequent contact and interactions with today’s biggest recording artists and D.J.s (arranging endorsement deals, loaner equipment, etc.).  As the senior marketing person (both in age and tenure), I supervise the marketing department.  Our department is so diverse that the generals of the Politically Correct Army should pin medals on us.  You name the sex, ethnicity or race, age group, and sexual orientation, and we have it.

Connected by our love of music, our common professional drive for marketing and sales success in a highly competitive industry, and our shared familiarity and interest in the gear itself, we all get along great.  Pick your favorite cliché, and it fits: a well oiled machine, a winning team, an engine firing on all cylinders, whatever.  They all apply.

About a year ago, I began telling a quick joke at the end of the day once or twice a week, to send people off with a smile.  When a joke is going to stray off the straight and narrow path, I preface it with a humorous disclaimer:

This joke may be construed as being ever so slightly off-color or ethnically insensitive in nature.  If anyone here feels that such a joke contributes to a hostile work environment or that hearing it would be at all unwelcome, I invite you to avail yourselves of this opportunity to vacate the area.  I will take it as explicit approval anyone who chooses to stay.

People wait for the disclaimer itself, it’s so dry and tongue-in-cheek.  But I do say it, and it’s “on the record,” so to speak.  By the way, everyone always stays.  Everyone, always.

Then the joke follows.  Our 34-year-old female marketing coordinator is the most disappointed of all when the joke that day isn’t going to be off-color.  No one laughs harder than our black brand managers when I put on my exaggerated black affectation and do a rapid-fire string of “Yo Mammas.”  (I’m a middle-aged white Jewish guy, so it is particularly funny, I can assure you.)

People are people.  We can all tell when we’re being seriously disrespected and when it’s just a routine situation.  My feeling is that we’re united by things like humor, personal and emotional connections to other people, shared interests, and professional drive far, far more than we’re separated by any differences in ethnicity, age, or sexual orientation.

It was a joke on that radio station.  That’s a good thing, not a bad thing.  Let’s get more jokes into our everyday lives, and let’s take the transparently calculated hypersensitivity to well intentioned jokes out of politics and the media.  No joking.



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Time's Up: Anti-Trump Forces Face Their Day of Reckoning


Let’s suppose for a minute that Hillary Clinton and all her fellow Resisters, along with all their allies in the Deep State, had accepted the results of the 2016 election, as has been the tradition and expectation.  Remember Hillary’s sneering question to Donald at the debates – whether he would accept the election results?  At that time, nobody thought Hillary would be the one to throw the temper tantrum when she lost, much less organize a resistance movement. 

Suppose that, instead of anger and outrage over losing the election and launching what is turning out to be a suicidal frontal assault on Donald Trump, Hillary and her minions had set about to co-opt him with flattering news coverage and invitations to all the most glittering social events.  In the past, that’s how it worked.  The Powers that Be co-opted newcomers to the Executive and Legislative Branches of government with seduction – showering them with all the enticements within the political insider’s bags of goodies.  It’s been done often before; the GOP is populated with legions of politicians who came to Washington promising the voters that they would be change agents.  Instead, the so-called RINOs succumbed to the voices of the Sirens who control the media, the money, and the chairmanships.  It is, as the saying goes, so much more pleasant and profitable “to go along to get along.”  After all, who wants to endure a ceaseless torrent of negative coverage in the Washington Post, the New York Times, CNN, and the rest of the MSM?

This time, finding no sealed divorce proceedings to crack open at the last minute to rig the election and failing in destroying their opposition with character attacks, the Hillary forces’ insurance policy was to trump up charges of Russian collusion.  I suppose it is the Arkansas-Chicago way.  Plus, destroying your opponents does afford a certain amount of ego gratification.  In fact, it’s been obvious for a long time that the Clinton way is akin to Conan the Barbarian’s – i.e., to “crush your enemies” is “what is best in life.”

Having no way, really, to lure the Trumps into the D.C. insiders’ club, Hillary and the resistance movement – ably aided by the NeverTrump brigade – launched an actual duel to the death.  So far, the Democrat and media chokehold on truth, as well as their cover-up schemes, has held up.

But truth has a way of breaking through the toughest roadblocks eventually.

More and more, it’s looking as though the light of truth about Clinton-Obama corruption will be exposed sooner rather than later.

At this point, it must be noted that while Trump blustered during the campaign that if he were elected, Hillary would end up in jail, afterward, perhaps wanting to sound magnanimous and presidential, he recanted and said he would not lead the U.S. on the route of the banana republics, where the loser of an election faces personal destruction.  Trump’s olive branch was not just rejected, but despised as well.  Instead, it was the Clinton machine that, as Thomas Lifson described it, “weaponized the FBI” and used a “senior-level cabal” to organize a resistance movement to ensure Trump’s personal destruction after the election.

The Resisters obliviously underestimated Trump’s appetite for a fight and his formidable political instincts.  Worse, they totally misjudged his determined focus on fulfilling his promises and taking control of the levers of government to clean up Obama’s mess.  They still don’t “get” that he is systematically implementing policies that will “Make America Great Again.”

It is becoming quite obvious that the Clinton-Obama Administration Cabal engaged in (as Victor David Hanson put it) “many things quite wrong and illegal.”  Further, it is becoming clear that high-level Obama officials and Clinton campaign staff deliberately and intentionally kept those “things” under wraps with the expectation that Hillary Clinton would be elected president and those doing the cover-up of crimes and misdemeanors would be protected and rewarded.

The pattern of wrongdoing is being exposed through the work of a growing list of scholars and journalists like Victor Davis Hanson, Thomas Lifson, Roger Simon, Sharyl Attkinson, and Andrew McCarthy.  The favorite metaphor to describe these analysts’ work is to say they are peeling off the layers of an onion.  Lawyers, congressional investigators, and journalists refer to removing the layers of “scandalous behavior” to get to the ugly truth of corruption and collusion in the Clinton-Obama administration’s efforts to deny Trump the election and, once elected, to destroy both him personally and his presidency.

Michael Goodwin, who used the term “scandalous behavior” to describe the FBI’s Russian collusion probe, noted that each layer exposed reveals “how flawed and dirty that probe was.”  Goodwin concludes that the “fix was in” to “hurt Trump and help Clinton.”  The stench from each new revelation lingers on the media – with their dozens of “anonymously sourced” reports; FBI and DOJ leaders in the Obama era; the DNC; the British spy, Christopher Steele, who compiled the dossier at the center of the plot; and all sorts of documents with unverified accusations and allegations.  It is looking as though, at the center of the onion, we’ll find the Clinton machine.  As Goodwin surmises, “The Clinton connections are so fundamental that there probably would not have been an FBI investigation without her involvement.”  If the evidence holds, Clinton’s “brazen work of political genius” will be “perhaps the dirtiest trick ever played in presidential history.”

Throughout this whole scheme – what Roger Simon called “one of the great disgraces of American history” — those involved have made a lot of money.  Simon revealed that a bit player among the “sleazy hypocrites” involved in the “entire nauseating, disingenuous Russia investigation” is Adam Waldman, who was paid at least $2.36 million for his work as a go-between of some sort.  Simon concluded that the Russian collusion investigation “was about hate and vengeance against fellow Americans, smearing your opponent by any means necessary.”

Fortunately, truth is winning, and all the villains in this sordid chapter of American history are, according to Thomas Lifson, “in the midst of utterly discrediting themselves.”  As Lifson notes, “A grand narrative of breathtaking conspiracy and corruption awaits us as the biggest political scandal in American history unfolds.”

My father-in-law used to shake his head at all the “goings on” during his time and declared his firm belief that “right always comes out on top.”  We can only pray that at this turbulent and crucial time in our own history, those who have created and abetted this mess will be held accountable and that truth will, indeed, prevail.

Let’s suppose for a minute that Hillary Clinton and all her fellow Resisters, along with all their allies in the Deep State, had accepted the results of the 2016 election, as has been the tradition and expectation.  Remember Hillary’s sneering question to Donald at the debates – whether he would accept the election results?  At that time, nobody thought Hillary would be the one to throw the temper tantrum when she lost, much less organize a resistance movement. 

Suppose that, instead of anger and outrage over losing the election and launching what is turning out to be a suicidal frontal assault on Donald Trump, Hillary and her minions had set about to co-opt him with flattering news coverage and invitations to all the most glittering social events.  In the past, that’s how it worked.  The Powers that Be co-opted newcomers to the Executive and Legislative Branches of government with seduction – showering them with all the enticements within the political insider’s bags of goodies.  It’s been done often before; the GOP is populated with legions of politicians who came to Washington promising the voters that they would be change agents.  Instead, the so-called RINOs succumbed to the voices of the Sirens who control the media, the money, and the chairmanships.  It is, as the saying goes, so much more pleasant and profitable “to go along to get along.”  After all, who wants to endure a ceaseless torrent of negative coverage in the Washington Post, the New York Times, CNN, and the rest of the MSM?

This time, finding no sealed divorce proceedings to crack open at the last minute to rig the election and failing in destroying their opposition with character attacks, the Hillary forces’ insurance policy was to trump up charges of Russian collusion.  I suppose it is the Arkansas-Chicago way.  Plus, destroying your opponents does afford a certain amount of ego gratification.  In fact, it’s been obvious for a long time that the Clinton way is akin to Conan the Barbarian’s – i.e., to “crush your enemies” is “what is best in life.”

Having no way, really, to lure the Trumps into the D.C. insiders’ club, Hillary and the resistance movement – ably aided by the NeverTrump brigade – launched an actual duel to the death.  So far, the Democrat and media chokehold on truth, as well as their cover-up schemes, has held up.

But truth has a way of breaking through the toughest roadblocks eventually.

More and more, it’s looking as though the light of truth about Clinton-Obama corruption will be exposed sooner rather than later.

At this point, it must be noted that while Trump blustered during the campaign that if he were elected, Hillary would end up in jail, afterward, perhaps wanting to sound magnanimous and presidential, he recanted and said he would not lead the U.S. on the route of the banana republics, where the loser of an election faces personal destruction.  Trump’s olive branch was not just rejected, but despised as well.  Instead, it was the Clinton machine that, as Thomas Lifson described it, “weaponized the FBI” and used a “senior-level cabal” to organize a resistance movement to ensure Trump’s personal destruction after the election.

The Resisters obliviously underestimated Trump’s appetite for a fight and his formidable political instincts.  Worse, they totally misjudged his determined focus on fulfilling his promises and taking control of the levers of government to clean up Obama’s mess.  They still don’t “get” that he is systematically implementing policies that will “Make America Great Again.”

It is becoming quite obvious that the Clinton-Obama Administration Cabal engaged in (as Victor David Hanson put it) “many things quite wrong and illegal.”  Further, it is becoming clear that high-level Obama officials and Clinton campaign staff deliberately and intentionally kept those “things” under wraps with the expectation that Hillary Clinton would be elected president and those doing the cover-up of crimes and misdemeanors would be protected and rewarded.

The pattern of wrongdoing is being exposed through the work of a growing list of scholars and journalists like Victor Davis Hanson, Thomas Lifson, Roger Simon, Sharyl Attkinson, and Andrew McCarthy.  The favorite metaphor to describe these analysts’ work is to say they are peeling off the layers of an onion.  Lawyers, congressional investigators, and journalists refer to removing the layers of “scandalous behavior” to get to the ugly truth of corruption and collusion in the Clinton-Obama administration’s efforts to deny Trump the election and, once elected, to destroy both him personally and his presidency.

Michael Goodwin, who used the term “scandalous behavior” to describe the FBI’s Russian collusion probe, noted that each layer exposed reveals “how flawed and dirty that probe was.”  Goodwin concludes that the “fix was in” to “hurt Trump and help Clinton.”  The stench from each new revelation lingers on the media – with their dozens of “anonymously sourced” reports; FBI and DOJ leaders in the Obama era; the DNC; the British spy, Christopher Steele, who compiled the dossier at the center of the plot; and all sorts of documents with unverified accusations and allegations.  It is looking as though, at the center of the onion, we’ll find the Clinton machine.  As Goodwin surmises, “The Clinton connections are so fundamental that there probably would not have been an FBI investigation without her involvement.”  If the evidence holds, Clinton’s “brazen work of political genius” will be “perhaps the dirtiest trick ever played in presidential history.”

Throughout this whole scheme – what Roger Simon called “one of the great disgraces of American history” — those involved have made a lot of money.  Simon revealed that a bit player among the “sleazy hypocrites” involved in the “entire nauseating, disingenuous Russia investigation” is Adam Waldman, who was paid at least $2.36 million for his work as a go-between of some sort.  Simon concluded that the Russian collusion investigation “was about hate and vengeance against fellow Americans, smearing your opponent by any means necessary.”

Fortunately, truth is winning, and all the villains in this sordid chapter of American history are, according to Thomas Lifson, “in the midst of utterly discrediting themselves.”  As Lifson notes, “A grand narrative of breathtaking conspiracy and corruption awaits us as the biggest political scandal in American history unfolds.”

My father-in-law used to shake his head at all the “goings on” during his time and declared his firm belief that “right always comes out on top.”  We can only pray that at this turbulent and crucial time in our own history, those who have created and abetted this mess will be held accountable and that truth will, indeed, prevail.



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