Day: September 10, 2018

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Astronauts commercialized like celebs, athletes…


The constant creep of corporate America into all aspects of everyday life – from the Allstate Sugar Bowl to Minute Maid Park – may soon conquer a new frontier.

The final frontier.

NASA’s administrator Jim Bridenstine has directed the space agency to look at boosting its brand by selling naming rights to rockets and spacecraft and allowing its astronauts to appear in commercials and on cereal boxes, as if they were celebrity athletes.

While officials stress that nothing has been decided, the idea could mark a giant cultural leap for the taxpayer-funded government agency and could run into ethics regulations that prevent government officials from using public office for private gain.

NASA has steadfastly stayed away from endorsing any particular product or company – even going so far as to call the M&Ms astronauts gobble in space “candy-coated chocolates” for fear of even appearing to favor one brand of candy.

But during a recent meeting of a NASA advisory council, Bridenstine announced he was standing up a committee to examine what he called the “provocative questions” of turning its rockets into corporate billboards the way advertisements decorate NASCAR racecars.

“Is it possible for NASA to offset some of its costs by selling the naming rights to its spacecraft, or the naming rights to its rockets,” Bridenstine said. “I’m telling you there is interest in that right now. The question is: Is it possible? The answer is: I don’t know, but we want somebody to give us advice on whether it is.”

He also said he wanted astronauts to be not only more accessible to journalists but even to participate in marketing opportunities to boost their brands – and that of the space agency.

“I’d like to see kids growing up, instead of maybe wanting to be like a professional sports star, I’d like to see them grow up wanting to be a NASA astronaut, or a NASA scientist,” he said. “I’d like to see, maybe one day, NASA astronauts on the cover of a cereal box, embedded into the American culture.”

The effort is part of a broader effort to generate more private-sector involvement in low Earth orbit. NASA already relies on companies to fly cargo to the space station – and is already on path to relying on companies to deliver crew. The White House has also said it would like to end direct funding for the International Space Station, and turn over operations of the orbiting laboratory to a private entity. Meanwhile, there are other companies looking to develop their own commercial space stations. And the White House is working to ease regulations to promote private-sector growth.

“As NASA looks toward the future of private-sector space stations, it’s vital to explore these kinds of innovative commercial concepts to ensure that the U.S. maintains an ongoing presence is low Earth orbit,” said Mike Gold, the chairman of the new NASA committee.

That idea to privatize the International Space Station has run into opposition from Congress, who said the United States shouldn’t cede control of an asset that it has invested nearly $100 billion in.

Likewise, the idea to sell naming rights, or have astronauts appear in commercials, was met with skepticism from many NASA experts. Scott Kelly, the former NASA astronaut who spent nearly a year in space, said in an email to The Washington Post that it “would be a dramatic shift from the rules prohibiting government officials from using their public office for private gain,” he wrote. “But I guess this is the world we live in now. “

Michael Lopez-Alegria, also a former NASA astronaut, said that by endorsing products, NASA could end up competing against a growing commercial sector that is trying to open up space for the masses.

“It’s going to be really hard for NASA or any government agency to put itself in a position where it can become a de-facto endorser of this product or that product,” he said. “To me, it’s like nails on a chalkboard. It’s just not right. “

He said he was also concerned that if Congress sees NASA is getting funding from the private sector it might say, “we’re not going to pay anymore. “

Scott Amey, the general counsel for the Project on Government Oversight, a watchdog group, said that the government “should be focused entirely on what is most important for the public interest, not private gain. In fact, if a project is commercially viable it shouldn’t have to depend on taxpayer funds or U.S. astronauts, who might be divided in their job responsibilities. “

The idea comes as a pivotal time for the agency, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year and soaking up renewed attention, as it is poised to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing next year. It’s also preparing to fly astronauts from U.S. soil for the first time since the space shuttle was retired in 2011, and Bridenstine said he wants the newly formed committee to explore flying tourists to the International Space Station alongside government astronauts.

“First Man,” the film starring Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong, is going to hit theaters soon, as interest in the agency is surging. Last year, NASA collaborated on 143 documentary projects, 41 television programs and 25 feature films with various levels of participation, from providing footage to granting access to NASA facilities. Requests to use the NASA logo are “really going gangbusters,” said Bert Ulrich, NASA’s multimedia liaison. Queries to use the logo on T-shirts and other commercial items used to come in once or twice week, he said. Now, on average it’s multiple times a day – and there are NASA-themed apparel made for Target, Old Navy, Lands’ End, Coach and H&M.

The designer Heron Preston even sells NASA T-shirt for $270.

NASA has usage guidelines for its so-called “meatball” logo, a blue sphere, stars and a chevron, such as: it “can only appear against a solid, black, white, gray or silver background.” But the space agency makes nothing on the sales.

That, too, would get another look, according to Gold, who said it would look at how the logo is being used “and any changes that might need to be made to further leverage the symbol to encourage space exploration” and promote children to study engineering, science and math.

If NASA was able to loosen its restrictions, commercialization and branding could generate significant revenue. A study last year by the Science and Technology Policy Institute, a federally funded research and development center, found that a privately run space station could bring in between $455 million to $1.2 billion a year by participating in all sorts of commercial activities, including selling naming rights, allowing films to be shot in space, conducting research and hosting tourists.

The study estimated that leasing a module of a space station could generate as much as $25 million for 60 days, or more than $416,000 a day. It noted that companies pay between $8 million and $13 million to sponsor golf tournaments, and some corporation have paid as much as $20 million for sports stadium naming rights. A NASA economic adviser once suggested a boxing match in space – a “Brawl in Free Fall,” he called it – that could become a Pay-Per-View event.

Other countries have been more willing to cash in.

Pizza Hut paid to paint its logo on a Russian rocket in 1999. In the mid-1990s, an Israeli milk company filmed a commercial on the space station Mir, and a pair of Russian cosmonauts even appeared on QVC to sell a pen able to write in a weightless environment.

“Is this a pen you would recommend to use in space?” the host asked.

“Yeah, they said they love this pen,” the translator said on the live broadcast.

In 1993, a Georgia company called Space Marketing proposed putting a billboard in space so big that it would be visible from Earth. But the plan was met with disapproval from some Congress, who derided the idea, saying space was a commons that should stay free of advertising.

Ed Markey, D-Mass., then a congressman, lamented the possibility of children wishing “upon a falling billboard.”

“Every sunrise and sunset would beam down the logo of Coke or GM or the Marlboro Man,” said Markey, now a senator. “That would turn our morning and evening skies, often a source of inspiration and comfort, into the moral equivalent of the side of a bus.”

Still, companies have found a way to include space into their marketing campaigns, and many brands such as Tang have benefited from their affiliation with the space program. When space station Mir de-orbited, Taco Bell put a huge floating tarp into the Pacific Ocean and claimed that if any piece of the Mir hit it, the company would give everyone in the country a free taco.

More recently, Budweiser announced its plans to be “the first beer on Mars,” as part of a plan to study barley in the weightless environment of the International Space Station.

“While socializing on Mars might be in the near-distant future, Budweiser is taking steps now to better understand how its ingredients react in microgravity environments so that when we get to Mars, Budweiser will be there.”



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Crackdown?



Crackdown?

(Second column, 17th story, link)


Related stories:
Republicans ramping up scrutiny of GOOGLE…
YOUTUBE pulls ads by Putin critic Navalny…
TWITTER SUSPENDS BENGHAZI HERO After Criticism of Obama…
UK: Police Tell Citizens to Report ‘Offensive’ Comments Even if Not ‘Hate Crimes’…

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Swiss Village Says 'Yes' to 2,500-Franc a Month Free Money Trial…



Swiss Village Says 'Yes' to 2,500-Franc a Month Free Money Trial...

(Third column, 10th story, link)


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Obama's Benghazi Body Bags No Mere Conspiracy Theory


The arrogance of the man who lied to the parents of the Benghazi dead in front of their sons’ caskets as they were returned to the country they fought for is mind-boggling.  As he attempted to rewrite many chapters of his failed presidency in a speech at the University of Illinois, he called the accurate and documented reports of the criminal negligence of secretary of state Hillary Clinton and himself during the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack on our Benghazi compound a mere “conspiracy theory.”

Conspiracy theories don’t produce body bags, sir, but perhaps you don’t remember that night all too well because you spent the time four brave Americans were being killed under your command in Libya readying up for a Las Vegas fundraiser.

Kris Paronto, former Army Ranger and CIA contractor who fought with his colleagues on the roof of the CIA annex in Benghazi, remembers that night and tweeted his response to the then-president’s arrogant and dismissive ridicule of their sacrifice and your incompetence:

Benghazi is a conspiracy @BarackObama ?! How bout we do this,let’s put your cowardly ass on the top of a roof with 6 of your buddies&shoot rpg’s&Ak47’s at you while terrorists lob 81mm mortars killing 2 of your buddies all while waiting for US support that you never sent

Obama and Hillary had plenty of warnings that the security at Benghazi was woefully inadequate, that the compound was swimming in an ocean of terrorist training camps.  They ignored these warnings, and when the attack happened, they did nothing when a rescue mission could have been mounted.  Instead, stand-down orders were given to would-be rescuers, and following the attack, the infamous video lie was concocted and spread over the airwaves, with President Obama repeating it no fewer than six times in a speech before the United Nations.

Hicks, the last man to speak to Ambassador Chris Stevens, has exposed the video lie, documenting how he told Hillary’s State Department what was happening in real time that fateful night and how her State Department ignored warnings from Chris Stevens and others about the gathering terrorist storm and the woeful  lack of security.

Now retired, private citizen Hicks goes farther, telling Fox News Hillary Clinton broke laws while condemning four Americans to death at the hands of terrorists:

Just as the Constitution makes national security the President’s highest priority, U.S. law mandates the secretary of state to develop and implement policies and programs “to provide for the security … of all United States personnel on official duty abroad.”


This includes not only the State Department employees, but also the CIA officers in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012.  And the Benghazi record is clear: Secretary Clinton failed to provide adequate security for U.S. government personnel assigned to Benghazi and Tripoli.


The Benghazi Committee’s report graphically illustrates the magnitude of her failure.  It states that during August 2012, the State Department reduced the number of U.S. security personnel assigned to the Embassy in Tripoli from 34 (1.5 security officers per diplomat) to 6 (1 security officer per 4.5 diplomats), despite a rapidly deteriorating security situation in both Tripoli and Benghazi.  Thus, according to the Report, “there were no surplus security agents” to travel to Benghazi with Amb. Stevens “without leaving the Embassy in Tripoli at severe risk.”

Patricia Smith, mother of Sean Smith, who fought and died for his country at Benghazi, spoke of Hillary’s callousness at the 2012 GOP convention.  Smith focused in her riveting convention speech on Hillary’s disregard for the families of the Benghazi dead:

I know a few things could’ve been done to prevent it.  But nobody’s admitting to anything. Right now, my understanding is Hillary didn’t do a damn thing.  And I wonder what she did as Secretary of State, because she disavows everything.  She disavows the fact that she even got any call for security[.] … If this is her Department, she certainly doesn’t know how to run the Department.  And she lied the whole time. She lied to me and called me a liar on TV[.]

The movie 13 Hours is based on the book, in which the three CIA contractors, Kris Paronto, John Tiegen, and Mark Geist, who fought at Benghazi, tell the tale of the battle they fought with Glen Doherty, Sean Smith, and Tyrone Woods in the terrorist attack that claimed the life of Ambassador Chris Stevens, whose name Hillary could not remember.

It confirms that Benghazi was not a spontaneous demonstration gone bad due a video, despite Susan Rice repeating that lie on five Sunday talk shows, and President Obama repeated six times before the United Nations.  Hillary Clinton knew that it was a lie, telling the truth to daughter Chelsea and an Egyptian diplomat before she lied to the parents of the Benghazi dead.  It confirms that rescuers were told to stand down.

Hillary and her State Department had warnings, including from Ambassador Stevens himself, that Benghazi was an unsecure trap in the face of a growing terrorist threat.  As Investor’s Business Daily editorialized on documents unearthed by Judicial Watch:

The documents describe Libya as hardly the poster child for the Arab Spring, and echo warnings sent to State by Stevens himself.  He was aware of an attack on a convoy carrying the British ambassador to Libya and a June 2012 attack where an improvised explosive device blew a hole in the Benghazi consulate wall.  Nowhere in the 486 pages is mention of or concern for the effects of a video.


On Aug. 8, 2012, Stevens sent a two-page cable to the State Department entitled “The Guns of August: Security in Eastern Libya” and noted a dangerous “security vacuum” in and around Benghazi, as well as the presence of terrorist training camps.  He was ignored.


The documents reveal that, early on the day after the attack, the Pentagon received intelligence briefing slides detailing that the June 6, 2012, attack was tied to al-Qaida-linked terrorists seeking an Islamic state in Libya and who threatened to attack U.S. interests there.  It also said the June 6 attack “came in response to the 5 June (2012) drone strike on senior al-Qaida leader Abu Yahya al-libi.”


That Sept. 11 was a terrorist attack was known before, during and after it took place.


“I personally … think the (U.S. Africa Command) very quickly got to the point that this was not a demonstration, this was a terrorist attack,” Gen. Carter Ham, head of the Command, testified behind closed doors in June 2013 before the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.


And that, Ham said, was the “nature of the conversation” he had with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey moments before a 30-minute meeting with Obama prior to the president resting up for his fundraising Las Vegas trip.

Hillary Clinton ignore the pleas for added security at Benghazi, the terrorist threat that was building, and then let pleas for a rescue fall on deaf ears.  Could a rescue attempt have been mounted?  According to Hicks, yes, it could have:

Hicks says he believes “if we had been able to scramble a fighter or aircraft or two over Benghazi as quickly as possible after the attack commenced” – around 9:30 p.m. that night – “I believe there would not have been a mortar attack on the annex in the morning because I believe the Libyans would have split.  They would have been scared to death that we would have gotten a laser on them and killed them.”


Hicks, who was in Tripoli that night, relates how the Libyan prime minister called and told him that the U.S. ambassador had been killed, after which “the Libyan military agreed to fly their C-130 to Benghazi and carry additional personnel to Benghazi as reinforcements.”


A Special Forces team was ready to go along but was forbidden from doing so by the U.S. Special Operations Command in Africa.

When Patricia Smith testified before Congress, most Democrats walked out of the room, turning their backs on the mother of one of those patriots abandoned by Obama and Hillary at Benghazi, refusing to hear her grief as she condemned what Obama now calls a mere “conspiracy theory”:

With the exception of ranking member Elijah Cummings, D-Md., and Jackie Speier, D-Calif., 12 other Democrats on the Committee shamefully left the room and refused to listen to the testimony of Smith[.] …


Mrs. Smith testified how President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary Clinton, among other top administration officials, approached her at the casket ceremony when her son’s body was returned to the U.S.


“Every one of them came up to me, gave me a big hug, and I asked them, ‘What happened, please tell me?’  And every one of them said it was the video.  And we all know that it wasn’t the video. Even at that time they knew it wasn’t the video. So they all lied to me.”

Judging from Obama’s speech, they’re still lying.

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.

The arrogance of the man who lied to the parents of the Benghazi dead in front of their sons’ caskets as they were returned to the country they fought for is mind-boggling.  As he attempted to rewrite many chapters of his failed presidency in a speech at the University of Illinois, he called the accurate and documented reports of the criminal negligence of secretary of state Hillary Clinton and himself during the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack on our Benghazi compound a mere “conspiracy theory.”

Conspiracy theories don’t produce body bags, sir, but perhaps you don’t remember that night all too well because you spent the time four brave Americans were being killed under your command in Libya readying up for a Las Vegas fundraiser.

Kris Paronto, former Army Ranger and CIA contractor who fought with his colleagues on the roof of the CIA annex in Benghazi, remembers that night and tweeted his response to the then-president’s arrogant and dismissive ridicule of their sacrifice and your incompetence:

Benghazi is a conspiracy @BarackObama ?! How bout we do this,let’s put your cowardly ass on the top of a roof with 6 of your buddies&shoot rpg’s&Ak47’s at you while terrorists lob 81mm mortars killing 2 of your buddies all while waiting for US support that you never sent

Obama and Hillary had plenty of warnings that the security at Benghazi was woefully inadequate, that the compound was swimming in an ocean of terrorist training camps.  They ignored these warnings, and when the attack happened, they did nothing when a rescue mission could have been mounted.  Instead, stand-down orders were given to would-be rescuers, and following the attack, the infamous video lie was concocted and spread over the airwaves, with President Obama repeating it no fewer than six times in a speech before the United Nations.

Hicks, the last man to speak to Ambassador Chris Stevens, has exposed the video lie, documenting how he told Hillary’s State Department what was happening in real time that fateful night and how her State Department ignored warnings from Chris Stevens and others about the gathering terrorist storm and the woeful  lack of security.

Now retired, private citizen Hicks goes farther, telling Fox News Hillary Clinton broke laws while condemning four Americans to death at the hands of terrorists:

Just as the Constitution makes national security the President’s highest priority, U.S. law mandates the secretary of state to develop and implement policies and programs “to provide for the security … of all United States personnel on official duty abroad.”


This includes not only the State Department employees, but also the CIA officers in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012.  And the Benghazi record is clear: Secretary Clinton failed to provide adequate security for U.S. government personnel assigned to Benghazi and Tripoli.


The Benghazi Committee’s report graphically illustrates the magnitude of her failure.  It states that during August 2012, the State Department reduced the number of U.S. security personnel assigned to the Embassy in Tripoli from 34 (1.5 security officers per diplomat) to 6 (1 security officer per 4.5 diplomats), despite a rapidly deteriorating security situation in both Tripoli and Benghazi.  Thus, according to the Report, “there were no surplus security agents” to travel to Benghazi with Amb. Stevens “without leaving the Embassy in Tripoli at severe risk.”

Patricia Smith, mother of Sean Smith, who fought and died for his country at Benghazi, spoke of Hillary’s callousness at the 2012 GOP convention.  Smith focused in her riveting convention speech on Hillary’s disregard for the families of the Benghazi dead:

I know a few things could’ve been done to prevent it.  But nobody’s admitting to anything. Right now, my understanding is Hillary didn’t do a damn thing.  And I wonder what she did as Secretary of State, because she disavows everything.  She disavows the fact that she even got any call for security[.] … If this is her Department, she certainly doesn’t know how to run the Department.  And she lied the whole time. She lied to me and called me a liar on TV[.]

The movie 13 Hours is based on the book, in which the three CIA contractors, Kris Paronto, John Tiegen, and Mark Geist, who fought at Benghazi, tell the tale of the battle they fought with Glen Doherty, Sean Smith, and Tyrone Woods in the terrorist attack that claimed the life of Ambassador Chris Stevens, whose name Hillary could not remember.

It confirms that Benghazi was not a spontaneous demonstration gone bad due a video, despite Susan Rice repeating that lie on five Sunday talk shows, and President Obama repeated six times before the United Nations.  Hillary Clinton knew that it was a lie, telling the truth to daughter Chelsea and an Egyptian diplomat before she lied to the parents of the Benghazi dead.  It confirms that rescuers were told to stand down.

Hillary and her State Department had warnings, including from Ambassador Stevens himself, that Benghazi was an unsecure trap in the face of a growing terrorist threat.  As Investor’s Business Daily editorialized on documents unearthed by Judicial Watch:

The documents describe Libya as hardly the poster child for the Arab Spring, and echo warnings sent to State by Stevens himself.  He was aware of an attack on a convoy carrying the British ambassador to Libya and a June 2012 attack where an improvised explosive device blew a hole in the Benghazi consulate wall.  Nowhere in the 486 pages is mention of or concern for the effects of a video.


On Aug. 8, 2012, Stevens sent a two-page cable to the State Department entitled “The Guns of August: Security in Eastern Libya” and noted a dangerous “security vacuum” in and around Benghazi, as well as the presence of terrorist training camps.  He was ignored.


The documents reveal that, early on the day after the attack, the Pentagon received intelligence briefing slides detailing that the June 6, 2012, attack was tied to al-Qaida-linked terrorists seeking an Islamic state in Libya and who threatened to attack U.S. interests there.  It also said the June 6 attack “came in response to the 5 June (2012) drone strike on senior al-Qaida leader Abu Yahya al-libi.”


That Sept. 11 was a terrorist attack was known before, during and after it took place.


“I personally … think the (U.S. Africa Command) very quickly got to the point that this was not a demonstration, this was a terrorist attack,” Gen. Carter Ham, head of the Command, testified behind closed doors in June 2013 before the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.


And that, Ham said, was the “nature of the conversation” he had with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey moments before a 30-minute meeting with Obama prior to the president resting up for his fundraising Las Vegas trip.

Hillary Clinton ignore the pleas for added security at Benghazi, the terrorist threat that was building, and then let pleas for a rescue fall on deaf ears.  Could a rescue attempt have been mounted?  According to Hicks, yes, it could have:

Hicks says he believes “if we had been able to scramble a fighter or aircraft or two over Benghazi as quickly as possible after the attack commenced” – around 9:30 p.m. that night – “I believe there would not have been a mortar attack on the annex in the morning because I believe the Libyans would have split.  They would have been scared to death that we would have gotten a laser on them and killed them.”


Hicks, who was in Tripoli that night, relates how the Libyan prime minister called and told him that the U.S. ambassador had been killed, after which “the Libyan military agreed to fly their C-130 to Benghazi and carry additional personnel to Benghazi as reinforcements.”


A Special Forces team was ready to go along but was forbidden from doing so by the U.S. Special Operations Command in Africa.

When Patricia Smith testified before Congress, most Democrats walked out of the room, turning their backs on the mother of one of those patriots abandoned by Obama and Hillary at Benghazi, refusing to hear her grief as she condemned what Obama now calls a mere “conspiracy theory”:

With the exception of ranking member Elijah Cummings, D-Md., and Jackie Speier, D-Calif., 12 other Democrats on the Committee shamefully left the room and refused to listen to the testimony of Smith[.] …


Mrs. Smith testified how President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary Clinton, among other top administration officials, approached her at the casket ceremony when her son’s body was returned to the U.S.


“Every one of them came up to me, gave me a big hug, and I asked them, ‘What happened, please tell me?’  And every one of them said it was the video.  And we all know that it wasn’t the video. Even at that time they knew it wasn’t the video. So they all lied to me.”

Judging from Obama’s speech, they’re still lying.

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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Fall Madness – Hurricanes and Global Warming


Fall is officially upon us with the passing of Labor Day. After this seasonal landmark, we are not supposed to wear white. I’m surprised CNN’s Don Lemon hasn’t found something racist in this tradition.

Football season has started, kneeling players and all. It’s been a busy week for the media as we are now less than two months away from the critical Congressional midterm elections. The media is not taking a knee; instead, they are on full offense with the Bob Woodward book and the anonymous NY Times op-ed, both full-fledged assaults on President Trump.

Fall is also hurricane season which means not only football jerseys coming out of the closet, but the hackneyed global warming doomsday predictions. The left-wing media, however, may not give hurricane season its due since there are more important stories to cover, like Colin Kaepernick, the Bret Kavanaugh confirmation circus, and Pocahontas wanting to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump.

Tropical Storm Florence is in the Caribbean and heading toward Florida, with early storms Helene and Isaac hanging out off the coast of Africa, deciding whether to huff and puff, or really blow the house down.

Florence, not yet a hurricane, but expected to become one, looks like it will impact the Carolinas. Or maybe up the US coast. Or possibly Florida. Or maybe harmlessly out to sea. The spaghetti models show all the possibilities. Here are the complied guesses from Weathernerds.

No one really knows. Each spaghetti line is based on a computer model which takes data and makes predictions for the future. Just as climate  models attempt to predict future temperatures, the hurricane models are predicting the week ahead whereas the climate models are looking decades or centuries into the future.

If the models looking only days ahead are so variable, what hope is there for predictions decades into the future? Let’s look at some of those predictions from just 13 years ago.

Noted climate scientist and soothsayer, Al Gore, in 2005 predicted this.

“The science is extremely clear now, that warmer oceans make the average hurricane stronger, not only makes the winds stronger, but dramatically increases the moisture from the oceans evaporating into the storm – thus magnifying its destructive power – makes the duration, as well as the intensity of the hurricane, stronger.”

He wasn’t alone. Scientific American asked the question, “Are Category 6 Hurricanes Coming Soon?” Big media jumped in too with such predictions as, “No End In Sight For Big Hurricanes” and “Katrina Is The Beginning of What May Be A Long Stretch of Wild and Devastating Weather.”

How did these predictions turn out? Presumably they are based on science and computer models, just like the wildly disparate spaghetti line predictions.

To start with, the world has never seen a category 6 storm. The last category 5 storm was Andrew in 1992.

Let’s look at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration compilation of hurricanes going back 150 years. In the decade of the 2000’s, the time of Al Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth” and his apocalyptic predictions, 19 hurricanes impacted the continental US. All were category 1 to 3, except for Charley in 2004, which was a category 4 storm.

Four years in that decade brought not a single hurricane hitting the continental US.

To be fair, storm category and subsequent damage do not always correlate. A powerful storm hitting a narrow land area will do less damage than a lower intensity storm impacting a wider and lower lying area with more population. Katrina was a category 3 storm and Sandy only a category 1 storm but both caused tremendous damage and destruction due to where they made landfall.

In the 2010’s decade, we have had 9 hurricanes thus far and three years of no hurricanes. Last year we had two category 4 storms, Harvey and Irma. The remainder of hurricanes in this decade only reached category 1 or 2.

By comparison, in the 1850s, a time before global warming was part of the popular lexicon, there was at least one hurricane each year, 16 in all, including a category 4 storm in 1856.

In the 1880’s, the continental US was hit by 25 hurricanes, one of them a category 4 storm. The 1910’s brought 21 hurricanes, 3 were category 4. In the 1940’s we had 23 hurricanes, with 4 reaching category 4.

Al Gore could have made his prediction anytime during the past 150 years and may have been proven right. Then again, was global warming a problem in 1850? I don’t think so.

If anything, recent decades show a decrease in total number and powerful hurricanes compared to previous decades. This is contrary to the what the computer models predicted and what the media warned about.

Then again the media predicted a Clinton landslide victory in 2016, based on polling and computer models designed to predict a future outcome. As in elections, hurricane predictions have not fared any better.

The media is mobilizing ahead of Florence. The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy reminds everyone, “It’s also important to understand that the impacts of hurricanes are very much influenced by global warming.”

The UK Independent calls it a “global cataclysm”. “In a few decades, there will be almost nothing left. Humans and most living species are in a critical situation.”

Rather than applying some scientific common sense, the climate warriors, in an effort to change the weather, something no one knows how to do, created, “A letter signed by 200 people, including some of the world’s most famous actors, artists and scientists.” I presume this includes such luminaries as Cher, Madonna, Matt Damon, and Katy Perry.

This is the perfect solution to controlling the weather, a letter signed by actors and artists who know as much about climate science as I know about the mating habits of hummingbirds.

Another answer is warning labels, “YouTube is now adding fact checks to videos that question climate change.” Sure, just like they add fact checks to the rantings of David Hogg or Elizabeth Warren on YouTube. So much for freedom of thought and speech. YouTube would put a warning label on what I am writing now.

As it is fall and hurricane season, be prepared for an onslaught of news blaming global warming for each hurricane. And by default, blaming President Trump, especially since he pulled the US out of the nonsensical Paris Climate Accords. The media ignores the reality that hurricanes have always been a part of our climate and ecosystem long before Trump and internal combustion engines.

Brian C Joondeph, MD, MPS, a Denver based physician and writer. Follow him on Facebook,  LinkedIn and Twitter.

Fall is officially upon us with the passing of Labor Day. After this seasonal landmark, we are not supposed to wear white. I’m surprised CNN’s Don Lemon hasn’t found something racist in this tradition.

Football season has started, kneeling players and all. It’s been a busy week for the media as we are now less than two months away from the critical Congressional midterm elections. The media is not taking a knee; instead, they are on full offense with the Bob Woodward book and the anonymous NY Times op-ed, both full-fledged assaults on President Trump.

Fall is also hurricane season which means not only football jerseys coming out of the closet, but the hackneyed global warming doomsday predictions. The left-wing media, however, may not give hurricane season its due since there are more important stories to cover, like Colin Kaepernick, the Bret Kavanaugh confirmation circus, and Pocahontas wanting to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump.

Tropical Storm Florence is in the Caribbean and heading toward Florida, with early storms Helene and Isaac hanging out off the coast of Africa, deciding whether to huff and puff, or really blow the house down.

Florence, not yet a hurricane, but expected to become one, looks like it will impact the Carolinas. Or maybe up the US coast. Or possibly Florida. Or maybe harmlessly out to sea. The spaghetti models show all the possibilities. Here are the complied guesses from Weathernerds.

No one really knows. Each spaghetti line is based on a computer model which takes data and makes predictions for the future. Just as climate  models attempt to predict future temperatures, the hurricane models are predicting the week ahead whereas the climate models are looking decades or centuries into the future.

If the models looking only days ahead are so variable, what hope is there for predictions decades into the future? Let’s look at some of those predictions from just 13 years ago.

Noted climate scientist and soothsayer, Al Gore, in 2005 predicted this.

“The science is extremely clear now, that warmer oceans make the average hurricane stronger, not only makes the winds stronger, but dramatically increases the moisture from the oceans evaporating into the storm – thus magnifying its destructive power – makes the duration, as well as the intensity of the hurricane, stronger.”

He wasn’t alone. Scientific American asked the question, “Are Category 6 Hurricanes Coming Soon?” Big media jumped in too with such predictions as, “No End In Sight For Big Hurricanes” and “Katrina Is The Beginning of What May Be A Long Stretch of Wild and Devastating Weather.”

How did these predictions turn out? Presumably they are based on science and computer models, just like the wildly disparate spaghetti line predictions.

To start with, the world has never seen a category 6 storm. The last category 5 storm was Andrew in 1992.

Let’s look at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration compilation of hurricanes going back 150 years. In the decade of the 2000’s, the time of Al Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth” and his apocalyptic predictions, 19 hurricanes impacted the continental US. All were category 1 to 3, except for Charley in 2004, which was a category 4 storm.

Four years in that decade brought not a single hurricane hitting the continental US.

To be fair, storm category and subsequent damage do not always correlate. A powerful storm hitting a narrow land area will do less damage than a lower intensity storm impacting a wider and lower lying area with more population. Katrina was a category 3 storm and Sandy only a category 1 storm but both caused tremendous damage and destruction due to where they made landfall.

In the 2010’s decade, we have had 9 hurricanes thus far and three years of no hurricanes. Last year we had two category 4 storms, Harvey and Irma. The remainder of hurricanes in this decade only reached category 1 or 2.

By comparison, in the 1850s, a time before global warming was part of the popular lexicon, there was at least one hurricane each year, 16 in all, including a category 4 storm in 1856.

In the 1880’s, the continental US was hit by 25 hurricanes, one of them a category 4 storm. The 1910’s brought 21 hurricanes, 3 were category 4. In the 1940’s we had 23 hurricanes, with 4 reaching category 4.

Al Gore could have made his prediction anytime during the past 150 years and may have been proven right. Then again, was global warming a problem in 1850? I don’t think so.

If anything, recent decades show a decrease in total number and powerful hurricanes compared to previous decades. This is contrary to the what the computer models predicted and what the media warned about.

Then again the media predicted a Clinton landslide victory in 2016, based on polling and computer models designed to predict a future outcome. As in elections, hurricane predictions have not fared any better.

The media is mobilizing ahead of Florence. The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy reminds everyone, “It’s also important to understand that the impacts of hurricanes are very much influenced by global warming.”

The UK Independent calls it a “global cataclysm”. “In a few decades, there will be almost nothing left. Humans and most living species are in a critical situation.”

Rather than applying some scientific common sense, the climate warriors, in an effort to change the weather, something no one knows how to do, created, “A letter signed by 200 people, including some of the world’s most famous actors, artists and scientists.” I presume this includes such luminaries as Cher, Madonna, Matt Damon, and Katy Perry.

This is the perfect solution to controlling the weather, a letter signed by actors and artists who know as much about climate science as I know about the mating habits of hummingbirds.

Another answer is warning labels, “YouTube is now adding fact checks to videos that question climate change.” Sure, just like they add fact checks to the rantings of David Hogg or Elizabeth Warren on YouTube. So much for freedom of thought and speech. YouTube would put a warning label on what I am writing now.

As it is fall and hurricane season, be prepared for an onslaught of news blaming global warming for each hurricane. And by default, blaming President Trump, especially since he pulled the US out of the nonsensical Paris Climate Accords. The media ignores the reality that hurricanes have always been a part of our climate and ecosystem long before Trump and internal combustion engines.

Brian C Joondeph, MD, MPS, a Denver based physician and writer. Follow him on Facebook,  LinkedIn and Twitter.



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The Race to Get Trump in New York Courts


New York State’s attorney general can investigate and prosecute the businesses and charities of Donald Trump based there, beyond the reach of presidential pardons. Four Democrats are fighting for the opportunity to lead the legal charge. Faced with a choice of a white woman, a white gay guy and two black women, all only marginally qualified, which Democratic candidate for New York attorney general should a progressive Democrat support?

The field also is a colorful illustration of the Democratic Party’s rapid march to the left.

With the primary Thursday, the race is still considered competitive.  Part of the reason is that, despite their identity diversity (a white woman, a white gay man and two black women), the candidates are all in lockstep on policy issues, and all are equally only marginally qualified.  Where these four facially diverse candidates all sit on policy tells a lot about where the Democrats are locally and nationally as we move into the 2018 elections.

Briefly, the four candidates are (alphabetically):

  • Leecia Eve, currently a Verizon executive but formerly an aide to Hillary Clinton,
  • Letitia James, the New York City public advocate,
  • Sean Patrick Maloney, a US congressman representing a Hudson Valley district, and
  • Zephyr Teachout, a law professor at Fordham, perhaps best known for her primary challenge against Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2014 and her memorable name (the gift of hippie parents).  

The latter three are considered competitive.  Ms. James has the endorsement of the state party, Governor Cuomo and many unions, Representative Maloney has the most money, and Professor Teachout has the endorsement of both the New York Times and the New York Daily News as well as many prominent progressives.

The Democrats’ field is wide open because the previous occupant, Eric Schneiderman had to resign due to sex abuse allegations. But he had turned the office into a forward battalion of the anti-Trump resistance.  In addition to bringing or joining numerous lawsuits with other Democrat state attorneys general against a wide range of Trump administration policies, Schneiderman had used his position in the President’s home state to launch investigations against Trump’s businesses and charitable foundation. 

Should Trump use pardons to stymie federal criminal actions, New York state criminal prosecutions may still be possible, or so declare all the candidates.

This use of the office was paramount in the primary candidates’ debate at John Jay College in Manhattan.  The candidates vied to declare their unyielding opposition to the President from New York City.  So predominant was this theme that, at one point, the moderators asked what other policies the candidates would pursue beside opposition to Trump.  (Nonetheless Zephyr Teachout could not resist repeating that that was her top priority.)

To be fair, there were other issues that all the candidates all agreed on.  They would be unrelenting in their actions against business, especially Wall Street and real estate developers.  They vowed to carry forward the anti-Wall Street crusade that got Eliot Spitzer the nickname, “the sheriff of Wall Street.”  Spitzer parlayed his service as state attorney general into a successful run for the governorship, a post he occupied until resigning in a prostitution scandal.  (That their most prominent Democratic predecessors had both been credibly accused of abusing women was never explicitly addressed in the debate.)  And all agreed that they would fight the pervasive corruption in the (Democrat-controlled) state government, which has seen over 30 officials prosecuted or forced to resign.  Governor Cuomo’s nonchalance in the face of these scandals was mentioned only briefly, but Ms. James did seem uncomfortable about his endorsement.  Interestingly, the moderators did not ask how the candidates would respond to the obvious question of the general election, which is wouldn’t electing a Republican be a good response to Democrat corruption?

The uniformity of the candidates’ positions is matched by the sameness of their backgrounds.  Other than Ms. James’ brief stint as an assistant attorney general, none has ever been a prosecutor, or otherwise involved in law enforcement.  Indeed, none have very extensive experience practicing law at all.  (In fact, Professor Teachout has only just been licensed to practice law in New York.)  What legal experience they have has often focused on ideologically driven agenda, and service as Democratic apparatchik of various sorts. 

Absent from the debate or the candidates’ platforms is any concept of the state attorney general’s role as the chief law enforcement officer of the state (unless the defendant is Donald Trump, or perhaps a landlord or the Catholic church).  At the debate no mention was made of crime at all other than on Wall Street.  And no mention was made of the role of previous attorney generals’ aggressive anti-business agenda in earning New York’s rank as the 49th worse state to do business, due in large measure to its hostile legal environment.

So, how does a good Democrat decide who to vote for?  Undistinguishable by background or positions, there remains the candidates’ identities as members of aggrieved groups.  But how do you score that?  Do you get one point per group membership, giving Ms. James and Ms. Eve two points each over one each for Ms. Teachout and Mr. Maloney?  Or is there a more subtle evaluation? At the debate on Tuesday, both Ms. James and Mr. Maloney explicitly mentioned their aggrieved status in their introductions.  And the well-funded Mr. Maloney’s TV ads have focused on his status as a married gay man.  Since New York legalized gay marriage even before the Supreme Court wrote it into the Constitution, it would seem to no longer be an issue.

However, the legality of gay marriage would not be the reason Mr. Maloney mentions it so prominently.  In today’s Democratic Party, identity signaling is central, and the measure of one’s identity value is the intensity of one’s grievance.  As a white man facing three women, two of them black, it is critical that Mr. Maloney up his grievance score.

And this is where we find the Democrats today.  There is no need to make even token acknowledgments of the need to fight violent crime, promote a positive business environment or any of the other quotidien concerns of a state attorney general.  All that matters is the intensity of one resistance to Donald Trump and ideological zeal.

One should note that whoever wins the Democratic primary will have a Republican opponent in the general election.  Keith Wofford has several decades experience as a practicing attorney.  His expertise is in collection litigation, which might be summarized as following the money.  Given the extensive corruption in New York government, this seems like quite a pertinent skill set.  Mr. Wofford also happens to be black.  However, one suspects that in this Democrat-dominated one-party state, a candidate’s minority status only counts if one also parrots the approved white liberal ideology.

James W. Lucas is an attorney in New York City.  He is author of Are We The People? How We the People Can Take Charge of Our Constitution and other works on legal and constitutional subjects.

New York State’s attorney general can investigate and prosecute the businesses and charities of Donald Trump based there, beyond the reach of presidential pardons. Four Democrats are fighting for the opportunity to lead the legal charge. Faced with a choice of a white woman, a white gay guy and two black women, all only marginally qualified, which Democratic candidate for New York attorney general should a progressive Democrat support?

The field also is a colorful illustration of the Democratic Party’s rapid march to the left.

With the primary Thursday, the race is still considered competitive.  Part of the reason is that, despite their identity diversity (a white woman, a white gay man and two black women), the candidates are all in lockstep on policy issues, and all are equally only marginally qualified.  Where these four facially diverse candidates all sit on policy tells a lot about where the Democrats are locally and nationally as we move into the 2018 elections.

Briefly, the four candidates are (alphabetically):

  • Leecia Eve, currently a Verizon executive but formerly an aide to Hillary Clinton,
  • Letitia James, the New York City public advocate,
  • Sean Patrick Maloney, a US congressman representing a Hudson Valley district, and
  • Zephyr Teachout, a law professor at Fordham, perhaps best known for her primary challenge against Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2014 and her memorable name (the gift of hippie parents).  

The latter three are considered competitive.  Ms. James has the endorsement of the state party, Governor Cuomo and many unions, Representative Maloney has the most money, and Professor Teachout has the endorsement of both the New York Times and the New York Daily News as well as many prominent progressives.

The Democrats’ field is wide open because the previous occupant, Eric Schneiderman had to resign due to sex abuse allegations. But he had turned the office into a forward battalion of the anti-Trump resistance.  In addition to bringing or joining numerous lawsuits with other Democrat state attorneys general against a wide range of Trump administration policies, Schneiderman had used his position in the President’s home state to launch investigations against Trump’s businesses and charitable foundation. 

Should Trump use pardons to stymie federal criminal actions, New York state criminal prosecutions may still be possible, or so declare all the candidates.

This use of the office was paramount in the primary candidates’ debate at John Jay College in Manhattan.  The candidates vied to declare their unyielding opposition to the President from New York City.  So predominant was this theme that, at one point, the moderators asked what other policies the candidates would pursue beside opposition to Trump.  (Nonetheless Zephyr Teachout could not resist repeating that that was her top priority.)

To be fair, there were other issues that all the candidates all agreed on.  They would be unrelenting in their actions against business, especially Wall Street and real estate developers.  They vowed to carry forward the anti-Wall Street crusade that got Eliot Spitzer the nickname, “the sheriff of Wall Street.”  Spitzer parlayed his service as state attorney general into a successful run for the governorship, a post he occupied until resigning in a prostitution scandal.  (That their most prominent Democratic predecessors had both been credibly accused of abusing women was never explicitly addressed in the debate.)  And all agreed that they would fight the pervasive corruption in the (Democrat-controlled) state government, which has seen over 30 officials prosecuted or forced to resign.  Governor Cuomo’s nonchalance in the face of these scandals was mentioned only briefly, but Ms. James did seem uncomfortable about his endorsement.  Interestingly, the moderators did not ask how the candidates would respond to the obvious question of the general election, which is wouldn’t electing a Republican be a good response to Democrat corruption?

The uniformity of the candidates’ positions is matched by the sameness of their backgrounds.  Other than Ms. James’ brief stint as an assistant attorney general, none has ever been a prosecutor, or otherwise involved in law enforcement.  Indeed, none have very extensive experience practicing law at all.  (In fact, Professor Teachout has only just been licensed to practice law in New York.)  What legal experience they have has often focused on ideologically driven agenda, and service as Democratic apparatchik of various sorts. 

Absent from the debate or the candidates’ platforms is any concept of the state attorney general’s role as the chief law enforcement officer of the state (unless the defendant is Donald Trump, or perhaps a landlord or the Catholic church).  At the debate no mention was made of crime at all other than on Wall Street.  And no mention was made of the role of previous attorney generals’ aggressive anti-business agenda in earning New York’s rank as the 49th worse state to do business, due in large measure to its hostile legal environment.

So, how does a good Democrat decide who to vote for?  Undistinguishable by background or positions, there remains the candidates’ identities as members of aggrieved groups.  But how do you score that?  Do you get one point per group membership, giving Ms. James and Ms. Eve two points each over one each for Ms. Teachout and Mr. Maloney?  Or is there a more subtle evaluation? At the debate on Tuesday, both Ms. James and Mr. Maloney explicitly mentioned their aggrieved status in their introductions.  And the well-funded Mr. Maloney’s TV ads have focused on his status as a married gay man.  Since New York legalized gay marriage even before the Supreme Court wrote it into the Constitution, it would seem to no longer be an issue.

However, the legality of gay marriage would not be the reason Mr. Maloney mentions it so prominently.  In today’s Democratic Party, identity signaling is central, and the measure of one’s identity value is the intensity of one’s grievance.  As a white man facing three women, two of them black, it is critical that Mr. Maloney up his grievance score.

And this is where we find the Democrats today.  There is no need to make even token acknowledgments of the need to fight violent crime, promote a positive business environment or any of the other quotidien concerns of a state attorney general.  All that matters is the intensity of one resistance to Donald Trump and ideological zeal.

One should note that whoever wins the Democratic primary will have a Republican opponent in the general election.  Keith Wofford has several decades experience as a practicing attorney.  His expertise is in collection litigation, which might be summarized as following the money.  Given the extensive corruption in New York government, this seems like quite a pertinent skill set.  Mr. Wofford also happens to be black.  However, one suspects that in this Democrat-dominated one-party state, a candidate’s minority status only counts if one also parrots the approved white liberal ideology.

James W. Lucas is an attorney in New York City.  He is author of Are We The People? How We the People Can Take Charge of Our Constitution and other works on legal and constitutional subjects.



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Why Was Disco Ever Popular? Blame Fake News.


While Donald Trump has become famous for railing on about “Fake News,” the media have become quick to defend their integrity.  However, the depth of the media’s lies is apparent and may be deeper than most imagine.

Let’s start with what is probably one of the greatest cultural frauds in recent history, though it is mostly unknown today: Saturday Night Fever.

Many of us were roughly the same age as Tony Manero, the hero in the 1977 movie, when it came out.  The movie hijacked American culture for about two years, rocketing disco up the charts, until a Disco Demolition Night at Comiskey Park in 1979 put an end to genre almost overnight.

Three months before disco’s demise, a Newsweek April 2, 1979 cover confidently proclaimed that disco had won the culture wars.  Rock ‘n’ roll was dead.  But a few months later, by the fall of 1979, disco was gone.  What happened?

What happened was that the disco culture was a house of cards.  The signature statement of that culture, Saturday Night Fever, was a total fraud.

The movie, and the disco fad, were based on an article, “Inside the Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night,” that appeared in New York Magazine in June 1976.

Over the past few months, much of my time has been spent in watching this new generation.  Moving from neighborhood to neighborhood, from disco to disco, an explorer out of my depth, I have tried to learn the patterns, the old/new tribal rites.

The problem was that the story was mostly made up.

Twenty years later came a bombshell.  In December 1997 New York magazine published an article in which Cohn confessed that there never was a Vincent.  There was no “Lisa”, “Billy”, “John James”, “Lorraine” or “Donna” either.  While 2001 Odyssey existed, it wasn’t the way the writer described it in 1976.  The whole scene of disco-loving Italians, as mythologised in Saturday Night Fever, was exaggerated.  The most bizarre detail was that his disco protagonists were in fact based on mods Cohn had known in London.

So what? you might ask.

To those who remember, that fraud led to the glorification of a disco culture.  But it was never as organic as the media portrayed it.  It could be propped up for only so long.  In 1979, the straw man was easily toppled.

It seems that Nik Cohn, the magazine writer who penned the purported true story of a Brooklyn dancer named “Vincent”– the basis for Travolta’s Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever – for New York magazine, admitted this week in New York that he made the whole thing up.

Up to that point, disco had existed, to be sure, but it was a sideline.  Occasionally, it could break through to the top, as with “The Hustle,” but it never would have become the cultural imperative it became without media lies.  It was foisted on us.  Disco music often carried a homosexual message that would have killed its mainstream popularity had it been left to its own devices, as this 1979 skit from Saturday Night Live demonstrated in the show’s parody of the overtly homosexually themed Village People.

I first met the Village Persons two years ago[.] … Now, to introduce them from the perspective of a young person, who can enjoy their [The Village Persons] music without understanding its homosexual connotations[.]

Had the youth of the 1970s been told that this whole disco cultural wave was the exaggeration of a British writer, amplified by a “homosexual mafia” in the arts community, do you seriously think disco would have taken off to the extent it did?  Not in the 1970s!

That disco fell so fast in 1979 is evidence that it was artificial to begin with.

What is scary is that this admitted lie still holds a grip on the culture, especially in Brooklyn, where the image is still lauded, parodied, and beloved.  Well, good luck with Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, where Tony Manero lived, ever regaining that faded glory.  The neighborhood is now heavily Muslim.

Of course, deceptive media have been the historic norm.

The Hollywood image of the Wild West, full of all-American white cowboys, was deceptive.  The West was heavily Hispanic, with a considerable number of blacks and immigrants.  White Americans were a bare majority in some places.  But that would not sell to movie audiences.

The sinking of the Lusitania in 1915 was portrayed by the media as an insult to America.  In reality, the ship was British, and it was transporting weapons, which is why it sank so fast – the German torpedo hit a magazine.

It’s not just the media.  Revisionist historians started rewriting the history of the Civil War around 1900, trying to exonerate the South, turning the Confederacy into a noble cause about states’ rights.  But the fact is that a lot of the states that seceded listed the defense of slavery as their motivation.  As Confederate vice president Alexander Stephens put it:

Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition.

After the war, no one wanted to admit that.  So history books got rewritten.  Hollywood purchased Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind to give us a great movie but terrible history.  Remember that it was the Democrats who supported slavery, secession, the Confederacy, and later Jim Crow.  Blacks have been fed lies about the Democratic Party ever since.

Trump’s problem with “fake news” does not begin to scratch the surface.  The fault lies in ourselves.  People don’t want the truth.

The ancient Greeks understood this when they asked, “What is Truth?”  The sad fact is, humans prefer comfortable lies.

Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who wishes he had availed himself more fully of the opportunity to learn Spanish better in high school, lo those many decades ago.  He runs a website about the Arab community in South America.

While Donald Trump has become famous for railing on about “Fake News,” the media have become quick to defend their integrity.  However, the depth of the media’s lies is apparent and may be deeper than most imagine.

Let’s start with what is probably one of the greatest cultural frauds in recent history, though it is mostly unknown today: Saturday Night Fever.

Many of us were roughly the same age as Tony Manero, the hero in the 1977 movie, when it came out.  The movie hijacked American culture for about two years, rocketing disco up the charts, until a Disco Demolition Night at Comiskey Park in 1979 put an end to genre almost overnight.

Three months before disco’s demise, a Newsweek April 2, 1979 cover confidently proclaimed that disco had won the culture wars.  Rock ‘n’ roll was dead.  But a few months later, by the fall of 1979, disco was gone.  What happened?

What happened was that the disco culture was a house of cards.  The signature statement of that culture, Saturday Night Fever, was a total fraud.

The movie, and the disco fad, were based on an article, “Inside the Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night,” that appeared in New York Magazine in June 1976.

Over the past few months, much of my time has been spent in watching this new generation.  Moving from neighborhood to neighborhood, from disco to disco, an explorer out of my depth, I have tried to learn the patterns, the old/new tribal rites.

The problem was that the story was mostly made up.

Twenty years later came a bombshell.  In December 1997 New York magazine published an article in which Cohn confessed that there never was a Vincent.  There was no “Lisa”, “Billy”, “John James”, “Lorraine” or “Donna” either.  While 2001 Odyssey existed, it wasn’t the way the writer described it in 1976.  The whole scene of disco-loving Italians, as mythologised in Saturday Night Fever, was exaggerated.  The most bizarre detail was that his disco protagonists were in fact based on mods Cohn had known in London.

So what? you might ask.

To those who remember, that fraud led to the glorification of a disco culture.  But it was never as organic as the media portrayed it.  It could be propped up for only so long.  In 1979, the straw man was easily toppled.

It seems that Nik Cohn, the magazine writer who penned the purported true story of a Brooklyn dancer named “Vincent”– the basis for Travolta’s Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever – for New York magazine, admitted this week in New York that he made the whole thing up.

Up to that point, disco had existed, to be sure, but it was a sideline.  Occasionally, it could break through to the top, as with “The Hustle,” but it never would have become the cultural imperative it became without media lies.  It was foisted on us.  Disco music often carried a homosexual message that would have killed its mainstream popularity had it been left to its own devices, as this 1979 skit from Saturday Night Live demonstrated in the show’s parody of the overtly homosexually themed Village People.

I first met the Village Persons two years ago[.] … Now, to introduce them from the perspective of a young person, who can enjoy their [The Village Persons] music without understanding its homosexual connotations[.]

Had the youth of the 1970s been told that this whole disco cultural wave was the exaggeration of a British writer, amplified by a “homosexual mafia” in the arts community, do you seriously think disco would have taken off to the extent it did?  Not in the 1970s!

That disco fell so fast in 1979 is evidence that it was artificial to begin with.

What is scary is that this admitted lie still holds a grip on the culture, especially in Brooklyn, where the image is still lauded, parodied, and beloved.  Well, good luck with Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, where Tony Manero lived, ever regaining that faded glory.  The neighborhood is now heavily Muslim.

Of course, deceptive media have been the historic norm.

The Hollywood image of the Wild West, full of all-American white cowboys, was deceptive.  The West was heavily Hispanic, with a considerable number of blacks and immigrants.  White Americans were a bare majority in some places.  But that would not sell to movie audiences.

The sinking of the Lusitania in 1915 was portrayed by the media as an insult to America.  In reality, the ship was British, and it was transporting weapons, which is why it sank so fast – the German torpedo hit a magazine.

It’s not just the media.  Revisionist historians started rewriting the history of the Civil War around 1900, trying to exonerate the South, turning the Confederacy into a noble cause about states’ rights.  But the fact is that a lot of the states that seceded listed the defense of slavery as their motivation.  As Confederate vice president Alexander Stephens put it:

Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition.

After the war, no one wanted to admit that.  So history books got rewritten.  Hollywood purchased Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind to give us a great movie but terrible history.  Remember that it was the Democrats who supported slavery, secession, the Confederacy, and later Jim Crow.  Blacks have been fed lies about the Democratic Party ever since.

Trump’s problem with “fake news” does not begin to scratch the surface.  The fault lies in ourselves.  People don’t want the truth.

The ancient Greeks understood this when they asked, “What is Truth?”  The sad fact is, humans prefer comfortable lies.

Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who wishes he had availed himself more fully of the opportunity to learn Spanish better in high school, lo those many decades ago.  He runs a website about the Arab community in South America.



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Mississippi homecoming queen boots game-winning extra point…


OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (AP) — One Mississippi high school senior had to quickly discard her crown after being named homecoming queen — and put on a football helmet.

Kaylee Foster was crowned homecoming queen of Ocean Springs High School before Friday night’s football game.

She then put on her football uniform and later kicked the winning extra point to lead her team to a 13-12 victory over George County High School, local news outlets reported.

Foster kicked two field goals earlier, giving her a majority of the team’s points.

Primarily a soccer player, Foster has been kicking with the football varsity since she was a sophomore. She’s been a member of the homecoming court for four years.

She put her crown back on after the game, posing for photos in her football uniform and tiara.

Asked whether she was more nervous before the homecoming queen announcement or before her kick, she told The Mississippi Press , “I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to be homecoming queen, but I was pretty sure I was going to make that kick.”

___

This story has been corrected to show that Foster kicked a game-winning extra point, not field goal.



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The Question of Palestinian Self-Determination


Peace between the State of Israel and the Palestinians will be a little late this year.  It is a truism that peace is made with your enemies, but the problem is that the latter may still continue hostilities.  This was conspicuous on September 1, 1967 at the Khartoum Summit, attended by eight Arab heads of state who called for continued belligerency against Israel and issued the “three nos” statement: no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, and no negotiations with it.  Since then, the Palestinians have never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

Hostilities persist. On September 6, 2018, a number of bus stops in Central London were plastered with signs reading, “Israel is a racist endeavor.”  This was a parody of the clause in the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) definition of anti-Semitism, finally accepted the previous day by the British Labor Party, “that denying the Jewish people the right to self-determination such as claiming the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor” is anti-Semitic.  The vandalism was organized by the London Palestine Action group, which opposed to the Labor Party decision and which claimed responsibility for the signs, part of its war against “Israeli apartheid.”

Another feature of the war is waged by the 83-year-old Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of the PLO and now in the fourteenth year of his four-year term as president of the Palestinian Authority.  In a speech to the Palestinian Central Council on January 14, 2018, he declared that Israel is a colonial project that has nothing to do with Judaism.  He demanded an apology and reparations from the U.K. for the Balfour Declaration and denied that the U.S. could be a mediator in the Middle East.  The rival Hamas, ruling the Gaza Strip, has called for the “liberation” of Ashkelon, Beersheba, Acre, and Haifa.

These extreme statements and behavior are indicative of the realities hindering the resolution of the conflict.  A more balanced, though not neutral, view of the conflict is presented in a brilliant, well argued, and controversial new book, Preventing Palestine: A Political History from Camp David to Oslo (Princeton University Press) by Seth Anziska, an American lecturer at University College, London.  Anziska assumes that the “Palestinian Question” is at the heart of the regional conflict.  The book is based on detailed research; interviews; recently declassified documents, especially about the 1982 Israeli war in Lebanon; and analysis of what the author calls “uncomfortable truths.”

Anziska reveals that as a student at a Yeshiva in a settlement in Gush Etzion, he became concerned with the lack of attention to the fate of Palestinians and non-Jewish inhabitants of Israel and to the issue of a Palestinian state.  That outlook, concern for Palestinians, remains at the heart of his book, with its generally critical view of Israeli policies.  Linking Camp David and the Oslo Accords, he holds that Camp David led to the “triumph of an Israeli vision” in suppressing the path to Palestinian self-determination.

Anziska goes over much of the familiar background of relations between Palestinians and Israel and believes, somewhat arrogantly, that much of it has been ignored or glossed over.  The main point of his book is to trace why the negotiations starting with the Camp David Accords of September 17, 1978 among President Sadat, Prime Minister Begin, and President Carter, which led to a peace treaty in 1979, did not lead to a Palestinian state.  What prevented Palestinian sovereignty?  The Accords focused not on Palestinians, but on normalization of Egypt-Israel relations, the return of Sinai to Egypt, and opening of the Suez canal to Israeli ships.  It was the first formal recognition of Israel by an Arab state.

Anziska comments that President Sadat sacrificed Palestinian rights and a Palestinian homeland for his own objectives.  Sadat’s trip to Jerusalem on November 19, 1977, and peace with Israel, whether for domestic economic reasons, strategic interests, frustration with the Geneva peace conference, movement away from the Soviet orbit, or desire for the return of Sinai to Egypt, served as a stumbling block for the PLO, to which he was hostile.

Camp David called for an autonomous self-governing authority in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and recognized the “legitimate rights of the Palestinian people,” but it did not deal with the Palestinian right of self-determination.  Anziska emphasizes the role of Begin, who, besides wanting continuing settlement in the occupied territory, opposed the idea of Palestinian statehood and proposed limited Arab autonomy.  The inherent paradox is that a peace agreement between Israel and Egypt led to failure of Palestinian aspirations.

Anziska’s book appears on the 25th anniversary of the Oslo Accords on September 13, 1993, a meeting of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat, with President Bill Clinton moderating.  The Palestinian Authority, the P.A., was set up as the official representative of the Palestinian people and given limited self-government of the Gaza Strip and most of the West Bank, but not as a Palestinian state.  The Accords called for withdrawal of Israeli military from Palestinian territories.

Anziska implies that Arafat could be a partner in the peace process and that the PLO was moving from armed struggle to diplomacy.  This has always seemed a remote possibility.  Rabin later confessed to Elie Wiesel that initially he thought Arafat was the solution but became convinced he was the problem.  His conviction was correct.  Arafat in a speech on May 10, 1994 in Johannesburg declared that the Oslo Accords were a modern version of the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah 628, a treaty signed and soon broken.

It is arguable that Arafat was never genuinely interested in peace but cynically planning resistance.  Certainly it was he, not the visit of Ariel Sharon to the Temple Mount on September 28, 2000, who was responsible for the Second Intifada in 2000 that led to death of 1,000 Israelis and 4,000 Palestinians.  Anziska partly excuses the actions of Arafat, who was constrained by the need for factional consensus, given the contending factions in the PLO.

The book provides a critical analysis of factors preventing the emergence of a Palestinian state.  At the core is Begin’s insistence on limited Palestinian self-determination and self- rule for the “Arab inhabitants of Judea and Samaria,” neither a nation nor people in their own right.  He criticizes the U.S. for going along with this and undermining the prospects of collective rights of self-determination.

Peace between Egypt and Israel came at expense of sovereignty of Palestine.

Anziska gives little attention to the Palestinian terrorism that was a major factor.  Among the terrorist incidents were the Munich Olympic massacre, 1972; the Achille Lauro hijacking, October 7, 1985; the First Intifada, 1987; the March 11, 1978 Fatah commando coastal road massacre, killing 30 civilians; the suicide bombing on Dizengoff Street, Tel Aviv, 1994; and the killing of 19 at Beit Lid Junction, January 1995.

Anziska might also have given more attention to Israeli proposals for a Palestinian demilitarized state if Israel was recognized as the state of the Jewish people.  This was proposed by Benjamin Netanyahu on June 14, 2009 in his speech at Bar Ilan University; by Ehud Barak at Camp David in July 2000; by Ariel Sharon on December 2003; and by Ehud Olmert in January 2006.  The refusal of Palestinians to discuss the proposals is a revealing reminder that the root of the conflict is not the construction of settlements or Israeli soldiers in the West Bank; rather, it has been and remains the refusal of Palestinians to recognize the right of the Jewish people to have a state of their own.

Anziska asks whether the Camp David legacy is so deeply entrenched in terms of preventing a Palestinian state that the peace process was and is bound to fail.  His controversial book provides a useful starting point for discussion, but his argument must be seen in the context of Palestinian negative actions, activism for BDS against the State of Israel, and false accusations of Israel as an apartheid and racist state.  If Benjamin Franklin were considering this context, he might have utilized the axiom, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Peace between the State of Israel and the Palestinians will be a little late this year.  It is a truism that peace is made with your enemies, but the problem is that the latter may still continue hostilities.  This was conspicuous on September 1, 1967 at the Khartoum Summit, attended by eight Arab heads of state who called for continued belligerency against Israel and issued the “three nos” statement: no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, and no negotiations with it.  Since then, the Palestinians have never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

Hostilities persist. On September 6, 2018, a number of bus stops in Central London were plastered with signs reading, “Israel is a racist endeavor.”  This was a parody of the clause in the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) definition of anti-Semitism, finally accepted the previous day by the British Labor Party, “that denying the Jewish people the right to self-determination such as claiming the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor” is anti-Semitic.  The vandalism was organized by the London Palestine Action group, which opposed to the Labor Party decision and which claimed responsibility for the signs, part of its war against “Israeli apartheid.”

Another feature of the war is waged by the 83-year-old Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of the PLO and now in the fourteenth year of his four-year term as president of the Palestinian Authority.  In a speech to the Palestinian Central Council on January 14, 2018, he declared that Israel is a colonial project that has nothing to do with Judaism.  He demanded an apology and reparations from the U.K. for the Balfour Declaration and denied that the U.S. could be a mediator in the Middle East.  The rival Hamas, ruling the Gaza Strip, has called for the “liberation” of Ashkelon, Beersheba, Acre, and Haifa.

These extreme statements and behavior are indicative of the realities hindering the resolution of the conflict.  A more balanced, though not neutral, view of the conflict is presented in a brilliant, well argued, and controversial new book, Preventing Palestine: A Political History from Camp David to Oslo (Princeton University Press) by Seth Anziska, an American lecturer at University College, London.  Anziska assumes that the “Palestinian Question” is at the heart of the regional conflict.  The book is based on detailed research; interviews; recently declassified documents, especially about the 1982 Israeli war in Lebanon; and analysis of what the author calls “uncomfortable truths.”

Anziska reveals that as a student at a Yeshiva in a settlement in Gush Etzion, he became concerned with the lack of attention to the fate of Palestinians and non-Jewish inhabitants of Israel and to the issue of a Palestinian state.  That outlook, concern for Palestinians, remains at the heart of his book, with its generally critical view of Israeli policies.  Linking Camp David and the Oslo Accords, he holds that Camp David led to the “triumph of an Israeli vision” in suppressing the path to Palestinian self-determination.

Anziska goes over much of the familiar background of relations between Palestinians and Israel and believes, somewhat arrogantly, that much of it has been ignored or glossed over.  The main point of his book is to trace why the negotiations starting with the Camp David Accords of September 17, 1978 among President Sadat, Prime Minister Begin, and President Carter, which led to a peace treaty in 1979, did not lead to a Palestinian state.  What prevented Palestinian sovereignty?  The Accords focused not on Palestinians, but on normalization of Egypt-Israel relations, the return of Sinai to Egypt, and opening of the Suez canal to Israeli ships.  It was the first formal recognition of Israel by an Arab state.

Anziska comments that President Sadat sacrificed Palestinian rights and a Palestinian homeland for his own objectives.  Sadat’s trip to Jerusalem on November 19, 1977, and peace with Israel, whether for domestic economic reasons, strategic interests, frustration with the Geneva peace conference, movement away from the Soviet orbit, or desire for the return of Sinai to Egypt, served as a stumbling block for the PLO, to which he was hostile.

Camp David called for an autonomous self-governing authority in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and recognized the “legitimate rights of the Palestinian people,” but it did not deal with the Palestinian right of self-determination.  Anziska emphasizes the role of Begin, who, besides wanting continuing settlement in the occupied territory, opposed the idea of Palestinian statehood and proposed limited Arab autonomy.  The inherent paradox is that a peace agreement between Israel and Egypt led to failure of Palestinian aspirations.

Anziska’s book appears on the 25th anniversary of the Oslo Accords on September 13, 1993, a meeting of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat, with President Bill Clinton moderating.  The Palestinian Authority, the P.A., was set up as the official representative of the Palestinian people and given limited self-government of the Gaza Strip and most of the West Bank, but not as a Palestinian state.  The Accords called for withdrawal of Israeli military from Palestinian territories.

Anziska implies that Arafat could be a partner in the peace process and that the PLO was moving from armed struggle to diplomacy.  This has always seemed a remote possibility.  Rabin later confessed to Elie Wiesel that initially he thought Arafat was the solution but became convinced he was the problem.  His conviction was correct.  Arafat in a speech on May 10, 1994 in Johannesburg declared that the Oslo Accords were a modern version of the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah 628, a treaty signed and soon broken.

It is arguable that Arafat was never genuinely interested in peace but cynically planning resistance.  Certainly it was he, not the visit of Ariel Sharon to the Temple Mount on September 28, 2000, who was responsible for the Second Intifada in 2000 that led to death of 1,000 Israelis and 4,000 Palestinians.  Anziska partly excuses the actions of Arafat, who was constrained by the need for factional consensus, given the contending factions in the PLO.

The book provides a critical analysis of factors preventing the emergence of a Palestinian state.  At the core is Begin’s insistence on limited Palestinian self-determination and self- rule for the “Arab inhabitants of Judea and Samaria,” neither a nation nor people in their own right.  He criticizes the U.S. for going along with this and undermining the prospects of collective rights of self-determination.

Peace between Egypt and Israel came at expense of sovereignty of Palestine.

Anziska gives little attention to the Palestinian terrorism that was a major factor.  Among the terrorist incidents were the Munich Olympic massacre, 1972; the Achille Lauro hijacking, October 7, 1985; the First Intifada, 1987; the March 11, 1978 Fatah commando coastal road massacre, killing 30 civilians; the suicide bombing on Dizengoff Street, Tel Aviv, 1994; and the killing of 19 at Beit Lid Junction, January 1995.

Anziska might also have given more attention to Israeli proposals for a Palestinian demilitarized state if Israel was recognized as the state of the Jewish people.  This was proposed by Benjamin Netanyahu on June 14, 2009 in his speech at Bar Ilan University; by Ehud Barak at Camp David in July 2000; by Ariel Sharon on December 2003; and by Ehud Olmert in January 2006.  The refusal of Palestinians to discuss the proposals is a revealing reminder that the root of the conflict is not the construction of settlements or Israeli soldiers in the West Bank; rather, it has been and remains the refusal of Palestinians to recognize the right of the Jewish people to have a state of their own.

Anziska asks whether the Camp David legacy is so deeply entrenched in terms of preventing a Palestinian state that the peace process was and is bound to fail.  His controversial book provides a useful starting point for discussion, but his argument must be seen in the context of Palestinian negative actions, activism for BDS against the State of Israel, and false accusations of Israel as an apartheid and racist state.  If Benjamin Franklin were considering this context, he might have utilized the axiom, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”



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The Time Sean Hannity Almost Beat Up Some Liberal Thugs


The Irish Scrapper from Long Island has America’s back.

Next time you think the mainstream media are winning, just remember that Sean is out there making sure that doesn’t happen.  

Hannity knows how to pick his battles – but don’t make the mistake of thinking he doesn’t know how to fight.  The Fox News Channel’s conservative powerhouse is not to be trifled with – ideologically or physically. 

I once witnessed it firsthand.  Few know the story about Sean and several friends (Geraldo Rivera, Ainsley Earhardt, and my old boss Laura Ingraham) being confronted by a group of Antifa-type thugs after attending a Trump inaugural event at the Warner Theater in Washington, D.C. 

Few people know that Sean has been trained in Krav Maga, the self-defense technique pioneered by the Israeli military.  He also works out at an MMA gym almost daily. 

Hannity doesn’t back down.  Hannity is Irish.  Hannity doesn’t like left-wing bullies. 

The Antifa thugs almost found out just how much he doesn’t like them.  But Sean had the presence of mind not to take the bait in what would have inevitably become a mainstream media pounding: “Conservative commentator Sean Hannity attacks peaceful protesters!” 

Those peaceful protesters, by the way, were throwing trash and rocks at us – and likely had their phones ready to film a confrontation they started but that would have been edited to make them appear to be the victims.

Instead, Sean made sure his friends were safe first; he basically put Geraldo (who had a foot injury of some kind) into an SUV.  I got Ingraham safely into the car without incident. 

The Antifa thugs desperately needed a knuckle sandwich, but instead, Hannity chose to combat them on the field of ideas. 

He does that every afternoon and night from the perch of his highly successful radio and TV shows.  On those fields of battle, he’s even more dangerous as an adversary – which explains the ferocity of the fire directed his way almost daily by his anti-Trump critics.  

Several prominent conservative commentators – including Hannity and Rush Limbaugh as well as Laura Ingraham – have been targeted by the left with smear campaigns and financial warfare, most notably the recent attempts to strong-arm their advertisers into abandoning their shows via boycotts and other flanking actions.  These are necessary maneuvers because the left has been unable to defeat conservative ideas.

Nor have they been able to shout down the pugnacious host – whose working-class background taught him never to give in to bullies. 

It’s a lesson he learned from Ronald Reagan – and one that helped Trump win the presidency.  Both men also won because they didn’t forget the working-class men and women of America whom the establishment long ago abandoned.

Hannity has been particularly effective at countering the barrage of media bias, phony Russian collusion hysteria, and miscarriages of justice taking place since Donald Trump became president.  It’s all part of a concerted effort to undo the 2016 election, which Trump unforgivably won in a fair fight. 

That rubs Sean the wrong way.  For him, this is personal as well as political. 

Everyone should thank Hannity for manning the ramparts – and defending not just this president, but moral sanity against what has become a kind of demented witch hunt. 

Sean dares to ask: Where’s the collusion?  The Comey-Mueller jihad is long on innuendo and short on facts.  He has been insisting that the president – along with everyone else – has a right to equal protection of the laws. 

Even Hillary has that right – though in her case, the laws have applied almost not at all.

For such effrontery, the attacks on Hannity have been as vicious as they have been relentless.

The other side knows that Sean is one of perhaps a dozen – maybe fewer – critical voices on the right with the will and the firepower to win.  There are also his personal ties to the president – very much like the personal relationship between Mark Twain and Ulysses Grant – for which he has been singled out for special abuse.

Most of all, Sean isn’t a screamer, as so many on the left are.  He doesn’t accuse his opponents of “racism” or “sexism” or any of the other “isms” used to stifle debate.  Instead, he presents facts, logic, and moral principles, refusing to abandon any of them.

For example, he recently pointed out the fact that “equal treatment under the law is dead” – in reference to the Torquemada-esque persecution of Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen for anything that could be made to stick, in the hope that perhaps some of it might stick to the president.  He contrasted that with the nearly narcoleptic treatment given the felonious former first lady and secretary of state, Hillary Clinton – who admitted to actions that could have landed her in a federal prison.

Hannity’s consistent articulation of the principles at stake makes him extremely dangerous to those on the left – whose only principle seems to be the getting and keeping of power, by whatever means necessary. 

What they want is a milksop, someone pliable.  A go-along, get-along kind of guy.  The kind of guy who cares more about making friends and making money – and not offending – than being right. 

Sean Hannity is not one of those guys.  It’s MMA time, baby. 

A.J. Rice is the CEO of Publius PR.  In his media career he has produced or promoted Laura Ingraham, Judge Jeanine Pirro, Monica Crowley, Melissa Francis, George P. Bush, Dr. Herb London, Dr. Tevi Troy, Coach Howard Schnellenberger, and many others.  Find out more at publiuspr.com.

Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr.

The Irish Scrapper from Long Island has America’s back.

Next time you think the mainstream media are winning, just remember that Sean is out there making sure that doesn’t happen.  

Hannity knows how to pick his battles – but don’t make the mistake of thinking he doesn’t know how to fight.  The Fox News Channel’s conservative powerhouse is not to be trifled with – ideologically or physically. 

I once witnessed it firsthand.  Few know the story about Sean and several friends (Geraldo Rivera, Ainsley Earhardt, and my old boss Laura Ingraham) being confronted by a group of Antifa-type thugs after attending a Trump inaugural event at the Warner Theater in Washington, D.C. 

Few people know that Sean has been trained in Krav Maga, the self-defense technique pioneered by the Israeli military.  He also works out at an MMA gym almost daily. 

Hannity doesn’t back down.  Hannity is Irish.  Hannity doesn’t like left-wing bullies. 

The Antifa thugs almost found out just how much he doesn’t like them.  But Sean had the presence of mind not to take the bait in what would have inevitably become a mainstream media pounding: “Conservative commentator Sean Hannity attacks peaceful protesters!” 

Those peaceful protesters, by the way, were throwing trash and rocks at us – and likely had their phones ready to film a confrontation they started but that would have been edited to make them appear to be the victims.

Instead, Sean made sure his friends were safe first; he basically put Geraldo (who had a foot injury of some kind) into an SUV.  I got Ingraham safely into the car without incident. 

The Antifa thugs desperately needed a knuckle sandwich, but instead, Hannity chose to combat them on the field of ideas. 

He does that every afternoon and night from the perch of his highly successful radio and TV shows.  On those fields of battle, he’s even more dangerous as an adversary – which explains the ferocity of the fire directed his way almost daily by his anti-Trump critics.  

Several prominent conservative commentators – including Hannity and Rush Limbaugh as well as Laura Ingraham – have been targeted by the left with smear campaigns and financial warfare, most notably the recent attempts to strong-arm their advertisers into abandoning their shows via boycotts and other flanking actions.  These are necessary maneuvers because the left has been unable to defeat conservative ideas.

Nor have they been able to shout down the pugnacious host – whose working-class background taught him never to give in to bullies. 

It’s a lesson he learned from Ronald Reagan – and one that helped Trump win the presidency.  Both men also won because they didn’t forget the working-class men and women of America whom the establishment long ago abandoned.

Hannity has been particularly effective at countering the barrage of media bias, phony Russian collusion hysteria, and miscarriages of justice taking place since Donald Trump became president.  It’s all part of a concerted effort to undo the 2016 election, which Trump unforgivably won in a fair fight. 

That rubs Sean the wrong way.  For him, this is personal as well as political. 

Everyone should thank Hannity for manning the ramparts – and defending not just this president, but moral sanity against what has become a kind of demented witch hunt. 

Sean dares to ask: Where’s the collusion?  The Comey-Mueller jihad is long on innuendo and short on facts.  He has been insisting that the president – along with everyone else – has a right to equal protection of the laws. 

Even Hillary has that right – though in her case, the laws have applied almost not at all.

For such effrontery, the attacks on Hannity have been as vicious as they have been relentless.

The other side knows that Sean is one of perhaps a dozen – maybe fewer – critical voices on the right with the will and the firepower to win.  There are also his personal ties to the president – very much like the personal relationship between Mark Twain and Ulysses Grant – for which he has been singled out for special abuse.

Most of all, Sean isn’t a screamer, as so many on the left are.  He doesn’t accuse his opponents of “racism” or “sexism” or any of the other “isms” used to stifle debate.  Instead, he presents facts, logic, and moral principles, refusing to abandon any of them.

For example, he recently pointed out the fact that “equal treatment under the law is dead” – in reference to the Torquemada-esque persecution of Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen for anything that could be made to stick, in the hope that perhaps some of it might stick to the president.  He contrasted that with the nearly narcoleptic treatment given the felonious former first lady and secretary of state, Hillary Clinton – who admitted to actions that could have landed her in a federal prison.

Hannity’s consistent articulation of the principles at stake makes him extremely dangerous to those on the left – whose only principle seems to be the getting and keeping of power, by whatever means necessary. 

What they want is a milksop, someone pliable.  A go-along, get-along kind of guy.  The kind of guy who cares more about making friends and making money – and not offending – than being right. 

Sean Hannity is not one of those guys.  It’s MMA time, baby. 

A.J. Rice is the CEO of Publius PR.  In his media career he has produced or promoted Laura Ingraham, Judge Jeanine Pirro, Monica Crowley, Melissa Francis, George P. Bush, Dr. Herb London, Dr. Tevi Troy, Coach Howard Schnellenberger, and many others.  Find out more at publiuspr.com.

Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr.



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