Free Markets, Free People

Bruce McQuain

Will justice actually be served?

Anthony DeChristopher over at The Hill thinks the latest finds on Hillary’s email server are a “game changer”.  And he makes a good point … it’s a game changer for someone:

Special Access Programs (SAP) is a game changer.  It is now undeniably clear that the results of the FBI investigation will be the end of one of two things:  Hillary’s bid for the White House or the legitimacy of the FBI—at least when it comes to prosecuting cases on the mishandling of classified material.

The FBI’s reputation has been tarnished in the last decade or so.  No longer is it thought of quite in the same way it once was.  A series of missteps, scandals and problems have lowered the once sterling reputation of the law enforcement agency.

On the other hand is a powerful political figure that’s in the running for President of the United States and just happens to be of the same party and the presently serving President of the United States.  To make it clear, the FBI works for the executive department under the Department of Justice.  And, of course, the DoJ is headed by an Obama appointee.  Oh, and remember, the Dems want to hold on to the White House.

Hillary Clinton is a “win at any price” person.  She badly wants to be the first female President of the United States.  Badly.  Very, very badly.

The FBI wants to polish up its reputation as the incorrigible and incorruptible law enforcement agency that isn’t swayed or impacted by politics, but simply enforces the law.

Something has got to give.

DeChristopher is apparently a former Special Forces soldier who gives you a brief run down of the gravity of the Clinton offense.

First, when imagery that is classified SECRET//NOFORN (no foreign national) is viewed, regardless of the absence of classification markings, it is distinctly evident. Second, any documents that contain or reference HUMINT is always classified SECRET, and if specific names of sources or handlers are mentioned, they are at a minimum SECRET//NOFORN.  Third, SIGINT is always classified at the TS level.  It’s not uncommon for some SI to be downgraded and shared over SECRET mediums, however, it is highly unlikely that a Secretary of State would receive downgraded intelligence.  Finally, SAP intelligence has been discovered on Clinton’s private server, and many are now calling this the smoking gun.  SAP is a specialized management system of additional security controls designed to protect SAR or Special Access Required.  SAR has to do with extremely perishable operational methods and capabilities, and only selected individuals who are “read on” or “indoctrinated” are permitted access to these programs.  The mishandling of SAP can cause catastrophic damage to current collection methods, techniques and personnel.

Got it? This isn’t something that is hard to figure out, and anyone who has worked at high levels of government for years already knows all this.  Now comes the chaser:

In other words, if you have worked with classified material for more than a day, it seems highly implausible that someone could receive any of the aforementioned over an un-secure medium without alarm bells sounding.  However, reading about a Special Access Program on an unclassified device would make anyone even remotely familiar with intelligence mess their pantsuit.

You can tell it has put her highness off her stride, but she’s resurrecting the VRWC to cover that.

However this is going to be interesting to watch.  There is a large amount of evidence that points to her being directly responsible for a horrific, nay, epic security breach at the highest level.

Will the FBI do it’s job?  Or is this, like so many Clinton scandals, going to end up with no action being taken when you can be sure if it was you or I, we’d be frog-marched so fast to the local hoosegow that it would make our heads swim.

But we’re the little people, aren’t we?

~McQ

The death knell of establishment politics?

As much as the media would like to cast what’s going on during the GOP presidential nomination process as a “crisis for the GOP”, the Dems have their own establishment crisis problem.  And it is getting very little media coverage.  But Kim Strassel talks about it today in her WSJ piece.  As much as the Democrats (and media) would like voters to believe the right is melting down and heading toward Tea Party land, it seems clear the left is getting ready to “Move On.”

On both sides, frustration with the establishment is the most evident feature:

Some of Mrs. Clinton’s struggles are self-imposed. She’s a real-world, political version of Pig-Pen, trailing along her own cloud of scandal dust. Even Democrats who like her don’t trust her. And a lot of voters are weary or unimpressed by the Clinton name. For all the Democratic establishment’s attempts to anoint Mrs. Clinton—to shield her from debates and ignore her liabilities—the rank and file aren’t content to have their nominee dictated.

Especially because many of those rank and file belong to a rising progressive movement that has no time or interest in the old Clinton mold. Barack Obama’s biggest legacy may prove his dismantling of the Democratic center. He ran as a uniter, but he governed as a divisive ideologue and as a liberal, feeding new fervor in the progressive wing.

These progressives proved more eager than even the Republicans to steadily pick off Democratic moderates—and helped the GOP to decimate their ranks. The Democratic congressional contingent is now at its smallest size since before FDR. But boy is it pure, and it retains an unwavering belief that its path to re-election is to double down on the Obama agenda.

I have to admit loving the characterization of Hillary as “Pig Pen”.  That notwithstanding, you’d think Hillary, who has prepared for this since Bill first stepped into the White House, would be a natural choice of the left.  But then how does one explain the rise of someone who uses the term “socialist” to describe himself because communist would likely be a bridge too far?  It’s because the left and right have drifted further apart over the years and the “establishment” of both parties has been set adrift.  It’s because to more and more Americans (who didn’t live during the Cold War and didn’t see the wreck the Soviet Union was when it imploded) are enamored with the idea of “equality” as the left now describes it.  Equal income, high minimum wage, free this and free that.  When you’re an economic illiterate, those things are appealing.  And when you further believe the government is the instrument of all things good, well, you’re on the road to serfdom.

Just as Donald Trump is busy calling out the GOP pretenders to the throne, the lefty heroes are undermining the chances of the anointed one:

The president insists that financial institutions were entirely to blame for the 2008 crisis, and that government’s role is to transfer more from those greedy capitalist owners to poor Americans. Out of this class warfare came the likes of Occupy Wall Street, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and today a Sanders campaign that describes “wealth and income equality” as the great “moral issue” of our time.

Mrs. Warren, a progressive hero, went out of her way last week to praise the Sanders Wall Street “reform” plan. Even Joe Biden wanted in on the action, lauding Mr. Sanders and suggesting that Mrs. Clinton was still “relatively new” to the income-inequality debate. Hillary is stuck trying to explain why her campaign donations from bankers aren’t a disqualifier.

The usual subjects have also rallied around the Clinton opposition:

These movements and activists (who also embrace the gun debate, and the women’s-rights debate, and socialized health-care debate) are now the beating heart of the Democratic Party. And they are rallying around Mr. Sanders. MoveOn.org has endorsed Bernie. The liberal Nation magazine has endorsed him. Bill McKibben, the head of 350.org, has endorsed him. Jodie Evans, the co-founder of the antiwar group Codepink has endorsed him. Celebrity activists like Susan Sarandon and Mark Ruffalo are feeling the Bern.

Now no one is saying that all that is enough.  But for both parties, if ever they figured out they had missed their wake up call, this is the season that drills that home.  For too long, both establishment parties have taken their voters for granted, essentially merged into a tax and spend entity that no one is satisfied with, and have missed the proverbial boat for government reform.  Of course, reform is defined differently by the right and left, but you get my point.

The party that is in trouble this year isn’t the GOP or the Democrats, per se.  It is the party of establishment politicians who’ve ignored the restless and frustrated voters one election too many.  People are tired of the Obamafication of politics – talk, talk, talk and then do what the hell you want to do.

We’ll see how it all turns out, but it is one of the more interesting political periods of my lifetime – and I’ve been around since Truman.

~McQ

Who changed the deal?

That’s the question here.  Which entity decided, arbitrarily, to change the conditions of the agreement?

DC officials are furious as Walmart has reneged on a promise to build stores in lower-income areas of the city. Walmart announced last week that they will be shuttering 269 stores throughout the country. (The already-existing three DC stores will remain open.) The company cited the unexpectedly high building and labor costs as to why they would not move forward with the additional locations, but was more open in a meeting as to how DC’s labor laws, including its higher minimum wage, are making it harder to operate a business.

Let’s see.  Was raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour within the District a part of the deal?  Do you think Walmart would have agreed to build had it known that such a raise in labor costs was in the offing?  My guess is “no”.  Thus the citing of “unexpectedly” high … labor costs.   And obviously, it also costs more, then, to build the store in a union town, because when the lowest paid worker gets a raise such as this, guess what happens to the pay of the higher paid workers?  That’s why unions back the minimum wage.

The WaPo sheds some more light on the subject:

Evans said that, behind closed doors, Walmart officials were more frank about the reasons the company was downsizing. He said the company cited the District’s rising minimum wage, now at $11.50 an hour and possibly going to $15 an hour if a proposed ballot measure is successful in November. He also said a proposal for legislation requiring D.C. employers to pay into a fund for family and medical leave for employees, and another effort to require a minimum amount of hours for hourly workers were compounding costs and concerns for the retailer.

“They were saying, ‘How are we going to run the three stores we have, let alone build two more?’ ” Evans said.

Exactly!  When the government that made the deal then changes the conditions, it isn’t the company which is the problem.  It is the government assuming the power to set the labor cost for the company (plus this new fund that’s likely to pass into law) which is at fault.  If anyone should be “furious” it is the company and the citizens now denied the low cost of goods Walmart would have brought to those neighborhoods.  A perfect example of the government engaging in “bait and switch”.

So who, exactly, is it that gets hurt?

Why the very people they were purported to want to help.

The poor.

What a surprise.

~McQ

Stray Voltage

So yesterday was one of those days with a million things to do and not enough time to do them … such as blogging.  Anyway, today, we see a college pushing back against the tyranny of the ignorant:

Oxford University installed its first female vice-chancellor this week, Louise Richardson, who boldly stressed the importance of free speech and critical thinking at university amid roiling student protests.

Addressing students for the first time in her new role, Richardson urged them to be open-minded and tolerant; and to engage in debate rather than censorship, alluding to countless calls from students at Oxford and other universities across the U.K. to ban potentially offensive speakers and rename or remove historical monuments.

“How do we ensure that we educate our students both to embrace complexity and retain conviction?” she asked. “How do we ensure that they appreciate the value of engaging with ideas they find objectionable, trying through reason to change another’s mind, while always being open to changing their own? How do we ensure that our students understand the true nature of freedom of inquiry and expression?”

Richardson’s installment comes as students at Oxford’s Oriel College campaign to dismantle a statue of Cecil Rhodes, the British colonialist who endowed the Rhodes Scholarship.

They claim the monument glorifies a man who was “the Hitler of South Africa” and speaks to “the size and strength of Britain’s imperial blind spot.”

Uh, that’s history, and that’s precisely the message that was conveyed by Ms Richardson to those who would take down Rhode’s statue:

Richardson stood by the university’s chancellor, Lord Patten of Barnes, as he referenced the statue debate, reminding students that history cannot be rewritten “according to our contemporary views and prejudices.” He, too, was forthright in his criticism of speech codes and calls for “no-platforming” controversial speakers.

The point Richardson makes seems to be a difficult one for the SJWs to grasp.  Obviously none of them are Rhodes Scholars.  Good for Louise Richardson.

The “melting pot” makes a comeback:

A generation ago the Europeans, who had bled themselves white in war after war, usually in the service of chauvinistic nationalism, decided they could save the day with a new concept called multiculturalism. The concept was vague but expansive, which celebrated ethnic and other cultural differences and sprinkling them with holy water. “Multi-culti” became fashionable.

Soon Europe’s native minorities were joined by vast new numbers of arrivals from places far from Europe, many from former colonial appendages. By cultivating their differences, rather inviting them to join a melting pot that had worked so well for so long in North America, tolerance and “cultural enrichment” became the norm.

But there’s a growing realization that maybe “multi-culti” hasn’t worked so well, after all. Prominent Europeans are turning their backs on the idea. Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany have called the scheme, however well meant, into serious question.

Segregating by culture, claiming all cultures are as viable as the next and “tolerating” what is intolerable in the native culture do not lead to a harmonious or united nation.  You’d think smart people could have figured that out before going all in on this sort of experiment that had “bad idea” written all over it when it began.  And that’s been proven now, with the wrecked lives of a number of British girls (Rotherham):

The British Home Secretary, Theresa May, told Parliament that “institutionalized political correctness” was responsible for the lack of attention given to the mass rape.

In other words, between protecting over a thousand girls from repeated gang rape and protecting Muslims from being identified as the rapists, British authorities chose to protect multiculturalism and “diversity.” In the competition between multiculturalism and one of the most elementary instincts and obligations of higher civilization — the protection of girls and women from sexual violence — higher civilization lost.

And look what their choice got them.  The authorities need to be in jail for their refusal to do what was right and, by the way, their job.  Oh, and feminists?  Where are you?

How bad a candidate is Hillary Clinton?  This is just an indicator:

Bernie Sanders has a 19-point lead over Hillary Clinton among Democratic and independent women ages 18 to 34, according to a USA Today/Rock the Vote poll.

The Vermont senator, who has been surging in the polls in the last two weeks, won 50 percent compared to Clinton’s 31 percent among millennial women.

However, I have to say, if your choice on that side of the political spectrum is narrowed down to these two, you’re stuck with two bad candidates anyway.

Yeow.  Really?

A poll out Thursday from the Pew Research Center shows more Americans distrust sharing their personal information with social media companies, smart cars and homes than office surveillance cameras, retail loyalty programs and health services websites.

According to the study, 54 percent of American adults polled found the prospect of security cameras in their workplace capable of tracking employee performance and attendance with facial recognition technology and stockpiled footage “acceptable,” compared to 51 percent who said it was “not acceptable” to give up personal information in exchange for free use of a social media platform, which would use the data to target users with ads.

“More acceptable”?  How about finding neither “acceptable.”

By the way, if you’re wondering why Clinton is losing millennial women to Sanders, this may be the cause:

As for Mrs. Clinton, she has clearly been rattled by Mr. Trump’s merciless resurrection of her alleged complicity in the sometimes brutal handling of women involved in her husband’s dramas. This reminds everyone of—and introduces young voters, who were children during the Gennifer Flowers through Monica Lewinsky stories to—the whole sordid underside of Clintonism. Mrs. Clinton clearly wasn’t expecting it, and she bobbled. She has never gone up against a competitor like Mr. Trump.

History is a bear, and this is a history that I would bet (especially in the light of the Cosby problem) that many of those women weren’t familiar.  It really puts “hollow” in the claim of feminism Clinton has been trying to sell them.  Instead, it shouts “enabler”.  Add in all the other negatives and the candidate looks even less attractive to them.  Most of us would consider it to be well earned shadenfruede.

Is the next recession already teed up?  And will it be worse than 2008?

A major contributor for this imminent recession is the fallout from a faltering Chinese economy. The megalomaniac communist government has increased debt 28 times since the year 2000. Taking that total north of 300 percent of GDP in a very short period of time for the primary purpose of building a massive unproductive fixed asset bubble that adds little to GDP.

Now that this debt bubble is unwinding, growth in China is going offline. The renminbi’s falling value, cascading Shanghai equity prices (down 40 percent since June 2014) and plummeting rail freight volumes (down 10.5 percent year over year), all clearly illustrate that China is not growing at the promulgated 7 percent, but rather isn’t growing at all. The problem is that China accounted for 34 percent of global growth, and the nation’s multiplier effect on emerging markets takes that number to over 50 percent.

China has been in trouble for a while.  In my best Rev. Wright voice, I wonder if the “chickens are coming home to roost?”  I also wonder if so, what that means in terms of stability for China’s ancient totalitarian ruling class.

And in the world of participation trophies and no consequences, this was inevitable:

With nothing but hope and her faulty judgement, Cinnamon Nicole allegedly spent her entire life savings buying up all the Powerball tickets she could afford. But the Cordova resident ended up a broke loser when none of her lucky numbers matched Wednesday’s $1.6 billion Powerball numbers.

So what’s a penniless woman to do when she’s still all filled with hope but not a hint of common sense? Create a GoFundMe page, get donations and “spend another fortune trying to hit it big again.” That’s what Nicole did before GoFundMe decided they weren’t going to stand idly by while she makes a mockery of the crowdfunding site and shut her Powerball Reimbursement page down.

And yes, before GoFundMe shut her down, she had actually raised $800.

*sigh*

Have a great weekend.

~McQ

 

SOTU: all about narrative … and fantasy

Another SOTU, another trip to Fantasy Land.  I saw it all summed up in one wag’s sentence: “Obama has put Joe Biden in charge of finding a cure for cancer.”

There were some blatant lies and some pure nonsense in the mix last night.  One that stood out to me was this:

I told you earlier all the talk of America’s economic decline is political hot air. Well, so is all the rhetoric you hear about our enemies getting stronger and America getting weaker. The United States of America is the most powerful nation on Earth. Period. It’s not even close. We spend more on our military than the next eight nations combined. Our troops are the finest fighting force in the history of the world.

No nation dares to attack us or our allies because they know that’s the path to ruin. Surveys show our standing around the world is higher than when I was elected to this office, and when it comes to every important international issue, people of the world do not look to Beijing or Moscow to lead — they call us.

Surveys?  Really?  That’s his “source” of information.

I wonder if the surveys answered this question posed by David French.

Yet if America is the world’s most powerful nation, why are so many of our worst enemies far stronger and more dangerous than when Obama took office?

Probably not.  In fact, much like Hitler’s “paper divisions” weren’t worth the paper they appeared on, I’d guess these surveys are about as worthless.

Claudia Rosett does a yoeman’s job of setting the record straight:

Here’s the real State of the Union, which is inextricably linked to the increasingly alarming state of the world: It is open season on America.

Not that America is by any stretch a lone target. Terrorist slaughter has become a staple of the world news. On the same Tuesday that just saw American sailors seized by Iran, the news was filled earlier in the day with accounts of a terrorist bombing in the historic center of Istanbul (which the State Department at least labeled “terrorist,” as opposed to “workplace violence”). ISIS, al Qaeda, the Taliban and a host of their kindred organizations are bedeviling the civilized world.

And then there are the sovereign-state behemoths: an expansionist China and an aggressive Russia, pushing the boundaries and arming for war — as the U.S. guts its military and turns over its resources to a domestic bureaucracy that is busy regulating America’s old free markets and resulting economic muscle into fading memory.

Obama’s presidency began in 2009 with apologies for America, a “reset” with Russia, a bow in Cairo and an outstretched hand to Iran — promising that this would boost America’s standing and security, and pave the way to more peaceful world. After seven years of American retreat, appeasement, vanishing red lines, diplomatic farce and an implausible nuclear deal with Iran, the clear message to every opportunist on the planet is: grab what you can.

But, as this graphic illustrates, Mr. Obama resides down another road the rest of us can’t afford to live on.

narrative_versus_reality_article_1-12-16-1

It is, as usual, all about the narrative and before he ever stepped to the podium, we knew that.  We knew we’d hear the narrative even when it is so obviously fantasy.  Reality is and has been banished from this administration as being unfriendly if not down right hostile to the narrative.

Are we the most powerful nation on earth?  Yes, I think so … but that was so before Mr. Obama.  I see it as much less of a fact now.  The most powerful military in the world?  Yes, but again, in decline.  And I’m sorry, but there is no nation that I know of that is calling the US for help and certainly not to “lead”.  Not with this yahoo in the Oval Office.  In fact, as Rosett points out, two very powerful nations are pushing the envelope even as we speak and our answer, thus far has been the chirping of crickets.  China has decided to take over the South China sea and has established its first military base in Africa.  What have we done or said about that?  Nothing.

It’s nice to be considered the most powerful nation on earth with the most powerful military.  But it means nothing if that power isn’t used to advance the interests of your nation and its citizens or those of your allies.  That doesn’t mean war, it usually means deterrence – maintaining the peace or the status quo in some instances.  And it requires leadership, something we’ve been without for the last 7 plus years.  Its about drawing limits and enforcing them.  We have refused to do either these past 7 years.

The world knows that.  That’s why little pop-gun states like Iran feel they can pretty much do what they want without fear of all that power we have.  And that means we really don’t have any power at all.  That’s been proven any number of times over the years with red lines crossed and the obvious refusal to recognize or meaningfully engage ISIS.  At home the refusal to even say “radical Islam” has diminished the stature of this administration domestically as well.

We’re leaderless in a perilous world.  Yes, we’re powerful – potentially.  But without resolution and the threat of meaningful action that potential means absolutely nothing … except in the narrative.

~McQ

 

The New Left – hypocrisy and entitlement

One of the things always clear about oppressive and totalitarian ideologies is the rules only apply to the ruled.  And the rulers see nothing wrong or hypocritical about that.  Today’s liberalism is precisely like that and demonstrably so.  For instance, as Victor Davis Hanson points out:

The rich supporter of affirmative action still uses, without apology, the old-boy network to pull privileged strings to get his own son admitted to the proper college. Al Gore flies on a carbon-spewing private jet, saving the planet by getting to conferences more quickly and enjoyably. High-tax proponent John Kerry docks his yacht where he can avoid taxes; how else to ensure downtime for furthering social justice?

A spread-the-wealth Obama, who warns others about making too much money and profiting at all the wrong times, nonetheless chooses the tony haunts of the moneyed and privileged — the Hawaiian resort coast, Martha’s Vineyard, Rancho Mirage — in preference to the old Chicago hood or even Camp David.

And then there are the Clintons who seem to believe that the laws of the land simply shouldn’t be something they have to follow. These are only a few of the hypocritical examples that highlight the left’s bankruptcy.  The rules are for the little people, as is the facade these sorts of people erect to attract their votes.

The examples of the left’s hypocrisy abound and aren’t at all hard to find (btw, before anyone wonders, yes, there is hypocrisy on the right … see the GOP Congress, but this is about a pernicious ideology which usually devolves into a form of oppression).   For instance, this beauty:

State Senator R.C. Soles (D – NC) Long time Anti-Gun Advocate State Senator R.C. Soles, 74, shot one of two intruders at his home … The Senator, who has made a career of being against gun ownership for the general public, didn’t hesitate to defend himself with his own gun when he believed he was in immediate danger and he was the victim.

And he has every right to defend himself.  But he’s all for taking your right away and my guess is he felt no hypocrisy at all when he defended himself with a private firearm.  Among the torch bearers of today’s progressives or liberals, there is a sense of entitlement that is astonishing.  Camp David?  My goodness, use a private and secure location built specifically for presidential vacations when one can use whatever funds needed to take dream vacations at the expense of others (especially in the midst of one of the worst economic downturns in modern history)?!  Heaven forbid! “I’m entitled!”

It is that attitude that is both infuriating and dangerous. Because it inures them to the reality that they’re attitudes and actions lead to oppression.  Since they never believe their ideology necessarily pertains to them, it isn’t difficult then for them to impose it on us … for our own good, you see.  It is a “do as I say, not as I do” ideology.

It is also an ideology that constantly gets tripped up when it’s ideas clash.  More hipocrisy ensues:

Thousands of first- and second-generation Middle Eastern immigrants, at least some of them recent arrivals, went on a rampage in many German cities over the New Year’s holidays, pawing, manhandling, and sexually assaulting hundreds of German women — a classic foretaste of the coming collisions between the Morlock premodern and the Eloi postmodern worlds.

But, in essence, the progressive leaders of Europe have suppressed these events, playing all sorts of games through the media while, I’m sure, expecting you to believe they believe strongly in women’s rights.  You certainly wouldn’t know it by their actions.  Which brings me to something else Hanson said:

How does one adjudicate when various –isms and –ologies conflict with one another — radical feminism versus sexual emancipation, environmentalism versus the customs of indigenous peoples, free speech versus correct speech, integration and free expression versus safe spaces and trigger warnings? Does not even PC marijuana tar the lungs, give off second-hand smoke, and, in double-martini fashion, impair driving?

Yet in truth, liberal correctness trumps all lesser progressive agendas. The master ring of leftwing politics rules the lesser rings of race, class, gender, immigration, and environment. Ideology alone makes Barack Obama, prep-schooled in Honolulu, a more authentic representative of the Jim Crow South than Clarence Thomas, or Bill Richardson more Latino than Marco Rubio.

 

His point is dead on.  “Liberal correctness” is the trump card they use when finally forced to choose between two competing portions of the ideology.  In this case, the rights of women take second place to the PC staple of multiculturalism (a failure if ever there was one).  One mustn’t presume to judge a culture based on our own because apparently good and evil are malleable concepts and we have no right to decide what is good or evil.

As for authenticity, they are the deciders of what is or isn’t authentic.  Why?  Because a) we’ve allowed them to introduce authenticity into all aspects of race, class, culture and gender to the point that now favored minorities are allowed to whine about “appropriation” of their culture.

It’s all a big mess – but at bottom it’s all about the imposition of “right thinking” and “right acting” according to them.  But it doesn’t apply to them.

Just you.

~McQ

The West’s voluntary crisis

I’m more than a little bemused by the current self-inflicted problem Europe is experiencing and the US seems more the willing to allow to happen here, given that the current administration pretty much shares the ideals under which Europe is foundering.  I certainly understand the wish to aid people displaced by wars.  But since when did that mean committing to the mass immigration of a religious culture that has, demonstrably, refused to assimilate into the dominant culture of the countries into which they’re being imported (this isn’t a new phenomenon for Europe … it’s been going on for decades).  How does Europe, which has existent large populations of unassimilated migrants of the same religious culture assume this will somehow be different?

Of course, we’re talking about Islam.  Well, we’re talking about it.  As Andrew McCarthy points out, those in favor of welcoming this mass importation are talking about “fantasy Islam”.  This New Year’s Eve, reality slapped fantasy Islam and its adherents in the chops:

Nearly 200 women have filed criminal complaints in Cologne, the vast majority charging all manner of sexual assault. There have been few arrests, though, and nearly none involving sex crimes. The Muslim men used a tactic that has escaped the notice of fantasy Islam devotees but is well known to those of us who’ve followed the scant reports on the rape jihad as it has proceeded from Tahrir Square to Malmö to Rotherham: A group of men encircles the targeted woman or girl, trapping her while walling off police and other would-be rescuers. Knowing they are a protected class, the Muslim men have no fear of the cops — “You can’t do anything to me,” and “Mrs. Merkel invited me here,” are just some of the reported taunts. By the time “help” reaches one victim, the assailants have moved on to the next.

But, but … that’s not supposed to happen. Not in fantasy Islam which is all about peace and coexistence.  In fact, those that believe that nonsense are all about naiveté and willful ignorance.  And there is a building backlash to this absurd policy:

A poll published by the Sunday edition of the influential tabloid Bild showed 49% of Germans feared a repeat of the Cologne events in their hometowns. Similar New Year’s Eve assaults were reported on a smaller scale in the cities of Hamburg and Stuttgart.

Authorities, who have described the violence in Cologne as unprecedented in the country, have also said that most potential suspects had applied for asylum in Germany or were in the country illegally. Cologne’s police chief was forced out Friday amid criticism over the police’s failure to prevent the attacks and its apparent hesitation to acknowledge that the attackers may have been asylum applicants. The police chief, Wolfgang Albers, denied trying to cover up the backgrounds of suspected attackers.

The attacks have also provoked an emotional debate in Germany on how to deal with sexual violence. Cologne Mayor Henriette Reker drew heavy criticism after saying that women should keep an arm’s length distance from men in situations that could escalate. She later apologized, saying she didn’t mean to set a code of conduct for women and that the attackers were the ones responsible in cases of sexual violence.

Since the New Year’s eve attacks in numerous cities in Europe, the narrative that has been spun by the backers of this mass immigration has been reduced to tatters.  There’s even evidence other incidents have been essentially covered up.  In Sweden, for example, a major newspaper stands accused of no failing to report such problems, but essentially refusing to do so.

And the media in the US seems just as complicit in trying to deny what happened on NYE was anything to do with refugees or, by inference, Islam:

“It was not clear,” the New York Times opaquely explains, “that any of the men involved were among those who arrived in Germany over the past year from conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.”

While the NYT tacitly agrees that the incidents happened, in this land of #allwomenshouldbebelieved, it apparently has difficulty believing the descriptions of the men those 200 assaulted women identified because of what that would mean in terms of identifying their religion.  One thing that seems to be clear, however … it wasn’t a mob of German (or other) European males.

So the fellow travelers invested in fantasy Islam continue to refuse reality and are reduced to shouting “Islamaphobia” at anyone who disagrees.

The situation here isn’t much different.  I understand Obama will have a Syrian refugee sitting in the balcony for his (thankfully) last State of the Union speech.  It is obviously a symbolic presence meant to assure us that there’s nothing to fear by importing fighting age men from an Islamic country into this nation.  Because, you know, government is on the job and has this rigorous vetting process before any refugees are allowed in the country.  You have nothing to fear.

Oh, wait:

Two men born in Iraq who came to the U.S. as refugees had court dates in California and Texas Friday on terror-related charges, as investigators say one of the men wrote that he wanted to travel to Syria because he was “eager to see blood.”

How did that happen?  One assumes those two were also a product of that “rigorous vetting process”.  How many more like them are still at large?

As for those who might come here from Syria, guess who is handling their screening?

The recent terrorism-related arrests of two refugees from the Middle East again showed the national security risks associated with the present refugee screening process. A new report by the Center for Immigration Studies analyzes this refugee resettlement screening process and the large role played by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the entity entrusted with the entire pre-screening process for Syrian refugees being considered for resettlement in the United States.

The UNHCR screens refugees and then presents the U.S. with potential resettlement cases; 22,427 Syrian refugee cases have been submitted. The selecting, pre-screening, and referring refugees for resettlement, as well as the humanitarian care of the well over four million Syrian refugees, has been accomplished with what amounts to one staff member for 2, 862 refugees. The selection process uses the following guidelines: “The mere absence of information, or one’s inability to find information that supports an applicant’s claim, should not in itself justify a negative eligibility decision.” The only requirement for applicants’ statements is that they “must be coherent and plausible, and must not run counter to generally known facts.”

Yes, friends, that same entity whose “peacekeeping” troops are so well known for rape.  I’m sure that gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling, no?

So why is it that Europe’s leadership and media continue to invest themselves in fantasy Islam?  Here’s one explanation.  Remember when the Catholic church’s sex scandal broke?  Remember how abysmally the church handled it?  Remember how badly it all went for the Church?

Instead like the church for political, economic or cultural reasons the countries of Europe hung back and the communities became isolated and unassimilated.  And when the cultural effect went beyond the results have been devastating, In Rotherham, in Birmingham, in Cologne, in Oslo in Paris and in literally thousands of other places the authorities have decided to go all in with a comfortable lie.  They have chosen to pretend that millions of unassimilated muslims in the west are not a problem, they have chosen to ignore the no go zones, the violence, the murder of their citizen and even the rape of their women and children for the sake of proclaiming that none of these things have anything to do with Islam, its practice or its culture.

Like the church scandal the driving force here is fear and a desire to put off a confrontation that this big lie is making more a more likely.  And like the church scandal the longer the west remains in denial the greater the cost of solving the problem

So again, the questions – reasonable questions – arise concerning these refugees.  Why must they come here (why can’t they be resettled in cultures in the area they come from which are compatible with theirs?)?  And if they come here, shouldn’t they assimilate instead of segregate and demand their own culture be both tolerated and implemented?  How does one implement cultural demands that require their own brand of law be superior to ours?  Or that women essentially be treated as chattel?  How many stonings, rapes, honor killings and acid attacks would we be willing to endure in the name of tolerance?

Victor Davis Hanson gives us 4 points necessary for successful immigration, the model for the past in the US.  They are a key to why, unlike Europe, America has been successful with its immigration over the centuries.  While the left scoffs at the idea of a “melting pot” and even warns that using the term is a “micro aggression”, Europe’s “salad bowl” proves their alternative to be … another fantasy.  Here’s Hanson:

“REFLECTIONS ON WISE AND SUICIDAL IMMIGRATION,”

One, immigrants came legally. Breaking the law was a lousy way to start American residency. How can an immigrant continue to respect and follow his adopted country’s legal system when his first act as an American resident is to mock federal law?

Two, immigration was blind and diverse. It did not favor one particular group over another. The more diverse the immigrant blocs, the less likely they were to form lasting separate communities. There were, of course, mass influxes of immigrants in the past, but they were quite diverse: gobs of Germans, hordes of Irish, masses of Italians and Sicilians, huge influxes of Poles and Jews, lots of Japanese and Chinese, large arrivals of Mexicans. But note how diverse and varied were the immigrants’ places of origin and how destined they were to bump into each other upon arrival. Each group was wary of the other trying to use immigration as a crass tool to boost their own political fortunes by bringing in more kin than their rivals.

Three, immigrants usually arrived in manageable numbers; mass arrivals were usually periodic and episodic, not continuous and institutionalized. Only that way could the melting pot absorb newcomers and avoid the tribalism and factionalism that had always plagued so many prior failed multi-ethnic national experiments abroad. To avoid the fate of Austria-Hungary or Yugoslavia, immigrants—geographically, politically, culturally—by needs were soon intermixed and intermingled.

Four, both hosts and immigrants insisted on rapid Americanization. Immigrants learned English, followed all the laws of their host, and assumed America was good without having to be perfect. Otherwise they would have stayed home.

Fantasy, willful ignorance and an abject refusal to confront evil lead to the mess Europe now finds itself facing.  Reality, as usual, doesn’t deal nicely with those who refuse to recognize it.  The threat to our country comes from those who believe in a culture and religion that, as they would have it implemented, is incompatible with Western ideals.  They have no business here.

Hopefully we won’t duplicate the stupidity with which Europe has so naively committed itself.  There is nothing wrong with slowing things down and ensuring we aren’t allowing those who don’t want to or won’t assimilate into our country.  We don’t need or want those who are like the two just arrested in California and Texas.  And, if that is “Islamaphobia”, then so be it.  I’ll live with the tag.

~McQ

Stray Voltage

Another thing I decided during my holiday hiatus was to make “Stray Voltage” a regular Friday feature. Why? Well, it covers a number of subjects/issues and gives everybody a lot to talk about over the weekend.

Question: Why is it the SJWs insist there is a “rape culture” on campus, but are mostly silent about the real rape culture that is rearing its ugly head in Europe among Muslim “refugees”?

Mr. Obama at his recent townhall meeting:

Obama didn’t hold back when asked by CNN moderator Anderson Cooper about the notion that the federal government — and Obama in particular — wants to seize all firearms as a precursor to imposing martial law. He blamed that notion on the NRA and like-minded groups that convince its members that “somebody’s going to come grab your guns.”

I have only one thing to say to that Mr. Obama: “If you like your insurance, you can keep your insurance.”

Well here’s a surprise.  Another late night release, and more evidence that Hillary Clinton should be prosecuted:

The latest batch of emails released from Hillary Clinton’s personal account from her tenure as secretary of state includes 66 messages deemed classified at some level, the State Department said early Friday.

In one email, Clinton even seemed to coach a top adviser on how to send secure information outside secure channels.

All but one of the 66 messages have been labeled “confidential”, the lowest level of classification. The remaining email has been labeled as “secret.” The total number of classified emails found on Clinton’s personal server has risen to 1,340 with the latest release. Seven of those emails have been labeled “secret.”

Does the name Petraeus mean anything to you?  And in comparison his security breaches were minor.  Which makes you wonder what it is going to take to finally see Clinton prosecuted.  I also wonder if the Obama administration may be interested in keeping his executive actions in place after he leaves … enough so they’re willing to make a deal with the Democratic front runner?  I’m sure everyone would be shocked, shocked I tell you, if that was the case.

And while the president is crying and wailing about you folks owning too many guns, the beat goes on:

Two Palestinian men who were born in Iraq and came to the United States as refugees have been arrested in connection with terrorism investigations, federal prosecutors said Thursday.

Imagine that.  Both men of fighting age, both refugees, both engaged in terroristic activities, but I’m the xenophobe (or racist or, well, pick your favorite pejorative)  if I say don’t import trouble in the form of refugee men from Islamic countries that support and foment terrorism?

Finally, Mr. Obama seems to think that if he repeats the same nonsense over and over again, it somehow becomes true.  To wit:

“But we are the only advanced country on Earth that sees this kind of mass violence erupt with this kind of frequency. It doesn’t happen in other advanced countries. It’s not even close. And as I’ve said before, somehow we’ve become numb to it and we start thinking that this is normal.” –President Obama, announcing his new executive orders on guns, January 7, 2016

This claim is simply not true.

This claim is simply not true.  Between January 2009 and December 2015, there are 11 European countries with a higher frequency of these mass public shootings than the US, and 10 European countries with a higher rate of deaths from these attacks.

But hey, this is for the low information citizen who only reads headlines and listens to sound bites (read the whole thing).  What’s that old saying?  A lie can travel around the world before the truth gets its shoes on?  Something like that.  That is why propaganda is so powerful.  And this, my friends, is nothing but propaganda … dutifully retransmitted by an willfully incurious media.

Have a great weekend.

~McQ

The “Agenda” Media

What is that, you may ask?  Well, it’s the “new media” of sorts.  In the old days, reporters reported.  They came up through the ranks and they were fairly objective. They knew their territory and they knew their subject.  Yes, I know about “yellow dog” journalism.  But it wasn’t hidden then under the patina of “objectivity” we suffer through today.   Today’s journalists, for the most part, are agenda journalists.  They have an ideological agenda that has been introduced to them early and nurtured through years of schooling and grad school.

Given what we read and hear, most people would gather that the agenda they follow is that of the left.  Why?  Well, has anyone taken a good hard look at academia lately?  Or is asking that a micro-aggression?  Help, I need a safe space.

Here’s an example.  If you saw a headline that said “Poll: 70 percent believe in climate change“, what would you infer from that?  We all know that “climate change” is the left’s newest code phrase for man-made global warming.  They had “global warming” pretty much shoved down their throats by multitudes of questions they couldn’t answer and conditions that didn’t meet their claims.  So they decided on a squishy term: climate change.

Here’s the term in use:

“Americans know climate action is critical — they’re seeing its impacts with their own eyes. Climate change is a moral issue, a health issue, and a jobs issue — and that’s why the strong majority of Americans want the federal government to do something about it, and support the strong outcome in Paris.”

And naturally, the headline in question reinforces McCarthy’s claim.  “The strong majority of Americans” want the fed to do something about as well as supporting the outcome in Paris.  70% would sure seem like a “strong majority” would’t it?  And “The Hill” is on it, reinforcing the agenda the claim.

Unfortunately for the alarmists, the data again doesn’t support the claim.  The Hill has to admit:
But the support is complicated. Pollsters found that only 27 percent of respondents agree with the overwhelming scientific consensus that human activity is the main cause of climate change.
Oh, so wait, only 27% agree with the government and EPA?   So the headline could have been “27% agree that human activity is the main cause of climate change?”  Well, that’s certainly a different kettle of fish, isn’t it?  One could then assume that while the rest agree that the climate is likely changing and they may believe it has to do with the natural cycles of the earth.  But of course, that wouldn’t further the agenda, would it.   So a deceptive headline and the hope that the marginally informed won’t read any further has to be what The Hill is shooting for here.
Instead, The Hill decides it is the result of partisanship, not a lack of scientific proof:
“The data exposes the extent to which this has become a partisan political issue in the U.S. rather than a scientific issue,” Tony MacDonald, director of Monmouth University’s Urban Coast Institute, said in a statement accompanying the poll results.
Again, nonsense. No mention of the “scientific” problems with the alarmist “science”.  An 18 year hiatus from warming.  Fudged data.  Totally inaccurate models.  Predictions and claims that have shown themselves to be wildly false.  That’s not politics, that’s hype, based on pseudo-science, gone terribly wrong and the American people have recognized it for what it is.  But the claim of partisan politics helps the agenda, because it infers that the other side is simply too ignorant and partisan to see the forest for the trees.
As for what Americans “strongly believe”, the environment, or “climate change”, barely registers as shown here in a Gallup roundup of problems the citizens of this country are concerned with.  It comes in 16th on a list of 23.
gallupproblems2
Yes, that’s right, the environment/pollution weighs in just before “Guns/Gun control”.  Yet these two non-issues are being heavily pursued by those in charge of our agenda driven government with the aid of the media.  Will of the people?  Passe.  Used simply as rhetorical window dressing.  There is no desire to do the people’s will.  There is only a desire to fulfill the political and ideological agenda.   And that’s why the number one issue that concerns the most people is our “Government/Congress/Politicians”.  The facade of popularly sanctioned government is cracking noticeably finally and the intent is clear, even with the agenda media trying to clear the way and patch up the cracks.

It’s this unholy alliance that has helped apply and tighten the shackles that have crippled our abilities to properly exercise our freedoms.   You’d think real journalists would have a natural skepticism about anything government says, yet for the most part, they are the government’s publishing arm, putting out unchecked propaganda at every turn or, as above, twisting information in such a way as to favor the agenda talking points.

But only the agenda of the left.  They’re relentless in their “fact checking” if the agenda is challenged.
All one has to do is consider how the current president, who by any standard has been a total failure at foreign policy, has been left alone by the media where a president on the right would have been challenged at every failure and hounded for answers as to why he’s performing so miserably.

And yet, we see the media instead concentrating its efforts on numbers 16 and 17 on the above list.

Surprise!

~McQ

The political strategy of a crocodile tear

Mr. Obama shed a tear yesterday as he told us why he was going to bypass Congress and enact gun control (at least a small part of it) by executive order.  Speaking of “gun violence” instead of violence in general, he said:

“We do not have to accept this carnage as the price of freedom,” Obama said.

That’s simply poppycock. We don’t have to like it but freedom, as has been said any thousands of times, is not free.  Nor is it pretty or neat.  Nor are there those who don’t suffer because of it. It always has a cost – a price. But the alternative, what most Democrats seem to want, is the state deciding everything you can or cannot do, everything you can or cannot own.  That alternative is unacceptable to those who value freedom and are willing to suffer the cost.

No one is in favor of “carnage”.  But it isn’t the guns which cause the violence, sir.  Figure it out please.  When you tell me that abortion instruments are what kill about a million unborn human beings in the US each year, perhaps I’ll at least consider your thinking to be somewhat consistent.  And of course, that means cars and pools and rope, well you name it, also need to be controlled even more because the “carnage” they cause rivals anything to do with that involving guns.

Gee, given the numbers, perhaps he ought to be going after Planned Parenthood instead of demonizing the NRA.

Oh, and this was rich:

“No matter how many times people try to twist my words around, I taught constitutional law, I know a little bit about this. I get it,” he said. “But I also believe that we can find ways to reduce gun violence consistent with the Second Amendment.”

Apparently he thinks he knows the Constitution, but if true, he’d know it doesn’t allow aristocracy, and certainly it doesn’t allow kings.  Laws are passed through Congress and if the President doesn’t have the heft or gravitas or whatever he needs to see it done, then it doesn’t get done. Obama doesn’t have any of that. And the people have been quite clear that they don’t consider guns or gun control to be much of an issue.  In fact, it barely registers, no pun intended. So instead he  does “work arounds” with executive orders.  Tell us again about how you know the Constitution, please?

But let’s get to the nuts and bolts of what went on yesterday, shall we?  It is about, get ready for it, ideology:

Despite professing an unflinching commitment to curbing gun violence, Obama and Biden have been thwarted by Congress and what Obama calls a lack of national will to change the way Americans think about guns.

Got it.  It’s about changing the way you think about guns.  Its about making them the equivalent of a cigarette.  You remember when cigarettes were popular?   And what happened?  Well, think about it.  It wasn’t about people making poor choices and suffering for them that was the “cause” of their diseases. It wasn’t about their refusal to heed the strident warnings about smoking.  It became “the cigarette”.  That was the “cause”. And it was the cigarette that was killing people, not the people’s choices.  The object became the problem.  People were excused for making poor decisions even though the information that cigarettes caused horrific health problems had been out for years … decades.

The same sort of argument is being made about guns and “the strategy of a tear” was just the latest emotional appeal to a people who’ve been pretty darn logical about guns so far and aren’t buying into the argument as readily as they did with cigarettes.  In fact, they’re not buying into it at all and are, instead, buying more and more guns.  If you can’t get them to swing your way, cry on national TV.  That’ll show ’em how sincere you are.   And, of course, it seems to have fooled a good number of people out there already.

But to the point – this is frustration for Obama because you and most Americans won’t think the way he wants you to.  So?  So screw you, he’ll stamp his feet, hold his breath and make you do it by taking unilateral action.  But he knows the Constitution, by George.

This is just another in a long line of tantrums by this man.  When he can’t get his way, he simply looks for a means to impose his will.  He has no concept of what a President is or what one is supposed to do and he’s certainly no Constitutional scholar.  This is just the latest example.

So why is the cigarette model not working for the left?  For the most part it is because there really is no redeeming value to a cigarette.  But there is tremendous positive value to a gun.  You can’t defend yourself or your family with a cigarette.  You can’t feel more secure in your person with a cigarette.  You can’t protect your life or your property with a cigarette.  So despite the demonization of the object the left has committed itself too, the positive aspects of gun ownership simply won’t be buried, even with a tear.

The bottom line however should be clear – the left will do whatever it thinks necessary to strip Americans of their right to own firearms.  You will see every sort of argument tendered and numbers that, without context, seem horrific.  Such as “30,000” gun deaths – 62% of which are suicides.  Anyone who believes removing guns will prevent suicide just isn’t very serious about discussing suicide.  Japan, which has strict gun control laws, has more suicides than the US.  The problem isn’t the means.  It is the mental state of the person.  35% are homicides, most gang related.  No matter the laws passed, criminals are not going to obey them.  This seems to be a point the left can’t comprehend.  And finally accidents claim most of the remainder (about 606 in 2010).  “Mass shootings”?  A small minority of the final total.  And, in fact, gun violence and gun homicides are and have been trending down for quite some time.

However, like “climate change”, the alarmist hysteria continues despite the fact that the data doesn’t support it.

So now, it is all about an emotion.  A tear.

My freedom isn’t for sale for a tear, crocodile or otherwise, Mr. Obama.

~McQ