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Monday, December 31, 2018

Happy New Year!

image credit: quotessquare.com

from Cleveland Tea Party
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Sunday, December 30, 2018

Frontpage Magazine's Person Of The Year: Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Photo credit: Frontpage Magazine

Frontpage Magazine's Person Of The Year: Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Recognizing the woman fighting on the front lines of the media war

The struggle for the future of this country is being fought in the hearts and minds of its citizens. The media is the enemy and Sarah Huckabee Sanders is the warrior who takes them on day after day.

The huge media sector easily outnumbers the Ouachita Baptist University grad taking them on.

CNN alone has 4,000 employees. The New York Times has nearly as many. And when she singlehandedly faces off against 49 people in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room and the less than 30 people on her staff take on a mainstream media machine of tens of thousands, it’s a true underdog story.

For a year and a half, Sanders has been reporting for duty as the White House Press Secretary. She’s been shouted at, called names, had her appearance demeaned, and was kicked out of a restaurant.  Mainstream media White House correspondents, invariably male, try to talk over her and shout her down. But she’s been so effective that there have been calls by the media to boycott her press briefings.

With Sarah’s success has come a high price. Leftist harassment of Sanders has become so severe that she has become the first press secretary to require secret service protection, including at her home.
. . .
Her stolid dignity and unmovable insistence on telling the truth embarrass the media. Every time Sanders takes on the press corps, they come away looking like deranged, egotistical activists throwing a tantrum. The media, which is built on spinning reality, has smeared her, but it’s never been able to change her. That’s why it’s pondering the idea of just giving up and running away from a 5’6 woman.

And that’s why Sarah Huckabee Sanders is FrontPage Magazine’s Warrior Person of the Year.

Great choice! Read the full report here. She is an amazing woman!
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Thursday, December 27, 2018

President Trump in Iraq, Germany

Another great photo that the mainstream media won't publish. . . (click to embiggen)
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Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Ohio’s incoming elected officials

Cleveland.com has a handy reference page, compiled by Laura Hancock, to “Meet your Newly Elected Ohio Officials”; they’ll be sworn in next month. Click here.
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Monday, December 24, 2018

Sunday, December 23, 2018

GOP obstruction

Rachel Bovard at American Greatness summarizes why the GOPe (that would be the GOP Establishment / Uniparty) never does what it promises to do:

the fight over funding for the wall has become a proxy battle between establishment Republicans who have no intention of helping the president, and the more conservative members who want to deliver on their campaign promises.

Establishment Washington has believed for years that it can run on platform issues like repealing Obamacare, defunding Planned Parenthood, and reforming the immigration system, but then provide dozens of excuses as to why these objectives can’t be met.

First, Republicans said, they needed the House. Then the Senate. Then the White House. But of course, once all of those were delivered, it still wasn’t enough. Now they need 60 votes in the Senate or nothing can happen! They believe that voters are, in fact, dumb enough to keep buying what they’re selling.
. . .
Whether Trump gets his wall funding or not, this shutdown will have the effect of making it very clear who the president’s obstructionists are in both parties. And, to paraphrase the ancient strategist Sun Tzu, it’s always preferable to begin a battle first by clearly identifying your enemy.

Paul Ryan (Uniparty-R) will be gone shortly, but Mitch McConnell (Uniparty-R) was re-elected in 2014. And as Sundance put it:

Nothing will change until Mitch McConnell is defeated. Nothing.

Assuming he runs again in 2020, McConnell is likely to be the No. 1 race to target.
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Thursday, December 20, 2018

Build the Wall

image credit: youtube.com

H/T Free Republic: A campaign aimed at raising money for a border wall on the crowdfunding website GoFundMe has raised more than $5 million of its $1 billion goal in under four days.

The page, called "We The People Will Fund The Wall," was started by Brian Kolfage, a Purple Heart recipient and triple amputee who lost his legs and an arm during a rocket attack in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The campaign was launched earlier this week with a goal of raising $1 billion to donate to the construction of a wall along the southern border of the U.S. Funding for the wall, a major campaign promise of President Donald Trump, has come under questioning in recent weeks as Trump first hard-lined funding negotiations, then retreated.

Trump threatened a partial government shutdown if Congress couldn't pass a budget that included funding for the wall, which Democrats staunchly opposed. He later backed down from the threat, saying he'd find funding another way and allowing for the passage of a funding bill that'd avert a shutdown. 

Kolfage said it's now "our duty as citizens" to raise money for a border wall. In three days, the campaign has raised more than $4 million from nearly 70,000 donors.

"Like a majority of those American citizens who voted to elect President Donald J Trump, we voted for him to Make America Great Again," Kolfage wrote in the campaign. "President Trump's main campaign promise was to BUILD THE WALL. And as he's followed through on just about every promise so far, this wall project needs to be completed still."

Kolfage said the cap is set at $1 billion because that is all GoFundMe allows. He said he is trying to get them to raise the limit.

"If the 63 million people who voted for Trump each pledge $80, we can build the wall," he wrote. "That equates to roughly $5 billion, even if we get half, that's half the wall. We can do this."

In some of the reader comments, several potential donors were waiting to learn how the funds would be managed, how long the project would last, and so forth. Most of these questions and issues are already addressed on the GoFundMe page at the link below. At the time I posted this blog, the total contributed stood at over $5,500,000. And counting.

For the most recent total on the GoFundMe page itself, click here.
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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Update on the Uniparty

image credit: sol1776.blogspot.com 

Angry at Trump if he signs the Continuing Resolution? Sundance puts the latest headlines in perspective:

President Trump said he wouldn’t sign another CR that didn’t fund the border wall.  Right now Mitch and Chuck are writing a CR that doesn’t fully fund the border wall.  Why would Mitch McConnell do that? Because he wants to, that’s why.  UniParty !

Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and Paul Ryan are working to put a take it or leave it bill in front of the President and force him to accept it.  Republicans currently control the House and Senate.  Why would McConnell and Ryan put President Trump into that position?  Because they want to, that’s why.

. . .
it’s not President Trump who is the issue here; it’s the people who oppose him.  Anger toward President Trump is misplaced; but directing all fire against their enemy is what these Machiavellian sorts are professionals at doing.  That’s exactly what this plan is designed to do.  This is politics.

Who opposes Trump?  The people who write the laws.  Mitch, Paul, Nancy and Chuck are the professional political team who do the bidding of the lobbyists and special interests.  It’s a big club, and we, along with President Trump, ain’t in it.  

Getting you mad at President Trump is in the DC interests.  The UniParty knows how to play you.

President Trump represents a second party in Washington DC.  The people who write the laws (lobbyists), and the people who sell the laws (politicians), cannot allow that.  They need to get back to UniParty political business.  They need to get rid of Trump.

Think about it as you direct your fire.

Your enemy is not President Trump.

The entire article is here (and it's long).
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Monday, December 17, 2018

The End of Obamacare?

At his website Legal Insurrection, Prof. William Jacobson thinks the U.S. District judge who ruled the other day that Obamacare is unconstitutional may have the winning argument:

If the ruling holds up on appeal, Obamacare is dead. As a doorknob. Not just the mandate or some other particular provisions. He killed the WHOLE THING.
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Here’s the short version. Texas and other states sued to declare the individual mandate unconstitutional because in the recent tax reform the penalty for failing to pay the mandate was removed. (2nd Amended Complaint here) With the removal of the mandate penalty, the mandate no longer was a function of Congress’ taxing power, which was the basis upon which John Roberts and the liberal Justices on the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the mandate in 2012. The Court conservative and Roberts had ruled the mandate violated the Commerce Clause, but Roberts broke with the conservatives on the tax power issue.

Architects of Obamacare are not happy, and that’s a good sign. Katie Pavlich reports:

Essentially, without the mandate -- Obamacare cannot stand.

Architects of the program, including the guy [Jonathan Gruber} who called Americans "stupid," aren't happy about it. Despite arguing for years the mandate was essential to the success of Obamacare, they're now backtracking in an attempt to save what's left. 

Let’s hope Jacobson and Pavlich are correct.
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Sunday, December 16, 2018

Border Security and Media Malpractice

Rick McKee cartoon credit: teapartyamerica.blogspot.com

Cleveland Tea Party often links to reports concerning illegal immigration issues. Failure to enforce border security and immigration laws have a profound impact on so many fronts, but Cleveland Tea Party points to the enormous costs, whether of welfare, healthcare and problems that accompany illegal drugs, all of which come under one of the three Tea Party platform plans, i.e., fiscal responsibility.

Cleveland Tea Party also regularly links to reports on media malpractice and the 24/7 propaganda we see on television and in the mainstream media. Today, Amalric de Droevig addresses both topics in an article at American Thinker titled “What a child's death on the border says about our country”. De Droevig begins his essay:

The mainstream media's treatment of a young girl's death while in the custody of the Border Patrol is a case study in how the mainstream media control the national narrative and manipulate public opinion to advance their leftist agenda.

The purpose of flooding the internet and the airwaves with propaganda about the death and life of Jakelin Maquin isn't to edify or inform the public; it is to make Americans feel bad about enforcing any immigration laws at all.  The real crime here isn't any wrongdoing on the part of the Border Patrol.  The real crime, according to our Cultural Marxist overlords, is that the Border Patrol exists in the first place.

He further elaborates on the media’s dishonesty and moves on to the grim consequences of opposing border control and law enforcement:

Defending our borders is arguably the most essential duty of government.  Moreover, the enforcement of every single law brings with it certain minor, highly attenuated risks to human life.  If the mere detention of criminals is considered too harsh a measure for our nation to stomach any longer, there is no hope for the rule of law or for the Republic's continued survival.  If our government is permanently unwilling or somehow unable to defend our borders, we should not shut the government down temporarily, as Trump is threatening.  We should shut it down permanently.

The full article is here.
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Friday, December 14, 2018

Good news from the Washington Times

The headline:
Kasich admits he couldn't beat Trump if election held today:
'But that's today. It's ever changing'

The report is here.  
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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The propaganda mill is working overtime

Image credit here

Time Magazine has announced its Person of the Year, actually several Persons of the Year, including “journalist” Jamal Khashoggi who was murdered in Turkey last October.

Who was Jamal Khashoggi? Well, he was not a journalist. He was not a U.S. citizen. He was not even a Green Card holder. Khashoggi was a Saudi national and a political operative for the Muslim Brotherwood. From Daniel Greenfield at FrontPage:

The Khashoggi case demands context.

Before the media and the politicians who listen to it drag the United States into a conflict with Saudi Arabia over a Muslim Brotherhood activist based on the word of an enemy country still holding Americans hostage, we deserve the context.

And we deserve the truth.

The media wants the Saudis to answer questions about Jamal Khashoggi. But maybe the media should be forced to answer why the Washington Post was working with a Muslim Brotherhood propagandist?

And from LiberalForum:

Since Khashoggi's October 2 murder at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey, media across the United States has claimed he was a U.S. green card holder. As a result, reporters and editors urged the White House to change long standing policies and partnerships with the Kingdom. 

But according to a report in Business Insider, Khashoggi wasn't actually a green card holder and simply visited the U.S. on a visa.

Mohamad Soltan, an Egyptian-American activist who sees Khashoggi regularly in Washington, told Reuters that Khashoggi was in the United States on an O-visa. . . .

The media is bestowing on Khashoggi increased visibility and now, “credibility” as a martyr for journalism, honored by Time magazine in the company of other journalists who risked their lives to report the news. As I see it, Time is cynically using those other journalists to provide cover for Khashoggi as a journalist. So now the media can continue to use him as a cudgel to whack away at President Trump’s Middle East policies as part of their anti-Trump agenda.

Alexander Downer at the Financial Review published an excellent summary of the story that the media won’t report, click here. The mainstream media’s dishonesty and bias is on full display 24/7, but it’s not always this blatant. Or self-serving.
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Amidst all the pontificating about "The Wall" being "immoral" and useless, this one is making the rounds:

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Saturday, December 8, 2018

Tea Party and MAGA vs Uniparty

Sundance has must-read history lesson starting with the Tea Party movement in 2009, its metamorphosis into the MAGA movement, and why the GOP continues to break its promises and obstruct President Trump’s initiatives. A few extracts from Sundance’s history lesson at Conservative Treehouse:

An interesting pattern of seemingly disconnected political stories is beginning to show signs of a common continuity.  In the bigger of the big pictures seven words continue to set the baseline: “There are trillions of dollars at stake”.

When the common sense Tea Party movement formed in 2009 and 2010 it contained a monumentally frustrated grassroots electorate, and the scale of the movement caught the professional republican party off-guard. When Donald Trump ran for the office of the presidency he essentially did the same thing; he disrupted the apparatus of the professional republican party.

The difference between those two examples is one was from the bottom up, and the second was from the top down.  However, the commonality in the two forces resulted in the 2016 victory.
. . .
A few years pass and the issues that spurred the Tea Party movement remained unresolved.  In 2015 Donald Trump taps in to that exact same Tea Party frustration toward the control authority within one-half of the DC UniParty; again, the professional republican apparatus was disrupted.  The movement re-branded and now the MAGA movement wins the presidency.

So it should not come as a surprise to see an eerily similar response from within the GOP toward the new threat; the Trump presidency.  After all, there are two constants in an ever changing universe: (1) “NeverTrump” didn’t go away; and (2) the Bush-clan, or GOP old guard, will never accept losing power.

The professional republicans and the professional democrats, ie. “the uniparty”, have a common enemy in President Trump.  The vulgarian leader of the deplorable coalition never asked for permission; never paid the indulgency fees; never attended the necessary cloistered club meetings paying homage; and never offered the indulgent team of political elites terms for his takeover.

Thus Donald Trump, just like the Tea Party, would never be accepted.
. . .
There are no MAGA lobbying groups in Washington DC advocating for policies that benefit economic nationalism.  On this objective President Donald Trump stands alone.

We don’t need a third party in Washington DC, we actually need a second one.

I no longer think of the GOP as the “party of Stupid.” I think of the GOP instead as the “Party of Bought” -- that would be the (R) half of the “Uniparty.”

Read the whole thing here.
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Friday, December 7, 2018

Remembering Pearl Harbor

"A date which will live in infamy"

Today we remember those who were caught by surprise when the Japanese attacked the naval base at Pearl Harbor. 2,403 Americans died in the attack. Above is footage of our flag flying over the Arizona memorial, taken by Cleveland Tea Party roving photographer Pat J Dooley.
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Thursday, December 6, 2018

Presidents and PRESIDENTS

Americans witnessed Donald J. Trump’s transition from private citizen to candidate for the highest office in the land. DC Whispers ran this at their blog:

So much of what the Establishment Media says about the Trump presidency is a lie. As an incredibly successful private citizen Donald Trump swapped a life of luxury for a life of service and in doing so some estimate he’s lost a billion dollars or more in personal wealth to do so. Not since the days of the Founding Fathers has a president sacrificed so much for the betterment of so many. It is a stunning contrast to the Obamas who had almost no private life experience but instead have been feeding from the public monies trough since they were attending college on the people’s’ dime. There are givers and there are takers. In this case it’s very clear who is who…

The short blurb with image is here.
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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Cleveland: a not-so-safe city

Adam McCann, a Financial Writer at a blog I never heard of, Wallet Hub, reports on the safest cities in the United States.

To determine where Americans can feel most secure — in more than one sense — WalletHub compared more than 180 cities across 39 key indicators of safety. Our data set ranges from assaults per capita to unemployment rate to road quality. Read on for our findings, a detailed description of our methodology and a Q&A with safety experts for additional insight.

In the overall rating, Cleveland is #169. Ugh. Full report and listings are here.
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Monday, December 3, 2018

Why Mr. Instapundit cancelled his Twitter account

I’ve posted earlier links on this subject here. Glenn Reynolds’s (Mr. Instapundit) USA column today expands on why he cancelled his Twitter account. His opener:

I deactivated my Twitter account about a week ago. I was partly acting on impulse, because the social media site had just, for no obvious reason, “permanently banned” someone I follow, something that seems to be happening more and more. 

But I was also acting on my growing belief that Twitter is, well, horrible.

All social media have their issues. The “walled garden” character they create is the antithesis of the traditional Internet philosophy of openness. They are actually consciously designed to be addictive to their users — one company that consults on such issues is actually called Dopamine Labs — and they tend to soak up a huge amount of time in largely profitless strivings for likes and shares. They promote bad feelings and bad behavior: I saw a cartoon listing social media by deadly sins, with Facebook promoting envy, Instagram promoting pride, Twitter promoting wrath, Tinder promoting lust and so on. It seemed about right.

But as someone who spends a lot of time on the internet and whose social media experience goes all the way back to the original Orkut and Friendster, I think that Twitter is the worst.  

In fact, if you set out to design a platform that would poison America’s discourse and its politics, you’d be hard pressed to come up with something more destructive than Twitter. Twitter has the flaws of the old Usenet newsgroups, but on a much bigger scale.

The full column is here.
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Sunday, December 2, 2018

FIRST STEP Act: another report against it

This blog has posted several links concerning the FIRST STEP legislation on criminal justice reform.  In particular, I noted that two conservative columnists who are both strong supporters of legal immigration and law enforcement nevertheless disagree on the merits of this bill. Michelle Malkin supports it. Ann Coulter opposes it.

A Republican U.S. Senate document circulating among GOP offices opposed to the so-called FIRST STEP Act, a criminal justice reform bill making its way through Capitol Hill, lists 20 violent crimes that would be eligible for early release under the legislation.
. . .
The letter goes on to list the 20 violent crimes that would be eligible for early release under the bill:
  1. Trafficking cocaine or methamphetamines, even if convicted as a kingpin (18 U.S.C § 841(b)
  2. Strangling a spouse or an intimate partner (18 U.S.C. §113(a)(8)
  3. Trafficking fentanyl, except in rare cases (18 U.S.C. § 841(b))
  4. Providing or possessing contraband, including firearms, in prison (18 U.S.C. § 1791)
  5. Felonies committed while in a criminal street gang (18 U.S.C. § 521)
  6. Escape of prisoners (18 U.S.C. § 751)
  7. Rioting in a correctional facility (18 U.S.C. § 1792)
  8. Importing aliens for prostitution (18 U.S.C. § 1328)
  9. Assault with intent to commit rape or sexual abuse (18 U.S.C. § 3559(c)(2)(F))
  10. Threatening to murder a congressman, senator, or government official (18 U.S.C. § 115(a)(1)
  11. Drug-related robberies involving assault with a dangerous weapon (18 U.S.C. § 2118(c)(1)
  12. Violent carjacking resulting in serious bodily injury (18 U.S.C. § 2119(2))
  13. Stealing immigration documents for the purpose of keeping an immigrant in slavery (18 U.S.C. § 1592)
  14. Attempt or conspiracy to engage in human smuggling (18 U.S.C. § 1592)
  15. Failing to register as a sex offender (18 U.S.C. § 2250)
  16. Arson (18 U.S.C. § 81)       
  17. Blackmail (18 U.S.C. § 873)
  18. Domestic assault by an habitual offender (18 U.S.C. § 117)
  19. Hate crimes (18 U.S.C. § 249)
  20. Assaulting a law enforcement officer with a deadly weapon (18 U.S.C. § 111(b))

At that point, the GOP senate document lists a series of questions for proponents of the bill:
  1. Would you consider these low-level or non-violent crimes?
  2. How can we trust the BOP to correctly categorize who is high vs. low risk?
  3. If the reasons these are not on the list is because they are obscure crimes, why is drug trafficking – the single most common offense – missing?
  4. Why are obscure violations of the Atomic Energy Code on the exclusion list but not these crimes?
  5. If you added provisions to the bill that Senator Booker and Democrats wanted, why won’t you add more violent crimes to the ‘exclusion from early release’ list that Republicans want?
  6. Why have an exclusion list in the first place if these crimes are missing from it?
  7. Can you promise that no offender who commits these crimes will ever be released early?
  8. How many offenders are in prison for each of these crimes and how many will be eligible to be released into my home state?

The full report is here. There are questions about the source of the document, but if it’s reliable, it’s a frightening prospect. If you go to the Breitbart page, take a look at some of the reader comments.
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Saturday, December 1, 2018

Politically incorrect baker

Photograph forwarded on social media:

click to embiggen
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Friday, November 30, 2018

That’s our Governor

A.F. Branco cartoons at Legal Insurrection

The blog Freedom’s Lighthouse posted a video on ABC News of our Governor earlier this week, along with these comments:

Oh my goodness. Here is John Kasich over the weekend saying he is “very seriously” considering running for President in 2020.

Kasich only won one state – his home state of Ohio – during the 2016 GOP Presidential Primaries against Donald Trump.

He then refused to support Trump in the General Election against Hillary Clinton and would not even attend the Republican National Convention held in his own state of Ohio. Totally despicable. But Trump won Ohio anyway!

Kasich here floats the possibility of running as a Third Party Candidate – essentially to be a spoiler, just to keep Trump from winning. He is a NeverTrumper and he would clearly rather see a radical Leftist Democrat win that see Trump get re-elected. What a buffoon.

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Thursday, November 29, 2018

Twitter, Facebook, and The Thought Police

art credit: thebiganswer.info

Boris Zelkin at American Greatness cancelled his Twitter account:

This had been building for some time for two primary reasons. First, Twitter, like Facebook (which I had given up a few months ago), is a hate machine. Second, Twitter’s ever-changing terms of service and curiously selective enforcement of said terms via shadow and outright bans made it increasingly obvious that Twitter is less interested in real conversation than it is in kabuki theater conversation—censored one-sided shadow-boxing—replacing freedom of speech with speech at the pleasure of one’s betters.

As such, Twitter has became a platform I can no longer support with my participation.

From my perspective, participation on a platform that actively censors political speech, even when that participation consists of criticism the platform, is a tacit approval. Remember how you felt when you saw those “Occupy Wall Street” folks using iPhones to bemoan capitalism? That’s how I began seeing giving Twitter my voice, a voice that they could choose to either allow or silence if it became pesky or popular enough.

Richard Fernandez at PJ Media reports that Mr. Instapundit dropped his Twitter account:

Glenn Reynolds has deactivated his Twitter account, citing the banning of Jesse Kelly for no apparent reason as the immediate cause of his disillusionment with the platform. Explaining his decision, he wrote:

Why should I provide free content to people I don’t like, who hate me? I’m currently working on a book on social media, and I keep coming back to the point that Twitter is far and away the most socially destructive of the various platforms. So I decided to suspend them, as they are suspending others. At least I’m giving my reasons, which is more than they’ve done usually.

He may have beaten the digital bouncers to the door by only a little. The Thought Police are rushing to ensure that everyone toes the line. 

I found several supposed alternatives to Facebook here, but I had not heard of any of them. Any Tea Party people identifying any good alternatives?
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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Human nature and Western civilization

Art credit: bridgeguys.com

The Lady of the House at Bookworm Room has a lengthy review essay of a book by Steven Pinker, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined (out in paperback in 2012), which considers the default conditions of human nature, development of Western civilization, and how those behaviors and developments are reflected in today’s political stand-offs. It’s a long but worthwhile read; click here. Lady Bookworm concludes:

It’s time for me to summarize what Pinker argues took humankind from a time of tremendous cruelty and violence to the world in which we live now. These factors were:
  • The development of the nation-state, which quashed local warfare, whether it was the warfare of Stone Age tribesman or medieval warlords.
  • The development of manners aimed at raising mankind above its animal nature.
  • The development of commerce, which forced empathy upon those who wished to be successful.
  • The rule of law, not in the form of the random tyranny of a police state, but in the form a stable judicial system that allows people to calculate in advance the cost of their actions, whether in the civil or the criminal context.
  • And two more Bookworm additions: The decrease in alcohol consumption, because excessive alcohol intake brings people closer to their animal natures, and the premium placed upon electing mature, experienced people to positions of power.     

Today’s Leftists seek to destroy every single one of those civilizing influences:
  • Leftists want to destroy borders, which ends the nation-state. Their optimistic ideal is one-world government under the U.N.’s aegis. The reality will be a retreat into the tribalism that was normative for most of human history and that is defined by almost unholy levels of violence and torture against perceived enemies.
  • Leftists are breaking down all normative behavior (once called “manners”). Whether it’s screaming at conservatives in restaurants, attacking politicians in their homes, being obsessed with poop, destroying sexual norms (including have a lesbian smooch at the Thanksgiving Day parade, a venue in which no one previously smooched), chronic public nudity, or anything else that once held together civilized Western society, the Left is against it. (And please feel free to add to that list.)
  • Leftists are irredeemably hostile to commerce. The Leftist dream is a tightly controlled socialist economy, although one in which the rich Blue Leftists, including Barack “at some point you’ve made enough money” Obama, will retain their wealth. Place Alexandria Occasional-Cortex and her ilk in charge of the American economy, and we will go backwards to a medieval time in which profit is evil, innovation is discouraged, lending money is impossible, and the empathy and cooperation that trade brought are gone. (By the way, the Koran makes usury illegal, which is one of the reasons Muslim majority countries are economically stagnant unless they have oil wealth.)   
  • Leftists are hostile to the rule of law. As we see in everything from the Title IX travesties on college campuses to Justice Kavanaugh’s travails to the Obama judge’s attacks on Trump’s executive power, Leftists don’t believe in the equal application of the rule of law. To them, law is an instrument of power to be used, not to create reliability in both civil and criminal matters in order to guide people’s actions, but as a cudgel to enforce their power. In other words, their “law” is the law of tyranny, not of freedom. This hostility to the rule of law also shows itself in the whole “sanctuary city/state” notion and the tolerance for criminal homelessness, both of which have reduced large parts of California, once America’s most prosperous state, to Third World status.
  • And finally, the Left has long been in the vanguard of two other trends: (1) Urging the middle class to use drugs that interfere with civilized behavior and functionality. Starting with the Hippies and their tuning in and dropping out and continuing with the binge drinking on Leftist-controlled college campuses and the push for recreational (as opposed to medicinal) pot, Leftists encourage behavior that decreases mankind’s connection to its human nature and brings it closer to its animal nature. (2) Turning political power over to young people, whether by decreasing the voting age or by championing practically prepubescent people in politics. Again, a perfect example is Occasional-Cortex, a woman with a dismal education and no life experience, who’s seen as the Great Hope for the Left.   

Bookworm’s full essay is here.
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Sunday, November 25, 2018

Another look at First Step Act

 image credit:rightoncrime.com

Yesterday, this blog linked to some information on the First Step Act, with support coming from Ken Blackwell and Pastor Darrell Scott, among others. On the other hand, Ann Coulter criticized the Act in pretty sharp terms. Then I came across Michelle Malkin’s analysis of the First Step Act; like Coulter, Malkin is tough on crime, immigration, and drug dealing, so I was interested to see that she supports the Act:

The package of criminal justice reform proposals endorsed by President Donald Trump is not “soft” on crime. It’s tough on injustice. And it’s about time.

Known as the “First Step Act,” the legislation confronts the Titanic failure of the federal government’s trillion-dollar war on drugs by reforming mandatory minimum sentences, rectifying unscientifically grounded disparities in criminal penalties for crack vs. powder cocaine users, and tackling recidivism among federal inmates through risk assessment, earned-time credit incentive structures, re-entry programs and transitional housing.

There’s nothing radical about giving law-breakers who served their time an opportunity to turn their lives around and avoid ending up back behind bars. More than 30 red and blue states have enacted measures to reduce incarceration, control costs and improve public safety. Texas — no bleeding-heart liberal mecca — spearheaded alternatives to the endless prison-building boom a decade ago by redirecting tax dollars to rehab, treatment and mental health services. The Lone Star state saved an estimated $3 billion in new public construction costs while stemming the prison population tide.
. . .
Despite staunch support from conservative Republican governors, prosecutors and law enforcement closest to the ground on this issue, the same hyperbolic talking points used by some immovable “law and order” opponents at the state level are now being used against First Step: Cops will be endangered, critics balk. Violent monsters will go free. Child predators and drug kingpins will flood our neighborhoods.

Scary, but deceptive. The plain language of the bill makes clear that its “early release” provisions must be earned. Moreover, as Utah GOP Sen. Mike Lee points out: “At all times the Bureau of Prisons retains all authority over who does and does not qualify for early release.” Former U.S. Attorney Brett Tolman, a veteran of the criminal justice system for 20 years, notes that inmates convicted of crimes of violence (including assaults on police), drug trafficking (including hardcore fentanyl and heroin dealing) and child pornography would not qualify for credits. Period. The list of ineligible prisoners is a mile long.
. . .
Critic Dan Cadman of the Center for Immigration Studies is not satisfied and argues that “the simplest way to make it a clean bill where immigration enforcement is concerned is to say at the beginning of the bill that ‘none of the sections that follow in this bill apply to incarcerated aliens.'” That should be a simple fix and is no reason to prevent First Step from moving to the Senate floor for vigorous debate.

Full article is here.
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Saturday, November 24, 2018

Ohio Issue #1 and the "First Step" proposal

On November 6, Ohio voters rejected Issue #1, an amendment that would have reduced the penalties for drug trafficking under Ohio law. Cleveland Tea Party blogs urged a “No” vote here, here, and here

The Trump administration is proposing reform to the federal criminal justice system that is running along parallel lines to Issue #1. Ken Blackwell reports:

The FIRST STEP Act is the beginning of a transformation of America’s federal criminal-justice system into what it should have always been: a system that makes America safer. This legislation unites conservatives, police and civil rights advocates, civil libertarians, business leaders and supporters of social justice. Supporting this legislation means supporting ideas that all Americans want - from police to Democrats to Republicans - an America that is fair, an America that puts Americans first, and that makes America safe. 

Blackwell concludes that “This is a law and order President who believes in justice and the First Step Act will get us closer to true justice.” Among those standing with President Trump at his press conference were Sen. Tim Scott and Pastor Darrell Scott.  But Ann Coulter vigorously disagrees, and she is not one to pull her punches:

In the systematic dismantling of common sense in America, Jared Kushner's "sentencing reform" bill is the coup de grace -- a Mack Truck hurtling down the highway about to take out thousands of Americans. The Idiot Army is already in place to fight and win this battle.

Jared and the hip-hop artists currently advising him have decided that too many people are in prison. If you think you've heard this before, you have: Genius insights of this sort have preceded nearly every major crime wave this country has experienced, from Philadelphia to California to a bloody period known as "the Warren Court."
. . .
We're incessantly told that sentences will be cut only for "nonviolent drug offenders."

If you are even passingly familiar with our justice system, you know that virtually everyone in prison is there as the result of a plea bargain -- "97 percent of federal cases and 94 percent of state cases," according to The New York Times.

You don't strike a deal with the prosecutor to plea to the worst crime you've committed. You plea to the least serious offense.

Coulter hammers both the facts and stats concerning previous crime waves, and she also directs her outrage at President Trump and his son-in-law. Whether she is correct in attributing a motive to Trump’s support of this initiative, her analysis of past efforts at criminal system reform is worth considering, and some of her arguments will resonate with those against Ohio’s Issue #1. (Full column by Ms. Coulter is here.)
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