Really Busy This Week Open Thread

We’re going to bury Joe on the 17th – he’ll have the honor guard there to fold the flag. We’ll be placing him with his wife – and hard by where my folks are buried. Can’t say this enough – take the time to talk to your old folks; you may never get another chance. And, also, look after them…there are pitfalls aplenty for a man or woman when they get into advanced years.

The latest Trump-Russia kerfuffle doesn’t remotely impress me. That an agent of Team Trump would meet with someone who claims to have oppo dirt on the other candidate seems pretty much Politics 101. At all events, I’m not about to be lectured on what patriotism and treason are from a side which was ok with Fonda posing on an NVA anti-aircraft gun, and which lionized Ted Kennedy, who actually sought Russian help to defeat Reagan in 1984.

Republicans have an increasingly negative attitude towards higher education – given that we are routinely condemned in the institutions of higher education, this just stands to reason. Also, however, there isn’t much education actually going on in such places. To be sure, a large part of the problem is the Progressive orthodoxy which is prevalent, but the real problem is that most institutions of higher education are loyal to the Almighty Dollar. They dumb down the curriculum and allow the kids to act like jerks because tough curriculum and tight discipline means fewer students, and that means fewer dollars. Cut off federal funds – of all types – from any institution which doesn’t adhere to high standards and keep tight discipline and the problem pretty much solves itself…the kids won’t be allowed to be dumb jerks, and the professors and administrators who allowed such nonsense will be given the boot.

A reporter discovered that gay Jews were excluded from a recent Pride parade…and now that reporter is working the sales desk.

This won’t end well: judge releases a man described as mentally ill, after he was accused of assaulting a police officer.

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44 thoughts on “Really Busy This Week Open Thread

  1. Cluster July 12, 2017 / 8:59 am

    RUSSIA !!!!!! Can you imagine if the media had been this relentless in their pursuit of uncovering the pay to play Clinton Foundation improprieties?

    This just in:

    Joe Scarborough Quits The Republican Party

    You see Joe prefers the Republican party led by the likes of Bill Kristol, Jonah Goldberg and John Boehner – beltway “conservatives” who talk the talk, but NEVER walk the walk.

  2. Cluster July 12, 2017 / 9:12 am

    OK, wait it gets better:

    Joe Scarborough reveals he is leaving the Republican party to become an Independent because he is ‘disgusted’ with GOP’s blind loyalty of ‘racist’ Donald Trump

    Excellent job Joe, He managed to throw in the progressive trigger word “racist” in his announcement and will soon be a welcomed member of the elite progressives that comes with an open invitation to all of the Hampton cocktail parties. He must be so happy.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4687474/Morning-Joe-reveals-left-GOP-Independent.html#ixzz4mcelcYVa

    • M. Noonan July 12, 2017 / 1:50 pm

      He’ll be a pro-choice Progressive by next year – so, too, will all those who persist in Never Trump beyond this point.

      • Amazona July 12, 2017 / 2:14 pm

        He’s already a Progressive, is just changing his jersey to reflect his true team. If there is a picture next to the word RINO in a dictionary, it has had Joe Scarborough’s face.

        Words do matter, though the Left tries to keep definitions infinitely fluid. But being a Republican should mean believing in and promoting the underlying political philosophy of the party, not just being registered with an R after your name.

        In the same vein of infinitely flexible definitions, the Left is now defining “treason” pretty loosely. They have pretty much worn out “impeachment” as it now just gets laughed at, so they are working on “treason”, which according to them now means pretty much anything they don’t like. More to the point, anything the Right does that was OK when they did it but is defined differently when we do it. So being open to negative information about a political opponent is treason if it is done by a Republican, but making deadly weaponry available to our enemies to use against us is not, if done by Hillary Clinton—and neither is refusing aid to Americans under attack because this might lead to uncovering her role in providing those weapons.

        When “higher education” includes a degree in history that does not require classes in American History, or a degree in literature that does not include any study of Shakespeare, I’d say the whole term is bogus. Back to that loose defining of words again.

      • Cluster July 12, 2017 / 9:41 pm

        Do you think the exorbitant speaking fees Russia paid Bill Clinton while Hillary was Sec of State could be construed as seeking influence? Could the sale of our uranium deposits have any connection?

        Probably not.

        …..being a Republican should mean believing in and promoting the underlying political philosophy of the party, not just being registered with an R after your name.

        100% agree and I think we are seeing the separation of the chaff now. .

      • Amazona July 13, 2017 / 12:56 am

        What the Left has done has create a bubble. If you are inside it, every pronouncement generates more outrage, but if you are outside it, those pronouncements merely generate ridicule or, at best, eyerolls.

        But we have proof that stupidity exists on both sides. When someone I usually respect, Trey Gowdy, refers to the Trump Jr. thing in very harsh terms I have to wonder. No, it was not an effort by the Russian government to influence the election. There is not only no proof that this Russian woman was representing the Russian government, there isn’t even any evidence that she was. Someone said she had information gained from government sources. Big whoop. Prove it. And even if there was evidence gotten from government sources, that is more likely to mean a leak than a plot.

        Conservatives need to shut the hell up and let the Left do the howling. This rush to appear fair and balanced and so on, without anything to go on, is of no help. Trump Jr. made a stupid rookie mistake, no doubt eager to impress the old man by bringing him a trophy. Again, big whoop. Complain about the process of digging up dirt on opponents if you want to feel righteous, Trey, but don’t get sucked into the trap of adding to the Leftist narrative. Trump Jr. got suckered. He got played. He got set up, lured in by promises of information from high places. There was no information. But the story is not the setup, it is the fact that he fell for it, and that is backwards.

        Dems pull this crap all the time, and get away with it. Remember how little attention was paid to the setup in Florida in the 2000 election, when Dems created that mess of a ballot and then hired a firm, well in advance of the election, to start calling only registered Democrats to tell them they might have accidentally voted for the wrong guy? It was a setup from the get-go. Dangling a juicy-sounding scandal in front of a young guy inexperienced in dirty politics and making sure the meeting was made public was another setup. (Not to mention the Liberal “legal team” of Trump Jr.’s own sister and brother-in-law revealing the emails.)

        Millions of people voted for Trump because he is not a politician. But politics sometimes needs politicians, who know the territory. Trump’s family is a big anchor dragging him down, hiring Liberal activists with shady pasts and letting them in on sensitive personal information, lunging at bait dangled by strangers, etc. By the time these newbies catch on, they will have done all sorts of damage.

        Every country with any clout at all would like to influence the elections of other countries. This is a surprise? I am amazed at the denseness of the pundits, who have someone managed to miss the biggest point of all—-when the “dirt” is really just a revelation of true wrongdoing, such as the Pay to Play approach of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, selling American influence to the highest bidder, the scandal is not who revealed this or how it was revealed or why it was revealed—the scandal is that it happened at all. But few stand up and say so. I have seldom heard a public announcement by anyone that Hillary’s problem was not that someone leaked information about her misdeeds, it was that she committed them in the first place.

        And seriously, who is more likely to have access to dirt on Hillary’s dealings with Russia than—–wait for it—–RUSSIA ? So all of this fake outrage and hyperventilating and swooning over the fact that someone FROM RUSSIA knew of her antics regarding Russia is just plain stupid. Duh. And when the intended target of some release of negative material is one of the most vile, hated and hateful people in the world, with a long list of enemies including Putin himself, that alone is enough to explain letting people in on some of the dirt about her. It doesn’t have to be pro-Trump to be anti-Hillary.

      • Cluster July 13, 2017 / 8:29 am

        I saw that to from Trey and was a little disappointed. This Russia crap is nothing more than a lot of noise and distractions, carefully designed to prevent the GOP and Trump from getting things done. And it’s pretty much working because of our brain dead republicans who are like deer in the headlights. The corrupt Democrats and lying media have ZERO moral high ground from which to lecture, so for the love of God republicans, grow a damn spine, ignore the petulant children and let’s get some big things done.

      • Amazona July 13, 2017 / 12:07 pm

        Setup? A lot of people think so.

        Prevezon, which is a Russian group, hires Fusion GPS and Rinat Akhmetshin to generate negative press coverage on a British citizen. Prevezon also hires as legal counsel both Baker Hostetler and Natalia Veselnitskaya. Rinat Akhmetshin also puts Natalia Veselnitskaya on the payroll. Rinat Akhmetshin, who works in collaboration with Fusion GPS at the time it is preparing the Trump dossier, is an admitted “Soviet counterintelligence officer” who specializes in “subversive political influence operations often involving disinformation and propaganda.” While all of this is going on, Fusion GPS is working on the opposition research dossier on Donald Trump using a foreign agent. Are we really supposed to believe that it is completely coincidental that Natalia Veselnitskaya just so happens to be the Russian lawyer who got access to Donald Trump, Jr.? Are we to believe that there is no direct relationship between Veselnitskaya and Fusion GPS? It is remarkable how she gets a PR agent to urge Trump, Jr. to meet with her by promising Russian information about Hillary Clinton’s emails as the server story is blowing up. And then it is remarkable how she gives a perfect performance to NBC News two days ago claiming she only talked with Trump about the Magnitsky Act, but assured the press that the Trump team was hoping for dirt on Hillary.

        http://theresurgent.com/breaking-that-russian-lawyer-has-ties-to-the-group-that-prepared-the-trump-dossier

        http://hiddenamericans.com/politics/natalia-veselnitskaya-anti-trump-pictures-post-facebook-connection-fake-dossier/

        This doesn’t mean that Donnie Junior was not an idiot for getting sucked in, and writing those emails. It doesn’t mean that the whole Trump team has doubled down on his stupidity by having Trump Team people help him with his responses, as he is now supposedly not part of the Trump Team so he can run the company. They need to get their act together and get their boundaries established.

      • M. Noonan July 13, 2017 / 8:24 pm

        I look at it as a bit of a nothing for Team Trump…remember, Don, Jr. agreed to meet because someone was claiming they had dirt on Hillary. This is Politics 101…though Jr. should have been more circumspect and sent a subordinate to the meeting. That is also Politics 101…only if something usable comes up should someone as senior as Trump’s inner circle get involved.

        But, still, it remains that the genesis of this is the asinine theory that Hillary was the winner, and only Russian actions turned it over to Trump. You still can’t nail a Prog down on this easily, because they will evade…but the bottom line is that they believe that Putin switched Hillary votes to Trump. It is, after all, the only “collusion” which could have happened…though I did ask, half in jest, just what Putin got for talking Hillary out of campaigning in Wisconsin.

        We’re still, in this Trump/Russia thing, living in a fantasy world where Hillary was the Greatest Candidate Of All Time and was a sure-winner. Especially now in hindsight (though there were clues aplenty during the campaign) that she was the Worst Candidate of All Time. Part of that could be because she was ill and simply incapable of vigorous campaigning – that we won’t know, at least for some decades (but that fainting spell on September 11th looms large). But ill or not, to ignore WI, PA and MI while spending resources in Texas and Arizona was just plain and simple stupid…the action of someone who really thought she had it in the bag (and no true winner ever acts like they’ve got it in the bag; you play, hard, until the whistle blows). And outside of retail politics, there was the whole message of the Hillary Campaign – an establishment, legacy candidate who merely promised to double down on the previous 8 years…it simply did not sell well. And, so, she lost fair and square…but our Progs still can’t wrap their heads around that (and her campaign people and DNC staffers certainly don’t want anyone looking at them), so we’re still fooling around with this Russia thing.

        I’m pretty confident I’m right about how all this is going – of course, we won’t know until the votes are counted in ’18 and ’20…but I think Democrats are shooting themselves in the foot. I’ve heard it again and again from regular, non-political folks that they are sick of the harping on Russia. I think I know why: because there’s nothing there. Bring out some actual proof of crime, or leave it alone – I think that is the attitude of most detached observers. Absent proof of a crime, harping on it just seems like nasty, partisan attempts to stop a man before he’s even had his chance.

      • Amazona July 14, 2017 / 12:35 am

        I tend to agree with you. But still, the Trump team is making a lot of rookie mistakes. For example, Don Sr. turned over the empire to Don Jr. who is supposed to not be part of the administration, but gossip has the administration advisers advising Jr. and helping him write his responses. Bad idea.

        You say “…an establishment, legacy candidate who merely promised to double down on the previous 8 years…it simply did not sell well.” and I agree. But to the hard-core, Obama was wonderful and there was never any serious opposition to anything about him but his color, so the idea that his very ideas were being rejected is just too unbelievable to them. Because conservatives don’t riot and threaten assassination and wallow in the kinds of hysteria the Left does, when things don’t go their way, the Left to some extent was simply unaware of the deep seated contempt for Obama policies and how he handled his office. Because they thought he was so wonderful, and thought most of the country agreed, this whole repudiation of his legacy simply stuns them, and they just deny its reality.

        They were able to gain some traction with the middle with their howling about racism, because on the surface it could have had some validity to people who never look beneath Identity Politics. But this new hysteria on the Left is driving a lot of these people away. The hysteria, but mostly the sheer viciousness of their antics, are serious turn-offs to a lot of people. And even squishies who prefer to float along on the surface are smart enough to know that if you can’t put up you eventually have to shut up, and the fact that so far there isn’t even smoke, much less fire, is not lost on them.

        And I think Trump’s brazen and bold identification of “fake news” and his willingness to point it out when it happens is having an effect. Now a lot of other people are willing to point out lies and call them lies, right to the faces of the liars. I can’t say enough about Tucker Carlson—he does his homework and comes prepared, and he doesn’t back down. To hell with “compassionate conservatives”—-we need tough conservatives and I think Carlson and James O’Keefe are leading the way. I am not on Twitter but I read a lot of Twitter responses to statements and actions of Lefties, and these responses and comments are getting more pointed and scoring some good hits. The Leftist tweets I see mostly seem to fall into the “he’s just a big poopy head” category, while the conservative tweets have substance, often citing specific acts and quotes.

      • M. Noonan July 14, 2017 / 10:47 pm

        I think Trump is working out to be a wonderful hand grenade thrown into American politics – we all discussed this last year, and I think we can all agree that it is happening.

        My personal view is that if the MSM had reported it straight – ie, with valid polling samples and real analysis of the election – then it would have been an entirely different sort of campaign. First off, straight reporting would have pointed out the glaring weaknesses of Hillary as well as Trump’s very real strengths…and, of course, reporting it straight might have broken through the bubble around Hillary and got her to adjust her campaign strategy in, say, July rather than late October (it still might not have – she’s a pretty dense person, from what I can see). But most importantly it would have allowed people to understand that it was nip-and-tuck from start to finish and either one of them could pull it off. This would have motivated more Hillary voters. Motivated more Trump voters. And the person who lost would have been seen for what he or she was: someone who came up second in a close contest. The kooks of the left would still be out there, but the rank and file would have been far more willing to concede defeat if they hadn’t been told for a year that Hillary had it in the bag…

  3. Cluster July 12, 2017 / 9:48 pm

    Re: the exclusion of gay Jews at the pride event. Has anyone noticed that many of the leftist special interest groups are starting to attack each other? They are all fighting for control and I think they will eventually “eat their own”, as they say in many small towns.

  4. Cluster July 13, 2017 / 8:36 am

    This just in – Bernie Sanders is going to take on corporate America and fight for the working class. Thank God.

    • Amazona July 13, 2017 / 11:37 am

      Maybe someone can ask Bernie who will be writing the paychecks for that “working class”.

  5. Cluster July 13, 2017 / 9:14 am

    Best News Ever

    Former President Barack Obama will be appearing at a fundraiser this week and is reportedly working behind-the-scenes to “save” the Democratic Party

    • Retired Spook July 13, 2017 / 10:29 am

      FUNNIEST news ever! Kinda like hiring Bernie Madhoff to manage your stock portfolio.

  6. Retired Spook July 13, 2017 / 9:50 am

    It’s been a horrible summer for TV, and, having worked our way through several movies and TV series on Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu that we had never watched before, we bit the bullet (sorry for the micro agression) and watched Fox’s evening lineup beginning with Special Report and ending with Tucker, first time we’ve done so in a long time. Tucker had California Democrat Congressman, Brad Sherman, on to defend his filing of articles of impeachment against Trump. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. He claimed that the reason for impeachment was for obstruction of justice, specifically when Trump told Comey if he wanted to keep his job that he would shut down the Flynn investigation. Remember that? Yeah, neither do I. Tucker had a field day with that. Sherman had to constantly back-pedal on statements that were either not true on their face or misleading. Tucker finally got him to admit that he’d taken 2 unrelated statements from two different conversations and tied them together as though they were spoken at the same time. This is what were up against folks. We’ve got one party that wouldn’t know the truth if it bit them in the a$$, and one party that is so afraid of its own shadow that they’re afraid to commit to doing anything that might offend someone, somewhere.

    • Cluster July 13, 2017 / 10:30 am

      Very true, and a sad state of affairs

    • Amazona July 13, 2017 / 11:35 am

      If Sherman admitted that he had, basically, forged a statement and then used it as the basis for filing a federal complaint, I think Sherman broke the law. You just can’t do that. He filed a false document based on a statement he knew was false because he created it himself. That is two laws he broke. I don’t know the process for filing for impeachment, but in other legal filings the person doing the filing has to swear or attest that the complaint is valid and the facts presented are true.

      If Sherman were from any other state HE would be the one being impeached. And BTW, impeachment is not the same as removal from office. These rabid Libs seem to think that “impeachment” would automatically get Trump out of the White House.

      The old impeachment whine, which was geared toward getting rid of Pence, too, was that the whole election would have to be thrown out because it was all bogus, thanks to Putin. Now they seem to be dropping that, and just going after Trump alone, which would mean getting Pence, who would then appoint a new VP—–probably Cruz, if he has any sense. That would give us a lineup of Pence, Cruz and Ryan. Not bad.

      In other words, these Libs are flat-out insane, and openly corrupt as well.

  7. Amazona July 13, 2017 / 2:23 pm

    Are Dems really, really, concerned about foreign interference in American politics? Then where are they when this happens?

    The annual summer meeting of the National Governors Association (NGA) is often a low-key and sometimes sleepy event…but what also has heightened focus on the meeting is the appearance of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, along with other officials from Canada, Mexico, India, China and Japan.

    Where are the outraged Dems? Well, it seems that at least some of them are encouraging this. (emphasis mine)

    The governors welcome the attention. “Our point is: With the disarray going on in Washington, D.C., today, you should be dealing directly with governors,” said Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-Va.), the NGA chairman, who will end his tenure this weekend.

    OK, so what is the interest of these foreign nations in state governance?

    The sudden interest in the work of the governors from abroad reflects fears by leaders of some foreign governments about the direction of U.S. trade policy under a president who has sharply criticized free-trade agreements negotiated by past administrations. Those concerns were on display at last week’s Group of 20 meeting in Hamburg and have quickly become a prime topic of interest ahead of the NGA. One NGA official described the interest from other countries as “amazing.”

    What we’re talking about is foreign countries trying to undermine our national policy by exploiting the subversiveness of the “Resistance” politics of the Dems. This goes way beyond simply trying to influence an election by releasing negative information about a candidate. This is actually an effort to undermine national policy by collaborating with a subversive movement.

    http://www.frontpagemag.com/point/267263/foreign-officials-want-use-dem-governors-undermine-daniel-greenfield

  8. Retired Spook July 14, 2017 / 8:50 am

    Just when I thought I’d heard it all.

    Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi went off on Republican lawmakers Thursday for an amendment in the National Defense Authorization Act which would bar the military from paying for sex change operations for service members. She claims not allowing sex changes “undermines our national security.”

    “Republicans should be ashamed: instead of protecting the men and women who risk their lives to defend our freedoms, they are fighting to rip away the health care of thousands of brave service members,” she said. “This cowardly Republican amendment targeting transgender men and women in uniform effectively bans these patriotic Americans from serving their country.”

    • Amazona July 14, 2017 / 9:35 pm

      “Thousands”?

      • M. Noonan July 14, 2017 / 10:39 pm

        Methinks she exaggerates, just a little…

  9. Retired Spook July 14, 2017 / 9:13 am

    This piece at Town Hall yesterday reflects pretty much how I feel about the demeanor, rhetoric and actions of our current President.

    The Left has been engaged in a war against America since the rise of the Children of the ‘60s. To them, it has been an all-out war where nothing is held sacred and nothing is seen as beyond the pale. It has been a war they’ve fought with violence, the threat of violence, demagoguery and lies from day one – the violent take-over of the universities – till today.

    The problem is that, through these years, the Left has been the only side fighting this war. While the Left has been taking a knife to anyone who stands in their way, the Right has continued to act with dignity, collegiality and propriety.

    With Donald Trump, this all has come to an end. Donald Trump is America’s first wartime president in the Culture War.

    • Cluster July 15, 2017 / 9:09 am

      Donald Trump is America’s first wartime president in the Culture War.

      And it’s about damn time. As I have said, it is time to impale SJW’s on their manufactured culture issues every chance we get.

  10. Retired Spook July 15, 2017 / 9:36 am

    Shades of Fahrenheit 451. I’ve been wondering when we start hearing reports of this.

    I read the report on this trashing of books with great interest because such action was a major part of the plot of my recent political thriller ERASE. In my fictionalized world an evil force called LEAP was systematically taking over the publishing industry, slowly eliminating outlets for printed books and replacing them with their own E-book version. LEAP even made a massive gift to the schools across the nation by giving every school kid a LEAP iPad to replace their school books. The only problem was that now LEAP controlled the content and could change it at will.

    I wrote ERASE to be fiction. I didn’t intend to provide the forces of evil with a “How To” manual! Yet, now my fiction has certainly become reality and it’s growing in schools across the country.

    In one scene of ERASE a teacher asks the question, “How do they think they can stop knowledge, it’s there, no matter what? The answer came back to him, “They stop knowledge by banning it.” In our modern age, controlled by technology, book burning is no longer a necessary tool for tyrants. All they need to do is press a button and knowledge, history, indeed entire societies disappear in an instant. (emphasis – mine)

    • Amazona July 15, 2017 / 4:09 pm

      Technically, knowledge is based on what actually happens. In reality, much “knowledge” is based on what people are told what happened.

      An example: In a waiting room yesterday I picked up a magazine and started to read an article on race. A well-written and thoughtful-sounding segment was written by a woman who talked about her distress upon learning that her unborn child was a boy. At this time I learned that the woman was black, as she had a freakout about the dangers of being a young black man, flashing on the image of Trayvon Martin and remembering his “murder”.

      She thinks she is basing her reaction on “knowledge” but she is really basing it on lack of knowledge of what really happened and a belief that what she had chosen to learn about was an accurate representation of what really happened. I will bet she never sought out more information about Martin’s death than what was put out by biased sources with agendas, nor did she ever bother to learn the definition of “murder”. So if asked she would define what she thinks she knows as “knowledge”. This was achieved by manipulation of information fed to the public.

      So far, at least, the alternate versions of that incident are still available to people who care enough to seek them out, but as more and more of the media are controlled by a single agenda this may no longer be the case, People who care more about truth than confirming their own existing bias bothered to study the testimony of Martin’s friend, who was on the phone with him the night he died, who testified that he had reached the “safety” of his father’s house and turned back with the intent of ambushing the man who had been following him, based on his conviction that the man following him was homosexual. (The Left would find it harder to idolize a violent gay-basher.) People who care more about truth than confirming their own existing bias bothered to look up photos of Martin taken after the old photo of an angelic-looking twelve-year old, and saw a big burly thug with online claims to a gangsta mentality. People who care more about truth than confirming their own existing bias bothered to study the photographs of Zimmerman taken after the incident, before they were altered by a Complicit Agenda Media, showing blood and marks of a struggle, and read his account of being attacked without warning by someone coming up behind him and being taken to the ground and having his head repeatedly slammed into the sidewalk.

      One of these versions of “knowledge” is based on verifiable fact and personal testimony, the other version is merely an invention by an agenda-driven subset of our society, aided by a Complicit Agenda Media.

      How many of us “know” that Matthew Shepherd was a naive fragile young man trying to deal with his sexual confusion who was viciously attacked by homophobic strangers after they interpreted his interaction with them as sexual overtures? I would venture to say most people believe this narrative. Yet Matthew Shepherd was killed by people he knew, men with whom he had shared homosexual experiences and who were involved in drug trade with him, after they believed Shepherd had stolen about $10,000 worth of drugs. People in Laramie, Wyoming knew that he was a known homosexual street hustler and drug dealer, but the national press controlled the narrative so their version became the “knowledge” commonly accepted.

      How many younger people now “know” that Pearl Harbor was a justified response to American aggression against Japan? It’s in an exhibit in the Smithsonian, so it must be true, right?

      And so on.

      Controlling the narrative is a big part of manipulating “knowledge” but controlling access to contradicting information makes it a lot easier.

  11. Retired Spook July 15, 2017 / 9:54 am

    Looks like the judge in the Bundy Ranch standoff retrial is doing everything within her power (and a bit more) to ensure this one doesn’t end in a mistrial or jury nullification.

    On Monday, the judge eviscerated the defense’s legal strategy, putting off limits a whole host of issues that might make it more difficult for the government to win convictions. The defendants will be forbidden from arguing that they were exercising their constitutional rights to peaceably assemble and bear arms. They may not highlight the actions of BLM agents in the days leading up to the incident or mention federal gaffes such as the ill-advised “First Amendment” zone created for protesters.

    And if imposing these restrictions on the defense wasn’t enough, Judge Navarro ruled that prosecutors may introduce testimony about the four accused men and their associations with so-called militia groups.

    I suspect Amazona can relate.

    • Amazona July 15, 2017 / 10:58 am

      Oh, yes. Having dealt with a similar judge and lost my faith in the “judicial system” as I realized that judges can do anything they want, with impunity, I can certainly relate to this.

      This kind of judicial misconduct is what prompted my belief that we need to make oaths of office binding. When a judge takes an oath to uphold the law, etc. and can violate that oath with impunity because there is no consequence for its violation, the oath is not only worthless the law becomes only a few words on a page. This is when the judicial system becomes nothing but tyranny, with a lifetime political appointee in complete control.

      It happens a lot more than we realize, because it is only made public in high profile cases such as this one.

      The article in your link ends with this sentence: “Judge Navarro’s sweeping order reflects a deep mistrust of the American jury system.” I think that this kind of order is the underlying reason for deep mistrust of the American jury system.

      • Retired Spook July 15, 2017 / 1:03 pm

        I’m having a senior moment. Refresh my memory as to what kind of enforcement mechanism you would establish that would have authority over judges and could hold them accountable when they violate their oath. It would seem to me that it would have to be some form of artificial intelligence that would base its decisions purely on facts and established law coupled with legislation that would require a designated branch of law enforcement to obey its findings. I don’t think you could ever have a panel of human beings who would fairly and impartially rule on a judge’s misconduct. I think in all likelihood we are talking about something that isn’t doable at the present time. What I think is much more likely to happen is that some judge is going to step on a defendant who is at the end of his or her rope and has nothing to lose. And I think once that dam has been breached, judge assassinations will become commonplace until society comes up with a nonviolent solution. It’s not something I’m advocating; just seeing the logical light at the end of the tunnel, but also not something over which I will shed any tears when it happens. In my opinion two of the biggest threats to our republic are crooked cops and crooked judges. And, of course, crooked politicians, which is more or less a given at this point.

      • Amazona July 15, 2017 / 1:38 pm

        The mechanism would be removal from the position, whether that be a position on the bench or as a mayor or even a governor or legislator. Not just losing the job but losing the benefits.

        The grounds would often be quite clear, as most oaths include loyalty to and support of the Constitution. We constantly see violations of the Constitution which are ignored and even accepted, and that is a pretty good place to start. We sometimes see blatant refusals to uphold the law.

        Some of the alleged offenses would be challenged and would require review and even a legal decision, but even the possibility of a legal review would, I believe, have a chilling effect on what is now a blithe willingness to do whatever the person wants to do because of the conviction—–well founded—-that no one can or will do a thing about it.

        Take the ruling “The defendants will be forbidden from arguing that they were exercising their constitutional rights to peaceably assemble and bear arms” As the Constitution has declared this to be a right, it seems that arguing that this right was being exercised would be a necessary corollary to the right itself. After all, if we have the right to peaceably assemble but can’t argue that we are exercising that right when we do so, the right itself is effectively nullified. That is a violation of the Constitution, and of the oath to uphold and defend the Constitution.

        This also falls into the area of actual law. A judge is not supposed to be a trier of fact. When there is a dispute about whether something is true or not, that is the job of a jury to decide. When a judge crosses that line and makes decision of fact, assuming the role of the jury, that is something that trained legal minds can ascertain. For example, a judge cannot legally decide if an act is proof of guilt, only that the evidence was gathered in accordance with the law.

        So in my imaginary Better World, Judge Navarro, while wanting to help out the prosecution, would also be looking at her own career and future and realize that she could not just act arbitrarily but that her rulings would be held to a standard to which she already agreed would govern her decisions, a standard in place when she accepted her appointment and which she pledged to uphold when she took her oath. She would be forced to take a much harder look at her ruling and be far more critical of it before making it, and be sure that it complied with her oath. I don’t think that is an unreasonable demand of any decision made by any public official.

        If she is confident that such a decision is within the boundaries of Constitutional protections and law, then she would be ready to defend it and could make it with confidence. If she doesn’t have that confidence then she shouldn’t make it.

        The very existence of laws, and of codifying documents such as the Constitution, is to remove personal feelings from the equation when examining how to deal with a situation. So a traffic cop who also loves to drive fast can’t legitimately make the decision to ignore speeders—not if he is going to be held to the standard of his oath of office, which is to uphold the law.

        Most people have to make decisions like this all the time, and we have to make those decisions because we know we might be held accountable for our actions. We have to decide if we are going to go over the speed limit, and by how much, knowing we might get caught and if we are there is a penalty. We might have to decide if we are going to risk declaring some of our income on our tax return, or any of many other choices. To have a whole segment of our society—-a segment with the power to affect the lives of others—-which does not have this kind of restriction is simply foolish.

        I don’t think it would have to be as complicated as you think. Perhaps there could be a panel for each branch affected by the law, to which a complaint could be filed. There would be a penalty for frivolous filings. So the defendants in Judge Navarro’s court could file a complaint listing the areas in which they contend she violated her oath of office. All of these proceedings would be public record, so the populace in general could keep an eye on what was going on.

        Could it be abused? Of course it could. A judge who genuinely thought she was acting according to the Constitution, and according to her oath to act in a non-biased manner, would run the risk of being dragged into having to defend her actions and might even be unfairly punished. But her actions have the same impact on people in her courtroom, so we just have to accept the fact that there is no guarantee of absolute certainty and fairness. So if the panel agreed that the complaint was well founded and made its recommendation to the appropriate agency, the judge (in this case) could appeal, could initiate a formal legal action to try to save her job, but would still be forced to defend what she did.

        Many complaints of failure to follow an oath of office would be slam dunks. If a mayor takes an oath to uphold the law and then declares his city to be a sanctuary city, flouting the laws of his country, his actions are a matter of public record.

      • Amazona July 15, 2017 / 1:40 pm

        As I said, It happens a lot more than we realize, because it is only made public in high profile cases such as this one. Having public panels to examine accusations of violations would mean that any judge, even a judge in a little local trial or hearing, could have his or her decisions made public and open to scrutiny.

        I think that would be a good thing.

      • Amazona July 15, 2017 / 7:55 pm

        28 U.S. Code § 453 – Oaths of justices and judges (emphasis mine)

        Each justice or judge of the United States shall take the following oath or affirmation before performing the duties of his office: “I, ___ ___, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as ___ under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God.”

        (June 25, 1948, ch. 646, 62 Stat. 907; Pub. L. 101–650, title IV, § 404, Dec. 1, 1990, 104 Stat. 5124.)

        https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/28/453

        Therefore a judge taking this oath is morally required to uphold the Constitution and rule in accordance with it, and to be unbiased in his or her rulings, as well as to uphold the laws. My suggestion is that he also be held legally responsible to do the same, with a prescribed penalty for failing to do so. Otherwise the oath is nothing but window dressing, a quaint but meaningless little ritual.

        I think it obvious that the rulings cited in your quote and link show bias, and at the very least skirt the possibility of not allowing rights under the Constitution.

  12. Retired Spook July 16, 2017 / 9:24 am

    Democrats – “there’s just no evidence of voter fraud being a significant problem.” RIGHT!

  13. Cluster July 17, 2017 / 8:26 am

    THIS JUST IN AND THIS IS HUGE. AS REPORTED ON MSNBC, THERE WERE 7 PEOPLE IN ROOM DURING THE 20 MINUTE MEETING DONALD TRUMP JR HAD WITH THE RUSSIAN LAWYER.

    7 people!! No word yet on whether or not coffee was served.

  14. Cluster July 17, 2017 / 8:46 am

    I wonder if the Democrats would have cleared Donald Jr had he deleted his emails using bleach bit?

    And Mika just said that an attack on the CBO is an attack on democracy. Is she not an intellectual giant or what?

  15. Retired Spook July 17, 2017 / 8:50 am

    I’m heading in to the hospital for knee replacement surgery in a few minutes, so I’ll be off-line for a few days. Wish me luck.

    • Cluster July 17, 2017 / 9:05 am

      Wish you all the best Spook, and go with the bionic knee.

    • jdge1 July 17, 2017 / 9:27 pm

      Hope all went well.

    • Amazona July 17, 2017 / 9:39 pm

      Everyone I know who has done this has had the same comment afterward—-“I only wish I had done it sooner”. I hope this is how you feel, and have a quick and complete recovery.

    • M. Noonan July 17, 2017 / 11:39 pm

      Told you kicking liberals would wear that out after a while…best of luck on the surgery!

  16. Amazona July 17, 2017 / 9:38 pm

    Mark, I thought of you today as you buried your beloved father in law, and hoped the ritual brought you some peace. It is an important part of the process, the end of the first stage allowing and you to move on to the day to day acceptance of your loss and integrating it into your life.

    You were blessed, and I hope you remember that when you think of him, instead of what you have lost since his passing.

    • M. Noonan July 17, 2017 / 11:39 pm

      I did the readings and did break down on the second one – but, we got him to his final resting place. Thanks for the thoughts and prayers.

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