Open Thread

I finished the first draft of the novel – will be working on revisions to it for a while, maybe weeks, perhaps a few months. It has been a lot of fun writing it.

Meanwhile, Matt notes that Hogg got himself a book deal:

Just how much fame can one person milk simply for witnessing a tragic event? As if countless television interviews, a nationwide rally, and a highly publicized boycott effort weren’t enough to satisfy the apparently inflated ego of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student David Hogg, he has now scored himself a book deal. The book, titled #NeverAgain, will be published in June by Penguin Random House—one of the biggest publishers in the world.

A lot of people go gleeful when Hannity’s name came up in the wake of the Cohen raid – and nothing better illustrates how stupid our opponents are than this. First off, in thinking there would be anything legally incriminating about Trump in that office and, secondly, in their blind inability to see that if the attorney-client privileged can be violated in one case, it can be in others. It’s like they don’t realize that carefully filed away in law offices across the nation is enough information to destroy the entire Ruling Class.

Luntz did a focus group on Comey and found that a lot of people don’t like his actions. This is the difference, guys: 20 years ago, the MSM – as much a tool of the DNC then as now – would be able to drive a Narrative and make it stick. If this were 1988, Comey would have 75% approval ratings and everyone would consider him a national hero. But that just doesn’t work any longer. The ability of the non-left to get the word out if vastly superior…and the MSM squandered its credibility defending the indefensible. The MSM is still able to have a large effect, of course…but it doesn’t dominate like it used to, and it is getting weaker all the time.

Looks like Trump and Pompeo may have an shot of bringing a semblance of actual peace to the Korean peninsula. Naturally, the left and Never Trump is giving Trump no credit for this – in fact, some are condemning it outright. But, to me, it is a good thing…maybe it doesn’t work and, of course, North Korea will try to cheat. But if something could be done to take down the nuke threat and allow a sense of long-term security there, I’m for it. I’ll even say an agreement to withdraw our forces in return for verified termination of NK’s nuke program will be a good deal. At all events, our foreign policy under Trump is going in a very different direction from Obama…and even from previous Republican Administrations. I don’t know if it will all work – but it can’t possibly be worse than what we’ve done in foreign policy for a century.

Along these lines, David Goldman has an interesting analysis of the foreign policy issues we face vis a vis Russia, Iran, China and the Middle East. It is a good read.

Don Surber notes that in keeping with the rule that if you clash with Trump, you lose, erstwhile Trump opponent Evan McMullin is in some hot water:

McMullin is more qualified to run a McDonald’s than he is to be president.

His campaign for president may be his undoing.

“The Federal Election Commission sent numerous letters to the McMullin For President Committee over the last year warning that the organization risks fines for failing to file and for making errors on financial statements it did manage to submit,” the Daily Caller reported.

Wanted to save us from Trump, can’t even keep his books in order…

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28 thoughts on “Open Thread

  1. Cluster April 20, 2018 / 6:14 pm

    I think the Bradley effect will be in play with Trump in 2020. There will be a lot of people who will disown Trump in front of pollsters, but will vote for him anyway. And honestly I think his real approval rating is a lot closer to the high 50’s than the 40’s that are reported.

    The left owns most of the media, entertainment, education and evidently now publishing considering the Hogg book deal news. Conservatives have to immerse themselves into these industries and break up that monopoly otherwise we will always be fighting uphill. Trump is schooling us on confrontational conservatism and we need to learn this lesson and take it to the next level in order to win. Our opponents are relentless and organized.

    • M. Noonan April 20, 2018 / 9:58 pm

      Eventually, someone is going to figure out that there’s billions of dollars to be made in specifically Conservative popular culture. Think of pro-American movies…let’s say that only 50% of the people are still into that; that’s nearly 160 million possible customers. That’s a big market…and if Liberal Hollywood is offering up yet another comic book reboot the same weekend Conservative Hollywood is doing a biopic on an American war hero, guess which one will win?

      • Amazona April 21, 2018 / 12:33 pm

        I started saying this back during the Brokaw debacle of “fake but accurate”. At that time one of the network stations was in a lot of trouble, and I thought how much sense it would make for someone like Phil Anschutz, already in media investing through his movie studio, to buy ABC or CBS or NBC, whichever it was, and start running it like a real news operation with decent prime-time entertainment. I figured the news segments would get at least 50% of the viewership and the entertainment segments a huge share if they were good as well as clean. When these networks are fighting for shares, anything that has a specific appeal to half the country and possible appeal within the more rational parts of the other half is going to be a sure winner.

        One thing I would love to see would be portrayals of the Founders as real people. Jefferson, for example, was a pretty amazing guy, but in addition to his intellectual accomplishments he was quite the chick magnet. Franklin was a fascinating man whose life would make a great movie. The old book Johnny Tremaine was a good insight into the beginnings of the revolution as seen through the eyes of a young boy who had no real political views of his own but knew the players, like Adams and Revere. A movie was made that was OK, but I think a remake starring contemporary teen idols, or young actors and actresses who could quickly become famous, and showing the drama of those days would be popular as well as educational. So few people have any idea of the drama and heroism of Revolutionary times—to most people it was just a boring footnote in history enacted by old white men, but aside from Franklin these were young men, and women, for the most part. There was spying and sex and suspense and heroism and foolishness and misery and success—-it was really quite a dramatic and stirring time, and it isn’t even taught, much less dramatized.

  2. Cluster April 22, 2018 / 9:41 am

    Interesting take on the “RUSSIA” probe:

    Trump’s pardon of Libby was brilliant. It sent Cohen a message that he wasn’t going to go to jail. If the president was willing to pardon someone who worked for Dick Cheney, probably the man most hated by those on the left and the media, at least until Donald Trump came along, he would pardon Cohen as well.

    The Libby pardon took all the air out of Mueller’s attempt to “turn” Cohen. I would have loved to be in the room when Mueller got the news — time to hit the Johnny Walker Black heavy or beat his dog or something.

    If anything, it shows Mueller that Donald Trump is a different kind of Republican. I like Mitt Romney and I think he would have made a decent president, certainly better than Barack Obama, who admittedly set the bar low. Yet, does anyone believe Romney would play dirty like Mueller plays? Or would he fold his hand and accept impeachment rather than fight?

    Then something else happened. Rudy Giuliani joined Team Trump.

    Trump and Giuliani together are an entirely different animal; they won’t give up; they will fight to the death. Throw in Inspector General Horowitz’s investigation (the report will drop in May) and U.S. Attorney John Huber’s criminal investigation of the FBI (with grand jury power), as well as the public tiring of his witch-hunt, and Mueller must realize he is not on the winning side and unless he has evidence of something criminal on Trump — and after almost a year that doesn’t seem likely — he can’t possibly win. In fact, he must be wondering whether many of his witnesses are about to be charged with crimes themselves.

    https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/04/is_mueller_done.html#ixzz5DPNzVLSw

  3. Cluster April 22, 2018 / 11:12 am

    These F***ing people are INSANE: Note how they want to bring people like us back into the “fold” so they can “enlighten” us ……. I will love to show Bill Maher how enlightened I am

    • Amazona April 22, 2018 / 1:48 pm

      “back” into the fold? I haven’t been anywhere near the fold since the mid-80s and even then it was just because I hadn’t done my homework. The thing Maher et al have in common is their arrogance—they are so convinced they are the smart ones in the room, it never occurs to them that we are snickering at them for being such fools, so easily led around by the ego.

      Deep down I think they have a clue, or a hint of a clue—why else would they fight so hard to deny history? Why else would they put so much effort into silliness like claiming Sweden is (1) an example of the brilliance and joy of a socialist government when its success was as a capitalist system that is just being dragged down by its increasingly Leftist leadership, and (2) anything but a rapidly declining 21st Century example of the toxic effects of Leftism run amok? They refuse to actually engage in discourse based on facts, they are wholly dependent on snark and ridicule and hyperbole and drowning out opposing points of view, which all tell me they have a feeling that open discourse would be dangerous to them.

      So they posture, they preen, they play to a select crowd, and they pretend this is reality.

      • Cluster April 22, 2018 / 3:14 pm

        That select crowd they play to though is rather large and while facts and reality contradict their opinions, they march on completely oblivious but confident that they are the smart ones. This is what happens when we hand out “participation trophies”.

      • Retired Spook April 22, 2018 / 4:01 pm

        Jordan Peterson kept asking the rest of the panel how they proposed to deal with the tens of millions of Americans who voted for Trump and the 40% of the country that still supports him without hopelessly dividing the country. The only one who even attempted to answer was that sanctimonious, smug governor of Washington, who pretty much said there’s nothing Conservatives/Trump supporters can do to oppose the Leftist agenda. Maybe he’s right, and maybe he’s not. It kind of depends on whether the Left’s historical patience holds or the younger elements become impatient and do something radically stupid. I hate to say this, but, absent a complete reversal in our education system, if the Left is patient for another generation or two, Conservatives will only account for 20% of the population, and the only thing that will keep the other 80% of the population at bay is that that that 20% will own most of the guns. I could see a time in the not-too-distant future when armed, freedom loving people will congregate in a dozen of so states, and let the rest of the country slide into the abyss. Can you imagine the level of crime where whole states are gun-free zones, and the citizens have delegated their defense to the government?

      • Amazona April 23, 2018 / 12:39 pm

        Can you imagine the level of crime where whole states are gun-free zones, and the citizens have delegated their defense to the government?

        I saw a quote here a few weeks ago that describes such a state: “I saw a movie where only the police had guns. It was called Schindler’s List.”

      • Amazona April 23, 2018 / 1:39 pm

        I take comfort in a few beliefs, hoping they are not just wishful thinking.

        One is the pattern that every generation tends to rebel against its parents. A tendency of youth to feel that it knows more than its elders could possibly lead future youth to a backlash against Leftism, particularly when this has led to economic miseries such as high taxes and an expanded Dependent Class making effort and productivity a form of slavery. Russians didn’t rebel openly against the oppression of Stalin and Lenin and their heirs but Russia’s entire history had been one of servitude to masters, a history that was hard to overcome and which ended up contributing to the problems the country experienced when their system failed. Our history is one of standing up to oppression, fighting it and fighting for individual liberty, and this is a strong message and an inspiring history, and it will be backed by a significant number of armed citizens, lending a sense of empowerment.

        The Left wants to halt the swing of the pendulum, but that might be a much harder thing to do than many believe.

        Another is the concern that we are being panicked by the difference in volume between the loud, braying, howling, bragging Left and what was once called the Silent Majority. They have most of the voices, from the howling mob to television and to some extent movies (though we do have to remember that they have also made some movies that couldn’t have pleased the Left, like the one about Benghazi and the one about Chris Kyle) but really, when we stand back a little, their real voice is television. They have the NYT and some other papers, but few read newspapers any more and the problem with putting crap in print is that it is permanent and I think Libs prefer things that make noise and then disappear.

        My biggest concern is that conservatives, instead of working to find or develop a way to counter the barrage of Leftist messaging, will be to assume it speaks for the whole nation and just give up. We don’t even need to be loud, just THERE. When you study Resistance movements you learn that they were encouraged by the knowledge that there were others out there sharing the cause, knowledge that was conveyed by secret signs and so on. I can’t help but think we would benefit by some sense of not being overwhelmed, of being part of a big and powerful whole. We had that sense when we elected Trump and now we are starting to fall back into passivity and fretfulness.

        I love that quote about Schindler’s List and am thinking of having some bumper stickers made for my vehicles. It is a powerful message on many levels. It is a message about the dangers of having a massively powerful Central Authority, it is a message about the powerlessness of a disarmed society, and it is a message about what can happen when anti-Semitism is unchecked. I happen to think that having ten million of these bumper stickers across the country would start to get people thinking, and be a counterbalance to the anti-gun crowd.

        I also think that as public education devolves more and more into mere political indoctrination, the truly educated will become an American aristocracy, the only people capable of running businesses, developing technology and providing energy and goods.

      • Jeremiah April 23, 2018 / 11:22 pm

        Can you imagine the level of crime where whole states are gun-free zones, and the citizens have delegated their defense to the government?

        That’s when the government will become the criminals. Just like any dictator controlled military.

        I just noticed lately a new narrative the left is pushing, and I’ve seen it from quite a few people on the left. They simply state this simple line “communism has never been tried” Now these are young people still in school, so you pretty know where their information from. What’s even more frightening is under the assumption that communism has never been tried not just in the country, but all over the world. Anywhere in the world. They say the Soviet Empire wasn’t true communism. All I have to say about that is, if you see that line being parroted “Communism has never been tried before” don’t believe it, it’s a lie from the devil.

      • Amazona April 24, 2018 / 9:56 am

        That’s the thing about really stupid lies—-they are so easy to rebut. The most obvious response would be to point out that the speaker is obviously ignorant on two fronts: of the definition of communism and the history of the USSR.

        I haven’t heard that claim before. I’ve heard the claim that socialism is a wonderful system but where it has been tried they just didn’t do it “right” and we, of course, would do it better.

  4. Retired Spook April 22, 2018 / 5:04 pm

    The guy who is the Chaplain for New York Oath Keepers has come up with a new definition for insanity:

    The New Definition of Insanity: Picking a fight you’re physically and psychologically ill-equipped and un-prepared for.

    Can anyone guess what sociological group he’s referring to?

    • Jeremiah April 22, 2018 / 5:34 pm

      Millennials fresh out of college.

    • Cluster April 23, 2018 / 9:14 am

      That is a good article and Hawkins reminds us that federalism is the constitutional answer to what ails us.

  5. Cluster April 23, 2018 / 9:16 am

    Do you think Starbucks will close 800 stores for “police” sensitivity training?

    So I walk into the Starbucks at 13th and Chestnut in full uniform and ask the young blonde liberal behind the counter if I could use their public bathroom for which you need a key code and she states, in a loud voice so all the other customers can hear that the bathroom is for paying customers only. I then ask in a very polite manner if I could please use it. She then states in the same loud manner and a smirk “Are you a paying customer?” It was at this point that I realized what she was doing. As I walked out with my hand up and while she continued loudly to tell me about the bathroom down the street, I was even more astonished that the many customers and other employees said nothing and seemed indifferent. This is the world cops live in anymore. It’s hip for this generation to berate and totally disrespect cops in front of the public and praise cop killers as the heroes of they’re [sic] time. I never post things but I hope my fellow brothers and sisters in blue see this and know that we have each other… and not to patronize that Starbucks.

    https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/04/hardly_a_stir_when_starbucks_denied_a_cop.html#ixzz5DV7u8YLO

    • Amazona April 23, 2018 / 12:35 pm

      The Left have become complacent as they have watched conservatives react calmly and rationally to insult after insult, until they have come to believe that they are the only ones with the power of the mob. What I think/hope they are missing is that there are different kinds of mobs.

      There is the screeching, howling, animalistic mob of the Left, with its photos of faces distorted by hatred and rage and its signs and its marches and its tasteless costumes and its hysteria, and then there is the power of the quiet, dignified but determined opposition.

      Who are we? We are not the effete dilettantes getting our exercise by joining spinning classes or doing yoga, but are the people out hiking, mountain biking, hunting, fishing. We are the market for much of the inventory of stores like Dick’s and manufacturers like Yeti. So we are the ones with the power to respond to the purveyors of gear we use in our recreation, the sellers of guns and fishing gear and hiking boots and boats and bikes and, yes, coolers.

      And by the way, we also drink coffee.

      We won’t be out there throwing rocks or pooping on police cars or baying at the moon. We won’t be hysterically demanding APOLOGIES !!! because we are so focused on the superficial that all we want is a few words.

      We quietly started going to Chick Fil A instead of other fast food franchises, at first because we wanted to show support for the courage and values of its ownership and then because it is so much better than the burgers and fries of its competition. And now we will quietly drive past Dick’s Sporting Goods to find another store where we can spend our millions and millions of dollars on fishing gear and hunting gear and sports shooting gear and hiking boots. And where we will buy coolers not made by Yeti.

      And we’ll start seeking out local coffee shops for our caffeine fixes, bypassing the mega-chain that is enslaved by its bigotry and offensive in its selective virtue.

      Spook has often referred to the Rule of Holes. Actually, there are a few. My favorite is ‘when your opponent is digging himself into a hole, hand him a shovel”. A corollary to this is “when your opponent is digging himself into a hole, don’t advise him on how to get out of it” and that is what I think conservatives and even independents who haven’t yet found a coherent political philosophy but are still rational and decent are going to do as Lefties dig faster and more frantically.

      There is also something to think about. I don’t know if Yeti is a publicly held company: I know Starbucks, Delta and Dick’s are. That means they are owned by people who have invested in them because they expect the kind of management that will make those businesses successful and show a return on investment. I have to wonder how these investors feel about these companies essentially declaring that they reject about half of the country when it comes to looking for customers. What would happen to the value of these shares if they are only held by Liberals?

      • Jeremiah April 23, 2018 / 11:07 pm

        I will Never Ever spend another dime at Dick’s Sporting Goods. As a matter of fact, I encourage all sportsman and athletes alike to not waste their hard-earned money at that place. Let’s send a boycott message and put Dick’s out of business and out of town. I don’t want them in my area, and neither should others who cherish the second amendment.

      • Amazona April 24, 2018 / 10:03 am

        I don’t dress up in outlandish and vulgar costumes. I don’t march in the streets and howl in rage. I just quietly go about my business.

        It just so happens that “my business” includes driving right past the neighborhood Target to shop somewhere else, since they announced their official policy of allowing men into the women’s restrooms and, I assume, changing areas. I can do the same for Starbucks. I seldom go there any more, unless I am out of town, ever since I bought myself a little espresso machine and started making my own (better) lattes at home, so it won’t be a big deal, but I can do it. As for Dick’s, I have been thinking about refreshing my tackle box and buying a new electric trolling motor, and when I sell some property I am marketing I plan to buy myself a new shotgun—–all items that might have been bought at Dick’s. Dick’s has way too much major competition to flip off so many millions of people.

  6. Cluster April 23, 2018 / 4:22 pm

    I just saw this headline:

    TORONTO TERROR: Van Mows Down Pedestrians on Busy Canadian Street

    And I think it’s time we start to talk about Van violence, truck violence and car violence. In fact, I think the Ford Aerostar van is a very dangerous assault vehicle and should be banned.

    • Amazona April 23, 2018 / 8:33 pm

      You can legally drive an attack vehicle at the age of 16. Perhaps we should raise the age of driving to 21 and initiate background checks and mental health evaluations. While any vehicle can be an Attack Vehicle, it is obvious that large vans have the potential for killing even more people, and should be severely restricted.

      • Retired Spook April 23, 2018 / 10:16 pm

        Large “capacity” vans should just be banned altogether.

      • Cluster April 24, 2018 / 7:56 am

        LMAO …… “large capacity vans”

        This is how we should start addressing all instances of casualties though – blame the inanimate object. This will hopefully shine a light on how absurd the left is when it wants to blame the gun.

      • Amazona April 24, 2018 / 10:20 am

        I just heard that mentioned on TV last night. I usually avoid TV shows about politics but last night was a dead night for TV so I had Fox on in the background while I worked on some projects, and someone made the same observation.

        Taking the blame of inanimate objects for how they are used to its logical conclusion, the geniuses in Deerfield, Illinois might rule that having a white van sitting inert in my driveway would be just as dangerous to the community as a loaded rifle in the coat closet next to the door, and to be legal would have to have the keys locked up and a Denver Boot on a front wheel.

        Then when terrorists or other insane murdering types decide to use blue Chevy pickups to mow down people, they should also be controlled.

        I didn’t see a ban on pressure cookers after the Boston Marathon bombings, but no doubt that’s because no one thought of it.

        I am reading a series of mysteries taking place in England, and the comments of the writer about gun control in England are bizarre. Not that he is making fun of them or complaining—-he accepts them as simply the way things are. But he also has a background in law enforcement so I assume he knows what he is talking about. So when he writes that a special team of law enforcement officers specifically allowed to use firearms has to be called out in certain situations, I believe him. And when one officer was in a situation where an approved firearms officer was shot and she picked up his gun and shot the bad guy, she had to worry about being prosecuted for unlawful firing of a gun. That is, a trained police officer, fighting for her life, used a gun to defend herself and another officer but could have been prosecuted for using his gun to do so because she was not one of the few allowed to legally fire a weapon. In one book, a man fearing for his life armed himself with a length of pipe and a can of pepper spray, even though both were illegal. ????? Pepper spray illegal? Carrying a length of pipe illegal? Yet the books are rife with criminals preying on people, using guns and knives and all sorts of weapon, and the author never comments on the insanity of the citizens not being allowed to arm themselves in self defense. That’s the inevitable eventual mindset of people in a society where gun ownership is just not even considered to be justified.

  7. Jeremiah April 23, 2018 / 11:38 pm

    Y’all pay close attention to Deerfield, Illinois, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, And Vermont over the coming weeks. The gun-grab is under way. In Deerfield they have sixty days to turn in their rifles or face $1,000.00 a day fine that they hold on to their guns. They have to turn in all semi-automatic weaponry, whether it’s a squirrel gun or a deer rifle.

    Let’s stand with the good folks of Deerfield, Illinois and demand the government rescind this unconstitutional law.

    • Amazona April 24, 2018 / 9:51 am

      The law in Deerfield allows rifles to be retained under certain circumstances:

      According to the ordinance, which the the Village Board of Trustees unanimously approved Monday night, it is unlawful for a person “to carry, keep, bear, transport or possess an assault weapon in the Village,” except if the weapon is “broken down in a non-functioning state,” is “not immediately accessible to any person,” or is “unloaded and enclosed in a case, firearm carrying box, shipping box, or other container by a person who has been issued a currently valid Firearm Owner’s Identification Card.”

      In other words, the town has set itself up for multiple very expensive lawsuits, including federal suits for violation of the 2nd Amendment and suits demanding a better definition of “assault rifle” which they now identify as pretty much any semi automatic rifle, if it can accommodate a large capacity magazine. In the meantime, all an owner would have to do, if the Deefield Gestapo come calling at his door, is show them a rifle that is “broken down in a non-functioning state” or even just stored in a way that is “not immediately accessible to any person”. That could include being in a gun safe that has to be unlocked or in a box under a bed. Define “immediately”. A lawsuit might define it as “not accessible in time to be used for self defense”.

      The village will pay for this, if any of its 18,000 residents want to make problems for it, as the law is not only unconstitutional it is badly written, managing to be overbroad and vague at the same time, and just plain stupid.

  8. Cluster April 24, 2018 / 8:44 am

    The problem with Jonah Goldberg’s brand of conservatism is – he doesn’t care if he wins.

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