An Outrageous Riot

The riots in Berkeley, I must say, have got me quite angered. I’m used to the ways of the left and how they behave, but something about last night just really set me off. This isn’t about Milo Yiannopoulos, as a person – though some weak Conservatives last night tried a bit of moral equivalency between him and the rioters – it is about the basic concept of a civil society.

The United States has always been a free speech citadel in the world – no matter how we might have restricted speech by this means or that in the past, it has been since the beginning that in the United States you are more free to speak your mind than in any other place. We have no blasphemy laws; we have no laws of Lèse-majesté. There is no sort of political speech which is banned. Outside of things like yelling fire in crowded theater or immediate incitement to violence, everyone can say what they like. Until just recently.

It has long been known that the left hates free speech. Oh, when they lack power, they’ll talk a good game about free speech (such as the so-called “Free Speech Movement” in the 1960’s), but the whole game is always to just make certain that leftwing speech is shouted from the rooftops and all non-left speech is suppressed. To the left, all non-left speech is actually evil – sirens songs spun by forces against “the people”. Meanwhile, all leftwing speech is inherently good. They don’t view suppressing non-left speech as bad – in fact, it is a positive good as it prevents people from making the mistake of not being leftist. But even without that mindset, non-left speech has to be suppressed because leftwing speech cannot stand up in a free and open debate. Once there’s an actual argument, the left loses. And the left doesn’t like to lose.

In Berkeley, we saw clear as a bell just what the left wants: the elimination of all non-left voices from the public square. And we have to let them know that we won’t be eliminated. I tweeted out last night that I figured a good start would be to withdraw federal funds from Berkeley. I’m glad that Trump had the same thought. Why in heck are we, the people being chased out of the public square, footing the bill for those chasing us? Oh, you can take it a different way – as Gavin Newsome did; in response to Trump, he whined that it was unfair to punish all of Berkeley for the actions of a few. But it’s not like Newsome was proposing to do something about those few. Oh, no – the fact of the matter is that people like Newsome like their bully-boys. They might officially deplore the violence, but they’ll never lift a finger to stop it. And as for the student body of Berkeley – where were you guys? If most of you are really against the violence, why weren’t you out there confronting the rioters? Heck with that – suppress free speech then at the very minimum, we take your taxpayer cash away.

There is talk now of FBI investigations and civil rights lawsuits – and I hope they go forward. It was, in my view, a direct violation of rights that the college and city of Berkeley essentially offered no protection to the rights of Americans who had merely gone to hear a talk. The authorities have an unlimited responsibility to ensure that the rights of all the people are protected – and this not only means the rights of people to go listen to speech, but the right of business owners not to have their establishments smashed to pieces.

Enough is enough – the left has gotten away with trashing this nation for too long. As a free speech absolutist, I want them to be able to continue to say whatever they want. But when what they do gets into lighting fires, smashing windows and beating people, then it’s time to take action.

UPDATE: A little harsh, perhaps, but I think V the K at Gay Patriot is on to something here – relating to a fashion designer making clothes inspired by rioting Social Justice Warriors:

So, whether you’re beating a Trump supporter unconscious with a metal pipe, or just spraying painting “STOP HATE” on a Mormon Church, you will look fabulous, darling. Oh, the romance of socialist revolution! Why be a plain vanilla college student who has led a quiet life of white privilege, when you can be a revolutionary like Che Guevara! Put on that distressed leather jacket, cover your face with a black bandana, and go out there and start a fire in a trash can! Smash some other people’s car windows! That will show those jocks from high school who never invited you to their parties and got to screw all the good-looking girls! You’re down with the struggle, baby! When you take your laundry home — including the pair of pants you crapped in when you thought you saw some riot police headed your way — make sure you tell Mom and Dad’s maid to follow the f–king care instructions TO THE LETTER! Can’t have your best bad-ass riot clothes ruined by that insolent wench.

These are mostly well-off kids – probably bored; many of them, perhaps, from distressed home lives…and here’s their chance to act like they are something. People who can’t accomplish real things often turn towards nihilistic destruction. Lenin was a lousy lawyer; Hitler was a failed artist – both of them were from well-off backgrounds and never wanted to sully their hands with actual work. Not saying all these kiddies are budding Hitlers and Lenins, but they are of the type.

The Rules of Politics are Changing

Trump has filed forms with the FEC for his prospective 2020 re-election bid, and the State of North Dakota is checking to see if the paid pipeline protestors are filing their tax forms.

The first thing will make it much more difficult for well-heeled, Progressive interest groups to set up non-profits to oppose Trump initiatives. I don’t know all the legal ins and outs of it, but it appears that if you’re a non-profit, there are restrictions on what you can do in partisan politics – Trump is set to run again in 2020, and thus a non-profit is curtailed in what it can do against him. This is turning Progressive “lawfare” against them with a vengeance.

The North Dakota action may well be motivated by the fact that North Dakota has had to shell out big bucks due to the pipeline protests, but it works out as a discouragement for the sort of paid protestors Progressive groups gin up to make it look like there is widespread, popular opposition to certain things. This is also a bit of “lawfare” turned against the left.

And this is how you fight them. You see, for many years, the left has used the American system – and, often, taxpayer subsidies of one sort or another – to work against the actual desires of the American people. Until Walker’s reforms in Wisconsin, no one had really taken the fight to the means by which the left advances their cause – and that successful fight in Wisconsin instructed everyone that (a) you can fight them on that level and (b) you can win.

I think we’ll see more and more of this – and the Democrats just making sure there is more of it. Democrats will rue the day they walked out on Hatch’s committee. Hatch – I’ve met the man: a nice gentleman in the largest sense of the word – simply does not like the idea that decorum should be shoved aside like that. It wasn’t even over a crucial issue the Democrats had a chance of winning on – Hatch might have understood something like that. But merely trying to delay the inevitable because some shrieking protestors are demanding it? Absurd. And insulting.

The left is anti-intellectual, anti-truth and committed to the asinine concept that few experts can manage things for the benefit of all. It is past time we ended this nonsense – and we end it by hitting the left where it hurts the most: in their taxpayer money, and their ability to be jerks without paying a price.

Pre-Supreme Court Nominee Open Thread

As the people at Instapundit are putting it these days: do you want more Trump? Because this is how you get more Trump:

The British Medical Association (BMA) has told people to stop calling pregnant people expectant mothers because it could offend transgender people. Instead, call those females “pregnant people.”

For some bizarre, inexplicable reason, the MSM is starting to pay attention to military casualties after an 8 year hiatus.

In case you ever need the info: how far away do you need to be to survive a nuclear blast? My father knew a great deal about this – bottom line: far, far away. I actually had his nuclear blast calculator for a long while: handed it off to a niece who is studying physics.

Not all American Muslims are against Trump.

Last night, Progressives were spreading the Fake News that Trump was going to rescind some protections for gay Americans – turns out, he wasn’t. Which is no surprise, at all, as Trump is probably one of the most gay-friendly people we’ve ever elected…remember, unlike Obama, Trump went into office in favor of same-sex marriage.

Like the American left, the French left is figuring that what the people want is even more leftism. We’ll see how that works out – both for French leftists and ours.

A Few Things About the Immigration Executive Order

Naturally, if Trump does something, liberals find some reason to express their faux outrage. I know I haven’t blogged here much–or at all–lately, but I thought I’d just compile some important information for everyone to consider before jumping to conclusions, and of course, to highlight the hypocrisy of those who claim to be outraged.

The list of countries covered by the executive order came from Obama

Contrary to claims that the countries covered were determined by which countries Trump has or doesn’t have business interests, the list actually comes from the Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, which was signed by Obama.

The Executive Order allows for exemptions

All you have to do is read it.

(e) Notwithstanding the temporary suspension imposed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may jointly determine to admit individuals to the United States as refugees on a case-by-case basis, in their discretion, but only so long as they determine that the admission of such individuals as refugees is in the national interest — including when the person is a religious minority in his country of nationality facing religious persecution, when admitting the person would enable the United States to conform its conduct to a preexisting international agreement, or when the person is already in transit and denying admission would cause undue hardship — and it would not pose a risk to the security or welfare of the United States.

The president has the authority to restrict travel

For those people who think the Executive Order exceeded presidential authority, they should read 8 U.S. Code § 1182 – Inadmissible aliens

(f)Suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by President

Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate. Whenever the Attorney General finds that a commercial airline has failed to comply with regulations of the Attorney General relating to requirements of airlines for the detection of fraudulent documents used by passengers traveling to the United States (including the training of personnel in such detection), the Attorney General may suspend the entry of some or all aliens transported to the United States by such airline.

Every President since Carter has restricted travel from certain groups of immigrants

Alex Pfieffer at The Daily Caller goes into detail about what each president did with that authority, so give it a read.

 Obama “banned” Iraqi refugees for six months in 2011

ABC News reported back in 2013, “the State Department stopped processing Iraq refugees for six months in 2011, federal officials told ABC News – even for many who had heroically helped U.S. forces as interpreters and intelligence assets.” Does anyone recall outrage about this? Me neither. The action was clearly rooted in a legitimate security concern that was determined to outweigh other considerations.

As it is written, it is not supposed to cover current green-card holders

David French, hardly a Trump supporter, explains at National Review “The plain language of the order doesn’t apply to legal permanent residents of the U.S., and green-card holders have been through round after round of vetting and security checks.” Either the EO is being improperly implemented, or somehow, the Trump Administration is interpreting the EO differently. Regardless, I completely agree that green-card holders should not be targeted by the EO, and if they are, deliberately, or accidentally, it is wrong and needs to be remedied.

On that note, French’s piece as whole is worth reading.

The Realities of Fighting a War

A lot of people are getting bent out of shape over the prospect of waterboarding being resumed, at least in theory, under a Trump Administration. Just to let you know – plenty of my fellow Catholics have been loudly proclaiming the Church’s absolute prohibition against any sort of torture. I, of course, subscribe 100% to Church teaching – I routinely fall short of it, but I believe it to be correct in all respects and that everyone should do their level best to live up to it. I would have it that we would never use waterboarding, or any other terrible thing. But if you were suddenly made President of the United States and found that we had captured people who had immediate knowledge of a pending terrorist massacre, what would you do? I thank God I’ll never be in that position – but if such a situation arises and a President (any President) decides to use forceful measure to obtain information, that President won’t find me in the line of people condemning the action, or calling for a war crimes trial.

And that brings me to the subject of war crimes. The basis of them are various international agreements entered in to which prescribe the ways and means a nation can behave in war time – against enemy soldiers and against enemy populations. It is all very admirable stuff and if everyone would at all times obey such rules then war, while still being a cruelty, would be a lot less worse. But the plain fact of the matter is that international conventions about warfare don’t work in the breach. We only refrained from using poison gas in WWII because the enemy refrained – had the Germans or the Japanese used them, so would we have. And even without enemy first-use, as the Battle of Okinawa ground on and our losses mounted, there was an official request from the military to use poison gas against dug in Japanese forces. It was vetoed at the highest level – but had there not been an atomic bomb and we had invaded Japan, my bet is that we would have used it, if the defense of the Japanese homeland had been in any way like the defense of Okinawa.

The gold standard for how to deal with war crimes remains the Nuremberg trials in Germany after World War Two. But while there was a grandeur about them, the fact that Soviet judges participated made them not what they should have been. Stalin’s regime never packed people into gas chambers to murder them, but millions were still done to death by Stalin’s henchmen – it is hard to find a crime which the Nazis committed and the Soviets avoided. And even in things like charges about plotting aggressive warfare and engaging in unrestricted submarine warfare, our side was guilty, too…with the Brits only being beaten by the Germans invading Norway by a matter of hours, and our unrestricted submarine campaign against Japan being vastly more effective than the German’s campaign against us and the British (indeed, German Admiral Donitz was helped to a lesser sentence by no less a figure than Fleet Admiral Nimitz, who wrote a letter to the Nuremberg judges advising them that the submarine charge against Donitz could be equally applied to Nimitz).

War is cruelty and you cannot refine it – so said General Grant. By one means or another, in war you are seeking to kill and destroy. It is better for you if you use only the minimal force necessary, and that you treat a defeated enemy with mercy. But especially when faced with a cruel foe who makes no distinction and seeks to win by any means necessary, you may at times be forced to brutal methods, yourself. And it is not for us to judge the men and women, forced into horrible circumstances, about the decisions they made. If you aren’t the person making the decision – in a swift, terrible moment when you cannot possibly have all necessary facts at your disposal – then you are not the person to judge. Only God can do that.

Today, we are faced with a very cruel enemy who sticks at nothing to win. It is to be hoped that our government and military leaders will come up with a good plan which will help curb and, perhaps, eventually destroy the wicked enemy and bring peace to the world. But one thing they don’t need is high-minded virtue-signalling from those of us who don’t have to make the decisions and carry them out.

What Media Bias? Part 202

From Conrad Black:

The two signal facts, or “alternative facts” in the well-chosen parlance of the brilliant and engaging co-counselor and victorious campaign manager of the president, Kellyanne Conway, are that public approval of the national news media now stands at 14%, and the allegations the press are now making against the new administration are of no interest to any serious segment of the public.

After a while, if you lie constantly, no one is going to believe you – even if, for the moment, you are telling the truth.

What happened to the MSM in 2016 was the cumulation of their dishonesty over a many-decade period. This was helped along by the MSM going entirely overboard, even by MSM standards, in their desire to destroy Trump at the behest of their Democrat friends and Trump’s ability to command the center of attention with a willingness to punch back very hard. The MSM is now exposed as a hollow threat – and even mainstream GOP politicians will cease to tremble in fear of offending it. But let’s take a look at how the MSM did this to itself.

G. K. Chesterton – himself a journalist – pointed out very long ago that there was no need of a censorship of the press because we already had a very functional censorship by the press. The press – the MSM as we call it today – takes sides. If they like a person or a particular grouping of people, they will go soft on them. If they don’t like a person or grouping of people, they will be merciless in hounding them. This does have an effect on how some people can be viewed even long after they are dead.

Take, for instance, Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. Roosevelt is lauded in the history books as the strong President who got things done. Taft is derided as a well-meaning man who simply didn’t have the ability of Roosevelt. But, if you dig a bit into the history of things, you’ll find that even on something as signature to Roosevelt as his “trust busting”, Taft actually did far more. Roosevelt did start the Panama Canal, but he did it in a manner which caused grave harm to America’s reputation among Latin American people…Taft actually got the thing properly organized for construction and then kept a close eye on matters until it was nearly done (it was completed about 18 months after he left office…but by then it was all over but the shouting). If you’re liked by the MSM, you’ll have an easy ride – if you’re hated by them, then no level of excellence will be sufficient. When you translate this to the political parties, the MSM likes the Democrats, hates the Republicans – and this goes back quite a long ways: at least to FDR, but a case can be made that the MSM has hated the Republicans ever since Republicans thwarted Wilson, whom they liked, after World War One.

Of course, to take sides means you are simply not going to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. You can’t – because the truth will some times work against your side. Even you don’t flat-out lie for your side, you’re still going to present things in a manner which gives best advantage to your side, and most disadvantage to the other side. And you can speak quite a lot of truth without giving the whole truth; of course, if you don’t give out the whole truth, you’ve carried out the functional equivalent of a lie…but as you can’t be caught out in a factual inaccuracy, you can pretend that you just speak the truth. And that is what the MSM did for many decades. As long as their good friends, the Democrats, generally ran things – and from 1932 until 1980, they generally did, in spite of a few GOPers managing to get into the White House – there was no need to lie; you could just tell that part of the truth which reflected most ill upon Republicans. After the election of Reagan – and, especially, his re-election – that started to change.

I still date the break with truth-telling to be Ted Kennedy’s speech against Robert Bork in 1986. No matter how you want to slice it up, Kennedy got out there and delivered a pack of lies about Robert Bork and then the MSM refused to just call them lies. This, I think, is where old Rush gets his view that, for the MSM, it isn’t the facts of the case but the seriousness of the charge which matters…we are to discuss the charge, not the facts. Kennedy made serious charges – essentially saying that Bork was a Nazi set to destroy freedom in America. Republicans were then asked to prove that he – and they – weren’t in favor of Nazi tyranny. We still weren’t to outright fabrication by the MSM, but we had stepped away from telling even partial truth. Later, especially after the GOP won Congress in 1994, the MSM went to flat out lies in defense of their side.

They felt they had to. The reason Reagan won – and Gingrich’s GOP won – was that the system created by the Democrats was starting to fall apart. The Welfare State wasn’t working. The military system and alliances created by the Democrats wasn’t working. The economic system of the Democrats wasn’t working. To tell the truth about anything pretty much meant you were going to have to say something bad about Democrats. The MSM could still tell bits of truth about the GOP which were bad for the GOP – so, of course, whenever a GOPer was caught in genuine scandal, it was played up for all it was worth – but that wasn’t enough, because the GOP was proposing alternatives to failed policies and even if the alternatives were untested, it was clear that we couldn’t just go on and on with policies which were failing right in front of everyone’s eyes. It became necessary to just cook up things to say which would either help Democrats, or harm Republicans. And that is where things started to go wrong for the MSM – took a while, but as I noted, when you lie enough, eventually people just stop believing you.

And it did take a while. It took ten thousand accusations of GOP racism, sexism and homophobia. Ten thousand accusations that GOPers want to starve kids and shove granny off a cliff. It took ten thousand stories about how swell Democrat things are while people could see for themselves that they were getting worse. It took, finally, eight years of servile MSM devotion to Obama winding up in lunatic MSM opposition to Trump to finish the job.

I’ve seen some articles by MSMers wondering how they can get their mojo back – in none of them do I see, “we’ll report the truth, no matter what it is”. They still can’t go there for the same reason they could never go there: they still like the Democrats (actually, of course, they are Democrats), and still hate Republicans. How things will work out for the next four to eight years remains to be seen. But we do actually need an MSM which will just tell the truth. The alternative media is great – and played a role in breaking through the MSM lies – but it is also contains many people just as willing to lie for their own side as the MSM has been. As soon as someone figures out that what will really sell is an MSM outfit which will just tell the truth – the verified, honest truth – no matter whom it hurts, that will be the MSM outfit which comes to dominate all others…and leads to a restoration of a genuine free press in the United States.

Out and About on a Monday

While everyone argued about Trump’s crowd size and a zillion Hillary supporters engaged in bizarre demonstrations over the weekend, a few real things happened:

Jerusalem mayor says he’s talking with with Trump Administration about moving our embassy to Jerusalem.

Bergdahl’s lawyers are now trying to claim he can’t get a fair trial under President Trump.

On his way out the door, Obama gave us one more lie.

Democrats are just not getting it: Caroline Kennedy being talked up as a possible Senate and Presidential candidate. You see, she doesn’t have Clinton’s “baggage”, so that will make us all want to elect a member of a worn out, has-been political dynasty…

Some law professors are suing President Trump over the Emoluments clause. Said clause:

No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State

So, even if a foreign leader staying at a Trump hotel is considered an “emolument”, all Trump would need is a waiver from a GOP controlled Congress to get past the difficulty. But, I don’t buy the argument that such is an emolument – the definition being, “a salary, fee, or profit from employment or office”. Donald Trump is neither an employee nor an officer of his various private concerns at the moment. You can argue that because it is still “all in the family”, as it were, he’s getting paid but that stretches it to near impossible lengths. Suppose, Progressives, your favorite Progressive movie star became President…would a foreign leader renting one of their movies work out to an emolument? No – this is just an attempt to work up nothing into something.

Seems that while some of the senior leadership at CIA dislikes Trump, perhaps the rank and file are more pleased with him.

Don Surber reminds us that the same CNN which is after Trump is the CNN which hid Saddam’s crimes in order to retain “access”.

Plenty of speculation on who will be Trump’s Supreme Court pick.

Progressives want to get Trump out via impeachment. The plan works like this:

1. Hold loud, nasty protests on a regular basis.
2. ????
3. Win 218 House seats and 67 Senate seats in the 2018 mid-terms.

No one mention to them that even if Democrats held on to all their Senate seats up for election in 2018 and won every GOP seat up (this would include winning Senate seats in such areas as Tennessee and Utah, by the way), Democrats would only get up to 56 Senators… As I said, don’t bring this up too often…let them dream their little, dreamy dreams. Keeps them busy while Trump and the GOP Congress get things done.