Trivial Pursuit By The Press Corps

We have a quickly changing international situation brewing with the seizure of ships by Iran in the Strait of Hormuz. Decisions made in the White House could have major consequences in the lives of all Americans. Hopefully the right decisions will be made, but the situation is worth everyone’s attention. But I guess the Press Corps has other things on its mind.

Yesterday The Washington Examiner reported that shortly after receiving news that two tankers had been seized by the Iranians, the President was talking to the Press Corps.

The article reports:

President Trump was asked if he was “in favor of banning plastic straws” by a reporter on Friday afternoon, just a short time after an Iranian provocation in the Strait of Hormuz.

“Are you in favor of banning plastic straws?” a reporter asked the president outside the White House.

“I do think we have bigger problems than plastic straws. You know, it’s interesting about plastic straws. So you have a little straw, but what about the plates, the wrappers, and everything else that are much bigger and they’re made of the same material? So the straws are interesting, everybody focuses on the straws, there’s a lot of other things to focus on. It’s an interesting question.”

Evidently there was some context for the question:

“Trump Straws” went on sale on the Trump campaign website on Thursday. The 10-pack of reusable red straws are laser engraved with “Trump” on them, and the description reads, “Liberal paper straws don’t work. STAND WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP and buy your pack of recyclable straws today.”

I don’t know whether I would have been so gracious as to answer the question. It seems as if the Press Corps is playing Trivial Pursuit and ignoring the major news around them.

I Suspect That This Is Not The First Time This Has Been Done

On Thursday The Federalist posted an article about The New York Times best seller list. It seems that the list is not as straight forward as it should be.

The article reports:

The New York Times fudged book sales data in order to deny top-five billing to the best-selling “Justice on Trial,” the definitive and deeply reported account of the nomination and confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, which was written by Carrie Severino and Mollie Hemingway, a Senior Editor for The Federalist. Industry sales figures show that the New York Times ignored actual data on nationwide sales in order to depress the rankings not just for the Hemingway/Severino book, but also Mark Levin’s latest book on the corruption of modern journalism.

According to Publisher’s Weekly, the only public source of point-of-sale data on book sales, “Justice on Trial,” was the top-selling non-fiction book published over the last week. Tara Westover’s blockbuster memoir “Educated” was the top-selling non-fiction overall according to data from NPD Bookscan, but is excluded from Publisher’s Weekly’s list since it was first published over a year ago.

Mark Levin’s “Unfreedom of the Press” came in at #2 on the best-selling list, followed by David McCullough’s “The Pioneers” at #3, “Three Women” by Lisa Taddeo at #4, and Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” at #5. Hemingway’s and Severino’s book outsold each of those books placed ahead of it on the New York Times list, according to nationwide sales data.

Amazon.com, the online retail giant, reported that “Justice on Trial” was also the top-selling non-fiction book on its site last week. It was Amazon’s top-selling book overall, non-fiction or otherwise, from Monday through Friday of last week.

The New York Times, however, reported a very different ranking at complete odds with the Publisher’s Weekly/NPD Bookscan sales figures. Instead of accurately reporting that “Justice on Trial” was the second best-selling hardcover non-fiction book in America last week according to widely accepted industry sales data, the New York Times put the book at #6 on its list, behind Mark Levin’s book at #5. Neither ranking can be justified by actual sales figures.

The article concludes:

Rather than collecting nationwide data on book sales across all platforms and locations, the New York Times reportedly surveys only select retailers, the identities of which the paper refuses to disclose.

In a 2007 column, former public editor Clark Hoyt all but admitted that the New York Times Best Seller list was fake news.

The list “is not a completely accurate barometer of what the reading public is buying,” Hoyt wrote. “For my money, if the main list is a best sellers list, it ought to reflect what’s selling best.”

So I guess The New York Times best seller list is about as accurate as the rest of their reporting.

 

A Disturbing Trend On College Campuses

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Basically that means that even people you disagree with have the right to speak. However, that principle is not being taught on many of our college campuses.

The Daily Signal posted an article today about some recent events at Williams College.

The article reports:

At Williams College in Massachusetts, biology professor Dr. Luana Maroja wrote online last year that she was concerned about student and administrator attitudes regarding free speech. She gathered more than 100 faculty signatures on a petition calling for the school to adopt what is known as the “Chicago Principles,” a statement in favor of free expression developed by the University of Chicago.

More than 60 schools have endorsed this statement, a welcome response to the disrupted events and other nonsense that have plagued universities around the country.

Some Williams students will have none of it. Maroja says that more than a dozen of them barged into a faculty meeting last November holding signs such as “free speech harms” and saying faculty were trying to “kill” the students.

After that, tensions escalated. The College Fix reports that a professor subsequently “threatened violence” if Williams adopted the Chicago statement. All this, because Maroja dared to promote the idea that Williams should maintain a “climate of mutual respect.”

If that isn’t troubling enough, a poll of the students is even more troubling:

A recent survey of college students found that more than half of respondents say shouting down speakers is “always” or “sometimes” acceptable. Sixteen percent of respondents say it is “always” or “sometimes” acceptable to use violence to stop a speech protest or rally.

These responses are disturbing. Civil society – life in the office, in your neighborhood, at your child’s soccer game – depends on people tolerating those who do not share their beliefs, not trying to silence them through intimidation or violence. The American Dream dies if we live in fear of persecution.

Williams officials should take seriously the threats posed to the next generation of adults that come from limiting the ideas that can be considered on campus. The school should require students to attend sessions on free speech during freshman orientation – and explain that hiding from ideas with which you disagree is a poor strategy for life.

New policies for public universities in Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, and Wisconsin now serve as examples of how to protect everyone’s freedom of expression in a campus community.

These policies affirm the idea that anyone should be allowed to protest or demonstrate in public areas as long as they do not prevent others from doing the same. Moreover, they stipulate that their public universities must be prepared to penalize individuals who silence others.

The article notes that Williams is a private college and can set its own policies regarding free speech. However, it is troubling that the First Amendment is no longer appreciated or practiced on some college campuses.

Unfortunately This Is Going To Require A Response

Fox News is reporting today that two tankers flying British flags have been seized by Iran in the Strait of Hormuz.

The article reports:

Fox News has learned that a second Liberian tanker operated by a British company was also seized by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and was seen on maritime tracking services making a turn, headed towards Iran.

President Trump said Friday that Iran is “nothing but trouble” and that “we heard one, we heard two,” tankers were seized.

Iran seized a British-flagged oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz earlier Friday amid growing tensions in the region.

The Stena Impero, which has a crew of 23 onboard, “was approached by unidentified small crafts and a helicopter during transit of the Strait of Hormuz while the vessel was in international waters,” Stena Bulk, the shipping company that owns the vessel, said in a statement. “We are presently unable to contact the vessel which is now heading north towards Iran.”

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard forces, in a statement on their website, say the ship was seized for “non-compliance with international maritime laws and regulations” and is being brought to an unnamed Iranian port, according to the Associated Press.

Websites tracking the ship’s path show it turning sharply in the direction of Iran’s Qeshm Island, instead of its intended destination of Saudi Arabia.

“We are urgently seeking further information and assessing the situation following reports of an incident in the Gulf,” a U.K. government spokesperson told Fox News.

In July 2018 Reuters posted the following:

With a third of the world’s sea-borne oil passing through it every day, the Strait of Hormuz is a strategic artery linking Middle East crude producers to key markets in Asia Pacific, Europe, North America and beyond.

That dynamic has changed slightly due to the fact that America now exports more crude oil than they import. The countries that will be hurt by problems in the Strait of Hormuz will be Europe, India, and China. I am sure that America will be willing to help Europe, Russia will also increase her oil production. The price of oil will rise sharply, but it is doubtful that the Strait will remain closed.

The latest report that I have heard is that there are actually three tankers that have been seized. This is an international problem and should be handled by the international community in unison.

How Much Are American Lives Worth?

Most of the people attempting to break into America are people simply looking for a way out of economic and political oppression. However, there are some seriously rotten apples in the bunch. Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about one group of rotten apples.

The article reports:

22 members of the violent El Salvadoran gang MS-13 were charged with enforcing a criminal racketeering enterprise by murdering people in ‘medieval style’ killing sprees.

A 12-count indictment was handed down Monday by prosecutors in Los Angeles who charged the MS-13 gang members with killing 7 people with machetes.

A rival gang member was dismembered and his heart cut out of his chest and thrown into canyon in Los Angeles.

 Now we know 19 of the 22 arrested gang members were here in the US illegally.

In February, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously passed a resolution giving Los Angeles sanctuary status for immigrants. In a 12-0 vote, the council reaffirmed laws limiting cooperation with federal authorities regarding immigration enforcement policies. Loosely translated that means that law enforcement in the city will not cooperate with the federal government to enforce immigration laws. Had immigration laws been enforced, 19 of the 22 gang members would not have been here to commit the horrendous crimes they committed.

Another Democrat Candidate

Recently Tom Steyer announced that he was running for President as a Democrat. The millionaire is running on a ‘5 Rights’ agenda. According to The Washington Times, the ‘5 Rights’ are:  “unencumbered access to voting, clean air and water, education, a living wage and healthcare to be constitutionally protected for every American.”

Tom Steyer portrays himself as an environmentalist who opposes the use of coal for energy, but his history tells another story.

Yesterday Breitbart posted the following:

Despite marketing himself as an “environmental justice” advocate combating “climate change,” billionaire Democrat presidential candidate Tom Steyer oversaw the funding of coal plants in Australia, China, and Indonesia during his tenure as CEO of hedge fund Farallon Capital Management.

Steyer also bought and sold coal stocks during the Obama administration’s “war on coal,” explained Peter Schweizer, president of the Government Accountability Institute and senior contributor at Breitbart News, in episode four of the Drill Down.

There is nothing wrong with funding coal plants, but the hypocrisy is another example of the ‘rules for thee, but not for me’ attitude held by so many in the political class.

The article concludes:

Steyer also circumvented conflict-of-interest regulations prohibiting American advisers from investing in countries they were assisting following the collapse of the Soviet Union and subsequent privatization of Russian industries. Larry Summers, former president of Harvard University and economics adviser to the Obama administration, was tasked with overseeing Russian industries’ presumed shift towards free market operations. Steyer worked with Summers’ wife, possibly gleaning insider information upon which to make investment decisions.

“It’s a classic maneuver of crony capitalism,” said Schweizer of Steyer’s evasion of the aforementioned conflict-of-interest regulations.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. Tom Steyer is not someone we want in the White House.

There Is Always A Problem With A House Of Cards

On Tuesday, John Solomon posted an opinion piece at The Hill that is going to create problems for those diehards still trying to justify the political use of the intelligence community under President Obama. As we all remember, the Steele Dossier was the main justification for spying on the Trump campaign (and the transition team and the entire administration in its early days). We all know that the Steele Dossier was political opposition research. Some of us wonder how the FBI and the FISA Court did not know that fact (or if they did and chose to ignore it). Well, we are finally getting answers.

The Hill notes:

Some in the news media have tried in recent days to rekindle their long-lost love affair with former MI6 agent Christopher Steele and his now infamous dossier.

The main trigger was a lengthy interview in June with the Department of Justice (DOJ) inspector general, which some news outlets suggested meant U.S. officials have found Steele, the former Hillary Clinton-backed political muckraker, to be believable. 

“Investigators ultimately found Steele’s testimony credible and even surprising,” Politico crowed. The Washington Post went even further, suggesting Steele’s assistance to the inspector general might “undermine Trumpworld’s alt-narrative” that the Russia-collusion investigation was flawed.

For sure, Steele may have valuable information to aid Justice’s internal affairs probe into misconduct during the 2016 Russia election probe. His dossier alleging a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Moscow ultimately was disproven, but not before his intelligence was used to secure a surveillance warrant targeting the Trump campaign in the final days of the 2016 election.  

…Multiple sources familiar with the FBI spreadsheet tell me the vast majority of Steele’s claims were deemed to be wrong, or could not be corroborated even with the most awesome tools available to the U.S. intelligence community. One source estimated the spreadsheet found upward of 90 percent of the dossier’s claims to be either wrong, nonverifiable or open-source intelligence found with a Google search.

In other words, it was mostly useless.

The article concludes:

Even State officials, who listened to Steele’s theories in October 2016 – less than two weeks before his dossier was used to support the FISA request – instantly determined he was grossly wrong on some points.

Any effort to use Steele’s belated cooperation with the inspector general’s investigation to prop up the credibility of his 2016 anti-Trump dossier or the FBI’s reliance on it for the FISA warrant is deeply misguided.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), a key defender of Trump, said he talked with DOJ officials after the most recent stories surfaced about Steele and was told the reporting is wrong. “Based on my conversations with DOJ officials, recent reports which suggest Christopher Steele’s dossier and allegations are somehow deemed credible by DOJ, are simply false and not based on any confirmation from sources with direct knowledge of ongoing investigations,” Meadows told me.

The FBI’s own spreadsheet was so conclusive that it prompted then-FBI Director James Comey (no fan of Trump, mind you) to dismiss the document as “salacious and unverified” and for lead FBI agent Peter Strzok to text, “There’s no big there there.” FBI lawyer Lisa Page testified that nine months into reviewing Steele’s dossier they had not found evidence of the collusion that Steele alleged.

Two years later, Mueller came to the same conclusion: Steele’s intelligence alleging a conspiracy was never verified. 

The next time you hear a pundit suggesting Steele’s dossier is credible or that the FBI’s reliance on it as FISA evidence was justified, just picture all those blanks in that FBI spreadsheet.

They speak volumes as to what went wrong in the Russia investigation.

Some people in the Obama administration have some ‘splainin’ to do. If we truly have equal justice under the law, some of them will see jail time.

The Professionally Offended Often Have No Idea What They Are Talking About

Yesterday The Daily Wire posted an article about a recent dust-up over a shirt worn by Chris Pratt. The shirt depicted the Gadsden Flag, a Revolutionary War flag.

An article at Yahoo News reported:

The Marvel star’s top shows the American flag with a coiled snake over the top and a message underneath which reads “Don’t Tread On Me.”

The writing and snake combo on its own is depicted on the Gadsden flag; a symbol created by Christopher Gadsden, a Charleston-born brigadier general in the Continental Army.

It came to prominence during the Revolutionary War of the US by colonists who wanted independence from Great Britain.

Although it is one of the symbols and flags used by the U.S. Men’s Soccer Team, over the years the flag has been adopted by Far Right political groups like the Tea Party, as well as gun-toting supporters of the Second Amendment.

It has therefore become a symbol of more conservative and far right individuals and, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of the US, it also is “sometimes interpreted to convey racially-tinged messages in some contexts.”

Wait a minute. Since when is it far right to support the U.S. Constitution and want smaller government? Note the subtle criticism of those who support the Second Amendment. Also, there is nothing racial about the Gadsden flag. Race was not part of the equation at the time it was designed. The Yahoo News story is injecting opinion into its reporting, giving some basic facts, but misleading the reader.

Aside from the fact that the professionally offended are again trying to put a negative spin on a symbol of our history, Chris Pratt was wearing the shirt to support a pro-veteran nonprofit called the Brain Treatment Foundation.

The article at The Daily Wire reports:

On Facebook, Brain Treatment Foundation posted a photo of Pratt in the T-shirt and said that they were “honored” by the support.

“We are honored to work with the silent warriors who sacrifice greatly so that others may live free, who defend our freedom, who live with honor and by the word of God. These warriors hunt evil to protect our peace, while those who disparage their sacrifices and our nation from behind a computer screen, pretend it doesn’t exist,” the organization said. “We are proud of the American flag and all symbols that represent the freedom brave men and women have shed blood for since the inception of our great country.”

This is another example of the political left criticizing something they know nothing about. Hopefully fewer people are falling for the antics of the professionally offended.

Elections Have Consequences

The Daily Caller posted an article today about a planned resolution that will be introduced in Congress this week by Democratic Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar.

The article reports:

Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar says she will introduce a resolution this week supporting the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

The freshman Congresswoman told Al Monitor on Tuesday that her resolution approving of a boycott of one of America’s allies will be an exercise in “American values,” and a stand for the First Amendment. The move comes after President Donald Trump accused Omar and other progressive congresswomen of being anti-American.

“We are introducing a resolution … to really speak about the American values that support and believe in our ability to exercise our First Amendment rights in regard to boycotting,” she told the outlet. “And it is an opportunity for us to explain why it is we support a nonviolent movement, which is the BDS movement.”

I don’t have a problem with anyone exercising their First Amendment rights. However, it is interesting to me that a Congresswoman would introduce a bill approving a boycott of one of America’s strongest allies. Israel is the only truly free country in the Middle East–it is the only country that allows people to worship whatever god they serve. The Congresswoman has shown herself to be anti-Semitic in previous statements, and this resolution simply reinforces that idea. Last time I checked, antisemitism was a form of racism. It seems that some of the charges this woman is making against the President might apply to her.

A New Level Of Insanity

Hot Air posted an article today about “Meth-gators.” Yes, you read that right.

The article reports:

Loretto Police Department in Tennessee posted an ominous warning on Facebook. “Don’t flush your drugs” is their message. If you thought that “Deeznutz” the attack squirrel was a wild story, how about meth-gators?

You may remember Deeznutz. Alabama police say they were warned about a man feeding his pet squirrel methamphetamines to make it an attack squirrel. The story goes that the squirrel was not tested for drugs when the man was arrested and it was released. If you think a meth-fueled rodent sounds bad, there is a more troubling development. Maybe.

An attack squirrel? Really?

There is a serious side to this article.

The article reports:

The Loretto Police Department used its Facebook page to deliver a public service announcement after the drug bust on the dangers of contaminating the local water supply with drugs. No one wants methed-up animals.

“This Folks…please don’t flush your drugs m’kay (sic). When you send something down the sewer pipe it ends up in our retention ponds for processing before it is sent down stream. Now our sewer guys take great pride in releasing water that is cleaner than what is in the creek, but they are not really prepared for meth.”

“Ducks, Geese, and other fowl frequent our treatment ponds and we shudder to think what one all hyped up on meth would do. Furthermore, if it made it far enough we could create meth-gators in Shoal Creek and the Tennessee River down in North Alabama. They’ve had enough methed up animals the past few weeks without our help. So, if you need to dispose of your drugs just give us a call and we will make sure they are disposed of in the proper way.”

Seriously, most police departments have a disposal site for unused drugs. They don’t belong in our water supply.

So Remind Me Why I Voted

We live in a representative republic. We elect people to represent us. Occasionally we actually vote on issues via referendums, ballot initiatives, etc. Those votes directly reflect the will of the voters.

In 2018, the General Assembly passed a law putting an item on the ballot that required voters to show identification in order to vote. Governor Cooper vetoed the legislation; the Senate overrode the veto. The measure was also challenged in court, but that challenge seems to have gone nowhere.

The voters of North Carolina approved voter id by more than 50 percent. The Governor has called the law racist and unnecessary. If everyone is required to show identification, how is that racist? The law is necessary because we have a number of voters on our voter rolls that are over 110 years of age. I doubt that all of those people are still alive. There are also situations where fifty or more people are listed as having the same address–an address that does not have an inhabitable building. There have also been situations where people who voted were asked to serve on a jury and told the court they couldn’t because they were not American citizens. Wow.

Yes, voter id is necessary. Yes, the voters of North Carolina voted for it. Yes, Governor Cooper, you should be representing the will of the voters.

Why Do We Need A Secure Border?

There are a number of different reasons we need to secure out borders–north, south, east, and west.

The researchers at The Heritage Foundation list a few basic facts about our current border situtation:

  • Over the past two years, roughly 235,000 illegal immigrants were arrested—including roughly 100,000 for assault, 30,000 for sex crimes, and 4,000 for homicides.
  • 300 Americans die of heroin overdoses a week, and 90 percent of that heroin is smuggled through our southern border.
  • Loopholes in our immigration law coupled with our porous border encourages parents to send their children on a dangerous journey to the U.S., often at the hands of threatening human traffickers. 68 percent of migrants are victims of violence along the journey. One in three migrant women are sexually assaulted on the dangerous trek to the border.
  • Securing the border is the first step. We also need rational reforms such as a skills-based migration system and an end to chain migration.

So what is the solution? Below are some of the items President Trump has asked Congress to fund:

  • $5.7 billion for construction of approximately 234 miles of steel barrier along the Southern Border
  • $675 million to deter and detect dangerous materials crossing our borders like narcotics and weapons
  • $563 million that would provide for 75 additional immigration judges and support staff who are necessary to reduce the backlog of immigration cases that are sitting right now at the border
  • $211 million for 750 additional border patrol agents, who DHS officials have deemed paramount to this fight
  • $571 million for additional ICE personnel
  • $4.2 billion for detention center materials and personnel

As a first step to combat this crisis, Congress must pass a spending bill that provides the funding that the President has requested. In addition to obtaining increased border security funding today, we must continue to push for real reforms to our legal immigration system. Necessary reforms include ending chain migration, adopting a skills-based immigration system, and closing loopholes in the asylum claim process.

Securing the border should not be a political issue. It is an issue that impacts all Americans–lower wages for low-skilled workers, drugs smuggled in that have killed countless Americans, increased crime, and an unsustainable burden on those government programs designed to create a safety net for Americans in need. It’s time to seal the border and take care of the needs of Americans among us who are homeless or living in poverty,

Looking Past The Obvious

Today The Washington Examiner posted an article about the resignation of Britain’s ambassador to the United States, Sir Kim Darroch. The Ambassador was forced to resign after some leaked diplomatic cables that said some very unflattering things about President Trump. Obviously, the man is entitled to his own opinion and obviously, the cables should not have been leaked, but there is a certain amount of karma involved here.

The Washington Examiner reports:

According to one current and one former U.S. government official speaking on the condition of anonymity, Darroch repeatedly leaked classified U.S. intelligence information, including highly classified information, to a journalist for a U.S.-based media outlet. The sources are confirmed by the reaction my related inquiries have received from other government officials.

These leaks are unrelated to the diplomatic cables which sparked Trump’s anger and Darroch’s departure.

Still, one source says that the U.S. government was so alarmed by Darroch’s leaks that it launched an official investigation to find the source of the information. That source described the leaked intelligence as “very sensitive,” and suggested that exigent U.S. security concerns motivated the investigation. That source says that non-U.S. government derived records showed the ambassador and journalist exchanging messages on a continuing basis. The source emphasized that these communications were not derived from U.S. government actions.

A second source, a career government official, described the leaks as “unprecedented.”

Obviously, if you live by the leak, you die by the leak.

Would You Really Trust This Person Out On Bail?

Yesterday CNBC posted an article about Jeffrey Epstein’s lawyers negotiating bail for their client. Jeffrey Epstein is willing to post bail as high as $100 million. Would you take that deal?

The article notes a few things that might cause someone to hesitate before agreeing to the deal:

“We know they have found photos of young women in his home,” Farmer (Annie Farmer, one of his accusers) noted, referring to what prosecutors have said was a “vast trove” of lewd photos of young women or girls that investigators discovered in Epstein’s New York residence.

Before the accusers spoke, Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex Rossmiller said that a number of other witnesses contacted authorities after Epstein was recently indicted, and that prosecutors are trying to corroborate their allegations against him.

Rossmiller also revealed that investigators found in Epstein’s $77 million Manhattan townhouse a locked safe containing “piles of cash” and “dozens of diamonds,” as well as an expired passport dating to the 1980s from another country that has Epstein’s photograph on it — but with a different name and a stated residence of Saudi Arabia.

Rossmiller also said that “many, many photographs” of young-looking girls were found in the safe, and that the prosecutors have identified at least one person among them who claims to be a victim of Epstein’s.

Fake passports, diamonds, piles of cash…would you trust this person out on bail?

A City That Has Forgotten Its Heritage

The Daily Caller is reporting today that the City of Boston is being sued by Liberty Council for refusing to include a Christian flag in a 248-flag display on Constitution Day in 2017 and 2018.

The article notes:

“The city’s application policy refers to the flagpoles as a ‘public forum’ open to ‘all applicants,”’ Shurtleff said in a statement, “City officials have never denied the ‘messages’ communicated by Boston Pride and the pink and blue ‘transgender’ flag, and even the flags of Communist China and Cuba, but will not allow the civic and historical Christian message of Camp Constitution.

Boston has allowed the pride flag, Turkish flag, communist Chinese flag and Cuban flag — among others — to fly high and proud above city hall. Their reason for disallowing Camp Constitution’s Christian flag: no non-secular flags permitted, the lawsuit filed by the group says.

However, the Turkish flag is not secular. Turkey is one of 21 different nations with an Islamic symbol on their flag.

The article concludes:

“Censoring religious viewpoints in a public forum where secular viewpoints are permitted violates the First Amendment,” said Liberty Counsel’s Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said in a statement. “Boston city officials may not ban the Christian flag as part of a privately-sponsored event when they allow any other flag by numerous private organizations. It’s time for the court to stop the city’s unconstitutional censorship,” he added.

Camp Constitution executives are optimistic about “key undisputed facts” that will compel the court in their favor. They say the city changed their parameters about the flags after their application and that the refusal is “content-based” discrimination.

The City of Boston’s press office did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation for comment at the time of publishing.

Christianity is a major part of America’s heritage. The Judeo-Christian moral principles form the basis for our legal system. It seems a little odd to allow the Islamic flag to be flown and not allow the Christian flag to be flown.

How Do You Reconcile This?

The Associated Press posted an article today about a recent fund raiser held by Kamala Harris. The fund raiser was hosted by was hosted by six partners of the law firm Kirkland and Ellis.

The article reports:

Kamala Harris bemoaned the influence of the powerful and connected elite last Tuesday when she called on top Justice Department officials to recuse themselves from any matter related to Jeffrey Epstein. She said their former law firm’s work on behalf of the financier accused of sexual abuse “calls into question the integrity of our legal system.”

Yet the same day, Harris’ husband headlined a Chicago fundraiser for her presidential campaign that was hosted by six partners of that firm — Kirkland and Ellis, according to an invitation obtained by The Associated Press.

…”If any connection with Kirkland and Ellis is a stain on (senior Justice Department officials), why isn’t a connection with the law firm for the receipt of campaign contributions a stain on her own campaign?” said Paul S. Ryan, an attorney for the good-government group Common Cause.

Ian Sams, a Harris spokesman, said there wasn’t a problem with accepting the campaign contributions because the firm is big and the partners who hosted the fundraiser didn’t work on Epstein’s plea agreement.

“The people involved in that case have not supported her campaign, and she wouldn’t want that support anyway,” Sams said.

This explanation represents some of the best doublespeak I have heard recently.

Fact-Checking The Lies

I really hate being lied to. I also hate it when a source that should be reliable lies to me in order to convince me to take a stand on an issue. Unfortunately that has become a way of life for some of the mainstream media. The latest example illustrates that there might be some panic associated with having an attorney general who believes in the rule of law involved in the Epstein case.

The Gateway Pundit reported today:

The Fake News Liberal Media claimed that AG Bill Barr’s father worked with Jeffrey Epstein as a school teacher and therefore AG Barr should recuse himself from the Epstein case.  Of course, it’s just another liberal lie.

The article then goes on to report the actual facts:

The fake news New York Times reported in February 1974 that Bill Barr’s father had resigned from the elite school

…The far left Daily Beast reported that Epstein did work at the school but he didn’t work there until after the summer of 1974 –

 

 AG Bill Barr’s father couldn’t have worked with Epstein at Dalton School because he wasn’t even there when Epstein worked there.  He resigned months earlier.

So I guess there is no reason for Attorney General Barr to recuse himself. But how many people are mistakenly going to believe what they heard on the news? This sort of reporting is a threat to our republic–misinformed voters can be manipulated to vote any way a dishonest media wants them to vote.

This Would Be Funny If It Were Not So Sad

The Gateway Pundit reported the following today:

Governor Inslee told the kooks at the Netroots convention that he wants US Soccer star Megan Rapinoe as his Secretary of State. Inslee says Rapinoe is “inclusive.”

I guess if you are running in the Democrat Presidential Primary, you have to do something to get noticed.

Here is the video:

We can only hope he was kidding. Why would you want a Secretary of State who hates America? Didn’t we do that already?

Some Disturbing Thoughts On The Jeffrey Epstein Case

Yesterday Andrew McCarthy posted an article at The National Review about the Jeffrey Epstein case. Andrew McCarthy is the former Chief Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York who led the terrorism prosecution against the “Blind Sheikh” (Omar Abdel Rahman) and eleven other jihadists for conducting a war of urban terrorism against the United States that included the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and a plot to bomb New York City landmarks. He served as a prosecutor for 20 years. He has testified before Congress as an expert on issues of constitutional law, counterterrorism, and law-enforcement.

Below are some of his observations about the case against Jeffrey Epstein:

On Monday, Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that his office has now charged Epstein. While the SDNY indictment may be new, Epstein’s crimes are not. They are the same offenses from which Acosta agreed to spare Epstein from federal prosecution if he pled guilty to state prostitution charges — which Epstein proceeded to do, in reliance on Acosta’s commitment. There is thus a very good chance, based on the Constitution’s guarantee against double jeopardy, that the SDNY case against Epstein will be voided by the SD-Florida non-prosecution agreement (non-pros).

To be sure, the SDNY has a counterargument, and it will be vigorously made. It has two components. First, there is language in the non-pros that appears to limit the agreement to SD-Florida, to wit: “prosecution in this District for these offenses shall be deferred in favor of prosecution by the State of Florida” (emphasis added). Here, “deferred” effectively means forfeited — the same effect for double-jeopardy purposes as a conviction or acquittal — because of Epstein’s compliance with the requirement that he plead guilty in the state case. Second, there is jurisprudence in the Second Circuit (which controls in the SDNY) holding that one federal district’s agreement does not bind another.

Therefore, prosecutors will argue that the 2007 SD-Florida non-pros does not bar a 2019 SDNY indictment arising out of the same conduct and charging the same offenses.

I’m skeptical . . . and I think the SDNY is, too, notwithstanding the brave face prosecutors put on this week. They have carefully drafted an indictment far narrower than the SD-Florida’s contemplated case. If prosecutors really believed that there was no double-jeopardy problem, they’d have no such hesitation: They’d throw everything the FBI ever had at this sociopath. They know they are on thin ice.

Mr. McCarthy’s evaluation of the situation is not encouraging. I hope he is wrong, but his history and knowledge suggest he is probably right.

Please read the entire article to see the full argument. It would be a shame if this sleazeball escaped justice twice. I know he is innocent until proven guilty, but he has already been proven guilty–he just didn’t have to pay any real price for his horrific behavior.

 

A Preview Of The New Green Deal

I have no problem with keeping the planet earth as clean as possible. America treats its waste water, generally cleans its parks, used to clean its streets (until some of them were taken over by tents), recycles, and attempts to limit pollution. Contrary to what some extreme environmentalists are preaching, civilization actually helps curb pollution–it does not create it. There are people in the world who cook on coal stoves; America cooks on gas or electricity. There are people in the world who do not have clean water due to a lack of infrastructure. The water around them is polluted, and they drink it because it is all they have. Generally speaking, as a civilization prospers, it is better able to protect the environment. Unfortunately, China and India have not followed this pattern, but most other countries have. Enter the extreme environmentalists that believe that in order to save the planet we need to ban fossil fuel. I wonder if they understand the consequences of their belief. New York City and Long Island are currently looking at those consequences.

On Wednesday The New York Post reported that National Grid will no longer be able to expand its natural gas services in Brooklyn, Queens or Long Island. Con Edison may also have to turn away customers. Since natural gas is one of the least polluting, reliable fuels available, that is unfortunate. So what happened to cause this?

The article reports:

Following moves by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy to nix a pipeline that could deliver vital gas supplies to the city and Long Island, National Grid can no longer offer new gas hookups or additional service for current customers.

“If you’re looking to expand your natural gas service in Brooklyn, Queens or Long Island, we will not be able to meet your request,” unless both states reverse their decisions and OK the pipeline, the utility warns. Con Ed may have to turn away customers, too.

The govs nixed the pipelines in a pander to climate-change radicals. Yet the shortage won’t only hit well-off developers and businesses: It’ll also threaten projects meant for low- and middle-income New Yorkers.

A local group called Heartshare, which assists New York’s needy with heating costs, is nervous. Its vice president for energy programs, Joe Guarinello, says it’s written local congressmen in support of the pipeline.

“Right now, gas is the most inexpensive and the cleanest for heating homes in our area,” he notes. “We’d like to make sure that the people we assist, both the disabled and the economically stressed,” can continue to benefit from it.

The article concludes:

Don’t give up yet. The pipeline builder refiled its applications for permits. Sanity can yet prevail — but only if Cuomo and Murphy care about New York’s future.

So let’s look at this for a minute–the blocking of the pipeline hurts the disabled and the economically stressed. I hate to be cynical, but if a well-connected millionaire built a house in Brooklyn, Queens, or Long Island, do you think he could manage to get hooked up to a gas line? The problem with extreme environmentalism (which is essentially socialism) is that the people in charge have everything they want while the people who are supposed to be equal all equally have nothing. That’s the reason socialism always fails and results in riots, revolutions, and generally tyranny.

Sometimes The Truth Just Kind Of Slips Out

The Washington Examiner posted an article today that stated something that most of us know but haven’t seen widely reported in the media.

The article states:

In Europe, you will often hear politically savvy people refer to Green Party politicians as “watermelons.” The reason is that although they might be environmentalist “green” on the outside, these leftists are secretly communist red if you look beneath the surface.

They typically resort to such subterfuge because environmentalism is more popular than Marxism. A former East German communist is bound to be unpopular, but perhaps not so much if he rehabilitates himself as a renewable energy enthusiast.

The case of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat from New York, is different in that she openly advertised herself as a socialist in a country with a well-grounded historical aversion to such alien ideologies. But her grand policy initiative, the $93 trillion Green New Deal, was still billed as if it were a legitimate environmentalist idea. We were supposedly trying to save the world from imminent destruction. As Ocasio-Cortez herself put it, “We’re, like, the world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change.”

When Representative Ocasio-Cortez makes statements like that, this is what she reminds me of:

At any rate, her chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, let the cat out of the bag recently.

The article reports:

Her chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti (the brains and the money behind her political operation ever since her 2018 primary victory) divulged in an unintentionally blunt comment in the Washington Post that the Green New Deal was not only not based in the science of climate change, but in fact not even designed with climate change in mind. “[I]t wasn’t originally a climate thing at all,” he is quoted as saying.

In other words, it’s not that they looked for a way to save the world, and just happened to find a way that involved full employment pledges, the retrofitting of millions of buildings, income for those unwilling to work, high-speed passenger rail, and the curtailment of plane travel and carnivorousness. That’s precisely backwards. The Green New Deal came about because Chakrabarti wanted to transform the U.S. economy into something more primitive, and environmentalism struck him as the best excuse for doing so.

The American economy currently is working for everyone who chooses to work. When people work, they are aware of how much money the government takes out of their paychecks. That in itself may present a problem for the Democrats running for election in 2020.

Abetting Child Abuse

On July 3, Real Clear Politics posted an article titled, “Lara Logan Reports: Cartels “Renting Kids To Fake Families” Then Sending Them Back To Be “Recycled”.” There are a few things that need to be considered when discussing the crisis at our southern border. The first is that if either the Democrats or the Republicans in Congress wanted to end the crisis, they could. The Democrats want future voters, the swamp-dwellers in the Republican party want cheap labor for their corporate sponsors. There are also rumors of payoffs to Congressmen by the cartels, but that isn’t yet proven. Second of all, the crisis at the border is being used as a political cudgel against a President the swamp does not like. As long as the crisis is useful, it will continue. Any mention of compassion is simply window dressing to cover actions that do not include compassion. I’m sorry if that sounds cynical, but it is honest. Congress makes the laws. If the laws are bad, Congress can change them. The same applies to any deportations this weekend. The deportations are in accordance with the laws currently in place. If Congress does not like the laws, it should change them—not scream hysterically when they are followed.

The article reports:

Lara Logan interviews incoming Acting Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection Mark Morgan about the uproar over conditions for children at some border facilities and broken laws that led to the migrant crisis.

Morgan said cartels are “renting” children to “fake families” who use the minors as a passport into the United States and then sends the kid back to Mexico or Central America to be “recycled.”

“With Mexican cartels controlling the human traffic, the innocent are paying the highest price,” Logan reported.

“The cartels are renting kids to fake families because they know, grab a kid, that’s like a US passport into the country,” Morgan said. “And then if they make it through, they’re actually taking the kid to a facilitator here in the US and recycling the kid, back to Mexico or the Northern Triangles to be recycled again. That’s horrible.”

“Now that we’ve been identifying these fake families, we’re starting to hear messages being told now, hey, look, you have to grab a kid. It’s your passport into the United States but you may want to make sure that it’s your kid now,” the acting commissioner said.

This is the video of the interview:

This is the consequence of the inaction of Congress to deal with this problem during the past fifty years.

Maybe The Race Wasn’t About Gender

On Wednesday, The Hill posted an article with the following headline, “Heavy loss by female candidate in Republican NC runoff sparks shock.” Wow. This is totally biased reporting. I live in North Carolina’s Third Congressional District. I voted in the election The Hill is talking about. It wasn’t about gender.

The article notes:

Murphy had earned the endorsement of a slew of high-profile Republicans, including Freedom Caucus founders Reps. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), after the legislator pledged to join the group if elected.

The House Freedom Action Fund, which is affiliated with the Freedom Caucus, spent $236,000 to defeat Perry in the contest. 

Former New York City Mayor and Trump confidant Rudy Giuliani also threw his weight behind Murphy in the final days of the race, recording robocalls on behalf of the candidate. 

However, Perry was not without funds or endorsements. She ended up raising $373,851 for the primary and the runoff, below the $543,991 raised by Murphy.

But she had the backing of various Republican female PACs, including the Winning For Women Action Fund, which dropped more than $680,000 supporting Perry and opposing Murphy in the runoff.

So if you add up those numbers, Murphy had $779,001, and Perry had $1,053,851. That may explain why I received a mailing (sometimes two) from Joan Perry every day. It was annoying. I voted for Greg Murphy. The fact that Joan Perry is a woman was not a consideration for me. She is very smart and very well spoken. I have heard her speak and was impressed with her as a person. However, she is a doctor. She is not a business woman, and she is not a politician. She would have been a total novice in Washington. The determining factor for me was the fact that Greg Murphy aligned himself with the Freedom Caucus. She did not have the experience to do that–he did.

Identity politics does not work. It’s wrong. People are getting wise to it. I want experience, ideas, and some hope of being honestly represented.