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.

A Question That Should Have Been Asked Long Ago

According to Michelle Clarier.com:

Michelle Celarier is an award-winning journalist who writes about the world of money and power for New York magazine, Fortune magazine, Institutional Investor, Worth and Slate. She has reported on hedge funds and the men who run them for over a decade, including a four-year stint as a tabloid scribe with the New York Post. She was previously the editor of Absolute Return and its successor Absolute Return + Alpha (AR), which won several magazine awards under her leadership.

Ms. Celarier recently posted an article at New York magazine about Jeffery Epstein.

The article notes:

Long before Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty to prostitution charges in Florida more than a decade ago, his fellow Palm Beach resident and hedge-fund manager Douglas Kass was intrigued by the local gossip about his neighbor.

“I’m hearing about the parties, hearing about a guy who’s throwing money around,” says Kass, president of Seabreeze Partners Management. While stories about young girls swarming Epstein’s waterfront mansion and the sex parties he hosted for the rich and powerful were the talk of the town, Kass was more focused on how this obscure person, rumored to be managing billions of dollars, had become so wealthy without much of a track record.

Kass was well-connected on Wall Street, where he’d worked for decades, so he began to ask around. “I went to my institutional brokers, to their trading desks and asked if they ever traded with him. I did it a few times until the date when he was arrested,” he recalls. “Not one institutional trading desk, primary or secondary, had ever traded with Epstein’s firm.”

When a reporter came to interview Kass about Bernie Madoff shortly before that firm blew up in the biggest Ponzi scheme ever, Kass told her, “There’s another guy who reminds me of Madoff that no one trades with.” That man was Jeffrey Epstein.

“How did he get the money?” Kass kept asking.

For decades, Epstein has been credulously described as a big-time hedge-fund manager and a billionaire, even though there’s not a lot of evidence that he is either. There appears little chance the public is going to get definitive answers anytime soon. In a July 11 letter to the New York federal judge overseeing Epstein’s sex-trafficking case, Epstein’s attorney offered to provide “sealed disclosures” about Epstein’s finances to determine the size of the bond he would need to post to secure his release from jail pending trial. His brother, Mark, and a friend even offered to chip in, if necessary.

The article notes some unusual things about Jeffery Epstein’s investment success:

To begin with, there is much skepticism among the hedgies Intelligencer spoke with that Epstein made the money he has — and he appears to have a lot, given a lavish portfolio of homes and private aircraft — as a traditional money manager. A fund manager who knows well how that kind of fortune is acquired notes, “It’s hard to make a billion dollars quietly.” Epstein never made a peep in the financial world.

Epstein was also missing another key element of a typical thriving hedge fund: investors. Kass couldn’t find any beyond Epstein’s one well-publicized client, retail magnate Les Wexner — nor could other players in the hedge-fund world who undertook similar snooping. “I don’t know anyone who’s ever invested in him; he’s never talked about by any of the allocators,” says one billionaire hedge-fund manager, referring to firms that distribute large pools money among various funds.

The article notes one very believable theory on how Jeffrey Epstein became a billionaire:

Given this puzzling set of data points, the hedge-fund managers we spoke to leaned toward the theory that Epstein was running a blackmail scheme under the cover of a hedge fund.

How such a scheme could hypothetically work has been laid out in detail in a thread on the anonymous Twitter feed of @quantian1. It’s worth reading in its entirety, but in summary it is a rough blueprint for how a devious aspiring hedge-fund manager could blackmail rich people into investing with him without raising too many flags.

Kass and former hedge-fund manager Whitney Tilson both emailed the thread around in investing circles and both quickly discovered that their colleagues found it quite convincing. “This actually sounds very plausible,” Tilson wrote in an email forwarding the thread to others.

“He somehow cajoled these guys to invest,” says Kass, speaking of hypothetical blackmailed investors who gave Epstein their money to invest, but managed to keep their names private.

The fact that Epstein’s fund is offshore in a tax haven — it is based in the U.S. Virgin Islands — and has a secret client list both add credence to the blackmail theory.

The article concludes:

In the 2015 filing, Giuffre claimed that Epstein “debriefed her” after she was forced into sexual encounters so that he could possess “intimate and potentially embarrassing information” to blackmail friends into parking their money with him. She also said photographic and video evidence existed — an assertion that looms especially large now that federal investigators have found a trove of images in Epstein’s home safe.

There are other theories about how Epstein made his money–a Ponzi scheme, work for the intelligence community, money laundering, and offshore tax schemes. Now that Epstein’s New York City residence has been cleared of evidence by authorities, it will be interesting to see who is involved in his financial dealings (and other activities).

Why Didn’t The New York City Police Department Follow The Law?

Yesterday The New York Post reported that Jeffrey Epstein, after being labeled a Level 3 sex offender in 2011, never once checked in with city cops in the eight-plus years since a Manhattan judge ordered him to do so every 90 days — and the NYPD says it’s fine with that. What?

The article reports:

After being labeled a worst-of-the-worst, Level 3 sex offender in 2011, Epstein should have reported in person to verify his address 34 times before he was arrested Saturday on federal child sex-trafficking charges.

Violating requirements of the state’s 1996 Sex Offender Registration Act — including checking in with law enforcement — is a felony punishable by up to four years in prison for a first offense.

Subsequent violations carry a sentence of up to seven years each.

But the NYPD hasn’t required the billionaire financier — who owns a $77 million Upper East Side townhouse — to check in since he registered as a sex offender in New York over the controversial 2008 plea bargain he struck in Florida amid allegations he sexually abused scores of underage girls in his Palm Beach mansion.

Michael Bloomberg was the Mayor of New York in 2011. In 2014, Bill de Blasio became Mayor. Did they make this decision or did the police chief make this decision?

The article continues:

That was the same hearing where, in a highly controversial move, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office tried to argue on Epstein’s behalf that he should be deemed a low-risk Level 1 offender, which would have exempted him from the reporting requirements.

The DA’s office has said that the prosecutor in that case — Jennifer Gaffney, who quit last year — “made a mistake” and that DA Cyrus Vance Jr. was unaware of it at the time.

In March, an NYPD spokeswoman told the Washington Post that Epstein never checked in following Pickholz’s ruling. Asked repeatedly about that admission this week, the NYPD declined comment.

Asked about her ruling, state court spokesman Lucian Chalfen said Pickholz “stands by what was said in court, on the record, at the hearing and has had no further role in any type of enforcement. That’s not the court’s role.”

In addition to verifying a sex offender’s address, the 90-day check-ins allow cops to take a new photograph if the offender’s appearance has changed, so it can be updated online.

The NYPD cop assigned to monitor Epstein has repeatedly complained to Vance’s Sex Crimes Unit that Epstein wasn’t in compliance, according to a source familiar with the matter.

But prosecutors told the cop to merely send Epstein a letter reminding him of his reporting requirement.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It is fascinating. One wonders how much money changed hands and to whose hands it went to keep this man from having the meet his legal responsibilities in New York City.

The Wheels Of Justice Sometimes Turn Very Slowly

Yesterday The Washington Post reported the following:

The FBI on Wednesday arrested two former senior officials who served in administration of Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, leading the chair of the House committee that oversees Puerto Rico to call for the governor to step down.

The arrests also spurred concerns on Capitol Hill about the billions of dollars in aid that Congress has approved for the island.

The federal indictment says the former officials illegally directed federal funding to politically-connected contractors. The arrests come about a month after Congress approved a controversial disaster aid bill that earmarked additional funding for Puerto Rico’s recovery from Hurricane Maria in 2017, which were tied up in part because President Trump called Puerto Rico’s officials “incompetent or corrupt.”

Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), chair of the Natural Resource Committee that oversees Puerto Rico, called on Rosselló to resign amid the ongoing federal investigation.

The article concludes:

The arrests come as senior White House officials are searching for new ways to limit the amount of federal aid going to help Puerto Rico, and the island’s allies fear the arrests will give Trump greater justification for curtailing additional aid to the island.

“The governor of Puerto Rico and his administration have now given President Trump the ammunition he needed,” said San Juan Mayor Yulin Cruz, a political opponent of the governor.

I really think we need to make sure that any additional aid given to Puerto Rico will be properly administered and distributed. It appears that they have a corruption problem, and there is no way of knowing whether or not it has been solved. Unfortunately, it will be the people who need to help the most who will suffer the most because of the corruption.

The Growing Contempt For Freedom Of Speech

Walter E. Williams posted an article at Newsbusters today about the attack on free speech.

The Professor notes:

The First Amendment to our Constitution was proposed by the 1788 Virginia ratification convention during its narrow 89 to 79 vote to ratify the Constitution. Virginia’s resolution held that the free exercise of religion, right to assembly and free speech could not be canceled, abridged or restrained. These Madisonian principles were eventually ratified by the states on March 1, 1792.

Gettysburg College professor Allen C. Guelzo, in his article “Free Speech and Its Present Crisis,” appearing in the autumn 2018 edition of City Journal, explores the trials and tribulations associated with the First Amendment. The early attempts to suppress free speech were signed into law by President John Adams and became known as the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798. Later attempts to suppress free speech came during the Civil War, when President Abraham Lincoln and his generals attacked newspapers and suspended habeas corpus. It wasn’t until 1919, in the case of Abrams v. United States, when the U.S. Supreme Court finally and unambiguously prohibited any kind of censorship.

Unfortunately many of our college campuses have lost the concept of free speech and open debate.

The article reports:

Today, there is growing contempt for free speech, most of which is found on the nation’s college and university campuses. Guelzo cites the free speech vision of Princeton University professor Carolyn Rouse, who is chairperson of the department of Anthropology. Rouse shared her vision on speech during last year’s Constitution Day lecture. She called free speech a political illusion, a baseless ruse to enable people to “say whatever they want, in any context, with no social, economic, legal or political repercussions.” As an example, she says that a climate change skeptic has no right to make “claims about climate change, as if all the science discovered over the last X-number of centuries were irrelevant.”

Rouse is by no means unique in her contempt for our First Amendment rights. Faculty leaders of the University of California consider certain statements racist microagressions: “America is a melting pot”; “America is the land of opportunity”; “Everyone can succeed in this society, if they work hard enough”; and “There is only one race, the human race.” The latter statement is seen as denying the individual as a racial/cultural being. Then there’s “I believe the most qualified person should get the job.” That’s “racist” speech because it gives the impression that “people of color are given extra unfair benefits because of their race.” Other seemingly innocuous statements deemed unacceptable are: “When I look at you, I don’t see color,” or “Affirmative action is racist.” Perhaps worst of all is, “Where are you from, or where were you born?”

We should reject any restriction on free speech. We might ask ourselves, “What’s the true test of one’s commitment to free speech?” It does not come when people permit others to say or publish ideas with which they agree. The true test of one’s commitment to free speech comes when others are permitted to say and publish ideas they deem offensive.

I hated it when the neo-Nazis were allowed to march in Skokie, Illinois, but that is what free speech means. The concept of hate speech is the antithesis of free speech–it is an excuse for censorship. If you are not comfortable enough in your own ideas to be willing to let others who do not share those ideas speak, then maybe living in a free country isn’t your cup of tea.

When Following The Law Is Controversial

Issues and Insights posted an article today about President Trump’s plan to deport about one million illegal aliens. These are aliens that have already had their court hearings and been ordered deported by judges. The article notes that Acting United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Ken Cuccinelli is simply the first federal official, besides President Trump, brave enough to follow and implement the law.

The article notes:

That is what President Trump pledged to do when he took the oath of office. Take care that the laws be faithfully executed. That is why the President is called the Chief Executive. Democrats, and their party-controlled media, find that shocking because they have been in an insurrection since Trump took that oath of office.

Cuccinelli said in a CBS interview on Sunday,

“[ICE agents are] ready to just perform their mission which is to go and find and detain and then deport the approximately one million people who have final removal orders. They’ve been all the way through the due process and have final removal orders.”

If we are not going to deport illegal aliens who have had their cases adjudicated with final deportation orders fully in accord with due process, then Democrats would have effectively opened the borders to Central America, and the entire third world, to just walk in, and sign up for welfare paid for by U.S. citizens. That would amount to a coup against American democracy, as that policy has never been adopted into law by representatives democratically elected by those same U.S. citizens.

Breitbart News reported on July 7, “The latest Harvard/Harris Poll finds that a majority of Americans support Trump’s plan to mass deport illegal aliens following inaction from Congress. This includes support from more than 8-in-10 Republican voters and more than 5-in-10 swing voters. Breitbart News further reports that there are about 1.7 million illegal aliens from Central America and Mexico, alone, living in the U.S. despite already being ordered deported or having pending deportation orders. The latest federal data concludes that there are more than 925,000 illegal aliens, in total, with final deportation orders who have continued living freely in the U.S. About 20% of these illegal aliens have at least one criminal conviction…. Roughly 60% of these illegal aliens come from Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala.

The article makes a very good point:

Ken Cuccinelli and Bill Barr just need to enforce the Rule of Law, whatever it takes, to stop this modern Resistance and Insurrection, and restore Due Process and the Rule of Law.

The Democrats (and the media) have been acting like spoiled children since the 2016 presidential election. It’s time they grew up and realized that America is supposed to be a country of laws that apply equally to all. I guess they just can’t get used to the idea of having a President who actually enforces the law as it is written.

Misusing The Power Of Social Media

PJ Media posted an article yesterday about a recent statement by Mark Zuckerberg.

The article reports:

During this year’s Aspen Ideas Festival, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained that Facebook is increasingly trying to work with governments to determine what political speech it does and does not allow. Oh sorry, I mean: what kind of political ads it is willing to approve.

In the particular example Zuckerberg cited, in 2018, American pro-life groups wanted to run advertisements for Facebook users in Ireland. This is because the Irish were about to vote in a referendum on whether abortion should be legalized.

When Facebook saw the ad requests, the company contacted the Irish government asking whether this should or should not be allowed. “Their response at the time was, ‘we don’t currently have a law, so you need to make whatever decision you want to make.'”

In other words, Facebook could do as it pleased. There was no legal reason to disallow the ads. But what did Facebook do? You guessed it:

“We ended up not allowing the ads.”

When Mark Zuckerberg made this decision, Facebook became a publication–not a platform. The decision was an editorial decision–not a legal decision. The decision was consistent with the political ideology that Facebook has supported in the past. This is the point at which Facebook becomes dangerous. Much of the younger generation gets their news through social media. If Facebook is making editorial decisions based on political ideology, they are not acting as an honest broker of news. Our younger generations are not hearing the complete story–they are hearing a politically biased version–no different from the mainstream media.

There are no laws against Facebook making editorial decisions, but its users need to be aware that they are not getting both sides of any story.

Going Against Public Opinion In An Attempt To Gain Power

Yesterday The Washington Times posted an article about whether or not the citizenship question should be on the 2020 census. The article cited some interesting poll results.

The article reports:

Two-thirds of voters approve of a citizenship question on the 2020 census, and that includes a majority of Hispanic voters — despite claims by Democratic lawmakers that the inquiry would discourage participation in Latino communities.

A Harvard University Center for American Political Studies/Harris poll found that 67% of all registered U.S. voters say the census should ask the citizenship question when the time comes. That includes 88% of Republicans, 63% of independents and 52% of Democrats.

Most notably, the poll found that 55% of Hispanic voters favor the idea.

Also in agreement: 74% of rural voters, 59% of black voters, 58% of urban voters and 47% of voters who backed Hillary Clinton in 2016. At 44%, liberal voters were the least likely to favor the citizenship question.

At the other end of the scale, 92% of Trump voters and 90% of conservatives back the question.

The article concludes:

On Tuesday, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway challenged why the citizenship question should even be an issue on the census — which makes a variety of personal household inquiries. She faults Democratic critics.

“We’re asking people how many toilets in your house and you don’t want to know who’s using them? It’s absolutely ridiculous — and this is why the president is fighting for the question’s inclusion,” Ms. Conway told Fox News.

“The census is important, and as President Trump has mentioned, we spend about $20 billion on it. We have said it’s an important exercise. So why not get it right? The census in the past has been increasingly responsive to changes in American demography,” she continued.

“I would ask the Democrats —I hear they’re screaming rhetoric — I would ask what are you afraid of? Why wouldn’t you want to know who’s living in this country, and who’s a citizen and who’s not a citizen?” Ms. Conway asked.

The concept to keep in mind here is that there are a limited number of members in the House of Representatives. The number of Representatives a state has is determined by how many people in that state. Congress is supposed to represent Americans. States who have a large number of non-citizens are not entitled to more Representatives because they have a larger population. If that happens, American citizens are not fully represented. That is the reason the citizenship question needs to be on the census.

The Problem Is Underneath–Not Above

In August 2018 (yes, I know that was last year, but I missed this), The Climate Change Dispatch posted an article with the following headline, “Multiple NASA Studies Confirm Bedrock Heat Flow Behind Melting Polar Ice, Not Global Warming.” Wow. Who knew?

The article includes the following photo:

The article reports:

In what amounts to dissension from National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) climate change policy, a series of just-released studies by working-level scientists prove that geological and not atmospheric forces are responsible for melting of Earth’s polar ice sheets.

NASA Antarctica Study October 30, 2015

This research study authored by NASA Glaciologist Jay Zwally concluded that Antarctica is gaining, not losing, ice mass and thereby challenging the conclusions of many previous studies, most importantly the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2013 report (see the quote from the study below).

“A new NASA study says that an increase in Antarctic snow accumulation that began 10,000 years ago is currently adding enough ice to the continent to outweigh the increased losses from its thinning glaciers.

“The research challenges the conclusions of other studies, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2013 report, which says that Antarctica is overall losing land ice.

The article continues:

The conclusions of this NASA study were immediately challenged by numerous climate activist groups and biased media outlets (see here). These challenges have since been proven incorrect for several reasons.

Statements by NASA Glaciologist Jay Zwally concerning his soon-to-be-published Antarctic follow-up study reconfirm that Antarctica is gaining, not losing ice.

The results of this follow-up study are bolstered by two other NASA research studies.

The first, dated January 1, 2018, shows that East Antarctica has for many years been accumulating huge amounts of snow that compact into ice and increasing overall ice mass (see here).

The second NASA study released on July 19, 2018, showed that the atmosphere above the Antarctic Continent has been continuously cooling and not warming for many years (see here).

Obviously, it’s impossible to melt Antarctica’s glaciers via atmospheric warming when the atmosphere is not warming.

Lastly, a NASA study dated Feb. 20, 2018, concludes that outflow of East Antarctic glaciers into the ocean is stable and not increasing (see here). This is proof that East Antarctica’s ice mass is not being diminished by glacial outflow into adjacent oceans.

Bottom line, research by NASA scientists clearly shows that the well-documented ice loss in West Antarctica is more than accommodated by ice gains in East Antarctica. Contrary to hundreds of pro-melting articles, Antarctica’s ice mass is increasing!

When you read an article about man-made climate change, consider the following:

In March 2016, I posted an article with the following:

…Then listen to the words of former United Nations climate official Ottmar Edenhofer:

“One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with the environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole,” said Edenhofer, who co-chaired the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change working group on Mitigation of Climate Change from 2008 to 2015.

So what is the goal of environmental policy?

“We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy,” said Edenhofer.

It’s really not about the climate.

First They Came For Our Hairspray…

I wish environmentalists would simply focus on the things we know–keeping water clean, recycling, proper trash disposal, picking up after our pets, putting out campfires, etc. They always seem to get into trouble when they wander into areas where the science is still being debated. Now they want to take away our air conditioning. I am willing to bet that the person who made that suggestion does not live below the Mason-Dixon Line.

Yesterday PJ Media posted an article about the war on air conditioning.

The article reports:

Shortly before the Fourth of July, The New York Times published an op-ed attacking air conditioning as unnecessary, contributing to global warming, and oppressive. Taylor Lorenz, a staff writer at The Atlantic took up the call, calling air conditioning itself “unhealthy, bad, miserable, and sexist.” She called for a ban on air conditioning in general, and the internet rushed to defend the technology.

“Air-conditioning is unhealthy, bad, miserable, and sexist. I can’t explain how many times I’ve gotten sick over the summer b/c of overzealous AC in offices,” Lorenz tweeted, adding “ban A/C.”

The article includes many interesting defenses of air conditioning:

The New York Times‘s Penelope Green begins her article recounting the invention of air conditioning, lamenting, “And in that moment (well, within a few decades), entire industries and geographies were transformed, and new technologies made possible, including, terribly, the internet: Without cooling, there would be no server farms.”

She also connects the need for air conditioning to climate change. “On an overheated planet, air-conditioning becomes more and more desirable, solving in the short term the problem it helped create.”

As for the sexism claim, Green cites a Nature.com study finding that building temperatures were set to the comfort preferences of 1960s-era men in suits and disregards the “thermal comfort” of female staffers. Ironically, she also predicted Lorenz’s tweet. “Come summer, Twitter invariably lights up with charges that air-conditioning is sexist, an engine of the patriarchy, in threads that in turn fire up conservative commentators eager to prove the daftness of the opposition.”

It is true that offices keep air conditioning too strong for the comfort level of many women. Many men also complain that air conditioning is not strong enough. As Green notes, women often wear blankets or even use space heaters to counterbalance excessive air conditioning.

The article also notes that air conditioning saves lives:

National Review‘s Charles C.W. Cooke tweeted about the “Ban A/C” hashtag. “[Ban A/C]? I spent the summer of 2003 in France. There was a heatwave. I saw some of the consequences with my own eyes. Nearly 15,000 people died. per the NIH,” he tweeted.

Part of the problem was that the high temperatures were so unusual that people did not exercise the proper caution in dealing with the heat–staying hydrated, restricting physical activity, etc.

The article concludes:

Air conditioning is one of the great blessings of modern life, making extremely hot locations bearable for living and working. Many buildings may need to turn down the A/C, but opposing air conditioning in general as sexist and calling for “banning” it is little more than a demand to return to a Stone Age standard of living. Thankfully, it seems most of the people tweeting about this absurd idea already know that.

If air conditioning is sexist, is heat sexist?

Judicial Watch Uncovers More Lying Under Oath

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about the interview notes of the FBI’s interview with Hillary Clinton’s attorney Heather Samuelson. Those notes have been uncovered due to the efforts of Judicial Watch. There are some problems with the facts as stated by Ms. Samuelson.

The article reports:

In the interview Samuelson states to the FBI’s Peter Strzok that she was assigned the duty of reviewing Hillary’s emails and in doing so, Samuelson reviewed the emails on her laptop both at her apartment and in Cheryl Mills’ office.

…Samuelson was assigned the task of obtaining Hillary’s emails for her tenure as Obama’s Secretary of State. After making a request for Hillary’s emails from Platte River Networks (PRN), the firm that administered Hillary’s personal email system, Samuelson reviewed them and noticed that some of Hillary’s emails were missing.

Samuelson stated that she believed that Hillary’s emails that were missing for the period between January 2009 through March 2009 must have not been backed up.

The article then notes that the government email system is such that there is no way that emails from a Secretary of State would not have been backed up.

The story continues:

Next Samuelson makes another shocking remark.  She states that after Clinton left the State Department she started using another domain for her emails (@hrcoffice.com).  But she states that no old emails were transferred from the clintonemail.com domain to the new domain.  She also stated that she didn’t know how Clinton or her close assistant Huma Abedin obtained her old emails once the new domain was established.

The article states the problem with Ms. Samuelson’s statement:

And here is where Samuelson lays an egg!  Samuelson noticed during her review that Hillary’s emails were displayed as hrod17@clintonemail.com,  but this address was not even created until after Hillary was Secretary of State. 

The article notes:

You can’t send emails from an account that is not created or in place!

The only reasonable explanations for the receipt of emails from a domain that was not yet in place is, 1)  the source name in the emails had been doctored and updated to an email account not yet in service, or 2) a utility was used to copy the emails in bulk from one account to another and in the process change some of the fields including the original email source.

Why would Hillary do this?  The only explanation that makes sense is that the Hillary team was trying to eliminate or strip out all the classified markings in her emails, and in the process, they stripped out the old email addresses, and since that account didn’t exist anymore, their process added the new address.

To put it plainly – Hillary attempted to doctor (i.e. change) her emails for some reason and in so doing she inadvertently changed her email address.

Clearly if Hillary was caught editing her emails by the FBI, then former FBI Director James Comey knew very well that Hillary intended to break the law!  Three years ago Jim Comey lied to America!

Please follow the link to read the entire article. This scandal is complicated because of the technical aspects involved. The bottom line is simple–Hillary Clinton set up a secret server in order that many of her emails would not become public. We have a very limited idea of what is in those missing emails.

In October 2016, Charles Krauthammer (who died in 2018) stated:

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: This brings us back full circle to the beginning. The question was originally: Why did she have the private server? She said convenience, obviously that was ridiculous…

It was obvious she was hiding something.

And think about it, she set it up in 2009, before becoming Secretary of State. So, she anticipated having exchanges that she would not want anyone to see. So, we’ve been asking ourselves on this set for a year almost, what exactly didn’t she want people to see?

Well, now we know.

And as we speculated, the most plausible explanation was the rank corruption of the Clinton Foundation, and its corrupt — I don’t know if it’s illegal, but corrupt relationship with the State Department.

And her only defense as we saw earlier– the Democrats are saying, well, there was nothing she did… that was corrupted by donations. You can believe that if you want, but there’s a reason that people give donations in large amounts, and that’s to influence the outcome of decisions. So, this — we are getting unfolding to us, exactly what she anticipated having to hide, and it is really dirty business.

He was obviously ahead of his time in his thinking.

We Need To Celebrate This

Issues & Insights posted an article today about the change in the number of Americans dependent on Government since President Trump took office.

The article includes a chart showing the change:

Here are some of the highlights listed in the article:

Disability. The number of workers on Social Security’s Disability Insurance program has sharply declined as well. It went from 88 million in January 2017 to 84.9 million as of May. That’s the lowest it’s been since August 2011.

…Medicaid. Enrollment in Medicaid also has dropped sharply since Trump took office — despite the fact that Virginia decided to expand its program under Obamacare, which added some 300,000 to its Medicaid rolls over those years.

As of this March, the total number of people on Medicaid and CHIP — the health insurance program for children — was down by 2.5 million.

Obamacare. The number enrolled in Obamacare has declined every year since Trump took office as well, and is now 1 million below where it was at the end of 2016.

Welfare. The number of those collecting welfare — either on the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or what are called “separate state programs” — has dropped by more than 800,000 under Trump.

The article concludes:

In a less biased news media world, the decline in government dependency would be front-page news.

Instead, when they’re acknowledged at all, these enrollment drops are treated as bad news by the Left, which treats any declining benefit programs as a problem that needs to be fixed — usually by expanding these programs. Thus, you have every Democratic candidate for president talking about trillions upon trillions of new benefit programs, which are designed to ensnare as many as possible in the net of government dependency.

They have it exactly backward. The goal should be to have zero people collecting government benefits — because they are gainfully employed and don’t need them. Anything else should be treated as a failure.

One of the reasons that it is so difficult to shrink government programs is that in addition to the people they serve, they provide employment for government workers. These workers understand that if assistance programs shrink drastically, then there will be fewer staff members needed to oversee the programs. It is definitely a reverse incentive to cut dependence on the government.

Does The Will Of The People Mean Anything?

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article about the question of asking people if they are citizens on the 2020 census.

The article reported:

Americans by a wide margin agree with President Trump that the upcoming 2020 census should ask a citizenship question.

The latest Economist/YouGov poll found that 53% feel it should ask the question versus 32% who don’t.

The survey asked: “Do you think the federal government should or should not ask people whether they are American citizens as part of the 2020 census?”

  • Should ask 53%
  • Should not ask 32%
  • Not sure 14%

The Supreme Court has rejected including the question in a form the administration proposed but left the door open to another version. And Trump is considering changing the version.

…And it can be done, according to legal expert and George Washington University Law professor John Banzhaf.

“There are several rationales — including one based upon the Constitution itself — which could well still persuade the courts to permit a citizenship question on the census, especially if the explanation were included in the executive order now being considered, rather than in some new declaration by the Secretary of Commerce,” he said in a review of the court’s decision.

Why does this matter? The census is used to determine the number of Representatives a state has in the House of Representatives. Theoretically these Representatives represent American citizens living in their districts. The number of Representatives a state sends to Congress also helps determine the number of votes a state has in the Electoral College.

So if people who are not citizens and may be here illegally are counted in the census, what happens? California, whose population is losing American citizens to other states and gaining illegal immigrants will either retain its current number of Representatives or gain some. States with lower non-citizen populations may be underrepresented in Congress and in the Electoral College. In a sense, when you count non-citizens in the census, you risk taking representation away from Americans. Counting non-citizens will also skew the Electoral College.

When Perspective Is Missing

All of us have our sensitive spots. Sometimes we react to comments we find offensive that were not meant to be offensive at all. Sometimes we read meanings that were never intended into things based on our own experience. Some recent local events illustrate that point.

A local weekly newspaper called The County Compass (which I would consider a conservative news outlet) publishes a page written by members of the Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association (CCTA). The CCTA is composed of ordinary citizens who are concerned about the rapid growth of government and increase in taxes in recent years. Members attend local board meetings of various kinds and attempt to hold our elected officials accountable. They also post vetting reports of candidates on their website during elections to provide voters with information. The group is made of up people of all ages from different professional backgrounds and personal experiences. Recently the CCTA page dealt with the issue of bringing those to justice who have engaged in a soft coup attempt to undo the 2016 election. The writer of the article stated that she hoped those guilty would be held accountable for their violations of the civil rights of Americans and their attempted coup. At the top of the article was a picture of a noose, which to many Americans represents an old fashioned concept of justice. Unfortunately, for some people a noose, even in a totally non-racial context, represents racism. The professionally outraged saw the picture and swung into action.

A local young black woman chose to post that graphic on her Facebook page with a remark about the paper’s being racist for having published it; she chose to disregard the subject matter of the article entirely; therefore, her post was completely out of context.

The NAACP got involved, and a local TV station interviewed Jeff Aydelette, the publisher of The County Compass, and the NAACP on the subject.  Then this past Wednesday, about 120 members of the NAACP staged a protest rally outside the offices of the Compass.  Jeff offered them chairs, went around and shook hands, and behaved in his usual gentlemanly way.  Again, a report was featured on local TV.

Now The County Compass is getting calls from advertisers who are cancelling their ads.  They are saying that the NAACP is telling them that their businesses will be boycotted if they continue to advertise in the Compass.

Although I am willing to concede that the picture may represent different things to different people, I think it needs to be viewed in context. I believe that this protest is simply an effort by the political left and its allies to shut down a conservative news outlet. This should be a wake-up call to all Americans who value free speech and freedom of the press that our First Amendment rights are under attack.

 

This Shouldn’t Surprise Anyone

Yesterday One America News reported that the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani warned European partners in its faltering nuclear deal on Wednesday that Tehran will increase its enrichment of uranium to “any amount that we want” beginning on Sunday, putting pressure on them to offer a way around intense U.S. sanctions targeting the country.

This is called nuclear blackmail. It is the technique that Iran would have used when the limits on their uranium production ended as provided in the nuclear treaty. First of all, does anyone actually believe that Iran was following the rules of the treaty to begin with? Note that the treaty did not allow inspections of all probable uranium enrichment sites.

The article reports:

The hike will put the country above the limits set by the 2015 nuclear deal made with six major world powers. President Trump pulled out that deal, saying the country was showing no intention of abiding by the agreement.

Earlier this week, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani teased their latest move, threatening to violate the terms of the 2015 agreement.

“We will increase the cap to whatever level we deem is essential for us and to a level that we need, you must also know that if you do not fulfill all your obligations to us under the agreement and in the agreed time frame, then from July 7th the nuclear reactor will return to its previous activity,” Rouhani said.

Iranian state media said, the Ayotollah regime will officially make the announcement on Sunday.

The only way to end the danger of the Iranian quest to be a nuclear power is to increase the sanctions to the point where there is a change of leadership in Iran. Many of the Iranians who thought they were fighting for freedom in 1978 were very disillusioned by the government that followed the revolution. A free Iran would be considerably less dangerous to the world than the current totalitarian Islamic state.