The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Monday, January 22, 2018


If you are to believe the Democrats, the entire government shutdown hinges of Donald Trump's stand on immigration in general and the "dreamers" in particular. After all, Trump did the unforgivable. He asked congress to pass laws governing both illegal immigrants and their children, rather than reliable on the questionably constitutional executive orders of Barack Obama. He also allegedly using the term "sh**hole" to describe a collection of broken countries—countries in which corruption, violence, poverty, and general chaos lead to a dystopian atmosphere. Many people who live in those countries want out because the rule of law is tenuous, the leadership is dishonest and often amoral, the economy is in shambles, education is spotty, healthcare is poor, and the day-to-day stresses of living are enormous.

The trained hamsters in the main stream media, along with far too many Democrats, have become obsessed with the word "sh**hole," and now suggest that a single word is enough to derail legislation that just might reform immigration policy because the person who uses it is a "racist!!"

A question worth asking is whether calling a person a "racist" is any less offensive than calling a country a "sh**hole?" The answer, I think, is "no."

When you label someone a "racist," you bundle that person with those who are among the worst of humanity, people who have a long and sordid history of actions against specific groups. Donald Trump, for all of his faults, doesn't exhibit that history, except of course, in the fevered imaginations of those with Trump Derangement Syndrome. The implication, therefore, is that before the epithet "racist" is used, the accuser better have clear and irrefutable evidence that its use is more appropriate than accusing a person of "crass" behavior or "unthinking" language or "inappropriate" expression.

Yet, the TDS crowd that is outraged by the use of the epithet "sh**hole" to describe a country, seems completely unconcerned about hurling the epithet "racist" to describe Donald Trump. They argue that Trump is using his tweets or private comments to delegitimize and demonize countries and peoples. At the same time, TDSers are perfectly sanguine about using their language to delegitimize and demonize an elected president who they don't happen to like. It would sorta be like some group suggesting that Barack Obama wasn't born in the United States. Oh, wait ...

Blinded by TDS, Trump's opponents can't process the notion that their accusations are perceived by millions upon millions of American citizens as equally and maybe more offensive than using the word "sh**hole" to describe a broken country. So, they sit atop a fantasy pinnacle of moral superiority and shut the government down.


In a recent post, I noted that the Dems strategy of shutting down the government has worked to the disadvantage of the GOP in past presidencies, but Donald Trump's presidency changes the rules, and they might have overplayed their hand. As a crescendo of criticism focused on the Dems and their cynical action to precipitate a shutdown, it looks like Chuck Schumer has had second thoughts. James Taranto comments:
Add this to the list of ways in which Donald Trump is conducting an unconventional presidency. For the first time in memory, Republicans just won a public debate over shutting down the government. Recent history says that the GOP can now expect a series of other wins this year on spending and debt.

On Friday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) led most of his Democratic colleagues in denying the federal government the funding it needs to conduct normal operations. To end the shutdown, Democrats demanded that illegal immigrants brought here as children be allowed to stay past the March 5 expiration of an Obama policy temporarily extended by President Trump.

On Monday, Democrats agreed to end the shutdown without a change in immigration law. Nor did they get a promise that the Senate will approve their desired change, nor did they get any commitment from House Republicans to do anything at all.
Heh ... winning bigly.

Sunday, January 21, 2018


Those who suffer from Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) suggest that everything that Donald Trump says is a lie. They deride any statement or tweet by parsing it in ways that lead to interpretation that is never flattering. But what really makes them crazy is that the passage of time often proves Trump to be correct in his tweets. For example, Trump's early suggestions that the media produces fake news? Yep, that's pretty much what we're experiencing right now. Consider for example the little reported fake news awards that provide a window into the incompetence and bias of the main stream media.

As another example, think back to a statement during a speech Trump made in February, 2017:
"You look at what's happening in Germany. You look at what's happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this? Sweden. They took in large numbers [of Muslim immigrants] and they're having problems like they never thought possible."
Anti-Trumpers when nuts. How could he say that? The Swedes, along with every progressive on the planet, were outraged. There'd been no terror attack ("last night") in Sweden, after all. Never mind that Muslim immigrants were causing problems inside the country, a hyper-literal interpretation of Trump's comments, allowed the TDS crowd to call him a "liar" and a "fool," not to mention an "Islamophobe" and a "bigot."

A few months ago there was a firebombing at a synagogue in ... Gothenberg, Sweden. Patrick Poole reports:
An apparent terror attack occurred overnight in Sweden's second largest city, as a mob of masked men firebombed a synagogue in Gothenberg during a youth event.

This happened just a day after Palestinian protesters in Malmo, Sweden's third largest city, shouted "Shoot the Jews" and chanted taunts about killing Jews.

Sweden has been leading the international diplomatic effort against President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, which was announced last Wednesday.

JTA reports that at least a dozen masked men approached the synagogue last night and hurled firebombs as synagogue officials rushed the youths gathered inside into the basement until police arrived.

According to one Jewish community official, rains prevented the fire from spreading and causing more damage.

The Local-Sweden reports that at least three of the attackers were arrested by police this morning.

No motive has been identified for the attack [I'm certain it had to do with an obscure anti-Muslim video], but The Local reported anti-Semitic incidents in Malmo and Stockholm over the weekend during protests against the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem.
In December, there was a firebombing of a synagogue in Malmo, Sweden. The trained hamsters in the U.S. media avoiding any reporting of this—it conflicted with the narrative.

And today, The Sunday Times (UK) reports:
Sweden is among the world’s safest, richest and best-run countries enjoying steady growth and rising employment. But it has been experiencing an unprecedented surge of gang shootings, bombings and sexual assaults.

In a country of 10m people, more than 320 shootings and dozens of bombings were reported in 2017, along with more than 110 murders and 7,226 rapes — a 10% increase on 2016. More than 36% of young Swedish women say they feel unsafe at night.

The authorities have admitted they are unable to investigate rape cases immediately because the resources are focused on gang crime. “We are forced to choose between two evils,” the police said.

The crime surge is mainly confined to so-called “areas of social exclusion”, a code for neighbourhoods such as Rosengard that are predominantly populated by [Muslim] immigrants. They are not classic ghettos — the infrastructure and services are better than in areas of central London — but these communities are plagued by high crime rates and unemployment.
Hmmm. Looks like Trump was right, only one year too early.

I have on a number of occasions suggested that Islamic extremism is to the early decades of the 21st century what Nazism was to the early decades of the 20th century. It's interesting that firebombing synagogues and roving gangs of thugs who terrorize the general populace were and are early stage activities for both forms of evil. The President of the United States had the courage to buck political correctness and its predictable accusations of "Islamophobia," "racism," and "bigotry" and identify this rising tide of 21st century Islamic "Nazism" in places like (but certainly not limited to) Sweden.

Saturday, January 20, 2018


It's amusing to listen to Democrats and their trained hamsters in the media repeat some variation of "the GOP controls the House, the Senate and the Executive—therefore, they're responsible for the shutdown." Although this meme sounds reasonable for those who are uninformed, it's dishonest. To pass a budget or even a continuing resolution, 60 votes are required in the Senate. Depending on the variation, between 46 and 50 of 51 GOP senators voted to keep the government running, but only 3 to 6 Democrats of 49 voted similarly. That means that about 45 Dems on average decided that intransigence was a better option that giving the hated Donald Trump a win.

The shut down happened because the Democrats appear to be more concerned about the fate of 800,000 children of illegal immigrants than they are with tens of millions of real citizens who depend on government programs, including about 8 million children who depend on the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) program. Making things look even worse for the Dems, they have until March to resolve the DACA issue—why shut down the government now?

David Harsanyi comments:
Democrats blame the GOP solely for the shutdown. Yet, any person with even rudimentary understanding of American governance knows that’s not how this works. A minority can shut down the government — which amounts to very little but a paid vacation for non-essential government workers. In this case, they’re helping to do it because of an ancillary issue. Democrats will block the longest-ever extension of the CHIP program, because they believe it politically expedient to connect the DACA issue to the funding debate. Perhaps it’s good politics. We’ll see.

But the fact is, during the shutdown of 2013, the consensus of all serious, right-thinking people was that Republicans, who took basically the same position, were unfit to govern. When Republicans in the Senate were pushing for a pipeline in the spending bill, an issue their base happens to find important, Obama’s speechwriter Jon Favreau wrote, “Obama will not — he cannot — negotiate with a roving band of anarchists who say, ‘Build our oil pipeline or the troops don’t get paid.’”
The media cheered that position then, but it just might be that Donald Trump has decided to steal a strategy from the Dem playbook, possibly showing the Dems pushing a small child off a cliff (sound familiar?) and then refusing to "negotiate with a roving band of anarchists" who say Amnesty for DACA or small children won't get their healthcare.

This may well be a case where the Dems have overplayed their hand. After all, it's possible that they'll be blamed for the shutdown. Even worse, people won't notice much difference and just might come to realize that some of the services provided by the Feds aren't quite as essential as the Dems tell us they are. The Dems might lose both ways.

Friday, January 19, 2018


Many of us have observed that the trained hamsters in the main stream media, along with the vast majority of all Democrats, use a different set of behavioral standards, different rules for honesty, and certainly, a different view of what constitutes evidence of scandal when evaluating Donald Trump as compared to past presidents. When making those observations, progressives accuse us of "whataboutism." James Taranto describes "whataboutism" as "a slur against people who wish to hold President Trump to the same standards as his predecessors and his political opponents. It is one of the oddities of our era."

I have on many occasions been guilty of "whataboutism," and why not? After all, again quoting Taranto:
If the “resistance” really believes that Mr. Trump represents a unique threat to the republic, they should welcome comparisons with other presidents as the most straightforward method of proving their case.

Apparently double standards are more fun. But before applying them, perhaps the President’s critics [who threaten to boycott Trump's State of the Union address] should watch Mr. Trump’s remarks later this month and then compare them to those delivered by his predecessor at the same point in his presidency.

Some readers probably recall that on January 27, 2010, President Barack Obama —not for the first or last time—falsely described his signature domestic policy: “Our approach would preserve the right of Americans who have insurance to keep their doctor and their plan.”

But readers may not remember other portions of the speech that also proved to be untrue, such as when he claimed: “We will have all of our combat troops out of Iraq by the end of this August.”

But ... but ... but ... the #Resistance tells us that Donald Trump is uniquely divisive. Hmmm, at the same point is his presidency, Barack Obama said (not in a private meeting but in his first State of the Union address:
With all due deference to separation of powers, last week, the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests, including foreign corporations, to spend without limit in our elections.

I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests or, worse, by foreign entities. They should be decided by the American people. And I urge Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps correct some of these problems.
James Taranto notes:
Georgetown law professor Randy Barnett wrote in the Journal that “the head of the executive branch ambushed six members of the judiciary, and called upon the legislative branch to deride them publicly... No one could reasonably believe in their heart that this was respectful behavior.”
But, of course, when Trump accuses a judge or a special counsel of wrong-headed decisions, it's a 'vicious attack of the American judiciary,' but when Barack Obama does it, it's perfectly acceptable to the media hamsters, even praiseworthy, because—Obama.

And then there was the past president's 2010 promise to reform the Department of Veteran's affairs (followed in subsequent years with the VA scandal) or his statement that he would rid the world of nuclear weapons (followed today by North Korea), or his mea culpa to the Muslim world that resulted in increased violence and discord throughout the Middle East for the remainder of his presidency.

Yeah ... all of this is "whataboutism." What about it?


When Donald Trump allegedly used the word "sh*thole" to describe the broken countries of origin for some immigrants, the many Democrats and their trained hamsters in the media labeled Trump a "racist." They also used it as an excuse to walk away from immigration reform.

WHAT ABOUT when a senior Obama administration official called Israeli Prime Minister, Bibi Netanyahu, "chickensh*t"? Following the same logic, that would make the Obama administration and by default, its leader, anti-Semitic, right?

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Biased and Bitter Hacks

The Democrat and GOP elites furrow their brows and speak in solemn tones when they discuss the interaction between Donald Trump and the news media. Their voices nearly break as they decry Trump's "attacks on the press" and "the threat" that represents to the American people and an open democracy. They cringe when Trump characterizes once-respected outlets like NYT, WaPo and CNN as "Fake News." Meanwhile "journalists" at those and many other mainstream outlets bristle at the accusation and become uncharacteristically defensive whenever it is levied.

It's all hypocritical nonsense, of course. The media is conducting an outright war against this president. Objectivity and accuracy have been jettisoned and replaced by Trump Derangement Syndrome. Epithets that would never have been used on any Democrat president are as commonplace and they are ridiculous.

This morning, Donald Trump and the White House published its "2017 Fake News Awards." One can only wonder whether the NYT, WaPo, CNN, MSNBC, WSJ, ABC, NBC and the rest will give these awards as much coverage as, say, the Golden Globes. I doubt it, but I hope they're wrong.

Any person who doubts that media bias is rampant, that vituperation has replaced accuracy, that the (Democrat/progressive) narrative now drives almost all main stream media reporting should consider each instance mentioned in the awards and ask himself/herself: Why have all of these media missteps, inaccuracies, and narrative-driven errors (so serious, that media people have been forced to resign) occurred for this president, but not for his predecessor?

All presidents have an adversarial relationship with the media, but no other president in my lifetime has been so relentlessly attacked, often without merit or basis in fact. The mainstream media is often "fake news," particularly when Donald Trump is the focus of a report. The "2017 Fake News Awards" (be sure to read the entire article) couldn't have been given to a more deserving group biased and bitter hacks.

The Immigration Debate

The Democrats needed a reason to sabotage any agreement on DACA and more broadly, immigration reform. After all, allowing Donald Trump to have a major win on immigration where past presidents failed (notably the sainted Barack Obama) is anathema to those with Trump Derangement Syndrome. Dick Durbin gave the Dems the reason they needed by reporting that Trump used the word "sh**holes" to characterize the broken countries of origin of some immigrants. "Racist," the Dems screamed, over and over and over again. You'd think there was method to their derangement, and there is.

Molly Hemingway comments:
Democrats claim to want amnesty for DACA recipients. At least some Republicans claim to want to fix the problems that lead to never-ending streams of non-citizens clamoring for amnesty, such as a porous border and irregular enforcement of the law. The Trump administration and some Republicans seek to end an incoherent immigration policy that is unbound to the needs of the country, particularly the needs of the non-elite portions of the country. All of these competing desires make now seem like a prime opportunity for an immigration compromise.

Early last week, President Trump hosted a cordial negotiation that made the compromise seem possible. But is it true that Democrats are willing to work toward a DACA compromise? They were unwilling to offer any concessions to get it — no wall, no drawdown of random visa lotteries, no de-emphasis on chain migration, no move to a Canadian- or Australian-style merit immigration system. In fact, one of their proposals would actually expand chain migration, by which family members can get an easier path to U.S. residency and citizenship than other applicants.
Given their passive-aggressive approach to immigration negotiations and their red-hot hatred of Donald Trump, it appears that the Dems would like nothing better than a government shutdown. Possibly, a shutdown will work in their favor.

But Donald Trump has a way of escaping from the Dems most vicious politics and he just might flip the shutdown on them. The trained hamsters in the media will, of course, blame Trump and the GOP for any shutdown, but with Twitter at Trump's disposal, it might not play the way the Dems and the hamsters expect. We'll see.

The Dems think they have a winner with DACA, a program that is favored by a majority of Americans. But other important immigration issues don't play very well for Democrats. A significant majority of Americans is against open borders, chain migration, and lotteries that have no benefit to our country. Instead, Trump proposes a system similar to many Western countries based on merit as well as need, with limits placed on immigrant who show a high likelihood of demanding a continuing flow of government services and a poor likelihood of assimilating into our culture.

Even the fantasy version of DACA isn't supported by the facts. Victor Davis Hansen writes:
Democrats are so focused on the 800,000 Dreamers — less than 10% of the undocumented population — because they’re politically photogenic and for now seen as the easiest group to exempt from efforts to control illegal immigration. In blanket fashion, the media consistently report that they are model youth, fulfilling their proverbial “dreams” of finishing college and achieving upward mobility.

That narrative lacks subtlety, if it’s not outright deceptive. The average age of DACA participants is now 24. Few after entering adulthood sought to address their known illegal status. Surveys suggest that most are not in school; fewer than 5% have graduated from college. Those employed earn a median hourly wage of $15.34, which means they are forced to compete on the lower end of the wage ladder. Only about a tenth of 1% of DACA youth serve in the U.S. military — fewer than 900 total.

Setting aside the reality of the Dreamer pool, the Democrats’ method of fighting for DACA suggests that they are broadly in favor of letting immigration dysfunction continue apace. Why else would they refuse to give President Trump any significant concessions in the DACA negotiations — no wall, no end to chain migration, no cessation of visa lotteries?

They know that if this generation of Dreamers gets a pass without broader reform, it will be followed by another and another, all expecting the same eventual exemptions.
The Dems accuse anyone who wants true immigration reform of being xenophobic at best and racist at worst. Yet, their tired epithets that Americans are xenophobic or racist aren't supported by immigration statistics. Again, Hansen provides some numbers:
The United States is hardly a xenophobic country. Much less is it anti-Latino. As of 2015, 46.6 million people living in the United States were not born here. That is the highest number in American history — about four times greater than the number of immigrants living in any other nation on Earth. One of four California residents was not born in the United States.
Democrats suggest that if you're against their version of 'immigration reform" you're anti-immigrant. That's typical of their moral preening, but it's also dishonest and cynical.

There's no doubt that immigrants contribute greatly to our country, and immigration is to be applauded, if it is (to use Hansen's words) "legal, measured, meritocratic and diverse." Today, it is rarely all of those things at any one time.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Human Nature

I have on numerous occasions (e.g., here) noted that political correctness, while sometimes promoted by the Left with the best of intentions, has morphed into a near-oppressive and unforgiving ideology that is now the functional equivalent of group-think. Whether it's the accusation that any opinion about race relations outside the PC mainstream is "racist," or any view that women must take at least some responsibility for their interactions with men is "misogynist," or that any reticence in accepting that a trans people are exactly equivalent to their biological counterparts is a "gender crime," political correctness works very hard to control speech and thought. Violators are subjected to outrage and shaming—powerful tools that are at their core, mechanisms for control.

But it's doomed to fail—at least in controlling thought. Harvey Jeni describes a "Big Brother" reality TV show in the UK in which one of the contestants is a trans woman. The contestants go out of their way to be accepting to her, saying all the right things, but tension ensues. Jeni writes:
... The problem is that while you can perhaps legislate for speech and expression, you cannot legislate for conviction. In other words, you might be able to force people to say a certain thing, but you cannot force them to truly believe it. ...

The danger of course ... is that this level of pretense corrupts human relationships and ultimately causes more distress than it relieves. We cannot get along while lying to each other on such a fundamental level, and legislation that forces us to do so paves the way for more problems than it solves. There is no respect inherent in dishonesty and — more importantly — absolutely nothing at all wrong with the truth: that trans women are trans women; distinct from natal women by virtue of their biology, but entitled to live as they wish, worthy of the same rights, respect, and representation as anyone, simply by virtue of being human beings. There is nothing wrong with embracing the reality of being trans.

What is wrong though (and not only wrong, but a doomed and deeply flawed strategy) is to force people — either by law or social coercion — into pretending to believe something they do not, in the hope that they will eventually come to accept it. That way lies anger, resentment, and almighty, explosive backlash. There is space in this world for everybody, but living successfully with others requires generosity, open discussion, compassion, and honesty.
For far too many aspects of PC ideology, the Left contends that it's possible to force human nature to conform to PC dictates. Human nature resists, and as a consequence, we all must suffer the demand to reject reality, rather than embracing it.


Consider, for example, the recent character assassination of Aziz Ansari, a much-loved comedian who plays a VERY politically correct character in the popular TV series, Master of None. Ansari was effectively branded a predator by a female date who felt he didn't properly interpret her non-verbal hesitation not to have full-blown sexual intercourse. However, she did still participate in a variety of intimate sexual practices at his apartment. The details of this encounter can be found here.

More important is the manner in which some otherwise "woke" progressives have turned on Ansari—another progressive who otherwise meets all of their criteria for inclusion in a protected group: Ansari is a Muslim; a person with brown skin, and a person who plays a character with great sympathies for the progressive movement and political correctness.

Caitlin Flanagan, a contributing editor of left-leaning The Atlantic, voices the concern of some progressives as this feminist pogrom continues to sweep up some of their own. She writes:
Twenty-four hours ago—this is the speed at which we are now operating—Aziz Ansari was a man whom many people admired and whose work, although very well paid, also performed a social good. He was the first exposure many young Americans had to a Muslim man who was aspirational, funny, immersed in the same culture that they are. Now he has been—in a professional sense—assassinated, on the basis of one woman’s anonymous account. Many of the college-educated white women who so vocally support this movement are entirely on her side. The feminist writer and speaker Jessica Valenti tweeted, “A lot of men will read that post about Aziz Ansari and see an everyday, reasonable sexual interaction. But part of what women are saying right now is that what the culture considers ‘normal’ sexual encounters are not working for us, and oftentimes harmful.”

I thought it would take a little longer for the hit squad of privileged young white women to open fire on brown-skinned men. I had assumed that on the basis of intersectionality and all that, they’d stay laser focused on college-educated white men for another few months. But we’re at warp speed now, and the revolution—in many ways so good and so important—is starting to sweep up all sorts of people into its conflagration: the monstrous, the cruel, and the simply unlucky. Apparently there is a whole country full of young women who don’t know how to call a cab, and who have spent a lot of time picking out pretty outfits for dates they hoped would be nights to remember. They’re angry and temporarily powerful, and last night they destroyed a man who didn’t deserve it.
Flanagan is correct in her concern, but she exhibits everything that's wrong with a PC movement that emphasizes victimization and condemns "privilege." Apparently, she'd be far more sanguine if the character assassination experienced by Ansari focused only on "college-educated white men" because they are not a protected group and therefore fair game. Instead, the #MeToo movement has morphed rapidly and now uncontrollably into something that makes even progressives think twice.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Not at all Funny

As the evidence-free fantasy of "Russian Collusion" plods into its second year, there's relatively little to add, but that hasn't stopped the trained hamsters in the media from beating the story to death every single day (when they're not, as CNN did, repeating the word "sh**hole" over 100 times in a 24 hour period). After months and months of "investigation," Robert Mueller and his team of intrepid lawyers (almost all of whom were Clinton donors) have come up with no indictments that indicate collusion. In an environment in which asking for a double scoop of ice cream was the leak du jour, not a single leak coming from the deep state provides compelling evidence that collusion occurred, not one. Yet, there is copious and reliable evidence that the Clinton campaign not only colluded with a smear shop, Fusion GPS, to create a phony dossier, but paid for it. There's also the clear implication that the Obama Justice Department used the phony dossier with Clinton provenance to get the FISA court to approve spying on Trump's campaign.

Of course, in the fantasy world of those who suffer from Trump Derangement Syndrome, all of the actual evidence is fake and all of the fake allegations are real. Through the looking glass we go!

Andrew McCarthy provides an excellent discussion of the Fusion GPS dossier (and indirectly, of the Mueller investigation) when he writes:
How do you make someone look guilty of something he hasn’t done? You erect a formidable circumstantial case around the big hole in the middle — the hole that, in a normal case, would be filled by evidence that the suspect actually committed the crime. You don’t so much cover the hole as create distractions from it.

The biggest distraction is bad character: You must establish that your suspect is a five-alarm rogue. This is the fun part, the part you can feel righteous about. By the time you’re done, people will want to believe the scoundrel has done whatever he’s charged with. Indeed, if you’re the maestro, you’ve probably even convinced yourself that this sort of morality play is, shall we say, a well-meaning “insurance policy” against the ruinous harm the accused would surely do unless we convicted him of . . . something.

The rest is smoke and mirrors: Unable to demonstrate the actual commission of the offense, you compensate by showing, in dizzying detail, that all the conditions are in place for the crime to have happened just the way you claim it did. This doesn’t actually prove that that our suspect did anything wrong, just that he could have — or as you will call it: Corroboration!

To complete the web of suspicion, we sprinkle in the expert investigator. He has sources. We can’t say who they are, of course — that would be a security breach. But look, this guy is a pro. Not only are his snitches telling him our suspect is guilty; it seems that the sources’ stories get better every time a new detail about our suspect leaks out in the press.

Funny how that happens.
Not funny at all, actually.