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

Thursday, April 19, 2018

A Deterring Example

Because they lead the charge when Trump Derangement Syndrome takes hold, the trained hamsters in the mainstream media are the first to "fact check" any statement made by Donald Trump; trip over themselves to highlight any inconsistency as a "lie;" rush to condemn his lack of political correctness when discussing many of the world's bad actors; take umbrage when he doesn't turn the other cheek but instead counterpunches when his critics attack, and generally snark not only at him, but at his nominees for executive positions in government. But there's one thing the hamsters (and most Democrats and progressives) won't do—they never, ever will admit when they were wrong in their criticism.

A while back, in order to support his suggestion that unrestricted Muslim immigration from countries that have significant Islamist elements was a bad idea (anathema to the left), the president noted that violence in Sweden due to unconstrained Muslim immigration from the war-torn Middle East was a real problem. As an example, he used an attack in Sweden that turned out to be incorrect. The crescendo of criticism was as loud as it was broad. There's only one problem—Trump was wrong about the instance he mentioned, but entirely correct about the overarching phenomenon.

Politico writes:
STOCKHOLM — Sweden may be known for its popular music, IKEA and a generous welfare state. It is also increasingly associated with a rising number of Islamic State recruits, bombings and hand grenade attacks.

In a period of two weeks earlier this year, five explosions took place in the country. It’s not unusual these days — Swedes have grown accustomed to headlines of violent crime, witness intimidation and gangland executions. In a country long renowned for its safety, voters cite “law and order” as the most important issue ahead of the general election in September.

The topic of crime is sensitive, however, and debate about the issue in the consensus-oriented Scandinavian society is restricted by taboos ...

Gang-related gun murders, now mainly a phenomenon among men with immigrant backgrounds in the country’s parallel societies, increased from 4 per year in the early 1990s to around 40 last year. Because of this, Sweden has gone from being a low-crime country to having homicide rates significantly above the Western European average. Social unrest, with car torchings, attacks on first responders and even riots, is a recurring phenomenon.

Shootings in the country have become so common that they don’t make top headlines anymore, unless they are spectacular or lead to fatalities. News of attacks are quickly replaced with headlines about sports events and celebrities, as readers have become desensitized to the violence. A generation ago, bombings against the police and riots were extremely rare events. Today, reading about such incidents is considered part of daily life.

The rising levels of violence have not gone unnoticed by Sweden’s Scandinavian neighbors. Norwegians commonly use the phrase “Swedish conditions” to describe crime and social unrest. The view from Denmark was made clear when former President of NATO and Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in an interview on Swedish TV: “I often use Sweden as a deterring example.”
Hmmm. Hyper-PC Scandinavian countries are now using Sweden as a "deterring example" of unrestricted Muslim immigration from places that might produce those with Islamist/terrorist tendencies, but when Trump did this, he was labeled a bigot and a xenophobe. That's par for the course, but what is interesting is that the trained hamsters maintain a studied blackout of Islamist violence perpetrated by Muslim immigrants in Sweden and in Europe in general. Maybe they should report the facts (as Politico has done) and allow the American people to decide whether Trump was right or wrong in his immigration position.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Comey

As predicted, former, fired FBI director James Comey is all the rage among the trained hamsters of the main stream media. In a largely fawning interview conducted by former Democratic operative and Clinton confidant, George Stephanopoulos (no anti-Trump bias there, right?), Comey played his appointed role—part victim, part intrepid law enforcement officer, part hero for speaking "truth" to power, ... and unquestionably, part truth-teller.

In a classic evidence-free dissertation, Comey made weak allegations of "obstruction" (the new Democratic meme since "Russian collusion" has now become a running joke), told us that in his opinion, Trump should not be president and otherwise avoided any hard or probing questions because Stephanopoulos didn't ask any.

But at the same time, there's a small problem. Comey claims that he was unable or unwilling or something to bring his concerns about the Clinton email investigation to the Attorney General or Barack Obama. What Comey claims to be truth is NOT what other's in the Obama administration claim to be true. For example, ex-AG Loretta Lynch (you remember, the same Lorretta Lynch who secretly met with Bill Clinton at a small airport to discuss grandkids and golf during the Clinton "investigation") tweets this
“I have known James Comey almost 30 years. Throughout his time as Director we spoke regularly about some of the most sensitive issue in law enforcement and national security. If he had any concerns regarding the email investigation, classified or not, he had ample opportunities to raise them with me both privately and in meetings. He never did.”
Gosh, either Comey is lying or Lynch is lying. Likely, both are lying. The truth would indicate, I suspect, that the Clinton email investigation was to be spiked from day one. After all, Hillary was a slam dunk for the presidency—until she wasn't.

But the trained hamsters in the media have no interest whatsoever in that part of Comey's story. They're far more interested in emphasizing his weak opinions and evidence-free allegations against Donald Trump. No surprise, of course, and easily predictable, but yet another indication of the blatant bias that pervades the coverage of Trump and every aspect of his administration.

UPDATE:
--------------

Donald Trump in his characteristically blunt and coarse way, calls James Comey a "scum bag" and a "liar." Trump's style is questionable, but as in many other situations, the president is not far off the mark in describing Comey. Law professor Jonathan Turley states this assessment in a more measured manner when he writes:
One could easily ask what any of this [Comey's book] has to do with justice as an ideal, let alone the Justice Department as an institution. Comey’s book makes the answer plain: Nothing. Comey is selling himself with the vigor of a Kardashian and the viciousness of a Trump. While professing to write the book to protect the FBI as an institution, Comey is doing that institution untold harm by joining an ignoble list of tell-all authors.

Until this week, the very notion of a tell-all book by a former FBI director would have been a contradiction in terms. Past directors have been remarkably circumspect. That ended with Comey’s $100 a ticket book tour to get the nitty-gritty on Trump. Both the book and Comey’s sit-down with George Stephanopoulos on ABC News feature a carefully constructed image of Comey as the virtuous man thrown into the pit of perdition that is the Trump White House.
Comey was largely unchallenged in the interview as he claimed to be the “guardian” of the FBI. If true, it is a curious way to go about that. Comey was the most senior person investigating the president, and that investigation is ongoing. Prosecutors and former prosecutors are not supposed to discuss active investigations in public. It cannot benefit this investigation to have Comey hold forth on the underlying facts or reference disclosed and undisclosed evidence, nor is it helpful to his role as a cooperating witness. Witnesses are generally asked to avoid public comments, let alone tell-all books.
In actuality, the Comey interview was a lot more like an informercial, hosted by a partisan Democratic hack who asked softball questions and rarely challenged his guest. The Trump Derangement Syndrome crowd reveled in Comey's characterization of trump as "unfit," as if that statement somehow ends all debate on the matter. There are many, myself included, who might opine that Hillary Rodham Clinton was far more "unfit" for the presidency. The difference in the two opinions is that there is clear and irrefutable evidence of Clinton's dishonesty and corruption and only evidence-free hysteria where Trump is concerned.

Comey is an embarrassment to the FBI and to himself. He is a self-serving member of the elites who, like many inside the beltway, bet on Clinton as president and lost -- badly. At the very least, he should be ignored. If there was justice (and there isn't), he should be given a short, but painful jail sentence.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Crazed, Ceaseless Attacks

In the mildly hysterical tones of the truly deranged, a talking head at CNN (or was it MSNBC or ABC?) reported that special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating a $150,000 transfer of money between a billionaire Russian oligarch and the Trump campaign. The implication by the talking head—it's the smoking gun that would "prove" collusion between Trump and the Russians. The subtext—impeachment is right around the corner.

Chuck Ross comments on this:
The donation [actually it was an honorarium for a speech Trump delivered before he was the GOP candidate for president], from steel magnate Victor Pinchuk, pales in comparison to contributions he gave to the charity established by Bill and Hillary Clinton.

The billionaire has contributed $13 million to the Clinton Foundation since 2006 and had access to Hillary Clinton while she served as secretary of state.
Since Mueller is supposedly gravely concerned about Russian interference in American politics, you'd think he might pursue a "donation" to the Clintons that was 86 times (!!) larger than the one offered Trump before he was president. Oh, BTW, Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State when the $13M donation was made. By nah, that's not anything that Mueller might be interested in, because—Hillary. Apparently, Mueller in his current job and as head of the FBI seems to protect Dems in general and Hillary in particular..

Ross provides some background:
In June 2012, the billionaire attended a dinner at the Clintons’ residence. And through Schoen, Pinchuk lobbied the State Department in 2011 and 2013.

Documents filed with the Justice Department show Schoen and Pinchuk met on several occasions in 2012 with Melanne Verveer, a close Clinton associate who then served as an ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues.

Bill Clinton attended Pinchuk’s annual Yalta conference, The New York Times reported on Feb. 13, 2014. Pinchuk also attended the former president’s 65th birthday party in Los Angeles.

The FBI reportedly investigated the Clinton Foundation over its foreign donations. The status of that investigation is unclear.
Gosh ... if the same standards are applied, it was the Clinton's who colluded with the Russians, in the Pinchuk case and a number of others. There is hard evidence to support each case, but the FBI and the trained hamsters in the media seem oddly disinterested.

Anyhow, back to Trump. John Hinderaker writes:
I’ve been wondering whether a backlash would develop against the Democrats’ crazed, ceaseless attacks on President Trump. No one has ever seen anything like it: the ridiculous smears, the nightly barrage of television “comedy,” over-the-top attacks by former government officials like John Brennan and James Comey, endless investigations into nothing in particular, calls for impeachment (grounds? who needs grounds?), absurd accusations of “treason,” and so on. It is unprecedented in American history, and maybe voters are starting to think the Democrats have gone too far.

No doubt the Democrats’ constant attacks, amplified every day by the press, have an effect. But at a minimum, diminishing returns seem to have set in. Today’s Rasmussen survey, the only daily presidential approval poll now functioning and the only one, to my knowledge, that currently surveys likely voters, finds President Trump with 50% approval and 49% disapproval. His approval numbers this far in 2018 are essentially identical to President Obama’s ratings at the same point in his administration, notwithstanding Obama’s fawning press coverage.
It would be deliciously ironic if the non-stop, deranged hysteria directed at Trump from the Dems and their trained hamsters in the media is actually helping him. But regardless, their "crazed, ceaseless attacks" tell us a lot more about the Dems and the media that they tell us about Trump.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Attorney-Client Privilege

Attorney-Client Privilege. It used the be the cornerstone of our legal system. It used to be defended by progressives, conservatives, libertarians, the ACLU, and most other ideological groups across the political spectrum. No more.

The four constituencies will stop at nothing to bring down a duly elected president of the United States. The Dems are ecstatic, the media is celebratory, the #nevertrump GOP is silent, and the deep state is doing the bidding of one of their own, Robert Mueller.

Mueller has investigated Trump for more than a year and has found nothing that implicates Trump in Russian "collusion." So he moves on to anything else that might bring Trump down. One can only wonder whether this would have happened had Hillary Clinton been elected president. Whether clear evidence of influence pedaling while Secretary of State would have warranted a special counsel? Whether violation of national security law would have warranted a special counsel? Whether destruction of evidence (think: 33,000 emails) would have warranted a special counsel? You can bet your life that progressives and the ACLU would have screamed bloody murder had one been appointed, and you can double that bet had the appointed special counsel violated Hillary's attorney-client privilege. The same could be asked about the multiple scandals during the Obama era. But this is Trump and the hatred runs deep and hot. So we get silence.

Melissa MacKenzie writes:
To the lawyerly among the Twitterati, there must be a there, there. One commenter mused upon the “slow roll of the Nixon investigation” and saw an analogy. And he’s right. There is an analogy. The media hate Donald Trump just as they hated Richard Nixon. Democrats hate Donald Trump just as they hated Richard Nixon. And there are enough Republicans who cannot abide the shift in the demographics of the Republican electorate that they profoundly desire to see Donald Trump fail. And then, Donald Trump’s own pugnacious streak makes him frustrating enough that even his devoted followers grow exasperated at his behavior.

But, Donald Trump is not Richard Nixon and America today is not the Vietnam-era times fraught with an unpopular foreign war. Today, the war being fought is cold and civil and cultural. In D.C. and cities around the country, elites are shocked and horrified that someone such as Trump even is in office. They hate him. They hate anyone who would support him. The fact that Donald Trump enjoys 86% approval among Republicans fills them with revulsion at him and them. Those people.

Many from Mueller on down believe they are doing God’s own work by investigating Trump and following the trail to wherever it leads, even though it’s leading away from Russian collusion and into the Siberia of business sleaze. They are going to cleanse America of this Trump stench, by God, and nothing will stop them, not even attorney-client privilege. Even if skating close to the edge of the law tosses all the evidence, the investigation will so mire the president in legal minutiae that he won’t have time to enact his mandate… and he did have a mandate. Everyone but his voters exhales in relief: the no-mind buffoon can get nothing done. Hallelujah!

As Andrew McCarthy rightly points out, even something as stupid and trivial as a long ago ham-handled porn-star payoff can result in big trouble for a President. This is obviously true. A wrong doing, no matter how small, can spell the end for a politician with salivating prosecutors circling. But drops of truth in an ocean of deceit and corruption tend to get lost in the bigger truth: the system that allows for this kind of destruction and ignores the toxic system creates a populace who lose faith in the institutions that ostensibly seek truth. When the institutions are compromised, their elevating a small truth to cover for their big lies fail.

Trump voters and even fair-minded middle-of-the-roaders consider the crimes committed by Hillary Clinton and wonder at the double standard. She and her team smashed phones and computers to bits after the evidence therein was subpoenaed. Oops. Hillary Clinton and her chief minion Cheryl Mills claimed attorney-client privilege when Mills, herself, was under investigation for obstruction. Did Hillary answer any of the FBI’s questions? We don’t know as they didn’t record the session. Oops. And then, classified emails showed up on Hillary’s assistant’s husband’s computer who is in prison for pornographic interaction with a minor online. Has the Clinton Foundation or Huma Abedin’s home or Hillary’s bathroom been no-knock raided yet?

No.
A blatant, indefensible double standard is at work here. But the four constituencies don't care. In fact, it's worse than that—they revel in it.

UPDATE:
-------------

Alan Dershowitz writes:
There are, of course, exceptions to the lawyer-client privilege. First, the lawyer must be acting as a lawyer, not as a friend or business associate. But the scope of a lawyer’s work is quite broad, encompassing much more than merely giving legal advice. It includes settling cases by making payments to potential litigants. Second, the lawyer must be engaged in lawful activities on behalf of the clients. Illegal or fraudulent activities are not covered by the privilege. Nor are communications with third persons, such as the lawyer for the other side, though such communications may be covered by the much weaker “settlement privilege.”

Civil libertarians should be concerned whenever the government interferes with the lawyer-client relationship. Clients should be able to rely on confidentiality when they disclose their most intimate secrets in an effort to secure their legal rights. A highly publicized raid on the president’s lawyer will surely shake the confidence of many clients in promises of confidentiality by their lawyers. They will not necessarily understand the nuances of the confidentiality rules and their exceptions. They will see a lawyer’s office being raided and all his files seized.

I believe we would have been hearing more from civil libertarians— the American Civil Liberties Union, attorney groups and privacy advocates — if the raid had been on Hillary Clinton’s lawyer. Many civil libertarians have remained silent about potential violations of President Trump’s rights because they strongly disapprove of him and his policies. That is a serious mistake, because these violations establish precedents that lie around like loaded guns capable of being aimed at other targets.

I have been widely attacked for defending the constitutional rights of a president I voted against. In our hyperpartisan age, everyone is expected to choose a side, either for or against Trump. But the essence of civil liberties is that they must be equally applicable to all. The silence among most civil libertarians regarding the recent raid shows that we are losing that valuable neutrality.
Hyper-partisanship isn't anything new, but the level of pure, irrational hatred of Trump mixed with a dollop of derangement allows the four constituencies to remain silent as scurrilous attacks are launched and violations of the law and the constitution are condoned. If the four constituencies succeed in destroying Trump's presidency and unseating a person who received over 60 million votes in a national election, it will be a dark day for this country, for the constitution, and for the very people who want it so badly.

Monday, April 09, 2018

The Zuck

CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, deserves credit for early-on recognizing the future impact of social media, then building a powerful social media company, and then working hard to monetize the company's activities. There's nothing wrong with any of that. I don't have much use for Zuckerberg's politics or his less than even-handed use of his platform for political purposes, but he has every right to express his views, and in the main, every right to advance his business model. If people don't like it, stop using it, or decide as I have, not to use it in the first place.

It strikes me as disingenuous to the max that the Congress and the trained hamsters in the media have decided to express their sanctimonious outrage over "privacy violations" that have occurred and will continue to occur on social media platforms such as Facebook. In fact, as various members of various congressional committee pontificate and demand action, criticize Zuckerberg, and otherwise posture for their constituents, there is a simple reality that seems to escape them. For all of us in a modern world of connectivity, the cloud, big data, social media, mobile devices, VR, selfies, facial recognition, A.I., video gaming, texting, the dark web, and dozens of other technologies ... There. Is. No. Privacy.

No matter how many boxes you check, or toggle switches you flip, or privacy statements you read—there is no privacy. If you interact with the digital world—and just about everyone in the modern work does that to some extent—your interactions are noted, recorded, analyzed, parsed, and very often, sold to those who might find them useful. That's the reality of it and no legislation or regulation is going to change it.

Way back in the 2008 and again in 2012, I seem to recall that the trained hamsters in the main stream media waxed poetic when dozens (hundreds?) of facebook developers took sabbaticals to apply their tech expertise to help the Obama campaign "target" voters and push the psychological social media buttons required to get those voters out to the polls to vote for their preferred candidate. The hamsters' eyes glistened as they described the use of Facebook as a campaign tool that would enable Obama to win big over the crusty 20th century campaign efforts of the hated GOP. But now that Cambridge Analytica has used big data and the analytics it provided to help the Trump campaign ... Whoa!!! ... the Zuck (and his company) is the devil! Privacy is all that matters. It seems that the only standards the trained hamsters have are double standards.

So this week we'll listen to blather coming from members of congress, breathless reporting from the trained hamsters, and studied cool coming from the Zuck. We'll hear calls for legislation and regulation and demands that something be done. It's all nonsense. The fantasy is that we can use all of the tech I outlined earlier and still have our privacy protected. The reality is quite different, but that has never stopped politicians and the media from stirring to pot. It won't stop them now.

Saturday, April 07, 2018

Knuckleheads

I have noted the bias of the mainstream media in hundreds of posts over the years. I call members of the media "trained hamsters" because they predictably espouse memes adopted by most Democrats and their progressives allies. But even as I criticize them for their bias, their complete lack of objectivity, and their application of blatant double standards, I remain amazed as they descend into full-blow derangement and hysteria driven by their hatred of Donald Trump.

Andrew Claven nails it when he writes:
This column has, on occasion, been disparaging toward American journalism, but only because it is now populated by the biggest bunch of knuckleheads ever to be assembled outside of Knucklehead City on the planet Knucklehead. Remember the sitcom news anchor Ted Baxter with the big voice and the slick haircut and minuscule IQ? Well, if you added the emotional stability of a three-year-old having a temper tantrum, you would have your typical American journalist and commentator, not just on cable but at the networks and newspapers too. I could lasso a gorilla, give him a lobotomy, and teach him to do the job better than these clowns in fifteen minutes.

But perhaps I overstate my case. Or ... do I?

... The conservative Sinclair Broadcast Group had its news anchors around the country read an ad for the network. The ad read: “The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common on social media. Some members of the media use their platforms to push their own personal bias. This is extremely dangerous to our democracy." It then went on to say, basically, we strive to be better than the other guys but if we mess up, let us know. Which is what ads for news say. It was kind of like CNN's "This is an apple" ad, only literate and true.

An internet wag made a supercut of all the anchors reading it, so it looked like some sort of propaganda campaign. Or like an ad. Which is what it was.

Here is a sample of reactions from the fever pits of CNN and MSNBC: "Orwellian!" "Dangerous!" "State run media for an autocrat." "Embarrassing." "An assault on the democratic ... norms that helped us build a country that ... conquered the communistic one in the most existential struggle in human history." And, of course, the whole thing was put at the door of Donald Trump, who had nothing to do with it. Sinclair is privately owned.

Hysterical knuckleheads.
The irony is that during Barack Obama's presidency, the trained hamsters themselves became a propaganda arm of Obama's government, ignoring scandal after scandal, policy mistake after policy mistake, and a disgraceful record of economic missteps and failures. It would not have been unfair to call their approach
"Orwellian!" "Dangerous!" "State run media for an autocrat." "Embarrassing." "An assault on the democratic ... norms that helped us build a country that ... conquered the communistic one in the most existential struggle in human history."
But that's how they labeled an obvious commercial run by Sinclair Broadcast Group. Sounds an awful lot like psychological projection to me.

Thursday, April 05, 2018

A Disturbing Lack of Objectivity

The claim was as simple as it was outrageous—Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election to Donald Trump because Trump and his campaign colluded with the Russians. As a result, the 'collusion" did magical things (undefined) that caused Hillary to lose. I have contended from the very beginning that such claims were delusional, unsupported by any evidence, and an affront to common sense.

But the four constituencies would not relent. They believed that they could negate the results of the election, cause Trump's impeachment, or at the very least destroy his presidency with a continuous stream of unsupported allegations, a special counsel investigation, and, of course, political posturing and histrionics.

Jonathan Turley comments:
In terminal medical cases, doctors often deal with patients who move through “stages” that begin with denial. These so-called Kübler-Ross stages can be a long road toward acceptance. A weird form of Kübler-Ross seems to have taken hold of the media. Rather than refusing to accept indicators of impending death, many journalists and analysts seem incapable of accepting signs that the Trump presidency could survive.

That painful process was more evident Tuesday night when the Washington Post reported that special counsel Robert Mueller told the White House last month that Trump was not considered a “target” but only a “subject” of the investigation. After a year of being assured that “bombshell” developments and “smoking gun” evidence was sealing the criminal case against Trump, the dissonance was too great for many who refuse to accept the obvious meaning of this disclosure ...

That Mueller does not believe there is “substantial evidence linking [Trump] to the commission of a crime” would seem to merit some, albeit grudging, recognition. However, there has been a disturbing lack of objectivity in the coverage of this investigation from the start. Throughout it, some of us have cautioned that the criminal case against Trump was far weaker than media suggested. Fired FBI Director James Comey himself told Congress that Trump was not a target of his investigation. Indeed, Trump was reportedly upset with Comey largely because Comey would not say that publicly.
A "disturbing lack of objectivity" among the trained hamsters of the main stream media has been standard operating policy since the election of Barack Obama in 2008 and went into an even higher gear in November, 2016. There is little likelihood that will change.

But like many careless attempts at personal and political destruction that originate on the Left and the Right, the Left's allegation of Russian collusion has boomeranged on the accusers. There is now clear evidence of scandal ("collusion" is not too strong a word) on the part of senior officials in the Obama D0J, the FBI, and apparently, some intelligence agencies who worked in concert with Democrats to destroy Trump. This evidence indicates the weaponization of both intelligence and law enforcement agencies against the GOP contender for the presidency in 2016 and once elected, the new President in 2017. It is so serious it actually does (to use a phrase often used against Trump) "threaten our Democracy.

Of course, the four constituencies look the other way, claiming conspiracy theories and the like. But they've opened a door that will not close easily. The Democrats and their trained hamsters in the media, not to mention members of the "deep state" and even GOP #nevertrumpers may come to rue the day they decided to manufacture the Russian collusion meme.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Political Correctness-Revisited

Political correctness presents many in the population with cognitive dissonance. On the one hand, the claims of the politically correct—on race, on gender, on history, on climate, on unrestricted immigration, on Islam, on privilege, on anything—are deemed to be sacrosanct. If any of those claims are challenged, the person doing the challenging is somehow a bad guy—a "racist," a "misogynist," a "bigot," or an "extremist." But on the other hand, our own experiences and observations of the world, not to mention critical thinking and that elusive quality called "common sense," indicate repeatedly that many politically correct claims are ... well ... not in sync with the real world.

Let's take two examples. Recent reports about Germany indicate an significant rise in anti-semitic attacks over the past few years. The German government under Angela Merkel is the epitome of political correctness and attributes the attacks to "right-wing extremism." But who is perpetrating the attacks? We're not supposed to ask, because the answer creates problems for two memes that are cornerstones of political correctness: the benefits of unconstrained immigration and the celebration of Islam as the "religion of peace." In reality, the attacks have increased because some (possibly many) recent Muslim immigrants have an established culture of "Jew hatred" that has translated into broad-based anti-Semitism. The same situation can be found in France, where anti-Semitic instances (including the recent murder of a 85-year old Holocaust survivor) are on the rise. Same situation and same perpetrators that PC-think demands not be identified by group or origin.

The PC brigades rightly warn us not to generalize, but because we are forbidden from identifying the perpetrators of the problem based on hard, irrefutable evidence, we cannot possibly work to solve it. Even worse, because we are not allowed to identify the groups involved, we cannot demand that leaders of those groups act to correct the problem within the group that they lead.

Now to a second example. The catechism of political correctness demands that we agree that everyone is absolutely, positively, unequivocally created equal—that it's all about nurture and "privilege" and has nothing whatsoever to do with biology or genetics. Most people who haven't taken a long drink of the P.C. kool-aid know this to be untrue. In both the physical and the intellectual arenas, there are obvious and irrefutable differences among groups that cannot be attributed to the upbringing or environment alone. Progressive commentator Andrew Sullivan comments:
Last weekend, a rather seismic op-ed appeared in the New York Times, and it was for a while one of the most popular pieces in the newspaper. It’s by David Reich, a professor of genetics at Harvard, who carefully advanced the case that there are genetic variations between subpopulations of humans, that these are caused, as in every other species, by natural selection, and that some of these variations are not entirely superficial and do indeed overlap with our idea of race. This argument should not be so controversial — every species is subject to these variations — and yet it is. For many on the academic and journalistic left, genetics are deemed largely irrelevant when it comes to humans. Our large brains and the societies we have constructed with them, many argue, swamp almost all genetic influences.

Humans, in this view, are the only species on Earth largely unaffected by recent (or ancient) evolution, the only species where, for example, the natural division of labor between male and female has no salience at all, the only species, in fact, where natural variations are almost entirely social constructions, subject to reinvention. We are, in this worldview, alone on the planet, born as blank slates, to be written on solely by culture. All differences between men and women are a function of this social effect; as are all differences between the races. If, in the aggregate, any differences in outcome between groups emerge, it is entirely because of oppression, patriarchy, white supremacy, etc. And it is a matter of great urgency that we use whatever power we have to combat these inequalities.

Reich simply points out that this utopian fiction is in danger of collapse because it is not true and because genetic research is increasingly proving it untrue...

This [40,000 years of human evolution] will lead to subtle variations in human brains, and thereby differences in intelligence tests, which will affect social and economic outcomes in the aggregate in a multiracial, capitalist, post-industrial society. The danger in actively suppressing and stigmatizing this inconvenient truth, he maintains, is that a responsible treatment of these genetic influences will be siloed in the academic field of genetics, will be rendered too toxic for public debate, and will thereby only leak out to people in the outside world via the worst kind of racists and bigots who will distort these truths to their own ends. If you don’t establish a reasonable forum for debate on this, Reich argues, if you don’t establish the principle is that we do not have to be afraid of any of this, it will be monopolized by truly unreasonable and indeed dangerous racists. And those racists will have the added prestige for their followers of revealing forbidden knowledge. And so there are two arguments against the suppression of this truth and the stigmatization of its defenders: that it’s intellectually dishonest and politically counterproductive.
But political correctness is all about "actively suppressing and stigmatizing" truths that do not fit a particular meme, and even worse, barring any debate (by aggressively attacking those who want to ask questions or raise important objections) that might call the meme into question. As Sullivan states, it's "dishonest and politically counterproductive." It's also Just. Plain. Wrong.

Monday, April 02, 2018

Fantasy

Let's start with a very important factoid—Hamas and the other palestinian factions get more foreign aid per capita than any other people on the face of the planet. You'd think that all of this aid could be used to improve their infrastructure (e.g., electricity distribution system) in Gaza—a geography that Israel left over a decade ago and is run independently by Hamas. Nope—corruption, Islamist ideology, and the re-channeling of aid into weapons of war have resulted in Gaza becoming a failed state. Of course, the palestinians and their 'useful idiots' on the Left tell us it's all Israel's fault. Think again.

The Left and their trained hamsters in the media say the same thing about the violent attacks by Hamas (resulting in the deaths of Hamas members and the civilians they put in harm's way) that occurred this week along a fence that separates Israel from Gaza. "It's all Israel's fault." Nope.

The editors of the Jerusalem Post comment:
Ostensibly, the violent “marches of return” that took place in at least six difference locations along the fence, coincided with Land Day, which commemorates those Palestinians killed on March 30, 1976, during demonstrations against Israeli expropriation of land in the Galilee. The rioting is planned to continue through May 15, the date on which Israel announced its independence 70 years ago, but which the Palestinians refer to as “Catastrophe Day.”

However, the riots come at a time when Hamas’s political leadership in Gaza is in crisis. The terrorist organization, which violently wrested control over Gaza Strip in 2007, two years after Israel evacuated, has failed to care for the Palestinians who live there. Islamists who came to power with the slogan “Islam is the answer” have realized after a decade that even running a tiny coastal enclave is impossible while clinging to a Muslim theology that leaves no room for compromise or pragmatism.

Hamas channels its limited resources into preparation for another failed war with Israel instead of investing in improving the lives of Gaza’s citizens.

The results of Hamas’s intransigence are tragically evident. Paralyzing electricity shortages leave Gaza’s inhabitants with just a few hours of electricity per day; running water is available only one day out of four on average and the over-pumping of aquifers has resulted in seeping of saltwater; unemployment rates are skyrocketing; and the rebuilding of Gaza after the 2014 conflict with Israel is stalled.

Attempts at reconciliation with the Fatah leadership in the West Bank have gone nowhere because both sides care more about their own aggrandizement than about the betterment of the Palestinian people. Hamas had hoped it would be allowed to continue to control Gaza militarily, while the Palestinian Authority, funded by generous foreign donors – mostly Americans and Europeans – would foot the bill for the day-to-day expenses of running an autonomous enclave. Mahmoud Abbas, PA president and head of Fatah, has reacted by stopping the flow of PA funds to Gaza. No one in the West Bank or Gaza even entertains the possibility of democratic elections, which were last held in 2006 and left Hamas with a plurality of the votes.
The palestinians have decided that they will triumph when Israel ceases to exist. That means that their fantasy country will remain nothing but a fantasy for decades to come.