Friday, December 14, 2018

Cartoon o fthe Day


The Clintons vs. The American Spectator

The Impeachment of Bill Clinton —  20 Years Later
 
Paul Kengor December 14, 2018
 
At the start of the year, January 17, 1998, Clinton had given a sworn deposition flatly denying a “sexual relationship,” “sexual affair,” or “sexual relations” with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. The deposition took six hours, producing a transcript of 215 pages. Among the curiosities was the president’s striking amnesia over seven women listed as various Jane Does. All were women that William Jefferson Clinton, retroactive official Father of the MeToo Movement, employed as sexual receptacles — on company time, and usually with the assistance of the state and its workers. The deposition included sundry, complex discourses over what the master of the parsed word considered to be “sexual relations,” particularly in regard to the soon-to-be-famous “Ms. Jane Doe 6.”...............The president’s performance was impressive, calling to mind a trenchant assessment of him by fellow Democrat, Nebraska Senator Bob Kerry: “Clinton’s an unusually good liar. Unusually good.”
 
The details of the articles are too many and too rich to requote here, though I urge every reader to later click the hyperlinks and read from start to finish. What they show about Bill Clinton is bad enough, and what they likewise tell about Hillary is also shocking, from her horribly foul mouth to the longstanding allegations — based on eyewitness, on-the-record testimony by the state troopers — that she and Vince Foster had a running affair.

“I remember one time when Bill had been quoted in the morning paper saying something she didn’t like,” said one of the troopers, Larry Patterson. “I came into the mansion and he was standing at the top of the stairs and she was standing at the bottom screaming. She has a garbage mouth on her, and she was calling him motherf—er, c—sucker, and everything else. I went into the kitchen, and the cook, Miss Emma, turned to me and said, ‘The devil’s in that woman.’”

This account of Hillary is far from atypical...................

“We lied for him and helped him cheat on his wife,” said Patterson of Bill Clinton, “and he treated us like dogs.”  He treated them worse than that. Does your dog pimp for you?............That brings us back to Paula and the felony, and ultimately the road to impeachment...............It was a most reluctant confession. As former Democratic speechwriter-turned-pundit Chris Matthews put it, Bill Clinton “didn’t decide to tell the truth, he got caught.” Yes, chimed in legal analyst Stuart Taylor, Clinton was “a fundamentally dishonest man,” who “cannot be trusted.”.............To Read More....

 
 
 
 
 

Ty Cobb: Another Good Reason for Despising the Media

By Rich Kozlovich

Those of you who've been reading P&D know I don't do sports or entertainment, except when there's an underlying social commentary. This is one of those exceptions.

On December 14, Will Brewster posted this article, Was Baseball Legend Ty Cobb Really a Murderous Maniac?, on the American Thinker web site saying:
"He was the first inductee into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame and the sport's first national icon"..........."He is undoubtedly one of the most accomplished and electrifying athletes ever to live. His name is Ty Cobb, and despite his hard work, winner mentality, and legendary achievements on the field, he is remembered as being an anti-social racist, bigot, dirty player, and downright awful human being."
"Every student of the game knows the old stories.  Ty Cobb once stabbed a black waiter to death just because of his skin color and got away with it.  Ty Cobb would get drunk after ballgames, take to the streets, and pistol-whip every black person he came across. Ty Cobb intentionally ended the careers of other players, spiking them hard in the legs, often leaving them with lower leg injuries they could not come back from. In fact, Ty Cobb would sharpen his spikes before games for the sole purpose of harming opposing infielders. In short, Ty Cobb was mean-spirited, hated humanity, and had no friends by his side."
The only problem with these scurrilous stories promoted by a corrupt media is - they're not true!

Brewster goes on to say: "he is portrayed as a racist, wife-beater, and drunk whom everyone despised – even his own teammates", and then goes on to ask: ..... " Where is the evidence for these damning allegations? These infamous stories about the terrible Ty Cobb cannot be found in any newspaper articles, police reports, census reports, personal letters to or from friends and family, or any other literature throughout his 23-year baseball career, from 1905-1928."

History is the great leveler of truth and none of the terrible stories about Cobb being a bigoted racist, murderer, etc.,  are true.  In spite of his Southern upbringing history shows his family believed in abolition and civil rights with his grandfather refusing to fight for the South, and his father breaking up lynch mobs.
 
As for Cobb himself, he once told a reporter, "The negro should be accepted wholeheartedly. ... [T]he Negro has the right to play professional baseball, and who's to say he has not?".  Cobb "also worked out with black ballplayers in the off season, and he had the honor of throwing out the first pitch at many Negro League games."

He didn't kill a black waiter, he didn't sharpen his spikes to permanently hurt other players and in fact promoted blunting their spikes to prevent injuries.

The author goes on to say:
"Ty Cobb was the most competitive and aggressive player in baseball, often screaming at teammates and talking trash to opposing teams, but it cannot be denied that he was well respected as a ballplayer. Was Ty Cobb perfect? Hardly. Primary accounts from baseball in the early 20th century reveal that he was easily offended; was way too confrontational; and didn't get along with those who lacked his passion, tenacity, and work ethic. "
"But a racist? A murderer? A dirty player?  These accusations are undoubtedly false." 
He was probably a greater player than many of the celebrated players of his time, "but as his reputation lies in ruins over fake news". "Where do these accusations come from then" the author asks?

It appears at the end of Cobb's life "a man named Al Stump, hungry for fame, started writing fake stories about the baseball legend.  Cobb threatened to sue, but he passed away before any legal action could be taken."

Unfortunately the constant repetition of these lies by the media made these lies "truth" to society, destroying a good man's reputation.  His detractor never listed sources for his accusations and was finally banned from "publication for fraud", but it was too late and too little to save Cobb's reputation, and the media cares not one whit for truth, justice or the American Way. 

That has been demonstrated to nth degree in today's national politics.  People's lives have been destroyed by partisan political hacks and a corrupt media for political gain, and too few people care.  

Let's get this clear, before this I believed all that scurrilous filth spewed out about Cobb because I never heard or saw anyone say otherwise, and if it wasn't for the Internet, neither I or most of the rest of us would have never known the truth. 

And for those who will undoubtedly say:  Maybe it's Brewster that's lying.  Well, if Brewster's lying, then let's see the evidence!  I invite you to read the comments.

Colorado energy company Xcel goes crazy green

One starts to suspect there is a lot of hype, and maybe securities fraud, going on here

David Wojick, PhD

Awhile back, I wrote an article  about how the radical Colorado Energy Plan is actually designed to serve the gigantic Colorado utility company Xcel – not Colorado families and businesses – by beefing up Xcel’s asset base … and bottom line … with $2.5 billion worth of new generating capacity.

The kicker is that the Plan substitutes expensive, unreliable wind power for affordable, reliable coal-generated electricity, and thus is really part of a clever corporate strategy designed by Xcel.

Xcel’s plan was to get past 50% renewable. But now it has doubled down on that. The company just announced that it plans to become 100% “emissions free” by 2050. Xcel serves eight states from Colorado to Michigan, so a lot of people should be grabbing their wallets at this point.

Of course this is all based on the bogus “dangerous manmade climate change” scare, but Xcel stands to make huge profits from it. Being a regulated utility, the more it spends, the more it makes (and the more its customers pay) – while the utility gets to strut its supposed ecological virtues.

Ben Fowke, chairman, president and CEO, Xcel Energy puts it this way: “We’re accelerating our carbon reduction goals because we’re encouraged by advances in technology, motivated by customers who are asking for it, and committed to working with partners to make it happen.”

I doubt the customers asking for it have any idea what it will cost them.

The Greens love it, of course. Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense Fund, says it is all about “carbon dioxide pollution,” which is a hoax. Here is Krupp's claim:

“Ambitious efforts to slash carbon dioxide pollution are urgently needed. Xcel Energy’s vision will help speed the day when the United States eliminates all such pollution from its power sector, which is necessary to seize the environmental and economic opportunity of powering cars, trucks, homes and businesses with cost-effective, zero-emitting electricity.”

Keep in mind, this “carbon dioxide pollution” is what you exhale every time you breathe. It’s what animals exhale. It’s what plants inhale – and the more carbon dioxide (CO2) there is in the air, the faster and better crop, forest and grassland plants grow, using less water in the process.

Colorado's radical green Governor-elect Jared Polis is politically ecstatic, saying: “When I launched my campaign back in 2017, we had a bold agenda for our state – to get to 100% renewable by 2040. Xcel Energy’s exciting announcement today, along with the strong climate goals communities like Pueblo, Summit County, Ft. Collins, Denver and others across the state have embraced, shows we are leading the way forward right here in Colorado – by committing to a renewable and clean energy future.”

Polis and the others are deeply mistaken in thinking Xcel means 100% renewables. That is actually impossible, because wind and solar generation are highly intermittent, as I explain here. . Xcel knows this too, but hides it with the following vague statements:

"Achieving the long-term vision of zero-carbon electricity requires technologies that are not cost effective or commercially available today. That is why Xcel Energy is committed to ongoing work to develop advanced technologies while putting the necessary policies in place to achieve this transition." (Emphasis added)

Zero emissions and 100% renewables are two very different things, as I explain here in my article “100% Renewable Deception.” In fact, Xcel is planning to use enormous numbers of batteries, plus fossil-fuel generation with carbon (CO2) capture and storage. That is, both chemical and carbon-based energy.

In particular, fossil fueled generation with carbon capture and storage (CCS) means immensely more fossil fuels must be used to create and operate all of this hi-tech and largely unproven technology. And that means hundreds of millions, or even billions, of dollars in additional costs for Colorado businesses and families. All to capture and store the trace gas (0.04% or 400 parts per million of Earth’s atmosphere) that we exhale.

Note too that the supposed battery and carbon-capture-and-storage technologies do not even exist in usable form. How then does Xcel know they will be cost effective? Clearly they cannot know this. I have seen no hint of an engineering plan or cost estimate for bringing this scheme off – and doubt one exists.

Increased reliance on intermittent, weather-dependent wind power also increases grid instability and the likelihood of blackouts, brownouts and rolling outages. Customers more and more often get power when it’s available, instead of when they need it.

Also keep in mind that “emissions free” really means no emissions from electricity sources located in Colorado. The misleading claim completely ignores the massive emissions elsewhere in the world – of very real pollution, as well as emissions of plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide – in the process of mining and processing the enormous amounts of metals, hydrocarbons and other materials required to make those turbines, manufacturing the 600-foot-tall windmills, transporting and installing them, and so on.

Enormous amounts of metals and other materials are also needed for the backup fossil fuel power plants, CCS equipment, extra-long transmission lines – or massive battery arrays, if Xcel decides it’s going to use “clean, green” batteries instead of coal- or gas-fired backup power plants. Those backup systems, by the way, actually do 70-85% of the electricity generation, because the wind turbines only work 15-30% of the time. And it all impacts millions of acres of once pristine land, in Colorado and elsewhere.

One more important point, while we’re on the topic of corporate ethics and environmental virtue: A lot of those metals and minerals – especially the rare earths, lithium, cobalt, cadmium and other specialty items required in all this high-tech equipment – come from China, Mongolia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and other faraway, out-of-sight-and-mind places. Places where child labor is common, and health, safety and environmental standards are all but non-existent.

You could think of them as the renewable energy equivalent of “Blood Diamonds,” like the ones Leonardo DiCaprio dislikes so intensely that he made a movie about them – when he wasn’t driving his heavily subsidized Tesla, which also uses extensive “blood battery” technology.

(Xcel and its lawyers and environmental and political friends didn’t mention any of that? That’s really surprising, considering how often they emphasize their ethics and planet-saving virtues.)

A lot of people who buy into the climate scare invest on the basis of “greenness.” Given that Xcel is a publicly traded, stockholder owned corporation, one wonders if this “we are the greenest in the land” hype – or any of the lofty but specific promises Xcel has been making – amount to securities fraud.

Perhaps this potential fraud is something the SEC and FTC should look into.

David Wojick is an independent analyst specializing in science and logic in public policy.

That Oval Office sit-down? Pelosi and Schumer got skunked.

December 13, 2018 By Patricia McCarthy

There are thousands of families in the U.S. who have lost children and family members to illegal aliens in a variety of horrific ways. In that sure-to-go-down-in-history Oval Office confab, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer effectively let us know that they don't care about us or our losses.

They need Democrat voters; that is their abiding goal.

The theatrics in the Oval Office on Tuesday morning were just that: great theater. Trump always steps ahead of his opponents, and he set up Schumer and Pelosi. He began his discussion with the press in the room. Pelosi came in spouting "transparency" but could not wait to get the media out.

Trump saw to it that each of them revealed their preference for illegal aliens over American citizens. It was delicious, gratifying........That Oval Office sit-down with the Beavis and Butt-Head of the House and Senate will go down in history as the best of political theater and a demonstration of presidential genius........Read more

My Take - For those who've been going on about the loss of the House and for the Democrats who've been preening and spout off they're all going to see something they've not seen before.  A President who will beat them like a dog.  The RINO leaders in the House are gone, which means the President can beat on the Democrats mercilessly.  Having the Republicans controlling both houses of Congress created a bit of a problem for Trump.  If he beat on them too much they would blame him for getting themselves unelected.  If he didn't beat on them enough, they would continue the deep state spending.  That's now off the table.  This next two years are going to be among the most interesting in the history of American politics.  He will beat the Congress, the media and the deep state hard and frequently.  Expect to see firings all over the place among the deep state bureaucrats over these next two years, because all of a sudden, more Republican operatives are going to get on his side and are going to think it's important to "Make America Great Again", and help purge the Stygian stables of Washington. 

During the last administration Obama was playing checkers while the rest of the world was playing chess.  That's now changed.  The left has been spouting that Trump is dumb, and apparently they believe their own press.  Good!  That's their Achilles heel. 

Democrats Are Fighting to Lose an Argument They Already Won

Derek Hunter |Posted: Dec 13, 2018


If hypocrisy had monetary value we could easily pay off the national debt with the righteous indignation being expressed by Democrats over the so-called revelation that then candidate Donald Trump paid off a couple of women to not tell the world they allegedly had affairs with him 12 years ago. Unfortunately, hypocrisy has no value beyond exposing the people who engage in it, so we’re stuck with $21-plus trillion in debt and a political party desperately trying to lose an argument they’ve already won.

I was in college during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton......He committed perjury in the Paula Jones sexual harassment case to hide his extra-marital affair with Monica Lewinsky, and he did so blatantly and willingly.

In addition to the perjury, Clinton got his girlfriend a plum government job. Being president of the United States made that pretty easy to do, though it was a complete abuse of power. Monica, a recent college graduate, had no special qualifications that would land her a job at the Pentagon, but when the president recommends someone, they get hired............the fact that these acts were committed while Clinton was president, and done with and because he had the power of the presidency, which led to his impeachment...........Democrats began insisting this was not about the multiple laws the president broke, it was all about sex. And since it was about sex, it was a personal matter that was between him and his wife, who didn’t seem to care (or be surprised). “If Hillary can forgive him, why can’t Republicans?” was the gist of the argument.............
Then Donald Trump happened.........Nothing Trump is accused of happened while he was president; he didn’t use his office to cover up his actions. Yet Democrats are clutching their pearls over what they’d told the country was none of our business just a few years ago.  But Democrats want people to be morally outraged over the allegation and want to criminalize a private citizen spending their own money to make their life easier. Sorry, that’s not in keeping with the rules you guys set. You won the argument in the 90s, you don’t get to lose it retroactively now......... To Read More....

 

 

Boy Scouts of America may declare bankruptcy

By Max Jaeger December 12, 2018

The Boy Scouts of America is mulling declaring bankruptcy amid flagging membership and an avalanche of costly sex abuse allegations, according to the Wall Street Journal.  Leaders have hired Chicago law firm Sidley Austin for help in a potential Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, sources told the outlet.  The organization has been fending off lawsuits over alleged abuse, including one filed by four former scouts who called the club a “pedophile magnet” and alleged that they were molested by scoutmaster Waldron Ackerman between 1974 and 1976............To Read More....

A Little Background:

The Marxist-Progressive War on the Boy Scouts

Today’s progressives have completed the takeover and destruction communists first started calling for more than a century ago.

Paul Kengor June 1, 2018

The title of this article will raise eyebrows even among conservatives, but read on. The title is accurate and undeniable.  The left has succeeded in driving a final nail in the coffin of the Boy Scouts as it once was. The organization is now a shell of its self. It capitulated first on “gay” scout leaders, then on “transgender” scouts, and now on girls joining the Boy Scouts.

Progressives bask in their triumph, dancing on the grave of an organization they never wanted to build up; it was an organization they wanted to take down. For the left, this is less about giving something to girls than taking something from boys. It’s another scalp on the cultural-ideological wall.

Lest anyone think this isn’t a take-down, or a fundamental transformation, well, consider that the Boy Scouts of America, founded in 1910, will now be called simply “Scouts BSA” for those ages 11 to 18 (a change openly celebrated with puffy propaganda pieces by PC-stylists at the BSA website). This is a coerced inclusion of gender-neutral “Cub Scouts.”........To Read More....


Boy Scouts of America Votes to Allow Gay Scout Leaders

July 27, 2015 By Pete Williams

The governing body of the Boy Scouts of America voted Monday to end its decades-long ban on gay scout leaders.  The organization's national executive board, meeting in Texas, concluded that the policy of excluding gay adults "was no longer legally defensible." The decision was approved by 79 percent of the board............."For far too long this issue has divided and distracted us," former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Scouting's current president, said in a statement. "Now it's time to unite behind our shared belief in the extraordinary power of Scouting to be a force for good in a community and in the lives of its youth members."..........Gay adults rejected as scout leaders have threatened to sue, and New York's attorney general opened an investigation of the employment policy at the Boy Scouts of America...........To Read More....

Boy Scouts Lose Philadelphia Lease in Gay-Rights Fight



For three years the Philadelphia council of the Boy Scouts of America held its ground. It resisted the city’s request to change its discriminatory policy toward gay people despite threats that if it did not do so, the city would evict the group from a municipal building where the Scouts have resided practically rent free since 1928.

Hailed as the birthplace of the Boy Scouts, the Beaux Arts building is the seat of the seventh-largest chapter of the organization and the first of the more than 300 council service centers built by the Scouts around the country over the past century.  But over the years the fight between the city and the Scouts was about more than this grandiose structure in Center City.  Municipal officials said the clash stemmed from a duty to defend civil rights and an obligation to abide by a local law that bars taxpayer support for any group that discriminates. Boy Scout officials said it was about preserving..........To Read More....
 
Liberalism Bankrupts the Boy Scouts
George Neumayr

PC policies can be costly.

The other day President Trump called Rex Tillerson “dumb as a rock.” That was payback for an interview in which his former Secretary of State called Trump undisciplined and a poor study. Trump had selected Tillerson for the job based in part on the recommendation of Robert Gates, Obama’s Secretary of Defense, according to press reports. Gates and Tillerson knew each other largely from the Boy Scouts, where they both held leadership positions during its transition from a traditional organization to a politically correct one.



My Take - What do those who promoted this have to say now?  Ooooops? 
 
The position of the BSA has been know since it's inception, and yet no one noticed anything "discriminatory" about their policy since it's founding in 1908 in Britain and in 1910 in the United States.  Foundationally the Scouts promoted the moral concepts "To help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight"............[to be] "brave, clean, and reverent"......"Boy Scouts of America believes that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God."
 
So everyone knew that was foundational to their organization and everyone thought it was fine, until now.  Now it's discriminatory!  We've lost our minds because the nation's churches have abandoned the very moral foundations they claim is foundational to their faith.   The nation's "Christian" churches have abandoned the Bible, betrayed their oaths to God, embraced leftist heresy and the nation has followed and is paying the penalty for the failure of it's "leaders".
 
Imagine that!


Thursday, December 13, 2018

The FBI’s Forgotten Criminal Record

Editor's Note:  As you read this you may find you will agree with some of the actions by the FBI.  I Posted this to show what happens when a agency of the Federal Government becomes beyond the law, and becomes the law.  Of which both parties were guilty.  Whomever is in charge at the time makes the rules and they decides who is  good and who is bad, making the Constitution meaningless.  What happens when the law enforcers become the law breakers? And the Obama administration clearly showed just how far that can be taken thus far, but it could go a lot farther!

James Bovard Aug 2017

President Trump’s firing of FBI chief James Comey on May 9 spurred much of the media and many Democrats to rally around America’s most powerful domestic federal agency. But the FBI has a long record of both deceit and incompetence. Five years ago, Americans learned that the FBI was teaching its agents that “the FBI has the ability to bend or suspend the law to impinge on the freedom of others.” This has practically been the Bureau’s motif since its creation in 1908.

The bureau was small potatoes until Woodrow Wilson dragged the United States into World War I. In one fell swoop, the number of dangerous Americans increased by perhaps twentyfold. The Espionage Act of 1917 made it easy to jail anyone who criticized the war or the government. In September 1918, the bureau, working with local police and private vigilantes, seized more than 50,000 suspected draft dodgers off the streets and out of the restaurants of New York, Newark, and Jersey City. The Justice Department was disgraced when the vast majority of young men who had been arrested turned out to be innocent.

In January 1920, J. Edgar Hoover — the 25-year-old chief of the bureau’s Radical Division — was the point man for the “Palmer Raids.” Nearly 10,000 suspected Reds and radicals were seized. The bureau carefully avoided keeping an accurate count of detainees (a similar pattern of negligence occurred with the roundups after the 9/11 attacks). Attorney General Mitchell Palmer sought to use the massive roundups to propel his presidential candidacy. The operation took a drubbing, however, after an insolent judge demanded that the Justice Department provide evidence for why people had been arrested. Federal judge George Anderson complained that the government had created a “spy system” that “destroys trust and confidence and propagates hate. A mob is a mob whether made up of government officials acting under instructions from the Department of Justice, or of criminals, loafers, and the vicious classes.”

After the debacle of the Palmer raids, the bureau devoted its attention to the nation’s real enemies: the U.S. Congress. The bureau targeted “senators whom the Attorney General saw as threats to America. The Bureau was breaking into their offices and homes, intercepting their mail, and tapping their telephones,” as Tim Weiner recounted in his 2012 book Enemies: The History of the FBI. The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was illegally targeted because the bureau feared he might support diplomatic recognition of Soviet Russia. ..........To Read More......

Hoover, who ran the FBI from 1924 until his death in 1972, built a revered agency that utterly intimidated official Washington. The FBI tapped the home telephone of a Supreme Court clerk, and at least one Supreme Court Justice feared the FBI had bugged the conference room where justices privately discussed cases. In 1945, President Harry Truman wrote in his diary, “We want no Gestapo or Secret Police. FBI is tending in that direction…. This must stop.” But Truman did not have the gumption to pull in the reins.

The bureau’s power soared after Congress passed the Internal Security Act of 1950, authorizing massive crackdowns on suspected subversives. Hoover compiled a list of more than 20,000 “potentially or actually dangerous” Americans who could be seized and locked away at the president’s command. Hoover specified that “the hearing procedure [for detentions] will not be bound by the rules of evidence.” “Congress secretly financed the creation of six of these [detention] camps in the 1950s,” noted Weiner. (When rumors began circulating in the 1990s that the Federal Emergency Management Agency was building detention camps, government officials and much of the media scoffed that such a thing could never occur in this nation.)

From 1956 through 1971, the FBI’s COINTELPRO program conducted thousands of covert operations to incite street warfare between violent groups, to get people fired, to portray innocent people as government informants, and to cripple or destroy left-wing, black, communist, white racist, and anti-war organizations. FBI agents also busied themselves forging “poison pen” letters to wreck activists’ marriages. The FBI set up a Ghetto Informant Program that continued after COINTELPRO and that had 7,402 informants, including proprietors of candy stores and barbershops, as of September 1972. The informants served as “listening posts” “to identify extremists passing through or locating in the ghetto area, to identify purveyors of extremist literature,” and to keep an eye on “Afro-American type bookstores” (including obtaining the names of the bookstores’ “clientele”).

The FBI let no corner of American life escape its vigilance; it even worked to expose and discredit “communists who are secretly operating in legitimate organizations and employments, such as the Young Men’s Christian Association and Boy Scouts,” as a 1976 Senate report noted. The FBI took a shotgun approach to target and harass protesters partly because of its “belief that dissident speech and association should be prevented because they were incipient steps toward the possible ultimate commission of an act which might be criminal,” the Senate report observed. That report characterized COINTELPRO as “a secret war against those citizens [the FBI] considers threats to the established order.” COINTELPRO was exposed only after a handful of activists burglarized an FBI office in a Philadelphia suburb, seized FBI files, and leaked the damning documents to the media. The revelations were briefly shocking but faded into the Washington Memory Hole.

FBI haughtiness was showcased on national television on April 19, 1993, when its agents used 54-ton tanks to smash into the Branch Davidians’ sprawling, ramshackle home near Waco, Texas. The tanks intentionally collapsed 25 percent of the building on top of the huddled residents. After the FBI pumped the building full of CS gas (banned for use on enemy soldiers by a chemical-weapons treaty), a fire ignited that left 80 children, women, and men dead. The FBI swore it was not to blame for the conflagration. However, FBI agents had stopped firetrucks from a local fire department far from the burning building, claiming it was not safe to allow them any closer because the Davidians might shoot people dousing a fire that was killing them. Six years after the assault, news leaked that the FBI had fired incendiary tear-gas cartridges into the Davidians’ home prior to the fire’s erupting. Attorney General Janet Reno, furious over the FBI’s deceit on this key issue, sent U.S. marshals to raid FBI headquarters to search for more Waco evidence. From start to finish, the FBI brazenly lied about what it did at Waco — with one exception. On the day after the Waco fire, FBI on-scene commander Larry Potts explained the rationale for the FBI’s final assault: “These people had thumbed their nose at law enforcement.”

Terrorism

FBI counterterrorism spending soared in the mid to late 1990s. But the FBI dismally failed to connect the dots on suspicious foreigners engaged in domestic aviation training prior to the 9/11 attacks. Though Congress had deluged the FBI with almost $2 billion to upgrade its computers, many FBI agents had ancient machines incapable of searching the web. One FBI agent observed that the bureau ethos is that “real men don’t type…. The computer revolution just passed us by.” The FBI’s pre–9/11 blunders “contributed to the United States becoming, in effect, a sanctuary for radical terrorists,” according to a 2002 congressional investigation. Former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft groused that “the safest place in the world for a terrorist to be is inside the United States; as long as they don’t do something that trips them up against our laws, they can do pretty much all they want.” Sen. Richard Shelby in 2002 derided “the FBI’s dismal recent history of disorganization and institutional incompetence in its national security work.” (The FBI also lost track of a key informant at the heart of the cabal that detonated a truck bomb beneath the World Trade Center in 1993.)

The FBI has long relied on entrapment to boost its arrest statistics and publicity bombardments. The FBI Academy taught agents that subjects of FBI investigations “have forfeited their right to the truth.” After 9/11, this doctrine helped the agency to entrap legions of patsies who made the FBI appear to be protecting the nation. Trevor Aaronson, author of The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI’s Manufactured War on Terrorism, estimated that only about 1 percent of the 500 people charged with international terrorism offenses in the decade after 9/11 were bona fide threats. Thirty times as many were induced by the FBI to behave in ways that prompted their arrest.

In the Liberty City 7 case in Florida, FBI informants planted the notion of blowing up government buildings. In one case, a federal judge concluded that the government “came up with the crime, provided the means, and removed all relevant obstacles” in order to make a “terrorist” out of a man “whose buffoonery is positively Shakespearean in scope.”

The FBI’s informant program extended far beyond Muslims. The FBI bankrolled a right-wing New Jersey blogger and radio host for five years prior to his 2009 arrest for threatening federal judges. We have no idea how many bloggers, talk-show hosts, or activists the FBI is currently financing. The FBI’s power has rarely been effectively curbed by either Congress or federal courts. In 1971, House Majority Leader Hale Boggs declared that the FBI’s power terrified Capitol Hill: “Our very fear of speaking out [against the FBI] … has watered the roots and hastened the growth of a vine of tyranny…. Our society cannot survive a planned and programmed fear of its own government bureaus and agencies.” Boggs vindicated a 1924 American Civil Liberties Union report warning that the FBI had become “a secret police system of a political character” — a charge that supporters of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump would have cheered last year.

The FBI has always used its “good guy” image to keep a lid on its crimes. The controversy swirling about Comey’s firing should spur the American people, media, and Congress to take the FBI off its pedestal and place it where it belongs — under the law. It is time to cease venerating a federal agency whose abuses have perennially menaced Americans’ constitutional rights. Otherwise, the FBI’s vast power and pervasive secrecy guarantee that more FBI scandals are just around the bend.

This article was originally published in the August 2017 edition of Future of Freedom. Categories

Cartoon of the Day

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

No Smell Like An Old Smell

By Michael D. Shaw December 3, 2018 @ HealthNewsDigest

A scene that appears in many movies involves a recently bereaved individual who picks up a garment that belonged to their departed loved one. The bereaved will draw the garment close to their face, and take a long whiff. Emotional memories are thus conjured up (“Smells ring bells”). This concept is known as odor-evoked autobiographical memory, involuntary memory, or the Proust phenomenon.

The Proust term refers to a famous passage from Marcel Proust’s novel In Search of Lost Time, called the “episode of the madeleine.” An excerpt follows:
No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses, something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin. And at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory…whence did it come?
What did it mean? How could I seize and apprehend it?…And suddenly the memory revealed itself. The taste was that of the little piece of madeleine which on Sunday mornings at Combray… my aunt LĂ©onie used to give me, dipping it first in her own cup of tea or tisane. The sight of the little madeleine had recalled nothing to my mind before I tasted it. And all from my cup of tea.
Without a doubt, our olfactory sense is about as basic as it gets. Of course, not all odors are pleasant–especially those that can be classified as “body odors.” Anthropologist Louis Leakey even posited that human body odor might have evolved to fend off predators. While trademarked commercial deodorants only date back to 1888 (Mum), history records that the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans were vitally concerned with masking B.O.

These days, deodorants are hardly newsworthy, but have you ever heard of old-person smell? It turns out that there is some real science on this. A review article from 2010 entitled “Odor Associated with Aging” details some interesting results:

The review article cites a study from 2001 that links old-person smell to the compound 2-Nonenal, which was not detected at all in participants aged less than 40 years, but was detected in 69% of participants aged 40 years or more. The odor of 2-nonenal was characterized as similar to old pomade and candle wax, having a fishy or resin-like odor, and is believed to be the key element in odors associated with aging. The odor has also been described as unpleasant–greasy, grassy.

Generation of 2-nonenal is related to oxidative degradation of omega-7 unsaturated fatty acids. Omega-10 unsaturated fatty acids were found in sebum samples from most of the study participants, with omega-7 unsaturated fatty acids particularly high in middle-aged and elderly participants. Omega-10 unsaturated fatty acids are known to increase with age.

Conventional hygiene is not particularly effective in removing this compound (or its precursors), as it is insoluble in water, and most soaps don’t remove much of it. Which brings us to Mirai Clinical. Mirai is a personal care products company featuring unique natural ingredients from Japan and the zen philosophy that Less is More.

Mirai’s Deodorizing Soap with Persimmon is recommended for the removal of Nonenal/aging odor. Persimmon extract (or tannin) dissolves nonenal, thereby eliminating its odor. Persimmon fruit is a potent antiseptic loaded with vitamins and has been used by the Japanese for its naturally purifying and deodorizing benefits.

I’ll give the final word to Koko Hayashi, Founder & CEO of Mirai Clinical:
“Nonenal or ‘aging odor’ is a real but (understandably) underreported problem for millions of people. The right soap is, however, effective at eliminating nonenal. Handcrafted soap, which contains Japanese persimmon extract, moisturizes and rejuvenates the skin. This artisanal approach to body care is yet another example of the ways the products of the East complement the needs of consumers in the West.”

The Tyranny of the Judiciary and What to Do about It

By Jon N. Hall

Almost from Day One of his presidency, Donald Trump has been stymied by judges on lower federal courts issuing restraining orders to stop his executive orders and bring his agenda to a screeching halt.

On November 10, National Review ran "Obama's Judges Continue Thwarting Trump," a fine analysis by Andrew C. McCarthy, who explains what's really going on with the injunctions issued by these "rogue" judges:
You may have been under the impression that Trump won the election, and that choosing among competing policies is what elections are about. That is how it is supposed to work in our free, constitutional republic. But day by day, the space for free choice is shrinking. To the Lawyer Left, elections represent a policy choice only when Democrats win. The rest of the time, the courts are there to consolidate the Left's gains, to repel democratically driven policy shifts.
McCarthy demonstrates that, contrary to Chief Justice John Roberts, at least some of our federal courts have become politicized. It's simply not the case that "[w]e do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges," as Roberts alleges. Perhaps Roberts is confused about what should be and what is. McCarthy touches on the judicial overrides of Trump's decisions on DACA and the Keystone Pipeline. And let's not forget the travel ban, key provisions of which SCOTUS reinstated. McCarthy began his article by predicting that the president's new policy on asylum claims would soon be stopped:............. To Read More

State Bills of Rights Have the Real Protections

By William J. Watkins, Jr. December 12, 2018

By presidential proclamation, December 15 is Bill of Rights Day. President Donald Trump urges Americans to take time to "recognize the key role of the [federal] Bill of Rights in protecting our individual liberties and limiting the power of government."

While we are better off for having the first ten amendments to the Constitution, it is intellectually dishonest for the media and our national leaders to pay such obeisance to the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights is a mere shadow of the protections the states originally urged Congress to pass and pales in comparison to the rights guaranteed in many state constitutions.

James Madison, the primary architect of the Bill of Rights, merely sought to mollify Anti-Federalist critics of the Constitution without imposing real limits on the powers of the federal government.........To Read More....

The 'International Community' Isn't a Community

Ben Shapiro | Dec 12, 2018

Very often these days, we hear about the wonderful richness of the international community. Americans are chastised for failing to go along with the international community on climate change; failing to follow the consensus of the international community on health care; failing to mirror the priorities of the international community in foreign policy.

But here's the reality: There is no international community. There is merely a group of states motivated by self-interest. Sometimes those self-interests overlap. Other times they don't. But let's not pretend that the international community somehow maintains a sort of collective moral standing merely by dint of numbers. In fact, precisely the opposite is often true.

Take, for example, the United Nations' recent decision not to condemn the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. This week, the U.N. General Assembly voted on a resolution condemning the group for "repeatedly firing rockets into Israel and for inciting violence, thereby putting civilians at risk," as well as for using assets to construct "tunnels to infiltrate Israel and equipment to launch rockets into civilian areas." The U.N., which requires a two-thirds vote to pass a General Assembly resolution, voted down the resolution -- 87 nations in favor, 58 against, 32 abstaining. All in all, that means that more nations voted against ratifying the resolution -- 90 -- than in favor of it.

Up to this point, the U.N. has never passed a single resolution against Hamas..........To Read More....

Acceptable Racism

Walter E. Williams | Dec 12, 2018

How appropriate would it be for a major publicly held American company to hire a person with a history of having publicly made the following statements and many others like them? (In the interest of brevity, I shall list only four.) "The world could get by just fine with zero black people." "It's kind of sick how much joy I get out of being cruel to old black men." "Dumbass f---ing black people marking up the internet with their opinions like dogs pissing on fire hydrants." "Are black people genetically predisposed to burn faster in the sun, thus logically only being fit to live underground like groveling bilious goblins?"

I think most Americans would find such blatant racism despicable and would condemn any company that knowingly hired such a person. Leftists of every stripe would be in an uproar, demanding the dismissal of such an employee. College students and their professors would picket any company that hired such a person. I could be wrong about this, so I'd truly like any employer who'd hire such a person to come forward.........To Read More....

Muslim Migrants Terrorize a Sleepy German College Town

Posted by Daniel Greenfield 0 Comments Wednesday, December 12, 2018 @ Sultan Knish Blog
29.

That’s how many crimes one single Syrian migrant had allegedly committed since entering Germany four years ago. He had already been wanted for drug trafficking and had been investigated for a rape last year. And then he struck again, this time in a case that has once again torn apart a sleepy college town.

Freiburg is a German city of 226,000 people. Foreigners make up 36,800 or 16% of the population. Of the foreigners in Freiburg, whose name means fortified city of free people, 18,750 or 8.5% are men.

Even though foreigners are only a small percentage of the population, they commit 42% of the crimes.

These days, Freiburg is mainly known as a college town. One site describes it as the “sunniest and warmest city in Germany” with a "progressive mindset" and "a remarkable commitment to the environment". The University of Freiburg’s 30,000 college students make the area a magnet for parties, clubs and eateries catering to the booming student population. And for those who prey on the students.

The medieval cobblestone streets of Freiburg bulging with bars aimed at college students had come to host a very different population as a mass of Syrians, Afghans, Iraqis and others claiming to be refugees poured into Germany. Facilities catering to refugees quickly popped up all over the sleepy college town.

Unaccompanied minors, migrants, many of them claiming to be underage when their actual ages ranged into the twenties and even the thirties poured into Freiburg. By November 2016, 577 of these ‘minors’ had showed up in Freiburg. And crime, drugs, theft and sexual assaults came traveling along with them.

Trouble had already been reported at the White Rabbit, a trendy club where sexual assaults by refugees have become routine. Reports even described men forcing their way into women’s bathroom stalls. A refugee reportedly attempted to assault a woman in the bathroom and the dance club soon announced that it would not allow asylum seekers inside. “This is not an easy thing to do but we see no other way as currently we are experiencing problems with refugees,” it said in a statement.

On New Year’s Eve of that year, the wave of refugee sexual assaults taking place across Germany, most notably in Cologne, reached Freiburg with two women being assaulted by seventeen men.

But none of that had any impact on the eagerness of the Freiburg establishment to continue welcoming in migrants. Even as the violence grew worse, Freiburg followed Merkel’s slogan, “Wir schaffen das” or “We’ll make it work.” Refugee violence was only a minor obstacle on the road to integration.

The University of Freiburg has a special refugee initiative, as do other educational institutions in the area. The City of Freiburg commissioned rapid prefabricated housing that could hold hundreds of refugees. It hasn’t asked any of the difficult questions about what those refugees will do in Freiburg.

The “progressive mindset” made Freiburg a very welcoming destination for Muslim migrants; and for the crime and violence that has come with the great migratory wave from the terrorlands.

In 2017, Syrians had committed 282 of crimes in Freiburg. The Turks were responsible for another 246, the Iraqis for 158, the Algerians for 141, the Afghans for 121, the Tunisians for 77, the Moroccans for 76, the Somalis for 69, and the Albanians tying the Pakistanis for 59 for a grand total of 1,288 crimes committed by immigrants from Muslim majority countries.

But those statistics also conceal the human cost of migration to Europe from Muslim countries.

In March, Hussein Khavari, an Afghan refugee, was sentenced to life in prison for the rape and murder of Maria Ladenburger, a 19-year-old med student volunteering for a refugee charity, in Freiburg. Khavari had already been sentenced to 10 years in prison in Greece after pushing a woman off a cliff. Then, even though evidence shows that he was in his thirties, the Greeks released him as a juvenile offender.

The monster continued on to Germany where he pulled the same scam and attacked another woman. His previous victim had been twenty, his new victim was nineteen. His previous victim had survived, but the Muslim refugee made sure that Maria wouldn’t, by strangling her and then drowning her.

In October, 7 Syrian men were arrested in Freiburg for the gang rape of an 18-year-old woman. The assault, like many others, took place at a club. And, like a number of other assaults, rape drugs were involved. The female student had gone out to celebrate with a friend. Someone had slipped her a drink.

The first Syrian rapist assaulted the woman in the bushes. After he was done, he went into the club and called on his friends to join in.

The suspects include a Majid, an Ahmed, a Muhammad, a Munahad, an Alaa and a Jekar. Some of the Syrian men also allegedly had links to terrorist groups. A number had posted pictures of themselves brandishing guns on social media. The full number of attackers may be in the double digits.

The alleged rapists lived in refugee housing around Freiburg. They had previously come to the attention of the authorities for drugs, assaults and robberies. And still they weren’t deported.

One of the suspects is a refugee who had come to Germany in 2015 during the great migration.

Majid and another of the suspects had already been suspected of the rape of another 20-year-old woman in her home. And Majid had also been suspected of committing yet another sexual assault. He was also due to be arrested shortly for drug trafficking, but before the police could take him in, he struck again and destroyed a young woman’s life.

"In Freiburg, there is no room for criminals and such terrible crimes," Mayor Martin Horn insisted.

But the evidence tells another story.

Sexual assaults have been rising in Freiburg with over 50% of the suspects listed as foreigners. The parties are slowing down. There are more bouncers than ever around the club. And fear is in the air.

Muslim migrants have turned a sleepy German college town, a place once known for having the most sunshine in Germany, for its Black Forest hikes and its nearness to France and Switzerland, into a place where college students are stalked by predatory refugees. The “sunniest place” in Germany has become a place of shadows, and its progressive mindset has turned a city of free people into hunted prey.


Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine at the above link.

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Thank you for reading.

There’s No Galt’s Gulch, but New Zealand, Switzerland, and Hong Kong Are the Next-Best Alternatives

December 10, 2018 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty

What’s the world’s freest nation?  I’ve suggested that Australia as an option if the United States ever suffers a Greek-style collapse, but my answer wasn’t based solely on that country’s level of freedom.

Another option is to look at Economic Freedom of the World, which is an excellent resource, but it only measures the degree to which a nation allows free markets.

If you want to know the world’s freest nation, the best option is to peruse the Human Freedom IndexFirst released in 2013, it combines economic freedom and personal freedom.

The 2018 version has just been published, and, as you can see, New Zealand is the world’s most-libertarian nation, followed by Switzerland and Hong Kong. The United States is tied with Sweden for #17.


If you scan the top-20 list, you’ll notice that North America, Western Europe, and the Antipodes (Australia and New Zealand) dominate.

And that also is apparent on this map (darker is better). So maybe “western civilization” isn’t so bad after all.


Here is an explanation of the report’s guiding methodology. Simply stated, it’s a ranking of “negative liberty,” which is basically freedom from government coercion.
The Human Freedom Index casts a wide net in an attempt to capture as broad a set of freedoms as could be clearly identified and measured. …Freedom in our usage is a social concept that recognizes the dignity of individuals and is defined by the absence of coercive constraint. …Freedom thus implies that individuals have the right to lead their lives as they wish as long as they respect the equal rights of others. Isaiah Berlin best elucidated this notion of freedom, commonly known as negative liberty. In the simplest terms, negative liberty means noninterference by others. …This index is thus an attempt to measure the extent to which the negative rights of individuals are respected in the countries observed. By negative rights, we mean freedom from interference—predominantly by government—in people’s right to choose to do, say, or think anything they want, provided that it does not infringe on the rights of others to do likewise.
Unsurprisingly, there is a correlation between personal freedom and economic freedom.


Though it’s not a perfect correlation. The Index highlights some of the exceptions.
Some countries ranked consistently high in the human freedom subindexes, including Switzerland and New Zealand, which ranked in the top 10 in both personal and economic freedom. By contrast, some countries that ranked high on personal freedom rank significantly lower in economic freedom. For example, Sweden ranked 3rd in personal freedom but 43rd in economic freedom; Slovenia ranked 23rd in personal freedom but 71st in economic freedom; and Argentina ranked in 42nd place in personal freedom but 160th in economic freedom. Similarly, some countries that ranked high on economic freedom found themselves significantly lower in personal freedom. For example, Singapore ranked in 2nd place in economic freedom while ranking 62nd in personal freedom; the United Arab Emirates ranked 37th in economic freedom but 149th in personal freedom; and Qatar ranked 38th in economic freedom but 134th in personal freedom.
This raises an interesting question. If you had to move, and assuming you couldn’t move to a nation that offered both types of freedom, would you prefer a place like Sweden or a place like Singapore?

As an economist, my bias would be to choose Singapore.

But if you look at the nations in the top-10 for personal freedom, they’re all great place to live (and they tend to be very market-oriented other than their big welfare states). So I certainly wouldn’t blame anyone for instead choosing Sweden.

P.S. There are some very attractive micro-states that were not including in the Human Freedom Index, presumably because of inadequate data. I suspect places such as Bermuda, Liechtenstein, Monaco, and the Cayman Islands would all get very high scores if they were included.

Liberty Gifts

John Stossel | Dec 12, 2018 @ Townhall.Com

Struggling to find gifts to get for loved ones? How about a book?  I just made a video about some books that shaped my thinking.

First, Friedrich Hayek's "Road to Serfdom" recounts how government trying to centrally plan an economy often leads to tyranny.

Government shouldn't intervene, wrote Hayek, because a free market, like a school of fish or a flock of birds, creates a spontaneous order. No central planner will allocate resources as efficiently as individuals do themselves. For arguing that, Hayek was ridiculed. But years later, even defenders of socialism conceded that he was right.

With "democratic socialism" newly popular and celebrities like Jim Carrey saying, "We have to say yes to socialism -- to the word and everything!" today is a great time to give "Road to Serfdom" to your socialist friends.

If only they'd read it...

Of course, "Road to Serfdom" is written in old-fashioned language that some people find tough going. A simpler, more America-focused book from which to learn about economics is Thomas Sowell's "Basic Economics."  Sowell writes in plain English, without graphs or equations. Not only will Sowell educate your socialist friends, he'll show Donald Trump fans why free trade is good.

Two even easier-to-read introductions to economics and free market philosophy are the cartoon-filled "Libertarianism for Beginners" by Todd Seavey and "Give Me a Break," written by an ignorant anti-business reporter (me) who finally discovered the benefits of markets.  But promoting those would be self-serving (Todd helps me write this column) so I won't even mention those fine books. I'll move on.

Prefer fiction?

How about "Animal Farm" for the animals in your family? George Orwell describes how farm animals revolt against an abusive human master -- only to end up ruled by new tyrants, the pigs.  "Animal Farm" was meant to be an allegory for the Russian revolution turning into Soviet tyranny, but it could just as easily apply to today's America if populists get their way.

Another fun read is Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged." It's long -- more than a thousand pages -- but easy reading because the novel pulls you along, describing how cultural bias against capitalism and love of big government grows.  Rand depicts creeping government oppression so convincingly that it feels like she's describing America today.  Rand argues that government isn't just inefficient; it's evil because it violates property rights and tells people how to live their lives. Government is like a looter or burglar, she wrote.

Today's media, by contrast, call capitalists looters and burglars. Years ago, the media called the most successful of them "robber barons."  

A book by Burton W. Folsom, "Myth of the Robber Barons," debunks those myths. It explains that capitalists such as John D. Rockefeller and Cornelius Vanderbilt were neither robbers nor barons. They were not born rich, and they did not get rich by robbing people. They got rich by creating better things.  Rockefeller lowered the price of kerosene so much that it allowed poor people to read at night.  He probably even "saved the whales." That's because once Rockefeller made oil cheap, killing whales to get whale oil was no longer profitable. Bet your kids won't learn that in environmental studies class.  "Robber baron" Cornelius Vanderbilt didn't rob people. He made steamship travel faster and cheaper. It was jealous competitors who called him a "robber baron" because he charged lower prices than they did. The ignorant media picked up the term, and it stuck.

Finally, another great introduction to freedom is the book "Free to Choose," in which Milton and Rose Friedman explain how limiting government creates prosperity.  Friedman reportedly joked that if you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there'd be a shortage of sand.

In the TV series accompanying "Free to Choose" he argued, "We somehow or other have to find a way to prevent government from continuing to grow and continuing to take over more and more control over our lives."  Well, we've failed at that!  But at Stossel TV, we won't quit trying. Those books should help.

I hope my columns help a little bit, too. Happy holidays!

Family Breakdown Explains Social Unrest

Star Parker | Dec 12, 2018

As France is gripped by civil disorder, many commentators identify, quite correctly, as the culprit the outsized burden that France's bloated welfare state places on its citizens.

According a recent report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the highest tax burden in the industrialized world is in France -- 46.1 percent of GDP.

In the United States, it is 27 percent, which includes taxes paid at all levels of government -- federal, state and local.

Welfare state spending in France is 32 percent of GDP, almost double that of the U.S., meaning that 1 out of every 3 dollars generated by the French economy is captured by the government and redistributed into social/welfare spending..........The vast expansion of the welfare state, both in Europe and in the United States, occurred in tandem with a weakening of the family. And weakening of the family generally occurs in an environment of weakening of religion.

When I speak and tell audiences that today 4 in 10 babies in the United States are born to unwed mothers, compared with less than 1 in 10 babies 50 years ago, I hear gasps.  But in France, out of wedlock births stand at 6 in 10.   Not surprisingly, a recent survey by Pew Research of 34 European countries shows France to be one of the least religious...........To Read More....

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Has the Church Become Politically Pragmatic?

By Michael Ware November 6, 2016

When we talk about Christians and politics, many become uncomfortable. There are those who believe that the Church should not be in political affairs. Either they are misinformed about the issue of the separation of Church and state, or they misunderstand Matthew chapter five.  In either case, we have seen a significant shift in the way Christians choose the people they will vote for politically. And a recent survey reveals how quickly thinking has changed.   Evangelical Focus reports......To Read More....

My Take - He asks the wrong question. The right question is "when have the chuches not been politically pragmatic?"

After the first century and the apostles died and everything changed.  Sectarian forces created splits,  which already started at the end of the first century.  While John, the last living apostle was still alive, the Sect of Nicolaus was condemned by him. After he passed, and the governing council set up in Jerusalem was dispersed -  I assume that happened when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70 C.E. - everything was a crap shoot.

The Council of Nicea was convened by Christain bishops in Bithynia,Turkey in 325 C.E. Who prisided over it? Roman Emperor Constantine, and it was he who decided what Christian doctrine on the Trinity would be.....and there is absolutly no evidence he was a baptized Christian at that time and only sketchy evidence he may have been baptized at his death.  Furthermore he reversed that position on more than one occasion when it was politically convenient, and the "church" went along with it. 

That pattern repeated with the Protestant churches over the centuries also.  Have there been people of strong faith and character who stood up to this kind of thing? Sure, but they either weren't in charge, or if they were, when they died those who took over became "politcally pragmatic".   The correct answer, as demonstrated by reality and history, is the "chruch" has "never" failed to ultimately become politcially pragmatic! 

But there's a question he fails to address.

He believes theological shifts have taken place allowing for people to believe God's standards are "flexible", then no matter what a person does all is forgiven because ethics are no longer taught in the churches. 

If that's true, and it certainly appears to be true overall - then, if they stand for nothing it really means they'll stand for anything.  Is that a clear demonstration of what the leaders of these organizations believe in?  The Democrats moral stands support many things condemned in the Bible, and they atheism has been made clear at one of their conventions where they booed God.  If that's so, and it is, then the other question we need to ask is:  How can a Christian be a Democrat and not be a heretic? And then we need to ask: What exactly do these chruches stand for?  And if they stand for nothing, anything or everything, then we absolutely need to ask:  Why do we need them? 

Finding a Loophole around a Liberal Supreme Court

By The Common Constitutionalist

Earlier this week I posted an article regarding those on the left whining about the lack of a ninth supreme Court justice. You may review it here. The author of the piece I quoted went so far as to accuse the Republican Senate of being “nothing less than an existential threat to the supreme Court,” for not confirming, or at least voting on Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland. As if this is their duty to accommodate our beloved president, despite the Constitution making no such assertion.

This is the frustration, or impatience of the left. They can wait no longer to pack the high Court with leftists, giving them the means to finally transform America into the socialist utopia they’ve been dreaming of.  But the frustration of the right always seems to end up back at that dastardly decision, Marbury v. Madison (1803), which was the first U.S. supreme Court case to apply the principle of “judicial review,” giving it the power to void acts of Congress that they feel are in conflict with the Constitution.

Over the years, the Marbury v. Madison decision has seen judicial review morph into the high Court becoming the final arbiter regarding all things – legal, social and cultural.  The federal Courts, including the supreme Court, were not designed, under Article III, to adjudicate everything as they seem to today. The federal courts were set up specifically to deal with federal issues, beyond the scope of State Courts. These issues are described in Article III of the Constitution.......Congress may pass a law – and with the law, include a passage that expressly prohibits the supreme Court from ever hearing the case. Don’t take my word for it. Watch, listen and learn, from the following Hillsdale course............To Read More.....

A Lurking Potential Catastrophe for National Debt

Posted by Craig Eyermann

CNBC recently featured an op-ed by Peter Tanous, in which the noted author and investment advisor warns of a potential economic catastrophe that none of the 2016 election’s presidential candidates is seriously addressing.  The nation’s dire predicament, Tanous argues, is a direct result of how the extraordinary runup of the national debt during the past eight years will severely restrict how the federal government can spend money as interest rates increase from their historic, near-zero lows.
What makes his case particularly alarming is that he uses the Congressional Budget Office’s baseline scenario, which given the major candidates’ fiscal proposals, represents a best-case scenario:......
  • Under this 2020 scenario, one-half of all personal income taxes would go to servicing the national debt.
  • Debt service in 2020 would dwarf our military spending of $585 billion in 2016.
  • Debt service would consume nearly two thirds of Social Security obligations......To Read More....

What We Bought for Nearly $10 Trillion in National Debt

Posted by Craig Eyermann

From the time that Barack Obama was sworn into office as the U.S. President on January 20, 2009, to the time the next president is sworn into office in January 2017, the total public debt outstanding will have nearly doubled. Since it started at $10.6 trillion, to call that a massively huge run-up in debt is something of an understatement.  But what did Americans buy with all that debt? In a recent blog post, financial economist Scott Grannis considered that question, and also what it means for Tuesday’s elections:.......To Read More....

Controlled Substances: Who’s Watching The Controllers?

By Michael D. Shaw November 26, 2018 @ HealthNewsDigest
 
controlled substance,” per §802(6) of Title 21, United States Code, means a drug or other substance, or immediate precursor, included in Schedule I, II, III, IV, or V of part B of this subchapter. The term does not include distilled spirits, wine, malt beverages, or tobacco, as those terms are defined or used in subtitle E of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
 
A key difference between Schedule I and II substances is that drugs on Schedule I “have no currently accepted medical use in the United States.” Full marks if you noticed that marijuana (cannabis)—despite being offered in many states for medical purposes—is still a Schedule I drug. However, there is more to this story…

Remember CBD (Cannabidiol)? Until quite recently, all CBD products were treated as Schedule I substances, which, frankly makes no sense. Consider that “Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” One can debate the “accepted medical use” portion, I suppose, but there is absolutely no potential for abuse of CBD—unless it contains significant amounts of THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), which is highly unlikely.

Indeed, the FDA noted that cannabidiol shouldn’t be a controlled substance, but international treaties require the United States to regard it in this manner.

On June 25, 2018, the plot thickened. On that day, the FDA approved Epidiolex (cannabidiol) [CBD] oral solution for the treatment of seizures associated with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, in patients two years of age and older.

The FDA granted Priority Review designation for this application. Fast-Track designation was granted for Dravet syndrome. Orphan Drug designation was granted for both the Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome indications. Epidiolex is a product of GW Pharmaceuticals.

Now, we have—to coin a phrase—a scheduling conflict. How can an FDA-approved drug be Schedule I (no currently accepted medical use)? And what changes could be made that would conform to the treaties mentioned above? Easy peasy! The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) simply classified Epidiolex—and only Epidiolex—as Schedule V (the least restrictive classification). Thus, all other CBD preparations are still Schedule I. (Hemp-derived CBD seems protected under the Farm Bill.)

To get more specific, the DEA action places FDA-approved drugs (and there is only one so far) that contain CBD derived from Cannabis and no more than 0.1 percent tetrahydrocannabinols in Schedule V. Note that this exclusion of THCs is three times more stringent than the 0.3% THC requirement, as enshrined in the 2014 Farm Bill. The 0.3% figure originated from a 1976 plant taxonomy paper. Cold comfort that this number has been disavowed by its lead author, Dr. Ernest Small.

Presumably, Epidiolex cranked up the purity to distinguish itself from the crowd, not to mention invoking a more expensive production process ideally suited to Big Pharma. And, the new drug will be introduced at the eye-popping price of $32,500 per patient per year. Those patients better be covered by good insurance.

I’m concerned about the precedent being set here. CBD has long been known to be effective against seizure disorders. Did anyone compare Epidiolex to the dozens of readily-available CBD products already on the market? Given the budget and political connections to pull off the grueling FDA approval process, could any of them have done the same? Besides, if CBD now has an FDA-approved medical use, by what logic can CBD products other than Epidiolex remain in a Schedule tagged as “no currently accepted medical use”?

Finally, if there is an argument to be made that Epidiolex improves on a natural product, I have yet to hear it. At least when Bayer patented Aspirin in 1899 is was a distinct improvement over the natural product White Willow Bark. Since when can a proprietary drug be created simply by taking a natural product, purifying it more than the commercial versions (for no apparent medical reason), and putting it through clinical trials?

The answer, of course, is since June 25, 2018.

Have a Very Intolerant Day

Posted by Daniel Greenfield 11 Comments Monday, December 10, 2018 @ Sultan Knish Blog

November 16 was National Button Day, National Fast Food Day and International Tolerance Day: if you’ve never heard of International Tolerance Day, that just shows how intolerant you are.

International Tolerance Day was celebrated at the World Tolerance Summit at the Armani Hotel in Dubai. A photo of the event shows three Arab Muslim men in burnooses sitting under the Summit's subtitle, "Prospering from Pluralism: Embracing Diversity through Innovation and Collaboration."

The UAE is an Arab Muslim entity. Good luck obtaining citizenship if you aren’t an Arab Muslim. Leaving Islam is forbidden, but the government has a special site encouraging infidels to convert to Islam.

Diversity is great. As long as it’s limited to Muslim men. Pluralism is fantastic. But you’re not allowed to leave Islam. And tolerance is applied equally to Muslim men and other Muslim men on Tolerance Day.

Like most terrible global ideas, International Tolerance Day was invented by the UN. Or specifically by UNESCO around the time that Bosnia and Herzegovina joined up before becoming enmeshed in a genocidal war. Because nothing says tolerance like genocidal ethnic conflicts at the United Nations.

Key conferences were held in Russia, Korea and Turkey: three countries in a permanent state of war.

The Turkey tolerance conference featured a renewal of Turkey’s emergency law after over 10,000 Kurds were killed by Turkish authorities. After the Korean tolerance conference, North Korea sent armed infiltrators across the border. And during the Moscow tolerance conference, Chechen Islamic terrorists attacked a hospital and took thousands of hostages. The 1995 score read: Intolerance 3, Tolerance 0.

But that’s always the way it is at the UN where tolerance is on the menu, but never on the plate.

International Tolerance Day led to the Year of Tolerance in 1995. It wasn’t very successful as the Bosnian War was still going on, the First Chechen War was underway, and the Taliban were wrapping up their takeover of Afghanistan. The Turks were tolerantly killing the Kurds, the Kurds in Iraq were killing each other, Bill Clinton decided to bomb the Serbs, and the United Nations retreated from Somalia.

And that was the last Year of Tolerance.

The Year of Tolerance Hell spawned the UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize to commemorate the Year from Tolerance Hell and the 125th birthday of Gandhi, who had urged the British to surrender to Nazi Germany and suggested that “the Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher's knife.”

Since then a day of tolerance is about as much tolerance as anyone could manage.

Tolerance Day sits on the imaginary UN calendar between World Philosophy Day, and World Toilet Day. Like every UN holiday, it’s an utterly useless exercise in spreading awareness of things and of making commitments to improve or end other things whether they be philosophy, tolerance or toilets.

The 25th anniversary of International Tolerance Day has passed with less fanfare than World Toilet Day. UNESCO hasn’t become famous for promoting tolerance, but for spreading anti-Semitism. In October, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Permanent Observer to UNESCO described the ugly scene after the historical moment when the first UNESCO French-Jewish director-general was inaugurated.

"The day that Azoulay was inaugurated, I left the ceremony with some 15 Ambassadors and UNESCO officials. Number 3 in the hierarchy ran after me. In earshot of his colleagues, he shouted: 'Shimon, are you now happy to have your Jew as director-general?'”

That’s what tolerance look like at UNESCO and the UN.

According to UNESCO, its mission is to “deepen the binds of a single humanity, through understanding, dialogue and knowledge.” And occasional anti-Semitism. Hating Jews is one of those few things that Islamist sheikhs, European technocrats and American social justice crybullies can all agree on.

What better way to bind humanity together than finding common ground on hating Jews?

That’s why UNESCO, like the rest of the UN, divides its time equally between pointless hearings and sessions whose only purpose is justifying the hefty restaurant budgets of its personnel, and blaming Israel for everything under the sun, and in solar systems, galaxies and universes far beyond the sun.

As Hitler and Stalin knew, you can’t “deepen the binds of a single humanity” without hating and murdering a whole lot of people in general and Jews specifically along the way.

And Tolerance Day doesn’t look much better in America.

Tolerance Day is hard enough. Don’t even think about expanding it to a year, a month or even a week.

Last year, Riverside-Brookfield High School in Illinois tried to expand it into Tolerance Week with Monday as Gender Equality Day, Tuesday as LGBT Pride Day, and Friday as Minority Empowerment Day. Board members and parents objected to the left-wing agenda. Pro-tolerance board members then expressed intolerance toward Trump supporters. And an intolerant time was had by all.

At Gonzaga University in Washington State, this year’s International Day of Tolerance involved the director of the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane accusing white people of intolerance.

The trouble with tolerance is that tolerant people rarely go around advocating it. Tolerant people tolerate, rather than advocate. And tolerance advocates urge intolerance in the name of tolerance. Much like destroying the village to save it and making peace by fighting wars, the tolerant are the most intolerant people around. That’s why the International Day of Tolerance began with genocide.

The United Nations says all the right things and does all the wrong things. The tolerant ends always justify the intolerant means whether at UNESCO or Riverside-Brookfield High School.

Once you get past the idealistic rhetoric about our common humanity, the genocide begins. How else are we ever going to make that common humanity happen without repressing everyone who disagrees?

Idealistic tyrannies always turn murderous as the idealists demonize everyone who isn’t on the same page with their utopia. The good thing about the UN is that it’s too inept to commit genocide. Instead its delegates, diplomats, staffers, peacekeepers and janitors stand around whenever a genocide happens worriedly wringing their hands and urging all the participants to stop and let the UN finish the job.

The United Nations never stops talking about peaceful coexistence and never actually practices it. The International Day of Tolerance, like World Philosophy Day and World Toilet Day, is a bizarre fantasy of world government by a powerless body of bureaucrats which couldn’t figure out how to use a toilet, never mind philosophy or tolerance, and which has never done anything useful in its existence.

Powerlessness ought to have taught the UN humility. But the less power the UN has, the more grandiose its fantasies of world government become. It demands tolerance, but it never returns it.

The world doesn’t need a fantasy world government to teach it intolerance in the guise of tolerance. As the UN has demonstrated so often, its members are fully capable of being intolerant on their own.

The best to celebrate the International Day of Tolerance is to stop tolerating the United Nations.


Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine at the above link.

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