Sunday, April 21, 2019

Cartoon of the Day


Liberals Have Learned Nothing

Derek Hunter Apr 21, 2019

Normal people, when proven to be wrong, will admit their mistake and apologize. But we aren’t dealing with normal people. That’s why, when the report of Special Counsel Robert Mueller was released this week, not one Democrat – elected, pundit, or with a press credential – did anything close to what could be considered a mea culpa for the mistakes (if I’m being generous) or lies (if I’m being honest) they made repeatedly since the election of Donald Trump. In fact, they went in the opposite direction, proving they have learned nothing over the last 2 years.

To be sure, there were unfavorable things about the President in the Mueller Report. That wide-ranging of an investigation with zero assertions of privilege will turn up anyone’s worst moments. Most of those moments were fueled by understandable anger at the naked attempt to hinder his presidency, which it certainly did. What innocent person wouldn’t want to put a quick end to an unjust anchor around their neck?

The purveyors of those lies did no soul searching when exposed. In fact, they celebrated themselves; “journalists” celebrating others in their profession for the accuracy was like watching Ted Kennedy cheer other drunks for making it farther over that bridge before plunging into the water..........To Read More.....

Finally, A Real Attorney General

Apr 21, 2019 Jeff Crouere 

It has been quite a while since Americans have witnessed an honorable and effective Attorney General serving in that important position. The two Attorneys General during the Obama administration were hopelessly partisan and extremely protective of the President.

Eric Holder famously claimed that he was “the President’s wing-man” who was “there with my boy.” Obviously, he worked non-stop to protect the President from any legal trouble and congressional investigations. Whether it was Operation Fast and Furious, the IRS Tea Party abuse scandal or the Benghazi terrorist attack, Attorney General Holder was insistent on shielding Barack Obama from any trouble. He was so committed to that goal that Holder became the first U.S. Attorney General to be held in Contempt of Congress for refusing to release documents related to the Fast and Furious investigation.

He was succeeded as Attorney General by Loretta Lynch, who continued the policies of Eric Holder. She not only protected Obama, but she also evidently believed it was necessary to protect Hillary Clinton. Right before the Department of Justice officially decided to exonerate Hillary Clinton of wrongdoing in the investigation of the handling of her personal email communications, Lynch met privately with former President Bill Clinton on the tarmac of the Phoenix airport. Supposedly, the two discussed golf and grandchildren among other inane topics for 20+ minutes while the investigation of Hillary never was mentioned. Of course, no one should believe such as ridiculous cover story, which just shows the measures that Democrats will take to protect one of their prominent party leaders.............To Read More.......... 

Mueller Report: Trump Transition Team Tried to Thwart Anti-Israel UN Resolution

By Patrick Goodenough | April 19, 2019

Weeks before President Trump took office, he and his transition team tried energetically to thwart a major U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israel, according to the partially-redacted Mueller report released on Thursday.

Those efforts were a foreshadowing of what would became a signature policy of the Trump administration’s dealings with the U.N., where strong defense of Israel has been a high priority.
The Trump team’s bid was ultimately unsuccessful, and the resolution passed after the Obama administration controversially chose to abstain rather than veto it.

Resolution 2334 was particularly significant because it described areas disputed between Israelis and Palestinians...............“The resolution later passed 14-0, with the United States abstaining.”

Israel was shaken by the U.S. abstention decision, and the passage of resolution 2334 was viewed by some pro-Israel lawmakers as a parting shot at Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu by the outgoing Obama administration.

The Israeli government said at the time it had “iron-clad” information, from Arab and other governments, indicating that the Obama administration had a role in the crafting and passage of the text – a charge denied by White House deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes...............To Read More....

MAXINE MELTDOWN: ‘Failure to impeach is complacency,’ ‘FAKE AG!’

April 18, 2019 By Kyle Olson

 Congresswoman Maxine Waters is having a hard time accepting that President Trump was found to not have colluded with the Russians during the 2016 election, and that he did not obstruct justice during the subsequent investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

The leading impeachment proponent suffered a meltdown on Twitter this morning after Attorney General William Barr briefed reporters on Mueller’s report and released it to the public.........

“As I stated last night on MSNBC, the American people shouldn’t have expected Barr to do anything more than what he did: protect Trump. Barr has been acting as Trump’s defense atty, not AG. Barr’s performance was outrageously disrespectful of the Constitution & the American public,” Waters huffed earlier today...........To Read More....

End Times for the Collusion Cult?

By | April 19th, 2019|

Long have we dwelt upon how many of those who eschew revealed religion, instead have turned and clung to the left-wing’s regressive “civil religion.” Among these secular believers, one of the fastest growing sects was the Russian Collusion Cult.

As with the overarching intellectual fraud, Collusion Cult members derived their benighted world view and unwarranted sense of self-worth from this ideological cesspool; however, unlike the larger practitioners of the civil religion who believe they ultimately would somehow coerce a change in human nature to erect an earthly Eden (a.k.a., “workers’ paradise”), the Collusion Cult had a less ambitious, more immediate Parousia: the impeachment and imprisonment of President Trump.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s final report was supposed to commence the Collusion Cult’s end times. Trump would be removed from office and frog marched to a federal penitentiary (for violent offenders, not some country club); then, Vice President Mike Pence would be impeached for abetting Trump in his crimes and on general principles (c.f., Mayor Pete); and the first female commander-in-chief, Nancy Pelosi, after taming that pesky Russian runt Vladimir Putin, would regressively govern the country while the slack-jawed corporate left-wing media drooled over the next “The One” up to and through his/hers/its inauguration.

Then Hale-Bopp arrived without the spaceship.......To Read More.....

Slimy Group Therapy for the Trump Haters

by George Parry April 20, 2019

The Mueller Report is a 448 page-long primal scream of rage by the frustrated Hillary Clinton acolytes who wrote it and who utterly failed in their anointed mission to (a) lure President Trump into a General Flynn-style perjury trap and/or (b) goad him into obstructing their faux investigation of non-existent Trump campaign collusion with Russia.

Unable to find any evidence of actual criminality by the president, Team Mueller resorted to dirtying him up as much as possible for the benefit of their mainstream media and Democrat party fan clubs. This extra-prosecutorial exercise in character assassination was undoubtedly good group therapy for them and most likely will help them retain their social acceptability in progressive circles. But it had nothing to do with law enforcement as that term is understood in America.

In order to lay the predicate for criticizing the president, Team Mueller invented a whole new standard of criminal liability. In a real criminal investigation, the prosecutor makes an up or down decision. If there’s sufficient evidence supporting criminal charges, charges are brought. If the evidence is insufficient, none are filed, and the prosecutor keeps his or her mouth shut. That’s how the adults do it in real prosecutors’ offices. But with Team Mueller traditional adult ethical and legal standards of conduct appear not to apply.

When they couldn’t by hook, crook, trickery, or megathreats drum up enough evidence to justify charging the president with obstruction of justice, they saw fit to include this bit of creative writing in their report:..........To Read More....

Mueller’s Despicable Parthian Shot

No one’s calling the lowly Robert Mueller a boy scout now.

The Mueller report is walking around naked as a jaybird, and James Clapper insists he can see its new collusion clothes

April 20, 2019 By Monica Showalter

James Clapper is making a fool of himself — and now wants you to be his bigger fool.

Get a load of his hot take on the Mueller report, reported by the Daily Caller: ..............
"If there wasn't active collusion proven, then I think what we have here is a case of passive collusion where in some cases, unwittingly, to include candidate Trump himself, who retweeted messages that had been planted by the Russians in social media," the CNN national security analyst said in an interview with Anderson Cooper. "That's a small, but important, example of how members of the campaign were used and manipulated by the Russians."
He's resorting to this claptrap because there is no there there. If there's no real collusion to denounce, then seeing some 'unwitting' collusion will have to do. This rather nullifies the entire meaning of the word 'collusion,' the words here are 'useful idiot,' the sort of phrase that might upset the left. So virtual collusion it is, in the absence of any real collusion. It's come to this..........

He was part of the Deep State plot to spread it all around in the press that President Trump was in bed with the Russians.  The facts show that actually, it was Democrats in bed with the Russians.

Now the Mueller report is out, and that presents a problem.  He can see that the media is blindsided. He can see that there's no evidence of any collusion with Russians.  His solution, then, is to act the role of the charlatan, insisting that with all his fancy specialized knowledge, all his refinement, the Mueller report indeed shows collusion, but only for those with the refinement to see it.

Sorry, pal, the emperor's new collusion is nonsense.  And Clapper himself is the one walking around without any clothes.............To Read More

The Mueller Report's Active and Passive Idiots

April 21, 2019 By Gary Gindler

Following the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report by Attorney General William Barr, an unusual television interview was held by former President Obama's director of National Intelligence, James Clapper. A fantastic phrase came from his mouth:
"If there was no active collusion proven, then I think what we have here is a case of passive collusion."
In addition to the significant contribution to Orwellian left-wing Newspeak, the terms "active collusion" and "passive collusion" suggest that there is another side to the "collusion." Which one?

The answer is provided by the Mueller Report (there is also a convenient searchable WikiLeaks version). Starting on page 144, the Mueller Report begins to resemble a good comedy script. It turns out that immediately after Trump's victory in the November 8, 2016 elections, the Putin administration was trying to establish contact with the newly elected president by hook or by crook.................The entire Mueller Report is written in such a way that it becomes immediately apparent that it is not designed for the one to whom it was originally intended by law: the U.S. attorney general.  It is clearly intended not for a legal, but a political effect from its publication.  This farce with the Mueller investigation had purely political goals from the very beginning....... To Read More ............

My Take - Here's the most important sentence in this piece: "Do the Democrats know that the publication of the Mueller Report is a catastrophe for them?"  

Things the Media Ignored in the Mueller Report

April 21, 2019 By Clarice Feldman

Despite the oceans of pixels, buckets of ink, and hours of TV and radio coverage respecting the Mueller report, there are two important things underplayed or ignored:
the ubiquitous nature of Russian interference from 2014 on, which Obama ignored, and the real target of the witch hunt -- General Michael Flynn (and why). To get there, let’s first quickly review the pre- and post- report major media coverage.
The Ridiculous Press Propagation of the Hoax and Response to the Report

There are countless examples of the media beclowning itself when the left’s dream of a slam-dunk against the president failed. It was like the election night follies all over again.

To quote the satirical Babylon Bee: “CNN: ‘God Allowed the Mueller Report to Test Our Unshakable Faith in Collusion’”

Here are some examples.......... To Read More...

My Take - I've said right from the beginning this report was going to backfire on the Democrats, Obama, Hillary and now we know the CIA was in effect committing what can only be called Treason.  Start the investigation on Clapper and Brennon and follow this to its proper conclusion and let the heads roll.

The Case against Socialism

March 19, 2019 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty
 
I relentlessly mock socialism, in part because it’s such a target-rich environment. But I’m also hoping that humor is a way of debunking this wretched ideology. I’m worried, after all, that socialism may triumph thanks to a combination of “public choice” and diminishing societal capital.

Today, let review the case against socialism. We’ll start with this short clip from a recent interview, where I recycled my argument that greater levels of socialism produce greater levels of economic misery.



I now have some new evidence on my side, thanks to the just-released Economic Report of the President.

Here are some excerpts from the socialism chapter (begins on page 381), including some analysis about how to define the term.
…economists generally agree about how to define socialism, and they have devoted enormous time and resources to studying its costs and benefits. …we review the evidence from the highly socialist countries showing that they experienced sharp declines in output, especially in the industries that were taken over by the state. We review the experiences of economies with less extreme socialism and show that they also generate less output, although the shortfall is not as drastic as with the highly socialist countries. …Whether a country or industry is socialist is a question of the degree to which (1) the means of production, distribution, and exchange are owned or regulated by the state; and (2) the state uses its control to distribute the country’s economic output without regard for final consumers’ willingness to pay or exchange (i.e., giving resources away “for free”). …we find that socialist public policies, though ostensibly well-intentioned, have clear opportunity costs that are directly related to the degree to which they tax and regulate.
The chapter looks at totalitarian forms of socialism.
…looking closely at the most extreme socialist cases, which are Maoist China, the USSR under Lenin and Stalin, Castro’s Cuba… Food production plummeted, and tens of mil-lions of people died from starvation in the USSR, China, and other agricultural economies where the state took command. Planning the nonagricultural parts of those economies also proved impossible. …Venezuela is a modern industrialized country that elected Hugo Chávez as its leader to implement socialist policies, and the result was less output in oil and other industries that were nationalized. In other words, the lessons from socialized agriculture carry over to government takeovers of oil, health insurance, and other modern industries: They produce less rather than more. …A broad body of academic literature…finds a strong association between greater economic freedom and better economic performance, suggesting that replacing U.S. policies with highly socialist policies, such as Venezuela’s, would reduce real GDP more than 40 percent in the long run, or about $24,000 a year for the average person.
For what it’s worth, the International Monetary Fund published some terrible research that said dramatically reduced living standards would be good if Americans were equally poor.

So I guess it makes sense that Crazy Bernie endorsed Venezuelan economic policy.

But I’m digressing. Let’s get back to the contents of the chapter, including this table that shows the collapse of agricultural output in Cuba following nationalization.


The chapter also looks at what is sometimes referred to as “democratic socialism” in the Nordic nations.

These countries don’t actually practice socialism since there is no government ownership of the means of production, no central planning, and no government-dictated prices.

But they do have bigger government, and the report echoes what I said in the interview about this leading to adverse consequences.
…the Nordic countries’ policies now differ significantly from policies that economists view as characteristic of socialism. …Nordic taxation overall is greater… Living standards in the Nordic countries, as measured by per capita GDP and consumption, are at least 15 percent lower than those in the United States. …a monopoly government health insurer to provide healthcare for “free” (i.e., without cost sharing) and to centrally set all prices paid to suppliers, such as doctors and hospitals. We find that if this policy were financed through higher taxes, GDP would fall by 9 percent, or about $7,000 per person in 2022.
The report notes that Nordic nations have cost sharing, so the economic losses in that excerpt would apply more to the British system, or to the “Medicare for All” scheme being pushed by some Democrats.

But Nordic-style fiscal policy is still very expensive.

It means higher taxes and lower living standards


I’ve previously shared AIC data, so regular readers already know this data.
And regular readers also won’t be surprised at this next chart since I wrote about Nima Sanandaji’s work back in 2015.


Here’s the bottom line from the report.
Highly socialist countries experienced sharp declines in output, especially in the industries that were taken over by the state. Economies with less extreme forms of socialism also generate less output, although the shortfall is not as drastic as with the highly socialist countries.
In other words, lots of socialism is really bad while some socialism is somewhat bad.
Let’s close by citing some other recent publications, starting with this editorial from the Wall Street Journal.
Democrats are embracing policies that include government control of ever-larger chunks of the private American economy. Merriam-Webster defines socialism as “any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.” …consider the Democratic agenda that is emerging from Congress and the party’s presidential contenders. …Bernie Sanders’ plan, which has been endorsed by 16 other Senators, would replace all private health insurance in the U.S. with a federally administered single-payer health-care program. Government would decide what care to deliver, which drugs to pay for, and how much to pay doctors and hospitals. Private insurance would be banned. …The Green New Deal…, endorsed by 40 House Democrats and several Democratic presidential candidates, would require that the U.S. be carbon neutral within 10 years. …this would mean a complete remake of American electric power, transportation and manufacturing. …as imagined by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, all of this would be planned by a Select Committee For a Green New Deal. Soviet five-year plans were more modest.
The column also mentions government-guaranteed jobs, Washington imposing controls on businesses, and confiscatory tax rates, all of which are terrible policies.

Whether this is technically socialist can be debated.

What can’t be debated is that this agenda would make the U.S. – at best – akin to Greece in terms of economic liberty.

Here’s a look at some excerpts from a column in the Weekly Standard.
…more and more people, particularly young people, tell pollsters they’re open to the idea of voting for a socialist. In a poll this summer, Democrats by a 10-point margin said they prefer socialism to capitalism. …The tide has certainly shifted against free enterprise, an economic system that has lifted countless masses out of abject poverty, and toward socialism, whose track record is far worse, to put it charitably. …The younger generation also seems curiously unwilling to credit capitalism with the creation of modern conveniences they hold so dear. There’s a reason text messaging and Netflix didn’t emerge from Cuba or North Korea. Socialism is traditionally defined as the government owning the means of production, and it just as traditionally leads to authoritarianism. …With a body count in the millions, you’d think “socialism” would be hard to rebrand. But thanks to Bernie, being a socialist is in vogue. …The Sandernistas say that “democratic socialism” is a more benign variant, akin to what is practiced in Scandinavia. Yes, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark are clean, prosperous, and beautiful countries…and not particularly socialist. Their tax rates may be high, but they have thriving private sectors and no minimum wage laws. Their economies rank as “mostly free,” the same category as the United States
Most interesting, we also have a column by Cass Sunstein, a former Obama appointee.
President Donald Trump was entirely right to reject “new calls to adopt socialism in our country.” He was right to add that “America was founded on liberty and independence — not government coercion,” and to “renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.” …socialism calls for government ownership or control of the means of production. By contrast, capitalism calls for private ownership and control — for a robust system of property rights. In capitalist systems, companies and firms, both large and small, are generally in private hands. In socialist systems, the state controls them. …Socialist systems give public officials a great deal of authority over prices, levels of production and wages. …Whether we are speaking of laptops or sneakers, coffee or candy bars, umbrellas or blankets, markets establish prices, levels of production and wages on the basis of the desires, the beliefs and the values of countless people. No planner can possibly do that. …Those who now favor large-scale change should avoid a term, and a set of practices, that have so often endangered both liberty and prosperity.
Last but not least, here’s a video about socialism.

Narrated by Gloria Alvarez, it looks at the grim evidence from Cuba and Venezuela.



And she also points out that Nordic nations are not socialist.

Indeed, most of them would be closer to the United States than to France on this statism spectrum.


In other words, the real lesson is not that socialism is bad (that should be obvious), but rather that there’s a strong relationship between national prosperity and economic liberty.

Simply stated, the goal of policy makers should be to reject all forms of collectivism (including communism and fascism) and instead strive to minimize the footprint of government.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Why Were Authorities so Quick to Rule out Arson in the Notre Dame Conflagration?

By Roger Kimball April 17, 2019

I feel I must hand it to those stalwart souls investigating the devastating conflagration at the Cathedral of Notre Dame.............The flames were not quenched at the 12th-century masterpiece of Gothic architecture when the authorities announced that they had ruled out arson as the cause of the blaze..............That was an extraordinary...........piece of forensic prognostication. Not only were the flames still lapping at the timbers of the cathedral when this conclusion was announced, but also think about the context...........The fire broke out on Monday of Holy Week, the apex of the Christian religious calendar...........

Over the past month, in fact, there have been at least twelve reported acts of vandalism against French churches: statues smashed or beheaded, altars desecrated,  human excrement smeared on church walls in the shape of a cross and decorated with communion hosts. France, like many countries in Western Europe, is swaddled in a nervous silence about the inroads made into their society by militant Islam............. terrified of being accused of “Islamophobia.”  Yet the Ministry of the Interior reported that in 2018 there were recorded 541 anti-Semitic acts, 100 anti-Muslim acts, and 1063 anti-Christian acts.............Here they have not one, not two or three, but twelve acts of violent desecration in the past month, including an arsonist attack against the second largest church in Paris. Then Notre Dame catches fire—and what a fire it was—on Monday of Holy Week. Even before the fire was brought under control, the authorities ruled out arson. Has the world ever seen a more potent demonstration of investigative prowess?..............To Read More..... 

Reparations and the Weaponization of Slavery

A vile political stunt.

April 18, 2019 Bruce Thornton 56

The Democrats who have announced their candidacy for the presidential primary have all declared their support for paying reparations to the descendants of slaves, after they kissed the ring of notorious race-baiter, tax cheat, and liar Al Sharpton. None has a clue exactly how such a policy would be implemented, and it’s clear their support is nothing more than virtue-signaling and pandering to the racialist left. Nor is it likely such a policy will come to pass.

But this political stunt is still useful for exposing just how dishonest is the left’s use of slavery in our public discourse. Once a universal evil now existing only in the global shadows, slavery has been weaponized by the left and identity politics tribunes in order to attack the West, especially the United States, and caricature both as unique evils responsible for all the world’s ills............To Read More...

Feel the Bern: Raise Taxes on Everyone Richer Than Me

"Nobody should earn more than a million dollars," Bernie Sanders (1974).

"

John Bolton Honors the Bay of Pigs Freedom-Fighters, Who Obama Apologized For

Humberto Fontova Apr 20, 2019

“It is an honor to address you all (The Bay of Pigs Veterans Association) today. I am delighted to be here in Miami among such brave and distinguished company. Our nation and this region are forever in debt to you." (John Bolton, April 17, 2019, the 58th Anniversary Of the Bay of Pigs freedom-fight.)

“I’m grateful that President Ortega did not blame me for things (the Bay of Pigs freedom-fight) that happened when I was three months old…We are not dug into policies that were formulated before I was born.” (An abject President Obama groveling to Communist/drug-trafficking/ terror-sponsors Daniel Ortega, Hugo Chavez and Raul Castro at the Summit of the Americas in 2009 during his famous “apology tour.”) ............To Read More.......

It’s a Crusade in the Truest and Best Sense

| Posted by



In Europe, people are saying that Poland and Hungary are the new “cradle of Western civilization because they dare to protect their borders, language and culture. Other European nations are waking up to the threat to their culture, too....................

As an aside, I’ve spent a lot of time in the Middle East and recognize the enemy. Radical Islam is the threat, and the jihadis are not bashful about telling the world what their agenda is. Yes, I have some friends and acquaintances there who I believe are good people, but since they will not stand up to the radicals, they are also part of the problem. Many radical Muslims in the Middle East are bad, very evil people, but African Muslims are much worse. They will rape anything that moves and have no guilt and no heart. Regions dominated by radical Muslims remain in the Middle Ages. Violence is their way of life. We cannot allow them to freely exert their hateful influence in the United States.

I find it interesting that Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait have taken in ZERO of the so-called refugees/migrants flooding into Western countries. I suspect they understand the threat better than our political class does through long experience. Why should we continue to accept them as American citizens when they refuse to assimilate?...........To Read More...  


Two Negative Consequences of the Income Tax

April 15, 2019 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty
 
There are some fortunate people (in the Cayman Islands, BermudaMonacoVanuatuAntigua and Barbuda, and a few other places) who don’t have to pay income taxes.

The United States used to be in that lucky club. The income tax did not become a permanent blight upon the nation until 1913 (there was a temporary income tax during the Civil War and an attempted income tax in 1894 – ruled unconstitutional in 1895).

Indeed, this odious tax is a relatively new invention for the entire world. If my memory is correct, the first income tax was a temporary measure imposed by the United Kingdom to finance the fight against Napoleon. And the U.K. also was the first country to impose a permanent income tax (ironically, to help offset lower taxes on international trade).

In every case, politicians followed the same script. Income taxes originally were supposed to have low rates and only apply to the rich.

But it was simply a matter of time before small taxes on the wealthy became punitive taxes on everybody.

Since today is tax filing today for Americans, let’s take the opportunity to highlight two specific unfortunate consequences of the income tax.

First, it enabled the modern welfare state. You can see from the chart that the explosion of redistribution spending only occurred after politicians obtained a new source of revenue (a problem that was exacerbated in Europe when politicians adopted value-added taxes and were able to further increase the burden of government spending).

Needless to say, this is a reason to oppose an energy tax, a wealth tax, or a financial transactions tax. Giving politicians a new source of revenue is like giving alcoholics the keys to a liquor store.

Second, the income tax enabled costly economic discrimination. Prior to income taxes, governments largely relied on trade taxes and excise taxes, and those levies did not create many opportunities for mischief.

An income tax, by contrast, allows the government to impose all sorts of special penalties – either with discriminatory tax rates or with extra layers of tax on saving and investment – on people who generate a lot of economic output.

And it’s worth mentioning that the income tax also allows politicians to create all sorts of special credits, exemptions, deduction, exclusion, and other preferences (about 75,000 pages of them) for politically well-connected interest groups.

These penalties and preferences are both morally troubling (rampant cronyism) and economically damaging (back-door methods of central planning).

Let’s wrap up today’s column with this helpful reminder that the income tax is basically a penalty on productive behavior.



P.S. Politicians can play games with other revenue sources (i.e., special VAT rates or differential tariff burdens), but the income tax stands apart because it is capable of generating large amounts of revenue while simultaneously giving politicians considerable ability to pick winners and losers.

P.P.S. If you need some gallows humor to make it through tax day, go to the bottom of this column.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Videos of the day

There are three videos here.

The first is a Brit whose voice I found so irritating I couldn't watch it all, followed by two of my favorite writers, Victor Davis Hanson on Democrats, Republicans and Trump Derangement Syndrome (great presentation), and Larry Elder dealing with Reparations and Race in America.

Institute for Responsible Technology Gives Deadly Cancer Advice


The Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT) sounds like a respectable organization. Who's opposed to responsible technology?

Well, the institute is. GMOs are a responsible technology, but the IRT was established to banish them from the marketplace. IRT has knowingly spread fear and misinformation about biotechnology since its founding in 2003. For instance, one of its more egregious claims is that GMOs cause autism.

IRT is led by Jeffrey Smith who (and this is not a joke) was once a yogic flying instructor. What's yogic flying? It's some form of bizarre meditation in which a person crosses his legs and hops around. (It's even dumber than it sounds, as this video demonstrates.) The Genetic Literacy Project says that Smith once claimed that yogic flying would lower the crime rate. He was also a candidate for Congress from the Natural Law Party, which believes that transcendental meditation will help improve the economy.

This is the same guy who's now giving out cancer advice. And if cancer patients listen to it, they'll die.

Institute For Responsible Technology Gives Deadly Cancer Advice

In a recent e-mail to cult members subscribers, Smith starts by trumpeting the phony link between glyphosate and cancer. That's bad enough, but it gets worse. He is now promoting a docu-series called "The Truth About Cancer," which, as you might have guessed, has very little truth in it.
From the trailer, it seems that it just repeats all the typical conspiratorial tropes about how the "cancer industry" can't (or doesn't want) to cure cancer, and that the real medicine can be found in Asian hot rocks and herbal tea. But we know that's not true because science has already proven it.

In an article not-so-subtly titled, "Alternative Medicine Kills Cancer Patients, Study Finds," my friend and former colleague Ross Pomeroy described research published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute that unambiguously showed that cancer patients who rejected modern medicine were likelier to die. Specifically, "[a]fter five years, 78.3% of subjects who received conventional treatments were still alive, compared to only 54.7% of subjects who used alternative medicine."


There's more. The latest cancer statistics (see chart) from CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, which is published by the American Cancer Society, show that the cancer death rate has fallen by about 27% since 1991. In the journal's estimation, some 2.6 million Americans' lives were saved since then thanks to prevention (such as quitting smoking) and advances in early detection and treatment.

Though it runs counter to popular wisdom, I argued in RealClearScience that these data demonstrate that we are slowly winning the war on cancer. That is thanks to the tireless work of scientists, medical doctors, and yes, Big Pharma, and not due to yogic flying or magical Japanese fungus.

There's No White Privilege, Only Racial Differences

Posted by Daniel Greenfield 3 Comments Thursday, April 18, 2019 @ Sultan Knish Blog

White privilege, the hottest racist idea since cross-burnings at midnight and photos with Farrakhan, is a subject of academic study and media discourse. It’s hard to escape its pernicious message that an entire race is tainted by virtue of its skin color and that the accomplishments of any individual white person are due, not to his or her efforts, but to race, skin color, and a national infrastructure of white supremacism.

But who actually believes in white privilege?

A recent Pew race relations survey notes that white people are the least likely to believe that being white helps one get ahead in life. Racial activists see such results as proof of white privilege. Only white people, they insist, could be so oblivious to their racial privileges in the face of the oppression of non-whites. Your skin has to be whiter than vanilla not to realize how badly all the oppressed races have it.

So, who does believe in white privilege?

According to the survey, the race most likely to believe that white skin gets you ahead in life are Asians.

72% of Asians surveyed believe that being white provides advantages. They were, by far, the group least likely to accept that being white has no impact on success in life or that it’s actually a disadvantage.

It’s curious that the single most successful non-white race is so convinced of the benefits of whiteness.

Asian Americans outperform white Americans on everything from education to income to family status. Census Bureau statistics showed that Asian-American median income was at $78,000 while white median household income was only $62,000. At 3%, Asian unemployment is lower than those of whites.

Asian-Americans are more likely to have degrees and advanced degrees than white people. They’re also less likely to be divorced, and Asian-American homelessness rates are only a third of those of whites.

These statistics don’t paint a picture of a downtrodden minority. The attempts to play statistical games to prove otherwise rely on discredited statistical stunts and frantic arm-waving arguments. And yet what does it say that the people most likely to believe in white privilege are better off than white people?

On the other side of the dial, the race least likely to believe in the incredible power of white privilege are Hispanics. They are only 5% more likely than white people to believe that being white helps you get ahead in life. And they are as likely as white people to believe that being white has no meaningful effect.

Statistically speaking, Hispanics have lower median income, employment and education rates than white people. Yet they are also the most likely to be skeptical about the incredible power of white privilege.

These two contrasts show that belief in white privilege has nothing to do with oppression or privilege.

Asian-Americans and African-Americans have high rates of confidence in white privilege even though statistically the two groups are far apart in median income, education rates and other success metrics.

It isn’t success or lack of it that leads to a belief in white privilege. It’s racial differences.

Why are Asian-Americans and African-Americans the most likely to believe in the power of white skin, and why are Hispanics and white people the least likely to believe that it has magical success powers?

Hispanics may fall below Asian-Americans and whites in income levels, education and success metrics, but they also have the fewest racial differences with white people. Indeed, the entire idea that Hispanics are a separate race is an absurd construct of political correctness. Hispanics see the fewest racial differences with white people and are therefore the least likely to believe in magical white privilege.

White privilege, like all racist ideas, depends on the ‘otherness’ of a racial group. In this case, whites.

The races that are most likely to see white people as an ‘other’ are also the most likely to believe that being white confers magical success powers. The belief that being a member of another group confers special success privileges is a common, and not always, harmful stereotype and racial myth.

Asian-Americans are perceived, by non-Asians, as having a special ability to succeed. This notion has been codified in the Tiger Mom stereotype and even cruder clichés. Jews are also seen as having a special touch. This stereotype doesn’t just exist among Europeans and Americans, it’s also popular in China where books such as 16 Reasons for Jews Getting Wealthy, Know All of the Money-Making Stories of the Talmud, and Secret of Jewish Success: Ten Commandments of Jewish Success make the rounds.

These books may be misguided, but they view Jewish success through a Confucian lens and recognize that it is rooted in cultural skills. It’s the same reason Chinese academics remain fascinated by the Protestant work ethic. Likewise, Asian-American success springs from discipline and dedication.

American integration was based on the understanding that cultural skills could be adopted and learned. As Jews and Protestants had both learned from each other. And as the Chinese seek to learn from both. White privilege counters that with the toxic racist idea that success is, by definition, unearned. And that the best way to understand the success of a group is through the lens of racial conspiracy theories.

Group success isn’t something to imitate. Instead it should be condemned as a racial conspiracy.

But the same bigoted conspiracy theories that stigmatize white success as a racial conspiracy, can just as easily tar the success stories of Asian-Americans and Jews, both groups whose successes have often been viewed as the products of racial conspiracies, rather than of their dedication and hard work.

Racial differences make it all too easy to see people of different races as being members of a racial conspiracy. That is what white privilege contends. White privilege borrows the white nationalist slur of a Jewish, conscious or unconscious, racial conspiracy to explain not just Jewish success, but white success. It’s just as racist whether it’s articulated by Peggy McIntosh or Kevin McDonald. The underlying bigoted idea is just as racist whether it’s applied to all white people or only to Jews.

It’s not just racial differences, but the degree of integration that may also explain the survey’s results.

African-Americans are only 3% less likely than Asians to believe in the power of whiteness. But nearly a quarter of African-Americans believe that being white has no meaningful impact on success in life while only a fifth of Asian-Americans recognize that fact. Why are African-Americans more likely than Asian-Americans to recognize that whiteness confers no special powers on the average white person?

The answer may be integration.

Despite the racist conspiracy theories foisted on African-Americans by a radical racist leadership, they are more likely to have spent generations living and working side by side with white Americans. However a majority of Asian-Americans are immigrants, and a majority don’t feel culturally integrated. Most Asian-American immigrants report not feeling like a typical American. And this is the result.

The belief in white privilege among Asian-Americans in the survey reflects that lack of integration. Like racial differences, national and cultural differences can nurture stereotypes and perceptions of otherness. The conviction that being white helps you succeed doesn’t reflect the experiential reality of Asian-American success, but comes of viewing those they perceive as typical Americans as ‘other’.

The Pew survey demonstrates that belief in white privilege is not the outcome of oppression, but of misunderstanding, otherness and stereotype. The people most likely to believe that white people have an unfair advantage are not the oppressed, but the groups with the greatest sense of racial difference.

You are more likely to believe in the power of white privilege if you view white people as being very different, either from your own race, or, if you are a white progressive, from other races.

The best disinfectant for the white privilege stereotype, as for so many other bad ideas, is sunlight. Unfortunately, academia and the media, instead of countering prejudices, reinforce racial stereotypes and bigoted ideas such as white privilege. And that divides the country further into warring camps.

Like any other stereotype, white privilege should be denounced. And the racist assumptions underlying it should be exposed in order to educate those who have come to harbor this ugly idea in their hearts.

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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KY Gov. Bevin Condemns His 9 Kids to Shingles by Rejecting Chickenpox Vaccine

By Alex Berezow — March 21, 2019 @ American Council on Science and Health

 When I was a kid, there was no chickenpox vaccine. Getting chickenpox -- along with the requisite oatmeal bath -- was seen as a childhood rite of passage. It wasn't uncommon for kids who were uninfected to hang out with kids who were. The thinking was, "Might as well get this over with."
But I really, really wish there had been a vaccine.

After I turned 30 years old, I got shingles. The reason is because chickenpox, which is a type of herpes virus, sets up permanent residence in an inactive form inside nerve cells. (As a former professor of mine used to say, "Unlike love, herpes is forever.")

I wasn't sick, stressed, or immunocompromised, but that doesn't matter to chickenpox (more properly called Varicella-Zoster virus). Every once in a while, for reasons that aren't really understood, the virus can "wake up." And when it does, it can be very unpleasant. I only had a mild rash on my back, but shingles can be extremely painful, particularly in older people, and it can even cause blindness or hearing loss in rare cases.

Chickenpox is wrongly thought of as a harmless disease. According to a case report published in 2018, chickenpox hospitalized 13,000 Americans and killed 150 every year prior to widespread vaccination. But even if it was a harmless infection, wouldn't we want to vaccinate our children to spare them the pain of shingles in their later years?

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin Purposefully Exposed His Nine Children to Chickenpox

Apparently that didn't matter to Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, who admitted that he exposed his nine kids to chickenpox. According to Louisville's Courier-Journal, he boasted, "They got the chickenpox on purpose because we found a neighbor that had it and I went and made sure every one of my kids was exposed to it, and they got it. They had it as children. They were miserable for a few days, and they all turned out fine."

What about when they're older? The CDC estimates that just under 1 in 3 people will develop shingles in their lifetime. That means, statistically speaking, Bevin has condemned three of his children to an outbreak of shingles. And there is no limit to how many times shingles can erupt, so maybe they'll have an outbreak more than once.

Bevin's decision is incredibly obtuse. Thirty years ago, a "chickenpox party" was a perfectly fine idea. But the chickenpox vaccine has been on the market since 1995, so there is no excuse -- other than sheer stupidity -- to not vaccinate against it. The scientific ignorance of so many of our nation's elected officials is simply jaw-dropping.

Democrats Move the Goalposts (Again)

By Steve Feinstein April 18, 2019

The ridiculously long, drawn out, overdone "Trump colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election" investigation proves an ages-old political maxim: the benchmark of proof that a political accusation has to satisfy in order to be considered true will constantly change as the needs of the accuser shift in response to new information.

In other words, if the original charge proves to be baseless, the complainants will invariably lower the threshold of guilt so that even a lesser transgression will be sufficient to condemn the accused.

President Trump is the latest example of that. Let's be candid here — everything about President Trump is anathema to the Democrats.
  • He beat Hillary Clinton, depriving the Democrats of boasting how they elected the country's first female president.
  • He is direct, unequivocal, and absolute in his policy pronouncements, eschewing the usual "nod-nod, wink-wink" of Washington speak. What makes it even worse is that President Trump's policy pronouncements are conservative, and his direct, clear-meaning speech rips the cover off years of oh, so carefully developed liberal deceptions.
  • President Trump calls out the Democrat-sympathetic liberal media for who they are, enraging his enemies for not rolling over and meekly accepting mistreatment at the hands of his liberal opponents the way his milquetoast Republican predecessors did.
  • His policies — the withdrawal from the Paris Accords, his dismissal of the Iranian nuclear agreements, his tough stance regarding NATO paying its fair share, his position on border security and illegal immigration, his desire for greater domestic American energy production, the re-negotiation of international trade agreements to be more advantageous to this country, and many others — are so blatantly pro-American and popular with the average voter that the supposedly sophisticated liberal Democratic intelligentsia are infuriated over the way his approach resonates in such a positive, commonsense manner with so many people.
Therefore, with Democrats unable to accept Trump's 2016 victory (no surprise, really, in light of how they and the liberal media refused to accept George W. Bush's election victory over Gore in 2000 or Bush's defeat of John Kerry in 2004, blaming that on Ohio voting irregularities and unscrupulous, deceptive "Swiftboating" attacks), the Democratic Party desperately searched for a reason to explain Hillary's defeat, a reason they could take to the general public and convince them that Trump's election win was illegitimate.

 At the best, the Democrats hoped to somehow delegitimize his victory, and have it voided (by some vague, never explained, nonexistent legal mechanism); at the very least, they hoped to sully him so badly that they'd force a disgraced resignation or completely torpedo any possibility of his re-election in 2020............To Read More.....

Foul Play to Silence Patton

April 18, 2019 By Janet Levy

U.S. Army general George S. Patton, renowned for strategic military prowess and leadership, led World War II troops into Casablanca, Sicily, and France; relieved Allied forces at the Battle of the Bulge; and drove deep into Nazi Germany. Patton was equally renowned for his no-holds-barred opinions, colorful attire, profanity-laced speeches, and disregard for orders he thought ineffective, all of which did not sit well with the Allied high command.

The new "must see" film, Silence Patton, suggests that the general's premature death in a mysterious auto accident may have been orchestrated to silence this oversized, historic personality. Written and directed by Robert Orlando, the film uses documentary footage, direct quotes, and interviews with historians to ask whether Patton's forthrightness, outspoken judgments, and criticism of battlefield leadership may have led to assassination. Robert Wilcox, an investigative and military reporter, voiced the same theory in this 2008 book, Target Patton: The Plot to Assassinate General George S. Patton................. Read more

The Heavy Cost of Czechoslovakian Socialism

April 10, 2019 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty
 
I was in Bratislava earlier today as part of the Free Market Road Show, where I spoke about how European nations are in trouble because of excessive spending and aging populations.
 
But I’m not going to write about my presentation because Peter Gonda of the Konservatívny Inštitút M.R. Stefánika shared some data on the post-World War II economic performance of Czechoslovakia that is far more interesting.
 
As you can see from his chart (the English title would be “The Economic Reality of Socialism”), Czechoslovakia, West Germany, Austria, and Finland all had very similar levels of income in 1948. But over the next 40 years, the socialist Czechoslovakian economy (CZ) fell further and further behind the market-oriented economies of those other countries.
 

Indeed, after just four decades, the market-oriented nations averaged twice as much per-capita economic output at the beleaguered Czechoslovakian economy.

By the way, things have improved since the collapse of communism.

Czechoslovakia in the early 1990s peacefully split into two nations, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. And both of them have since adopted a decent amount of pro-market reforms and have begun to converge with Western Europe.

So our story has a semi-happy ending (though I wrote last year that I’m worried about Slovakia backsliding a bit).

P.S. If you want other compelling examples that show – over multiple decades – the superior performance of market-oriented nations, click here and here.

P.P.S. Under Soviet rule, Czechoslovakia was genuine socialism (i.e., government ownershipcentral planningprice controls), which obviously is more damaging than what many people think of today as socialism (i.e., punitive taxes and a big welfare state).

P.P.P.S. Ludwig Erhard deserves much credit for West Germany’s post-war recovery.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

The Village Experiment that Transformed China

Every Thanksgiving, I share the story of how the Pilgrims nearly starved to death because of their experiment with collectivized agriculture.

Once the settlers shifted to a system based on private ownership, however, their problems disappeared.

The obvious moral of the story is that incentives matter. Socialist systems encourage slackers (see this cartoon strip) and market systems encourage productivity.

A column by X in the Wall Street Journal tells a similar story about China.

It’s actually the story of an important anniversary.
The People’s Republic of China turns 70 in October and will celebrate with flag-waving and fireworks. …2019 also marks the anniversary of the result of a smaller, quieter but just as defiant protest—one that will receive little attention in or out of China, even though it launched the economic reforms that kick-started the country’s rise.
Here’s the background.
After taking power in 1949, China’s Communist Party had effectively abolished private land ownership, grouping farms into “people’s communes” subservient to the state. By 1978 villages were crippled by quotas that seized most of what they grew for redistribution. …there was no food. Xiaogang’s farmers dug up roots, boiled poplar leaves with salt, and ground roasted tree bark into flour. Families left their thatched-roof homes and took to the road to beg.
By the way, the Chinese system of collective farms was an example of hardcore socialism – i.e., government ownership and control.

So it’s hardly a surprise that it produced awful results. Including mass starvation.  But desperate times were the motivation for desperate measures.
…a farmer named Yan Hongchang summoned the heads of the village’s desperate families to a clandestine meeting. On paper torn from a child’s school workbook, the farmers wrote a 79-word pledge to divide the commune’s land into family plots, submit the required quota of corn to the state, and keep the rest for themselves.
And what happened?

Incentives and property rights worked. Spectacularly.
…farmers…reported a grain yield of 66 metric tons. This single harvest equaled the village’s total output between 1955 and 1970—but for once the figure was not exaggerated. In fact, villagers underreported their actual yield by a third, fearing officials would not believe their record haul.
And the really good news is that the successful experiment in Xiaogang led to market-based reform for the entire nation.
The grass-roots experiment did spread. In Beijing, three years after Mao Zedong’s death, Deng Xiaoping urged the Chinese to ignore political dogma and instead “seek truth from facts.” Now came news that dissenting farmers were actually growing food. This year marks the 40th anniversary of Deng’s decision to scrap collective farming. In its place came one of the country’s most popular reforms, the Household Contract Responsibility System, or chengbao, which allows families to farm their own allocation of land and sell most of the harvest at unregulated prices.
Indeed, China now celebrates Xiaogang’s rebellious shift to markets.
Xiaogang village is a “red tourism” attraction, albeit the only one whose “patriotic education base” (museum) celebrates local defiance of government policy. Its exhibition hall displays a copy of the farmers’ pledge—the original was lost years ago—and floor-to-ceiling photographs of its signatories. The men are lauded as heroes, and Xiaogang celebrated with a slogan: “The origin of our nation’s economic rise!”
Maybe future historians will look upon the events in Xiaogang the same way some people look at 1356 in Europe?

In any event, what began forty years ago already has yielded great results for the people of China.


Grinding poverty has virtually disappeared.

To be sure, China still needs a lot of reform. It’s only ranked #107 according the latest edition of Economic Freedom of the World.

But if some good reform yielded some good results, just imagine how much prosperity China could enjoy with a lot of good reform?

P.S. Just as the village of X helped to rescue China from hardcore socialism, there’s a grocery store in Texas that played a role in rescuing Russia’s economy.
 

Media Dwells on Threats to Rep. Omar, Ignores Threats to Republicans

Daniel Greenfield 1 Comments Wednesday, April 17, 2019 @ Sultan Knish Blog

In early April, a man was arrested after making a threatening phone call to Rep. Ilhan Omar’s office. Also, around that same time, a woman was arrested for sending a white powder to Senator Susan Collins’ office. The Collins letter claimed that it was coated in ricin and declared, “Good luck to you Susan, in the next life.” Another letter implied that it had a fatal dose of anthrax inside.

After the senator’s husband opened the letter, hazmat teams went to the house. Her husband and the dog, a lab named Pepper, had to be quarantined. A screening system was set up at the local post office where employees also feared being exposed to hazardous materials. The attacker is allegedly a member of the leftist Green Party who was angry about the senator’s vote to confirm Justice Kavanaugh.

The same media outlets that have behaved as if Rep. Omar might be killed at any moment because she received a threatening phone call have showed very little interest in a potential anthrax or ricin attack on a senator. And the media, which helped whip up the hysteria over Kavanaugh and Collins, has accused President Trump of incitement for merely quoting Omar’s hateful words about 9/11.

This wasn’t even the first fake ricin attack targeting Republican senators over Justice Kavanaugh.

Two staffers working for Senator Ted Cruz were hospitalized after a package with a white powder was sent to his office in the fall of 2018. Around that same time, traces of ricin were detected on an envelope sent to the White House and addressed to President Trump. The media showed less interest in an attempt to assassinate the President of the United States than in a threatening call to Omar’s office.

Speaker Pelosi urgently claimed that she had worked “to ensure that Capitol Police are conducting a security assessment to safeguard Congresswoman Omar, her family and her staff.” Where was Pelosi’s concern when Republican House members were being threatened and physically assaulted.

Despite Pelosi and the media’s implications, threatening calls to members of the House are routine.

They’re usually ignored because they keep happening to Republicans.

By the summer of 2018, there had been over 1,600 threats against members of congress. In 2017, there were around 2,000. That August, two people were arrested for death threats against 3 Republican House members, including Rep. Steve Scalise, who had already been shot by a Bernie Sanders supporter.

The threats were not just made against Scalise, but even against his children.

Somehow a death threat against a House member who had nearly been killed once was less newsworthy than the incredible victimhood of Rep. Omar’s office merely receiving death threats.

If we do the socialist thing and divide 2,000 threats among 435 House members, each honorable representative would be entitled to 3 or 4 individual threats. It would be much more newsworthy if Rep. Omar, especially considering her toxic habit of saying foul things about Jews and America, somehow weren’t receiving death threats. The media broadcasting the commonplace fact as if it were the biggest story of the year isn’t reporting, it’s an attempt to spin the threats to make Rep. Omar into the victim.

In the fall of 2018, Rep. Andy Harris was assaulted in his own office by protesters. Rep. David Kustoff was nearly run off the road the year before. But the media acts as if mere threats, a few among thousands, to Rep. Ilhan Omar, are more newsworthy than actual physical assaults on Republican congressmen.

Protests at then Rep. Dana Rohrabacher's office even injured a 71-year-old female staffer.

Are the threats against Rep. Omar more newsworthy than the threats to kill Rep. Tom Garrett’s wife, his daughters and even his dog?

No, but they are more politically useful.

By dwelling on the threats, Democrats don’t have to defend Rep. Omar’s hateful comments about America and Jews. Instead they can accuse her critics, including President Trump, of inciting violence.

But if President Trump criticizing Rep. Omar incites violence, aren’t Trump’s many media critics guilty of inciting violence against him and against House Republicans? The Huffington Post ran a piece calling for the execution of Trump. A senior Newsweek writer had tweeted of Republicans, “It should be their loved ones who die.” "If the shooter has a serious health condition then is taking potshots at the GOP house leadership considered self-defense?" wondered a regular at the New Republic and the Washington Post.

Even as the media was choking on its outrage over Trump’s implied criticism of Rep. Omar, the Boston Globe was trying to explain why it ran a piece encouraging waiters to taint the food of Trump officials.

Now that’s actual incitement.

This is the sort of misbehavior that even major media outlets traffic in even while they white knight for Rep. Omar, acting as if the vile bigot is a damsel in distress who needs to be rescued from Republicans.

Speaker Pelosi showed more concern over threats to Rep. Omar’s office then she has over any of the threats and even violent assaults inflicted on her Republican peers and colleagues.

Even when those threats have come from inside her “House”.

In the fall of last year, an intern for Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a member of her party, doxed 5 Republican senators during the Kavanaugh hearings, posting their home addresses and home phone numbers online. The intern, Jackson Cosko, comes from a connected family and his mother had posed with Pelosi.

There is no sign that Pelosi ever condemned his actions or expressed concern about the senators.

Speaker Pelosi’s histrionics over Rep. Omar’s safety are a shameful exercise in cynical hypocrisy. Her party and its associates have been instrumental in violating the security of Republican elected officials, in the House and the Senate, so that they could be confronted and threatened. The organizations behind that harassment often intersected with the funding sources of her political movement.

The media’s pearl clutching is even more pathetic when it can hardly interrupt its own calls for the harassment of Republicans to pretend that any criticism of Rep. Omar is certain to lead to violence. After falsely claiming that President Trump was a Russian spy, that Justice Kavanaugh is a serial rapist, and that anyone who supports Trump is fair game for anything from harassment to execution, the media has as much moral authority on incitement to violence as Charles Manson and Jim Jones.

The only reason the media is emphasizing the death threats against Rep. Omar is because her rhetoric is too repulsive to defend by any conventional means. The media is trying to change the subject and smear Omar’s opponents because it’s too cowardly to make the case for anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism.

Being the recipient of death threats does not make you a good person. It doesn’t mean that you’re in the right. Rep. Omar has received death threats. As have Nazi, Communist, KKK and Black Lives Matter leaders. Being a public figure means that you will receive death threats. Using them to hide from a reckoning for your rhetoric is a political stunt worthy only of an institution as discredited as the media.

And, when it comes to threats of violence, and of their actual implementation, the facts are clear.

Republican elected officials have suffered disproportionately from harassment and threats of violence. The only House members to be physically assaulted in the last few years have been Republicans.

When the media and Pelosi ignore those facts, they are declaring that Republican lives don’t matter. And that Rep. Omar’s feelings are more important than the feelings and safety of House and Senate Republicans. And, like Omar’s hateful comments, that attitude is un-American and deeply wrong.


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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