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Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Big Bot Conspiracy

Bots. Is there anything they can’t do?

The Internet Research Agency indictment accuses a troll bot farm of trying to influence the election in what the media claims is the worst attack on America since Pearl Harbor. 9/11 need not apply.

Bots are everywhere.

"Bots Are Trying to Help Populists Win Italy's Election," claims Bloomberg. "Russian Bots Are Using 2016 Tactics to Hijack the Gun Debate," shrieks Vanity Fair. ABC spins that bots are trying to make Black Panther look bad. "Rampaging Twitter 'bots' bred in Suffolk farmhouse," the London Times asserts.

This media madness might make you think that bots are some sort of new and advanced technology. But you can see them in the comments and they’ve been around forever. Automated programs that log into social media accounts are not a new technology. Internet users of a bygone era remember seeing them in chat rooms and on bulletin boards without ever rampaging around Suffolk farmhouses.

Bots have become a convenient media scapegoat. The new formula is “Bots + Thing We Disagree With = Proof We’re Right”. That’s why there are stories claiming that Russian bots are tweeting against gun control or Islamic migration. And it explains the “Russian Bots Rigged the Election for Trump” meme.

Bots are an informational technique. Media spin reverse engineers the technique to discredit the idea. Not only is that a fallacy, but bots just piggyback on popular trends to gain influence. Russian bots don’t tweet about gun control because they care about guns, but because they get retweeted. The same was true of the bots promoting Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. There are a million brands doing the same thing with bots and influencers. But that’s okay because they push politically correct messages.

And that’s the bot double standard.

When Russian bots and trolls push Black Lives Matter, Bernie Sanders or Dakota Access Pipeline protests, their programmed actions don’t reflect on leftist causes, organizations and politicians. But the revelation that Russian bots and trolls tweeted about the Bill of Rights, Islamic migration or Trump is spun by the media into a conspiracy that indicts the ideas and discredits the previous election.

The latest example of the Big Bot Conspiracy is a bizarre Newsweek article by Nina Burleigh blaming Senator Franken’s problems on bots. Some might have thought that Franken had been forced to resign for groping women across America. But according to Burleigh, it was the fault of the Japanese bots.

The feminist activist was already infamous for putting her allegiance to Democrats ahead of sisterhood.

“I would be happy to give him a b_____ just to thank him for keeping abortion legal,” Nina Burleigh had said of Bill Clinton. “I think American women should be lining up with their Presidential kneepads on to show their gratitude.” Now Burleigh has brought her kneepads to the raided offices of Newsweek.

Nina Burleigh’s article blames Franken’s problems on “fake news sites, an army of Twitter bots and other cyber tricks”. The Democrat Senator’s original accuser is dismissed as a “Hooters pinup girl and lad-mag model”. So there was either nothing wrong with groping her or no reason to believe her.

That’s what leftists denounce as ‘slut-shaming’, but, as with Bill Clinton, it’s okay when Democrats do it.

Burleigh mentions the “release of a picture of a Tweeden and Franken” (editors are one of the casualties of Newsweek’s troubles), but neglects to mention that it’s a picture of Franken groping Tweeden. None of the other many accusers rate a mention from this feminist Franken activist.

There was the feminist choir member and book editor who accused Franken of groping her at the Women’s Political Caucus. It’s really hard to write her off as a “right-wing plant” or a “lad-mag model”.

Especially since she then voted for Senator Franken.

Another accuser was groped at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis and claimed that Franken wanted to join her in the bathroom. Nina Burleigh would have probably told her to go along and bring her senatorial kneepads in gratitude for his support of Planned Parenthood.

A Democrat congressional aide remembers Franken trying to give her an open mouth kiss while he was still a radio host with Air America. “It’s my right as an entertainer," she recalls Franken telling her.

An Army vet on a USO tour described being groped by Franken during the Iraq War. "When he put his arm around me, he groped my right breast. He kept his hand all the way over on my breast."

Jezebel, a hard left feminist site, offered an account from a liberal "former elected official in New England" who remembers Franken trying to plant a “wet, open-mouthed kiss” on her, on stage.

Instead of addressing the many accounts of Franken’s liberal accusers who supported him and, many of whom indicated they didn’t want him to quit, Burleigh, like most Frankentruthers from Tom Arnold to Richard Silverstein, smears Leeann Tweeden while ignoring Franken’s numerous other accusers.

After silencing the women who came out against Franken, Nina Burleigh surreally claims that the Franken accusations had served to “silence the testimonies of eight former female staffers who defended the Minnesota Democrat”.

Presenting testimonies from the few women you didn’t grope is not considered a compelling argument.

But instead of talking about any of this, Burleigh talks about bots. A “bot army” made the Franken accusations go viral. And then there was "a developer named Atsufumi Otsuka" who "registered a web domain in Japan" that hosted “Japanese-registered fake-news sites”. But, "by November 17, the trending of 'Al Franken' was officially also a Russian intelligence operation."

The Japanese and the Russians had teamed up against the Minnesota groper. This wasn’t just worse than Pearl Harbor. It was WW2 and the Cold War combined in one hashtag.

“Researchers have found that each bot account had 30 to 60 followers, all Japanese. The first follower for each account was either Japanese or Russian,” Burleigh breathlessly relates.

Now that the Russian and Japanese bots had teamed up, all hope for humanity was lost.

Burleigh’s article has more international locations than a Tom Clancy novel. It also completely ignores the question of whether Franken groped his victims to discuss the bots who tweeted about it.

That’s not accidental. Burleigh doesn’t want to talk about whether Franken is guilty; she wants to write a progressive thriller in which international bots caused the problem by talking about it. And if it can be shown that bots amplified a scandal, then the facts somehow no longer matter. In the same way that if it can be shown that bots amplified Trump’s message, the 2016 election results were illegitimate.

But shooting the messenger bot doesn’t tell us anything the truth of the inconvenient message.

Since the election, these types of articles are everywhere. They rely on the work of “researchers” who are usually partisan activists, often amateurs with no actual technical training, to spread conspiracy theories. These conspiracy theories confuse correlation and causation. If a foreign bot retweets Trump, he works for the bot’s masters. If a bot tweets any conservative story, it’s a right-wing global bot plot.

Anyone who knows anything about how the internet works knows that this is nonsense.

Bots imitate to amplify. In this comments section, a bot will show up sooner or later, it will copy a comment that someone else made and post it in order to get likes so that it resembles a real account. For every stupid bot telling you how much it makes by working online, there’s a smarter bot leaving legitimate comments to blend in. And so bots tweet, comment and chat about everything popular.

If there’s a trending topic, the bots will quickly show up. And everyone uses them.

Rachel Maddow feeds the left’s appetite for bot conspiracy nonsense. But in 2013, MSNBC personalities, including Maddow, were being promoted by Chinese bots. Does that mean Maddow is a Chinese spy?

Bots are ads that pretend to be people. Tracking how they’re deployed can be interesting, but it’s dangerous to read too much into that. Correlating bots with narratives isn’t actually causation.

The bot paranoia is being used to delegitimize real stories and candidates. If you can connect bots to a point of view you don’t like, then no one really believes it. Link it to a candidate you don’t like and he was never really elected. Hook it up to a serial predator in the Senate and you can ignore his victims.

But if you believe that, then MSNBC must be a Chinese informational warfare operation.




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

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Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Shooting Down Gun Control Memes

“Guns are uniquely lethal.”

In 2016, a Muslim terrorist with a truck killed 86 people and wounded another 458.

Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, the Tunisian Muslim killer, had brought along a gun, but it proved largely ineffective. The deadliest weapon of the delivery driver was a truck. Mohammed, who was no genius, used it to kill more people than Stephen Paddock would with all his meticulous planning in Vegas.

Do we need truck control?

Deadlier than the truck is the jet plane. Nearly 3,000 people were killed on September 11 by terrorists with a plan and some box cutters. And then there are always the bombs.

The Boston Marathon bomber wounded 264, a suicide bomber at the Manchester Arena last year wounded 250 and the Oklahoma City Bombing (the only non-Islamic terror attack on the list) killed 168 and wounded 680.

Guns are not uniquely lethal. We live in a world filled with extremely lethal objects from chemical compounds to big trucks. We can license and regulate some things. But we can’t regulate everything.


“This is the only country where this happens.”

America is not the only country where rampage killers operate. South Korea’s rampage killer Woo Bum-kon murdered 56 people. Seung-Hui Cho, one of this country's worst rampage killers who murdered 32 people at Virginia Tech, was South Korean.

But the worst rampage killer in South Korea didn’t use a gun. He set a train on fire.

Kim Dae-han, a paralyzed middle aged man, started a subway fire that killed 192 people and wounded 150 others.

Guns aren’t uniquely lethal. Neither is America. Or South Korea. Or anywhere.



“A mass shooting happens in this country every few days.”

The myth conflates drug violence in Chicago, which is nearly constant, with rampage killers like Stephen Paddock or Adam Lanza, who are far rarer, and Islamic terrorists like Omar Mateen.

Mass shootings and rampage killers are not the same thing.

Do we really have a “mass shooting” every few days? Most gun violence in this country is really gang violence. The mass shooting trackers list gang violence incidents in urban areas. And gang violence doesn’t depend on guns. It sharply rose in the UK despite gun control.

And it’s the left that has crippled the laws meant to fight gangs and drug dealers. Obama initiated a drug dealer pardon amnesty even while calling for more gun control. But the only way to control gang violence is by cracking down on gangs, not on guns. The pro-crime left deems such measures a “school-to-prison pipeline” that’s little more than “modern slavery”.

And so the gang violence goes on.

Most gun violence takes place in Democrat territory. And it’s caused by leftist pro-crime policies.

By conflating an Adam Lanza with a gang member shooting up a street corner in Chicago, the media hides what is really going on. Rampage killers are rare. Gang violence is commonplace. By making rampage killers into the face of gun violence, the left gets to blame its own policies on the NRA.


“If only we had gun control.”

Gun control works as well as any prohibitionist policy. It works as long as you follow the law. If you don’t follow the law, then getting the prohibited item is a matter of money and connections.

And it’s those people who shouldn’t have guns that are most likely to be able to get them.

The left will lecture on the failure of drug prohibition, but is sure that gun prohibition would work. Why? Because they usually have some personal experience buying drugs, but little experience buying guns. And so they’re sure that a ban that they would ridicule in any other area will somehow work with guns.

There’s always some country that’s a shining example of how gun control works.

The Europeans, who are progressive, suave and sophisticated, have no doubt figured out gun prohibition, along with socialized medicine. But Muslim terrorists armed with assault rifles and grenades have repeatedly carried out attacks in Paris. French gun control was working wonderfully.

The Bataclan attackers and other members of their cell had no trouble getting their hands on Kalashnikovs either. The Charlie Hebdo attackers used an AK knockoff.

Muslim terrorists were able to repeatedly strike in France despite its gun control laws. And they used the weapons that the media refers to with ominous dread as “assault rifles”.

“We have so many weapons in Paris,” the spokesman for France's police union had complained.

The French authorities seize some 1,200 “assault rifles” every year. Meanwhile in the capital of the European Union, you can get a “military weapon” for $500 in half an hour.

Gun control works as well at keeping guns out of the hands of terrorists as enforcement does at keeping drugs out of the hands of criminals.

Legal firearms make it easier for people to defend themselves and for the authorities to track criminals. Criminalizing firearms just creates a massive black market in which anything goes.

The Charlie Hebdo terrorists brought a rocket-propelled grenade launcher to the party. That's what happens when you let the black market take over. You don't control guns. Instead you feed a black market and lose all control over the sorts of weapons being sold in your country.







After every attack, the clamor for “common sense” gun control begins by political hacks, talk show hosts and celebrities who don’t set foot outside their homes without an armed guard. None of these “common sense folks” seem to know the first thing about guns. And none of them care.

Gun control isn’t a policy. It’s a moral panic. Like prohibition, it’s a xenophobic reaction to a different culture that shares the same country with them. Guns have come to embody a rural conservative culture in the minds of urban leftists the way that alcohol once embodied foreign immigrants to prohibition activists and the way that drugs represented urban decadence to rural America.

It’s why the “common sense solution” talk quickly gives way to broad denunciations of a “national gun culture”, of “white privilege”, of rural folk “clinging to their bibles and guns”, of American militarism and toxic masculinity, and of all the things for which guns are merely a symbol to the leftists who hate them.

A cultural critique is very different than a common sense solution. It isn’t guns that the left wants to ban. It’s people. It was never really about banning guns. It was always about the culture war.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Clinton Dossier

There were many damning revelations in the Nunes memo released by a House Intelligence Committee vote. But the most damning of them all doesn’t raise questions about process, but about motive.

The memo told us that the FISA application would not have happened without the Steele dossier. The document known as the Steele dossier was a work product of the Clinton campaign. Not only was Christopher Steele, the former British intel agent who purportedly produced the document, working for an organization hired by the Clinton campaign, but he shared a memo with the FBI from Cody Shearer, a Clinton operative, listing some of the same allegations as the ones in his dossier. That memo has raised questions about whether Steele had been doing original research or just dressing up a smear by Shearer.

A redacted memo by Senate Judiciary Committee members Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham also states that there was a second Steele memo based on information that Steele had received from the State Department and which had been passed along by "a friend of the Clintons." Victoria Nuland, a Clinton protégé and top State Department official who helped cover up the Benghazi attack, recently went on a media tour in which she revealed that Steele had passed along his material to State.

Shearer and Nuland are both Clinton associates. Under President Clinton, Nuland had been Strobe Talbott’s Chief of Staff. Shearer was Strobe Talbott’s brother-in-law and his connection to the Clintons.

Not only was the Steele dossier a work product of the Clinton campaign, but the State Department, which had been run by Hillary Clinton and staffed by many of her loyalists at the top, had been used to route information to Steele from the Clintons, and then route information back from Steele. Clintonworld had not only paid for the Steele dossier, but influenced its content and passed it around.

Calling it the Steele dossier is a mistake. It’s the Clinton dossier. At best, it’s the Clinton-Steele dossier.

The media’s counterattack against the Nunes memo rests on the argument that while the FISA applications didn’t mention that Steele was working for the Clinton campaign, they admitted that the dossier had a political origin. Media apologists and Never Trumpers have acted as if an admission of political origin to the FISA court is some sort of rebuttal of the Nunes memo. It obviously isn’t.

There’s a world of difference between admitting that the dossier came from a “political” source or that it came from the campaign of his greatest political opponent who was obsessed with destroying him.

The media apologists and Never Trumpers have churned out echo chamber articles claiming that courts routinely evaluate evidence from biased and tainted sources. If so, then why not tell the court?

If admitting the truth wouldn’t have made a different, then why not admit the truth?

Defenders of the investigation frequently invoke national security. But there was no intelligence need to protect the Clinton campaign. Keeping Steele anonymous might have protected a source. But keeping the Clinton campaign anonymous wasn’t a defense against the Russians, but against the Republicans.

There were only two reasons to withhold the information about the origins of the Clinton-Steele dossier.

1. Fear that the court would have viewed the Clinton origins of the dossier as disqualifying.

2. Concern about exposing the Clinton campaign’s funding of the dossier.

There’s no question that the origins of the Clinton-Steele dossier were being concealed. If they were being concealed to fool the court, then the whole process was tainted. But such things have been known to happen. The truly damning possibility here is that it wasn’t the court they were concealing it from.

Either the DOJ and FBI deliberately misled the court. Or they were colluding with the Clinton campaign.

The Nunes and Grassley/Graham memos both make it clear that Steele was playing a double game, acting as an FBI source while spreading the Clinton dossier through the media. And the FBI chose to ignore these abuses until it could no longer do so. The double game was criminal and political.

Steele was spreading the Clinton dossier through the media to taint Trump politically. But he was also working with the FBI to go after Trump with a criminal investigation. The information was withheld by the DOJ so as not to expose the fact that his paymasters were actually in the Clinton campaign.

Were the DOJ and the FBI covering up the origins of the Clinton-Steele dossier to protect the criminal investigation or the political campaign? The refusal to crack down on Steele’s media leaks (not to mention the plethora of leaks coming from within the FBI and DOJ) suggest that it was the latter or both.

Admitting a political origin on the FISA application suggests they were less worried about the court than about the public exposure of their actions. And that’s the situation that they find themselves in now.

The Clinton campaign had taken great care to conceal its ownership of the Clinton-Steele dossier. Having a law fire hire a smear firm which then hired a British former intel agent in another country indicates that the campaign was spending a lot of time and money trying to cover its tracks. It wouldn’t have needed to work so hard just to protect the distribution of opposition research to the media.

There was never any shortage of reporters eager to cooperate with Clinton officials. Would the same insider media that allowed the DNC to review articles and ask for changes have really refused to keep the origins of the Clinton-Steele dossier a secret? Even if the reporters who were briefed by Steele didn’t know that he was working for the Clinton campaign, they could have guessed it from their contacts.

Concealing the origins of the Clinton-Steele dossier wasn’t necessary for opposition research. And that means that the dossier had always been intended to serve as the basis for a criminal investigation. Even before he wrote a single word, Christopher Steele had been hired to generate a criminal investigation.

The eavesdropping and the Mueller investigation aren’t unintended outcomes, as the apologists want us to believe, that a zealous Steele triggered by passing the information to the government.

It had always been the intended outcome before Christopher Steele even officially came on board.

But because the campaign was underway, the dossier was a double game. Spreading it through the media acted as classic opposition research while routing it through the DOJ generated an investigation. And the Clinton campaign used Steele to do both. His Fusion GPS handlers ferried him from briefing reporters to briefing the FBI. And the FBI was obligated to keep his secret the way that the media did.

Short of an email hack, there’s no way to get at what a reporter knows. The Los Angeles Times still has Obama’s Khalidi tape locked up. The recent release of a photo of Obama posing with Farrakhan which had been kept locked up for over a decade, and the media’s subsequent refusal to report on it, shows just how impermeable the media’s black wall of silence is. But that’s not true of government agencies.

Government agencies have to respond to orders from the President, queries from members of Congress and even requests from the public. The investigation of the Clinton-Steele dossier was met with stonewalling at every step of the way, but it is yielding results that would be impossible in the media.

The origin of the dossier was omitted to conceal it from conservative activists and politicians.

Would telling the truth about the origins of the Clinton-Steele dossier to the FISA court have been disastrous? Let’s take the word of the media apologists and Never Trumpers who insist that the court would have shrugged. And considering the inclusion of a Yahoo News article (also allegedly generated by Steele), that’s entirely possible. The court was stacked with Obama appointees. The acts of judicial activism that defied the law to undermine Trump have gutted the credibility of the Federal judiciary.

But if the DOJ and FBI weren’t hiding the truth from the judge, they were hiding it from everyone else. They were protecting the dual media smear campaign run by Fusion GPS which was parading Steele in front of selected insider reporters. And they were protecting the public perception of the investigation. If everything had gone as planned, bias might have been suspected, but never proven.

The real question about the concealment of the origins of the Clinton-Steele dossier isn’t whether disclosing it on the FISA application would changed the outcome. That’s a serious legal question that may have a major impact on those who failed to disclose it and on the investigation even if the court response would have been the same. But the real question is, what was the motive for concealing it?

Why did the leadership in the DOJ and the FBI cover up the role of the Clinton campaign? They weren’t protecting intelligence or sources. They covered it up to protect their political allies.

The omission of the origins of the Clinton-Steele dossier is an admission of guilt. It shows that these were not the routine abuses that can occur in an investigation, but that the investigation was politically motivated. A cover-up reveals not only a crime, but the motive for which the crime was committed.

The missing information is evidence of the collusion between the DOJ and the Clintons.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Make America Into Russia

The Democrats have a bold plan for fighting Russia.

Accuse Republicans of treason, eavesdrop on their conversations and send them to jail. Overturn the outcome of a free election because that it had been tampered with by “foreign interests.” Demand that tech companies censor dissenting media outlets spreading “fake news” to protect “democracy”.

Good work, comrades. The bold plan is to fight Russia by… becoming Russia.

State surveillance, endless investigations and locking up political opponents under the guise of fighting foreign influences is how Vladimir Putin does business. It’s how they do it in Turkey, Venezuela and Iran.

But these days it’s how the Dems do it too.

Totalitarian states aren’t really fighting foreign influences. They’re suppressing domestic opponents. The Democrats, who were for appeasing Russia before they were against it, are doing the same thing.

The same gang of commissars, czars and apparatchiks that giggled when Obama wrote off Romney’s warning with, “the 80s called and wants their foreign policy back” now sees Russians under every sofa. Hollywood, which still weeps for the industry’s victims of McCarthyism, launched a “Committee to Investigate Russia” by Rob ‘Meathead’ Reiner and Morgan Freeman. After several months of trying, the Committee members have finally found Russia on a map and are ready to reveal their findings on CNN.

Do any of these people actually care about Russia?

What have they done to check Putin’s geopolitical ambitions? What do they plan to do about the Ukraine or Georgia? Nothing. Their administration dismantled missile defense and gave Moscow everything it wanted. If the Dems get back into the White House, they’ll do it all over again with even more uranium on top.

And CNN and the Washington Post will go back to claiming that weakness is really a strength.

Their only answer now is to mumble about sanctions. Sanctions were a favorite tool of the Obama administration because they were a mostly worthless excuse to do nothing. There was never any fallback plan for what to do if sanctions failed. And when they did fail, there was no Plan B.

All the CNN hawks and the Democrats who suddenly care about Russia still have no post-sanctions plan. They have a plan to get Trump out of the White House. They have no proposals for Putin or Russia.

The leftists who can’t stop “Russianing” all over the place don’t want to fight Russia. They’re using it as a pretext to go after other Americans. The “Committee to Investigate Russia” and the rest of it is a shoddy pretext to lock up Republicans by a political movement that has been appeasing Russia since the 1930s.

After almost a century of appeasement, the doves have suddenly turned into bellicose hawks. And they’re eager to do anything to stop Russia, except build up our military, but they will fight Putin to the last Republican. And they’ll go on fighting until they win another election and freedom dies for good.

If you believe them, Russia’s Facebook posts pose a greater threat to democracy than the entire Communist movement did during the Cold War. And Russian bots are a more dangerous weapon than the nuclear bomb. The ideological movement that protested the execution of the Rosenberg atom bomb traitors would like to send everybody who ever spoke to a Russian to prison for twenty years.

Locking up people for meeting with foreigners was the sort of thing they did back in the Soviet Union.

No mainstream political figure during the Cold War spoke seriously of removing the President of the United States from office. The one member of Congress whom we know spied for Russia, a Democrat, retired comfortably into the bosom of his party’s political machine. Senator Ted Kennedy, who sent a collusion letter to Moscow to prepare for his presidential bid, never suffered any consequences.

His great-nephew even delivered the Democrat response accusing Russia of being “knee deep” in our democracy.

But it’s the Democrats that are “knee deep” in tyranny.

The same political movement that believes that one of history’s greatest outrages was that a handful of Hollywood hacks had trouble getting work for a few years because they were Communists would like to remove the President of the United States because his son once talked to a Russian

The anti-Communists were trying to save us from Communism. What is Hollywood’s new McCarthyism trying to save us from? What ideology are they fighting and what terrible evil are they resisting?

That’s when they mumble something about “interference in our elections” and then go back to studying diagrams of Trump hotels in Kyrgyzstan or Alma-Ata. The interference consisted of $100K worth of Facebook ads and some hacked DNC emails. Or they call it in Chicago, Wednesday.

It was never about Russia.

Shouting “treason” isn’t how you fight foreigners, it’s how you delegitimize your political opponents. Sometimes they might be illegitimate traitors. But most of the time the traitor-shouters just want an excuse for getting rid of their political opponents. Domestic politics has limits. War doesn’t.

If your opponents are traitors, you can spy on them, entrap them and imprison them. You can overturn elections, censor the press and take any measures you need to defend against a foreign threat.

And that’s exactly what the born-again Communist patriots of the left are doing.

To save us from $100K in Facebook ads and their own hacked DNC emails, they had to eavesdrop on Trump officials, bring them up on charges and run an endless investigation of the President of the United States. Obama and Clinton supporters in the IRS, State, the FBI, the DOJ and the NSA broke a few rules. But they were protecting us from the Russian menace lurking in Trump Tower.

Just ask Putin. It’s how he does it. It’s how every dictatorship does it.

Waterboarding the mastermind of 9/11 is not “who we are as Americans”. So said the politician whose regime spied on members of Congress, pro-Israel activists, reporters and the Trump team. But Muslim terrorists didn’t represent a grave threat to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Republicans did.

To Obama, ISIS was just a jayvee team. The worst it could do is kill a few thousand Americans and a few million middle easterners. The left’s real enemies are the ones that threaten its policy agenda.

The definition of treason is one important difference between a free country and a totalitarian state.

Treason in a free country is a threat to the nation. In a totalitarian state, it’s a threat to the ruling class. The tighter the tyranny, the narrower that definition of treason becomes until it’s reduced to one man.

The American left rejected the presidential victories of George W. Bush and Donald Trump. It treats Congress and the Supreme Court as illegitimate institutions because it doesn’t control them.

Legitimate government in its eyes doesn’t derive its authority from the consent of the governed, but from its ideology. Any elected officials who don’t believe in global warming, open borders, freeing criminals, socialized medicine and appeasing terrorists are traitors against the authority of the left.

Tyrants accuse their enemies of treason to the nation, when what they’re really charging them with is treason against their politics. It is the enemies of tyranny who are true patriots while the tyrants are the traitors. And so the tyrants have to portray the patriots as a foreign threat.

The average lefty stopped caring about Russia once it stopped being the motherland of Socialism. You couldn’t get Bernie Sanders to honeymoon there again if you offered him his choice of Stakhanovite brand underarm deodorant in icy gulag or spicy radioactive varieties.

Russia in America now serves the same function as America in Russia. It’s a casus belli for delegitimizing the supporters of a free society as catspaws of foreign interests who must be suppressed. Like 1984’s Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia, leftist interlinked tyrannies collaborate even while they pretend to fight each other as a pretext for repressing their own populations. Or as Obama once told Russia’s Medvedev, “This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility.”

The left would like this to be the last election so its leaders can have maximum flexibility.

Not to fight Russia, but to fight America.

The political movement that once took its marching orders from Moscow doesn’t want to stop Russia. It wants to pretend that its political reign of terror, the illegal eavesdropping, the investigations, the censorship, the sudden raids against its political opponents, and the rest of the KGB tactics are a necessarily evil in the face of a “constitutional crisis”.

There’s a constitutional crisis and it isn’t Russian bots. It’s the left.

When leftists who don’t believe in the constitution speak about a “constitutional crisis”, what they really mean is that we need to suspend the constitution to deal with this emergency. Obama’s illegal KGB tactics of surveillance and investigations have already bypassed the most basic constitutional norms.

Now the Democrats are signaling that they’ll have to suspend all of it to deal with this “crisis”.

The left doesn’t want to fight Russia. It wants to turn Americans into Russia.



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

Click here to subscribe to my articles. And click here to support my work with a donation.

Thank you for reading.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

The Quantum State of Consent

56% of younger millennials identify as Christian. 2% as Jewish or Muslim. 1% as Buddhist. And 36% as nothing. That's double the number that made up the "nones" among baby boomers. Being a "none" often means having no sense of purpose, except to seek personal happiness and make the world a better place by recycling, opposing Trump and calling out racism. It also means a moral code based on academic analysis of power relationships between races, genders and sexual orientations.

An editor at The Atlantic writes of girls educated by the mores of the fifties being "strong in a way that so many modern girls are weak". They were taught "over and over again that if a man tried to push you into anything you didn’t want, even just a kiss, you told him flat out you weren’t doing it. If he kept going, you got away from him... They told you to do whatever it took to stop him from using your body in any way you didn’t want, and under no circumstances to go down without a fight."

The conclusion appends the modern metric of consent to another era. But the girls of that era weren't taught to fight hard over consent. It's not that they didn't believe in consent. The great consent controversies of today were taken for granted then. But they also believed in something higher than mere consent. They weren't just fighting because of consent, but because of a moral purpose.

Resisting was more than a defense of their bodies. It was a defense of the meaning in their lives. They fought because they had something more to fight for than the exact definition of consent.

Consent is a legal formality, not a moral purpose. We consent to things we don't want to do all the time. Often it's because we make bad decisions. Consent is not a permanent state of being. It's a quantum state. The decision I made yesterday looks much worse when I see its consequences today. I'm not a finished being today. And I won't be one tomorrow. Legal agreements can bind me to the car I bought on a whim yesterday, and agonize over today, but no legal agreement binds sexual consent.

The retroactive withdrawal of consent is one of the more ambiguous topics of the consent debate. Can consent be withdrawn retroactively? What if new information emerges? Is consent formalized over an extended period or is it a momentary event? How do power relationships negate consent? That's not how the law works, but it is often how the human mind operates. And we hold people accountable to the law, not to psychological complexities.

Consent is legally significant, but psychologically meaningless. I know that I will regret tomorrow the beers that I drink today. I did buy 300 lottery tickets, but that was only because I thought I would win. Modern secular ethics treats consent as a defining moment, but the true opposite of consent isn't refusal, it's apathy. We don't make that many conscious decisions. Mostly we go with the flow.

That too is another aspect of the modern ambiguity of consent. The recent Aziz Ansari case, like so many others, didn't emerge from a crucial refusal, but instead featured a protagonist who was somewhat unwilling, but not truly conscious of her unwillingness. This general unconsciousness is how we often go through our days. We stumble into decisions without thinking about them. And only later do we realize that the decisions we made without really thinking about them mattered.

Previous generations understood that our decisions, our whims and consents, had to be ordered by a larger purpose. But the millenial "nones" are the least likely to understand that. As individuals, they have no higher purpose. The lefty ethics that govern their lives tell them what to do and how to feel, but don't meaningfully order their daily decisions into something resembling a whole person.

And without that purpose, there are only states of consent. Each state is governed by the emotions of the moment, hope, desire, disappointment, betrayal, loneliness, and is incomprehensible to any other state. Pain, joy, hunger, love and anger exist in the moment. They can be recollected, but the way that they drive us when we feel them cannot be duplicated in another moment. The decision we make under the impetus of one emotion can be swiftly negated by the conclusion of another emotion.

These are not new ideas. The history of human civilization is built on societies ordering the various states of human emotions to a higher purpose. That is one of the fundamental purposes of religion. Philosophers across thousands of years sought answers and offered solutions. And then in the last few generations, we tossed them all on the rubbish heap and exchanged them for Marxist pottage. Macroscopic analyses of class, gender and race have replaced individual meaning. Millennial nones know that they should never vote Republican, but they have no idea how to make personal choices in a way that reflects who they want to be, rather than what they are feeling right this second.

The moral ethos of the left has told them that people don't really make decisions. The mixture of Marxist macro-analysis and Freudian psychobabble that shaped the new age has left them with the conclusion that their gender, class and racial categories have shaped them at a subconscious level. They don't make choices, instead they have power relationships that reflect their privilege.

It's an ethos that produces the retroactive victimhood and preemptive guilt of people who don't really make their decisions, but are ready to apologize or rage for the inevitable outcome of the power relationships that define their lives. That's the striking difference between the ambiguous apologies of millennial celebrities like James Franco and Aziz Ansari, and the older and earlier boomer stars who clearly deny or admit their guilt. Millennial male nones live in a world where their gendered guilt exists as a permanent assumption apart from their behavior based on their original sin of privilege. That permanently indicts them even as it frees them to misbehave. Their admissions reference the ambiguous quantum states in which individuals exist, the challenge of bridging them through communication and the guilt assigned to them by their relative power relationships.

There is no moral awareness within these apologies, only the empathy and guilt of public relations. Human beings don't have a purpose, they have feelings. Some feelings are more valid than others. Feelings of oppression are the most valid of all. But none of them are truly true.

The lack of purpose makes all human relationships casual. Even the very serious moments are ultimately meaningless. But the casual ethics of two people passing on the street or a transaction at the grocery store are insufficient for those more important moments. The more serious the relationship, the worse the secular lefty ethics of the "nones" hold up in the face of it.

Religious people or those with a conscious philosophy of life are quite capable of wrongdoing. But they also have an awareness of what they are doing wrong. The "nones" often don't become aware of a moral component to their actions until they experience pain. Robbed of a meaningful philosophy, they experience only the breaches of it, the way that children raised badly only learn through pain.

Without a moral purpose, their realizations take place retroactively or in the moment. They don't understand a problem until they come face to face with it. And when they do, they don't see the bigger picture, only the painfully small one of the uncertain ebb and flow of their feelings.

Consent tells them that they have they absolute power to decide. But they have no basis for making their decisions. The abstract idea of consent has little to do with why people actually consent.

Reducing sexuality to the transactional ethics of consent satisfies legal, but not human requirements. It's a recipe for retrospective anger and pain. The ethics of consent don't make us better people. They reduce us to the barest and most exploitative ethics. And then they negotiate whether wrongdoing occurred within the narrow legal parameters of consent or the wider ones of intersectional privilege.

But morality goes beyond consent. Its ethics go beyond legality. It asks that we do more than just get the customer's signature on the dotted line for the overpriced junkheap we're selling him. Consent as the core of modern sexual ethics is Crowley's Do What Thou Wilt modified with, As Long As Maybe They Wilt It Too. But truly moral and ethical people don't ask or offer certain things. They don't condition the rightness of their actions on momentary reciprocal feelings, but on their own values.

Consent sets feelings against law. Then it asks the law to encompass the mutability and ambiguity of emotions. And the only way to do that is to remove any possible defense of legal consent. The law superseding morality, only to then be superseded by emotion, summarizes the entire history of the secular left which begins with fixed codes and then replaces them with the violent whims of outrage.

The debate over consent is only one of the many ways that this pattern is upending our societies.

The left doesn't believe that consent is absolute. It bases the degree of consent on the extent to which an individual has been educated about his privilege and the level of his oppression. It follows then that lefties and the oppressed should have the lowest rates of sexual assault. But the opposite is true.

The #MeToo movement has mostly entangled lefties who pursued consent in predatory fashion. And they did so by creating an environment in which consent could be obtained with sufficient pressure. But what can be obtained with sufficient pressure can also be withdrawn with sufficient pressure. And in the absence of meaningful relationships, all that remains is the power struggle of pressure.

This is the abusive way that people treat others when their actions are ordered by their emotions.

A moral society is a place of purpose where those particle states of emotion are ordered by higher moral laws. It asks us to treat people, not based on what we want them to consent to, what we want or even what they want, but as the principles of a higher being would want us to.

"We have no Government armed with Power capable of contending with human Passions unbridled by morality and Religion," John Adams warned. There is only one such government. Tyranny.

"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom," Benjamin Franklin cautioned more simply.

These aren't abstractions. Nor are they measured on some vast scale of civilizations. They define how we live our ordinary lives. They are why this debate is taking place. 

Free people consent. But freedom comes from virtue. Freedom without virtue is anarchy. And anarchy ends in brutality and tyranny. That outcome isn't only expressed in riots in the streets. It emerges in smaller and more intimate matters, like the debate over consent. 

Freedom of consent is failing. The left wants to replace it with brutality and tyranny. The brutality of online smear campaigns and the tyranny of campus kangaroo courts. But a secular right has no replacement for it either except the more libertarian brutality and tyranny of the individual.

What we forgot is that we don't truly have freedom of consent, until we have purpose.




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

Click here to subscribe to my articles. And click here to support my work with a donation.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2018

The Congressional Racist Caucus

When Obama met with Farrakhan, it was under the auspices of the Congressional Black Caucus. It wasn't the first or last time that the CBC had been caught in bed with the hate group leader. And CBC members have never been ashamed of their ties to a racist who had praised Hitler as a "great man".

"I’ve been to his home, done meetings, participated in events with him,” Rep. Danny Davis declared. "I don’t regard Louis Farrakhan as an aberration or anything, I regard him as an outstanding human being."

The CBC won't sanction Rep. Davis for saying that. In an age when statues are pulled down and classic TV shows are censored, some forms of racism are more equal than others. Not to mention sexism.

The Congressional Black Caucus had a front seat to #MeToo with the revelation that $220,000 had been paid out to a staffer alleging sexual harassment by Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL), a former judge impeached for bribery whose girlfriend has been on his payroll to the tune of $2.4 million, and that Rep. Conyers (D-MI) had his own sexual harassment settlement. That scandal forced Rep. Conyers to resign and hand the seat to his son at the behest of his wife, Monica, who had been convicted of bribery.

Corruption, fraud and bribery are ongoing problems at the Congressional Black Caucus.

After two decades of financial scandals, Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL) was convicted of running a fake charity and sentenced in December. Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA) was sentenced last December for bribery, fraud and money laundering. His son, Chaka Fattah Jr, was already in prison on unrelated bank fraud charges. Around the same time the wife of Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Il) had wrapped up her prison sentence after her husband had ended his prison term a year earlier on fraud charges.

Hardly a year goes by without a criminal case involving a member of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Bribery and fraud, fake charities and money laundering to pay for the high life are familiar CBC themes . Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. bought a gold Rolex, Michael Jackson and Malcolm X memorabilia, and mink capes. Rep. Brown stole from poor children to pay for an NFL luxury box (won’t you take a knee) and a Beyonce concert. Chaka Fattah Jr. bought Hermes ties and a Ritz-Carlton condo.

These aren’t aberrations. They’re part of the culture of corruption at the Congressional Black Caucus.

The year that Barack Obama, a former CBC member whose level of corruption outdid any of his former colleagues by climbing into the high stratospheric billions and using the Justice Department to run a massive slush fund, took office, every single House member investigated on ethics charges was CBC. A former study suggested that a third of CBC legislators had faced an ethics probe.

That’s what a culture of political corruption looks like.

But the Congressional Black Caucus has consistently blamed all of its corruption troubles on racism. And CBC members would always play the race card. Rep. Corrine Brown had improbably claimed that Obama’s DOJ had targeted her because “I'm a black woman with a mouth.”

It’s the same old racist excuse. And racism is the usual cover story for CBC corruption.

When Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) was accused of stealing a woman’s first class airplane seat, she claimed that it only happened “because I was an African American woman, seemingly an easy target.” The woman she casually accused of racism had no previous idea of who even stole her seat. And as a Democrat and a human rights activist was probably angry about her lost seat, not the politician’s race.

No one can be too surprised at a politician receiving preferential treatment at the expense of ordinary citizens. Especially a politician who had once allegedly howled, “You don’t understand. I am a queen, and I demand to be treated like a queen.” It’s the eagerness with which CBC members shut down any conversations about their corruption with casual accusations of racism that is the real problem.

The worst offender in the Conyers sexual harassment case wasn’t actually the congressman in question. It was another Black Caucus member who came to his defense by accusing his victims of racism.

Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) allegedly claimed that Conyers’ accusers were all white women. And suggested that the accusations were somehow racially motivated. Other CBC members threatened Democrats who criticized Rep. Conyers and there were suggestions that the calls for his resignation were racist.

“Do you go and stalk white people’s houses or just come to the black neighborhoods and stalk our houses?” Monica Conyers demanded.

The claim that Rep. Conyers’ accusers were “all white women” proved to be a lie. But it shouldn’t have mattered what race the women accusing a politician of sexual harassment were. Nor should it have mattered what race the passenger whose seat Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee allegedly stole might have been.

The reflexive accusations of racism by Congressional Black Caucus members hurled at their alleged victims and at any attempt to bring them to justice is at the root of the CBC’s culture of racial corruption. The Caucus is a racially exclusive body. And it uses race and racism as weapons to protect its privileges of power. It doesn’t admit white politicians who represent African-American districts.

"It is critical that its membership remain exclusively African American,” Rep. William Lacy Clay Sr. (D-MO) had written. Referring to a white Democrat’s membership bid from an African-American district, he declared that, “he does not, and cannot, meet the membership criteria unless he can change his skin color.” It’s the same familiar mantra of slavery and segregation but with a politically correct twist.

Rep. Clay has paid out nearly a million dollars in campaign funds to his sister’s law firm.

"We supported the tradition that only African-Americans have been full members of the CBC," insisted Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (D-MI), whose son and husband would be convicted on charges that included fraud and racketeering.

Urban political machines have a long history of exploiting ethnic and racial solidarity to maintain their grip on power. The Congressional Black Caucus did not invent an original form of corruption. Tammany Hall went through various ethnic incarnations as one immigrant group made way for another.

The Congressional Black Caucus is not uniquely corrupt because it is black. But it uses racial solidarity and animosity to protect its insidious corruption. The CBC uses the idea of racial persecution to convince the African-American areas it preys on to turn a blind eye to its corruption. And it depicts its critics and victims, whether they are the women groped by Rep. Conyers or the poor children ripped off by Rep. Brown, as pawns or perpetrators of a racist conspiracy against black people.

The CBC’s merger of xenophobia and corruption is nothing new. But it’s a uniquely toxic tactic to utilize during a time of racial tensions. The Caucus styles itself as the “conscience of the congress”, but it has no conscience. It’s become a gang of thieves united by greed, racial solidarity and racial animosity.

The Congressional Black Caucus is uniquely destructive to black people and to the entire country. Its corrupt civil rights icons have long since become mirrors of the very thing they once fought against. And their accusations of racism are reflections of their own racism and their own racial privileges.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee and Rep. Clyburn’s accusations show how the perniciously corrupt culture of the CBC’s racial solidarity has turned race and racism into unlimited justifications for their own abuses. The Caucus’ racism and corruption feed into each other in a vicious cycle that spurs its members to greater ethics violations and noisier accusations of racism. The corruption charges then become proof of racism.

The more CBC members are arrested and jailed, the more the Caucus doubles down on the conviction that the only reason they were jailed is racism. And then it exploits that sense of racial grievance to justify even more corruption. This vicious cycle of racism and thievery in the CBC must be broken.

Congress has a racism problem. Its name is the Congressional Black Caucus.




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

Click here to subscribe to my articles. And click here to support my work with a donation.

Thank you for reading.

Sunday, February 04, 2018

The Steele Dossier and the Clinton Scandal Machine

In the very early nineties, the Democrats were as obsessed with cocaine as they are now are with Russia. The cocaine in question was alleged to have been bought by Vice President Dan Quayle. The 1992 election was coming up. The decades of corruption, slime and lies by the Clintons were about to pay off.

But that’s not how it looked then.

President George H.W. Bush was enjoying high approval ratings. Bill Clinton would weasel and claw his way to the front of the line largely because the election seemed like a lot cause for the Democrats.

But the Clintons still had plenty of dirty tricks left to play. The Quayle cocaine story was one of them. Like most discredited Democrat smears, it was forgotten once it was no longer needed. It’s hard now to understand how so many reporters and politicians could be sucked in by a ridiculous smear campaign.

One of the Quayle accusers had confessed to lying both to prison officials and to 60 Minutes.

"This guy not only flunked the lie detector test, but he broke down and cried in front of Morley Safer and said that he had made it up because he wanted to get out of jail," Don Hewitt, the executive producer of 60 Minutes, recollected.

But the more the story came apart, the more new conspiracy theories were spawned to bolster it. Like Michael Wolff’s smears, it was too good for the left not to believe. Much like Russian collusion, the story quickly shifted from whether Quayle had actually bought drugs to whether the Bush administration had tried to cover it up. The shift from a specific criminal accusation to nebulous conspiracy theories that can never be disproven, but that empower open-ended witch hunts, are a hallmark of Dem smears.

The Mueller investigation likewise isn’t actually hunting for Russian collusion, but trying to entrap President Trump with accusations that he covered up a crime that it can’t prove ever happened.

The second phase of a smear is to use the damage control tactics of the victim to create its own crime. The dubious original accusation, Quayle’s drugs or Trump’s Russian plot, never needs to be proven. It only needs to be shown that the target attempted to defend against the accusation.

Why does an old discredited Dem smear matter? Because it shares a number of troubling similarities with the Trump Russia smear, including the Clinton political operative who may have originated it.

In his syndicated column, Thomas Oliphant traced the popularization of the cocaine smear to Cody Shearer’s contact in the DEA. "I've known him for a long time and like him, but that wouldn't stop me from looking out the window if he told me the sun was shining," the columnist wrote.

Cody Shearer is also the author of another Russia-Trump dossier used by the FBI, a memo that Steele, the author of the better known dossier, passed along. How did Steele come to possess Shearer’s memo? Shearer was one of Bill’s plumbers, notorious for spreading and circulating scandals aimed at Republicans. He’s also been accused of targeting and intimidating Bill Clinton’s victims.

Is it more likely that a British agent happened to independently come across a memo by a Clinton political operative that echoed his own material or that his dossier was based on the memo? Was the Steele dossier an original piece of work by a former British intel agent doing his own research or had he been hired to put some meat on a conspiracy theory created by a Dem political operative?

We don’t know the answer. Yet. But it’s quite possible that Steele, Russian intel operatives and all the other elements of the vast campaign were never more than window dressing on a smear from the same guy who had peddled the Dan Quayle cocaine story the last time the Clintons needed help.

The Steele dossier, with its sloppy fact-checking and lurid tales of prostitutes urinating in a Moscow hotel, is far too unprofessional to be the work of a British ex-intel agent, but it reads like a Cody Shearer smear. Nasty and vicious has always been Shearer’s stock in trade as a variety of Republicans can testify.

The successful Shearer smear is a conspiracy theory built around a shocking image. A prisoner kept “in the hole” to stop him from testifying about Dan Quayle buying drugs or Senator John Tower starting a hotel fire in Dallas by drunkenly dropping a cigarette on an armchair. That’s followed by accusations of a cover-up, by Bush, the DEA, the CIA, the Russians, the Bureau of Prisons, and the media does the rest.

The Trump smear follows that same nasty pattern. And there are other curious overlaps.

Before Fusion GPS, there was Investigative Group International (IGI). Like Fusion GPS, IGI was a shadowy organization that specialized in digging up dirt for insiders. IGI’s boss was a longtime Clinton pal and the organization was turned loose on Bill Clinton’s political enemies. Shearer was accused of working as a subcontractor for IGI to go after George H.W. Bush and Dan Quayle.

Like Fusion GPS, the Quayle push appeared to have married a politically connected journalist with an investigative firm and political sympathizers inside law enforcement to try and influence an election.

The Los Angeles Times reported in ’91 that a “free-lance journalist” had told the paper that an assistant U.S. attorney had tried to persuade the DOJ to conduct a sting operation by trying to sell cocaine to Quayle. No one involved in this story was named, but reports from the era showed that Shearer had been heavily involved in pushing the Quayle smear.

That particular sting was never approved. But another sting operation aimed at the Bush campaign was.

The FBI conducted a sting of James Oberwetter, the chairman of Bush's Texas campaign, offering him a supposed wiretap of Ross Perot's phones. “The decision to use an undercover agent as a step in a carefully constructed investigation came only after lengthy consideration in Dallas and here in Washington,” FBI Director William Sessions wrote in a letter to the New York Times.

Bush told Oberwetter that he would review the FBI’s conduct after the election. But there was no “after the election” to speak of. Before Comey, Sessions became the only other FBI director to be fired.

Like Comey, Sessions had attempted to navigate the abuses of a politicized FBI by grandstanding. And he paid the price. By ’93, he was another casualty of the Clinton efforts to further politicize the FBI.

"I always defended the FBI, but not anymore," President Bush would later reminisce.

There are still many questions to be answered about the Steele dossier. But the most important question is how a piece of opposition research was transformed into a law enforcement matter.

And what is most troubling is that it may not even be the first time that the Clintons have pulled that off.

The campaign against Trump is unprecedented because of the scale of the abuses. The collusion between Obama government officials and Clinton campaign personnel transformed opposition research into a license for surveillance on the political opposition. A conspiracy theory from the Clinton campaign became leverage for delegitimizing and trying to reverse the results of an election. And the conspiracy theory that elements of the FBI loyal to the Democrats relied upon to attack Trump originated from the deepest sewer in Clintonworld that had been covertly smearing political enemies for decades.

"The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones," Antony tells the Roman mob.

The Clintons are done. But their legacy lives on after them. The Russia conspiracies and the Mueller investigation continue to divide this nation even though Hillary’s political career is deader than Julius Caesar. Fusion GPS is still around. So is IGI. And there are other organizations like them out there.

There will always be political operatives like Cody Shearer out there. But if we don’t insulate law enforcement from them, elections won’t be determined by voters, they’ll be decided by political coups disguised as scandals. The establishment and its private police state will decide who runs the country.

After Hillary’s Reset Button with Russia and Obama’s hot mic vow to show Moscow more flexibility after the election, the Democrats now spend all their time claiming that Trump is secretly working for Putin.

And must be removed from office.

That’s not how we do things in America. But it’s how Putin does things in Russia.

Even as the Democrats pretend that they hate Putin, they fantasize about jailing their political opponents the way that Vladimir Putin does. Using police surveillance to spy on your enemies is a KGB tactic. So is accusing them of secretly working for foreign interests and trying to arrest them.

The final tragic irony of the Democrat’s Russian conspiracies would be to make America just like Russia.

Friday, February 02, 2018

The Kidnappings Americans Won't Do

We all know that there are jobs that Americans won’t do. That’s what the politicians who don’t want Americans doing them tell us. If an industry is dominated by immigrants or illegal aliens, they say that it’s because Americans won’t do these jobs.

But when immigrants and aliens dominate certain types of crime, is it because there are some crimes that Americans won’t commit?

Like kidnapping?

According to the Center for Immigration Studies, 42.4 percent of federal kidnapping convictions are of non-citizens. Non-citizens also account for 31.5 percent of federal drug convictions. Even though they’re only 8.4% of the population. Obviously there aren’t enough Americans to commit these crimes.

We need immigrants to commit the kidnappings and drug crimes that Americans just won’t do.

What’s behind the kidnapping exceptionalism?

Federal kidnapping charges often involve human trafficking. And human trafficking is one of those jobs that Americans aren’t doing. Federal kidnapping charges have also been leveled at members of the violent MS-13 gang whose cause has now become popular on the open borders left. In one MS-13 murder in a Washington D.C. bedroom community, the suspects were hit with kidnapping charges that were easier to prove. MS-13’s habit of abducting and murdering its victims helps raise kidnapping rates.

“They kidnap, they extort, they rape and they rob," President Trump declared. They certainly kidnap.

Over in New York, five MS-13 members and associates were caught trying to kidnap and randomly murder a 16-year-old. Prestige in the El Salvador gang comes from murder. Bodies of MS-13 initiation murders keep popping up in public parks near prominent locales. In Texas, two MS-13 gang members kidnapped three teenage girls, raped them and killed a 15-year-old girl in a “Satanic ritual”.

Maybe it’s a good thing that there are some crimes that Americans won’t commit. And we should keep it that way. Ending Temporary Protected Status for El Salvador keeps Americans safer.

In Virginia, a teenage girl can be seen confessing on video to the torture and murder of a 15-year-old girl. MS-13’s butchers stabbed her in the stomach, neck and chest. Video of the murder was sent to MS-13 leaders to win a higher status for the killers. Last year, the media had portrayed her as a victim.

In a gang culture, the monsters are everywhere. And they’re hard to tell apart from their victims.

The media is outraged that President Trump shut down TPS for El Salvador because the country is so violent. But if El Salvador isn’t even safe enough for its own citizens to return to, why would we want import its violence to America? Do the lives of Americans matter less than those of Salvadorans?

In the United States, MS-13 victims occasionally turn up in parks. In El Salvador, the bodies fill the fields.

“All those sugar cane fields in El Salvador are cemeteries. My son-in-law would remove bodies in pieces, thinking it was his son. Bodies missing legs, missing hands, missing their head," one account describes.

It’s starting to happen in America. We should do everything possible to stop it before it gets worse.

When neighborhoods miles from the White House become MS-13 enclaves, the officials responsible for that disaster clearly feel that refugees from El Salvador are more entitled to safe and secure neighborhoods than Americans. And that’s exactly the mindset that President Trump ran against.

El Salvador has one of the highest murder rates in the world. At its peak a few years ago, it was living through a murder every hour. Kidnappings by MS-13 and other gangs are commonplace. But MS-13 and other gangs like it were actually formed by immigrants from El Salvador in the United States.

Immigration from El Salvador to the United States didn’t do either country any favors. It doesn’t make El Salvador any safer when its people have an easy way out of the country and when its gangs can build international networks. Immigration exported El Salvador’s problems to America and worsened them.

Immigration made America and El Salvador into more dangerous places. It didn’t solve anything.

The people fleeing drug gangs create niches for them in the United States. They don’t leave the social problems behind because they didn’t come out of thin air. They came out of people just like them. The sons they brought to escape the gang life end up joining the same gangs in the United States.

Immigration won’t break this cycle. Instead immigration perpetuates it.

The Salvadorans who flee MS-13 bring it with them. Their neighborhoods quickly develop an MS-13 presence. And bodies start showing up in the parks around major cities in the United States.

If a country has a major gang problem, immigration will spread it. If it has a drug culture, it will follow. If it has a terrorism issue, then there will be bombings wherever the new immigrants settle down.

The only way to avoid that is by absorbing the immigrants and limiting their numbers. Those are two policies that the left militantly opposes. And so we’re left with too many immigrants to absorb and no way to absorb them. Instead the poorest immigrants set up enclaves of their home country in America.

And those enclaves duplicate the conditions, threats and problems of their home countries.

The CIS statistics show a pattern of migrant exceptionalism in certain key areas: kidnapping, drug offenses, money laundering and assorted forms of fraud. There’s a pattern to this exceptionalism. The crimes in question are commonly the ones committed by organized criminal networks.

21.4% of Federal convictions were of non-citizens. It’s hard to ignore crime exceptionalism like that.

Federal kidnapping cases are unusual. That 42.4% still only adds up to 123 cases out of 290 over 5 years. That’s not a lot. Unless one of your children or neighbors becomes a victim. But there are other areas where non-citizen crime is far more prevalent. Take the 45,317 drug offenses, the 2,192 money laundering, racketeering and extortion convictions. (Not to mention the 134,709 immigration crimes.)

What the list does make clear is that just as domestic gangs are responsible for much of our murder rate in urban areas: foreign criminal organizations are having a dramatic impact on organized crime.

There may be no simple ceiling to how big and dangerous MS-13 can get.

In one poll, 42% of Salvadorans said that gangs rule their country. Only 12% believe the government is in control. When a past lefty government negotiated a truce with the gangs, millions of dollars were pumped into MS-13 which used the cash to develop a network of legitimate businesses .Now it finances entire legislatures and controls the outcome of elections in its territories.

And there are MS-13 outposts downwind of the White House.

Gangs already play a role in Chicago politics. And, like El Salvador’s left, the American left has built an unspoken alliance with gangs like MS-13 based around open borders and amnesty for illegal aliens.

That dirty alliance with organized crime is a threat to this country. MS-13 could easily corrupt the lefty allies of open borders as thoroughly as it corrupted the radical leftists in its own country.

Migration from broken countries doesn’t make us any stronger. It breaks us.

Unless we have a desperate need for gang members who will commit the kidnappings that Americans won’t, maybe it’s time to keep the kidnappers out of this country.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

From Farrakhan With Love

Two years before Barack Obama announced his candidacy for President of the United States, he met with the leader of a hate group who had praised Hitler and declared that the Jews, "can't say 'Never Again' to God, because when he puts you in the ovens, you're there forever.”

The previous year, Obama had launched his national profile with a DNC speech proclaiming,
“There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America.” And there he was, smiling alongside Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam, the largest black separatist organization in the country, whose theology claimed that white people were genetically engineered devils who were due to be destroyed by flying saucers.

Also posing with Farrakhan and Obama were Mustapha Farrakhan, Joshua Farrakhan and Leonard Farrakhan Muhammad, his security chief and son, his other son, and his chief of staff and son-in-law.

Also there was Willie F. Wilson, a Farrakhan ally, who had led a protest against an Asian business by a mob shouting, “F___ the Chinks”. "We forgave Mr. Chan," he told reporters after that incident. "If we didn't forgive him, we would have cut his head off and rolled it down the street.”

Hope and change.

Obama had claimed that he had never heard the racist views of his pastor and mentor, Jeremiah Wright, but he certainly knew who Farrakhan was. Three years later, he would be forced to disavow him in a statement declaring, “I decry racism and anti-Semitism in every form and strongly condemn the anti-Semitic statements made by Minister Farrakhan.” Then why did he meet with him and pose with him?

The picture proves that Obama didn’t have a problem with Farrakhan’s racist and anti-Semitic views.

The photo of Farrakhan and Obama at a Congressional Black Caucus meeting on Capitol Hill had been kept buried since it was taken in 2005. A CBC staff member in a “panic” quickly set out to keep the photo secret. And the Nation of Islam and the photographer agreed to protect Obama’s political career.

“After the nomination was secured and all the way up until the inauguration; then for eight years after he was president, it was kept under cover,” Askia Muhammad, the photographer, said, “It absolutely would have made a difference.”

The relationship between Barry and Louie was one of the dirtiest secrets of the previous administration. After Obama left office, the Nation of Islam has become more open in discussing that relationship.

During Obama’s final months in office, Farrakhan revealed that the future president had visited him. That would suggest that Farrakhan and Obama had met on two occasions. Possibly more. A top Nation of Islam official had claimed that the two men would frequently “communicate with each other.”

"We supported him when he was a community organizer," Farrakhan said. "My chief of staff, Brother Leonard, knew Barack Obama, and we backed him with money and with the help of the FOI (Fruits of Islam) to get him elected."

Brother Leonard is Leonard Farrakhan Muhammad, his son-in-law and chief of staff, to whom the photographer had turned over the recently revealed photo. Leonard can be seen standing to Obama’s left in the Farrakhan picture.

“The bigger picture is I have a picture of myself and Barack together,” he told congregants. “You never saw it, because I would never put it out to give his enemies what they were looking for to hurt him.”



Possessing the photo also gave the racist hate group leverage over the President of the United States. It is unknown whether the Nation of Islam made use of the picture to obtain favors from the White House. But concealing the picture was one form of support that the racist hate group provided to Obama.

Even without the photo, there were traces of the relationship that caused problems for Obama.

Obama had participated in Farrakhan’s Million Man March. His pastor and mentor, the violently racist Jeremiah Wright, was an admirer of Farrakhan. Obama’s church honored Farrakhan with the Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Trumpeter Award. A group photo which included Michelle Obama and Khadijah Farrakhan, the racist leader's wife, had made the rounds. No one had managed to bury that one.

It took almost as much work to get Obama to disavow Farrakhan as it did Wright. During the Democrat debate, he responded to questions about his support from the racist leader with lawyerisms.

"I can't say to somebody that he can't say that he thinks I'm a good guy," he said at one point. And he made sure to call the Nation of Islam leader, Minister Farrakhan.

Obama disavowed Farrakhan, but there were always hedges. And Farrakhan’s later remarks make it clear that the hate group leader accepted the distancing for the greater good of the “big picture”.

During the campaign Obama had claimed, “We’re not doing anything, I assure you, formally or informally with Minister Farrakhan.” Was that the truth or was it yet another lie?

Obama had never let anti-Semitism and racism get in the way of supporting a political ally. He had embraced Al Sharpton, the bigoted thug who had once bragged, “If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house.”

Obama had appeared at Sharpton’s National Action Network, the hate group whose lieutenant had chanted, “Don’t give the Jew a dime” outside Freddy’s Fashion Mart.

The racist arson that followed killed 7 people.

This was what Obama did in the open. The recently revealed photo gives us some idea of what he was doing in the shadows. There is so much about Obama that was kept buried to protect him.

The Farrakhan photo was suppressed by the Nation of Islam to protect his political career. Not until he was out of office did the hate group begin coming clean about its ties to Barack Hussein Obama. The Los Angeles Times still won’t release the infamous Khalidi tape. That’s been part of the consistent pattern of the media whitewashing and censoring damaging information about Obama’s racist connections.

The same thing happened with Rep. Keith Ellison, the DNC Vice Chairman, who had begun his political career with the Nation of Islam and may have spent as much as eleven years with the hate group. The media allowed Ellison to repeatedly lie about his membership and his history of anti-Semitism. He whined, “I had to account for things I had written as a college student,” even though he was documented defending the Nation of Islam’s anti-Semitism when he was a lawyer with four kids.

How deep do Obama’s ties to the Nation of Islam go? We will probably never know.

The media is as incurious about Obama’s radicalism as it is obsessed with comparing Trump to Hitler. It will go on being incurious about Obama posing with a bigot who once crowed, "Here come the Jews. They don't like Farrakhan, so they call me Hitler. Well, that's a good name. Hitler was a very great man."

Hope and change.

Monday, January 29, 2018

A Year of Russian Collusion

September 2009.

Obama hadn't even been in office for a whole year when he gave in to Moscow’s biggest demand by dropping the missile defense shield for Poland and the Czech Republic. During his campaign, he had enthusiastically backed the defensive program, declaring, “We have to send a clear signal that Poland and other countries in that region are not going to be subject to intimidation and aggression.”

Like all of his campaign promises that were based on political triangulation, law enforcement, counterterrorism, Jerusalem and gay marriage, it was a campaign lie to be thrown out after the election.

Putin praised Obama’s sellout of our allies as a “brave decision.” In his first year, President Trump touted the sale of Patriot missiles to Poland. That was a truly brave decision.

After the Russian invasion, Obama refused to provide Ukraine with military assistance. While he had handed out weapons to Islamist terrorists in Syria and Libya, the Ukrainians were only offered MREs. The same administration that covertly shipped a fortune in foreign currency on unmarked cargo planes to Russia’s Iranian allies took months to meet Ukrainian requests for boots and spare tires.

The Trump administrated unapologetically approved the sale of sniper rifles to the Ukrainians.

“I’m aware of not only the extraordinary work that you’ve done on behalf of the Russian people," Obama had gushed during his meeting with Putin. There were no protests from the same media that has since then repeatedly suggested that Trump’s praise for Putin indicated a soft spot for dictators.

Looking back at Obama’s first year and Trump’s first year, it’s easy to assess who was giving Moscow more. It wasn’t just missile defense. In the spring of ’09, Hillary was in Moscow toting a misspelled Reset Button swiped from a swimming pool. But it was Obama who had first urged a “reset or reboot”. That was the month he sent a secret hand-delivered letter to Russia offering to kill the missile shield. The Russians turned down his proposed deal, but he went through with the appeasement anyway.

Trashing missile defense was just one step in a larger effort to revive Jimmy Carter’s defense policies. In his first year, Obama began the push to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. CTBT would have allowed the Russians (and everyone else) to build up their nuclear arsenals while crippling our own. The new START treaty was drafted in ’09 and signed next year. And Russian violations of it were ignored.

It took a new administration to change that.

In his first phone call with Putin, President Trump blasted the START treaty as a bad deal that gave Moscow a free ride. Next month, the Pentagon officially came out and said what everyone knew.

This was a sharp contrast with the previous administration which had refused to detail Russian violations. It falsely claimed that it couldn’t answer the question because “the New START treaty forbids releasing to the public data and information obtained during implementation of the treaty.”

Before the Iran deal, the Russia deal had been Obama’s legacy. And the same lies, echo chambers and spin that would be used to cover up Iranian violations were being deployed to mask Russian violations.

The Russians couldn’t have been too surprised at Trump holding their feet to the fire. Trump had blasted the START treaty during the third presidential debate while Hillary Clinton had rambled on about cyberattacks. The Russians would have been far more concerned about nukes than keyboards.

That was the same debate where Hillary Clinton had accused Trump of being Putin’s “puppet”.

But if that’s true, where are the concessions and the appeasement? Every tangible foreign policy issue that the commentariat at conspiratorial lefty media outlets like the Washington Post, the Huffington Post and ThinkProgress had seized on as evidence of Trump’s collusion has come up short.

Remember when Trump was secretly conspiring to lift sanctions for Exxon-Mobil’s Russian drilling project?

"Could Massive Russian Oil Deal with Exxon Explain Why Putin Appears to Have Meddled in US Election?", Democracy Now shrieked. "Trump-Putin Bromance: Election Hacking, Oil Drilling," the Huffington Post caterwauled.

ThinkProgress made them seem restrained. "Trump, Putin, and ExxonMobil team up to destroy the planet.”

"Pick of Exxon CEO for Secretary of State clarifies why Putin wanted Trump elected: a $500 billion oil deal killed by sanctions," the sub yammered. Trump, Putin and oil represented "the gravest threat to humanity (and democracy) since the rise of the Axis powers".

Just one problem. Trump refused to let the deal happen. So much for that conspiracy theory.

Seizing on the potential Exxon deal was an act of desperation. The left was quick to juggle Russia collusion theories, but had trouble coming up with anything that Russia actually got from Trump.

Not only wasn’t there anything like Obama’s Year One windfall of appeasement, but Moscow was getting nothing but trouble. The new National Defense Strategy lists Russia as a major threat. It’s a return to the Republican view of Russia as a geopolitical threat that Obama had mocked Romney for.

The Washington Post, which boasts a new Russia-Trump conspiracy theory every five hours, responded by claiming that Trump’s policy of confronting Russia is exactly what Vladimir Putin wants. "Trump's strategy pushes confrontation with Russia, and Moscow is pleased," a Post op-ed declared.

What better evidence could there be that Trump is Putin’s puppet than that he’s standing up to him?

The new Russia conspiracy meme borrows the old Obama spin on Iran and ISIS which accused critics of “playing into their hands” by trying to fight them, instead of appeasing them. It was classic Orwellian spin. “Weakness is strength”, “lies are truth” and “opposition is collusion”. But it said something about the weakness of the collusion reality that the Post was forced to rely on such weak Rhodes-ian spin.

What had Trump done for Russia? Well he stood up to it. And that’s exactly what Putin wants.

The media’s case for collusion comes down to the hacking of Democrat emails. But while having Podesta’s missives exposed to daylight was clearly a traumatic event for the Dems, it’s not exactly up there with letting the Russians have a free hand in Europe. Or letting its Iranian allies go nuclear.

The media has blasted us with headlines about the meeting between Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer about the Magnitsky Act. But a year later, the Magnitsky Act is doing just fine. There’s been no review. Obama had singlehandedly dismantled the Cuban embargo. If Trump had really wanted to, the sanctions on Russia would be a memory. But instead the sanctions keep on coming.

The media made much of Trump's signing statement to CAATSA criticizing its intrusion on his authority. Obama had repeatedly made similar objections, though using very different rhetoric, in signing statements to previous bills. When the administration missed the October 1 sanctions deadline, the media again rolled out the conspiracy theories. “The Trump administration is delaying Russia sanctions that Congress demanded,” Vox bleated. The sanctions were sent in the very next day.

The media has come to specialize in spinning conspiracy theories out of process. It’s safer to focus on the trees, because then they don’t have to notice that there’s no forest. But it’s a sign of just how little it has to work with when it comes to real life policy as opposed to the conspiracy theories of its bubble.

“What did Putin want from Trump and what did he actually get?” a Newsweek article inquires. It’s forced to conclude that the answer is nothing. Russia received a whole lot from Obama in his first year. Trump has dealt it a series of setbacks instead. Newsweek concludes that Putin helped elect Trump, but got nothing in return. That would make Putin rather stupid. And no one has yet accused him of that.

But that’s what the current collusion conspiracy theories of the left have irrationally been reduced to. Putin helped elect Trump. And got nothing from Trump for it. Now it’s time to impeach Trump anyway.

Backing Trump never made any sense. Republicans have traditionally been more hostile to Russia. And Trump’s entire pitch was nationalism. Nationalist leaders in small countries might collaborate with Putin, but the nationalist leader of the United States could only end up on a collision course with Russia.

Obama’s first year was a golden period for Russia because he didn’t believe in national interests. Trump does. The left inevitably accuses the right of its own sins. Trump didn’t collude with Russia. Obama did.