Elections • Post

Ben Sasse Rescues Obamagate Conspirators

After winning his Republican primary last month, Sasse is back to his old anti-Trump tricks.

After years of foot-dragging and empty threats, Senate Republicans finally seemed poised to hold ObamaGate conspirators publicly accountable for their complicity in the biggest political scandal in U.S. history. Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) last month issued a list of more than 50 Obama-era officials he threatened to subpoena and compel to testify before the committee he has controlled for nearly 18 months.

The list includes key figures such as former FBI Director James Comey; former acting Attorney General Sally Yates; former CIA Director John Brennan; and former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe. Graham’s committee, according to a May 14 statement, “would debate and vote on a subpoena authorization related to the FISA abuse investigation and oversight of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.”

Open hearings, long pushed by rank-and-file Republicans frustrated with the lack of culpability and slow pace of ongoing Justice Department criminal investigations, would force ObamaGate accomplices to explain their malfeasance to the American people. Testimony on Wednesday afternoon by former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein again underscored how top law enforcement officials have escaped any measure of accountability. Rosenstein played dumb, claimed he was misled by his FBI underlings and that’s why he signed an illegal FISA warrant on Carter Page, appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and expanded Mueller’s reach a few months later even though he had no solid proof of any crime.

But thanks to opposition from his own party, Graham had to postpone a vote to issue the subpoenas until next week. Senate Democrats successfully hijacked the discussion to instead vent about police brutality and racism. “Instead of engaging in political partisan gains on behalf of this president what the American people want this committee to do is to be relevant to why they are shouting and marching and crying in the streets of our country,” California Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) scolded Thursday morning. “I would dare say the conversation we are having today is irrelevant to what…is happening on the streets of America today.”

Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) shared Harris’ disinterest in Graham’s attempt to call ObamaGate accomplices to account. Sasse, who has been silent on this unprecedented abuse of federal power against a political foe despite his spot on the Judiciary committee, ranted that “some of us have other work to do” and asked how much longer the meeting would last. “It’s bullshit the way people grandstand for cameras in here,” Sasse scolded. “The Senate doesn’t work…ninety percent of our committees are about people trolling for soundbites.” (Sasse gave a similar dramatic, weepy monologue to an empty Senate chamber during the Kavanaugh-Ford debacle in 2018.)

Sasse’s brief tirade was his only contribution to the meeting; he didn’t even bother attending Rosenstein’s 3-hour testimony on Wednesday. The Nebraska Republican spent more time authoring a statement to condemn the president’s “photo op” at St. John’s this week than he did exposing corrupt Obama-era Democrats.

After winning his Republican primary last month, Sasse is back to his old anti-Trump tricks.

Elections • Post

A Rock Star’s Rant and a Pedophile’s Purported Suicide

Is there a link between the purported suicide of Jeffrey Epstein and the rant by Mötley Crüe’s drummer last week? As reported by the Washington Times, Tommy Lee tweeted:  “You Trumpsters better pray that liberals never gain control of the WH again because we are going to pay you back so f—ing hard for all of this sh–. . .”

The rockstar and private porn video participant proceeded to elaborate, claiming that if the Democrats are victorious in 2020, there will be “Planned Parenthoods on every damn corner. We’re going to repaint Air Force One p—y hat pink and fly it over your beloved Bible Belt 6 days a week, tossing birth control pills, condoms & atheist literature from the cockpit. We’re going to tax your mega churches so bad Joel Osteen will need to get a job at Chik [sic] Fil A to pay his light bill.” It turns out that the tweet was actually an excerpt from an old Reddit thread from 2018.

There was much more Tommy Lee had to say in his mind-boggling tweets, but the unbridled hedonism Lee advocated, and the libido-filled pedophilic lifestyle Epstein enjoyed (and apparently offered to important political, commercial, and even academic leaders) are chilling reminders of how far our nation has moved from our 18th century framers’ conception of the rule of law, self-restraint, and simple virtue.

If Tommy Lee and Jeffrey Epstein are typical Americans, it is a wonder an angry God hasn’t smote us in the manner of Sodom and Gomorrah. Unless, of course, the Russia collusion hoax, the current impeachment imbroglio, and unfounded suggestions that the Trump Administration embraces white supremacy and racism are like Old Testament plagues sent to scourge us until we, as a society, repent and return to sensible behavior.

Adding to the confusion was the suggestion by a former inmate at Epstein’s prison, that it was impossible that Epstein could have committed suicide, because, in his informed opinion, Epstein simply could not have had the implements with which it would have been possible to commit the act. If that is true, that means, if Epstein is actually dead, he is the victim of powerful persons who want him silenced. Equally disturbing, and quite possibly equally fanciful, is the notion that Epstein isn’t dead at all, and simply has been spirited away, after having bribed someone to make that happen.

How, indeed, could the most important prisoner in federal custody, who had recently been on suicide watch, have been allowed so to do himself in?  A country now used to the practice of partisans shamelessly lying to promote political agendas and operatives wildly and mendaciously engaged in tarnishing the reputations of ideological foes (see Kavanaugh, Brett), could be forgiven if it had difficulty accepting assertions that Epstein had taken his own life.

As anyone who reads The Federalist Papers understands, what the framers feared more than anything is that we would succumb to the corruption that had infected Britain and Rome. The behavior of people such as Tommy Lee, Jeffrey Epstein, and their cronies in Hollywood, the media, and in the deep state are pretty powerful proof that such a fear has been realized.

“Put not your trust in princes,” the Psalmist tells us, suggesting that reliance on temporal authority is bound to be disappointing, and, yet, if this country is to regain its moral compass, the Trump Administration is going to have to be up to the challenge.

Donald Trump, the unlikely Tribune, finds himself cast in the role of moral leader, and his attorney general, Bill Barr, has sworn to reveal the machinations at the heart of the Obama Administration’s efforts to delegitimize and ultimately remove a duly-elected president. Further, Barr has claimed that he will also undertake to determine how Epstein could have been allowed to take his own life.

Even to suggest that this president might be capable of moral leadership will strike his critics and friendly skeptics as fanciful, or worse, but students of the Old and New Testament will remember that the most unlikely human instruments were often used to carry out divine commands.  If there is a supernatural intelligence governing the universe, does it go too far to suggest the possibility that we are involved in something like a cosmic cultural battle between good and evil, and that it is possible, indeed, to see Donald Trump on the side of the angels?

His enemies will find that notion risible, but, then again, many of his enemies have given up on the notion that anything exists beyond their own selfish desires, and it is that abandonment of traditional morality and religion that has brought us to the Lolita Express and Tommy Lee’s vision of the good society, where, as he put it, “We’re going to gather up ALL of your guns, melt them down and turn them into a gargantuan metal mountain emblazoned with the face of Hillary Clinton.”

Tommy Lee hasn’t grasped why Hillary Clinton lost in 2016, and, and, if we are going to continue to come closer to our past experience of American greatness, Tommy Lee’s demented plea for a 2020 victory cannot be permitted to come to pass.

Photo Credit: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Center for American Greatness • First Principles • Post

Betraying America’s Democratic Soul

In his book White-Jacket (1850), part documentary, part satire, part political rumination, and very small part novel, Herman Melville—if indeed he is speaking through his narrator—sounds like a new Moses urging the people of the United States to lead the other nations boldly from the Egypt of a servile past to the Promised Land to come.

“We bear the ark of the liberties of the world,” he says:

God has predestinated, mankind expects, great things from our race; and great things we feel in our souls. The rest of the nations must soon be in our rear. We are the pioneers of the world; the advance-guard, sent on through the wilderness of untried things, to break a new path in the New World that is ours. In our youth is our strength; in our inexperience, our wisdom. At a period when other nations have but lisped, our deep voice is heard afar. Long enough have we been skeptics with regard to ourselves, and doubted whether, indeed, the political Messiah had come. But he has come in us, if we would but give utterance to his promptings. And let us always remember that with ourselves, almost for the first time in the history of the earth, national selfishness is unbounded philanthropy; for we cannot do a good to America but we give alms to the world.

Melville, of course, is a master of the shell-game of irony, so that in these lines we may well hear the silken tones of his malign Confidence-Man (1859) suggesting to us what we want to believe, that in our case alone is selfishness a charity to the world, because we and not Jesus Christ are mankind’s last best hope.

Nevertheless, I take Melville mostly at his word here, because throughout White-Jacket he is at pains to urge his countrymen to look well at the condition of its navy, and at the laws and customs that govern the common sailors, whom he trenchantly calls “the people.”

About courts-martial, for example, which he compares with the secrecy of the royal Star Chamber and the Spanish Inquisition, and the seaman’s lack of any means of redress of grievances, he concludes that most of the wickedness in which sailors engage is “indirectly to be ascribed to the morally debasing effects of the unjust, despotic, and degrading laws under which the man-of-war’s man lives.” It is strange indeed that a nation whose president will enter a hackney-coach alongside one of the 20 million free men whom he governs, as if he were of no greater stature, must have a naval ship lorded over by a peacock of a Commodore, as gaudy as he is useless, who will hardly deign to brush elbows with a mere petty officer, let alone one of the ordinary rank of seamen.

Along with the cold eye he casts upon the fuss and feathers of rank, and the cruelty it admits or encourages in the officers, Melville gives us a few hearty endorsements of the democratic spirit, such as Walt Whitman or Mark Twain in his sunnier moods would have approved. When the good man-of-war Neversink must welcome his Imperial Majesty Don Pedro II, Emperor of Brazil, a man of New England—after misconstruing the imperial family name Braganza as Brigand and then Braggart—cries out to his fellows: “You Emperor—you counter-jumping son of a gun—cock your weather-eye up aloft here, and see your betters! I say, top-mates, he ain’t any Emperor at all—I’m the rightful Emperor. Yes, by the Commodore’s boots! they stole me out of my cradle here in the palace at Rio, and put that green-horn in my place. Ay, you timber-head, you, I’m Don Pedro II, and by good rights you ought to be a main-top-man here, with your fist in a tar-bucket!”

The greatest-souled of the sailors then picks up the song, and tells the New Englander that he need not worry: “But I say, Jonathan, my lad, don’t pipe your eye now about the loss of your crown; for look you, we all wear crowns, from our cradles to our graves,” and he reveals his own, a bald spot about the size of a crown-piece, “on the summit of his curly and classical head.”

So once did sing the sirens of democracy, beckoning the ship of America to wreck upon the rocks of self-satisfaction, and—what Melville would have condemned as sheer romantic imbecility—the dissolving of hierarchical order. It is a song I once loved, and it still stirs me within. It is Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man.” It is Jefferson Smith from South Dakota, fighting for the Boy Scouts against privilege and power. It is Huck Finn, boy philosopher without knowing it, floating on a raft down the great river with the escaped slave Jim. It is Sergeant Alvin York, pacifist at heart, sharp-shooter from the hills of Tennessee, single-handedly rooting out a nest of German machine guns. It is the same Sergeant York, years later, speaking at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier:

By our victory in the last war, we won a lease on liberty, not a deed to it. Now after 23 years, Adolf Hitler tells us that lease is expiring, and after the manner of all leases, we have the privilege of renewing it, or letting it go by default. We are standing at the crossroads of history. The important capitals of the world in a few years will either be Berlin and Moscow, or Washington and London. I, for one, prefer Congress and Parliament to Hitler’s Reichstag and Stalin’s Kremlin. And because we were for a time, side by side, I know this Unknown Soldier does, too.

I wonder whether it is worth my time to look more closely at this old song, when in point of fact nobody sings it anymore. Consider: the previous president celebrated his victory by having himself come forth from a makeshift Greek temple, as if he were Apollo. No president in my lifetime has dared to do what Harry Truman once did, which was to take an early morning stroll along the streets of Washington, accompanied by a couple of bodyguards, but otherwise open to the democratic world.

This betrayal of the soul of democracy is to be found everywhere; the habits of our political rulers are but our own habits magnified. Try to visit a class at the local public school for which you open a yearly vein to pay in taxes, and you might as well try to force your way through the guard at Buckingham Palace. Object to the idiocy, ineptitude, or depravity of the instruction in that school, and you may as well be a flea trying to move an elephant.

The point is not that we suffer these indignities. We take the indignities for granted. Our police are less and less like the men we can trust at the street corner, and more like a standing army whose faces we never see. If we are in business, we submit to regulations whose specifics, in the aggregate, no single person in the nation knows.

“It is one of the genuine marks of servitude,” says Melville, citing the jurist Sir Edward Coke, “to have the law either concealed or precarious.” It is concealed if because of its perplexity and obscurity no one can truly obey it, and it is precarious if for the same reasons it must inevitably be applied according to the partial knowledge or the whim of the enforcers.

We need not confine ourselves to the legal. There is also the customary. Free men honor the good and wise, the benefactors of their nation. Slaves toady to the famous. Free men make their own entertainment. Servile men are content to consume it ready-made. Free men seek out the dangerous space, as Melville sought out the sea. Servile men demand the safe space, where they may suck their thumbs. Free men fight in the open. Servile men sneak about, bear tales, attack the weak like a pack of jackals, and couch their enmity in soft and seductive slogans. Free men raise their own children. Servile men submit their children to be raised by others. Free men take their pedigrees from almighty God. Servile men seek out means of establishing a factitious superiority over their peers or their betters: a diploma, a bank account, a big house, a title, a special status as favored victim.

“A man’s a man for a’ that,” sang the poet Robert Burns, with the soul of a democrat, and, if I understand the sentence correctly, I will agree. But nobody else agrees. George III was but a boy stealing a peach from your lunch by comparison with our plumed and puffed liberty-thieves and governors.

Melville, you should be alive at this time.

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Photo Credit: “Shipwreck,” Francis Danby via Getty Images

First Principles • Post

The Courts Should Stay Out of Political Battles

The nine philosopher-kings enthroned on the Supreme Court were finally gracious enough to let President Trump proceed with his plans to build a wall at the southern border, at least for now. In a 5-4 ruling, the court last month overturned an appellate court’s decision, allowing the Trump Administration to tap into military funds and continue construction while litigation is pending.

But why are the courts involved in a political fight in the first place?

The courts should stay out of it. America’s Founders knew that the two political branches would often be at odds and encouraged each branch to stand firm in its independence. Ultimately, the people will judge which side is right at the ballot box.

In Federalist 71, Publius explains that there will be times of great necessity when a firm executive must oppose Congress. Sometimes the will of the Congress stands in opposition to the will of the people, therefore, “it is certainly desirable, that the executive should be in a situation to dare to act his own opinion with vigor and decision.”

Publius goes on to make a crucial distinction: “subordination to the laws” does not necessarily imply “dependence on the legislative body.” Each branch must obey the laws of the land—but it does not follow that every branch must obey the will of the legislative branch when it has not been enacted as law.

If the other two branches must always submit to the will of the legislature, then the separation of powers is “merely nominal, and incapable of producing the ends for which it was established. It is one thing to be subordinate to the laws, another to be dependent on the legislative body. The first comports with, the last violates, the fundamental principles of good government.”

In declaring a national emergency to address the border crisis, President Trump acted in obedience to the law of the land—specifically, sections 201 and 301 of the National Emergencies Act. But he did not act in a way that made him “dependent on the legislative body.” In other words, he is acting precisely the way Publius envisioned a good executive should: in the true interests of the people.

If it is tyrannical to protect the lives, liberty, and property of American citizens by ensuring that our southern border is secure, then we’ve fallen through the looking glass.

The president is drawing a line and forcing American citizens to choose. Do we want our southern border to be secure or do we not? By refusing to be complicit in yet another dereliction of duty by the oligarchs in D.C.,  by being willing to play hardball politics against the Congress on the issue of border security, and by boldly putting his own reelection bid on the line in doing so, President Trump is doing what conservatives wish Republicans would’ve done in the previous Congress: work to secure the natural rights of all American citizens, rather than satisfy the wants of K Street lobbyists.

The president understands that politics can be an ugly mess, and the Founders knew that, too. This is a point that Democrats understand well, and embrace enthusiastically.

Unfortunately, it is a point that many Republicans, by contrast, seem unable to comprehend—which is why they accuse Trump of setting a dangerous precedent when he refuses to lie down beside them as they play possum. The Founders knew there would be (and should be) zealous antagonism both within and between the branches. And to that we say, may the best statesman—aided by his rhetoric, prudence, patriotism, devotion to unqualified justice, and guts!—win the affection of the American people.

Photo Credit: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images

Elections • Post

The Meaning of Jeffrey Epstein

The banal truth must be suppressed at all costs.

Let’s apply Occam’s razor to Jeffrey Epstein’s untimely death. Which of these scenarios makes more sense: that a powerful billionaire who knew all about a global elite sex ring was murdered in jail by the same unaccountable forces that allowed him to evade justice for years, or that he suddenly killed himself while on suicide watch?

Oh, he wasn’t on suicide watch? Well, that’s normal. It’s all very simple: Epstein must have killed himself after, very sensibly, being left alone to his own devices, despite being the most high-profile defendant in the country. What are you, a conspiracy theorist?

The premise of the existence of a wicked class of jet-setting pedophiles is simple. It is that power can do anything, that injustice and evil is the rule and not the exception in this world. But to allege that a depraved global elite exists is to validate the fears and anxieties of people who watch Infowars and support Donald Trump. That’s just not allowed.

The attraction of conspiracy theories, they say, is that they provide satisfying answers to unaccountable evils. How could Donald Trump possibly have won an election? It makes sense that conspiracy theories are so popular now, especially in a time of low trust and highly concentrated global power, when multinational corporations, elite media, and public officials conspire to immiserate and deceive the public. Truth no longer has real currency; there is only the convenient fact.

We live in a Nietzschean hell-world of relativism, and everyone has some “conspiracy” for making sense of the postmodern blast crater.

Some of these conspiracies are fashionable, while others are kooky. In the NPR universe, everything that is good and holy in the world is under constant attack by a host of corporate and subliminal demons: Donald Trump, Rupert Murdoch, Fox News, the NRA, Mitch McConnell, “white supremacy,” white people in general, “male privilege,” men in general, and so on.

The liberal Left’s idea of the powerful connotes not a global elite, but people included within certain privileged identity groups as well as the politicians and media backing them up. In the respectable world of MSNBC-addled data crunchers, it is now axiomatic that the president is sitting in the Oval Office because Vladimir Putin has secret tapes of Trump getting peed on by Russian prostitutes, and that Fox News is helping to bring about a white supremacist insurgency. But the people who believe this stuff think that it’s crazy to suggest that there exists a global cabal of evil people with no allegiance to either political party.

For those who feel besieged by this global elite, it seems perfectly natural that the same powerful class preventing their political party from doing anything in their interest, that constantly accuses them of having unearned privilege while their standard of living declines, that floods their country with illegal scab labor and then calls them racist for noticing, just murdered a well-connected billionaire who knew all about a global elite sex ring.

The most innocuous explanation for Epstein’s “suicide” is no comfort. Epstein’s death, whatever the cause, is an infuriating demonstration of the truism that there are two sets of laws, one for the powerful and another for the powerless. It is further evidence that, yes, we are ruled by wicked people, and yes, they will get away with it. Epstein evaded justice for years; now he has eluded it for good, while those implicated in his crimes may never be held accountable.

If Russiagate is any example, the Epstein case will get memory-holed with the help of the same elite propagandists in our national press who stoked the Russian conspiracy theory. There have been no consequences for the central players in the Russia drama, least of all the press that pushed the delusion. No; the self-satisfied news media, and powerful bureaucrats like James Comey, are as convinced as ever that they are correct and that they are untouchable.

When Russiagate fell apart, the conspirators pleaded that there was no malice in the matter; it was all an honest mistake. Comey and John Brennan and MSNBC had all dearly hoped that the president was not a Russian agent, and—what a relief!—their worst fears were discounted.

Time to move on now; let’s not think too hard about how this whole thing started.

It’s a feature of our corrupted constitutional order, not a bug, that the very people who portend to check the powerful run interference for them. Now, the same media that pushed back against Trump’s attacks on the exalted “intelligence community,” which insisted that “spying” isn’t actually spying, and now expects people to believe that there was nothing unusual about Jeffrey Epstein’s “suicide.”

Let’s not get carried away. Couldn’t mere coincidence, ordinary incompetence, explain the sudden death of the man who, according to Alexander Acosta, “belonged to intelligence?” Couldn’t a little administrative misstep explain why he wasn’t being monitored?

There’s nothing crazy about the Epstein conspiracy theory. In fact, it’s banal. But the banal truth must be suppressed at all costs. What would happen if people started asking questions about their ruling class? People might start to wonder whether they are not ruled by their betters, that the liberal “elites” who occupy our most powerful institutions are not only incompetent but downright evil.

We can’t have that, can we?

Great America • Post

White Supremacy and Know-Nothings

Any conservative who takes seriously the charge that conservatism has a serious white-supremacy problem is a chump. The people making such charges—Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) in her maniacal tweets, the Baltimore Sun editorial page—invoke a dark history of white supremacy in their condemnations of President Trump, Tucker Carlson, and those who admire them, but they don’t know anything about that record. They think they have the moral authority of African-American suffering behind them, but their eagerness to attach racial significance to the word “infested” only proves their phony credentials.

Here is a bit of real white supremacy for you:

Excepting those portions of Africa wherein the white man has set his foot and impressed his will, the negro is at this day the same lustful, brutal, besotted cannibal and voodoo slave that he was thousands of years ago.

That’s Tom Watson in April 1906, writing in his magazine about “The Ungrateful Negro.” Watson was a fiery Southern intellectual and politician in the 1890s who tried to create a political bloc of white and black workers who would oppose the railroad magnates and Wall Street bankers who, he believed, were bleeding the lower classes dry. After the turn-of-the-century, though, seeing the alliance fail again and again because of racial tensions, Watson became a full-throated “negrophobe” (a label black intellectuals attached to rabid race-baiters). He was elected to the U.S. Senate by Georgia voters in 1920.

Here is another specimen of white supremacy:

We took them as barbarians, fresh from Africa. . . . We taught them there was a God. We gave them what little knowledge of civilization they have today. We taught them to tell the truth. We taught them not to steal. We gave them those characteristics which differentiate the barbarian and savage from the civilized man.

That’s Senator Ben Tillman of South Carolina in 1907, addressing his colleagues on the Senate floor. “Pitchfork Ben” talked this way all the time, jarring his Yankee counterparts with defenses of lynch law and wild theories of African-American depravity.

One year later, speaking to the Mississippi legislature, Governor James K. Vardaman had the same idea, but he made the case that the best place for that civilizing process was the penitentiary.

The average negro goes to the penitentiary; he is taught the values of industry, promptness, obedience, cleanliness and regular habits . . . His morals may not be improved; really he had no morals when he entered; he is unmoral—a normal negro—and you cannot create the moral sense when there is nothing to build on; but he is well trained, and that is the best that can be done with the genuine negro.

Such statements are painful to read, to be sure. (I quote all of them and many more in Negrophobia: A Race Riot in Atlanta, 1906.) But if we don’t keep them in mind when tossing around the charge of white supremacy, the term loses its meaning. It becomes a sloppy usage liable to abuse—exactly what we see in corporate leftist media and Democratic politicking, which casts Trump supporters as closet racists.

But there is nothing subtle, canny, dog-whistling, or unconscious about the practice of actual white supremacy. It’s too virulent to be hidden for very long. A white supremacist can’t sit down with African Americans and fake it. The recoil would show. Can we really think that an uncompromising man like NFL hero Jim Brown could meet with president-elect Trump in 2016 and walk away ready to support him if Trump really was a racist ass?

Of course not—which is why conservatives should understand the liberal allegation as a power play, and not take it seriously as a genuine description or even an unfortunate misunderstanding.

It’s very simple. If liberals and the Left can tar conservatives as white supremacists, they gain votes. If that involves stretching the meaning of white supremacy way past its historical sense, while retaining its moral force, well, that’s a darn good move. But it’s also, as Tucker Carlson said the other day, a hoax.

At Vox, Zack Beauchamp picked up on Carlson’s judgment and proceeded to follow the white-supremacy method to the letter. You can read his indictment for yourself and count the tendentious citations and misleading language, but one paragraph, in particular, demonstrates well the real endpoint of the method: conservatism is racism.

The paragraph follows right after Beauchamp says that conservatives have reduced racism to a “raw, individual animus that boils down to committing a hate crime or using the n-word.” It reads:

One of the most prominent conservative intellectuals in America, Charles Murray, is most famous for arguing that people of African descent could be genetically less intelligent than white people—a position many conservatives today insist is not racist. Toleration of such racially inflammatory views blurs the line between conservatism and outright white supremacy, making it very difficult for conservatives to police the boundaries between the two.

The first thing to note here is the characterization of Murray as a conservative. In fact, Murray calls himself a libertarian. He’s a bit soft on abortion and same-sex marriage, and he opposed Donald Trump in the primaries, too. But Beauchamp wants him to be a conservative. If Murray isn’t, he doesn’t help Beauchamp’s argument.

Next, Beauchamp identifies Murray with the controversial intelligence issue. He ignores Murray’s other work, Losing Ground, for instance, which President Clinton singled out while pressing welfare reform, and Coming Apart, which pointedly avoided racial issues. Beauchamp takes Murray’s contention as a decision point for conservatives, adding that Murray’s intelligence gap is “a position many conservatives today insist is not racist.” This observation serves a crucial purpose. It extends the denial of racism to conservatives in general.

But the supposition of unequal average intelligence between whites and African Americans is not, in itself, racist at all. If it is, then Beauchamp is going to have to accuse every test developer and every institution that relies on tests of the same racism he attributes to Murray. Every test, whether it be the SAT, GRE, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), or certification tests for particular jobs, shows a persistent and significant score gap between blacks and whites. (NAEP scores show that the black-white “achievement gap” for 12th graders has widened in recent years.) We don’t even have to get into the delicate IQ debate to make this point.

Ah, but there is the word “genetically.” That’s Beauchamp’s kicker. It raises the whole eugenics/racism/white supremacy charge and implicates any conservative who doesn’t disavow the genetic theory.

Yes, Beauchamp inserts “could be” in front of “genetically” to preserve the speculative nature of Murray’s infamous opinion that intelligence is to some degree heritable. But he glides right past it to characterize Murray’s opinion as a “racially inflammatory view.” In other words, simply to examine the gap with any sense of biology in mind marks you as racist.

But the incorporation of biology into intelligence discussions isn’t unusual at all. A 2013-2014 survey of intelligence experts found that most of them, in fact, assigned to genetics some degree of influence on intelligence. They disagreed on how much, but not on the presence of a genetic factor itself. Vox itself published a story in 2017 on recent research confirming that “we’ve known that intelligence is largely heritable.”

Nevertheless, “toleration” of Murray’s racist science leads to Beauchamp’s all-important conclusion that it “blurs the line between conservatism and outright white supremacy.”

Case closed, the verdict is in. We have gone from the flat characterization 100 years ago of African Americans as degenerate brutes to current research into the genetic influence on intelligence. A prominent intelligence theorist was a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute; hence, white supremacy and conservatism are intermingled. Conservatives are racist merely by being willing to entertain the idea that cognitive ability has an element of heritability to it, an idea practicing scientists generally accept in a basic way all the time. The argumentation is flimsy, the evidence faulty, but the “correct” conclusion has been reached.

It’s been reached again and again in recent weeks, but don’t bother responding. The journalists and politicians peddling the charge aren’t worth the time I’ve taken to pick apart a single paragraph in a Vox smear. I spent three years in archives poring over newspapers, city records, court documents, and private letters regarding a time of intense racial bitterness. Trust me—they don’t know what they’re talking about. The term white supremacy in the mouths of Millennial politicians and journalists should be met with laughter.

Photo Credit: Marlena Sloss/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Center for American Greatness • Great America • Post

White Supremacy: Like Manna to the Left

Since the world has not heard enough about “white supremacy” lately, I thought I would say a few words about this neglected subject.

Please don’t turn up your nose and say “but ‘white supremacy’ is just a malignant fiction, a fantasy conjured up by the Left in order to beat up on conservatives, Trump supporters, etc.”

This is true. “White supremacy” is in this respect like “climate change”: a bugbear, a horror tale utterly without substance but scary—Oooo so scary!—nonetheless. In Through the Looking Glass, Alice scoffs when the White Queen tells her that she is more than 100 years old. “I can’t believe that!” says Alice.

“Can’t you?” the Queen said in a pitying tone. “Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.”

Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things.”

“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

The whole “white supremacy” meme is a bit like that. The number of real, honest-to-goodness, card-carrying, union-affiliated “white supremacists” is vanishingly small. They could be crowded into a middle-school gymnasium in a small town with room left over for the cheerleaders and a popcorn machine. The idea that white supremacists or the ideology of white supremacism represent a threat to American society is preposterous. Everyone knows this, the pathetic commentators on CNN and MSNBC just as much as the gesticulating clowns running for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Yet they keep screaming about “white supremacism,” hoping, I believe, that if they keep repeating the mantra, their incantation will bring the longed-for object into being.

A Religious Fervor

Indeed, it is one of the signal ironies of the campaign against the phantasm denominated “white supremacism” that the people shouting the loudest against it say they abominate everything about white supremacism—“racism,” Donald Trump, etc.—when, in fact, they crave its advent with a fervency that makes St. Theresa look blasé.

You see this every time there is a public act of violence. When the news breaks you can discern a sharp intake of breath on the part of the Confraternity of Leftist Pundits. “Please Comrade God,” you can almost hear them pray, “Please let the perpetrator be a pasty-faced, Trump-voting, Christian white guy.”

Usually, it isn’t. But every now and then their prayers are answered, as they were, sort of, just recently when some wacko who doesn’t like Mexicans murdered 22 people in El Paso. Central Casting is going to have a hard time making the chap in question out to be a “white supremacist,” however, since he was just a mix of nasty congeries of bizarre ideas. But at least he was white. So was the Dayton, Ohio, shooter, who murdered nine people, but he had the misfortune to be a registered Democrat and avid Elizabeth Warren supporter and espoused various left-wing causes, so the less said about him, the better.

Pop quiz: who is James T. Hodgkinson? Can you say without Google’s help? Stumped?

He was the fellow who, in 2017, went to a congressional Republican baseball practice and shot five people, including Steve Scalise, a congressman from Louisiana, who nearly died. You don’t hear much about Jimbo because he was an avid Bernie Bro and Trump-hater. Doesn’t fit the narrative, you see, so (if I may invoke Lewis Carroll again) he has been transformed into a Cheshire cat creature, disappearing bit by bit from the public record.

From Two-Minutes to an Endless Loop of Hate

Here’s another irony about the whole “white supremacist” wheeze. The politicians and their mascots in the commentariat keep screaming about “hate,” but it takes but a moment for anyone to see that the vast majority of hatred is emanating from the supposed opponents of “white supremacism.” So it is that ready-made presidential candidate impersonator “Beto” O’Rourke compares Donald Trump’s campaign events to Nazi rallies or Joaquin Castro, manager of his brother Julián’s presidential campaign, publishes the names of Trump donors and invites the public to harass them.

Readers of Nineteen Eighty-Four will remember the daily ritual in which the inhabitants Oceania are required to watch a film depicting the hated Emmanuel Goldstein, enemy of the state. In Orwell’s novel, the hate-fest was only two minutes long, whereas the supposed anti-white supremacist fanatics have their propaganda on an endless loop.

Back in May, PJ Media’s Sarah Hoyt put her finger on what the rallies against “white supremacism” are really all about when she noted that “We Don’t Have a Problem with White Supremacy. We Have a Problem with Leftist Supremacy.” Bingo. “The left is obsessed with white supremacists,” Hoyt observed, “the way that children are obsessed with Santa Claus, and for more or less the same reasons.” Santa doesn’t exist, but the presents pile up every December 25 because the right people have a stake in perpetuating the myth of his existence.

Another curious feature of the hysteria over the made-up tort of white supremacism is that its very frenetic quality, instead of highlighting its disingenuousness and absurdity, tends instead to function as a sort of camouflage. Parsing the psychological dynamics of this phenomenon would doubtless take us into deep waters—I’m not at all sure I can explain it—but the Freudians would probably explain in terms of the idea of projection: concealing one’s own unpalatable impulses from oneself by attributing them to another.

Perpetuating the Noxious Myth

There are two reasons that anti-Trump ideologues love the fairy tale of white supremacism. One revolves around the word “white.” Incessantly repeating “white” helps to create a semantic nimbus of racialism. You don’t even need to accuse anyone of particular impermissible acts. All you need to do is utter their names in conjunction with the phrase “white supremacist” and little flecks of racial suspicion adhere to them like iron filings coating a magnet.

Donald Trump is quite right when he denies being racist. He has taken many positions on many issues over his career, but never has he displayed any racist attitudes. (The same can be said, by the way, about the spurious charge that he is anti-Semitic.) But the charge of white supremacism is so precious to anti-Trump stalwarts because it enables them to inject the smudgy ink of racism into a discussion where it is totally out of place. As American society becomes ever less racist, any possible shards of racialist thinking are gathered up like manna for grateful consumption by those who have a stake in perpetuating the noxious myth that America is a uniquely racist society.

The unstable edifice of racial accusation can be kept upright only by constant pressure, like those inflatable toy castles at children’s birthday parties. Turn off the machine pumping in the air and the plaything collapses in upon itself.

The acolytes of white supremacy—by whom I mean not the relatively few who actually espouse it, but the great many who claim to have uncovered it everywhere—are right that the motor of their heart’s desire is hatred, but once again the hatred resides not in the objects of their obloquy but rather in themselves. In this respect, they are unconscious followers of the Roman poet Martial. “Non amo te, Sabidi, nec possum dicere quare / Hoc tantum possum dicere: non amo te.” My unauthorized translation:

I do not like thee, Donald Trump.
Don’t ask me why, you have me stumped.
But this I know, you awful frump:
I do not like thee, Donald Trump.

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Great America • Post

Concentration Camps, Again?

The Left’s hatred for America comes across most clearly in the bogus charge from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D.-N.Y.) and others that Americans have set up “concentration camps” on our border filled with adults and children. In leveling this falsehood they think they are dealing a fatal blow to alleged injustices surrounding immigration policy by comparing detention facilities for illegal border crossers with the so-called “Japanese American concentration camps” of World War II.

This demagogic, inflammatory charge is all the more offensive when it becomes clear the relocation centers for ethnic Japanese had nothing in common with the death camps of Nazi Germany or even with the prisoner of war camps of imperial Japan.

Fortunately, recent studies of the relocation policy and the centers, which housed my parents during World War II, make clear the dishonesty of the concentration camp comparison. This rebuttal does not, of course, require a full-scale defense of the Japanese relocation. One can understand and describe a policy with which one disagrees without hysterical hyperbole, though that concept appears lost on today’s Democrats. The point of any honest reexamination of the relocation camps should be to understand what happened as a response to imperial Japan’s foreign policy and its surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.

If the United States had simply uprooted 110,000 people of a particular ethnicity for no reason at all, that of course would be a grotesque injustice. But the United States had been attacked by a nationalistic Japan that counted on the loyalty of its fellow subjects around the world.

Enemy Aliens

There were many reasons why it was rational for Japan to assume such loyalty from ethnic Japanese living abroad.

First, Japanese immigrants to America were denied citizenship and after 1924 even entry into the country. When the war began, what nation would protect them? Their children, born on American soil, were citizens by birth but often became subjects of Japan by application to the local Japanese consulate.

Second, many of these ethnic Japanese supported Japan’s expansionist adventures, its Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere, including its brutal invasion of Manchuria, in financial contributions and in ethnic newspaper reporting and editorials. Would that support continue following war with America? After all, collaboration with invaders fit Japanese tactics in its Asian conquests

Finally, there was evidence of collaboration with Japanese agents by both enemy aliens and resident ethnic Japanese. National security officials could not be certain that these identifiable enemies were the only ones.

The most egregious episode was the Niihau island takeover by a Japanese fighter-bomber pilot on December 7, 1941. The damaged Zero landed on the tiny, sparsely populated island of Niihau, at the western tip of the Hawaiian archipelago. The pilot urged a simple Japanese-American farmer and his wife to claim the island for the Emperor; they knew nothing else of the morning attack on Pearl Harbor. The farmer agreed but the native Hawaiians declined the honor, killed the pilot, and the farmer then committed suicide.

Was this bizarre episode a one-off or a tip-off that Hawaii and west coast hid many future Niihaus, just awaiting a Japanese agent to come ashore from a submarine or a ship or might they respond simply on orders from Tokyo? Japan surprised the United States at Pearl Harbor; perhaps the Japanese had more surprises in store.

The Niihau episode also raised the question of whether mass relocation might be justified, despite the conceded loyalty of most ethnic Japanese, most of whom were citizens, albeit young. Immediately following the December 7 attack, FBI agents arrested suspect ethnic Japanese community leaders and enemy aliens, who were sent to internment centers, where nothing was heard of them for months. They spent the duration of the war in these internment centers isolated from family, friends, and former communities.

The Best of a Bad Situation

After voluntary evacuation failed, the government ordered most other ethnic Japanese, those on the West Coast of the continental United States and Alaska, to assembly centers while 10 relocation centers located primarily in the mountain region were built to accommodate 110,000 residents, who had sold or stored their possessions. While no one would voluntarily live in these crude barracks, it was wartime. The ethnic Japanese occupants made the best of a bad situation and, governing themselves, improved their living quarters, prepared collective meals, established flourishing farms outside the centers. Ethnic Japanese farmers in Utah reaped bounteous harvests in soil where Mormon predecessors had failed.

One resident, writer Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, described her camp as “a totally equipped American small town, complete with schools, churches, Boy Scouts, beauty parlors, neighborhood gossip, fire and police departments, glee clubs, softball leagues, ‘Abbott and Costello’ movies, tennis courts, and traveling shows.” Athletic teams competed with those of local high schools.

In fact, the government funding often gave the center residents better schools, health care, and wages than what could be expected in neighboring towns, which led to charges that they were being “coddled.” Many camps were not even fenced in; guards were typically not visible. Residents could apply for short- or long-term leave from the centers. The centers’ populations declined throughout the war as residents left for college or much-needed work. My father and mother left their center for temporary agricultural work, returning only in the winters. Aunts and uncles moved to Chicago for work there.

That my family’s experience was not unique is documented in the recent useful book by historian Roger Lotchin, Japanese American Relocation in World War II. While some of his argument can be disputed and he makes occasional errors (for example, Justice William Murphy dissented in the Korematsu case, not in Endo), the book is a solid refutation of the “American concentration camp” libel and deserves a wide readership. A more scholarly study of the centers and the conflicted loyalties of ethnic Japanese, one relied on by Lotchin, is Japanese American historian Brian Hayashi’s Democratizing the Enemy.

Questionable “Court of History”

But is there truth to the charge that the Supreme Court nonetheless uphold the right of the government to relocate an ethnic minority, already discriminated against by state and federal laws? Here, too, common accounts of the cases bear the tint of demagoguery.

In the recent “Muslim travel ban” case of Trump v. Hawaii, Chief Justice Roberts, responding to a taunt by Justice Sondra Sotomayor, declared “Korematsu was gravely wrong the day it was decided, has been overruled in the court of history, and—to be clear—‘has no place in law under the Constitution,’” quoting dissenting Justice Jackson in Korematsu v. U.S., the case that supposedly upheld the constitutionality of American concentration camps.

Whether Chief Justice Roberts is also the chief justice of the “court of history” is questionable,  and I note one error of omission. On the same day (December 18, 1944) the court announced Korematsu, which reaffirmed its precedents using common nationality with a warring nation as a rational basis for residential restrictions, the court also announced the unanimous decision of ex parte Endo, which held that a loyal American could not be detained at a relocation center. That closed the camps.

Anyone who cites the threat of Korematsu to civil liberties without also citing the companion case of Endo encourages a great distortion of American history. To be sure, the decisions were argued and announced much later than necessary—doubtless to prevent a return of the ethnic Japanese to the West Coast before November and possibly hurting Franklin Roosevelt’s and the Democratic party’s election chances.

There is ethnic and racial demagoguery in our politics, but the side practicing it has a legion of liars in high and low places.

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Center for American Greatness • Greatness Agenda • Post

Nationalism Is the Key Ingredient for Space Exploration

The United States once was the dominant nation in space. Today, America endures the embarrassment of losing that considerable lead in space to middling powers, such as India and Japan. The United States is also now threatened by the likes of China in the critical domain of space—a domain that was once our playground.

This is not because India, Japan, or China have some great technological advantage over us, although they are getting closer to parity.

Instead, it is because India, China, and Japan all have a high degree of national confidence instilled through nationalism. They are possessed of a will to catapult (in this case, both metaphorically and literally) their respective states to new heights. And since space is the ultimate high ground—the “undiscovered country,” to paraphrase both Shakespeare and Nicholas Meyer—it stands to reason that these powers will no longer allow for the United States to have unchallenged dominion of space.

Space Nationalism is Real
China, India, Japan, and several other nations now catching-up to the United States in space are not compelled to engage in the costly endeavor of space exploration and exploitation out of the airy notion of globalism. The leaders in New Delhi, Tokyo, and certainly Beijing care little for the betterment of humanity as such. Instead, they want a return for their nations on what they view as the substantial investment they have in space travel.

That is why these three states have all striven to develop their space mining capabilities. Nationalism provides the inspiration for these countries while the promise of greater wealth and power—over one another and their fellow nation-states—provides the justification for the high risks.

In his book Meta-Geopolitics of Outerspace, Nayef Al-Rodhan discusses “space nationalism” as an understanding that space is “seen as a yet unpossessed resource which is to be conquered and exploited by mankind.” Belying this view is the realist notion that, since the international system is inherently anarchic, competition among states for the conquest of space will define all aspects of human space programs, just as geopolitical competition among rival states encouraged previous ages of exploration. Yet, the space-nationalist school of thought appears nowhere in mainstream American space policy.

In fact, the utopian rhetoric of globalism is infused into U.S. space policy. And, this is likely why the United States has failed adequately to defend its vital satellite constellations in orbit; why it has neglected fully to develop space weapons; and why no American has been to the moon since 1972. It is also why it is unlikely that an American will make it to Mars any time soon.

On the other hand, the Chinese, Indians, and Japanese have all used the rhetoric of nationalism and the logic of realism to outline their objectives in space. What’s more, these three powers have crafted reasonable budgets to fund their tangible objectives in space, thus delivering their people clear victories in space.

The United States spends a lot of money on NASA. With a budget of $21.5 billion, the agency is the most lavishly funded national space program on the planet. Meanwhile, India has a national space budget of only $1.8 billion. Japan’s space agency, JAXA receives a paltry $1.63 billion. China is more secretive about its space program budget, but as the Chinese have developed from an impoverished, agrarian backwater into a competitive space power, they’ve done so at a fraction of NASA’s budget.

What accounts for this? How is it that Japan makes history by landing on an asteroid or China defies expectations by being the first country to make it to the fabled dark side of the moon and the more lavishly funded NASA can only take pretty pictures from the proverbial sidelines?

We have been told that more money equals greater success. Yet, this does not appear to be the case with NASA. In fact, increased funding appears to have bloated NASA and made it less effective. Rather than creating the next spaceship designed to take men to Mars or building mining colonies on the moon, NASA has built an intricate bureaucracy that has barely managed to place Americans into Earth orbit.

There’s Money To Be Made In Space Mining
China, India, and Japan have identified space mining as the next great industry. Neil de Grasse Tyson assesses that the world’s first trillionaire will come from the space mining sector. It’s not just space mining that will offer wealth and power to the country and/or corporations that next come to dominate space. Space tourism is also set to become a booming sector. So, too, is the satellite business which is already a lucrative industry today.

The energy sector stands to benefit also, as things like space-based solar power and even, potentially, Helium-3-fueled nuclear fusion become a reality. Other industries, such as biomedicine and computing, also could be catapulted to new heights of innovation as the growing human presence in space demands more out of these attendant sectors. It will be the countries that have invested early in the creation of the requisite infrastructure to support manned space missions that will disproportionately benefit from these developments.

The United States’ position in space is eroding at precisely the moment that it needs to be intensifying. It isn’t really a question of funding. It is a question of mission. And, the mission is established by the political system, which, in turn, is defined by the culture. If a culture is healthy, it will take bold risks to propel itself beyond its fellow nation-states. Nationalism and the promise of a lucrative return on investment compels nations to engage in risky behavior, such as space exploration. After decades of Leftist “cultural revolution,” who among us seriously believes that America’s culture is healthy enough to challenge the far more muscular cultures of India, China, and Japan?

America must find its cultural mojo again, or it will lose out in the great competition for cosmic conquest to countries possessed of a stronger sense of who they are and why they deserve to succeed. America once had such a culture, but no more.

But, hey, NASA has invested heavily in “Muslim outreach” as a priority in recent years and has also vowed to do whatever it takes to ensure that it places the first woman on the moon.

Perhaps we’ve already lost.

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Books & Culture • Center for American Greatness • Post

Hollywood Satirizes Itself with ‘The Hunt’

The Hunt” is billed as a satire wherein rich liberal elitists have created their own game ranch for hunting “deplorables,” i.e. Trump supporters. It is a time-worn premise based upon Richard Connell’s 1924 short story, “The Most Dangerous Game,” which also led to a 1932 movie of the same title. (Horrifically, there was also a real-life instance of such barbaric cruelty by the Alaskan serial killer Robert Hansen.)

Now, before you waste your breath carping about how progressives would feel about a movie depicting rich Trump supporters hunting progressives, remind yourself that Hollywood would call that a documentary. Besides, Hollywood would never, ever, permit an avowedly conservative film to be made—period, end of story. 

The good news, however, is that no conservative would be deranged enough to script such tawdry drivel, let alone ask for millions of dollars to spew such vile, divisive dreck for Americans’ collective consumption.

“The Hunt” is yet to be released, and its initial ad blitz has been paused in light of the recent mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton. In Brian Flood’s Fox News report, a Universal Pictures flack said: “Out of sensitivity to the attention on the country’s recent shooting tragedies, Universal Pictures and the filmmakers of ‘The Hunt’ have temporarily paused its marketing campaign and are reviewing materials as we move forward.”

Hollywood holds that such controversy regarding a pending motion picture is good for business. And, while there may be some half-hearted internal debate as to the way forward at Universal Studios, which greenlit the flick, as the flack makes clear, in lefty la-la land the show will go on because there’s money to be made. 

Or at least recouped. Per The Hollywood Reporter’s Kim Masters and Tatiana Siegel:

“The Hunt” made some executives at Universal skittish back in May 2018, when film chief Donna Langley acquired the script and fast-tracked it at a modest $18 million budget. It is unclear whether there were any other bidders on the property, the sale of which was brokered by CAA, but insiders at several studios told THR at the time that they did not pursue it because of the explosive premise. One executive says he didn’t even read the script, noting, “The idea seemed crazy.”

While it is nice to know one ostensibly sane person still works for a Hollywood studio, his opinion held no sway, which is good news for “The Hunt’s” producer Jason Blum and his company, Blumhouse; filmmaker Craig Zobel; script from Damon Lindelof and Nick Cuse; and stars Betty Gilpin, Hilary Swank, and a host of others . . .  

Including you.

“How so,” you ask? Didn’t Brian Flood quote Media Research Center vice president Dan Gainor as saying, “this certainly shows Hollywood for what it really is—demented and evil.” Didn’t Flood also gets a similar review from political satirist Tim Young: “‘The Hunt’ is sick and shows just how hateful the left has become.” And didn’t Flood note how DePauw University professor and media critic Jeffrey McCall believes the film “says something sad about the state of the ‘entertainment’ industry that this movie ever got conceived and produced. Hollywood clearly thinks it is OK to stereotype so-called deplorables and set them up for a hunt.”

Hollywood does, indeed, which makes “The Hunt” Hollywood’s unwitting satire of itself.

Let us start with the premise. In Connell’s short story, the big game hunter became the hunted. In the R-rated “The Hunt,” the filmmakers are using the same ironic device: the gun-toting, bigoted, bloodthirsty deplorables are getting a dose of their own lethal medicine. This conflates two of the Left’s favorite delusions: their prejudiced imagining of Trump supporters—indeed, all non-leftists; and their false claim that most, if not all, political violence is perpetrated by said Trump supporters. Thus does this exercise in cinematic exploitation provide valuable insight into the Hollywood progressives’ patent paranoia and bigoted ignorance of half their fellow Americans.

This premise also once more proves the aphorism that the Left accuses its opponents of what the Left is doing. The film’s original title, which was changed in slightly less time than a New York Times headline, was “Red State vs. Blue State.” Yes, while conservatives are being kidnapped and hunted for homicidal thrills by rich progressives, by listing them first the original title subtly implies the red state is the aggressor, which is doubtless how the film’s creators view the present political situation.

Beyond the premise, enough of “The Hunt” has seeped into the public realm that one need not be a movie star’s life coach to glean other insights into Hollywood’s head. The Hollywood Reporter highlighted this witty banter between two progressive murderers (a.k.a., “hunters”):

Progressive Hunter No. 1: “Did anyone see what our ratfucker-in-chief just did?”

Progressive Hunter No. 2: “At least The Hunt’s coming up. Nothing better than going out to the Manor and slaughtering a dozen deplorables.”

Hollywood’s message to its fellow progressives is that they will survive and thrive after they end the Era of Trump. 

And, as the last two-plus years have proven, the Left feels entitled to end the Trump era by any means necessary because Orange Man Bad. Chillingly, a progressive character “justifies” their killing spree of deplorables with an au courant leftist canard: “We pay for everything, so this country belongs to us.” As a fiscal (and moral) matter, this argument is intellectually bankrupt. This claim is indicative of how the Left rationalizes its entitlement to behave badly, including violently; and it is no surprise coming from Hollywood’s rife with riches progressives who are oblivious as to how the rest of the country actually lives, works, produces, and is taxed.

For those of us in the rest of the country, here’s a snippet of the operative logic Hollywood and other progressives would use to “fundamentally” transform America post-Trump. 

The murderous progressives, notes The Hollywood Reporter, “picked their targets because they expressed anti-choice positions or used the N-word on Twitter. ‘War is war,’ says one character after shoving a stiletto heel through the eye of a denim-clad hillbilly.”

That’s right: “The Hunt” claims it is equally vile to be pro-life as it is to be racist. Anyone who’s defended the unborn and the sanctity of life—really, every person not aligned with the Left’s civil religion—should prepare to be doxxed, drawn, and quartered in the public square—in other words, hunted and silenced.

Long before then—September 27, to be precise—“The Hunt” arrives in theaters. Though again, per THR, some in Hollywood believe “in light of the horrific [recent shootings], is this not the most craven, irresponsible, dangerous exploitation?” To the big shots at Universal, this translates into box office gold: “[‘The Hunt’] is meant to show what a stupid, crazy world we live in. It might even be more powerful now.”

Ah, the true bottom line of Hollywood’s progressives, who decry mass violence while pimping celluloid carnage. But how enriching for Universal and its filmmakers to release this half-baked progressive phantasmagoria of butchering deplorables? As THR muses, all of the controversy’s free publicity and the expected glowing reviews by progressive critics and “woke” theatergoers might not ensure a box office boon:

The satire “Assassination Nation,” which also pitted the woke versus the unwoke in uber-violent fashion, represented the top sale at Sundance 2018 at $10 million. But the film fizzled upon its release later that year, earning just $2 million with no international rollout. Says one person involved with that film, “We thought people would get the joke.”

Hollywood still doesn’t get the joke is on them.

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Photo credit: Blumhouse Productions/Universal Pictures

Great America • Post

Obama Is Wrong: We Don’t Lead the World in Mass Violence

The predictable has followed the atrocities in El Paso and Dayton. Barack Obama raised the standard when he issued a statement condemning “language coming out of the mouths of any of our leaders that feeds a climate of fear and hatred or normalizes racist sentiments.” This is a bit rich coming from someone who sat with his wife contentedly in the pews of Jeremiah Wright’s Chicago church for 20 years listening to his white-baiting apologia for black violence and international terrorism, including the 9/11 attacks.

There are the usual hortatory fulminations about “crushing” white supremacy and other “racist” attitudes, contending for air-space with the customary promises of prayers for the dead, wounded, and bereaved—commendable to the extent they actually occur. We are assured that the cities “will come back” and will “come together,” (of course they will, communities survive), and police chiefs with four stars on each shoulder like General George S. Patton congratulating their officers, in the case of Dayton, very deservedly. In El Paso, I would like to know more about why firing continued, at least intermittently, for twenty minutes and the murder suspect escaped briefly in his car before being apprehended.

At least there has been no replication of the tragically incompetent police failure at the Parkland, Florida high school last year where 17 people were murdered and 17 injured while security waited outside.

The clear meaning of Obama’s remarks are that President Trump is contributing to a climate of violence by making statements that emphasize racial distinctions. There is no truth to this; the president has made no such statements. It strains credulity to imagine there is something racist about wishing to restrict the right of entry to the United States of people from terrorism-plagued or sponsoring countries, or to establish a border where people are admitted according to agreed forms and methods. There is nothing desirable about the descent to Mexifornia that open borders have promoted.

When Timothy McVeigh blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995, killing 168 people, President Clinton blamed the attack on Rush Limbaugh. President Obama and his attorney general, Eric Holder, regularly denounced the police and when five police were killed and nine wounded by an African-American, it was an unfortunate coincidence. The San Bernardino Islamist shootings of 14 people in 2015 were, Obama said, an awful case of “workplace violence.”

Yet the Cleveland and Poway synagogue attacks, and most other such hideous outbursts, have been widely imputed to a general ambiance this president supposedly has created. President Trump’s own statement on Monday, laying the blame on violent video games, is closer to the truth than politicians blaming other politicians, but no partial solution of the problem will come from such simplistic responses.

President Obama’s assertion on Monday that “No nation on earth comes near” the proportions of the mass violence problem of the United States is false. The Crime Prevention Research Center has made an exhaustive study of the incidence of mass killings, following the FBI definition excluding incidents that kill fewer than four people and gang fights over turf, or incidences of authentic guerrilla war. By these standards, covering from 1998 to 2015, and 53 attacks and 57 shooters within the United States and 2,354 attacks and over 4,800 shooters in the rest of the world, the U.S. accounts for 1.49 percent of the world’s killings, 2.2 percent of the attacks, and 1.15 percent of the public shooters, although the United States has 4.6 percent of the world’s total population. Out of the 97 countries rated, the United States ranked 64th in attacks and 65th in fatalities. And the other countries compared were not the world’s 96 least organized and civilized national jurisdictions.

Norway, Finland, Switzerland, and France, the first three very high standard of living countries, all have at least 25 percent more mass killings per capita than the United States. The other 96 countries as a group, including relatively very nonviolent countries such as Canada, Australia, and Singapore, have had a rate of increase in mass killings that is 291 percent higher than that of the United States.

President Trump has suggested that violent video games may contribute to the problem. They may, but there isn’t much that can be done about them as freedom of expression and the illegality of censorship are serious obstacles. The same problem arises with extremely violent movies. The age of viewers could perhaps be raised, but that would be difficult to enforce and most offenders are of adult age anyway.

The gun-free zone theory has been a total failure. Ninety-eight percent of American mass public shootings have occurred in places where guns are banned, apart from in the hands of police. The Democrats’ customary solution is to federalize gun laws and impose restrictions. We might expect that this would generalize the results of heavily gun-regulated areas such as the open firing ranges of large virtual no-go areas in Chicago, Washington D.C., and the recently celebrated Baltimore. The new gun regulations in New Zealand following the recent Christchurch mosque shootings, which left 51 people dead, have resulted in almost total noncompliance.

The problem is not really with most bird/duck 12-gauge shotguns, limited to three shells; or most hunting rifles for small game, which are semi-automatic 22s that hold 10 to 13 rounds; or semiautomatic 9-millimeter or .45-caliber hand-guns that hold anywhere from eight to 15 shots. In police shootouts with armed criminal suspects, according to Thomas Sowell (who was a Marine pistol instructor), only one shot in seven hits its target. Limiting magazine size for self-defense could escalate the danger of the death of innocents because of the low hit-rate. Where there may be room to do something is with AR-15 and AK-47 and similar guns that allow someone to get a great many bullets off without changing magazines.

The immediate place to start may be restriction of sale of the most dangerous assault weapons and of methods of adaptation to upgrade weapons, (“bump-stocks” are a frequent example of this, and were banned in 2019 following the use of 12 guns equipped with such devices in the worst mass killing in U.S. history in Las Vegas in October 2017, where 58 were killed and 851 were wounded or injured).

Maybe sales of guns should be restricted to people 25 or over. Background checks should include relevant material brought forward from late juvenile years in school records. Sites that feature extremist manifestos should be monitored carefully and incitements to criminal violence should be removed at once and the authorship traced where possible and investigated.

These and similar practical measures would achieve something, as would a return to sensible detention and treatment of severely maladjusted (psychotic) people. So called “red flag” laws as urged by the president would help, but will require the reorientation of police and magistrates to identify offenders who are mentally disturbed. And there should be more publicity of successful interventions that stop mass violence before it happens; they are frequent and deserve to be highlighted.

Nothing will be achieved in the sterile debate between enemies of the National Rifle Association and advocates of better mental health checks, or by the partisan name-calling of the most stupid of the Democratic contenders (cue Beto O’Rourke). They have empurpled the air with claims that Trump is a racist. Sheriff Bull Connor of Selma, Alabama in 1964 was a racist; so is Al Sharpton. No leading figures in either party of the country today is a racist, and white supremacy is no worse than other notions of racial supremacy. The president was right at Charlottesville in 2017 when he said that Antifa was as bad as the Nazis and the Klan.

Those, even normally sensible commentators, moaning about a sick and broken American society, should contemplate the implications of the achievement (principally) by the Left, of creating a nihilistic, atheistic culture that devalues human life through abortion, euthanasia, barbarous depictions of violence, sexist assaults on the family, “value neutral” education, and the opprobrious deconstruction of the American national ethos. Nobody should then profess to be sickened and shocked by what they have, themselves in large measure, wrought.

Note: I wish to thank my cyber friend, Dr. Carr Smith of Mobile, Alabama, for his assistance with some of the firearm details here.

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

Photo Credit: John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images

First Principles • Post

Citizen Responsibility in the Face of a Mass Shooting

The wall-to-wall coverage of the two recent shooting sprees has provided partisans in the government-media complex with yet another opportunity to espouse their usual—and tired—talking points. To escape this Matrix, this parallel universe, this anti-reality constructed by the political and media classes, I decided to contact my martial arts instructor, retired Marine Corps Lt. Colonel Al Ridenhour.

I was not surprised to learn that Master Al and I share a common understanding both of the phenomenon of mass shootings and of the media’s tiresome coverage of it.

Master Al, it’s crucial to know, has spent more than four decades training in martial arts, with the last three spent training in the art of Guided Chaos. During his 28-year career in the Marines, Master Al participated in some 100 or so combat operations and completed multiple tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, combating such charmers as the Taliban. In the midst of all of this, he was entrusted with training his Marines in the ways of both armed and unarmed combat.

Today, Master Al is a senior-master instructor in the art of Guided Chaos, which was founded 40 years ago by Grandmaster John Perkins, himself no stranger to combat. Perkins is retired from the Yonkers, New York police department where, among other things, he had the distinction of having been involved in more than 100 documented instances of brutal street violence, encounters that impressed upon him all too well the glaring contrast between the nit and grit of reality and the choreographed, rule-bound, sportive unreality characteristic of most martial arts systems.

This is all worth noting so that the reader understands the frame of reference for Master Al’s analysis of the latest events. For starters, Master Al, “the Colonel,” recognizes that leftists care little to nothing about either the El Paso or the Dayton shooters or their victims. Rather, they are interested, essentially, in criminalizing two things that, in their warped narrative, are inseparable. These two things are white men and guns.

In their [leftists’] worldview, it is the weapon that deserves the blame, not the person doing it. So the left creates a ‘bogey man’ in the form of some right-wing white supremacist . . . .This is all done to scare the masses into thinking that this is a white wing extremist issue, or that every white man who owns a rifle, likes to hunt, and loves his country is a potential nut job waiting to walk into a mall and start shooting.

So true. The Colonel continued:

Never mind that black people are murdering each other in our cities like Chicago (‘Chiraq’), Camden, New Jersey, Detroit, Philly, and Baltimore like it was their job. Where are the cries for gun control?

So as to underscore the government-media complex’s racial angling of its response to mass shootings, he noted how the race of the shooter seems to affect coverage. hen MS-13 thugs “hack some teenager to death in one of their ritualistic killings,” he pointed out, there are never any calls for “knife-control,” “machete-control,” or “gang-control.”

Master Al, incidentally, is black.

Master Al may not have realized just how correct he was when he composed his email, for as it turns out, at least 59 people were shot in Chicago alone in what is being described as its deadliest weekend this year.

Moreover, intrepid investigative journalist Colin Flaherty informs us that although the usual suspects in the media would have us think that it was only in El Paso and Dayton, in fact there were 20 other mass shootings over the weekend, 17 of which were perpetrated by black males and three of which were perpetrated by Hispanics.

In other words, black and brown mass shooters had a busier weekend than their white counterparts, and yet it is only the latter who get the press.

Indeed, none other than that bastion of right-wing extremism itself, the Old Gray Lady, admits that 75 percent of mass shooters are black. That the hacks in the Fake News industry prefer to focus instead on those relatively rare occasions when mass shooters are white suggests that the Colonel knows something is up in their coverage.

Moving beyond racial considerations, Master Al took note of the sobering fact that for as much as “the experts” would have the rest of America believe that there is a “solution” to these mass shootings, this thought is the product of self-delusion or the will to deceive. As Thomas Sowell has been telling us for decades, the “Wonderful World of Solutions” that politicians and their media enablers have devised is no less fantastic than the Wonderful World of Disney, for in reality, there are no solutions for eternal human problems; there are only trade-offs.

The bottom line is that if a person is determined to harm and even kill other human beings, there is no way to guarantee that this won’t happen. And if a person is determined to shoot other human beings, neither is there a guaranteed way of preventing this. That it is already illegal to do such a thing, and that those convicted of committing mass shootings face the harshest of legal penalties, have not sufficed to stop these shootings from occurring. Only the chronically stupid or the chronically dishonest could believe that just one more gun law—that magic and heretofore undiscovered gun law—will “solve” the problem of mass shootings.

Master Al proposes, not a “solution,” but a course of action that only honors both the word and spirit of the Constitution. This course of action would minimize the loss of life when—not if, but when—the next mass shooting occurs.

As Americans and “Freemen,” citizens need to reassert that divine dispensation, the God-given right to protect themselves. 

To reiterate, Americans must emancipate themselves from “the statist” mindset with which they’ve allowed a robust Government-Media complex to saddle them and assume responsibility for their own protection. It is worth quoting Master Al at length here:

Until people understand that the government is not capable of protecting them, that the police per the U.S. Supreme Court has no legal responsibility to protect them, that we are responsible for our own safety, that if we are to protect ourselves from these types of people we need to be equally armed, as the Founding Fathers were when they squared off against and prevailed over England [the largest empire in the world at that time]—until law-abiding citizens understand that we are on our own in these matters and that the police can only help after the fact we will continue to see the body count rise.

Master Al—this veteran of bloodshed and of war—a man who was entrusted with leading legions of men into battle against some of the most dangerous and ruthless predators in some of the world’s most war-torn countries, has no use for the prevailing paradigm of “Sheep, Sheepdogs, and Wolves.”

He is convinced that this rhetoric is part and parcel of the very “statist” mentality against which he is waging his latest campaign, a campaign that he undertook once he committed to training civilians, like me, to unearth the warrior within by becoming, not a sheepdog, i.e. another government agent, but a lion.

A lion, you see, will crush both the sheepdog and the wolf.

Master Al Ridenhour, following in the footsteps of his masters, including, of course, Grandmaster John Perkins, the founder of Guided Chaos, teaches his many students how to protect themselves against the most ruthless of the ruthless. In doing so, he is helping them to cultivate personal responsibility, the free agency to which conservatives in the media and in Washington D.C. routinely pay lip service but seldom personally exercise.

“The Colonel,” though, like his colleagues and masters in Guided Chaos, doesn’t just talk the talk. He walks the walk.

Every citizen who is of America (and not just in it), who reveres its Founders, is obliged to do the same.

Great America • Post

Let’s Let Market Forces Lower Drug Prices

The Trump Administration on July 31 announced steps that could lead to the importation of prescription drugs from Canada, where prices are lower. This strategy is favored by President Trump but has long been opposed by many Republicans. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said that the policy would enable Americans to “get the benefit of the deals that pharma themselves are striking with other countries.” 

The fate of this initiative is uncertain after the failure of the administration’s last two proposals to lower drug priceslinking the prices of certain drugs to an international pricing index and requiring transparency by revealing the price on a drug’s advertising, respectively. Critics note that in 2003, the Congressional Budget Office determined that permitting importation only from Canada would produce a negligible reduction in drug spending

Overall, we are reminded of (and agree with) law professor Rachel Sachs, who said that President Trump’s May 2018 speech on his hyped 39-page “American Patients First plan “was deeply underwhelming.” 

“There is very little new in the administration’s plan, and little if anything that will make a difference in the near future, as the president has promised,” she added. The new plan is deja vu all over again.

Reciprocity, Anyone?
Proposals to import lower-priced drugs from Canada are not new, and they have not been successful. Congress in 2003 authorized 
HHS to promulgate regulations to permit the importation of prescription drugs from Canada but only after the secretary certified to Congress that it would “pose no additional risk to the public’s health and safety,” and would “result in a significant reduction in the cost of covered products to the American consumer.” No secretary has made this certification.

While federal legislators and several states have made various other proposals for drug importation from Canada, expectations should be guarded. Canadian officials have warned against it repeatedly, citing concerns about shortages.

“Canada cannot be a drug store for the United States of America; 280 million people cannot expect us to supply drugs to them on a continuous, uncontrolled basis,” health minister Ujjal Dosanjh told a news conference in 2005.

Instead of such piecemeal and uncertain baby-steps, the United States should adopt a more stable policy, by instituting reciprocity of drug approvals based on approval by foreign regulatory agencies that have evaluation regimes comparable to the FDA’s. That would lower direct regulatory costs and increase competition and access to a greater number of drugs on the market in the United States. It would also benefit patients directly because the detrimental effects of FDA delays in approving certain new drugs already available in other industrialized countries are well documented.

How would it work? Reciprocity of drug approvals with certain of the FDA’s foreign counterparts with comparable drug evaluation regimes would cause an approval in one such country to trigger approval automatically in the United States, upon application by the drug manufacturer or licensee (subject to the creation of approved labeling in the appropriate format, etc.). That would make more drugs available sooner in the United States, increase competition, and put downward pressure on prices. This approach would enlist market forces in fulfilling President Trump’s repeated promises to lower drug prices. 

Proposals for reciprocity also are not new. In 2003, the House of Representatives (but not the Senate) passed the Pharmaceutical Market Access Act, which would have required the HHS secretary to issue regulations permitting pharmacists, wholesalers, and individuals (for personal use) to import prescription drugs into the United States from 25 countries, including Australia, Canada, the European Economic Area, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, and South Africa. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Act would have saved $40 billion over 10 years. 

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and then-Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) in 2015 and 2106 introduced a bill to establish a reciprocal marketing approval process that would have allowed the sale in the U.S. of a medical product not approved by the FDA if it had been approved in select other countries with drug approval requirements comparable to the United States. Twenty senators introduced a similar bill in 2017, led by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

The National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in its 2018 report, “Making Medicines Affordable: A National Priority,” included a recommendation that Congress should give the FDA the authority to seek reciprocal drug approval arrangements for generic drugs and biosimilars with the regulatory agencies of the United States, the EU, and such countries as Australia, Canada, Japan, and New Zealand.

Speeding Up Approvals
A second reform
or “revision of policy” might be a more accurate termwould be more aggressive movement by the FDA of new drugs through its “accelerated approval pathway.” That would permit the FDA to issue what amounts to an earlier, limited, or “conditional approval” of a new drug that is intended for a “serious or life-threatening disease” and for which there is an “unmet medical need.”

Such approvals can be achieved more rapidly because they are based on clinical trials that show improvement in “surrogate endpoints” that are believed to correlate with clinical benefit but without demonstrated efficacy on a “definitive” health endpoint such as increased longevity or reduction in the incidence of heart attacks. Examples of surrogate endpoints are the shrinking of a tumor, or improvement in a laboratory value such as blood urea nitrogen, a measure of kidney function.

Following accelerated approval, the drug sponsor (company) must perform confirmatory trials to prove to the FDA that the medicine is effective in meeting a definitive clinical endpoint (such as greater longevity), at which time the approval is converted to a standard, unconditional approval. If the studies are not done or fail to provide such confirmation, the FDA can withdraw the drug from the market.

Both the introduction of reciprocity of foreign approvals and more accelerated approvals would also help to alleviate the pressing problem in the United States of shortages of certain critical drugs, many of which have been essential in medical practice for decades. The majority are generic injectable medications commonly used by EMTs and in hospitals, including analgesics, cancer drugs, anesthetics, antipsychotics for psychiatric emergencies, and electrolytes needed for patients on IV supplementation.

Hospitals are scrambling to assure adequate supplies of drugs that are in short supply or to find substitutes for them. The FDA is severely limited in what it can do to address shortages. The agency’s app to enable health-care providers to keep current on shortages informs regulators about the problem but doesn’t actually remedy it. Reciprocity of approvals could make numerous needed alternative drugs available, obviating the need for medical practitioners to resort to their second or third choice for medications. 

The White House Domestic Policy Council’s Katy Talento said in May about the administration’s effort to control drug prices, “This is a fearless president and he doesn’t know or care why things have always been done . . .” If that’s true, reciprocity of medical-product regulatory decisions and more liberal use of the accelerated approval pathway would be good ways to show it.

Photo credit: iStock/Getty Images

Great America • Post

Crime, Not Guns or Racism, Is Our Ongoing Problem

Many years ago, I was mowing a lady’s lawn on a hot summer day. The lady lived in a small cottage in a barrio on the west side of San Antonio, and “hot summer day” meant about 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

I was relatively young and fit, and as I was wearing a straw hat, the heat wasn’t bothering me too much. But the thought of my dropping dead of heatstroke in her yard bothered the lady considerably, so she came out on her porch and ordered me inside her house.

She sat me down in her cool, dark parlor and gave me a glass of lemonade. I perched on the edge of the sofa, not wanting to sweat all over it, and drank the lemonade, looking around the room. Among the family photos on the walls was a portrait of my hostess as a young woman, in a 1940s hairdo and looking as lovely as a movie star. Think Gail Russell.

Mrs. Salas was a retired nurse, and I respected and appreciated her concern for my health and welfare, as well as her professional estimation of the danger I’d been in. The upshot was that I came back in the cool of the evening to finish her lawn. But during our conversation that day, something came up that stuck with me.

Some recent arrivals from Mexico lived just down the street from her, fresh off the turnip truck and probably “undocumented.” It bothered her that they didn’t keep their yard up. Tall grass and trash were everywhere. From what she said about it, I gathered she was no fan of illegal immigration, but “white supremacy” obviously had nothing to do with it.

Let’s put my kindly, saintly lady at one end of the spectrum of those who oppose illegal immigration. Who is at the other end? That would be people like the guy who murdered 22 men, women, and children in El Paso last week.

Naturally, Democrats and their media minions are hanging that crime around the necks of President Trump, Republicans, conservatives generally, and all who oppose illegal immigration (or increased gun control) in any degree whatsoever. Since I don’t buy that smear about my lady, I don’t buy it about the rest.

Still, some things about the El Paso massacre should be impressed on those who take our side in the great political battle in which we are now engaged.

The killer’s “manifesto” begins like this:

In general, I support the Christchurch shooter and his manifesto. This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas. They are the instigators, not me. I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion.

That’s all I know of it first hand, for I couldn’t make my way through that document to save my life. Talk about the banality of evil! Boredom with its puerile prose, combined with disgust at its author’s actions, made the thing unreadable. But I understand it ranges all over the lot. The killer is against illegal immigration, like Trump, but he’s also an environmentalist wacko, like (dare I say it?) Beto O’Rourke and virtually the entire Democratic field.

It’s worth noting that the Christchurch shooter, who killed 51 Muslims in New Zealand, also is an environmentalist wacko.

Perhaps some enthusiasts for Zero Population Growth think it’s dirty pool when fertile foreigners rush in to fill the vacuum created by the wackos’ own refusal to be fruitful and multiply? Still, none but the killers themselves should have to answer for it when environmental anti-natalism’s anti-child, anti-family ethos is taken to its inhuman conclusion.

Wacko environmentalism won’t dominate the conversation about the El Paso massacre in any case. Nor will the main topic be the hypocrisy of liberals who, while eager to blame the bloodshed on all who disagree with their open-borders stance, are equally anxious to warn us, after every new atrocity done in the name of jihad, against ascribing those crimes to Muslims in general or to Islam itself.

If liberals were capable of shame at the exposure of their hypocrisy, they’d have committed seppuku long ago. Instead, their response to such embarrassments has been (as the Instapundit loves to put it), “That’s different because shut up.”

On the right, lots of us are talking about this already. One hopes that people generally will soon get wise to the liberals’ game, and consequently get fed up with it. In the meantime, conservatives should be pondering two points.

First, Mexicans aren’t Muslims.

Is that a minor detail? Are there any imams exhorting them to cut off the heads of the infidels? Have they subjected los norteamericanos to an epidemic of ideologically driven abuse, ranging from mass murders and gang rapes to casual belligerence and hostility, as has been happening to Europeans at the hands of recent Muslim immigrants or (even more alarmingly) at the hands of hostile, unassimilated children of such immigrants? The answers are no, no, and no.

Mexicans are Christian. Less than a century ago, they suffered much more for their faith than we in the United States have yet been called to do. Most Americans have never heard of the Cristero War or of the anti-Christian persecution that provoked it, but here in San Antonio we have a basilica founded by refugees from it.

True, Mexico’s Christians were suffering at the hands of their own rotten revolutionary government, but that government is one thing they can’t bring with them when they come here.

Oh, but what about that dreaded “cultural replacement”? What’s to replace? I live in San Antonio, not St. Anthony. All over the Southwest, it’s the same story, from El Paso (the Pass) to Las Cruces (the Crosses) to Santa Fe (Holy Faith) to El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles (the Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels), or L.A., for short.

As for “ethnic replacement,” consider that all of John Wayne’s three wives were Hispanic, as are all his progeny. Who’s replacing them?

I used to know someone in Tennessee who, though a nice guy, a conscientious worker and a good family man, was full of nutty ideas. His favorite epithet was “statist,” a word he applied to such things as the government presuming to pass and enforce traffic laws and requiring that motorists be licensed to drive. On taxation, he subscribed to the same theories that got actor Wesley Snipes in trouble with the IRS. On race, he expected the imminent eruption of a three-cornered war pitting whites, blacks, and Mexicans against one another.

My friend worried for me when I decided to follow in Davy Crockett’s footsteps and return to Texas, the state where I had grown up. Texas would be Hispanic territory in that three-cornered war he feared. I told him, “Man, no one is running away from Mexicans in Texas. We’re too busy marrying their daughters.”

Intermarriage may distress the very few who like to contemplate the glories of Nordic superiority, but it’s going on like gangbusters nonetheless. America contains way too many Romeos and Juliets making whoopee for my friend’s fears ever to be realized. By the time some multicultural bean counter announces that America is now a “majority-minority” nation, no one will know or care who is “Hispanic” or “Latina” or “Cablinasian” or whatever.

San Antonio is one of the most Mexican cities on the planet. We have our share of nogoodniks and ne’er-do-wells, native-born as well as imported, but nothing in my daily life makes me wish there were no Mexicans here.

In California it may be a different story, as the state is loaded with left-wing activists who stoke anti-Anglo belligerence. But in Texas—despite the fact that during America’s conquest of the Southwest, far more blood was shed here than in California—the mood is much better. Check out the short video, “What’s So Great About Texas,” toward the end of this Voice of America report on the Lone Star State’s changing demographics.

Too bad the El Paso shooter didn’t get out of his mom’s basement and take it all in, before taking out his frustrations on imaginary enemies he didn’t really have.

The second point conservatives need to consider is this: We should be talking, and thinking, and acting, much more against violent crime than we have been wont to do.

At this point, those who’ve read my previous work at American Greatness and  American Thinker may be forgiven for saying, “This is where we came in,” grabbing their coats and hats, and heading for the lobby. What more can I write that I haven’t already written?

America is now in the umpteenth iteration of the gun control debate that always follows these atrocities. Here is what I wrote after the December 2012 attack on Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut:

Whenever a gun massacre occurs, conservatives’ chronic silence about crime allows liberal gun-controllers to flatter themselves that they are the champions of public safety and the defenders of innocents, and to pass themselves off as such to the public.  These inveterate opponents of capital punishment are never made to answer for the fact that their campaign against its enforcement has caused many more Americans to die at the hands of previously convicted murderers than in any of the infamous mass shootings liberals carry on about, or in all of them put together.  And that says nothing of the hundreds of thousands of murders committed by killers undeterred by a death penalty that is hardly ever enforced. . . . Our slogan has long been: “Guns don’t kill people; people do.” Let us follow that idea to its logical conclusion. While liberals pursue their impossible dream of eliminating murder weapons, we should be setting about the very practical, effectual, and constitutional task of eliminating murderers.

After the October 2017 mass shooting of concertgoers on the Las Vegas Strip, I wrote:

Having everyone in that Las Vegas crowd armed and ready to shoot back would have been of little use against a sniper firing from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay. Worse, a multitude of armed people at the scene would have been a big challenge to the police officers who flooded the zone soon after the massacre began. On the other hand, the first such sniper attack in U.S. history—the one perpetrated by Charles Whitman in 1966 at the University of Texas—did see civilians retrieving rifles from their vehicles and firing back at Whitman’s clocktower perch. None of their rounds hit him, but they may have made him duck a few times and lose the chance to pick off more victims. At any rate, it should do something for Americans’ self-respect to know there were some brave souls who were ready and able to fight back on that fatal day in Austin.

After the February 2018 massacre at a high school in Parkland, Florida, I wrote:

Will Trump treat crime as previous Republican presidents have treated it: as something to be exploited as an issue while campaigning and handled with indifference while governing?  Or will he take the steps necessary to back up his bold talk? We all await the answer.

And when, in response to the October 2018 massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, the president said, “When you have crimes like this, whether it’s this one or another one on another group, we have to bring back the death penalty. They have to pay the ultimate price. They have to pay the ultimate price. They can’t do this. They can’t do this to our country,” I wrote this:

Those words were music to my ears. I hope everyone who is fed up with crime will take note of them. They bespeak anger, and they promise action. Sad to say, they came too late to help much in the midterm election. But if Trump follows through on them, it can have a huge impact in 2020.

Will the president follow through on those words, and would it have any impact in 2020?

Three years ago, Trump told the Republican National Convention: “I have a message for all of you: the crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon—and I mean very soon—come to an end. Beginning on January 20th, 2017, safety will be restored.” And on that January day, when he stood on the Capitol steps and took the presidential oath, he proclaimed, “This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.”

He hasn’t yet made those promises good, and it cost the Republican Party dearly last year. After the GOP’s midterm election losses, I wrote:

It’s not so much that Trump has neglected his law-and-order promises. It’s more that—other than by elevating judges like Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court—Trump’s power to do anything decisive about crime is not very obvious. But I think there is something great he can do. He can become the champion of such legal reforms, including a constitutional amendment, as would make “eliminating murderers” a feasible course of action.

And two months later, I wrote this:

To make the most of this issue, he should get much more specific, more focused on what needs to be done, what obstacles must be overcome, and how it all can help us.

The sad thing is, I have only myself to quote on this subject. Who else is even mentioning Trump’s faded law-and-order vows?

On Friday, I saw an item by Instapundit Glenn Reynolds:

A cave on gun-rights could make Trump a one-termer, the way caving on taxes did for George H.W. Bush. Democrats and the media know this, which is why they’re trying to get him to cave.

Reynolds misses the point! Bush lost in 1992 because of crime, not because of taxes. Sure, the liberals’ answer to “gun violence” is a chimera. But you can’t beat something with nothing. Neither Reynolds nor the hundreds of commenters responding to his post seem to understand that we must focus on crushing crime, not just defending gun rights.

Let liberals blather on about guns and racism. Conservatives need to find their voice again on crime and punishment. Only by doing so can we transform Trump’s promise of a quick end to “this American carnage” from forgotten braggadocio into blessed reality.

Center for American Greatness • Great America • Post

A Red Flag Law Won’t Prevent Another Massacre

Yes, America has a problem.

And no, red flag laws will not stop the next mass shooting.

Nor is “mental health” the heart of the matter.

I am an American by choice. My pride in being an American today is a function in part of choosing to be a citizen of the freest and greatest nation the world has ever seen, and although I may not have been born or raised in America, I am familiar with our history and our cultural heritage.

As a result I know that not too long ago, in living memory, gun culture so universally permeated American society that it would be totally normal for young boys to bring their .22-caliber rifles or single-barreled shotguns to school with them, keep them in their lockers, and use them on the way home to bag small game—even in California, one of the most anti-Second Amendment states in the nation today.

Yet children didn’t open fire upon one another in the corridors during recess or compile “murder lists” with the names of classmates they wished to kill. So the presence of guns per se is a red herring and tells us nothing. Not to mention the fact that you can kill far more people than either the Dayton or the El Paso murderers combined simply by stealing a truck—in one case, more than 80 innocent people in less than two minutes—without one large-capacity magazine.

But there is a pattern in recent mass casualty events in America. And Tucker Carlson is spot on. It has nothing to do with “white supremacy” or even with race. Yes, the majority of these crimes are committed by young white males. But not all. In fact, 18 percent of all recent mass shootings were committed by African Americans, a percentage that exceeds that demographic’s representative size within the U.S. population. Yet we don’t blame their ethnic identity for the deaths that result. And we shouldn’t.

But there is a pattern.

In every recent case of a mass shooting in America, in addition to frequent interactions with mental health professionals, the killer has had multiple negative interactions with the authorities and with the administrations of the school they were or had been attending. Incredibly, the Parkland shooter had more than 40 run-ins with the local police over the span of just a few years. More than 40. But nothing happened. Incredibly, the Dayton killer, when it was found in high school that he had a list of fellow students he wanted either to kill or rape, was merely suspended for one semester.

So what does this mean? Surely a red flag law seems a reasonable answer? Wrong.

The idea that private individuals who work with you or live next to you, or social media companies monitoring your posts and your communications should be able to initiate government action against you, to include law enforcement taking away your ability to exercise your Second Amendment rights and curtail your capacity effectively to protect yourself, is utterly Orwellian. It is reminiscent of the culture behind the wrong side of the Iron Curtain when children were encouraged to betray their family members to the authorities should they say something wrong.

Remember, we are living in an age when Google calls Jewish Americans “Nazis” in their internal emails before censoring them, an age where Democrat politicians are comfortable publically intimidating presidential donors and doxxing both them and their employers just because they disagree with their politics.

The idea that any red flag law, however well meaning, will not be abused in an era when the Left cries “Stab the motherf—er in the heart!” outside the home of the convalescing Republican leader of the U.S. Senate, or uses mob tactics outside the home of a leading conservative celebrity so as to intimidate his stranded wife, is not only foolish, it is dangerous.

No, the president must say “No” to any “red flag” law proposals.

But there is something he can do right now to prevent the next shooting in America.

Every such incident has involved massive failures by local authorities and the police. We need these officials, school boards, mayors, commissioners, and sheriffs to start protecting us all and the only way to do that is to make them feel the heat. President Trump should have his team draft a simple one-page bill today that would change everything. After Parkland, after Gilroy, after Dayton, after El Paso, we need a law that will make all local municipalities, school authorities, and police authorities criminally and financially liable for the deaths that they could have prevented if they had taken action when the multiple indications of an unstable and dangerous young man were ignored.

In this way the president would send a very clear message: I will not infringe on anyone’s right to defend themselves, I will not give the power to rob citizens of their Second Amendment rights to unseen and unaccountable forces, but I will not permit those who are responsible for preventing the next massacre from betraying that sacred trust.

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Great America • Post

Antifa’s Identitarian Ideology

While the Antifa movement may defy easy characterization, one of its most animating features is a commitment to opposing the alleged right-wing racism practiced or condoned by “millions” of “white nationalists.” They condemn any such endorsements of so-called identitarian concepts. But who are the real identitarians? And to which movement is identitarianism both the centerpiece of their rhetoric, and a smokescreen to hide their true agenda? A look at online material promoting an upcoming Antifa-type action offers clues.

According to a recent tweet by embattled journalist Andy Ngo, “Antifa is leading a ‘Border Resistance’ militancy training that will converge on a 10-day siege in El Paso, Texas.” The website Ngo references is BorderResistance.com, with the tagline “Call to Action in El Paso September 1-10.” The homepage displays a graphic poster headlined with the words “CALL TO ACTION,” followed by the somewhat nebulous phrase “Border Resistance Convergence.”

As has been painstakingly emphasized in the wake of the tragic mass shooting in El Paso on August 3, nowhere on this website are the words “Antifa,” or, for that matter, anything that might remotely be construed as synonymous with the violence that anyone paying attention would know accompanies Antifa protests, whether they’re in Portland, Berkeley, Charlottesville, or countless other places.

For that matter, it is unclear whether or not this “convergence” will still occur—Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick has “warned the left-wing group Antifa against coming to the state following the mass shooting in El Paso.” It is reasonable to assume that Patrick would have also been referring to the planners of the “Border Resistance Convergence,” regardless of whether or not they have any formal connection to Antifa cells.

Nonetheless, the “Border Resistance” website does contain language offering insight into the ideology of these organizations, whether they are directly backed by Antifa or part of the collection of local and regional groups that align themselves with the movement. It is an ideology that is as steeped in identitarian divisiveness as it is riddled with contradictions.

Antifa’s Identitarian Ideology Is Embraced by the Mainstream Left
While organizations like Antifa—along with the planners of the “Border Resistance Convergence”—embrace identitarian ideology, the same ideology in only a slightly less virulent form is embraced by the mainstream American Left.

The 10 days of “trainings and direct actions” that are (were?) planned for El Paso are to “help us address US-funded genocide and local concentration camps.” Evidently, if you’re a far-left, anti-American ideologue, such language gets a pass on its hyperbole. To such a believer, today’s conditions in the El Paso Processing Center and those enforced 75 years ago at Treblinka are indistinguishable.

Identitarian ideology becomes evident, along with continuing contradictory logic, in the next paragraph, where prospective travelers to this “convergence” are advised that when they go to El Paso, they will be in “Tigua, Raramuri, Piro, Suma and Manso territory.” Reminding virtually everyone in North America that they are trespassing on stolen land has become a favored trope of the far Left. But how is this rational? If this is Tigua (etc.) “territory,” doesn’t that territory have borders?

Why would the organizers of the El Paso Border Resistance Convergence assert the legitimacy of Tigua (etc.) territory, yet deplore the existence of United States territory? Is this “border resistance” convergence only based on the illegitimacy of U.S. borders? Looking back in history, had no tribe existed in the El Paso area before the Tigua (etc.) overran them? It was wrong that Europeans overran Tigua (etc.) territory, so now it’s OK for foreigners to overrun Texas?

The next sentence offers some clarification: “This convergence is being run by Indigenous & QTPOC (Queer, trans, people of color) leadership and anyone who passively or aggressively disrespects that will be asked to leave.”

Ah ha. Indigenous people—presumably including the local Tigua (et. al.), will run the “convergence,” along with the “QTPOC” cohort. Descendants of Europeans—so long as they’re “white,” lack a Hispanic surname, are heterosexual, and identify as the sex on their birth certificate—are indeed required to defer to everyone else.

Further reading of the “convergence” promotional material verifies this elevating of “QTPOC” people into positions of supremacy. For example:

  •     “We are very much relying on white comrades to donate money and throw down on renting temporary spaces for our more vulnerable friends.”
  •     “Are you coming prepared to follow the direction of Indigenous, Black, Brown, and most affected-centered leadership?”
  •     “It is the responsibility of those of privilege to financially support others to join us for this convergence.”
  •     “How can we make this space safer in the current context of the world concerning topics such as Decolonization, the prevalence of Racism even in leftist spaces, inter-racial conflict, the cis-white-hetero-patriarchy, etc.”

Before continuing, let’s admire the creativity in this new and hyper-inclusive alphabetical innovation: “QTPOC.” What a fine way to maximize the inclusive capacity of five characters. Gone is LGBTQ, and POC (“people of color”) is no longer an orphan. “L,” “G,” and “B” are presumably now subsumed within “Q,” and of course “T” for “trans” shall be retained because “trans” is the hottest new category of victim, and now there is room for “POC” to be merged to create a brand new, linguistically efficient string of letters: QTPOC.

But how does alphabetizing every possible identifiable group that might have any conceivable grievance and proclaiming all of them to be victims of the “cis-white hetero patriarchy” (CWHP?) bring people together? Do these strident, simplistic calls for retribution, restitution, repentance, and submission elicit compassion? Or do they erase compassion?

The Left’s Identitarianism: “QTPOC Supremacy”
While the organizers of the “convergence” in El Paso are enforcing QTPOC supremacy among their participants, why is it when we see video and photos of similar demonstrations in recent years, the demonstrators seem overwhelmingly to be white, if not actually from that most deplorable subset of white, the “cis-white-hetero-patriarchy” (CWHP)?

From available evidence, albeit anecdotal, it seems implausible that the individuals organizing these “convergences” and “direct actions” are not mostly white. But rationality, or, for that matter, actual QTPOC supremacy, is not the ultimate objective of the identitarian Left in America.

Which brings us to the true ideology of America’s far Left, from Antifa to academia: It is a coalition of mostly white activists who despise capitalism, private property, traditional American values, their own heritage, and, arguably, themselves. They couch their Communist core values in the same identitarian rhetoric that they claim to oppose when it comes from right-wing sources.

When it comes to identitarian politics, the difference between Right and Left—and it’s a big one—is that only a minute fraction of conservative, pro-capitalist, pro-American ideologues are identitarians, whereas the American Left is defined by its identitarian politics. It is their seductive currency, obscuring the nihilistic agenda of international Communism, which is the deadliest ideology in the history of the world.

Apart from an insignificant fringe, the American Right does not emphasize identity group hierarchies and other forms of identitarian demagoguery in their political messaging not only because it is anathema to their ideology, but also because they don’t have to. The ideals of individual freedom, compassionate capitalism, and inclusive nationalism are powerful enough to occupy center stage.

The American Left, by contrast, must emphasize identitarian messages and identitarian policies because their hidden agenda is to establish the 21st century’s version of Communism. They are fighting to impose a neo-feudalist international corporate socialism on the American people. Most of them will never see their righteous identitarian fury for what it is: useful idiocy.

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Elections • Post

From Russian Collusion Hoaxing to White Supremacy Hysteria

If this week’s overwrought, unjustified hysteria about the imminent threat posed by white supremacist “terrorism” sounds eerily familiar, it should. Having suffered no consequences for promoting the fabricated Trump-Russia “collusion” conspiracy for nearly three years, the Democrats, news media, and NeverTrump Republicans—desperate to resuscitate their failed coup attempt—have replaced Putin puppets with hood-wearing, Tiki torch-wielding bogeymen.

And it’s being orchestrated by the very same people who brought you the collusion hoax.

Let’s back up to the end of July: Robert Mueller’s long-awaited testimony was a debacle; not only was he far from the fearless, straight-shooting prosecutor the press hyped him as in the weeks before his appearance, it was clear he hadn’t even read his own report. Even collusion truthers in the Trump-hating media acknowledged Mueller’s appearance buried any hope of impeachment.

Democratic presidential hopefuls were tripping all over themselves to see who could offer the best deal to incoming illegal immigrants, including free health care and decriminalization. Party elders such as Rahm Emanuel, who suddenly seems even-tempered and erudite compared to the current cast of Democratic characters, warned that his party’s failure to appeal to Middle America could doom their chances of recapturing the White House.

“When you’re looking into the camera at the coming debate, imagine you’re speaking to a voter in Grand Rapids or Green Bay who holds two core beliefs in her head: that the economy is OK—not bad—and that Trump’s presidency is worse than bad,” advised the former Chicago mayor on July 29. State and local Democratic Party officials worried that Trump was on track to again win battleground states such as Michigan in 2020.

With the collusion conspiracy dead and Democratic presidential hopefuls beclowning themselves on cable news debates, #TheResistance needed a miracle. Sadly—and sickeningly—it came in the form of a mass shooting at a Walmart in a Texas border town on a summer Saturday when a suspected white supremacist opened fire, killing 22 people, mostly Hispanics.

As still-unconfirmed reports suggested the shooter posted a manifesto filled with screeds about immigration, automation, and the environment, collusion propagandists wasted no time exploiting the horrific tragedy for craven political gain.

Less than 24 hours after the massacre, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who promised the American public for three years that evidence of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign was in plain sight, tweeted that “White supremacist terrorism is a real and present danger,” and blamed the president’s “dehumanizing” language about immigrants for giving the shooter a motive.

Former FBI Director James Comey, under a few separate investigations at the Justice Department for his role in orchestrating the collusion hoax, fired off a rambling opinion piece that was published the next day in the New York Times. Comey’s legendary hubris and rhetorical sleight-of-hand were on full display. (Comey said the manifesto was “widely attributed” to the gunman, quite the hedge from the nation’s former top G-man.)

“Every American president, knowing what lies deep within our country, bears a unique responsibility to say loudly and consistently that white supremacy is illegitimate, that encouraging a politics of racial resentment can spawn violence, and that violence aimed at people by virtue of their skin color is terrorism,” warned the man who accused Trump campaign aide Carter Page of being a Russian agent and signed a FISA warrant in October 2016 to spy on him. Oddly though, as the head of Obama’s FBI in 2015, Comey refused to say that the killing of nine blacks in a Charleston church by an avowed white supremacist was an act of terrorism.

Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, Comey’s co-signer on the first Page FISA warrant, chimed in on Twitter with a dramatic tweet asking, “When our children ask us what we did when innocents were massacred, the president fomented racism, and immigrants were caged and cast as sub-human, what will we tell them?” Yates also was instrumental in setting up the outlandish Logan Act investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, which ultimately led to his ouster in February 2017.

Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who signed the final FISA warrant on Page and appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller in May 2017 to investigate collusion and then obstruction of justice, subtweeted a statement by a Bush family member and condemned “white terrorism.” Rosenstein, plying a common theme of the week, claimed that “Many of the killers are lone-wolf losers indoctrinated to hate through the internet, just like Islamic terrorists.”

Susan Rice, the Obama national security advisor who participated in secret meetings with former CIA Director John Brennan in the summer of 2016 to concoct the Russian collusion plotline, followed up Comey in the Times with her own screed, accusing the president of being a bigot. “With white supremacy bolstered from the Oval Office, hate crimes and domestic terrorism incidents are increasing, including, it appears, Saturday’s mass shooting in El Paso,” wrote the former Obama confidante who attempted to unmask the names of Trump associates caught up in intelligence surveillance.

Brennan himself couldn’t pass up an opportunity to blast the president he attempted to sabotage, calling to “end hate speech that incites violence [and] return moral, honest, & competent leadership to the Oval Office.”

The collusion architects could rely on the usual suspects in the media and on the NeverTrump Right to bolster their latest fictional crusade. National Review’s David French, a collusion truther who tried to deny his role after it was clear the whole thing was a charade, called for “war” against white supremacist terrorism. Bill Kristol, founder of the failed Weekly Standard and hardcore collusion propagandist, tweeted that the House should be called back into session to pursue an impeachment inquiry.

MSNBC, CNN, the Washington Post, and the Times are all white supremacy, all the time. Rachel Maddow, whose nightly show on MSNBC promised the president would be found guilty of colluding with the Russians to sway the 2016 election, worried that the Justice Department wouldn’t go after Trump’s base for crimes of white supremacy. Her fellow collusion mouthpiece Nicolle Wallace had to apologize for claiming on the air that the president had called for the “extermination of Latinos.”

But nothing could top Frank Figliuzzi, the former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence, a peddler of numerous collusion conspiracies including that the FBI had proof of pre-election communications between Trump and Russia. Figliuzzi told MSNBC’s Brian Williams that Trump’s order to “fly flags at half staff until August 8, that’s eight-eight . . . the numbers eight-eight are very significant in neo-Nazi and white supremacy movement.” Unable to detect his own insanity, Figliuzzi continued. “Why? Because the letter H is the eight letter of the alphabet and to them, the numbers eight eight together stand for ‘Heil Hitler.’”

The list goes on.

It is not a coincidence that the same cabal of folks who brainwashed (most) of the American public with fanciful tales of treacherous collusion between Donald Trump, his campaign, his top aides and the Russians now are using the same rhetoric and tactics to depict a pervasive danger posed by white supremacist terrorism. (Can we point out that they ran the world’s most powerful law enforcement agency for eight years and did nothing to curb the threat they now allege is a grave crisis?)

And just like the pernicious Russian collusion hoax, this plan to whip up a frenzy about the alleged threat of “white supremacy” has little chance of taking down Donald Trump. But it certainly will serve to further inflame the public discourse, divide Americans, and consume the attention of the political class while it ignores legitimate problems.

We are pawns in their lust for power, but the ramifications will long outlast next year’s election. As Angelo Codevilla wrote this week, “While we have no way of knowing what lies ahead, we know that the spiral of political violence has already taken its first fateful turns, and that the logic of our partisan ruling class is pushing for more.”

Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact licensing@centerforamericangreatness.com.

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Elections • Post

Joe Scarborough Is Lying About Charlottesville

MSNBC host Joe Scarborough tweeted this week, “Any business that donates to Trump is complicit and endorses the white supremacy he espoused in Charlottesville . . . ” He is not alone. The Trump-hating media has spent the past few days humming “Charlottesville” as a mantra that somehow is supposed to prove President Trump is a racist.

Lest the smear become a fact, it is important to go back and clear up any misunderstanding. The event itself in August 2017 involved varied participants, not just neo-Nazis. President Trump’s response to it unfolded over three distinct statements, the last of which was a press conference. All of the statements were critical of white supremacy and none “espoused” it.

Here’s what really happened.

Charlottesville, Virginia erected a statue to Confederate General Robert E. Lee in 1924 and surrounded it with a public space called “Lee Park.” Nearly a full century later, the city council voted to remove the statue and rename the site “Emancipation Park.”

In response, Jason Kessler—a former Obama voter and veteran of the Occupy Wall Street movement—organized a “Unite the Right Rally.” Assorted white nationalists and neo-Nazis promised to join him in protest. That caused the Left’s own nothing-better-to-do violent agitators, Antifa, to announce plans to mount a counterdemonstration.

The event would also attract people who planned to march peacefully, either for or against the removal of the statue. It was not exclusively for Nazis and Antifa.

On the night of the rally, the extremists clashed. This was noted in contemporary news accounts. Sheryl Stolberg of the New York Times tweeted (and later deleted): “The hard left seemed as hate-filled as alt-right. I saw club-wielding ‘antifa’ beating white nationalists being led out of the park.”

Somewhere in the melee, a young man with a history of mental illness drove his car into a crowd and killed one of the protesters.

In the aftermath, President Trump made a statement: “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides. It’s been going on for a long time in our country.”

All hell broke loose. The media objected that the president did not single out the political motivations of the killer, choosing instead to condemn “many sides.”

Only two months before, though, James Hodgkinson, a Bernie Sanders campaign volunteer during the presidential primaries, opened fire on a Republican congressional baseball practice in Northern Virginia. Four people were shot, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.).

Sanders immediately condemned the shooting, saying, “I am sickened by this despicable act. Let me be as clear as I can be: Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society, and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms. Real change can only come about through nonviolent action, and anything else runs counter to our most deeply held American values.”

It is difficult to discern a substantial difference between Sanders’ condemnation of “violence of any kind” and Trump’s condemnation of “violence on many sides.” They essentially mean the same thing. When a sociopath with a peripheral involvement in politics commits a violent act, it is unfair to attribute political blame.

Trump had also addressed the Hodgkinson shooting, saying, “We may have our differences . . . We are strongest when we are unified and when we work for the common good.” The New York Times favorably noted that, “Mr. Trump steered clear of the possible political motivations of the gunman,” and instead issued a “dignified” call for unity.

That time it was OK for the president not to assign political responsibility. It was even dignified. Wonder why?

Trump followed his initial statement on Charlottesville two days later with a harsh criticism of Nazism, explaining that he was not certain of the political affiliation of the driver at first. That was not quick enough for the rabid Trump-hating media.

It was called a “belated” criticism, the suggestion being that Trump at first did not want to offend Nazis and only mentioned it when forced to do so by circumstance. A wild press conference followed where the questioners attempted to associate the president with something they called the “alt-right.” He angrily asked them to “define alt-right.”

Trump pointed out that white nationalists were not the only ones in attendance at the event. Antifa was also there, as were “very fine people” who were only marching for or against the removal of the statue. The media twisted the words “very fine people” to mean he was complimenting white supremacists, even though there is no honest way to read his statement as though that were his meaning.

The coverage of Charlottesville was a concerted effort to portray Trump as sympathetic to Nazis by unfairly parsing his statements to suggest a connection. More, the dominant media had been in desperate search for a hook to use in order to claim that this white supremacist movement is what got Trump elected.

Having spent little time in rural Ohio, they imagine a bunch of shotgun wielding racists, whom Trump attracted to his cause by appealing to their deplorable-ness. These are ridiculous and unfounded charges that effectively libel half of America.

When “Charlottesville” is cited by fake newshounds like Joe Scarborough as conclusive evidence that Trump espouses white supremacy, there is no truth to it. It is shameful appropriation of America’s history of racism to serve the media’s resistance to Trump.

Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Great America • Post

Monstrous Majority-Minority Myths

Humans are hardwired to tell themselves whatever is most comforting. Our capacity for seeing what we would wish to see, like self-pity, is unique to our species.

Mythmaking has always formed a substantial thread of our existence. The Mayans sacrificed babies for favorable weather. Commonplace was the celebration of such monstrous behavior.

Myths and falsehoods are dangerous. One such trope led a young man over the weekend to pump rounds into the flesh of 22 people. All because of his belief of an “invasion” which he believed threatened to deepen his own personal tumult.

On Saturday, a deranged man, barely old enough to drink, allegedly stalked a shopping center in El Paso, Texas. He ripped bullets through the bodies of 22 people—killing them. He also maimed, and mentally corrupted, another two dozen. Another episode of grotesque American bloodsport.

What pushed a young man, and citizen of history’s most prosperous society, to travel nine hours, and calculate a horrendous arithmetic amongst people he had never met?

In a manifesto widely attributed to the shooter—“manifesto” is narcissist-speak for an unhinged indulgent ramble—the author claimed lead role in a fantasy crusade against the “Hispanic invasion of Texas.”

Of course, since the shooting both sides have bloviated and bloated pixel and paper to cajole their choir. It’s President Trump’s fault, according to Democrats. Mental illness, violent video games, claim Republicans.

Perhaps this shooter was inspired by the same trope that animates young men to scream: “Jews will not replace us!” The same nonsense which witnessed a white supremacist run his Dodge through a crowd of protestors at Charlottesville, killing one.

Perhaps, what motivated him was another trope in need of dilution long before he started launching bullets at flesh.

That myth? Whites will be the minority in America by 2049, at the latest.

According to the Census Bureau, sometime in the 2040s, white Americans (currently 62 percent) will no longer form the majority. Since that revelation in 2008, progressives have plundered that incendiary statistic as proof of their coming and irreversible dominance. Your time is up, whitey.

It is remarkable. In 1980, America was 80 percent white. It is significant. Democrats are almost wholly dependent on a burgeoning nonwhite vote.

That statistic makes many people uncomfortable, not just those who frequent the darker contours of the grievance web.

Researchers found three-quarters of Republicans expressed anger or anxiety at the prospect of a majority-minority America. Remarkably, nearly half of white Democrats felt the same way. (I should point out: there is a stark difference between the average Democratic voter and the hard-left progressive base.)

Researchers found that some feared a return through reversal of the horrors in a country once grossly tainted by its racial tumult.

Yet many progressives laud a future in which political debate ceases to be relevant. Fewer white people means fewer Republicans, frays the trope.

Some myths are dangerous. And believing only what one wants to hear is more corrosive yet. The same census also revealed that whites will make up 68.5 percent of the U.S. population even in 2060.

How? Well, many of those “nonwhites” are actually white. If we call anyone with white blood “white,” like the sizeable white Hispanic population—the white share is actually going up.

By 2060, with a more sensible definition of “white,” little changes from today. Hispanic whites would make a quarter, and non-Hispanic whites would touch 44 percent.

Richard Alba, a sociologist at the City University of New York, has said such a definition would mean America remained a majority-white nation indefinitely. Which is bad news for the melanin-obsessed modern progressive.

Remember (or perhaps not) Italians were once “nonwhite.” The Irish, too. Not even Richard Spencer would argue that either group is otherwise.

Another census work befuddles itself quite miraculously.

On one hand, it states that the non-Hispanic white population is set to shrink from 199 million next year, to 179 million by 2060. Abutting the same paragraph: The white-alone population, regardless of Hispanic origin, is projected to grow from about 253 million to 275 million over the same period.

So, America is getting less white. Or less white-white. Or America is getting whiter.

It is all about definition, obviously. The current interpretation of “white” adheres to a strange and brutalist stricture, like the one-drop rule of old.

Another study showed that Balkanized thinking and anxiety reduced when applied to a more inclusive definition of “white.”

According to the census, comedian Louis C.K., who has a Mexican-Hungarian father, is nonwhite. Senator Ted Cruz’s two daughters, blonde-haired and blue-eyed, are, too.

It is this folly that motors the corrosive identity politics we endure daily. And it billows the flames of race-obsessed progressives, and their alt-right kissing-cousins. After all, there is not a cigarette paper between their lurid worldviews—just a primitive skin chart denoting who is bad and who is brethren.

Some myths are comforting. And one can see why. If a progressive, why bother trying to win the battle of ideas when, in just a few decades, Republicans will dissolve into permanent irrelevance?

Some myths are monstrous. And perhaps dispelling one of the greatest and most corrosive of them would go some way to salving a nation already at war with itself.

And, who knows, we could perhaps dispense with the tiresome discussion concerning the melanin content of an American’s skin.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Great America • Post

Dispatch from Ferguson: Five Years On

FERGUSON, Missouri—Four years ago, I moved from Saudi Arabia, where I had worked for six years, back to my hometown of St. Louis, from which I had departed almost four decades earlier. One of the first social events I attended included an academic researcher who was tossing around the word “Ferguson.” I was looking forward to hearing from people who really knew the local scene.

This was exactly one year after riots and unrest had gripped the suburban St. Louis town, drawing extravagant attention from the national and global media. It had been daily front-page news, even in Mecca, Medina, and Riyadh.

In August 2014, Harun Yahya, a columnist for Arab News, attempted to edify readers in the Desert Kingdom with “A lesson from Ferguson riots.”

“The region is known as the poorest part of the St. Louis area, of which it is part,” he wrote. “Commercial growth in recent years has only increased the inequality of income in favor of the white population; the black population has grown even poorer in the last 15 years. Investments and companies largely belong to whites, and the people employed by those companies again largely consist of whites. The increasingly impoverished black people have therefore also become unemployed.”

 The Saudi Arabian commentator was not to be outdone by our moral betters in Paris, as Radio France solemnly reported on “Ferguson, le nouveau symbole des inégalités raciales aux Etats-Unis.” The French minister of justice joined the chorus, emitting angry, ill-informed tweets about the little Missouri suburb.

The Real Ferguson
In fact, Ferguson is not the hellish place imagined by the French justice minister. It is not, and never has come near to being, the poorest part of the St. Louis area. Ferguson, with a population of 21,000, is in the heart of north St. Louis County, a region home to about 350,000 people. The part of north St. Louis County east of Ferguson extending all the way to the Mississippi River has suffered overwhelmingly from white flight; this part of the St. Louis area, near to but not including Ferguson, is a place of disastrously failing public schools, de facto segregation, violent crime, and poverty. This unfortunate area should not be mistaken for Ferguson.

Before the events of five years ago, Ferguson was such a bright spot in the context of north St. Louis County that there were serious proposals for some adjoining municipalities to merge and become part of a larger city of Ferguson. While Ferguson had experienced some white flight, what was distinctive about Ferguson was the degree to which a large segment of the white population had refused to leave.

The real Ferguson, today as five years ago, has pockets of poverty and blight. But for the most part it is a community of middle-class black and middle-class white small business owners and both blue-collar and white-collar workers in the large nearby defense, aerospace, and healthcare industries. Within about a two-mile radius of old downtown Ferguson are the headquarters of Emerson Electric, Express Scripts, and the Boeing Defense, Space, and Security business.

Ferguson’s racial makeup recently was noted as fairly stable at about two-thirds black and one-third white, while some of the neighboring municipalities range from 80 percent to nearly 100 percent black. The next census will show a new element, an unprecedented surge of Hispanic population in north St. Louis County since 2010.

Ferguson is home to one of the St. Louis area’s most remarkable elementary schools, the Catholic parochial school of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The majority of its students are African-American Protestants from the Ferguson area; a large and growing component of the enrollment are children from Latin-American immigrant families. All of these children graduate with qualifications to enter excellent St. Louis area prep schools. With no significant legislation in Missouri to provide for school choice, the school’s survival is something of a miracle.

Now, back to the social event in August 2015, where I was hoping to hear something more in touch with Ferguson than the pronouncements of Arab News or Radio France. The university researcher told me she had been appointed to a staff position on an entity established by the then-governor of Missouri, Democrat Jay Nixon. It was called the Ferguson Commission. I remarked that I was keenly interested in Ferguson. I had lived near there in north St. Louis city when I was a child, when I used to go once or twice a week to visit my cousins who lived in Ferguson. I also said I had a lifelong friend who has lived in Ferguson for many years, working on the staff of one of the churches there.

“What exactly is the commission doing in Ferguson?” I asked.

“Oh, the Ferguson Commission isn’t doing anything in Ferguson!” she replied. She talked about the town as one might discuss a dead insect one is holding uncertainly with latex-gloved hands in a pair of tweezers. “The Ferguson Commission is for a conversation about race in Missouri.”

Silly me, for thinking that the Ferguson Commission was concerned with Ferguson.

Surprises Five Years On
Evenings came and mornings followed; now it has been five years since Ferguson: The Global Media Event.

The exertions of the high-toned grifters of the Ferguson Commission are mostly forgotten, but the town of Ferguson is still here. What’s going on?

Politically, both the black majority and the white minority are expressing overall resistance to radicalism, especially any radicalism imported by outside agitators, including the significant amount of troublemaking that has been financed by George Soros’ network.

In 2017, outsiders believed that Ferguson citizens would vote out Mayor James Knowles, whom they tagged as a symbol of “institutional racism,” even though there is nothing remotely racist about him.  Moreover, Knowles is well known as an active Republican in a city whose voting registration is overwhelmingly Democratic. Knowles was helped by the fact that municipal ballots in Ferguson are nonpartisan, but still there was no hiding his conservatism, Republican affiliation, or “whiteness.”

Knowles was challenged by black city council member Ella Jones, who raised far more money than Knowles for her campaign and advertised the fact that she was “the only Democrat” in the race. Until this contest she had not expressed radical political views, but her financiers got her to make her campaign one of racial grievances. Outside political machines came into Ferguson to organize for Jones. Timid Missouri Republicans for the most part treated Knowles like a leper.

Black turnout was high on this first occasion for the mayor to face the voters since the riots; there was no voter suppression. Still, when the votes were counted, Knowles won with 57 percent of the vote. By any reasonable reckoning, this means that Knowles in all likelihood was supported by the majority of black as well as white citizens in Ferguson. I know anecdotally, because I knocked on hundreds of doors to get out the vote for Knowles, that I encountered numerous whites opposed to Knowles and quite a few blacks expressing support for him. I listened to and talked with many black Ferguson voters. I saw with my own eyes and heard with my own ears that black Ferguson voters—regardless of their choice for mayor—were motivated not by identity politics, but by concern for the well-being of their community.

Knowles, a political prodigy who just turned 40 years old last month, recently was elected president of the St. Louis County Municipal League, the association of mayors of the 88 different municipalities in the majority-Democratic county of one million people. People have a lot to learn from Knowles, myself not excepted.

Earlier this year, I was filled with enthusiasm for an initiative to reunite St. Louis city with St. Louis County, because their nearly 150 years of jurisdictional separation has stifled economic growth and impeded better local government. I’m right about that in principle, but Knowles was right in pointing out fatal flaws in the specifics of the reunification proposal. Knowles was a leader in forcing reunification backers to withdraw their initiative and return to the drawing board, where one hopes they will be informed by Knowles and other leaders who understand the community as well as he does.

I know and respect civic leaders in Ferguson who disagree with Knowles about certain issues of economic development in the town. Contrary to outsiders’ notions that Ferguson is toxically divided over race, Ferguson’s noteworthy political divisions concern specific economic priorities that completely transcend considerations of race.

Real Hope for Renewal
Historic scars of long years of racism are very real in the entire St. Louis area, as in many other parts of the country. My wife—an immigrant from Mexico City—and I are aware of the ills as well as the historic greatness and charm of the inner city of St. Louis where we live now. Ferguson certainly has its share of problems, but it is truly one of the parts of the St. Louis area least deserving of being scorned as racist.

My wife and I have become so attracted to Ferguson that we have bought a property there and intend to live there permanently when our daughter gets a little older and after we get some work done on the place. It’s a large property with two lovely historic houses and two other less-than-lovely, not-very-historic houses. They all need TLC. We dream of it becoming an historic inn, and I imagine my wife and daughter as Ferguson’s very own Latin Gilmore Girls, speaking witty rapid-fire Spanish instead of English.

We don’t know if we will realize our investment dreams in Ferguson, but we are certain that others will. About half of Ferguson’s territory has been designated an “opportunity zone” under President Trump’s tax reform legislation. This could be a game-changer according to several analyses, including this one in Forbes.

For more details about how Opportunity Zones could revitalize communities such as Ferguson—through patient capital not only doing real estate deals but also investing in startups and operating businesses—listen to this webinar presented for the Missouri Department of Economic Development by Ross Baird of Village Capital. Baird presents a compelling vision for long-term investors to take their stakes with “portfolios of entrepreneurs” in addition to real estate.

Meanwhile, massive local infrastructure investment, some of it having been anticipated before the riots, is now resuming in the part of Ferguson most in need of improvement.

We are spending time in Ferguson almost daily as investors and entrepreneurs, and we sense that one of the last things Ferguson residents of any color want to do is to indulge in “a conversation about race in Missouri.” Talk for the sake of talking is fatuous. Impulsive, ideological activism impedes truly constructive action.

Blacks, whites, and, increasingly, Latinos, live side by side today in the community. Those who are staying in Ferguson or who will move there tend to be motivated by solidarity—on being together as neighbors first and foremost without undue impulses of activism or ideology. Our Ferguson friends and future neighbors want to curb crime, to clean up blight, and to obtain or create better jobs. They want their children to get good educations and live in wholesome environments. They are predominantly church-going people whose faith is real and lived. They are coming together to make Ferguson great again.

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