Conservative government is not possible 4

Published today (June 30, 2017) is this video in which Mark Steyn discusses, inter alia, big government; how America (unfortunately) is not and never has been imperialist; the pointlessness of the war in Aghanistan; and terrorism.

He explains why “once government gets to a certain size, you cannot have conservative government”.

He debunks the idea that terrorism will not change us (the West). Muslim terrorism has changed our lives both in obvious ways – eg. the millions of bollards that keep terrorists from driving vehicles on to city side-walks in order to mow down pedestrians – and in deeper more subtle ways: “brainwashing” us, making us “feeble and passive”. That is the greater harm. That is the existential threat.

He talks – as always wittily, wisely, and knowledgeably – about political facts and ideas up to the 20 minutes mark. After that he discusses music.

Posted under government, Islam, jihad, Muslims, Terrorism, Videos by Jillian Becker on Friday, June 30, 2017

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The moral messages of religious myths (1) 12

[Continued from the post immediately below.]

Dr. Peterson says that it is the body of religious myths that carry the “transcendent values” that provide us with eternal guidance to moral rectitude.

So from time to time we will look at the myths themselves.

Today, the myth of the first Man and Woman in the Garden of Eden and their Sin, aka the myth of the Fall of Man.

The message of the myth of Eden presents itself as this: by becoming aware of good and evil, humankind lost its innocence. In a state of innocence, human beings could have lived forever; but  getting to know good and evil made them guilty. Their getting to know good and evil was their Sin. Because they were guilty of Sin, they had to die. Sin made them mortal.

Their discovery of morality made them mortal? Once they could tell right from wrong they deserved to die?  

Yes.

How did they discover morality?

They ate of the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. They did this despite being ordered by God their Maker not to eat the Fruit of that Tree. Why did they disregard God’s order ? Because they were  tempted to. The First Woman was tempted to eat the fruit by a Serpent who dwelt in the Tree. She succumbed to temptation. The First Man was tempted to eat the Fruit by the Woman who had already done so. He succumbed to temptation. Hence their Fall from Grace, their Loss of Innocence, their expulsion from the easy life of the fruitful Garden, their eventual Deaths.

It could be observed that the real Tempter was God who put the Tree there in the first place. (Also the snake.) No tree, no temptation, no fall.  So why did he put it there?

Religion does not encourage the asking of why. But it is asked, and the usual answer is that God put it there to test them. He gave them the capacity to choose – aka Free Will – and they chose wrong. Point is, they came to know Good and Evil. That’s how humanity came to know Good and Evil, and because our species came to know Good and Evil our lives must come to an end.

So the “transcendent value”, the precept, the moral in the myth by which everyone, consciously or unconsciously, is living by  – or failing to live by – today is … what?

Hard to see. Sure, the myth gives an explanation, if a rather puzzling one, to those who wonder why we must all die; why the God they are told is all-good, all-knowing, all-wise, all-powerful, condemns us all to death.

Our remote ancestors did something very wicked: they disobeyed God and ate something they shouldn’t have, so  that’s why?

Yes.

Okay, but is there an actual, useful, moral precept in all that? A do or a don’t for us to follow? After all, the Fruit cannot be un-eaten. No action can be taken by you or me now that will undo what the First Man and Woman did, make us immortal again, put us back in the ever-fruitful Garden, wipe  the knowledge of right and wrong clean out of our brains …

And come to think of it, why is it a sin to know the difference between right and wrong?

Sorry. Don’t know. That why does not seem to have been answered, even reluctantly, by interpreters of the myth!

Okay, well how about this for the moral message?: You must not disobey God. Obeying him now won’t save you from death, but it might keep you from getting him angry and condemning you to some awful punishment.

Mm-hmm. So how will I know what God wants me to do and not do?

We can learn that from the myths of the Bible.

Can we?

We’ll try to find out by exploring more of them in the near future.

Posted under Atheism, Christianity, Judaism, Religion general by Jillian Becker on Thursday, June 29, 2017

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No problem for atheism 9

We much admire Dr. Jordan Peterson when he talks about politics. We agree with all we have heard him say on political issues.

We do not agree with him on the subject of morality as he discusses it here;

Our arguments against Dostoyevsky’s young villain-hero Raskolnikov are too numerous to set out here. Enough to say that one person’s need for something is not a reason why another person should give it to him.

But to come to why Dr. Peterson cites the novel:

He agrees with Dostoyevsky’s declaration (made in the novel by Raskolnikov) that “if there is no god then you can do whatever you want”. He is willing to substitute the word “higher value” or “transcendent value” for “god”.

To explain why he agrees, he asks: “What the hell is irrational about me getting exactly what I want from every one of you whenever I want it at every possible second?”

He adds:  “It’s as if the psychopathic tendency is irrational.”

He asks: “Why the hell not ‘every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost’?”

These are arguments very often put against atheism. They are not difficult for an atheist to answer.

He thinks that atheists such as Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins* do not realize that the ethics they take for granted are predicated on a long tradition of moral principles encapsulated in the myths of religion. The myths convey, down through the ages, the “higher”, the “transcendent” morality – which, he says, “can be personified in the idea of God”.  Those moral principles, he suggests, are not just divinely revealed, they can be said to define and constitute the Divine itself.

The implication is that at certain moments in ancient history, revelations of some “transcendent” moral truths were imparted to certain men. If not by a god at least from some source of divine wisdom. And because these come from that “higher” source, they are the right guides for human behavior.

He is referring of course to the “moral religions”. Most religions contain no moral precepts whatsoever, if the meaning of “moral behavior” is behaving well towards our fellow human beings.

So let’s examine the moral precepts of the moral religions. Convention has it that there are three of them: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. (Some oriental religions such as Buddhism and Jainism command your right behavior towards others, but to serve a different end: not in order to benefit them for their own sakes, but entirely in order to put a shine on your own soul.)

Islam may as well be excluded straightaway. It commands Muslims to be good to other Muslims, not to anyone who is not a Muslim. Dr. Peterson is unlikely to include that idea in his notion of transcendent values.

What does Judaism command? That you love (respect) your neighbor as yourself, and that includes even the stranger in your midst. That is sensible. Enlightened self-interest requires the same thing. Judaism is essentially a religion of law. Law is good. The Mosaic laws forbid murder, theft, false testimony, adultery, and covetousness. Divine revelation was not needed for law to forbid murder, theft, and  false testimony. They were forbidden in far more ancient secular codes of law, such as the Hammurabi Code which was written down some 600 years before the Mosaic law is alleged to have been revealed by Jehovah through Moses to the Children of Israel. As for adultery and covetousness, they are not punishable by law or despised by custom in our time. As to the rest of the Jewish religious laws, a reading of the “books of Moses” is very unlikely to support the view that they are of “transcendent” value, fixed stars in the moral firmament by which we may be rightly guided forever. They forbid homosexuality, for instance. Is that a transcendent value?

And then there is Christianity. It too forbids murder, theft, false testimony, adultery, covetousness and homosexuality. It commands you to love (love) your neighbor, to love everyone, to love all mankind however unlovable your neighbor, or your enemy might be. It commands you to forgive sinners, though you may condemn the sin. It demands, in other words, the impossible, and discards the genuinely and supremely moral idea of justice. It recommends self-abasement and self-denial. It asks human beings to act against human nature. Transcendent and eternal values?

No. The bodies of myth that compose the scriptures and moral commandments of certain religions do NOT set a guide to right behavior, or supply a bedrock of moral values.

To answer Dr. Petersons’ remaining arguments:

What is stopping you from getting anything you want (“forcibly” is implied) from everyone else whenever you want to, is the will of everyone else. Your self-interest is best served by taking into account that everyone else is necessarily serving his own self-interest just as you are, and your survival and the satisfying of your needs depends on taking this fact into consideration. Or, as we put it in our own Articles of Reason: My liberty should be limited by nothing except everyone else’s liberty. That is rational. Mankind would not long have survived if many people had not understood the selfish need to tolerate and co-operate with other people. Rational self-interest keeps most of us  from living by the maxim “every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost”, because if we did we would be likely to die by it.

Finally, to want to get what one wants from everyone else is, he suggests, a “psychopathic tendency”, and that, he says, is not irrational. But what does “psychopathic” mean if not a sickness of the mind – a breakdown of sanity, of the capacity to reason? If psychopaths are the example of what we should not be, who would disagree?

Our final answer: no god ever spoke to any man. No moral precepts come from a divine source.

All are man-made.

None are set in stone.

Every moral idea, like every other idea, needs to be examined by reason.

 

 

* In the case of Richard Dawkins, we would concede that his Leftist principles derive from Christianity. In our opinion they are not good.

Posted under Atheism, Ethics by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, June 28, 2017

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The whirligig of time brings in his revenges 2

The Left has been trying for a long time now to substitute their own version of what is happening in America and the world for what is actually happening. The Democrats, now a far left party, stepped up the attempt when Donald Trump was elected president. They had been so sure they would win the 2016 election that their failure seems to them to be impossible, a terrible mistake of the cosmos, a breakdown of the laws of the universe. They knew that one of their own – the corrupt Hillary Clinton – would be the next president, so their multitude of deceits would continue to be covered up and their devious plots implemented. Oh, what a shock they got when rude Reality brought Donald Trump to power!

They still refuse to accept the fact that Donald Trump is president. Something must be done to rectify the cosmic error. New fictions are required. So wild stories of Trump perfidies spring out of newspapers and TV screens.

But it is insane to believe that a false description of reality can replace the Real.

Reality goes on accruing its consequences, and sooner or later the truth bursts through the lies.

This week the devious plot – involving a total fiction without a trace of a fact to give it any credibility whatsoever – invented to frame President Trump as a traitor selling out his country to Russia, has been burst open.

From Investor’s Business Daily:

The past few days have seen several interesting developments on the supposed Trump/Russia scandal. But instead of causing further damage to President Trump, they’re making the entire story look like a multilayered smear campaign by Trump’s enemies.

Over the weekend, the New York Post reported that the firm behind the infamous Trump dossier — Fusion GPS — has been stonewalling the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has been trying to get information on who paid the firm to produce it and how it was used by government officials.

It has been publicly known since at least early January that Fusion GPS was behind the discredited dossier, which claimed that Russia had backmailable information on Trump, and that it was a notorious opposition research firm that was often enlisted to dig up dirt on Republicans, including a 2012 smear campaign against a donor to Mitt Romney’s campaign.

As the Post notes, one of the Fusion’s founders, Peter Fritsch, contributed “at least $1,000 to the Hillary Victory Fund and the Hillary for America campaign”.

The Post story has sparked renewed interest in this dossier, most of which has been discredited, but which appears to be serving as a “road map” to various investigations.

That was strike one against the anti-Trump conspiracy mongers.

Strike two happened Sunday [June 25, 2017] when an internal memo from CNN Money’s executive editor Rich Barbieri leaked. The memo told reporters: “No one should publish any content involving Russia without coming to me or (VP of Premium Content Video) Jason (Farkas) first. … No exception.”

That memo came after CNN was forced to retract a story it had posted on its website claiming that Trump advisor Anthony Scaramucci was under investigation for ties to Russia. Turns out the story — based on a single anonymous source — was false. CNN pulled the story and apologized to Scaramucci.

This wasn’t the first Russia-related story pushed by the mainstream press that turned out to be exaggerated or false, but it was the most embarrassing one to date. And it showcased what many suspected — that Trump-hating reporters and editors had dropped all pretense of journalistic professionalism in order to peddle [made up] dirt on Trump.

Here is Project Veritas’s video of a CNN producer confessing to the lie:

Was there no collusion at all by Somebody with Russia?

What does Reality say?

Then, on Sunday, the Obama administration started to come under attack. That got started by, of all places, the Washington Post, which offered a detailed account of how the administration knew about Russia’s efforts to influence the election months before the polls opened, but did nothing about it.

Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told CNN over the weekend that “the Obama administration should have done more when it became clear that not only was Russia intervening, but it was being directed at the highest levels of the Kremlin”.

On Monday, Trump amped the story up, tweeting that Obama “colluded or obstructed” with the Clinton campaign by downplaying Russia because he assumed Clinton would win.

Time is bringing him his revenge.

Note what is missing from all these stories — any evidence that Trump had anything to do with Russia’s efforts. Given that this yearlong investigation has turned up nothing, we’d argue that it’s time for [“special counselor”] Robert Mueller and congressional investigators to start looking at whether the Obama administration broke any laws in its attempt to destroy the Trump presidency before it got started.

Sweden dying cries for help 2

They asked for it. They begged for it. They strove for it. And they got it.

Now they are paying for it.

Our reaction? Schadenfreude is overwhelmed by sadness.

Sweden is just the first European country to cry out in its death throes. Wound in the coils of Islam, it is being squeezed to death.

The country’s top policemen despair and cry for help, we read in a report by Nicolai Sennels at Jihad Watch:

The number of lawless areas (commonly referred to as “no-go zones”) in Sweden now totals 61. That is up from 55 in just one year’s time. This increase includes not only the total number, but also the geographical size of these areas.

Sweden’s National Police Commissioner, Dan Eliasson, spoke on national television and pleaded for assistance: Help us, help us!,” he said, while warning that Swedish police forces no longer can uphold the law and therefore must ask all good powers in the country to support them.

A research expert regarding destabilized countries and 2011 recipient of Sweden’s Order of the Seraphim medal, Johan Patrik Engellau, has been working with organizations such as the UN and others that operate in crisis areas. He warns:

I’m afraid it is the end for the well-organized, decent and egalitarian Sweden we have known up to now. Personally, I would not be surprised if a form of civil war occurs. In some places, the civil war has probably already begun.

10News recently reported how the Swedish state has lost large areas to armed, religious groups best described as Islamist militias.

Police chief Lars Alversjø says that,

There is lawlessness in parts of Stockholm [Sweden’s capital] now. The legal system, which is a pillar in every democratic society, is collapsing in Sweden.

Per Magnus Ranstorp, a researcher into terrorism and radicalization at the Swedish National Defense College, notes: 

In the worst areas, extremists have taken over. The whole sense of justice and peace is threatened by the fact that the police are breaking down and it’s only getting worse. Sweden is in a disastrous situation.

The Swedish Security Service (Säkerhetspolisen – abbreviated as Säpo), recently warned that the country is crawling with “thousands of Islamists” sharing Islamic State’s ideology. In many places, public servants (i.e., non-Islamic authorities) require police escort or protection.

The word that Swedish authorities and media use for the country’s “no-go zones” is utenforskap. The word means something like “excluded area”. In these areas, Swedish law has been replaced with a mixture of the law of the jungle and the Islamic legal code, sharia. Armed Muslim gangs and Islamic radicals are simply carving out big pieces of Sweden for themselves.

The only reason why it has not evolved into large-scale armed conflicts — in this formerly peaceful and safe country — probably relates to how Sweden’s feminist-liberal government is not putting up any real resistance against the Islamists.

Even if the Swedish feminist government chose to fight back tomorrow, Sweden has nothing close to the paramilitary capacity needed to reverse this situation. That 80 percent of the country’s law enforcement officers are considering quitting their jobs is a clear sign of a police force that is completely demoralized. The military in this traditionally pacifist country is cut down to almost nothing, and there is no money to fix it.

As Johan Patrik Engellau puts it: 

The government does not seem to understand that it has lost control. There is a point where you can no longer stop a situation’s development. I do not know if Sweden has reached this point when it comes to [the consequences of] immigration, but I fear we are drawing close. If we right here and now take clear and powerful action – including stopping immigration and the political promotion of multiculturalism – we might with some difficulty be able to save Sweden.

The fact remains that Sweden’s political elite is nowhere near taking such decisive action, as it has not even started to openly speak out about these problems.

Therefore Sweden will very soon need help from abroad. Police chief Dan Eliasson’s prayer for help only included potential partners inside Sweden, but very soon the international community will have to intervene if a humanitarian catastrophe is to be avoided.

What?

We may be able to suppress Schadenfreude because the tragedy of Europe’s suicide is so great, but we cannot suppress laughter at the suggestion that some imaginary “international community” will materialize to save it.

The UN,  with which the researcher Johan Patrik Engellau – he who announced “the end” of the Sweden-that-was –  “has been working”, insisted that Western countries take in vast numbers of Muslims from the Third World.

All west European governments have been importing swarms of Muslims as fanatically as the feminist government of Sweden.

Every European who has dared to utter a warning about the inevitable result of such monstrous folly – the result Sweden is now experiencing – has been prosecuted, and most of them have been silenced.

The reaction of European leaders to President Trump’s sensible decision to halt Muslim immigration into the United States was condemnation, anger, scorn, accusations of “racism”, “bigotry”, “xenophobia”, “Islamophobia”.  Will Europe start crying now for America’s help?

There is nothing that can be done to save Europe. There is nothing it can do to save itself. It is too late.

Unless, perhaps, there is civil war.

The death of Europe 12

The Strange Death of Europe is the title of a new book by Douglas Murray. In this video he defends the opinions he expresses in it. He shows how massive immigration of Third World peoples (mainly Muslim) with cultures entirely different from the culture of the West, and incompatible with the values of the West, is killing Europe.

Is the remedy he advocates – “Slow it down” – sufficient to save Europe?

We do not think so. Much as we generally admire Douglas Murray, and appreciate his description of the problem, we cannot see how killing Europe slowly makes its death any easier to contemplate, anything less than the most appalling of all the tragedies of history.

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Posted under Europe, immigration, Islam, Muslims, Videos by Jillian Becker on Sunday, June 25, 2017

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Raging mutiny 1

There is a civil war raging in America – a “cold civil war”.

The always interesting political analyst David P. Goldman, aka Spengler, writes at the Asia Times:

The distinguished political scientist Angelo Codevilla coined the ominous term “cold civil war” to describe America’s precarious condition, adding, “Statesmanship’s first task is to prevent it from turning hot.”

The attempted massacre this week of Republican Congressmen and their staff by a deranged partisan of Sen. Bernie Sanders turned up the heat a notch, but it would be mistaken to attribute much importance to this dreadful outburst of left-wing rage. The augury of American fracture will not be street violence, but a constitutional crisis implicating virtually the whole of America’s governing caste. The shock troops in the cold civil war are not gunmen but lawyers.

Here we interrupt an argument that we very largely agree with, to cavil: Lawyers acting as shock troops in this cold civil war, and the politicians who employ them, are themselves making “a dreadful outburst of left-wing rage”, albeit with words and not guns.

A considerable portion of America’s permanent bureaucracy, including elements of its intelligence community, is engaged in an illegal and unconstitutional mutiny against the elected commander-in-chief, President Donald Trump. Most of the Democratic Party and a fair sampling of the Republican Establishment want to force Trump out of office, and to this end undertook an entrapment scheme to entice the president and his staff into actions which might be construed after the fact as obstruction of justice.

By means yet undisclosed, the mutineers forced Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn from office and now seek to bring down the president for allegedly obstructing an investigation of Gen. Flynn that arose in the first place from the entrapment scheme.

By no coincidence is Gen. Flynn the central character in this scenario. … The CIA really is out to get him:

Flynn’s Defense Intelligence Agency produced a now-notorious 2012 report warning that chaos in Syria’s civil war enabled the rise of a new Caliphate movement, namely ISIS. … Flynn humiliated the bungling CIA and exposed the incompetence and deception of the Obama administration, and got fired for it. …

The mainstream media makes no effort to disguise its hatred for Trump and insinuates in countless ways that the president fired former FBI director James Comey in order to protect Gen. Flynn from a legitimate investigation. I do not believe this to be the case; I think it more likely that Comey showed insufficient zeal in uncovering the pattern of press leaks and other sabotage which the mutineers employed against the president.

Faced with a mutiny fed by illegal actions (leaking classified information is a felony that carries a 10-year prison sentence), the president requires a Pitbull for a counterintelligence chief. Comey, who in 2005 earned $6 million as general counsel for the giant defense contractor Lockheed Martin, is more of a Pomeranian. …

If it is proven that Russian cyber-spies hacked the email account of Democratic National Committee Chairman John Podesta and handed embarrassing information to Wikileaks, we will know that Russia has done what all intelligence agencies have done for centuries: leak embarrassing political information to the press.

Western intelligence services leak information about Putin’s alleged personal fortune and personal life and skullduggery to the media, as well as information about the dodgy connections of Chinese officials and their offspring to business.

Podesta and his gang at the DNC used unethical and perhaps illegal means to sandbag the campaign of Sen. Sanders, leaks about which embarrassed Hillary Clinton. Sanders, knowing on which side his bread is buttered, declined to make an issue of the sandbagging, allowing Trump’s enemies to transform what should have been an investigation of corruption in the Democratic Party into a fairy-tale about Russian spies stealing an American election with implied collusion by the Trump campaign.

The Trump-Russia collusion story is nonsense, as its disseminators know better than anyone else. The object of the exercise is not to support the innuendo, but to launch an investigation which can provoke the White House into responses that might be construed as illegal.

The intelligence leaks involved in framing the story alone are probably sufficient grounds to put several dozen senior officials in federal prison for double-digit terms. That consideration gauges the scale of the problem: the mutineers have committed multiple felonies, and their downside should the mutiny go wrong is not ignominious retirement but hard time at Leavenworth.

Oh, may it be so! It is a consummation devoutly to be wished.

For the moment, the mutineers have the momentum. The Trump administration continues to run on a skeleton staff, with the vast majority of key positions still unoccupied. If my surmise is correct, it was unable to persuade the director of the FBI, the nation’s chief watchdog, to undertake vigorous countermeasures against the mutiny, for example, a comprehensive screening of electronic communications by the reporters who received leaks of classified materials. …

The White House and in particular the National Security Council … remain riddled with Obama Administration holdovers, forcing Trump to rely on a close circle of trusted advisers. That limits the president’s ability to reach out for allies against the mutineers.

The installation of former FBI director Robert Mueller as Special Counsel … also constrains the counterintelligence operations of the White House. If senior intelligence officials claim to be engaged in counterintelligence investigations against Russian interference in US elections, is it obstruction of justice to investigate their illegal contacts with the media?

The mutineers also can count on the support of Establishment worthies like Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), for whom Trump’s election was an intolerable humiliation. Trump ran against the Bush wing of the Republican Party as much as he ran against the Democrats. …

Trump’s one great advantage in all of this is that he has done nothing wrong. He did not obstruct justice because there is no crime. The mutineers’ only hope is to provoke him to take actions which might be construed as obstruction of justice in an investigation with no crime and no victim. Still, it is a moment of great danger for the American Republic.

The mutiny has burned its bridges on the beach, and its perpetrators will risk everything to make it succeed. Whatever the outcome, the legitimacy of a political system designed to be litigious and oppositional will be called into question, and the polarization of American opinion will become more rather than less extreme.

More physical violence cannot be ruled out. The mutineers must lose the cold civil war, if only after inflicting crippling damage on the country. Then they face long years in jail (with a bit of luck and impartial justice from Trump appointed judges). The chances they will then turn to – or at least encourage – violence, are surely high. The Left will not surrender easily. It worked too long, too hard for victory, got it, and thought it had secured power for ever. It cannot let go without a no-holds-barred fight. It is mostly screaming biting and scratching now, but will almost certainly use guns and knives and all the weapons of mutiny that it can before it is forcibly crushed.

 

(Hat-tip for the Spengler article to our contributing commenter, liz)

Failure of the rule of law? 1

Is it not obvious that crimes have been committed by former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former FBI Director James Comey, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton?

And that they are getting away with them?

Deroy Murdock writes at Townhall:

James Comey, Loretta Lynch, and the Clintons should do time for their crimes. So should the unnamed leakers who give away state secrets as if they were handing out leaflets at a busy street corner.

While the relentless Russiagate probe continues its futile search for lawbreaking among Team Trump, actual crimes already have occurred at the highest levels of the Deep State and among former Democratic officials. These perpetrators should be prosecuted. 

Someone violated federal law by unmasking former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s name from National Security Agency transcripts or other surveillance records of his conversations with Russian ambassador to Washington Sergey Kislyak. As part of the presidential transition, it was perfectly normal for Flynn to speak with Kislyak and other foreign emissaries. It also is no surprise that the NSA and other American intelligence agencies cup their ears when Kislyak speaks.

However, the identities of Americans in such conversations are supposed to remain confidential. Whoever unmasked Flynn in such documents violated the federal Espionage Act of 1917, 18 U.S. Code § 793. It prohibits the improper handling and transmission of “information respecting the national defense”.

The anti-Flynn leaks also appear to breach 18 U.S. Code § 798, which forbids disclosure of classified data “concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States or any foreign government.”  …

Leaking seems to be Washingtonians’ favorite indoor activity. And Comey got in on the fun, too. Referring to his memo-to-file about a private Oval Office meeting with Trump, Comey said, “I need to get that out into the public square,” as if that were his job.

… and as if there was something so incriminating in what the president said that it simply had to be broadcast to the nation.

But surely if there had been something of that sort, it would have been the right procedure for the FBI to bring to the attention of the Justice Department?

It is not normal FBI procedure to leak details of an investigation to the press rather than use it to build a criminal case.

A president cannot be charged with a criminal offense, but if there is proof that he has committed crimes, or has said something that could be interpreted as criminal, he could be impeached. But only by Congress, not by the readers of a  Communist Youth organ such as the New York Times.

Yet the Dirctor of the FBI wanted it to reach the NYT at all costs. So he leaked it through the conduit of a leftist academic.

Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8: “I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter.” This “close friend who is a professor at Columbia law school,” is named Daniel C. Richman. …

“I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel,” Comey explained.

Shazzam!

Comey’s leaked memo hit the front pages, and Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein named a special counsel: Comey’s mentor and one-time boss, former FBI chief Robert Mueller.

Comey and Mueller’s toasty relationship raises legitimate worries about Mueller’s capacity for disinterest in a case that involves the dismissal and public ostracism of his protégé of at least 14 years. …

How can Mueller be objective about his bosom buddy, who now is at the epicenter of this entire probe?

Also troublesome: Mueller’s team includes attorneys who maxed out in donations to Hillary and Obama, defended Hillary against Freedom of Information Act requests, and even represented a Clinton staffer at the heart of E-mailgate. …

According to Political Insider, “In total, Mueller’s team has made $52,650 in political donations since 1997, 95 percent of which ($49,900) went to Democrats.”

Among some 100,000 attorneys in the Washington, D.C. Bar, was Mueller really unable to employ lawyers who neither have worked for the Clintons nor underwritten their campaigns? Could he not have hired professionals unconnected to either the Clintons or the Trumps? Was that really so hard?

Or maybe Mueller deliberately assembled a kennel full of Hillary-loving legal Rottweilers.

Whatever Mueller’s objectives, he has crafted at a minimum — a major appearance of impropriety. If Team Mueller fairly, honestly, and properly discovers wrongdoing among Team Trump, Republicans may dismiss his findings as the crooked output of a rigged system. But if Mueller correctly exonerates Trump & Co., Democrats may scream that the special counsel chickened out, to avoid being accused of running a politically tainted probe. Either way, such second-guessing would erode confidence in American justice.

For his part, Comey’s leak to Professor Richman looks like a violation of, at least, 18 U.S. Code § 641, which bars the unauthorized conveyance of “any record” belonging to the U.S. government. Comey should be brought back before Congress and forced to spell out any and every such leak he ever made, describe the documents he spilled, the dates he did so, etc. Each one of those instances should constitute an individual count in an indictment for breaking the Espionage Act.

According to Comey, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch instructed him to refer benignly to E-mailgate as a “matter” rather than an “investigation”. While that latter word was more politically volatile, it also was accurate. After all, Comey ran the Federal Bureau of Investigation, not the Federal Bureau of Matter.

According to Circa.com’s John Solomon and Sara A. Carter, Comey told senators behind closed doors about “a communication between two political figures that suggested Lynch had agreed to put the kibosh on any prosecution of Clinton”, never mind evidence of Hillary’s crimes.

Comey reportedly showed Lynch that do-not-prosecute record. As one source familiar with Comey’s comments told Solomon and Carter, “the attorney general looked at the document then looked up with a steely silence that lasted for some time, then asked him if he had any other business with her and if not that he should leave her office”. …

Coupled with Lynch’s notorious “golf clubs and grandkids” pow-wow with Bill Clinton on her official plane at Phoenix Airport last June 27, just five days before the FBI questioned Hillary (inexplicably, not under oath), Lynch’s behavior reeks of obstruction of justice.

Comey stated last July 5 that “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring charges against Hillary Clinton in E-mailgate. This claim instantly was refuted by reasonable former federal prosecutors including Sidney Powell, Andrew McCarthy, Rudolph W. Giuliani, and Michael Mukasey. They all stated why Hillary deserved indictment.

Comey said that Hillary should have stayed free because she had no criminal intent to violate the Espionage Act. However, to be convicted under this statute, one need not possess criminal intent. …

Hillary could be convicted merely for handling classified documents in a “grossly negligent” fashion. She certainly did this. …

Beyond E-mailgate, the Clinton Foundation’s bribes-for-favors scandal has gone entirely unpunished. Hillary approved the Kremlin’s purchase of 20 percent of U.S. uranium supplies. She permitted Russia’s Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation to acquire Uranium One Inc. This is the sort of cloak-and-dagger Russian collusion about which Democratic mouths have foamed since last fall. The $145 million that Uranium One’s investors pumped into the Clinton Foundation before, during, and after this grotesque deal epitomizes the pay-to-play bonanza for which Hillary should be tossed in the clink. Ditto the $500,000 fee that Kremlin-controlled Renaissance Capital handed Bill Clinton for a one-hour speech while Hillary decided to green-light this transaction. Remember: the Clintons literally gave Vladimir Putin access to the active ingredient in hydrogen bombs — extracted from American soil. …

And “giving aid and comfort” to the enemy is treason according to the Constitution.

The House Government Oversight Committee should hold public hearings and subpoena Comey, Lynch, and the Clintons and make them testify publicly about these crimes, under penalty of perjury.

After that, President Trump should keep a promise that he made in the October 9 debate against Hillary: “If I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation.”

Prosecuting Comey for leaking government papers, Lynch for sandbagging the E-mailgate probe, and the Clintons and Clintonites for running their bribes-for-favors scams would not signal American devolution into a banana republic. Rather, this would reinvigorate a core principle of American constitutional republicanism: Equal Justice Under Law.

On all that is wrong with James Comey’s buddy Robert Mueller being appointed to sniff out an unknown crime in the Trump administration, Andrew McCarthy writes:

So I’ve been wondering: Why on earth does a prosecutor, brought in to investigate a case in which there is no apparent crime, need a staff of 14 lawyers?

Or, I should say, “14 lawyers and counting.” According to the press spokesman for special counsel Robert Mueller — yeah, he’s got a press spokesman, too — there are “several more in the pipeline.”

Concededly, none of Mueller’s recruits requires Senate confirmation, as do Justice Department officials — notwithstanding that the former may end up playing a far more consequential role in the fate of the Trump administration. But does it seem strange to anyone else that, by comparison, the president of the United States has managed to get — count ’em — three appointees confirmed to Justice Department positions in five months?

A special counsel, the need for whom is far from obvious, has in just a few days staffed up with four times the number of lawyers. And all for a single investigation that the FBI has described as a counterintelligence probe — i.e., not a criminal investigation, the kind for which you actually need lawyers.  

Oh, and about those three Justice Department appointees: One of them, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has already recused himself from the investigation in question — the department’s most high profile undertaking. Another, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, is reportedly weighing whether he, too, should bow out. Perhaps he figures he has already done quite enough, having sicced a special-counsel investigation on the Trump Administration by flouting both the regulation that requires a basis for a criminal investigation before a special counsel is appointed, and the regulation that requires limiting the special counsel’s jurisdiction to the specific factual matter that triggers this criminal investigation.

The way this is supposed to work is: the Justice Department first identifies a likely crime, and then assigns a prosecutor to investigate it. Here, by contrast, there are no parameters imposed on the special counsel’s jurisdiction. Mueller is loosed—with 14 lawyers and more coming—to conduct what I’ve called a “fishing expedition”.

But it is actually worse than that … Mueller’s probe is the functional equivalent of a general warrant: a boundless writ to search for incriminating evidence. It is the very evil the Fourth Amendment was adopted to forbid: a scorch-the-earth investigation in the absence of probable cause that a crime has been committed.

For now, Mueller appears utterly without limits, in his writ and in his resources. As the ease with which he has staffed up shows, it is not hard to recruit lawyers. All you need is money. Mueller has a bottomless budget, thanks to a bit of Treasury Department chicanery known as “permanent, indefinite appropriations”. 

Under the Constitution’s Appropriations Clause, no funding is supposed to be paid out of the treasury unless Congress has approved it in advance. Under the Framers’ design, with an eye toward limited, accountable government, every spending initiative must compete with every other one when Congress enacts a budget. Lawmakers must decide what we can and can’t afford when they draw on what is supposed to be the finite pot of money confiscated from taxpayers. We are supposed to know what we are underwriting and what it will cost.

The Swamp, ever resistant to such restraints, has developed a scheme known as “indefinite appropriations”. These are slush funds for future contingencies. A good example is the “Judgment Fund” which President Obama raided to underwrite nearly $2 billion in ransom payments demanded by Iran, the sweetener he needed to close the infamous nuclear deal.

And that sounds like treason too.

It is an Orwellian game. What makes an appropriation an appropriation is that Congress provides a definite amount of funding suitable to the task it has approved. If it turns out more is needed, the executive branch is supposed to come back to Congress — ask for it and justify why it should be prioritized over other needs.

Mueller’s special counsel investigation is somehow under no such restrictions, according to the Justice Department. He unilaterally decides how much staffing he needs. And unlike a normal prosecutor’s office, the special counsel does not have to apportion his resources over hundreds of cases. He can direct all of them at one investigative target.

In this instance, the target is Trump, and the resources — apart from what will be scores of FBI agents — include 14 lawyers (going on 15 … going on 16…).

These lawyers, overwhelmingly, are Democrats. … Mueller’s staffers contribute to Trump’s political opponents, some heavily. The latest Democratic talking-point about this unseemly appearance is that hiring regulations forbid an inquiry into an applicant’s political affiliation. That’s laughable. These are lawyers Mueller has recruited. They are not “applicants”. We’re talking about top-shelf legal talent, accomplished professionals who have jumped at the chance of a gig they do not need but, clearly, want. …

Notice that, consistent with the familiar ethical canon that lawyers must avoid even the appearance of impropriety, the standard here is based not on the lawyer’s personal rectitude or his subjective belief that he can administer the law impartially. The issue is: What would this look like to fair-minded observers?

Consequently, if this boundless investigation careens into a criminal prosecution, Mueller could have some major soul-searching to do. I thus confess to being taken aback that he has exacerbated the problem, rather than trying to mitigate it, with his staffing decisions. Into an investigation that was already fraught with political tension, the special counsel has recruited partisans — to politicians who describe themselves not as a loyal opposition but as the Trump “Resistance”. What are fair-minded people to make of that?

Not just one or two recruits, but 14 lawyers, with more to come. …

Why does special counsel Mueller need 14 lawyers (and more coming) for a counterintelligence investigation, as to which the intelligence professionals — agents, not lawyers — have found no “collusion with Russia” evidence after over a year of hard work? What will those lawyers be doing with no limits on their jurisdiction, with nothing but all the time and funding they need to examine one target, Donald Trump?

The Mueller investigation itself has the smell of corruption about it.

The law is the house in which we live. If its timbers are rotten, what will become of us? 

Real crime, real corruption 1

And no indictment?

Julian Assange of Wikileaks talks to the notorious John Pilger, who is unimportant in this clip and doesn’t say much.

Assange accuses Hillary Clinton of criminal corruption, referring to one of her emails in his possession which, he says, is “the most significant email in the whole collection”.

Posted under corruption, Crime, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United States, Videos by Jillian Becker on Friday, June 23, 2017

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Weapons of war: the ultimate mowing machines 3

Sam Westrop, the best informed expert in both Britain and America on Islamic sects, their internecine strife, and the jihad, talks about terrorism by motor vehicle:

When will  Democrats start calling for van control?

Posted under Terrorism by Jillian Becker on Thursday, June 22, 2017

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