The Left was able to make its “long march through the institutions” and finally achieve supreme power as the bureaucratic dictatorship of the European Union and the administration of Barack Obama in the United States, because the conservative Right let it.
The Left fights low and dirty. Conservative politicians, almost without exception, will not “descend to their level”. Conservatives and Republicans fight like gentlemen (and that includes the women except for Margaret the Great of England); which means to fight cleanly, respectfully, obeying the rules – of etiquette! The result was, the thugs on the Left won power.
Then Donald Trump barged on to the political stage.
Donald Trump wants to win, win he does, and win he shall.
But even now, one of his own chosen team, newly-appointed Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has let him down with etiquette! So of course President Trump is furious with Sessions for surrendering to the enemy, who is fighting lower and dirtier than ever.
Andrew McCarthy explains, writing at the National Review:
So, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself. Great! Just one question: From what? Yes, yes, Sessions is a good and decent man. He is a scrupulous lawyer who cares about his reputation. Thus, in stark contrast to Obama administration attorneys general, he strictly applied — I’d say he hyper-applied — the ethical standard that calls on a lawyer to recuse himself from a matter in which his participation as counsel would create the mere appearance of impropriety.
The standard is eminently sensible because the legitimacy of our judicial system depends not only on its actually being on the up and up but on its being perceived as such. If it looks like you’re conflicted, you step aside, period. Simple, right? Well . . . Much as I admire our AG’s virtue (and you know I do), let’s pause the preen parade for just a moment. There’s a tiny word in that just-described ethical standard that we need to take note of: matter. A lawyer doesn’t just recuse himself. He recuses himself from a legal matter — from participation in a case. When we are talking about the criminal law, that means recusal from a prospective prosecution. You need a crime for that. Prosecutors do not recuse themselves from fishing expeditions or partisan narratives. So . . . what is the crime?
We need to ask this question because, rest assured, this does not end with Jeff Sessions. No more than it ended with Mike Flynn. No more than it would end if the media-Democrat complex were to obtain the much coveted scalp of Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, Seb Gorka, or one of the other Beltway gate-crashers we’ve come to know over the last six improbable months. The objective is President Trump: preferably, his impeachment and removal; but second prize, his mortal political wounding by a thousand cuts just in time for 2018 and 2020, would surely do. …
Impeachment cases do not just spontaneously appear. They have to be built over time, and with vigor, because most Americans — even those who oppose a president politically — do not want the wrenching divisiveness and national instability that impeachment unavoidably entails. The reluctant public must be convinced that there is urgency, that the [targeted] president’s demonstrated unfitness has created a crisis that must be dealt with. …
In the matter of Barack Obama, the GOP had an actual case based on systematic executive overreach and the empowering of America’s enemies, the kind of threat to the constitutional framework that induced Madison to regard the impeachment remedy as “indispensable”. Yet agitating for upheaval is against the Republican character (a generally good trait, though paralyzing in an actual crisis). …
Republicans had no stomach for mentioning impeachment, much less building a case. Democrats, by contrast, have an iron-cast stomach and an unseemly zeal for upheaval. They’re ready to build. All they lack is a case. No problem: They have made one up, and they are confident not only that they will build it into a national crisis of confidence in the presidency but that the Republicans will help them.
And lo and behold, Republicans are helping them. Unwittingly perhaps, but helping all the same.
Let’s try to keep our eye on the ball here. The “Russia hacked the election” narrative is laughably false. Russian intelligence, at most, hacked e-mail accounts of prominent Democrats during the campaign. That is not hacking the election, which would require manipulating the voting process. And it almost certainly had zero impact on the outcome of the election. Remember, these are the same Democrats who spent nearly two years telling you that Hillary Clinton’s own scandalous e-mails made no difference — she was going to glide to victory. Do they really expect you to believe she lost because of John Podesta’s comparatively benign e-mails? (Thought experiment: Outside us political wonks, what percentage of the American electorate actually knows who the hell John Podesta is?)
Let’s look hard at the farcical “Russia hacked the election” narrative and ask: Have any crimes been committed, and by whom? Yes, we know that crimes of hacking were committed. Again, this was not hacking of the election; it was hacking of Democrats, during the campaign, months before the election. Not only do we know there were hacking crimes; government investigators tell us they know exactly who did it: Russian intelligence services. That was what the FBI pronounced in the largely content-free report it released jointly with the CIA and NSA. Thus, the only apparent crimes have already been solved.
Not so fast,” you’re thinking, “what about collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians?” And why wouldn’t you ask that? After all, the media and Democrats have been hammering “Russia hacked the election” non-stop for three months; Mike Flynn has been ousted from his perch as national security adviser after meeting with a Russian ambassador; and now we have Jeff Sessions, after meeting with the very same Russian ambassador, recusing himself from . . . er . . . well . . . um . . . something, I guess. But what something? Is there any fire under all that smoke?
Start with this: There is no evidence — none, not a speck, not even a little one — that Donald Trump or anyone associated with him had anything whatsoever to do with the hacking of Democratic accounts. Remember, that’s the only crime here. And the Trump campaign had utterly nothing to do with it. We know this for two reasons.
First, in its ballyhooed report, the FBI told us not only that the Russians are the culprits but also that the Democrats were not the only targets. Putin’s regime, we are told, targeted both major parties. This was a Russian-government effort to compromise the American government, no matter which candidate ended up running it. It should come as no surprise, then, that the FBI made no allegation that Trump and his associates were complicit.
Second, it’s not like the FBI and the Obama Justice Department didn’t try to make a case against Trump. In fact, they scorched the earth. Besides the illegal leaks of classified information that have fueled the “Russia hacked the election” scam, this is the most outrageous and studiously unmentioned scandal of the election. While the commentariat was rending its garments over the mere prospect that Trump might have his political adversary, Hillary Clinton, investigated if he won the election, Obama was actually having Trump investigated.
To rehearse briefly, in the weeks prior to June 2016, the FBI did a preliminary investigation, apparently based on concerns about a server at Trump Tower that allegedly had some connection to Russian financial institutions. Even if there were such a connection, it is not a crime to do business with Russian banks — lots of Americans do. It should come as no surprise, then, that the FBI found no impropriety and did not proceed with a criminal investigation.
What is surprising, though, is that the case was not closed down. Instead, the Obama Justice Department decided to pursue the matter as a national-security investigation under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
In June, it sought the FISA court’s permission to conduct surveillance on a number of Trump associates — and perhaps even Trump himself. It has been reported that Trump was “named” in the application, but it is not publicly known whether he (a) was named as a proposed wiretap target, or (b) was just mentioned in passing in the application. Understand the significance of this: Only the Justice Department litigates before the FISA court; this was not some rogue investigators; this was a high level of Obama’s Justice Department — the same institution that, at that very moment, was whitewashing the Clinton e-mail scandal. And when Justice seeks FISA surveillance authority, it is essentially telling that court that there is probable cause to believe that the targets have acted as agents of a foreign power — that’s the only basis for getting a FISA warrant. In this instance, the FISA court apparently found the Obama Justice Department’s presentation to be so weak that it refused to authorize the surveillance. That is telling, because the FISA court is generally very accommodating of government surveillance requests.
Unwilling to take no for an answer, the Obama Justice Department came back to the FISA court in October — i.e., in the stretch run of the presidential campaign. According to various reports (and mind you, FISA applications are classified, so the leaks are illegal), the October application was much narrower than the earlier one and did not mention Donald Trump. The FISA Court granted this application, and for all we know the investigation is continuing. There are two significant takeaways from this.
First, a FISA national-security investigation is not a criminal investigation. It is not a probe to uncover criminal activity; it is a classified effort to discover what a potentially hostile foreign government may be up to on American soil. It does not get an assigned prosecutor because the purpose is not to prove anything publicly in court — indeed, it is a major no-no for the Justice Department to use its FISA authority pretextually, for the real purpose of trying to build a criminal investigation.
Second, remember when the New York Times gleefully reported in mid January that three Trump associates — Paul Manafort (who was ousted as campaign manager in August), Manafort’s associate Roger Stone, and Trump’s investor friend Carter Page — were being investigated over alleged ties to Russia? Well, deep into the report, after all the heavy breathing about potential Trump–Russia ties, the Times report conceded that this investigation may very well have nothing to do with Trump, the presidential campaign, or Russian hacking. …
Bottom line: The Obama Justice Department and the FBI spent at least eight months searching for Trump–Russia ties. They found nothing criminal, and clearly nothing connecting Trump to Russian hacking. …
Where’s the crime?
And what else is propping up the “Russia hacked the election” narrative? First there is General Flynn. He had a conversation with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, during which Kislyak raised the subject of sanctions imposed earlier that day by Obama. But there was nothing illegal or improper about this conversation: Flynn was part of the Trump transition and about to become national security adviser, so he was supposed to be reaching out to foreign governments. And, as the New York Times acknowledged, though the FBI has a recording of the conversation (because the Russian ambassador was under surveillance), and though the Bureau, the Obama Justice Department, and what the Times gingerly called Obama’s “advisers” carefully combed over every word of it, Flynn made no commitments to address the Russian concerns — the Times: “Obama officials asked the FBI if a quid pro quo had been discussed on the call, and the answer came back no.” That is the main point. Flynn was not fired for speaking with the Russian ambassador. He was fired for failing to provide a competent summary of their conversation to senior Trump officials. Again: no crime, nothing to do with hacking, and nothing to do with the election.
And now, finally, we have Jeff Sessions. He, too, met with the Russian ambassador. But so, it appears, has most of Washington — including Democratic Washington and, in particular, the Obama White House, which Ambassador Sergey Kislyak evidently visited at least 22 times. Ironically, the overblown controversy surrounding Sessions this week was caused primarily by his haste to deny, forcefully, that he had any participation, as a Trump campaign surrogate, in communications with the Russian government regarding the 2016 election. This was the upshot of his response to a loaded question from Democratic senator Al Franken, who was relying on salacious allegations in a goofy and discredited dossier compiled for Trump opponents. Several media outlets had had access to the dossier for months but had not published it, despite their loathing of Trump, because its outlandish claims could not be substantiated.
In any event, Sessions, like Flynn, made the error of mis-describing his contacts with the Russian ambassador. That is unfortunate, but there was nothing remotely criminal or inappropriate about the contacts themselves.
To summarize, there is no crime here except the ones committed by Russian intelligence. There is no evidence that Trump or his associates had any complicity in those hacking crimes.
When all of the smoke is cleared away, the Democrats’ beef is that Trump may have benefited from Russia’s crimes. In reality, it is highly unlikely that the Russian hacking of Democratic e-mails had any effect on the outcome of the election. Even if we indulge the fantasy that it did, however, here’s the sad news the media won’t tell you: It is not a crime to benefit from other people’s crimes. No one should know this better than Democrats. They could not have been more thrilled when, during the late stages of the campaign, someone — perhaps not the Russians — illegally leaked some of Trump’s tax-return information. Had Mrs. Clinton won, no one would have said Trump was denied because of Clinton-campaign ties to tax outlaws. Nor would Trump have been heard to complain about Clinton-campaign ties to NBC, which leaked the infamous Trump–Billy Bush tape. Washington would have yawned, and then snickered that Republicans lost because they nominated a lousy candidate. Instead, Democrats lost because they nominated a lousy candidate. To end where we started, what is the crime? What is the crime Sessions must be recused from investigating?
What is the crime that a special counsel must be appointed to probe? There isn’t one. There’s nothing. But as the Democrats are showing, when your opposition is running scared, you can go a long way on nothing.
But President Trump is not “running scared”.
Remember this part of Andrew McCarthy’s article?:
The Obama Justice Department decided to pursue the matter as a national-security investigation under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). In June, it sought the FISA court’s permission to conduct surveillance on a number of Trump associates — and perhaps even Trump himself. … Understand the significance of this: Only the Justice Department litigates before the FISA court; this was not some rogue investigators; this was a high level of Obama’s Justice Department … When Justice seeks FISA surveillance authority, it is essentially telling that court that there is probable cause to believe that the targets have acted as agents of a foreign power — that’s the only basis for getting a FISA warrant. In this instance, the FISA court apparently found the Obama Justice Department’s presentation to be so weak that it refused to authorize the surveillance. … Unwilling to take no for an answer, the Obama Justice Department came back to the FISA court in October — i.e., in the stretch run of the presidential campaign. According to various reports (and mind you, FISA applications are classified, so the leaks are illegal), the October application was much narrower than the earlier one and did not mention Donald Trump. The FISA Court granted this application.
It gives President Trump mighty cause for complaint. And complaining he is.
Fox News reports:
President Trump tweeted:
How low has President Obama gone to tap my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergage. Bad (or sick) guy!
The White House has called for the US Congress to investigate President Donald Trump’s claim Barack Obama ordered Trump Tower to be “wiretapped” during the US election.
Former President Obama on Saturday denied President Trump’s accusation that Obama had Trump Tower phones tapped in the weeks before the November 2016 election.
No surprise there. Of course Obama denies it. But this time, at last, he may be caught out in a lie that even his toady media will not be able to cover up.
“Neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false,” said Kevin Lewis, a spokesman for the former president … A cardinal rule of the Obama administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice.”
Oh, a “cardinal rule”! Really? And what is any sort of rule to the Left? A thing to be broken.
And the wire-tapping is a scandal that is not merely to be complained about.
These quotations come from various articles at PowerLine:
This is the most explosive political allegation in many years, far more explosive than Watergate.
If the Obama administration abused the FISA process to wiretap a political opponent, it is a scandal of the first order – the worst political scandal of my lifetime, easily. And the press has known about it and covered it up? Unbelievable.
All too believable, we would say – though we agree it is a scandal of the first order.
There is no doubt that Obama’s Justice Department – the most corrupt and politicized Department of Justice in modern American history – obtained a FISA warrant to conduct surveillance on Trump associates, and possibly Trump himself, in the heat of the presidential campaign.
It is too late to impeach Obama, but the FISA application should be carefully reviewed, and if appropriate, the judges who issued the warrant should be investigated. If it was issued on partisan grounds, it is not too late to impeach the judges who authorized the improper wiretap.
This scandal cries out for aggressive investigation. Let’s see the initial FISA application, and the court order denying it. Then let’s see the second application, and the order that approved it. Let’s put the Obama administration officials who signed the applications under oath, and find out who put them up to it. Let’s find out what judges denied the first application, and what judges granted the second one. Let’s get the details on the Obama administration’s spying. Did they tap the Trump campaign’s telephones? If so, which lines? Did they hack into the Trump campaign’s servers? If so, which ones?
Obviously, as President Trump said, the Obama administration learned nothing of significance from its spying on the Trump campaign. But it now appears that the election of 2016 may have been hacked after all, in a far more meaningful way than an intrusion into [DNC chair] Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s email account. It may have been hacked by the Obama administration. We need to find out what happened. Congress should give top priority to this investigation.
TRUMP NEEDS TO APPOINT A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR TO INVESTIGATE. THIS IS A VERY SERIOUS CHARGE. [Capitals in the original]
The opportunity has come for Donald Trump to hit back at the slime-besmirched Obama gang.
Let him hit hard!
Why was the corrupt and undemocratic European Union (EU) brought into existence?
The Germans wanted to dissolve their guilt – for starting two world wars and perpetrating the Holocaust – in the sea of a European superstate. Which they knew they could dominate through their economic strength.
The French wanted to be part of an entity that was more populous, more prosperous, and more powerful than the United States of America, even though it meant sharing power.
The ambitious politicians of Western Europe wanted a bigger stage to strut on. As well as a perpetual ride on a gravy train.
Eastern European nations had a more respectable motive for joining the EU after the collapse of the Soviet Union, under whose heel they had suffered for some 40 years: they saw the EU as a shelter from renewed Russian imperial ambition. Some of them – notably Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia – are now defying dictatorship from Brussels, the EU capital, by refusing to admit unlimited numbers of Muslim “refugees”.
The annual budget of the EU is about 145 billion euros ($153 billion US dollars). By its own accounting, 4.7% of the budget is lost in fraud and corruption. That is some 6.97 billion Euros.*
It employs 33,000 people.
There are 28 member states and 24 official languages. Every document has to be put out in all 24 languages.
The EU leaders see their supra-national, “post-nationalist” union as a model for world government.
The Council of the European Union governs by decree. The European Parliament consists of elected members but they do not have the power to legislate. They can approve or reject a legislative proposal, or propose amendments. In other words they give advice, but the Council is not legally obliged to take it. It is treated as mere opinion. For appearance sake, and as a result of case-law decisions by the EU Court of Justice, the Council must receive that opinion before it can act on its own decision. This is pure gesturism. The ritual salutes democracy without adopting it.
In sum, the EU is a political and economic monstrosity. It cannot and will not endure.
Elections this year in the Netherlands may well bring Geert Wilders and his Party for Freedom into power. If so, there could be a referendum on whether the country should leave the EU (though legislation would be necessary to make this possible), and a majority vote in favor.
Nationalist movements in France and Italy may also bring those countries to leave the EU.
All of which threatens the continued existence of the rotten, superfluous, and positively harmful European Union.
From Gatestone, by Timon Dias:
At its core, what is the EU? And why, despite its vast resources, does it seem perpetually unable to make sense of the world and meet its objectives? …
First, there’s the EU’s primary internal contradiction: EU federalism is an ideology that propagates post-ideologism; a culturally amorphous post-ideological world. … It is acting as if the world has already arrived at this so badly coveted post-cultural/ideological end station.
This is why the EU’s foreign minister is convinced political Islam should be part of the solution for Europe’s bicultural malaise. It is why for almost a decade now, the EU is maintaining it is reasonable to expect a German fiscal discipline from Greece ― a country in which tax evasion has been a central pillar of its culture ever since it was conquered by the Ottoman Empire some 600 years ago. It is why the EU fails to grasp the fact it’s deepening the migration crisis by acting as a ferry service for human traffickers. It is why the EU refuses to acknowledge an inherently expansionist religion like Islam views Europe’s open borders as an invitation to conquest. And it is why it was caught off guard by the mass rapes in Cologne etc. …
In short, the EU is treating the world as if it’s already an earthly EUtopia in which everything can be solved through dialogue and the right subsidies. And that’s why it will keep on chasing facts until its imminent demise.
But there’s something even more fundamental obstructing the EU’s ability to solve crises.
The EU is artificial and unnecessary.
What is the EU? The EU is a government looking for people to govern. It didn’t evolve organically from a community’s desire to be governed.
It was an elitist ideological hobby project ― one that European Commission first Vice-President Frans Timmermans a few weeks ago referred to as:
Arguably the most successful peace project in human history.
This, however, is a deception. A deception so pervasive, it has become the most pivotal element of the Eurocrats’ belief system. But the EU is no peace project. It neither caused nor consolidated peace.
True peace is being able to hurt one another, but simply not wanting to. In 1945, after centuries of conflict, European nation states finally reached this status. Subsequently, the European Economic Community (EEC) consolidated this peace in 1958 by entangling the French and German economies.
The EU came afterwards, without there ever being an actual need for it ― the continent was peaceful and that peace was consolidated. …
So, if the EU neither caused nor consolidated peace, what is the EU’s fundamental raison d’être? The simple answer is: it has none.
There is nothing fundamentally positive about Europe, that could not exist without the EU.
This is no trivial matter.
Because the EU is a highly artificial and non-organic governing body, one without a fundamental raison d’être, the EU’s priority objective, at all times, is self-preservation. Even when this means not solving problems at all.
The euro and migration crises serve as prime examples. The EU is not only not solving the euro crisis, it’s prolonging it by insisting fiscally dysfunctional member states remain member states, simply because their ejection from the EU would endanger and obscure the EU itself.
The same is true for the migration crisis. It’s not hard to solve. To simply stop being a ferry service for human traffickers and implement the very straight forward Australian model, is hardly rocket science. It’s no coincidence Australia’s migration architect claims Europe doesn’t even seem to be trying to solve this crisis.
In 2016, 490,547 migrants reached Europe. The total number of asylum applicants is almost 2.5 times higher at 1.205 million, which is a modest drop from 2015’s 1.323 million. During the first months of 2017, almost 13,000 arrived by sea.
So what is the EU’s priority during the migrant crisis?
Instead, the EU’s highest priority seems to be preventing nation states from bypassing the EU, by taking their own measures against the crisis.
For if that were to happen, the EU would lose its “greatest achievement”: the federal control of European national borders, without which, the EU is nothing.
The EU must go.
The nation-state with strongly defended borders must be resurrected as an ideal.
The British showed the way with Brexit – its majority vote last year to leave the EU.
President Trump lights the way for the European nations with his slogan, “Make America Great Again!”
*We quote an article on EU corruption by Richard Milton.
Have the EU’s accounts for the past 19 years been signed off by the auditors or not? The EU says they have been signed off, while critics in parliament and the media say they have not. So who is telling the truth about the accounts? What are the real facts?
First, a little background to the controversy. Since 1977, the EU’s budget has been audited annually by a body called the European Court of Auditors, based in Luxembourg. The Court is nominally independent, although it is funded by the EU.
In the 1980s, the EU’s budget became the subject of allegations of fraud, so in 1988 the EU formed UCLAF – the Unit for the Co-ordination of Fraud Protection.
A decade later, In 1997, the Court of Auditors investigated UCLAF and discovered that it was dealing with 40 cases of potential corruption, conflict of interests, favoritism or just bad management. Many of the cases had been brought to UCLAF by members of staff of the Commission reporting their suspicions about other officials.
In a report described as “devastating”, the Court revealed that no-one had been prosecuted for fraud and no-one was likely to be prosecuted, because UCLAF had no powers of investigation or arrest and there was no European prosecutor to take on such cases. It recommended that UCLAF be replaced by, in effect, an economic FBI with the staff and the powers to police the EU’s huge budget – a fully fledged operational fraud squad.
Later the same year, 1998, Paul van Buitenen, an assistant internal auditor in the European Commission’s Financial Control Directorate, turned whistleblower and wrote directly to the European Parliament expressing his “discontent with the way the Commission services are dealing with irregularities and possible fraud”.
His whistleblowing led ultimately led to the resignation of the Commission presided over by Jacques Santer. His reward was to be suspended with his salary halved. He fought back and his exposures triggered the collapse of Santer’s Commission.
In the wake of the “Santergate” scandal UCLAF was replaced by a new organization, OLAF [Office européen de lutte anti-fraude]. This was said to be an improvement since OLAF had more staff, more money and clearer guidelines and was described as representing a move towards a more serious investigative prosecuting body. But it remained the case that only national member states could take legal action against suspected fraudsters – the same central weakness that had defeated UCLAF.
OLAF is notified of some 12,000 cases of possible fraud every year, and says that it adopts a “zero tolerance” policy towards corruption and fraud in EU institutions. In reality, OLAF must be somewhat more tolerant than “zero” as it investigates only some 200 cases per year – that is to say 98% of reported cases go uninvestigated.
This is the most likely explanation of the fact that, since 1999, OLAF has sent only 335 people to jail and recovered only 1.1 Billion Euros of EU money – less than one-thousandth of the amount unaccounted for.
One other obstacle to OLAF nailing anyone inside the EU is that EU law gives EU officials immunity from prosecution both while they work in the EU and then for the rest of their lives for any acts committed in the course of their duties. Even if OLAF managed to put together a case against an EU employee, he or she could not be prosecuted anyway.
This long history of corruption and fraud brings us to the case of Marta Andreason, who in 2002 was appointed the EU’s first Chief Accountant, the director responsible for budget execution and the EU’s accounting officer.
From the start, Andreasen was critical of the EU’s accounting system for being open to fraud, criticisms she raised with her superior but to no effect. She voiced her doubts to Commissioner Michaele Schreyer and the Commission President Romano Prodi, and when she got no reply approached members of the EU Parliament’s Budget Control Committee.
Because of her doubts, she refused to sign off the 2001 European Commission accounts and went public with her concerns. She suffered a similar fate to Paul van Buitenen before her, and was sacked for speaking out (“failure to show sufficient loyalty and respect”.) In reality she was fired for refusing to sign the account and embarrassing the Commission by letting the cat out of the bag about the extent of fraud.
A series of other EU officials tried to blow the whistle on the fraud and corruption of their colleagues and all received similar treatment, Dorte Schmidt-Brown, Robert Dougal Watt and Robert McCoy. …
At this point, in 2002, EU officials realized that they could no longer conceal or ignore the extent of fraud and corruption in the EU budget and that they must act to try to restore public confidence in the EU’s financial affairs. So they did what most large bureaucratic organizations do in these circumstances. When you cannot change the facts, you change the way the facts are presented. So the EU turned to public relations to solve their problem.
From 2002 until the present, the Court of Auditors continued to audit the budget annually, but they no longer signed off the accounts as a whole. Instead, they have split the budget into two sections – the part to which they are willing to give a clean bill of health, and the part to which they are not willing to give a clean bill. The Auditors refer to this second part as its “opinion on the underlying payments which have been negative or adverse”.
To justify this change in established auditing procedure it came up with a number of arguments. The budget is too big and too complicated for us to expect them to account for every penny. Every large organization has amounts missing and unaccounted for. We can’t expect the EU Auditors to know every little thing that goes on inside member countries. The bit that’s not signed off is “only” a few per cent of the budget so it’s not worth making a fuss about. And, in any case, said the Auditors, although we do not know where the money went or who took it, we can say that it definitely wasn’t fraud or theft.
“Errors”, said the auditors, “do not mean that EU money is lost, wasted or affected by fraud.” When asked to give an example of some money that had gone missing that wasn’t fraud, the EU said, “A farmer was granted a special premium for 150 sheep. The Court found that the beneficiary did not have any sheep. The corresponding payment was therefore irregular.” The missing money is accounted for by changing the word “fraud” to the word “irregular”. …
Remember, the question we are trying to answer here is … “Have the EU accounts been signed off for the past 19 years?” And the only honest answer to this second question is clearly, “No, they have not been signed off.”
What the EU has done is not to make extra efforts to get to the bottom of its accounts and sign them off, but to change the normal rules of accounts auditing so that they no longer apply to the EU, and to change the meaning of ordinary English words to try to persuade us that this procedure is acceptable. …
The amount not signed off by the Court of Auditors was “only” 4.7% of the budget. The problem is that 4.7% of the budget is 6.97 billion Euros …
(Continuing from the post immediately below, being a commentary on an article by Gwynn Guilford and Nikhil Sonnad at Quartz, about the political philosophy of Stephen K. Bannon, whom President Trump has appointed Chief Strategist.)
The authors write:
It’s important to note that “Judeo-Christian values” does not necessarily seem to require that all citizens believe in Christianity. Bannon doesn’t appear to want to undo the separation of church and state or freedom of religion enshrined in America’s constitution. After all, both of these are traditions that have led America to success in the past. What he believes is that the founding fathers built the nation based on a set of values that come from the Judeo-Christian tradition. …
But the values the founding fathers built the nation on did not come from “Judeo-Christian values”; they came from a revolution against Christian values – the Enlightenment.
True, “Nature’s God” is mentioned in The Declaration of Independence, which also declares that Men “are endowed by their Creator” with certain rights. But when one looks at the actual values that the Declaration and the Constitution enshrine, they are the values of the Enlightenment – individual freedom, self-determination, tolerance, responsible ownership, rationality, patriotism: not the values of any religion.
It is [in Bannon’s view] through … the primacy of the nation-state’s values and traditions — that America can drive a stake through the heart of the global, secular “establishment”.
In addition to enriching themselves and encouraging dependency among the poor, global elites also encourage immigrants to flood the US and drag down wages. Immigrant labor boosts the corporate profits of globalists and their cronies, who leave it to middle-class natives to educate, feed, and care for these foreigners. The atheistic, pluralist social order that has been allowed to flourish recoils at nationalism and patriotism, viewing them as intolerant and bigoted. …
Atheism has nothing whatever to do with it. Hundreds of thousands of the immigrants have been Muslims, and however secular the Left governments have been, they have demanded that the host nation treat the – extremely intolerant – newcomers with deference. But it is true that those who welcome the Muslims “recoil” at nationalism and patriotism.
[Bannon] pointed out that each of … three preceding crises had involved a great war, and those conflicts had increased in scope from the American Revolution through the Civil War to the Second World War. He expected a new and even bigger war as part of the current crisis, and he did not seem at all fazed by the prospect. …
War with whom?
Bannon is left searching for a major, existence-level enemy. Does the “Party of Davos” alone qualify? Who else could this war be fought against?
In the 2014 Vatican lecture, Bannon goes further. “I think we are in a crisis of the underpinnings of capitalism, and on top of that we’re now, I believe, at the beginning stages of a global war against Islamic fascism. … I believe you should take a very, very, very aggressive stance against radical Islam…. See what’s happening, and you will see we’re in a war of immense proportions.” …
We agree with Bannon about that too.
Bannon’s remarks and his affiliations with anti-Muslim activists like Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer leave the impression that the enemy might well be Islam in general.
Yes. And so it is. Islam has declared war on the West, and sooner or later the West must fight and win it.
[He] entertains the argument that Islam’s “war” against Christianity “originated almost from [Islam’s] inception.”
He endorses the view that, in the lead-up to World War II, Islam was a “much darker” force facing Europe than fascism.
It was as dark. And Turkey and most of the Arabs were allies of Hitler and Mussolini.
Other ideas he has supported include: a US nonprofit focused on promoting a favorable image of Muslims is a terrorist front …
If they mean Hamas-affiliated CAIR, which seems most probable, then again Bannon is right …
… the Islamic Society of Boston mosque was behind the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing …
It very likely was …
and Muslim-Americans are trying to supplant the US constitution with Shariah law.
… Bannon’s diatribes against the media brim with spite toward journalists’ arrogance, superiority, and naivety.
“Spite”? The media are spiteful. Say “anger” instead, and there are millions of us who share it with him.
… [R]ecently, he told the New York Times that the media “should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while”. He added: “I want you to quote this. The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States.” …
Again, we agree.
In his 2014 Vatican speech, he says:
I could see this when I worked at Goldman Sachs — there are people in New York that feel closer to people in London and in Berlin than they do to people in Kansas and in Colorado, and they have more of this elite mentality that they’re going to dictate to everybody how the world’s going to be run. I will tell you that the working men and women of Europe and Asia and the United States and Latin America don’t believe that. They believe they know what’s best for how they will comport their lives.
And we think that is true.
But this cosmic avenger role Bannon seems to claim as voice-giver to the “forgotten” middle-classes hints at a deeper relish of conflict. … In particular, the aesthetic of his documentaries can be nauseatingly violent. Torchbearer is a tour de force of gore. (There are at least six separate shots of falling guillotines, as well as lingering footage of nuclear radiation victims, mass burials from Nazi gas chambers, and various ISIL atrocities.)
Events brought about by self-appointed elites and savage jihadis. Should they be ignored? Forgotten?
The authors then ask what all this means for the Trump presidency, and give us their answer:
Even before he took charge of Trump’s campaign, in Aug. 2016, Bannon’s philosophies pervaded its rhetoric. If there was any question about the role his views would play in the Trump administration, the last two weeks have made it clear: The president’s leadership hangs from the scaffolding of Bannon’s worldview.
Trump’s inaugural address was basically a telepromptered Bannon rant. Where inaugural speeches typically crackle with forward-looking optimism, Trump’s was freighted with anti-elite resentment. He described a Bannonistic vision in which the “wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed all across the world.” The “forgotten men and women of our country” — a meme that Trump claimed, but that appears in Generation Zero — had a cameo too.
Trump heaped blame on the “establishment,” which “protected itself” but not American citizens from financial ruin. “And while they celebrated in our nation’s capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land,” Trump continued. “We’ve made other countries rich, while the wealth, strength and confidence of our country has dissipated over the horizon.”
“America first” is Bannon’s economic nationalism in slogan form. Trump’s vow to “unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate from the face of the Earth” was a mellowed-out version of the West’s battle against “Islamic fascists.”
There’s more. Trump’s remarks that the “Bible tells us how good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity,” that “most importantly, we will be protected by God,” and that children from both Detroit and Nebraska are “infused with the breath of life by the same almighty creator” seemed kind of bizarre coming from a not-very-religious man. …
We are glad of that.
Within days of the inauguration came the dizzying spurt of executive actions — written by Bannon and Stephen Miller, [another] White House policy advisor …
Now the authors, whose hostility to Bannon has been growing in clarity and force, openly show their antagonism to the Trump administration:
Bannon’s philosophy toward Islam seems likely to have influenced the order, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”. Recalling that line about how immigrants are not “Jeffersonian democrats”, the document prescribes ensuring the allegiance to America’s “founding principles” and the US constitution of anyone admitted to the country, including tourists.
How is that an unreasonable requirement?
Trump also implied in a TV interview with the Christian Broadcast Network that he wanted to prioritize Christians refugees over Muslims, accusing the US government of favoring Muslim refugees over Christians in the past (a claim for which there’s no evidence).
That is an outrageous statement. The Christians of the Middle East have been, and are being, atrociously persecuted by Muslims, yet far more Muslims – who do not have any values in common with most Americans – have been let in enthusiastically by President Obama, while Christians, who do, and who need asylum far more urgently, have been admitted in far smaller numbers. They were deliberately excluded by Obama. See here and here.
Some argue (fairly convincingly) that Trump’s ban risks lending credence to ISIL recruitment propaganda claiming that the US is leading the West in a war on all of Islam.
And that is an absurd argument, not convincing in the least. ISIL/ISIS has been doing its atrocious deeds for years. Everyone knows it. It is long past time for it to be opposed, eliminated from the face of the earth – and all possible ways its operatives can enter America shut off. A banning order is common sense.
Another of the new administration’s focuses — the danger posed by Mexicans flooding over the border — is also a central theme of Bannon’s vision of America under siege. …
“America under siege”. Has Bannon made such a claim? Or Trump? A belief to that effect is attributed to President Trump by his opponents, but has he or Bannon ever actually said it? Anyway, the authors present some spurious arguments against Trump’s executive action which declares that “many” unauthorized immigrants “present a significant threat to national security and public safety” – something we all know to be true – and they back them up with reference to pronouncements made by “criminology and immigration experts”. The plain fact that “unauthorized immigrants” are in the United States illegally bypasses the authors’ consciousness.
Finally, Trump’s withdrawal of the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a multilateral trade deal supported by what would count as the “elite”, includes a special shout-out to “the American worker”, the classic Bannon theme.
The TPP was a rotten project. It was supported by the “elite”. American workers have been overlooked and made poorer. Bannon is not the only observer to have noticed that and Trump did not need Bannon to point it out to him.
The possibility that many of these positions are right and good, and the fact that many people support Trump in espousing them, are not considered by Guilford and Sonnad.
Bannon savors the power of symbolism. That symbolic power infused Trump’s campaign, and now, apparently, his administration’s rhetoric. … So it’s possible that the narrative flowing through Trump’s inaugural address and executive actions is simply what Bannon has calibrated over time to rouse maximum populist fervor — and that it doesn’t reflect plans to upend America.
There’s also, however, the possibility that Bannon is steering Trump toward the “enlightened capitalist”, Judeo-Christian, nationalistic vision that he has come to believe America needs.
Which it is, we can’t know, of course: Only Bannon knows what Bannon really wants. What we do know for sure, though, is that a man who has … a deep desire for a violent resurgence of “Western civilization” now has the power to fulfill it.
A “violent resurgence” of something dubiously called “Western civilization”. Is that deplorable? Is there no such thing as Western civilization? Is it not under attack?
Is there some means other than violence to destroy ISIS?
Or to stop Iran from nuking the West as it plainly intends to do?
The mind-set, assumptions, prejudices, and obliviousness to stark dangers that Guilford and Sonnad manifest, illustrate the need for the vision shared by President Trump, Stephen Bannon, and Stephen Miller to be acted upon by all necessary means.
The rulers of Europe and their supporting media are beginning to feel seriously embattled. They are aware and frightened of a spreading discontent, a darkening mood of defiance and even rebellion among the peoples they lead.
Their instinct – the instinct of tyrants – is to protect themselves by using government to silence criticism.
Of all the members of the European Union, Germany, it seems, is where the ruling class feels most insecure and is responding with most high-handed imperiousness. This is not hard to account for. Germany is anxious to live down its appalling modern history; dissolve its guilt in the wider sea of a European state; dilute its very nationhood in a flood of immigrants bringing different laws, culture, and religion.
But rising populist movements are demanding the dissolution of the European Union and a stop to Muslim immigration.
From Gatestone by Stefan Frank:
The elites and intellectuals are apparently now counted among the German minorities in need of protection.
Toward the end of last year, Germany experienced a previously unheard-of boycott campaign – funded by the German government, no less – against several websites, such as the popular Axis of Good (Achse des Guten). The website, critical of the government, was suddenly accused of “right-wing populism”.
The German government’s efforts at thought control seem to have begun with the victory of Donald J. Trump in the US presidential election – that seems to set the “establishment” off. Germany’s foreign minister and the probable future federal president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier – one of the first to travel to Iran after the removal of sanctions there to kowtow to the Ayatollahs – called America’s future president a “hate preacher”.
Herr Steinmeier, uniquely among European leaders, has come to his senses since then, recognized that there has been a world-transforming political upheaval in America, and plans to talk to President Trump in an effort to understand what the popular revolution is all about.
Germany’s newspapers were suddenly littered with apocalyptic predictions and anti-American fulminations.
For hard-core Trump-haters, however, a witch hunt by itself is insufficient; they want activism! Since November, Germany’s left-wing parties have had a strong increase in membership, as reported by Der Spiegel. At the same time, the federal government evidently decided, at least regarding the federal elections taking place in 2017, that it would no longer count on journalists’ self-censorship.
The German government, instead of merely hoping that newspapers would voluntarily – or under pressure from the Press Council – refrain from criticising the government’s immigration policies, decided that it, itself, would inaugurate censorship.
To this effect, as reported by Der Spiegel, the Federal Interior Ministry, intends to set up a “Defense Center against Disinformation (“Abwehrzentrum gegen Desinformation“) in the fight against “fake news on social networks”. “Abwehr” – the name of Nazi Germany’s military intelligence agency – is apparently meant to demonstrate the government’s seriousness regarding the matter.
“It sounds like the Ministry of Truth, ‘Minitrue,’ from George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984,” wrote even the left-leaning daily, Frankfurter Rundschau.
Frank Überall, national head of the German Association of Journalists (DJV), bluntly stated: “This smells like censorship.”
It seems that all ideas suspected of being “populist” – or simply those ideas without the blessing of the elites – will now be banned in Germany. This restriction applies to criticism of the government (especially regarding immigration and energy policies), of the EU, of Islam, of government officials and of the media.
The Federal Agency for Political Education – the information agency of the Interior Ministry – is quite open about it: “Anti-elitism”, “anti-intellectualism”, “anti-politics” and “hostility toward institutions” are “the key characteristics of populism”.
Toward the end of 2016, one of the biggest German media scandals in recent memory erupted when Gerald Hensel, undoubtedly a member of Germany’s elite, tried to introduce a new form of internet censorship with the help of a team of media agencies and political players. Until recently, Hensel was “Director of Strategy” at Scholz & Friends, one of Germany’s two big advertising agencies. The firm counts among its clients multinational corporations such as General Motors, the German federal government and the European Commission; so one might say the company is close to the state.
Apparently in anger over Trump’s election victory, Hensel demanded: “Let us freeze the cash flow of the right-wing extremist media!” He had previously written a strategy brief declaring debate to be useless; instead, the political enemy — the “populists” – needed to be fought, even with questionable methods:
The liberal center must, especially in these new digital and information-based wars, take off the kid gloves. We have to turn the tables and learn about populism, particularly on the Internet … Thus, we have to respond in a more wide-spread digital manner and with explicitly less sympathy to those people who want to force their own future on us – and do this long before the next federal election … Political storytelling, targeting the political enemy, influencers, forums, rumors…”
“Measures,” he added, have to be taken against the “new right” – measures that:
… [A]re “Below the Line” and also digital. We need “good” troll factories in our fight against [European “populist” leaders] Frauke Petry, Beatrix von Storch, Geert Wilders, Marine Le Pen and the fat stupid white men behind them. Ideally, as quickly as possible. Starting in 2017, they will continue to dismantle the EU and thus our future and that of our children.
Toward the end of November, Hensel appealed to his colleagues in various advertising agencies, under the banner of “no money for the right”, to boycott all those who fit the description of his bogeyman – because they were “hostile towards the EU”, or because they might even harbor sympathies for Donald Trump. He was jumping on a bandwagon. A witch hunt was already under way against the American website Breitbart, due to the closeness of its former executive chair, Steve Bannon, to Donald Trump.
Without providing any kind of proof, countless German newspapers and broadcasters claimed that Breitbart was “racist”, “sexist”, “xenophobic”, “anti-Semitic” and “Islamophobic”, and a “hate site”. The state-owned German television station ARD described Breitbart as an “ultra right-wing” platform for “white supremacy”. Other journalists followed suit.
Hensel went one step farther. In the style of a prosecutor during the Inquisition, he called to break the “dominance of right-wing micro media”. He seems to consider particularly dangerous and subversive, anyone who reads articles that do not originate from one of Germany’s media empires:
“While I may satisfy my thirst for information with my subscriptions to ZEIT or Le Mode Diplomatique, the brave new-right freedom-fighter likes to stay informed via online media such as the Axis of Good or Breitbart News.”
This alone raises several suspicions. Hensel, whose website (which since December can only be accessed with a password) is graced by the display of a Soviet red star, likes to eliminate his opponents swiftly. Breitbart, for example, is deemed fascist (“salon-fascists”). Why? Because the blog — and here he, supposedly for simplicity’s sake, quotes an article from the Süddeutsche Zeitung — “covers all the topics of German right-wing populism”; Breitbart reports about “the migrant and refugee policies of the German federal government, as well as of supposed criminal acts conducted by migrants and Islamic activities”.
There is freedom of speech in my stupid little world. Undoubtedly, websites such as Breitbart News and the Axis of Good … are legal media. Nevertheless, one could ask brand names whether they … are aware that their banner ads appear on these particular websites and represent their brand there.
This type of “asking”, of course, roughly corresponds to the mafia “asking” the pizzeria owner if he has fire insurance.
Hensel also considerately provided detailed instructions for his readers. Those employed by an enterprise should check whether the websites that he deemed “right-wing” are registered on a blacklist. Employees of advertising agencies should form a team, with Hensel and other authoritarians, for internet censorship:
If your career in a media agency has propelled you a little higher up the hierarchy, you might be able to bring up the topic at the next media get-together with colleagues. 2017 is an election year. You, dearest colleagues, clearly have a part in determining who receives our advertising dollars.
Hensel also suggests that consumers put direct pressure on companies or approach them via social media, to dissuade them from advertising on “hate publishers” and “destroyers of the future”.
This manifesto was only published on a private blog — one that barely anyone had ever heard of before. But the power of which Hensel boasted – the networks in the advertising agencies and editorial offices – is real. On Hensel’s command, big newspapers and websites reported on the operation with much sympathy, along with the hashtag #NoMoneyForTheRight.
Large companies such as Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile), BMW, Mercedes-Benz and the supermarket chain REWE obeyed straightaway, and promised to place “Breitbart” on the blacklist immediately and never to advertise there again. Der Spiegel cited Hensel’s “resistance” (!) and pilloried one business that did not follow suit: A plucky little pizza delivery service that responded to the blacklisting demand by declaring that it was “not the morality police”. The company was denounced by Der Spiegel as “inept”, and after “protests from customers”, it ended up capitulating, as the newspaper reported with much satisfaction.
Breitbart will cope with missing out on a few hundred dollars of advertising revenue from Germany. Hensel, however, was successful in his attempt to motivate his ad agency colleagues against German websites such as the Axis of Good. Within a few days, none of them advertised there anymore. Advertising revenue, equally important for websites as it is for newspapers, came to a halt. Hensel had achieved his goal.
For this campaign, Hensel also received support from the group Network Against Nazis (Netz gegen Nazis), which receives financing from by Germany’s federal government, the German Football Association and the newspaper Die Zeit, and which, until recently, also counted Scholz & Friends among its supporters. In the tried and true Orwellian fashion of calling things their opposite, the definition of “Nazi”, for Network Against Nazis, encompasses anyone who is “Islamophobic” or “hostile toward the media”.
Shortly after Hensel’s call for boycotts, the Axis of Good was placed on a list of “popular right-wing blogs” by Network Against Nazis – together with the liberal publisher Roland Tichy and the evangelical civil rights activist Vera Lengsfeld (who is a thorn in the side of communists, because she fought against the East Germany’s dictatorship in the 1980s). The Amadeu-Antonio Foundation, which runs the Network Against Nazis website, receives almost a million euros per year from the federal government. Not surprisingly, it demonstrates its gratitude with character assassinations of critics of the government.
Within a short time, Hensel had put together a kind of mafia, bent on economically ruining whoever rejected his ideological commands, by using libel and slander to scare away their customers.
As the Frankfurter Allgemeine daily newspaper commented:
It is very fashionable right now to stigmatize people and denounce them as “right-wing” if they do not share your views. Companies want nothing to do with that label, and, as you can see on Twitter, they quickly change direction if they are aggressively made aware that they support the wrong side with their ads (which are often automatically activated and run on the internet).”
The Left’s lie that Nazism (National Socialism) was “right-wing” rather than one of its own branches – which it was – has stuck, giving the Left one of its few lasting victories.
In response to the boycott campaign against it, the Axis of Good showed how a business can defend itself: the editors raised a public alarm about Hensel’s campaign in a series of reports and commentaries. Thousands of readers complained on the Facebook page of Hensel’s employer, Scholz & Friends, which, after its initial support, began to distance itself from its employee’s campaign and finally severed ties with him.
According to Hensel’s version, his campaign was “so successful” that he wanted to take his employer “out of the line of fire”.
My former employer and I became the victims of a massive hate storm consisting of countless tweets, emails and comments on social media … This is a systematic campaign.
As if that was a wicked thing, and as if his campaign had not been “systematic”.
Of course, it was Hensel himself who initiated a systematic campaign, including dirty tricks, which were waged with an eye to the government’s apparent plans to consolidate the population ideologically.
That is the chilling plan, precisely worded. And that is true Nazism, true Stalinism.
As research by the Axis of Good has revealed, Hensel’s boycott operation was closely tied to the plans by the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs to conduct an advertising campaign in support of an open-door immigration policy in 2017. For this, an advertising agency was necessary, as reported in September by an industry journal:
As revealed by a Europe-wide announcement, the Federal Minister of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth is looking for an agency to advertise the brand “Living democracy! Actively against right-wing extremism, violence and inhumanity”.
Ad agencies were invited to submit their suggestions by the middle of December. The Axis of Good concluded:
There is a suspicion that this [boycott] operation was a hurried pilot project for the bid for the million-euro project by [Federal Minister] Schwesig’s Family Ministry. A free trial run for the so-called “advertising pitch”.
Regarding the question of how much economic damage was caused to the Axis of Good by the boycott campaign, Henryk M. Broder, the website’s publisher, told Gatestone:
It is significant, but how big it really was, we will only know in a few months. After all, it is not the companies themselves that stopped advertising, but the agencies. The damage for Scholz & Friends could be even bigger, but they do not talk about it.”
The Hamburger Abendblatt daily referred to Hensel’s campaign as an “attack on the freedom of the press,” adding: “It seems as if the shot from the activists backfired.”
As in communist dictatorships, the more obvious the failings of the government, the more aggressively the establishment attacks those who speak out about them.
US according to THEM:
Racist, sexist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, misogynistic, colonialist, imperialist, manmade-global-warming-denying, anti-abortion, privileged far-right nationalist white supremacists.
US according to US:
We the People, freedom-loving, color-blind, rule-of-law patriots.
THEM according to THEM:
Vulnerable, unequal, oppressed, rights-deprived, anti-fascist, compassionate, redistributionist, anti-racist, anti-sexist, climate-controlling, recycling, anti-America, anti-Israel, anti-white, anti-patriarchy, anti-gun, pro-Palestinian, pro-Islam, pro-abortion, pro-LGBTQetc, pro-black, pro-brown, pro-open-borders, globalist democratic socialists.
THEM according to US:
Elite-dominated, privileged, anti-freedom, fascist, uncompassionate, redistributionist, race-obsessed, sex-obsessed, feminist, global-warming-scamming, anti-America, anti-Semitic, anti-gun, anti-white, anti-education, pro-Palestinian, pro-Islam, pro-abortion, unpatriotic, undemocratic globalist socialists.
End of the Marxist Left. 100 years. 1917-2017.
We date the century of Marxism from the Russian Revolution in 1917 to the success of the American counter-revolution in 2017, because we see Donald Trump’s election to the presidency of the United States – the most powerful position in the world – as the coup de grâce for the atrocious era.
The idea that people should be organized by governments and that the collective is more important than the individual has proved in practice to be a bad one. The experiment took the lives of hundreds of millions of individuals.
The Marxist Left has failed. The ideology that energized it is discredited. There will be no new Communist states.
Those who still believe that their lives should be ordered and sustained by government – regardless of the high price that must be paid by the loss of their freedom – are sure to find the change hard to accept.
However, Donald Trump’s movement is spreading. It has inspired and encouraged new political parties in Europe, and they are gaining strength. They want a “Europe of nations and liberty”.
A meeting of the leaders of populist European parties
The parties still in power see that a change is happening, fear it, but do not understand it. They had a vision of a united states of Europe – which they tried to implement through the creation of the disastrous European Union – and ultimately a united states of the world. They wanted to abolish nations. They wanted a mingling of peoples. They invited the Third World, in particular Muslims, to come to Europe.
And all round them rebellious voices, growing ever louder, are demanding a return to nationhood, to secure borders, to self-determination, to individual freedom – to resisting the encroachment of Islam.
It seems that just one European politician in power “gets it”:
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier says U.S. President Donald Trump’s election marks the end of an era, and Berlin will move quickly to secure “close and trusting trans-Atlantic cooperation based on common values” with the new administration. Steinmeier wrote in Bild newspaper on Sunday that “with the election of Donald Trump, the old world of the 20th century is finally over” and “how the world of tomorrow will look is not settled.” He says with any power change there are “uncertainties, doubts and question marks”, but a lot more is at stake “in these times of a new global disorder”. Steinmeier says he will promote free trade and joint efforts against extremism with Washington. He added he’s certain Germany will “find interlocutors in Washington who know big countries also need partners”.
He will go to President Trump. He will speak of partnership and trade. But what he will really be seeking is enlightenment. And unless he is truly willing to yield power to the people, he will hear nothing for his comfort.
The “Women’s March”, organized to protest against Donald Trump’s rise to power, is glaring proof that the Left no longer knows what it is for.
Most of the marchers could only name what they were against: “Trump”.
Only one of the organizers of the American march knew exactly what she wanted.
The Gatestone Institute says of her:
Linda Sarsour [is] a self-described ‘Brooklyn-born Palestinian-American-Muslim racial justice and civil rights activist’, who serves as “the Executive Director of the Arab American Association of New York, co-founder of Muslims for Ferguson, and a member of Justice League NYC”, her march bio relates.
She is working for the establishment of Sharia law in America. She tweeted:
Her following carried this banner:
And wore hijabs made out of the American flag:
But as yet Islam is not a serious threat to America itself. The Islamic State needs to be destroyed, and President Trump has declared his intention to crush it.
In Europe, the rulers of the old order will be overthrown and replaced. Europe will return to being a continent of nation states. Then the new leaders must deal with Islam, the enemy the Left let in.
As the Marxist Left was the terror of the last century, Islam will be the terror of the 21st. century. It is a barbarism that must be opposed and defeated by Western civilization – now recovering its strength and self-confidence.
(Via PowerLine – where the post is oddly titled Bureaucracy in the age of Trump – rather oddly as the “age of Trump” has not started yet.)
Every minute of Newt Gingrich’s address to a Heritage Foundation audience in this video is worth hearing. It is gripping, informative, amusing, and inspiring.
He emphasizes that November 8, 2016, was a Watershed Moment. The “old world” was on that side of it, and the new – the genuinely new – is on this side.
He speaks of Trumpism, calls it a Revolutionary Movement – the “Revolution we need”. Those who want it must help it to succeed. Then we will see how big the change is going to be.
The mainstream media simply do not understand it. He urges us not to speak of the “news media” but of the “propaganda media”, because that is what they truly are.
And there is more, much more, of real value. The hour it takes to hear the whole speech is an hour very well spent.
[Hat-tip to our commenter Damon]
The Democrats who cannot bear to accept the result of the presidential election, and their toady press, are trying to delegitimize the election of Donald Trump by various ineffectual means.
One was declaring that this time, for the first time ever, the number of popular votes for a candidate should decide the winner, not the number of Electoral College votes (and Hillary Clinton, they say, won the popular vote). Won’t work.
Another was to join with a Green candidate who got a few votes in demanding a recount in certain states that they feel deeply should have preferred Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump. Didn’t work.
Next comes their attempt to get a majority of the super-delegates of the Electoral College to vote for Hillary Clinton even though their duty is to vote for Donald Trump. Won’t work.
Another ploy is to imply that the election is of dubious validity because the CIA has concluded that Russia intervened in the 2016 election.
According to the Washington Post of September 5, 2016: :
A Russian influence operation in the United States “is something we’re looking very closely at”, said one senior intelligence official who, like others interviewed, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter. Officials also are examining potential disruptions to the election process, and the FBI has alerted state and local officials to potential cyberthreats
The way that’s worded, “a Russian influence operation” is an established fact, waiting only to be explored by intelligence officials. To lend the story a gloss of verisimilitude, the cunning writer adds that “the FBI has alerted state and local officials to potential cyberthreats”, which we expect is true because it is only sensible after all.
The official cautioned that the intelligence community is not saying it has “definitive proof” of such tampering, or any Russian plans to do so. “But even the hint of something impacting the security of our election system would be of significant concern,” the official said. “It’s the key to our democracy, that people have confidence in the election system.”
The “hint” coming, of course, only and entirely from them.
The same Washington Post story included this:
The Kremlin’s intent may not be to sway the election in one direction or another, officials said, but to cause chaos and provide propaganda fodder to attack U.S. democracy-building policies around the world, particularly in the countries of the former Soviet Union.
But the paper and its like changed that part of the story.
The Washington Post reported on December 9 – after the election:
The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, according to officials briefed on the matter.
Intelligence agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, according to U.S. officials. Those officials described the individuals as actors known to the intelligence community and part of a wider Russian operation to boost Trump and hurt Clinton’s chances.
Never mind that Julian Assange of Wikileaks has denied that the emails it acquired and released came from Russia.
And no plausible explanation of why Russia would prefer Donald Trump to Hillary Clinton is provided.
Cliff Kincaid comments at GOPUSA:
The line-up of former CIA personnel opposing Trump sounds impressive, except when you consider the fact that the CIA has a habit of getting things wrong. Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a former vice-chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, once declared that “for a quarter century, the CIA has been repeatedly wrong about the major political and economic questions entrusted to its analysis.” Moynihan had introduced a bill to abolish the CIA. The late Lt. Gen. William Odom, then-director of the National Security Agency (NSA), said the CIA should be disbanded.
Trump critic Michael Hayden, who served as director of both the NSA and CIA, was on a list of “former national security officials” from Republican administrations who announced they wouldn’t vote for Trump. …
Under the headline, “CIA Judgment On Russia Built On Swell Of Evidence,” The New York Times reports that “many believe” there is “overwhelming circumstantial evidence” that the Russians tried to help Trump. The paper said “the conclusion that Moscow ran an operation to help install the next president is one of the most consequential analyses by American spy agencies in years.”
These “many’ have come to “believe” it on “a swell of evidence”? What evidence? None – none at all – has been produced.
Such analyses can mean nothing and can, in fact, divert the attention of elected officials from the truth. Trump calls the verdict on alleged Russian involvement in the election “ridiculous”. It would not be the first ridiculous work product from the intelligence community. The CIA failed to predict the Soviet “collapse,” and then mistakenly assumed the collapse was real and not a strategic deception.
It is significant that The Washington Post, owned by Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos, broke the story about the CIA allegedly concluding that the Russians had somehow meddled in the U.S. elections by hacking into Democratic Party computers. The CIA has a $600 million contract with Amazon Web Services. …
Interestingly, Amazon CEO Bezos plans to attend President-elect Donald Trump’s meeting of tech-industry executives this Wednesday [today] in New York. Perhaps Trump will ask Bezos whether the Post is being manipulated by political partisans in the Intelligence Community.
Trump has tweeted, “Can you imagine if the election results were the opposite and WE tried to play the Russia/CIA card. It would be called conspiracy theory!” Or “fake news”. …
After he takes office, Trump should immediately clean house in the CIA and other intelligence agencies. But it may be the case that the charges being directed against him at the present time are designed to prevent just that. If Trump cleans house, he will be accused in the press of trying to purge intelligence officials with evidence of a Russian plot to elect Trump!
The American people have been saddled with an Intelligence Community that is full of what are called “insider spies”. The situation is so bad that a special paper has been published about a novel new way to deal with traitors. The idea is to provide a “safe refuge” and a secret process of “reconciliation” for them without threatening long prison terms or the death penalty. In this manner, the American people would hear nothing about spies being arrested and the damage they have done.
We know that the media picked sides in the presidential contest. Now we are seeing more evidence of how the CIA picked sides, to the point of engaging in what is an obvious effort to bring down the Trump presidency even before it begins.
What does Michael Hayden himself – Director of the National Security Agency from 1999 to 2005 and the Central Intelligence Agency from 2006 to 2009 – say?
He – who announced in advance of the election that he wouldn’t vote for Trump – writes a Washington Post article headlined, Trump is already antagonizing the intelligence community, and that’s a problem:
A month ago I wrote here about the importance and challenge of the intelligence community establishing a relationship with President-elect Donald Trump.
That has just gotten more important and more challenging.
In my November op-ed, I asked: “What role will facts and fact-bearers play in the Trump administration? . . . Which of the president-elect’s existing instincts and judgments are open to revision as more data is revealed?”
“Instincts open to revision“? And this was a top intelligence official?
I had in mind the president-elect’s confidence in his own a priori beliefs and specifically his rejection of the intelligence community’s judgment that Russia had stolen American emails and weaponized their content to corrode faith in our electoral processes.
The president-elect has been unmoved in his rejection of this high-confidence judgment. In Time magazine’s article last week naming him “Person of the Year,” Trump repeated, “I don’t believe it. I don’t believe they interfered.”
Such obstinacy, to have confidence in his own judgment!
Shortly afterward, The Post reported that CIA analysts now believe the Russian aim was to help Trump win.
Why Russia might do that, might want that, is not explained.
And some might consider that publishing such a “belief” to be an attack on Trump – especially considering that not a trace of evidence has been produced to support any of these alleged CIA analysts’ alleged “beliefs”. But this luminary of the Intelligence world, Michael Hayden, thinks it is Trump who is going “on the attack”:
Team Trump immediately went into attack mode, employing the bureaucratic equivalent of the ad hominems the president-elect used during the campaign (“Crooked Hillary,” “Lyin’ Ted,” “Little Marco”). “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,” its first salvo described the U.S. intelligence community.
A failed analogy that. A reminder of a CIA failure is not an “ad hominem” of the sort quoted in brackets.
Then Republican National Committee communications director Sean Spicer alleged on CNN that “there are people within these agencies who are upset with the outcome of the election”.
How could he say such a thing? How could that possibly be true? As if there were Democrats in the CIA who would be upset that their candidate lost and Donald Trump won!
Incompetent. Politicized. No need to discuss any further. Move on.
“Move on”, Mr. Hayden, is a signature motto of the Democratic Party, not of any Republicans.
To be fair, the “Russia did it” announcement in October was official and well documented.
Was it? To be fair, tell us how. Show us the documents.
No need, Mr. Hayden soothes us, because two absolutely dependable human pillars of integrity attest to the veracity of the announcement:
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. attached their reputations to it.
An administration-in-waiting more confident in itself, in its own legitimacy, in U.S. institutions and in the people it will soon govern might have said, “These are serious issues. We intend to hear them out. Nothing is more precious than our democratic process. We have asked the Obama administration for details.”
The fact that that didn’t happen should invite tons of commentary. But not from me.
So, “it needs commentary, but I’m not commenting on it”. There is a Greek word for that rhetorical device: Apophasis. It means that the speaker brings up a subject by saying he will not bring it up.
This article could have been scripted for a villain’s speech in a play!
My narrow concerns as an intelligence officer are the questions raised above. How will this affect the new president’s relationship with the intelligence community?
A lot. And not well.
First is the question of how the incoming administration values intelligence. On Sunday, the president-elect again rejected the Russian role, adding that he was smart enough that he didn’t want or need a daily briefing.
This creates more than hurt feelings. The intelligence community makes great sacrifices, and CIA directors send people into harm’s way to learn things otherwise unavailable. And directors have seen stars carved on the agency’s memorial wall because of it. If what is gained is not used or wanted or is labeled as suspect or corrupt — by what moral authority does a director put his people at risk? …
Now the suppliers of intelligence are victims of callous indifference?
Wasn’t it revealed not so long ago that Centcom (U.S.Central Command] actually served up to President Obama what he wanted to hear about the progress of his tentative little war on ISIS rather than the depressing truth discovered “at great sacrifice”? And that in any case President Obama has skipped more than half his intelligence briefings?
What happens if the incoming administration directs that the “Russia did it” file be closed?
There’s a file? With documents in it? That prove the case? And it is still open?
Would standing intelligence requirements to learn more about this be eliminated? And if they were, what would the agency do with relevant data that would inevitably come through its collection network?
And what about the statute that requires the CIA and the rest of the intelligence community to keep Congress “fully and currently informed” about all significant intelligence activities? Data on a foreign power manipulating the federal electoral process would certainly qualify. What will the White House position be when the agency is asked by Congress if it has learned anything more on the issue?
More immediately, what will CIA Director-designate Mike Pompeo say during his confirmation hearings about this? He is not yet director, so he can fairly deflect any questions on the substance of this debate, for now. But every TV set at Langley will be turned on during his confirmation hearings, and his most important audience will not be the senators on the dais. His future workforce will be looking for clues about his willingness to defend them against charges of incompetence and politicization simply for saying what their craft tells them to be true. …
And, finally, how does the intelligence community break through and explain itself to the incoming team?
Don’t worry about that, Mr. Hayden. We are confident that Mr. Pompeo will manage it perfectly well.
Adolf Hitler. Dictator of Germany. Oppressor of nations. He launched a world war that destroyed tens of millions of lives. He ordered the murder of millions more by execution, torture, incarceration, starvation, forced labor.
Or didn’t he? There are American media people, opinion-writers, who seem to think that he didn’t do any of those things. In their view Hitler was just an authoritarian figure who powerfully opposed political correctness, safe spaces, redistribution, and combating climate change by driving Priuses and recycling garbage. Therefore, any American who comes to power by democratic election and is against those things, is just like Hitler.
Or Hitler’s Italian ally, Mussolini.
Persons who hold that view are ill-informed, under-educated, and/or intellectually stunted. But they are many. They are the rulers of the press and the airwaves; they constitute the greater part of the American Fourth Estate.
William McGurn writes at the Wall Street Journal:
Guess it depends on what you mean by “authoritarian”.
During the election, Donald Trump was routinely likened to Hitler. The headlines suggest not much has changed.
From the New Republic: “Donald Trump Is Already Acting Like an Authoritarian”. National Public Radio: “Donald Trump: Strong Leader or Dangerous Authoritarian?” The New York Times: “Beyond Lying: Donald Trump’s Authoritarian Reality”. The New Yorker: “Trump’s Challenge to American Democracy”.
What’s striking here is that the same folks who see in Mr. Trump a Mussolini in waiting are blind to the soft despotism that has already taken root in our government.
This is the unelected and increasingly assertive class that populates our federal bureaucracies and substitutes rule by regulation for the rule of law. The result? Over the Obama years, the Competitive Enterprise Institute reckons, Washington has averaged 35 regulations for every law.
In the introduction to its just-released report on how to address this federal overreach, CEI President Kent Lassman puts it this way: “It is time for a reckoning.”
Philip Hamburger is a law professor at Columbia and author of “Is the Administrative State Unlawful?” He believes the president-elect’s cabinet selections thus far — Scott Pruitt for the Environmental Protection Agency, Betsy DeVos for Education, Ben Carson for Housing and Urban Development, Andrew Puzder for Labor — may give Mr. Trump a unique opening not only to reverse bad Obama rules but to reform the whole way these agencies impose them. If Mr. Trump really hopes to drain the swamp, says Mr. Hamburger, cutting these agencies back to constitutional size would be a terrific start.
For one thing, almost all these departments are legacies of some progressive expansion of government. While an uneasy William Howard Taft, for example, made Labor its own cabinet office on the last day of his presidency, Woodrow Wilson named its first secretary.
Meanwhile, HUD is a child of LBJ’s Great Society. The EPA was Nixon’s attempt to buy liberal approval for his administration. As for the Education Department, it was a reward from Jimmy Carter for the endorsement the National Education Association gave him in 1976. At the time this cabinet seat was established, even the New York Times called it “unwise” and editorialized against it.
There’s a good case that Americans would be better off without most of these departments meddling in our lives and livelihoods, however politically unfeasible this might be. The next best news, however, is that Mr. Pruitt, Dr. Carson, Mr. Puzder and Mrs. DeVos are not beholden to the orthodoxies that drive the rules and mandates these bureaucracies impose.
Mrs. DeVos, for example, has spent her life promoting school choice, and her husband founded a charter school. It is difficult to imagine an Education Department under Secretary DeVos ever sending out a “Dear Colleague” letter to bully universities into expanding the definition of sexual harassment and then encouraging them to handle allegations in a way that has turned many campus tribunals into Star Chambers. Not to mention making a federal case about bathrooms.
Ditto for HUD. Under President Obama, HUD bureaucrats, under the banner of “fair housing”, have taken it upon themselves to decide what the right mix of race, income and education is for your town — and will impose fines and punishments for communities that resist. Anyone remember the people’s elected representatives directing HUD to impose its ideas of social engineering on the rest of America?
Or take the EPA. Whether it’s some Ordinary Joe running afoul of wetlands laws or the department’s deliberate attempt to destroy the market for coal, the EPA needs more than good science. It also needs some honest cost-benefit analysis about the prescriptions it pushes.
And then there’s Labor. Under Obama Secretary Tom Perez, the department has so overstepped the authority Congress gave it (for example, on its overtime rule) that federal judges have stepped in to block it, notwithstanding the courts’ traditional deference. As an employer himself, Mr. Puzder appreciates the fundamental reality of labor: which is that you don’t help workers by making them too expensive to hire.
The good news is that Mr. Trump does not have to fight government by regulatory fiat alone. House Speaker Paul Ryan has a raft of legislation that would reassert the authority of the people’s elected representatives over an unaccountable bureaucracy — including a regulatory budget that would limit the costs an agency can impose each year.
Even without legislation, there are things Mr. Trump could do. Mr. Hamburger, for example, dreams of a president ordering federal agencies to submit all their rules to Congress for approval. He further believes the stars are in rare alignment for reform, with Mr. Ryan pushing it in the House, cabinet secretaries who appear sympathetic to the cause and a popular mandate against rule from above.
“Oddly enough, the danger is that Mr. Trump will not think big enough,” says Mr. Hamburger. “To paraphrase him, the impact of changing the way Washington issues rules would be YUGE—and it would make him a historic and transformative president.”
And he won’t be putting his enemies into concentration camps. Or launching a world war.
And the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN and the rest of them will no doubt claim he’s only refraining from such actions in order to prove them wrong.