The third law of politics 16

These are Robert Conquest’s Three Laws of politics:

1. Everyone is conservative about what he knows best.

2. Any organization not explicitly and constitutionally right-wing will sooner or later become left-wing.

3. The behavior of any bureaucratic organization can best be understood by assuming that it is controlled by a secret cabal of its enemies.

Of the Second Law, Conquest gave the Church of England and Amnesty International as examples. Of the Third, he noted that an example of a bureaucracy controlled by a secret cabal of its enemies was the postwar British secret service. (Learn more from the podcast we took this from, by John Derbyshire speaking at National Review.)

It is the Third Law that concerns us now.

It has become apparent during the US presidency of Donald Trump that the permanent bureaucracy of the government – what in Britain is called the civil service – is controlled by “a secret cabal of its enemies”.

And as a body it has long since become left-wing.

Charles Lipson writes at Real Clear Politics:

Donald Trump and Republicans are furious that U.S. Attorney John Durham has not brought indictments against senior people who spied on the president’s campaign, lied repeatedly to judges in order to do it, and based their intrusions on specious evidence, which they knew to be false — and had been commissioned by the opposition political party. We know the broad outlines of this coordinated operation, but we still don’t know its full extent, all those involved, and what precise roles they played.

Attorney General William Barr promised major developments in this probe by late spring, then mid-summer, then Labor Day, and now sometime after the election. If, as Republicans say (and the evidence seems to show), there was a systematic effort to weaponize federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies for political purposes, the public has a compelling right to know. This need-to-know is urgent because the Democrats’ presidential nominee, Joe Biden, served as the second-highest ranking member of the administration that conducted these acts.

Why have Barr and Durham delayed issuing indictments or producing a comprehensive report?

Durham met predictable resistance from the same agencies that had committed the very acts being investigated. The CIA, now headed by Gina Haspel, and the FBI, now headed by Christopher Wray, refused to turn over any documents they weren’t forced to. Their resistance significantly slowed Durham’s work. So did the pandemic, which prevented grand juries from meeting to consider the evidence he uncovered. …

The crimes being investigated were directed at political figures, had political consequences, and may have been politically motivated.

May have been? What other motivation could there possibly be?

Citizens have a right to know — right now, before another Election Day — how the results of the previous presidential election were undermined by the very agencies who are supposed to be the bulwarks of American democracy. The targeting by the FBI and CIA of Donald Trump’s campaign, transition, and presidency corrupts the very idea of free-and-fair elections, the peaceful transfer of power, and nonpartisan law enforcement. If that’s what happened, Americans must know who did it. …

How can citizens acquire the information they need between now and Nov. 3? How can they find out what senior officials in the Obama administration did to surveil political opponents and cover it up when they lost the election?

There aren’t many options. The only realistic one is exactly what President Trump is demanding: Executive branch agencies must release all relevant documents with as few redactions as possible. His demand is entirely political, designed to help him win reelection. Still, he has the legal authority to do it. Whether it helps the country depends on what the documents tell us and whether they disclose any secret intelligence techniques.

What we have seen so far is a textbook example of bureaucrats covering their tracks, even if it harms the country they were hired to serve. Although some redactions are necessary to protect national security and on-going criminal investigations, many others were likely made to protect government agencies from humiliation or worse. That self-protection is why the State Department, FBI, and CIA have refused to give up documents. Lower-level bureaucrats have an additional reason. They fear the disclosures will help Trump.

Now that Election Day is so imminent, these agencies have even more leverage to keep their secrets. Trump cannot fire the Slow-Walkers-in-Chief, Christopher Wray and Gina Haspel, since doing so would ignite a political firestorm, just as firing Comey did. Wray, Haspel, and their colleagues know that, so they try to wait out Trump and hope for the best.

Still, the president does have some levers. John Ratcliffe, who is the director of national intelligence, outranks Haspel and can overrule her. He should do so if he thinks she is stalling to protect her agency or her position. She is vulnerable because she headed the CIA’s London station when Obama’s CIA ran so many anti-Trump operations on her territory. As for Wray, he is Barr’s subordinate in the Justice Department. The AG should override the FBI director unless disclosures would imperil a Durham prosecution. The practical danger is that Wray would complain to the New York Times and Washington Post, just as Comey and his deputy, Andrew McCabe, did. Those friendly [to the left] publications would undoubtedly reprise their old headlines: “Sources say AG undermining rule of law to help Trump”. 

So what if a political firestorm were ignited? Hasn’t there been an ongoing political firestorm ever since President Trump was elected? Is it not raging now with extra fury?

And why should the president or the Republicans or anyone fear the headlines of those gutter publications supporting the far-left, the New York Times and the Washington Post? They publish scurrilous headlines every day. For four years they have published lies and smears about President Trump in every issue.

The voters need Durham’s report before the election. It is theirs. They paid for it. By withholding it Barr and Durham are actively helping the far-left Democrats. 

Is the conclusion unavoidable that US Attorney General William Barr and US Attorney John Durham are members of the secret cabal of the administration’s – and America’s – enemies?

Betrayal 16

In general we are pessimists. (Our pessimism is made bearable, however, by laughter.) We have a view of human nature fitting what Thomas Sowell calls the “tragic vision”, which, he observes, underlies the conservative cast of mind. But we do have times when we allow ourselves optimism. As now, when we forecast a big win for President Trump in the forthcoming election.

So we do not believe that the gloomy predictions of the writer we quote below – though we agree that he makes an accurate depiction of what our enemies aim to do – will actually happen. But we share his sense of frustration that the Durham Report – expected by Trump supporters with as much eagerness as Christians expect a “Second Coming” or “The Rapture” – is being deliberately withheld from the electorate now, when it is most urgently needed. Its information concerning the attempt the Democrats made to destroy the presidency of Donald Trump belongs to the electorate and is vital to the choice that voters must make. 

Chris Farrell writes at Gatestone:

Attorney General William Barr is on a Capitol Hill whispering campaign to select Republicans, telling them that US Attorney John Durham will not move against the anti-Trump coup plotters before election day. One wonders if he has bothered to tell President Donald J. Trump. The consequences for the republic are dire. We slide ever closer to being a failed state. When the justice system is compromised – and it is – we are no better than any other banana republic.

No exaggeration. In mid-July, Obamagate indictments were overdue. It is mid-October.

The disparities in federal prosecutorial discretion and speed are astounding. Durham has been at work since May 14, 2019, and one third-stringer flunky DoJ attorney (Clinesmith) has entered a half-hearted semi-plea deal for criminally lying about Carter Page’s relationship with the CIA supposedly as a cooperating legal traveler who was debriefed on his trips to Russia.

Political Cartoons by AF Branco

If you are a targeted member (or even a spectator) of the Trump circle, your house is raided by the FBI with (carefully coordinated) CNN coverage; your family is humiliated in public; you are bankrupted; then indicted, tried, convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison for overdue parking tickets. That whole process takes about a month. There is some exaggeration here, but not by much. Remember: Trump was impeached over Adam Schiff’s phony Ukraine hoax in two months. …

The greatest criminal conspiracy to attack the constitution and overturn the results of a presidential election is being greeted with a yawn. The Republican Party can barely generate the energy to lift its head off the desk. “Journalists” within the news media do not report factual developments, and those who do find their Internet presence suppressed by the social media giants. …

President Trump has issued order after order for the past three years – demanding full declassification and release of all records dealing with the Hillary Clinton’s outlaw email server and the Russia Hoax. For three years, his White House staff has cheerfully answered, “Yes, sir!” – and then gone out in the hallway to rationalize and conspire towards failing to energetically and faithfully carry out the Commander-in-Chief’s orders. It is loathsome and despicable how the President has been betrayed.

Here are the consequences for the picture painted before you: we are in serious danger of the “fundamental transformation” of America that some politicians dreamed of coming to fruition:

One party is effectively saying it will pack the courts, including the Supreme Court, with politically friendly judges, so that the judiciary will be an extension of one political party rather than part of a system of checks and balances, the separation of powers or a co-equal branch of government. One party is openly saying it will remove the electoral college, so that sparsely populated, rural states would be totally outvoted by cities. One party is openly saying that it would add more states, such as Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, to provide it with more Senators to create a permanent one-party rule. One party is openly saying it would reverse core parts of our Bill of Rights so we could be jailed for exercising our freedom of speech, or for owning a gun to defend ourselves, as the minutemen did, against “enemies foreign and domestic”. 

This was the situation that brought about the downfall of Venezuela: the government confiscated guns, then people had no way of protecting themselves when the storm troopers showed up. We would have had a good run as a democratic republic – but the country will be fundamentally and permanently disfigured in a way that will make it unrecognizable. The crime and the cover-up will have been successfully completed. No scrutiny, no justice, no consequences, no memory, no country. The real shame, as in Venezuela, is that many will not even notice until it is too late.

He is right about what the consequences would be – but their coming upon us depends on a Democrat victory. Such a victory would indeed be a “serious danger”. He seems to think it might well happen. We don’t.

The release of the Durham report could ensure that it doesn’t happen.

We don’t even know why it is not being released. We need – at least – to be told why.

A convert to conservatism 5

She identifies herself as “Georgia H”. She is not a fluent speaker, but her hesitancy verifies her sincerity. What she has to say is well worth hearing.

She tells us that she had been an unquestioning Democrat; raised by Democrats to be a Democrat; surrounded by Democrats, at one with her fellow Democrats. Then practical experience gradually –  and it would seem quite painfully – taught her to question her political beliefs until she came to the unavoidable conclusion that the Democrats were wrong.

First as a teacher and then as a nurse, she learned that what she approves of and disapproves of mean that she is a conservative.

Not all the conservatives she now admires would be our own choice of mentor for a convert to our side of the ever-widening political divide, but we hope she will go on to find the good ones (and perhaps even discover us).

Posted under Conservatism, Videos by Jillian Becker on Monday, October 12, 2020

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Rewarding corruption 3

Who in the world deserves to be honored and rewarded for making peace this year? Who has brought historic enemies together in the Middle East and the Balkans? Whose were these amazing achievements serving the cause of peace? To whom should this year’s Nobel Peace Prize go?

Why, the US president, Donald Trump, of course!

Wrong – according to the Norwegian Nobel Committee. The truly deserving recipient of its Peace Prize it judges to be a deeply corrupt United Nations agency that has distributed poisoned food making hungry people sick, mad, and dead.

Breitbart reports:

The Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) its annual Peace Prize for 2020 on Friday, overlooking a history of corruption, mismanagement, and sexual assault among its ranks.

And mass murder. The report comes to that. Read on:

In its statement announcing the decision, the Committee expressed mounting concern about lack of access to food globally, particularly in light of repressive government lockdowns to prevent the spread of the Chinese coronavirus. The WFP, it said, won the award “for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict”.

According to the Nobel Committee, the WFP was responsible for aiding “100 million people in 88 countries” throughout 2019. It asserted that the Chinese coronavirus pandemic “has contributed to a strong upsurge in the number of victims of hunger in the world” and applauded the WFP’s “impressive ability to intensify its efforts” given the current situation.

“The world is in danger of experiencing a hunger crisis of inconceivable proportions if the World Food Program and other food assistance organizations do not receive the financial support they have requested,” the committee insisted. …

Regarding the humanitarian efforts the WFP actually conducts, it has faced over a decade of concerns regarding widespread corruption, resulting in food falling into the hands of warlords, terrorists, and other criminal actors, who then sell it to fund their illicit operations.

One of the villainous countries in this story is, as in so many stories of corruption and cruelty, Somalia:

A 2009 report revealed that both Somali officials and warlords were selling to the intended recipients U.N. food specifically labeled “not for sale”.

“In south and central Somalia, where nearly 20 years of war has ravaged the country, warlords commonly steal food aid and use it to control the population,” UAE’s the National reported that year. “Here in the more stable northern region, where many have sought shelter from the fighting, some of the food is stolen by corrupt officials looking to make a profit.”

The UN’s own finding should have disqualified it from consideration for a Nobel Peace Prize if the prize were to mean anything at all:

A U.N. security council report leaked a year later found that as much as half of the nation’s food aid, mostly run through the WFP, never reached intended recipients, as it was stolen before it got there. The culprits, according to the report are “corrupt contractors, radical Islamic militants and local U.N. workers”. 

Corruption continued to mar the agency throughout the decade. A 2015 Fox News report accused the WFP of losing millions to poorly managed funding.

The United Nations World Food Program in 2013 and 2014 used millions of dollars of specially designated donor trust funds as an all-purpose piggy bank, often without creating safeguards to ensure the money was used properly and as its donors had intended according to an internal report by WFP’s Office of the Inspector General.

In addition to corruption concerns, the WFP aid that does reach intended recipients for free is not always safe for consumption. Last year, the WFP announced it would stop distributing a “super cereal” meant for malnourished people in Uganda because experts found it laden with dangerous bacteria, mold, and possible carcinogens. …

The initial halt in distribution began in March after initial reports of the cereal being dangerous surfaced – linking it to the deaths of 400 people and hundreds of illnesses. Those found to have gotten sick after eating the cereal reportedly showed signs of “mental disorder”.

But the prize-winning UN agency went on distributing the poisonous food:

By September, the WFP had to once again stop distributing the “super cereal” because more people reported illnesses.

Great! Give it a prize.

 

The UN must be destroyed!

Posted under food, United Nations by Jillian Becker on Friday, October 9, 2020

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A vote for any Democrat is a vote against America 13

Is it really possible that at this stage of history, with all the terrifying examples of countries that have had socialist revolutions and become earthly hells, and no example of a single one of them that has not become an earthly hell, the United States is about to choose to have its own socialist revolution?

Are more than half the enfranchised citizens of America about to vote for the transformation of their free and prosperous country into a socialist hell of oppression and poverty?

To put it another way, are they about to vote the Democratic Party into power?

Dennis Prager points out at Townhall how a vote for any Democrat is a vote against America.

“I vote for the man (or woman), not the party” is what millions of Americans say and what, in fact, many do. It is intended as a noble sentiment: “I am not one of those Americans who votes blindly by party; I measure each candidate and then decide which one to vote for.”

They do not appreciate a likable Democrat will do as much harm to our country as any other Democrat.

Since  slavery, there has never been a time when the two major parties differed as much as they do today. Therefore, the notion that one should vote “for the individual, not the party” has never made less sense.

Elected officials vote with their party more often than in principled opposition to it, however fine they may be as individuals. Nevertheless, a great number of Americans still vote for “the individual”.

Obvious examples are Republican “Never Trumpers”.

New York Times columnist Bret Stephens is one prominent example. He believes in a strong American defense, supported Trump’s withdrawal of the United States from Barack Obama’s agreement with Iran, credits Trump with the Israeli peace agreements with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, saluted Trump’s moving of the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, and presumably supports other Trump policies, such as the president’s extraordinary success with regard to the American economy prior to the lockdowns that crushed the economy.

Yet, he so loathes the president that he will vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

He and many other Americans (we will soon know how many) who support the president’s Republican policies will vote for the party that stands for almost everything they oppose because they will “vote for the man, not the party”. 

At this time in American history, to care more about an individual candidate than the party is to support the unraveling of America. It is so irrational as to be incredible.

Voting for any Democrat – whether for mayor, district attorney, state legislature, state governor, the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate or president – is to vote for someone who will enable the left to destroy America as we know it.

That is their wording, not only mine.

Further vital points he makes:

It is to vote for the party that, for the first time in American history, openly identifies with socialism more than with capitalism.

To vote for any Democrat is to vote for the party that believes America is “systemically racist”, that it is rotten to the core, vile from its inception (in 1619, they claim, not 1776).

To vote for any Democrat is to vote for the party that will renew the Obama agreement with one of America’s and the civilized world’s greatest enemies, the Islamic Republic of Iran.

It is to vote for undoing every economic policy that led America to its greatest economic boom in memory.

It is to vote for the party whose mayors, governors and district attorneys allow violent riots and seek to “defund” police, a policy even most blacks oppose.

It is to vote for Kamala Harris, the most left-wing member of the U.S. Senate, for vice president and, given Biden’s age and health, perhaps soon president …

… if that senile corrupt old man actually and astoundingly gets elected to the presidency.

It is to vote for the party that:

wants to allow millions more illegal immigrants into America and grant them benefits heretofore reserved for Americans. Democrats don’t use the words “open borders,” but they  support this country-wrecking policy

supports the Green New Deal, or something very close to it, which will further ruin an economy already in ruins from Democrat-supported lockdowns

seeks to nationalize American health care (“Medicare for All”).

supports the unprecedented suppression of free speech by Big Tech and universities.

It is to vote for ruin and misery. 

Posted under Socialism, United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, October 7, 2020

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This is socialism 1

Vote Democrat and you can have this too.

 

Posted under Socialism, Venezuela, Videos by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, October 6, 2020

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In his own words 1

Posted under Videos by Jillian Becker on Sunday, October 4, 2020

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An education in ethics 5

“I want the entire world to burn until the last cop is strangled with the intestines of the last capitalist, who is strangled in turn with the intestines of the last politician.”

Thus Nathan Jun, Professor of Philosophy, now teaching a course in Ethics at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas.

(We quote an article by Johnathan Jones at the Western Journal.)

Some who read that statement by the professor reacted – he claims – by sending him death threats and vandalizing his home.

He complained:

There’s no way that I can make those sorts of expressions publicly around here without this kind of thing happening again and again and again and again. I’m just tired of it.”

But he is not easily intimidated. He will bravely adhere to his principles and continue to spread his teaching.

He feels obligated by his job to “speak out fearlessly and unapologetically on matters of public concern according to the dictates of my conscience.”

He has noble aspirations:

I do long to live in a world in which we no longer have cops, which we no longer have capitalists and which we no longer have politicians. Because those are my political beliefs and I own them and I make no apologies for those beliefs.”

He said this in an interview on KFDX-TV. As he spoke he was wearing a shirt advertising Antifa, and he claimed affiliation with the murderous Marxist organization Black Live Matter.

The University defended his right to say what he did on grounds of upholding the right of free speech. It is doubtful that the University would allow a defender of capitalism, law and order,  and conservative political principles to speak on its campus. What it was really defending was the idea of “burning the entire world until the last cop is strangled with the intestines of the last capitalist, who is strangled in turn with the intestines of the last politician”.

Most universities in the “free West” would take the same position. Those are the ethics of our culture now. Professor Nathan Jun speaks for the professoriate of America.

Posted under education, Ethics by Jillian Becker on Sunday, October 4, 2020

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Winning 5

Is there anywhere a pro-Trump watcher of that debate who doesn’t know points that the President should have raised, arguments he should have made, knock-out blows he should have delivered?

Well, here’s one at least who appreciates what the President did say, the blows he did deliver:

Chris Buskirk writes at The Critic:

“Teacher, help. The President is being mean to me.” That’s the rough translation of Joe Biden’s frequent, desperate appeals to moderator, Chris Wallace during [the September 29, 2020]  debate with Donald Trump. The former Vice President came in for some rough treatment by the current leader of the free world.

From the starting shot, President Trump was on the front foot, peppering Biden with a flurry of verbal blows: taunts, accusations, barbed criticisms for Biden, declarations of sublime political skill, triumph against longs odds, and exemplary selflessness for himself. Biden didn’t know what hit him. But he should have. And so should have his advisers and debate coaches. This is Trump’s style.

Trump is a street fighter waging asymmetric warfare against a traditional foe who is reviewing the rules of engagement and consulting the lawyers back at headquarters before doing anything. And all the while he’s getting pummeled. Idealists will say that it wasn’t very presidential, that they didn’t dig into policy and educate the American people, where was the dignity?

Welcome to electoral politics. It’s always been thus. Founding Father John Adams delighted in calling fellow Founder Alexander Hamilton, “the bastard brat of a Scotch peddler”. Adams himself came in for similar treatment during the election of 1800 when he was called an hermaphrodite reportedly at the behest of Thomas Jefferson.

We didn’t get any of that last night. But there’s another debate next week so keep your fingers crossed.

One of the most interesting and telling exchanges came about an hour into the debate. In some ways each man showed himself in his purest form. Joe Biden delivered what was very obviously a well-rehearsed, set-piece attack on President Trump. You could see the windup, like a boxer pulling his arm way back, fist clenched, preparing to deliver the knockout blow. Biden started by repeating the accusation that Trump disrespectfully criticizes the military, calling them losers and suckers. The story has been debunked repeatedly by multiple sources including those hostile to the president like John Bolton. But it’s part of the Biden campaign’s strategy. So he levels the accusations and then begins to eulogise his son, Beau Biden, who served in Iraq, and later died of brain cancer. This makes it all personal to Joe, you see. He’s defending his dead son against a mythical slander from the bad orange man. Biden even points a finger at Trump, “My son is not a loser!”

Trauma mining to score points in a debate is a desperately cynical piece of political theatre. But, I suppose they calculate that if it works you get to be president. It was pure Biden: scripted, saccharine, playing by the rules of a game that has long since ended. In case you think I’m too cynical, that surely this couldn’t have been orchestrated, Joe Biden’s official Twitter account posted a photo of Joe and Beau with the caption, “Beau was not a loser” just as the debate ended.

And just so, Trump. He looked at his podium and quietly, respectfully, asked, which son Biden was talking about. Of course, he knew, but he played the game forcing Biden to respond, Beau. “Oh, I don’t know him. I know Hunter.”

And then listed the accusations against Hunter: he took a $1.5 billion investment from China into the fledgling investment company he ran with John Kerry’s son while his father was Vice President and en route to China. He received $3.5 million from the mayor of Moscow. He had a sinecure from a Ukranian energy company while his father was Obama’s pointman on Ukraine policy. (NB: Hunter had no experience in business let along the energy business.) It was as sweet a move as I’ve ever seen. The knockout punch was coming with all the force Joe Biden could muster and Trump simply sidestepped it and counterpunched.

It was an impressive display of natural animal cunning. And it could make the difference in the election. Trump was agile, aggressive, and vigorous, taking what he wanted when he wanted it. This offends some people’s sensibilities. He’s transgressive. He doesn’t play according to the rules. But for others, that’s part of the appeal.

It’s no secret that the ruling class in America despises the country class. If you’re one of those people who don’t live in coastal cities and subscribe to the same worldview as the elite aspirants hoping for a job at a billionaire-backed NGO or an internship that might lead to a job at McKinsey then you’re a deplorable, a CHUD, and definitely racist and whatever bad things are happening to you, your family, and your inland town are your just deserts.

One of Trump’s main functions and biggest appeals is that he exposes the occupational elites that are credentialed but not expert in much of anything. Everyone knows it. Imposter syndrome is rampant. And Trump preys on their insecurities which is what provokes such outrageous reactions from his enemies. But a lot of Americans who live in interior America and get unglamorous jobs at slowly declining wages, raise their families want nothing more than to be left alone by the credentialed but unaccomplished strivers who hate them. For those people, Trump is their champion.

They probably don’t aspire to be like Trump, but they like the fact that he exposes the bankruptcy of the undeserving ruling class. And for them, Trump’s debate was a tour de force. It was aggressive, it was funny, he said the quiet part out loud, he broke the rules in public that are normally only broken in private. That won him the election in 2016 …

And it won him that debate.

Posted under Commentary, United States by Jillian Becker on Friday, October 2, 2020

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