Private diplomat, public traitor 1

President Trump, being supremely sane and sensible, tore up (figuratively speaking) the evil “‘deal” that Obama wormed out of the tyrants of Iran. If the unsigned agreement can be said to have achieved anything at all, it was the tentative postponement of a nuclear armed Mullahcracy of Iran for a few years. That small relief cost an enormous amount of money – more than a hundred billion of it in dollar bills – and deep national abasement in a long process of groveling by Obama’s Secretary of State John Kerry at the feet of the demonic mullahs.

Obama probably saw the tenuous thing as his grand achievement in foreign policy, a real biggy in his presidential legacy. And then, “Poof!” – Trump blew it away.

Now Kerry has been in a huddle with the mullahs again, making a delusory – no, an insane – attempt to catch the pieces of the abstract document as they scatter on the winds and stick them together again. At Obama’s request, we imagine. Obama’s sobbing request. To his sometime, long time, lackey.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, whose implementation of President Trump’s foreign policy Kerry is trying to undermine, was questioned about it:

Scott Johnson comments cogently on Kerry’s private diplomacy in an article at Front Page, in which he displays this video.

In  another Front Page article he argues against a story by April Doss in the Weekly Standard in which the author denies the Obama administration’s misuse of FISA in pursuit of its plot against Donald Trump. The misuse was made. It involved the smearing of Carter Page. Scott Johnson writes:

Under Title I of FISA … it was the burden of the government to establish probable cause that Page was engaging in espionage, terrorism, or sabotage by or on behalf of a foreign power that involved a violation of a criminal statute. (Doss stated: “Although Page had left the campaign, the FBI feared Russia was using him for its own purposes. The application states that the FBI alleged there was probable cause to believe Page was an agent of a foreign power under a specific provision of FISA that involves knowingly aiding, abetting, or knowingly conspiring to assist a foreign power with clandestine intelligence gathering activities, engage in clandestine intelligence gathering at the behest of a foreign power, or participate in sabotage or international terrorism or planning or preparation therefor.”)

Carter Page did nothing of the kind. Not for himself, not for President Trump.

But John Kerry? Is he not “engaging in sabotage on behalf of a foreign power and so violating a criminal statute”?

Is he not “aiding, abetting”, and “knowingly conspiring to assist a foreign power” which is engaged in “international terrorism”?

He surely is, and he could be prosecuted under the Logan Act. But his penalty would be only a fine of $5,000.

He could be barred from holding any future public office. According to Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment:

No person shall … hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath … as an officer of the United States … to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have … given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.

There has been a rumor that Kerry will run for the presidency in 2020, and that could stop him.

But is there any need to be concerned about Kerry conspiring with the mullahs? What can he offer them? What can he bribe them with?

And what could he persuade them to do that would change President’s Trump’s policy of no nuclear “deal” with Iran and the increase and strict enforcement of sanctions against it?

Nothing short of their abdication.

Let Kerry plot with them. Let him give them words of comfort. Let him conspire to assist them, never regretting that the administration he served gave them the means to pursue international terrorism.

He is powerless. Obama is powerless. Oh joy! Freude!

And a little touch of Schadenfreude too, why not?

Posted under Iran, United States, Videos by Jillian Becker on Saturday, September 15, 2018

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The meaning of 9/11 8

As all the world knows, Muslims attacked America on September 11, 2001. They killed 2,977 people and injured more than 6,000. 

A lot of Democrats failed to understand the meaning of 9/11.

Ben Smith reported at Politico in April 2011:

The University of Ohio yesterday shared with us the crosstabs of a 2006 poll they did with Scripps Howard that’s useful in that regard.

“How likely is it that people in the federal government either assisted in the 9/11 attacks or took no action to stop the attacks because they wanted the United States to go to war in the Middle East?” the poll asked.

A full 22.6% of Democrats said it was “very likely.” Another 28.2% called it “somewhat likely.”

That is: More than half of Democrats, according to a neutral survey, said they believed Bush was complicit in the 9/11 terror attacks.

Democrats still do fail to understand 9/11. In July this year (2018), Nancy Pelosi, the erstwhile Democratic Speaker of the House, called it “an incident”.

President Trump understands it.

Bruce Bawer wrote at Front Page on 9/11 this year:

On September 11, 2001, New York – along with Washington, D.C. – was struck by mass death … . It shook the world. Mainstream European commentators attributed the terrorist attacks to legitimate Muslim grievances against America, and breezily dismissed suggestions that Europe might soon be struck as well.

Sweeping aside Osama bin Laden’s claims, President Bush asserted that the attacks had nothing to do with Islam, which he called a “religion of peace”.He then sent armed forces to “liberate” Afghanistan and Iraq, on the premise that the people of those countries, if allowed to vote in democratic elections, would choose a democratic path.

It all turned out to be spectacularly wrong. The European savants were shown up by the horrific attacks on Madrid, Beslan, London, and elsewhere. Their perpetrators put the lie to the “religion of peace” rhetoric, repeatedly announcing that they were committing jihad, a core Islamic concept. …

In Western Europe, this recklessness had an impact well beyond terrorism. Sharia enclaves. Violent crime. A financial burden that has forced welfare states to cut back on education, health care, elder care. While other immigrant groups integrated into European host cultures, Muslims demanded – with increasing success – that those cultures adapt to Islam. …

Bush had massaged the Muslim world with insipid rhetoric about our shared heritage as “people of faith”; Obama had spun outrageous fantasies about Islam, transforming, in his famous 2009 Cairo speech, fourteen centuries of primitive brutality into a glittering parade of moral, cultural, intellectual, and spiritual triumphs. …

Finally, in Donald Trump, America has a president, and the Free World has a top dog, who gets it.

Yes, Trump could go further, in both words and actions, on Islam. But he’s already gone light years beyond his predecessors. He’s certainly gone far enough to outrage bien pensant types everywhere. And he’s gone far enough so that Americans who get it know beyond question that he gets it – and that he’s on their side. And they’re behind him.

As his rock-star reception in Warsaw last year reflected, most Eastern Europeans – who, unlike the editorial board of the New York Times, recognize a champion of freedom and a totalitarian ideology when they see them – are behind him, too, and are giving the finger to EU leaders who demand that they let in a Trojan horse.

Meanwhile, in Western Europe, where the haut monde hates Trump as much as do their stateside counterparts, millions – including those in Germany, France, and elsewhere who are finally rising up in boisterous public protests against their own despised leaders (but, except in Italy, still not casting enough votes for alternative parties to effect meaningful change) – see Trump as a long-awaited truth-teller, a sign of hope, a hero.

His enemies call him a fascist. On the contrary, he’s the first U.S. president since 9/11 who genuinely seems to grasp that Islam is fascism. He’s as far from denial and fatalism as it’s possible to be. He talks sense, he talks tough, and he takes action that’s in America’s interests. He’s crushed ISIS, shown Islamic heads of state who’s boss, and (against the resistance of both major-party establishments and the legislative and judicial branches of the U.S. government) done his best to pull in the welcome mat. While, at this point, most of his counterparts in Western Europe seem to be all about repeating empty multiculturalist slogans and managing a transition to the unimaginable, Trump is manning the barricades.

We applaud him for all that too.

And we add this:

The 9/11 Muslim attack on America was a profoundly religious act.

Posted under Islam, jihad, Muslims, Terrorism, United States by Jillian Becker on Thursday, September 13, 2018

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Prize lies 2

Obama claims that the eight years of his presidency were free of scandal. In fact, the scandals were many and appalling.

Obama claims to have stopped Iran becoming a nuclear power. In fact, he entered into a deal that permitted Iran to become a nuclear power.

Obama claims to have improved race relations. In fact, he worsened them. 

Obama claims to have launched an economic boom. In fact, he never achieved even 3% GDP growth.

In sum, he was a weak and destructive president. The harm he did would not be easy to repair, and America is lucky to have found the man to succeed him who could not only mend what he had broken, and is doing so, but is going much further, turning the failure round and achieving success. Even some unprecedented successes. And all in record time.

Obama sees the repair as an undoing of the changes he wrought. As he puts it, “The status quo pushes back.”

The complaint comes from a speech he made at the University of Illinois in Urbana, Ill., on Sept. 7, 2018, when the university honored him with the Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government.

The speech he gave on the occasion of receiving the prize included these claims:

Each time we painstakingly pull ourselves closer to our founding ideals, that all of us are created equal, endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights; the ideals that say every child should have opportunity and every man and woman in this country who’s willing to work hard should be able to find a job and support a family and pursue their small piece of the American Dream; our ideals that say we have a collective responsibility to care for the sick and the infirm, and we have a responsibility to conserve the amazing bounty, the natural resources of this country and of this planet for future generations, each time we’ve gotten closer to those ideals, somebody somewhere has pushed back. The status quo pushes back. Sometimes the backlash comes from people who are genuinely, if wrongly, fearful of change. More often it’s manufactured by the powerful and the privileged who want to keep us divided and keep us angry and keep us cynical because that helps them maintain the status quo and keep their power and keep their privilege. …

To which political party does that last sentence most aptly apply? We say the Democratic Party? But then, the Left has a habit of accusing its opponents of the faults, failings, bad emotions, plots, conspiracies, evil intentions, underhand actions, and failures of which itself is guilty.

Most of you don’t remember a time before 9/11, when you didn’t have to take off your shoes at an airport.

Did he mention who was responsible for 9/11 and for us having to take off our shoes at an airport? No. Because he never did and never will blame Islam for its acts of terrorism.

Most of you don’t remember a time when America wasn’t at war, or when money and images and information could travel instantly around the globe, or when the climate wasn’t changing faster than our efforts to address it.

A strange combination of references. No one living remembers a time when America wasn’t at war, if the Cold War is counted. About the money and images he probably meant “remember a time when they could not …”  And then he throws in as a certainty that there was a time when climate was not changing fast, but it is now.

And this was all before a change. What change? Have the wars stopped?

The only change he almost got right was a change to faster communications than ever before.

He claims that all three factors together brought about this consequence:

This change has happened fast, faster than any time in human history. And it created a new economy that has unleashed incredible prosperity.

Only, of the three phenomena he mentioned, could the faster communications be said to have promoted prosperity.

Actually, he just gabbled nonsense. And all to get in a claim to an “unleashed incredible prosperity” – the prosperity he claims as hid own achievement.

He goes on to say how he rescued the economy from wicked men.

[T]he reckless behavior of financial elites triggered a massive financial crisis, ten years ago this week, a crisis that resulted in the worst recession in any of our lifetimes and caused years of hardship for the American people, for many of your parents, for many of your families. Most of you weren’t old enough to fully focus on what was going on at the time, but when I came into office in 2009, we were losing 800,000 jobs a month. 800,000. Millions of people were losing their homes. Many were worried we were entering into a second Great Depression. So we worked hard to end that crisis, but also to break some of these longer term trends. And the actions we took during that crisis returned the economy to healthy growth and initiated the longest streak of job creation on record. And we covered another 20 million Americans with health insurance and we cut our deficits by more than half, partly by making sure that people like me, who have been given such amazing opportunities by this country, pay our fair share of taxes to help folks coming up behind me.

While it is true that employment rose before he left office, his claim that higher taxes (on “people like me”) were a formula for prosperity is false. President Trump’s tax cuts (for all tax payers) prove it. Furthermore, Obama heavily regulated business, and President Trump’s lifting of many Obama regulations has been a factor in creating the very real present economic boom.

And by the time I left office, household income was near its all-time high and the uninsured rate had hit an all-time low and wages were rising and poverty rates were falling. I mention all this just so when you hear how great the economy’s doing right now, let’s just remember when this recovery started.

He came on then to his foreign policy.

Even though we took out bin Laden and wound down the wars in Iraq and our combat role in Afghanistan, and got Iran to halt its nuclear program, the world’s still full of threats and disorder. …

And even though your generation is the most diverse in history …

Nonsense! No generation is more “diverse” than any other.

… with a greater acceptance and celebration of our differences than ever before, those are the kinds of conditions that are ripe for exploitation by politicians who have no compunction and no shame about tapping into America’s dark history of racial and ethnic and religious division. …

[O]ver the past few decades, the politics of division, of resentment and paranoia has unfortunately found a home in the Republican Party.

Remember when a Republican Attorney General refused to prosecute a bunch of white people although they were breaking the law, on the grounds that he would not act against “his  people”? No. Neither do we. But we do recall Eric Holder- Obama’s black AG – saying something like that in a case of the Black Panthers …

This Congress has … embraced wild conspiracy theories, like those surrounding Benghazi, or my birth certificate.

The trick: he throws out, in passing, that the (factually accurate) report of his failure to send help to a US ambassador and three servicemen who were killed by Muslim terrorists in Benghazi was a “wild conspiracy theory’, and associates it with an unproved, unlikely, and petty story that he was not born in the United States. But the horrible events in Benghazi were proved and profoundly important.

He comes to his own party’s wild conspiracy theory:

[The Repulicans in power are] undermining our alliances, cozying up to Russia. What happened to the Republican Party? Its central organizing principle in foreign policy was the fight against Communism, and now they’re cozying up to the former head of the KGB, actively blocking legislation that would defend our elections from Russian attack.

And he calls the partial repeal of his unworkable health legislation “sabotage”:

Their sabotage of the Affordable Care Act has already cost more than three million Americans their health insurance. And if they’re still in power next fall, you’d better believe they’re coming at it again. …

He defends the media who gave him uncritical support in all he did, and never stp attacking President Trump. What is indefnsible in his eyes, is Trump hitting back at his media enemies. To do this, he lies again:

I complained plenty about Fox News – but you never heard me threaten to shut them down, or call them enemies of the people.

We did hear that his administration “spied on members of the media, illegally seizing the phone records of Associated Press journalists. Fox News reporter James Rosen called Obama ‘the greatest enemy of press freedom in a generation’ after being threatened with possible jail time for refusing to reveal one of his sources”. (See our quotations from Matt Margolis below.)

Next, he endorses the lie that President Trump sympathizes with Nazis:

We’re supposed to stand up to discrimination. And we’re sure as heck supposed to stand up, clearly and unequivocally, to Nazi sympathizers.

How hard can that be? Saying that Nazis are bad.

How hard can it be to say that Islamic terrorism is bad? That Communism is bad? Too hard for him, it appeared.

Then comes the most blatantly impudent accusation of them all:

And we won’t win people over by calling them names, or dismissing entire chunks of the country as racist, or sexist, or homophobic.

Who, every minute of every day, calls whom “racist, or sexist, or homophobic”? Or all three?

Matt Margolis comments at PJ Media:

Today we saw just how far academia is going to perpetuate the myth of Obama’s “scandal-free” administration when he was awarded the Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government by the University of Illinois. Not since the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize has Obama been so undeserving of an award. But, I submit that this award is even worse than the Nobel Peace Prize he didn’t deserve. In 2009, the Nobel committee was at least ignorant of what Obama’s record would turn out to be. There is simply no excuse in 2018 for Obama to be receiving an Ethics in Government award. … The Paul H. Douglas Award is now forever tainted.

What, exactly, did the committee at the University of Illinois think Obama did to earn an Ethics in Government award? The Obama years were plagued by scandal and defined by a hyper-partisan government.

Last month I cited six Obama scandals where a special counsel should have been appointed to investigate but was not. Unlike Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Obama’s attorneys general, Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, were partisan lackeys who did everything they could to protect Obama from being held accountable. Obama, Holder, and Lynch knew that if they left the investigating to Republicans in Congress they could write them off as partisan witch hunts and use any and all tactics possible to obstruct and stonewall those investigations, or in some cases, run their own sham investigation that cleared them of any wrongdoing.

I document thirty different scandals in my book The Scandalous Presidency of Barack Obama. Each scandal on its own makes the idea of Obama receiving an ethics award laughable. All of them together make this award blasphemous. From the moment Obama took office he was under a dark cloud of scandal, having been involved in illegal negotiations with [the condemned criminal] Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich to give him a cabinet position in exchange for Blagojevich nominating an Obama-preferred candidate to his vacated Senate seat … yet Obama just received an Ethics in Government award? What a joke!…

There are plenty of well-known scandals that the committee that decided to award Obama had to have been aware of but chose to ignore. There was the Fast and Furious scandal, which involved sending guns to Mexico in the hopes of tracking them to drug cartel leaders. Not only did they lose track of a large number of guns, but one gun was found to have been used in the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent. The Obama administration tried to cover it up, and they stonewalled a congressional investigation, resulting in Attorney General Eric Holder being held in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over documents. Is this what constitutes “ethics in government” to the University of Illinois?

The Obama administration also abused the Espionage Act to target reporters and their sources. They even spied on members of the media, illegally seizing the phone records of Associated Press journalists. Fox News reporter James Rosen called Obama “the greatest enemy of press freedom in a generation” after being threatened with possible jail time for refusing to reveal one of his sources.  Is this what constitutes “ethics in government” to the University of Illinois? …

There were also –

The Solyndra scandal [see here], the Benghazi cover-up, Uranium One, the IRS targeting of conservative groups, the covering up of thousands of deaths of veterans waiting for care at VA hospitals, manipulating intelligence, paying ransom money to Iran, Project Cassandra [see here], spying on Donald Trump, the Hillary email scandal, which I should add, also implicated Obama, who communicated with Hillary via her private email address and used a pseudonym himself.

It’s bad enough when Obama claims he was scandal-free. But, when he receives an ethics in government award, it diminishes the meaning of ethics. It’s time to stop pretending Obama was scandal-free or ethical. … I’ve only scratched the surface of Obama’s scandalous and unethical presidency. 

The only reason why Barack Obama was elected president was that he was black. He had nothing else to offer. A sufficient number of white Americans voted for him to get him into the White House for no better reason than that they needed to feel good, to prove to themselves, and the country and the world, that they were not “racist“.

Barack Obama, for all his expensive education, was ill-informed and strangely ignorant – and he embraced ideologies inimical to America. He seemed not to know how many states there were in the country he governed. He thought Austrians spoke a language called Austrian. He did not know how to pronounce “corpsman”. And he was a follower of the Communist “community organizer” Saul Alinsky, and a lackey of the Muslim Brotherhood.

He lied and commanded others to lie. Under his leadership, his party worked an elaborate plot, which it still pursues, to destroy the candidacy and then the presidency of Donald Trump with false and slanderous allegations of treason.

If prizes were awarded for lying, Obama would deserve them all.

Long late summer days of clamor and boasting 4

Among the most likely Democratic (Socialist) Party nominees for the 2020 presidential election, are Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker.

What sort of people they are was revealed under bright lights during the recent, days-long, televised interrogation of Brett Kavanaugh to confirm his appointment by President Trump to the Supreme Court.

So what sort of people are they? Well, they’re both black. That’s a chief qualification in the eyes of the racist Left. And one of them is a woman. Double points.

But what of their ideas, their competence, their characters?

Ken Blackwell writes at Townhall:

Despite the Senate Judiciary Committee’s being the most politically polarized committee in Congress, there’s still usually a sense of seriousness during a Supreme Court confirmation hearing. Not this time.

Over the four days of hearings – two of which Judge Kavanaugh went well into the night answering Senators’ questions – there were well over a hundred interruptions by protesters.

And when Democratic Senators did ask questions, they did their image no good whatsoever.

For his part, Kavanaugh was masterful in fielding every question, befitting a confident 12-year veteran of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals bench, the second most important court in the country. The American people saw a judge’s judge – he will fairly apply the law, he will honor the Constitution, he won’t make up law … or impose any kind of agenda from the bench. It’s clear, as with Neil Gorsuch, President Trump had hit another home run with a man who’ll be another great justice.

Leading the [Democratic] parade were two committee members who’ve made it no secret they’re running for president in 2020

For Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), the hearings were their own little “Kavanaugh Primary” within the primary contest for the Democratic nomination. They were expected to try and outdo each other in appealing to their party’s base, but what happened instead was a literal comedy of errors

During his first opportunity to question Kavanaugh, Booker tried to ambush the judge with emails from the time he served in the George W. Bush White House as an associate counsel and later as staff secretary. Kavanaugh calmly kept asking Booker if he could please see a copy of the emails to which the Senator was referring – so he could accurately answer his question. But they were not provided. 

Early the next morning Booker pronounced he was releasing documents, including the emails to which he had referred the day before, in what he believed to be a brazen display of flouting Senate rules for the public good. He said he was releasing confidential documents that were being withheld by the committee so the public could see them, and he would accept the consequences. He even proclaimed: “This is the closest I’ll ever get in my life to an “I am Spartacus” moment.”

A brave leader of an uprising of the oppressed against a tyranny. Easy heroism. Booker was, figuratively speaking, banging his chest as he boasted that he was taking an enormous risk, but would accept any consequences fearlessly.

In harsh reality he was making a fool of himself.

But it turned out Senate Democrats had gotten clearance to release them [the emails] several hours prior.

Spartacus had lied to us.

A presidential candidate?

Let’s look at the other one.

Not to be outdone, Harris tried to ambush Judge Kavanaugh as well.

It was late Wednesday night, she was one of the last Senators to question Kavanaugh during what had been a long, grueling day. She glared at him, knowing the cameras were capturing every moment, and sprang her gotcha question: “Have you discussed [Special Counsel] Mueller or his investigation with anyone at Kasowitz Benson and Torres, the law firm founded by Marc Kasowitz, President Trump’s personal lawyer. … Be sure about your answer, sir.”

Kavanaugh couldn’t recall any such conversation but, as he told Harris, he was happy to have his memory refreshed if she was aware of anything. She played coy. Her staff told reporters throughout the night and into the next day of the hearings that she had it on good information such discussions had taken place.

“Good information”. How good?

Surely she had him, she had damning information about Kavanaugh inappropriately discussing the Mueller investigation with the president’s personal law firm, and he was the president’s pick for the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court could well hear arguments in the Mueller investigation. Game over, right?

Wrong.

When she asked him the same question directly the next night he flatly said, “no.”

And then she … moved on. It was all made up, nothing to see here. Fishing expedition comes up empty.

It’s a sobering thought that there are millions of people who might vote for Booker or Harris to be president.

Posted under cartoons, Law, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, September 8, 2018

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Silly women and a snake 21

The South African government has announced that it will take away land owned by white farmers without compensating them for their loss.

Take from them what they legally own. Take all they have. Seize it. Steal it from them. Leave them and their families and dependents destitute.

And the British government, (wo)manned by incompetent women led by an incompetent woman, says that’s just fine.

Here’s one of the stupid women using her unearned power to do irreparable harm on a vast scale:

Breitbart London has seen a letter written by Harriet Baldwin MP, Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), to Sir Paul Beresford MP, who enquired what the government’s stance on the policy [of expropriating land owned by white farmers without compensation] was on behalf of a concerned constituent.

“The British government understands the need for land reform in South Africa”, Baldwin asserted, adding that they “welcomed” promises from President Cyril Ramaphosa that “the process of land [re]distribution would be orderly within South African laws” and be carried out “without negatively affecting economic growth, agricultural production and food security”.

In a follow-up email to the constituent from the Africa Department (Central and Southern) of the FCO, also seen by Breitbart London and confirmed as “reflect[ing] Government policy on this issue” by the FCO newsdesk, the department confirms Theresa May is satisfied with having been told that “[the] process would be taken forward on a multi-party basis, through Parliament, and… within the bounds of the Constitution and carefully designed so as to avoid damaging food security or deterring investment”.

Oh, that’s okay then. The theft will be legal!

The theft will be legal?

Oh, and “carefully designed”. No damage to “food security” is likely to occur because of “careful design”. And don’t worry if you’re thinking of investing money in South Africa; these soothing words should keep you from feeling “deterred”.

That the ANC government intends to make the seizure of white-owned farms without the owners being compensated legal, through parliamentary fiat and constitutional amendments, says nothing about the justness of the policy, however — and while Ramaphosa might insist he can confiscate land without “deterring investment” the national currency took an immediate hit when the policy was announced.

Minister Baldwin and the FCO Africa Department also dismissed the constituent’s concerns that white farmers, who own a majority of land being put to use for agriculture in South Africa but only a little over a fifth of land overall, were being deliberately targeted in racist attacks.

Many white farmers, including British nationals, have been brutally attacked and sometimes murdered on their homesteads, often following a prolonged period of torture — indeed, by some measures farming in South Africa is the most dangerous occupation in the world outside an active war zone.

Only white farmers attacked. Attacked only by blacks.

But Baldwin and the FCO bureaucrats played down the phenomenon, claiming: “Attacks on farmers are generally opportunistic and on the whole not based on racial grounds.”

In the same way, you see, taking land from white owners and giving it gratis to black owners has nothing to do with race.

How stupid and gullible can even a British female Member of Parliament be?

… Many observers believe the result of the land expropriation without compensation policy the ANC is pursuing — allegedly in response to electoral pressure from Julius Malema’s black nationalist Economic Freedom Fighters party — will be an exodus of the country’s white minority, followed by a collapse in agricultural production and the wider economy.

As happened in Zimbabwe “when  Marxist kleptocrat Robert Mugabe seized white-owned farms … and allowed violent mobs to forcibly eject and often kill the former occupants”, so turning the “Breadbasket of Africa” into a barren wasteland of a country needing to import food while having no money to pay for it.  

Who is the Snake alluded to in our heading – in recollection of the song President Trump has recited more than once in his rally speeches? The Snake the silly women ruling Britain are clasping to their collective bosom?

The creature with a forked tongue? Its name is Cyril Ramaphosa. Or the Government of South Africa.

Insurrection and the decline of the American press 3

In Washington DC yesterday (Sunday, August 12, 2018) the masked fascists that call themselves “Antifa” marched through the streets shouting:

No border! No wall! No USA at all!

They are encouraged to violent insurgency by the media, and the media are stepping up their campaign.

A conservative opinion on these dire developments comes from Blabber Buzz:

At what point do outlets like The Washington Post, The New York Times and CNN cross the line from being far-left sites who irrationally despise President Donald Trump to potentially inciting indiscriminate violence with truly despicable and dangerous words?

With one of its latest attacks on the President, The Washington Post shamefully reinforced that the point has long since been reached.

In an outrageous screed going after Trump titled The Path to Autocracy is all too familiar, the liberal propaganda sheet for the “Resistance” attached a photo of Hitler Youth gleefully burning books.

Hitler Youth burning books.

As irresponsible and disgraceful as that photo was, it paled in comparison to the words in the piece.

Fully understanding that multi-billionaire Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos may himself be biased against Trump and may not grasp – or choose to ignore — the escalating danger of such potentially violence-inciting pieces, there are still some well-respected “adults in the room” at the paper who most certainly do understand that threat.

Where are their voices? Why are they silent? Who has the courage and decency at that paper to say that these reprehensible connections of the President of the United States to Hitler, the Holocaust, and genocide must stop?

Not only are they obscenely insulting to the millions of Jews and others put to death by Hitler and his collection of Nazi psychopaths, but they are purposeful lies seeking to facilitate a desired political outcome for reasons of ideology. …

The Washington Post’s much-mocked tag-line – even by liberals – states: “Democracy Dies in Darkness.”

What could be “darker” than an American news organization working in concert with elements of the far-left to delegitimize, destabilize, and potentially bring down a constitutionally elected President of the United States?

Where are the voices of the leaders in the Democratic Party? Where are the voices of academics and historians?

Every single one of them knows this is falsely dangerous partisan trash masquerading as “news” or “opinion” and yet they all remain silent. …

Most do, but not every single one. Two academics, Alan Dershowitz (who says he “voted proudly for Hillary”!), and Jonathan Turley, are liberals who criticize the lengths the Democratic Party and its allies are going to, and even doing so on the Fox News shows of pro-Trump hosts.

Do they truly want to incite violence? Do they truly want people to take to the streets against Trump? Do they want a real revolution?

Are they prepared to accept responsibility for the injuries, deaths, and destruction of property that may come about because of their wretched insinuations and outright lies?

Yes, they do. Because they do not understand and cannot imagine what it means.

The Western Journal reports:

A Boston newspaper wants every newspaper in America to attack President Donald Trump in response to his criticism of the news media.

The Boston Globe on Friday began reaching out to newspapers across the country to publish editorials on Aug. 16 denouncing what it called a “dirty war against the free press”, according to a report in The Boston Globe itself.

“We are not the enemy of the people,” said Marjorie Pritchard, deputy managing editor for the editorial page of The Boston Globe.

As of Saturday, “We have more than 100 publications signed up, and I expect that number to grow in the coming days,” she said …

What did President Trump say that occasioned all this fake outrage?

“The Fake News hates me saying that they are the Enemy of the People only because they know it’s TRUE,” he tweeted recently. “I am providing a great service by explaining this to the American People. They purposely cause great division & distrust. They can also cause War! They are very dangerous & sick!”

Last weekend, at an Ohio rally where the crowd chanted “CNN sucks,” Trump delivered his critique of the media.

“Oftentimes I’m getting ready to do the fake news with CNN or MSNBC — MSNBC is so corrupt it’s so disgusting,” Trump said … “I would say they’re almost – they’re worst,” he said. “They’re really a fake news group of people.”

Those comments followed similar ones at an Aug. 2 rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

“What ever happened to the free press? What ever happened to honest reporting? They don’t report it. They only make up stories,” Trump said then.

Good questions. Thoroughly deserved accusations.

… Pritchard said the newspapers want Americans to see Trump’s comments as an attack on basic American rights.

“I hope it would educate readers to realize that an attack on the First Amendment is unacceptable,” she said. “We are a free and independent press, it is one of the most sacred principles enshrined in the Constitution.”

As if theLeft doesn’t want the Constitution changed or even abolished. As if it doesn’t particularly want the First Amendment changed or abolished. As if  it really was for free speech, rather than for the exclusive right to express its own opinion and the forcible silencing of all others’ as the Nazis were.  

And as if the Left’s toadying media weren’t actively encouraging the street marchers who shout for the total abolition of the United States.  

Needless to say, President Trump has not and would not attack the First Amendment. He accuses the Leftist press of  extreme partisanship, false reporting, and sustained hostility towards him personally. And of all that it is guilty.

He is right that most of the media lie. In order to harm him and if possible destroy his presidency, they spin scandals out of unimportant incidents, and bury important news that would throw a good light on him for his numerous achievements.

Since they are not reporting truthfully, they have made their work pointless,  and themselves redundant.

Conspiracy, collusion, corruption condoned? 1

It is past time for the vindictive conspirators against the president of the United States to be brought to justice.

Evidence of their guilt continues to pile up, and still they are not prosecuted.

Are these conspirators and colluders exempt from the law? Are their crimes to be condoned?

Investor’ Business daily provides an outline of their scandalous plot, stressing the “stunning” revelation by one of the conspirators that President Obama was behind it:

As the saying goes, a fish rots from the head down. Well, so do bad governments. Recent revelations about the behavior of President Obama and his CIA director John Brennan in pushing the bogus Russian collusion investigation suggest that’s been the case. The release of the FISA application by the FBI to investigate alleged collusion between Russia and President Trump’s campaign and recent comments made by top officials are eye opening.

Not only did President Obama know about the investigation, he seems to have pushed it from the very beginning.

But don’t take our word for it. Here’s what Obama’s Director of National Intelligence, the nation’s former spy master, James Clapper, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper:

If it weren’t for President Obama we might not have done the intelligence community assessment that we did that set up a whole sequence of event which are still unfolding today, including Special Counsel (Robert) Mueller’s investigation. President Obama is responsible for that. It was he who tasked us to do that intelligence community assessment in the first place.

Why didn’t this get more attention in the media? Obama and [John] Brennan [Obama’s CIA chief] not only knew the dubious nature of the allegations against Trump, but pushed them anyway.

As Kimberley Strassel wrote in the Wall Street Journal, Brennan in particular has revealed himself to be a total anti-Trump partisan to an extent that’s shocking for a public official. His animus is raw and deep, as his actions suggest.  She wrote:

The record shows (Brennan) went on to use his position — as head of the most powerful spy agency in the world — to assist Hillary Clinton’s campaign (and keep his job).

Brennan’s manic partisanship could be seen last week in an over-the-top, bizarrely unhinged tweet following Trump’s press conference after his mini-summit with Vladimir Putin. Brennan called Trump’s remarks”nothing short of treasonous” and said they exceeded “the threshold of ‘high crimes & misdemeanors'”.

While Brennan’s hate for the GOP nominee may be public now, it wasn’t in the summer of 2016. His evidence for collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia was so weak neither the FBI nor Clapper would commit to it.

Knowing his role as CIA head forbade him from intervening in domestic spying and trying to take the investigation from a low simmer to a high boil, Brennan got the ball rolling in August of 2016 by telling thenformer Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid a tale of Russians interfering in our election on Trump’s behalf.

It worked. Pushed on by Brennan, Reid, then the most powerful person in Congress, wrote a letter to FBI Director James Comey citing “evidence of a direct connection” between the Trump campaign and seeking an investigation.

Not only did Brennan share intelligence with the FBI, but soon after, the Democrat-linked opposition research firm Fusion GPS began leaking the “Trump Dossier” to the media. The fix was in.

As the [recent] release … of the FBI’s FISA court application used to spy on former Trump aide Carter Page indicates, the dossier was used extensively for the application. That’s contrary to what the FBI had maintained.

Moreover, an influential article written by Michael Isikoff detailing the dossier’s contents and Harry Reid’s letter to the FBI were likewise used to get approval for the FISA court application.

What do they all have in common? They all go back to the same phony dossier, written by former British spy Christopher Steele for Fusion GPS. It was never verified or validated by the FBI. It was bought and paid for by Hillary Clinton and her pals at the Democratic National Committee, solely to smear Trump.

… Hillary … was adept at insinuating her phony oppo research document into the public record and at using it to weaponize U.S. intelligence agencies on behalf of her failed campaign.

But then, we all knew this had happened. What’s stunning is the casual way Clapper let us know that President Obama “was responsible” for the whole shebang.

If that’s so, there are really only two possibilities:

One, that a gullible Obama was fed phony information from Brennan and the Hillary Clinton campaign. He then over-reacted by tasking the intelligence community to look into it.

Or, two, that Obama knew he was dealing with tainted information. Instead of halting a bogus investigation, he let Brennan carry it forward. Why? He thought it would help elect Hillary Clinton — and cement his own presidential legacy for posterity.

At a minimum, what seems obvious is that the deep state triad of Obama, Clinton and Brennan colluded. They did it to damage Trump’s campaign with allegations of Russian interference in the election. And they got the FBI and, later, a special prosecutor, to conduct a high-profile investigation.

Instead of investigating Trump, shouldn’t we investigate those who subverted our democracy for rank partisan purposes to influence a presidential election? That’s Obama, Brennan and Clinton.

Removing security clearances for those in the Obama administration who lied or were guilty of misconduct and political bias would be a minimum.

The crimes of the plotters “are bigger than Watergate”, the IBD editorial declares. Yes, they are hugely bigger.

When will the perpetrators answer for them in a court of law?

Is it conceivable that a Republican administration, its Department of Justice, and a Republican-majority House and Senate will let them go unpunished?

The false claims of leftist humanism 23

We seldom argue with atheists of the Left. We seldom argue with the Left. We find the attempt to be, almost always, a nugatory exercise. Leftism is a religion, and religions are not to be argued with. Faith and Reason exclude each other.

A religion need not have a god in it. Atheists on the Left can and do reason against the existence of a deity, but not against the doctrines of collectivist ideology such as: the community must be organized; the economy must be planned; the purpose of government is to control and direct the lives of the people to serve the general interest.

This time we make an exception. We raise arguments with certain statements that seem reasonable, but are not, because – we want to demonstrate – they are premised on dogma.

We quote an article from Patheos Friendly Atheist, a Humanist website. As far as we can discover, all self-named humanists and all Humanist organizations are on the Left (although there is nothing about Humanism as such that makes Leftism logically necessary to it). Patheos is no exception.

Patheos Friendly Atheist’s most frequent columnist, Hemant Mehtawrites:

Here’s a really important development in the world of organized atheist activism.

On Thursday [July 19, 2018], the American Humanist Association launched what they’re calling the Humanist Legal Society.

I’d call it the atheist equivalent of the conservative Federalist Society: A way to identify, bring together, and support those in the legal professional who are dedicated to maintaining church/state separation, science-based evidence, civil rights (especially for marginalized people), and ethics in government.

You know… all the things conservatives no longer give a damn about.

The statements we have stressed in bold provide us with an opportunity to make clear how the issues we are concerned about, the values we hold, and the judgments we make according to the information we acquire, are opposed to the issues, values, and judgment of Hermant Mehta, the Humanist Legal Society, and the Left in general.

1.”The atheist equivalent of the conservative Federalist Society

To start with, he does not, or they do not, really mean “the atheist equivalent”. The Federalist Society is not a god-concerned institution. What is meant is a “leftist-humanist equivalent”.

So what is the Federalist Society?

This is what the members of the Federalist Society say about themselves under the heading,

Our Purpose

Law schools and the legal profession are currently strongly dominated by a form of orthodox liberal ideology which advocates a centralized and uniform society. While some members of the academic community have dissented from these views, by and large they are taught simultaneously with (and indeed as if they were) the law.

The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies is a group of conservatives and libertarians interested in the current state of the legal order. It is founded on the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be.  The Society seeks both to promote an awareness of these principles and to further their application through its activities.

This entails reordering priorities within the legal system to place a premium on individual liberty, traditional values, and the rule of law.  It also requires restoring the recognition of the importance of these norms among lawyers, judges, law students and professors.  In working to achieve these goals, the Society has created a conservative and libertarian intellectual network that extends to all levels of the legal community.

The first paragraph makes it perfectly clear that the Federalist Society opposes “a centralized and uniform society”.

The second and third paragraphs provide a summary of certain core conservative principles: “that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be”; that individual liberty is a prime value, along with “traditional values, and the rule of law”. The Federalist Society works to restore “the recognition of the importance of these norms among lawyers, judges, law students and professors.” To this end it has “created a conservative and libertarian intellectual network” in the world of the legal profession.

Plainly, this new association is intent on reinforcing the very “orthodox liberal ideology” that the Federal Society exists to overcome.

The Humanist Legal Society’s purpose is to defend “a centralized and uniform society” that does not believe in the state’s prime duty to preserve individual freedom, traditional values and the rule of law. It would hold that the duty of the judiciary is to say what the law should be, not what it is. It would exist to preserve all that the Federalist Society finds wrong with “the current state of the legal order”. There is no equivalence between the cause of individual freedom protected by the rule of law and the cause of collectivist state-dictatorship. The Humanist Legal Society might be called the “counterpart” of the Federalist Society, but not its “equivalent”.

2. “All the things conservatives no longer give a damn about”

2.1″Church-state separation”

Conservatives want the Constitution to be preserved intact. They want no variation of the First Amendment, the separation of church and state clause. So to say that “conservatives no longer  give a damn about church-state separation” is a lie.

2.2 “Science-based evidence”

Mehta may be referring here to the belief among Christians, many of whom are also conservatives, in Bible literalism, and their rejection of evolution. But Bible literalism, or any variety of Creationism, is not a core principle of conservatism.

What is also probably being referred to here is the widespread skepticism among conservatives that climate change is caused – dangerously – in our time by human activity. We are unwilling to go over the arguments as to why we conservatives are skeptical about it, but they can be found easily. One of our own posts revealing the vicious motivation behind the Anthropological Global Warming (AGW) movement, The real enemy is humanity itself, may be found here.

The Left maintains that the science of AGW is “settled”. That in itself is an unscientific statement. It is a dogmatic statement.

All real science is ardently encouraged by most conservatives. American conservatives are delighted that NASA is returning to the exploration of space under President Trump’s leadership, after Obama had told the space agency to concentrate on outreach to Muslims!

Furthermore, as gathered by the Heritage Foundation …

Conventional wisdom holds that it’s conservatives who are anti-scientific morons, and liberals who are devotees of reason, science, and evidence. But as the The Chapman University Survey on American Fears reveals, that accusation is based on nothing but prejudice.

As The Washington Post summarizes it, “Democrats were slightly, and in some cases significantly more likely than Republicans to believe in paranormal phenomena.” From fortune telling to astrology, liberals live in a world of spirits. At least belief in Bigfoot is bipartisan. 

The Chapman study shouldn’t surprise anyone. A 2011 Pew Research Center study similarly found that liberals were more likely than conservatives to believe in the evil eye, spiritual energy, reincarnation, communication with the dead, and of course fortune tellers and ghosts.

2.3 “Civil rights”

Since President Trump was elected, the civil rights of his supporters have been violently interfered with by  militant organizations of the Left. Instance are numerous, but one of the most egregious was the violent action of masked ANTIFA thugs at Berkeley on February 1, 2017. There are no such violent militant organizations on the conservative Right interfering with anyone’s civil rights.

Towards the end of the article “letting the government dictate what a woman can do with her body”  – meaning her “right” to abort a child she has conceived – is raised, probably  to be understood as a civil rights issue. The Left consistently refuses to allow that when there is another body inside a woman, the law has to extend its protection to that other, helpless, human being.

2.4″Marginalized people”

The Left is obsessed with race and sex. What matters about you, according to Leftist ideology – propounded continually by ever-more-lefty Democrats – is your race, your descent, your ethnicity, your sex and sexual proclivity. Not your individual worth, your talents, your achievements. And they like to pretend that women, non-whites, and those classed as  “LGBT”, are “marginalized” in the United States.

American women are the most privileged class of person that has ever existed in the history of humankind.

And in fact, far from it being “LGBT” persons, it is white men and the sexually normal who are marginalized wherever the Politically Correct and the Social Justice Warriors have power – notably in the academies.

As for blacks – it is ironic and outrageous that Democrats should virtue-signal themselves as the champions of blacks. Democrats whose party defended slavery and segregation; Democrats who  launched and exclusively manned the KKK; who passed the Jim Crow laws; who consistently opposed every effort the Republicans made to give equal rights to blacks! A black woman professor, Carol Swain, explains in this video how that was really the case. And now it is the Democratic Party that insists on the humiliating policy of affirmative action, based on the notion that blacks cannot compete unless whites (and Asians) are handicapped!

2.5 “Ethics in government”

The Left makes wild unsubstantiated accusations against President Trump of every kind of moral offense from his being given two scoops of ice-cream when everyone else was only given one, to his being a “racist” and a “sexist”, and even a “traitor” for meeting with Vladimir Putin and not throwing the Russian leader’s crimes in his face. Meanwhile, in a manifestation of deliberate amnesia, the Left ignores the indisputable fact that the Obama administration was deeply morally disgraceful, guilty over and over again of scandalous turpitude. Its inaction over the appalling events in Benghazi on 9/11/12, to recall just one of the scandals, marks Obama’s terms in office as a period of ethical baseness hard to outmatch in the history of the United States. And how ethical was it to give permission to the hostile regime of Iran to build a nuclear arsenal in a few years’ time?

Mehta quotes:

“Many lawyers approach the world and the law from a humanist standpoint, but there is a need for them to have a way of organizing professionally as a group,” said the Society’s president, David Codell, a nationally recognized constitutional litigator who has served as counsel in many major cases involving LGBT rights. “The Humanist Legal Society will give humanist lawyers solidarity and resources that will make a difference.”

No. It is against the iniquitous Left, with its religious intolerance, its betrayal of science, its denial of civil rights to everyone it disagrees with, its marginalization of whites, and its lack of moral responsibility, that lawyers, judges, law students and professors need to band together. And fortunately they have done so, in the Federalist Society.

The North American Venezuela 28

The choice is becoming increasingly clear. Stark would be an even better word for it.

Voters can choose between –

Keeping the Republic set up in 1787 and prospering now as never before under the leadership of President Trump, by voting for his Republican followers.

Or changing into the North American Venezuela by voting for the other major political party forming rapidly to replace the Democratic Party, the Democratic Socialist Party, under the leadership of an old communist, Bernie Sanders, and a young communist, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The North American Venezuela. It is a vision hovering in the spacious skies over the purple mountains and the fruited plain.

AP reports:

A week ago, Maine Democrat Zak Ringelstein wasn’t quite ready to consider himself a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, even if he appreciated the organization’s values and endorsement in his bid to become a U.S. senator.

Three days later, he told The Associated Press it was time to join up. He’s now the only major-party Senate candidate in the nation to be a dues-paying democratic socialist.

Ringelstein’s leap is the latest evidence of a nationwide surge in the strength and popularity of an organization that, until recently, operated on the fringes of the liberal movement’s farthest left flank. As Donald Trump’s presidency stretches into its second year, democratic socialism has become a significant force in Democratic politics. Its rise comes as Democrats debate whether moving too far left will turn off voters.

“I stand with the democratic socialists, and I have decided to become a dues-paying member,” Ringelstein told AP. “It’s time to do what’s right, even if it’s not easy.”

There are 42 people running for offices at the federal, state and local levels this year with the formal endorsement of the Democratic Socialists of America, the organization says. They span 20 states, including Florida, Hawaii, Kansas and Michigan.

The most ambitious Democrats in Washington have been reluctant to embrace the label, even as they embrace the policies defining modern-day democratic socialism: Medicare for all, a $15 minimum wage, free college tuition and the abolition of the federal department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, also known as ICE.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Congress’s only self-identified democratic socialist, campaigned Friday with the movement’s newest star, New York City congressional candidate Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old former bartender who defeated one of the most powerful House Democrats last month.

Two-head Communism

Her victory fed a flame that was already beginning to burn brighter. The DSA’s paid membership has hovered around 6,000 in the years before Trump’s election, said Allie Cohn, a member of the group’s national political team. Last week, its paid membership hit 45,000 nationwide.

There is little distinction made between the terms “democratic socialism” and “socialism” in the group’s literature. While Ringelstein and other DSA-backed candidates promote a “big-tent” philosophy, the group’s constitution describes its members as socialists who “reject an economic order based on private profit” and “share a vision of a humane social order based on popular control of resources and production, economic planning, equitable distribution, feminism, racial equality and non-oppressive relationships”. 

Note that, voters. Even private relationships will be monitored by the planners of the social order. It completes the totalitarian vision. 

Members during public meetings often refer to each other as “comrades”,wear clothing featuring socialist symbols like the rose and promote authors such as Karl Marx.

Four-head Communism

The common association with the failed Soviet Union has made it difficult for sympathetic liberals to explain their connection.

“I don’t like the term socialist, because people do associate that with bad things in history,” said Kansas congressional candidate James Thompson, who is endorsed by the DSA and campaigned alongside Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez, but is not a dues-paying democratic socialist. “There’s definitely a lot of their policies that closely align with mine.”

Thompson, an Army veteran turned civil rights attorney, is running again after narrowly losing a special election last year to fill the seat vacated by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Even in deep-red Kansas, he embraces policies like “Medicare for all” and is openly critical of capitalism.

In Hawaii, 29-year-old state Rep. Kaniela Ing isn’t shy about promoting his status as a democratic socialist in his bid for Congress. He said he was encouraged to run for higher office by the same activist who recruited Ocasio-Cortez.

“We figured just lean in hard,” Ing told the AP of the democratic socialist label. He acknowledged some baby boomers may be scared away, but said the policies democratic socialists promote — like free health care and economic equality — aren’t extreme.

Republicans, meanwhile, are encouraged by the rise of democratic socialism — for a far different reason. They have seized on what they view as a leftward lurch by Democrats they predict will alienate voters this fall and in the 2020 presidential race.

The Republican National Committee eagerly notes that Sanders’ plan to provide free government-sponsored health care for all Americans had no co-sponsors in 2013. Today, more than one-third of Senate Democrats and two-thirds of House Democrats have signed onto the proposal, which by one estimate could cost taxpayers as much as $32 trillion.

The co-sponsors include some 2020 presidential prospects, such as Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and California Sen. Kamala Harris.

Those senators aren’t calling themselves democratic socialists but also not disassociating themselves from the movement’s priorities.

Most support the push to abolish ICE [the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency] which enforces immigration laws …

… and want to abolish national borders.

So not even a North American Venezuela?

No nations, no nation-states. No national governments, no voting, no political parties, no law to enforce.

The hovering vision fades.

If the comrades have their way, the reality will be even worse than Venezuela.

The gains of Helsinki 1

What actually was discussed by the presidents of the US and Russia at Helsinki on July 16, 2018?

Was anything achieved, anything agreed between them that will have an effect in reality?

Were the leaders of these two powers, who together have more than 90% of the world’s nuclear weapons under their control, able to find common cause in at least some troubled areas where their militaries are or might be engaged?

Angelo Codevilla writes at American Greatness:

The high professional quality of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin’s performance at their Monday press conference in Helsinki contrasts sharply with the obloquy by which the bipartisan US ruling class showcases its willful incompetence. …

Having taught diplomacy for many years, I would choose the Trump-Putin press conference as an exemplar of how these things should be done. Both spoke with the frankness and specificity of serious business. This performance rates an A+.

Both presidents started with the basic truth.

Putin: The Cold War is ancient history. Nobody in Russia (putting himself in this category) wants that kind of enmity again. It is best for Russia, for America, and for everybody else if the two find areas of agreement or forbearance.  

Trump: Relations between the globe’s major nuclear powers have never [since the Cold War? – ed] been this bad — especially since some Americans are exacerbating existing international differences for domestic partisan gain. For the sake of peace and adjustment of differences where those exist and adjustment is possible, Trump is willing to pay a political cost to improve those relations (if, indeed further enraging his enemies is a cost rather than a benefit).

In short, this was a classic statement of diplomatic positions and a drawing of spheres of influence.

As Putin listed his agenda, he showed that today’s Russia is a status quo power, whose primary objective is stability. Having come to power over a country diminished and dispirited, he sought to recover as much as possible of what Russia had lost in the Soviet break-up. He forcibly took back parts of Georgia and Ukraine. In doing so, he pushed against open doors.

Today, no other doors are open. Now being ahead, he wants to stop the game. He knows that this is possible because nobody is going to wage or even risk war against Russia to try disgorging Abkhazia and Crimea. He wants Trump to acknowledge that. Warning against extending NATO to Ukraine and Georgia, he signaled that all else is negotiable.

He also has rebuilt Russia’s military and wants to protect its edge by persuading Trump to keep US missile defense in its current dysfunctional mode. This is an inflexible demand that deserves an equally inflexible rejection. Trump had already delivered it by ordering the establishment of the US Space Force.

By securing his naval and air bases in Syria, Putin succeeded in returning Russia to warm-water sea power. That required backing the Shia side in its intra-Muslim war against the Sunni in Syria, while the United States backed the other side. Today Iran, Syria, Iraq, and Turkey are much as Putin wants them. He wants Trump’s acknowledgment of this statusRussia continues to argue to Americans that both countries have suffered far more from Sunni terrorism — ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood — than from the Shia version.

The two made clear that their commitment to stability in the Middle East outweighs support for either side, and signaled wider cooperation, especially on military matters.

Trump, leaving no doubt that America’s commitment to Israel’s security is absolute, faced Putin with the choice of partnering with America in restraining Iran or of being drawn into an Israeli-American war against an Iran with whose forces Russia’s are interwoven. Putin, for his part, seemed to concur with Trump’s priority. That along with tripartite security consultations with Israel is likely to cool Iran and Hezbollah’s ardor for war.

Trump signaled that America’s interest in Eastern Europe lies in re-establishing peace there, and in safeguarding the independence of its states. Poland and the Baltic States are not just NATO members, but also close to the American people’s hearts. By stressing peace, he made clear that America does not intend to make its defensive commitments there the occasion for a war at or beyond the extreme reach of American power.

Though Russia has backed North Korea in the past, Putin signaled that he is not happy with its acquisition of a modern nuclear force that is effectively China’s pawn. He seemed to promise pressure on North Korea to denuclearize — something that would displease China. Though that was a minor part of both sides’ press conference, it may well signal both sides’ recognition of their mutual interest in not letting China become the Western Pacific’s overlord. Such an understanding would be no minor achievement.

The American ruling class’s attribution of the 2016 election to Trump-Putin collusion, which has characterized US-Russia relations for two years, provided the press conference’s fireworks. Both denied any such thing and insisted there was no evidence of it. In response to a question about whether Putin would make available the 12 Russian state intelligence employees indicted for interference in that election to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Putin pointed to the existence of a treaty of cooperation on criminal matters and promised Mueller that access to the accused through the treaty.

This led to the final flourish. The Associated Press reporter demanded that Trump state whether he believes the opinions of US intelligence leaders or those of Putin. It would be healthy for America were it to digest Trump’s answer: The truth about the charge that Russia stole the contents of the Democratic National Committee’s computer server is not to be found in the opinions of any persons whatever. The truth can be discovered only by examining the server in question—assuming it has not been tampered with since the alleged event. But, said Trump emphatically, those making the accusations against Russia have refused to let the server be examined by US intelligence or by any independent experts. What is the point of accusations coupled with refusal of access to the facts of the matter?

The classic texts of diplomatic practice teach that diplomacy advances the cause of peace and order only to the extent that its practitioners avoid contentious opinions and stick to demonstrable facts.

The AP reporter, who should be ashamed, is beyond shame. Then again, so are the ruling class representatives who have redoubled their animus against Trump. Cheap partisanship is not all that harmful. It is the transfer of domestic partisan animus to international affairs, however, that has the potential to start wars. …

What that ignorant “journalist” was demanding of Trump — precisely what the credentialed experts should know better than to have demanded — was that the president of the United States scream at the president of Russia for all his evils. Competitive “virtue signaling” has become the way of political life in America. To the extent that it bleeds into America’s foreign policy, we are all in big trouble.

It did not, and will not, “bleed into America’s foreign policy” through President Trump. Though his style of negotiating is to be frank and straightforward, he knows, through long experience, how to maintain an atmosphere of amicable goodwill which makes agreement easy where it is possible.

Contrast this meeting with the silly performance that a giggling US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, put on with her failed “Reset” act when she met the Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov on March 6, 2009, in Geneva; a farce which simply signaled to the Russians that Obama’s America was a push-over.

From the Obama-Clinton “reset’, Russia made all the gains. The US agreed to reduce its nuclear arsenal by a third (which Vice-President Biden hailed as a victory for the US!). Obama broke a US promise to Poland and the Czech Republic to provide them with missile defense systems and radar stations because the Russians were furious at the very idea. The Russians proceeded to destabilize Ukraine, shoot down a civil aircraft in Ukrainian airspace – and annex the Crimea. Though Obama drew a “red line” against the Syrian dictator, Bashar Assad, using chemical weapons against his own people, he did nothing about it when Assad crossed the line by gassing the population of Ghouta, an area in southwest Syria, in August 2013. In the following month, the egregious John Kerry, successor to Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, claimed to have reached  an agreement with the Russians whereby they would reign Assad in, to prevent such a horror being perpetrated again. Russia, he was confident, would oversee the destruction of Assad’s arsenal of sarin and mustard gas and the facilities for their manufacture. Needless to say, Russia did no such thing.

True, we have yet to see the long-term results of any understanding reached by the two presidents at Helsinki. But of this this we can be sure: Vladimir Putin will have understood that Donald Trump is not a man to be trifled with.

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