Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Witch Hunts Over Substance

The fix is in. Congressional Democrats have no legislative agenda to run on for the 2018 midterm elections, so they’ve made a hobby out of Republican witch-hunts instead.

In lieu of discussing any policy reforms of substance, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is urging progressives to make the general theme of “ethics” a rallying cry on the campaign trail. She recently accused the Trump administration of "brazen corruption, cronyism and incompetence," and patted her fellow progressives on the back for working to “restore dignity to our democracy and give power back to the people.”

Now I’ve witnessed some impressive displays of cognitive dissonance during my years in Washington, but this one is truly special.

This is the same former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who tried to gloss over the secret details of Obamacare by telling Americans they had to “pass the bill so you can find out what’s in it.”

It’s the same former Speaker Pelosi who stood idly by as Obama-era treasury secretary Timothy Geithner lived rent-free in a JPMorgan top executive’s $3.5 million townhouse while overseeing the TARP bailout in 2008. (By the way, JPMorgan ended up receiving $25 billion in federal rescue funds.)

During her speakership, Pelosi herself requested nearly $200 million of luxury private jets to allow Democrat lawmakers and high-level bureaucrats to travel in style. You didn’t hear the Obama-era Environmental Protection Agency criticizing Pelosi’s carbon footprint ambitions, probably because they were busy spending $92.4 million to purchase, rent, install, and store high-end office furniture from 2005-2015.

The Democratic Party doesn’t want to keep D.C. honest. When it comes to corruption, they are the worst offenders in Washington. Rep. Pelosi and House Democrats are simply using the concept of corruption as a political strategy to get themselves in a position of power to impeach President Trump.

The only way to truly “drain the Swamp” is to make government smaller. We must reduce the opportunities for truly corrupt politicians like Rep. Nancy Pelosi to pick winners and losers at the expense of the rest of us.

It’s time to take a stand. The American people aren’t being heard by their government because the game is rigged. Washington isn’t broken. It’s “fixed.”



David Horowitz Freedom Center Declares Victory Over Censorship Attempt

The David Horowitz Freedom Center won a major battle on Friday afternoon, defeating well-financed leftwing groups trying to run it out of business and suffocate free speech in our country.

Here is what happened.  Last Tuesday the Freedom Center was informed by WorldPay, which handles its online donations, that Mastercard would no longer complete transactions for the Freedom Center because it had been labeled a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center and a similarly leftist organization called Color of Change.org. This is what we were told by MasterCard: “The organization Color of Change has published an updated website named bloodmoney.org and within it has listed a number of merchants that purport to accept Mastercard and have content which is hateful in nature. .. [and] which may be advocating for violence. We have identified the sites below as belonging to your institution…”

Just as in Alice in Wonderland: the verdict before the trial. The Freedom Center was judged guilty of “hate crimes” without a chance to protest and its online fundraising was blocked.  Because on line fundraising is the lifeblood of our organization, this was an existential threat to our future.  We were mobilizing for a costly legal proceeding against Mastercard when, on Friday afternoon, four days after the attempt to destroy us, WorldPay and MasterCard backed down and informed us they were restoring our online services and donations.

Why this reversal? We believe it was due to the massive support we received across the Internet when the story broke, starting with Breitbart and immediately picked up by the Drudge Report. Rush Limbaugh, Newsmax, OAN, The Daily Caller, Ricochet, Crowder, Gateway Pundit, Volnation, Canada Free Press and a host of other sites, who correctly reported this attack on us as an attack on freedom of speech itself and a calculated effort by networked organizations of the left to pressure corporations like Mastercard and Visa to collaborate in their determined effort to erase conservatism from our national political dialogue.

One thing we know for sure is that despite this defeat, the left will keep up the pressure and the same thing will happen again—if not to the Freedom Center then to other conservative organizations and individuals.  This effort to shut down conservatism’s ability to raise the funds that make its voice heard was not the result of an arbitrary decision by some politically correct middle manager at Mastercard.  It was a decision at the highest corporate levels and the result of an elaborate and carefully designed campaign by leftist to silence conservative voices on the Internet and therefore in America’s national dialogue. This campaign is masterminded by two George Soros-funded organizations-- Media Matters, which has waged a holy war against conservatives in the media for two decades, and The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which has managed to get itself taken seriously as an authority on “hate speech” and “hate groups” by a credulous and collaborative mainstream press.  Thus a sort of tape loop has been created in which the SPLC stigmatizes these groups by featuring them on its “hate maps,” associating  them with “neo fascism” and “racism” and putting them on the equivalent of Joseph McCarthy’s subversives list which the mainstream media then obligingly uses in its reporting and activist organizations like Color of Change and bloodmoney.org in lobbying corporations such as Mastercard and social media such as Twitter and Facebook.

There is a method in the madness of this Soros-funded network.  Its constituent parts collaborate in transforming the reasonable policy differences that are actually the health of a democracy into dire examples  of racial hostility and hatred. Thus conservative concerns for federal immigration laws and secure borders become anti-immigrant bigotry and hateful racism. Thus the Freedom Center’s campaign against anti-Semitic and pro-Hamas university groups makes it not only a “hate group,”  according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, but its eponymous CEO  “the Godfather of the anti-Muslim movement in America.”  When these slanders are magnified by the reporting of a liberal press, it is little wonder a corporation like Mastercard feels like it might be next as a target who enables hate speech, and joins the fray.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has gotten away with this hatred masquerading as anti-hate for far too long. The SPLC recently paid a $3.4 million settlement to Majid Nawaz, a devout Muslim and also a fierce critic of Islamic terrorism after it labeled him an “anti-Muslim extremist.”  All the other dozens of conservative groups similarly slandered should be developing their own legal defense funds to go after this reckless and mendacious organization and its enemies list.  The David Horowitz Freedom Center certainly is.

While the Freedom Center is glad to have won this recent battle against the left’s effort to shut it down, as we’ve noted we believe the threat to free speech is greater than our particular case and also very much far from over. The enemies of free speech may have been rebuffed this time, but they feel that they have the winning hand and will continue to play it until America has become a one party state of the politically correct with conservative views ruthlessly suppressed.  Our own Robert Spencer, director of JihadWatch.org  still has two of his funding pages shut down by MasterCard.  Just this past week, David Horowitz’s Twitter page was locked down for the better part of a day, until a direct appeal to Twitter ceo Jack Dorsey reversed the ban. Prager U. was suddenly disappeared from Facebook until protests cause it to relent. Alex Jones and InfoWars are still residing in the darkness imposed by Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

The censorship powers of Social Media are awesome and historically unprecedented. When they are amplified by the arbitrary financial power of corporations such as Mastercard and Visa, the result is a leviathan willing and able to  crush our basic freedoms and constitutional guarantees without a moment’s remorse. What those of us who care about free speech must do now is form a coalition across party lines and ideologies in defense of free speech. Freed speech is the most basic freedom we have because all our other freedoms are dependent on it. We may disagree with our coalition partners about everything under the sun, except this.

The right to dissent and to disagree is what separates us from countries in which civil wars and coup d’etats are commonplace. Private corporations cannot be the arbiters of free speech.  Ben Wizner, the head of the ACLU’s Free Speech and Technology Project, said exactly that only this week. His sentiment was repeated word for word by the conservative Federalist site. Liberty Counsel is organizing a coalition of 60 mainly religious organizations who have been slandered as “hate groups” by the venomous SPLC (SPLC: Hate Machine). We must contact our representatives and call for a Congressional investigation of the war the left has launched on our freedom to dissent and disagree. If we cannot preserve freedom of conscience and freedom of speech, we cannot defend any of our freedoms, and we will have lost everything.



Bolton Confirms That the U.S. Will Defund UN Human Rights Office

National Security Advisor John Bolton on Thursday reaffirmed that the administration’s withdrawal from the U.N. Human Rights Council is being accompanied by an end to U.S. funding for the world body’s human rights office. U.S. taxpayers have long paid the largest share.

Bolton told the Associated Press in Geneva that the U.S. will defund the HRC and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), by reducing by the relevant amount the sum that it pays into the regular U.N. operating budget.

CNSNews.com reported on the defunding decision in June, on the same day Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley announced President Trump’s decision to exit the HRC.

Based on gross national income and other factors, U.S. taxpayers account for 22 percent of the regular U.N. budget in “assessed contributions.” From that budget, the OHCHR/HRC draws a little more than 40 percent of its own budget (44 percent in 2017, 45 percent in 2016, 46 percent in 2015).

The rest of the OHCHR/HRC budget is met by “voluntary contributions” by member-states, and some non-governmental sponsors.

Apart from paying more than one-fifth of the regular U.N. budget, the U.S. has also traditionally topped the list of countries when it comes to the amount of those voluntary contributions.

This year, however, U.S. voluntary contributions to the OHCHR have already shown a sharp downward trend – $1 million for the first seven months of 2018, compared to $20.16 million in 2017, $17.05 million in 2016 and $16.25 million in 2015.

As a percentage of the total received in voluntary contribution, the U.S. has this year accounted for just 0.1 percent, compared to 14.1 percent last year, 13.1 percent in 2016 and 12.9 percent in 2015.

For the 2018-2019 biennium the OHCHR will receive $201.6 million from the U.N. regular budget, or about $100.8 million for each year. The defunding decision will therefore save American taxpayers roughly $22.1 million per year in assessed contributions, in addition to the amount already saved in voluntary contributions.

Haley said in June that the decision to leave the HRC followed unsuccessful efforts to fix problems including the presence of rights-abusers in its ranks and a skewed focus on Israel.

She stressed the administration will continue to promote human rights outside that forum, pointing to past U.S. initiatives in the U.N. Security Council, including a first-ever session “dedicated to the connection between human rights and peace and security” last year, and a session last January focused on human rights in Iran.

After its efforts to create a strong and effective HRC were frustrated in 2005-6, the George W. Bush administration – with Bolton as ambassador to the U.N. at the time – chose not to support or join the new body when it began operating.

President Obama reversed that policy in 2009. In overturning that decision last June, the U.S. became the first HRC member to voluntarily surrender its seat.



Progressives: The Real World vs. Neverland

"Not to know what happened before you were born is to remain forever a child," Cicero astutely observed. For many self-described progressives today, however, this seems not to be a drawback. On the contrary, like adolescents -- insisting that they are grown-ups when their parents get in the way of their fun, but then running home for all their basic needs and creature comforts -- such people seem to give no thought to the past and equally little to the future.

Many people like this are said to suffer from a "Peter Pan Syndrome": the inability or unwillingness to grow up. In thought, they seem to lean to the political left. They want the government to take on the role of parent, even if that involves maxing out the country's "credit cards," so that even for a short time, they can live beyond what they earn.

Possibly in a hurry not to concern themselves with "dreary details," they pressed for a huge health-care bill, passed in 2010, that forever changed how we receive − or do not receive − medical care. It seems the details of the bill were too time-consuming and complex for the world of tweets and sound bites for them to pay attention to what it actually contained. When the bill was being debated, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi famously said, "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy."

Many of these children in adult bodies were told, and actually believed, that better health care for everyone, including an unlimited number of illegal immigrants, would be attainable at a low cost, if only the government were to run it. That Medicare and Medicaid, both of which the U.S. government currently runs -- as well as the UK's National Health Service -- are going broke does not appear to have occurred to them. So they persist in their fantasy that government-controlled health care is not an ill but a cure.

Their fantasy is not restricted to the realm of health care. Many of these children in adult bodies believe that many, if not all, major aspects of the economy would be more efficient if the government ran them. This is in spite of the fact that the facilities currently run by the government -- from the Department of Veterans Affairs to the Department of Motor Vehicles -- are inefficient, unhelpful or sometimes even downright hostile -- to the people they are meant to serve.

Many children in adult bodies also seem not to know that Socialism failed in the Soviet Union, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Romania, Albania, Bulgaria, China, North Korea, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and Cuba, and is now failing in Venezuela. Yet, illogically, they appear to believe that they themselves could make it work. The irrational wish is evidently stronger than rational arithmetic.

These victims of arrested emotional development seem to confuse good motives with good results. They want better health care for a greater number of people at a lesser cost; so they fantasize that they can achieve it without denying care to those who are too old, too sick or too expensive to receive it. They kind-heartedly want a "more equal distribution of wealth"; so they fantasize that they can maneuver it without penalizing and discouraging the productive members of society, while rewarding and encouraging the unproductive ones. Yet this is exactly what has happened wherever the redistribution of wealth was tried.

These people, like all of us, want to be liked; so they fantasize that if they treat others kindly, the behavior will be reciprocated. They refer respectfully to the unelected theocratic leader of Iran as "Supreme Leader," even as oppressed Iranian demonstrators are arrested, beaten, tortured or killed.

Although bullies -- from those who terrorize fellow students in the schoolyard, to those who commit terrorist acts against innocent people across the world -- speak the language of hatred and force, children in adult bodies persist in their fantasy that if they and their government would only project appeasement and weakness, regimes such as that in Tehran would lay down their arms and hate-filled hegemonic aims. Hence, presumably, the support among progressives for the Iran nuclear deal that former President Barack Obama pushed through, without regard to its potential cost of a fully nuclear-capable Iran to America and the rest of the world after the deal expires.

These adults still clinging hard to their wishes seem to believe that crime is caused by poverty or other societal ills, and conclude that criminals are victims of society, such as Kathryn Michelle Steinle, who was shot to death in 2015 by illegal immigrant José Inés García Zárate. Garcia Zarate, a five-time deportee and drug offender. While Steinle met a cruel and untimely death, Garcia Zarate, not only was acquitted of murder and manslaughter, but aroused sympathy on the left.

These adults who apparently do not want to grow up call those who disagree with them "fascists" or "Nazis" -- without knowing the history of either -- yet accept as gospel any statements or actions, no matter how questionable, on the part of those who agree with their romanticized positions.

Like Peter Pan, these children wish to live in Neverland – a place that, in the real word, does not exist. Fictional characters, however, have the advantage of enjoying adventures with imaginary dangers. In the real world, unfortunately, people who never grow up may enjoy themselves for a time, but sooner or later the all-too-real dangers they had ignored, like an overstretched credit card, catch up with them. By the time their future is lost to them, it will be too late to wake up or rectify the situation. This means that the adults among us who acknowledge and take on the responsibilities of adulthood must be even more vigilant in exposing fantasies as child-like and preventing these daydreamers from doing even more damage than they already have done.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

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1 comment:

John Henry Eden said...

Children in adult bodies are called retards.