Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Golda Meir on Peace

On Constitutional Push Back to California's Sanctuary State Law

San Diego County voted in with a 3-1 margin to defy California's Sanctuary State law.  In October 2017, Governor Jerry Brown (D-CA) signed SB-54, which was passed by the Democrat majority in the California legislature, which vastly limited who state and local law enforcement can hold, question and transfer at the request of federal immigration authorities.  Basically, the Sanctuary State law mandates that California's law enforcement officials defy federal immigration law. 

When appearing at the National Press Club, Governor Brown highlighted his intractability to enforcing existing federal immigration law as he proclaimed that California National Guard troops would not perform immigration enforcement activities, including vehicle repair or monitoring security cameras.

Some California municipalities and local governments have formally voted to follow federal law, which is contrary to SB-54.  Many of these jurisdictions have joined in the Sessions Justice Departments lawsuits regarding SB-54, AB 450 which prohibits employers from allowing warrant-less access to non public workplace areas and AB 103 which enjoins local governments from expanding or making new contracts for new civil immigration detention centers.

Morrissey on Racism

Morrissey on Racism

Neil Gorsuch on Vague Law

Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch on Vague Law

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Remembering Barbara Bush

Bill Clinton remembering Barbara Bush at her death at 92

Barbara Bush on Life

Barbara Bush on Life

Paul Ryan on the Tax Code

Paul Ryan on the Tax Code

Will Rogers on Golf and the Tax Code

Will Rogers on the Income Tax

Is Comey Just a Retrograde or a Crackpot Narcissist?

Mark Levin on ex FBI Director James Comey

In promotion of ex FBI Director James Comey's new book  Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership (2018), he gave a five hour interview with former Clinton press flak George Stephanopolis.  Instead of revealing new information about his untimely exit from the helm of the FBI after the Clinton Email scandal and the allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 election, Comey's tome seemed to be a self justifying exercise to  settle scores, particularly against President Trump.

Clinton loyalists like Lannie Davis still think that Mr. Comey cost Hillary Clinton the 2016 election, and label his self righteous antics as being a retrograde narcissist.  While those on the right look his stated philosophy about investigations and contrast it to how he wrote an exoneration for Hillary Clinton weeks before interviewing the principal witness, concluding that he was a dirty cop.  

Either way, Mr. Comey sure enjoys the limelights as he blames others for the messes which he is embroiled.  Perhaps surrealist artist Claude Martin conveyed could convey Comey's persona best.

Narcissus by Claude Martin
Narcissus (2014) by Claude Martin

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Alan Dershowitz on the Mueller Special Counsel

Alan Dershowitz on the Mueller Special Counsel

Beria on Crime

Soviet Apparachnik Beria on crime

Dan Bonino on Investigating Crime

Former Secret Service Agent Dan Bongino on investigating crime in reference to raid on Trump's personal attorney

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker Warns of a Blue Wave in November

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker Warns GOP of a Blue Wave

Mark Zuckerberg = Mr. Data Accumulator?

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg as Mr. Data Accumulator

Mark Zuckerberg, the 33 year old founder and CEO of Facebook, has developed a reputation of being stiff when forced to present himself as a typical corporate executive.

In order to prepare for the ten hours of questioning on Capitol Hill concerning data proliferation and privacy concerns in social media, Zuckerberg was prepped by K Street public relations people to look professional and less robotic.  


Alas, that effort was only partially  effective.   Zuckerbook lost his typical grey hoodie for a suit which helped.  But his scripted replies  seemed synthetic and akin to an android.  So much so, wags wondered if Mark Zuckerberg ought to be called Mr. Data Accumulator, an estranged relation of Data from Star Trek The Next Generation.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Monday, April 9, 2018

On the Raid of Donald Trump's Personal Lawyer's Office

Post Scriptus- 04/10/2018:  

In attempting to report on Donald Trump's reaction to the raid on his personal lawyer's office and home, Twitter has taken to block links which cite the President's  thoughts, claiming that it could be a violation of Terms of Service.  

This seems to be another example of social media censorship of conservatives via shadow banning by internet overlords.  No wonder why Diamond and Silk are so agitated.

Diamond and Silk on Social Media Censorship

Diamond and Silk on cyber censorship on Facebook

Prominent conservative voices in social media, such as Diamond and Silk and Dan Bongino, have vociferously voiced outrage that Big Internet has banned them as being unsafe for the social media  community because of their outspoken ideological opinions. This parallels YouTube demonetizing many of Dennis Prager's popular Prager U videos because the conservative views expressed did not sync with the progressive views of their internet overlords. And Twitter is infamous for shadow banning conservatives, even Senator Ted Cruz, without recourse or equal application against outrageous leftist Twits.

Diamond and Silk, who gained fame through their vigorous defense of then Presidential candidate Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign, did not silently take this rough trade from Facebook. On Fox and Friends, Diamond and Silk postulated that Mark Zuckerberg needed to "[S]uck it up, buttercup" and accept diverse viewpoints and freedom of speech on its social network, just as the small Indiana pizzeria would be forced to cater a same-sex wedding despite their religious objections to the ceremony.

Alas, Diamond and Silk have a weak case in a court of law.  Without meandering into the details of RFRA and First Amendment religious liberty, same-sex marriage proponents could point to civil rights legislation which the Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Harris claim a right to dignity for that class.  What protected class can Diamond and Silk rightfully claim against Facebook?

However, in the court of public opinion, Facebook engaging in ideological viewpoint discrimination could be a compelling case for action.  Does MySpace mean anything to Mark Zuckerberg?  That was a social media precursor to Facebook, but when it stopped being cool, it became ghost of itself and a dark web conduit.  Facebook is much bigger and is receiving congressional scrutiny.  Between viewpoint discrimination and revelations of data mining, shareholders should be concerned if Facebook were to become a fraction of its former self.

Facebook has ceased to be a mainly youth oriented site.  Adults may well chafe at having their lives data sold by the social media company.  But for motivated conservatives, this cyber censorship may well have this active demographic find alternatives to speak freely, like on GAB.

London Mayor Calls for Knife Ban on the Street to Control Violent Crime

London Mayor Sadiq Khan on banning knives to combat violent crime

Since the Firearm Act of 1997 essentially prohibited  British subjects from owning handguns and making certificates to own long guns an onerous and time consuming process, Britain has become the most violent country in Europe.  In fact, London had 55 murders in the first three months of 2018, which was more than New York City.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan (London-Labor) complains that budgetary cuts in policing have endangered public safety.  But Khan's knee jerk reaction is to suggest banning knives on the street, as if further weapons bans will work.  

This should be a lesson for public policy pundits who want to have what they term as "reasonable" Gun Reform Now, starting by banning the AR-15 assault weapon.  

When questioning progressives to define an assault weapon, they like to invoke Associate Justice Potter Stewart's obscenity threshold test "I know it when I see it."  When challenging the lack of effectiveness of the US 1994 Assault Weapons ban, as was measured through provisions of the enacted legislation, it is common to hear the "We've got to do something" rationale.   When it is noted that there are at least 330 million legal guns in the US and law abiding citizens are likely to be the only ones who would comply with a ban, gun grabbers' modus operendi is "We have to start somewhere." And dare one propose looking to root problems like mental illness or sudden jihad syndrome then epithets and accusations of NRA propaganda are invoked.

Larry King on the Second Amendment

With warped wisdom on the Second Amendment, it is no wonder that today Larry King seems welcomed on South Park and on the Russian Television propaganda channel.

Vlad from the Kremlin, you're now on the air (sic).

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Allen West on The Resistance

Allen West on The Resistance

Martin Luther King Jr on Love

Rev. Martin Luther King on Love

Remembering MLK: In the Name of Love

Fifty years ago today, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee by a racist shooter. Many cities burned, including Washington DC, in reaction to this murder.

One of the early anthems of the rock super-group U-2 is "Pride--In the Name of Love", which commemorated this horrible event as well as reinforcing the peaceful messages of the Reverend King. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Revisiting the Loyalty from the So-Called Basket of Deplorables

Social media reaction to President Donald Trump signing the 2,200 page $1.3 Trillion Omnibus spending bill for the remaining six months of FY 18 has been swift and sharp.  Many who want to Drain the Swamp lamented that Mr. Trump caved in on a spending boondoggle which made Democrat leaders like House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA 11th) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer quite happy.   But in the wake of this spending spree, Trump loyalists took to Twitter as “Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their leader (sic)” with a tenacious and acrimonious approach.

Basically, Deplorables dictated that you are either with him or against him. No criticisms could be countenanced. Agreeing to the Omnibus may have been a bad choice, but what did you expect him to do when everything is arrayed against him. Wondering whether President Trump lost his legislative leverage was considered heresy and such nay sayers were implored to “Stop bitchin’ and get crackin!”.

Reflecting upon the irrational response of Deplorables, it was reminiscent of trepidations of a Troll Party takeover of the GOP as Mr. Trump entered the Republican run for the White House.  That analysis did not anticipate that Mr. Trump would be the last man standing after the Republican 2016 Presidential primaries, much less that he would win the White House that November .

If one were to try to characterize these voters, one would presume that they are previously dis-affected with the political process. Consequently, they seem to dismiss the present political process or are ignorant of the workings of the system.  The Trump phenomenon points to a charismatic ordinary man who is a successful non politician who is poised to shake up the system.

It is easy to appreciate Deplorables’  exasperation over how the political system is not working well, but when one dialogs with them about details of how to change, it devolves into populist platitudes or invincible ignorance about governance of our constitutional Republic.  Tellingly, one colloquy with such a Trump-eteer was summarized as: “pugnacious, smearing and ambiguous”, which seems consistent with contemporary experience. 

Sen. Rand Paul
When pressing for practical policies aside from the ambiguous “stand by your man”, there is a tendency of deflection.  It was surprising that one interlocutor tried to shut down realpolitik post Omnibus analysis by insisting one had no right to comment unless one had a PhD in Political Science.  

Rep. David Brat 
Yet a few exchanges later, the tenor had changed to insist that you have to do your own homework and you didn’t read the Omnibus bill.  Well, neither did Congress, but trusted sources like Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and Representative David Brat (R-VA 7th) had highlighted egregious examples, but then those pearls of wisdom were suspect because it was mouthing others’ opinions.

For a political junkie who is not part of the Establishment, it can be vexing to have what could be characterized as a dialog with the deaf.

In many ways, this voter segment was an able army in the 2016 election cycle, especially when the opposition was so antithetical. Viscerally, they were probably aligned with Steve Bannon’s “burn down the house” approach to politics.

With the benefit of hindsight, it is easier to see this nascent Troll Party (ironically nicknamed “The Basket of Deplorables) by Hillary Clinton, as being praetorian populists, who are inclined to advocate any line from their dear leader. While it would seem that Deplorables tend to be individuals previously alienated from the political process and who are oriented toward an instinct to "Drain the Swamp", this must take place with conventional politics under our rule of law system. It may be appealing for a President to rail against earmarks, but unless there is a constitutional amendment for the Line Item Veto, these obtuse budgetary battles carry the day. 

Ex Speaker John Boehner
Others who want to Drain the Swamp may well be the rump of Constitutional Conservatives who were instrumental in sweeping the GOP back into power in the House in 2011 and the Senate in 2014.  Despite their tenure on Capitol Hill, they have not successfully infiltrated Republican leadership (though they were decisive in declaring the chair vacant and ousting Speaker John Boehner from power in 2015). 

There have been other prospective rifts in the alliance between Deplorables and Tea Party types, most notably prior to the Schumer shutdown in February 2018, in which President Trump called the Democrats’ bluff about DACA and there was a brief budgetary shut down. Those of a conservative bent expressed consternation that Trump had abandoned his mantra to “Build the Wall” to regularize a large swath of illegal immigrants. Because Schumer was blamed, this did not cause a serious split among those who want to shake up the system. 

It is my supposition that President Trump’s acquiescence on the Omnibus cram down spending spree may precipitate a waning of enthusiasm among the conservative base. This six month funding of the federal government increased domestic spending by 13% while busting the sequester caps on military spending.  Fiscal conservatives wonder if the Federal government will ever really reduce its spending willingly and adding over a trillion in half a year is unsustainable and virtually indistinguishable from the Obama era.

Big “Build the Wall” backers will be chagrined at how President Trump’s primary election promise has been thwarted.  Sure, the Trump Administration brags that $1.6 Billion has been allocated and work will start the next business day.  But if one looks at the specifics, it’s half that amount and there are provisions that the funds can not be spent on any of the Wall prototypes that President Trump traveled to California to inspect. Of course, building the wall is currently estimated to cost $26 Billion, so the allocation is a drop in the bucket.  Maybe Mexico will pick up the rest of the tab. Moreover, despite the pugilistic rhetoric about fighting jurisdictions which thwart immigration laws, Sanctuary Cities received full funding in the Omnibus.

If the conservative base is less than enthused about supporting the Administration, things may become bleak for Republican majorities in the House and the Senate.  In the Senate, the 2018 cycle should be challenging for Democrats to achieve a majority, as they have to defend 25 of 33 seats up for election. But Republicans hold a slim one vote majority, and Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has spent lots of time back in his home state convalescing from acute cancer.

In the House of Representatives , a shift of two dozen seats will bring Democrats back to power. Considering the court imposed redrawing of districts in Pennsylvania, the GOP is likely to lose up to five seats. If Democrats take over the House, they are more likely to impeach President Trump on nearly any grounds rather than work with him.

Despite the apparent depressing of conservative enthusiasm because of President Trump signing the Omnibus bill, the Democrat National Committee and the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee are dead broke whereas the RNC and the RNCC are flush with cash. Perhaps the smart money is voting with campaign contributions.  However, as the 2016 cycle showed, money is not everything, otherwise it would be Madam President Hillary Clinton.

Some Deplorables are insisting on social media that President Trump has more cards up his sleeve about the budget, and proffer a prediction that Omnibus language is only a suggestion and that the Chief Executive will do what he wants, such as using the military to build the border wall.  If this novel approach was actually pursued, it would be enjoined by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in a nanosecond and would give substance to Democrats filing new articles of impeachment. But it would gladden the heart of the Basket of Deplorables for a bit.