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Matt Ridley

THE LEFT’S INTOLERANCE OF TOLERANCE

churchill-on-the-left-wing"In a free state, tongues too should be free,” wrote Erasmus 501 years ago.  That said, the law has always rightly forbidden incitement to violence.

Yet the Speaker of the British House of Commons, John Bercow, plans to prevent President Trump from addressing Parliament – based on no claim whatever that he might incite violence.  Similar to the bans on controversial speakers that are routine at universities in Britain and America today.

They are about the giving and taking of offence. An example is Julie Bindel, a radical feminist, banned from speaking at Sheffield University because she was not “LGBT friendly.”

The habit of curbing free speech is being imported into Britain from America, where universities have become increasingly intolerant of anything that departs from a narrow orthodoxy. A howling mob surrounded the Yale professor Nicholas Christakis in 2015 after his wife Erika had expressed little sympathy with those who wanted Halloween costumes outlawed.

What is causing this intolerance? Why are so many students so keen to outlaw rather than answer opinions they disagree with?

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THE UNITED STATES WILL OPPOSE THE UN’S ANTI-ISRAEL BIAS

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley

[This is the text of Amb. Haley’s statement to the press following the UN Security Council meeting on the Middle East on February 16]

The first thing I want to do is talk about what we just saw in there. The Security Council just finished its regular monthly meeting on Middle East issues. It’s the first meeting like that that I’ve attended, and I have to say it was a bit strange.

The Security Council is supposed to discuss how to maintain international peace and security. But at our meeting on the Middle East, the discussion was not about Hezbollah’s illegal build-up of rockets in Lebanon. It was not about the money and weapons Iran provides to terrorists. It was not about how we defeat ISIS. It was not about how we hold Bashar al-Assad accountable for the slaughter of hundreds and thousands of civilians.

No, instead, the meeting focused on criticizing Israel, the one true democracy in the Middle East. I am new around here, but I understand that’s how the Council has operated, month after month, for decades.

I’m here to say the United States will not turn a blind eye to this anymore. I am here to underscore the ironclad support of the United States for Israel. I’m here to emphasize the United States is determined to stand up to the UN’s anti-Israel bias.

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RENEWABLES ARE DOOMED – FOSSIL FUELS ARE THE FUTURE

trump-digs-coalWe’re on the verge of a new energy revolution. Except it’s the exact opposite of the one the “experts” at places like BP (British Petroleum),  the International Energy Agency and the Fake News Media are predicting.

For years we’ve been assured by politicians, energy industry specialists and green advocates that renewables such as wind and solar are getting more and more cost-competitive while dirty fossil fuels are so discredited and wrong and evil we’ll soon have to leave them in the ground.

But to believe this you’d have to believe in a world where Donald Trump and Brexit hadn’t happened; where taxpayers were still prepared to bankroll, ad infinitum, the expensive, inefficient, environmentally-damaging produce of favored crony-capitalists; where no one had access on the internet to articles showing how the whole climate change industry is such a scam.

That world doesn’t exist.  Here’s the one that does.

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GET OUT OF MY CLASS AND LEAVE AMERICA

norman-rockwell

Norman Rockwell Freedom of Speech 1943

Author’s Note: The following is taken from my lecture on the first day of classes. My remarks are reproduced here with the hope that they will be useful to other professors teaching at public universities all across America. Feel free to use this material if you already have tenure.

Welcome back to class, students! I am Mike Adams, your criminology professor here at UNC-Wilmington.

Before we get started with the course I need to address an issue that is causing problems here at UNCW and in higher education all across the country. I am talking about the growing minority of students who believe they have a right to be free from being offended.

If we don’t reverse this dangerous trend in our society there will soon be a majority of young people who will need to walk around in plastic bubble suits to protect them in the event that they come into contact with a dissenting viewpoint. That mentality is unworthy of an American. It’s hardly worthy of a Frenchman.

Let’s get something straight right now. You have no right to be unoffended. You do have a right to be offended with regularity. It is the price you pay for living in a free society. If you don’t understand that you are confused and dangerously so.

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WHY ARE CONGRESS DEMOCRATS GIVING NATIONAL SECURITY SECRETS TO THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD?

Where’s the box for Democrats in Congress?

Where’s the box for Democrats in Congress?

Last year (March 22, 2016), eight members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence issued a demand that their Muslim staffers be granted access to top secret classified information.

The signatories to the letter were Andre Carson (D-IN), Luis Guiterez (D-IL), Jim Himes (D-CT), Terri Sewell (D-AL), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Eric Swalwell (D-CA) and Patrick Murphy (D-FL). All the signatories were Democrats.

Some had a history of attempting to undermine national security.  Two of them have been linked to an emerging security breach.

The office of Andre Carson, the second Muslim in Congress, had employed Imran Awan. As did the offices of Jackie Speier and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL); to whom the letter had been addressed.

Imran Awan and his two brothers, Jamal and Abid, are at the center of an investigation that deals with, among other things, allegations of illegal access.  They have been barred from the House of Representatives network.

A member of Congress expressed concern that, “they may have stolen data from us.”

All three of the Pakistani brothers had been employed by Democrats. The offices that employed them included HPSCI minority members Speier, Carson and Joaquín Castro (D-TX). Congressman Castro, who also sits on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, utilized the services of Jamal Moiz Awan. Speier and Carson’s offices utilized Imran Awan.

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PRESIDENT TRUMP’S ADDRESS AT THE NATIONAL PRAYER BREAKFAST

[This is the text of the President’s address delivered this morning – 02/02 – in Washington DC]

The President speaking this morning

The President speaking this morning

Thank you very much.  It’s a great honor to be here this morning.  And so many faith leaders -- very, very important people to me -- from across our magnificent nation, and so many leaders from all across the globe.

Today we continue a tradition begun by President Eisenhower some 64 years ago.  This gathering is a testament to the power of faith, and is one of the great customs of our nation, and I hope to be here seven more times with you.  (Laughter and applause.)

I want very much to thank our co-chairs, Senator Bowzman and Senator Coons, and all of the congressional leadership here.

I also want to thank my dear friend, Vice President Mike Pence, who has been incredible.  (Applause.)  And incredible wife, Karen.  

But most importantly today, I want to thank the American people.  Your faith and prayers have sustained me and inspired me through some very, very tough times.  

All around America, I have met amazing people whose words of worship and encouragement have been a constant source of strength.  What I hear most often as I travel the country are five words that never, ever fail to touch my heart.  That’s:  “I am praying for you.”  I hear it so often -- “I am praying for you, Mr. President.”  (Applause.)  

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HOW TRUMP CAN MAKE BARRY GOLDWATER’S DREAM COME TRUE

[Note by Jack Wheeler:  57 years ago in Conscience of a Conservative, Barry Goldwater proclaimed the conservative political dream:

Barry Goldwater

Barry Goldwater

“I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution.”

What you are about to read explains the legal mechanism already in place by which this can be easily done.  What Kim Strassel has written will blow you away with what is possible under a Trump Presidency guiding a GOP Congress.  Barry Goldwater was the original American conservative hero.  Somewhere, he is smiling right now.]

Last week (01/25), Todd Gaziano stepped into a meeting on Capitol Hill of free-market attorneys, think tankers and Republican congressional staff to unveil a big idea. By the time he stepped out, he had reset Washington’s regulatory battle lines.

Actually, more than reset.  This is a true game-changer.

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STOP MUSLIM TERROR BY STOPPING MUSLIM IMMIGRATION

Syed Rizwan Farook and wife Tashfeen Malik

Syed Rizwan Farook and wife Tashfeen Malik

Lone wolf terrorism is the biggest trend in Islamic terrorism. Unlike classic Islamic terrorism, it requires no cells stretching across countries the way that 9/11 did. The perpetrators don’t even need to enter the country under false pretenses the way that the World Trade Center bombers did.

Classic counterterrorism is directed at organizations. It’s inadequate for stopping individual Muslim terrorists like Omar Mateen who was able to murder 49 people at a nightclub in Orlando or closely related duos like the Tsarnaev brothers in Boston or the Farook-Malik husband and wife team who carried out the San Bernardino terrorist attack which took the lives of 14 people.

The reason is simple. Unlike classic Islamic terrorism which required organization and infrastructure, the new brand of Islamic terror only needs one thing… Muslims.

Muslim immigration makes Muslim terrorism worse.  Once we understand this inconvenient truth, then everything else naturally flows from it.

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MEXICO ON THE BRINK

mexico-drug-cartelsLong-simmering social tensions in Mexico are threatening to boil over as failing neoliberal reforms to the country’s formerly nationalized gas sector are compounded by open corruption, stagnant standards of living, and rampant inflation.

The U.S. media has remained mostly mute on the situation in Mexico, even as the unfolding civil unrest has closed the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego, California, for the last four weekends in a row.

Ongoing “gasolinazo” protests in Mexico over a 20 percent rise in gas prices have led to over 400 arrests, 250 looted stores, and six deaths. Roads are being blockaded, borders closed, and government buildings are being sacked. Protests have remained relatively peaceful overall, except for several isolated violent acts, which activists have blamed on government infiltrators.

The few mainstream news reports that have covered the situation blame rising gas prices but fail to examine several other factors that are pushing Mexico to the brink of revolution.

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THE DEMOCRAT PARTY: NO NON-RACISTS NEED APPLY

we-the-dnc"Democrats lost because they did not know how to talk about race," Aimee Allison told the DNC candidates forum on race.

Aimee Allison is a professional “race talker.” She’s a senior VP at PowerPAC+ which is dedicated to tapping into the “political power of the multiracial majority.”

On Monday (01/23), PowerPAC’s Democracy in Color hosted the DNC Chair Candidates Forum 2017. The qualifications to be the leader of the Democrat National Committee were obvious. It was their job to pander to the “new majority” of non-whites. 

White voters make up 71% of the electorate. Hillary won little more than a third of this “old majority.” 

“I’m a white woman, I don’t get it,” candidate Sally Boynton Brown shrilled. Her job, she declared, was to “shut other white people down” until they admit their “privilege.”  Note the black lady behind her smiling and nodding when she says it:

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WHAT WAS THE WOMEN’S MARCH ALL ABOUT?

women-marchHas anyone actually worked out yet what that Women’s March over the weekend (01/21) was all about?

According to Madonna it had something to do with blowing up the White House.

According to Michael Moore (not a woman) it was about stopping Betsy De Vos (a woman: how does this work, exactly?) from becoming Secretary of Education.

According to Hamas-supporting, hijab-wearing co-organizer Linda Sarsour, it had something to do with that famous supporter of women’s rights, Islam.

According to Hermione Granger it was a lovely excuse to fly over from England with her Mum, to feel humble and try on some new bright red lipstick.

According to at least one of the girls in the photo above, it’s about “good scince”. Yay! Go, good scince!

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ZERO FADES AWAY AS TRUMP TRIUMPHS

zerofadesawayAmerica’s Nobody-in-Chief is finally going away, his last spasm of rhetorical onanism completely overshadowed by Donald Trump neatly turning the tables on the media purveyors of that pathetically fake “dossier.”

No one is listening to him. No one cares. While the helpless mainstream media frets over its irrelevance, Obama is left urging his minions to throw little tantrums out in the Deep State, trying to do just a little more damage to this country before he is finally exiled to comfortable obscurity. But payback is a Pelosi.

Soon Trump’s pen and phone are going to be wielded. All that last-minute regulatory nonsense is getting overturned. America will be a beacon of freedom to Cubans once again. The Western land thefts will be undone. We’ll drill, baby, drill. It’s going to be awesome, as will the tsunami of liberal tears.

And there’s nothing you haters can do about it. Nothing. Here’s why…

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A MODEST PROPOSAL FOR DEM BOYCOTTERS

The Washington Post is reporting (1/17) that “over 40 Democrats in Congress are boycotting Trump’s Inauguration.”  This is a modest proposal regarding what to do about them.

The first time I met Democrat Maxine Waters was nearly a generation ago when she was a Member of the California State Assembly.

At the State Capitol in Sacramento with the Republican Minority Leader of the State Assembly, I entered a “Members Only” elevator just as Assemblywoman Waters was about to close the door. She gave the Republican Leader a dirty look, then glanced at the customary “no smoking sign” and blew smoke in my face.

A Member of the U.S. Congress since since1990, Maxine Waters remains perennially angry. If Al Sharpton were a transsexual, he would be Maxine Waters, except she may be more demagogic, if that is possible.

A quintessential political hack, she sees everything in terms of race, gender, class, in that order. Extra points if you’re a Palestinian or Muslim.

She has presided over a political machine; her daughter has collected hundreds of thousands of dollars to sell her mother’s name. Given the family’s moral clarity, it is hardly surprising to find Waters (“I wouldn’t waste my time”) as one of at least 42 Members of Congress, more than one in five Democrats, boycotting the swearing-in of Donald J. Trump as our 45th president.

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COLLEGE SAFE SPACES ARE SANCTUARIES FOR FASCISM

UC Davis protest against a conservative speaker (01/13)

UC Davis protest against a conservative speaker (01/13)

Hammers, broken windows and fights. That’s what a safe space for free speech looks like at UC Davis. 

Safe spaces are places where everyone who isn’t a safe space fascist feels unsafe. The more safe spaces a campus has, the less freedom of speech the students and faculty dare to enjoy.  

UC Davis has a great many safe spaces. 

The University of California institution has safe spaces for illegal aliens (the Undocumented Student Center) and for asexuals (the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual Resource Center) which hosted a “Tampon Tea Party.”

It has segregated safe space housing in Campbell Hall for black students and the Women's Resources and Research Center will provide safe spaces and “Mind Spa Services” for anyone offended by Christian views on abortion.

But all the safe spaces were about making life unsafe for everyone who wasn’t a left-wing fascist.

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TAIWAN TO TRUMP: WE ARE NO BARGAINING CHIP

taiwan-on-mapLast night (01/18), 40 hours before Donald Trump’s swearing-in as president of the United States, Taiwan’s “Representative” in the U.S. (i.e., de facto Ambassador) laid out what Taiwan wants from the relationship – and it does not include being offered up as a “bargaining chip” in the United States’ relationship with China.

Speaking at a dinner celebrating 80 years of diplomacy at Twin Oaks, the Washington, D.C. estate owned by Taiwan’s government, Representative Stanley Kao praised the current state of U.S.-Taiwan relations.

The relationship has “never been better in recent memory,” he said, even if engagement is “quiet and low-key” at times. Taiwan hopes to continue that momentum under the new Trump administration – with a caveat. The relationship “should be based on its merit and not used … as some kind of bargaining chip,” Kao said, to applause from the audience.

Kao’s comment touches on a concern that Trump may view Taiwan, formally known as the Republic of China, as a bargaining chip in the larger U.S.-China relationship.

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HOW GEORGE SOROS DESTROYED THE DEMOCRAT PARTY

george-sorosIt was the end of the big year with three zeroes. The first X-Men movie had broken box office records. You couldn’t set foot in a supermarket without listening to Brittney Spears caterwauling, “Oops, I Did It Again.” And Republicans and Democrats had total control of both chambers of legislatures in the same amount of states.

That was the way it was back in the distant days of the year 2000.

In 2016, Republicans control both legislative chambers in 32 states. That’s up from 16 in 2000.

What happened to the big donkey? Among other things, the Democrats decided to sell their base and their soul to a very bad billionaire and they got a very bad deal for both.  Here’s the story.

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HALF-FULL REPORT 01/06/17

"It's over."

 Friday afternoon, in accordance with the process required by the Constitution and despite ongoing efforts to delegitimize the election, the new Congress counted the Electoral College’s votes and certified Donald J. Trump as President of the United States.

Now Republicans can get to work keeping their many promises (we shall see). And Democrats can get back to less hypocritical ways of defeating them (yeah, right). Yes, it’s a great start to this new year. Welcome to 2017...

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The President-Elect received his much-vaunted briefing on “Russian hacking” today, in which he learned exactly what we already knew: that Russia (and absolutely everyone else, from America to China to the teenager next door) is constantly trying to hack everything, and that we need ever-improving security against that. Here's the rest of what we know happened...

*******

Bear in mind, as Donald Trump was just reminded, no one in government, not even Barack Obama, claims that Russia tampered with the vote count. (Though Democrats have succeeded in getting...

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HFR Irony of the Week: Barack Obama is building a wall. Around his new house.

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This week, the Alabama judges are our HFR Heroes of the Week (Serious Edition).

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Jack is in Egypt meeting with President el-Sisi, and will no doubt be back in the saddle next week. Here we go with this week's HFR Boys and Girls!

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COUNTERING OBAMA THE ANTI-SEMITE

UN Security Council

UN Security Council

His abstention allowing the passage of UN Security Council Resolution 2334 (12/23) was the first prong of outgoing President Barack Obama’s lame duck campaign against Israel. US Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech five days later (12/28) was the second.

On January 15, stage 3 will commence in Paris. At France’s lame duck President François Hollande’s international conference, the foreign ministers of some 50 states are expected to adopt as their own Kerry’s anti-Israel principles. The next day it will be Obama’s turn. Obama can be expected to use the occasion of Martin Luther King Jr. Day to present the Palestinian war to annihilate Israel as a natural progression from the American Civil Rights movement that King led 50 years ago. Finally, sometime between January 17 and 19, Obama intends for the Security Council to reconvene and follow the gang at the Paris conference by adopting Kerry’s positions as a Security Council resolution. That follow-on resolution may also recognize “Palestine” and grant it full membership in the UN. How can the evil perfidy of this Anti-Semitic President be countered?

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A CENTURY OF MARXISM-LENINISM

obamamarxHuman beings can be remarkably dense. The practice of bloodletting, as a medical treatment, persisted despite centuries of abundant evidence that it did more harm than good.

The practice of communism, or political bloodletting as it should perhaps be known, whose centenary in the Bolshevik revolution is reached this year, likewise needs no more tests. It does more harm than good every time. Nationalized, planned, one-party rule benefits nobody, let alone the poor.

The diseases that Marxism-Leninism was intended to treat, poverty and inequality, were ancient scourges just beginning to fade, even in Russia. Higher living standards were starting to reach ordinary people, rather than just the feudal elite, for the first time.

Along came Karl Marx with essentially the opposite suggestion.  The progressive left rather suddenly fell in love with the idea of expanding, rather than limiting, state power.  Here’s a quick history of Marxist horrors from Lenin to Obama.

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OBAMA’S EVIL BREW TO POISON ISRAEL

obamas-evil-brewThe UN Security Council vote last Friday (12/23) condemning Israel was not about “settlements.”  It was an Arab subterfuge, a trap into which the United States, the UK, New Zealand and other naïve or cynical diplomats took an active role.

It was all smoke and mirrors, a con trick holding up the settlement issue to dazzle the voters while the real intent was to disown Israel of territories to which they have genuine claim and turn them into “illegally occupied Palestinian territory.”

For certain, President Obama latched on to the idea. It was pay-back time, a golden opportunity not to be missed to hit back at Bibi before handing in the keys to the White House. For shame!

Now we know that he was cooking up this evil brew back in November.

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JANUARY 20 RINGS THE DEATH KNELL OF THE GREEN BLOB

slimer“I’ve waited 40 years for this moment.”

In a congressional meeting room, somewhere on Capitol Hill, one of the world’s leading skeptical climate scientists, Dr. Tim Ball, is toasting the advent of the Trump administration.

“I don’t want to use the phrase tipping point because that’s a phrase that has been abused in the scientific area. But I think we’re on the verge of a dramatic shift,” Ball tells the small invited audience of journalists, scientists, think-tankers, lawyers and DC politicos. He’s talking about the war on the Green Blob.

Most of them are scarred veterans of the decades-long battle to expose the man-made global warming scare as what another speaker, Tony Heller, describes as “the biggest scientific deception in history.” Many have suffered personally and professionally for speaking out against the so-called “consensus.”

But with Trump’s inauguration it will be the beginning of the end for the Green Blob—that sinister cabal of corrupt politicians, UN and EU technocrats, bent scientists, shrill activists, rent-seeking corporatists, blood-sucking lawyers and gullible journalists which has held the world to ransom these last four decades by promoting the man-made climate change scare story and other, related environmental scams.

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ABOLISH THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Secretary of Energy-designate Rick Perry

Secretary of Energy-designate Rick Perry

When former Texas governor Rick Perry ran for president in 2012, he promised he'd abolish the U.S. Department of Energy (at least when he could remember it). Liberals wrote this off as typical conservative stupidity.

Why would anyone want to abolish the DOE? According to one liberal commentator, it was because the department "was established during Jimmy Carter's administration and it perhaps sounds like it might have something to do with solar panels."

Jimmy Carter created it, all right, but solar panels were only a symptom of the real problem. The DOE was conceived in dark and pessimistic beliefs and forecasts that have proven totally wrong. As Obama might say, the DOE is on the wrong side of history.

Thanks to the DOE, we've endured wasteful, panicked policies such as massive subsidies for the wind and solar power, and electric cars.  Worst of all, Congress has saddled consumers with ethanol subsidies and mandates.

These boondoggles cost us billions of dollars, and none of them are commercially viable in their own right.  The DOE isn’t viable either.  It’s time to get rid of it.

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MY FIVE DAYS WITH REX TILLERSON

rex-tillersonNine years ago, I showed up to the Denton County Courthouse in Denton, Texas for jury duty and got myself picked for the job. A young girl had accused her mom’s boyfriend of sexual assault and the case was being brought to trial.

If you’ve ever served on a jury trial before, you understand the almost immediate, yet very temporary bond that ties 12 strangers together who are randomly chosen from each of their private lives in order to fulfill a very solemn public purpose.

One of our first tasks was to choose our jury foreman. Perhaps it was his business suit, his impressive stature, or his charisma, but almost everyone in that jury room suggested that this middle-aged man with greying hair was likely the most fit for the task.

“Thanks, but I decline. I’m not interested in the spotlight,” he told us. I didn’t think anything of it.

I had just bought my first BlackBerry and used my breaks to catch up on all the emails I was missing from my week at the courthouse. I recall leaving the jury room on a break with this man and remarking how busy I was and how much work I had to do. He smiled as he sat and read the paper.

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IS THE DEMOCRAT PARTY IN ITS DEATH THROES?

seal-of-dem-partySo this is how it ends — in a whimper wrapped in self-pity and recriminations.

With President Obama on the defensive at his final press conference, Hillary Clinton’s last campaign event resembling a wake, and Electoral College protests ending in total failure and farce, the Democrat Party is limping off the stage and into the political winter.

It was supposed to sit atop the national power pyramid for decades, a new paradigm of liberals, progressives, the young, the old, the unions and blacks, Latinos, Muslims and Asians.

The torch would be passed from Obama to Clinton, a liberal Supreme Court would vastly expand executive power and the regulatory state would enforce climate-change orthodoxy on all industry and elitist dictates on every American. Globalism would be the new patriotism.

But a funny thing happened on the way to one-party dominance: The people who work for a living said no, hell no. Their revolt brings Donald Trump to the White House amid hopes of a revival of the economy and of the American spirit.

Thoroughly beaten, the Dems are at their lowest point in nearly a century. From the White House to Congress to statehouses, they are on the outside looking in.  Are we witnessing their death throes as an organized political party?

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THE COLLAPSE OF THE EU EMPIRE

abandon-shipThe Italian referendum and close-shave Austrian election are symptoms of a continent that may be teetering on the brink of political disintegration.

It’s just possible that an empire may be collapsing before our eyes, as the Habsburg and Ottoman empires did before it, in or around the same neighborhood.

With the rise of nationalist parties in Italy, Austria, Hungary, Poland, the Netherlands, France, Germany and Britain, the possibility that the Brussels union has fomented, rather than suppressed, nationalism can no longer be dismissed.  The European Union may be encouraging precisely what it was founded to avert.

Against this background, it is worth recalling that the leading theory among economic historians for why Europe after 1400 became the wealthiest and most innovative continent is political fragmentation.

Precisely because it was not unified, Europe became a laboratory for different ways of governing, enabling the discovery of regimes that allowed free markets and invention to flourish, first in northern Italy and some parts of Germany, then the low countries, then Britain.

By contrast, China’s unity under one ruler prevented such experimentation.  Just what the mandarins of the EU are doing now.

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TRUMP AND HEZBOLLAH-IRAN

Ayatollah Khomenei and Hassan Nasrallah

Ayatollah Khomenei and Hassan Nasrallah with the Hezbollah flag in Lebanon

Jerusalem. Israeli officials are thrilled with the national security team that US President-elect Donald Trump is assembling. And they are right to be. The question now is how Israel should respond to the opportunity they present us with.

The one issue that brings together all of the top officials Trump has named so far to his national security team is Iran.

During his video address before the Saban Forum (12/04), Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that he looks forward to discussing Obama’s nuclear deal with the Iranian regime with Trump after his inauguration next month.

Given that Netanyahu views Iran’s nuclear program — which the nuclear deal guaranteed would be operational in 14 years at most — as the most serious strategic threat facing Israel, it makes sense that he wishes to discuss the issue first.

But Netanyahu may be better advised to first address the conventional threat Iran poses to Israel, the US and the rest of the region in the aftermath of the nuclear deal.

There are two reasons to start with Iran’s conventional threat, rather than its nuclear program.

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TRUMP IN TAIWAN

tsai-ing-wen

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen

The 10-minute telephone conversation between Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and U.S. president-elect Donald J. Trump on December 2  was the first such conversation between a sitting president in Taiwan and a U.S. president or president-elect since Washington broke official diplomatic relations with Taipei in 1979.

The reactions ranged worldwide, from consternation at Trump’s breaking with longstanding policy to hopes for deeper relations between the United States and the democratic island nation.

Most analysis of the call overlooks a crucial component: Tsai’s own calculations and the domestic reaction on Taiwan.  That’s what we’ll discuss here.

As is often the case, little effort was made to analyze why Taiwan’s first female president, in office since May 20 and brought to power in January via democratic election, was willing to place a call that, if Trump picked up at the other end of the line, was certain to spark some controversy.

Even less was said about reactions in Taiwan, particularly its 23 million citizens, who far too often in the rare instances of international attention are denied a voice of their own – as if all of them were little more than insentient subjects to the implacable waves of history or the dictates of decision makers in Washington and Beijing.

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THE FIVE LESSONS OF TRUMP

teachers-trumpWhat can Republicans learn from Trump’s victory? The biggest lesson is that the old way of politics is dead. McCain and Romney showed that twice. Now Trump has shown how Republicans can actually win.  Here are five ways. 1. Find Your Natural Base The GOP is ashamed of its base. It doesn’t like being associated with the very voters who made 2016 happen. Its autopsy last time around searched for ways to leave the white working class behind. There’s a party that did that. Their symbol is a jackass. They just lost big because they ran out of working class white voters. The Democrats have tried to manufacture their base using immigration, victimhood politics and identity politics. The GOP has wasted far too much time trying to compete on the same playing field while neglecting its base.

Trump won by doing what the GOP could have done all along if its leadership hadn’t been too ashamed to talk to people it considered low class because they shop at WalMart.

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TRUMP TARGETS IRAN

endtheirandealIn the US and around the world, people are anxiously awaiting US President-elect Donald Trump’s announcement of his choice to serve as secretary of state. There is no doubt that Trump’s choice for the position will tell us a great deal about the direction his foreign policy is likely to take. But the fact is that we already have sufficient information to understand what his greatest focus will be.

Trump’s announcement last week that he has selected Marine General James Mattis to serve as his defense secretary is a key piece of the puzzle. Mattis has a sterling reputation as a brilliant strategist and a sober-minded leader.  Yet, in 2013, Obama summarily removed Mattis from his command as head of the US Military’s Central Command  -- because of his opposition to Obama’s strategy of embracing Iran.

That opposition is part of why he’ll be Trump’s SecDef.  Trump is interested in ending the war that the forces of radical Islam started with the US not on September 11, 2001, but on November 4, 1979, with the seizure of the US embassy in Tehran.

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SANCTIMONY, INC.

Time was, leftists complained of rigged elections, the media paid attention to dirty tricks, and conservatives cared more about results than rhetoric.

Donald Trump, in characteristically haphazard fashion, said he thought the election might end up “rigged” (if he lost).  Therefore, he would not endorse the November 8 result if he found that fear confirmed — unless, of course, in Jacksonian fashion, he managed to win.

All hell broke loose, from both the Left and “principled” conservatives, that Trump’s allegations had somehow undermined the American electoral process itself.

Not likely.

“Selected, not elected” was a Democrat talking point after the 2000 Bush victory. In a speech two years after that election, a now sanctimonious Hillary Clinton echoed those “selected” charges against the Bush presidency.

Al Gore became unhinged.  For years, the former vice president could not speak publicly without screaming in vein-bulging style, and seemed to be obsessed by George W. Bush in Carthago delenda est fashion.  The Crazed Sex Poodle is angrily campaigning with Hillary now.

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IS OBAMA ON IRAN’S SIDE OR AMERICA’S?

Mullah Obama?

Mullah Obama?

Off the coast of Yemen and at the UN Security Council we are seeing the strategic endgame of Barack Obama’s administration. And it isn’t pretty. 

In the last ten days, Iran’s Houthi proxies in Yemen have attacked US naval craft three times in the Bab al Mandab, the narrow straits at the mouth of the Red Sea. The Bab al Mandab controls maritime traffic in the Red Sea, and ultimately control the Suez Canal.

Whether the Iranians directed these assaults or simply greenlighted them is really beside the point. The point is that these are Iranian strikes on the US. The Houthis would never have exposed themselves to US military retaliation if they hadn’t been ordered to do so by their Iranian overlords.

The question is why has Iran chosen to open up an assault on the US?  Iran’s game is clear enough. It wishes to replace the US as the regional hegemon, at the US’s expense.

Since Obama entered office nearly eight years ago, Iran’s record in advancing its aims has been of uninterrupted success.  Is this an accident on Mr. Obama’s part, sheer incompetence, or is it something far far worse?

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WHY NOT TO WORRY ABOUT THE TURNOVER OF THE INTERNET

IspieonUThere's been a lot of concern recently about the “takeover of the Internet.”  Yesterday (10/17), news reports broke that the lawsuit of four states suing the US for the Internet turnover has been dropped.

Here’s why not to worry about it.  There’s something else to worry about instead.

The organization being handed to an “international body” is the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN.

ICANN  runs the DNS system that allows you to type in something like mysite.com, rather than something like 237.57.364.1. The root servers that people talk about keep track of all those numbers and names.

So, could the international group play ugly games with ICANN? It's possible, of course, but unlikely.  ICANN really isn't very important anymore, save for political bragging rights. Here are some of the reasons why:

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GLOBAL WARMING VERSUS GLOBAL GREENING

[This is Matt Ridley’s full lecture delivered Monday, 10/16, at the Royal Society of London, the oldest – founded in 1660 – and one of the most prestigious institutions of science in the world.  Ridley’s lecture will likely be considered the currently definitive refutation of the fraudulent doomsday science of Man Made Global Warming. –JW]

Matt Ridley

Matt Ridley

I am a passionate champion of science.

I have devoted most of my career to celebrating and chronicling scientific discovery. I think the scientific method is humankind’s greatest achievement, and that there is no higher calling.

So what I am about to say this evening about the state of climate science is not in any sense anti-science. It is anti-the distortion and betrayal of science.

I am still in love with science as a philosophy; I greatly admire and like the vast majority of scientists I meet; but I am increasingly disaffected from science as an institution.

The way it handles climate change is a big part of the reason.

After covering global warming debates as a journalist on and off for almost 30 years, with initial credulity, then growing skepticism, I have come to the conclusion that the risk of dangerous global warming, now and in the future, has been greatly exaggerated while the policies enacted to mitigate the risk have done more harm than good, both economically and environmentally, and will continue to do so.

And I am treated as some kind of pariah for coming to this conclusion.

Why do I think the risk from global warming is being exaggerated? For four principal reasons.

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LES DÉPLORABLES – THE REVOLT OF THE POLITICALLY INCORRECT

LesDeplorablesHillary Clinton’s comment that half of Donald Trump’s supporters are “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic” -- a heck of a lot of phobia for anyone to lug around all day -- puts back in play what will be seen as one of the 2016 campaign’s defining forces: the revolt of the politically incorrect.

They may not live at the level of Victor Hugo’s “Les Misérables,” but it was only a matter of time before les déplorables—our own writhing mass of unheard Americans—rebelled against the intellectual elites’ ancien régime of political correctness.

To repeat: “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic.”

Those are all potent words. Or once were. The racism of the Jim Crow era was ugly, physically cruel and murderous. Today, progressives output these words as reflexively as a burp.

What’s more, the left enjoys calling people Islamophobic or homophobic. It’s bullying without personal risk.

Donald Trump’s appeal, in part, is that he cracks back at progressive cultural condescension in utterly crude terms. Nativists exist, and the sky is still blue. But the overwhelming majority of these people aren’t phobic about a modernizing America. They’re fed up with the relentless, moral superciliousness of Hillary, the Obamas, progressive pundits and 19-year-old campus activists.

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NOT BEING EVIL IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH

[Skye’s comments on the Forum re the HFR last week (07/01) are so insightful many TTPers requested they be a full article.  We are happy to comply]

A TTPer asks, “Skye, your doubts on Trump (e.g. on tariffs and trade) are justified but a little more substance would help for an observer who retains an open mind on the subject.   What is evil?   This visceral distrust (of Trump) may be justified but what is the alternative Biden, Clinton and 2 to 3 Supreme Court justices?”

I don’t think that Trump is evil (unlike Hillary).  I do believe that he is mistaken about many things, and most importantly about what it would take to get him elected.  He is a prisoner of his own egotism.  His belief that his name can replace campaign funding with a billion dollars is what will give us those ‘Crats and their Supreme Court nominees.  I am obviously very unhappy with that prospect.

4 to 8 years of Clinton II are likely to create a lot more desperation. I do not want to see voting from the rooftops with .338 Lapua ballots.  That almost always ends very badly. 

I would love to read of as many other possibilities as smart TTPers can imagine.  We need to consider as many alternatives as possible from as many minds as possible.  A productive first step would be to stop wasting effort arguing about the relative qualities of Trump and Hillary.  Of course, the latter is truly horrific, but unless the former undergoes an unexpected sea change with respect to campaign funding actions, we will be stuck with the latter.

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HALF-FULL REPORT 04/29/16

I happen to be a big fan of Carly Fiorina. I thought she was scapegoated at HP. I thought she was about as good a U.S. Senate candidate as anyone could reasonably ask of a first-timer, especially running in California. She has shown herself remarkably knowledgeable on an extraordinary range of issues, right on most of them, and courageous throughout.

But it’s not my job to tell you what I want to be true: I’m here to tell you what I honestly think. And Ted’s picking Carly for VP just one day after his Northeastern nightmare gives me enormous pause.

On a more positive note, fears have run high that the #NeverTrump movement and those Trump supporters who say they’ll never vote Republican if he’s not the nominee are in a GOP suicide pact. But there’s a factor everyone’s leaving out that makes all of this irrelevant, and greatly improves the eventual Republican nominee’s chances.

Speaking of Trump, his assault on the delegate system — which so far has provided him with 200 more delegates than he would have under the proportional system he claims to prefer — is growing into an assault on the American Constitutional order. This has…consequences. 

Oh, and Obama’s bare-knuckled threat against Britain? It’s backfiring, big time.

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NEVER MEANS NEVER

So, the conventional wisdom goes, the pressure is now on #NeverTrump.

The logic goes something like this: now that Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee, #NeverTrump supporters will stab Trump in the back if they don’t support him. We must all unify behind the authoritarian con man who believes in precisely zero conservative principles; if we don’t, we’ve betrayed the country.

There’s enough irony there to overwhelm you.

There is a certain irony to the fact that triumphant Trump supporters who have been touting the strength of their candidate for months – who have, in fact, suggested that those who don’t support Trump are unnecessary vestiges of an outdated philosophy – are now preemptively declaring their candidate a loser, and blaming others in the process.

There’s also irony to the notion that Trump can openly proclaim that if he doesn’t win the nomination, his voters will stay home – yet if his opponents say the same, they’re the traitors. Thus the Trump Cult has defined the enemies of the godking.

But let’s put the irony aside, and examine whether there’s a continuing argument for #NeverTrump.

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WHO CARES IF THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES?

There he was, stripped bare and standing in the middle of the debate stage.

Donald Trump was eviscerated in last Thursday’s debate (2/25). Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz took turns pummeling the founder of Trump University with his own words, his own history, and delivering body blow after body blow.

It was more than enough to convince any thinking person he was not a serious candidate for president. But Trump isn’t your typical presidential candidate. He’s Barack Obama-light, in every sense of the term.

What does Donald Trump stand for? What will he do if elected? What core conservative principle will he advance?

If you’re being honest, the answer to each of those questions is you have no idea.

Don’t feel bad, neither does he.

That’s not entirely true. He was fairly unambiguous about one thing he’d like to do: change the law so he can sue newspapers. When it comes to solutions to the nation’s problems, Donald Trump is the equivalent of a constitutional dumpster fire; and that’s just fine to his worshipers.

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HALF-FULL REPORT 02/26/16

 

Brilliant, or Too Little Too Late?

GOPdbate2016This week: South Carolina and Nevada; debate wrap-up; is Trump inevitable, and is Ted dead? (Answer: not necessarily.)

************

Also, Trump's big endorsements, Hillary's dangerous Hispanic defections, the geopolitical earthquake of U.S. oil exports, the very real possibility of Brexit and what might come next, and Republican spines reappear in the Supreme Court fight. All this and a lot more in this week's Half-Full Report.

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HALF-FULL REPORT 02/12/16

The loser:

HillaryThis week: the magnitude of Hillary’s debacle in New Hampshire, the defection of women and young people to Sanders, Cruz’s frugality, Rubio’s fragility, and Jeb and Marco’s “War on Women”: their call to draft teenage girls. Also, Cruz’s status as a natural born citizen defended by none other than James Madison and George Washington (no kidding: it’s definitive), “the most right-wing Supreme Court in U.S. history” (or its opposite), “rapefugees”, and the hidden cost of socialism: this one will leave you unsure whether to rage or to cry.

It’s all right here, in this week’s Half Full Report.

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