What Can We Do To Stop January 18th Anti-Police Traffic Disruption from Happening?

A few weeks ago, the eco-terrorists, radical trans activists, and anti-police “Stop Cop City” terrorists met in the Decatur Quaker Meeting House to discussion “actions” they would be taking on January 18, the anniversary of the death of Manuel Teran, AKA “Tortuigita,” who claimed to be of fluid gender and so has also been adopted as a pet martyr by the LGBTQ community, as the rest of the “Stop Cop City” anti-police activists seamlessly morphed into a virulently anti-semitic pro-“From the River to the Sea” Israeli extermination project.  Manuel Teran refused to leave his tent as he was trespassing on police property; shot a cop, and was then killed.  The gun was registered to him: the bullets removed from the cop were from his gun.  Case closed.  He appears to have been a severely mentally challenged or disturbed young man, but his parents, Venezeulan Citizens on tourist visas, are seasoned Marxist organizers.

Why are they allowed to be here? ... 

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10 Reasons to Vote For Hershel Walker

Ok, I will get to 10, not 50.  It’s just a bow to that Simon and Garfunkel song.  And the election is tomorrow.  But big life events have intervened recently.  So I will get as far as I can with this list and call it a day.

I have to say I’m both confused by and angry at conservatives who won’t vote for our candidate.  As snark and anger aren’t great motivating tools, I’ll try to avoid them, but what are you thinking?  I think I understand some of it: you have been belittled and lied to by the Georgia GOP and the currently poisonous big-L Libertarian (cough, Leftitarian) Party, and Walker is nobody’s idea of an ideal Senator, but that’s no reason for not trying to win.  Political operatives are nearly all professional liars.  Just let their poisonous spittle roll off your backs.  You’re better than them.  Don’t let THEM win by staying home. ... 

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I will be on The Patriotic Populist podcast tomorrow morning at 10.

Nevin Gussack

Nevin Gussack and I will be on Herschell Miller’s idiosyncratic podcast Patriotic Populist tomorrow.  Nevin is the author of the controversial book, Turning the Page: My Evolution from Conservatism to Radical Civic Nationalismin which he bravely challenges Republicans and conservatives to reexamine some of our heroes and fiscal ideology to move towards a more united, more electable, and stronger America. ... 

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How Algorithms and Their Humans Distort the Truth: A Case Study in Two Atlanta Mayors: Kasim Reed and Keisha Lance Bottoms. Oh, and Vernon Jones.

To say the least, I’m not a tech person.  My husband had to coax me to use my first *ordinary* computer because, in 1988, my dear IBM dad gave me a Kremlin-suitcase-sized “portable” that displayed three blurry blue lines of text.  The device eventually overheated, blew its plug, melted the wall socket, and almost took down my house.

Some time after that and a much-needed rewiring (the computer, I like to think, was actually trying to save me), my husband literally had to design a screen that looked like a typewritten page just to pull the Penguin edition George Eliot from my whitened fists and teach me about the existence of the inter-web. I’m not humble bragging: I was honestly terrified of those internet machines, for good reasons as it turns out, reasons physical and professional and socially. ... 

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Steve Bannon is Working With Freedomworks? So does Jenny Beth Martin. Freedomworks is for Open Borders. Why Are These “Populists” in Bed With Them?

How much is Steve Bannon actually betraying the cause of working Americans while saying the opposite?

Perhaps as much as it benefits his bank account.  Freedomworks, a Koch entity, openly supports open borders.  What is he doing with them?  Is he taking money from the Kochs now? ... 

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I am on Cliff Kincaid’s Show Discussing Marjorie Taylor Greene and the Georgia GOP

You can watch it here, at America’s Survival: One-Party Rule: Republicans Now Taking Orders From Democrats

Analyst Tina Trent joins Cliff Kincaid to discuss the phenomenon known as “Kevin McCarthyism,” a name given to the Republican movement that keeps anti-Trumper Liz Cheney as the number three in the House GOP leadership while ostracizing conservative wife, mother, and small businesswoman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy is the same official who removed strong conservative Steve King from the Congress in response to Democratic Party demands. ... 

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Marjorie Taylor Greene is not the First “Truther” Georgia Sent to Congress. That was Cynthia McKinney.

I’m positive I’ve “met” Marjorie Taylor Greene a couple of times.  I put that in quotes because I don’t think I ever spoke to her, but our paths have crossed.  I’m terrible with names, and I meet a lot of people, but I do recognize her.

Marjorie Taylor Greene: Truther Loon ... 

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Newsweek Lies Bigly About Bigly Lying “Organization” That Lies Bigly about being Pro-Trump by Telling Georgia Conservatives to Sit Out the Senate Race.

On Saturday, various activist groups descended on the Georgia Capitol to assert that Trump won, that Governor Kemp be deposed, and to shrilly instruct Georgia Republicans and conservatives to stay home and refuse to vote in the upcoming Senate runoffs because the Deep State is plottin’ to use the election to invade their privacy in some inexplicable way, so we should teach the Georgia GOP a firm lesson by tying up our two Senate seats in a pink bow and handing them to Stacey Abrams.

Alex Jones, Pre-Bathroom Floor ... 

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Cliff Kincaid and Tina Trent on the Georgia GOP, Voter Fraud, and the Georgia Senate Run-Offs Between Loeffler, Warnock, Perdue, Ossoff

Cliff Kincaid at America’s Survival (or USA Survival) has several fascinating YouTube interviews about the existential rolling elections mess that is the Peach State, including an informative talk with Garland Favorito, founder of VOTER GA.  Mr. Favorito, a retired computer tech expert, is also gifted in pedagogy, for in this relatively brief interview he was able to make the problems with the Georgia recount clear even to me, hopelessly unreconstructed luddite that I am.

If you can explain the virtually mystical workings of the Dominion voter machine bar-code-plus-fifty-four-pound-paper-ballot system to someone who still pines for her flip phone and IBM Selectric, you’re good at ‘splainin.  Do check out the VOTER GA website. ... 

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Radicalization Concern Trolls and the new Apology Tour

In 1999, when I was lobbying to defeat Georgia’s hate crime bill for the first time, I coined the term “Apology Tour” to describe grasping politicians who try to score points by very publicly proclaiming their guilt for some racist act in their distant past.  

Such timed confessions aren’t really about atoning for personal error: they are one-upsmanship attempts to project accusations of racism onto anyone who doesn’t apologize as loudly as you do — and also fall in line with your politics. ... 

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David Shafer Sponsored the National Popular Vote Bill With Stacey Abrams. He Has No Business Being the Chairman of the Georgia GOP.

Did This Happen?

On Saturday, the Georgia GOP will hold their statewide convention in Savannah. Former State Senator David Shafer is one of the three candidates to head the state party. I spoke with Shafer this week at an advance event for the convention. He was gracious. He amassed a good record in the state senate. He seems like a nice guy.

But David Shafer has no business running the state party because he sponsored the National Popular Vote bill, a bill that would existentially devastate the GOP in Georgia — and everywhere else in the United States. Worse, he co-sponsored the bill with our party’s sworn enemies, people like Stacey Abrams and “Venceremos Brigade” Nan Orrock, who was my representative for 20 years, during which time I came to understand very well just how radical she is.  ... 

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If You’re Still Thinking Bob Barr Might Make A Good Candidate Despite That Baby Doc Thing . . .

I urge you to take a few more strolls down memory lane.  Let’s take the older post first.  Note the date:

September, 2011: Gaming The System: DragonCon Founder Edward Kramer Caught With Another Boy 

“Are we actually supposed to believe that Bob Barr and his partner, Edwin Marger, knew nothing about Ed Kramer’s real physical condition when they claimed he was too sick to attend court in 2009, or that he had basically fled what little court-ordered control they had managed to wrangle for him under extremely questionable circumstances?  Well, here’s some clues:

Ed Kramer sporting a Barr ’08 button

Here’s Ed Kramer in either 2007 or 2008.  He claimed he was too sick to stand trial for molestation, but he looks like he was having a really good time campaigning for his lawyer, Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr.  If anyone knows more about this photo, please contact me.

Ed Kramer at the 2008 DragonCon ... 

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Will Privatizing Child Protection Protect Georgia’s Children? Yes and No.


As Georgia prepares to follow in Florida’s footsteps in privatizing child protection services, there has been a lot of politicking but little talk about the real issues that lead to failures to protect children “in the system.”  Privatization in Florida has been a very mixed bag, with some counties improving their performance and other counties mired in scandals involving the private non-profit agencies hired to protect children.  It’s reasonable to expect that Georgia will fare a little better, but don’t expect the failure rate to drop — or rise — significantly.

The failures lie in policies enforced by the courts, and nobody is talking about reforming those policies.

Like Florida, Georgia plans to eventually privatize the services that come after an investigation has determined a child is in danger, namely: foster care, family “reunification” interventions, and adoption.  State workers will continue to be responsible for investigating abuse, and courts will still be responsible for deciding if a child should be removed from a home, returned to a home, or adopted.

Private agencies do a great job with adoption, and some of them do a better job than the state in supervising foster care.  Much of this care is already done through public-private partnerships in Georgia.  But in all the politicized talk about private versus public, little has been said about the real  problem with our child protection services.

The problem is the mandate to keep families together or achieve “reunification” as soon as possible.

Approximately a decade ago, many states began to move towards a model of keeping families together, no matter the cost.  Florida went further than Georgia, though it wasn’t an issue tied to privatization because that part of child protection is still performed by state agencies.

And now Florida is counting the bodies.

In an extraordinary report, the Miami Herald investigated the deaths of 477 children who  had prior contacts with child protection services.  477 — since just 2008.  The Herald makes a strong case for blaming the mandate for “family preservation” for many of those deaths:

They tumbled into canals and drowned, baked in furnace-like cars, were soaked in corrosive chemicals, incinerated, beaten mercilessly, and bounced off walls and concrete pavement. One was jammed into a cooler posthumously; others were wrapped like a mummy to silence their cries, flattened by a truck, overdosed and starved. An infant boy was flung from a moving car on an interstate. A 2-year-old girl was killed by her mom’s pet python.

The children were not just casualties of bad parenting, but of a deliberate shift in Florida child welfare policy. DCF leaders made a decision, nearly 10 years ago, to reduce by as much as half the number of children taken into state care, adopting a philosophy known as family preservation. They also, simultaneously, slashed services, monitoring and protections for the increased number of children left with their violent, neglectful, mentally ill or drug-addicted parents.

Public or private, the child protection system is dealing with multigenerational problems that are far more severe than most people realize.  It’s easy to criticize government social workers, or to lash out at efforts by private agencies.  The hard part is acknowledging that “family preservation” may be the wrong goal:

Rather than go to court to force parents to get treatment or counseling, the state often relied on “safety plans” — written promises by parents to sin no more. Many of the pledges carried no meaningful oversight. Children died — more than 80 of them — after their parents signed one or, in some cases, multiple safety plans.

• Parents were given repeated chances to shape up, and failed, and failed and failed again, and still kept their children. In at least 34 cases, children died after DCF had logged 10 or more reports to the agency’s abuse and neglect hotline. Six families had been the subject of at least 20 reports.

The decision to prioritize family unification was made by bureaucrats and politicians from across the political spectrum.  Liberals defend state agencies and argue that biological parents should receive as many resources as possible to keep their children; conservatives argue for the primacy of family and against state involvement.  Failure is bipartisan:

“It’s the system that’s broken. When numbers take over instead of outcomes for people, you are doomed to failure,” said James Harn, a 30-year law enforcement officer who spent his last nine years as a commander supervising child abuse investigators at the Broward Sheriff’s Office before leaving a year ago. “They want to keep families together, but at what cost?”

Prioritizing family preservation is just one policy error.  Others involve the increasingly hands-off attitude towards the family arrangements of women living on public services and the leniency granted to serial offenders in the courts.  

Social workers have had little power since the 1960’s to insist that women on welfare live alone with their children, rather than inviting a boyfriend, or a series of men into their state-subsidized homes.  These unattached men frequently abuse the children they are living with:

The night before Aaden Batista died, his killer played a baseball game on his Xbox, smoked marijuana and gave the toddler a bath.

As Aaden’s mother, Whitney Flower, worked as a medical assistant at a nearby hospital, Jason Padgett Sr. prepared the toddler for bed, putting on his diaper before, ultimately, viciously shaking him and slamming his head on the floor. . .

Aaden became part of the yearly count of children killed at the hands of paramours — child welfare’s oddly genteel term to describe boyfriends or girlfriends of custodial parents. Protecting children from abusive paramours is one of the great challenges facing the Department of Children & Families.

“Paramours are a huge red flag,” said Richard Gelles, dean of the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as chairman of child welfare at the school. “They are enormously over-represented as the slayers of young children.”

Under-prosecution and under-incarceration, especially for domestic violence, presents another problem.  Expect this problem to grow worse as “Right on Crime” Republicans, left and right-wing libertarians, leftists, and liberals join forces to shrink our criminal  justice system and empty the prisons.  Their political kumbaya moment is going to mean more violence, more crime, and more murders.   You need only peruse the Miami child death report to find evidence of hundreds of people who have been granted serial leniency in our allegedly-harsh justice system:

In the pre-dawn hours of May 5, 2009, Jasmine Bedwell had to make a decision: Take more blows or more chokes — but try to rescue her son from the clutches of her enraged boyfriend — or go find help. She left and borrowed a cellphone to call 911.




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Maureen Faulkner: Stop Mumia Abu Jamal’s Lawyer, Debo Adegbile, From Department of Justice Appointment


There is a Change.org petition drive you need to act on TODAY!

Vote “No” to the Confirmation of Debo Adegbile to the Department of Justice
Petition by Maureen Faulkner
Los Angeles, CA


As early as Tuesday [UPDATE: THE VOTE HAS BEEN DELAYED UNTIL WEDNESDAY, MARCH 5], the Senate will vote to confirm Debo Adegbile as the next Assistant Attorney General to head the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. This confirmation must be stopped.

Thirty years ago, Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner was violently murdered by Mumia Abu-Jamal, a member of a racist group that advocated violence against police. A jury convicted him and sentenced him to death for the brutal crime.

In the three decades that followed, Abu-Jamal filed appeal after appeal – each rooted in lies, distortions and allegations of civil rights violations. Today, as Officer Faulkner lies in his grave, Abu-Jamal has become a wealthy celebrity and continues to spew his vitriol from prison.

Old wounds were ripped open again, and additional insult was brought upon our law enforcement community when President Obama nominated Mr. Adegbile for the Department of Justice post. Mr. Adegbile previously led the Legal Defense Fund at the NAACP. In that position, Mr. Adegbile chose to throw the weight and resources of his organization behind Abu-Jamal. Attorneys working under Mr. Adegbile’s supervision have stood before rallies of Abu-Jamal supporters and openly professed that it was “an extreme honor” to represent the man who put a hollow based bullet into Officer Faulkner’s brain as he lay on the ground wounded, unarmed, and defenseless.

While Mr. Adegbile may be a well-qualified and competent litigator, through his words, his decisions, and his actions he has clearly and repeatedly demonstrated that he is not the best person to fill this position. Clearly there are others with similar qualifications that would be better choices.

The thought that Mr. Adegbile would be rewarded, in part, for the work he did for Officer Faulkner’s killer is revolting. Please set aside any partisan feelings you have and do the right thing when you vote on Mr. Adegbile’s confirmation. Please vote “no.”


Previous TINATRENT.COM Posts On Officer Faulkner and the Pro-Mumia Movement: ... 

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An Academic Friend, See Thru Edu, and a Great Book on Great Books and the Common Core

The subtitle for this blog is:   Academia.  Crime.  Politics.

It has been pointed out to me on several occasions that the slogan is redundant.  I agree.

But there are still a few people in academia who stand up to the gaseous tyrants who make up ever-larger portions of the tenured class.  Bob Paquette of Hamilton College is one of them.  Dr. Paquette is a much-respected historian of slavery, with decades of accolades for his work.  But when he spoke out in defense of teaching Western Civilization and against the unhinged radicalization of academic programs at his college, he found himself on the receiving end of the usual, intellectually incoherent backlash.

How unhinged and intellectually incoherent?  The details are the stuff of vaudevillian humor:

So a Weather Underground terrorist, Ward Churchill, and a Raelian sex cult cloning scientist walk into a faculty lounge in upstate New York . . .

Read the rest here.

Paquette blogs at the website See Thru Edu, which is an essential resource on higher education for conservatives.  He takes the Tea Party movement seriously (like few in academia).  I want to point readers to two recent blog posts he wrote, one about the treatment of Sarah Palin, and this essay, which I encourage you to read and share with anyone who has or will have children attending college:

How Our Universities Breed Intolerance

[T]he Tea Party … have elicited a torrent of denunciation on elite college campuses and have spurred restless nights for the barons of both the Republican and Democratic parties. [They] have an independent, populist, and anti-elitist bent.  No matter who is manning the presidential helm, they have concluded, the country they love remains tossing and turning in waters ever more dangerous to them and to their traditional values, which they once thought were mainstream.  They see themselves being squeezed in a vise in which the turning device, attached to the upper clamp, manufactures the energy for the lower clamp to screw from below. In their search for a moral social order, they feel increasingly betrayed by many of the country’s most important institutions:  government, churches, unions, and schools.

… [Tea Partiers] represent legions far more diverse than your typical university faculty. They wear blue collars as well as white collars, populate northern and southern climes, and collectively groan under growing burdens of taxes and statist regulation.

The essay offers advice to parents of college-bound students, with more to come in future work:

Take this advice.  The brand of elite colleges is overrated and has more to do with the screening process of able admissions officers than the value-added during four years of matriculation.  Many of the chaired professors at elite universities have little intensive contact with undergraduates. Few bear the onerous tasks of intensively grading exams and papers. Outstanding teachers exist at every major institution of higher education in the country.  The trick is locating them. For that you need an insider. A professor whom you can trust to direct your son or daughter to the best, that is the most knowledgeable, demanding, and nurturing professors in their fields, those willing to spend time with serious students, is worth his weight in Ivy-League tuition dollars.

With its focus on higher education, See Thru Edu does not often discuss Common Core.  But Mary Grabar of Dissident Prof has posted there, and she recently introduced me an amazing new book: Terrence Moore’s The Story-Killers.  I’m only one chapter into it, but I can’t recommend it highly enough, as both a great read about the importance of literature instruction and a devastating, substantive critique of contemporary education reforms.

Moore is a teacher (and former Marine) — if you’re going to read one book about Common Core, this is it.

And if you’re in Atlanta area, Terrence Moore is coming to Gainesville on January 13 to speak with Jane Robbins of the American Principles Project and State Senator William Ligon in an event sponsored by the Georgia Concerned Women for America.

The fight has only just begun.

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Political Science’s Hateful Pseudoscience: Harvard’s Theda Skocpol Wants The Tea Party to Stop Participating in Politics

Unlike literature professors, whose impenetrable secret twin languages and embarrassing fixation on their own genitals tend to keep them off the editorial pages, political scientists are always with us, especially during elections, when they slap on their wizard hats to make predictions that range from the pseudo-wise (I predict there will be . . . an election on November 7) to the pseudo-scholarly (Obama is magic!).

Political science just keeps getting worse as the last holdouts from a generation that at least feigned objectivity die off and get replaced by ideologues who are so far removed from objectivity that they’re feigning scholarship instead.

Nowhere is this tendency more obvious than in the growing field of Tea Party Studies.  No, they don’t call it that, but they might just have to invent a name to tell the paramedics.  Tenured political scientist types contemplating this citizen participation movement become so unhinged that their normally pseudo-scientific discourse spins off into something that virtually needs to be translated back into English from banshee.  All the shrieking is surely tough on those last five unreconstructed poly-sci professors cowering at the end of the hall, longing for the days when they could quietly feed voter lists into the Harwell Dekatron.

I’ve been trying to read the growing crop of academic Tea Party books alongside the growing crop of academic Occupy books, but it’s like watching a coven try to stab their mothers to death while using a Ouija Board to wake up the chicken they had for dinner last week.  One would think, based solely on evidence from the library shelf, that the many, many millions of highly constructive participants in the Occupy movement managed to cure cancer using only the consensus model of decision-making while the two dozen or so Tea Partiers were busy out back burning tires and forcing the womenfolk to mend their pointy hoods for them.  And I realize that last bit is not funny, but it is a not-inaccurate description of what academicians think about the Tea Party: they think (to use the word loosely) that Tea Partiers are murderous, calculating-yet-stupid racists who need to proactively be wiped from the earth, or at least the voter rolls, if ever American politics can be made to emanate goodness and light again.

Take, for example, this essay by the Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard University, Theda Skocpol.  There’s a lot to laugh at, from Ms. Skopol’s breathless Cosmo style of describing her own scholarship (she deploys a “full panoply of research”) to her bizarre euphemism for virtue: “active government.”  Then there’s her evidence for proving that the Tea Party is stupid: Tea Party members, she tells us breathlessly, sometimes vote for different people during primaries:

During the last election cycle, no far-right candidate ever consolidated sustained grassroots Tea Party support, as those voters hopped from Rick Perry to Herman Cain to Newt Gingrich to Rick Santorum.

For those of you unschooled in the full panoply of the academic method, what Skocpol is saying here is that Tea Partiers are so stupid that they actually hold differences of opinion, unlike Democrats, who are demonstrating only intellectual prowess when they, say, dump Hillary Clinton in the 11th hour because Barack Obama’s handlers managed to paint a big R on her forehead while his aides snapped photos of themselves drunkenly fake-raping a cardboard cutout of the former First Lady.

Once you get the hang of the theoretical framework (Democrats good: Conservatives eeevil; Tea Party rrracist), the rest of Skopol’s work isn’t hard to grasp — because there isn’t any of it.  It also can’t be very hard to write, which at least makes her efficient at playing faux populist while carrying water for the insider trading billionaires, hedge fund owners, real estate developers, trust fund babies and other secretive Democracy Alliance types who pay her and her fellow intellectuals to criticize the Tea Party . . . by accusing them of being dupes for secretive billionaires, hedge fund owners, real estate developers, and trust fund babies.

Out here in the non-academic air, such behavior is called psychological projection, or just dishonesty, but in academia it goes by the name of civic engagement, and Ms. Skopol is one of the most civic engagers around, being director of the Scholars Strategy Network, which describes itself as “a federated membership association for civically engaged scholars at colleges and universities across the United States.”  It is really a multi-campus-based propaganda tool for the Democratic Party.

The practice of political science was bad enough when its confidence men merely combined the calculated dishonesty of political operatives with the logorrhea of the intellectual class.  But now that academia has tipped to full-throttle leftism, it has grown both more shrill and less intelligent, even at its own invented games.  Ms. Skocpol actually presents, as evidence of Tea Party malfeasance, the fact that Tea Parties sometimes produce voter’s guides.  The voter’s guide is an entirely ordinary political tool used, of course, by all political parties, but in the hands of the Tea Party it becomes, to Skocpol, a de facto weapon of malevolence:

[V]arious right-wing tracking organizations … keep close count of where each legislator stands on “key votes”—including even votes on amendments and the tiniest details of parliamentary procedure, the kind of votes that legislative leaders used to orchestrate in the dark.

Horrors.  The Tea Party is so actually civically engaged that its members want to know how congressional voting works and to share that knowledge with others.  How dare they question the totemic rituals performed by our Capitol Hill Overlords.  This sort of thing would be funny if it were not disturbing that an endowed Chair at Harvard would argue that citizens should not look too closely at politics — and that she does so in the name of civic engagement.

But the kicker is this: Skocpol doesn’t just think the Tea Party is full of stupid people.  She wrote the editorial in question in order to dumb down her “research” to make it accessible to the little people on her own side, the ones who agree with her politics.  That is the mission of the Scholars Strategy Network, though of course they put it differently on their homepage.  It is a measure of how little she thinks of the little people of the Left that she doesn’t admit to them that Scholars Strategy Network itself promotes political report cards as she denounces the Tea Party for using political report cards.

And so Theda Skocpol efficiently conflates all the magical beliefs driving political science today: if the Right does something like voting, it’s bad; if the Left does anything, it’s noble — and — if political scientists are doing it, it’s obviously above reproach.


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Ed Kramer Guilty of Child Molestation: Now Will Bob Barr Face Consequences for His Role in the Deception?

After leaving Congress in 2003, Georgia Congressman Bob Barr reinvented himself politically in dramatic ways.  He aligned with the ACLU, began advocating for the legalization of marijuana, and ran for president on the 2008 Libertarian Party ticket.  Now Barr is attempting to rejoin the Republican and conservative mainstream in a bid to secure Georgia’s 11th District congressional seat, where he is currently a leading contender.

Barr’s about-face on issues that alienate conservative voters left many wondering what he really stands for.  His role in the notoriously corrupt defense of now-convicted child molester Ed Kramer should raise more questions in voters’ minds.  Here is my previous post on Kramer’s decade-long manipulation of the justice system.

Edward Kramer, co-founder of the sci-fi and fantasy convention, Dragoncon, pled guilty in a Georgia courtroom yesterday to three counts of child molestation in a case that has been delayed thirteen years, thanks to repeated efforts by Kramer himself to claim medical incapacity.  Barr served as Kramer’s attorney until early 2013, when he decided to run for office again.  But Barr did not just serve as Kramer’s lawyer: he held the sci-fi purveyor up as the victim of a religion-fuelled witch-hunt; he helped him deceive the court regarding his client’s capacity to sit through a trial, and he helped him acquire an eyebrow-raising bond agreement that enabled Kramer to flee the state illegally, resulting in Kramer’s arrest in 2012 for endangering another child — a 14 year old boy Kramer had in his motel room in Connecticut.

As if these facts aren’t bad enough, Barr used the molester’s defense to promote his new libertarian politics.  You cannot separate the Kramer case from the person Barr is offering to voters, even if he tries to distance himself now.

In 2007 Barr told an audience at the Federalist Society that Kramer was a victim of his new pet peeve, prosecutorial over-reach.  Despite the fact that it was Kramer himself who had created the delays, Barr insisted that it was the fault of the state.  The video of Barr promoting Kramer’s case as a civil rights issue has, curiously, been scrubbed from the internet in the last 24 hours, but Barr’s incredibly sophomoric amicus brief on behalf of Kramer is going to be harder to erase.  Barr should be called on to re-release the video: he isn’t running for dog-catcher; he’s running for Congress, and his behavior and expressed beliefs between 2003 and 2013 should not be hidden from voters this way.

Ed Kramer, Out and About

Ed Kramer claimed for more than a decade that his medical condition prevented him from participating in a trial.  He claimed he was in excruciating pain, that he couldn’t walk or move or sit up, that he was not able to breathe.  Yet there are pictures of him from this time happily participating in a Dragoncon convention, and after Barr helped him get cut free from house arrest (a strange request from an invalid), he fled to another state and began filming a movie, where he was caught with the 14-year old boy in his custody.  He continues to play these legal games today.

Barr was not just Kramer’s defense attorney: he helped Kramer remain free through serial deception, then he helped Kramer blame the system — and the public — for trial delays he had actually created.  Along the way, Barr used Kramer’s case to assert that our justice system is corrupt and untrustworthy.  This is Barr’s political record for the last six years: by all means let him run on it.

Kramer avoided trial for almost a decade. He was released from house arrest in 2009 and the case remained in a holding pattern for two more years before he was allegedly spotted in a Milford, Conn., hotel room with an unsupervised 14-year-old boy.

Barr stayed involved in the Kramer case until it didn’t until it didn’t serve his political goals to be involved anymore.  He even lacks a strong commitment to injustice, is the best that might be said. ... 

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Lysenkoist Healthcare Promotion, Courtesy of the New York Times

In its never-ending quest to act as the Official Organ of the Obama Administration (OOOh -Ah), The New York Times is finding new inspiration in Trofim Lysenko, the Stalinist agronomist whose peasant background, unwillingness to acknowledge errors, and willingness to send his scientific critics to their death catapulted him to the head of the Soviet Institute of Genetics.

Lysenko promised to “turn the barren fields of the Transcaucasus green in winter” through a process of exposing seedlings to cold, but his primary success lay in purging “bourgeois” adherence to the scientific method and replacing it with a “proletarian” belief that the plant world would respond to Marxist-Leninist pressures in ways identical to humans.  Unfortunately, because plants lack the forethought to worry about other plants sending them to Siberia, Lysenko met only with limited scientific success.

However, his ideas spawned a tremendously successful academic-political movement, Lysenkoism, which proved that militant adherence to Marxism/Leninism combined with public humiliation of politically incorrect peers could transform entire intellectual disciplines with great efficiency.  What wheat seeds refused to do, intellectuals adapted to, and by the 1940’s, Lysenkoist mediocrity was so prevalent among un-purged Russian scientists that the Soviets were, happily for us, stymied in their efforts to build nuclear weapons.

The practice of Lysenkoism begins with a political hypothesis (ie. “Stalin will like this”) and proceeds to subjugate all data to that theory.   It is not so much a scientific method as a filing system, like all grand collectivist schemes, and what it produces mainly is more bureaucracy, rather than more bread, or automobiles, or healthcare.

But Lysenkoism is very good at manufacturing bureaucracy.  Freed from the constraints of reality and the limits of the natural world, academics have proven to be especially resourceful at institutionalizing pet beliefs.

Beliefs are easier to grow than wheat, and for this reason, Lysenko retained absolute power in the Soviet Academy of Sciences until he didn’t anymore, at which time he was declared officially no longer “immune to criticism” and deposed in the manner to which he had become accustomed to deposing his enemies.

Nonetheless, Lysenkoism beats on in the heart of every utopian bureaucrat.  It moistens the pen that writes thousand-page regulatory bills and re-animates the botoxed brows of Today Show hosts who toil in the fields of daytime television, squashing dissent to the President’s Healthcare Great Leap Forward.

Granted, our cadres of official journalists are still awaiting the Great Leap Forward in media centralization that was sadly postponed when the Internet amplified voices other than their own.  They can only dream of confessions like this one, written (or at least signed) in 1949 by one Professor B. Kederov after he failed to appropriately admire one of Trofim Lysenko’s proclamations.  The idea that a thought crime could consist of not praising a leader fulsomely enough would have seemed alien in America a few years ago:

I consider it my party duty to state that I fully agree with the criticism and definitely denounce the sermon of alien cosmopolitan viewpoints that I permitted myself to carry out.  The danger of such viewpoints becomes especially obvious now, when all along the ideological front our party and the entire Soviet nation are engaged in a determined struggle against corrupt bourgeois ideology and against bourgeois cosmopolitanism as the ideological weapon of American imperialism; in this condition, the slightest advocacy of cosmopolitan viewpoints is direct treason to the cause of communism.

Lacking, for now, the power to extract public confessions, our fourth estate is limited to accusing the President’s opponents of thought crimes like racism and churning column inches of apparatchik prose  denouncing “bourgeois” opposition to Obamacare’s record-breaking harvest of successes.

Such reporting requires papering over of great expanses of facts to the point of Lysenkian absurdity.  For example, in response to the high costs already being imposed on small businessmen and other individual insurance purchasers, the Times on Sunday ignored that problem entirely, denounced the naysayers, and proclaimed that Obamacare was actually helping people who dream of becoming small businessmen in the future.  Don’t look at dour old facts, said the Times, look to the possibilities of an imaginary future.  This is Lysenkoist reporting at its best:

In the weeks since the health insurance marketplaces of the Affordable Care Act went online, a well-publicized ripple of alarm and confusion has permeated the ranks of small-business owners. But less well known is the response of another contingent: newcomers to entrepreneurship who see the legislation as a solution to the often insurmountable expense of getting health insurance.

The article profiles Rajeev Jeyakumar, co-founder of an “online job marketplace” website who just found out that he qualifies for enough public aid to pay $74 a month for health insurance in Manhattan that “even includes dental,” he gloats.  Lucky him: we are all subsidizing his teeth cleaning as he plays venture capitalist.  But Jeyakumar is chipping in by “refraining from using his Citi Bike membership or playing sports, lest he sustain an injury requiring medical care” until his taxpayer-subsidized health insurance kicks in.

The moral of this tale is understandably fuzzy, as the Times leaves out all pertinent facts, such as how much Mr. Jeyakumar’s health insurance will cost if he actually earns any money and ceases to be subsidized by the rest of us, or what he had planned to do if he had been mowed down by a bus prior to the time that the mere promise of Obamacare magically transformed him into a socially conscientious, non-Citi Bike-riding citizen.

Both Mr. Jeyakumar and Constantina Petrou, another web-based consultant profiled in the article, believe that they can now hire employees because of Obamacare.  Petrou claims she has been unable to hire full-time employees because of the price of healthcare but that Obamacare may enable her to do so “depending on the new costs of coverage.”  These costs, which would seem to be the point, are not further discussed.  Jeyakumar imagines he will tell his still-imaginary future employees to “shop the new health care exchanges on their own” and “bump up their salaries to cover the cost.”  Petrou “will either pay for a portion of the individual plans that her employees shop for on the exchange, or she may take advantage of tax credits and offer a small group plan,” the costs of which are also not discussed.

All of these options existed before the magic of Obamacare, only the promise of cheaper coverage has been replaced with the reality of massive price hikes.  But there is no need to discuss this if you are the New York Times and the purpose of your article is to attach negative adjectives like “alarmed” and “confused” to small businesspeople who are not appropriately “excited” and “happy.”

Besides, notes the Times, many more jobs are being created thanks to the problems that have been created by Obamacare.  Even the failure of the website and the “alarm” and “confusion” of small business owners are turning out to be job creators.  When government policies create a famine, the peasants will find new markets for their potatoes:

Jack Hooper is among those who see the law as a business opportunity … As he began investigating his own health care options, he realized that the Affordable Care Act could provide more than just access to coverage for his family … He anticipates that premiums will remain expensive, pushing many Americans to high-deductible plans, and that these people will need help in managing care-related expenses.

Hooper anticipates meeting that need, and he anticipates a big demand for his services:

Based on his previous experience working for the federal government, he says, he is not surprised by the problems that have emerged in the Healthcare.gov site. Entrepreneurs like him will end up providing the ultimate solutions to the problems that have emerged from the Affordable Care Act, Mr. Hooper says.

In other words, Mr. Hooper’s future small business success depends on charging money to small businessmen who cannot afford to pay medical bills that are not covered by the expensive new insurance they are required to buy under Obamacare: Obamacare is thus “opening doors for entrepreneurs.”  The series of magical beliefs required to commit this to the page probably wouldn’t make a Lysenko blush, but step-by-step we’re getting there.

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Laying Out the Lies of the Left

This is Leszek Kolakowski.  He is worth getting to know at this juncture in history; his essay, My Correct Views on Everything, is a classic rejoinder by an aging man who has seen the worst of the twentieth century and learned from it, addressed to somebody who has seen the worst of the twentieth century and is still making excuses for it.

That person is E.P. Thompson, seen here being admired by vast audiences for his views, roguish hair and faux-peasant sartorial choices.  If you attend a fairly rigorous college, or any arts and sciences graduate school, you will likely be assigned Thompson but not Kolakowski.  You are also likely to be attending a place where the school’s president earns far more annually than 99.9% of all those nasty “capitalist” businessmen being demonized by the faculty, who simultaneously do not think that it’s a bad thing for tenured professors and university presidents to get rich off the labor of others because their highly original thoughts on the horrors of capitalism merit six figures a year and a stable of adjuncts and grad students to do all the real teaching.

How much money do these gilded thinkers receive?  Brandeis President Jehuda Reinharz, 600K annual retirement; Ohio State’s Gordon Gee, a $5.8 million package, including funds to pay taxes on what the taxpayers are paying him.

But Joe the Plumber is the greedy capitalist.

It makes perfect sense that a Thompson would be worshipped in such idiot temples and a Kolakowski not so much cast out as utterly erased.

In the kingdom of the blind, blind people are probably going to gang up on you and poke your last good eye out.

There is a far too modest book reviewer on Amazon whose description of Howard Zinn is too scatological to repeat — do find it yourself — but he explicates Leszek Kolakowski beautifully:

Kolakowski’s writings about Marxism are incomparably better than anyone else’s. For one thing, he knows the subject inside and out, having apparently read everything that Marx and his disciples every wrote, having spent much of his life in a communist country, and having evolved from Party member, to revisionist, to outspoken opponent. Then there is his matchless talent for lucid exposition: Marx’s ideas, muddled and impenetrable in their original form, become perfectly clear when Kolakowski talks about them.

As a critic of Marx, Kolakowski is scrupulously fair and objective, while pulling no punches. His analyses are models of honest, careful, trenchant criticism. His essays are also quite entertaining, full of self-deprecating irony, and biting sarcasm.

No one excels K. in the dissection of Leftist argumentation. In a highly amusing rebuttal of E. P. Thompson’s “open letter”, Kolakowski slams Thompson’s use of double standards: Whatever goes wrong in capitalist countries is attributed, by definition, to “the capitalist system”. Whatever goes wrong in socialist countries is excused as a “transitional phase” and/or is attributed to the remnants of capitalism, or to “capitalist encirclement” or to some other non-communist influence. An even-handed, empirical comparison of the two systems would show, says K., “…that the only universal medicine (the Left) has for social evils (state ownership of the means of production) is not only perfectly compatible with all the disasters of the capitalist world – with exploitation, imperialism, pollution, misery, waste, national hatred, national oppression – but that it adds to them a series of disasters of its own: inefficiency, lack of economic incentives and, above all…a concentration of power never known before in human history.”                                                                                           — Kurt J. Acker, “bookmuncher”

Sort of sounds like Obamacare, doesn’t it?


Now to the lie of the week.  It is expressed visually and verbally — amplified through the newspaper layout — and once you see it, it is impossible to un-see it, though I can’t show it to you because the page won’t upload.  Suffice to say, on Thursday, the top, left-hand corner of the New York Times featured this article:




Focus on Oversight by House Panels Meets With Successes


WASHINGTON — The memo distributed to House Republicans this week was concise and blunt, listing talking points and marching orders: “Because of Obamacare, I Lost My Insurance.” “Obamacare Increases Health Care Costs.” “The Exchanges May Not Be Secure, Putting Personal Information at Risk.” “Continue Collecting Constituent Stories.”

The document, the product of a series of closed-door strategy sessions that began in mid-October, is part of an increasingly organized Republican attack . . .

The article and headline insinuate that the public’s complaints about Obamacare are being manufactured by Republicans in shadowy back rooms.  The fact that Democrats also meet in back rooms to create shadowy messaging accusing Republicans of manufacturing the public’s complaints about Obamacare is not mentioned, of course, because the Times reporters are participating in that messaging.

So, it’s OK.

When Democrats do something, it’s good; when Republicans do the same thing, it’s evil.  Simple, once you get the hang of it.  For example, Weisman and Stolberg breathlessly report that the Republicans are using a “playbook” on healthcare, as if every single legislator in both parties did not have a similar playbook on each issue of import.  This is disgraceful stuff even for the Times, ugly bias and dishonesty disguised as reporting:

A 17-page “House Republican Playbook” walks members through “messaging tools” like talking points, social media tactics and “digital fliers”; details lines of attack; offers up a sample opinion article for local newspapers; and provides an extensive timeline on the health care law and an exhaustive list of legislative responses that have gone nowhere.

A message of the week is presented to the Republican members at the beginning of each week, Ms. McMorris Rodgers said. A “Call to Action” email chain distributes relevant breaking news. A new website, gop.gov/yourstory, is collecting anecdotes from each member.

Oh, no: a website collecting anecdotes?  Here is the White House website for collecting anecdotes by immigrants:

Unless you are one of the first Americans, unless you are a Native American, you came from someplace else. That’s why we’ve always defined ourselves as a nation of immigrants. And we’ve always been better off for it.” ... 

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Seventies Redux: Jim Jones, Rosalyn Carter — A More Innocent Time

Thanks to Peach Pundit for linking to my logorrhea on healthcare navigation.  One of the fun things about being back in Georgia — as opposed to Florida, with its tedious palm trees, balmy beaches, and light traffic — is having an institutional memory of the political scene.  I spent twenty years in downtown Atlanta.

Once, when I was new to the city, I got off work around 3 a.m. from my job on the docks of the Georgia World Congress Center.  I drove past the Ponce de Leon Krispy Kreme donut shop, which looked way to scary to patronize, and went to an all-night grocery story instead.  In the dairy aisle, there was this wired guy who looked like he was coming from an adult costume party: he had on what  looked like a sort of mini-cape, with giant epaulets and lots of braid.  He had cornered an old woman and was lecturing her on the crucial differences between Jumbo and Large eggs.

Weird, I thought, and crossed the grocery story off my list of places to go to in the middle of the night.

Some time later, I saw the egg man holding a press conference on TV.  He was Atlanta Chief of Police (and future Clayton County Commissioner) Eldrin Bell.

Weird, I thought, and crossed Ponce de Leon off my list of ways to drive home from work.

Before I moved to Atlanta in 1988, the only thing I really knew about Georgia was that Jimmy Carter came from there.  Or, near there.  I’m sorry to say that where I came from, everything south of the Newark existed only vaguely to us.  To people in Poughkeepsie, Carter’s drawl, and Miss Lillian, and Billy all seemed as exotic as The Dukes of Hazard.  My parents, however, had loved the way the Carters walked to the White House on inauguration day, like ordinary people.

But sadly, there are no ordinary people in politics.  This week marks the 35th anniversary of the murder/suicide of some 900 people belonging to the communist cult called Jonestown.  Oh, you didn’t know it was a communist cult?  Did you know a communist killed JFK?  That Sirhan Sirhan, who killed RFK, was a cult hero to the American communist group, The Weather Underground?

Communism was still as common as herpes in the Seventies, something that’s very hard to explain to anyone under sixty today.

The list of politicians who helped Jim Jones create his communist third-world-hellhole-turned-murder-camp is long, weird, and disgraceful.  Jonestown wasn’t just a run-of-the-mill cult — it was a racket for stealing welfare and social security benefits from the vulnerable people lured there with the help of politicians like Harvey Milk, whose culpability is conveniently forgotten by those who wish to turn Milk into a martyr because he was openly gay and murdered in office.

Current California Governor Jerry Brown, Walter Mondale and Rosalyn Carter also hobnobbed with Jones, pre-massacre, and Communist Party member Angela Davis used her position as a professor at UCLA to abet Jones in events that led up to the massacre — something the highly-esteemed Dr. Davis does not include in her definitely for-profit speeches to academic audiences today.

Note the Bill Maher poster (?) behind the dancing soon-to-be mass murderer

The taxpayers of California are currently supporting an entire academic sub-discipline dedicated to Jones:  Alternative Considerations of Jonestown and Peoples Temple, aka Jonestown apologetics, is ironically housed in the Department of Religion at San Diego State University.  Read my essay about the politicians and academicians involved with Jones here:

Mass Murderer Jim Jones: Religious Extremist or Atheist Stalinist?  Answer: What’s Best for the New York Times? ... 

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Healthcare Navigators: It’s Not Who They Are, It’s What They Are

The Georgia political blog Peach Pundit has issued a challenge to readers to find out if the “healthcare navigators” hired in Georgia to “educate” and sign people up for the Affordable Care Act are as corrupt as these Texas navigators caught on tape counseling people to lie about their income by the indefatigable videographer James O’Keefe.

I did a little research and found a range of credibility among the nonprofit groups that are either receiving federal tax dollars directly or are “partnering” with the people who received grants to provide navigation in Georgia.  But their credibility is not the real problem, as I’ll explain below.

According to Georgia Health News, SEEDCO and UGA’s College of Family and Consumer Science and Cooperative Extension are receiving federal grants to provide navigators in Georgia.

In the (not so) private market, individual insurers are also “navigating” their customers through the health care exchanges with no federal grant money — unless you count the fact that they’re taking advantage of Obamacare by raising rates while simultaneously claiming victimization from the law, despite getting huge new pools of customers.  New customers’ premiums are largely paid for by their current customers through federal subsidies mandated by the law — so what’s not to love?  The insurers are putting on a good show of complaining, but what they’ve been doing under the sheets with the infamous Ms. Fed at the Crony Capitalism Motel would blow away the usual black light hotel bedsheet Primetime exposé.

My little family of two is facing a premium increase of between 180% – 240% next December for virtually the same high deductible plan we have now — and I know that the government and the private insurers are heading off to Vegas together to blow that wad on a good steak dinner together, despite all the finger-pointing on both sides, such as this blindingly insane class war Cokie Roberts/Kaiser Family Foundation video you really have to watch to believe.

Do note that we’re self-employed and buy our own insurance, so we don’t really count as humans under the ACA.  Think of us as the lab rats, the 5% already thrown into the nearest cages and hooked up to the electrodes.  What happens to us now will be happening to people in group plans later on, a timeline I still cannot believe is legal, unless by “legal” you mean “first screw all the people without lobbyists.”

you’ll be joining us in here soon

“Navigation” seems like a new concept to many people, but within the government subsidized healthcare/welfare industry — Medicaid, Medicare (yes, it is subsidized), WIC, Section 8, EITC and so on — there are always people doing some type of “navigation.”  In our current bifurcated economy, where the rich advocate for the poor to live like kings, navigators paid for by taxpayers help poor people sign up for every other-person’s tax dollar for which they could possibly qualify.  Many of these expenditures are a healthy and noble — supporting the truly disabled, for example — but when people play the system, we’re not only losing money to them; we’re paying navigators to teach them how to most efficiently pick our pockets.  And there is a lot of intentional deception that goes on, deception that gets systematically overlooked by the government employees administrating these programs.  Many of the most suspect Welfare Maximization Accomplice grants are laundered through university research — for example, I know of a university-based program in Florida geared exclusively at signing up illegal immigrant families for public benefits, though nobody would admit that out loud.

Academics play bag man in fiscal crimes against taxpayers all the time, reaping government grants and career advancement by pretending they are doing research, when what they’re really doing is handing out other people’s money, then using big words to declare the handout a success.  Studying themselves playing Daddy Warbucks with taxpayer sawbucks is how sociologists and others climb the tenure ladder.  They choose their favorite nonprofit, “partner” with them, then praise the nonprofit’s excellent performance in solving social problems, even if the executive director made off to Jamaica with all the money.

So long as it was stolen in a spirit of helping the poor, Professor Poodle can still brag about his commitment to the underclass when he’s not busy fuming about Fox News at the Departmental Nondenominational Solstice Holiday Party.

The fraud angle of all this ballooned under community organizer Obama, by design. Every rebranded ACORN worker out there offering free Obamaphones to welfare cheats is a navigator.  So I’m glad to see James O’Keefe doing what he does better than anyone — giving people a glimpse of the underbelly of our corrupt welfare state.

But fraud is a feature, not a bug of this system.  Another round of firing allegedly “rogue” employees for doing precisely what they were hired to do in the first place is the only reaction we can expect from the powers-that-be.  The rogue navigators aren’t really rogue –they represent the very spirit of the thing.

~~~ ... 

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Don’t Let Anyone Silence You On The Illegal Immigrant Amnesty Bill . . . Especially Other Republicans

[Scroll down for: Ten Things To Do to Oppose the Gang of Eight’s Amnesty Bill]

Last Thursday, Michelle Bachmann (R-Minnesota) appeared on the Glenn Beck show with a troubling message.  “We’re losing badly,” Bachmann said about the fight against the Gang of Eight amnesty bill for illegal immigrants.  “A lot of your viewers don’t even know we are in the middle of that fight right now,” Bachmann told Beck.  “We need your viewers to melt the phone lines and say ‘Don’t vote for any immigration bill until the border is secure.’”

“This is the most important item in the next four years, what’s going to happen in the next couple weeks,” she said, “We have a very short window, six weeks, to kill this bill.”

Congressman Steve King (R–Iowa) called the immigration bill “far worse” than Obamacare:

If somehow there was an offer that you’re going to get one or the other . . . I would take Obamacare before I’d ever accept this amnesty plan.

King said that amnesty now would lead to perpetually open borders: “If you grant amnesty, you can never promise that you can enforce immigration [laws] again.”

“The [immigration] bill is worse than universal healthcare, “ warned Glenn Beck, “Listen to me, it is worse than universal healthcare, and in the coming days as we get closer, we will explain why it’s worse than universal healthcare. It is the death knell of the country.  There is no recovery from this one.  None.  No recovery.”

Rush Limbaugh said the bill would add millions of “instant Democrats” to the electorate.

So where are Beck’s viewers, Tea Party and 912 activists?  Why aren’t they “burning up the phones” as Bachmann is calling for, and leading the fight against the movement to grant citizenship to 30 million people who have or will come here as illegal aliens?

Did election losses fray nerves?  Are Tea Partiers demoralized by the parade of turncoats (Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Kelly Ayotte) among people they helped elect, especially Rubio?  Are the lies peddled in advertisements aired on conservative talk radio and TV by the fake conservative group, Americans for a Conservative Direction, taking a toll?

I think all of these things are true.  Also true is that social conservatives and Tea Party activists are sick of being tarred with false accusations of racism, which happens whenever they try to weigh in on virtually any social issue.

As Democrats pile on with their usual, visceral “Racism” charge against those who oppose mass amnesty, I couldn’t blame anyone for wanting to avoid such ugliness.  It’s not easy to stare down public officials and smirking editorial page editors shrieking “racist” at you.

But the immigration bills is a transformational event, far more important than any other issue in Washington right now.  It is time for the grassroots to pay attention, as Bachmann says.

The “racism” charge simply needs to be ignored.  It won’t go away, no matter what we do or say.  Every single person in the Tea Party could pack up and go home, unplug their computers, and stop voting tomorrow, and ten years from now, President Holder and the Southern Poverty Law Center would still be holding blue-ribbon conferences at the White House to discuss the Rising Tide of Tea Party Hate.

You’re a racist is the eternal default of people who have no intention of speaking honestly about what will happen if we grant citizenship to enough low-income, low-education, illegal immigrants to increase America’s population by 10%.  That’s 30 million people — the equivalent of entire population of Canada, or fully 1/4 of the current population of Mexico (Arnold Ahlert observes that both pro- and anti- amnesty groups agree on the 30 million figure).

But it’s not just liberals and Democrats throwing the “R” word around.  You also hear it, or some coded equivalent, from many political operatives on the Right, and this is a terrible development that needs to be looked at carefully.  Some in the Republican Party and and some (not all) national libertarian groups are using the same shame tactics as leftists to pressure others on the Right to not weigh in on the immigration debate.

I’ve heard stories on the ground from people who have been told that if they speak out on immigration, the whole movement will be seen as racist.  Don’t let anyone pressure you that way.

Last Friday, Rush Limbaugh explained the willingness of many Republicans to support amnesty this way: “The Republican Party is embarrassed by its own base,” Limbaugh said.

I assume that some Republicans think there is a new group of people that would become their base. If they just got rid of these pro-lifers, if they just got rid of this religious crowd, if they just got rid of the Christians, if they just got rid of these gun nuts.

Turncoat Marco Rubio is certainly playing from this game book.  Thankfully, Limbaugh and Glenn Beck are now beginning to mobilize people against this legislation.

For the past two years, I have travelled around Florida speaking to citizen patriot groups.  I’ve come to believe that pressure from people on our own side is the main reason that Beck listeners and Tea Party and 912 groups (and many registered Republican) have been hesitant to enter the fight against an amnesty bill that they personally oppose and recognize as an existential threat to America.

Making this problem worse is a troubling dynamic in Tea Party/912 organizing.  While the majority of people I’ve met in this movement identify themselves as social conservatives first, the minority of libertarians involved — who are often pro-open borders, pro-gay marriage, pro-pot legalization, and even pro-abortion rights — have an outsized influence over the far larger numbers of traditional values conservatives.

This outsized influence is magnified by the presence of national libertarian groups that siphon power off the grassroots while claiming to speak for them.

I don’t say any of this as a blanket condemnation of all people who identify themselves as libertarians.  Some of the people I admire the most in politics are diehard, capital “L” Libertarians (myself, I was writing fan letters to Ayn Rand and stumbling through Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology way back in high school).  And some national libertarian groups like Campaign for Liberty are airing the view of members who oppose the Gang of Eight’s amnesty bill.  They may even be doing more to fight this legislation (I would appreciate confirmation of this).

But I’ve also witnessed aggressive attempts within the movement to dominate and silence people who want to talk about subjects like illegal immigration and abortion.  And when libertarians define everything that they don’t want to talk about as a “social issue” and then demand silence on social issues, they’re just being liberals who don’t want to pay taxes.

A big source of this problem is the outsized influence of national organizations like FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity.  Although they provide training resources and leadership in campaigns, they also pressure the grassroots to abide by their agendas, and on amnesty they both curiously claim to be “sitting the fight out,” which is no different from supporting the bill.

In fact, deep-pocketed players all over the Right are currently pressuring Tea Partiers to sit down and shut up about immigration.  Grover Norquist has been flogging ugly racial charges against the Tea Party, as Ann Corcoran details in this excellent blog.  Jeb Bush is flouting bizarre anti-facts about needing illegal immigrants to teach Americans about family values at his (very vaguely named) American Action Forum.  Daniel Greenfield has a wonderful takedown of Bush’s immigrant fertility derangement.

FreedomWorks once at least talked about a no-amnesty plan, but now they are vigilantly avoiding the entire subject of  illegal immigration.  The grassroots needs to realize that, by whispering to Beltway insiders about how they’re “sitting out” the immigration bill, FreedomWorks is for all practical purposes actually supporting amnesty.  And if they claim you as a member, they’re essentially saying that you do, too.

Americans for Prosperity in Florida [disclosure: I did freelance and volunteer work for them] is arguably more coercive with the grassroots.  They have a habit of culling names from grassroots organizations and claiming these people as their membership.  If you ever attended an AFP event or volunteered on their phone lines or went to hear one of their speakers, AFP lobbyists in Tallahassee and Washington D.C. are probably claiming that you are a member of AFP and that they are speaking for you.

And what they’re saying is that you’re “sitting out” the immigration bill along with them, which really means supporting amnesty.

Don’t let AFP, or anyone else, do this in your name.  Tea Party and 912 activists need to take a hard look at the people and groups claiming to be speaking for them.  Don’t give away your power to anyone.  And if you are a member, let them know how you feel.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  ... 

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The Abject Intellectual Bankruptcy of the CUNY Occupy Researchers

I’ve been too busy to post lately, what with moving.  And staying put.  But sometimes the universe plants a goose egg so giant that you have to say something about it just to squeeze out the door.

Changing the Subject: A Bottom-Up Account of Occupy Wall Street in New York City

by Ruth Milkman, Stephanie Luce and Penny Lewis 

And so we have this, a 51-page “study” by the esteemed sociologist of SEIU apologetics, Ruth Milkman, and her peers: Stephanie Luce (living wage academician and activist) and Penny Lewis (ACORN shill/labor prof).  These three ladies practice their activism and their academics on your dime, taxpayers, at the portentous-sounding Joseph P. Murphy Institute for Worker Education of the CUNY School of Professional Studies, which is not to be confused with the CUNY School of Unprofessional Studies, which is not to be confused with a dead parrot.

The JPMIWWE openly claims to be building the union movement and serving “the educational, policy, and research needs of unions and their members,” also all on your dime. ... 

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Mark Nuckols: Sovereign is as Sovereign Does on the Magnitsky Act

I have known Mark Nuckols since I was a teenager.  That is to say, a very very long time.  When I was 18, he knew more about politics in the real world than anyone I knew, which of course got him into endless trouble in academia, where they like their politics self-congratulatory and utterly detached from reality with a heaping helping of abject admiration on the side.

Despite being Jeopardy smart (or perhaps because of it), Nuckols never quite fit in in American academia.  You need only watch this video of Mark appearing on the Jon Stewart program to understand why.  I have to warn you, though: it is an unusual video.  I take no responsibility for it.

Nuckols teaches law and business at Moscow State University and the Russian Academy of National Economy.  Here is his latest article, from The Moscow Times.  It’s an interesting take on international human rights, a subject usually explored only by self-congratulatory people utterly detached from reality and seeking abject admiration from others:

The Magnitsky Act Is Wrong

25 November 2012 | Issue 5021
By Mark Nuckols

The Moscow Times

Sergei Magnitsky was a Russian lawyer who exposed the fraudulent use of corporate documents of his client to defraud both his client and the Federal Treasury of $230 million. Rather than arrest and prosecute the persons Magnitsky testified were responsible for this crime, prosecutors had Magnitsky himself arrested and imprisoned. After enduring 11 months of inhumane treatment, Magnitsky died in police custody under suspicious circumstances. His death is a tragedy and miscarriage of justice and demands a thorough investigation by the Russian government. Unfortunately, however, the wheels of justice in Russia often fail to turn as they should, particularly when they threaten wrongdoers in the government.

The U.S. Congress has responded with the Magnitsky Act. . .

Obama should veto this bill if it passes Congress. . .

Read the whole thing here.

For more on the use and abuse of human rights law, see my post:

Disappearing Adria Sauceda: The Nun, The SNAP, The Law Professor, The President, His Newspaper and the U.N. Defend Torture-Killer Humberto Leal


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Typing Monkey: Welcome Back. To the Same Old Place That You Laughed About.

The day after the election, I posted a very  interesting article from someone who chooses to be known only as the Typing Monkey.    Some people thought I had written the article, but I am not and never have been a Typing Monkey.  I am a human being.

He has written again, perhaps in response to my post on Peter Hitchens.  Who knows what motivates a typing monkey?  He writes hard truths, as monkeys will.  For readers unfamiliar with British politics who link through to the Hitchens article, it’s probably useful to know that Tories would be the Republican Party, and Labour is the Democratic Party.


This article was written by Peter Hitchens in 2007, but it is, I think, very relevant to the present discontent of the Republican Party.

We are not necessarily bound to arrive at the same conclusions, so don’t get distracted by the first few paragraphs Hitchens writes. It is his analysis of our political times from a conservative perspective that is useful.  I don’t agree with everything about where Hitchens ends up, but his view of where we are now is pretty telling.

Hitchens’ fundamental insight into the present American conservative discontent is that we lose elections to the extent we are stuck in a rut of defining ourselves as more or less like the opposition.  At this point, we need to stop arguing about whether we should or should not concede on, say, immigration. The key thing to realize, for those few of us who haven’t already, is that the Republicans side has already and repeatedly conceded on almost every recognizably conservative position, because the Party isn’t actually a conservative party.

The Republicans are at best a lower taxes liberal party that’s conservative only to the extent that it can take fake positions on issues where meaningful change is politically impossible, all in the service of getting into power so that they can lower taxes and get rid of regulations. It loses because it promises nothing for most voters but less of what the Democrats are offering.

Hitchens isn’t the first person to say this, but he says it bluntly and in a way that deflates some popular myths that could use deflating, especially with regard to Republicanism and the USSR, a crucial bit of misunderstood (to the extent it’s not forgotten) history.

Reagan Republicanism, like Thatcherite Toryism, worked in large part because the Party could make any number of concessions to the emerging center-left consensus in society while retaining its identity as the national security and lower taxes party.  Thanks, Evil Empire.

In the process, though, the Republican Party lost its ability to present itself as a party with a coherent message that people believe in. The Democrats have an extremely coherent message, which is that Republicans are out of touch, racist plutocrats or inbred rednecks who want to starve your relatives to death and kill your gay friend whereas Democrats are the Party that will give you stuff.

The only response to that message from the Republicans has been “NO WE’RE NOT, AND YOU CAN’T HAVE OUR STUFF,” which didn’t work in kindergarten and still isn’t working today.

Since the early 1990s, Republicanism has been reduced to an economic ideology centered on a single premise: lower taxes and less regulation are good for what ails us.  As they actually stand for little or nothing else, they end up being a screen upon which Democrats project prejudices and fears.

Yes, this is where you tell me the ten other things you think Republicans stand for or should stand for.  It doesn’t matter.  ‘Reduce taxes and reduce regulation’ is the only coherent, consistent message coming from Republicans.

A half-hearted defense of “social issues” that aren’t actually relevant to how the federal government is conducted have done little more than brand Republicans as the Party of the elderly relatives with embarrassing opinions that the young, hip Democrats have to listen to around the holidays when they return to the town they were born in for?an obligatory visit.  For better or worse, Republicans are now the party of less regulation, less taxes, and out-of-date opinions.

Let’s talk about each in turn.

On the issue of regulation, out here in the real world, decades of “de-regulation” schemes have taught the American public that deregulation in practice ends up favoring financial parasites almost if not more than the regulatory process did. Both parties promise to help consumers and small businesses, but neither party has much credibility here.  And the Republicans are branded as the party of the financial parasite class, even though the real plutocrats are largely Democrats.

Taxes: the problem with lower taxes as a platform is you can’t starve the beast when the beast turns out to be your grandparents. Even if you think they’re racists. The war over entitlements is over; the AARP won, and it’s now time to move on to other things and let the house of cards collapse on its own. Mitt Romney ran on a bunch of things, but all the American public heard was — “We’re going to take away social security and leave you to starve to death in the gutter like an animal.”  Yes, there may someday be a time to revisit all of this, but in the short run we’re paying taxes and spending money on entitlements, and it’s time to think about what other things we might stand for.

Which brings us to everything else and, oddly, the European Union.  All the talk about the EU in the Hitchens article might seem irrelevant to Americans, but there is a similar issue in American politics, little discussed but still (I would argue) the key to understanding what’s really going on in the political world today.

Our elites are increasingly part of a global community that has little concern for or connection with our nation and little to offer except consumer culture. This is happening and has largely already happened. The only question is what to do about it, and this is a question the Republicans are largely ignoring because a glimpse under the rock gives you an uncomfortable amount of insight into why Republican politicians and pundits are basically Democrats with a slightly different regulatory and tax policy.

Ross Douthat has more in common with Paul Krugman than he has with anyone who is likely to read this.

This is the time of year when people watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” and lie to themselves about the reality that, in the real world, George Bailey left his small town in upstate New York in the 1940s along with all of the other college educated people, as the manufacturing jobs and the town collapsed. What is left subsists on tourism, small scale drug trafficking, and increasingly sophisticated extraction of the remainder of the local natural resources to feed a world economy that cares about them significantly less than it cares about the inhabitants of Shenzhen, Slovakia and Chennai.

A few college professors might imagine they are rebuilding the Front Porch Republic of small town American life, but even they will mostly admit that they don’t have much in common with the folks who grew up in the college town they live in, other than nostalgia.

However, plenty of other people — more or less half of us — still live in these places, and the Republican strategy is basically to pander to them.  As opposed to the Democrats, who demonize them. The Republican strategy is ultimately the losing strategy, though, because even the 60,000 odd people who still live in Utica, NY (down from 100,000 or so in the 1960 census) know that the future is in Chengdu (population 14 million), and that Indian gambling and fracking are short term solutions at best.  And no, my point isn’t that China is “winning” and we’re losing.  No one cares much about China as a place as opposed to a profit center, and all those jobs are going to Vietnam anyway.  Or maybe that was last week.

The point is, while the Republican Party was draping itself in the flag and ostracizing the people who vote Republican but worry about a “one world government,” our economy went off shore and took much of our government with it.  It probably isn’t coming back, but pretending this never happened doesn’t help.

Which is why Ross Douthat’s prescription to save the Republican Party is more entitlements for poor white people.

What do I think the answer is? Glad you asked. First, we need to get serious about acknowledging how profoundly we’ve lost, and how seriously damaged the Republican Party and its brand have become. All those jokes that Glenn Reynolds makes about Obama and Carter? This is the Carter era for Republicans, only worse. Welcome back. Your dreams were your ticket out.

But, what next? Maybe the people in Utica need to start talking to the people in Chengdu.

Here is where more complications creep in.  There are plenty of people who talk about how America was founded as a Christian country and have a copy of the painting of George Washington praying in the snow hanging prominently on the wall in their den. But the number of these people who would vote for a genuine Dominionist candidate rapidly approaches closer to zero with each passing year, even if we define Christian?Dominionism in a way that allows girls to get jobs as lawyers and divorce their husband if they really want to.

This was never a Christian country except in the important sense that most everyone around during the first hundred years or so happened to be Protestant, until we started letting in all the Catholics. In fact, that was more or less the entire point of America from the outset — this was where you can to get away from state religions so you could have your own private theocracy on your own land. See, e.g., Utah.

I’ll tell you a secret — I love and respect the Protestants I’ve met in the right wing but, as a Catholic, I have difficulty entirely forgetting the somewhat troubled history between Catholics and Protestants which formed the crucible from which modernity emerged. The truth is that many of our national values emerged as a way of allowing space for different religious traditions to come together to work out what we might have in common in terms of values. We’ve lost track of that, some of us.

And no, I’m not saying we should become multi-cultural. Liberalism is, of course, happy to just offer as a different solution that we let people believe whatever they want, even if this means putting women in bags in New Jersey, as long as the liberals stay free to do whatever they want to do with their own time on the Upper West Side, the assumption being that those women in bags will eventually  liberate themselves and move to Manhattan just like the liberals liberated themselves from whatever small town or suburb they grew up in. They get to have the mantle of tolerance without seriously having to contend with the reality of what they are tolerating, and they get away with this because we’ve allowed the argument to be framed in terms of Christians versus Muslims. On those terms, we’re racists, and relativism wins. We need a serious critique of relativism and a values platform that is not tied to any specific religion.

I know, I know. But listen. If authentic human values are there, the Christians will show up. So will a surprising number of atheists from the Upper West Side — there are values voters there too, and the fact that they currently see those values reflected back at them from the fun house mirror of the left doesn’t mean that all is lost.

And the people in Chengdu will show up for American values if we have them to offer. Just by leaving the farm and showing up in the big city, they’re voting for American values. We need to stop letting aging hippies like Steve Jobs define what that means.

How does that work in practice? That’s the only way it does work. The Republicans got in this mess by coming up with pretty theories about the economy and sacrificing our values and all reason to those ideas. We get out of here by finding practical solutions to local problems that we have in common with people all over the world. Conservative solutions.

Let’s start by looking at something frivolous like gay marriage.  There is a serious marriage problem in this country.  It’s called “single parent households.” Gay marriage is a complete distraction from it. Democrats actually have a response to the single parent problem. In fact, most of what Democrats are is defined around a variety of policy responses to this problem, however flawed and however much they are arguably also the source of the problem in the first place: see, e.g., War on Poverty, welfare rights, WIC, public schools, Section 8, Title VII.  Republicanism has allowed itself to be defined entirely around negative responses, i.e. arguing for fewer entitlements on the theory that they encourage dependency, and resisting popular social movements deemed to be “threats” to marriage, from gay marriage to rap music.  Democrats look at the divorce rate among Republican candidates for President and are justifiably amused.

The right response? You will see a lot of variations on one proposal coming from the pundit class — concede to the changing culture. Okay, sure, but what else do we bring to the table except an argument about entitlements the other side is able to use to paint us as greedy hypocrites who actually want single mothers to starve to death? Sure, we’re feeding millions of single mothers every day at the church food bank, but America doesn’t know that, and it isn’t a political platform. And the technocratic, wonky reforms on offer (vouchers anyone?) are justifiably viewed by voters as being just another plank in an increasingly suspect, lower taxes/less regulation platform, instead of a serious attempt at reform.

The answer?  Do what the liberals did in the first place: take over the entitlement state from within. Not as a secret campaign to destroy it, but in a serious effort to reform it into a conservative solution that actually helps people. Welfare reform worked. It stopped working not because it was repealed but because the bureaucrats who run the programs figured out ways around it.

This doesn’t mean endless expansion of government, just acceptance of the idea that some government is necessary, and that government can further our values. Throwing the mentally ill out of institutions didn’t save any money; it just put a few nurses out of business and put a lot of SSI/Medicaid functionaries into business, not to mention full employment in quasi-private NGOs for a vast army of “homeless activists” and their ilk.  The doctors are just working out of a different office. It would be a better system if the people involved actually cared more about treating the mentally ill and giving them shelter than “empowering them” to spend the day masturbating in our?public libraries. And it wouldn’t necessarily be more expensive.

People all over the world are working on these same problems, and they aren’t all coming up with liberal solutions.

There is a lot more to say here, but I don’t want to get too caught up in specifics. One more example — immigration. The dirty secret with immigration is that there are many dirty secrets.  It’s not just people with nannies and lawn boys who benefit from cheap labor.  Small business owners benefit; family farms benefit.  Even some of what’s left of the “white working class,” i.e. the contractor who bids your home renovation project and then sends a bunch of Ecuadorians to do the actual work, has a stake.  Pretty much everyone who doesn’t benefit is suffering from illegal immigration and in more ways that people realize.  Topping that list is the countries the immigrants flee from.  Also hurting: anyone — anywhere on the economic spectrum who follows the law, because they have to compete with everyone who doesn’t.

The obvious solution is to punish people who hire illegals. We already have a bureaucracy in place to do this, called the Internal Revenue Service. Another dirty secret – defanging the IRS, a major Republican initiative, had the consequence of vastly increasing the amount of cheating going on, in this area and others. If and when we seriously attempt going back to enforcement instead of collusion in fraud, we will find that it is much easier to enforce laws that impact American small business owners than it is to enforce laws that disproportionately impact impoverished immigrants with little or no property, who came here from countries where the rule of law is notional at best. I’m not saying we stop enforcing the immigration law, I’m just saying the FIRST thing to do at the federal level is enforce the tax code and the rest of the existing law, and to do that we need to take back control of the bureaucracies.

Yes, that’s the easy part and leaves us with the hard part is deciding how much immigration we want and finding authentic and convincing ways to justify attempts to limit immigration as motivated by something other than racism. I didn’t say the Left was going away. But being honest is a good start on the road to a values-based policy argument, isn’t it?

Which leaves us with taxes. We’ve already talked about regulation — take over the institutions and make them (more) rational, conservative and human. But in the end we’re not going to be able to ignore the fact that putting people into government puts people in institutions where they have a built-in incentive to obtain and spend other people’s money.

Let’s have some ground rules, though. First of all, anyone who tells you they know how to adjust the tax code in order to create jobs (looking at you here, Mitt) is lying, and everyone knows it. Second, let’s admit that no proposal for adjusting the tax code in the abstract exists in the abstract — any change to the status quo will help some people, hurt other people, and have some uncertain impact on the economy. For example, Obama’s never seriously proposed “Buffett tax” was really a proposal for a new tax on capital gains administered in some vaguely defined way like the Alternative Minimum Tax. Pretending that this would have no impact on the economy because this is just free cash lying around for the taking is disingenuous. Let’s not be that way.

Second, here’s a modest proposal. Maybe, for right now, as difficult as this may be for some of us, the tax code is the last thing we should be talking about. Maybe we should be talking about how to spend the money we get, and some of this talk needs to be positive proposals for things to do with government money that help people, that?encourage private citizens to help people, and that generally accord with our values. If there are specific things we can recommend about the tax code that will help, by all means. But ordinary people hear the Republican Party talk about reforming the tax code and they think, for good reasons as well as bad, about rich people screwing the system, entitlements going away, and the end of their mortgage interest deduction. Tax reduction was a winning strategy once upon a time. It isn’t any more.

Again, I’m not talking about new entitlements or any of the big plans and schemes you see coming from the left wing of the party. I’m talking about local problem solving with a global perspective, informed by real values.

Yes, I know. The free market will save us. Bureaucracy is the root of all evil. There’s a war on Christmas. We’ve been peddling that for years, and where has it gotten us? I’m not even saying it’s wrong. I’m saying we need to stop worrying about ideology and start working on putting our values to work making this country a better place to live in.

What did I hear you say? The Tea Party? The Tea Party is complicated.  Social conservatives and the libertarians both showed up, because both groups feel disenfranchised by a party that is increasingly only interested in propping up “serious,” centrist, Democrat-lite candidates. They’ve been reading the Constitution and understand that marginal tax rates are not the beginning and end of the problem. It’s the rest of us that need to catch up.

One more example, just to be clear about what I am and am not saying here: abortion.  Roe v. Wade (more cogently Casey v. Planned Parenthood) is the law, and it isn’t going anywhere without a shake-up of the judiciary much more extensive and complicated than one side or the other replacing a justice or three. Contrary to what might be believed in places like Washington D.C. and New York City, while we sit around and parse the opinions of political candidates about whether there should be a rape exception to a law criminalizing abortion that does not exist and will not exist and in the real world for the most part never actually existed, the people who are serious about opposing abortion moved on and started doing stuff.  They didn’t just give in; they gave up on grand strategies, and they’re out in the wilderness actually doing stuff, marching through the institutions, changing people’s minds.

That’s why you haven’t heard so much from them lately. The rest of us need to get with the program.



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In Florida Political Press Today . . .

They’re Just Not That Into You: Republicans And The Hispanic Vote

November 20, 2012
By Tina Trent

Election day in Tampa was like the calm after a cancelled hurricane warning.  Dire predictions of long lines and voters turned away at the polls did not materialize.  Outside polling places, a few Tea Partiers squared off against droves of professional activists from the alphabet soup of leftist organizations: AFL-CIO members (do they ever have jobs to go to?), National Lawyer’s Guild lawyers, and all those Democratic PACs the media studiously ignored, including the in-your-face pro-Obama 1911 PAC.

read the rest here

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They’re Just Not That Into You: Post-Election Reading Suggestions

One might consider sending this self-help book to Republicans imagining that they might out-pander Democrats for Latino votes.  Or, less painfully, they could read Mickey Kaus’ (yes, that Mickey Kaus) excellent advice.

Meanwhile, in the comments, Mr. Mittens weighs in on the suggestion posted earlier this week to reflect on the election by reading Edward Gibbon’s Decline And Fall of the Roman Empire:

there was only one form of christianity at the point in time gibbon was writing about- and he went on the criticize the entire religion especially as used by the state or a prince to advance secular power over people- how it was used to deprive people of the freedoms they were guaranteed as roman citizens.

he mentions also specifically the weakening of the soldier class by the influx of non-roman troops for pay but does make special mention of some christians not living for this world but the next to the point of marching into courts of law and demanding to be martyred. he was pointing out their detachment from the world and secular concerns.

he himself was a Roman Catholic convert (which was then an act of treason) until his horrified family dragged him home from Oxford and shuttled him off to the Continent to be ‘corrected’ by a Calvinist minister. instead, he learned french and latin then wrote ‘decline and fall’ which was lambasted primarily for his pointedly very age of reason/rationalist/enlightenment negative view of christianity. the sections specifically dealing with christianity were banned (along with the more salacious descriptions of roman depravity which he was also highly critical of and felt contributed to the fall).

when obama was elected for the first time, i was drawn to gibbon again. gibbon would completely recognize the 911 of our tragic situation. we’re well past decline. i understand that sort of detachment now- i want none of this. it’s an american group suicide-shouldn’t we all be dressed in warm up suits and trainers , waiting for the next comet to shoot by?

“In the end, more than freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all – security, comfort, and freedom. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for most was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free and was never free again.”

“The principles of a free constitution are irrecoverably lost when the legislative power is nominated by the executive.”

so many relevant gibbon quotes…

it is despairingly ironic the the first volume of ‘decline and fall’was published in the year america gained her liberty-1776. the founders saw too what gibbon saw-a democracy is lost and slides into despotism when people become irresponsible and just vote themselves or demand free crap. one can’t legislate for people to want to be free- give them a cell phone and an EBT card and they’ll happily go back to being ruled by tyrants especially if that tyrant allows them to enact revenge upon others.  — Mr. Mittens

Heaven’s Gate Members: Pinning Their Hopes on Comet Hale-Bopp

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Myron Magnet Pops a Gasket

He’s actually writing about Obama’s re-election:

  I can’t help remembering that in the course of my adult life, the Britain I first knew half a century ago has run through its allotment of ruin and is now almost unrecognizably transformed from the stiff-upper-lip, never-say-die redoubt of fair play and free-born Englishmen of very recent stereotype. Now it is the land where snarling, shaven-headed louts beget still more louts upon a succession of compliant, abused sluts as clueless as they about what makes a meaningful and decent life; the land where stately ancient towns turn into nighttime circuses of drunken, vomit-smeared degradation, as young people purposely divest themselves of their human rationality and civility; the land where, to show their pride in a National Health Service they think proves their country’s unique compassion and social equality, the curable sick obediently die in accordance with official protocols that ensure that outcome; the land that jails citizens for free speech it deems “hate speech”; the land that, even when it had Royal Navy ships mightier than Lord Nelson could imagine, had sailors so cowardly and undutiful as to let Iranians in outboard motorboats take them captive without firing a shot, making the great ships useless.

Read the rest here.

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Post-Election C.P.R. from Sultan Knish

If you don’t know Sultan Knish, you need to read this:

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Game Called on Account of Darkness


Posted by Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish

A week ago we sat waiting out the storm when the lights flickered and went out. One moment we were sitting in a lit room, the television flashing picture and sound, the internet feeding news, and then we were in the dark.

At first we expected the lights to come on at any minute. Any hour. Any day. And then living without water or power, day after day, it seemed as if the light would never come back.

And then, unexpectedly, after almost a week, they did.

The lights have gone out in America now. They may come back. They may not. It’s up to us. No one is going to come help us do it. Other countries have America. We have ourselves.

Readers will notice that this site did not predict any Romney landslides. It did not engage in empty cheers or promise that he would win half the country and restore moral leadership. That’s not what this site is about. This site is about the hard truths and now as we sit in the dark, let’s pass out some of those around the room.

We can blame Chris Christie, Sandy or Romney’s last debate performance. But let’s look at the actual election.

Romney outlasted the primaries because he was the most electable. Two blue state politicians, as bland and inoffensive as possible, ran on the economy, not on war or social issues, and managed to convince many Democrats that they could fix the economy. He got a white turnout to match that of Ronald Reagan and crowded rallies. And none of it was enough.

Romney had an excellent machine. But Obama had the bigger machine that was more than a collection of SuperPACs. It was the urban political machine, with its suburban tentacles, fed by taxpayer money and integrated into every budget. The time when it could be beaten the old way may be passing.

The people who came out to worship Obama stayed home. Romney’s rallies drew big crowds. But when all was said and done, the lines of people who feed off the political machine were there, and the handlers of the machine cast their multiple votes and carried off their manifold frauds because their own private economy depended on it.

Every time people ask me why the left has such a grip on this country, my answer is because they worked for it. It’s the answer that most people don’t want to hear, but it’s true. The left has been planning this for a while. They have been playing the long game, building the infrastructure and indoctrinating generations. And to beat them, we will have to do the same thing.

The right is 40 years behind the left and it remains a disorganized collection of potentials seeking a compass point. The “right” that got behind Mitt Romney consists of millionaires who want fewer regulations and easier imports from China, of social conservatives who are mainly ignored, except when voter turnout becomes an issue, libertarians who want more freedoms, and the non-ideological small business middle class and the struggling working class sensing their country and way of life slipping away from them.

Those groups could be welded together into a movement every bit as tribal and protective of its interests, capable of engaging in collective action on behalf of its own interests, as the urban machine vote. And that may already be happening with the Tea Party. But the counter-revolution of the bourgeoisie isn’t here yet. And there’s plenty of work to do to make it a reality.

The Republican establishment had its shot, twice. It put up moderate non-objectionable candidates. And it lost. It has no policies, beyond keeping the system going, and it has no ideas and no agenda, besides winning. It is a decadent political class fused with an even more decadent pundit class that views elections like these as a game, not as a life-and-death matter. It makes up lies and tells them to its base and hopes that the base will then forgive and forget being lied to and used one more time.

It’s not done, by any stretch of the imagination. Right now, Christie is patting himself on the back and drawing up a list of advisers for a 2016 run. And a dozen equally loathsome personalities are doing the same thing. And they may even get their way. But that doesn’t really matter. This is a long game and to win it, we have to think long term.

Moderation does not win elections. If you think it does, go look at the smirking face of Barack Obama. And then imagine him running for office back when Bill Ayers was building bombs. America’s new rulers were once considered far more extreme and unpopular than the Tea Party. Embracing radical and unpopular ideas is not a losing strategy. It is a short term losing strategy and a long term winning strategy so long as your ideas can be used to build a movement capable of turning those ideas into an organizing force.

The question is whether a right-wing movement can emerge that will make the vast majority of small businessmen in this country feel as negatively about a Democratic president as welfare voters feel about a Republican president?

This election has come close to testing that proposition. The time has come to test it further. The left went after gun owners, the way that it went after business owners, and the NRA used its hostility to build a powerful coalition of gun owners who broke the will of the elected left and made them turn on easier prey.

The key is organization. The left built its machines by convincing entire groups that they had a binding interest in a reflexive opposition to Republicans under a Democratic umbrella. Consolidating an opposition based on the same principles, that same sense that its financial oxygen will be cut if the Democrats win, is doable. But it cannot begin and end with the financials.

This is a cultural war and living in denial of that is senseless. Those social issues? They belong on the table. Because the alternative is that the table will belong to the left and we will be stuck arguing the level of regulation that is appropriate in a society whose entire moral imperative is based on the values of regulation.

Most people, left and right, want a society based on values. Opting out of the values debate means that we lose by default. Yes some of that is unpopular. It will make some elections unwinnable. Much like supporting gay marriage twenty years ago. The left kept going and it won because that is how the game is played.

These are all building blocks, but they are still scattered pieces. The right I am describing is based on the left. It is the mirror image, a counter-revolutionary pushback against the left’s intrusions into the lives, values and work of its people. And that isn’t enough. A counter-revolution that is reactive will fail. It is why the Romney campaign was doomed from the start. It is why the Tea Party isn’t enough. It’s not enough to be against things. It’s not enough to be for things because they are the opposite of the things that the people you are at war with are for.

A movement needs a deeper sense of passion. It must be fueled by a certainty that it holds the answer to the problems of its society and its civilization. It must believe that its existence would be necessary even if the left did not exist. And it must be willing to do anything to win.

This is not a mere battle of elections. The left occupied and won other fields long before it had a shot at doing anything like taking power. It is first of all a battle of ideas. And it is a battle of structures. And that means a conservative cultural war will be necessary and conservative structures must be built within the system. Rather than making arguments, we must create facts on the ground.

That’s a tall order and we are way behind. And tactics like these are not very palatable to many of us, because they resemble what the left does. They would rather expect people to naturally do the right thing. And that’s nice. I would very much like people to do the right thing. I would like to stop by one of those long lines that I saw today at the polls, almost as long as the one for free government stuff, and show them a graph of the national debt and the debt that their children will owe. I would like to think that it would change their minds. But I know better… and so do you.

The left got this far by having a plan. We will either find a plan or we will be gone. America will go the way of Latin America, with gated communities, conservative oligarchs, violent ghettos and red politicians screaming about power to the people. There will be no law, just men with guns and newspapers, and generals in convenient positions, and suitcases full of cocaine in the right hands. If you like this system, it’s probably only a generation away. Given enough immigration from south of the border– maybe less. And then California turns into Brazil and America turns into California.

We can stop this, but we won’t do it without building a movement that can stand up to the left, without assembling machines that will bring together many of the same people who voted for Obama, and we won’t do it if we are too afraid of the consequences of fighting a culture war with the left to get started.

It is dark now. On my side of the coast, the time approaches 1 AM. The dark end of one day and the beginning of a new day. It all depends on how you look at things.

Revolutions are not born out of success, they are born out of despair. They rise out of the dark hours of the night. They come from the understanding that all the other options are running out. Sometimes you have to fall down to rise and sometimes you have to hit bottom, to gather one last breath and fight to reach the top.

This is still a wonderful country. It is the finest place that this civilization has produced. Despite the events of the last day, it is worth fighting for.

Tomorrow: Post-Election Autopsy

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