The Fight is On

In the realm of politics and the culture, there is a street fight going on. It is starting to come to a head now, in terms of the wider public debate because one side is just starting to understand the fight is an existential one. Let me explain what I mean.

On the cultural side, the social justice set has continued the long march through the institutions its predecessors began decades ago, and are slowly but surely reshaping the United States in its progressive, Marxist image. Politically, the nexus of high level elements of the government bureaucracy, industry and their mouth pieces in the legacy media – some would call this nexus the Deep State – has seen its power grow and deepen during that same time period. Furthermore, this power has been used to advance the cultural Marxism espoused by the social justice set.

This set has achieved its gains most explicitly in the cultural arena, with an assessment of such succinctly put in the observation that as the US once put men on the moon, it now puts men in the women’s bathroom. Along the way, the “opposition,” branding itself as conservative, has tended to scream loudly before ultimately rubber stamping each and every cultural change. To the extent this conservative group provided original contributions, they came in the shape of facilitating the departure of America’s industrial base to distant lands, while advocating endless military entanglements in other distant lands.

What facilitated the transformation of America was the fact that it was very gradual, and that the vestiges of Heritage America, most notably the Constitution, were kept intact, at least on the surface.

If the founding fathers stepped out of a time machine into today’s America and were informed of the mere existence of an FBI, CIA or NSA, let alone the amount of power they are capable of wielding, they’d drop dead from the shock. Yet only a few Americans living today have qualms with the insipid justification that ‘if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about.’ Fewer still are moved enough to take active steps in shielding themselves from Big Brother.

In a recent podcast, The Z Man outlines the ways in which the Constitution, while nominally in tact, has in practical terms lost its meaning. Yes, you do have the rights and freedoms afforded to you by the document on paper, but attempting to exercise those rights and freedoms in the real world becomes another proposition entirely.

With respect to the first amendment, one does have the right to free speech and to assemble peacefully. But should you do so and choose to promote a right leaning, or more specifically anti-cultural Marxist point of view, you risk consequences that are far greater than mere “opposing speech.”

Take Roosh V, who has recently had 9 of his books banned upon the release of his new book Game, which was selling like hotcakes. Or take Alex Jones. Or Andrew Anglin, Richard Spencer, Lauren Southern, Milo, Faith Goldy, Chuck Johnson, Ricky Vaughn, Jared Taylor, James Allsup, Gavin McInnes, Tommy Robinson, Owen Benjamin, Blonde in the Belly of the Beast, Identity Evropa, Virginia Dare, American Renaissance, Red Ice, David Horowitz, Brittany Pettibone, Darren Beattie, and so on.

These individuals or groups have all been subject to life calls for losing their jobs, or when it comes to their internet presence, bans from social media platforms, payment processors, or web hosting services, not to mention trickery such as shadowbanning and algorithm tinkering. All for trafficking in wrongthink.

The fact that these sanctions were all administered by private companies enables the cultural Marxists and their nominal conservative allies to claim innocence since there is no explicit government censorship involved.

This dynamic highlights the manner in which the Marxists have operated over the years. The American Corporation, in one way or another, plays a gigantic role in the lives of ordinary Americans. Either you work for one, and thus are dependent on it for income, you are entertained by one, or you consume its products, many of which facilitate everyday activities. Marxists have infiltrated Corprate America at large, and as such they are for the most part boisterous adherents to the religion of TEPID (tolerance, equality, progress, inclusion, diversity). This poses a  danger to the would-be dissident.

He or she must now choose his or her words carefully, because offending the wrong person means a potential loss of employment, ostracism, expulsion from polite society, being barred from basic services such as payment processing, or all of the above. In a related sign of things to come, Governor Cuomo of NY not so subtly warned financial institutions that it might be subject to ‘reputational risk’ should they conduct business with the National Rifle Association.

The bottom line is that we still have our constitutional freedoms on paper, but exercising them fully is becoming more and more difficult. Our nominal conservative friends tell us that we should just build our own platforms, or some variant of that argument. That is all well and good, but with respect to social media, the reality of the monopoly Big Tech enjoys makes this difficult. Especially when you consider that the people controlling access to internet sing from the same TEPID hymn sheet. Given the propensity of nominal conservatives to acquiesce, at some point they’d be shrugging their shoulders, declaring “Why do you just build your own electrical Grid?!?”

The move to censor right-leaning voices on social media and the internet generally is a tactical response to the proliferation of such voices that resulted in complete domination of the 2014-2016 electoral cycle.

From Gamergate through Brexit and Trump’s victory, the right memed, podcasted, YouTubed and tweeted its message far and wide, bypassing the legacy media and delivering what was, and still is, the winning argument. The legacy media did not see this coming, nor was it equipped to fight back. Having had the monopoly on “objective truth” for decades it had grown lazy. It had no answer for a new medium which could provide virtually anyone the opportunity to cogently repudiate legacy media narratives, and do so in front of an audience that began to dwarf that of the mainstream press.

Instead of putting forth better arguments, the legacy media leaned on the social media companies themselves, very loudly accusing them of being hosts to “hate speech,” “propaganda,” “Russian bots,” whatever. This then led to the rush to censor and harass that we are currently in the midst of. The TEPID religion was sending a message to the non-believers who had stalled the March To Progress back in 2016: do NOT try this again.

Politically, the Deep State has done its utmost to thwart and subvert the Trump Agenda. It even admits it. The reason is that Trump represents a populist revolt against the failed paradigm of the post World War 2 era.

President Obama was perhaps the perfect president to continue the advancement of that paradigm. He was able to significantly advance leftist goals in the matters of socialized medicine, industry stifling regulations, and ‘woke’ identity politics. For the nominal right, he maintained a flow of cheap labor from south of the border, did not significantly impair neoconservative foreign policy aims, and left a parting gift of TPP, a NAFTA-style trading partnership with several countries in the Pacific.

Although many on the more radical left were disappointed in Obama, his work had to be considered within the context of a United States which, at its core, still purported to be a conservative country. That placed a check on the ability of the Marxists to go full speed ahead with their grand vision.

President Trump represented the most formidable challenge to that vision, one of a destroyed Heritage America, in decades. Trump had exposed the lies which Americans had been told for far too long about subjects such as trade, immigration and foreign policy. These were lies that on some level, most Americans understood, but could not articulate.

Trump’s messaging, while simplistic, was enough to help square the circle for the American voter. Yes, it is true that America’s issues are more complex than “China’s killing us on trade,” but to the American voter, particularly those old enough to have consciously experienced the shift from ‘Made in America’ to ‘Made in China,’ it clicked. The juxtaposition of the sober reality Trump described with the insistence of our elites that the same reality had actually been great for the economy brought about an unmistakable realization that the true price of cheaper foreign trinkets was the destruction of once healthy American communities.

It was that sort of realization that propelled Trump from strength to strength. And above that, it was his willingness to fight, unencumbered by any political debt, plus a 40 year run as an A-list celebrity in an increasingly celebrity-worshipping culture that made him truly dangerous.

Thus, he had to be taken down. From the Rosie O’Donnell debate question to the Access Hollywood tape, the Old Guard did it’s best to throw a spanner in the works. However, despite dozens of ‘scandals,’ any one of which likely would have ended the run of a standard Republican candidate, Trump still won.

And then it became real.

The 50-plus year Marxist advance was in danger of slowing down or coming to a halt. The Status Quo, the Old Order, Democratic norms – whatever you want to call it – was at risk for the first time in decades. 

A few centuries ago, Machiavelli accurately described the risks Trump faces today, when he noted that attempting to change an old order is one of the most difficult, and dangerous things one can do. Those who benefit by the old order will militantly defend it, while those who might benefit from the new order only offer lukewarm support as the unsure future success isn’t worth the short term unrest in their eyes.

So as Plan A, the slow and steady promulgation of cultural Marxism through American institutions and conventions, became suddenly under threat, another plan was necessary. Plan B, then, could only be described as a full-scale attempt to overturn the result of the 2016 election, as well as purge any and all elements which helped that result come to pass.

That part began in earnest during the summer of 2016, with the FBI ‘insurance plan’ headed by now infamous agent Peter Stzrok. The Mueller special probe which followed is not investigating any specific crime, but rather is simply investigating Trump the candidate, and his campaign. That is not how the justice system is supposed to work.

The pleas and convictions of the likes of George Papadopoulos, Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen are ultimately borne of an  investigation which used the power of the state to railroad its political enemies. If the Democrats retake the House in November, they will do nothing but continue to investigate Trump, in search of a crime, for the next two years.

As that has gone on, Congress, controlled by nominal conservatives, has done nothing with the opportunity it has given, proving without a shadow of a doubt that it had little interest in acting on the conservative agenda it pretended to champion, outside of token achievements such as tax cuts.

Add to this a foreign policy establishment that consistently undermines President Trump’s aims of reversing the failures of the globalists over the last 30 years. The most brazen example of this has been John Kerry flitting around the planet this week as though he was still Secretary of State. His aim has been to trash Trump, tell everyone to merely wait him out, essentially pushing the very policies and points of view which had brought nothing but failure for decades, and had been summarily rejected by voters as a result.

These sort of undermining campaigns of course has been cheered on by a lap dog press which conjures up such absurdities as Trump’s resistance to prolonging a fruitless 17 year campaign rendering him some sort of child, who had to be reined in by the ‘adults in the room.’

Then you have Brett Kavanaugh, who was subjected to a low blow attempt by Senator Dianne Feinstein to derail his confirmation to the Supreme Court. She reportedly forwarded a letter from an anonymous woman alleging  possible sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh from his high school days to the FBI. The FBI has since declared it won’t investigate, but the point of it all was the sullying of Kavanaugh’s name.

For the rest of his time on the bench, he’ll have this nebulous accusation hanging over his head. For decades to come, news organizations will be able to write sentences such as “Kavanaugh, who was once accused of sexual misconduct but never investigated…” It’s as dirty as it gets.

To bring this full circle, this week has also highlighted the efforts of one Google in attempting to influence the 2016 election. Specifically, a leaked email chain showed the efforts Google went to influence the vote by goading Hispanic voters to the polls (to vote against Trump) by curating the information that these voters were subject to on Google services. It was described as a ‘silent donation’ by the executive in question.

This effort failed, and was lamented by the Google execs, both in that leaked email chain, and in this hour long video of them consoling themselves after the election defeat.

On one hand, the fact that companies with the reach of Google tried to tip the scales and failed is encouraging. But on the other hand, they were mostly blindsided by the breadth of Trumpism as a movement. They are aware now, and are taking clear steps to redress what happened in 2016.

In other words, the gloves are well and truly off. The TEPID religion couldn’t convince the populace through conventional means, and so it is now seeking to force itself upon us through censorship and intimidation. In the process, it continually sheds the pretense of an adherence to American-style constitutional republic governance, revealing the soft totalitarianism underlying the TEPID dogma.

Should that fail, the social justice set will have little compunction in going Full Jacobin. Just look at Antifa. Or the Twitter horde that threatened a commentator for a pro-life, anti ‘sexual revolution’ opinion. A man was subject to an attempted  stabbing, for the modern sin of running for office as a Republican. This, of course a year on from a man shooting up a baseball field full of Republican lawmakers. Then you have Joe Scarborough in the Washington Post comparing President Trump unfavorably to actual terrorists – on the anniversary of 9/11 to be sure – before not so slyly pointing out that those terrorists were killed before truly completing their goals. And he and his ilk have the nerve to drone on about ‘dogwhistles.’

What this all means is that there is no more time for those in the squishy Right, those like Fox News host Neil Cavuto, who closed a personal address to President Trump on a recent show with a mic-drop attempt, declaring Trump was “so darned focused promoting a financial boom that you fail to see that you are the one creating this moral bust.”

This mentality is utterly useless when the opposition has no issues with winning a fight in an unprincipled, even dirty manner.

With Marxists exercising the enormous power of corporations in circumventing the constitution in an attempt to bring dissident voices to heel; with the Deep State attempting to establish a precedent for overturning the results of a free and fair election in the United States by bureaucratic fiat, while chalking any dissent down to Right Wing Russian Propaganda…we’re supposed to be concerned about a “moral bust?”

This, in an age in which an LGBT lobby not content with the massive legislative victories attained in recent years, such that a Colorado baker must be singled out for badgering until he is forced to use his artistic abilities in a manner suitable to the mob. The same group which wants Judge Kavanaugh crucified for a possible sexual encounter when he was a teen in high school celebrated a guide to anal sex being published in an issue of Teen Vogue. And we are to believe this moral bust was created by Trump?

The other side took the gloves off ages ago. To seek a genteel rapprochement in response is fatal.

The Deep State is Wounded. That Makes it Dangerous

Michael Tracey perhaps had the most succinct take on the death of John McCain and the subsequent national period of mourning.

[Shows of elite unity, like this McCain Holy Week, are a defense mechanism. They know their standing is precarious. So they create this weird mythology to justify their existence. Fewer and fewer are buying it.]

Tracey’s general remark about the weakened state of the old order was as sober as his quip about the funeral ceremonies being treated as a ‘Holy Week’ was an indictment of that old order. Indeed, our establishment, comprised of mainstream Republicans and Democrats, the institutional bureaucracy, and its mouthpiece the mainstream press – call it the Deep State if you wish – has led the canonization of McCain. The hypocrisy of this is that for the most part, the same publications speaking so glowingly of McCain now, held him as one of the most evil men in history when he ran against President Obama in the 2008 election.

Back then, McCain and his supporters were racist, he was compared to Hitler, was derided as an impulsive, erratic hot head, whose  faculties were questionable at best. When compared with the rhetoric currently spewing outward from mainstream newsrooms, it’s as though they merely ran a word filter which replaced ‘McCain’ with ‘Trump.’

The former was able to redeem himself in his later years in no small part by turning on his successor to the title of Hitler Of The Moment. And for doing so, he was branded a ‘Maverick,’ this time lovingly by a press which mocked him for the same term in the past.

With that, our nation’s establishment gathered to worship a man who ultimately embodied the American politics of the last three decades. Corruption, warmongering, and the erosion of Heritage America were features of McCain’s tenure as a politician. His ‘iconic’ thumbs down vote on the floor of the Senate which preserved Obamacare, after railing against it for years, was emblematic of the ‘all talk no action’ nature of Republican politicians of recent times.

During these times, the role of the President of the United States has seemingly been to place the interest of the establishment first, above all else. This has involved making sure that Business as Usual reigns supreme in Washington, that the government grows ever larger, and that more and more of America’s blood and treasure are squandered in foreign wars or overseas relocations of Industry. At every turn, the concerns of a public seeing things continually going south were soothed with sweet sounding platitudes completely lacking in substance.

That President Trump sought to put the American people first, above all else, at least in theory, has been downright offensive to most of our establishment. It’s no wonder McCain despised President Trump, who came to prominence precisely because he attacked and exposed not only the type of politics that McCain represented, but McCain himself. In consistently being a vocal and substantive thorn in President Trump’s side, McCain effectively assumed the role of President of the Deep State.

So it was no surprise that Trump was barred by the McCain family from participating in the official ceremonies. But that merely created an unmistakable scene – one which saw our establishment gathered to mourn one of its own, while the man who vanquished that establishment was excluded.

A similar, unmistakable scene was outlined last week as a result of the now infamous Anonymous op-ed in the New York Times, by an unknown member of the Trump Administration who declares that he and many like him are working behind the scenes to thwart many of Trump’s initiatives.

The NYT assures us that this is a senior official, which is supposed to lend credence to the narrative that President Trump is out of control and that the ‘adults in the room’ are tirelessly working to rein him in. This narrative is not new. Throughout the Trump era, the likes of John Kelly, Rex Tillerson, Jim Mattis, among others, have been cast in the role of ‘adult’ at different times.

In truth, the piece is only interesting in a general sense. To the extent that it is genuine, and not some creative homework assignment by one of the Times reporters, it highlights the fact that Deep State, which our legacy press would have us believe is a figment of our imagination, does in fact exist. Furthermore, it lays bare the blatant disregard the Deep State has for the will of the people, the fact that its underlying aims are antithetical to a prosperous America, and the tinge of cowardice with which it rules over us.

The author of the piece, no doubt channeling many of his colleagues, believes that he is doing the country a great service by thwarting President Trump. The problem is that nobody elected this guy to do anything but carry out President Trump’s agenda. But in his infinite wisdom, he knows better, and thus is elevating himself into this role of defender of the nation’s ideals for our own good.

And what ideals are these? According to the author, “free minds, free markets and free people.” This has translated to a culture of ‘free thought,’ if and only if you agree wholeheartedly with the cutting edge of Progressive interpretations on cultural matters. ‘Free markets’ translates to a trade paradigm in which the United States hands over its industrial base while going into crippling debt in exchange for cheap, disposable foreign trinkets. ’Free people’ translates to the constant maintenance of low-level conflicts overseas so as to constantly justify huge defense budgets and riches for defense contractors. Along with this comes the declaration that all peoples of the world must practice American-style democracy (and elect the leaders America desires), or be faced with potential military consequences.

In this vein, he author has the nerve to write about how Trump “complained for weeks about senior staff members letting him get boxed into further confrontation with Russia,” as though such confrontation is in the best interests of the people of the United States. Then our anonymous tough guy pivoted from wanting conflict with a nuclear superpower to admitting his cowardice in pushing for the removal of the president via the 25th amendment, over a fear of causing a constitutional crisis. The irony of a blatant soft coup instigated by unelected bureaucrats acting from the bowels of various three letter agencies the founding fathers would have been revolted by was clearly lost on our mystery man.

The piece couldn’t have been complete without a reference to the newly sainted McCain, and the author obliges, taking comfort in the fact that we would always have his example. That example, unfortunately, can be summed by the belief that it is just and good to send assorted American 20-somethings to die in some foreign ditch somewhere defending the sanctity of Ukraine’s borders, but to defend the sanctity of the American southern border is racist.

But didn’t McCain have a measured, sober view of war? Sure, if you read his speeches. The one quote often repeated is the following:

War is wretched beyond description, and only a fool or a fraud could sentimentalize its cruel reality.

Fair enough. But if that was truly how McCain felt, why did he push for Americans to fight in wars in some 15 or so countries? The only explanation I can come up with is that having suffered so much in his own Vietnam experience, he sought to send subsequent generations through similar, in some sort of twisted rite of passage ritual.

Glibness aside, McCain was the embodiment of a philosophy that was dealt a massive blow on Election night in 2016. McCain spent his final years trying to reverse that result. Furthermore, his acolytes are numerous, as we have seen. It should have been clear before, but if it wasn’t, it should be clear now that Trump’s election was merely a first step. The entrenched Deep State clearly wasn’t going to give up the goods easily. Indeed, it is lashing out now as evidenced by the NYT piece.

It will take time, persistence, and plenty of setbacks before the yoke of the Deep State and its philosophy is thrown from our necks.

Guilt By Association

One of the more common declarations by our ‘betters’ at the top levels of government, industry, media, and entertainment is that President Trump has some sort of great affinity for totalitarian dictatorships and is seeking to implement something similar in the Home of the Brave. It only takes the most cursory glance at the definitions of terms like ‘totalitarian’ to understand that those elites which go after Trump in that manner are projecting, and in a big way. Consider the following except from the book Political Participation in Communist China by James Roger Townsend:

Nevertheless, the Party does not expel them from the ranks of the “people” for their sin of omission and they need not fear physical punishment. At the same time they cannot escape some compulsion to conform. This compulsion normally takes the form of social pressure- intensified persuasion by cadres and activists, public criticism and condemnation, and perhaps some form of ostracism. It may also take the form of a justifiable fear on the part of the “passivist” that he is jeopardizing his future by acquiring a bad name, although this fear is much stronger among professional and technical strata than among the masses of workers and peasants for whom individual promotion and placement is less a meaningful question.

Here Townsend was describing the tactics used by the Communists to bully those, in this case those who weren’t sufficiently supportive of The Party and its aims, into compliance. It is not a perfect parallel, but this sort of bullying is increasingly rained down from On High upon dissidents in West – those who don’t enthusiastically swallow the TEPID (tolerance, equality, progressive, inclusion, diversity) ideology.

Earlier this week, Tucker Carlson’s show brought the plight of Darren Beattie to my attention. Beattie was speechwriter for President Trump, who was fired after CNN discovered that Beattie had attended the Mencken Conference in 2016. I’ll let CNN tell you why that was a bad thing:

A speechwriter for President Donald Trump who attended a conference frequented by white nationalists has left the White House.

CNN’s KFile reached out to the White House last week about Darren Beattie, a policy aide and speechwriter, who was listed as speaking at the 2016 H.L. Mencken Club Conference.

The Mencken Club, which is named for the early 20th century journalist and satirist whose posthumously published diaries revealed racist views, is a small annual conference started in 2008 and regularly attended by well-known white nationalists such as Richard Spencer. The schedule for the 2016 conference listed panels and speeches by white nationalist Peter Brimelow and two writers, John Derbyshire and Robert Weissberg, who were both fired in 2012 from the conservative magazine National Review for espousing racist views.

Other speakers from the 2016 conference are regular contributors to the white nationalist website VDare. Jared Taylor, another leading white nationalist, can be heard at the conference in 2016 on Derbyshire’s radio show along with Brimelow.

The White House, which asked CNN to hold off on the story for several days last week declined to say when Beattie left the White House. Beattie’s email address at the White House, which worked until late Friday evening, was no longer active by Saturday.

You see, Beattie’s great sin was being in the same room as some of the most unfancied dissidents in America, according to our elites. Note, Beattie is not accused of saying anything “racist” himself, or even being on record as saying nice things about one of the other Bad Thinkers mentioned. He merely breathed the same air as they did for a few hours. According to the press, this is now a disqualifying act.

It is really important to stress the fact that Beattie did, nor said anything objectionable, even in the context of the easily upset sensibilities of the day. After his firing was made public, Beattie published the text of the speech he gave. The word “white,” or “race” appear nowhere. The speech was merely a technical discussion of the intellectual underpinnings of a potentially burgeoning movement on the political right. It would not be out of place at any political science talk or lecture at any college campus in the world. Go ahead and read it if you don’t believe me.

None of that mattered however; Beattie was guilty by association. CNN’s behavior in the matter is textbook for totalitarians. Having become aware of Beattie it “reached out to the White House” to inform them that they had a Bad Thinker in its midst. The manner in which the article describes the White House almost pleading with CNN not to go public with a story about a White House connection to Bad Thinkers suggests it was afraid of a manufactured outrage campaign. Undoubtedly the author of the piece, Andrew Kaczynski, who has made a living out of this sort of blackmail journalism, intimated as much to the White House.

The cowardice shown by White House in caving in and firing Beattie is not lost on me. I mention it here to highlight that the White House playing nice did not abate the press. Robert Costa of the Washington Post first posed concerns over the vetting process accompanied with hiring White House staffers:

He then got the bright idea of wondering if anyone else in the administration had come in contact with Peter Brimelow. Brimelow of course is the exiled National Review editor who went off on his own to start VDARE.

Having smelled blood, the press moved in for another kill, and it seemed to find one in Trump’s senior economic advisor, Larry Kudlow.

Brimelow happens to be a long time friend of Kudlow, and was reported to have attended a birthday party in Kudlow’s honor last weekend. This egregious discovery was then reported on by Costa at the Washington Post.

Kudlow’s ‘defense’ was that he didn’t know that Brimelow held certain views (Brimelow is anti-immigration). I doubt that is the truth; as stated before the two men have been friends for decades and surely have had discussions on the topic at some stage. Kudlow was simply managing the PR. It seems to me that the two men have simply had a disagreement and left it at that while remaining friends. 

In our current age, such civility is unfathomable. The totalitarian leanings of the TEPID set are such that if one happens to hold an objectionable view, anyone who associates with that person must secretly hold that view as well. Thus, the person must be subject to ostracism and social pressure until he renders a nuclear disavowal of the objectionable individual he associates with. Failure to do so must result in a firing, boycott, ban, etc. Thankfully Kudlow has not been fired, at least not yet.

This is what our Free Press has been reduced to. Be mindful of who you invite to your birthday party in this totally Not Totalitarian Clown World. And on top of this, the legacy media has the cheek to frame itself as risking life and limb to “speak truth to power,” every time someone is slightly critical of that well-regarded pillar of democracy. It is more accurate to say that it powerfully speaks ill of the Truth.

Reality Doesn’t Care About Feelings, Vol. 8 – Urban Meyer vs The Mob

“I followed my heart, not my head. As I reflect, my loyalty to his grandfather Earle Bruce, who was my mentor, likely impacted how I treated Zach over the years.”

That was how Ohio State University football coach Urban Meyer attempted to do a little self-reflection during a press conference on Wednesday evening. He was addressing his failure to fire Zach Smith, his assistant coach and the grandson of his mentor, until July 23rd of this year despite a track record of poor behavior spanning nearly a decade.

The most egregious entanglements Smith got himself in were in regards to domestic violence allegations, the most recent of which cost him his job. If you pay attention to sportsball in any capacity, you’ve heard of this story; if you haven’t here is a nice summary of what happened:

The saga began in earnest on July 23, when Zach Smith was fired after the independent journalist Brett McMurphy reported on Facebook that Courtney Smith had requested a protection order against him. He also reported that Zach Smith had been accused of domestic violence in 2009, when he was an assistant to Meyer at Florida, and in 2015, when they were both at Ohio State.

Courtney Smith, who is now divorced from Zach Smith, had said that Shelley Meyer had extensive knowledge of the abuse allegations in 2015, McMurphy reported. Courtney Smith’s story was supported by text messages, according to the report.

A week earlier, at a news conference for the Big Ten Conference, Urban Meyer said that he had known of the 2009 accusations and that he and his wife had talked with the Smiths after a police investigation. But when confronted with questions about the 2015 allegations during the news conference, Meyer said he had learned of the accusations only the night before.

The next week, he retracted that denial, saying in his statement that he had failed to be “clear, compassionate and, most of all, completely accurate” in his previous comments.

At this point, the media frenzy went into overdrive, prompting Ohio State to put Meyer on administrative leave pending an investigation. That investigation concluded this past Wednesday, and the final conclusion was to give Meyer a 3 game suspension. The university released an independent, 23 page report about its findings:

It began by stating the relevant question:

In the hiring, retaining, supervising and firing of former Assistant Coach Zach Smith, did Head Coach Urban Meyer (“Coach Meyer”) violate any Ohio State University (“OSU”) policies or rules, Title IX, NCAA rules, Big Ten Rules, Ohio State Ethics laws, any other state or federal laws, or his contractual obligations to OSU in connection with Zach Smith’s alleged commission of domestic violence against his former wife, including any obligations to report the alleged domestic violence?

In 2009, while Smith and Meyer were at the University of Florida, Smith was arrested for aggravated battery of his wife, who was pregnant at the time. Despite this, no formal charges were ever filed by Smith’s wife, Courtney. The relevance to his hiring at Ohio State is discussed in the report as follows:

OSU performed a standard background check on Zach Smith prior to his being hired as an Assistant Coach at OSU in December 2011 by Coach Meyer; the background check did not call for or return arrest information, and Zach Smith’s arrest in 2009 was therefore unknown to others at OSU at the time he was hired.

Coach Meyer did not inform others at OSU about Zach Smith’s 2009 arrest. Coach Meyer has explained that he did not do so because no charges were filed and because he believed Zach Smith had not engaged in domestic violence in 2009.

In other words, because no charges were ever filed, Meyer felt no need to bring it up. After his hiring, Smith was involved with other conduct which is, at the very least, questionable. The report goes into detail, but here I will merely list the events, and whether Meyer knew about them, according to the report:

  • In 2013 Smith was Arrested for DUI – Meyer was not made aware
  • In May 2014 ran up a large strip club bill while on a recruiting trip – Meyer was made aware, and he reprimanded the coach, warning him that further behavior of this sort was a terminable offense. Meyer inserted a morality clause into the team Coaching Manual to reflect this.
  • From 2014-2016, Smith had multiple occasions in which his credit card was declined and in which he was delinquent in paying for travel and other expenses. The OSU travel office and higher ups in the administration were involved. The report says Meyer had a vague recollection of the incidents
  • In 2015, a domestic violence investigation into Smith was initiated by local police. Meyer noted that if it was discovered that Smith hit his wife, or that charges were filed, he would be fired.
  • In 2015-2016, Smith is described to have shown diminished job performance, being late to practices and other team functions, among other things. Meyer warned him that such continued behavior would lead to termination
  • During the 2015-2016 period, Smith was involved in a sexual affair with a member of the staff. Meyer was not made aware of this
  • In 2016, Smith was advised by Meyer to seek treatment and rehab for an addiction to ADHD mediation
  • In December 2017, Smith was given a trespass warning by local police for entering the premises of his now ex-wife. Meyer did not know about this
  • In May of 2018, Smith was charged with criminal trespass. Meyer did not know about this until July 20th, after a further civil protection order was made against Smith. Meyer found out about this through media reports.
  • On July 23rd, Meyer fired Smith.

On first glance, Meyer’s failure to act after this laundry list of problematic behavior is damning. It is much less damning when one considers the fact that Meyer was not made aware of everything. What Meyer did know in real time was about Smith’s hanky panky in the strip club, his financial issues, an apparent medication addiction affecting his job performance and an official suspicion of domestic violence by authorities.

Taking account of the sentimental nature of his relationship with Smith, the fact Meyer kept giving Smith a pass is understandable. Call it nepotism, preferential treatment or whatever, but that’s just what people do for their own. And excuse me for trying to read Meyer’s thinking here, but it’s entirely possible that knowing that Smith was in a trainwreck of a marriage, Meyer viewed all of Smith’s  issues as interrelated, and as such he was perhaps more inclined to cut him a few extra breaks.

Poor judgment? Sure. But was any of this in violation of OSU policy, or indeed federal, state or local law? The investigation answers with the following:

Under his employment contract with OSU, Urban Meyer had at all relevant times an obligation to “immediately report to the [Athletic] Director and to the Department’s Office of Compliance Services in writing if any person or entity, including without limitation, representatives of Ohio State’s athletic interests, has violated or is likely to violate or may potentially have violated any [applicable] laws,” including all federal, state and local laws. (Meyer Employment Contract §4.1.d)

[…]

Because they believed Zach Smith’s denials and because there was no charge or arrest in connection with the 2015-2016 events, neither Coach Meyer nor AD Smith believed that there had been a violation or a potential violation of the law and therefore neither had reporting obligations regarding what they knew about the law enforcement investigation of Zach Smith. In addition, Coach Meyer, because he was first informed of the investigation by AD Smith, believed that he had no further reporting obligations.

In assessing their reporting obligations, both Coach Meyer and AD Smith placed heavy reliance on the absence of formal law enforcement or court action. Neither made any report of the matter to Athletic Compliance or University Compliance for consideration of whether an internal investigation should be conducted. Under the broad language of their contracts, reporting obligations can be triggered in the absence of formal, external action.

Reporting requirements are intended to be both broad and redundant – in the case of Coach Meyer, they require reporting (in writing) to two places (to the AD and to Athletic Compliance) and the obligation to report is placed on each individual, an obligation not relieved by the knowledge or reporting by another individual. While we find that both Coach Meyer and AD Smith believed in good faith that they did not have sufficient information to trigger any reporting obligation, we believe that they viewed the issue too narrowly through the lens of law enforcement action.

Here’s where things start to get interesting. The investigative team ruled that Meyer had done nothing wrong based on the narrowest interpretation of his contractual obligations. Recall that Smith had not been formally charged with anything until May of 2018. So despite Meyer’s knowledge of Smith’s domestic issues going as far back as 2009, the lack of formal charges meant Meyer was technically not required to report anything to Ohio State compliance. Note that when Meyer did find out about the formal charges of May 2018 through the media two months later, he did fire Smith – which is consistent with the warning he gave to Smith during the 2015 period.

The investigators insert what can only be described as their personal lament that Meyer did not take the broadest interpretation of his obligations. Under that interpretation, Meyer should never even have hired Smith at Ohio State because of his 2009 arrest, but having done so, Smith should have been fired on several occasions because of the mere accusations against him. The lack of any charges, let alone convictions, are irrelevant. This is consistent with the moral attitude of the current day which places the outrage of the mob above fundamental conventions such as due process.

With this in mind, consider the following from the investigation about other obligations Meyer had:

Termination for cause is permitted based on the “Commission of or participation in by Coach of any act, situation, or occurrence which, in Ohio State’s judgment, brings Coach and/or Ohio State into public disrepute, embarrassment, contempt, scandal or ridicule or failure by Coach to conform Coach’s personal conduct to conventional and contemporary standards of good citizenship, with such conduct offending prevailing social mores and values and/or reflecting unfavorably upon Ohio State’s reputation and overall primary mission and objectives, including but not limited to, acts of dishonesty [or] misrepresentation . . . .”

Based on this, Ohio State easily could have fired Meyer, on two counts. First, the aforementioned failure to adhere to the modern day convention that allegations are functionally equivalent to convictions flouted the requirement to conform to such “prevailing social mores and values.” Beyond this, Meyer unquestionably lied to the media when he was asked the proverbial What did You Know and When Did You Know It question at Big Ten Media Day, after he had fired Smith. Meyer also deleted all of his text messages older than a year on his cell phone.

That OSU did not fire Meyer was ultimately a giant double barreled middle finger raised at both the media and the social mores and values it champions. Of course in the immediate sense, the decision was not made because of a principled opposition to mob outrage, but rather because Meyer is one of the best coaches in college football history and his departure would likely cause a loss of tens of millions of dollars over the next several years. The mere existence of requirements to adhere to whatever ephemeral values the Social Justice set would foist upon the rest of us shows Ohio State’s core belief in these concepts. But the fact Meyer got off with a slap on the wrist suspension is absolutely just.

The media engaged in its usual mob vigilantism when it charged, tried, convicted and sentenced Meyer, starting within hours after the first reports of the allegations against Smith, and his subsequent firing surfaced. It ballooned into a full scale crisis after it was shown that Meyer had lied about his knowledge of the situation.

Mind you, Meyer’s actions in this matter boil down to not firing a guy who hadn’t been charged with anything, until he had been formally charged with something. From observing the avalanche of outrage, impassioned sports radio rantings and grand proclamations about how this of all things, shows how broken society is, one would be forgiven for thinking it was Urban Meyer who had been battering his wife.

Indeed it is not even clear that anyone was being battered at all. Courtney Smith’s own mother has cast some doubt on the matter with her comments regarding her daughter’s marriage. The only thing we really know for sure is that Zach and Courtney had an extremely bad marriage. We’ll find out the rest definitively after it plays out in court, and only then.

For completeness, beating your wife is wrong. It should go without saying, but judging by all the sanctimonious finger wagging going on, it seems that men across the land have not learned that  being among the Accused is a grave sin. We must teach them.

Silliness aside, the modern rush to judgment in social matters does no one any good, apart from those who seek power for the purposes of lording it over others at will. What do those vilifying Meyer wish to see? With his Bad Personhood confirmed by the press, was he never to coach again, anywhere? If his judgment now precludes him from coaching young football players, what profession do these media adjudicators, in their infinite wisdom, deem acceptable for a Bad Person like Meyer to participate in? Or is he simply unfit to contribute to society, period?

The reality of it all is that the only thing Meyer did wrong was to brazenly lie to the press. Naturally, the media, highlighting its unbelievable arrogance, behaved as though Big Ten Media Day was some sort of Federal Court setting, and that Meyer had raised his right hand while placing his left on the Bible before answering questions.

It was wrong, yes. But no one in this Clown World age should be begrudged for attempting to head off an outrage mob at the pass. Particularly when one is in the right. In retrospect Meyer should have told the truth – that he didn’t, and thus intensified a media storm unnecessarily – renders his suspension just about fair.

John Brennan, Free Speech and The Swamp

If you’ve been taking the various legacy media reports regarding John Brennan’s security revocation by President Trump last week to be good faith reporting, the one thing you got from them was that Trump was engaging in a direct attack on the First Amendment. The argument holds that by revoking Brennan’s security clearance, Trump was punishing him for making extremely critical remarks about the President on television. The knock on effect is to signal to all government officials that maintaining one’s clearance comes with an obligation not to criticize Trump.

In order to make this argument, one has to hold the following things as true – first that John Brennan had done nothing but express a political opinion, and that security clearances are some sort of proxy for a constitutional right to free speech.

Regarding the first, the reality is that John Brennan has done a lot more to warrant the revocation of a security clearance than just bloviating in the media. At the very least, his lying to Congress, twice, about very damning behavior from the CIA is more than enough justification. In fact, much of the media had called for Brennan’s resignation and/or firing at the time of these incidents.

More pertinent to Trump, Brennan leveled a charge of treason at the President after his meeting with Vladamir Putin. That has serious implications when it comes with the gravitas of an ex-CIA director potentially having intimate knowledge of incriminating, but classified matters. Indeed there are various investigations ongoing, and Brennan’s comments are at the very least irresponsible in light of that.

The bottom line is that, were Brennan attempting to apply for a security clearance today, with all of that on his record, he would be rejected instantly. Therefore it is no big deal that he does not have his clearance.

Which leads us to another angle the legacy media Is running with – namely that these clearances are some sort of stand-in for first amendment political speech. In addition, they represent a layer of national security maintenance, given that former officials with clearances may be needed in short bursts for their expertise in dealing with the intelligence and/or national security matters of the present.

A much less noted consequence of a security clearance revocation is the subsequent inability to land roles with private sector contractors and consulting firms which deal in information requiring such clearances. Brennan himself confirmed as much over the weekend with Chuck Todd, after Todd asked what the ramifications of losing a clearance were generally:

Well for me, it probably does mean that, that I just can’t go into the agency and have conversations with people who may call me up and ask me for my thoughts and views, and that has happened in the last couple of months. But for others, former officials who are on that list, some of them serve on boards of directors that require security clearances because the companies involved deal with classified information, and this can have a very punitive, very financial hit against them, and so now if I was asked to be on a board that requires a security clearance, I couldn’t.

Here, Brennan gets at the crux of the matter. The US government spends roughly $500 billion annually on contracts to the private sector, which in turn hires career government officials who have developed security clearances to handle the sensitive information that is dealt with. This explains how “career public servants” like James Comey can end up multimillionaires. In his case he went from the DOJ to Lockheed Martin and Bridgewater and made vast sums serving as counsel to those firms. Undoubtedly his clearances were of great value in securing these roles.

The issue underpinned the viral exchange between Phil Mudd and Paris Dennard on CNN earlier this week. A visibly unhinged Mudd scoffed at the argument that his security clearance served as a golden ticket. A look at his bio suggests otherwise:

Mr. Mudd is the President of Mudd Management, a company specializing in security consulting; analytic training; and public speaking about security issues.  He is a senior fellow at the New America Foundation and The George Washington University’s Homeland Security Policy Institute.  He now serves as Senior Global Adviser to Oxford Analytica, a British-based firm specializing in advising multinational companies.   He sits  on the advisory board for the National Counterterrorism Center and for the Director of National Intelligence, and he serves on the Aspen Institute’s Homeland Security Group.

The idea that Mudd’s security clearance status affects absolutely none of those roles is difficult to believe, to put it mildly. Indeed, his inability to remain cool and his over the top defensiveness in the face of Dennard’s simple acknowledgement of the monetary benefits to holding a security clearance is telling. But more generally, his indignation is perfectly representative of how The Swamp must feel at this moment.

Those government officials who are particularly vexed by this, along with their mouthpeices in the media are ultimately less angered about Brennan specifically than they are about the sunlight now being directed on the revolving door between the government and private contractors and consultants.

Trump’s actions are alarming to the Swap because they are a disruption of a bipartisan feeding trough for some government officials. In the good old days, these individuals could put in their time in the Institutions, and then have the option to cash out at a cushy consulting gig, with a contractor, or as a media contributor. The game was largely kept outside of political squabbling because both Democrats and Republicans benefited handsomely from it.

In this regard, to refer to Trump as attacking the First Amendment is to effectively declare that these exalted career government officials have a Constitutional right to high paying sinecures once their time in government is up. It is just as well, given the legacy media is itself part of that Swamp.

That stance is incorrect, of course, and insidious to boot given the actual threat to free speech currently being posed by social media companies, mostly at the behest of the very legacy media which defends Brennan – and indeed the other government officials who are potentially set to lose their security clearances – from Trump.

In those other cases, the rumored revocations are tied to the conduct of the individuals in question with respect to prior and current FBI investigations. The recently fired Peter Stzrok, for example, is under review for likely manipulating and/or withholding 302s, which are essentially FBI transcripts of subject interviews. The media has framed any and all censure of Stzok however, as being a result of his anti-Trump text messages, painting a picture of political retribution by Trump. This is not accurate.

In the end, this piece of the saga highlights the entrenched nature of The Swamp, and its inability to let go of the status quo. It is also confirmation of President Trump’s effectiveness. He was elected to take these fights head on, and his mere engagement in them reveals to the  public, bit by bit, the reality of the corrupted system in which we find ourselves.

Anatomy of Fake News: Downplaying Bruce Ohr

Last week, Michael D. Shear, Katie Benner and Nicholas Fandos wrote a piece for The New York Times titled “Embracing Conspiracy Theory, Trump Escalates Attack on Bruce Ohr.” It is presented as a stone cold, sober news story, yet even before the byline, the article has engaged in editorializing. This has become a go-to tactic of our “objective” news media of late, which cannot seem to report on anything without first framing it in a way that meshes with a preconceived narrative.

In this case, the narrative is that President Trump is using his power to silence political critics in government, as well as those who are or were involved in the investigation surrounding the 2016 election.

The New York Times piece starts as follows:

WASHINGTON — President Trump threatened on Friday to quickly revoke the security clearance of Bruce Ohr, a little-known Justice Department official, for the first time seeking to apply his power to cut access to sensitive information to a midlevel government worker rather than a prominent former national security official.

In mentioning the fact that Ohr is a “little-known Justice Department official” and even more crudely, describing him as “a midlevel government worker,” the authors of the piece are attempting to paint an image of an average stiff. We are to believe that Ohr was a hapless cog in a machine, thus framing the subsequent scrutiny levied against him by Trump as that of an out of control bully.

The reality is that as of his demotion in December 2017, Ohr was an Associate Deputy Attorney General – a position which is just subordinate to the Associate Attorney General, who is the third ranked official at the DOJ. (Later in the piece, it is noted that the DOJ is a body with 113,000 employees). Nowhere in the article is Ohr’s former lofty rank at the DOJ mentioned.

In addition, he held (and still holds) the role of director of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces. Indeed, Ohr would probably take exception at being described as “midlevel” and a mere “worker” by Shear, Benner and Fandos because he was nothing of the sort.

But, for the sake of the narrative, Ohr’s pedigree was severely downplayed. A few paragraphs later, Shear, Benner and Fandos write:

Mr. Trump began this week to use his power to void security clearances to punish perceived adversaries in the Russia investigation. His revocation of the clearance of John O. Brennan, a former C.I.A. director who has emerged as an outspoken critic of Mr. Trump, drew condemnation from former national security officials.

But by targeting Mr. Ohr, the president moved beyond his bitter clash with high-profile antagonists like Mr. Brennan and reached deep into the bureaucracy. Mr. Trump also forced a difficult choice on Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general: accept the actions of the president or defend a public employee’s right to the normal process of appeals.

Again, the narrative the Newspaper of Record is trying to promulgate is one of an Authoritarian President Trump wielding his power in facilitating the destruction of all of his political enemies, big and small. In Brennan, a former CIA director, we are given an example of a big enemy. In Ohr, the “little known,” “midlevel government worker,” we must take as a small enemy. The description of Trump having to reach “deep into the bureaucracy” to get to Ohr adds further color to the narrative being spun.

So too does the minimization of Brennan’s actions play into the narrative. The Times authors encapsulate the totality of Brennan’s behavior in this saga in the benign label “outspoken critic.” To describe Trump’s actions, they note his “power” and willingness to “punish perceived adversaries,” thereby creating a sense that the President is at the very least abusing his power.

However, as Andrew McCarthy wrote over the weekend, the President’s revocation of Brennan’s security clearance was indeed justified. This is because Brennan, in his new role as a media pundit, frequently went beyond mere political criticism and spoke with the insinuation that law enforcement has President Trump dead to rights, and his impeachment is imminent. He merely cannot be explicit because, you know, the pertinent information is classified.

Furthermore, Brennan does this with the gravitas of an ex-CIA director, specifically the one who was in charge during the time covered by the multiple, ongoing investigations into the events of the 2016 election and beyond. At the very least his comments are irresponsible.

Beyond this, there is the issue of Brennan’s history of lying to Congress about spying on US Senate staffers in 2014. On that basis alone, Brennan would not be granted clearance if he were to apply for it today from scratch. That he even remained in the job beyond 2014 was absurd. Indeed, many of the same left leaning outlets now championing this poor little “outspoken critic” had called for his resignation or firing back then (here, here, and here). However, in service of The Narrative, a little hypocrisy is no bother.

We continue:

Mr. Ohr, a career law enforcement official who has worked on antidrug and antigang initiatives at the Justice Department, has been targeted by conservative allies of Mr. Trump who have seized on the fact that Mr. Ohr was at the department at the same time that his wife, Nellie, was a contractor for Fusion GPS, a research firm that participated in compiling a dossier of damaging information about Mr. Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Ohr is portrayed again as some sort of stiff just working on drug and gang cases, who just happened to be married to a contractor for the firm which helped to produce the infamous Trump Dossier. That this ‘coincidence’ has been “seized on” by “conservative allies” is supposed to inform the reader that Ohr is a victim of a right wing conspiracy theory. Furthering that idea, Shear, Benner and Fandos write:

Conservatives have pointed out that emails show that in 2016, Mr. Ohr was in contact with Christopher Steele, the British former spy who compiled the dossier, in part by relying on Russian sources, and with Glenn R. Simpson, the founder of Fusion GPS. Democrats have called the accusations ridiculous and overblown.

The phrase “conservatives have pointed out” deliberately muddies the waters, drenching plain fact in insinuations of politically motivated spin.

Mr. Ohr was in touch with Mr. Steele, a professional acquaintance whom he had known before Mr. Steele began working for Fusion GPS, through summer and fall 2016, including one conversation in which Mr. Steele said that he “was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.”

Mr. Ohr eventually told the F.B.I. about his wife’s work and about his conversations with Mr. Steele, passing along information given to him by Mr. Steele that the F.B.I. had already received directly from the former spy. Mr. Steele had worked with the bureau on past cases.

Shear, Benner and Fandos paint an innocuous picture here, but leave out a crucial detail. Steele had indeed worked with the FBI, but had those ties severed for leaking information to the media. Therefore, the FBI could no longer credibly use Steele’s information in its investigation. Given that Steele was essentially the only source of information, it would have left the investigation at a dead end.

Enter Bruce Ohr, whose wife Nellie worked with the same firm that Steele had been working with, Fusion GPS. Steele’s information passed through Nellie and Bruce Ohr to the FBI. The FBI was thus getting laundered information from Ohr, a “source” untainted by a leaking offense.

It was for this that Ohr was demoted back in December. This laundering aspect of the investigation was confirmed by Peter Stzrok, who testified last month to receiving Steele’s information from Ohr.

Now comes the obfuscation, lest the reader begins to veer towards the truth:

And no evidence has emerged showing that Mr. Ohr or his wife played a role in starting the F.B.I.’s Russia investigation. Rather, it was contacts between a former Trump foreign policy adviser, George Papadopoulos, and Russian intermediaries that prompted the bureau to open the inquiry in late July 2016.

But Mr. Trump has embraced the theory, casting Mr. Ohr and his wife as central players in what he calls the “rigged witch hunt” and accusing the couple of having what he claims are indirect contacts with Russians — apparently a reference to Mr. Steele’s research.

And a few paragraphs later:

Republican lawmakers who strongly support Mr. Trump, mostly in the House, have circled Mr. Ohr and his wife for months, alleging connections to Mr. Steele and the Democrat-funded dossier they argue formed the basis for a politically motivated investigation into the Trump campaign.

No one is alleging that the Ohr’s were the reason the FBI started the Russia investigation, as the Times writes. What is suggested is that the Ohr’s played a role in ‘cleansing’ the Steele dossier for the purposes of presenting it to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, in pursuit of a FISA warrant which allowed for the monitoring of one-time Trump campaign participant Carter Page.

The scandal stems from the fact that Steele’s information was unverified, and furthermore his credibility as a source was damaged by his leaking to the press. The Ohrs facilitated the rehabilitation of the Steele information by presenting it to the FBI as though it was coming from the DOJ, thus providing a more credible source.

This is not “theory.” This comes from sworn testimony, as well as newly released evidence of contacts between Steele and Bruce Ohr. Yet the Times wants us to believe that it is Trump who is waging a politically motivated assault on dutiful government workers over political differences. Towards the end, Shear, Benner and Fados write:

Republicans who control Congress have shown little interest in directly challenging Mr. Trump on security clearances or his broadsides against investigators.

And in a letter released Friday, 60 former C.I.A. officials said they objected to Mr. Trump’s threats to remove clearances of former security officials, adding their names to the chorus of senior intelligence officers condemning the revocation of Mr. Brennan’s clearance. The letter argued that “the country will be weakened if there is a political litmus test applied before seasoned experts are allowed to share their view.”

Trump’s critical views of the actions of Bruce Ohr, and indeed John Brennan, are couched as “broadsides against investigators,” continuing the theme of ascribing to Trump’s actions a negative connotation and the implication that these actions are that of an authoritarian. It implicates Republicans as well, describing them as unwilling to challenge Trump, before quoting former officials lamenting the supposed weakening of the country thanks to Trump’s ‘tyranny.’

The reality is that Trump’s “broadsides” have been levied against people who have, at the very least acted unethically, if not criminally. They have not been mere political critics as has been implied.

Peter Stzrok was not fired for anti-Trump text messages but for likely manipulating and/or withholding information in the 302s (written memos of FBI interviews with subjects) of Hillary Clinton and Michael Flynn. Bruce Ohr was not fired for his political views. Indeed, the Times goes to great lengths to state how “little known” Ohr was, which suggests that logically the only way he could have made a name for himself was by doing something very severe. The Times own reporting mentions those severe actions actions, Ohr’s role in the information laundering effort, but tries to gloss over it. The Times then tries to reframe any criticism of Ohr on these very legitimate grounds as politically motived conspiracy theories, even using the title of the piece to hammer the idea home.

However one can hardly be accused of peddling conspiracy theories given that all of the criticism stems from on the record evidence disseminated in reporting on investigations by Congress and other internal government bodies, as well as sworn testimony by principle witnesses.

And with that, Michael D. Shear, Katie Benner and Nicholas Fandos completed an exercise in obfuscation, lying by omission and plain dishonesty in the service of the narrative that President Trump is a dictator using his power to silence his political enemies. The charge is patently false; Trump has not placed any restriction upon any individual or organization critical of him. That is an important thing to note in light of his battles with the Press, culminating in a coordinated, simultaneous attack by some 300+ news organizations against the President last week.

What Trump has done, in spades, is to be critical of his critics, in a particularly sharp and stinging manner to boot. There is nothing wrong with this, particularly when his critics engage in the tactics on display in the Shear, Benner and Fandos piece. Very little of what is written in the piece is an outright lie, which is to say factually incorrect.

What the piece does do is augment factual information with clever qualifiers and negative connotations to nudge the reader towrard the worst possible interpretation of events.

As mentioned, this process begins straight from the headline, leading by accusing President Trump of “embracing conspiracy theory,” yet burying the factual evidence which contradicts that accusation in the 8th and 9th paragraphs.

Its mischaracterization of Ohr and the omission of pertinent information regarding his situation lead the reader to believe the drastic moves the President makes are that of a petty tyrant, or alternatively, an act of desperation in saving his own skin.

The omission of Brennan’s catalog of bad behavior and portrayal as a mere political observer similarly leads one to the conclusion that Trump is being heavy handed in his response. So too does the mention of a letter released by dozens of ex-CIA officials, the purpose of which is to add a perceived layer of sober authority.

And with all of this done under the masthead of the New York Times, what is naked political propaganda is recast as objective news. It is this sort of thing that President Trump has raged against, and rightly so. The pushing of bias and opinion as down the middle factual reporting is the essence of “fake news” in the Trump era. The public at large still sees the NYT masthead and assumes objectivity, even if they are increasingly wary. In a bygone age, organizations like the Times had a monopoly on such objectivity.

In the age of the internet, and more specifically social media, this monopoly is gone. Articles such as the Shear, Bonner and Fandos piece which are supposed to form the public’s understanding can be taken apart and ridiculed for what they are. The president regularly does this from his Twitter bully pulpit, and on a smaller scale, conservatives on Twitter, YouTube, blogs and discussion forums are doing the same.

The press doesn’t like this, and true to form, label critiques of their offerings as “attacks on the Free Press.” They are nothing of the sort, merely necessary corrections to the record. It is my aim that the techniques dissected here will jump off the page the next time the reader should encounter such “reporting,” and armed with such knowledge, the reader will better understand it for what it is.

Unfortunately, the more frequently the reader consumes legacy media, the more frequently such skills will be required.

Politics as Usual: A Soft Brexit

As I write this, President Trump is in the United Kingdom concluding talks with Prime Minister May, after having spent some time together in Brussels earlier in the week as a part of the NATO summit. Much has been made of the political standings of the two domestically in light of the events of the past week. I’d like to focus on Theresa May for now.

The tenuous nature of May’s Premiership was put on display a few days ago with the resignation of her Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson. This followed the resignation of David Davis, the now-former Secretary of State of Exiting the European Union, some 24 hours earlier. The departures represent an internal vote of no confidence in May’s handling of Britain’s exit from the EU. The impetus for this rejection came from May’s first concrete Brexit plan, hatched over the weekend, and released yesterday, in full. Earlier in the week, the Financial Times provided a rough summary of what May’s plan entails:

The UK position crucially “evolves” in two ways that would allow for a Norway-style Brexit deal covering at least part of the EU single market.

The first is Britain’s proposal for a “free trade area for goods” involving the UK and the EU that in effect continues existing regulatory and customs arrangements for manufacturing and agricultural products after Brexit. This is achieved by the UK becoming a rule-taker, with a treaty-based commitment to “ongoing harmonisation with EU rules on goods”.

Just as important is Britain’s concession on enforcement. UK courts would pay “due regard” to European rulings in cases relating to EU-set rules. In other words, while Britain is a separate legal jurisdiction after Brexit, the European Court of Justice would be supreme in interpreting the UK-EU goods rule book.

There are caveats — for example the British parliament could veto changes to the rule book if it accepts the “consequences for market access”. But taken together, the safeguards offer no more freedom than Norway enjoys as a member of the European Economic Area.

This has widely been described as a ‘Soft Brexit,’ and thus not a proper Brexit. More generally, the entire Brexit ordeal which has led to this point is incredibly instructive for highlighting the still-vast chasm between what is affectionately dubbed as ‘The People’ and those who they employ to lead them – and even beyond this – the mockery which has been made of the oft-lauded democratic values which are supposed to shape the relationship between the rulers and the ruled.

Indeed, the political establishment, comprised of career bureaucrats, most politicians, foreign policy experts and mainstream political pundits did not want Brexit. The previous Prime Minister, David Cameron, the man who put the referendum to vote, did not want Brexit. Nor did President Obama, who was the US president at the time. Big business did not want Brexit. May herself did not back Brexit prior to the vote.

But The People did, and made its collective voice heard on 23 June 2016. Note that this date was over two years ago, yet it is just now that the PM has put forth a wishy washy exit plan that, despite technically removing Britain from the EU, effectively maintains the EU stranglehold by vowing to abide by whatever rulings EU courts come up with.

In other words, May’s version of Brexit says “we’re leaving the EU to stand on our own, but we are going to choose to agree with whatever the EU says in regards to regulations and prior agreements.” It is pure politics as usual. May’s proposal is reminiscent of the various legislations, regulations and even entire government bodies here in the United States which have positive sounding names or acronyms (the Patriot Act, Affordable Care act, Consumer Protection Agency, etc) which signal a bureaucracy doing right by the people, but conceals the much longer fine print which generally betrays them.

These comfy sounding titles also allow politicians to proclaim loudly about all the good they’ve done while simultaneously making very legitimate criticisms extremely difficult.  When ‘consumer protection’ is redefined as ‘public funding for exclusively leftist causes,’ it’s not hard to have concerns. However, all the sophistic bureaucrat has to do is declare “how could one be against Consumer Protection?” and rely on the base persuasion of such a sentence to do the rest in quashing those concerns. After decades of the establishment engaging in this sort of exercise in cloaking failures through language manipulation, the public has grown weary and demanded concrete change.

One great irony of the Soft Brexit proposal is that it is the precise sort of thing that contributed to the victory of the Leave campaign in the first place. For years, EU-related referenda in countries like Ireland, Denmark, The Netherlands, Greece and even France had either been outright ignored by their respective governments or repackaged and presented as new referenda later. In the latter cases, The People were made to vote again until the establishment got what it wanted.

These instances shone a light upon the farce of bureaucratic respect for ‘the will of the people.’ And with a Soft Brexit proposal, the light shines again. As President Trump stated in a post NATO press conference, ‘Brexit means Brexit.’ That means any attempt at a deal which maintains the status quo, but is sold as ‘Brexit’ simply because the word itself appears in the header somewhere is in league with the aforementioned referenda in other EU countries. It is indicative of the establishment yet again ignoring the will of the people. Indeed, Trump signaled as much in a much publicized interview with The Sun, when he remarked that should the Soft Brexit idea go through as outlined, it would mean the US couldn’t deal with the UK in a favorable manner.

And rightly so, given that a Soft Brexit is really No Brexit. Prime Minister May can go on all she wants about the 29th of March 2019 being the day that Britain leaves the EU, but if all they’ve really done is to essentially agree to EU rules and regulations, just informally and of their own volition – so as to signal outwardly a maintaining of sovereignty – from the perspective of the US there will be no functional difference. The US would be effectively be trading with an Anglo Division of the EU as opposed to the United Kingdom. That’s all President Trump was really saying.

Given the high profile of the fight, any flouting of Brexit has very serious potential long run consequences. Here, there are parallels with the US election, also in 2016, of Donald Trump. The President, like Brexit, was not favored by the establishment, yet The People did favor him in a democratic election. Much like the British establishment and Brexit, the US establishment has not accepted Trump’s electoral victory, and has sought to neuter the Trump administration through a de-legitimization campaign centered on alleged collusion by the Trump team with the Russian government in order to rig that 2016 election.

This campaign has been waged through a feedback loop of constant disparaging aimed at Trump and his associates by the media, running constant headlines filled with insinuations of this or that nefarious connection to nebulous Russians. These are buttressed by a bureaucratically driven Special Council formally investigating these matters as it relates to the 2016 election, headed by Robert Mueller.

The goal of all of this is to at the very least hang a cloud of shadiness over every action President Trump takes, particularly in the foreign policy realm. In this sense, the foreign policy establishment, which Trump disagrees with at every turn, redefines these disagreements as treason, given its declaration that Trump is really an agent of Russia. Thus, the actions that Trump takes – actions which the voters specifically backed him to do – are to be seen as illegitimate.

At most, the establishment seeks to impeach President Trump on the back of those same disagreements, and seeks to do so through the re-taking of Congress from the Republicans this fall. All in all, the establishment has actively worked to undermine the democratically elected Trump. And as with Brexit, the extent to which the establishment is successful further undermines the rosy textbook idea of the civic role played by The People in a constitutional republic, or indeed in a democratic referendum.

That would lead to a further backlash from The People against the establishment, which would put the latter in a position of needing to exert even more naked aggression in displaying the contempt it has for the former’s wishes. At that point, things would undoubtedly get hairy.

We are at this moment in time because the era of globalism, neoliberalism and neo-conservatism that came before had simply run its course, its severe flaws exposed for all to see. It simply wasn’t working for the masses, and the twin events of Brexit and Trump’s election signified a concrete rejection of that paradigm. We are shifting to a new paradigm, and our betters would do well to accept that. The demise of the old order is inevitable. Better to take it gracefully.

Corporate Marxism

One of the more interesting aspects of the Parkland shooting aftermath was the rush by large corporations to disavow the NRA. Several companies such as Hertz, MetLife, the Enterprise rental car brands, Symantec, Chubb, SimpliSafe, Delta, and United Airlines have taken steps such as ending discounts for NRA members as a show of support for the gun control movement.

The media, itself a giant corporate interest, has played its role as well, promoting these decisions as though they were the first stages of a giant snowball rolling downhill culminating in a gun ban. Those on the anti-gun side are willing Corporate America to be their knight in shining armor on this.

In truth, they don’t have to will very hard, for Corporate America has become increasingly sympathetic to the ideals of the leftist. That is, the TEPID (tolerance, equality, progressive, inclusion, diversity) views of the left are essentially the views of Corporate America as well. It is something I noted when writing about the James Damore episode last summer. Damore, you recall, is the former Goolag employee who was fired for writing a memo which, in the most polite and academically supported terms possible, outlined the fact that gender differences were responsible for the disparities in tech employment and further offered some gender-focused solutions for increasing female enthusiasm in tech.

Continue reading Corporate Marxism

Quick Hits & Dangerous Links: Shithole California (10 March 2018)

Politics & Economics

Trump to meet with Kim Jong Un. Remember when people said that Trump was going to start a nuclear war with his Twitter account? Since then, the North and South have opened talks, showed some unity at the Olympics, and now this.

Flashback:  Trump in 1999 talking about the North Korea problem with fantastic clarity (here as well). Now, the same ‘experts’ who have been getting it wrong for 25 years now say that Trump is getting played and that this new breakthrough will yield nothing more than a photo-op

Particularly telling is this interview from former Obama administration lackey Evelyn Farkas who, like all members of the establishment attempted to pour cold water over the development so as to preserve one last shred of credibility before Trump potentially destroys it by doing what the last few presidents, and their armies of ‘experts’ such as herself couldn’t in nearly 30 years.

But what was particularly of note here was the fact that she lamented that Trump’s ‘bluster’ was what got the job done, echoing her Neocon comrades who claim to be oh so principled but would run with their tails between their legs the second things got a bit sticky. That sort loves losing admirably, and so to see an ‘uncouth’ Trump succeeding is an utterly devastating thing to behold. Her admittance that it was ‘unfortunate’ highlights the lunacy of these people.

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The vast majority of the professional economic class has predicted doom and gloom over Trump’s decision to impose steel and aluminum tariffs, mostly targeted at China. I’ll probably write about it myself in the coming weeks, but here are some rejoinders from The Z Man, Vox Day and Conservative Treehouse (here, and here as well) which effectively make a counterargument.

Speaking of tariffs, Gary Cohn resigned as chief economic advisor to the President, signaling that the defeat for the globalist faction of the administration on the trade issue is a complete one. This defeat has triggered the petulance of our betters in the press who stand with Cohn ideologically on this issue. Their response? Claim bigotryanti-Semitism more specifically – is at the heart of the use of the term ‘globalist.’ This despite 3 years of an explicit nationalism vs globalism debate which has enveloped the world.

That the media has embarked on a full court press in this regard, highlights that element of Clown World that dictates that disagreement = hate, which is a losing argument. But it’s the only argument they know, and thus risk even further defeat. They continue to learn nothing.

Culture

Fred Reed opines on diversity:

The obvious soon became evident to those not ideologically resistant to it: In matters cultural, you can’t have it both ways. When you mix in schools populations whose values are contradictory–say, those who believe in clean language and those three quarters of whose discourse consists of “motherfucker,” one side has to give. You cannot require half of the studentry to follow a dress code while allowing the other half to wear pants almost around their ankles. Those who did not eat pork or did eat dogs coexisted uneasily with those who had opposing dietary ideas. Those who mutilated their children’s reproductive organs in one manner (Christians and Jews) and those who did it in another (Muslims) came into conflict.

The less well diversity worked, the more furiously its advocates sought to impose it. Feminists arose, hostile to men and powerful enough to impose themselves on society. They pushed women into the infantry, where they did not fit and did not belong: more ill-advised diversity. Homosexuality went from being quietly tolerated to being taught to children in grade school. though their parents abominated it.

Those inhabiting the extreme reaches of political correctness imagine a world as they think it should be and then try to move into it, dragging everyone else along. I think of the Beatles insipidly crooning “All You Need is Love” in eternal adolescent sanctimony. They of course hated those who disagreed with them. Obama, who transparently liked neither whites or America, imported many hundreds of thousands of immigrants who were almost impossible to assimilate. It was, I suspect, revenge for 1619.

It did not, of course, work. And so the papers carry endless stories of Islamophobia, dislike of Jews, attacks on Christianity, of misandry, looting of malls, burning of cities, White Nationalism, Black Lives Matter, calls for The Wall, novel policies regarding bathrooms, anger over Spanish on federal forms, affirmative action, perennial academic gaps, the demands of the various sexual curiosities, the Knockout Game, special privilege for this and that group, and a seething anger and despair over a country that many remember but no longer exists.

The whole thing is a good read

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Elsewhere, no one watched the Oscars last weekend. Well, that isn’t strictly true. Michael Sebastian of ROK did in order to further warn of the war Hollywood has planned against truth and beauty.

Related:  Cosmopolitanism and its war on the west

Generation Zyklon is seemingly the least likely generation to grab the guns. Don’t mind that attention whore Hogg kid.

California is A Shithole

Over the last few weeks, stories have been filtering into the mainstream press about a growing crisis in California relating to homeless people, waste, blight, and drugs. From San Francisco:

The NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit surveyed 153 blocks of downtown San Francisco in search of trash, needles, and feces. The investigation revealed trash littered across every block. The survey also found 41 blocks dotted with needles and 96 blocks sullied with piles of feces.

And now in Southern California:

Orange County Public Works released eye-popping figures Thursday, March 8, on the total amount of debris, needles and hazardous waste removed when crews cleaned up the area along the Santa Ana River Trail once populated by the encampments of homeless people.

Here’s what was collected between Jan. 22 and March 3 from a more than two-mile stretch of bike trail roughly from I-5 in Orange to Ball Road in Anaheim, according to OC Public Works spokesman Shannon Widor:

  • 404 tons of debris

  • 13,950 needles

  • 5,279 pounds of hazardous waste (human waste)

We are seeing evidence of multiple decades of diversity, open borders, the rejection of heritage social and cultural norms, and so forth. Eschewing the standards that were set for us by those who came before now leaves us in a position where the country that was inherited is no longer that country.

It’s more like Brazil now, with ever shrinking pockets of normalcy surrounding by insanity. The DOJ is suing the state for getting in the way of the Law. More locally, you’ve got the mayor of Oakland giving some illegal aliens, most of whom have committed further crimes upon entering the country, a heads up that they were set to be deported soon, partially thwarting the efforts of law enforcement.

This is he same state, recall, that allowed an illegal immigrant who had been deported and re-entered several times, to walk after killing Kate Steinle. Anarcho-tyranny at its finest.

It’s perhaps fitting that sewer water may now make its way into Californian taps soon. Not the best look from the LARGEST GDP ZONE IN THE USA. You can read the likes of Fred Reed quoted above as to why things got so bad, so as to be mindful, lest it gets to that degree in the rest of the good ol’ USA.

Related: The 50 most dangerous cities in the world. The vast majority of them are in Central and South America. Their rivals in the United States are ‘diversity’ hotspots. Coincidence? I think not.

In Closing

There is hope however, and I’ll end with that. Here is Virginia House Delegate Nick Frietas giving rousing remarks about the second amendment.

That’s your lot, until next time.

 

On Big Little Lies

(Caution: Spoilers Within)

I finally got around to watching Big Little Lies, the much talked about HBO series. I didn’t go into the series with any expectations, nor had I read the book. I had no dispositions other than it was a popular show getting critical acclaim.

Ultimately, what seemed like a murder mystery set in a wealthy, picturesque Monterrey, California ended up being a tale about the modern societal themes of feminism and disdain for patriarchy. The murder mystery only served to provide catharsis for the commentary on female victimization that spanned the mini-series.

I don’t say that in a snide or dismissive way; virtually every major female character was cast out as a victim of some sort. The most obvious victim is Celeste (Nicole Kidman) who is the victim of regular physical assault at the hand of her husband Perry (Alexsander Sarsgard), who promises that he’ll change after every violent episode. We learn that Jane (Shailene Woodley) was the victim of a rape, which resulted in her becoming pregnant with her son Ziggy, whom she is raising as a single mom.


She becomes friends with Madeline (Reese Witherspoon) after moving to Monterrey in an attempt to give her son a better life. Madeline is a victim simply because she can’t have it all. She is essentially stuck between Bonnie and Renata (Zoe Kravitz and Laura Dern), who are victims of their success. Bonnie is the young, attractive twentysomething bohemian type with a superb figure, who married Madeline’s ex-husband Nathan (Jake Tupper). Renata is a Power Skirt in a Power Couple.

Bonnie reminds the middle aged ladies of their fading youth, beauty and fertility, and is thus victimized by those iciest of attitudes and scorn directed at her from the older set.

Renata is a victim of her success as a striver. She is on the board of PayPal, and her Power Skirt success, and all that comes with it, including French nanny, leads the other ladies to view her as a failure with regards to raising her daughter Amabella.

Even Amabella is a victim, as we find out in the first episode. One of her male classmates choked her, and throughout the series she continues to suffer physical abuse. When her mother Renata noticed the marks on her neck and when it was discovered the perpetrator was a boy, she asked Amabella to identify him, saying that “Little boys don’t get to go around anymore hurting little girls, and none of us want to raise bullies.”

Continue reading On Big Little Lies