Category Archives: Politics

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.

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.

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

It’s Not Yet Time To Blackpill over DACA

In the wake of President Trump’s televised Immigration meeting:

plenty of individuals on the right have fallen prey to suspect media reports and misleading headlines about what the President said or didn’t say, and what he was willing to do. MOTUS has it right:

it’s fairly easy to understand why the President decided to go live with his reality show.

Let’s have a little of that transparency that Obama spoke so highly of but never implemented. Let’s hear the Democrats defend their insistence that our borders remain open to all comers and chain migration continue in order to ensure generations of future Dem voters. Let’s hear them insist, again, that if you give them whatthey want now they’ll work with you later on what you want.

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Let’s hear the Democrats tell us they want a “clean DACA” bill – meaning amnesty for the Dreamers with no strings attached. Let’s hear Trump amiably agree that he too wants a clean DACA bill, by which he means funding of The Wall and an end to chain migration and the visa lottery. Note to Ann Coulter and Tucker Carlson: it’s too soon to talk about Trump being a traitor. Remember the President is fresh from a meeting with Republican leaders at Camp David last weekend. When he says “I’ll sign whatever you send me” I suspect he has an agreement with the House and Senate leaders regarding acceptable parameters. So why would they send him anything else? And I’m betting the bill includes wall funding and the end of chain migration and the visa lottery. Yes, I assume it will also include some type of legality – short of automatic citizenship – for any of the Dreamers who’ve managed to keep a clean rap sheet. But frankly I’ve always assumed that would be the case. It’s the art of the deal.

“You can’t con people, at least not for long. You can create excitement, you can do wonderful promotion and get all kinds of press, and you can throw in a little hyperbole. But if you don’t deliver the goods, people will eventually catch on.” Donald Trump, The Art of the Deal

As for Ann Coulter, bless her, but she’s overreacting:

Yes, Trump did say he wanted a “Clean DACA” bill, which he explicitly defined as including “border security” (the wall), and at another point he had added “and other things” (presumably ending chain migration and ending the diversity visa lottery) to his definition of a deal.

Yes, Trump did compromise on what the wall meant – by saying it wasn’t going to be a continuous 2000 mile structure because of mountains and rivers – something he’s always said.

Between Trump’s normal hyperbole and usual extemporaneous manner of speaking, the idea that he’s making concessions or caving in are a bit overblown. So he used Jeb-like language in talking about a “bill of love.” But he also used Trump-like language in reminding the audience that walls work – ask Israel, and repeatedly making a wall (and other goodies) a non-negotiable aspect of any deal.

And if you’re still not convinced, there was a moment during Trump’s ramblings in which he mentioned that Representative Bob Goodlatte from Virginia would get things going in the House with the introduction of a bill. Goodlatte co-wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal outlining it. Here are some of the highlights:

  • $30 billion wall funding
  • 5,000 Border Patrol agents and 5,000 Customs and Border Protection officers
  • Allows the DACA folks to remain with three-year renewable legal status – with no path to citizenship
  • Biometric entry-exit system
  • E-Verify
  • Ends chain migration and the diversity visa lottery
  • Gives the DOJ scope to keep money from sanctuary cities

That’s the deal. Which is why he kept saying things like ‘once we do DACA we’ll be most of the way to getting comprehensive done.’ His namedropping of Goodlatte (at 14:25 in the video) is pretty important.

Congress is the reason DACA has to be a part of the deal. That might be a bitter pill for some to swallow, but the fact of the matter is that congress, as it is currently constituted, wants DACA. As a result, our current options are as follows:

  1. Let DACA expire, let chain migration and diversity lottery live on, and hope midterms bring us enough Trump Republicans in both chambers to actually enact legislation without shenanigans and negotiatons
  2. Concede DACA legitimization (no citizenship), and get the wall, get no chain migration, get no more diversity lottery

#2 is far more likely and is imminent, thanks to the leverage Trump created back in September when he allowed DACA to expire, and thus Trump is going for that. It’s a simple calculation that an 80% chance of getting 70% of what you want is better than a 5% chance of getting 100% of what you want. Trump could have got rid of DACA on day one like he promised, but then he would have had no leverage to get all of the other goodies he’s after. Remember, congress doesn’t really want a wall or ending chain migration, or ending diversity visa lotteries. They are only getting on board because they have to to keep their precious DACA going.

And by doing it this way, Trump is creating a situation in which he can get things codified through legislation, as opposed to via Executive Order, which could just be undone by the next SJW president who takes over. Ironically, Obama’s desire to ride roughshod over the legislate process for the benefit for illegal immigrant will turn out to be the very thing that stems the tide in the other direction. None of this is 4D chess – just good politics. 

At the end of the day though, the meeting was probably done to highlight the fact that, no, the president is not a mentally unstable, semi-illiterate buffoon who watches 20 hours of cable news per day, as the media has been saying over the last week or so. In their clamor over the Wolff book, they set such a low bar for the President to hurdle that all he has to do is show the American public a rare glimpse of the sausage being made, with him confidently and assuredly leading the discussion. All while flanked by the very Democrats who are supposed to lead the charge of impeachment-by-mental instability; the imaging of them sat at Trump’s right and left engaging with him in serious discussion alone neuters the Wolff fan fiction to anyone with an inkling of common sense, making a mockery of said media hysteria to boot.

It was superb politics.

Is the Political Class Mentally Stable Enough to Provide Meaningful Political Analysis?

The short answer is: no. But I don’t do short answers, so here’s the long one.

In How Dare You, I described the fact that nearly a year into Trump’s presidency, his opposition has yet to come to terms with the fact that he did actually win the election:

The larger issue here is that those who would consider themselves our cultural betters have affixed to their beliefs the status of The Truth, by fiat. What is accomplished by this is the elevation of what really are mere opinions to base maxims of the sort that are the foundation of the country, thus in theory unassailable.

And so when Trump disagrees with this or that leftist talking point, and vehemently to boot, there is a collective shock that permeates the commentariat. How dare Trump express views which aren’t in agreement with the one Truth that is Leftism in all its forms? How dare Taylor Swift not instantly condemn Trump despite having no reason to voice an opinion, and furthermore how dare Taylor Swift disagree when she is declared to be a white supremacist? How dare Sidney Crosby, a white man, turn up to the White House to accept praise from Trump?

The fact that leftism has gone without a real challenge for multiple decades, and in particular through the Obama years, has rendered the nascent Trump era to be nothing short of a hammer blow through the sensibilities of most leftists. Many still haven’t come to terms with the fact that Trump really is the president, and more fundamentally that the Leftist Truth is not held as such by a YUGE swath of America.

The recent excitement over Michael Wolff’s new book, Fire and Fury, which bills itself as an exclusive inside look at the Trump White House, is further evidence that the failure to come to terms with Trump 45 is as prevalent as ever. Indeed, it seems that Trump Derangement Syndrome has reached levels that shouldn’t be possible. In the past week, this book has been endlessly covered in the mainstream media, with Wolff himself doing interviews with basically every network and media publication to drum up the hype, bolstered by stories of how the book has been flying off the shelves in record time.

President Trump has unsurprisingly said less than favorable things about the book, and in fairness it does require the reader to suspend logic at regular intervals. For a start, it tries to advance the popular meme that Trump really didn’t want to be president. Wolff’s ‘evidence’ for this is the fact that Trump actually ran the campaign of an authentic outsider.

The Trump campaign had, perhaps less than inadvertently, replicated the scheme from Mel Brooks’s The Producers. In that classic, Brooks’s larcenous and dopey heroes, Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom, set out to sell more than 100 percent of the ownership stakes in the Broadway show they are producing. Since they will be found out only if the show is a hit, everything about the show is premised on its being a flop. Accordingly, they create a show so outlandish that it actually succeeds, thus dooming our heroes.

[…]

The Trump calculation, quite a conscious one, was different. The candidate and his top lieutenants believed they could get all the benefits of almost becoming president without having to change their behavior or their fundamental worldview one whit: we don’t have to be anything but who and what we are, because of course we won’t win.

Many candidates for president have made a virtue of being Washington outsiders; in practice, this strategy merely favors governors over senators. Every serious candidate, no matter how much he or she disses Washington, relies on Beltway insiders for counsel and support. But with Trump, hardly a person in his innermost circle had ever worked in politics at the national level—his closest advisers had not worked in politics at all. Throughout his life, Trump had few close friends of any kind, but when he began his campaign for president he had almost no friends in politics. The only two actual politicians with whom Trump was close were Rudy Giuliani and Chris Christie, and both men were in their own way peculiar and isolated. And to say that he knew nothing—nothing at all—about the basic intellectual foundations of the job was a comic understatement. Early in the campaign, in a Producers-worthy scene, Sam Nunberg was sent to explain the Constitution to the candidate: “I got as far as the Fourth Amendment before his finger is pulling down on his lip and his eyes are rolling back in his head.”

Almost everybody on the Trump team came with the kind of messy conflicts bound to bite a president or his staff.

In short, Wolff is perplexed at the fact that Trump was genuine, a trait foreign to those who work in journalism and politics. According to Wolff’s logic, the measure of Trump as a ‘serious candidate’ would have been his reliance on hundreds of so-called experts, who would have run every word he was to utter in public through carefully curated focus groups so as to craft the message which had the highest possibility of winning according to BIGDATA analysis.

Continue reading Is the Political Class Mentally Stable Enough to Provide Meaningful Political Analysis?

On the Unrest in Iran

Anglo interest in Iran has always centered around oil and gas, which is unsurprising. The British discovered oil early on in the 20th century and promptly set up shop. Fast forward to 1941, and in the midst of World War II, Iran was once again strategically important. Reza Shah Pahlavi, who had been in power since 1925 sought to modernize Iran, and in doing so had invited German assistance so as to reduce the British oil-centric influence.. This became a problem for the British from the onset of war, and after the Germans attacked the Soviets, Iran became vitally important to both countries as an conduit for arms supply between them.

The shah refused to cut ties with the Germans however, proclaiming that Iran was a neutral country. So the Soviets and British put the squeeze on him, invaded Iran and forced him to abdicate the throne so that his son, the more amenable Mohammed Reza Shah, could take over. After the war, both the British and the Soviets withdrew their troops (although the latter required some ‘coaxing’), and the arrangement went back to how it had been before. The British controlled the oil interests, and the Shah went about implementing modernizing reforms as his father did.

In doing so, he came into conflict with factions which wanted to nationalize the oil, and who were concerned with the Shah’s growing power accumulation versus a more equal relationship with Parliament. This came to a head in the early 1950s, when the Mohammad Mossadegh spearheaded the Parliamentary move to nationalized the oil, against the wishes of the Shah (and of course The West). On the back of this, Mossadegh became Prime Minister and sought to kick the British out, while attempting to consolidate power himself and thus weaken the monarch.

In the process, Mossadegh also came into conflict with the religious clerics (mullahs). Although they approved of the nationalization of the oil, and opposed the Western-influenced secularization and modernization efforts of the Shah, they were concerned that their role and influence would be even further diminished in a new Mossadegh-led order as opposed to the standard quo of the monarchy. So they joined the growing chorus concerned that Mossadegh was getting too big for his britches (as the shah himself was also accused of), and supported his ouster.

This came in 1953, and included help from the British and the CIA, who of course were interested in the oil above anything else. Much has been made of this 1953 ‘coup,’ but the reality was that even though there was CIA involvement, it wasn’t a clean operation. Furthermore, to the extent the CIA intervened, it was in line with the domestic trend of the day, which was to get rid of Mossadegh.

One aspect that caused a lot of consternation, and opened the door for a lot of historical revisionism was the fact that the shah was quite feckless and indecisive. He had every right under Iranian law to get rid of Mossadegh, and even though he wanted Mossadegh out, if it had come from his hand it would have reinforced the growing idea that he was an authoritarian riding roughshod over the rule of law. Thus, he sought support from the British and Americans in fomenting internal discord before doing what he had the right to do on his own.

This dynamic has been twisted a bit in contemporary accounts of 1953, which almost universally state that Mossadegh was a ‘democratically elected’ leader who was overthrown by the CIA. This is not accurate. Mossadegh was democratically elected to Parliament. From there, however, he was nominated by the Shah to become Prime Minister, and approved by the rest of Parliament in a vote. ‘The people’ had no say in Mossadegh ascending to the premiership, and it had always been the shah’s right to nominate and get rid of Prime Ministers at necessary.

Indeed, all it takes is a cursory glance at the list of Iran’s Prime Ministers to see that during Mohammed Reza Shah’s 36 year rule, there were 33 different terms. One was lucky to be in the job for more than a year. PM’s coming and going had always been the way of things, and Mossadegh’s order to leave was no different.

The fact that Mossadegh arrested the officials who informed him of the Shah’s decree, and the shah’s subsequent fleeing to Italy is suggestive of the fact that a coup was going on – but one led by Mossadegh, who at that point was illegally in the office. This was August 13th. By August 16th, Mossadegh had surrendered under the weight of pro-shah protests and the realization that many officials both in government and the military supported the shah. Recall that Mossadegh himself was viewed as becoming increasingly authoritarian, and his actions in 1953 were probalby seen as confirmation of that. CIA influence or not, the Iranians themselves ultimately preferred the Shah to Mossadegh.

Continue reading On the Unrest in Iran

How Dare You

Taylor Swift has gotten herself into some trouble over the past year or so, not necessarily for anything she has said or done, but rather for what she hasn’t said or done. Specifically, she has not chosen to join the bevy of celebrities and social media superstars in declaring that every little thing President Trump does or says is going to result in the immediate extinction of mankind.

I was alerted to this over the last few days or so, when Swift expressed her gratitude for what was a personally fulfilling year. As you can see from that article, she was destroyed for this on Twitter, by leftists who deemed her callous for not seeing 2017 as anything but the worst year in human history, because of President Trump, and other developments which were distasteful to their leftist sensibilities.

This led me to finding out that quite a few people harbored disappointment in the pop superstar for her silence in these matters. Her recognition by Time magazine as a ’silence breaker’ in their year end review of 2017 was roasted by The Daily Beast. The same publication has put out at least three other articles (here, here and here) in the past 12 months blasting Swift for not going all in on the Social Justice Warrior warpath in the same manner as the likes of Lena Dunham, Katy Perry and Ashley Judd, who have denounced the President, and for that matter any political views to the right of Mao.

Continue reading How Dare You

Quick Hit: No Moore

So Roy Moore has seemingly lost in Alabama. This is a huge deal. I mentioned in my last post that if Moore had win, it would have been monumental as it would be a display of the waning power of the media. Thus, Moore’s defeat is significant in that the establishment, and the media in particular still holds the power to bully anyone it doesn’t like, effectively waging snap recall elections against Bad Thinkers who hold office. Expect pressure to be heaped on Trump in this regard. Decide if that is the politics you want.

But for Moore specifically, a lot of what did him in was incongruity. He touted himself as a Man of God first, and this was susceptible to attacks on this level. In a way, Franken was done similalry, having touted himself as a Man of the Equalist Diversity Tolerance God, and was proven a hypocrite. American voters hate that. 

Not that we don’t need God back at the midst of American culture, but Roy Moore types are not the way to go. 

I’m in transit, so I must go, leaving you with some thoughts from Libertas from RVF.

Sadly, this was as expected. Roy Moore was never the guy. Mo Brooks was. The voters chose wrong to get Brooks out. It’s as simple as that. Moore was always scummy with or without these allegations. This whole fiasco goes to show just how big a problem these “Cuckianity” people can be, as some are fond of saying.

But no more fighting the last war. This one was lost.

The Republicans need to adapt and immediately deploy a counteroffensive. The left is going to go all in on this next year. Expect any mundane interaction to suddenly be dredged up as “sexual misconduct” (a meaningless phrase legally speaking but just sounds bad, same as “collusion”). If the Republicans try to fight that battle, whether by going harder on it, or pleading how they’re good people on it, they will lose.

The Republicans instead need to maneuver to fight in another theater, with a sword and shield strategy.

The shield: America’s instinctive revulsion to witch hunts and star chambers. They need to emphasize the importance of evidence, due process, and fact finding. Deny, deny, deny. Point out the hysteria and moral panic. You already see Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham deploying this.

The sword: While fighting on the defensive in that theater, they need to turn the offensive somewhere else, an issue that’s equally or even more greatly emotionally charged, and that issue is immigration. As we just saw in New York twice in two months, this is deeply related to terrorism and safety. The Repiblicans need to run hard on building the wall, ending chain migration, stopping the diversity lottery, passing the RAISE Act, and so on. That way the Democrats can shriek all they want about “sexual misconduct,” but the Republicans can basically say they’re the party that’s gonna fight for your economic prosperity and, more importantly, not let in people that want to addict you to drugs or kill you.

With tax reform likely to be passed, the economy should look good, so the defining, emotive, and signature issue next year needs to be immigration. If they run on it, they’ll win. If they try to fight the Democrats on their chosen battleground, they will lose.

The Democrats successfully tested a very potent strategy. The Republicans need to respond accordingly, and it needs to be by going on the defensive there while going on the offensive on immigration, and no other issue.

Will they? Sadly, I have my doubts. Expect tons and tons of vague, idiotic “misconduct” accusations to come up next year – and make sure you’re very careful in your own lives. I joke that if I could today never get away with some of the the stuff I did in my approaches in 2014-15, which wasn’t exactly free from feminist hysteria. It’s gonna get a lot worse for men of all stripes.