May 28, 2017

Nipping a legal problem in the bud

Paul Driessen

Not long ago, I predicted that endangered species designation for certain bumblebees would be used to delay or block pesticide use and construction projects across the USA. The abuses have already begun – and now a federal judge has ruled that EPA failed to consult with the Fish & Wildlife Service before approving dozens of products that contain neonicotinoid pesticides.

The silver lining is that her decision gives the Interior Department and EPA a golden opportunity to open the consultation process to all the experts and affected parties who should be involved and could help ensure that policies and regulations are more solidly based on sound science, common sense, and proper attention to everyone who is likely to be affected by their decisions. My article explains how and why this should be done.

Nipping a legal problem in the bud

Consult with all affected parties, to ensure informed endangered species and pesticide policies

Paul Driessen

One of my recent articles predicted that the Fish & Wildlife Service’s endangered species designation for the rusty patched bumblebee would lead to its being used to delay or block construction projects and pesticide use on hundreds of millions of acres of US farmland. The abuses have already begun.

Projects in Minnesota and elsewhere have been delayed, while people tried to ascertain that no bees were actually nesting in the areas. Now a federal district court judge has ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency failed to consult with the FWS before approving 59 products containing neonicotinoid pesticides that are used primarily as seed coatings for corn, canola, cotton, potato, sugar beet and other crops.

As crops bud and grow, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt must nip this problem in the bud. Thankfully, Judge Maxine Chesney has given them the means to do so.

The Endangered Species Act requires that EPA determine whether a pesticide "may affect” a listed species, she noted, and consult with the FWS and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS, which has no conceivable role in protecting domesticated or wild bees), before approving the 59 products, which contain the neonics clothianidin or thiamethoxam. So EPA must consult with the agencies and determine that the insecticides would have "no effect” on the species or establish stricter guidelines for using them.

The Center for Food Safety and a couple of beekeepers initiated their lawsuit to toughen restrictions on or ban use of the 59 pesticide products, because of alleged risks to bees and other pollinators. Pesticide manufacturers, their CropLife America trade association, and various farmers and beekeepers argued that these "neonic” insecticides are safe for bees, and no new measures or restrictions are needed.

Properly done, consultation would evaluate the conflicting claims and ensure more informed policies. During the Obama Administration, those consultations would likely have involved only the EPA, FWS and NMFS, where many analysts have anti-pesticide views, along with the anti-insecticide plaintiffs. The industry and other parties who intervened in the lawsuit would likely have been excluded or ignored.

But those interveners certainly bring essential expertise. So do farmers, other beekeepers, the Department of Agriculture, scientists who have been studying neonic and other threats to honeybees, and wild bee experts like Sam Droege in the Interior Department’s US Geological Survey.

Truly informed policies and regulations must involve all such experts, as well as parties who will be most affected by any EPA-DOI decisions: construction companies and unions, local government officials, conventional farmers who rely on neonics to protect their crops – and beekeepers who increasingly understand that honeybee colony losses in recent years were due to natural pests and pathogens, and that alternative pesticides are actually more harmful to bees than neonics.

Extensive studies have concluded that the actual cause of bee die-offs and "colony collapse disorders” has been a toxic mix of tiny pests (parasitic Varroa destructor mites, phorid flies, Nosema ceranae gut fungus, tobacco ringspot virus and deformed wing virus) – as well as chemicals used by beekeepers trying to control these beehive infestations. These diseases and pathogens can easily spread to wild bees.

Field studies involving crops where bees forage for pollen have consistently found no observable adverse effects on honeybees resulting from exposures to properly applied neonic seed coatings. The studies assessed neonic residues from bees and hives under actual pollinating/pollen-gathering conditions; they found that pesticide residues were well below levels that can adversely affect bees – and that neonics "did not cause any detrimental effects on the development or reproduction” of honeybee and wild bee species.

That should not be surprising. Coating seeds ensures that neonic pesticides are absorbed into plant tissues – and thus target only pests that actually feed on the crops. This reduces or eliminates the need to spray crops with much larger quantities of neonicotinoid, pyrethroid or other pesticides that definitely can kill birds, bats and beneficial insects that inhabit or visit the fields or are impacted by accidental "over-sprays.” Even organic farming can harm bees, as it often employs powerful, toxic "natural” chemicals (like copper sulfate) and spraying with live Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) bacteria.

Laboratory studies consistently overdose bees with pesticides, under conditions that do not come close to approximating what bees encounter in forests, grasslands or croplands. That makes their findings highly questionable to useless for devising responsible, science-based regulations.

These realities help explain the sudden attention to wild bees. When the hullabaloo over honeybee deaths and "colony collapse disorder” supposedly caused by pesticides (especially neonics) collapsed like a house of cards, eco-activists began raising alarums over wild bees species. That’s because so little is known that their latest "no wild bees – no food or flowers” claims cannot yet be refuted as convincingly as were claims about domesticated honeybees that have been bred and studied for centuries.

The FWS and Interior Department clearly opened a Pandora’s Box when they decided to list the rusty patched bumblebee as endangered (rather than merely threatened). That bee’s historic range covers nearly 4 million acres, scattered in unknown segments among 378 million acres across 13 Northeastern and Midwestern states. Other species that anti-pesticide activists want added to the endangered list (yellow-banded, western and Franklin’s bumblebees) were found historically in small areas scattered over more than a billion acres in 40 US states. Some nest in the ground; others in trees.

If environmentalists succeed in getting these endangered designations – especially coupled with a narrow consultation process – they could delay, block or bankrupt power lines, bridges, highways, pipelines, housing developments, wastewater treatment plants, plowing operations and other projects all over the USA. Non-organic farming, neonic-treated seeds, and other pesticide use could be particularly vulnerable.

The actual environmental benefits would be minimal – or profoundly negative, as farmers are forced to use other insecticides or switch to land-intensive organic methods. Additional ironies abound.

The constant environmentalist, court, news media and government agency attention to bees and pesticides is hard to understand in the context of policies that promote, mandate and subsidize large-scale wind turbine installations – while ignoring or exempting their impacts on raptors and other birds, bats, and even whales (NMFS should investigate that) and human health.

Meanwhile, extensive monoculture corn and canola plantations (to produce feed stocks for ethanol and biodiesel production) replace millions of acres of food crop and wildlife habitat lands, while using vast quantities of water, fertilizer and energy to replace the oil, coal and natural gas that rabid greens want kept in the ground. These biofuel operations reduce biodiversity and the numbers and varieties of flowering plants on which wild bee species depend. In addition, over their life cycles ethanol and biodiesel generate more carbon dioxide than fossil fuels per Btu of energy produced (see here, here and here).

Broad-based consultations are therefore essential, to ensure that all these topics are addressed by experts and affected parties who can help evaluate the science and policy implications for domesticated and wild bees, as well as for farming, construction, jobs, families and other species.

They must assess not just the alleged risks of using neonics, but also the risks of not using them, risks associated with having to use other classes of pesticides, and risks that could be reduced or eliminated by using modern neonic seed coatings. They should focus on replicable, evidence-based, field-tested science, not laboratory studies; balance agricultural, consumer and environmental needs; and consider bees in the context of how we protect (or don’t protect) other valuable wildlife species.

These steps would help restore science and common sense to policy and regulatory processes – and serve as a foundation for adjusting the Endangered Species Act to minimize regulatory and litigation excesses.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow ( and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death.

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Once again if it wasn't for hypocrisy and lying, Liberals would have no redeeming values

Wil Wirtanen

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I struck a chord with Americans supporting Dr. Ben Carson's statements

Jack Kemp

Yesterday Amer. Thinker editor Thomas Lifson wrote a blog piece entitled "‘Intense backlash’ proves the truth of Ben Carson: poverty ‘a state of mind’ that obviously supported Dr. Carson's recent remarks.

I wrote a comment to this piece, my comment being an expansion on a comment that I've previously written in reply to other articles and blog pieces. I think it is worth noting here because in one day this comment has gotten a high number of upvotes, a total of 40 so far, which is way above average for my comments. This indicates that readers were strongly supporting my remarks.

My comment:

JackKemp • a day ago
A few years ago, I got into a discussion with a young man in his 20s who believed the excuse that it was "racist" or too difficult to make Spanish speakers learn English and that was keeping them in poverty. I told him about the late Joey Vento, an immigrant from Italy who spoke no English when he came to America and later became a store owner and local political figure in Philadelphia. I also told him that I came from Europe (where, coincidently, many people speak three or four languages) and I did not speak a word of English until I reached kindergarten, where I picked it up without any special classes. He just stared at me. In fact, he didn't even ask me what language I orignally spoke before English (it was Yiddish). I don't recall if I told him that my parents spoke virtually no English when they came to the U.S. (they, like most Europeans, spoke three other languages already). But here was a young skull full of mush that was probably repeating the excuses he learned in high school and college for people that didn't want to make the effort to learn English and he was thus indirectly saying that they were forced to be poor all their lives. Jeff Bezos, the owner of Amazon, worked at McDonald's as a young man. He didn't consider that a dead end job that defined his future. And the young Jimmy Hoffa worked on the loading dock at Krogers - he also didn't make excuses and consider that a dead end job that defined his future.

Dr. Ben Carson is right.

And I'll add one reply to my comment:

Galenical replies to JackKemp • 15 hours ago
THE three things*** needed for success in life (per Ben Shapiro and many others):

Graduate from high school.

Work very hard.

Don't make babies until you are married (assuming a monogamous life!).

You will then live the dream.

***I would add a fourth : Live within your means (Avoid the use of credit cards and don't buy new cars or any other thing you cannot afford)


Thanks Jack; great points!

Tim Allan's "last Man Standing" may feature a conservative Allan but it so often promotes the liberal viewpoint. In one episode I just saw Allan was telling his Basque business partner (Hector Elizondo) that immigrants need to learn English and assimilate, to which Elizonda replied "it takes a while to assimilate>) Really? I know Bosnians who came here in the '90's who are more American than second or third generation Hispanics. You have to WANT to assimilate.

Just as you and your family did.

Academia created the notion of Multicullturalism, which was the idea that we could have multiple cultures living in the same space, a sort of Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was promoted as a salad rather than a soup. Well, it clearly doesn't work, but these fools keep promoting it nonetheless. If it worked the Hapsburgs would still rule central Europe.

No such empire works. History is full of them, and they all die because when push comes to shove the people don't hang together. Why did the Chinese Empire last until the 20th century while Rome, a contemporary, collapsed in 476? The Chinese absorbed everyone into their culture while the Romans did not. It really was that simple. The chinese had a cultural soup, the Romans a salad. Lettuce wilts, while the well cooked soup takes weeks to go bad.

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Hillary's not doing so well these days

Dana Mathewson

My brother-in-law David alluded to Hillary's recent Commencement Address at Wellesley, wherein she continued her "sore loser" meme -- apparently the only thing she does well these days. According to Breitbart News,

History, evidently, is not Clinton’s best subject. She likened President Donald Trump to Richard Nixon, whom she said had been impeached. In fact, Nixon resigned. [Wonder why she left out the fact that Bill had been impeached? Obviously an oversight.]

After that glaring error — compounded by the fact that Clinton’s husband was only the second American president to be impeached — Clinton then went on to accuse the Trump administration of "defending themselves by talking about ‘alternative facts.'”

She then presented some more "alternative facts” of her own, calling Trump’s new budget "an attack of unimaginable cruelty on the most vulnerable among us” and "a trillion-dollar mathematical lie.”

She never explained what she meant — and she did not have to. Clinton was on friendly territory: her alma mater, a liberal arts college, a largely female audience.

But there was something more than politics in her remarks. There was a desire to settle scores.

It was a petty, petulant performance. Clinton dwelled on the past, on an occasion devoted to the future. In a bitterly divisive speech, she accused Trump of fomenting division. America had disappointed her, and so young Americans had to bear the burden.

She tried to conclude on an inspiring note: "t’s often during the darkest times when you can do the most good,” she said.

It was a reminder of how much darker these times would have been had she won.

The Urgent Agenda article, with William Katz's comments, is at

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May 26, 2017

Media Hypocrisy on Gianforte Alleged Assault; Ignore Democrat who Assaulted Cop

Timothy Birdnow

As the media continues to hyperventilate over the "body slam" of a British journalist who himself appears to have come close to assaulting the Republican candidate for Congress in Montana, there is a strange silence over a Democrat who has done worse, driving drunk and assaulting a police officer. Gateway Pundit has the scoop:!

"It is doubtful this candidate will receive the same attention for his crimes as Republican candidate Greg Giantorte received for body-slamming an aggressive reporter in Montana on Wednesday.

The Herald Review reported:

Mark Wicklund, a former Macon County Board member and Democratic candidate for the 13th District U.S. House seat, is facing charges after police said he crashed a vehicle while driving under the influence and subsequently struck an officer at the hospital.

Wicklund has been charged with DUI in the April 18 rollover vehicle crash and is free on $10,000 bond.

He also faces a preliminary charge of aggravated battery against a police officer, with a special prosecutor having 30 days to determine whether to file a formal charge. The Macon County State’s Attorney’s Office typically makes formal charging decisions, but State’s Attorney Jay Scott filed a motion Thursday seeking the special prosecutor due to Wicklund’s former position on the county board. Wicklund served on the board from 2010 to 2013."

End excerpt.

Strange how the media holds such double standards.

It should be pointed out that the Montana story has been unraveling as the witnesses didn't actually see what happened. The Buzzfeed reporter was not actually in the room, and the Fox News infobabe admitted she didn't really see what happened. Laura Ingraham made it quite plain that the "chokehold" couldn't have happend the way she described (Laura has studied martial arts for decades). Greg Gianforte may have pushed the Guardian reporter, but hardly "body slammed" him in the way described. And,, anyone who listens to the audio must note that the "body slammed" reporter does not sound injured or winded or in any way in pain. He says matter-of-factly "you broke my glasses" but there is no shortness of breath.

This is increasingly looking like fake news, if you ask me.

No wonder 65% of voters think the mainstream media is fake news.

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An Offer he Couldn't Refuse; Comey's Attack on Trump and his Counterstrike

Fay Voshell

A FB friend posted this piece on the Comey mess. I thought it was really interesting.

I'd be interested in what you guys think.


Fay, I think this article's anaysis is spot on.

For openers, let me quote two sentences from the piece: "Begin by noticing how the President fired Comey when Comey was 3,000 miles away from his office, that Comey had no inkling he was being cut, that all his files, computers, and everything in his office were seized by his boss Sessions and the justice department. This was not a violation of protocol, it was tactical."

When I worked at Shearson American Express's data center, my manager one day came to the entrance turnstyle to swipe his entry card (similar to current NY City and perhaps other cities' subway systems) and it wouldn't accept him. After getting someone else to sign him in, he went upstairs and tried to log onto his computer account. That, too, didn't work. Then he knew for sure that a he would be informed that morning by an executive or personnel that his career at Shearson was over. Also, when Dana and I worked at a company called CT, one day a bunch of us came to work and could not log into the computer system. That happened to me that day and I believe (but am not sure) that it possibly happened to Dana as well (Dana did go to work for another company shortly after that and I used to meet him for lunch outside their building many times). Returning to the day of the CT firings, with various summonings to the Personnel Dept., everyone knew IN ADVANCE what the topic of discussion was going to be and, if they had worked there long enough, how much severance pay they would get.

Trump knows how people are professionally fired at jobs that have access to various sensitive computer files, particularly those maintained by the U.S. Justice Department.

I didn't know that Comey had no police or FBI agent experience before becoming the Director of the FBI. He does, however, look like a tall actor who would be chosen to play an FBI Director in a television Movie-of-the-Week.

The next quote: "Immediately after Trump is sworn in, the DOJ Hillary/Obama operatives and Comey start the direct attack. This is before Sessions has been appointed to the Department of Justice and the DOJ is still controlled by Obama operatives. DOJ Obama appointee Sally Yates approaches the Whitehouse with news that General Flynn had been in contact with Russia and alleges that he might be compromised. She reveals that there is an FBI "investigation” into the Russia ties (which they are constantly leaking to the media themselves)."

Although this isn't very analytical, reading these sentences made me recall the name of a 1960s motorcycle gang from Detroit that took part in the 1966 Sunset Strip Riots, namely "The Devil's Henchmen." That's exactly who Comey, Yates and Loretta Lynch resemble. Well, maybe "The Devil's Henchpersons." And I agree with the general tone of the conclusions, namely that Mr. Comey should not go jogging in Ft. Marcy Park or accept any invitations to a wine tasting organized by the Clintons or the Obamas at Skellenger Lane Vinyard in Napa Valley, California (owned by Nancy Pelosi). It is also questionable if Lloyd's of London will now sell Comey any life insurance as well.

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Debbie Wasserman Schultz Threatens Capitol Police Top Cop

Jack Kemp

Debbie is perhaps thinking, "Why let Anthony Weiner hog all the spotlight?" This involves, Comey, a Justice Dept. investigation and some programmers who fled to Pakistan. You'd think the Democrats would have hired American programmers for their computer projects instead of scab labor from overseas.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz Threatens Capitol Police Top Cop

Florida is known for its colorful characters and even more colorful scandals. That’s why Dave Barry practically patented the phrase "I swear I’m not making this up” while writing columns for the Miami Herald. From former governor Lawton Chiles, who used to run around wearing a coonskin cap, to Anna Nicole Smith, who went on her last bender in a Hollywood hotel room, the Sunshine State has regurgitated its share of weird on the rest of the country–so much that Florida Man has become its own Twitter meme, and regularly produces such headlines as, "Murder suspect who used big-penis defense found not guilty.”

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, she of the voice that would make fingernails on a chalkboard sound warm and seductive, seems determined to carry on that tradition. In 2016, while chairman of the Democrat National Committee, Wasserman Schultz got busted tipping the scales in the 2016 presidential primary, freezing out populist poster boy Bernie Sanders and sewing up the nomination for her pal Hillary Clinton. Voters–who thought that their votes actually counted–didn’t appreciate this display of grrrrl power, which compelled the DNC to show Wasserman Schultz the door. For some reason, though, this didn’t seem to matter much to the voters in her district, who sent her back to Congress where she sits on one of those subcommittees that decides how much money the House of Representatives spends on things like the Capitol Hill Police.

But that wasn’t enough scandal by Florida standards, so Wasserman Schultz has upped the ante by making veiled threats against the chief of that very same Capitol Hill Police. No, this wasn’t one of those Cynthia McKinney things where she tried to smack an officer with her cell phone. It was actually much more serious than that, and involved a laptop that the Capitol Cops seized as part of an investigation into the shady practices of an IT consultant may have improperly billed certain Democrats–Wasserman Schultz among them–millions of dollars for services not actually rendered. Strangely enough, these Democrats don’t seem terribly concerned about getting took, even though their fleecers have fled to Pakistan with all the money. In fact, they seem rather anxious to close the books on the investigation and move



The largely unspoken implication here is that these Muslim IlT people had access to many Congressional computers - and that it may be the "Russian hack" of the DNC system was accomplished through information stolen by these two Pakistanis. That could well be why Washerface Schultze is desperate to hide what's on those computers.

Here is more on this case from Americans for Limited Government:

By Printus LeBlanc

In early February, five employees of the House of Representatives employees were banned from the House IT network. The five former House employees are the subject of a criminal investigation by the Capitol Hill Police. They are accused of stealing equipment and accessing House IT systems without lawmakers' knowledge. The former employees were "shared" IT employees. "Shared" means they worked for several offices, performing IT functions.

The five employees worked for over 20 members, to include members from the Intelligence and Foreign Affairs Committees and former Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairwoman, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Shultz (D-Fla.). You may remember Wasserman-Shultz has had IT issues in the past when she was chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee in 2016.

The salaries of the employees should have been the first clue something was not right. Anyone that has worked on Capitol Hill will tell you, the salaries are not great. Most staffers can expect to start in the $30-40,000 range, not a lot for one of the most expensive cities in America. However, at least three of the staffers in question were making over $160,000 per year, three times the average IT staffer salary. To put that number into perspective, Chiefs of Staff, with dozens of years on the Hill, rarely make that much.

The story gets worse from there. All five employees are related, three of them were brothers, Jamal, Imran, and Abid Awan, with Hina Alvi being married to Imran, and Natalia Sova being married to one of the other brothers. Hina has apparently fled the country with her children, to Pakistan, where her family reportedly has significant assets and VIP protection.

The strangeness of the case does not end there. The brothers also had a car dealership, Cars International A (CIA) they used for supplemental income. The dealership was not doing so well, and fell behind in payments to their vendors. One vendor, Rao Abbas, threatened to sue them, and suddenly he received a paycheck from U.S. Rep. Theodore Deutch (D-Fla.). That payment has yet to be explained.

The brothers then took out a $100,000 loan from Dr. Ali Al-Attar. The brothers were unable to repay that loan, but that doesn't seem to be a problem, because Dr. Attar is a fugitive from U.S. authorities. Attar was indicted on tax fraud charges after the IRS and FBI discovered he used multiple bank accounts to hide income, in March 2012. The doctor is also believed to have ties to Hezbollah, the terrorist group. Al-Attar has since fled to Iraq.

As the investigation continued, it kept getting worse. Several offices hired new IT staff, and found some of the computers were sending data to an offsite server. It is unknown what type of data or where the server is located yet, but several IT professionals on the Hill now believe members could be subject to blackmail because of the data theft. The violations were so bad, one staffer said, "There's no question about it: If I was accused of a tenth of what these guys are accused of, they'd take me out in handcuffs that same day, and I'd never work again."

The case took another turn in a committee hearing on the Capitol Hill Police budget last week. Wasserman-Shultz took the opportunity to confront the Capitol Hill Police Chief about evidence in possession of the police. The Congresswoman wants a laptop computer back that is currently considered evidence by the Capitol Hill Police. The laptop allegedly was assigned to Imran Awan, the ringleader of the group. The laptop was found hidden in a different building from the one Wasserman-Shultz works in. The Congresswoman has an office in the Longworth building, but the laptop was found "hidden in an unused crevice of the Rayburn House Office Building." The Capitol Police seized it and are treating it as evidence in their ongoing criminal investigation.

While at the committee hearing, Wasserman-Shultz berated the Chief of Capitol Hill Police about procedures for getting the laptop back. The Chief explained what the procedures are, but the procedure changes if the laptop is evidence in a criminal investigation. The Congresswoman did not like that answer, and continued to ask the same question over and over. To his credit, the Chief answered the same way over and over. Finally, the Congresswoman threatened "consequences" for not returning her equipment. The video can be seen here, the exchange begins at 1:24:25.

This brings us to a question being asked a lot in Washington D.C. lately. What is obstruction of justice? The phrase seems to be the latest buzzword of the D.C. establishment since James Comey was fired earlier this month. Did Wasserman-Shultz attempt to "obstruct justice" by demanding the investigating authority hand over evidence in a criminal matter, or suffer "consequences"? Remember, the Congresswoman is on the committee that controls the budget of the very person she threatened "consequences".

The Congresswoman was singing a different tune earlier this month about "obstruction". Wasserman-Shultz commented about the Comey firing, saying "If President Trump pressured then-FBI Director Comey to close down an investigation into former National Security Advisor Flynn, it would represent an egregious corrosion of the rule of law." Does this mean the Congresswoman is representing an "egregious corrosion of the rule of law", her words not mine?

This latest incident with Wasserman-Shultz has created more questions than answers. Why would the Congresswoman risk "obstruction of justice" to get this computer back? What is Wasserman-Shultz trying to hide? If there was a potential breach of IT security on Capitol Hill, wouldn't the Congresswoman want that cleared up?

We have a legitimate security breach and a potential blackmail situation occurring on Capitol Hill, but the press is focused on a Russia story still with no evidence. We have an offsite server sucking up Congressional data, with criminal suspects fleeing to Pakistan for protection, but the press wants to focus on a special counsel with no apparent crime to investigate. We have a member of Congress pressuring the Capitol Hill Police on camera, but the press wants to talk about a memo no one has seen.

Where is the call for a special counsel on this scandal? Could it be Congress was breached by a foreign intelligence service, and no one wants to admit it, or did Congress get ripped off by a family of scammers? We need to find out the truth, no matter how unpleasant.

Printus LeBlanc is a contributing reporter at Americans for Limited Government.

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Get your Meal in first...

Jack Kemp

ICE agents eat at restaurant— then detain the workers Fox News, by Staff

ICE agents apparently love a good breakfast, and it doesn’t matter who’s making it. United States Immigrations Customs and Enforcement (ICE) officers detained three members of the kitchen staff at a restaurant in downtown Ann Arbor, Mich., on Wednesday morning–but only after sitting down to eat some waffles. Sava Lelcaj-Farah, the owner of Sava’s restaurant, told MLive that the incident was "really sad,” and "scares the whole community.” (Snip) When they were done, they "went into the kitchen to apprehend one of our employees who wasn’t on at the time,” as they suspected he did not have the proper documentation.

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The Non-War of Civilizations Erupts Again

Daren Jonescu

Within two days of Donald Trump declaring, during his speech to the Muslim world, that the fight against "Islamic terror” is not a war of civilizations, the non-warriors representing the non-enemy civilization have struck again, killing at least twenty-two and injuring many more at a concertin Manchester, England.

To be honest, I can’t quite get my head around what is so inflammatory about calling the abstractly-dubbed "war on terror” a war of civilizations. The aggressors are clearly claiming to represent an identifiable civilization in their attempts to annihilate another identifiable civilization. The only way to avoid the obvious conclusion is to deny that those aggressors are "really” representing their civilization. But what would that even mean in this context, once we wipe away the obfuscations of political correctness?

One civilization, the one in which we findnations governed (to varying degrees)under the tenets of Islamic law, has somehow managed to foster and perpetuate a subculture of murderous hatred for all resistance to the genuine Islamic ideal of a global caliphate. This civilization has coughed up generations of venomous phlegm in the form of ever more radical terrorist factions, alliances,and loose affiliations, which have wreaked havoc on almost every continent on the globe, killing, maiming, and raping untold thousands of victims, while severely disrupting life, liberty, and peace of mind for millions more. The general citizenry of this civilization, though not themselves participating in such violence, have shown remarkably high levels ofacceptance of, and sympathy with, the terrorists and their alleged cause — which, after all, is, as I said, a legitimate Islamic cause, the global caliphate.

The other civilization is the prime target of the violence and hatred spewed forth by the first, for the obvious reason that they are perceived as an obstacle, the primary obstacle, to the establishment of the global caliphate.

The first civilization has a well-documented past of violent fanaticism. That is to say, the fanaticism currently dubbed "Islamic terrorism,” "radical Islam,” or what have you, has a long and unbroken history. It is connected to the religion’s holy book, but perhaps even more so to the specific biography of its figurehead, and even to its traditional language, Arabic, which Jean-Jacques Rousseau identified as the tongue of murderous religious fanaticism two hundred and fifty years ago.

The second civilization has its own accusers and critics, its own history of fanatical behavior and violence. But therein lies a significant difference. The fanaticisms of the Judeo-Christian world, or at least the ones that might lead to widespread death cults equivalent to ISIS, are a thing of the distant past. Modernity moderated those urges, as men in this second civilization found the boons of peaceful coexistence to outweigh the compulsionto enforce God’s will with the earthly sword of righteousness. To put this in a way that some Christians may dislike, the modern West arrived at the point of realizing that as much as one may adhere to one’s faith, there are other goods to which one may also adhere, which require a softening of religious extremism in any area where such extremes might compel one to oppression and violence.

Two civilizations, one still partly living in that pre-modern fanatical time and hating all who refuse to do so, and the other seeking to get on with the life of earthly comfort and coexistence. That there are plenty of exceptions on both sides of the argument is beyond doubt. But so is it beyond doubt that this broad brush statement is fair enough as far as it goes. This is a war of civilizations. Not just "Muslim vs. Christian,” but medieval vs. modern, fanatical vs. moderate, dogmatic vs. rationalist.

There are Muslims who wish to modernize their lives and live in peace with the other civilization, even in many cases to embrace it. Likewise, there are Jews and Christians who refuse to accept the moderation of faith in the name of political pluralism and tolerance. But this would be true of any fundamental clash of civilizations. There will be many on both sides who sympathize with the sensibility of the other, or even side with the other. This does not contradict the claim that civilizations are in conflict. Rather, it helps to draw attention to the fact.

And why is this fact so hard to digest or to speak aloud? The "democracy project” fantasists will say it is harmful to the battle for "hearts and minds.” But is it? Since when is identifying a disagreement honestly harmful to the long-term chances of resolvingthat conflict? Furthermore, when one civilization is under attack by the most radical elements within another civilization, it would seem that the only thing that could come of not identifying the problem openly would be a further brewing of radicalism under the protective cover of the victim civilization’s "diplomatic language.” That has certainly been the case in this particular unacknowledged war of civilizations.

Of course, the real answer to the question as to why the West is so reticent to label this fight a civilizational war (the radical Muslims have no such reticence) has more to do with ourselves than with the war. If, as I believe, there is a human nature, then there is no civilization — no human possibility — that is not latent in the blood of every man, anywhere. Thus, the West as a civilizationhas transcended the religious fanaticism that stymies societal development and favors dogmatic purity enforced with the sword over the growth of practical knowledge, productivity, and peace. Nevertheless, the temptation to such fanatical devotion, with its tendencies toward intolerance of infidels and coercive dreams of world domination, remains within us, even in our so-called secular modern age.

The West’s own manifestation of this fanatical hatred of everything the modern West represents has risen to such prominence that we have given it a name: progressivism. Perhaps it is for this reason that we are so squeamish about calling the current global conflict a civilizational war. Progressives — both the overt and the indoctrinated — find something inherently agreeable and charming in an Islamic civilization that inclines toward hatred of the West with its moderating inclinations, tolerance, and individual liberty.

Hence, progressives are the ones who insist this is not a civilizational war, and that we must not call it one. In their hearts, they sympathize with the other side, and would hate to see it lose. They would simply like to incorporate the other side into their own paradigm of anti-West destructiveness and their own form of world domination.

Progressives are learning the hard way that fanaticism doesn’t work that way. No accommodation — from arming Islamic rebels against secular Arab leaders to burying police reports of mass sexual assault in Western cities — will ever be enough. The violence will not abate until the victim civilization has the courage to shuck off its progressive identification with the enemy and face the nature of the conflict openly.

This does not mean "hating Muslims.” Nor does it mean disrespecting the power of human belief that leads to fanatical devotion to one’s cause. (All great men, great leaders, and great societies have had a hint of the fanatical in them.) But it means refusing to accept fanaticism as a social norm. It means demanding the moderation of such passions from anyone who wishes to live in, or work alongside, a modern, rationalist, liberty-loving civilization. And if Islam is found somehow incapable of achieving this general "modernizing” effect, so be it — then the necessary and rational conclusion would be that devout Muslims as devout Muslimscannot be assimilated into modern civilization. (I am not saying this will end up being the case in the long run, but if it turns out to be so, then one must face facts as one finds them.)

Of course this is a civilizational war, whether our own neo-religious fanatics, the progressives, choose to acknowledge the fact or not.

(This article originally appeared at American Thinker.)

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More on the Obama FISA Spy Scandal

This from Americans for Limited Government

By Robert Romano

An unsealed April 26 court ruling from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court found that the Obama administration had violated "the NSA's minimization procedures involving queries of data acquired under Section 702 using U.S. person identifiers. The full scope of non-compliant querying practices had not been previously disclosed to the Court."

Under FISA, the court is supposed to determine whether the minimization procedures — those that are supposed to seal the identities of U.S. persons swept up in foreign surveillance — comply with Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.

An example of those rules falls under USSID 18, which govern the collection, retention and then dissemination of foreign intelligence gathered to and from U.S. persons.

Those rules are promulgated by the Attorney General under 50 USC 1801(h)(2), which provides that they include "procedures that require that nonpublicly available information, which is not foreign intelligence information, as defined in subsection (e)(1), shall not be disseminated in a manner that identifies any United States person, without such person's consent, unless such person's identity is necessary to understand foreign intelligence information or assess its importance."

Under USSID 18, to have kept the communications would have required either sign off from the Attorney General if he or she believes that the "contents indicate a threat of death or seriously bodily harm to any person," under Section 5.4.a. Or the Director of the National Security Agency, under 5.4.d., if he determines the communications contain "significant foreign intelligence" or "evidence of a crime or threat of death or seriously bodily harm to any person."

For these U.S. persons to have been included in a report for dissemination could have only occurred if, under Section 7.2.c., the "appropriate approval authority" determined "

he identity of the U.S. person is necessary to understand foreign intelligence information or assess its importance" or "
he information is evidence that the individual may be involved in a crime that has been, is being, or is about to be committed, provided that the dissemination is for law enforcement purposes."

What the FISA Court is saying in its April 26 ruling was that these bare minimal rules, which do not even require a warrant to unmask a U.S. person, were not being followed. Since all the agents must show is that the information is relevant to foreign intelligence matters, that is saying something. The only explanation is that in those cases, the searches had no bearing on foreign intelligence gathering.

According to reporting by's John Solomon and Sarah Carter, "More than 5 percent, or one out of every 20 searches seeking upstream Internet data on Americans inside the NSA's so-called Section 702 database violated the safeguards Obama and his intelligence chiefs vowed to follow in 2011, according to one classified internal report reviewed by Circa."

Circa could not ascertain how many such inappropriate searches had occurred, as the information was classified, but it does provide a window into how the FISA Court responds to these instances even when there are violations.

The federal government under Attorney General Jeff Sessions has since applied to the FISA Court to change those minimization rules on March 30, which the court granted. Two days later, on April 28, the National Security Agency issued a statement that it "will no longer collect certain internet communications that merely mention a foreign intelligence target."

According to the court ruling, "Under the revised procedures, the government may acquire communications to which United States persons and persons within the United States are parties when such persons communicate with a Section 702 target."

The court praised this move, stating, "The Court agrees that the removal of 'abouts' communications eliminates the types of communications presenting the Court the greatest level of constitutional and statutory concern."

This appears to indicate American citizens who were merely mentioning the name of a foreign target were apparently being subjected to surveillance and potentially unmasked without warrants.

Information previously gathered on this basis will now be destroyed: "Revisions to the NSA Minimization Procedures now state that all Internet transactions acquired on or before [March 17] and existing in NSA's institutionally managed repositories will be sequestered pending destruction such that 'NSA personnel will not be able to access the[m] for analytical purposes.' NSA will destroy such sequestered Internet transactions as soon as practicable through an accelerated age-off process."

The new rules appear to be a sharp departure from previous practice, but do they go far enough to reform minimization abuses?

In assessing whether minimization procedures are constitution, the court applies the so-called reasonableness standard, that is, those exceptions to the Fourth Amendment's warrant requirement to perform a search. These typically include situations such as a police officer witnessing a crime in progress or conducting a search during the course of a lawful arrest. Nearly all of these exceptions all require some nexus to criminal activity in order to justify the search. Generally, if there is no crime, then no search can be justified.

The standard used by the FISA Court, however, does not consider any of that. Foreign intelligence gathering in itself is not focused on gathering information about crimes but about threats to national security or the workings of foreign powers.

Yet, the FISA Court still uses the same precedents and language from 4th Amendment Supreme Court cases to justify itself: "In assessing the reasonableness of a governmental intrusion under the Fourth Amendment, a court must 'balance the interests at stake' under the 'totality of the circumstances.' … Specifically, a court must 'balance ... the degree of the government's intrusion on individual privacy' against 'the degree to which that intrusion furthers the government's legitimate interest.' … 'The more important the government's interest, the greater the intrusion that may be constitutionally tolerated.'"

These standards were established in various cases involving traffic stops and arrests in criminal contexts. For example, in Riley v. California (2014), where the Supreme Court ruled that the contents of a cellular phone could not be searched without a warrant even when a lawful arrest has occurred. Or Wyoming v. Houghton (1999), where the nation's highest court ruled that the contents of a vehicle could be searched without a warrant if the police had reason to believe it had been used in the commission of a crime or contained contraband.

In every case, for a warrantless search to occur, some sort of criminality was needed, and even then, certain restrictions were applied to the extent the search was constitutional.

Not so in the FISA Court, we now know, where intelligence is gathered without regards to criminality. Which is why the disclosure of classified intelligence that includes U.S. person identifiers — so-called incidental collection as happened in the case of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn — is such a serious crime. So that mere contacts with foreign intelligence surveillance targets are not used to create the appearance of being a foreign agent or to create legal jeopardy.

All of this raises serious constitutional questions of how FISA has been applied on U.S. soil.

Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning urged Congress to slow down reauthorization of Section 702 of FISA in a statement, saying, "The implications of the Obama administration unmasking hundreds of targeted people unconstitutionally leads any reasonable person to wonder how precisely this illegally gained information was used. In light of the obvious abuse of power in the Mike Flynn case of leaking Flynn's name to the press after being unmasked for political reasons, it becomes reasonable to assume that was the intent of these unmaskings all along, and calls into question the continuance of the entire program."

When it comes to U.S. persons and persons on U.S. soil, the American people should consider whether they want the federal government conducting warrantless searches where no criminal activity is implicated, a constitutionally dubious standard.

If a criminality standard had been applied, Flynn's conversation might not have ever been intercepted in the first place.

But even if that were a bridge too far for Congress — because recording every conversation by foreign ambassadors on U.S. soil is somehow deemed essential — Congress should consider the fact that the Attorney General can apparently, according to the FISA Court, just reinstitute "abouts" collection at his discretion.

As the court states, "This Opinion and Order does not question the propriety of acquiring 'abouts' communications and MCTs as approved by the Court since 2011, subject to the rigorous safeguards imposed on such acquisitions. The concerns raised in the current matters stem from NSA's failure to adhere fully to those safeguards."

In other words, unless Congress acts, these types of warrantless searches — where a person who says "Kisylak" or "Putin" on the phone might be intercepted and recorded and that person's identity might be unmasked without a warrant even if no crime has been committed — could just be reinstituted later.

The Justice Department under Sessions is to be applauded for discontinuing this practice for the moment, but Congress should act to make certain these types of abuses never happen again.

The Church Committee was convened in 1975 to get to the bottom of revelations by Seymour Hersh's explosive report to the New York Times on Dec. 22, 1974 that the CIA had been engaged a mass, domestic surveillance program against anti-war protestors, members of Congress and other political figures.

We are on the edge of the abyss of tyranny Sen. Frank Church (D-Idaho) warned about in 1975.

To the extent the American people presently look the other way in terms of foreign government officials being under constant surveillance on U.S. soil, even with warrants, they will not do so if they believe their own activities are under threat to come under scrutiny without warrants merely because they took an interest in foreign affairs.

Or if these powers are being used against political opponents, as apparently happened in the last year of the Obama administration, against the Trump campaign and then transition after the election.

If Congress is not currently telling itself, "Never again" — if it believes such political surveillance against the opposition party in an election year is somehow justified on the most dubious of grounds — then we've got a bigger problem that most people realize.

Robert Romano is the senior editor of Americans for Limited Government.

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May 25, 2017

NY Puerto Rican Day Parade to honor terrorist - Guess who still supports it

Jack Kemp

So despite the uproar created by inviting a terrorist leader to the Puerto Rico Day Parade in New York, a terrorist that Obama pardoned in his last days in office, some leftists still want to march with him.

From the NY Post:

Three more companies pulled out of the Puerto Rican Day Parade Tuesday because of its plan to honor a leader of the bloody FALN terrorist group.

AT&T, Corona beer and Coca-Cola announced their withdrawals in separate statements, even as parade officials defended their decision to award convicted felon Oscar López Rivera with the march’s first National Freedom Award.

The Yankees, JetBlue airline and Goya Foods withdrew earlier.


The FDNY Hispanic Society and the fire officers union said they won’t be marching, either.
They join a boycott of the June 11 event by Police Commissioner James O’Neill and police unions.


The remaining sponsors include WNBC-TV; the New York Daily News; City University and the United Federation of Teachers.


So the hard leftist teachers union and the City University and the mainstream media still support this unrepentant terrorist who should still be in jail. I hope they have to cancel the parade.

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Superbugs are Winning

Jack Kemp


Why the Superbugs Are Winning

The deadliest superbug yet -- Candida auris -- is invading hospitals and nursing homes, killing a staggering 60 percent of patients it infects. Some exposed patients don't succumb to infection but silently carry the germ and infect others. So far, the lethal germ has sickened patients in New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois and Massachusetts, with 122 cases reported so far this year, up from only six last year.

The germ -- a fungus -- lingers on bedrails and on the uniforms and hands of doctors and nurses, ready to attack the next patient. Once it gets inside a catheter orbreathing device and invades a patient's body, it kills.

Candida auris is already in 15 hospitals in New York, including prestigious medical centers. Acting Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Anne Schuchat calls it a "catastrophic threat." Strong words, but don't expect health authorities to do much. They're saying what they always say -- patients dying from these infectionswere already seriously ill. Well, duh. Who else goes to a hospital?

Health care infections -- from Candida auris and many other germs -- kill at least 75,000 hospital patients a year and five times that number in nursing homes. That's nearly half a million deaths a year. Politicians talk nonstop about insurance guaranteeing seriously ill people access to care. But the biggest risk to these patients isn'tlack of insurance. It's infection.Infections jeopardize vulnerable patients' access to organ transplants, cancer therapy and HIV/AIDS treatments, even if they have insurance.



Another point about superbugs; the ridiculous legal code in America has promoted ambulance chasing to the point where nobody will take the risk of developing new antibiotics. Antibiotics are expensive to develop and have a limited return because germs eventually become immune - unlike, say, blood pressure medicine which works forever. Meanwhile, drug companies have to fear being sued over new medicines. Why bother? It's more profitable to simply dump antibiiotics. But SOMEBODY needs to do R and D on them; we are always in a fight to stay ahead of the mutating diseases. The problem is, America is down to just a couple of companies doing any such research. It takes years and costs millions to develop a drug that may get you sued. In the end it is government policy and blood sucking lawyers who are at fault.

Here is a brief explanation of the problems in developing antibiotics.

We need tort reform if we want to avoid the coming plagues.


I have an anecdotal story from a New Age health fair I went to years ago. Obviously, it doesn't prove anything, I am not a doctor and the condition mentioned is just an ear infection.

So I was at the health fair in NY City. A friendly woman was selling colloidal silver drops in bottles (a low cost item I still have on my shelf) to fight infections. She told me how she got started. It seems she was, at the time, the mother of a small child who had an ear infection. She did the conventional "right thing" and went to the doctor who prescribed an antibiotic which seemed to work for three weeks when she stopped using it on the boy. But the earache came back and she started researching natural cures, as it seemed the infectious agents simply developed an immunity to her antiboitic. The colloidal silver permanently got rid of the earache of her boy.

Here is what WebMD's website has to say about colloidal silver. It starts with a legalistic warning but gets better...

Colloidal silver is a mineral. Despite promoters’ claims, silver has no known function in the body and is not an essential mineral supplement. Colloidal silver products were once available as over-the-counter drug products, but in 1999, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ruled that these colloidal silver products were not considered safe or effective. Colloidal silver products marketed for medical purposes or promoted for unproven uses are now considered "misbranded” under the law without appropriate FDA approval as a new drug. There are currently no FDA-approved over-the-counter orprescription drugscontaining silver that are taken by mouth. However, there are still colloidal silver products being sold as homeopathic remedies anddietary supplements.

There are many Internet ads for the parts of a generator that produces colloidal silver at home. People who produce colloidal silver at home will likely not be able to evaluate their product for purity or strength. There are many products that are far safer and more effective than colloidal silver.

Despite these concerns about safety and effectiveness, people still buy colloidal silver as adietary supplement and use it for a wide range of ailments. Colloidal silver is used to treat infections due to yeast; bacteria (tuberculosis,Lyme disease, bubonic plague, pneumonia, leprosy, gonorrhea, syphilis, scarlet fever, stomach ulcers, cholera); parasites (ringworm, malaria); and viruses (HIV/AIDS, pneumonia, herpes, shingles, warts).

Colloidal silver is also used for lung conditions including emphysema and bronchitis; skin conditions including rosacea, cradle cap (atopic dermatitis), eczema, impetigo, andpsoriasis; and inflammation (sometimes due to infection) of the bladder (cystitis), prostate (prostatitis), colon (colitis), nose (rhinitis), stomach (gastritis), tonsils (tonsillitis), appendix (appendicitis), and sinuses (sinusitis).

Other uses include treatment of cancer, diabetes, arthritis, lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome, leukemia, hay fever and other allergies, trench foot, and gum disease.

Colloidal silver is also used to prevent flu, H1N1 (swine) flu, and the common cold.

Some women take colloidal silver during pregnancy to aid the baby's growth and health as well as the mother's delivery and recovery.

Colloidal silver is applied directly to the skin for acne, burns, eye infections, fungal infections, throat infections, skin infections, and Staphylococcus infections.

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Obama Leaked Classified Data for Years

Dana Mathewson

Hat tip to David Dickinson. I think this is more important than worrying whether Russia hacked the Trump campaign. Go after Zippy's people -- hard and fast -- NOW!

Barack Obama's team secretly disclosed years of illegal NSA searches spying on Americans

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Telling it Like it is

Wil Wirtanen


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Even the "Right Wing Media" is Liberal

Timothy Birdnow

Recently Dana Mathewson and David Dickinson had an e-mail exchange about the seemingly leftward drift of the Wall Street Journal, and I decided to wade in with a few observations of my own.

The Wall Street Journal is quite liberal in it's news stories; it has a conservative editorial board, but the news page itself is more liberal than the New York Times, according to researchers.

Here is a list of news sources graded by keyword searches. Note that most conservative is zero (a bias by the researchers themselves) and most liberal is 100:

ABC Good Morning America 56.1
ABC World News Tonight 61.0
CBS Early Show 66.6
CBS Evening News 73.7
CNN NewsNight with Aaron Brown 56.0
Drudge Report 60.4
Fox News Spec. Rept. w/ Brit Hume 39.7
Los Angeles Times 70.0
NBC Nightly News 61.6
NBC Today Show 64.0
New York Times 73.7
Newshour with Jim Lehrer 55.8
Newsweek 66.3
NPR Morning Edition 66.3
Time Magazine 65.4
U.S. News and World Report 65.8
USA Today 63.4
Wall Street Journal 85.1
Washington Post 66.6
Washington Times 35.4

This study was conducted by Tim Groseclose and Jeff Mily, first in a 2004 paper then in Groselose's book Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias distorts the America Mind.

Please note that the entry on Fox News is only for Brit Hume's Special Report, not the entire Fox news. If you subtract the editorials you will probably find Fox just about at center. It has been my observation that Fox News stories make the same assumptions and use the same terminology as the other mainstream outlets. For example, after the first Qualitative Easing the media reported an uptick of stock prices as good news - despite the fact that the government was cannibalizing the market to create an image of prosperity at the expense of real investors. Fox joined in the chorus of hallelujahs.

Another point to ponder here; some of the most liberal outlets are those offering light news and entertainment. In other words, they go after those who don't really pay attention, attempting to subvert their attitudes. It's an insidious thing. In many ways Good Morning America is far more dangerous than The new York Times because it goes after the weaker-minded individuals and seeks to influence them at a more subliminal level.

Another point; U.S. News was for sale a while back and no conservative group wanted to buy it. Why would we? The old media is just that, and it would be a bad investment from a long term perspective. But that's why the Right keeps losing; we let the Left keep control of news outlets. Even if a conservative buys it he generally doesn't rebuild the outlet, but keeps the same lying liberals in control. That has to change.

Anyone paying any attention these days knows the media is promoting its own agenda, and overtly so these days. The endless attack on Donald Trump from every imaginable angle is proof positive the media thinks itself the keepers of America's minds and hearts. In a recent editorial Dana Milbank crowed that Trump "brought it on himself" by not kowtowing to the media. But is the media to be kowtowed to? Funny; I thought they were supposed to report the news and not make it up. Their prejudices and petty grudges are not supposed to enter into the reporting of the news. At best the American media is acting like a bunch of spoiled brats who didn't get the pony they wanted for Christmas.

Meanwhile they ignore real news stories, as they did for the eight years that Obama occupied the Oval Office. It has become like Pravda in the old Soviet days; you can figure out the true news by reading between the lines, but you will be completely in the dark if you accept the news as it is presented. There was no "Russian hacking" of the election (contrary to what 55% of Democrats seem to believe; at worst there were hackers - probably not government agents, as their methods were quite sloppy - who perhaps hacked the DNC server and found some embarrassing things. There is no evidence the hacks had anything to do with Hillary's loss. Furthermore, nobody from the FBI or any other U.S. agency examined the DNC servers, but rather the "Intel" comes entirely from a private firm - Crowdstrike - which was paid by the Democratic Party. Oh, and John Podesta's hacked e-mails were a result of the mans own stupidity; he clicked on a phishing link.

Meanwhile we STILL don't know what happened to 33,000 Hillary e-mails, which may have contained very sensitive information. We STILL don't know who ordered the Benghazi cover-up. We STILL don't have any answers on the abuse of power by Lois Lerner in her oppression of conservative groups by the IRS. We STILL don't have any answers on why Loretta Lynch met with Bill Clinton just prior to James Comey shutting down the investigation of Hillary. We STILL don't have any information on the Hillary Pay for Play, including HER close links to the Russians. The media couldn't care less about any of this. All they care about is a non-story about Russia somehow "stealing the election" from her highness and giving it to that SOB Donald J. Trump.

Media bias? Frankly, every word uttered by the media (and I include Fox and the WSJ) is a lie, including but, and, and the.

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May 24, 2017

Of Monuments and Mayors: The Confederate Memorial Controversy in St. Louis

Brian Birdnow

In the news last week, if we took a break from the daily Trump melodrama now playing in Washington, we noticed the reignition of an older, but still potent cultural firestorm, namely the push to remove Confederate-themed monuments from public properties. In New Orleans, last Wednesday, workers dismantled a monument to General P.G.T. Beauregard under cover of darkness, although supporters and opponents of the action came out to watch the spectacle, anyway. The fault lines separating the opposing sides in these matters have been thoroughly explored and require no further explanation here. Suffice to say that this issue is heating up again, and not only in Deep South cities like New Orleans, Memphis, and Charleston. It has now spread to the border cities, as well!

Last Wednesday, on the front page of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, a once great American daily newspaper, a headline screamed, "Confederate Memorial Must Go, Krewson Says”. In this instance "Krewson” refers to Lyda Krewson, the recently inaugurated mayor of St. Louis, Missouri. The "Confederate Memorial” is a massive granite column, 32-feet-tall, and weighing 40 tons, which sits on the north side of Forest Park, which St. Louisans proudly point out as the site of the 1904 World’s Fair, and the first Olympic Games held in the Western Hemisphere. The statue was dedicated in 1914, and cost $23, 000, most of which was raised by the Ladies Confederate Monument Association.

Ms. Lyda Krewson, is St. Louis’s first female mayor, and her supporters proudly congratulate themselves for "breaking the glass ceiling” and putting their lady in office, just as a former failed Democratic Presidential candidate hoped to accomplish. The real glass ceiling, though, in St. Louis city politics is the barrier that has kept Republicans out of the mayor’s office since 1946. Every St. Louis mayor for the last seventy-one years has been a Democrat. There have been some good ones, some mediocrities, and a few terrible mayors, but every last one has been a Democrat. Meanwhile, St. Louis has sunk from the nation’s seventh largest metropolitan area to the twentieth largest, and one-party government might be part of the problem. In any event, Ms. Krewson, a self-declared proud liberal, decided to pick this fight as the first public battle of her fledgling administration.

St. Louis has many pressing problems at this moment. The city’s violent crime rate is staggering, and on the rise. The Ferguson tragedy illustrated the area’s tense race relations. Political corruption in the city and municipal governments has long been the norm, and we recently lost pro football, too! Yet Mayor Krewson has chosen to ignore these real problems and play to her liberal base by leading the charge of those who insist on removing a monument from Forest Park.

Ms. Krewson has, predictably, found allies in the mainstream media. In the aforementioned Post-Dispatch story, the author, a reporter named Kevin McDermott, couldn’t resist the urge to lob a few cream pies at those who oppose removal of Confederate statues. He mentioned that supporters of removal object to the monuments because of their connection to slavery and white supremacy. He went on to state, "Opponents of their removal, including white supremacists, alt-right activists, and some Republican politicians argue that removal movement amounts to a purge…of American history.”

Here we see the mainstream media at work. No slander, libel, or defamation is too wicked to be tied to conservatives and/or Republicans. Mr. McDermott did not refer to those who support statue removal as politically correct liberal busybodies, or opportunistic Democratic politicians, like Mayor Lyda Krewson. No, the Post-Dispatch will never question the motives of their favored pressure groups but

They simply assume the worst of their opponents, and bash them accordingly. Interesting coming from a newspaper that regularly laments the loss of "civility” in our public discourse.

The outcome of this controversy currently rests in limbo. The city does not have the money to move the statue, and they have refused to sell or donate it to the local Civil War museum. Certain voices of restraint in the matter have reasonably pointed out that a couple of hundred yards from the Confederate statute stands a likeness of General Franz Siegel, who took the regiments of St. Louis German-Americans into battle against the Southern forces, and that a statue of Frank Blair, the influential soldier-politician whose strong actions kept Missouri in the Union in 1861 sits a quarter of a mile away. They have suggested placing explanatory markers at all of the statues, noting Missouri’s complex role as a border state-slave state, and the city’s corresponding role as a traditionally southern metropolis, but one undergoing permanent change with the arrival of large numbers of Irish and German immigrants in the decades before the war. This is well-intentioned, but unlikely to happen as long as there are cheap political points to be scored.

So, what does the future hold? In all likelihood, the statue will eventually come down. Mayor Krewson and her allies will celebrate another faux victory. We will then wait for the politically correct vandals to propose demolishing half of Mount Rushmore, leaving only the non-slaveowners, Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt on the monument, although Father Abraham and TR were certainly not in line with modern thinking on racial matters. Finally, we will wait for someone to propose tearing down that immense phallic symbol named for the slaveowning first President of the USA in the city that bears his name. He may have been first in the hearts of his countrymen, but that was a long time ago, before the veil of political correctness descended on this great nation. The beat goes on!

(A NOTE FROM TIM: This dovetails witth an article of mine from a little while back.


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Comey's biggest mistake

Dana Mathewson

Yeah, this horse still isn't dead. DHS whistleblower Phillip Haney explains Comey's fatal error here, in a WND article.

It didn’t have to end this way for James Comey.

The former FBI director could have avoided the national embarrassment of being fired by the president of the United States if he had only done one thing differently. So says a former Department of Homeland Security officer and whistleblower.

"Mr. Comey made a fatal error, and I can tell you exactly when it was,” Philip Haney told host John Wells on a recent episode of "Caravan to Midnight.” "When he finished his investigation of the Hillary email stuff, he gave the press conference, and he came right up to the ultimate edge of saying that she committed criminal acts, and then, all of a sudden, in another blink, the next sentence he said, ‘But no reasonable judge would indict her on criminal charges.’

"That was his fatal error, because what he should have done right there is simply said, ‘And now, I’m going to give it to Loretta Lynch and let her make the final decision.’ That was the moment right there. Everything else has been downhill from there.”

Now, you will argue (rightly, I'm sure) that Lynch would have dropped the ball, or punted, or something else, but that's not the point here. Comey would have emerged unscathed. In fact, I'm not so sure that Lynch would have been able to ignore things if Comey had announced right up front that he was handing the whole crap sandwich over to her. She'd have had to do SOMETHING with it.

Haney goes on to say "If he had stood up to Obama, Inc. and simply handed the case to Loretta Lynch, hey, even if they fired him, he would have been a national hero and he would have been able to go to work for any Fortune 500 company in the country,” Haney speculated. "But now? Not so much.”

The entire article is here:


I believe Comey was the fall guy all along. I suspect that he was ordered by Lynch to announce no recommended charges against Hillary. Why did he go along? Either he was so ambitious, so desperate to stay on as FBI Director that he was willing to eat this excrement sandwhich or they had something on him. Either way, he did what he was ordered but left a huge caveat in order to let them know he wasn't just rolling over.

A true man of integrity would have resigned, or simply made the referral and let Lynch take the heat.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 06:26 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
Post contains 444 words, total size 3 kb.

Media Malpractice

David Dickinson

Before you give them too much credit, in a story about the President's speeches from last weekend, the Fresno Bee published a bold headline from a McClatchy article that, "Trump dropped his harsh language about Muslims!" (Really? Did they actually watch those speeches?) And with apparent glee they noted that he didn't use the phrase "radical Islamic terrorism." I think they thought that reporting that would make all red-blooded Fresno conservatives go berserk at his outrageous flip flop. Laughingly, Hilariously, two sentences later they conceded that he did, however, use the phrases "Islamic extremism" and "Muslim terror."

Oy veh. One can but shake one's head.

And then there's the completely erroneous story started by a WSJ reporter that Ivanka Trump's charity received a "personal donation of $100 million" from the Saudis for women's entrepreneurship around the world, and "this is precisely the same sort of thing that insane Republicans complained incessantly about during the campaign regarding the Clinton Foundation."

Except she didn't. The Saudi's gave the money, at her request, to the World Bank, which is administering the program. The story was of course picked up by CNN and many others, it was tweeted and retweeted almost 100,000 times, with who knows how many people viewing it who didn't retweet it. A correction was sent out on Twitter by an editor at the Wall Street Journal, but it was not picked up by CNN and many others, and it was only retweeted by a few people.

One can but shake one's head.

And for those who haven't heard, a Harvard study found that seven and a half out of every ten of your liberal friends don't just think, they Know that Trump colluded with the Russians in stealing the election in 2016. Over eight out of every ten of your conservative friends think their liberal friends who think like that need to seek professional help.

One can but shake... But I digress.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 06:18 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
Post contains 326 words, total size 2 kb.

Are you concerned or unclear about "sources?"

Dana Mathewson

Ain't he a hoot? How he does it with a straight face is quite beyond me.

Hat tip to David Dickinson.
Andrew Klavan clears it all up! (Sound on)

[X]Breaking: Sources Say They're Anonymous!<>


Breaking: Sources Say They're Anonymous!
Watch more at

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 06:13 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
Post contains 53 words, total size 1 kb.

A lesson for all the snowflakes

Wil wirtanen

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 06:08 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
Post contains 9 words, total size 1 kb.

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