Monday, September 25, 2017

Trump Is Reinventing What It Means to Be a Politician




For most of our lifetimes being a politician meant being a self-centered hypocritical bore who carefully obfuscates his or her true opinions lest they offend potential voters and financial supporters or... a corrupt self-centered hypocritical bore who carefully obfuscates his or her opinions lest they offend potential voters or financial supporters.
Trump is reinventing that and we -- whether we agree with his (sometimes changing) views or not -- owe him big (or bigly) for this. At least now we're awake and more of us are paying attention. (On this weekend's episode of Judge Jeanine, almost every man-on-the-street interviewee knew who "Rocket Man" was.  Compare that with "Joe Biden" when he was vice president.)
And these days Donald's getting better and more precise at his core strategy -- saying things that many, often most, of us think but don't have the courage to utter.
For example, what the hell are black athletes who make upwards of ten million a year, far more than 99.999% of their fans of any color or shape, doing whining so ungratefully about opportunity for African-Americans in America?  Where else could they have made fortunes anywhere near that size merely for playing a game? (Well, okay, except for a handful of Serbian and Swiss tennis players, but you know what I mean.)
If they're so worried about their fellow African-Americans, why aren't they using their gazillions to do something about it?  Perhaps the athletes are suffering from Matt Damon Envy, living in thirty million dollars houses while promulgating the works of America-hating socialist liar Howard Zinn. Whatever the case, Trump let them have it for their obvious hypocrisy and phony posturing that does nothing to help African-Americans or anybody else.
Morally narcissistic progressives  (aka rich reactionaries) and their media flack/hacks are offended that Trump could call out these athletes for this pompous kneeling-during-the-national-anthemn virtue signaling, but I'd be amazed if the average citizen -- black, white, yellow or brown -- isn't quietly nodding his head in agreement.  The NFL is already suffering for this behavior at the box office.  The NBA is probably not far behind.
On North Korea, too, Trump's supposedly excessive speech -- honesty, actually -- is already having positive results, with China doing far more to sanction the NORKs than at any time during the last three decades.
Similarly, the same progressive media crowd is yammering on about Islamophobia while Trump makes it clear in no uncertain terms that we don't want radical Islamic terrorists destroying our country as they are doing in Europe.  The public quietly agrees, even when the legal wimps of the Ninth Circuit do not.
And don't get me started on the fuddy-duddy congressional Republicans and their inability to pass healthcare or tax reform.  The president has made it painfully clear -- as he should have -- what he thinks of them.
Trump has completely reinvented the template of what it means to be a politician and it's no surprise that so many other politicians (not just John McCain) are publicly or privately appalled.  He has unmasked them.  They're worried and they should be because American politics will never be the same.  Trump may be sui generis, but others are undoubtedly getting the message -- stop pussy-footing around and tell it like it is. Refreshing, no? And he has a sense of humor.  Better than Stephen Colbert anyway.
Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and co-founder of PJ Media.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

NBA And NFL Owners And Players Owe Service Members And Gold Star Mothers An Apology


We, American citizens who are retired and active duty service members, express our outrage that the NBA and NFL  permit players to not stand for the Star Spangled Banner and disrespect the men and women—black and white—who made sacrifices in service to our nation. They should apologize to service members and the Gold Star Mothers whose sons and daughters made the ultimate sacrifice.
Below are images which depict why we stand for the Star Spangled Banner.
Sports teams make billions of dollars and the black people who engage in the despicable conduct of taking a knee during the playing of the Star Spangle Banner are paid millions of dollars to play sports by their fans—black and white.
Yet, they have the gall to disrespect the very nation that made their opportunities possible and expend trillions of taxpayer money to help poor people.
Since the War on Poverty began under President Lyndon Johnson, it has cost $22 trillion—three times more than what the government has spent on all wars in American history. It hasn't led to a drop in the poverty rate, which remains close to the same level it was when the War on Poverty began. Click here for more details.
Black protestors claim they are protesting racism and “inequality.” Yet, they support the Democratic Party that is responsible for the deplorable conditions in black neighborhoods against which they are protesting. 


As author Michael Scheuer wrote, the Democratic Party is the party of the four S’s: slavery, secession, segregation and now socialism. Democrats have run black communities for over 50 years and the socialist policies of Democrats have ruined those communities.
It is the Democratic Party, not our nation, which should be held accountable for black grievances.
What other nation has torn itself apart, pitted white brother against white brother in a Civil War to free black people from slavery?
In the Civil War, over 600,000 white Republicans gave their lives to free blacks from slavery. After the Civil War, the Democratic Party fought to deny black civil rights enshrined in our Constitution and guaranteed in legislation by Republicans.  Democrats also started the Ku Klux Klan that became the terrorist arm of the Democratic Party and launched a reign of terror against Republicans—black and white—to keep blacks in virtual slavery. The Klan killed over 3,000 Republicans, 1,000 of them white.
Our country deserves respect for it's sacrifices for black freedom and equality, not condemnation.
______________________
 
WHY WE STAND













GOD BLESS AMERICA!
 
 

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Why The Left Can’t Let Go Of Racism


Liberals sell innocence from America’s past. If bigotry is pronounced dead, the racket is over.

By Shelby Steele
Is America racist? It used to be that racism meant the actual enforcement of bigotry—the routine implementation of racial inequality everywhere in public and private life. Racism was a tyranny and an oppression that dehumanized—animalized—the “other.” It was a social malignancy, yet it carried the authority of natural law, as if God himself had dispassionately ordained it.
Today Americans know that active racism is no longer the greatest barrier to black and minority advancement. Since the 1960s other pathologies, even if originally generated by racism, have supplanted it. White racism did not shoot more than 4,000 people last year in Chicago. To the contrary, America for decades now—with much genuine remorse—has been recoiling from the practice of racism and has gained a firm intolerance for what it once indulged.
But Americans don’t really trust the truth of this. It sounds too self-exonerating. Talk of “structural” and “systemic” racism conditions people to think of it as inexorable, predestined. So even if bigotry and discrimination have lost much of their menace, Americans nevertheless yearn to know whether or not we are a racist people.
A staple on cable news these days is the “racial incident,” which stands as a referendum on this question. Today there is Charlottesville. Yesterday there were the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray and others. Don’t they reveal an irrepressible racism in American life? At the news conferences surrounding these events there are always the Al Sharpton clones, if not the man himself, ready to spin the tale of black tragedy and white bigotry.
Such people—and the American left generally—have a hunger for racism that is almost craven. The writer Walker Percy once wrote of the “sweetness at the horrid core of bad news.” It’s hard to witness the media’s oddly exhilarated reaction to, say, the death of Trayvon Martin without applying Percy’s insight. A black boy is dead. But not all is lost. It looks like racism.
What makes racism so sweet? Today it empowers. Racism was once just racism, a terrible bigotry that people nevertheless learned to live with, if not as a necessary evil then as an inevitable one. But the civil-rights movement, along with independence movements around the world, changed that. The ’60s recast racism in the national consciousness as an incontrovertible sin, the very worst of all social evils.
Suddenly America was in moral trouble. The open acknowledgment of the nation’s racist past had destroyed its moral authority, and affirming democratic principles and the rule of law was not a sufficient response. Only a strict moral accounting could restore legitimacy.
Thus, redemption—paying off the nation’s sins—became the moral imperative of a new political and cultural liberalism. President Lyndon Johnson turned redemption into a kind of activism: the Great Society, the War on Poverty, school busing, liberalized welfare policies, affirmative action, and so on.
This liberalism always projects moral idealisms (integration, social justice, diversity, inclusion, etc.) that have the ring of redemption. What is political correctness, if not essentially redemptive speech? Soon liberalism had become a cultural identity that offered Americans a way to think of themselves as decent people. To be liberal was to be good.
Here we see redemptive liberalism’s great ingenuity: It seized proprietorship over innocence itself. It took on the power to grant or deny moral legitimacy across society. Liberals were free of the past while conservatives longed to resurrect it, bigotry and all. What else could “Make America Great Again” mean? In this way redemptive liberalism reshaped the moral culture of the entire Western world with sweeping idealisms like “diversity,” which are as common today in Europe as in America.
So today there is sweetness at the news of racism because it sets off the hunt for innocence and power. Racism and bigotry generally are the great driving engines of modern American liberalism. Even a remote hint of racism can trigger a kind of moral entrepreneurism.
The “safe spaces” for minority students on university campuses are actually redemptive spaces for white students and administrators looking for innocence and empowerment. As minorities in these spaces languish in precious self-absorption, their white classmates, high on the idea of their own wonderful “tolerance,” whistle past the very segregated areas they are barred from.
America’s moral fall in the ’60s made innocence of the past an obsession. Thus liberalism invited people to internalize innocence, to become synonymous with it—even to fight for it as they would for an ideology. But to be innocent there must be an evil from which to be free. The liberal identity must have racism, lest it lose innocence and the power it conveys.
The great problem for conservatives is that they lack the moral glibness to compete with liberalism’s “innocence.” But today there are signs of what I have called race fatigue. People are becoming openly cynical toward the left’s moral muscling with racism. Add to this liberalism’s monumental failure to come even close to realizing any of its beautiful idealisms, and the makings of a new conservative mandate become clearer. As idealism was the left’s political edge, shouldn’t realism now be the right’s? Reality as the informing vision—and no more wrestling with innocence.
Mr. Steele, a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, is author of “Shame: How America’s Past Sins Have Polarized Our Country” (Basic Books, 2015).

Friday, September 22, 2017

Police Violence Against Black Men Is Rare


 
The real problem is black-on-black crime. NCVS data from 2015, the most recent year available, suggest that black men are three times as likely to commit violent crimes as white men.
And the media narrative to the contrary is damaging.
By Philippe Lemoine
A few days ago, former police officer Jason Stockley, who is white, was acquitted of first-degree murder; he had fatally shot Anthony Lamar Smith, who was black, in 2011. Protests started in St. Louis, where the shooting took place and Stockley was judged, immediately after the verdict was announced. Although they were initially peaceful, they soon turned violent, and dozens of protesters were arrested while several police officers were injured. Since the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, just outside St. Louis, in 2014, this has become a familiar pattern.
This article is not about whether Stockley should have been acquitted. Instead, I want to talk about the underlying narrative regarding the prevalence of police brutality against black men in the U.S., which is largely undisputed in the media.
According to this narrative, black men are constantly harassed by the police and routinely brutalized with impunity, even when they have done nothing wrong, and there is an “epidemic of police shootings of unarmed black men.” Even high-profile black celebrities often claim to be afraid of the police because the same thing might happen to them. Police brutality, or at least the possibility that one might become a victim of such violence, is supposed to be part of the experience of a typical black man in the U.S. Events such as the death of Brown in Ferguson are presented as proof that black men are never safe from the police.
This narrative is false. In reality, a randomly selected black man is overwhelmingly unlikely to be victim of police violence — and though white men experience such violence even less often, the disparity is consistent with the racial gap in violent crime, suggesting that the role of racial bias is small. The media’s acceptance of the false narrative poisons the relations between law enforcement and black communities throughout the country and results in violent protests that destroy property and sometimes even claim lives. Perhaps even more importantly, the narrative distracts from far more serious problems that black Americans face.
Let’s start with the question of fatal violence. Last year, according to the Washington Post’s tally, just 16 unarmed black men, out of a population of more than 20 million, were killed by the police. The year before, the number was 36. These figures are likely close to the number of black men struck by lightning in a given year, considering that happens to about 300 Americans annually and black men are 7 percent of the population. And they include cases where the shooting was justified, even if the person killed was unarmed.
Of course, police killings are not the result of a force of nature, and I’m not claiming these are morally equivalent. But the comparison illustrates that these killings are incredibly rare, and that it’s completely misleading to talk about an “epidemic” of them. You don’t hear people talk about an epidemic of lightning strikes and claim they are afraid to go outside because of it. Liberals often make the same comparison when they argue that it’s completely irrational to fear that you might become a victim of terrorism.
One might retort that, while it may be rare for a black man to be killed by the police, black men are still constantly stopped and routinely brutalized by the police, even if they don’t die from it. However, even this weaker claim is false. It just isn’t true that black men are kicked, punched, etc., on a regular basis by the police.
In order to show that, I’m going to use data from the Police-Public Contact Survey (PPCS), which, as its name suggests, provides detailed information about contacts between the police and the public. It’s conducted on a regular basis by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) and is based on a nationally representative sample of more than 70,000 U.S. residents age 16 or older. Respondents are asked whether they had a contact with the police during the past 12 months; if they say they did, they answer a battery of questions about the nature of their last contact, including any use of force. Since the respondents also provide their age, race, gender, etc., we can use this survey to calculate the prevalence of police violence for various demographic groups. The numbers in this piece are from my own analysis of the data, the details and code for which I provide here, but they are consistent with a 2015 report compiled by the BJS itself to the extent the two overlap.
First, despite what the narrative claims, it’s not true that black men are constantly stopped by the police for no reason. Indeed, black men are less likely than white men to have contact with the police in any given year, though this includes situations where the respondent called the cops himself: 17.5 percent versus 20.7 percent. Similarly, a black man has on average only 0.32 contacts with the police in any given year, compared with 0.35 contacts for a white man. It’s true that black men are overrepresented among people who have many contacts with the police, but not by much. Only 1.5 percent of black men have more than three contacts with the police in any given year, whereas 1.2 percent of white men do.
If we look at how often the police use physical force against men of different races, we find that there is indeed a racial disparity, but that this experience is rare across the board. Only 0.6 percent of black men experience physical force by the police in any given year, while approximately 0.2 percent of white men do. To be fair, these are probably slight undercounts, because the survey does not allow us to identify people who did not experience physical force during their most recent contact but did experience such force during a previous contact in the same year.
Further, physical force as defined by the PPCS includes relatively mild forms of violence such as pushing and grabbing. Actual injuries by the police are so rare that one cannot estimate them very precisely even in a survey as big as the PPCS, but the available data suggest that only 0.08 percent of black men are injured by the police each year, approximately the same rate as for white men. A black man is about 44 times as likely to suffer a traffic-related injury, according to the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey. Moreover, keep in mind that these tallies of police violence include violence that is legally justified.
Now, it’s true that there are significant differences in the rates at which men of different races experience police violence — 0.6 percent is triple 0.2 percent. However, although people often equate racial disparities with bias, this inference is fallacious, as can be seen through an analogy with gender: Men are vastly more likely to experience police violence than women are, but while bias may explain part of this disparity, nobody doubts that most of it has to do with the fact that men are on average far more violent than women. Similarly, if black men commit violent crimes at much higher rates than white men, that might have a lot to do with the disparity in the use of force by the police.
This is evident in the National Crime Victimization Survey, another survey of the public conducted by the BJS. Interviewers ask respondents if they have been the victim of a crime in the past 12 months; if they have, respondents provide information about the nature of the incidents, including the race and ethnicity of the offenders. This makes it possible to measure racial differences in crime rates without relying on data from the criminal-justice system, in which racial bias could lead to higher rates of arrest and conviction for black men even if they commit violence at the same rate.
NCVS data from 2015, the most recent year available, suggest that black men are three times as likely to commit violent crimes as white men. To the extent that cops are more likely to use force against people who commit violent crimes, which they surely are, this could easily explain the disparities we have observed in the rates at which the police use force. That’s not to say that bias plays no role; I’m sure it does play one. But it’s unlikely to explain a very large part of the discrepancy.
Some might say that, instead of consulting statistics like these, we should defer to black Americans’ own perceptions of how the police treat them. As various polls have demonstrated, black people are much more likely than white people to think that police violence against minorities is very common. But the issue cannot be settled this way.
Since individuals have direct knowledge of what happened to them personally, you can trust them about that. But when it comes to larger social phenomena, people’s beliefs are influenced by far more than just their personal experience, including the media. The far more compelling fact is that, if you draw a representative sample of the population and ask each black man in that sample whether a police officer has used physical force against him in the past year, you find that it’s extremely rare.
On many issues, liberals have no problem recognizing this problem. For instance, there is a cottage industry of articles deploring the fact that, although crime has fallen spectacularly in the U.S. since the 1990s, most Americans believe it has increased. Liberals are absolutely right to point out this misperception, but if people of any color can be wrong about this, there is no reason to think black people can’t be wrong about the prevalence of police violence against minorities.
— Philippe Lemoine is a Ph.D. candidate in philosophy at Cornell University. He can also be found on Twitter at @phl43 and you can read more from him on his blog.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

CONFIRMED! Obama Spied On Trump

 
Tucker Carlson: "Patronizing Assurances That No One Was Spying On Political Campaigns Were False, Probably Intentionally So"
 
By Tim Hains

TUCKER CARLSON: According to a new report from CNN, Paul Manafort, who for a time last year was the Trump campaign chairman, was indeed wiretapped by the federal government, both before and after the election.
Manafort, it ought to be noted, had an apartment inside Trump Tower at that time, so it is virtually certain that surveillance of him would have included other members of the Trump campaign staff, maybe even Trump himself.
In other words, it looks like Trump's tweet may have been right.
So why did three top members of Congress from both parties, and the country's top law enforcement officers all assure us that the surveillance didn't happen? That there wasn't a shred of evidence to suggest it had happened? Were they lying or did tey simply not know?
Neither answer is comforting.
Either the intelligence agency has gone rogue, pursuing its own goals without meaningful oversight from elected officials, or, our elected officials are colluding with each other to lie to the public, apparently for political reasons.



All of Obama’s Wiretappers
By George Neumayr



REVEALED: Susan Rice, one of Hillary’s most fervent supporters, spied on a post-election meeting between a prince from the United Arab Emirates and Trump aides.

Behind his political espionage of Trump, which benefited Hillary, lay an enormous sense of entitlement.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign memoir rests on an astonishingly audacious lie: that the very FBI director who made her campaign possible by improperly sparing her from an indictment doomed it. A normal pol who had mishandled classified information as egregiously as Hillary would have felt eternal gratitude to Comey. Only an entitled ingrate like Hillary would have the gall to cast her savior as the chief thorn in her side.
Nor does Hillary acknowledge another in-kind contribution to her campaign from Comey: his willingness to serve as a cog in Obama’s campaign of political espionage against Trump. Obama’s team of Hillary partisans, which included among others John Brennan, Susan Rice, and Loretta Lynch, wanted Comey to snoop on Trumpworld and he duly did.
It was reported this week that the FBI had until as recently as earlier this year been intercepting the communications of Paul Manafort, one of Trump’s campaign chairmen. This means that Comey, contrary to his lawyerly denial of Trump’s wiretapping claim, had the means to eavesdrop on any communications between Manafort and Trump.
Even at this late date, quibbling partisans in the media say that is insufficient proof of Trump’s claim. But could anyone imagine the Maggie Habermans bothering with such pedantry if George Bush’s FBI director had been snooping on David Axelrod?
The same generation of reporters who watched All the President’s Men breathlessly now shill for the propriety of political espionage.
They rush to offer what they consider high-minded reasons for wiretaps of Trump campaign officials. But those reasons, at least as this point, amount to nothing more than the haziest gossip.
One of the supposed reasons for the wiretaps, rich in irony given Hillary’s complaint that foreigners interfered in the election, is that an ex-Brit spy, probably on Comey’s payroll (the FBI still won’t address this matter) and certainly on the payroll of pro-Hillary partisans, told U.S. government officials that Manafort was colluding with the Russians.
Here Hillary benefited from the election-tipping of a foreigner, whose idiotic whisperings entertained by the FBI would turn up on the front pages of the New York Times at crucial moments in the campaign.
This, by the way, throws light on another outrageously dishonest Hillary claim: that Comey never told anyone of his investigation into the Trump campaign.
Of course, he did — through leaks.
That was bad enough but Comey made the leaks worse by not telling reporters that the investigation into the Trump campaign excluded Trump as a target. Comey let reporters think that Trump was one. Again, no gratitude from Hillary.
Another recent revelation is that Susan Rice, one of Hillary’s most fervent supporters, spied on a post-election meeting between a prince from the United Arab Emirates and Trump aides. The media shrugged at the revelation, as if such snooping falls within the bounds of a blameless norm.
An even slightly curious press, were it not in the tank for the Dems, would be agog at the news that one administration was spying on an incoming administration and demand an accounting of such an abuse of power.
Had the George Bush administration, out of post-election spite, spied on pre-inauguration meetings between Obama’s people and officials from a Middle Eastern country, the press would still be talking about it as a historic abuse of power. But in Rice’s case, they hastily inform their audience that “such unmaskings are perfectly legal.”
The media’s customary double standard for Democrats, combined with its treatment of Trump as a singularly monstrous Republican candidate (and then incoming president), served as a safety net beneath such high-wire political espionage. Rice knew that even if she fell in her attempt to nail Trump the media would catch her.
The scandal at the center of the 2016 election was not that Trump colluded with Russians to win but that the media and the Obama administration colluded with Hillary to defeat him.
The loudest cries of “foreign influence over the election” came from Hillary partisans who sought it, whether it was John Brennan running off to England and Estonia to collect dirt on Trump from their spies or deep-state clowns at the FBI who wanted to turn Christopher Steele into an asset.
The villain, in this sorry fable, turned out to be the victim.
_____________



Samantha Power sought to unmask Americans on almost daily basis, sources say

Sources: Former UN Ambassador Samantha Powers sought Trump team identities

By Bret Baier, Catherine Herridge
Sources tell Fox News that Samantha Power made hundreds of unmasking requesting in the final year of the Obama administration

Samantha Power, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, was 'unmasking' at such a rapid pace in the final months of the Obama administration that she averaged more than one request for every working day in 2016 – and even sought information in the days leading up to President Trump’s inauguration, multiple sources close to the matter told Fox News.
Two sources, who were not authorized to speak on the record, said the requests to identify Americans whose names surfaced in foreign intelligence reporting, known as unmasking, exceeded 260 last year. One source indicated this occurred in the final days of the Obama White House.
The details emerged ahead of an expected appearance by Power next month on Capitol Hill. She is one of several Obama administration officials facing congressional scrutiny for their role in seeking the identities of Trump associates in intelligence reports – but the interest in her actions is particularly high.
OBAMA OFFICIAL MADE 'HUNDREDS OF UNMASKING REQUESTS,' GOP CHAIRMAN SAYS

In a July 27 letter to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said the committee had learned "that one official, whose position had no apparent intelligence-related function, made hundreds of unmasking requests during the final year of the Obama Administration."
The "official" is widely reported to be Power.
During a public congressional hearing earlier this year, Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina pressed former CIA director John Brennan on unmasking, without mentioning Power by name.
Gowdy: Do you recall any U.S. ambassadors asking that names be unmasked?
Brennan: I don't know. Maybe it's ringing a vague bell but I'm not -- I could not answer with any confidence.
Gowdy continued, asking: On either January 19 or up till noon on January 20, did you make any unmasking requests?
Brennan: I do not believe I did.
Gowdy: So you did not make any requests on the last day that you were employed?
Brennan: No, I was not in the agency on the last day I was employed.
Brennan later corrected the record, confirming he was at CIA headquarters on January 20. "I went there to collect some final personal materials as well as to pay my last respects to a memorial wall. But I was there for a brief period of time and just to take care of some final -- final things that were important to me," Brennan said.
Three of the nation's intelligence agencies received subpoenas in May explicitly naming three top Obama administration officials: Former national security adviser Susan Rice, Brennan and Power. Records were requested for Ben Rhodes, then-President Barack Obama's adviser, but the documents were not the subject of a subpoena.
A spokesperson for Power had no comment on the number or timing of her requests. But in a previous statement, her lawyer David Pressman emphasized that, "While serving as our Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Power was also a member of the National Security Council responsible for advising the President on the full-range of threats confronting the United States. Any insinuation that Ambassador Power was involved in leaking classified information is absolutely false."
During congressional testimony since the unmasking controversy began, National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers has explained that unmasking is handled by the intelligence community in an independent review.
"We [the NSA] apply two criteria in response to their request: number one, you must make the request in writing. Number two, the request must be made on the basis of your official duties, not the fact that you just find this report really interesting and you're just curious,” he said in June. “It has to tie to your job and finally, I said two but there's a third criteria, and is the basis of the request must be that you need this identity to understand the intelligence you're reading."
Previous U.N. ambassadors have made unmasking requests, but Fox News was told they number in the low double digits.
Power has agreed to meet with the Senate and House intelligence committees as part of the Russia probe. She is expected before the House committee in a private, classified session in October.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Black Lives Matter group takes the stage at pro-Trump rally — what happens next is amazing

By Sarah Taylor

A Black Lives Matter group takes the stage at a pro-Trump rally — and the leader's message has both sides cheering. "All lives matter, right? ... If we really want to make America great, we do it together," the group leader said, prompting chants of "USA! USA!" (Image source: Twitter video screenshot)

Between competing pro-Trump and anti-Trump protests in Washington, D.C., over the weekend, a silver lining was found with a Black Lives Matter group who unexpectedly took the stage during a boisterous pro-Trump rally.
What happened?
A Black Lives Matter group marched near the rally and passed closely to the stage. As they walked and shouted chants of “Black lives matter,” the group received jeers and boos from many people attending the pro-Trump rally.
At first, the mic-wielding organizer of the Trump rally told pro-Trump congregants, “Don’t give them the spotlight,” and “They don’t exist.”
No one could have predicted what would happen next.
From the stage, another organizer seemed to make a split-second decision and shouted, “I’m going to let Black Lives Matter come up here while I show them what patriotism is all about, all right?”
Another speaker, who handed the microphone over to the group’s leader, said, “[This rally is] about freedom of speech. It’s about celebration. So what we are gonna do is not something you’re used to, and we’re going to give you two minutes of our platform to put your message out.”
“Now, whether [the crowd disagrees or agrees] with your message is irrelevant — it’s the fact that you have the right to have the message,” he said.
Members of the Black Lives Matter then took the stage and their leader began speaking — to the cheers of the crowd gathered, both supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement as well as Trump supporters.
What did the group say?
“I am an American,” the Black Lives Matter group leader said. “And the beauty of America is that when you see something broke in your country, you can mobilize to fix it.”
He continued, “So you ask why there’s a ‘Black Lives Matter?’ Because you can watch a black man die and be choked to death on television, and nothing happened. We need to address that.”
The man’s comments seemed to turn the crowd against him, and cries of “No!” and protests to have the group removed from the stage began to ramp up.
Though the speaker declared that BLM is “not anti-cop,”  the pro-Trump crowd’s reaction showed they didn’t believe it. But things began to turn around when the man clarified that the group was “anti-bad cop” and shouted that the group didn’t want any handouts, and didn’t want anything that didn’t rightfully belong to them.
“We want our God-given right to freedom, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness!” the group’s leader shouted, and the crowd began to applaud and cheer once more.
The BLM leader added, “All lives matter, right? … If we really want to make America great, we do it together.”
The crowd applauded the group leader’s comments, and began chanting “USA! USA!”
What was the BLM leader’s takeaway?
After the leader’s speech came to an end, he told a nearby cameraman that his experience in speaking to the pro-Trump crowd “restored my faith in some of these people.”
“When I spoke truths, they agreed,” he said. “I feel like we made progress. I feel like two sides that never listen to each other actually made progress today.”
He added, “I expected to come down here with my fist in the air in a very militant way, and to exchange insults … if not on a grander level, and just person-to-person, I think we really made some substantial steps without either side yielding anything.
“I hope that they understand that one of the leaders of the Black Lives Matters movement is a proud American and a Christian who cares deeply about this country,” he said. “We really are here to help this country move toward a better place, not to destroy it.”
Noting that he had been approached by many people after his speech who agreed with him, and even wanted to take photographs with him, he said, “That’s the power of communication.”
“We came out, we were gonna chant, we were gonna do a demonstration, but we didn’t have to — we just spoke,” he said. “It worked. I’m happy about that.”

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Diversity Can Spell Trouble

By Victor Davis Hanson

Image credit:  Barbara Kelley
America is experiencing a diversity and inclusion conundrum—which, in historical terms, has not necessarily been a good thing.

Communities are tearing themselves apart over the statues of long-dead Confederate generals.

Controversy rages over which slogan—“Black Lives Matter” or “All Lives Matter”—is truly racist.

Antifa street thugs clash with white supremacists in a major American city.

Americans argue over whether the USC equine mascot “Traveler” is racist, given the resemblance of the horse’s name to Robert E. Lee’s mount “Traveller.”

Amid all this turmoil, we forget that diversity was always considered a liability in the history of nations—not an asset.  

Ancient Greece’s numerous enemies eventually overran the 1,500 city-states because the Greeks were never able to sublimate their parochial, tribal, and ethnic differences to unify under a common Hellenism.
The Balkans were always a lethal powder keg due to the region’s vastly different religions and ethnicities where East and West traditionally collided—from Roman and Byzantine times through the Ottoman imperial period to the bloody twentieth century. Such diversity often caused destructive conflicts of ethnic and religious hatred.
Europe for centuries did not celebrate the religiously diverse mosaic of Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant Christians, but instead tore itself apart in a half-millennium of killing and warring that continued into the late twentieth century in places like Northern Ireland.
In multiracial, multiethnic, and multi-religious societies—such as contemporary India or the Middle East—violence is the rule in the absence of unity.
Even the common banner of a brutal communism could not force all the diverse religions and races of the Soviet Union to get along.
Japan, meanwhile, does not admit many immigrants, while Germany has welcomed over a million, mostly young Muslim men from the war-torn Middle East. The result is that Japan is in many ways more stable than Germany, which is reeling over terrorist violence and the need for assimilation and integration of diverse newcomers with little desire to become fully German.
History offers only a few success stories when it comes to diversity.
Rome, for one, managed to weld together millions of quite different Mediterranean, European, and African tribes and peoples through the shared ideas of Roman citizenship (civis Romanus sum) and equality under the law. That reality endured for some 500 years.
The original Founders of the Roman Republic were a few hundred thousand Latin-speaking Italians; but the inheritors of their vision of Roman Republican law and constitutionalism were a diverse group of millions of people all over the Mediterranean.
History’s other positive example is the United States, which has proven one of the only truly diverse societies in history to remain fairly stable and unified—at least so far. 
Although the Founders are now caricatured as oppressive European white men, they were not tribal brutes. The natural evolution of their unique belief that all men are created equal is today’s diverse society, where different people have managed, until recently, to live together in relatively harmony and equality under the law.
Unlike present-day Mexico, China, or Japan, America never developed a fixed idea, either culturally or formally in its written constitution, that race or religion de facto defined citizenship. Instead, an imperfect America was always being reinvented in dogged pursuit of the Founders’ promise of equality and the toleration of difference.
Despite a Civil War that took over 600,000 lives, years of oppression and segregation, dozens of major riots, and thousands of court cases and legislative fights, our American exceptionalism held that America alone could pull off the bizarre idea that diverse peoples could eventually live together as a single people in brotherhood.
But the American experiment is not static, nor is it settled. The nation’s racial, ethnic, and religious diversity is by nature volatile, and prone to exploitation by demagogues and opportunists.
A diverse America requires constant reminders of e pluribus unum and the need for assimilation and integration.
The idea of Americanism is an undeniably brutal bargain in which we all give up primary allegiance to our tribes in order to become fellow Americans redefined by shared ideas rather than mere appearance.
Unfortunately, there are increasing signs that our political, religious, ethnic, and racial diversity is overwhelming our shared but fragile notion of national unity.
Growing geographical separation into blue coastal liberal states and red interior conservative counterparts is starting to mimic the North-South regional divide of the Civil War, a split in national geography that is fueling political differences.
Not surprising, there is talk of a Calexit, or a Confederate-like secession of California from the United States—and during the Obama administration, there was news of a secessionist movement in Texas.
There is currently little real free speech on American campuses. A new kind of racial segregation is occurring in college “theme” and “affinity” houses.
Recent street violence in places like Charlottesville between extremists of the left and right resembled the brawling between totalitarian Stalinists and racist brown shirts of 1930s Germany. The successful melting pot is caricatured; the unproven salad bowl is canonized.
Almost everything in America today is politicized and thus polarized, from the fundamental to the trivial: sports events, music, art, Hollywood movies, mute statues, cable television, university curriculums, Silicon Valley corporations, and now even the names of horses.
Fewer people are unified.
The schools and the media do not remind Americans that their country can be quite good without having to be perfect—and is far better than the contemporary alternatives elsewhere.
At the same time, these institutions have convinced Americans that the evils of human kind—racism, sexism, homophobia, slavery, serfdom, and class oppression—are the unique sins of democratic America.
Few today appreciate that only in America has there been a culture of self-critique, introspection, and dissent—and thus remedies for the nation’s shortcomings, a self-correcting culture not known elsewhere.
The fashion today is to identify yourself by your ethnicity, race, or sexual preference—as something that transcends both being American and a unique individual.
In contrast, there are vanishing incentives for people to simply call themselves Americans, allowing the content of their character to trump the color of their skin.
In this regard, we can welcome the recent change in name of the preeminent Latino lobbying group from the racialist National Council of La Raza to Unidos US. (Raza is a Franco-era chauvinistic buzzword meaning “The Race.”)
If America is to survive this fourth century of its existence, it will soon have to recalibrate from “celebrating diversity” to “celebrating unity.”
The bleak alternative is history’s long list of genocides, tribal feuding, ethnic warring, religious conflicts, and pogroms.
In sum, the United States will at some point have to subordinate the fad of multiculturalism to the ideal of multiracialism: many different-looking Americans who are nonetheless one in their shared customs, citizenship, and culture, while holding diverse political and cultural views not predicated on identity politics.
“Difference” is a plus when it is a matter of enjoying diverse foods, music, fashion, art, and literature that enhance a central, shared, and unchanging set of values based on the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
We all enjoy Mexican or Chinese food, but not Mexican or Chinese ideas of democracy and human rights.
We all are enriched by Caribbean music but not by Caribbean notions of law and justice.
We all value political and ideological diversity—but only when they rely on collective tribal allegiances.
And we are impressed by Middle Eastern hospitality and family solidarity, but not Middle Eastern treatment of women, minorities, gays, and diverse religions.
What makes millions of immigrants strive to reach and stay in America at all costs is not our racial make-up or our many languages but the racially-blind promise of freedom, liberty, the rule of law, prosperity, and security which are the dividends of Americans abiding by the precepts of the U.S. Constitution.
If America’s set of values becomes a pick-and-choose potpourri, there is no unity.
And then America will certainly become yet another one of history’s casualties of diversity.