Beware of Running with the Al Franken Story — Consider Where That Leads Don’t help blur the difference between bad manners and rape. By Douglas Murray

‘And thus the whirligig of time brings in his revenges.” Who could suppress at least a smirk of pleasure at the news of Senator Al Franken’s being caught up in the sexual-harassment scandals that have been breaking ever since Harvey Weinstein crashed the world? The fact that Franken’s molestation was caught on camera — that there is a picture that can accompany every single news story and Twitter meme for years to come — makes it even better. All that is now needed for instant Internet gratification is to take that photo of Franken mugging as he grabs the breasts of his sleeping co-star and stick it alongside a screen-grab of any of his earlier denunciations of poor sexual etiquette.

Because Franken is a high-handed moralizer of the Left, some Republicans and conservatives are happy to run with this, condemning Franken for it and another incident in which he attempted to kiss his co-star. There are even calls for an Ethics Committee investigation into the Minnesota senator.

Yet conservatives, like everyone else, should pause before playing this game. As with other cases in which enemies of the Right have been floored by this flood — a journalist from Vice and much of Hollywood spring to mind — we should be careful about embedding the new etiquette that such campaigns push us toward.

Of course the Left have been at it for years. We all know of people who think that rape is not rape if it is committed by a leftist, whereas even mild flirting is rape when it is committed by a conservative. We all know people who didn’t want to condemn Bill Clinton’s relationship with an intern who are now willing to talk eagerly about a “serial abuser” in the Oval Office. All of us can list plenty of examples of this. And we all know why they do it, too: because they want to win, and they are willing to seize any opportunity to get closer to that goal.

But conservatives should be careful about joining this. Every time the definition of rape, abuse, or molestation is brought down another notch and this new low-water mark is agreed on across the political spectrum, the prospect for a different type of harm increases. If we agree for short-term political pleasure that Franken is guilty of serious sexual molestation for an unfunny photograph taken years ago and for a sloppy and unwanted pass at a woman, then two things are certain to happen.

The first is that the difference between bad manners and rape will become blurred yet further. We live in an era when already a knee-touch can cause resignations. Are we sure that unwanted advances must now always be deemed a resigning matter? It was the late British Conservative MP Alan Clark who once, when taken to task for making allegedly unwanted approaches toward women, replied, “How do I know they’re unwanted until I make them?” Of course Senator Franken is a married man, and plenty of us may agree to look down on a married man who does such a thing. But are we absolutely certain that we want to make it into something that requires an ethics investigation and total career destruction?

Merkel Marooned

When Christian Lindner, leader of Germany’s market-minded Free Democrat party, walked out of the three-party negotiations intended to forge a new federal government from the fragmented political spectrum that emerged from the recent elections, he signaled the end of Germany’s post-war political settlement — one of almost astounding stability. As Josef Joffe has pointed out in Politico, for most of the last seven decades, almost all German governments were different combinations of three political parties: the center-right Christian Democrats, joined by their conservative Bavarian regional allies, the Christian Social Union, at a national level (thus the CDU-CSU); the center-left Social Democrats (SDP); and the aforementioned Free Democrats (FDP). On rare occasions the CDU-CSU alliance would join the SPD in a “grand coalition,” but most of the time the FDP would decide which of the two main parties would be its larger partner in a coalition. By and large this system gave Germany stable, moderate, sensible government that shifted slightly left or right as elections and the FDP dictated. It suited both Germany’s cautious post-war electorate and the country’s allies very well.

But things started to change after the Cold War and German reunification. First the Greens moved their politics away from Peace Movement leftism to a more centrist progressivism stressing environmentalism and open borders. Next some voters in the former East Germany, nostalgic for the meager but comforting security of Communism, helped to midwife the birth of a welfarist party to the left of the SDP, namely the Linke. And, finally, Chancellor Merkel’s “welcome politics” offering sanctuary to Middle Eastern refugees without limit provoked the rise of a “populist” party, Alternative for Germany, which joined Euro-skepticism to anti-immigration politics. In the last election these new parties achieved a surprise result: a completely fragmented political spectrum of six parties of which two — the Linke and the AFD — are treated by the other four as only dubiously democratic and therefore unacceptable as coalition partners. When the SPD decided not to enter a new coalition, the parliamentary arithmetic thus required a “Jamaica coalition” of the CDU-CSU, the Greens, and the FDP.

Lindner’s walk-out made that impossible.

Stanford University’s Duplicitous Morality Police by Ruthie Blum

Two Stanford administrators present — Nanci Howe, associate dean and director of student affairs, and Snehal Naik, assistant dean and associate director of student affairs — not only nodded approvingly at the walk-out, but actively aided it, first by denying entry to many students who actually wanted to attend the event, and then by not allowing them to enter after the walkout, despite the fact that the auditorium was largely empty. They also forbade the hosts from live-streaming the talk on the Internet.

The reason for having to smear Robert Spencer was clear. Portraying him as someone who has led to the killing of Muslims was the way to try to have him banned from the campus, without abandoning the principle of free speech. Yet no student or faculty member produced a shred of evidence linking Spencer to violence against Muslims at Stanford or anywhere else. All they were able to produce as “proof” of Spencer’s incitement was the same libelous blurb on the Southern Poverty Law Center website.

What De Leon, Najaer, Beckman and Fine failed to mention was that a mere few months earlier, at the end of May, the Stanford student senate voted to fund an on-campus speech by the son of Palestinian terrorist Marwan Barghouti, serving five life sentences in an Israeli jail for orchestrating three deadly attacks.

It is no surprise that students at Stanford University disrupted best-selling author Robert Spencer’s lecture on November 14. Given the lead-up to his talk — “Jihad and the Dangers of Radical Islam: An Honest Discussion” — the scenario was scripted in advance, with the encouragement and support of the school’s administration.

As soon as the Stanford College Republicans invited Spencer, founder of the website Jihad Watch, to speak on campus — as part of the Fred. R. Allen Freedom Lecture Series, sponsored by the Young America’s Foundation — a concerted campaign was launched to prevent him from being allowed to set foot on the premises. Stanford students, faculty members and administrators published a steady stream of articles in the student publications the Stanford Daily and Stanford Review, claiming not only that Spencer was unqualified to speak to them — despite frequently addressing FBI, Joint Terrorism Task Force, military, and other government groups for years — but also pronounced that his presence threatened Muslim students on campus; that he enabled anti-Semitism; that his message deprived Muslims of “personhood;” and that he was endangering students by replying to their attacks on his website.

When that effort failed, they employed other means to intimidate Spencer and the students who wished to hear what he had to say. Not only did hundreds of protesters cause a disturbance outside the venue, but another 150 entered the auditorium, played Arabic music loudly to drown out what Spencer was saying, and then staged a mass walk-out minutes after the event began.

Two Stanford administrators present — Nanci Howe, associate dean and director of student affairs, and Snehal Naik, assistant dean and associate director of student affairs — not only nodded approvingly at the walk-out, but actively aided it, first by denying entry to many students who actually wanted to attend the event, and then by not allowing them to enter after the walkout, despite the fact that the auditorium was largely empty. They also forbade the hosts from live-streaming the talk on the Internet.

The Hague Aims for U.S. Soldiers by John R. Bolton

For the first time since it began operating in 2002, the International Criminal Court has put the U.S. in its sights. On Nov. 3, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda initiated an investigation into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Afghanistan since mid-2003. This raises the alarming possibility that the court will seek to assert jurisdiction over American citizens.

Located in The Hague (alongside such dinosaurs as the International Court of Justice, which decides state-versus-state disputes), the ICC constitutes a direct assault on the concept of national sovereignty, especially that of constitutional, representative governments like the United States. The Trump administration should not respond to Ms. Bensouda in any way that acknowledges the ICC’s legitimacy. Even merely contesting its jurisdiction risks drawing the U.S. deeper into the quicksand.The left will try to intimidate the White House by insisting that any resistance to the ICC aligns the U.S. with human-rights violators. But the administration’s real alignment should be with the U.S. Constitution, not the global elite. It would not be “pragmatic” to accept the ICC; it would be toxic to democratic sovereignty.

The U.S. is not party to the Rome Statute, the treaty establishing the ICC’s authority. Bill Clinton signed it in 2000, when he was a lame duck. But fearing certain rejection, he did not submit it to the Senate. The Bush administration formally “unsigned” in 2002 before the Rome Statute entered into force. That same year, Congress passed supportive legislation protecting U.S. servicemembers from the ICC, a law that was decried by hysterical opponents as the “Hague Invasion Act.” The U.S. then entered into more than 100 bilateral agreements committing other nations not to deliver Americans into the ICC’s custody.

Promoting the Hijab in Norway And with the public’s money, no less. Bruce Bawer

Her name is Faten Mahdi Al-Hussaini. She’s twenty-two years old, she lives in Oslo, she wears a hijab, she’s praised the Ayatollah Khomeini and blamed Jews for all the world’s travails – and she’s the newest star on the state-owned, public-funded Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK).

In the run-up to the recent parliamentary elections, Faten was tapped to be the host for a four-episode TV series about the campaign. The show, aimed largely at young people, was called Faten Tar Valget. The title is a play on words: since valg can mean both “election” and choice,” the title can be translated both as “Faten Takes on the Election” and “Faten Makes the Decision.” The premise was that after talking to political experts and representatives of all the major political parties, she would figure out which of the parties she wanted to support. “Faten is a strong young voice in the Norwegian public square,” said NRK official Håkon Moslet. “She is unusually brave and has demonstrated the ability both to confront and to build bridges.”

Faten’s election series wasn’t her introduction to the limelight. She first made headlines three years ago, when, addressing a demonstration in Oslo, she served up a full-throated condemnation of ISIS. You might consider criticizing ISIS a no-brainer, but when it’s done by a hijab-clad girl in Norway she becomes a superstar – instant proof that European Muslims are overwhelmingly on the side of the angels. Alas, Faten’s debut on the media stage didn’t go off without a hitch: after her ISIS speech, people began looking into her background, and a few dicey details turned up. For one thing, she belonged to a Shia mosque whose Iranian-trained imams preach hatred of the West and support Tehran-backed terrorism. At a debate following the massacre of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists in Paris, she’d expressed sympathy for them – kind of – but had also argued that they’d “paid the price for expressing themselves too coarsely.” That wasn’t all: on her Facebook page, she had called Khomeini “a legend” and had shared a friend’s suggestion that ISIS carry out its jihad in “Palestine” (i.e., Israel). Also, she had a record of open Jew-hatred.

But none of that, apparently, bothered the NRK bigwigs overmuch. They professed to be shocked when their decision to let Faten host a TV show – and in hijab, no less – caused a massive public backlash. The government-appointed Broadcasting Council, whose job it is to pass judgment on controversial actions by NRK, received thousands of complaints. Many of the complainants were Christians who pointed out that NRK had previously refused to let another on-camera host wear a tiny cross around her neck. But the Christians weren’t alone. Mahmoud Farahmand, a Conservative politician with a Muslim background, also complained. Farahmand, who as a child fled revolutionary Iran with his parents and who supports a hijab ban, charged (correctly) that the Norwegian media and government are always treating the most fanatically pious Muslims as representatives and spokespeople for their co-religionists. Another Iranian-Norwegian politician, the Progress Party’s Mazyar Keshvari, noted that Faten had been the director of Stand 4 Hussain, a group that supports brutal punishment of those who violate sharia law.

Soros Defends Sarsour The Soros network’s campaign for an anti-Semite. Daniel Greenfield

After Hurricane Harvey hit, Islamist activist Linda Sarsour put out a call for donations. But instead of the money going to hurricane victims, it was actually being directed to the Texas Organizing Project Education Fund. TOP is a spinoff of ACORN, a disgraced organization shut down in the wake of scandals involving embezzlement and internal cover-ups, and was backed by Hungarian anti-Semitic billionaire George Soros who continues to invest his ill-gotten wealth into a war against the Jewish State.

Soros has blamed Jews for anti-Semitism and described his period as a Nazi collaborator as the “most exciting time of my life.” He claims to have grown up in a “Jewish, anti-Semitic home” and called his mother a “typical Jewish anti-Semite” who hated his first wife because she was “too Jewish”. He has written an article insisting that, “America and Israel must open the door to Hamas.”

As controversy mounts over Sarsour’s appearance on a panel denying the existence of leftist and Islamist anti-Semitism, especially among activists waging a campaign of hate against Israel, her defenders are recycling a letter by “Jewish leaders” defending the anti-Semitic Islamist activist.

The “Jewish Leaders Statement Against Attacks on Linda Sarsour” contains rather few Jewish leaders. Behind “Jews for Linda”, the group linked to the letter, is Rafael Shimunov. Shimunov is the National Creative Director of the Working Families Party. The WFP is yet another spinoff of ACORN.

And Shimunov is also a member of the hate group If Not Now which targets Jewish charities.

Three of the signatories to the Sarsour letter are with the Working Families Party. They include the WFP’s biggest bigwigs, Dan Cantor, its National Director, Joe Dinkin, its National Communications Director, and Bill Lipton, its New York State Director. Cantor is a former ACORN activist and Lipton is a former ACORN employee who studied under Eric Foner, an apologist for Communism and Iran.

Both of the New York City Council members who signed on to the Sarsour letter, Brad Lander and Stephen Levin, are WFP endorsed. Lander had formerly worked for the Pratt Center which was funded by Soros. Even while serving in the City Council, Lander leads Toward a 21st Century City for All. The group thanks Soros’ Open Society for its funding on almost every single page.

Death on the Border Agent Rogelio Martinez sought “to defend my country from terrorists.” Lloyd Billingsley

United States Border Patrol agent Rogelio Martinez knew his job was dangerous, but as Aileen Flores noted in the El Paso Times, the four-year veteran loved his work. “Dad, it’s the job I like,” Rogelio would tell his father José Martinez. “I want to defend my country from terrorists … I want to prevent terrorists and drugs from coming into the country.”

Rogelio Martinez, 36, had been planning a Sunday home gathering to watch the New England Patriots play the Oakland Raiders in Mexico City. Rogelio never made it home because, as José told the Times, his son’s head had been “destroyed.”

Martinez was dead and another agent in serious condition. What should have been a festive occasion, Flores wrote, “instead turned into a day of mourning filled with disbelief, sadness and heartache.” Based on past cases, the death of agent Martinez will not elicit much lamentation from the Mexican government and its American collaborators, particularly on campus.

In March of 1995 U.S. Border Patrol agent Luis Santiago fell to his death while pursuing illegals. Voz Fronteriza, an officially recognized student publication at the University of California at San Diego, responded with “Death of a Migra Pig,” a page-one editorial that celebrated both the death of Santiago and called for the killing of federal agents.

“We’re glad this pig died, he deserved to die. All Migra pigs deserve death,” said the officially funded UCSD publication. “We do not mourn the death of Santiago, instead we welcome it. Yet it is too bad that more Migra pigs didn’t die with him. . . All of the Migra pigs should be killed, every single one. There are no good Migra agents; the only good one is a dead one.”

In 1994, Voz Fronteriza received $6,000 from UC student activity funds and many of its writers are members of the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan, which refers to the American Southwest as “occupied Mexico.” California attorney general Xavier Becerra, a former congressman once on Hillary Clinton’s short list as a running mate, boasts of his involvement with the militant group.


Steyn noted how a recent mainstream media headline read “I Believe Juanita,” referring to Juanita Broaddrick, a former nursing home administrator who says then-Arkansas Attorney General Bill Clinton (D) raped her.

He said he wrote the same post in February 1999…

“Why shouldn’t Al Franken grope a woman? It’s because the media told us it doesn’t matter being a pig because character doesn’t matter,” he said of the sentiment during the Lewinsky scandal.

“They’ve got respected PBS anchors walking around naked, and I don’t mean Big Bird,” Steyn said of Charlie Rose, who has been accused of misconduct by as many as eight women.

The New York Times a few days ago ran a column called “I Believe Juanita”. I believed Juanita, too – way back when, eighteen-and-a-half years ago, when it counted and when the Times was covering the story only as an illustration of “shadowy, subterranean” media “mechanics”. At any rate, here’s my Juanita Broaddrick column from February 1999:

He raped her. Old news. Get over it.

He raped her. Or rather (for we must observe the niceties) she alleges he raped her. That’s what Juanita Broaddrick told The Wall Street Journal last Friday. That’s what The Washington Post reported Saturday —on page one. That’s what The New York Times somewhat tardily got around to letting its readers in on yesterday — although the fastidious Times boys forebore to let the word “rape” sully their account, preferring the term “assault” and noting only that “he forced her down to the bed and had intercourse with her,” which would be rape if Mike ‘Tyson did it but with Bill Clinton qualifies merely as a marginally non-consensual relationship.

He raped her. Okay, he assaulted her. He bit her lip and rammed his penis into her vagina. And what happened? Nothing. No one on the Sunday talk shows raised the issue. It wasn’t on the TV news, it wasn’t on the radio news. Instead of running with “Is Our President A Rapist?”, Time and Newsweek put the alleged rapist’s wife on the cover in regal pose and cooed over the unstoppable momentum for her mooted Senate campaign.

He raped her. That’s what she told Lisa Myers of NBC News back in January, just as the impeachment trial was getting underway. But the network got cold feet — unlike the president, who always keeps his socks on. “The good news is you’re credible,” Miss Myers informed her interviewee. “The bad news is you’re very credible” — a problem peculiar to American journalism. Last night, with Mr. Clinton acquitted and Senator-elect Rodham cruising to victory in the New York primary, NBC decided it was finally safe to air Miss Myers’ report on Dateline. So what will happen now? Nothing. He raped her. Old news. Get over it. Move on. The country’s reached “closure.”

No, it hasn’t. It’s reached “Denial.” Denial is a small town in Arkansas, midway between Hope and Hot Springs, where all the men are abusers but all the women feel it would be unseemly to bring it up. A zillion Clinton women ago, I remarked that the United States was beginning to resemble one of those Sam Shephard plays set in a crumbling farmhouse where everyone in the family knows there’s a dead baby buried in the backyard but they all agree not to mention it, even though its rotting corpse silently and remorselessly contaminates everything. Back in those days, when it seemed the president was simply groping the odd breast hither and yon, my comparison was intended as metaphor. But the metaphor is getting dangerously close to prosaic reality. First, Americans learned to accept that their president was an adulterer; next, a pants-dropper; now, a rapist. It’s all too easy to imagine, say, a year from now a decomposed corpse being dug up on the outskirts of Little Rock, the spawn of some unfortunate gubernatorial liaison circa 1987. In a typically artful invention, Mr. Clinton told Mrs. Broaddrick, as he zipped up his pants, not to worry, he was sterile, the result of mumps. The conception of his daughter shortly after this 1978 encounter represents what the lawyers would call “conflicting testimony.”

Docs Show FBI Informant Gathered Extensive Evidence Tying Russia to Uranium One By Debra Heine

In blockbuster posts Monday, investigative reporters John Solomon at The Hill and Sara Carter at reported on the extensive evidence of Russia’s plot to corner the American uranium market with the help of the Obama administration.

The evidence, gathered by FBI informant William Campbell who was working undercover for six years, includes corruption inside a U.S. nuclear transport company and Obama administration approvals that let Moscow buy and sell atomic fuels.

The more than 5,000 pages of documents from the counterintelligence investigation, reviewed by the reporters, are just the tip of the iceberg, Solomon told Sean Hannity on Fox News Monday night.

But the memos are already conflicting with statements made by Justice Department officials, who in recent days threw cold water on Campbell’s assertions, saying they wouldn’t shed much light on the U.S. government’s 2010 decision to approve Russia’s purchase of the Uranium One mining company.

Solomon held up an email that he said the FBI has had for six years.

“It shows that Uranium One was part of a Russia strategy to control — not just benefit from the global market, control the global market. That would put the United States at a disadvantage. That’s the sort of evidence that this FBI informant has right now,” Solomon said.

Last week the DOJ said the FBI informant’s info had “there’s no connection to Uranium One. These are emails that say Uranium One that are in the FBI files,” Solomon said, holding up the documents. “They said there that was no connection between the Uranium One case and the criminal case. We now know that the criminal case got its first evidence in 2009, a whole year before the Uranium One deal was approved by the Obama administration,” he continued.

“There are a lot of things that people have been saying that these documents simply don’t agree with,” Solomon told Hannity.

Hannity said that “a very high-ranking congressman” recently sent him a note stating the “the knowledge of key administration officials will be the next thing proven by both of you [Solomon and Carter] and the links to the Clinton Foundation.” CONTINUE AT SITE

Op-ed: ‘Stupidity of capitalism’ causes global warming By Joseph Smith

A New York Times opinion piece argues that climate change “catastrophe” is the result not of careless individuals, “immoral companies,” or “foundering” reforms, but rather of “the rampant stupidity of capitalism” – “the overwhelming unintelligence involved in keeping the engines of production roaring” in the face of looming climate change (emphasis original).

The writer, Benjamin Y. Fong, who holds a Columbia University Ph.D. in religion, argues that the idea of solving the climate change “disaster” through more intelligent voters or better technical solutions is a fallacy:

Put differently, the hope that we can empower intelligent people to positions where they can design the perfect set of regulations, or that we can rely on scientists to take the carbon out of the atmosphere and engineer sources of renewable energy, serves to cover over the simple fact that the work of saving the planet is political, not technical.

In other words, says Mr. Fong, “[t]he intelligence of the brightest people around is no match for the rampant stupidity of capitalism.”

For Mr. Fong’s “anti-capitalist struggle” to address climate change, picking out “bumbling morons to lament or fresh-faced geniuses to praise is a missed opportunity” for “structural change.”

Mr. Fong is less clear about his alternative to capitalism. Moving through the piece, Mr. Fong refers to “foundering social Democratic reforms,” a “democratic socialist society,” and “socialists” who have been “defensive for centuries,” followed by a link to Communism for Kids, translated from the original German and published by MIT Press.

The “Overview” of the Communism book begins with:

Once upon a time, people yearned to be free of the misery of capitalism. How could their dreams come true? This little book proposes a different kind of communism, one that is true to its ideals and free from authoritarianism.