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April 2017

Max Boot’s “GOP is the White Nationalist Party” Smear A pseudo-conservative blogger joins the Left’s camp of hate. Matthew Vadum

Pseudo-conservative Foreign Policy blogger Max Boot is making the outrageous claim that the entire Republican Party has been taken over by a dangerous racist fringe.

Boot’s insane argument rests on one core contention: that because Republicans tolerate, even like, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), a patriot and a truly courageous conservative champion, their party has therefore fallen into the hands of white nationalists. The fact that King isn’t actually a white nationalist or a racist, which is the real thing Boot is accusing the lawmaker of, in no way hinders the writer from making his pitch.

Nor does the unbalanced Boot make any effort to define the term “white nationalism,” presumably because being limited to a rigid definition would make the smear less marketable. Boot’s working definition for the expression appears to approximate, “anything of which I don’t approve.”

Even worse, according to Boot, is the supposed fact that King is similar to President Trump, whom Boot has described as the “No. 1 security threat to the United States today.” He claimed America’s enemies would be emboldened by a Trump presidency. The fact that Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea are now squirming with Trump in the Oval Office proves Boot wrong.

Reflecting the view of left-wing coastal elites, he described Trump last year as “the most radical and most ignorant major-party presidential candidate in our history.”

Which must be why employment is picking up, consumer confidence is surging, and the stock market is going gangbusters.

Boot is certainly not an apologist for Muslim terrorism but he accepts many of the arguments made by those who do make excuses for it. He pushes the same smears and “Islamophobia” nonsense that the Left habitually deploys, treating Americans’ legitimate concerns about Islam and Muslim immigrants to the country as manifestations of hateful racist bigotry. In at least that way, Boot’s writings bear more than a passing resemblance to those of the arch Israel-hater Max Blumenthal.

For promising to get tough on illegal immigration and making demonstrably true observations about the criminals invading the nation from the south, people like Boot have pilloried Trump as a bigot.

To the Left, mainstream conservatives are regarded as racists and white nationalists because they happen to believe that all lives matter. There is nothing radical or disturbing about opposing illegal immigration and open borders.

Yet on these issues Max Boot sides with the Left.

In a recent Foreign Policy screed titled, “The GOP Is America’s Party of White Nationalism,” Boot declared that “[t] he list of King’s asinine, bigoted, and offensive words and acts is too long to recount.”

What President Trump’s Energy and Climate Executive Order Does — and Doesn’t Do Trump’s order was a first step in scaling back the Obama administration’s regulatory overreach. By Jeremy Carl

As one would expect from a president who is a master of political theater, the backdrop for this week’s announcement of his executive order “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth” was dramatic: President Trump, with twelve all-American-looking coal-miners flanking him, announced that he was undoing a number of President Obama’s climate policies, while announcing a number of pro-energy-development ones. As is typical with this president, though, the media were so wrapped up in the theater that the substance of the order was almost entirely buried in many stories.

But while the green lobby was rending its garments and proclaiming the end of the world, more astute observers noticed what Trump’s executive order didn’t do — which was arguably more important than what it did.

Notably, the president did not (1) withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement or (2) start a process to repeal the EPA’s endangerment finding on carbon emissions, which underlies the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan.

Some (though by no means all) conservatives are up in arms about this, as EPA administrator Scott Pruitt was supposedly particularly active in beating back proposals to challenge the endangerment finding, while Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was supposedly active in lobbying to stay in the Paris Climate Agreement. At first blush, this seems hard to square with the records of two men who were being denounced as enemies of the people by the environmental lobby from the moment of their nominations, but in their early approaches to the issue they are showing a disposition that is more pragmatic than radical.

This is not a surprise to more seasoned observers of energy policy on the right. Those who have actually worked with Pruitt stressed that, contrary to the media caricature, he was not an ideological Don Quixote tilting at windmills. Instead, he is going to carefully and methodically go after EPA overreach while focusing on cleaning up air and water in tangible ways.

The endangerment finding found that greenhouse gases threatened human health and welfare, which provided the legal justification for the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan. But Pruitt, along with several senior White House aides, argued that attempting to overturn the finding would be a messy and protracted court battle that would be very unlikely to succeed.

Meanwhile Tillerson did not want to rush into immediately withdrawing from the Paris Agreement. with all of the attendant blowback it would cause among key allies, when the administration has more important diplomatic priorities.

Conservative critics of Obama’s climate policies may be justifiably angered at Trump’s refusal to act on these issues in this executive order, but for an administration that cares a lot about winning, it did not make sense to act in a way that would likely result in a loss. If Trump really wants to roll back the endangerment finding, his best bet is probably a revision of the Clean Air Act (which would in and of itself be a bruising fight) that would explicitly strip out CO2 from the law’s jurisdiction. This would meet the demands of conservatives who have long complained that the Clean Air Act is an inappropriate vehicle for regulating greenhouse gases.

Democrats Know the Election Was Legitimate but Persist in a Dangerous Fraud Putin is smiling. By Andrew C. McCarthy ****

‘Horrifying!” inveighed an indignant Hillary Clinton at the last presidential debate, less than three weeks before Election Day. What so horrified her? Donald Trump’s refusal to pledge that he would accept the legitimacy of the election.

Trump speculated that the electoral process could be rigged. Until he saw how it played out, the Republican nominee said, he could not concede that the result would be on the up-and-up.

Trump offered a three-part “rigging” claim. There was the allegation for which he’d already been roundly derided: A foreign element could swing the election — specifically, “millions” of ineligible voters, a reference to illegal immigrants, the bane of his campaign. Further, there was the gross one-sidedness of the media’s campaign coverage — scathing when it came to him; between inattentive and fawning when it came to his opponent, whose considerable sins were airbrushed away. Finally, there was deep corruption: Clinton, he maintained, should not have been permitted to run given the significant evidence of felony misconduct in her mishandling of classified information. Meanwhile, law-enforcement agencies of the Democratic administration bent over backwards to give her a pass, and congressional Democrats closed ranks around her — conducting themselves in committee hearings more like her defense lawyers than investigators searching for the truth.

A flabbergasted Clinton responded that she was shocked — horrified! — to hear Trump “talking down our democracy.” This was a top theme in her campaign’s closing days: The election was absolutely legitimate; Trump was traitorously condemnable for refusing to say so.

Of course, Clinton and the Democrats who parroted her would prefer that you forget that now. And given her strained relationship with the truth, they’re right to calculate that you’d never retain anything she said for very long. Nobody does. Corporate big wheels who paid to hear her vaporous speechifying couldn’t tell you a memorable thing she’d said after paying $250,000 for her “insights.”

The media-Democrat indictment of Trump’s election-rigging spiel was not rooted in patriotic commitment to the American democratic tradition of accepting election outcomes. They said what they said because they fully expected to win — all the polls said so! Hillary and her chums, Barack Obama included, would not abide a taint of illegitimacy affixing itself to her inevitable presidency.

Except she wasn’t so inevitable.

So now, there is just one very inconvenient problem for the “Russia hacked the election” narrative, the tireless media-Democrat harangue since November 8: Everything of substance that is known to the U.S. government about Russian meddling was already known in those pre-election weeks when Clinton and the Democrats were hailing the legitimacy of the process.

They’ve changed their tune not because the facts changed, but because they lost.

Pat Condell on Immigration in Europe

“The Rotten Unrepresentative European Union is Deservedly Dying” (video) Pat Condell *****

Europe: Combating Fake News by Fjordman

If present demographic trends continue, in a few decades, native Swedes could easily become a minority in their own country.

Swedish ambulance personnel want gas masks and bulletproof vests to protect their staff against the escalating attacks, similar to equipment used by staff working in war zones.

Most dangerous, however, is our inability to deal forcefully with problems undermining Western societies, because some Western media refuse to admit that the problems exist.

In January 2015 The New York Times denied that there are “no-go-zones” — areas that are not under the control of the state and are ruled according to sharia law — dominated by certain immigrant groups in some urban areas in Western Europe. The American newspaper mentioned this author, alongside writers such as Steven Emerson and Daniel Pipes, for spreading this alleged falsehood. The article was published shortly after Islamic terrorists had massacred the staff of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris on January 7, 2015. Other established media outlets such as the magazine The Atlantic also dismissed claims of no-go-zones.

Fox News issued an unusual on-air apology for allowing its anchors and guests to repeat the suggestion that there are Muslim “no-go zones” in European countries such as Britain and France.

Regarding the subject of “no-go-zones,” this is largely a question of semantics. If you say that there are some areas where even the police are afraid to go, where the country’s normal, secular laws barely apply, then it is indisputable that such areas now exist in several Western European countries. France is one of the hardest hit: it has a large population of Arab and African immigrants, including millions of Muslims.

I have been writing about the problems in Sweden and the rest of Europe for many years. The problems are unfortunately all too real. Here are a few facts:

Sweden surpassed ten million inhabitants in early 2017. The recent population growth is almost entirely due to mass immigration. If present demographic trends continue, in a few decades native Swedes could easily become a minority in their own country. The economist Tino Sanandaji suggests that this transformation could happen within the coming generation.

Statistics from January 2017 indicate that for people born in Sweden, the unemployment rate is 4.3%. Yet for people born abroad, the unemployment rate is a staggering five times higher, at 22.1%. This constitutes a huge economic and social burden for the taxpayers. The famous Swedish welfare state has been quietly cut back for many years.

In an essay published in February 2016, Stockholm police inspector Lars Alvarsjö warned that the Swedish legal system is close to collapse. The influx of asylum seekers and ethnic gangs has overwhelmed the country and its understaffed police force. In many suburbs, criminal gangs have taken control and determine the rules. The police, fire brigades and ambulance personnel in these areas are routinely met with violent attacks.

Malmö, Sweden’s third-largest city, houses over 300,000 people, as of 2017. Despite its modest size, the town has a crime rate equal to that of vastly larger cities. The local police are barely able to investigate murders. Less serious crimes often go unpunished. Malmö probably has the highest percentage of Muslim immigrants of any city in Scandinavia. The most Islamic city in Scandinavia also happens to be the most criminal and the most violent.

In November 2016, Malmö’s chief prosecutor Ola Sjöstrand publicly admitted that his office was approaching a total collapse in terms of criminal investigations. “If people are hit by crimes which then aren’t investigated, they will lose faith in the rule of law,” Sjöstrand told the regional newspaper Sydsvenskan.

During New Year’s Eve celebrations at the beginning of 2017, parts of central Malmö resembled a war zone. Young immigrants shouted “Jihad!” while throwing fireworks at people. Swedish teenagers gathered in a large group to avoid being robbed.

A janitor in Malmö was shot and sustained life-threatening injures while clearing snow in February 2017. Police detained several suspects, understood to be linked to gang violence, for questioning. A 15-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

Meanwhile, officials at a local electrical firm announced that they would no longer expose their staff to risk by taking jobs in Malmö; there is just too much violent crime in the city.

Beginning in March 2017, the emergency ward at the hospital in Malmö will lock the doors at night. This is a security precaution that became necessary due to repeated violent threats from certain gangs or clans against patients and staff.

In July 2015, the police in Malmö asked for assistance from the national police to stop the wave of violence. Apparently, even that response was not enough. In January 2017, the police chief, Stefan Sintéus, publicly appealed to residents in Malmö for help in containing violent crime and deadly gang shootings: “Help us to tackle the problems. Cooperate with us.”

Flynn’s Reported Immunity Request By Andrew C. McCarthy

And exactly what would you do if you were in General Michael Flynn’s shoes?

It is not just that the long knives are out for him. The arena in which they bay for Flynn’s blood is no longer one of truth and justice but of social justice. No distinctions between partisan disagreement and crime, between intelligence and law-enforcement, between responsibly discreet investigation and political theater.

Put Flynn aside. The country in which we live has become so infected by partisan rage that federal courts are not embarrassed to invalidate a perfectly lawful executive order (restricting alien travel) on the sole ground that it was issued by Donald Trump. Had the same order, word-for-word, been issued by Barack Obama, it would have been swiftly upheld, if challenged at all. Politically “progressive” judges, however, have adopted an irrebuttable “Trump is evil” presumption. The new president’s allegedly guilty mind outweighs his every action, no matter how solidly rooted in law.

The object of the Left’s game is to nullify Trump’s presidency, whether by impeachment or withering rebuke. The best way to get there is to demonize his associates, such that they are criminals and their crimes are his crimes. On that list, it doesn’t get higher than Mike Flynn.

Long before riding the front of the Trump Train, Flynn made himself the bête noire of the intelligence community, accusing it of politicizing intelligence analyses and concealing the ineffectiveness of Obama’s approach to jihadist terror – claims which, to the great embarrassment of Obama’s spy chiefs, have been corroborated by intelligence agency operatives. Like Trump, moreover, Flynn – brash, unpolished, and erratic – has a knack for making enemies on all sides, such that Washington is now full of two kinds of people: those out to get Flynn and those who whisper that he had it coming.

Even that does not begin to describe the jeopardy Flynn had to be sensing when his lawyer reportedly offered his cooperation with investigations into Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential campaign in exchange for some form of immunity from prosecution. But it does provide a sense of the poisonous atmosphere in which, as night follows day, government officials leaked the offer to the media, spinning it as an admission of guilt – although, of what offense, no one seems able to say.

Imagine that. During the months of the Hillary Clinton email scandal, we learned that the major subjects of the investigation – involving felony mishandling of classified information and destruction of tens of thousands of government records – retained counsel and sought various forms of immunity in exchange for their cooperation. Mind you, this was under circumstances in which they knew the Justice Department was in the tank for them – so in the tank that Mills and Samuelson were permitted to appear as lawyers representing Hillary Clinton, the main subject with respect to whom they had a five-alarm conflict of interest.

No matter. When the conduct of Democrats was at issue, the media told us not to read too much into immunity requests. Standard fare to get a lawyer and seek immunity – doesn’t mean you’ve done anything wrong. Even when subjects of the Clinton investigation claimed their Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination rather than testify before Congress; even when reports surfaced of bizarre Justice Department agreements that evidence from the subjects’ computers would be destroyed rather than preserved; even when publication of the subjects’ FBI interviews detailed patently misleading statements – the media-Democrat complex steadfastly maintained there was nothing to see here.

But Mike Flynn, against whom there is no evidence of criminal wrongdoing? He is apparently a cross between Robert Hanssen and Al Capone.

Flynn lost his job as Trump’s national security advisor because he provided to Vice President Pence (among other Trump officials) an incomplete version of his conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the transition. The withheld information involved sanctions imposed by Obama, and consequent Russian hopes that Trump would undo them.

It may be that Flynn, belatedly realizing that any mention of sanctions was politically explosive, was “economical” with the facts when briefing Pence. But it could instead be that there was a garble on both sides – i.e., that Flynn took Pence to be asking whether he’d made any promises to Kislyak, but Pence took Flynn’s “no” to mean the subject never came up. Whatever the explanation, Pence was mortified when his public defense of Flynn turned out to be wrong. Flynn was cashiered in short order.

We can be confident, however, that Flynn gave Kislyak no satisfaction – not that doing so would have been a crime, as opposed to a galactic political lapse. We can be confident because the FBI was monitoring Kislyak’s phone, and – although national-security eavesdropping under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) is classified – Obama officials leaked the intelligence to the New York Times, which actually is a crime. The newspaper thus reported:

Obama advisers heard separately from the F.B.I. about Mr. Flynn’s conversation with Mr. Kislyak, whose calls were routinely monitored by American intelligence agencies that track Russian diplomats. The Obama advisers grew suspicious that perhaps there had been a secret deal between the incoming team and Moscow, which could violate the rarely enforced, two-century-old Logan Act barring private citizens from negotiating with foreign powers in disputes with the United States.

A Plan to Reform Our Failing Universities By David Solway

How can we save our universities from the rot that has invaded their precincts, eroding the traditional core of Western literary, cultural, scientific, technological, and professional instruction? What would such a makeover involve?

To begin with, Title IX should be abolished a.s.a.p. Originally intended to prevent sexual and racial discrimination — a well-intentioned but ill-conceived bipartisan measure signed into law in 1972 — Title IX has been corrupted beyond recognition, trampling due process in sexual harassment cases, feeding the campus rape panic, curtailing free speech rights in an effort to avoid “offense,” diluting the curriculum via “trigger warnings” and “microaggression” claims, establishing a culture of grievance, allowing talks and lectures by conservative speakers to be cancelled or disrupted, gutting men’s sports programs, and surrendering to the most absurd and untenable student demands. This abomination was promoted under the rubric of “equality” in a world where natural and imprescriptible inequalities abound in both the physical and intellectual domains. The casualties are merit and individuality. As R. B. Parish writes, in the name of equality our universities “renounce culture and strive to reduce everyone down to a common level… There must be no excellence.”

Additionally, measures should be taken to prevent universities from raising tuition fees irresponsibly (which, among other advantages, would also go a long way toward reducing unsustainable student debt). According to HSDC’s (Homeland Security Defense Coalition) annual report for 2016, the average cost of tuition fees in the U.S. is in the vicinity of $33,000 per academic year, rising in the elite universities to $60,000 and more. This is unacceptable. As I’ve written previously, “Tuition fees will need to come down, perhaps by decoupling Pell grants from tuition hikes,” and subsequently capped at a rate tied to inflation.

Universities will then have to devise ways of living within their means, by drastically shrinking administrative bloat, reducing professorial salaries by a percentage to be determined, and downsizing or eliminating Humanities departments that are either irrelevant or marginal, that is, courses of study that cannot deliver basic competence in reading and writing, knowledge of civics and history, familiarity with the classics of the Western tradition, and economic productivity.

Stringent provisions will have to be made within the new education bill indicating which departments and programs are to be subject to contraction or termination, in particular the variety of trendy identity studies, which produce undereducated and unemployable graduates who become a burden both to themselves and to society.

Another factor in salvaging the university would involve flensing excess SocProg blubber like Commissions for Ethnicity, Race and Equity or President’s Advisory Committees, among a myriad of such irrelevancies. These institutions are preoccupied with such nonacademic issues as inclusivity and diversity, aboriginal health sciences, accommodating students’ religious, indigenous, and spiritual observances, diversifying food on campus, and supporting survivors of sexual violence on campus (an epidemic that doesn’t exist). They are parasites and misfits, empowered by arbitrary authority, not by long tradition, codified religion or settled law, and eating up scarce resources that could actually be invested in education. Every university in North America is saddled with the enormous collective weight — and judging from the typical photos, the substantial weight of many of its members — of these useless and self-serving bodies parroting the cultural bromides and shibboleths of the day. The Club Med of every token identity group imaginable, they have got to go if the university is ever to be restored to scholarly vigor and parietal sanity.

“The Immigration Dodge” by Mark Krikorian

Today’s bitter divides focus too narrowly on enforcement. All sides need to be clearer about what immigration policy is meant to achieve

The immigration debate in the U.S. has been contentious for decades, but Donald Trump’s candidacy and election have taken it to a new level of polarized animosity. Politicians and the public have focused, understandably, on Mr. Trump’s promise to build a “big, beautiful” wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and on what should be done with the millions of illegal immigrants currently in the country.

These are certainly important issues. But they are enforcement issues. They are less fundamental than a question that too often goes unaddressed in our debates: Why limit immigration at all? Almost everyone at least pays lip service to the need for limits of some kind, but we don’t often enough challenge each other to explain what limits we support and why.

If we are ever to have a rational debate about immigration—rather than a screaming match among combatants mostly intent on signaling their own moral virtue or ideological purity—the starting point has to be a candid acknowledgment of our goals and preferences. Politicians and ordinary voters shouldn’t be allowed to get away with saying “Of course there should be limits on immigration, but…” without explaining what they mean.

Almost all of the arguments for limiting immigration share a common theme: protection. Even those advocating much more liberal immigration policies acknowledge the need to protect Americans from terrorists, foreign criminals and people who pose a threat to public health. Supporters of stricter limits, such as me, seek wider protections: protection for less-skilled workers, protection for the social safety net, and protection for the civic and cultural foundations of American society.

Jonathan Haidt on the Cultural Roots of Campus Rage An unorthodox professor explains the ‘new religion’ that drives the intolerance and violence at places like Middlebury and Berkeley.By Bari Weiss

When a mob at Vermont’s Middlebury College shut down a speech by social scientist Charles Murray a few weeks ago, most of us saw it as another instance of campus illiberalism. Jonathan Haidt saw something more—a ritual carried out by adherents of what he calls a “new religion,” an auto-da-fé against a heretic for a violation of orthodoxy.

“The great majority of college students want to learn. They’re perfectly reasonable, and they’re uncomfortable with a lot of what’s going on,” Mr. Haidt, a psychologist and professor of ethical leadership at New York University’s Stern School of Business, tells me during a recent visit to his office. “But on each campus there are some true believers who have reoriented their lives around the fight against evil.”

These believers are transforming the campus from a citadel of intellectual freedom into a holy space—where white privilege has replaced original sin, the transgressions of class and race and gender are confessed not to priests but to “the community,” victim groups are worshiped like gods, and the sinned-against are supplicated with “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings.”

The fundamentalists may be few, Mr. Haidt says, but they are “very intimidating” since they wield the threat of public shame. On some campuses, “they’ve been given the heckler’s veto, and are often granted it by an administration who won’t stand up to them either.”

All this has become something of a preoccupation for the 53-year-old Mr. Haidt. A longtime liberal—he ran a gun-control group as an undergraduate at Yale—he admits he “had never encountered conservative ideas” until his mid-40s. The research into moral psychology that became his 2012 book, “The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion,” exposed him to other ways of seeing the world; he now calls himself a centrist.

In 2015 he founded Heterodox Academy, which describes itself as “a politically diverse group of social scientists, natural scientists, humanists, and other scholars” concerned about “the loss or lack of ‘viewpoint diversity’ ” on campuses. As Mr. Haidt puts it to me: “When a system loses all its diversity, weird things begin to happen.”

Having studied religions across cultures and classes, Mr. Haidt says it is entirely natural for humans to create “quasireligious” experiences out of seemingly secular activities. Take sports. We wear particular colors, gather as a tribe, and cheer for our team. Even atheists sometimes pray for the Steelers to beat the Patriots.

It’s all “fun and generally harmless,” maybe even healthy, Mr. Haidt says, until it tips into violence—as in British soccer hooliganism. “What we’re beginning to see now at Berkeley and at Middlebury hints that this [campus] religion has the potential to turn violent,” Mr. Haidt says. “The attack on the professor at Middlebury really frightened people,” he adds, referring to political scientist Allison Stanger, who wound up in a neck brace after protesters assaulted her as she left the venue.

The Berkeley episode Mr. Haidt mentions illustrates the Orwellian aspect of campus orthodoxy. A scheduled February appearance by right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos prompted masked agitators to throw Molotov cocktails, smash windows, hurl rocks at police, and ultimately cause $100,000 worth of damage. The student newspaper ran an op-ed justifying the rioting under the headline “Violence helped ensure safety of students.” Read that twice.

Mr. Haidt can explain. Students like the op-ed author “are armed with a set of concepts and words that do not mean what you think they mean,” he says. “People older than 30 think that ‘violence’ generally involves some sort of physical threat or harm. But as students are using the word today, ‘violence’ is words that have a negative effect on members of the sacred victim groups. And so even silence can be violence.” It follows that if offensive speech is “violence,” then actual violence can be a form of self-defense.

Down the hall from Mr. Haidt’s office, I noticed a poster advertising a “bias response hotline” students can call “to report an experience of bias, discrimination or harassment.” I joke that NYU seems to have its own version of the morality police in Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia. “It’s like East Germany,” Mr. Haidt replies—with students, at least some of them, playing the part of the Stasi. CONTINUE AT SITE