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Ruth King

Christopher Akehurst The Left’s Burning Ambition

If the Axis had won, would we have seen rampaging mobs? But wait, we have those now, except we call them ‘protesters’. Politically they combine the Tweedledum of Hitlerian thuggery with the Tweedledee of Marxist groupthink and, to our so-called leaders’ shame, our publicly funded and thoroughly colonised institutions urge them on.

I had been putting off seeing the film The Darkest Hour for suspicion that it would be just another revisionist hatchet job and anachronistically present Winston Churchill as a climate-change denier, transphobe, uninvited toucher of female thighs or any of the other things the purveyors of contemporary culture dislike. I saw it only when I was told that it’s not and it doesn’t. But if, rather courageously on the part of the producers, the film concedes no ground to contemporary historical revisionism and instead presents Churchill as a somewhat Hamletian hero, neither does it draw a veil over certain elements of the Great Man’s persona that would indeed provoke disapproval in certain circles today.

It shows him as portly enough that, had they lived in the same era, ‘iconic’ comedienne Magda Szubanski in her role of fat-shamer could have signed him up for a slimming course. Magda, it will be remembered, was a somewhat improbable Jenny Craig weight-loss spruiker before she reinvented herself as the Boadicea of gay love. The film reveals his alcohol consumption, starting with whisky at breakfast, to have been such as to send today’s ‘safe drinking’ campaigners into a decline, with their two units a month or whatever they grudgingly allow; while the Quit lobby would demand that its taxpayer funding be tripled to propagandise against Churchill’s marathon cigar-smoking, which must have kept the Cuban export balance in the black for decades.

Britain’s darkest hour, as every schoolboy probably no longer knows, was precipitated by resistance to Hitler’s attempt to impose a prototype European Union with himself as a one-man Brussels. His blitzkrieg, he boasted, would bomb Britain into submission and burn its cities to the ground. All at once I remembered – but what a coincidence! – that exactly the same incendiary aspiration had been expressed for our own country a few weeks before I saw the film, and expressed not by a foreign belligerent but from within the ranks of the publicly subsidised Aboriginal grievance industry. Readers might recall – or not, since she had her flicker of fame and hasn’t been heard of since – that our very own scorched-earth advocate was one Tarneen Onus-Williams, or Dtarneen as she later decided her name was. Tarneen (let’s stick with that to avoid consonant cluster) is a volunteer with that esteemed body the Koorie Youth Council of Victoria and an employee of Oxfam, the snootiest moraliser in the crowded field of global charity self-righteousness (whose sanctimony has lately being fully stretched coping with allegations of sex abuse among its ‘aid workers’). You can refresh your memory about Tarneen at ‘Happy Invasion Day II’ at Quadrant Online.

Peter Smith :Trigger Warning

If you ask after every latest mass shooting why the US won’t ‘do something, anything’ about guns, a refresher course in American law and history is in order. Also worth bearing mind is that Americans, unlike Australians, don’t see themselves as submissive subjects of the State.

Apparently, there are some 300 million legally-held guns in the United States. Who knows how many illegally-held guns there are? Lots I imagine. In the wake of the latest horrific school shooting in Florida, the usual suspects are calling for tighter gun control. The Republicans and the NRA are blamed for having always resisted such calls.

For the first two years of Obama’s presidency, the Democrats had an overwhelming majority in the House and close to a filibuster majority in the Senate. For four months, they had 60 votes in the Senate and therefore absolute control. Why did they not act to impose additional controls on gun ownership, if the current laws are such a burning affront to public safety? There are, I suggest, two principal reasons.

First, beyond emotional cheap talk, it is very difficult to identify specific amendments to the law which would both reduce the risk of gun violence and be enforceable.

Second, it’s not the Republicans in Congress or the NRA that represents the biggest obstacle to imposing anything which smacks of seriously restricting gun rights, it is gun-owning voters. The latest Gallup poll (Oct 2017) reported that 42% of US households had a gun. That would clearly mean well over 50% of adults have access to guns. Moreover, many of those gun owners are passionate about their right to bear arms. “Out of my cold dead hands,” the late, great Charleston Heston put it, while holding up his rifle.

One further complication is that federal law overlays state laws, which differ from state to state. Federal law bans a convicted felon from owning a firearm, also someone who is involuntarily committed to a mental institution or declared mentally incompetent by a court or government body. The interpretation of this law can vary from state to state, which perhaps creates an opportunity for legislators at a federal and state levels to close off any obvious loopholes. Though this would have made no difference in this most recent school shooting.

Closing loopholes aside, the difficulties of taking substantive measures should not be lost from sight. Take mental illness, which has occupied the attention of commentators urging that something more be done.

Yale’s Trump-diagnosing shrink keeps at it, this time in talk to College Democrats

The Yale psychiatrist who wanted President Trump “contained” for an emergency mental health evaluation is still at it.Bandy Lee spoke to the Yale College Democrats on Wednesday evening about “the impact an unstable public leader can have on society,” and the duty folks in her profession have to speak out about it.

“I’ve been concerned about the deteriorating state of public mental health, and part of that showed up in the attraction and election of an impaired leader in the first place — pathology attracts pathology,” Lee told the audience. “If we were able to educate people [enough], we could prevent a lot of these things.”

According to the Yale Daily News, Lee said the morning following Trump’s huge upset election victory, “thousands of people contacted her” with their worries about impending violence.

Based on what she had seen in some of her past patients, Lee said, she felt an obligation to warn the public about Mr. Trump.

From the story:

Lee stressed that she did not diagnose Trump when she spoke out about his mental state to congressmen; rather she assessed the danger he poses to the public. She noted that the president’s tendency to boast about sexual assault, taunt nuclear power and endorse violence in key public speeches can cause harm “because [he’s] laying the groundwork for the culture of violence.”

Aussie Supreme Court Judge: We’re Under Attack by Muslim Men Who Want to Impose Sharia Law Daniel Greenfield

The thing that must never be mentioned is being mentioned. Again.

Australia has been “under attack” from a group of Muslim men wanting “to kill as many unbelievers as they can” for about 15 years, a Supreme Court judge has said.

Justice Desmond Fagan made the comments while sentencing Tamim Khaja, 20, who pleaded guilty in October to planning and preparing a terrorist attack two years ago.

The then 18-year-old was arrested while preparing for a lone wolf massacre, either at the US embassy in Sydney, an Army barracks in western Sydney, or at a court complex at Parramatta.

Counsel for the defendant, Ian Temby QC, tendered to the court a list of recent sentences handed down to other men who had been convicted of terror offences.

In response, Justice Fagan told the court that Australia had “been under attack for 15 years by about 40 Muslim men, to kill as many unbelievers as they can and impose Sharia law.”

Sitting at Sydney West Trial Courts at Parramatta, Justice Fagan referred to verses in the Koran which he said described the duty of “a Muslim to wage Jihad”.

All true. And absolutely embargoed.

Review: John Marshall, a Man ‘Without Precedent’ A lifelong Federalist, the Supreme Court chief justice served besides presidents who saw him as an enemy of their values. Fergus M. Bordewich reviews ‘Without Precedent’ by Joel Richard Paul.

No man did more to shape the judicial landscape of America than John Marshall, who led the Supreme Court for more than three decades and hand-crafted scores of decisions that affect us still today. When he was appointed chief justice in 1801, the court was an orphan branch of government with little authority, holding its sessions in spare committee rooms and boarding houses. Marshall’s tenure would transform it.

In “Without Precedent,” Joel Richard Paul, a professor at the University of California’s Hastings Law School in San Francisco, has crafted a scholarly but highly readable and often entertaining chronicle that embeds Marshall among the leading lights of the nation’s founding generation, humanizing him along the way.

Marshall’s modest origins hardly hinted at the illustrious career that was in store. Born in 1755, the future chief justice grew up on what was then the Virginia frontier, the eldest of 15 children who lived packed into a two-room log cabin. His father worked as a farmer and surveyor. In contrast to the tutored sons of Virginia’s elite, young John was largely self-taught. He received only a single year of formal education and later six weeks of training in the law under the eminent legal teacher George Wythe.

As a rifleman during the Revolutionary War, Marshall endured the horrific winter at Valley Forge, where he came to know George Washington. Washington sensed Marshall’s natural intellect and appointed him a military judge advocate. After the war, Marshall established a law practice in Richmond and was elected to the Virginia legislature, where he soon became the star of its Federalist minority.

Atmospheric science 50 years later By Anthony J. Sadar

The climate of the atmospheric science field has changed dramatically over the past few decades. The “weather,” once considered a safe topic of conversation in polite company, has morphed into the subject of heated socio-political debate. Besides scientists, there are celebrities, politicians, pundits, and pontiffs all contributing to the meteorological mayhem.

Fifty years ago, when the climate was not so controversial, I recorded my first weather observation. On February 18, 1968, I noted winds from my homemade instrument perched in a tree outside my bedroom window. I recorded weather conditions several times each day almost without fail from that time on when I was in eighth grade until I went off to college, getting my undergraduate degree in meteorology from Penn State in 1976.

From my first assignment in the profession as a weather observer at a remote site in Alaska, 160 miles above the Arctic Circle, to work as an air pollution meteorologist in private consulting and government service, a lot has changed since 1968.

Increasing computer power and computational rapidity, innovative satellite and radar technology, refinement and deployment of weather sensors, and the like tremendously expanded meteorological capabilities. Understanding and concomitant forecasting of atmospheric conditions reached new heights to where confidence in our ability to accurately predict the future has quickly grown, perhaps too hastily.

Throughout the decades, experiencing the downs and ups of global temperatures and its enthusiastic publicists, I learned several important lessons.

Mueller indictments still miss the mark on Trump-Russia collusion By Jonathan Turley,

Lewis Carroll once wrote in praise of adjectives, saying that “adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs.” That is certainly true with the latest indictments by special counsel Robert Mueller of 13 Russians for interfering with the 2016 presidential election. For the White House, the entire report comes down to a single adjective. Let’s see if you can spot it: The Russian defendants “communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump campaign.”

Despite a 37-page indictment with a long narrative on a coordinated Russian campaign of interference, the most newsworthy fact comes from the carefully placed adjective “unwitting.” It confirms that the special counsel has found no knowing coordination or collusion between these hackers and Trump officials. The indictment names 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities in alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election. It describes a coordinated effort by Russians, including the shadowy Internet Research Agency, to wage “information warfare” against the United States.
The charges themselves are not particularly novel or exotic. They involve identity fraud, wire fraud and other conventional charges. However, the context is anything but conventional. This is the largest indictment of a foreign effort to interfere with our elections, and the clear import is that the hand of the Russian government was behind this effort. Moreover, it is clear that the Russians were acting to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton.

While the indictment is historic, it is hardly a surprise. Few people were questioning the Russian interference with and hacking of the election. Both Democratic and Republican leaders were in agreement on this fact, as were all of the administration’s top intelligence figures. The one hold-out seemed to be the president himself. He routinely referred to the “fake news” of the Russian investigation.

Gorka Offers ‘Tip’ to Mueller: If You Want To Actually Put People in Prison, Start With Hillary by Joseph A. Wulfsohn

On Friday night, Dr. Sebastian Gorka gave Special Counsel Robert Mueller some unsolicited advice regarding his ongoing investigation.The former deputy assistant to President Trump and now Fox News contributor insisted that “nothing’s going to happen” as a result of the recent indictments of 13 Russian nationals because they’re already in Russia and “we can’t extradite them.”

Well, Gorka came up with an alternative for the special counsel.

“I’ve got a tip for Robert Mueller,” Gorka said. “Some other people messed with our elections, and they’re right here in America. It’s Hillary Clinton. There’s the DNC. There’s Fusion GPS. And there’s Hillary’s lawyer. They messed with the election. They stole the candidacy from Bernie Sanders and then they gave false information to a FISA court. So Mr. Mueller, if you want to actually put some people in prison, start with the Americans that perverted our election here in America.”

“Well said,” Sean Hannity reacted.

Fox News contributor Sara Carter piled on with the politicization of the Justice Department, citing FBI lovers Peter Strzok and Lisa Page as well as former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, accusing them of “having an agenda.”

Nonie Darwish: Is that it?

Thirteen people living in Russia were indicted today by the Department of Justice for conspiring to impact our elections, apparently over the Internet. No link to any American citizen and no impact on elections were found. Is that it?

When the real scandal was still being uncovered by the Nunes Memo, James Comey said “That’s it?” Now it is we the people who are saying “Is that it?” regarding the Russia collusion scandal.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions must have been happy today, having recused himself from the Russia investigation, when he left the job of reporting to the American people on “the greatest collusion scandal in American history” to his Deputy Rod Rosenstein.

Is that all that has been found in the “Russia collusion investigation,” which put our country, our President and political system in non-stop daily political turmoil for close to two years? If that is all, thirteen Russians on the Internet, the American people should be really more than disappointed. Is that a good reason for our federal law enforcement to put our whole system on hold, keep our administration hostage under a cloud of suspicion while the media was having daily field-day assault and hate speech against our “treasonous” President? This did not just hurt Trump, but it hurt our country, our priorities, our ability to fix what is necessary and our reputation in the eyes of the world.

If that’s all they have on this supposed scandal, the American people should feel scammed and cheated with the fake news, not only from the media, but worse, promoted by US law enforcement, which leaked information (by Comey) to get this investigation started by a special counsel.

Is There an Obstruction Case against President Trump? The justice department’s office of legal counsel should answer the question. By Andrew C. McCarthy

It has become more urgent to ask: Why is there a special counsel in the Russia investigation? At this point, that question should be put to the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel — in the federal government, it’s the lawyers’ lawyer. To get down to brass tacks: May the president of the United States be charged with obstruction based on non-criminal discretionary acts that are unquestionably within his constitutional authority as chief executive?

Readers of these columns may recall that I opposed the appointment of a special counsel and have argued that the appointment was illegitimate. This has nothing to do with Robert Mueller, who has had a distinguished law-enforcement career for which he is justly admired. It has to do with first principles and clear regulations. As a matter of principle, the law-enforcement arm of government must operate on a presumption of innocence. Therefore, in this country, a prosecutor should be assigned only if there is strong evidence that a crime has been committed; in the absence of such evidence, a prosecutor should never be assigned to investigate whether an American may have committed some unknown crime.

This, as we’ve repeatedly observed, is reflected in the regulations that control when the Justice Department may appoint a special counsel. The question should never come up unless there is some “criminal investigation or prosecution” that creates a conflict of interest for Justice Department leadership. A special counsel may be appointed only for purposes of this “criminal investigation or prosecution.” In the absence of strong evidence of a crime, there is no basis for a criminal investigation or prosecution.