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All normal people are horrified by mass shootings, particularly when the victims are young people, just as we all are horrified by large plane crashes and other tragedies.  But for some of these shootings, such as the recent one in Parkland, Florida, the talk of “act now” has become more prominent.

The “we have to act now and STFU” rhetoric from the left is disturbing.  Doesn’t it matter if a law is going to do any good?  Doesn’t it matter if such a law may lead to massive civil disobedience?  Doesn’t it matter that so few such shooting sprees and crimes with rifles generally ever take place?  And finally doesn’t it matter that everywhere from Egypt to the Soviet Union to Cuba and the Jim Crow South, we have seen instances of oppressive government that were limited, in part, by the right of lawful gun ownership?

Facts have no place in this debate.  It’s a culture wars thing.  The whole point of these calls for gun control is to set up lines of demarcation between the evil and the elect.  Standing up for gun control shows one’s good faith by separating oneself from the uncouth, potentially violent, backwards, and otherwise disagreeable gun-owning class.  Other cultural issues, from violence-saturated movies and video games to divorce and the decline of trust and the widespread use of antidepressants are all totally off the table.

This failure to even attempt to offer reasoned arguments and counter the arguments of opponents is perhaps he biggest reason certain cost-effective compromises–perhaps raising age to buy AR-15s to 21–is not possible.  The goal to ban and confiscate guns is evident, and it is also evident that this arises from a more general desire to oppress, control, and hate the group that owns guns, that is the conservative, mostly white, flyover voters that brought about Trump.

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The Memo

I don’t have much unique to add to the already roaring voices of discontent.  I believe the memo exposes the use of a shady, Clinton-campaign funded opposition research memo to authorize FBI resources to spy on the Trump Campaign.  Further, this was done multiple times, and the provenance of the memo was concealed by the DOJ and FBI from the Court to whom it should have been revealed.  Comey, McCabe, and Rosenstein are all over this.  This is a  complete and total abuse of law enforcement powers for low, partisan purposes.  Shameful.

Byron York has a good write up, as does Chris Bursick and the Wall Street Journal.  

Just a few thoughts.  #MemoGate shows that the only Russian collusion was between Hillary campaign and Russia, through Fusion GPS and its spy, Christopher Steele, who paid, bribed, and listened to various Russians who defamed Trump for various reasons, including, perhaps, undermining his presidency should he win.  Imagine if George W Bush used lies to get FISA warrants against Kerry or Obama based on shady oppo research?  This is an incredible abuse of power by a politicized FBI under Obama.

Second, the FBI’s halo needs to be brought down.  There is no “independent” FBI, and, like the CIA, NSA, the military, and all the rest that is part of the executive branch, it is answerable to the elected President and Congress.  We should remember the FISA Court itself is a product of the Church Commission, which investigated FBI abuses during the 60s and 70s.  Why assume that rogue ethos has completely disappeared?

Truthfully, other than those at the top, I expect there are few died-in-the-wool libs among the rank-and-file agents, but, nonetheless, they should be generally speaking held accountable. And the memo shows that their claimed need for secrecy is as much about avoiding embarrassment as it has anything to do with national security.  The memo has been treated as both a “nothing burger” and the destroyer of worlds.  Both can’t be true.

Finally, is there no common ground anymore?   Nancy Pelosi moved heaven and earth to expose the CIA’s use of potentially illegal torture to root out al Qaeda.  Right or wrong, at least then she stood on the side of transparency and exposure of information to the public, which mostly shrugged upon learning of this act taken in extremis.  Is there anything that could be exposed done by the FBI, CIA, NSA, and Obama administration more generally that would raise more than a shrug? Is there any common principle–other than mere partisanship–that extends from administration to administration?

Nixon lost the Republicans with his cover up.  But, as Clinton showed with his sheer force of will during his scandals, simply pressing forward seems to have some value politically speaking.  People are forgetful. And many of the top Democrats, I would say, are quite simply more partisan and more lawless than Republicans, particularly as they are as incensed about Trump as Republicans were about Obama.

And that’s not a good thing, as both parties should and do, to some extent, keep an eye on the other when it is in power.  Both should have some common respect for the broad ideal of the rule of law.   But the Swamp, sadly, seems to look at the people and their oversight as a whole as the problem.  For them, the rules are merely for show, for the little people, and as tools to get their opponents, rather than being internalized as limits on their own conduct.  It’s really sad that more people aren’t troubled by these apparent excesses and abuses.  Because there are worse things than a Trump or an Obama getting elected, depending on your point of view; it is more troubling if elections no longer matter and are policed by a very unqualified group, a group with extensive authority, whose chief interest is their own power and privilege.  We are entering Soviet territory these days, and, like the late Soviet Union, may find the gap of privilege and wealth from the nomenklatura and the rest of us is simply too much for ordinary people to bear.

During the campaign, Trump spoke of cleaning the swamp, and it’s hard to believe that a rough-talking and sometimes crude Queens businessman would be the person to do that.  But the Swamp is a metaphor, and it’s more like a reeducation camp, a loony bin, or a decadent Versailles of a new age.  Trump is exactly the person to straighten it out, because the straight jacket of our age comes wrapped in soothing platitudes and new standards of politeness:  sensitivity, being inclusive, celebrating diversity, and all the rest.  And, in the process, we are giving away our country, our native born sons are in decline, and our collective flourishing is being undermined by violence, disunity, and parasitic newcomers.

Trump is asking the right questions on immigration that have been relegated to the sidelines or worse by the bipartisan consensus:  Who should come here? How many? And what qualities should these people have? And how do they contribute to our common good, if at all, once they are here?

Andrew Klavan, with whom I was not previously familiar, had this excellent analogy to the role Trump is playing and the nature of the pieties he is upsetting:

I frequently compare Trump to Randle Patrick McMurphy, the loudmouthed, ill-mannered roustabout from Ken Kesey’s brilliant novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. McMurphy comes into an insane asylum controlled by a pleasant, smiling nightmare of a head nurse named Ratched. Nurse Ratched, while pretending to be the soul of motherly care, is actually a castrating, silencing tyrant. Her rules of good manners, supposedly fashioned for the benefit of all, are really a system of mental slavery. All of McMurphy’s salient character flaws suddenly become heroic in the context of her oppression. Only his belligerent ignorance of what constitutes good behavior can overturn the velvet strangulation of her rule.

If one can’t call Haiti a shithole without this being controversial, something is seriously wrong with our culture and its leaders.  This fact is obvious, and how much any failed nation’s traits are contagious through mass immigration of it nationals is an issue worth taking very seriously or we may find ourselves with a Toussant Louverture in our midst.  I’d rather have a leader that speaks the truth, the real truth that matters, rather than someone who politely supervises our collective destruction.

Haiti Struggles With Death And Destruction After Catastrophic Earthquake

How dare anyone fail to see the charms of Haiti?

Watching media freak out over Trump’s “shithole” comment reminds me why he won. He said something everyone knows is true. You can’t deny these countries (Haiti, Honduras) are not very nice.  They’re poor, dirty, poorly governed, chaotic, corrupt, and generally the opposite of the United States of yore.  One or two photos make it clear.  Nor if you are logical can you deny that a decent amount  of their people aren’t very nice or talented either.  It’s not the physical environement, but the demographic and cultural one that made these countries the way they are.  And, indeed, there are degrees of bad, as the sharp line of demarcation between unforested Haiti and forested Dominican Republic makes clear if you ever happen to fly over them.

These people want to come here for a reason.  Obviously, many are good and motivated people, dissatisfied with the countries they’re born into.  But they risk turning our country more like they countries they came from if too many come. Everyone knows this. This is normal dinner table talk. And the media is losing it and the Democrats are about to fall into a trap by showing their enthusiasm for low-skill, poor, third-world immigration and denying the obvious about the countries they come from.  After all, if these countries aren’t shitholes, what’s so bad about deporting people to them?

Half of Trumps appeal is destroying taboos of political correctness. What we think and what we “are allowed to say” is more divergent than in the late Soviet Union. And people know it and are sick of it.

It’s starting to unravel, and the naked partisanship behind the story is becoming more and more clear.

Andrew McCarthy as usual has done yeoman’s work here and here.  In short, the basis of the spying on the Trump Campaign was the totally unreliable Steele Dossier created by Fusion GPS for the Hillary Campaign.

Another rundown here.  Long Twitter string, but overall a good point that the chief assumption of the n’er do wells was that Trump would never win regardless.

Finally, an analysis of the recent blatant lying on the subject by Susan Rice, Obama’s NSA advisor.

Perhaps the most ridiculous aspect of the Russian Collusion thing is it being totally out of tune with Trump, his ethos, his stated passions, his demonstrated policies, and his manifest nationalism for his own country, the United States.  It seems more like a combination of defamation and alibi for Hillary losing the election.

A little narrative change from the New York Times.

The past is always changing, as they say.

Also, I wasn’t surprised this horrible, trumped up hate campaign–like the Goetz incident in the mid-80s–led to this gentleman’s radicalization.  When the full weight of the media, the DOJ, and the prospect of a life sentence was attempted on this guy for defending himself, and when felonious Trayvon was at the same time made out to be a saint, it was pretty obvious that anti-white hatred was becoming far too explicit and normal during the Obama years.

Here we are.  A year before we were blessed with the first GPS Fusion President.

Let’s consider the big picture.  Trump has won some and lost some, faced massive resistance from both parties, and emphasized some parts of his agenda to the exclusion of others.  He has hired people largely not in sync with his agenda and is also dodging a special counsel investigation of dubious provenance.

Nonetheless, much positive is happening, and the elites of both parties ignore these things at their peril:

One, his pro business instincts and the prospect of tax reform have ushered in a massive economic growth cycle, complete with a huge rally in the stock market, but also the expansion of jobs, wages, and industry in the neglected “flyover states” who vouchsafed Trump’s victory.  We went from dogged opposition to the Keystone Pipeline to expanding plants and foreign investment in areas of the country that really need it.

ISIS, whose satanic atrocities and massive expansion on Obama’s watch worried people in America, Europe, and the Middle East, is very much on the run, crushed by aggressive action, loosened rules of engagement, and moral clarity at the top.  While the Mideast is a cesspool with little hope of reform, we were told it would take years what has taken only months under Trump’s leadership.

Illegal immigration is down.  Enforcement and deportations are up.  The wall isn’t built, and this is worrisome, but, as with ISIS, the moral clarity of the president’s leadership has let would-be illegals and those “living in the shadows” realize it’s time to go home.  This is a rare instance where the rank-and-file government workers in organizations like ICE and the Border Patrol were previously held back and frustrated by the uncertain trumpet and diffident leadership of Trump’s predecessors.  They simply needed to be let loose.

And Trump has taken a leading role in the culture wars.  He’s the mirror image of Obama in this respect.  When Obama would wring his hands over his virtual “son” Trayvon and the grievances of cop killers in Dallas, Trump has none of it.  He speaks out against political violence on all sides, against the America-hating primma donnas of the NFL, against the intolerance of Islamic fanatics and its terroristic votaries, against the trashing of our past and our history, against the dishonest media, and for the rights of all Americans to prosper and live in safety in a country recognizable as the same one they were born into.  In this sense, he has been the most effective, and it’s hard not to see him victorious on many fronts if only by giving symbolic strength to the basic views of the millions of people who gladly voted for him.

So we’ll see.  He faces an uphill battle.  He is opposed by judges, professional bureaucrats, Republican legislators, the elites of both coasts, special prosecutors, and some of his closet advisers.  But he won under these circumstances, and his policies, translated into reality, appear to be working to enhance our collective safety, prosperity, and overall flourishing.