Dems Said Trump Jr. Deserved Jail for Russian Collusion, But Clinton Justified for Doing Same

Dems Said Trump Jr. Deserved Jail for Russian Collusion, But Clinton Justified for Doing Same, by Trey Sanchez.

The media, with the full blessing of the Democratic Party, ran back-to-back, 24-hour news coverage of the alleged Trump/Russia election collusion and condemned the president and his family every step of the way. And when news broke back in July that Donald Trump Jr. might have been caught red-handed in a meeting with a Russian lawyer seeking dirt on Hillary Clinton, they had their ace in the hole.

“Treason!” they cried in unison. “Don Jr. deserves jail!”  …

But now we know that Clinton and the DNC paid for Russian dirt on Donald Trump during the campaign, as Grabien News noted, “The DNC not only accepted this second-hand, uncorroborated information, but actually sought it out, financed it, and disseminated it through Washington.” That not only flies in the face of Clinton who smuggly condemned Trump time and time again for handing the American voting process over to Vladimir Putin and here she was actually doing it — and, come to find out, breaking campaign finance laws to boot!

And with hands to our ears, we are waiting to hear similar cries from the Left that a terrible crime against the country has taken place… nothing… still waiting. The only thing we hear are excuses — Clinton was just doing “opposition research”

hat-tip Scott of the Pacific

‘Millionaire Muslim’ convicted of ripping off taxpayers for 18 YEARS by posing as a struggling single mother is finally kicked out of her government-funded home

‘Millionaire Muslim’ convicted of ripping off taxpayers for 18 YEARS by posing as a struggling single mother is finally kicked out of her government-funded home, by Max Margan.

A ‘millionaire’ Muslim woman who rorted the public housing system for nearly two decades by posing as a battling single mother has finally been evicted from her taxpayer-funded flat.

Rebecca Khodragha lived in the Punchbowl apartment in south-west Sydney for 18 years, failing to tell authorities her husband owned a lucrative business which reportedly collected a million dollars a year.

Ms Khodragha was found guilty of two counts of fraud in November last year and was sentenced to three months jail, which she served as home detention at the Punchbowl unit.

Robert Spencer:

Rebecca Khodragha no doubt considered these welfare benefits to be her due, in lieu of the jizya that the Qur’an says that Muslims should collect from subjugated non-Muslim People of the Book. In Islamic law, it is the place of non-Muslims to turn over their funds to the Muslims.

Motivation is hard to know for sure, but in any case there is something very wrong here — by both Ms Khodragha and the government who gave her our money.

hat-tip Scott of the Pacific

On Safari in Trump’s America

On Safari in Trump’s America, by Molly Ball.

Nancy Hale, … who is 65 and lives in San Francisco, is a career activist who got her start protesting nuclear plants and nuclear testing in the 1970s. In 2005, she was one of the founders of Third Way, a center-left think tank, and it was in that capacity that she and four colleagues had journeyed from both coasts to the town of Viroqua, Wisconsin, as part of a post-election listening tour. They had come on a well-meaning mission: to better understand their fellow Americans, whose political behavior in the last election had left them confused and distressed.

The trip was predicated on the optimistic notion that if Americans would only listen to each other, they would find more that united than divided them. This notion — the idea that, beyond our polarized politics, lies a middle, or third, path on which most can come together in agreement — is Third Way’s raison d’etre. It is premised on the idea that partisanship is bad, consensus is good, and that most Americans would like to meet in the middle.

But these are not uncontested assumptions. And, three days into their safari in flyover country, the researchers were hearing some things that disturbed them greatly — sentiments that threatened their beliefs to the very core. …

For all intents and purposes, it was Third Way’s vision that had been on the ballot in 2016 — and lost. The think tank, inspired by the New Democrat centrism of the 1990s, had advised Hillary Clinton on her 2016 policy platform. In debates within the Democratic Party, Third Way advocated for the sensible center. It argued that a left-wing platform could not win elections, and that what voters preferred was a pragmatic, moderate, technocratic philosophy, socially liberal but pro-business and wary of big government. …

Third Way, while not officially affiliated with a party, is an organization with a policy agenda, from gun control to entitlement reform, that it seeks to advance within the Democratic Party and with the broader public. Most of its funding comes from corporations and financial executives. Critics on the left call the group the Wall Street wing of the Democratic Party, and accuse it of advancing its donors’ interests over the greater political good. …

After the electoral-college majority unexpectedly rejected Clinton and the Democrats, Third Way, in characteristic fashion, set out to research the problem and find a solution. Its data wonks got to work crunching demographic information. But its leaders were well aware that their statistics—everything the professional know-it-alls thought they knew—had failed to predict 2016. Data alone would not suffice.

And so Hale and her colleagues began a series of visits to targeted areas, including this one, Wisconsin’s Third Congressional District, which had voted Democratic for more than two decades—until it swung more than 15 points for Trump. …

When she heard views that challenged her sense of empathy—Muslims were bad, welfare recipients were leeches, women should not have careers outside the home—Hale reminded herself that she was there to listen, not to judge. “People have said stuff I was surprised to hear them say out loud,” Hale told me. “But we have to learn from that, too. Whatever they believe is true, because it’s true for them.” …

The report that Third Way released … distills the group’s conclusions from the tour I joined. …

The report surprised me when I read it. Despite the great variety of views the researchers and I had heard on our tour, the report had somehow reached the conclusion that Wisconsinites wanted consensus, moderation, and pragmatism — just like Third Way.

We had heard people blame each other for their own difficulties, take refuge in tribalism, and appeal to extremes. But the report mentioned little of that. Instead it described the prevailing attitude as “an intense work ethic that binds the community together and helps it adapt to change.” …

The researchers had somehow found their premise perfectly illustrated. Their journey to Trump’s America had done nothing to unsettle their preconceptions.

Same old same old. They visited people, listened carefully to them, and didn’t understand. As Upton Sinclair once said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

The Rubber Hits the Road

The Rubber Hits the Road, by Mark Steyn.

Half a decade or so back, I wrote: “It’s a good basic axiom that if you take a quart of ice-cream and a quart of dog feces and mix ’em together the result will taste more like the latter than the former. That’s the problem with the U.N.”

Absolutely right, if I do say so myself. When you make the free nations and the thug states members of the same club, the danger isn’t that they’ll meet each other half-way but that the free world winds up going three-quarters, seven-eighths of the way. …

That’s how it went last Friday when the World Health Organization, ostensibly one of the least nutty operating units of the UN (compared with, say, the Human Rights Council), announced that Robert Mugabe was being appointed a WHO “Goodwill Ambassador“. Mr Mugabe’s idea of “goodwill” is to send his goons round to your farmhouse to announce he’s stealing your land – and, if you’re minded to object, kill your farm workers or wife or kid. …

Robert Mugabe

Yesterday the WHO was forced to back down. But how did it ever get as far as an official announcement? Mugabe’s greatest contribution to “world health” has been to raise the comparative life expectancy of every other country by dramatically reducing his own over his first quarter-century:

Life expectancy in Zimbabwe, 1980: 59.39 years

Life expectancy in Zimbabwe, 2005: 41.76 years

In fairness, this wasn’t accomplished merely through killing people. He also starves his hospitals of basic drugs and materials, while jetting off to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur for the world-class medical treatment that keeps him remarkably spry at the age of 93. This thug has outlived all those who delivered into his hands “the jewel of Africa”, as he told Ian Smith, the defiant Prime Minister of white Rhodesia, on independence back in 1980. …

Many have speculated on the reasons for this. In Zimbabwe, it is widely believed he’s been driven insane by tertiary syphilis. From my 2002 column:

“Reliable sources claim Mr. Mugabe’s manhood has crumbled away to nothing. Last year, George Potgieter, the manager of a Harare engineering company, wound up in court after telling his workers that (according to court records) “they had no brains because they were being led by a President who had a rubber penis made in China”. The workers immediately seized Mr. Potgieter and took him to the nearest police station for breaking the Law and Order Maintenance Act, which forbids exposing the President to “hatred, contempt or ridicule”.”

I’m not sure what extradition arrangements we have with Harare, so let me hasten to add that neither I nor the editors of The National Post were for one minute suggesting Mr Mugabe has a rubber penis — or, if he has, we’re sure it’s very impressive and top of the range, certainly not some factory-made Chinese thing.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

This—Is CNN on Drugs

This—Is CNN on Drugs, by Steven Hayward.

Maybe you’ve seen CNN’s new “apple” ad in which the beleaguered network attempts to push back against Trump’s successful campaign to label them as purveyors of “fake news.”

But in these postmodern times where liberals believe that a man is a woman simply if he calls himself one, can CNN really think this won’t be subject to savage mockery?

CNN  employs a prominent journalist whose name is Don Lemon:

And:

A cut in US corporate taxes will generate higher US wages

A cut in US corporate taxes will generate higher US wages, by Morgans Australia Equity Research.

The paper by Kortlikoff simulates the economic and revenue impacts of the Republican ‘Unified Framework’ tax plan … [on] the entire world capital market. …

The researchers find that depending on the year considered the Republican tax plan raises GDP from between 3% and 5%. The plan increases real wages by between 4% and 7%. This suggests a rise in income of some $3500 annually on average per working American household.

The source of the increase in US output and real wages is the planned reduction in the US marginal effective corporate tax rate, from 34.6% to 18.6%. This expands the US capital stock by between 12% and 20% depending on the year in question. Due to the economy’s expansion, the tax plan is essentially revenue neutral.

This increase in income and wages reflects the mobility of global capital stock in response to corporate tax reform and the reduction of current, very high marginal corporate tax rates. Interestingly cuts in personal income taxes don’t seem to have the same positive effects.

hat-tip David Archibald

How Obama Used Hillary’s Dossier to Spy on Trump

How Obama Used Hillary’s Dossier to Spy on Trump, by Daniel Greenfield.

How do you legally spy on your political opponents?

At some point in time that question was asked in the White House, at the DNC or in the hotel suites where Hillary and her staff were staying during her speaking tours. …

What Hillary and Obama did wasn’t Watergate. That was amateur hour. Its sophistication is a tribute to the left’s deep knowledge and control of the workings of Washington, D.C. The men and women who planned this and carried it out understood not only government, but had an intimate familiarity with the loopholes in the laws and the networks of contacts that could realize their highly illegal plans.

The eavesdropping on Trump officials carried the ‘fingerprints’ of an administration that bypassed Congress to fund left-wing groups by blackmailing banks into huge settlements paid out to political allies in a billion dollar slush fund and sent pallets of foreign currency to Iran on unmarked planes. A complete lack of ethical norms was combined with the careful use of legal loopholes to protect the actions of the perpetrators even while they were engaging in a criminal conspiracy. …

The road that led to Susan Rice and Samantha Power ‘unmasking’ Trump officials began with the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee funding a dossier pushing Trump-Russia conspiracies. The dossier was sourced through Fusion GPS which is notorious for handfeeding material to reporters.

The Clinton campaign was seeing to it that whatever Fusion GPS produced would make its way into media stories without having Hillary’s fingerprints on it. Indeed the only reason we learned that Hillary and the DNC were ultimately behind the dossier was a congressional subpoena that risked exposing other Fusion GPS clients. …

Fusion GPS’ man for the job was Christopher Steele. The former British intelligence figure had connections with FBI people. Hillary Clinton wasn’t just doing “opposition research” as her former press secretary has claimed. The best way to do opposition research in an American election doesn’t involve hiring a Brit in London with contacts in Russian intelligence and the FBI. That is however the best way to independently produce information that can be injected into an intelligence investigation. …

That is how cells coordinate by breaking up a larger plot into a series of individual actions that just happen to produce the ideal result. Hillary and the DNC hire Fusion GPS. Fusion GPS hires Steele. Steele contacts an FBI pal. The FBI takes up the dossier. And then it’s turned into a pretext for eavesdropping. …

The combination of media propaganda, government surveillance and contrived investigations of political opponents is the sort of thing you would expect to find in… Russia. The key players were wary enough that they compartmentalized their conspiracy, breaking it up across the private and public sector, the media, private firms, law enforcement figures and even another country. But that just makes it look like a cross between terrorist cells and organized crime.

The left’s networks are becoming increasingly malignant. They executed a sophisticated attack on the political process while contriving to blame it on their victims. What the attack reveals is just how much the levers of power in our political system are embedded in the shadowy networks that operate in and around government. And what those networks are willing to do to win.

hat-tip Scott of the Pacific

Alberta gov’t: ‘Unacceptable’ for Catholic schools to uphold Biblical sexuality

Alberta gov’t: ‘Unacceptable’ for Catholic schools to uphold Biblical sexuality, by Lisa Rounre.

The Alberta government says it is “unacceptable” for Catholic schools to uphold Church teaching on sexuality in school curriculum.

Media in Alberta reported this week that the Council of Catholic School Superintendents of Alberta had said curriculum promoting the homosexual “lifestyle,” masturbation, anal and oral sex, or transgenderism would be problematic if required by the impending K-12 health and wellness curriculum.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has criticized the Catholic schools and insisted their proposed program will never be taught if its final form is as it has been advertised.

“Under no circumstances will we enforce or condone a sexual health curriculum that normalizes an absence of consent, refuses to talk about contraception and other things that protect the health of sexually active young people, or in any way marginalizes sexual minorities. That’s not on,” she told the Canadian Press. ..

“The whole point of the Catholic education system is to be Catholic,” [Jason Kenney, a Catholic pro-life candidate for the United Conservative Party’s leadership] said. …

Premier Notley said, “Nowhere do the rights of religious freedom extend to that person’s right to somehow attack or hurt others — and that’s what’s happening here. We will not use public dollars to have sexual health programs that deny science, that deny evidence, and that deny human rights.

Whatever happened to “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s“, a phrase attributed to Jesus?

The modern state is increasingly telling us what to do in our bedrooms and in our kid’s minds. Stay out!

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Concerns as identity politics creep into the Australian classroom

Concerns as identity politics creep into the Australian classroom, by Rebecca Urban.

English students face being drilled in the politics of class, race, gender and sexuality, as an influential teacher advocacy group seeks to push social justice issues into the classroom.

The Victorian Association for the Teaching of English, a professional body backed by the state government, will host its annual conference next month, unveiling a program to highlight “the iconoclasts, the dissidents and the marginalised” and celebrate individ­uals “who will not, or cannot, swim in the mainstream”.

Headlining the two-day event will be former Australian Human Rights Commission president ­Gillian Triggs and GetUp! campaigner Shen Narayanasamy, who will deliver keynote speeches. Left-leaning political commentator Van Badham will also appear as a guest speaker. …

Australian Catholic University senior research fellow Kevin ­Donnelly said it was disappointing to see teachers emphasise ideology over good grammar, spelling, punctuation and literary appreciation.

“Instead of English teaching being about giving a balanced view of literature, it’s now more about offering a critique of society, particularly Western society, misogyny, inequality and capitalism,” Dr Donnelly said.

Dr Donnelly, a former English teacher and one-time member of VATE, said the association ­appeared to have been captured by the left.

Right on. Meanwhile our schools keep slipping in international rankings, even as we spend ever more money on teachers. Hmmm.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

The rich get richer, the poor get the picture, in Emperor Xi’s China

The rich get richer, the poor get the picture, in Emperor Xi’s China. By Chris Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong and a former EU commissioner for external affairs.

Shortly after the 18th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party in 2012, it was reported that Alexis de Tocqueville’s The Old Regime and the Revolution, written in 1856, had become a “must-read” for senior CCP cadres. The book’s merits were most enthusiastically touted by Wang Qishan, the man at the helm of President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign and perhaps Xi’s closest ally.

Tocqueville argued that growing prosperity in 18th-century France had actually made it more difficult to govern the country. As people became wealthier, they also became more aware of social and economic inequalities and thus increasingly resentful of the rich and powerful. Attempts to reform the system only highlighted its vulnerabilities. Revolution followed, sweeping away the monarchy and aristocracy. Their heads literally rolled.

The CCP’s just-completed 19th National Congress showed the extent to which China’s leaders have taken Tocqueville’s insights to heart. Xi asserted his undisputed authority over his party and country. Xi consolidated his position during his first term, by reversing much of Deng Xiaoping’s legacy, including the opening of China’s economy, the separation of the CCP from government, and a low-key approach to foreign and security policy. …

Water contamination and scarcity, alongside carbon dioxide emissions and lethal levels of air pollution, are imperilling people’s health and jeopardising the sustainability of China’s economic performance.

Moreover, Chinese GDP growth, while welcome, is being fuelled largely by a combination of fast-rising debt and widespread property bubbles. Even Chinese researchers admit their country has one of the highest levels of income inequality in the world. As the poor get poorer and the rich get richer, many are asking if this is what “socialism with Chinese characteristics” really means. …

Xi’s claim that China has found a better way to run a modern society and economy seems far wide of the mark. …

For years, there was a serious debate in China about the state’s proper role in economic affairs. One camp maintained that if the CCP relaxed its grip on the economy, it would inevitably lose control of the state. Others argued just the opposite: unless the party ceded more economic control, it would lose political power, as the economy’s contradictions multiplied and development became less sustainable. Xi clearly falls into the statist camp.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Left pushes for felons to vote in the US

Left pushes for felons to vote in the US, by Aaron Klein.

Doug Jones, the Democratic candidate for December’s Senate special election in Alabama, took a leading role in an effort by a far-left legal group massively funded by billionaire George Soros to grant full voting rights nationwide to felons released from prison, including those convicted of murder, rape, and other violent crimes. …

In December 2011, Jones was one of fifteen signatories on a letter sent to Congress from the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School calling for the restoration of “federal voting rights to the nearly four million Americans living, working and paying taxes in our communities who have been disenfranchised because of a criminal conviction in their past.”

The Brennan Center has been the recipient of numerous grants from Soros’s Open Society Foundations totaling over $7,466,000 from 2000 to 2010 alone. …

George Soros

Currently, voting laws for convicted felons differ state by state. Nineteen states restore voting rights only upon completion of the sentence, meaning prison, parole, and probation. Seven states permanently bar voting for people with criminal convictions unless the federal government approves restoration, while three states permanently ban convicted felons unless the government approves individual restoration.

Felons overwhelmingly vote left. Four million voters is significant in the US, where the Presidential candidates get about 60 million votes each.

Tinseltown Travelogue: A deplorable’s adventures in la la land

Tinseltown Travelogue: A deplorable’s adventures in la la land, by Patrick Courrielche.

Tinseltown Travelogue is a three-part series exploring Hollywood’s stunning hypocrisy and institutionalized bigotry. This story, months in the making, comes on the heels of the explosive New York Times exposé of alleged sexual misconduct over decades by Tinseltown’s most celebrated producer, Harvey Weinstein, and further unmasks an industry in the midst of an ethical unraveling.

Instead of confronting Hollywood’s biggest “open secret” of systemic moral decay, Tinseltown’s elite have chosen to exhibit disdain for everyday Americans through brutal mockery and relentless attacks on their beliefs.

Wrapped in scandal and historic box office lows, something brand new is happening to Hollywood…it appears Americans have had enough. This is a Tinseltown intervention.

DEAR RIGHT WINGERS,
WE HATE YOU.

LOVE,
HOLLYWOOD

“Republican in the dictionary comes just after ‘reptile’ and just before ‘repugnant.’” – Julia Roberts, at a 2000 Gore for President fundraiser, organized by Harvey Weinstein. …

Believe it or not, in some Hollywood circles, being a conservative is more toxic than a grown man spooning in bed with other people’s kids.

If you think I’m exaggerating, you don’t know this town.

Growing up in its shadow, I’ve been in and around the Hollywood swamp for decades. …

I entered this gilded group as a man in transition. I identified liberal, but was quickly discovering my inner rightwing self. I’d been red pilled, and it forced my eyes open to a widely held, deeply rooted Tinseltown sentiment. And that is…Hollywood hates conservatives. I mean ¡HATES! them. My friends in Middle America think they know this already. Kathy Griffin beheadings, Snoop Dogg’s assassination porn, and every allegedly funny late night talk show host prove this nightly. But unless you live here amongst the glitterati, you can’t truly grasp how the intensity of that white-hot hate is woven into the fabric of this city. The facial expression when a typical La La Land leftist first learns that your politics are right-of-center is unmistakable. It’s a blank, expressionless stare, eyes glazed over, mouth slightly open – and all of this locked in position for a beat too long. It could have an emoji it’s so recognizable. …

(I’ve encountered that look in Canberra.)

Being of Mexican descent, my wife likes to say that we were initially shielded from knee-jerk bigotry by our brown cards. So I didn’t really feel the full force of the hate until a few years after the birth of my daughter – when my wife and I began butting heads with some prominent members of this monolithically liberal society. …

Our first major run-in seemed like a no brainer – confronting a grown man who cuddled other people’s kids…in bed. It was slam-dunk material.

It all started the way all of these affairs usually do – with a few of the Hollywood wives, the true guardians of this star-studded galaxy, gabbing away on a moms-only weekend retreat. In the midst of their morning powwow, a big time Tinseltown player’s wife brought up a touchy subject – one of the fathers creeped her out. Her daughter had been at a sleepover and told her she saw this creepy dad crawl onto the top bunk in the late of night to cuddle with a second grader…not his own. Another mom described a similar incident when her child did a sleepover at the same dad’s house. My wife chimed in with her own account of Creepy Dad red-flag episodes, including yet another time he napped with a different child – not his own – during a play date. …

Read it all. Fascinating cultural material. Just a few political points:

Hollywood’s elite aren’t just rich…to quote my wife, they’re “frich” – or fucking rich. Tinseltown is largely the playground of aristocrats, with many coming from generations of moneyed families. … Amongst the Hollywood elite, situations like these are dealt with very discretely – largely because money, real money, of which pretty much everyone has access to within this community, tends to change the dynamics of confrontation. …

We’d faced Hollywood bigotry towards conservatives before – dating back to my early days with Breitbart News. The morning after my first appearance on Fox News as a Big Hollywood contributor, I was gifted with a keyed car – which was later graduated to a tire slashing. The vitriol reached a peak when a neighbor came to our front door with a bat. Then during the 2012 campaign, a lovely liberal TV exec used my daughter to attack our politics – opening the door for another Hollywoodian to joke about her being raped. Yes…rape jokes…about a five year-old. …

“You hear the term ‘institutionalized racism.’ … What are the reasons behind Hollywood’s hatred of the right and why has it persisted? …

The audiences are turning off:

Since 2002, tickets sold at the domestic box office have dropped by over a quarter of a billion seats per year – and that’s while there’s been a growth in the population, and both an increase in the number of movies made per year and number of available U.S. movie screens. The Summer 2017 box office hit a twenty-five year low … Film piracy is growing and becoming normalized. In the home, entertainment sales have plummeted by nearly 50% over the past decade. Cord cutting, the phenomenon of people ending their cable service or never signing up for one in the first place, is accelerating at an alarming rate. And if the 2017 Emmys matching an all-time low in viewership says anything – it’s that Hollywood has a real problem on its hands.

Industry watchers like to blame these developments solely on disruptive changes in technology. But the downturn at both the theater and home box offices started before the proliferation of social media, the third screen, and streaming services. These new technological advances have no doubt played a role, but Hollywood ignores another obvious reason for its box office woes – its amped up rhetoric against the right. …

According to a 2011 Penn Schoen Berland poll conducted for The Hollywood Reporter, 52 percent of Republicans say they have avoided a movie because of the political views of its star – compared to just 36 percent in Democrats. …

I’ve seen Trump supporters turn to “purposeful piracy” – the act of watching Hollywood’s content without paying for it on grounds of principle. The “Boycott Hollywood” sentiment has measurably grown – as anyone that lurks through the comment sections of conservative media can easily witness.

hat-tip Charles

Majority Of White Americans Say They Believe Whites Face Discrimination

Majority Of White Americans Say They Believe Whites Face Discrimination, by Don Gonyea.

A majority of whites [55%] say discrimination against them exists in America today, according to a poll released Tuesday from NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

“If you apply for a job, they seem to give the blacks the first crack at it,” said 68-year-old Tim Hershman of Akron, Ohio, “and, basically, you know, if you want any help from the government, if you’re white, you don’t get it. If you’re black, you get it.” …

People from every racial or ethnic group surveyed said they believe theirs faces discrimination — from African-Americans and Latinos to Native Americans and Asian-Americans, as well as whites.

Look at what identity politics and affirmative action has wrought. Along with high immigration from the third world, this is a heavy price to pay for leftist success at the ballot box.

US NFL commits suicide-by-Trump with politically correct protests

US NFL commits suicide-by-Trump with politically correct protests, by James Robinson.

The NFL is on a politically correct suicide course, alienating fans and wrecking ratings. It can thank former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who last year started the fad of refusing to stand for the pre-game national anthem because he did not want to “stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” …

Defenders of the kneelers say the protest is itself an expression of Americanism, invoking the First Amendment and tradition of dissent. But this is not a First Amendment issue. Employers are allowed to regulate speech in the workplace. The NFL’s personal conduct policy says all employees “must refrain from conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the NFL,” which these protests surely are. The league regularly clamps down on social messaging, such as wearing cleats commemorating the heroes of the 9/11 attacks or decals honoring slain Dallas law enforcement officers. Taking a knee for God can also be problematic, just ask Tim Tebow. But the anthem protests are explicitly league-sanctioned activities.

The kneelers drew President Trump’s ire, who said the proper response to the protests should be, “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He’s fired!” …

Sports are supposed to be fun, but these protests are divisive, distracting and pointless. They are a public relations nightmare that the NFL shows no sign of stopping. Goodell and others want to preach about free expression, but most fans probably prefer their football free of guilt-tripping toxic politics.

Many people are simply tuning out. Television ratings are down double digits so far this year, following an 8% drop last season, and a poll in July found the number one reason was the flag protest issue. Another poll this month found a third of adult Americans are less likely to watch NFL football because of the kneelers. The low ratings could mean league revenue taking a $200 million hit.

It can get worse as the NFL continues to squander the goodwill and political cover it has enjoyed for decades. The public might be less willing to support massive taxpayer subsidies for stadiums. Maybe Congress would find it beneficial to open investigations into how much the league has known about the degenerative brain disease endemic among players, and whether it has knowingly put players at risk by ignoring it …

“Suicide by Trump” for being excessively PC. Ever noticed how people who get into fights with Trump usually lose, and this defies (the media’s) expectations?

PragerU Sues YouTube and Google over Alleged Censorship of Conservatives

PragerU Sues YouTube and Google over Alleged Censorship of Conservatives, by Charlie Nash.

PragerU, the conservative digital media organization from Dennis Prager, is suing YouTube and its parent Google over alleged censorship of their videos.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the lawsuit, which was filed on Monday, “says YouTube’s more than 30 million visitors a day make the site so elemental to free speech in the digital age that it should be treated as a public forum.”

“The suit argues the site must use the ‘laws governing free speech,’ not its own discretion, to make decisions about what to censor,” they reported, adding that PragerU “alleges that by limiting access to some of its videos without clear criteria YouTube is infringing on PragerU’s First Amendment rights.”

YouTube has repeatedly censored PragerU on their platform, labeling political videos as “restricted” adult content and even removing a video of “a Muslim man describing how he was raised to be anti-Semitic,” branding the video as “hate speech.”

hat-tip Charles in Melbourne

A simple guide to CRISPR, one of the biggest science stories of the decade

A simple guide to CRISPR, one of the biggest science stories of the decade, by Brad Plummer.

If you haven’t heard of CRISPR yet, the short explanation goes like this: In the past five years, scientists have figured out how to exploit a quirk in the immune systems of bacteria to edit genes in other organisms — plant genes, mouse genes, even human genes. With CRISPR, they can now make these edits quickly and cheaply, in days rather than weeks or months. (The technology is often known as CRISPR/Cas9, but we’ll stick with CRISPR, pronounced “crisper.”)

Let that sink in. We’re talking about a powerful new tool to control what genes get expressed in plants, animals, and even humans. The ability to delete undesirable traits and, potentially, add desirable traits with more precision than ever before.

In a dramatic step forward for human gene editing, researchers reported in Nature in August that they’d successfully used CRISPR in human embryos to fix a mutation that causes a terrible heart muscle disorder called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. (Other researchers have since called some of the conclusions into question.) …

Much of the hype around CRISPR has focused on whether we might engineer humans with specific genetic traits (like heightened intelligence). But in some ways, that’s a sideshow. “Designer babies” are still far off, and there are enormous obstacles to making those sorts of complex genetic modifications.

At the most basic level, CRISPR can make it much easier for researchers to figure out what different genes in different organisms actually do — by, for instance, knocking out individual genes and seeing what traits are affected. This is important: While we’ve had a complete “map” of the human genome since 2003, we don’t really know what function all those genes serve. CRISPR can help speed up genome screening, and genetics research could advance massively as a result. …

The real fun — and, potentially, the real risks — could come from using CRISPRs to edit various plants and animals. …

Crop scientists are already looking to use CRISPR to edit the genes of various crops to make them tastier, or more nutritious, or better survivors of heat and stress. They could potentially use CRISPR to snip out the allergens in peanuts. Korean researchers are looking to see if CRISPR could help bananas survive a deadly fungal disease. Some scientists have shown that CRISPR can create hornless dairy cows — a huge advance for animal welfare. …

Scientists have even shown that CRISPR can knock HIV infections out of T cells. So far, however, scientists have only tested this on cells in the lab. …

The Cas9 enzymes can occasionally “misfire” and edit DNA in unexpected places, which, in human cells, might lead to cancer or even create new diseases. Over the past year, there have been major advances in improving CRISPR precision and reducing these off-target effects, but scientists are urging caution on human testing until standards can be developed here. …

CRISPR could be used, in theory, to modify not just a single organism but to modify an entire species. It’s an unnerving concept called “gene drive.” It works like this: Normally, whenever an organism like a fruit fly mates, there’s a 50-50 chance that it will pass on any given gene to its offspring. But using CRISPR, scientists can alter these odds so that there’s a nearly 100 percent chance that a particular gene gets passed on. …

By harnessing this technique, scientists could (say) genetically modify mosquitoes to only produce male offspring — and then use gene drive to push that trait through an entire population. Over time, the population would go extinct. Or we could modify ticks so that they don’t spread Lyme, or eliminate weeds. You name it.

Imagine if the PC crew — led by people like Hillary Clinton — were in charge of using CRISPR on humans. Morlocks and Eloi in no time.

hat-tip Bob, Philip Barton

‘Dislike’ and ‘Unfriendliness’ Can Be Hate Crimes, UK Police Confirm

‘Dislike’ and ‘Unfriendliness’ Can Be Hate Crimes, UK Police Confirm, by Liam Deacon.

Official guidelines insist a hate crime must be driven by “hostility”, but when contacted, many UK forces are unable to give a definition of what they mean by “hostility” in the context of hate crimes.

Breitbart London contacted dozens of forces to ask for their working definition of “hostility” and was referred on to the “dictionary definition” which includes “unfriendliness” and “dislike”.

Others referred Breitbart London to national bodies, including the College of Policing (CoP) and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which both admit there is an “absence of a precise legal definition of hostility”, with the latter also referring individual forces onto “dictionary definitions” for the purpose of investigating hate crimes.

Hate crimes are given harsher sentences than other crimes, and therefore it is possible that claims of “unfriendliness” with no supporting evidence could land someone in jail for a substantial amount of time.

So it’s a hate crime in the UK for PC virtue signalers to hate deplorables? Hah! Just joking, only deplorables can be guilty of hate crimes; silly me.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Is a National Identity Necessary?

Is a National Identity Necessary? By Dennis Prager.

The rejection of national identities began with the founder of leftism, Karl Marx. He ends his major work, “Das Kapital,” with the famous left-wing motto, “Proletariat of the world, unite; you have nothing to lose but your chains.” Marx regarded national identities as backward and useless. In his view, the only identities that mattered were class identities — the working class and the ruling class. If a worker thought of himself first as a German or Englishman, rather than as a worker, Communism would never be achieved.

The rejection of nationalism in Europe became mainstream after World War I. Many Europeans, especially among the intellectuals, concluded that the unprecedented loss of life caused by the Great War was a result, first and foremost, of nationalism. They concluded that Europeans slaughtered each other for nothing more than a flag and a national identity. Therefore, the argument went, by abolishing nationalism, war could be abolished. That is the belief that led to the creation of the European Union: The more Europeans identified with Europe rather than with a particular country the less likely were the chances of war between European countries.

In the United States, however, a national American identity has always been a major part of what it means to be an American. The three pillars of Americanism, constituting what I have called the “American Trinity” — are found on every American coin and banknote: “Liberty,” “In God We Trust” and “e pluribus unum.” The latter is Latin for “out of many, one.” Because America has always been a nation of immigrants, it has no ethnic identity. Therefore, unlike almost all other nations, America could not depend on an ethnic identity to keep its people together. In fact, if all Americans retained their ethnic identities, America would simply splinter. So a non-ethnic American national identity had to be forged and preserved.

hat-tip Stephen Neil