Thursday, May 31, 2018



Bruce Bawer has been covering the Tommy Robinson affair for our friends at the Gatestone Institute. Today’s column is “UK: You’re Not Allowed to Talk about It. About What? Don’t Ask.” Please see Bruce’s column at the Gatestone site for the relevant links. With the kind permission of Gatestone, here is the text of the column:
On Friday, British free-speech activist and Islam critic Tommy Robinson was acting as a responsible citizen journalist — reporting live on camera from outside a Leeds courtroom where several Muslims were being tried for child rape — when he was set upon by several police officers. In the space of the next few hours, a judge tried, convicted, and sentenced him to 13 months in jail — and also issued a gag order, demanding a total news blackout on the case in the British news media. Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was immediately taken to Hull Prison.
Hull Prison, in Kingston upon Hull, England, where Tommy Robinson was taken to serve a 13-month prison sentence just hours after his arrest on Friday, May 25.
Most media outlets were remarkably compliant. News stories that had already been posted online after Robinson’s arrest at the Scottish Daily Record, Birmingham Live, The Mirror, RT, and Breitbart News were promptly pulled down, although, curiously, a report remained up at the Independent, a left-wing broadsheet that can be counted on to view Robinson as a hooligan. Indeed, the Independent’s article described Robinson as “far-right” and, in explaining what he was doing outside the courthouse, used scare quotes around the word “reporting”; it then summed up the least appealing episodes in his career and blamed him for an attack on the Finsbury Park Mosque last January. Somehow, the Independent also got away with publishing a report on London’s Saturday rally in support of Robinson.
Also on Saturday, Breitbart UK posted a copy of the gag order, but redacted it as required. The resulting document proved to be a perfect illustration of Western Europe’s encroaching tyranny.
Were all the articles in the British media pulled down “voluntarily”? There is no way to know for sure. On Sunday, at about noon Central European Time, one of my Facebook friends posted a link to what was apparently a new story at Breitbart UK, about Robinson’s imprisonment in Hull. Three hours later, however, the story was no longer there. Shortly afterward, I clicked on a link to an article at the Hull Daily Mail that Google summed up as follows: “Supporters of former EDL leader Tommy Robinson are urging people to write to him in Hull Prison — where they say he is in ‘grave danger.'” When I clicked on the link, however, the story had been pulled.
Carl Benjamin, who produces video commentary under the name “Sargon of Akkad,” is a popular British YouTuber who has somewhere around a million subscribers, and who routinely criticizes Islam, identity politics, and political correctness with wit and panache. He is generally a lively, free-wheeling, sardonic fellow, but in the two-hour-plus video he posted on Saturday about the Robinson case, he was uncharacteristically sober, exceedingly cautious, and at times even sounded mournful.
“I did tell you that Britain isn’t a free country, didn’t I?” he said a minute or so into his video. “I’ve been saying it for ages… and nobody listens.” He made it clear he was not about to violate the gag order — not, as he put it, about to “blunder into the jaws of the beast, in much the same way as I guess Tommy has,” and thus “deliberately put myself in the line of fire with the UK government, giving them just cause to arrest me.”
Benjamin is a gutsy guy, so it was unsettling to hear him speak this way. The look on his face somehow brought home the dark reality underlying Robinson’s fast-track arrest, trial, conviction and incarceration. Benjamin emphasized that the most “sensible” thing for someone like himself [Benjamin] to do right now — he used that word, “sensible,” repeatedly — is to do his best to stay out of jail so that he can continue to speak up. “I am in a country that is not free,” he repeated gravely. “My options are limited… I feel jealous as hell of you guys in America. You don’t know how lucky you are.”
The upside — and the irony — of this case is that the gag order, while silencing the British news media, has caused people around the world to take notice. To be sure, a quick tour of major mainstream newspaper websites in Western Europe, North America and around the Anglosphere turned up nothing. But on alternative news sites around Europe, the story was front and center. The Fox News website reported on Robinson’s arrest — but even Fox, frustratingly, insisted on calling him a “right-wing activist.”
Judi McLeod, editor of the Canada Free Press, began her article:
“Where is Tommy Robinson? A question whose answer should be demanded rather than merely asked…. Modern day Merry England has become far more nightmare than fairytale, as it steadily works its way toward ugly police state status.”
McLeod also challenged Fox’s label for Robinson: “‘Right wing activist’? How about civil rights activist or humanitarian activist?”
Yesterday, my article asked when anyone in a position of power in Britain would speak up against Robinson’s arrest. Since then, Gerald Batten, a UKIP member of the European Parliament, has done so:
“I am trying to recall a legal case where someone was convicted of a ‘crime’ which cannot be reported on,” he tweeted. “Where he can be cast into prison without it being possible to report his name, offence, or place of imprisonment for fear of contempt of court. Can anyone remember such a case”
Shortly after noon on Sunday, London time, Batten tweeted:
“UKIP Peer Malcolm Lord Pearson has written to Home Secretary Sajid Javid today saying: if Tommy is murdered or injured in prison he and others will mount a private prosecution against Mr Javid as an accessory, or for misconduct in public office.”
Good on Lord Pearson. We can only hope his efforts make a difference — and that, in the end, a prosecution of Javid will not be necessary.
Bruce Bawer is the author of the new novel The Alhambra (Swamp Fox Editions). His book While Europe Slept (2006) was a New York Times bestseller and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. His other books include A Place at the Table (1993), Stealing Jesus (1997), Surrender (2009), and The Victims’ Revolution (2012). A native New Yorker, he has lived in Europe since 1998.
Copyright © 2018 Gatestone Institute. All rights reserved. Reprinted with the kind permission of the Gatestone Institute. Republication is prohibited without the prior written consent of the Gatestone Institute.

The GOP’s Midterm Prospects Brighten by the Day

The GOP’s Midterm Prospects Brighten by the Day

President Donald Trump celebrates with Vice President Mike Pence and Congressional Republicans after Congress passed sweeping tax overhaul legislation outside the White House, December 20, 2017. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
The Democrats’ vaunted wave may be just a ripple
As I have explained all year, reports of the Republican Congress’s demise are greatly exaggerated.

A Democratic recapture of the House, and perhaps the Senate, is not written in stone, sand, or anything else. That Democratic dream looks more elusive by the day. Indeed, rather than a giant blue wave (which may become a ripple), Republicans’ biggest risk is a pool of their own pessimism. Sinking into it could make defeat a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Despite the chants of the Democrats’ journalistic cheerleaders, the GOP has vaulted into a 6.2 percent lead in Reuters’ generic congressional ballot. That’s up from a 15-point deficit in early 2018. Also, CBS News finds that 68 percent of Americans consider President Donald J. Trump “somewhat” to “a great deal” responsible for the buoyant economy.

A Newsweek headline said it all: “Americans Under Trump More Optimistic About Finding Good Jobs Than Ever Before.” As Gallup’s Jim Norman further explained, “Sixty-seven percent of Americans believe that now is a good time to find a quality job in the U.S., the highest percentage in 17 years of Gallup polling. Optimism about the availability of good jobs has grown by 25 percentage points since Donald Trump was elected president.”

This, too, should cheer Republicans: Millennials are bailing on Democrats. According to an April 30 Reuters/Ipsos study, just 46 percent of registered voters aged 18 to 34 support the Democrats, down 9 points since the 2016 election. “Millennials have always been a core constituency for the [Democratic] party, and slipping numbers could spell disaster to their 2018 hopes, especially in the tight races they need to flip the House,” Reuters’s Chris Khan wrote. “And they increasingly say the Republican Party is a better steward of the economy.”

On this front, Republicans should stand tall as annual median household income has grown from $59,471 in January 2017 to $61,483 in April — up 3.4 percent. This is the Sentier Household Income Index’s highest monthly figure since January 2000. Also, in the IMD World Competitiveness Index, America raced from fourth in 2017 to first in 2018, outrunning Hong Kong and Singapore.

In addition, the GOP’s coffers overwhelm the Democrats’. The Republican National Committee last month raised $13.0 million, spent $12.1 million, and had $43.8 million cash on hand. This jackpot was 39.8 percent higher than the $9.3 million that GOP donors invested at this stage before 2014’s midterm elections.

The Democratic National Committee, in contrast, raised just $7.9 million, spent $8.3 million, and held a mere $8.7 million in the bank. Last month’s deposits were 15.9 percent below the $9.4 million credited at this point before 2014’s midterms. This also was the lowest comparable midterm total since April 2006.

These facts strongly suggest that the Democrats’ missing agenda and their manic “RUSSIA!” obsession have driven them to the same destination: nowhere.

The Democrats’ lust to resist President Trump’s every move — just because he makes it — also sandbags them.

Trump last week kept his campaign promise and moved America’s embassy to Israel’s capital, as a 1995 act of Congress required and subsequent presidents of both parties repeatedly waived. Zero congressional Democrats attended the facility’s dedication ceremony.

“I am disappointed that not one Democrat came,” Senator Lindsay Graham (R., S.C.) lamented to the Washington Free Beacon. “I think it was a mistake, because there’s too much going on in this region.”

Instead, as Hamas terrorists rioted at the Israel–Gaza border, Democrats mourned the ones that Israeli soldiers shot (while dodging incoming rocks, Molotov cocktails, and blazing kites that ignited Israeli habitat).

Senator Bernie Sanders (Socialist, Vt.) denounced “Israeli snipers” in a statement that ignored Hamas’s instigators. Likewise Representative Joseph Kennedy III (D., Mass.) condemned Israel’s “excessive use of lethal force.” Never mind that 50 Hamas terrorists were among the 62 killed by the Israel Defense Forces on the Gaza frontier, as Hamas official Salah Bardawil admitted.

When President Trump extricated America from the disastrous Iran nuclear deal (which Obama never even made the ayatollahs sign!), Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) complained that Trump should have “let the nuclear part of this continue as is because it’s not being violated in any way.”

Presumably, this was the same Chuck Schumer who opposed the deal in September 2015. “I believe Iran will not change,” he said back then, adding that the agreement would let Tehran “achieve its dual goals of eliminating sanctions while ultimately retaining its nuclear and non-nuclear power.” In other words, Schumer was against it before he was for it.

When Trump last week called bloodthirsty MS-13 gang members “animals,” duplicitous Democrats claimed that he said this about all immigrants. As that lie was debunked, House minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), wondered if Trump recognizes “the spark of divinity, the dignity and worth of every person?” This is how the House’s top Democrat discusses bloodthirsty illegal aliens who gang-rape little girls, chop up women with machetes, and literally yank their victims’ hearts from their ribcages.

On Wednesday, as it happens, MS-13 member and Salvadoran native Joel Martinez, 23, was sentenced to 40 years in prison for fatally stabbing Irvin Javier de Paz Castro, 15, on September 20, 2015 in East Boston, Mass. After murdering de Paz, Martinez was initiated as a full MS-13 member. His street name: “Animal.”

On Thursday, Trump canceled his June 12 Singapore summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, reportedly after Pyongyang’s representatives were no-shows at several planning meetings with their U.S. counterparts. Also, Choe Son Hui, North Korea’s vice-minister of foreign affairs, mentioned a possible “nuclear-to-nuclear showdown” with America.

Rather than side with the president of the United States as he attempts to tame one of Earth’s wildest horses, Democrats took even this occasion to slam Trump. “Kim Jong-un is the big winner,” Pelosi said. “He must be having a giggle fit right there in North Korea.” Senator Robert Menendez (D., N.J.) cracked, “The art of diplomacy is a lot harder than the art of the deal.”

Domestically and overseas, the Democrats’ jalopy backfires badly, just as Trump’s tax-cut-and-deregulation-driven growth machine zooms Republicans forward.

Once again, all of this confirms that the GOP Congress — especially its leaders, and particularly those in the Senate — should stop moping around, crying, and shopping for their own caskets. Instead, they should lead: Vote the Make America Great Again agenda onto President Trump’s desk, join him at countless bill-signing ceremonies, and watch the Israel-bashing, MS-13-coddling, Kim Jong-un–hugging Democrats evaporate into oblivion.

DEROY MURDOCK — Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online.

'Surrender Your Firearms Within 24 Hours or Be Shot'

Ten rifles and shotguns lined up in a hunter's gun case.
I am reading a fascinating book by Stephen P. Halbrook from the Independent Institute called Gun Control in Nazi Occupied-France: Tyranny and Resistance.  The book describes the history of how the registration of firearms by the French government before World War II made it easier for the Nazis to disarm the French people:
Nazi Germany invaded France in 1940. In every occupied town, Nazi soldiers put up posters that demanded that civilians surrender their firearms within twenty-four hours or else be shot. Despite the consequences, many French citizens refused to comply with the order. In Gun Control in Nazi-Occupied France: Tyranny and Resistance, Stephen P. Halbrook tells this story of Nazi repression and the brave French men and women who refused to surrender to it. Drawing on records of the German occupation and testimonies from members of the French resistance, Gun Control in Nazi-Occupied France is the first book to focus on the Nazis’ efforts to disarm the French.
One of the most startling facts in the book is in the last chapter entitled "Liberation":
"There were three million hunting guns in France in 1939, according to the Saint-Hubert-Club de France, a hunting association."
...only 835,000 of three million hunting guns --less than one-third--were turned in by French citizens threatened with the death penalty for not doing so. That is an incredible testament to the inefficacy of gun control in the most extreme circumstances.
It is also a testament to the bravery of the French people who did not turn their guns in; some of those guns contributed to the Resistance and helped the Allies to win the war. "..[T]he only armed resistance in France until D-Day was conducted by civilians..."
Remember this the next time you hear someone mention that private citizens should not own guns.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Warning: 2018 political ‘civil war’ threatens, fueled by media

Warning: 2018 political ‘civil war’ threatens, fueled by media

In this June 29, 2013 file photo, Confederate re-enactors take part in a demonstration of a battle during ongoing activities commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg at Bushey Farm in Gettysburg, Pa.

More and more voices are raising concerns that the 2018 elections will ignite a terrible clash between supporters of President Trump and his increasingly agitated critics in a partisan battle that has been brewing for years.
Stanley Greenberg, former President Bill Clinton’s pollster, is warning of a “civil war.”
Purdue University President Mitchell E. Daniels, former President Ronald Reagan’s political director and a two-term Indiana Republican governor, sees the nation dividing into feuding “tribes” that gravitate to tyrants who “bludgeon” opponents.
In two separate reports, the two opposites come to a similar conclusion that the nation and even families are terribly divided and that the media has played a big role in creating the split.
Daniels is well regarded as level-headed and has been dubbed the best university president in the nation. He has used his commencement addresses to push for openness and understanding, but this year he noted a shift to “tribalism,” where sides cluster in cliques.
“It’s no longer just a matter of Americans not knowing and understanding each other. We’ve seen these clusters deepen, and harden, until separation has led to anger, misunderstanding turned into hostility. At the individual level, it’s a formula for bitterness and negativity. For a self-governing people, it’s poison,” Daniels told his students this month.
Among the culprits he cited were biased media, the “anti-social media.” Said Daniels, “Our various modern media lead us to, and feed us from information sources that reinforce our existing biases. They put us in contact with other tribe members, but rarely those who see things differently. We’re starting to resemble ominously our primitive forebearers, trusting no one outside the tribe.”
And he called that “dangerous,” warning “almost all of history has belonged to the tyrants, the warlords, the autocrats, the totalitarians. And tribes always gravitate toward tyrants.”
He didn’t name names, mention President Trump or former President Barack Obama, on purpose. The reason: both sides and their mouthpieces are to blame. “It’s a general phenomenon,” he said in an interview in which he bemoaned “there is no overlap anymore.”
Greenberg, meanwhile, reported on the national division since Trump’s election in his favorite target, Macomb County, Michigan, home to the long-ago “Reagan Democrats” and now the “Obama-Trump” voters.
The divide he found was worse than on Election Day and one many Trump voters complain about, where anti-Trump friends and even family members have written them off.
“Many Trump supporters have paid a high price for their vote choice in their own families. One white working-class man shared that he ‘lost contact with [his] own daughter because of the election,’” said Greenberg, noting that many are upset that the “resistance” doesn’t give a shred of respect to the office.
In warning of a “civil war,” Greenberg said Trump has become central to how people identify themselves. “Families dividing over the 2016 election reflects just how central feelings about Trump have become to people’s identities,” he wrote in his latest report on the unusual Michigan county.
Despite the concerns, Daniels expressed optimism that America’s youth will be able to change the tone.
Or maybe it was wishful thinking. “It’s possible this all goes out of fashion,” he said in the interview. If not, his goal is getting new generations to take charge. “You all,” he told his Boilermakers, “may have to be the ones to fix this.”


Rick Richman is the author of Racing Against History: The 1940 Campaign For a Jewish Army To Fight Hitler. Rick writes in response to “Explicating ‘Crossfire Hurricane'” to deepen the question:
In explicating the derivation of “Crossfire Hurricane,” I think you focused on the right line from “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” but I think it should perhaps be read in connection with the preceding verses.
The first lines of the four verses in the song read as follows:
I was born in a cross-fire hurricane
I was raised by a toothless, bearded hag
I was drowned, I was washed up and left for dead
I was crowned with a spike right through my head
From the Lisa Page/Peter Strzok texts, we know Page took the position that Trump couldn’t possibly win, but Strzok responded that an “insurance policy” was necessary in case Trump unexpectedly prevailed. In other words, Trump might be, as most people thought at the time, electorally “washed up and left for dead” — but if he won, despite the odds, it was necessary that he be damaged from the moment he was inaugurated — “crowned with a spike right through [his] head.”
Someone should find out exactly who gave the FBI operation its name, what its precise meaning was, and to whom that meaning was communicated or explained (since others would have undoubtedly asked about the name). Right now we can only speculate, but the intended meaning may in fact be key to understanding what the FBI was trying to do.
There is a lot that we have yet to learn.

Trump Moves the Narrative Football

Browns Colts Football
In general, I'm a free speech purist. I think you should be able to say any damn thing you please. But that doesn't mean you should be able to say it anywhere and anytime. I think police should be allowed to remove hecklers who prevent an audience from hearing the speaker they came to hear, or haul away a diner who stands up in a restaurant and starts spewing curses at the Martians in his fillings. I deplore companies that fire or punish employees for expressing their ideas on their own time, even though it's legal to do so. But I don't think those companies have to tolerate such speech in the workplace or when it might reasonably appear to be an expression of the company's point of view.
That's why I see no free speech violation, even in spirit, in the NFL's ruling that players should not disrespect the flag during the National Anthem. The players were taking that action on company time, in company uniform, while doing the company's business, representing the company and, clearly, hurting the company's bottom line.
And because I see no violation, I have to agree with the tweet of Vice President Mike Pence that the new rule represents "#winning" for the American people. Here's why.
The NFL anthem controversy is a prime example of how Donald Trump is doing something of yuge importance that conservatives never think to do, and that intellectual conservatives don't even seem to understand needs doing. He is challenging — and often changing — the left's narrative.
The narrative is essentially a set of assumptions so pervasive that people are afraid to oppose them. They think they are alone in disagreeing with those assumptions and they fear they will be deemed immoral by the majority. For a long time, the left has controlled this narrative by dominating and censoring the means of communication: social media, the news networks, Hollywood and the academies.
They use these instruments to make outlandish ideas seem mainstream. That America is racist and oppressive. That men and women are interchangeable. That abortion is something other than an atrocity. That capitalism is somehow an evil despite its manifest blessings. And so on.
This technique is enormously powerful and has serious repercussions. Look at Starbucks behaving like a broken prisoner at a Stalinist show trial. The narrative convinced them that they behaved badly simply for behaving like a business. In ejecting two poorly behaved trespassers, they merely claimed their right to use their private property for profit. But it is private property and profit that gives us Starbucks in the first place. And iPhones and computers and movies and all the rest. Companies do not make these things for fun and they have no obligation to let you use them for free. If Starbucks were not drowning in left-wing assumptions — the left-wing narrative that capitalism is somehow inherently mean and wrong — they would have stood up for their right to eject unpaying trespassers, and they would have won. Instead, they have to endure the absolutely absurd accusation that they are somehow racist because the trespassers were black — another nonsensical left-wing assumption. Phooey.
This is why it has been so terribly frustrating for many of us that conservatives have for so long allowed these assumptions to go unchallenged and have even seemed to accept them themselves. Why did the first President Bush promise a "kinder, gentler" America after the Reagan years? Why did W. Bush call his conservatism "compassionate conservatism"? Aren't the wealth and freedom provided by conservative governance kind and gentle enough, compassionate enough in themselves? Why were they making apologies for good ideas?
They bought the narrative and lost the country.
Those on the right who continue to hammer the president for being a flawed man should instead be asking themselves: Why did it take such a man to finally start pushing conservative ideas again? It was because the left had been allowed to define the terms of our decency, and it required a man without much regard for decency to stand up to them and begin to govern by the decent, moral, freedom-giving principles of traditional Americanism.
Among those principles is respect for our flag and the liberties and justice it represents. It should not be the accepted norm that you can insult that flag while the rest of the nation is expected to eat the insult and send you fame and money in return.
Screw that noise. Donald Trump was right to challenge the narrative. It's not trivial. It's important. And the fact that he made his point represents, yes, #winning.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Matthews, Guest Claim Fox News Wants Americans to ‘Hate Each Other’; NFL Policy Is Like ‘Apartheid’

Matthews, Guest Claim Fox News Wants Americans to ‘Hate Each Other’; NFL Policy Is Like ‘Apartheid’

Gosh, these people are coming unglued. During Thursday’s edition of Hardball, MSNBC host Chris Matthews declared that “Fox News nation” (aka Trump supporters) are not interested in the American people “get[ting] along with each other” but instead “hat[ing] each other.”
Matthews upped the craziness by arguing that Republican Senators would still support the President if he actually did shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and, on the NFL’s new national anthem policy, “[t]elling the football players we watch on Sunday to behave as they are told is something we expect of apartheid regime, not a democratic one.”

The vicious smear against Fox News and their viewers came during the “Hardball Roundtable” segment when the host turned to The Root’s Jason Johnson. Do your best in trying to follow Matthews’s drivel:
Jason, is this Fox News nation? Is it basically taking the 40 some percent that have voted him and back him still and say, let's remember what side we're on? Don't look at evidence, don't think about black/white relations in this country, don’t think about we could cut deals and how we can get along with each other, think about how much we hate each other. Let's fight. That’s what it seems like with them.
And tell me again how the President is eroding our civil discourse?
Johnson obviously agreed, telling viewers that “this is dictator in training 101” where “[e]verybody hates you and I'm the one who loves you” with “everyone” representing “the media,” “the Department of Justice,” and “those black people.”
“[T]his has been Trump's campaign all along from the white nationals he’s brought into his administration to everything else,” he lamented.
Fastforwarding to his “Trump Watch” commentary that concluded the show, Matthews took a page from the CNN playbook of hyperbole (click “expand” to read more):
Connecting this to the NFL policy, he complained that, through the NFL owners, Trump “revert[ed] again to the division that haunted this country since its origins: race, racism and the lingering cause of white supremacy” because “[t]elling the football players we watch on Sunday to behave as they are told is something we expect of apartheid regime, not a democratic one.”
Matthews then rehashed an argument from earlier in the show with former 9/11 truther Donte Stallworth about how the First Amendment “is not to defend popular speech, but what many, even a majority of the country doesn't want to hear.” 
Fortunately, MSNBC’s computer scheduling must have had enough as Matthews was cut off moments later so All In with Chris Hayes could start. How ironic.
As for that bizarre thought about Republican members of Congress, here’s how that unfolded (with a smug comment courtesy of Mother Jones’s David Corn):
To see the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on May 24, click “expand.”

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