TOTD 2018-06-22: Cultural Sadomasochism

I’ve always been infuriated by people whining about the US and how oppressive it is.  There’s this constant moaning about how victimized they are and oh the humanity think of the children it’s like Donald Trump is raping us all.   This is coming from people who are in secure, well-paying jobs or people going to school on other people’s money.  It’s like bragging about how victimized you are. Continue reading “TOTD 2018-06-22: Cultural Sadomasochism”


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Christopher Wray — Nothing to see here

The IG report is out and the issue of intent is on the table again. When Wray says that the IG didn’t find any political bias, he’s basically saying that nothing extraordinary happened, that nobody intended to do anything wrong. Why? Because they didn’t operate from bias. So, all of these minor missteps were not intended, they were inadvertent but always going against the president or for Hillary. Every one of the unintentional mistakes. Here’s ABC:

“[It’s] important to note what the Inspector General did not find,” Wray told reporters inside the FBI, marking one of the first times he’s taken questions from media representatives since becoming the agency’s director. “This report did not find any evidence of political bias or improper considerations actually impacting the investigation under review,” namely the FBI’s probe of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.

Yet it seems like they are intentional to me — these people all did these things using very non-standard methods —  and exculpatory methods for Hillary — rather than how Mueller is acting against Trump and how Comey acted against Martha Stewart and how Patrick Fitzgerald acted against Scooter Libby. These mistakes were all intentional and they were all biased. And the IG is a liar to say otherwise.

But, the mistakes that were made were going to be addressed with new training. The report is hours old and he’s already started to fix things — so that’s good to know. And what’s something he mentioned that they are going to do:

“There are some sobering lessons in there. We’re going to learn those lessons,” including “the importance of trying to make sure that we avoid even the appearance of bias in all of our work,” Wray vowed. “Objectivity and the appearance of objectivity matter.”

Why is bias being brought up now? That’s the one mistake that wasn’t made according to the IG. Why? Because Wray knows that this is a lie and he’s so happy that the IG sold out that he made this big mistake. This is what is known as a “tell” at the poker table.


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TOTD 31 May 2018: Longest Loser Tantrums Ever Continue

Hope you all enjoy the following as much as I did.  It reminds one of the perpetual arrogance of ignorance saluted by the Progressives, and at the same time, is educational.   A two-fer Thursday!  I have included the entire article for your reading pleasure.

Teacher Who Corrected Trump’s Grammar In Viral CNN, NYT Story Got Lots of Stuff Wrong

by Aaron Keller | 5:00 pm, May 29th, 2018

The retired English teacher who “corrected” a now-viral letter from President Donald J. Trump and who then returned the “corrected” letter to the White House could perhaps use some schooling on the way the law works. In correcting Trump’s letter, the teacher marked something incorrect which was actually correct — legally speaking. (While we’re at it, the grammatical errors weren’t really errors, either; indeed, the letter was more correct than the teacher thinks.)

The teacher, Yvonne Mason, received the letter from the Trump White House in response to a letter she sent to President Trump. Her original letter raised concerns about the Parkland, Florida school shooting and asked President Trump to visit the families of those who died in the massacre. Perturbed by what she claimed was sloppy grammar in the rare return letter from the president, she posted her “corrected” letter to Facebook. It initially made the pages of her local paper, then the New York Times. She appeared on CNN on Monday to continue her jabs. There, she said the letter deserved a grade of “D.” She also opined that while the letter was probably written by staffers, the president signed it. (Has she ever heard of Autopen?) (WATCH the interview here.)

Here is the legal issue we noticed:  in his letter to the teacher, President Trump references a number of laws which he seeks to change or which he did change in response to the Parkland shooting. He also references a “rule.” Confused, the teacher circled “rule,” put a question mark in the margin, and said, “explain ‘rule.’”

That sound you just heard is me slamming my head against the desk at which I’m sitting.

There is a hierarchy of laws under the American system of government. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It sets forth three branches of government:  executive (which enforces the laws); legislative (which writes the laws); and judicial (which interprets the laws). Here’s the thing:  the branches each basically write their own “laws” which play off of one another. So, really, there is more than one type of “law.” The president’s letter accurately notes this. The teacher appears to be confused by it.

Perhaps the English teacher could benefit by calling up her social studies buddies for a primer. When most people reference federal “law,” what they really mean are the statutes written by the Senate and the House of Representatives. Executive branch agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Labor, etc., etc., etc., which are constitutionally attached to the president, have “rulemaking authority” to write “rules” which expound upon the more rough parameters set forth by the legislature in statutes. Lest we forget, the hierarchy, in descending order, contains all sorts of laws: the Constitution, statutes, administrative rules (which have the “force of law”), and judicial opinions (which — oh no! — have their own hierarchy, too!). What about the opinions of administrative law judges who work for executive branch agencies authorized by congress but constitutionally attached to the president? Gosh, this gets complicated, and we haven’t even gotten into city ordinances or state statutes.

Trump’s letter accurately differentiates between “rules” and “laws.” The teacher’s question mark response suggests either (1) she just doesn’t get the concepts I just painstakingly explained; or (2) if she does get it, she wants her “student” — President Trump — to explain it to her solely to prove that he knows it as well. The second tactic is ridiculous given the Trump letter’s careful differentiation between the two. He gets it. My guess is that she does not.

Thus concludes the lesson about legal hierarchy. There’s more, which I’ll address briefly.

The teacher told CNN she was most “appalled” by the “random capitalization of words that typically aren’t capitalized.” In the letter, the word “Nation” is frequently capitalized. When CNN pointed Ms. Mason to the fact that the government has its own stylebook, Ms. Mason botched the answer by flipping the script and pretty much claiming she was the authority: “My philosophy as a teacher is if we aren’t teaching this in the classroom, then why are we using it in a stylebook.” She then went on to entirely misinterpret the rule being applied.

Under the Government Printing Office’s stylebook, available here, Rule 3.20 on page 32 and the example on page 68 clearly state that “Nation” is capitalized in federal publications where the word is used as a replacement for the proper name of the country.

Rather than take the time to pull out her own stylebook(s), Ms. Mason confused that rule with the one for proper nouns, which in the stylebook is a totally different rule, and accused Trump of engaging in a “grammatical tragedy of the commons” where people start “randomly deciding which words are proper nouns and which aren’t.”

The teacher said her dream was “clear communication.”

“Communicate clearly what you want, and you’re more likely to get it because language is the currency of power.” (That’s a grammatically-incorrect sentence, Ms. Mason; plus, the stylebook clearly communicates what it wants.)

Hopefully, Ms. Mason taught her students that the rules change depending on the intended vehicle of publication:  the MLA, APA, and Chicago Manuals of Style are not the end of the stylebook world. The legal profession uses the Bluebook for citations, the Chicago Manual of Style where the Bluebook is silent, and the Redbook for other grammatical guidance. Reporters use the Associated Press Stylebook. The Government Printing Office has its own stylebook. Guess what? President Barack Obama followed it when he also capitalized words like “Nation” in his own letters (examples are hereherehere, and here). So did Michelle Obama (here). We are not certain whether Ms. Mason plans to spend her retirement correcting the Obamas, too.

Having been schooled by and having worked with both good and bad educators over the years, I am well versed in the sorts of histrionic fits some educators can get themselves into while defending their perceived entitlements to paychecks. If Ms. Mason gives President Trump a “D” on grammar and communication, I give her an “F” on defending her rationale for her judgment.

Aaron Keller is a live, streaming trial host for the Law&Crime Network. He is licensed to practice law in two states and served as a professor of English and communications for several years before joining Law&Crime. Follow him on Twitter:  @AKellerLawCrime.

This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

https://lawandcrime.com/crazy/teacher-who-corrected-trumps-grammar-in-viral-cnn-nyt-story-got-lots-of-stuff-wrong/


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Presidential Libraries: Locations and Ephemera

I’ve had the opportunity to visit several Presidential libraries, homes and historic places.  Most of the ones I have visited are centered around a home. Visiting Spiegel Grove, Rutherford B. Hayes’s home in Fremont, Ohio, is a quiet affair…a lovely home, a library for research, his final resting place.  Mount Vernon, the magnificent home and final resting place of George Washington, has a sprawling museum and estate and has been lovingly cared for by the Mount Vernon Ladies Association since the 1850s.  Other homes include those of Harry S. Truman, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and FDR.

Some Presidential libraries lack a home, but have outstanding museums and artifacts.  The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, IL tends toward the Disney-esque, with life-size dioramas and high-tech holographics along with a rotating display of artifacts in a more traditional portion of the museum.  The outstanding Library is across the street from the museum; Lincoln’s home, operated by the National Park Service, is across town and his tomb is also nearby.

The newest Presidential center will apparently be Obama’s. There is some controversy regarding the location, appearance and function of the center.  John Kass, a reporter for the Chicago Tribune, calls the proposed Presidential center, to be built on public land near the golf course in Jackson Park, “The Barack Obama Temple of Adoration and Fealty.” The center won’t house any Presidential papers, nor will it be a center for research.  Kass even has a couple of suggestions for the inevitable shop at the center, “Presidential golf clubs or a Michelle Obama vegetable peeler for nutritious school lunches would be nice.”

Regardless of what ends up in the Obama center, I would like to suggest that there only be one item in the future Donald J. Trump Library:

This document captures everything about the current President…all anyone needs to know.  American can-do bravado, shades of General McAuliffe’s memo to the German command “NUTS!”, captured in a letter so clearly dictated by Trump that I can imagine the hand of a nice Katie Gibbs secretary flying across the page in perfect Gregg shorthand.  Presented on the finest Crane Presidential stationery, he signs it with a graffiti-esque Sharpie. Permanent. Bold.  Yes–this is all we need, in so very many ways.

I guarantee his feet weren’t on the surface of the Resolute desk when he signed it.


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Media v Evangelicals, 2018 part 5

In my previous post in this series I concluded by noting anti-traditionalist media coverage of a gathering at Wheaton University.  It was a group of “concerned” “Evangelical leaders.”  It included some theological conservatives, though most of the attendees tilted theologically liberal.  Since then, some sound bites by liberal Evangelicals made the rounds, mostly because they were bitterly critical of Christians who support President Trump.  Media continues to love quotes from NeverTrump clerics and pundits who have Christian or conservative credentials.

 

The continuing coverage of last month’s gathering of Evangelicals can be best represented by reading this long feature from the New Yorker, since it summarizes everything that I have seen elsewhere in mass media:

https://www.newyorker.com/news-desk/on-religion/at-a-private-meeting-in-illinois-a-group-of-evangelicals-tried-to-save-their-movement-from-trumpism

But I highlight it here because it talks about the debates, letting us know that President Trump was not the focus of that gathering, though he was obviously on everyone’s mind.  From other media accounts you would have thought that the meeting had been all about Trump.  In fact, as I had suspected all along, they talked about a host of culture war issues, with the primary issue being racism.

 

Racism got a lot of media chatter over the past few weeks (as it has ever since the Democrat Party enacted quotas for minority representation in their Party structure five decades ago).  In the past two years we have grown tired of the tedious way they slander all Christians who support President Trump as racists, which they do with complete disregard for the way Trump got more support from blacks and Hispanics than did Mitt Romney.  In my last report I linked to the Washington Post blathering about “white Evangelicals’” support for President Trump.  This trend continued.

PRRI released new poll results, and The Atlantic mined it for data to spin the racist angle, breathlessly reporting:  “…white evangelical support for Trump remains strikingly high, with 75 percent holding a favorable view of the president….”   Of course they isolated white Evangelicals.  They are still horrified that Trump showed surprising strength among blacks and Hispanics, but they say as little about that as possible.

 

Leftists were horrified at PBS, who went to the National Day of Prayer event in Washington, and got an interview with Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.  It is clear from the follow-up questions that the reporter was put on his back foot by some remarks by Rev. Rodriguez (a Pentecostalist pastor):

William Brangham:

There’s many things on that one side of the ledger that would seem to alienate him from the evangelical community, three marriages, accusations of adultery, bragging about sexual assaults.

You’re arguing that the policy side of the ledger is enough to make people think that things don’t matter as much?

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez:

No, I don’t think it’s ever to a point where it doesn’t matter.

I think it comes to the point where we don’t want to write anyone off. You don’t want to write off access to a president who can impact religious liberty, who can impact the sanctity of life. So it’s a matter of balancing these narratives in a way where we never sacrifice truth on the altar of expediency, but we likewise support policies that reflect our Judeo-Christian value system.

William Brangham:

So, it was something much more fundamental to evangelicals? When they looked at this last election, President Trump vs. Hillary Clinton, they just felt much more fundamental was at stake that made them want to support him?

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez:

Some would argue the future of American Christianity. Some argued…

William Brangham:

Is that right?

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez:

Absolutely.

 

Mass media bias was also clear from the lack of coverage of a story that got lots of attention in Christian media, which was the saga of Alfie Evans in England.  It was eerily similar to last year’s enforced death of Charlie Gard.  An English hospital decided that, in the “best interests” of the child, that they would seize him from his parents and sentence him to death, to “put him out of his misery.”  A British court upheld the hospital’s right to keep Alfie’s death on schedule.  American mass media pretended not to notice.  Three-sentence blurbs were all that consumers of mass media news got, except that Fox News provided a little bit of coverage.  This item is not an attack on Evangelicals; it is simply another indicator (as if any were needed) that mass media does not care about matters that concern Christians, except to the extent that matters of concern to Christians can be used to wedge Christians apart from each other.  They seek to divide us in order to conquer us.

 

There were continuing blasts in the ongoing #metoo sexual harassment media excitement.  Whenever a pastor is alleged to have engaged in philandery it gets special notice.  After a decade spent focused on violators in the Catholic ranks, now mass media is actively seeking out bad boy Evangelical pastors to be pilloried in the press.

 

The New York Times got all distressed about Betsy DeVos relaxing some strangling regulations related to religious colleges.  They focused on how theologically conservative Christian colleges would benefit.  They ignored the way the changes can also help theologically liberal colleges.  My favorite media critics noticed:

There are some important voices and points of view missing in the New York Times story that ran with this headline: “DeVos Moves to Loosen Restrictions on Federal Aid to Religious Colleges.” In addition to its focus on evangelical schools, this story really needed input from educational leaders on liberal religious campuses and even secular private campuses.

 

Aside from news coverage, there were the usual editorials.  One in particular may be classified as “friendly fire.”  It was a sermon by David French at National Review.  It was so awful that Bryan G. Stephens posted about it here for us Ratburghers.  D. French has a confused sense of Christian morals.  His sort of moralizing is something that irreligious mass media outlets love to spread around, as a way to drive another wedge to divide Christians.


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Wake-up Call?

For some reason, reading the following paragraph from an article titled:  President Trump is fulfilling Prophecies made me feel optimistic today.   I am hoping the italicized [my emphasis] sentence in the paragraph will have the effect of being a wake-up call.

“Credit also goes to the current Evangelical Christian community and its leaders and to many non-liberal Jewish individuals and organizations. Unfortunately, too many liberal Jews have traded in their Judaism for multiculturalism and left-wing intersectionality. They have detached themselves from their historic identity with the Promised Land and currently find their promise in hedonistic and anti-Trump causes. They have chosen faddishness over eternity. For them, Israel is but a yawn.”

 

https://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/rabbi-aryeh-spero/trump-making-history-fulfilling-prophecy-moving-american-embassy

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Kristol Ball

Short of Ronaldus dealing with that pesky Cold War spat, Trump’s getting **it done unlike any President I have seen in my lifetime.

Results matter to me. Results are the only things that pay the bills.

I am new here; well I guess everyone is, relatively. Seems many have come from an environment where the folks who voted for Trump (some with their fingers crossed) feel marginalized. Not so much as to the member writing, as there are always a few folks who throw-down representing MAGA, but from the loudest voices coming from the absolutists at Conservative Cruises, Inc.

Kristol, JPod, and the crew seem intent on burning the forest so they can save their one-tree hill. You see, their tree, whose branches drip with the tattered remains of their once widely-respected reputation, is dying. They won’t admit it, but without the largesse of their benefactors, they are no longer viable. Readership is down. Podcast downloads of the once bright conservative stars are down. Conservatism is changing. Not to the media’s described nationalism, populism or alt-right, but to an optimism.

In Celina Zito’s latest book “The Great Revolt: Inside the Populist Coalition Reshaping American Politics”  she spent months crisscrossing the Rustbelt canvassing a couple thousand voters and the results were telling.

Far from a fluke, the 2016 election was a product of the tectonic plate-grinding of our society — a backlash against globalism, secularism and coastal elitism.

She spoke with die-hard Democrats who voted for Trump. She spoke to women who were pressured by friends to vote for the first female President but then voted for Trump. She spoke to union workers and small business owners, once all Democrats, who voted for Trump. And to a person, they are very pleased with their decision. They all said the same thing: Trump brings a feeling that things WILL get better. And in 16 months, I think they are being proven right.

Democrats and Progressives have a problem – namely identity politics, raising taxes, increasing the size and scope of government, free speech, and calling anyone who doesn’t tow the line racists, bigots, sexists, etc. But most importantly, no one is listening to them anymore. Calling people names isn’t going to get them ONE more vote.

The neo-con tree’s only source of nutrition no longer comes from its deep conservative roots, but the sprinkled approval by those with ulterior motives; who intend to get one last springtime crop of disdain against this President before poisoning the tree along with the rest of the Deplorable forest.

Useful idiots are only useful for so long.

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