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Scene above:  Constitution Island, where Revolutionary War forts still exist, as photographed from Trophy Point, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York
 

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I appeared on Silvio Canto Jr's talk show from Dallas last night.  It's here.

 

 

 

 

FEBRUARY 1,  2021

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – OVERNIGHT:

THE GOP MUST END THIS INTERNAL CONFLICT QUICKLY – FROM FOX:   Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell defended Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney on Monday following intense criticism of her decision to vote in favor of former President Donald Trump’s impeachment.  Cheney has faced calls to resign from her post as House GOP conference chair since she and nine other Republicans crossed party lines to impeach Trump. McConnell, R-Ky., is the most prominent GOP leader to date to rally to Cheney’s defense.  "Liz Cheney is a leader with deep convictions and the courage to act on them," McConnell said in a statement. "She is an important leader in our party and in our nation. I am grateful for her service and look forward to continuing to work with her on the crucial issues facing our nation."  McConnell has not ruled out voting to convict Trump on the impeachment charge.  Republicans have a great chance to take back both the House and Senate in 2022, but it won't happen if they're engaged in a civil war.  Sadly, there is no elder statesman in the party who can come in and arbitrate this.  But remember Ronald Reagan's "11th Commandment":  "Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican."

HE'S TEACHING SOMEONE'S CHILDREN – FROM COLLEGE FIX:  Months after receiving nearly a million dollars to study “intellectual humility” toward political opponents, a professor expressed glee at the deaths of his political opponents.  Mark Alfano will face no repercussions from Macquarie University because no one has formally complained about his online comments, a spokesperson for the Australian public institution told The College Fix.  The associate professor in the Department of Philosophy shared a Jan. 15 New York Times tweet on the death of a Donald Trump supporter during the Jan. 6 riots outside the U.S. Capitol.  His tweet, which remains live as of early Tuesday, reads: “More of this please.” Alfano proceeded to argue with fellow Twitter users who criticized his tweet.  The professor works in moral psychology, which encompasses both philosophy and social science, according to his curriculum vitae. I wonder if he ever heard of Aristotle, or, for that matter, Lincoln.  And I think someone should identity the lunkheads who gave him a million dollars.

February 1, 2021       Permalink

 

NEW GIRL IN TOWN – AT 11:45 P.M. ET:  And already she's an enforcer for The Squad.  From Fox:   

The Black Lives Matter movement on Monday put its weight behind "Squad" member Rep. Cori Bush’s, D-Mo., proposal to investigate and potentially expel Republicans who opposed certifying the 2020 presidential election results following a deadly siege on Capitol Hill carried out by Trump supporters.

Serious error by Fox News.  The rioters on Capitol Hill included Trump supporters, but was not limited to them.

"It is not enough to denounce the white supremacy behind the attack," the group wrote on its website. "We must remove its endorsers from Congress – Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Lauren Boebert, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and the over 100 Republicans who voted against certifying the Electoral College."
Bush introduced a resolution earlier this month that would "initiate investigations for removal" targeting those who attempted to overturn the election results and "incited a White supremacist-attempted coup."

This is crackpot stuff.  The Republicans had serious questions about the vote count.  They were performing their Constitutional mandate.  Representative Bush, as many of you know, is a true nutjob, a black extremist who supports Antifa and the anti-Semitic BDS movement targeting Israel.

The proposal is based on the claim that some of these conservatives engaged in sedition against the U.S. – or incited rebellion against the government.

More than 140 Republicans in Congress voted to overturn the results of the election, which former President Donald Trump in unproven claims said was "stolen" from him by fraudulent means.
Sens. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in particular have come under fire for roles Democrats allege they played in inciting the violent pro-Trump riot on Capitol Hill, where several lives were lost.

They incited nothing but a discussion of the issue.

Hawley and Cruz both made clear in the days leading up to Jan. 6 that they did not intend to certify the results, leaning on Trump’s fraud claims.

COMMENT:  I wish the earnest reporter had informed us that Congresswoman Bush has been in the House about a month.  I'm sure in that time she has gained great wisdom and experience.  But I recall the observation of that noted philosopher, Jerry Lewis:  "Bad looks you can change, stupid is forever." 

February 1,  2021       Permalink

 

IS PRESS RIGIDITY STARTING TO CRACK? – AT 8:06 P.M. ET:   One of the things I do here is to look for trends.  Is something changing?  Is a segment of the public drifting rightward or leftward? 

We saw the outrageous media assault on President Trump.  We knew the media would be positive toward President Biden, a liberal Democrat.   But would it be completely in the tank, or would some journalists start showing a little spine when dealing with the left?  We've had a few tentative indications that some in the press realize they've got to hold Biden to account in order to maintain any vestige of credibility.  Last week The New York Times ran a truly surprising editorial reprimanding the president for doing too much through executive orders.   It is reported that the president was furious at being dressed down by The Times, a reliably Democratic paper.

And now we have a surprising editorial from Bloomberg, severely lecturing the administration on its Iran policy, which will be one of the major tests of its foreign-policy initiatives.  We're far from seeing a balanced press, but this is encouraging.  From Algemeiner: 

The Bloomberg Editorial Board has called on President Joe Biden to “demand that Iran engage in good-faith peace talks with its neighbors” before making moves toward rejoining the 2015 nuclear deal, as the new administration fleshes out its approach to the Islamic Republic.

So far, the Board wrote in a column Monday, the administration’s strategy has “the right ideas, but in the wrong order” on resuming nuclear talks with Iran.

“The regime in Tehran says regional security concerns should be addressed separately,” it said. “Biden should call this bluff and insist on the start of good-faith regional peace talks before any meaningful return to nuclear diplomacy. He should also use American leverage with Iran’s neighbors to encourage their participation, and offer non-nuclear sanctions relief in return for concrete progress.

The piece noted that the original Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, from which the Trump Administration withdrew in 2018, gave no way for countries like Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to address Iran’s other menacing activities in the region, like its support for Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and militias in Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen.

Biden “should also use American leverage with Iran’s neighbors to encourage their participation, and offer non-nuclear sanctions relief in return for concrete progress,” it continued. “This may frustrate the other signatories of the JCPOA, but the U.S. can legitimately argue — with the help of Israel and the Arab states — that regional peace is a better outcome than merely pausing Iran’s nuclear program.”

Concessions from Iran on regional security could include a reduced presence in Syria, influence applied to Hezbollah and Hamas, or pressure on Yemen’s Houthis to strike a peace deal with Saudi Arabia.

On Monday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned that Iran may soon be a “matter of weeks” away from enriching enough uranium to produce a nuclear bomb, if it continues breaching the limits placed by the deal. An Iranian law passed in December 2020 has ramped up such moves, with further nuclear activities pledged in the coming weeks unless sanctions are lifted.

“The threat from Tehran can’t be contained by separating the nuclear menace from other malign behavior,” said the Bloomberg editorial. “It must be dealt with in the aggregate. Biden should start by insisting that Iran demonstrate goodwill toward its neighbors if it expects goodwill from the U.S. in return.”

COMMENT:  Excellent.  Really excellent.  And the editorial takes on added significance because of Biden's incredible blunder in appointing Robert Malley as his principal Iran negotiator, a move that has stunned many in the foreign-policy sector.  Malley, an appeaser's appeaser, America's answer to Neville Chamberlain, negotiated the first Iran nuclear deal with the mullahs in 2015, for President Obama, with the equally appeasing John Kerry as secretary of state.  That deal was so bad that Obama had to make it an executive agreement rather than submit it to the Senate as a treaty.  It could never have passed the Senate.  President Trump withdrew from the farce, a strong and proper step.

Bloomberg is to be praised for its alertness.  We hope we see more.

February 1, 2021       Permalink 

 

 

 

 

JANUARY 31,  2021

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – OVERNIGHT:

THE REALITY OF CHINA – FROM EPOCH TIMES:   In communist China, practicing a certain faith, printing, or even reading religious books could result in prison terms and abuse. Spiritual believers in China—be it Christians, Buddhists, Uyghur Muslims, or Falun Gong practitioners—are faced not only with brutal suppression or forced-labor terms but also have their religious books burned or trashed at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).  The coercive policies are aimed at forcing these religious followers to renounce their faith and follow the communist ideologies based on atheism and Marxism.  According to Bitter Winter, a magazine on religious liberty and human rights in China, a Three-Self Church venue in one of the villages under the jurisdiction of Lanling County was demolished in July 2020.  A county government official told the congregation that “all churches too close to government institutions must be destroyed” and the same goes for “those that look better than government buildings.”  “Belief in the Communist Party is the only religion allowed,” the official said, according to the report.  The sad and ugly fact is that there are people on the political left in this country who have no problem with those policies.  In fact, they'd like to bring them here.

LET THE INTRIGUE AND BACKSTABBING BEGIN – FROM PAGE SIX:  Longtime ABC News chief James Goldston stunned industry insiders Thursday by announcing he’s stepping down from his post.  Goldston, who has had a 17-year career at the network and helmed its news division for seven, leaves his plum post with no successor lined up and no job to go to.  In a memo to staff, seen by Page Six, Goldston wrote, “It’s a really tough decision. I’ve loved every day of my 17 years at ABC News, but in recent times I’ve always assumed that after this extraordinary election cycle, which we’ve covered at a full sprint for four years, it would be time for a change."  It's always big news when the presidency of a major news operation is open.  ABC is widely seen as a liberal bastion.  Will that continue?  Will there now be a big push to name a member of a minority as a successor?  Most likely. 

January 31, 2021      Permalink

 

REMARKABLY INSIGHTFUL – AT 5:20 P.M. ET:  No, the red American states aren't seceding.  But, according to this penetrating piece, there's another kind of secession is underway.  It can change America's future.  From townhall.com: 

Lately, there has been so much frustration with the last election and the direction of our country that some Trump supporters have been talking about “secession.” Many conservatives and libertarians are asking if it makes sense for certain states to leave the union the way South Carolina left in 1860, after the election of Abraham Lincoln as president of the United States.

Whether it makes “sense” or not, we can be assured that it will not happen. Although the South Carolina state legislature voted in November of 1860 to initiate the process of secession, no state legislature would do that today. This is because most modern state legislatures, even conservative ones, do not have many members who are angry enough at the federal government to support seceding from it.

Never forget that many individual state legislators are professional politicians. They may disagree with some of the policies that flow from Washington D.C., but they are not angry enough to vote for secession, and that is what is required to secede, anger. While an official secession will not happen, there will be a different type. In fact, it has already started in our country.

Instead of state legislatures, dominated by urban dwellers, voting for secession, Americans who live in rural and some suburban areas are executing a secession of their own. They are disassociating themselves from the lifestyles, cultural mores, laws, and self-inflicted wounds exhibited in our large cities.

Of course, rural Americans are already living in areas removed from large cities, but geography is only one of the many differences. An even more striking distinction involves political ideology and attitudes on an array of issues like criminal justice.

Citizens living outside of ultra-progressive urban areas do not accept what is going on in large cities. Surely, the thinking is, “I am not one of them. They are different from me. We do not agree on basic things, like what laws should govern human conduct.”

COMMENT:  Read the rest.  I suspect we'll be having a national conversation on this pretty soon.  There is something very dramatic going on, not in the White House, but in your house.

January 31, 2021       Permalink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"What you see is news.  What you know is background.  What you feel is opinion."
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