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Self-Censoring Skyrockets

August 10, 2020

Big corporations aren’t the only ones who are caving to very loud leftist activists. A recent study found that Americans are “self-censoring” far more than they did in the past (I wonder if it’s even worse than this, but they were afraid to tell the truth to the survey-takers?) They call this the “Spiral of Silence.”

Interestingly, the fear of expressing your honest opinions affected Republicans, Democrats and Moderates fairly equally. What accounted for the rise was urbanites and the highly “educated” (quotation marks mine – I no longer consider a college degree to automatically denote being truly educated.)

The authors of the linked article claim that “the evidence suggests that those Americans who have little education and live in the hinterland actually feel most free to speak their minds. Perhaps they have simply never been taught that it is wise to keep their mouths shut.” I couldn’t disagree more: I think that people outside of urban areas are more likely to be taught to be polite and not force their views on others. I doubt that many of the Antifa radicals screaming racial epithets and Marxist bilge into the faces of black cops were raised in small towns in the South.

But they do get right that the fear of reprisals for speaking your mind is not due to government oppression (no matter what liberals say about Trump being a “dictator”), but fear of judgment by their social peers. After enough negative reinforcement, they say a view held by as many as a quarter of a social group may stop being expressed at all. I would argue that due to fear of the “cancel culture,” views held by up to 80 percent of Americans have stopped being expressed.

And I agree with them on this point:

“That is why high levels of self-censorship should be treated as an ominous warning sign. They signal the development of a culture of orthodoxy that is animated by a false sense of certainty about what is true and what is false—and a proud intolerance of those who might dare to voice an opinion that conflicts with the mainstream.”

My only objection is that “mainstream” has now been defined as “far-left.” I don’t recall an election where we all agreed that leftist opinions were the only correct ones worthy of being expressed. The Founders gave us free speech so that all views could be heard, trusting posterity to have the common sense to reject bad ideas and embrace good ideas. This is why the left has tried to redefine speech they disagree with as “violence” that must be banned. Because they can’t call it what it really is: “Arguments we don’t have a good answer for.”

My friend (and you can’t imagine how proud I am to be able to say that) Dr. Alveda King had some choice words for the way former President Obama exploited Rep. John Lewis’ funeral to promote false historical narratives and score political points.

And as long we’re correcting Obama’s historical falsehoods, it’s worth pointing out that there’s only one politician currently active in the top level of politics who repeatedly praised George Wallace and other segregationists, and that’s Joe Biden.

Of course, you could say that was another time and he was just trying to get along with colleagues, although that’s not what it always seemed to be. But that would require looking at history in context, and since today’s Democrats hate that, I wouldn’t want to impose any context on them.

There has been a lot of criticism of the crass politicization of Rep. Lewis’ funeral, but there’s also another controversy discussed on social media that has gone largely unreported by the mainstream media. That is how Democratic politicians are telling other Americans that they can’t go to churches, or have indoor gatherings of more than 10 people, or even attend their own relatives’ or spiritual leaders’ funerals…but when one of their own colleagues died, there was a big, indoor church funeral and they exempted themselves from all the rules they imposed on others.

Here are a few of the commentaries on who deserves a big funeral (Rep. Lewis, George Floyd, etc.) and who doesn’t (your dad.)

Also as noted there, Georgia, where the Lewis funeral took place, is on DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s list of states which anyone returning from must undergo a mandatory two-week quarantine. She declared the funeral to be a government function, and those are “essential,” so those funeral guests were exempt. I hope the virus recognized that they’re VIPs and showed proper deference in not infecting them.

It will be interesting to see if Democratic officials declare Herman Cain’s funeral “essential,” or if it will be considered not “essential,” like those of all your relatives who died in nursing homes in blue states. And who may needlessly continue to do so in some blue states.

Weekend Must-Read: This article at the Bookworm Room blog makes some very thought-provoking points about the similarities of the elections of 1920 and 2020.

One hundred years ago, voters were exhausted and traumatized by years of a foreign war (World War I), reeling from a deadly pandemic (Spanish flu) and rattled by a series of bomb attacks by socialists and anarchists all across America. Sound familiar? They elected Republican Warren G. Harding with over 60% of the Electoral College vote because he promised “a return to normalcy.”

The article suggests that Trump should run on the promise to “Make America Normal Again” (MANA?) That is, to bring back law and order, end riots, get the economy up and running again, make our schools teach kids instead of indoctrinating them, and stop pitting Americans against each other into warring identity group camps. He had made great headway on a lot of those things, including re-establishing border security, American leadership and national sovereignty, even though the Democrats fought all his efforts tooth and nail. They think that to regain power, it’s in their interests to attack and undermine everything normal, from law and order to free enterprise and capitalism to patriotism and American pride to basic biology, the scientific method and objective truth, so that people don’t know their own history and can’t even tell what their gender is.

If you think that’s an exaggeration, it’s not. It’s actually a school of leftist “thought” that’s been around for a long time, and encompasses such arcane concepts as “critical theory,” “postmodernism” and “intersectionality.” Over the past few decades, this crackpot of poison stew has been carefully spoon-fed to young people to erode the nation’s foundations, which is what we’re experiencing right now. There’s more explanation and history of this in the linked article. It’s all coming to a head in 2020, and ironically considering the times, the mask is off. I think most Americans didn’t notice it sneaking up on us, but now that it’s yelling in our faces, we don’t like what we see. We want “normal” back.

The only problem is that Joe Biden is already running on a promise to return America to normalcy. Considering that the Obama/Biden Administration tried to cover up all its failures, like its anemic economy and sluggish job growth, by assuring us that this was “the new normal,” I question whether his side even knows what “normal” means. Their version of “normal” is like the brain Igor picked out in “Young Frankenstein”: “Abby Normal.”

But to Biden and those around him, their idea of “normal” is them running everything. Even if means destroying American history, race relations, the economy, and the basic facts of life, economics and science, things will be “normal” again according to them because we’ll have a President who doesn’t send out mean tweets.

Rep. Ilhan Omar’s hometown newspaper, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, just endorsed her Democratic primary challenger, Antone Melton-Meaux. That’s not really surprising: they didn’t endorse her in her previous primary or election, either; even a paper that liberal has some standards. And Melton-Meaux is just about as far left as Omar in most regards. Besides, newspaper endorsements don’t really mean much these days. So why even link to this story?

Just because it’s instructive to see how gingerly the editors handled Omar’s outrageously inappropriate behavior. Imagine that President Trump, or any Republican at all, had spouted anti-Semitic hate speech so vile that her Party had to pass an anti-bigotry resolution just to paper over it. Would the Star-Tribune diplomatically describe that as her having made “remarks on Israel widely regarded as anti-Semitic…”? Or how about if a Republican official had engaged in anti-American rhetoric, been accused of bigamy and immigration fraud, and shoveled more than $1.6 million of campaign funds to her current husband’s (?) consulting firm? What are the odds that the paper would sum all that up by saying that the Republican’s term had been “marred by missteps” and “campaign finance issues”?

I haven’t seen such soft-pedaling since the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog offered a mink bicycle.

We’ve always said there would be a few previously-obscure names suddenly providing a whole new avenue of investigation and insight into "Crossfire Hurricane." As of Sunday, the name “Steven Schrage” is one of those. And, yes, he HAS talked with U.S. Attorney John Durham, and says he told Durham a couple of weeks ago that he now feels he must go public.

He has put together a first installment, called “The spies who hijacked America,” intended as a “preview” of what he’ll tell over the next several weeks. For when you have time later --- it’s extremely long but undoubtedly a MUST-READ --- here’s the link.

Schrage’s Ph.D. supervisor was Stefan Halper, whom we know was also an FBI confidential human source (SPY) known as “the Walrus.” Schrage decided to come forward ahead of the full Michael Flynn hearing because he felt the various investigations into Flynn's case had not progressed as they should have. In other words, he’s concerned about how long it’s taking.

"So, I think there’s a lot of people trying to cover the tracks of what happened to start this thing,” he told Maria Bartiromo on SUNDAY MORNING FUTURES, and I think that’s why it’s so critical that we get to the bottom of it.” Sad to say, he includes "quite a few Republicans” in that group.

"This shouldn’t be political, about Democrats and Republicans,” he said he told Durham. “This is about officials undermining our democracy, and it needs to be known long before the election.”

Schrage is in a position to shed light on the targeting of Carter Page, which ignited the FBI’s “Trump/Russia” investigation. Page first met Stefan Halper at an overseas conference at Cambridge University in July, 2016. It was three months later that the FBI, after accusing Page in its FISA application of being a Russian agent, got a warrant to spy on him. (As we've noted, this warrant gave them a window into Trump's campaign and even to Trump himself, as it allowed them to go BACK IN TIME through Page’s communications to pick up other people connected to him.)

Schrage is the person who introduced Page to Halper while Page was at Cambridge for the conference

He was then working for Halper as part of his Ph.D. candidacy at Cambridge; he told Maria he had “a long background working on crime and terrorism with the White House and Congress” and had started work on this Ph.D. years earlier at Harvard. He was looking at presidential campaigns from the standpoint of the risks to national security but “had no idea that it would blow up into this.”

Looks to me as though he found a whole new risk to national security --- not one posed by a foreign country infiltrating a campaign, but by our own FBI. He might have a whole new topic for his dissertation now!

Anyway, he said it was when Halper and Christopher Steele’s former MI-6 boss Sir Richard Dearlove (you know that name if you’ve read Lee Smith’s book THE PLOT AGAINST THE PRESIDENT) crossed paths with Page that Halper zeroed in. “At that point,” Schrage said, Halper “seemed to really focus on Page...isolate him, and kind of ingratiate himself with the Trump campaign, in ways that seemed like a real turning point.” To Schrage’s “surprise,” the Trump campaign started being characterized as a national security threat, and that narrative “took off.”

Schrage described the way Page ended up at Cambridge talking to Halper as “a comedy of errors rivaling ‘Dumb and Dumber.’” Ironically, because Schrage had “a Republican background,” he'd wanted the conference to be “balanced,” he said. If they were going to include, say, Madeleine Albright, they should also have a Trump representative.

(Not to inject any confusion here, but in 2019, Devin Nunes, ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, included Schrage in the suspicious group of individuals who should be investigated for their roles in getting Page to Cambridge Don't know if that has changed, but here's the story.)

Here’s another example of suspicion being cast onto Schrage.

Anyway, Schrage told Bartiromo they were looking for someone specifically to represent the Trump campaign, and that role sort of “fell into his [Page’s] lap," adding he didn’t think Halper even knew Page was coming “until I emailed him.”

To put this into a timeline, a few weeks previously, Christopher Steele had been hired by Fusion GPS.

Maria asked Schrage about Halper’s work in 2016 for the Office of Net Assessments (ONA), which paid him six-figure sums ostensibly for four reports on Russia and China, and how the timing of one big payment seemed to correspond with the start of wiretapping Page. Schrage said he’d never heard of such massive payments for that type of work “in an academic setting.”

He also thought it odd that after Page was smeared as a Russian agent, Halper thanked him profusely for introducing them. Then, in 2018, Schrage heard about the massive payments Halper got while Page was being surveilled, and it made sense.

"All these tentacles” lead back to the same little group, he said: Steele, Halper, Halper’s handler at the FBI. Significantly, no one at the Senate has subpoenaed these people, in four years.

This apparently is one reason why he feels REPUBLICANS have a role in protecting them. “How are we at a point so close to the election, and with Flynn’s hearing coming up, that no one has called these people and gotten to the bottom of this?”

Schrage, who recorded his conversations with Halper routinely as part of his studies, has a recording from January 10, 2017, five days after the infamous Oval Office meeting about Flynn and two days before the WASHINGTON POST leak about Flynn being investigated for Logan Act violations. (Halper and one of his students both had WAPO connections.) Schrage had previously told Halper that Flynn was extremely close with President-elect Trump. Even so, Halper seemed to know...somehow...that Flynn would be gone soon.

Halper: “If you go to the NSC, you have to consider very carefully if you feel it’s appropriate for you to work for Flynn. I don’t think Flynn’s going to be around long. That’s just my guess. The way these things work, you inevitably find yourself at odds with someone...probably lots of people. And...when people [who] oppose you are looking for ways of exerting pressure, they go to people that they know you’re at odds with. And that’s how it builds and then eventually you get squeezed pretty hard.”

He continues: “But Flynn’s reaction to that is to blow up and get angry...I mean, I don’t know where he goes from there. But that is his reaction. That’s why he’s so unsuitable.”

It seems to me that one reason Schrage might go public now is that he knows the Durham report is bad and wants to make sure he's not implicated by anyone in the scheme to use Page. But even if he did come forward out of self-interest, he has a detailed story to tell, with more coming soon.

On this show I’ve not hidden my contempt for what masquerades as “journalism” in our country today. There are very few true reporters and journalists. There are legions of highly partisan, biased, and utterly dishonest hacks who serve up their very pointed political patter instead of the truth. But don’t take my word for it.

Bari Weiss is a former opinion editor at the New York Times who abruptly resigned a couple of weeks ago with these scathing words: “A new consensus has emerged in the press, but perhaps especially at this paper: that truth isn’t a process of collective discovery, but an orthodoxy already known to an enlightened few whose job is to inform everyone else.

Twitter is not on the masthead of The New York Times. But Twitter has become its ultimate editor. Stories are chosen and told in a way to satisfy the narrowest of audiences, rather than to allow a curious public to read about the world and then draw their own conclusions.”

Her entire exit letter was a stinging rebuke to the elitist snobs who run the NY Times, but it’s apparent they don’t care. They live in their own version of La-La Land.

Just this week, Ariana Pekary had all she could take at MSNBC saying “July 24th was my last day at MSNBC. I don’t know what I’m going to do next exactly but I simply couldn’t stay there anymore.” My colleagues are very smart people with good intentions. The problem is the job itself. It forces skilled journalists to make bad decisions on a daily basis.”

She then quoted an anonymous “successful and insightful TV veteran” who said: “We are a cancer and there is no cure… But if you could find a cure, it would change the world.” Remember, that’s from someone who worked inside the belly of the beast of MSNBC, where there is not even a pretense of objectivity, fairness, or balance.

And then there is the curious case of April Ryan, who actually has White House press credentials and pretends to be a reporter, but who just this week, crossed a line that historically precluded real reporters from being so blatantly biased. While flapping her jaws on CNN, she talked with joy about her dream of a Joe Biden inaugural day and said about President Trump: “If Joe Biden is now going to be the 46th President of the United States, it will be him being inaugurated and watching police and armed forces trying to pull Trump out of the White House. I cannot wait for that split-screen.”

The person who ought to be pulled forcefully out of the White House is April Ryan, who hateful and bitter resentment of President Trump and those around him was so intense and personal that she once stepped over a really big line—she questioned whether my daughter, the former press secretary to President Trump had actually baked a pecan pie for Thanksgiving. April Ryan clearly was ignorant of how uncouth it is to ever question a Southern lady as to whether she made her own pie. Where I come from and where my daughter was raised, that’s just not done by civilized people. Questioning the origin of a homemade pie is like questioning the legitimacy of a person’s birth. But even as Ms. Ryan made the outrageous statement, not a single soul on CNN challenged her blatantly biased broadside.

These are examples just in the past few days that reveal that information fed to you by the mainstream media is unreliable. And it worries me for more than the outcome of the election but worries me for the very existence of our country. But these revelations come with a warning, that journalism as we once knew it, has died, and has been replaced with a kind of zombie reporting that is more the work of demolition to truth than gathering information for a free people so they make up their own minds.

Trump's Comments Reviewed

August 9, 2020

Sometimes I feel as if it’s become my job by default to explain jokes to liberals who have completely lost their senses of humor since Trump’s election.

Among a number of things in that Axios interview that were taken out of context was President Trump’s comment about Ghislaine Maxwell, wealthy pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s former lover and alleged fellow human trafficker who was recently placed in a New York jail cell. Trump said he knew nothing about the case personally, but “I wish her well, whatever it is.”

The media leaped on that as “Trump’s shocking support for Ghislaine Maxwell.” Those of us not suffering from TDS took it as a sarcastic joke, a reference to the skepticism about Epstein “committing suicide” once he was locked away in a New York jail cell. We assumed he meant, “I wish her well in staying alive.” But liberals are no longer able to write or recognize a joke, so they took it literally (as when they thought Trump was literally inviting Russians to hack into Hillary’s email devices that had already been taken offline, Bleachbitted and smashed with hammers.) As Peter Theil observed, Trump supporters take him seriously but not literally, while the media take him literally, but not seriously.

Maybe if they ever looked at a conservative news or commentary site, they would know that one of the top-selling T-shirts for several weeks now has been one that reads, “Ghislaine Maxwell didn’t commit suicide.”

And FYI to the media: Trump was on record years ago as slamming Epstein as a creep, while it was heroes of yours like Bill Clinton who were actually hanging out with him. I haven’t talked much about this because it’s so unsavory that I’d like to see more hard evidence and witness testimony first. But most media outlets don’t have such high standards, yet they’ve been so silent about the recently released documents connecting Epstein to Clinton that even Bill Maher is calling them out.