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In a 5-4 partisan split, a sharply-divided Supreme Court on Monday gave a victory to businesses in Epic Systems v. Lewis, ruling that employees who have entered into arbitration agreements with their employers and are not satisfied with the ruling must challenge it individually and can’t file class action lawsuits.

America is still mourning and reeling from Friday’s school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, that left eight students and two teachers dead and 13 others injured. You may be even more stunned to learn that even in Texas, the shooter can’t receive the death penalty because he’s not yet 18. And thanks to a controversial 2012 Supreme Court decision that juveniles can’t be given life in prison, the mass murderer might someday be eligible for parole. That decision was based on psychologists’ claims that people 17 and younger don’t have the cognitive development to tell right from wrong. I'm sure that comes as news to many of us, who were aware from the time we were in kindergarten that murdering our classmates was wrong.

https://www.westernjournal.com/charged-texas-shooter-cannot-face-death-penalty-may-even-be-paroled-due-to-controversial-legislation/

Police are still trying to understand the motivation for this heinous crime, but no matter what alleged reasons they come up with, it will never be fully explained because there can never be any sort of rational explanation for such an inexplicable act. But that isn’t stopping people from theorizing about why we are seeing so many such attacks when just 20 years ago, guns were easier to purchase, bullying was less vigilantly policed, but school shootings were virtually unheard of.

Oliver North made one such suggestion that is highly speculative but might be worth thinking about. He suggests that drugs might have something to do with it. Not illegal drugs, but prescription drugs such as Ritalin that are handed out like M&Ms to boys to make them stop acting like boys. He notes that nearly all the attackers are male, that many young males have been on Ritalin since kindergarten, and there aren’t enough studies to tell us what longterm effects that might have on the brain.

https://www.redstate.com/alexparker/2018/05/20/oliver-north-school-shootings-ritalin/

Of course, that’s purely conjecture, and maybe has nothing to do with this. But despite the shaky grounds for the theory, it wouldn’t hurt to have a society-wide discussion about the wisdom of drugging our kids, as well as whether normal boyhood behavior such as being aggressive, fidgety and rambunctious is really a mental condition. It’s long past time to question the ludicrous notion that masculinity is a toxic disease calling for drastic pharmaceutical treatment.

Meanwhile, David French in the National Review points up another possible explanation for the rise in school shootings, and it’s even more disturbing because it makes sense and trying to reverse it would be like trying to unscramble an egg. It’s a theory put forth by Malcolm Gladwell (a New Yorker writer, not an NRA conservative), based on studies by a Stanford sociologist. The theory is that school shootings aren’t isolated incidents, they are a riot happening in slow motion, sparked by the 1999 Columbine High School attack.

The argument is that riots are a social process in which more and more people do things they wouldn’t normally do. For instance, most people have too high a threshold of morality ever to throw a brick through a store window and steal something. But if one person does it first, then a couple more may join in. Those with slightly higher moral thresholds will resist until they see three or four people doing it, then they’ll join in. And on and on, up until the last holdout with the highest scruples sees everyone else smashing and stealing and thinks, “What the heck, why not grab something for myself?” Then you have full-blown chaos.

Gladwell argues that the Columbine shooters set off this slow-moving riot by laying down the “cultural script” for school shootings, complete with trench coats, pipe bombs, a manifesto and a website. Gladwell points out that virtually all the school shootings that occurred or were thwarted over the following eight years were inspired by Columbine. Even the Santa Fe shooter reportedly wore a trench coat, posted threatening images online and built pipe bombs, like the Columbine shooters.

To put it plainly, once the Columbine shooters did the unthinkable, it was no longer unthinkable. They lowered the threshold for what was unthinkable. The idea of shooting up your school was now out there in society, standing as a real option for achieving revenge and fame.

That’s why I don’t give the names of these shooters: I refuse to accord them the notoriety they dream of. That may be a small personal protest, but if every major media outlet joined me, maybe at least one potential killer would be swayed by knowing that he would never be famous, only shot or jailed. Please note I hope everyone would agree to that policy voluntarily. But if someone did argue for banning the reporting of shooters’ names by law, it would be hard for the press to protest. “If it stops even one shooting, it would be worth it” is the same argument liberal media outlets make to gun owners for revoking the Second Amendment, so shouldn’t they be willing to give up just a tiny fraction of their First Amendment rights for the same reason?

But that would be an easy out and not really address the bigger issue. You can’t stop these shootings by taking guns away from law-abiding citizens, any more than you can stop a riot by taking bricks away from bricklayers. This is not a hardware over-supply problem, it’s a sickness of the soul.

Our society has spent decades lowering the threshold for what is morally acceptable. Our children now grow up surrounded by celebrations of immorality and amorality, and the mocking and banning of traditional moral principles and their sources, especially the Bible. If we ever hope to stop this bloody, slow-motion riot, it won’t happen by banning bricks. It will happen when we start teaching our kids from the cradle that such disregard for the sanctity of life is absolutely unacceptable…and we start setting that example ourselves.

https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/why-do-mass-shootings-happen-best-explanation/

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Speaking of efforts to restore respect for the sanctity of human life, here’s a story that was almost overlooked in last week’s avalanche of headlines about Israel, North Korea and “Russia-Russia-Russia.”

President Trump made good on his promise to defend unborn children when his Administration announced that it would send the Office of Management and Budget a proposal to update Title IX regulations to insure that family planning funds do not go to programs that provide abortion as a form of family planning. It would also reverse an Obama-era order that barred states from withholding federal funds from Planned Parenthood.

Currently, up to $60 million a year in Title IX family planning funds go to Planned Parenthood. Federal law already prohibits taxpayer funds from being used to pay for abortions, but Planned Parenthood gets around this by claiming that they are a women’s health service provider, and the taxpayer money that supports their clinics doesn’t pay for the wing where all the abortions are performed. Or as they call that in Hollywood, “creative accounting.”

https://www.westernjournal.com/trump-admins-latest-move-deals-significant-blow-to-planned-parenthood/

I’m certain this will result in furious accusations of Trump and Republicans hating women and cutting off funds for women’s health care. That’s completely false. This represents no cut in funding for women’s health services -- not one penny. The money would just be redirected to clinics that don’t provide abortions. Planned Parenthood can even continue getting the money; they just have to disentangle their abortion services from actual women’s health services (and no, abortion isn’t a “health service.” It’s the only operation that’s considered a failure if someone doesn’t die.)

But considering how few women’s health services other than abortion Planned Parenthood clinics actually provide (if you don’t believe me, look at their own annual report that they were so reluctant to publish), redirecting those funds to other clinics that, say, actually have mammogram machines could only improve the quality of and access to health services for women.

I spoke more about this story last week on Fox News. If you missed it, click the link.

https://www.westernjournal.com/huckabee-defends-unborn-lives-after-trump-announced-new-pro-life-move/

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A big Huck’s Hero salute to 94-year-old World War II airman, Capt. George W. Starks. He came to the attention of writer Carole Engle Avriett after her husband went fishing with him and told her she needed to hear his story – and it was no fish story. Three years of interviews and research later, that story is now in a new book called “Coffin Corner Boys: One Bomber, Ten Men, and Their Harrowing Escape from Nazi-Occupied France.”

The book tells the story of how a then-19-year-old Starks was shot down over France and made his way 300 miles to Switzerland, dodging Nazis and walking on a broken foot with a 20mm shell fragment in his thigh. It also honors the many people he met along the way who risked their own lives to help him. You can bet this will become a great movie someday, but to George W. Starks, it was all too real. To learn more right now about his perilous trek behind enemy lines, click the link.

https://www.westernjournal.com/downed-wwii-airman-trekked-300-miles-on-broken-foot-to-safety/

And here’s some news that I’m sure Capt. Starks and many other surviving World War II veterans will be relieved to hear. It’s now official: Adolph Hitler is really and truly dead. He did not survive his bunker. Over the years, there have been countless theories that he escaped to Argentina or even to a secret underground base in Antarctica.

But recently, a French forensics team was given access to Hitler’s alleged skull and teeth in Russia’s archives for the first time since 1945. From tests on the teeth and his dentures, and a comparison of the skull to a radiograph of Hitler’s head taken when he was alive, they concluded that there’s no doubt those are his remains and that he both took cyanide and shot himself in the head. So if you are an elderly Argentinian with a toothbrush mustache who was hoping to make some money off the tabloids, you’ll have to find a new angle. Try claiming you’re Charlie Chaplin.

https://phys.org/news/2018-05-hitler-died-teeth.html

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With all that’s coming out now about the government spying on people in the Trump campaign, there’s one thing that really jumps out at me, and I don’t think it’s gotten much attention, at least not yet.

According to the report by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the FBI had considered giving Trump a heads-up on their concerns about some of the associations of Carter Page and Paul Manafort. If that is correct, it would surely make good sense to have done it. If the FBI was so concerned about Russians and their possible effect on the outcome of our election, wouldn’t that have been the thing to do?

But the committee’s report goes on to say that then-FBI Director James Comey and then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch decided against briefing him. According to the Daily Caller News Foundation, various reports say that U.S. officials did not want to do that because it might tip off any Russian agents who might be circling around Trump. You have to read down ten paragraphs or so in their story to get to this stunner, and to me, it’s a case of burying the lede. (I’ll wait for you to come back if you’d like to read the story now.)

http://dailycaller.com/2018/05/19/trump-papadopoulos-page-halper/

So, let me get this straight. The FBI had concerns about some of the associations Carter Page and Paul Manafort might be bringing to the table at Trump Tower, but they chose NOT to warn Trump about it and sent in human “informants” (spies) instead. Gosh, if they’d tipped off any Russian agents, the agents might have gone away. Problem solved, right? Get the Russians out of our election! No –- they WANTED the Russians sniffing around the Trump campaign. If the Ruskies got scared off, it would be a lot harder to spin out the story of Russian “colllusion.”

Besides, it sure looks like the “informant” (spy) played a role in setting up the players, most obviously in the case of George Papadopoulos, who was sent on that fishy trip to London on the pretense of getting a writing assignment that paid him $3,000 but concerned a subject on which no report appears to have been published. It was on the London trip that Papadopoulos met Australian diplomat (and Hillary associate) Alexander Downer, whose story supposedly led to the opening of the “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation and the FISA warrants. (Comey, in typical bureau-speak, said it was part of a “broader mosaic of facts.”) But Papadopoulos’ drunken reference to stolen Clinton emails appears to have been “fed” to him beforehand by this “informant” (spy).

The only way it makes sense for them not to have alerted Trump is if the government’s main concern wasn’t the Russians, but Trump. They COULD have tipped him off --- maybe even enlisted his aid in trapping some Russian operatives; wouldn’t that have been great? --- but they chose not to. If pressed, you can bet the FBI will excuse the inexcusable by saying this is just “standard operating procedure.” If it is, there’s something terribly wrong within our intelligence community.

On the other hand, Hillary’s campaign and her tenure at the State Department featured plenty of Russian contacts, some of whom funneled money to her. Apparently the FBI and DOJ were too busy figuring out how to avoid charging Hillary with numerous felonies to bother spying on her.

It’s really still a mystery what prompted the investigation into “collusion” in the first place. What was that “broader mosaic of facts”? The DOJ is still refusing to provide committee chairman Devin Nunes with the documentation on that. And in breaking news, Trump is officially demanding, as of Monday, that the current DOJ address the issue of surveillance for political purposes, specifically to find out if the Obama administration was behind it.

Nothing seems serious enough to have warranted the investigation, let alone the spying. The Christopher Steele “dossier” was unsubstantiated, as Comey himself has said. The FBI had known Carter Page since 2013, when a Russian operative approached him and he shared some academic research, and he cooperated with the government in its investigation of the Russian spy ring. He wasn’t found to have done anything wrong. As for Papadopoulos, he appears to have been set up, and even then, he told the “informant” (spy) that he didn’t know anything about Russian interference. Michael Flynn was induced to plead guilty to making false statements when his interrogators didn’t even think it was deliberate. Regarding Paul Manafort, if the FBI had legitimate concerns about his Russian ties and any potential for those ties to impact our election, they might have at least briefed Trump on what they knew.

It would have gone a long way towards keeping the Russians out of our presidential campaign. If that’s what they’d wanted to do.

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Tragic Friday

May 19, 2018

Friday’s news was dominated by tragedies. Over 100 people died after a Cubana Airlines flight crashed moments after take-off in Havana. And at least 10 people are dead after a 17-year-old student (who, as is my policy with those who seek fame through violence, will not be named) went on a shooting rampage at Sante Fe High School in Sante Fe, Texas, near Houston. After his arrest, he waived his Miranda rights and admitted to police that he’d shot multiple people with the intent of killing them, and he avoided shooting classmates he liked “so he could have his story told.” His private journal and cell phone revealed that he planned to commit suicide after the shootings, but apparently lost his nerve and surrendered.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/05/18/texas-shooting-suspect-says-avoided-shooting-students-liked-to-have-his-story-told-affidavit-says.html

Before anything was even known about the shooting, many were already trying to politicize it. But the more we learned, the more obvious it became that this atrocity didn’t neatly fit into any simple narrative, such as “lax gun control laws,” “mental case ignored by authorities,” or “victim of vicious bullies.”

For instance, some classmates said he was a quiet loner who was bullied, and he wore a trench coat every day. He also might have put off signals, such as posting images of a black trench coat with Nazi insignias and a “Born to Kill” T-shirt on his Facebook page. On the other hand, a friend told the A.P. that he sometimes seemed a little sad, down or “sluggish,” but he never talked about being bullied or wanting to kill anyone. Another classmate said, “He was actually a pretty nice kid,” not really popular but not an “outsider,” either. He added, “Nobody was expecting this…nobody.”

http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2018/05/18/active-shooter-dimitrios-pagourtzis-southeast-texas-santa-fe-high-school/

The shooter didn’t use a so-called “assault rifle,” but a shotgun and a pistol which Texas Gov. Greg Abbott confirmed were not obtained illegally. He reportedly took them from his father, although we don't know yet whether the father knew he took them.

Reports that he wore a black trench coat and a “Born to Kill” T-shirt, and that pipe bombs and pressure cooker bombs were found in the vicinity, might suggest some sick fascination with the Columbine High School massacre. Police detained a second student on suspicion of being an accomplice, but as of now, we really don’t know what the motivation for this heinous act was, and what we do know so far defies easy explanation.

Of course, that didn’t stop a lot of people from trying to explain it in ways advantageous to their agendas. But it doesn’t appear that the tragedy will spark an anti-gun movement in Texas: Lieutenant Gov. Dan Patrick said that he talked to students and parents affected by the shooting, and they all told him their reaction is to support arming teachers.

http://insider.foxnews.com/2018/05/18/texas-school-shooting-lt-gov-patrick-said-students-want-arm-teachers

Of course, that was not the narrative in much of the national media. USA Today set off Twitter alarms with one of the most eye-popping write-ups, an attempt to paint the Texas attack as very similar to other recent school shootings with only two differences: explosives and the use of “less-lethal guns” than the AR-15. I understand their impulse to try to exploit any tragedy to promote the anti-AR-15 rifle agenda, but this was so patently clueless, the story was quickly rewritten after it was cited by critics as the worst coverage of the day.

First of all, the use of explosives (homemade pipe bombs and pressure cooker bombs) wasn’t a mere detail, it was a significant factor in derailing the "gun control will fix this" narrative. Will we now have Home Depot do background checks to buy pipes and wire, or Crate & Barrel impose waiting periods for pressure cookers?

Second, the notion that a shotgun and a .38-caliber revolver are somehow “less lethal” weapons is staggeringly dumb, especially when the story is about the deaths of ten people (the updated version clarifies that “clearly, the use of any gun can be deadly, especially a shotgun at close range.” Yes, clearly.) Two of the deadliest shootings in US history also took place in Texas and involved pistols: the Luby’s cafeteria attack in 1991 (23 dead, 27 injured) and the Fort Hood shooting (14 dead, 33 injured). So much for pistols being "less lethal."

Several major media outlets also repeated the bogus CNN statistic that there have been 22 school shootings so far this year. That’s only true if you count many incidents that clearly don’t apply, such as a “shooting” with a BB gun, an accident discharge during a gun safety class and attempted robberies in parking lots near schools.

https://www.westernjournal.com/cnn-uses-santa-fe-shooting-to-spread-misinformation-on-school-shooting-statistics/

But the Bad Taste Award for politicizing the deaths of innocents has to go to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who tweeted an “open letter” to President Trump, seemingly blaming him and demanding he do something to prevent such shootings. But his partisan shot backfired, sparking a tsunami of tweets asking, if Democratic mayors know how to prevent shootings, why do so many of their cities have the highest murder rates; and if he’s not trying to politicize these deaths to launch his 2020 presidential run, then why didn’t he also blame previous Presidents for mass shootings that happened on their watches? It was a perfect example of the old saying that when you point your finger at someone, three fingers are pointing back at you. It’s ironic that that’s also the universal symbol for pretending you’re shooting at someone.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/05/18/cuomos-open-letter-to-trump-after-texas-school-shooting-slammed-on-twitter-do-something.html

One person who did distinguish himself by his compassionate and selfless response to the tragedy was Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt. The NFL star was already a local hero for taking the lead in helping raise $37 million last year to help victims of Hurricane Harvey. He called the shootings “absolutely horrific” and reportedly contacted school officials privately to offer to pay for the funerals of the victims himself.

http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2018/05/19/after-santa-fe-shooting-nfl-star-jj-watt-offers-to-pay-for-funerals.html

As of now, that’s about all that is known of what happened, and the focus should be on praying for the victims and comforting their families, despite the scorn from those who insist that we must “do something” without suggesting what that "something" might be that would have made any difference.

I’ve mentioned this before, and I know there are millions of Texans who had the same experience: I grew up in a world where the school parking lot was filled with pickups with rifle racks, with rifles in them. But the thought never entered any student's mind to bring one of those rifles into the school and start killing classmates. Memo to USA Today: that’s what’s different. It’s not the weaponry or the laws, it’s the culture.

I’m not sure if it’s the loss of respect for the sanctity of life, an inability to distinguish fantasy violence from reality, the banishment of the Bible from the public square and the erosion of moral standards, an oversensitivity to personal offenses, or some combination of those and other factors. But take away all the guns and this kid still would have built pipe bombs and pressure cooker bombs. This isn’t a hardware problem, it’s a software problem. The software is the pressure cookers inside the shooters’ heads. Trying to solve this with more gun control laws is like trying to cure AIDS by coming up with a better ointment for the skin lesions. That’s not the cause of the sickness, it’s just a symptom.



This is why the "blue wave" already seems to be breaking on the shores of reality. I told you that generic “unnamed Democrat or Republican” polls are useless because no race ever involves generic, unnamed candidates. And the race can easily be lost in the primaries.

At the moment, the most fired-up, Trump-hating, pro-socialist radicals are insuring that the Democratic Party will be stuck in November with a slate of candidates who…(now, let me see if I can make up something so far-out it couldn’t possibly be true. Oh, I know!)…who think it’s a bad thing that America won the Revolutionary War because if we were still subjects of the British crown, we could get in on that sweet government medical care that’s recently made news for killing babies while blocking their parents from doing anything to save them.

Wait, I’m sorry: I didn’t think up a crazy enough example. A Democratic candidate in Minnesota's special election for Al Franken's former Senate seat just said that very thing.

https://www.westernjournal.com/dem-candidate-life-better-under-british-crown-asks-what-was-the-point-of-the-revolution/


In their efforts to paint Israel as a violent aggressor and to somehow blame President Trump’s decision to keep America’s promise to move our Embassy to Jerusalem for the deaths of Palestinians who violently protested it, some Western media outlets were willing to air anything that promoted the narrative.

Some of the comments and questions I received on yesterday’s newsletter story about information gleaned from the Strzok-Page texts were incredibly insightful –- you know I always read them –- and I wish I could offer quick answers to them all. Many of them fall into a few overall themes: the obvious double standard in Washington and the media, with the lack of “justice for all”; the apparent worthlessness of Attorney General Jeff Sessions (among others); the hesitance of President Trump to use his constitutional authority to fire government officials and declassify documents that still haven’t been released or have been mostly blacked out; the frustration that Robert Mueller will never end his investigation; and fear for democracy itself.

There’s no easy end to this, but every day brings more evidence that it’s unraveling. The scandal within the FBI and DOJ seems now to be centered on the cast of characters we’ve come to know all too well: former FBI Director James Comey, acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, demoted FBI official Peter Strzok (who seems to be in the thick of it all and is still, unbelievably, employed at the Bureau), and former McCabe legal assistant Lisa Page. Then-CIA Director John Brennan (now a contributor at MSNBC, where he fits in well) seems to have been in on the get-Trump scheme from the very start; in fact, he launched it. And don’t forget former CIA Director James Clapper. It’s all coming out; the FBI/DOJ can delay delay delay, and officials can go before Congress and lie lie lie, but they’re not going to keep their misdeeds under wraps forever. That would have been possible only if Hillary had been elected.

In Congress, Mark Meadows of North Carolina, Jim Jordan of Ohio and Ron DeSantis of Florida have had enough of the stonewalling and are asking Trump to use his executive authority to instruct Jeff Sessions to order the DOJ to immediately turn over all subpoenaed documents to Congress as part of their constitutional function of oversight. The DOJ and FBI have been lying about their reasons for redacting the documents; we know this because when some were unredacted, the black-outs had had nothing to do with national security.

Even the New York Times has helped shed light on the corruption, though inadvertently. A new piece about the very real anti-Trump operation called “Crossfire Hurricane” confirms that the investigation had already been opened when investigators heard the Papadopoulos story from Australian diplomat (and Hillary associate) Alexander Downer in July of 2016. (As Andrew C. McCarthy points out, there was no crime to investigate, so the FBI used a counterintelligence investigation as cover to look for a crime.) The article also confirms something we’d theorized: that the investigation proceeded on the assumption that Hillary would win.

Reporters also have sniffed out a person working undercover in the Trump campaign on behalf of the FBI and Brennan, someone who approached people working for the campaign with offers to “help” while asking questions about Trump’s foreign policy. The New York Times piece actually refers to an FBI informant embedded in the campaign. It now seems to be an open secret among the reporters who this person was, though they’re being unusually careful about releasing his or her name. But it’s just a matter of time. All Americans should be outraged at this very REAL and unacceptable “meddling” in our election by elitists in our own government. America really is over if we let this go on.

And, can I hear an amen –- according to the DOJ, the Inspector General’s report on the FBI’s handling of the investigation into the use of Hillary’s email server has wrapped! It’s likely that some of the action we’d like to see on this mess was deliberately postponed until his conclusions are made public, and that should happen shortly.

So let the anti-Trump media scream about Stormy Daniels and a meeting at Trump Tower that means exactly nothing. The things we care about are so much more important –- concepts like “equal justice” and “rule of law” that actually define us as a nation but that are under siege by a politicized justice system. We’ve had plenty to be concerned about, and I can tell from your letters that you are plenty concerned. But at the same time, there’s reason to be hopeful.

If you have some time –- a lot of time; this is long –- check out the New York Times article; you’ll marvel at the way their effort to make excuses for the investigation actually points up some of the problems with it. Knowing what you know about the obvious motivations driving certain people, you may be dismayed by some of the article’s turns of phrase, but just remember it’s the New York Times and let it roll off.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/16/us/politics/crossfire-hurricane-trump-russia-fbi-mueller-investigation.html?rref=collection%2Fbyline%2Fadam-goldman&action=click&contentCollection=undefined&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=collection

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A story appeared a few days ago that I deliberately avoided talking about in hopes that the people trying to turn it into a big deal would start to feel ashamed of themselves and reel it in. Instead, it’s just gone on and on, and gotten louder and louder. I feel I have to talk about it, but I’m going to do so by saying as little about the details as possible.

The story involves a little-known Trump White House staffer who, according to a leak, made a callous remark during a private meeting about Sen. John McCain, who is suffering from last-stage brain cancer. I won’t quote it, but she allegedly implied that his opposition would not be a factor because he will not live much longer. I don’t know if she actually said that, or the tone of her comment (was it mocking or disrespectful or simply coldly pragmatic?) But it sparked the usual howls of outrage and demands from the left that she be fired for slandering an American hero.

That prompted conservative news outlets to start digging into the records and finding far worse, unfair things that had been said about McCain by the left, including some of the very same people feigning outrage on McCain's behalf now. As an example, here’s a link to a story about comments made about McCain by Al Franken before he became a Senator. I could link to a lot more, but one should be more than enough.

https://www.westernjournal.com/ct/al-franken-mccains-not-a-war-hero/

This story turned into a full-blown media frenzy that’s still consuming airtime days later. Yet, nobody is saying what really needs to be said about it. So here goes:

Why did anything need to be said about this at all? Did any of the people who claim to be offended on behalf of Sen. McCain and his family ever consider that they were making it 1,000 times worse by giving it so much attention? Even if the leak turns out to be true, it was an unfortunate comment in a private meeting by a lower-level staffer. That is not news. The proper response wasn’t a media frenzy. It should have been a quiet reprimand and a reminder that some things, like showing compassion for a fellow human being suffering with a terminal illness and his family members, are more important than political gamesmanship.

All the fuss over it was stunningly hypocritical: people who claimed to be outraged that someone would say something hurtful about McCain in private amplified it into a 24/7 news story guaranteed to be seen by him and his family. They feign being offended that anyone would place politics over showing respect for Sen. McCain, yet they will gladly shine a spotlight on insults to McCain if it can inflict political damage on the Trump Administration.

Are there no news editors left who have a iota of taste, class, empathy or just common decency; who can look at a story like that and say, “A dumb private remark by an unknown underling is not newsworthy, plus publicizing it would cause pain and disrespect for a terminally-ill American hero. We have higher standards than that. Go find some real news to report.”

Maybe it’s the age we live in, when the Internet has given everyone a soap box to say whatever they want, but many people, from that White House staffer to her gleeful critics in the media, seem to have forgotten a very important lesson:

Just because the First Amendment gives you the right to say any stupid thing that pops into your head, that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to say it.

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Commentary continues below advertisement


In their efforts to paint Israel as a violent aggressor and to somehow blame President Trump’s decision to keep America’s promise to move our Embassy to Jerusalem for the deaths of Palestinians who violently protested it, some Western media outlets were willing to air anything that promoted the narrative. Among them were claims that the Hamas-backed protesters were unarmed and engaging in such peaceful activities as flying kites when they were brutally attacked by Israeli troops.

That’s the media narrative; now, the ugly truth. Click the link for quotes from some of the protesters, making it very clear what they planned to do to Jews if they could just break through the fence. The “unarmed” protesters were carrying large knives, burning tires and using giant slingshots to launch rocks, glass and firebombs. As for those colorful kites: one photo of an armed Israeli drone hovering over a kite that was meant to contrast the violent Israelis with the peaceful Palestinians becomes clearer when you learn that the kites were being used to drop Molotov cocktails on the other side of the security fence.

Moral: When you see biased reporting like that, tell the people responsible to go fly a kite.

https://www.westernjournal.com/ct/molotovs-kite-bombs-anti-israel/

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And more narrative-busting news from the Middle East you probably didn’t hear reported: Israel sent two truckloads of humanitarian aid to help the Palestinians injured in the protests against Israel. But Hamas turned the aid trucks away because they came from Israel. I wonder if they polled the Palestinians who needed that aid, to see if they wanted to turn it away? No, that’s just a rhetorical question; I really don’t wonder about that at all.

https://www.westernjournal.com/israel-sends-humanitarian-aid-to-gaza-strip-hamas-turns-it-away/

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A giant salute today to a four-star Huck’s Hero, school resource officer Mark Dallas of Dixon, Illinois. Students at Dixon High School were gathering near the gym at 8 a.m. for a graduation ceremony when a 19-year-old male pulled out a gun started shooting. While the students ran for cover, Officer Dallas (unlike some other officers I could name) ran toward the gunfire. The suspect fled, and Dallas gave chase. The suspect fired at Dallas several times. He returned fire and wounded the suspect. When police arrived, the suspect was arrested and is recovering from non-life-threatening injuries.

Officer Dallas is being rightly hailed as a hero for saving countless lives. Without him, think of how much time would have passed between the first shot and the police arriving, time during which the shooter would have been unimpeded in a target-rich environment. What could have been a tragedy on a mass scale was stopped in its tracks with no injuries to any students because there was an armed officer on duty – a “good guy with a gun” and the courage to run toward danger and to use a firearm as it was intended, the way law-abiding gun owners use them up to 100,000 times per year: to prevent crimes and protect innocent lives.

https://www.westernjournal.com/police-officer-brings-down-teen-gunman-who-opened-fire-at-illinois-high-school/

Having shown yet again how responsible use of a gun can help save children, here’s an example of how not to help save children: at the link, a story about how a big box store where you probably shop rejected a $500 donation to the Children’s Miracle Network because it came from a law-abiding gun store. Is that how they define putting children first? Because it looks to me as if they put virtue-signaling and kowtowing to leftist Twitter mobs first and children last.

https://www.westernjournal.com/report-costco-rejects-500-donation-for-childrens-charity-because-it-came-from-gun-seller/

This is why the "blue wave" already seems to be breaking on the shores of reality. I told you that generic “unnamed Democrat or Republican” polls are useless because no race ever involves generic, unnamed candidates. And the race can easily be lost in the primaries.

At the moment, the most fired-up, Trump-hating, pro-socialist radicals are insuring that the Democratic Party will be stuck in November with a slate of candidates who…(now, let me see if I can make up something so far-out it couldn’t possibly be true. Oh, I know!)…who think it’s a bad thing that America won the Revolutionary War because if we were still subjects of the British crown, we could get in on that sweet government medical care that’s recently made news for killing babies while blocking their parents from doing anything to save them.

Wait, I’m sorry: I didn’t think up a crazy enough example. A Democratic candidate in Minnesota's special election for Al Franken's former Senate seat just said that very thing.

https://www.westernjournal.com/dem-candidate-life-better-under-british-crown-asks-what-was-the-point-of-the-revolution/


Props to the 16 Republican Senators who are calling on their colleagues to stay in session on Mondays, Fridays, weekends and the month of August, so they can get some long-delayed business done and confirm some of the many Trump appointments that Democrats have been obstructing (Remember when Republicans who opposed Obama’s policies on principle were unpatriotic obstructionists? Now Democrats who block everything Trump does just because he’s Trump are valiant “Resistance” fighters.)

The leaders of the push to stay on the job is Georgia Sen. David Perdue, who said the goals were “to speed up the nominations process and keep the government funded by the end of the year. This is nothing more than trying to make our government work again.” Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst added, “This is the only (job) that you can neglect some of your most basic duties and then take a month-long vacation.” Frankly, given the current mood of the Republican base, I think this might be the best way for some incumbents to avoid being sent on a permanent vacation.

https://www.westernjournal.com/16-gop-senators-call-on-colleagues-to-stay-through-summer-and-get-our-work-done/

With so many renegade leftist judges trying to run the federal government from the bench, this story should give Republican voters a sobering reminder of why it is so important to keep the Senate and to get Trump’s nominees confirmed as quickly as possible. Of all the campaign promises he made, the one he’s kept best and that will have the longest-lasting positive effect on America is this one.

https://www.westernjournal.com/trump-continues-to-stack-conservative-judges-4-judicial-nominations-confirmed/


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Even though the “blue wave” is looking more like wishful thinking with each passing day, there is still a chance that Republicans could lose control of at least the House, which makes it all the more urgent to get Trump’s agenda enacted and his nominees approved before fall, when Congress members will be completely distracted by campaigning.

If Republicans need one more great reason to stay in session through August: there are vulnerable Democratic Senators in Trump-supporting states who desperately want to be able to go home and spend August campaigning. Wouldn’t it be more in the GOP’s interests to keep them in Washington, very publicly trying to obstruct the agenda their constituents voted for?

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CNN's breaking wind

May 15, 2018

It’s always nice when a little joke on my Twitter feed sets off alarm bells (I don’t care if I upset Twitter trolls; I consider it a public service to distract them so they don’t leave their parents’ basements and do something genuinely harmful to themselves or others.)
THIS VIDEO STARTS AT JUST AFTER 21 MINUTES

This is a very historic day in Israel, as the US finally makes good on its long-overdue promise to move its Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, in recognition of the 3,000-year-old fact that Jerusalem is the Jewish capital. A 250-member US delegation is in Israel for the ceremony, including President Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner. Here is the live stream of the event. I assume that once it’s over, you’ll be able to watch from the beginning here. If not, I’ll post an updated link.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7H7Hh5tn2wQ

The threatened violent protests had mostly been less than anticipated, but as the day drew near, hostilities ramped up, with thousands of Palestinian protesters massing along the Gaza security fence. Monday was the deadliest day so far, with 37 Palestinians killed in the clashes and over 900 wounded. But if they are trying to prove that they deserve a homeland that will take its place among civilized nations, reacting to Israel's right to choose its own capital with mass violence is hardly making their case.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/05/14/palestinian-protesters-killed-ahead-us-embassy-opening-in-jerusalem.html

Mueller's "McGuffin"

May 14, 2018

Many of us have long suspected that “Russian collusion” was the Mueller investigation’s version of the “McGuffin.” That was Alfred Hitchcock’s term for a plot device that was meaningless in itself, but it kept the narrative rolling, like a “secret formula” or “hidden treasure” that all the characters were fighting over. Close observers long ago started to suspect that the “Russian collusion” claims were about as genuine as the Maltese Falcon, but they provided a McGuffin to distract Trump’s attention, hinder his agenda and entrap his staffers into unrelated charges. Many Democrats are still hoping that they will bring down the big guy before the end credits finally roll.

That kind of suspension of disbelief might work for a two-hour movie, but Mueller’s probe is well into year two, and the plot twists are getting silly enough to make Michael Bay roll his eyes. For instance, in an attempt to keep audience interest from waning (and to prove that “Russian collusion” wasn’t a total McGuffin), Mueller issued indictments against some Russian individuals and three Russian companies for conspiring to meddle in the 2016 election.

He must’ve thought this was a safe move, since there was no way the defendants would ever come to America to face the charges. Except one of the companies, Concord Management and Consulting, did demand its day in court. That threw Mueller’s team for a loop: they probably assumed that a press conference was all the prosecuting they’d ever have to do. The company’s attorneys showed up in court, demanding their right of discovery, to see all the evidence Mueller had allegedly compiled (which, if he actually has any, might expose valuable intelligence sources to a Russian-owned company – and who’d be helping out Russia then, hmm?)


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Mueller’s team scrambled for any cover, requesting a delay on the laughable grounds that the defendants hadn’t been properly served. The judge saw through that: the defendant’s attorneys were right there in front of him, ready to start trial; why delay weeks while they were served with papers to come to court? But if you thought that was as laughably unprofessional as this investigation could get, oh, ye of little faith.

Last week, the judge asked one of Concord’s attorneys if they also represented a third company listed in Mueller’s indictment: Concord Catering. He replied no, because during the period when the government claims that company was part of a Russian conspiracy, it didn’t even exist yet. He said if anyone can prove it did exist at the time, then they’d probably represent them; but it appeared that the charges were an example of the proverbial prosecutor who has so much unchecked power that he could indict a ham sandwich.

But it goes even beyond that. Mueller managed to indict a catering company before it came into existence and was even able to make the ham sandwich.

If this were a movie, I would have walked out of it a long time ago. Could someone in Congress or the Justice Department please take mercy on the audience and yell, “Cut”?

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Mark Harris Wins

May 14, 2018

In all the analysis of Tuesday’s Senate primary races, one interesting development got overlooked: in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional district, former megachurch pastor Mark Harris defeated incumbent Rep. Robert Pittenger for the Republican nomination.

MSNBC’s Nicole Wallace apologized for asking a White House reporter how he resists “the temptation to run up and wring her neck,” referring to the President’s press secretary, who (full disclosure) is also my daughter. I will take Ms Wallace at her word that her apology was sincere, but I’m not letting her off the hook so easily until we examine the mindset that gives rise to such casual violent rhetoric and force her, and others in the media, to do a little more self-examination and, as the old bumper sticker read, to make sure their brains are engaged before putting their mouths in gear.

First of all, if anyone would be justified in wanting to wring a few necks in that room, it’s not the reporters. They don’t have to go out every day and face nasty, badgering, often frankly idiotic questions, many times repeated endlessly even after they’ve already received an answer or a reason why they can’t be answered at that time. They don’t have to try to show respect for people who pose as guardians of the First Amendment and bastions of journalistic integrity when we all know they spent eight years as lapdogs to the last Administration; that many openly renounced even the semblance of fairness and objectivity during the last election; and that some of the biggest names in the room have embarrassed themselves repeatedly by running poorly-sourced rumors and leaks that they later had to retract, all because any story that’s anti-Trump gets them too excited to think, like waving a piece of bacon at a Chihuahua.


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Second, consider that this incitement of violence against my daughter came because Ms. Wallace was incensed at an (again) anonymously-sourced leak of an alleged callous comment about John McCain. She was incensed that Sarah said she wouldn't validate an as-yet unconfirmed leak by commenting on it before it was verified to have happened. I guess MSNBC reporters are used to trashing people’s reputations by commenting at length on unverified rumors that might not even be true – it’s sort of their job description these days – but that’s not Sarah’s job.

Third, this is hardly the first time members of this Administration have been the targets of violent rhetoric from the same liberal pack that smeared Sarah Palin as an accessory to attempted murder because her PAC ran some ads with target graphics on Congressional districts they were targeting. Yet once Trump took office, it somehow became acceptable to openly promote assault or assassination, and for former comedians to wave around facsimiles of the President’s bloody severed head. Why all the hateful, violent rhetoric? Well, Trump has it coming because he’s created an “atmosphere of incivility.” Seriously, do they not see the cloud of hypocrisy enveloping them that the rest of us see, as thick as London fog? Their threatening, slanderous and sometimes profane attacks on people they accuse of not being civil reminds me of an old cartoon from the ‘60s of a protester carrying a sign that read, “Kill the intolerant!”


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Fourth, as this story shows, this is actually one of the milder nasty attacks Sarah has endured. She and her colleagues have been compared to all sorts of vile propagandists and liars by the same press corps that couldn’t muster a peep of protest when the point man for Obama’s Iran nuclear deal arrogantly admitted that he’d played the press like a cheap fiddle to sell that bill of goods to America, creating an echo chamber in which he bilked young, ignorant reporters into repeating whatever nonsense he fed them. Did they feel like wringing his neck? Funny, I don’t recall them ever saying so.

Well, I could go on, but I’ve given them a lot to reflect on, and it is a holiday weekend, so I’ll be merciful and let it go at that. But I will add one final word of advice: If I were they, I would not ever try running up and trying to attack Sarah. She knows how to take care of herself, and if the Secret Service doesn’t put you on the ground in a world of hurt, she will. The fact that the “comedian” hired for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner was able to leave under her own power is testament to the fact that my daughter was perhaps the only one in that entire room who understood what civility and self-control are.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/msnbcs-nicolle-wallace-suggests-sarah-sanders-should-be-choked

After a long, agonizing wait (especially agonizing for cable news reporters who had to fill many hours with nothing to say while waiting for it), a plane touched down around 2 a.m. at Andrews Air Force base outside Washington, D.C., carrying Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and three Korean-Americans who had been held captive in North Korea.