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It Is Illegal to Sell Blueberries in East Lansing, Michigan Unless You Support Gay Marriage

Posted by V the K at 9:30 pm - May 31, 2017.
Filed under: Liberalism Run Amok

Talk about your absurd laws.

For the past seven years, Steve Tennes and his family have sold their produce at the farmer’s market owned by the city of East Lansing.

But this year – city officials told the devout Catholic family that their blueberries and sweet corn were not welcome at the farmer’s market – and neither were they.

Last year, someone posted a message on Country Mill’s Facebook page inquiring about whether they hosted same-sex weddings at the farm.

Tennes told the individual they did not permit same-sex marriages on the farm because of the family’s Catholic belief that marriage is a sacramental union between one man and one woman.

City officials later discovered the Facebook posting and began immediate action to remove Country Mill from the Farmer’s Market – alleging the family had violated the city’s discrimination ordinance.

The wedding cake fascists aren’t content to dictate to business owners that they must participate in gay marriages regardless of their personal beliefs; they will now monitor your Facebook posts and ban you from participating in commerce on the basis of your personal beliefs. (All in the name of protecting gay people from hurt feelings.)

Scary Times.

Obama’s Regulatory Binge

Posted by V the K at 8:59 am - May 31, 2017.
Filed under: Obama Lies / Deceptions

Making a pitch for Democratic candidates in 2014, President Obama told big donors in California Thursday night that Democrats favor free-market solutions and less government regulation.

“It turns out we’re pretty common-sense folks,” Mr. Obama said at a fundraiser at a private home in Palo Alto, Calif. “We believe in the free market [and] a light touch when it comes to regulations.”

This, like pretty much everything else that comes out of his pie-hole, was a big fat lie.

President Barack Obama’s last year in office set a high watermark for new federal rules and regulations as the outgoing Democrat sought to leave his mark on the country through a “pen and phone” strategy.

The total number of Federal Register pages in 2016 rose nearly 20 percent to 95,894, the most ever, and the number of final rules, at 3,853, was the most since 2005, according to a new report from the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

The Democrats once claimed not to be socialists (they claim that much less these days). They made this claim on the thin reed that since the state had not officially taken over all industry, they weren’t really practicing socialism.

But if the Government is micromanaging via regulation every decision a business can make… hiring, firing, location of capital assets, the form and specification of products … then what is the difference, really?

Sadly, the Republican half of the Washington Uniparty has shown only the most modest inclination to rein in these regulatory abuses.

Kathy Griffin

Posted by V the K at 7:32 pm - May 30, 2017.
Filed under: Big Hollywood,Unhinged Liberals

You know what I’m talking about.

May I posit that the left’s snotty assertion, “When they go low, we go high” only applies when they think they’re winning?

Remember when the left-wing went into… or perhaps, merely elevated… paroxysms of outrage when someone hung an “Obama Presidential Library” sign on an outhouse? How disrespecting the president in such a manner was the most outrageous outrage of all outrageous outrages. Remember how the Justice Department investigated it as a hate crime?

Pepperidge Farm remembers.

She actually thinks this gruesome stunt will jump start the rusted out 1992 Yugo that is her career. What does that say about Hollywood and liberalism?

And don’t take this the wrong way, she has every Constitutional right to do this.

And if someone else wanted to portray Barack Obama in a demeaning and disrespectful way, that would have been their Constitutional right. Although, it’s likely they would have had the tolerant progressive mob descend on them… probably the FBI and IRS, too.

Update: Why do they do this?

It’s fine to get shocked or outraged. But you have to understand something. This is all they’ve got. They don’t have rational arguments, not against Donald Trump, and not in favor of anything. If they did, they would utilize the freedom of speech we still have, the academic institutions they largely control with federal dollars, and the media they dominate to make those arguments. Yet they don’t. Either they do things like Kathy Griffin has done here, or they do the equivalent of those things — rant, rave, cry, pout, unfriend people from Facebook, and all the rest.

What have they got? That’s the question. And the answer can only be: nothing. The proof of that is the way they’re handling their loss. When people throw away reason and replace it with bullying and barbarism, they’ve confessed they’re at the end of their intellectual run.

Hat Tip: James

Mexican Defends “Cultural Appropriation,” White Progressives Set His Mind Right

Last week, social justice fascists in Portlandia shut down a burrito cart because it was operated by white women, and then went on to publish a list of “ethnic” restaurants run by white people so that enlightened progressives could boycott them.

This week, a self-described “Mexican” writing in a lefty rag says there’s nothing wrong culinary cultural exchanges.

The Mexican restaurant world is a delicious defense of cultural appropriation—that’s what the culinary manifestation of mestizaje is, ain’t it? The Spaniards didn’t know how to make corn tortillas in the North, so they decided to make them from flour. Mexicans didn’t care much for Spanish dessert breads, so we ripped off most pan dulces from the French (not to mention waltzes and mariachi). We didn’t care much for wine, so embraced the beers that German, Czech and Polish immigrants brought to Mexico. And what is al pastor if not Mexicans taking shawerma from Lebanese, adding pork, and making it something as quintessentially Mexicans as a corrupt PRI?

In other words, food gets better because of the willingness to experiment with techniques and ingredients used by others; to mix and match them, often producing new dishes that are better than baseline dishes. Gee, some folks would even call this, “Embracing Diversity.”

He concludes:

To suggest—as SJWs always do—that Mexicans and other minority entrepreneurs can’t possibly engage in cultural appropriation because they’re people of color, and that we’re always the victims, is ignorant and patronizing and robs us of agency. We’re no one’s victims, and who says we can’t beat the wasichu at their game?

Fortunately, plenty of white progressives were available in the comments to lecture the disobedient minority and set the boy’s mind right.

Another Dispatch from an Asylum of Higher Learning

Posted by V the K at 9:27 am - May 30, 2017.
Filed under: AMERICA HELD HOSTAGE

Illegal immigrants attending Columbia University are demanding that faculty and staff be indoctrinated not to call them illegal immigrants. Oh, and also, that the university provide them with free tuition, health care, and housing.

You can get all that stuff in prison. Just sayin’.

They also say their demands are non-negotiable; to which any sensible university administration would respond, “Well, bye.” And perhaps offer advice on not letting the door hit them where the Good Lord split them on the way out.

Social Justice Left Angry That Their Derangement Is On Video

Posted by V the K at 7:35 am - May 30, 2017.
Filed under: Unhinged Liberals

Inmates at Evergreen State College are perpetually in a state of rage. First, they were in a stage because one professor didn’t go along with — I am not making this up — their scheme to ban white people from campus. (Yes, the mask has not only slipped, it’s been knocked to the floor and stomped on, social justice is just code for “Hatred of White People”)

So, that drove the social justice terrorists into even greater paroxysms of rage, which were caught on video. And then the video went public, and that made them even more deranged with rage.

A new video has surfaced of students this past week at Evergreen State College yelling and ranting about everything from “racist white teachers” and “white-ass administrators” to “black power!” during a so-called “meeting” with President George Bridges and other college administrators.

Apparently, the activists are not pleased that this recording made its way to the Internet at large.

One of the demands listed by Evergreen students, and addressed by President Bridges, is that something be done to resolve the “theft” of the video:

“We demand that the video created for Day of Absence and Day of Presence that was stolen by white supremacists and edited to expose and ridicule the students and staff be taken down by the administration by this Friday.”

I am sort of reminded of when leftists in our comment section complain about posts documenting deranged leftist behavior. It’s not the behavior they’re upset by, it’s that the behavior has been noticed.

Evergreen State College has reaped what it sowed. Evergreen was conceived as a radical left asylum of higher learning. In addition to constant protests in support of left-wing causes, in 1999, Evergreen invited a convicted racist cop-killer to be their graduation speaker. He urged the students to follow in the example of violent revolutionaries. Liberals smiled and nodded approvingly. It took a while, but the students seem to be taking his advice.

The Professional Left Has Earned the Hate

Posted by V the K at 7:18 pm - May 29, 2017.
Filed under: Big Journalism

Kurt Schlichter, writing at Townhall, on why even though it was wrong for Greg Gianforte to lay smackdown on Democrat Media Operative Ben Jacobs, it doesn’t quite rate the drama the Democrat Media Complex has assigned to it.

I know it’s theoretically wrong for a Republican candidate to smack around an annoying liberal journalist, but that still doesn’t mean that I care. Our ability to care is a finite resource, and, in the vast scheme of things, millions of us have chosen to devote exactly none of it toward caring enough to engage in fussy self-flagellation because of what happened to Slappy La Brokenshades.

Sorry, not sorry.

And that’s not a good thing, not by any measure, but it is a real thing. Liberals have chosen to coarsen our culture. Their validation and encouragement of raw hate, their flouting of laws (Hi leakers! Hi Hillary!) and their utter refusal to accept democratic outcomes they disapprove of have consequences. What is itself so surprising is how liberals and their media rentboyz are so surprised to find that we normals are beginning to feel about them the way they feel about us – and that we’re starting to act on it. If you hate us, guess what?

We’re going to start hating you right back.

So true. The left exalts “journalists” in the same way they exalt “educators,” and for the same reason; they are both extensions of the Democrat party serving the purpose of propaganda and indoctrination (respectively) in the party line.

And so you end up with a situation where a minor physical altercation between a Republican candidate and a Democrat Media Operative rates more media outrage than two successive Muslim terror attacks that killed almost 50 people.

The people who died in the terror attacks weren’t journalists or teachers, and they weren’t killed by opponents of the Democrat Party. Their lives, therefore, matter significantly less than one operative’s busted eyeglasses.

And that’s why a lot of people hate journalists. Part of the reason, anyway.

Andrew Sullivan Lectures on Trump’s Lack of Religiosity

Posted by V the K at 9:47 pm - May 28, 2017.
Filed under: Arrogance of the Liberal Elites

And by lack of religiosity, Sullivan means, Trump does not support Democrat leftist welfare and social policy.

Trump’s proposed budget, released this week, would eviscerate basic support for the poor in order to reward the already stupendously superrich, and would lay waste to the natural world so that our collective wealth, already greater than any country’s in human history, could be goosed some more. His party’s health-care plan would throw 23 million people off their insurance, even as he pretends it will cover everyone. Every pillar of Trump’s essential character is a cardinal sin for Christians: lust, gluttony, greed, envy, anger, and pride. We are all guilty of these, of course, but there is in Trump a centrality to them, a shame-free celebration of them, that is close to unique in the history of the American presidency. I will never understand how more than half of white Catholics could vote for such a man, or how the leadership of the church could be so terribly silent when such a monster stalks the earth.

Donald Trump is not a religious man. Neither was Barack Obama (apart from his membership in Jeremiah Wrights “Gawd Damn America” Church). Neither was Bill Clinton. None of this was troubling to Mr. Sullivan. In fact, his adoration of Barack Obama was quite a thing to behold.

Andrew Sullivan is one of those people who looks at Jesus Christ not as a figure who should transform him, but rather as a figure who must validate Andrew Sullivan’s moral convictions. Hence, Andrew Sullivan’s Jesus Christ is a person who would cheer promiscuous, drug-fueled circuit party sex and would vote Democrat in every election. According to his Jesus Christ, caring for the poor and sick is not a personal responsibility; but rather something from which virtue is derived by demanding that other people’s wealth be confiscated and used for.

The left finally found a version of Jesus Christ they appreciate: The magical, invisible, socialist in the sky.

Tyranny of the Mentally Ill

Posted by V the K at 5:47 pm - May 28, 2017.
Filed under: Identity Politics

Academic identifies as a hippopotamus, because being transgendered wasn’t freaky transgressive enough.

Florentin Félix Morin, a French PhD student who studied at the University of Arizona in the spring 2017 semester, published a paper discovered Saturday entitled “EGO HIPPO: The subject as metaphor,” in which he explained “how his metaphorical hippo-self is collectively produced and performed.”

“For a while, if someone was asking me how I ‘identified,’ I would joke about being a hippopotamus trapped in a human’s body,” says Morin, a transgender man, “later, a human trapped in a hippopotamus’ body, until my humorous ‘truth’ solidified and I began announcing myself as an old butch hippo dyke trapped in a young human faggy transboy’s body.”

And who are we to tell xyr that xe is not actually a hippopotamus… you know, aside from being people possessed of reason and a firm grasp of reality.

Lone Wolf My Butt

Posted by V the K at 4:51 pm - May 28, 2017.
Filed under: Religion Of Peace

According to the left, every time an act of mass murder is committed by a Muslim (or Muslims) in the name of global jihad {and these incidents are happening multiple times per week} … the suicide bomber or mass murderer screaming “Allahu Akbar” as he slaughters non-Muslims is a “lone wolf” who was mysteriously “radicalized” by something and not representative of Islam at all. 

(Paradoxically, any act of violence by a person identified as a southern white supremacist means the Confederate Flag must be banned from public display {even in Civil War museums} because southern white supremacist culture is the cause of all racial violence and all white people share responsibility.)

The Manchester suicide bomber was one such “lone wolf.” And the Police have arrested 14 other “lone wolves” for complicity in planning or carrying out the attack.

I wonder if those 14 lone wolves have anything in common; any common shared characteristic that might possibly explain why they committed the act of mass murder. That would be very helpful since our political and media leadership is still baffled as to the suicide bomber’s motives.

BTW, British Intelligence sources say there are 23,000 committed jihadists in the United Kingdom.  But, you know, small price to pay for having that rich, global, cosmopolitan tapestry the left loves so much.

Violence comes from the Left, part II

Hat tip to GP commenters for the stories here.

In Portland OR, a guy attacked people on a train, killing two and injuring a third. Naturally, the left-leaning coverage emphasizes his anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim views and his claims of being Christian, using them to call him a “white supremacist.” Which seems to be a leap.

“According to some preliminary witness statements, he was kind of spewing hate about a lot of different things,” said [police Sgt.] Simpson. “So not specifically and exclusively anti-Muslim. … So that’s why it’s hard to say at this point was he directing it at any one person, or was it just kind of in general to everyone around him.”

“We don’t know if he’s got mental health issues, we don’t know if he’s under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or all of the above,” said Simpson…

Court records show that [the attacker, Jeremy Joseph] Christian was convicted in 2002 of robbery, kidnapping and a weapons charge, according to the AP.

Ohhh…they’re saying it just because someone else said it:

The Portland Mercury reports that the suspect was a “known local white supremacist.”

The Echo Chamber at work. Now, maybe it’s true? Could be. I have no skin (so to speak) in that game.

But here’s what they’re not telling you. What they’re conveniently leaving out. The guy is anti-Trump and a supporter of Jill Stein and Bernie Sanders. He tweeted, “I gonna kill everybody who voted for Trump or Hillary!”

Which kinda makes him a leftie. Hmm. Maybe that’s why media have not covered this incident much, overall?

Likewise for Linwood Kaine, the son of Democrat VP nominee Tim Kaine (whom I presume is a Clinton-Kaine supporter).

Prosecutors are filing criminal charges against 8 counter-protesters who disrupted the “March 4 Trump” rally at the Minnesota State Capitol on March 4. Among those charged is Linwood Kaine, the son of former Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine…

The permitted rally inside the Capitol Rotunda was interrupted by protesters that Saturday, some of whom turned violent. A group of Trump supporters described the scene to Fox 9.

“They brought in pepper spray and tasers, and went after anyone with a Trump sign,” said Sandra Trater, a supporter of President Trump.

The charges are misdemeanors. But hey, at least they’re happening. Jazz Shaw notes:

Kaine’s son Linwood has only been charged with the more benign sounding counts of fleeing on foot, concealing identity in a public place and obstructing the legal process. But he was definitely part of the group that was attacking and not one of the “peaceful counter-protesters” as they are being described in many media outlets.

Arguing with a Leftist

Posted by V the K at 12:43 pm - May 28, 2017.
Filed under: Anti-Western Attitudes

Video won’t embed, but this is the link.

Flashback: Hillary’s Big Russia Deal

…in which Our Brrrrrrrrave Gal approved the transfer of 20% of the U.S. ongoing supply of uranium to Russian control, while taking millions in Russian- and/or deal-related donations.

I’m following this New York Times article from April 2015:

…the Russian atomic energy agency, Rosatom, [took] over a Canadian company with uranium-mining stakes stretching from Central Asia to the American West. The deal…brought Mr. Putin closer to his goal of controlling much of the global uranium supply chain…

At the heart of the tale are several men, leaders of the Canadian mining industry, who have been major donors to the charitable endeavors of former President Bill Clinton and his family. Members of that group built, financed and eventually sold off to the Russians a company that would become known as Uranium One.

…the sale gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States…the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of United States government agencies. Among [them] was the State Department, then headed by Mr. Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.

And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.

At the time, both Rosatom and the United States government made promises intended to ease concerns…Those promises have been repeatedly broken, records show…

Whether the donations played any role in the approval of the uranium deal is unknown. [ed: Riiiiiight.] But the episode underscores the special ethical challenges presented by the Clinton Foundation, headed by a former president who relied heavily on foreign cash to accumulate $250 million in assets even as his wife helped steer American foreign policy as secretary of state, presiding over decisions with the potential to benefit the foundation’s donors…

The article continues with pages of details. One tiny sample:

The path to a Russian acquisition of American uranium deposits began in 2005 in Kazakhstan, where the Canadian mining financier Frank Giustra orchestrated his first big uranium deal, with Mr. Clinton at his side.

…several months later, Mr. Giustra had donated $31.3 million to Mr. Clinton’s foundation.

Did the Clintons hide some large donations, possibly showing consciousness of guilt? Yes. Example:

To judge from [Clinton] disclosures…the only Uranium One official to give to the Clinton Foundation was Mr. Telfer, the chairman, and the amount was relatively small: no more than $250,000, and that was in 2007, before talk of a Rosatom deal began percolating.

But a review of tax records in Canada, where Mr. Telfer has a family charity called the Fernwood Foundation, shows that he donated millions of dollars more, during and after the critical time when the foreign investment committee was reviewing his deal with the Russians.

By the way, I didn’t know that “While the United States gets one-fifth of its electrical power from nuclear plants, it produces only around 20 percent of the uranium it needs, and most plants have only 18 to 36 months of reserves…”

Exit questions:

  1. Why would NYT publish such an article? Why in April 2015? On whose hidden agenda?

    To be clear: I’m glad they gave us the info. But NYT is usually pro-Hillary. Why would they do something that undercuts her? Because Schweizer’s book was about to come out anyway?

  2. Why has no Special Counsel ever been appointed to look into all this?

UPDATE: Do the Clintons profit personally from the Clinton Foundation? (more…)

How To Fight The Establishment Propaganda Machine And Win

That’s the title of an article by Caitlin Johnstone which I came across. She seems more lefty/Democrat than me and I don’t endorse her every notion. Still, she seems populist and has some interesting notions. To start:

…the single best way to take down the oligarchy is by aggressively and relentlessly attacking its propaganda engine.

Johnstone sees “the oligarchy” as more about corporations than about Big Government’s politicians and bureaucrats; while I’m the reverse. But at least we agree there is an oligarchy.

The elites who manipulate your government are more vulnerable now than ever before and they know it — the solution just isn’t in politics, it’s in media…old propaganda systems which have been used to lull Americans into accepting the establishment narrative are wielding less and less influence…

So what can we do? We make them fight our fight. If they’re a shark and we’re a tiger, we make them fight us in the jungle…

1. Increase public distrust of the mainstream media.
…Imagine if [people] knew that CNN has been trotting out a seven year-old Syrian girl with an extremely popular fake Twitter account and making her recite scripted lines in order to manufacture consent for another regime change invasion…The Bana Alabed psy-op is the single most transparent piece of war propaganda that I have ever seen in my life, and we should be talking about it constantly, because they really left themselves exposed with that one.

I think Johnstone is talking about changing the frame. “Bana” was indeed Syria war propaganda. I mentioned it awhile back, but didn’t go far enough. The Resistance Chicks (2 populist-moderate, Christian sisters from Ohio) show Bana literally reading a script while the CNNwhore plays along and pretends it’s real.

When you expose Bana, putting her into a new (and 100% truthful) frame as a propaganda pawn, CNN’s power dissipates.

To continue – I won’t quote it all, but this gives you an idea of the rest of Johnstone’s eight points:

2. Shatter the illusion of normalcy.
…These [media, CNN-type] predators use their trusted, ubiquitous presence in the lives of the public to convince them that everything [bad] that’s happening is normal…It’s normal for your country to be bombing sovereign nations every single day and have hundreds of military bases all over the world…It’s normal that all these politicians seem to do pretty much the same things once elected despite campaigning on very different platforms. It’s normal for elected officials to lie. It’s normal for your government to have the ability to spy on you….We need to snap mainstream America out of this lullaby of normalcy. We need to be the caring friend who tells them that it’s not normal for their boyfriend to be violent and controlling…without the spell of normalcy, the whole thing falls apart.

3. Shatter the illusion of unanimity.
4. Stay loudly politically active.
5. Hold a grudge. [i.e., keep bringing up stuff / reminding people]
6. Always be attacking. [the oligarchy’s / media’s “normal” consensus]
7. Find the others. [telling people “Nah, you’re not crazy — I see it too.”]
8. Have fun. “We have the opportunity to be basically wizards, fighting the word-spells these bastards are casting on the sleeping mainstream and screaming ‘You shall not pass!'”

As always, I’d encourage you to Read The Whole Thing, and/or to share your thoughts.

Violence comes from the Left

We’ve been having fun in the comments about Representative-Elect Greg Gianforte (R-MT). He body-slammed a reporter in rage, probably committing misdemeanor assault, then lied about what he did. Later, he apologized – but only sort of – because he never said what for and, to my knowledge, he has not yet corrected his false witness. (Feel free to update me in the comments)

His actions are bad. Both violence and lying are totally unacceptable, in our politics, from whatever side. And I think he’s just sorry that he was caught. If he merits prosecution (or censure or expulsion in the House), let the right thing happen.

He also needs to be seen in perspective. As usual, Tucker Carlson and V the K nail it. From V:

Gianforte doesn’t seem like someone I’d defend to the last, but I’m not going to let people who supported Ted Kennedy and Gerry Studds lecture me on who’s unfit to serve in Congress.

Also, is it just me, or has this one dust-up between a Republican congressman and a reporter gotten more mass media coverage than all the violence inflicted by Antifa, the Portlandia Anti-Trump mob, the Middlebury/Berkeley/UW-Madison college Democrats, and the woman in Tennesee who tried to run a Republican congressman off the road combined?

And Tucker Carlson for your enjoyment:
YouTube Preview Image
Tucker has a laundry list of recent, left-wing political violence – including threats and violence against at least 3 Republican Congresspeople.

Gianforte lost all control of himself – as a 56-year old man – and muddied the waters. For that, he has my contempt. But he’s a globule of mud, in a virtual La Brea Tar Pits of left-wing political violence in America today that many Democrats refuse to condemn.

As always, the Left and the Controlled Media (but I repeat myself) would rather pretend that the speck in Republicans’ eyes is the New Coming of Hitler, than look at the many logs in their own.

Hillary Clinton’s Brutal Lack of Self-Awareness

Posted by V the K at 3:44 pm - May 26, 2017.
Filed under: Hillary Clinton

In between coughing fits, she-who-will-never-be-president offered up this bit of wisdom to the graduating snowflakes of Wellesley.

“When people in power invent their own facts and attack those who question them it can mark the beginning of the end of a free society”

Really, Mrs Clinton? You mean self-serving lies like “the Benghazi attack was caused by a YouTube video?” Or, “I never used my private email server for classified documents.” Or even, “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.”

Tell us again how you came under sniper fire in Bosnia, and how your husband did not have sex with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. And how you were named after Sir Edmund Hillary.

You know, come to think of it, I agree with her.

More Obama-NSA abuses

Yet another story that should be all over the media, but I haven’t seen it much. (If you have, let me know.)

Why wouldn’t it be covered? I find that it reflects great discredit on the Establishment (both political parties, Deep State and Controlled Media). As I started to say yesterday, they have ways to decide what you’re going to hear about. For as long as they can, they will bury stories that don’t fit their agenda.

To review some background:

  • Under the 4th Amendment, the government isn’t supposed to spy on U.S. people without a court-ordered warrant.
  • “The FISA Court” is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, established by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 “to oversee requests for surveillance warrants against foreign spies inside the United States by federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies.” (Wiki)
    Note, foreign.
  • But FISA Court hearings are secret and only the government and the court judge are present, like a kangaroo court. The adversarial system is abandoned.
  • As such, FISA tends to be very lenient to the government. Over time, they have created a secret body of law that gives the government sweeping powers to do domestic warrantless surveillance under an alleged “special needs exception” to the 4th Amendment.
    • One example – In 2013, Edward Snowden leaked a FISA order that requires phone companies to provide a daily, ongoing feed of everyone’s phone call data to the NSA. Super invasive!
  • Even so, FISA isn’t toothless and doesn’t approve everything – as you shall see. They need to preserve respectability, at least in their own eyes.
  • FISA judges are appointed solely by the Chief Justice of the United States. In this regard, Establishment Republicans control the FISA court.

That’s just background. Now for the news, as reported by John Solomon and Sara Carter at Circa.com.

Under President Obama, the NSA secretly conducted years of surveillance and searches on Americans that not even the secret, super-lenient FISA Court would approve.

The National Security Agency under former President Barack Obama routinely violated American privacy protections while scouring through overseas intercepts and failed to disclose the extent of the problems until the final days before Donald Trump was elected president last fall, according to once top-secret documents that chronicle some of the most serious constitutional abuses to date by the U.S. intelligence community…

The Obama administration self-disclosed the problems at a closed-door hearing Oct. 26 before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that set off alarm…

The normally supportive court censured administration officials, saying the failure to disclose the extent of the violations earlier amounted to an “institutional lack of candor” and that the improper searches constituted a “very serious Fourth Amendment issue,” according to a recently unsealed court document dated April 26, 2017.

The admitted violations undercut one of the primary defenses that the intelligence community and Obama officials have used in recent weeks to justify their snooping into incidental NSA intercepts about Americans.

Circa has reported that there was a three-fold increase in NSA data searches about Americans and a rise in the unmasking of U.S. person’s identities in intelligence reports after Obama loosened the privacy rules in 2011.

Officials like former National Security Adviser Susan Rice have argued their activities were legal under the so-called minimization rule changes Obama made, and that the intelligence agencies were strictly monitored to avoid abuses.

The intelligence court and the NSA’s own internal watchdog found that not to be true…

The American Civil Liberties Union said the newly disclosed violations are some of the most serious to ever be documented and strongly call into question the U.S. intelligence community’s ability to police itself…

RTWT. Naturally, the NSA is scrambling to reassure people that it has fixed the problem. Riiiiiiiight. And Susan Rice didn’t lie and none of the surveillance data was ever misused against Obama opponents or improperly unmasked. Riiiiiiiight.

To people who understand civil liberties and limited government, all this is a huge deal that shows how far out of control the U.S. “intelligence community” (Deep State) has gotten. Chris Farrell at Judicial Watch compares it to President Lincoln’s suspension of habeus corpus during the U.S. Civil War.

Where is the Special Counsel on this?

Or the media coverage? Bush’s NSA did some illegal surveillance in the 2000s – and in 2005, was duly slammed by The New York Times. A large kerfuffle. “But that was then.” It served the interests of someone powerful – someone in deep alliance with, or control of, The New York Times – to weaken Bush. Not so much with Obama, eh?

See the FISA Court’s declassified order spanking the Obama administration, here. By the way, note how large sections of the relevant law and dockets are blacked out, showing how the FISA system has created secret law that the citizens aren’t supposed to know about. That’s horrible.

Also from Circa: Comey’s FBI was neck deep in the abuses.

The FBI has illegally shared raw intelligence about Americans with unauthorized third parties and violated other constitutional privacy protections, according to newly declassified government documents that undercut the bureau’s public assurances…

A Few Other Odds and Ends

Posted by V the K at 7:43 am - May 26, 2017.
Filed under: Random Thoughts

There’s a handful of other things Jeff could have mentioned.

As Jeff put it so well, “Yawn.”

 

Some stuff that some people probably think we should acknowledge

Consider this an open thread to talk about anything listed here, or not listed here.

  • Eric Clanton has been arrested by Berkeley police.

    Score one for the good guys. This is the Nutty Professor who was allegedly assaulting people with bike locks on behalf of Antifa, during those riots in Berkeley.

    “His work in political philosophy also centers on mass incarceration and the prison system,” Clanton’s former faculty page read. “He is currently exploring restorative justice from an anti-authoritarian perspective.”

    I hope Prof. Clanton will be finding out a lot about mass incarceration, the prison system, restorative justice, and authority.

  • The 4th Circuit has blocked Trump’s travel suspension.

    I find this a bit of a yawner. President Trump’s orders on the suspension (sometimes called a “Muslim Ban” by our biased media) have been pretty reasonable. The opinions blocking the suspension have been mostly ridiculous. There’s nothing I can do about it except hope it goes to the Supreme Court. And SCOTUS will do whatever they’re going to do, one way or the other.

  • The Gianforte matter. Again, yawns from me. If Gianforte committed assault, let the police/justice system take care of it and let him rot in jail. That’s what the police/justice system is for. Let it work. There, I just condemned Gianforte (provided he’s guilty).
  • NYT reporting that Russian officials discussed how they might influence Trump. Again: Yawn. Does anyone think that Russian officials hadn’t spent the previous 8 years discussing how they might influence Hillary and Obama?
  • This is more interesting. The Washington Post discusses how Russians may or may not have tipped off the FBI that Obama’s AG Loretta Lynch was planning to block any prosecution of Hillary Clinton in her e-mail scandal.

    So…Hillary Clinton(‘s campaign) colluded with the Obama administration, to block investigation and/or prosecution? And Russia had spies, in the Obama administration? Or somebody fooled them with phony tips? Sorry, my head is spinning from all the Inside Baseball.

How the Establishment uses “special counsels”

The Obama administration used the IRS to target their domestic political opponents. AND they used the intelligence agencies as well (“unmasking”, “distributing” and leaking data from the U.S. surveillance apparatus) to target U.S. opponents.

Why has no special counsel ever been appointed, to investigate all that?

Or the Clinton Foundation corruption?

Or the innumerable classified-info leaks of recent months, many likely to be from Obama holdovers in the government?

Trump-Russia has been Fake News from minute one. My first reaction when a special counsel was appointed there was “Fine, let them spin their wheels on nothing”. That was too sanguine of me. It is indeed bad, for a couple of reasons.

First, as it is a witch hunt, they will keep looking until they entrap somebody in the Trump administration into a “process” crime. A la Scooter Libby, in the Plame affair. He ended up in jail, even though it was Richard Armitage who had illegally leaked Plame’s name.

Second and probably more important, it consumes DOJ and FBI resources that could and should be used to look elsewhere. And that’s the point of the thing. Democrats want to make sure no one will look at their horrific scandals.

Having a special counsel on the comparatively scandal-free President Trump, instead of themselves, is a huge coup. As in, coup d’etat against a lawfully elected President.

UPDATE: We could also talk about other types of investigation, such as complaints to the House Ethics Committee. Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch asks, “Why the double standard?” against Rep. Devin Nunes.

  • Rep. Devin Nunes chairs the House Intelligence Committee. He blew the whistle on the Obama administration’s illicit “unmasking” of surveillance data. Democrats responded by filing an ethics complaint on him.
  • Rep. Adam Schiff, ranking Democrat of the same committee, has been all over the media for months, possibly leaking classified information (or at least confirming leaked info, improperly). Judicial Watch filed an ethics complaint on him.
  • Guess Which the Ethics committee is acting on? And why?

I’ll say why: This is how the U.S. power structure works. By manufacturing (or at least spreading) one narrative; burying another. What you hear about, from investigations and the Controlled Media, is decided behind the scenes. Someone decides which thing you’ll hear about, and they decide because they have the hidden political power and it suits their agenda.

In this case, the House Ethics committee is run by Establishment Republicans. As such, they’re part of The Swamp; they are bedfellows to Democrats and the Deep State. Nunes sinned by bringing out a (true) story that strengthens Trump’s position. They would rather intimidate, mislead or weaken Trump into “playing ball”.

With every Deep State investigation and every Controlled Media “narrative”, you should ask: Why this one, not that other one? And why now?

(NB: Added and rewrote a lot, after first publication. Will stop now.)