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NYT: China hacked (at) our CIA

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 11:03 am - May 22, 2017.
Filed under: National Security

From The New York Times:

The Chinese government systematically dismantled C.I.A. spying operations in the country starting in 2010, killing or imprisoning more than a dozen sources over two years and crippling intelligence gathering there for years afterward.

Current and former American officials described the intelligence breach as one of the worst in decades…investigators were bitterly divided over the cause. Some were convinced that a mole within the C.I.A. had betrayed the United States. Others believed that the Chinese had hacked the covert system the C.I.A. used to communicate with its foreign sources. Years later, that debate remains unresolved.

My thoughts:

  • This happened on Obama’s and Hillary’s watch. Although she was over at State, she surely had CIA material on the e-mail server in her bathroom. Did Chinese counterintelligence glean some info from that?
  • Come to think of it, The Clintons have a long history of letting China hack our democracy. (And Saudi Arabia – a separate post.)
  • I’m amazed the NYT would publish this. Oh, wait, it’s just their Asia edition. The Controlled Media has a pattern of still publishing some real news – buried deep on page A37.

Greedy Bureaucrats Eye Other People’s Money

Posted by V the K at 7:58 am - May 22, 2017.
Filed under: California politics

The People’s Republic of Berkeley California is preparing a to level a tax on “affordable housing.” I am not making this up.

The Berkeley Town Council is now considering leveling a one-time $10,000 fee (plus a $450 annual fee per unit) on apartment buildings offering below market rate (a.k.a., affordable housing to lower and middle income families) housing options. The fees would be paid by the landlord who would, of course, then turn around and raise rates on the “affordable housing.”

As reported by Curbed.com, these new fees would go toward paying for additional government resources to oversee, among other things, how much property managers charge their tenants. So, landlords will either have to eat the costs of the new five-figure fee or risk getting in trouble with the Berkeley Town Council for raising rents to cover the new government fee.

The New Civil War

For the last 100 years – and, especially for the last 8 years under President Obama – more and more Americans have become feckless dependents of government.

They may be rich, middle class or poor. They may depend on government benefits, or on special favors written into our laws and regulations. Or they may be politicians and bureaucrats and government workers, deciding the fates of other people and taking paychecks a good deal larger than what most of them could get in the private sector. They may be journalists taking cash payments from the CIA, or billionaires with extensive government contracts.

And they are indeed feckless. They gladly believe and spread the most ridiculous things on zero evidence. For example, they choose a criminally dishonest politician (Hillary Clinton) to be president. When she doesn’t quite win the election, they gladly believe and spread rumors that the guy who did win is a Russian spy – on zero evidence, again – and chant “F*ck [him]!” at important political conventions.

On the other side are ordinary Americans who more-or-less believe in God, common sense, and supporting themselves through work. Again, they may be rich, middle class or poor. They choose 2 business people in a row to be president. The most recent one might not be a great role model in some ways, but at least he says sensible things in a forthright, unafraid manner. When he wins the election, he sets himself to the task of reviving America’s economy and manufacturing base – only to be undermined by the vast army and bureaucracy of the feckless government dependents, spreading their nonsense.

It’s a mortal conflict. And one side knows it: the feckless government dependents. Because America is fast reaching the point where it can’t afford to support them any longer. They, the cancer, are about to kill the host. They, the cancer, must be controlled and cut back – so that the rest of America can survive, and perhaps revive a little.

They, the feckless government dependents, know it deep-down. And, being out-of-control like any late-stage cancer, they are desperate to deny it and to continue a system – their own system – that promises to extract every last drop of life and treasure that can be extracted from normal Americans.

It’s Producers vs. Looters. Understand that the Producers are people of all classes and walks of life. Likewise, the Looters are people of all classes and walks of life.

And so we arrive at the political struggles of the last seven months. President Trump isn’t perfect. I did not support him. I still don’t support him, whenever and wherever I may disagree with him. Somehow (and although I never wanted it), he became a leader for the Producers – or at least for the opponents of America’s looting, criminal Establishment. Imperfect Mr. Trump is the president we’ve got. And the vast army and bureaucracy of the feckless government dependents are determined to destroy him.

Thus the endless, utter nonsense they spew each day. I’m not sure what to do about it. I know that supporting Trump blindly will not help. But tolerating nonsense will also not help.

The only thing I know how to do, that might help in some tiny way, is to keep telling the truth as I see it unfolding around me.

Or posting links.

Schlichter sums it up well: “Someone came to Washington who wasn’t part of the club, and that’s intolerable. So they are desperate to expel him, and by extension, us. Every day will be a crisis, every action he takes will be the worst thing that has ever happened, and every step towards keeping his promises a crime.”

Each day, let us dedicate ourselves anew to rejecting the nonsense. And to offering truth, in its place.

DNC thinks it has a right to rig elections

JamPAC (at jampac.us) is a leftie group suing the DNC over the 2016 primaries. Some points from a recent update (hosted by Stefan Molyneux):

  • Class action filed in June 2016 on behalf of Bernie-supporting Democrats, alleging that Bernie-supporting donors were defrauded, in that the primary process was rigged unfairly to favor Hillary.
  • April 25 2017, the court heard the DNC’s second motion to dismiss.
  • DNC argued that the plaintiffs don’t have standing because the DNC has every right to pick candidates itself in back rooms, disregarding its own election rules.
  • DNC also argued that its rules (and its explicit promise to donors to enforce them fairly) is like a politician’s promise, not to be taken seriously.
  • Earlier, DNC had tried to dismiss the lawsuit by alleging that Shawn Lucas had not served it correctly.

Predictably, the Controlled Media has not given this story much coverage.

The original complaint is halfway-interesting reading. For one thing, it sticks with the “Russia hacked the DNC” narrative (ignoring Seth Rich). But, whatever; the plaintiffs clearly have other fish to fry.

The complaint goes on to mention the DNC’s plans to collude with the media “with no fingerprints” in the general election; to plant fake news and social media attacks to “muddy the waters” around Hillary’s vulnerabilities; to influence the selection of generals on the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and more.

In view of the fact that Seth Rich and Shawn Lucas both seem to have died unexpectedly after crossing the DNC, you might want to include in your thoughts and prayers Jared Beck, the JamPAC lawyer.

Gender Studies and Climate Change Are Totally Serial, You Guys

Posted by V the K at 2:17 pm - May 20, 2017.
Filed under: Academia

Some skeptics (or, as the dogmatic left would call them, “denialists”) wrote a hoax “Academic” paper arguing that the penis is a social construct and also responsible for Climate Change. It was accepted and published in a peer-reviewed Acadamic Journal.

Anatomical penises may exist, but as pre-operative transgendered women also have anatomical penises, the penis vis-à-vis maleness is an incoherent construct. We argue that the conceptual penis is better understood not as an anatomi- cal organ but as a social construct isomorphic to performative toxic masculinity. Through detailed poststructuralist discursive criticism and the example of climate change, this paper will challenge the prevailing and damaging social trope that penises are best understood as the male sexual organ and reassign it a more fitting role as a type of masculine performance.

Penises are problematic, and we don’t just mean medical issues like erectile dysfunction and crimes like sexual assault. As a result of our research into the essential concept of the penis and its exchanges with the social and material world, we conclude that penises are not best understood as the male sexual organ, or as a male reproductive organ, but instead as an enacted social construct that is both damaging and problematic for society and future generations. The conceptual penis presents significant problems for gender identity and reproductive identity within social and family dynamics, is exclusionary to disenfranchised communities based upon gender or reproductive identity, is an enduring source of abuse for women and other gender-marginalized groups and individuals, is the universal performative source of rape, and is the conceptual driver behind much of climate change.

When “science” has been reduced to this, one should wear the label of “Denier” proudly.

Comey’s dirty track record

Former FBI Director James Comey once served the Bush administration and is supposed to be a “registered Republican”. But some gay guys marry women and are supposed to be straight. Sometimes, the declaration doesn’t matter – or is there for cover.

I’ll provide some highlights of Comey’s career, then details. First, the highlights. Or should I say lowlights? As I realized everything that Comey has been into and how political he is, my jaw dropped.

  • Comey helped the Clintons to escape justice over Bill’s pardon of Marc Rich.
  • Comey appointed Patrick Fitzgerald to investigate the Valerie Plame affair. (A bizarre mess that ended in the prosecution of Scooter Libby, and the political tar-and-feathering of the Bush administration.)
  • Comey prosecuted Martha Stewart. (This may be OK; but I will show that it sets up the irony/hypocrisy of his later saving Hillary from prosecution.)
  • Comey helped the Clintons in the Sandy Berger investigation, by limiting its scope.
  • Comey limited the government’s actions to punish a corrupt auditor, KPMG.
  • Comey obstructed the Bush administration’s post-9/11 efforts to do warrantless surveillance. That could be a great thing; except that
    1. his actions were surrounded by allegations of lying and usurpation of power; and
    2. he went on to happily serve an Obama presidency that did far worse things than Bush, in terms of warrantless surveillance.
  • Comey served as General Counsel of a scandal-ridden defense contractor, then a Director of a scandal-ridden bank. (I don’t have anything strong here; mentioned for completeness.)
  • And then as FBI Director, of course, Comey knew Hillary was guilty but usurped authority and blocked her prosecution, turning the statutes on their head in the process.

If I missed anything, please let us know in the comments. (Did Comey play any part in Hillary’s Uranium One fiasco? Or Benghazi? Or Fast and Furious?)

Some of Comey’s actions might be defensible. But looking at the overall pattern: I personally conclude that Comey is a longtime Democrat operative, as well as a liar-when-it-suits-him.

Now for details. (more…)

Some scandal updates

Anthony Weiner is to plead guilty “to a single charge of transferring obscene material to a minor, pursuant to a plea agreement…”

This is the same Anthony Weiner who

  • is still married to Hillary Clinton’s top aide, Huma Abedin
  • had thousands of Hillary Clinton’s illegally-handled emails on the same laptop that he used to commit his sex crimes with minors
  • caused former FBI Director Comey to reappear in the news last October, which many Democrats believe (probably wrongly) to be the cause of Hillary’s election loss.

It’s sad how Clintonites deflect the blame to Comey and Russia for all that, rather than putting it where it belongs on Weiner, Abedin and the Clintons themselves.

“A likely result of the plea is that Mr. Weiner would end up as a registered sex offender, although a final determination has yet to be made…”

UPDATE: Huma has finally just filed for divorce.


In other news, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange Rape Investigation Is Dropped in Sweden.

The accusations were always of a “he said, she said” nature, with Assange saying that he had met the alleged victim several times amicably, for consensual sex.

The announcement represents a victory for Mr. Assange, 45, an Australian…

[but] In Britain, he still faces a warrant for failing to appear in court, and the Metropolitan Police in London said on Friday that they would arrest Mr. Assange, who has maintained his innocence, if he were to try to leave the [Ecuadorian] embassy…

[U.S.] Prosecutors have long been exploring the idea of charging Mr. Assange as a conspirator in the underlying offense of illegal theft of documents…

[but] The Obama-era Justice Department, which had gone as far as to present some evidence about WikiLeaks to a grand jury in Alexandria, Va., was deterred from pursuing the case further because it proved difficult to distinguish what WikiLeaks had done in publishing the classified information provided by Ms. Manning from what The New York Times and many other mainstream news organizations do.

Most news organizations that cover national security and foreign affairs regularly publish information from sources that is considered classified by the United States government. By long-established tradition, however, only the government officials who provide such information have been prosecuted, not the journalists who publish it.


IN STILL OTHER NEWS: Evidence has emerged that, while still just a candidate, the President conspired with Iranian mullahs to undermine the foreign policy of the existing administration. Which meets a reasonable definition of treason!

Oh, wait – it was President Obama, while still just a candidate, conspiring with Iranian mullahs to undermine the foreign policy of the Bush administration. And lefties haven’t given the tiniest crap about it.

Progressive, Social Justice Math Curriculum Teaches Kids That Math Is a Racist Tool of White Oppression

Posted by V the K at 11:41 am - May 19, 2017.
Filed under: Liberalism Run Amok

I am not making this up.

Teach for America thinks that language is “social justice,” and has designed a course that makes some startling claims about math.

“In western mathematics, our ways of knowing include formalized reasoning or proof, decontextualization, and algorithmic thinking, leaving little room for those having non-western mathematical skills and thinking processes,” the training course claims.

It continues:

Mathematical ethics recognizes that, for centuries, mathematics has been used as a dehumanizing tool… mathematics formulae also differentiate between the classifications of a war or a genocide and have been used to trick indigenous peoples out of land and property.”

Global Warming Is Completely Serial You Guys

Posted by V the K at 10:24 am - May 19, 2017.
Filed under: Climate Change (Global Warming)

Some moss is growing in Antarctica. Clearly, this means that the Earth is DOOMED unless the entire global economy shifts to a centrally planned socialist model controlled by the United Nations.

PDT Rounds Up DREAMERs in Californezuela

Posted by V the K at 9:53 am - May 19, 2017.
Filed under: Illegal Immigration

Oh Noes, more Tyrannies!!!111!!!

At least 44 high-ranking members of the notorious MS-13 gang face federal charges after they were rounded up and arrested in Los Angeles pre-dawn police raids.

Hundreds of federal and local law enforcement officers fanned out across the city early Wednesday morning and stormed homes and storefronts to nab leaders of the Mara Salvatrucha gang.

Authorities – headed by the FBI – arrested 21 people at more than 40 locations on various charges, including narcotics trafficking and other violent crimes. Many of them were illegal immigrants.

Three alleged MS-13 gangsters were charged in the racketeering indictment for murders they committed in connection with the gang’s activities.

Illegal immigrants? You don’t say. In other words, the people rounded up are the people the California State Government wants to provide with free legal assistance, college tuition, and neck massages.

I mean, heaven forfend that these wonderful people should face deportation for such niggling offenses as drug trafficking,  DUI’s, sex trafficking, armed robbery, assault, murder or those other robust benefits of an open borders/Sanctuary state.

I note these raids happened after three years of dithering under the Obama Administration.

Contemptible

Posted by V the K at 7:58 pm - May 18, 2017.
Filed under: Obama Worship & Indoctrination

How much did the Obama Regime loathe the military? This much.

The Obama Justice Department discriminated against military veterans, trying to force them to withdraw their applications for two job postings — then canceling the postings altogether and rewriting the jobs to prevent the veterans from qualifying, a government watchdog said Wednesday.

Under federal law, veterans should have gotten preferential consideration for the two positions in the International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program.

But the Obama Justice Department had some connected non-veterans they wanted the jobs to go to, so they made sure the veterans couldn’t get them.

This is, of course, not a scandal because Obama was perfect and wonderful and the bestest president America ever had, according to Democrats.

Do Hollywood Writers Know Any Actual Christians?

On a recent episode of Law and Order: SVU (which I was amazed to learn is still in production), the storyline concerned… I am not making this up… a Christian church that encourages teenagers to rape other teenagers to keep them from turning gay.

SVU’s writers saved their coup de grace for the final minutes of the episode. In those last moments, the audience learns that Lucas himself is a closeted homosexual, and the priest told him to have sex with Ann as penance for his own homoerotic thoughts.

Yeah, because Christian ministers *always* encourage teenagers to engage in premarital sex to ward off Teh Ghey.

It’s like everything Hollywood knows about Christianity comes from The Handmaids Tale: which is nothing but a paranoid fantasy of what the world would be like if Christians acted like Muslims.

Let the DOJ appoint another special counsel

…to look into the Obama administration’s surveillance of its political opponents.

  • whether it was truly “incidental” to legitimate (other) concerns, and/or done under FISA warrants
  • whether FISA warrants were obtained properly (rather than relying on, say, a “dossier” hacked together by a foreign intelligence agency as a political favor)
  • whether NSA Susan Rice, an Obama White House operative who apparently ordered the “unmasking” of Trump associates’ names in the surveillance data, did so for honest and legal reasons
  • whether the subsequent distribution of the “unmasked” intelligence was necessary, legal and proper
  • and who leaked it (along with Trump campaign information) to the media and/or the Hillary campaign, possibly committing felonies in the process.

Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander. We, the American people, need to know exactly what the Obama administration was up to with its domestic spying on Americans and especially on its political opponents.

And if illegal unmasking, distribution or leaking occurred: let there be indictments.

UPDATE: Tucker Carlson has a point: President Trump could have blocked the DOJ’s special counsel for Russia. And President Hillary would have (for anything connected to her). She would be too afraid of where an independent investigator might go. Trump isn’t.

I notice Trump calling it a witch hunt, but that’s a slag on the Left’s hysteria; not on the DOJ or Director Mueller.

Joss, Joss: Sorry but you’re a moron

From Breitbart, Joss Whedon Film Imagines World Without ‘Beacon of Hope’ Planned Parenthood

The 3-minute film shows tears, frustration, and desperation in its imaginary world without Planned Parenthood, where scholarships are lost and projects interrupted all because the abortion giant isn’t present to erase the consequences of people’s sexual decisions…

As if people wouldn’t quickly move to a mix of adoption, privately-funded abortion, privately-funded birth control, non-vaginal sex, abstinence and/or condoms.

And I say that as a supporter of first-semester abortion rights. Even I can recognize when abortion advocates are dishonest.

“Planned Parenthood is a beacon of hope, and anyone trying to shut it down is committing an act of evil. It’s not just inhumane — it’s inhuman.

No, Joss. What’s evil, inhumane and inhuman (you can picture his face and voice cracking on that one) is:

  1. Late-term abortion.
  2. Forcing your fellow citizens to fund it.
  3. Painting murderers as heroes.
  4. Assuming that anything YOU like, has to be funded by taxpayers (rather than yourself).

But we know Joss has problems:

On Mother’s Day, he tweeted his gratitude for his mother’s death 25 years earlier so she wouldn’t have to live in a world where Donald Trump was president…

…and his other tweets gleefully picture graphic violence happening to Republicans.

UPDATE – Unrelated? I almost blogged on this yesterday: Man rompers. Hipsters in baby clothes.

seven male models in ridiculous one piece baby suits known as rompers

Joss Whedon has nothing to do with this, so I can’t imagine why my subconscious connects it to him. But it does.

And, that Russia investigation…

Obviously, we had news that former FBI Director Mueller will be a special counsel to investigate the Trump-Russia allegations. Provided that his investigation is honest, it will be a good thing. Given that people are so hysterical, let them play detective until they burn themselves out.

Slightly more interesting is this morning’s Reuters article, Trump campaign had at least 18 undisclosed contacts with Russians.

Michael Flynn and other advisers to Donald Trump’s campaign were in contact with Russian officials and others with Kremlin ties in at least 18 calls and emails during the last seven months of the 2016 presidential race…

Conversations between Flynn and Kislyak accelerated after the Nov. 8 vote as the two discussed establishing a back channel for communication between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin that could bypass the U.S. national security bureaucracy, which both sides considered hostile to improved relations… [ed: Really? ya think?]

The people who described the contacts to Reuters said they had seen no evidence of wrongdoing or collusion between the campaign and Russia in the communications reviewed so far…

Members of the Senate and House intelligence committees have gone to the CIA and the National Security Agency to review transcripts and other documents related to contacts between Trump campaign advisers and associates and Russian officials…

Translation: Yes, the Obama administration surveilled the living crap out of its domestic political opponents. When will we get a special counsel for that?

But hey – At least the surveillance will let us know for sure if Trump improperly colluded with Russians. Assuming, again, an honest report from Mueller.

My prediction for the result is that

  1. Trump and his aides didn’t collude
  2. Their not disclosing these 18 contacts was fairly innocent (as in, minor text messages that easy to forget when you’re asked about an area where you did nothing wrong)
  3. all the same, the Left and the Controlled Media are going to start a “Trump Lied!!” thing.

But hey, that’s just a guess and I could be wrong. We shall see.

How do you think it ends?

At least some people are noticing that the Controlled Media witch hunts against Trump are an attempted coup d’etat against a lawfully-elected president.

What’s the endgame? Does President Trump resign in disgrace? Or does he triumph, as the hysteria is exposed and burns itself out? Or does he allow himself to be neutered, governing from now on as a captive of the Democrats? I don’t know.

Nobody’s perfect, and the Controlled Media is great at keeping up drumbeats; so yes, they will find something real or semi-real against Trump eventually. Let’s face it.

I could dismiss the Controlled Media as an irrelevant province of old people, and to a large extent that would be true. But they have ongoing relevance to the extent that they can scare the Congressional Republicans into rejecting (or at least unsupporting) Trump.

To get his appointees in office (including judges), to build a wall, to pass his desired infrastructure spending or tax reform, etc., Trump needs Republican unity. The purpose of the manufactured hysteria is to destroy intra-Republican unity and so to derail Trump’s appointees, criminal investigations (of the Left) and legislative agenda.

I could see a scenario where Trump resigns in contemptuous frustration. He denounces the hysteria (rightly) as he does so, and his Tweets remain a force in American politics. What happens next?

Do the Deep State and Controlled Media play the same game on President Pence? Will it work again, so soon? If it does work again so soon, does America slide into civil war at some point?

Whom does President Pence choose, as his Vice President? Does he let the Deep State run wild, taking us into another war? Questions, questions. Please let us know your thoughts, in the comments.

Discovery versus The Orville

Posted by V the K at 7:13 pm - May 17, 2017.
Filed under: Pop Culture

CBS has released a trailer for its repeatedly delayed Star Trek:Diversity Discovery. It looks… tedious… full of itself… somewhat pretentious. Yup, it’s Star Trek, all right. With added virtue signalling. (Female minority captains and a gay guy!)

And I have to buy a subscription to a PayTV service to watch it? SRSLY? Dude, I don’t even have cable.

Frankly, Fox’s new space series The Orville looks like a helluva lot more fun. I wonder how long before Fox gives it the Firefly treatment.

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Cernovich on the intel leaks

This refers to Monday’s drama where The Washington Post alleged that President Trump had inappropriately leaked intelligence to the Russians.

First, why should anyone care what Mike Cernovich thinks? Because lately, he’s been breaking stories. He seems to have sources. His claims are outlandish; and then they turn out to be on the right track (though not 100% on all details).

So, here he is on the WaPo story. It’s a long video. Listening at 1.5x speed helps. Or I can just tell you his key points. Disclaimer – take this as his opinion and speculation. I’m interested mainly to see if it’s going to come true again?

  • Whoever leaked the story to WaPo, leaked way more classified information than Trump did.
  • At most, Trump revealed a location where some intelligence had happened. But WaPo was given far more detailed classified information, by its source(s).
  • As such, the leaks to WaPo were highly illegal, and have done far more damage to American security.
    • Because WaPo computers/networks can be hacked (and probably are).
  • White House and NSC staff have been on lockdown while they figure out who is the leaker. Cernovich’s top candidates:
    1. David Laufman, chief of counter-intelligence at the FBI. Obama donor. Was in charge of investigating Hillary’s emails; i.e., helped whitewash her. Has been involved in previous leaks. Fits the profile of someone who was not present at the meeting with Russians, but who nonetheless saw the meeting notes and all kinds of other classified info.
    2. NSA McMaster. Has a troubled relationship with Trump; potential motive would be to create a disaster, then be the hero who gets Trump out of it.
    3. Kris Bauman, a pro-Hamas / anti-Israel hire of McMaster’s; potential motive would be to disrupt the U.S. relationship with Israel.
  • One way or another, people will be going to prison over this episode.

As to Seth Rich: Per Cernovich,

  • Rich was the DNC leaker. (again Mike’s opinion/speculation – although I agree)
  • He was one of that rare breed: a Democrat staffer who was an American patriot. He was outraged by the Democrats’ rigged primary.
  • The Rich family spokesperson who denies all this (Bauman) is a political consultant paid by the DNC (not the Rich family).
  • When the DNC reported the hacking, FBI agents asked to look at the hacked servers – and the DNC refused. DNC hired CrowdStrike to concoct the narrative that DNC wanted (Russia hacking).

I do recall that former FBI Director Comey has been a strong supporter of CrowdStrike and their report; for example in his testimony before Congress. It is remarkable how many different actions of Comey’s over the years have helped Democrats and/or Clintons.

The Swamp Strikes Back

Via HotAir: Yet another media football we are supposed to care about.

Former FBI Director Comey, who in 2016 usurped authority most improperly and to the advantage of one political party (their presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, not being indicted), and who was justly fired last week, is dishing dirt on the man who fired him.

First, some key details:

“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Mr. Trump told Mr. Comey, according to [Comey’s account]. “He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”

Mr. Trump told Mr. Comey that Mr. Flynn had done nothing wrong, according to [Comey’s account]. Mr. Comey did not say anything to Mr. Trump about curtailing the investigation, replying only: “I agree he is a good guy.”

In a statement, the White House denied the version of events…

“While the president has repeatedly expressed his view that General Flynn is a decent man who served and protected our country, the president has never asked Mr. Comey or anyone else to end any investigation, including any investigation involving General Flynn,” the statement said. “The president has the utmost respect for our law enforcement agencies, and all investigations. This is not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the president and Mr. Comey.”

…The Feb. 14 meeting took place just a day after Mr. Flynn was forced out of his job…

To review:

  • Even Comey agrees that former NSA Flynn is well-meaning and patriotic.
  • All the same, President Trump fired Flynn.
  • After he did that, and according to only one side of the story, Trump then wondered out loud why Flynn would still be a matter for investigation.

But this is what the New York Times put in the lede:

President Trump asked the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, to shut down the federal investigation into [Flynn]…

That’s taking sides, rather a lot.

I can see why Trump’s opponents think they’re onto something. POTUS should never discuss ongoing investigations with the FBI, lest their be any hint of improper influence. If Comey’s account is true, Trump made a mistake.

But that is no small “if”. Even apart from this incident, Comey has a recent track record of showboating, misunderstanding situations and improper behavior. And he was just fired. Narcissistic, Disgruntled And Disgraced Ex-Employee Dishing Whatever Dirt He Thinks He Has #1,499,503,777. Yawn, yawn, yawn.

The larger picture is this. President Trump wants to Drain The Swamp and Make America Great Again. That’s why half of America elected him. Also, the fact that Trump is an amateur politician, NOT a professional. People thought it would be refreshing.

The Swamp, naturally, doesn’t want to be drained. And it owns the Controlled Media: for example, it owns the New York Times via Carlos Slim, an immigration activist and Trump opponent (and alleged corrupt businessperson and/or drug lord). And so we’re treated to these accounts, which are then picked up by The Swamp’s many representatives in Congress.

There are going to be a lot of these kerfuffles to come. Trump is a sloppy, amateur politician. And The Swamp is determined to derail his reform agenda, by making a mountain of every mistake that they would gladly cover up for one of their own (Obama or Hillary).

In the end, either The Swamp will win, or Trump will. It’s out of my hands.

UPDATE: Mark Steyn (via commenter KCRob):

if this partially read memo is as the Times characterized it (“Comey Memo Says Trump Asked Him to End Flynn Investigation”), that would be a very serious matter. Comey had several options:

1) He could have reported Trump’s attempted interference to the Department of Justice (as he was obliged to do);

2) He could have disclosed it to the Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr;

3) He could have resigned on principle.

Instead, he did nothing…

In other words: More Comey impropriety! Either the man or his story (at least) is belied by the fact that he did nothing at the time, except write a Note to Self.

UPDATE: Rush has a point: Whatever Trump is alleged to have done in the Flynn investigation is far less than what Obama did in the Hillary investigation.

In my view: that wouldn’t make it OK, but double standards aren’t OK either.

UPDATE: Yes, Comey has a track record as a Democrat agent who lies to promote himself and help Clintons escape justice. I wondered. Sigh.

Why socialism always puts bad people in charge

In Monday night’s Venezuela post, our wise commenters said:

socialism doesn’t work because it is an unjust economic system. the people in power take things from people that work…

The wrong people will ALWAYS be in charge, because for socialism to work you have to have completely altruistic people in charge…

Yes. Except, it’s even worse than that 😉 The biggest problems with socialism are:

  1. It wrecks the Price Mechanism. Even if you had truly altruistic people in charge, such an economy still can’t function.
  2. Only bad-or-stupid people want a wrecked price mechanism. Thus, only bad-or-stupid people advocate socialism. And the bad people know how to shepherd the stupid people; thus, the bad people always end up in charge.

By Price Mechanism, I mean free markets discovering and signalling the prices of things. To review how that works:

  • All goods and services must be rationed, by one means or another.
    • because human needs are infinite
    • whereas human time (used to produce goods and services) is not
  • Markets ration things by having people pay a market price for the available supply.
    • If something is in short supply, those who have the highest “score” in terms of being both able and willing to pay, will get it.
    • “Willing” as in, free will / the person’s choice.
  • The market price moves up and down, accomplishing two big things as it does so.
    1. It coordinates people’s consumption activities. (Those who are unwilling or unable to pay for a thing at its current price, look for substitutes.)
    2. It coordinates people’s production activities. (As a thing’s price moves higher, it induces people to produce more of it.)
  • The coordination is spontaneous and responsive to changing conditions, because it is voluntary.
  • If you interfere with the price mechanism, you interfere with (or even block) that coordination.

OK, so the price mechanism is objectively great. It induces voluntary coordination among vast numbers of people – thus enabling the Division of Labor. Who would want to mess with that?

The answer is: People who gain by interactions that are not voluntary. People such as moochers, thieves, thugs, politicians and bureaucrats. People who lack the ability or willingness to produce. People who hope to live by altering or preventing market outcomes. People who think they can plan and control others better than those others can. People who are willing to gain by keeping others down.

In short: People who gain by dictatorship. Arrogant people who enjoy using force on others to prevent the peaceful activities and outcomes that people would otherwise create on their own.

That’s the nature of socialism. It’s not a noble ideal. It’s a curse, an evil. Like the Mafia, it’s always led by bad people because it *is* bad, in its nature. It can never be desired by people who are both good-hearted and knowledgeable. Therefore, it can never be led by them. And, even if it were somehow, it still wouldn’t function – because of the wrecked price mechanism.

This feeds into how the term “socialism” is defined.

  • An old, strict definition is: public ownership of the means of production.
  • But people today use the word with a much broader meaning: Any system where a governing authority intervenes in markets, preventing the market price mechanism from operating.

The socialist planners always proclaim their good intentions. And they always make things worse. And it’s not an accident or a failure to apply socialism; it’s inherent in socialism.

Wrecking the price mechanism kills spontaneous, voluntary coordination; and that’s the point of the thing. It’s why stupid-or-bad people love socialism. They WANT to control others and prevent market outcomes. It’s not a proverbial “unforeseen consequence”; it’s the point.

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