Monday, March 25, 2019

Re Mueller's report and the fake dossier

According to Wikipedia (footnotes omitted..........)

"The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is an antisemitic fabricated text purporting to describe a Jewish plan for global domination. The hoax, which was shown to be plagiarized from several earlier sources, some not antisemitic in nature, was first published in Russia in 1903, translated into multiple languages, and disseminated internationally in the early part of the 20th century. According to the claims made by some of its publishers, the Protocols are the minutes of a late 19th-century meeting where Jewish leaders discussed their goal of global Jewish hegemony by subverting the morals of Gentiles, and by controlling the press and the world's economies.

"Henry Ford funded printing of 500,000 copies that were distributed throughout the United States in the 1920s. The Nazis sometimes used the Protocols as propaganda against Jews; it was assigned by some German teachers, as if factual, to be read by German schoolchildren after the Nazis came to power in 1933, despite having been exposed as fraudulent by The Times of London in 1921. It is still widely available today in numerous languages, in print and on the Internet, and continues to be presented by some proponents as a genuine document."

Sound familiar?

Robert Mueller: The gift that keeps on giving

All day yesterday I listened to Trump partisans--lawyers and laypersons alike--cheer about Mueller's final act. But except for Alan Dershowitz, not one of them apparently grasped the poisonous seed the Special Counsel planted in his report.

Mueller said he could not exonerate Trump from a charge of obstructing justice.

Put aside whether obstruction can be laid against a public official when acting within the scope of his sworn duty (see the Rick Perry case), put aside whether that crime is applicable when a principal (Trump) fires his agent (Comey), put aside whether constitutionally there are any limitations on whom in the executive branch the President can fire (or why), put aside whether obstruction was within the jurisdiction granted to Mueller by Rosenstein (concerning collusion), and put aside several other thorny legal questions.

Even if Mueller was charged with investigating whether there was any factual basis to support a finding of obstruction, that would have been his only task. His job was not to "exonerate" Trump or anyone else. Mueller's sole job was to answer only one question: Were there any facts showing obstruction?

Mueller had the burden of proof. In gratuitously opining that he could not exonerate Trump he admitted his failure to carry his burden of proof because he admitted there were no facts to support it.

In planting that beyond-his-jurisdiction seed of doubt about obstruction, Mueller has handed Trump's enemies in the House and media the fertilizer to grow yet more investigations until they blossom into the full flower of an impeachment proceeding (if the democrats continue to be strategically and tactically tone deaf to the American people).

Mueller's obsession with obstruction of justice was ultra vires and unproved. No matter what weasel-words he used to help his Deep State allies.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Democrats far

The chameleon: Gillibrand
The ageing hippy: O'Rourke
The anti-gun former governor of Potland: Hickenlooper
The global warming guru: Jay Inslee
The de facto communist: Sanders
The female Simon Legree: Klobuchar
The non-Indian Indian: Warren
The self-anointed Roman slave: Booker
The old guy's putative mistress: Harris
The reparations advocate: Castro
The fascinating progressive patriot: Gabbard
The "Healthcare is a Right" multi-millionaire: Delaney
The peacenik: Williamson
The "Universal Basic Income" altrust: Yang

And let's not forget The plagiarist who's running, but not running [yet]: Biden

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Communism, socialism, altruism

In November 1987 I delivered a lecture in Paris, France, entitled “Moral Disarmament: Why the West Can’t Fight Communism.” My subject was communism, my theme was that socialists could not effectively fight that evil ideology because at root communists and socialists subscribed to the same basic -ism: altruism. 

Among the audience were prominent European politicians, intellectuals, legislators and judges. In the front row sat Milovan Djilas, described by Wikipedia as a “Yugoslav communist politician, theorist and author. *** A self-identified democratic socialist.” 

Throughout my lecture Djilas looked increasingly uncomfortable and when I concluded, he abruptly left abruptly. He had a lot of company, and rightly so.

Recently I was culling old files and came upon the text of my1987 lecture (sans a record of the Q&A). It is quite a propos to today’s political and cultural movement which seeks to subvert our mostly-capitalism system.

*          *          *


Remarks of


“Beyond Frontiers” Conference

Paris, France

November 20, 1987

Everyone in this room understands that communism is an evil ideology. All of us know, some only too well, about the seven decades of world-wide communist atrocities, from the frozen gulag to the jungles of Southeast Asia. We recognize that not only has the West failed to oppose communist expansion, but it has done virtually all it could to facilitate the empire’s growth.
Indeed, many eminent persons, some of them among us today, have eloquently proved that communism has long threatened the world's freedom and that, rather than opposing that menace at every turn, the West has more often than not simply capitulated.
This subject has been addressed by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Vladimir Bukovsky, JeanFrancois Revel. Indeed, Monsieur Revel has devoted an entire book to a brilliantly incisive exposition of “how democracies perish.”

I do not deny the importance of understanding the long saga of Western weakness in the face of communism, including: giving economic assistance to those who would destroy us; fighting two no-win wars in Asia; abandoning the people of Eastern Europe, Cuba, Nicaragua and Afghanistan; failing adequately to aid African freedom fighters; standing still for construction of the obscene Berlin Wall; ignoring the subversion of democratic nations; legitimizing at Helsinki Soviet World War Il military and political gains; hailing each party-ordained successor to Lenin and Stalin as a new hope for the  “liberalization” of totalitarianism; facilitating the demise of authoritarian allies; and much, much more.
However, as crucial as this understanding is, I am here to say that it is not enough to know merely that the West is losing to communism and how day-by-day, issue-by-issue that loss is caused by what the West does wrong and doesn’t do right. Knowing that and how we're losing does not answer the more fundamental, ultimately decisive question of why.
Some commentators have addressed this question. For example, my friend Vladimir Bukovsky has said quite a lot about the subject in his fine book To Choose Freedom. He posits as reasons for why the West is losing to communism, its own increasingly socialist political-economic systems; its acceptance of the false “war or accommodation,” “peace at any price” alternatives; its fear and evasion of the very real moral danger posed by Soviet imperialism; its failure to understand communist ideology, means and ends; its naive concern that in adopting the necessary policies and in taking the requisite steps to oppose communism, we “became like them”; its ethical relativism, subjectivism and pragmatism; its venal desire to make money, whatever the cost and however many the corpses.

All true.

Bukovsky's point that socialism in the West is a cause of the West's failure to strenuously oppose the advance of communism has been elaborated by Ambassador Jeane J. Kirkpatrick in the title essay of her 1982 book Dictatorships and Double Standards:

Because socialism of the Soviet/Chinese/Cuban variety is an ideology rooted in a version of the same values that sparked the enlightenment and the democratic revolutions of the eighteenth century; because it is modern and not traditional; because it postulates goals that appeal to Christians as well as to secular values (brotherhood of man, elimination of power as a mode of human relations) , it is highly congenial to many Americans at the symbolic
level. Marxist revolutionaries speak the language of a hopeful future, while traditional autocrats speak the language of an unattractive past. Because left-wing revolutionaries invoke the symbols and values of democracy emphasizing egalitarianism  rather than hierarchy arid privilege, liberty rather than order, activity rather than passivity—they are again accepted as partisans in the cause of freedom and democracy.

But there more to be said, because the socialism of which Mr. Bukovsky and Ambassador Kirkpatrick speak rests on an underlying ethical principle—one which goes a long way toward explaining why democracies perish: the morality of altruisn.

American author Ayn Rand defined altruisn as holding “that man has no right to exist for his own sake, that service to others is the only justification of his existence, and that self-sacrifice is his highest moral duty, virtue, and value.” She went on to note that “the social system based on and consonant with the altruist morality—with the code of self—sacrifice is socialism, in any or all of its variants; fascism, Nazism, communism. All of them treat man as a sacrificial animal to be immolated for the benefit of the group, the tribe, the society, the state.”
Soviet Russia is the ultimate result, the final product, the full, consistent embodiment of the altruist morality in practice; it represents the only way that that morality can ever be practiced.”
In sum, to the extent that Americans and other Westerners hold the altruist morality, even implicitly, to the extent that they believe, even subconsciously, that individual rights are not absolute and inalienable but rather conditional and subject to disposition by the collective, then they are morally disarmed and thus utterly incapable of consistently and effectively opposing communism at its root. They do not know how to condemn, on moral grounds, communism’s sacrificial principle of “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”
In her 1958 forward to her 1937 anti-communist novel We the Living, Ayn Rand wrote about sacrifice and altruism:
When, at the age twelve, at the time of the Russian Revolution, I first heard the Communist principle that Man must exist for the sake of State, I perceived that this was the central issue, that this principle was evil, and that it could lead to nothing but evil, regardless of any methods, details, decrees, policies, promises and pious platitudes. This was the reason for opposition to Communism then—and it is my reason now. I am still a little astonished, at times, that too many adult Americans do not understand the nature of the fight against Communism as clearly as I understood it at the age of twelve: they continue to believe that only Communist methods are evil, while Communist ideals are noble. All the victories of Communism since the year 1917 are due to that   particular belief among the men who are still free.”

Rand’ s words were written thirty years ago [1957], but they are no less true today: “All the victories of Communism since the year 1917 are due to that particular belief [altruisn] among the men who are still free. "

Ladies and gentlemen, communism is advancing and democracy retreating because, to a considerable extent, the former's foes and the latter's friends—that is, many America and other Western anti-communists, especially writers and other intellectuals—are, at root, not merely socialists, but altruists. They do not eschew the altruist morality, they do not repudiate government control of economic affairs, they not reject wealth redistribution schemes, they do not decry official interference with personal autonomy, they do not accept the principle of absolute, inalienable individual rights.
And so, because socialists are at root altruists, just like communists, socialists are morally disarmed in opposing communism.
And that, friends, is at least one fundamental reason why democracies perish.
*          *          *
Hence, when today one hears insufferable fools waxing eloquent about the virtues of socialism they should not be opposed with obviously pragmatic reasons--"socialism doesn't work," "it costs too much," "every country that's tried it has failed," "it leads to, or is no different from, communism," etc.
Today's socialists, whether zealots or merely fellow-travelers, must be confronted with their naked principle: that the essence of socialism, of what they believe and want to impose on America, is the sacrifice of some individuals to the actual or perceived needs of others--a primitive, tribal belief that all exist for the benefit of all, that no one owns his or her life. They must be told unflinchingly that socialism is, pure and simple, evil.