The D.N.C. is cheating AGAIN!

SOURCE: The Jimmy Dore Show, <https://youtu.be/BwjRnXGtkr0>, posted 8/27/2019.

^ This is what the Democratic Party does, they cheat the populists out of the process by manipulating their primary rules.  The Democratic National Committee (D.N.C.) was against Bernie Sanders in 2016 because they were beholden to the Clinton machine and Sanders was the anti-war voice against Hillary Clinton.  Now, the D.N.C. is against Tulsi Gabbard because she’s the new populist voice speaking out against the corporate interests who bankroll the Democrats.  Changes in debate rules in the middle of the election season, discounting specific polls that don’t favor specific candidates, setting thresholds for fundraising as qualifyers for potential nominations, these are some of the subtle tactics that the dominant political parties (the Republican Party is guilty too) use to maintain power and shut out candidates who value the public over their party.  Populists are at an incredible disadvantage because our elections are all about party loyalty and fundraising.
President George Washington warned the American public about party politics, these fucking donkeys and elephants have taken over the nation!

Populists are at an incredible disadvantage because our elections are all about party loyalty and fundraising.

SOURCE: United States Representative Tulsi Gabbard, <https://youtu.be/es3lWK-wXLs>, posted 8/27/2019.

 

 

Nuclear Tech for the Arabs, not the Persians

By Dylan R.N. Crabb

Reuters reports on “six secret authorizations” from the United States Energy Secretary Rick Perry regarding the sale of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia.

Screenshot_2019-04-06 U S approved secret nuclear power work for Saudi Arabia
SOURCE: Timothy Gardner, 3/27/2019, <https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-saudi-nuclear/us-approved-secret-nuclear-power-work-for-saudi-arabia-idUSKCN1R82MG>.

I’m not going to go into any details about how Saudi Arabia is an excessively authoritarian, theocratic monarchy that oppresses its people on a daily basis because anyone who pays attention to the news already understands that unfortunate situation (unless you’re also a power-hungry authoritarian who salivates over the kind of oppression that the House of Saud delivers daily). What frustrates me is the hypocrisy in American foreign policy. Why are so many power brokers so against the idea of our government making some peace with the government of Iran citing justifications like, “it’s a sponsor of terrorism,” or “it doesn’t align with American values,” but then those same psuedo-moralists will not make a sound when we deal with a government that does just that (state-sponsored terrorism). Can we at least have some consistency in our government policies? If we can’t deal with Iran because they are too authoritarian and they sponsor terrorism around the globe, then why the fuck are we dealing with the Saudis?

ArabianOil
IMAGE SOURCE: <https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2018-08-05/saudi-arabia-is-starting-to-stockpile-oil-again>.

I suppose it’s all about those Arabian oil fields and, since the Arabs don’t like the Persians, the U.S. will continue to suck that big Arabian penis until the oil runs out.

Illegal Immigration – a National Security Issue or a Humanitarian Issue?

By Dylan R.N. Crabb

The need to “secure our borders” is usually a hot topic for political campaigns. Unfortunately, fear too often accompanies the rhetoric around the topic. Too many politicians see the issue of immigration as simply a way to inflate their own egos by talking shit about foreigners as well as appeal to the very real human instinct to fear the unknown. The fear is understandable, it can be scary to think about people from a different country and culture coming into your own country – your own state – with values and customs that you don’t understand especially if the strangers are described using the harshest of words. There is an element of risk in meeting new people and its scary on an individual level as well as a collective level.

The great American cliche involves a “land of opportunity” and for many people over the past two centuries it was true. The United States experienced a surge of immigration from Europe and Asia through the latter 19th century into the 20th century during which time American citizens heard similar zenophobic rhetoric as we hear today and immigrants experienced similar prejudice because of rhetoric crafted to fuel fear. As with most groups of humans, some immigrants do not follow the laws of their new countries and they get punished by the respective justice systems as they are found out, but most immigrants have a very strong incentive to act as law-abiding residents, most immigrants are risking a lot in their own lives (sometimes life itself) to find a new place to call home and experience the same dignity through hard and meaningful work for which every human strives.

The liberalization of international trade as well as the stagnation of wages over the past few decades have created a situation across the globe in which large populations of humans are competing with other large populations of humans across vast regions for jobs just to supply themselves with basic necessities – laissez faire capitalism on a global scale. It is unrealistic and unsustainable over the long-term because large groups of humans throughout developing countries and even some of the developed world are now at the mercy of the bottom lines of a few mega corporations (corporations with more economic clout and political capital than some small countries). I’m imagining a future comprising of the combined nightmares of Upton Sinclair, George Orwell, and Philip K. Dick.

In order to combat this dystopian vision of humanity’s future where corporate executives have enough individual wealth and power to make the feudal lords of old salivate and government officials are basically prostitutes for private interests, I believe we need to renew an old conversation: what is the purpose of a government, what is an individual’s responsibility toward public interests, and what does a “social contract” entail? Immigration trends are responses to global economic trends, simply closing our borders to immigrants and refugees is not going to solve the root issue of economic inflation and stagnant wages.

The “State of the Union” is shit.

By Dylan R.N. Crabb

Do we really need a televised “State of the Union” address?

At the beginning of every year, Americans choose whether or not tune into the “State of the Union” address delivered by the current president, whom is treated like royalty with grandstanding applause at his every vague word. The past five presidents can sum up one S.O.T.U. in one sentence: the state of the union is shit. Of course, a politician has to keep up a facade for the American public so no one becomes too alarmed.

President Donald Trump’s latest S.O.T.U. address last night was particularly useless because it’s President Trump – an excessively selfish, misogynistic, corporatist, baffoon who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Does this guy really understand the current state of our democratic-republic?

Trump-grandstanding

IMAGE SOURCE: Fox News, <https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/liz-peek-state-of-the-union-speech-showcases-talent-of-trump-on-the-stump>, 2019.

The S.O.T.U. is a partisan sporting event for American politicians. Regardless of who is the President, the two parties with the most political market share use the event to throw miniscule rhetorical punches at each other, distracting the public with their charade of modern tribalism. All the while, their corporate puppet masters make back room deals to fuck over the average American with neo-liberal economics and an imperialist agenda. That’s what American politics has become: charades and back room deals.

President Trump campaigned on pseudo-populist rhetoric which was successful against an obvious corporatist who had been in politics her entire life and who’d flip-flopped on issues more times than anyone could count. Though, once in Office, Trump proved himself even more of a phony. He doesn’t care about working Americans given his cabinet picks (a former oil lobbyist for the position of Interior Secretary?), he only cares about his own ego.

I’m also a selfish person but I have no plans to run for a public office, I would hate that kind of job.

A look into history.

While the nation’s first two presidents felt it necessary to deliver a speech to the national Congress, President Thomas Jefferson disagreed with that assumption. President Jefferson believed a physical speech to Congress was not necessary and a public event idolizing the presidency seemed to monarchial, antithectical to the nation’s democratic ideal. Instead of a physical speech, President Jefferson simply wrote a letter to the Congress in which he laid out budget reports for his agenda (no grandstanding public appeals) and that tradition was followed until President Woodrow Wilson revived public addresses in 1913.

I think two inventions transformed political theatre in the negative during the 20th century: the radio and the television. Ultimately, the radio and the television (more so with television) placed more emphasis on public appearances and optics rather than the specifics of policies. Americans began turning to what a candidates looked like and what he appeared to do rather than what a candidate actually was, Presidents John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan are examples of this public obsession with appearances. Both Kennedy and Reagan were praised for their on-camera talents while their less favorable actions regarding policy stayed out of the spotlight.

How can Americans return to a policy-focused culture shying away from appearances and optics?

Five Thirty Eight: “Why the House and Senate are Moving in Opposite Directions”

“At first, I was a little skeptical of the narrative that Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation process could send the House and Senate moving in opposite directions.  Usually in politics, a rising tide lifts all boats — so whichever party benefited from the Supreme Court nominee’s confirmation would expect to see its fortunes improve in both its best states and districts and its worst ones.

But a House-Senate split is exactly what we’re seeing in the Five Thirty Eight forecast (Nate Silver, Five Thirty Eight, 2018).”

 

A Shifting Pendulum in American Politics

By Dylan R.N. Crabb

 

The Democratic Party is moving further to the political Left, embracing more collectivist modes of ideology and doubling down on their identitarian activism.  Today’s typical “Progressive” is now a caricature of my generation (Generation Y, the millennial generation) and it’s embarrassing; from screaming at Republican senators in the nation’s capital, to banging on the door of the Supreme Court of the United States after the confirmation of a new conservative-leaning Justice, to forcefully shutting down academic events hosting conservative speakers, it is apparent that Leftists (not liberals) are becoming more radicalized in this strange post-truth era.

How did we get here?

I think it started with internet connections and the World Wide Web which dramatically increased access to information for the general public.  Greater access combined with more diversity is a double-edged sword in media because, with more choices of programs, confirmation bias becomes more prevalent; individuals will naturally gravitate toward programs that confirm what they already believe.  This is why it is so important to make an effort to seek out points of view alternate to your own.  The American public is currently experiencing the negative, balkanizing effects of confirmation bias.

What’s the solution? 

I think the solution to our wide-spread confirmation bias ironically involves the very tools that encouraged this virus of the mind, although it also requires a change in mindset in each individual.  We need to consider different sources, the motivations behind particular narratives, and power bases behind specific media companies.  The ideological leanings of a journalist or commentator affects their news coverage as does the primary financing of an organization.  In short, we need to be more skeptical.

Skepticism requires curiosity and acting on curiosity requires initiative.  Journalist Tim Pool points out one the most stark differences between the political Left and Right today: the Left generally has no qualms with alienating individuals whom disagree with their mainstream narratives while the Right is constantly seeking out disagreements for the sake of discourse – the Left pushes people away with their dislike for nuance while the Right is actively recruiting people.  This new inclusiveness on the Right will likely lead to a new conservative movement among younger Americans.  We’re already seeing rising conservative media outlets catapulting young and energetic talking heads to national fame – figures like Ben Shapiro, Tomi Lahren, Roaming Millennial, and Dave Rubin are immensely popular with young people partly because they don’t condescend young people about how “oppressed” they are by forces beyond one’s control.  A general narrative on the Right is one of an individualistic spirit of exploration and invention endemic in American history.

Liberalism was once the champion of individualism and personal liberty but liberalism has been corrupted by its own hubris.  Leftists coming to dominate the fields of entertainment became obsessed with the appearance of diversity while ignoring diversity’s most important facet: the intellect.  Now, the intellectually lazy neo-liberals are being beaten in the marketplace of ideas by their Right-wing counterparts who still see value in showcasing diverse opinions regardless of appearances and communicating across ideologies.  If the Left wants to have a fighting chance in this new media landscape of individualism and curiosity, I think they need to rediscover liberalism and the intellectual traditions of Western civilization – from Hammurabi’s Code, to the oratory of Pericles, to the revelations of the Enlightenment, to the rational populism of Presidents Roosevelt.

Did Professor Christine Ford lie while under oath?

By Dylan R.N. Crabb

 

Yesterday (10/2), the Wall Street Journal reported that the renewed FBI investigation into the allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh could be over “very soon, well ahead of the end-of-the-week deadline.”

This is not surprising considering that Senator Diane Feinstein had already approached the FBI with the allegations prior to Judge Kavanaugh’s planned confirmation hearing; the FBI had denied to investigate the allegations further.  The public has also seen a statement from Rachel Mitchell, the Arizona-based prosecutor hired by the Senate Republicans as an independent investigator, saying “I do not think that a reasonable prosecutor would bring this case based on the evidence before the Committee.”  (See my previous blog entries for the sources.)

I mean no disrespect towards Professor Ford, whatever trauma she has experienced in the past.  If there is not enough evidence of the alleged crime, action should not be taken in her favor.  That is the unfortunate reality sex crimes, they are exceptionally difficult to prove.

A new development now brings Ford’s credibility into question: a letter from a person claiming to be an ex-boyfriend of then-Christine Blasey.

Screenshot_2018-10-03 Shannon Bream on Twitter

SOURCE: Shannon Bream, <https://twitter.com/shannonbream/status/1047293294567456770?s=21> (Twitter, 2018).

The author of the letter states at the end that he wishes to maintain his anonymity but still wanted to share what he knew about Ford.  If this person is who he says he is, there seems to be several things about Ford that contradict what the country saw and heard in Ford’s Senate testimony.

Professor Ford testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee that she was hesitant to come to Washington D.C. because she has a fear of flying and it would have been nerve-racking for her.  This is despite the fact that Senator Chuck Grassley (the Judiciary Committee Chairman) offered to fly a team to her in California to record her testimony in a more comfortable location.  This letter, supposedly from Ford’s ex-boyfriend, reveals that Ford does not have a fear of flying or didn’t at that time.

Professor Ford was specifically asked by Rachel Mitchell in cross-examination if she has ever discussed how to take a polygraph test with anyone.  Ford responded, “never.”  This letter reveals that Ford assisted a friend of hers in obtaining a job in law enforcement.  The friend named as Monica L. McLean apparently had to take a polygraph as a condition of potential employment and Ford helped her prepare for the examination.  The letter reads that Ford was able to help her friend prepare for a polygraph due to her knowledge of psychology.

The latter revelation may be the most damning as it is a federal crime to provide false information to an government body during the course of an investigation, a crime that can carry a punishment of a fine or a 5-year imprisonment.

Did Professor Ford lie while under oath to the Senate Judiciary Committee?

Senator Grassley has re-submitted a request to Professor Ford’s lawyers for more evidence regarding Ford’s allegation.

Screenshot_2018-10-03 10 02 18-CEG-to-Ford-Attorneys pdf

SOURCE: Sean Davis, The Federalist, <http://confirmkavanaugh.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/10.02.18-CEG-to-Ford-Attorneys.pdf> (2018).

Senator Grassley later explains to Ford’s lawyers:

“That the Senate is not a court of law doe not change the reality that Dr. Ford’s allegations have put Judge Kavanaugh on trial before the nation.  A sitting federal judge and Supreme Court nominee has been accused of committing a violent crime.  Dr. Ford, to her credit, offered her testimony to the Judiciary Committee, notwithstanding attempts at obstruction by her attorneys and Senate Democratic leadership.  The testimony hinges on evidence to which Dr. Ford has repeatedly referred – some of which has already been provided to a nationally circulated newspaper – but which you have refused to provide to the Senate.”

It seems strange that supposed evidence to a crime would be given to a national newspaper to be showcased before the whole country but not to an investigative body with the specific intent to investigate the allegation.

Why are Ford’s attorneys dragging their heels in cooperating with the Senate Judiciary Committee?

Another Week of Hyperbole and Slander from Clownish Jackasses

By Dylan R.N. Crabb

 

Another week, time for more hyperbole in media.  The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee caved to public pressure to delay Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court of the United States.  The deciding vote to delay came Senator Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) although he also stated somewhat definitively that he would eventually vote in Judge Kavanaugh’s favor.

Screenshot_2018-10-02 Flake Statement on SCOTUS Nomination - Press Releases - United States Senator Jeff Flake

SOURCE: Office of U.S. Senator Jeff Flake, <https://www.flake.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2018/9/flake-statement-on-scotus-nomination>, 2018.

A presumption of innocence?  Equality under the law?  It’s as if these concepts have become foreign to the over-sensitive activists we see advocating for entitlements, censorship, and uses of violence as an acceptable method of political maneuvering.  We need not look far to see the tactics of these feelings-based collectivists to see the violent nature behind their pathology.

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and his wife attempting to enjoy some personal time together at a restaurant:

SOURCE: TicToc by Bloomberg, 2018.

Senator Flake leaving Tuesday’s (9/28) Senate committee hearing:

SOURCE: CNN, 2018.

These radical activists seem to believe that confronting people in an intimidating fashion at inopportune times is preferable to seeking out proper methods of communication and initiating contact like a civilized person.  My advice to anyone who finds themselves the target of an unapologetic mob is to NEVER SUBMIT TO THE MOB.  Either stand your ground and peacefully defend your political stance or walk away without acknowledging any of the mob’s sycophants.

Rachel Mitchell, the independent investigative counsel appointed by the Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans, released a statement of her own regarding Professor Christine Ford’s allegations against Judge Kavanaugh.

Screenshot_2018-10-02 Rachel-Mitchell-s-analysis pdf

SOURCE: Rachel Mitchell, legal memorandum, <https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/4952137/Rachel-Mitchell-s-analysis.pdf>, 2018.

The document goes on to state:

“In the legal context, here is my bottom line: A “he said, she said” case is incredibly difficult to prove. But this case is even weaker than that.  Dr. Ford identified other witnesses to the event, and those witnesses either refuted her allegations or failed to corroborate them.  For the reasons discussed below, I do not think that a reasonable prosecutor would bring this case based on the evidence before the Committee.  Nor do I believe that this evidence is sufficient to satisfy the preponderance-of-the-evidence standard (Rachel Mitchell, memo, 2018).”
If these allegations have no legal standing, then the Senate Judiciary Committee should stop wasting the American people’s time with this charade and hold the vote to either confirm or deny Judge Kavanaugh.