Where Does a Patriot Turn in 2016?

 
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The Democratic Party’s national convention is attempting to lay claim to the patriot mantle. Yet the party is not quite there. Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was heckled with chants of “no more war.” The Code Pink wing lost the nomination this year, but it won the platform, and may yet win it all in the next cycle.

President Obama seeded his own speech with patriotic grace notes patriotism and, while he recoils from Trump, his horror at Trump’s style seemingly blinds him to their similarities. On substance, they are more alike than not. This shouldn’t be shocking, considering that Trump has been a Democrat for most of his life. What is stunning is the degree to which so many patriots, whose eyes water at the flag and the anthem, imagine that Trump is a patriot in the same mold.

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avatar_1428772734-192x192The Baltics are little, beautiful countries a long way from the United States – and very close to Russia. They were once ruled – captured and brutalized – by the Kremlin. Today, they are members of NATO.
What does this mean? Does it matter? The issue has come up in the current presidential race. And Andrew Stuttaford is an excellent man to address it. He talks with Jay about matters historical and burningly current. They are related.

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Greg Corombos of Radio America and Mark Wright of National Review groan as President Obama used his convention speech to extol the power of American unity after eight years of dividing Americans in every conceivable way. They’re also stunned as Nancy Pelosi says working class whites are too distracted by guns, abortion and gay issues to know what’s good for them and vote for Democrats. And they sigh as both the Trump and Clinton campaigns botch their handling of the DNC email scandal.

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This week on Money & Politics, Larry Kudlow and Tim Pawlenty break down the Democratic convention, Clinton’s Russia connection, that curious “No more war” attack from Bernie people during Leon Pancetta speech, and why Obama paints wrong picture on ISIS. Also, Trump’s RNC speech — key themes, Trump encourages Russia can help find deleted Clinton emails, who is the real change maker? And finally, no rate hike from the Fed.

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Ricochet Member FeedUpvoted by R> Members Slick Willie’s Last Perp Walk

 

In what will likely be his final DNC address Bill Clinton delivered a snooze burger of a speech that received blistering eruptions of applause from the scabs in the audience. The man with stamina enough for his self-proclaimed 2000 lovers ( most after he took his sweet bride across the aisle) seemed as droning and foggy as a roofed intern despite the Pavlovian media’s cholinergic drool fest over his pleas for his devoted queen. With the pallor of 5 decades of substance abuse, the hoarseness of a Brenda Vaccaro Playtex tampon ad, and the awareness of a man with too many hours on cardiac bypass, old scratch had his way one final time with the bovine spongiform encephalopathic journalists desperate to elect their mad cow.

Barring a Clinton victory and evading Cialis toxicity, we may have just seen the media’s final roll in the hay with Slick Wille. It’s always been a sexual thing with him and the media. The women reporters would adore servicing the man who kept baby killing smooth and the liberal beta male crack pundits would probably join in the copulatory heap too if ordered by their alpha female polyandric democratic sycophantic darlings.

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#MakeAmericaExpensiveAgain

 
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When you listen to Hillary Clinton’s acceptance speech tonight — seriously, America, why? — expect to hear a lot of compassionate talk aimed at working Americans. Specifically, about the Democratic Party’s plans to raise the national minimum wage to $12/hour, force companies to offer paid parental leave, double-down on ObamaCare, expand Medicaid, and push for greater education subsidies.

Then, ask yourself: Are these policies going to make life less or more expensive for Americans? So many of our problems — particularly, those regarding employment and the economy — stem from the way our federal government artificially raises the cost of American labor by imposing perquisites on it. Ask yourself, does your company spend too little time working on HR matters? Do you wish you had more federal forms to file? Is it too easy to hire someone willing to trade their time, effort, and skills for pay? Would our problems be better solved by more one-size-shall-fit-all-dammit edicts from Washington, DC? Then, compare your answers to Clinton’s.

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Vikings: The Most Religious Show on TV?

 

Earlier this week, Bishop Robert Barron wrote a short essay MV5BOTEzNzI3MDc0N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzk1MzA5NzE@._V1_about the History Channel’s drama series Vikings, arguing that it’s the most explicitly religious show he can remember watching. On this advice, my husband and I watched the first episode last night and our 14-year-old son was immediately sucked in. His parting words for the night were “Don’t watch it without me!” (The 19-year-old came home in the middle of it and, scandalized, asked why we were letting him watch Game of Thrones? Um, no dear.) From a spoiler-free portion of the bishop’s piece:

[E]veryone in Vikings is religious: the Northmen (and women) themselves, the English, the French, and visitors from distant lands. To be sure, they are religious in very different ways, but there is no one who does not take with utter seriousness a connection to a higher, spiritual realm. Moreover, their spirituality is not an abstraction, but rather is regularly embodied in ritual, prayer, procession, liturgy, and mystical experience. The ubiquity and intensity of faith in these various peoples and tribes calls to mind philosopher Charles Taylor’s observation that, prior to 1500 or so, it was practically unthinkable not to be religious. That God exists, that spiritual powers impinge upon the world, that we live on after we die, that a higher authority judges our deeds—all of this was simply the default of the overwhelming majority of the human race prior to very recent times in certain pockets of Western civilization. Taylor speaks of the “buffered self” that has come to dominate today. He means the identity that is closed in upon itself, oblivious to a transcendent dimension, committed unquestioningly to a naturalist or materialist view of reality. I must confess that it was enormously refreshing to watch a program in which every single self was unbuffered!

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Europe in the Terrorists’ Grasp: We’re Next

 

shutterstock_52302157Europe’s sense of safety and security is being chipped away — or perhaps I should say “bludgeoned and run over” — by Islamist terrorism. As incidents increase, the French, Germans, and the rest of the European Union are wringing their hands and in a state of bewilderment. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said following the attack in Nice: “France is going to have to live with terrorism.” No one seems to know what to do.

In his most recent column, the Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens describes how Europe has found itself too paralyzed by its history and mythology to fight terrorism. I fear that the same reasons for their ineptitude and confusion contribute to our own. Stephens describes the current conditions as the Europeans holding onto to a historic mythology: “Among those mythologies: that the European Union is the result of a postwar moral commitment to peace; that Christianity is of merely historical importance to European identity; that there’s no such thing as a military solution; that one’s country isn’t worth fighting for; that honor is atavistic and tolerance is the supreme value.”

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Is Trump The Real Conservative?

 

trumpIs Trump the real conservative? The bench, we were told, was deep. Cruz, Rubio, Kasich, Jeb along with Biff, Buffy, Jugghead, Flounder… And then came Donald Trump. But while the bench might have been deep with politics, how deep were their conservative bonafides? Senator Rubio’s shtick wore thin quickly and he could not atone for his dalliances with amnesty. Governor Kasich was unconvincing except as a “good government” proponent and that ain’t conservative. Senator Cruz was conservative, no doubt, but he ticked everyone off. How can you govern if you can’t get along with others? Jeb never had a chance; his father was no conservative and his brother was too timid to be. The rest were flawed and weak.

And what of Trump’s conservatism? Better than you might think.

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Update on the Bukovsky Trial

 

BukI just received this press release from Vladimir Bukovsky. You may recall that he sued Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service for libel over a statement it issued in April announcing that he was being charged with “making” child pornography. Bukovsky strenuously denied the allegations, and took the unusual step of issuing a writ against the CPS in the high court in London. Unfortunately — but unsurprisingly — the court has found against him:

The CPS has made no allegations of Vladimir Bukovsky’s involvement in sexual abuse of children, the High Court has ruled today. The judgement of Mr. Justice Warby in Mr. Bukovsky’s libel claim against the CPS states: “Mr Bukovsky has not been charged with or accused of being a participant in or present at the scene of any child sex abuse, or of taking photographs of such abuse. The CPS has not alleged, and does not allege, that he was guilty of or reasonably suspected of any such conduct.

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Marilyn Mosby: A Woman Without Shame

 

When I learned on Wednesday morning that prosecutors in Baltimore had elected to drop all charges against the remaining defendants in the Freddie Gray case, I felt a great sense of relief for the three police officers who had not yet been acquitted. I phrase it that way intentionally because, after the third acquittal in the case (and a hung jury), it should have been clear to anyone – even State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby – that the state had no chance of convicting any of the officers on even a single charge. In June of last year, I predicted such an outcome here on Ricochet, and I also predicted that the officers would later prevail in a civil case against Mosby. Now that the first element of that scenario has come to pass, in due course we’ll find out about the second.

Given the string of embarrassments suffered by the prosecutors in the case, I expected Mosby to drop the charges while exhibiting some minimal degree of grace and humility. That turns out to have been a foolish expectation; in retrospect I should have known better. Her address to reporters on Wednesday, delivered not at the courthouse but on a street corner in the West Baltimore neighborhood where Freddie Gray was arrested, was as brilliant a display of arrogance, scapegoating, and self-righteousness as one is ever likely to witness. Summed up, the outcome of the Freddie Gray prosecution can be blamed on everyone but her and her loyal band of prosecutors. In Mosby’s view, the police and the judge cooperated in subverting her noble quest for justice on behalf of Freddie Gray, about which she admits no errors and harbors no regrets.

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DNC Day Three Wrap Up

 

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Last night was the third night of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. We could tell you about the minor figures who strode the dais: Sigourney Weaver, Chris Murphy, Leon Panetta, Joe Biden, Governor Moonbeam, the latter proudly declared “Hillary Clinton does stuff!” (And yes, we just called Joe Biden a minor figure. Sorry, Joe. The truth hurts.) But there were three important speeches Wednesday night: Michael Bloomberg, Tim Kaine, and President Obama.

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Ricochet Member FeedUpvoted by R> Members For Her Lies Only

 

Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

Trump’s latest statement on the subject of Hillary’s missing emails elicited little more from me than the standard eye-roll that greets much of his more off-the-cuff and “un-presidential” blustering. The response from the Clinton camp, however, made me sit up and take notice:

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This week on Law Talk, the Professors Epstein and Yoo (ably guided by Troy Senik) revisit the bad choice they will have to make this November and delve into who they might (or might not vote for), whether or not we should change the way we elect vice-presidents, the legalities of hacking and the alleged Russian interference in the U.S. election process, the Texas voter ID law, John and Richard weigh in on James Comey’s press conference, and a quick opinion on the curious comments by Justice Ginsberg.

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Educating the Next Generation about Communism

 

11887928_982384991814078_3901299140026160191_nI just returned from six days in Washington, D.C. teaching for the Victims of Communism (VOC) Memorial Foundation. This a terrific organization that is ramping-up its programming, especially in the area of education. Here is Dr. Murray Bessette describing their Education for the Millennial Generation program. VOC brought in 20 teachers for a three-day seminar and then repeated it with a second set of teachers.

Americans under 40 — whom I term the Millennial Plus generation — are for the most part ignorant when it comes to the history of communism and the Cold War. Having at best witnessed the events of the concluding decade of the conflict through a child’s eyes and experienced them with a child’s understanding—if they were alive at all—the Millennial Plus generation is in need of a comprehensive historical education that seeks to instill in them the truth about communism, its history, and its enduring legacy. Growing up in an era of unprecedented freedom and prosperity, and living lives that are only possible under such conditions, the Millennial Plus generation simply takes for granted the political and economic system bequeathed to them by the dedicated work of their ancestors. Most simply do not understand that prosperity depends upon freedom, that freedom is like water, utterly necessary to flourishing of any and every kind. To push this analogy a bit further, if freedom is like water, then the Millennial Plus generation are like fish swimming within it—and like fish, they pay no mind to the water despite its being necessary to their very existence.

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Greg Corombos of Radio America and Mark Wright of National Review are pleased that Bill Clinton’s convention speech was seen by many as underwhelming and a largely fictionalized version of his relationship with Hillary. They also sigh as the Democrats honor moms of young black people killed in police incidents but do nothing to honor slain police officers. And they slam the mainstream media for completely ignoring major protests at the Democratic National Convention.

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DNC panel actually doesn’t know whether men can have abortions?

 

The Washington Free Beacon reports:

The Atlantic and Refinery29 hosted a panel discussion entitled “Young Women Rising: America’s Next Top Voter?” during the Democratic National Convention, Tuesday evening. Following a 30-minute conversation on “intersectionality” and millennial feminism, a reporter asked the panel for its thoughts on reproductive rights and women’s health issues for men who ascribe to a female gender identity. Ayanna Pressley, a Boston city councilor at-large, said the issue of men who identify as women getting abortions is all about “elevated consciousness.”

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In the latest COMMENTARY podcast, John Podhoretz regales Noah Rothman and Abe Greenwald with tales from the floor of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland that has been overshadowed by chaos and disunity at the Democratic National Convention. A party that looked unified has been cast into crisis by the WikiLeaks release of a variety of email communications from within the DNC. But the likely source of those emails, Russian intelligence, could give Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party a way out of their mess.

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Ricochet Member FeedUpvoted by R> Members What Illegal Substance Do You Crave?

 

The Federal Government has, for quite a long time, banned the sale or importation of a very wide range of products. Having never had access to those products, most Americans don’t know what they are missing. But they are a loss nevertheless.

I wrote this post to find out what I am missing. But I can start by sharing an example or two of what Americans lack, courtesy of a stupid federal bureaucracy:

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#SomeMothersMatter

 

I have a fairly high tolerance when it comes to grieving parents: It may be a cliché, but it’s likely true that none of us can understand the anguish and sorrow of losing one’s child without having gone through it. However, I have a very low tolerance for those who enable parents to present thugs and thieves as victims and martyrs. Whatever one’s other feelings about police shootings and #BlackLivesMatter, justice and decency should have demanded that Lezley McSpadden — the mother of Michael Brown, pictured below in the blue dress — not be featured on a stage of victims at the DNC. But as you can see, she was.

To recap briefly, Ms. McSpadden’s son shoplifted at a convenience store and assaulted one of its clerks who attempted to intervene; we know this because it was captured on the surveillance tape. Less than fifteen minutes later, Officer Darren Wilson — responding to another call — yelled at Brown and his accomplice to get off the median line; shortly thereafter, Brown punched Wilson in the face, attempted to wrestle away his handgun, and charged Wilson before the latter shot him dead. If you don’t believe me, check out the report from the Obama Administration’s Justice Department. For a summary, you might check out this piece from Reason, a publication hardly known for being overly deferential toward police.

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