Tag: charlottesville

Cancel Bots and Trolls, Not People: A Cancel-Culture Update


When the US Supreme Court announces major earth-shaking decisions, as they did several times last month, not much attention is focused on the attorneys who argued and won their cases. But there may be one exception this year: Paul Clement and his law partner, Erin Murphy.

Paul Clement is arguably the most effective appellant lawyer in modern times. He served as Solicitor General – the government’s chief litigator before SCOTUS – during the Bush 43 Administration. As Clement was preparing to leave the Bush administration following the 2008 election, he was referred to as “The LeBron James of law firm recruiting,” referencing the best professional basketball player of that era.

The Gaslighting Continues … Pay Attention to the Facts


Ever since the tragic events in Charlottesville, VA, that fateful day in August 2017, not even eight months into Donald Trump’s presidency, when real white supremacists showed up for a “Unite the Right” rally, we have been warned repeatedly about the growing threat of “far right” groups.

No question that the Charlottesville rally organized by noted white supremacists Richard Spencer and Jason Kessler – who had obtained a permit from the city – was evil in many ways. Racial supremacy is evil in all its forms. A protester drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing a young woman. Three tragically died, two from a state police helicopter crash.

The violence was largely preventable.

Loving Pain as Given: A Review of Heroes, a Dark Twist on the Grateful Acre


For B, and other youth whose grateful acres host, if not prairies, at least patchy meadows. And for Gary McVey.

It’s been a year since Will Arbery’s play, Heroes of the Fourth Turning, took the conservative Catholic blogosphere – or rather, that part able to see the play or a private script – by storm. Now the script is available to the public. I ordered my copy here. If you can afford to, read it. Theaters remain closed, but the theater of imagination richly rewards reading a play. Reading reveals motifs easy to miss when a play just happens to you in performance and you can’t revisit it. This review addresses unspoken pressures, like the prosperity gospel (which may not influence orthodox Christians’ theology, but can influence their social expectations), behind what conservatives speculate is Heroes’ demonic finale, the “We” who may, or may not be, Legion.

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The Atlantic has an excellent piece about the roiling Charlottesville issue. If you will recall, Trump made three statements in three days about Charlottesville. He blew it badly the first day. The second day, Trump said the right things but looked like he was part of a hostage video. On the third day Trump erupted […]

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It’s back. Biden’s initial introduction starts with speaking about Thomas Jefferson and then the Charlottesville march, riot, and death of an innocent woman, coupled with Trump’s excerable characterizations about “fine people” on both sides in Charlottesville. This characterization of Trump’s statements has been labeled a hoax. I believe that the so-called “Charlottesville Hoax” is itself […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America react to the indictments of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates and note that none of the charges appear to be connect to the Trump campaign.  They also discuss the guilty plea from former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos on charges of making false statements.  And they are aghast as a new ad from the Latino Victory Fund paints anyone who supports the GOP candidate for governor in Virginia as racists who want to kill minority children.

Confederate Statues, Affirmative Action, and Cheap Racial Virtue


Facilitated by media manipulation and exploitation, people have lost perspective trying to outdo one another in their moral condemnation of racial supremacy witnessed in Charlottesville, Virginia.

(Because the media finally found actual white racists to cover, rather than smearing white people who reject their coercive, politicized agenda as racists, this was a big story.)

Free Speech in the Crosshairs


In his weekend interview in the Wall Street Journal, my friend and editor Tunku Varadarajan wrote an elegant and gracious account of my views on freedom of speech in the wake of the recent, tragic events in Charlottesville. In this essay, I will elaborate on some of the themes developed there.

When it comes to free speech, the Constitution speaks in broad generalities that start the conversation off in the right direction, but which, standing alone, do not fill in all the missing pieces in a complex puzzle. The relevant text announces that Congress may pass “no law abridging the freedom of speech or the press.” That seemingly strict command is essential to guard against government suppression or censorship of political protests. But the incompleteness of the text raises two difficult questions. First, just what kinds of activities enjoy this constitutional protection? And what justifies limits on that constitutional freedom? Both of these gray areas came into play in Charlottesville, and both will prove more intractable as political strife in the United States deepens. In this dire climate, it is best to return to first principles.

The First Amendment clearly covers the spoken word, written pamphlets, and books. By analogy, it also reaches other expressive activities like drawing, dancing, and acting. But no one could claim that it also protects mayhem, murder, defamation, and deceit. The only way to draw the right line—that between expression and violence—is to recognize that the First Amendment is as much about freedom as it is about speech. The necessary theory of freedom applies equally to all forms of speech and action, and it draws the line at the threat or use of force, even if the former counts as speech and the latter does not. Both must yield to the state’s “police power” to protect public safety and health, even if that phrase is nowhere mentioned in the constitutional text. So the First Amendment offers no protection to people who hold up banks or beat up people, even if they do so to protest against the established order.

Bill explains why the movement to rid the country of statues and monuments of anyone linked to slavery or the Confederacy is wrong. He also discusses why the effort to tie President Trump and his supporters to white supremacists will backfire on liberals. Then Bill has a hilarious conversation with Steve Wynn about lessons learned from marriage and life.

The Week That Was


It’s hard to believe that it was only a couple of weeks ago that Jeb Bush called the Trump presidency “exhausting”, thus confirming the “low energy” moniker given him by Trump during the Republican primaries. He continued: “…it feels like the whole world has been turned upside down,” comments reminiscent of the ponderous deficit spending implemented by President George W. Bush in the face of the financial crisis.

But in terms of today’s news cycle Bush’s comments occurred back in the Precambrian era. The week that was featured deadly protests in Charlottesville, a war on history Confederate memorials and to cleanse the palate, a solar eclipse. The Washington Post, where Democracy Dies in Darkness or something, was curiously pro-eclipse. Personally I was unimpressed: it reminded me, if anything, of when my phone transitions to power-saving mode.

At Charlottesville, racist David Duke managed to hold a Unite The Right rally and, judging from those in attendance, most of his supporters are reporters and media photographers. The events of the week, like the election of Trump, only seemed to reinforce to the Left that the U.S. is on the brink of another violent civil war, without pausing to consider that the outcome of such a war between potheads and gun nuts is a foregone conclusion.

ESPN Pulls Announcer from UVa Football Game … Because His Name Is Robert Lee


The man shown to the left is sportscaster Robert Lee. The man to the right is Confederate General Robert E. Lee. ESPN was afraid that viewers would mix them up.

Mr. Lee (the one who didn’t die in 1870) was scheduled to announce next weekend’s University of Virginia football game against William and Mary. This match-up will be hosted in Charlottesville, which has a statue of Gen. Lee (who never provided NCAA play-by-play). ESPN decided that this was far too confusing for their viewers to process. So, in a move not to further inflame the neo-confederate armies sweeping this grand republic, the network benched their announcer.

From the sports blog Outkick the Coverage, which broke the story:

David French of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America close the week with three crazy martinis.  They unload on CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Jim Sciutto for speculating on air that the radical Muslim terrorist in Barcelona got the idea for a van attack from watching the events in Charlottesville.  They also hammer Antifa’s argument that it engages in violence to protect nonviolence and only against white supremacists, pointing out that Antifa viciously attacks anyone it doesn’t agree with and that it is the job of police to protect nonviolence.  And they sigh as liberals start calling for the removal of statues of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, just as their critics predicted earlier in the week.

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On his radio show yesterday, Rush Limbaugh mused that the current mania to purge all things from the Confederacy and the Founding is in fact a Mao-like Cultural Revolution staged by the American Left. He is correct. And on his radio show, consistently since soon after the inauguration, Mark Levin has insisted that the current […]

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David French of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud Republican National Committee Chairman Ronna Romney McDaniel for simply stating there is no room in the Republican Party for white supremacists and that the GOP does not want their votes.  They’re also surprised by Steve Bannon’s on-the-record interview with a liberal publication, in which he dismisses the military option on North Korea, outlines his push for a trade war with China and more.  And they take a deep sigh as Ohio Gov. John Kasich gets closer to convincing himself there is a “moral imperative” for him to run against President Trump in 2020.

Bill shares his thoughts on the violence and protests in Charlottesville. He explains why the police and authorities should have done more to stop the violence and how they let the protests spiral out of control. He also defends President Trump’s handling of the situation and blasts those who are trying to link Trump and conservatives to white supremacists. (NOTE: This podcast was recorded before President Trump’s press conference Tuesday afternoon.)

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The CEO’s who resigned from the President’s business councils are abdicating their duties to their corporations. They are putting a higher priority on signaling virtue to those who already agree with them than creating a better environment for their companies to succeed. The fine points of the President’s remarks about the riot in Charlottesville have […]

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David French of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America discuss President Trump defending some of the people attending the rally in Charlottesville, including those who were at the torch protest, and David explains why he sees Trump’s words as the dream scenario for the alt-right..  They cheer a new law in Texas that prevent insurance companies from requiring Texans to subsidize elective abortions through their own coverage.  They are deeply disturbed, however, by a CBS report declaring Iceland has virtually eliminated Down Syndrome through abortion.

The Irrational Reaction to Trump’s Press Conference Is About Class and White Guilt


President Trump, August 15, 2017 (Photo credit: White House Youtube Channel)

The only way to describe the media’s reaction to Trump’s press conference and statements about the events in Charlottesville yesterday is irrational. To understand how irrational the reaction was, just imagine if instead of involving white nationalists and antifa counter protestors the events of last weekend had been a conflict between two rival biker gangs.

Do not change a single event from this weekend but imagine the events being the result of violence at a biker rally. One biker club has its national rally and a rival biker club shows up to protest and disrupt it. During the course of the weekend, a lot of shouting and violence take place. Fights break out on Friday. For reasons yet to be known the local police do nothing to separate the rival gangs and violence and conflict spills over into Saturday. Finally, on Saturday afternoon a member of the first gang runs a car into a crowd of its rival gang injuring nineteen and killing one.