Tag: Democracy

What is iCOP? Not What You Think

 

I almost choked on my beverage in the car when I heard an ad from cyber-security guru Kim Commando, warning that the government has enlisted the United States Post Office to spy on our social media content and report it back to certain agencies. Then the same story was being discussed on two different radio stations. From Business Insider:

According to a Yahoo News report, the law-enforcement arm of the US Postal Service is running a “covert” program that monitors Americans’ social media posts for “inflammatory” content and then passes those posts along to other government agencies.

The surveillance effort, which falls under the agency’s Postal Inspection Service, is known as the Internet Covert Operations Program, or iCop, the outlet reported. Prior to the Yahoo News Wednesday report, details of the program had not been made public.

Changing America – The World is Noticing

 

“The Europeanized USA” by Dr. Alex Joffe, published at the BESA Institute, is worth your time. This story sums up, in a not-so-tasty nut-shell, how the last bastion of the Free World, The “United” States of America, is doing, and how both our allies and enemies are viewing our current “situation” (demise).  Here’s the opening:

“America is undergoing a rapid transformation founded in a moral panic over race that masks the exercise of class-based power in which technology companies and left-wing politics have united to wield unprecedented control. The outcome will likely be a union of Europeanized states where freedoms are severely curtailed and social cohesion is minimized in favor of dependency.”   A slap in the face of Lady Liberty at best, who welcomed our ancestors to her shores –  a place of safety and freedom, based on a Declaration, and a Constitution, written with the blood of patriots, and the courage of those that fled the tyrannical control from another continent.  At its worst, the imports of slavery and inequality, who saw its imperfections and ugliness, through MLK and JFK and sought a path of reconciliation and opportunity – paths only found in a free society.

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Neither conformity nor non-conformity are value propositions in and of themselves outside the context of the object or the impetus of the subject. To do as others do simply because others do is no more informative than not to do as others do simply because they do. The problem with conformity today as it reaches […]

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Mail-in Voting Reduces Faith in Our Elections

 

The 2020 election was a disaster for the republic. Lax voting procedures, last-minute rulemaking by unauthorized parties, and hundreds of accounts of process irregularities created such an atmosphere of suspicion and rancor that 60 percent of Americans of all parties believed the election to be basically illegitimate.

The hapless Trump team looked foolish by blaming rigged voting machines and international conspiracies. In fact, mail-in voting was at the heart of what went wrong.

Democrats, using the Covid epidemic as a wedge, were able to increase mail-in voting to 65%, up from 25% in 2016. Eligibility and security standards were relaxed. Registrants who had not previously voted were signed up to receive bulk mail ballots.

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While I believe most people are shocked and upset by yesterday’s events at our Capitol, we have to keep our wits and move forward. We cannot control the behavior of others and events that come and go, beyond our control.  This includes yesterday’s breach of the Capitol in Washington, DC.  I’ll give my thoughts briefly, […]

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Maybe quite surprisingly, little has changed since I last wrote about the Rusophone world, in September. Navalny’s poisoning with Novichok has been confirmed, Khabarovsk continues to be embroiled in corruption scandals and demonstrations, and the anti-Lukashenko protests have only grown in Belarus. Oh, and Vladimir Putin is now the hero of Russian democracy leaders. At least […]

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To say that it has been a busy news month in the Russian speaking world would be an understatement. From the arrest of Sergei Furgal in July, to the protests against Belarussian President Lukashenko, and the suspected poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, political instability has been the order of the day. Why, though, […]

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Conservatives are generally quick to point out that America is a republic, not a democracy. But what really is the difference, and are they even right? Voting in America has changed considerably since the days of our founding. Back then, the government didn’t even print official ballots. Instead, you got ballots from the candidate who […]

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The Biden Conspiracy

 

Let us begin with the now-common conclusion that US presidential candidate Joe Biden is, to one degree or another, senile; and thus physically incapable of acting as President of the United States of America, the most powerful and influential office on the planet.

It has come to my attention that some Republican voters believe the worst possible outcome of this fraud would be for the Democratic candidate for Vice President to immediately take Biden’s place after his election to President. If only that were so. In that case, most voters would know who they were truly voting for or against: the VP candidate versus Donald Trump.

On this episode of The Federalist Radio Hour, author and film director Chris Fenton joined Culture Editor Emily Jashinsky to discuss the damaged relationship between the Chinese Communist Party and the United States based off his experience distributing major Hollywood films in China. Fenton’s newest book, “Feeding The Dragon,” was released on Tuesday.

Fenton explained the false impression he and so many others in Hollywood and in American companies broadly believed that globalism was an intrinsically good thing. Due to the hope of increased revenue and the American influence pervading Chinese culture, Fenton said so many Americans overlooked the theft and other crime that would be developed.

Как дела Мистер Пу?: The Politics of Coronavirus in Russia

 

This should be a weekend of parades and celebrations all over Russia, especially in Moscow and the former Leningrad, as citizens rush to celebrate their nation’s part in the Великая Отечественная война (the generally used Russian term for WWII, which marks the dates 1941-45, and is usually translated into English as The Great Patriotic War, although The Great War for the Fatherland is an equally valid interpretation, closer to the meaning of the adjective). It should especially be a time of celebration for one Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, who for the last 20 years has never missed a chance to parade the streets of Petersburg with a framed photo of his veteran father, along with tens of thousands of other Russians. There will be no ceremonies this weekend, and Mr. Putin has fewer and fewer causes to celebrate. 

The situation in Russia has received relatively shallow coverage in the West. Vladimir Putin is a man who built his claim to legitimate authority on his strength, on reasserting the power of Russia in the world as the eyes of most security analysts and Western leaders, which had for the past half-century been focused so heavily on Russia, turned towards the Middle East and Asia as the main centers of coming conflict and rising greatness. Putin, by symbolically rooting out the corruption that has plagued post-Soviet politics (and replacing it with cronies of his own) and making advances into ‘rightfully’ Russian territory in places like Crimea, has attempted to recapture the pride of the Great Patriotic War, which remains one of the few largely uncontroversial focuses of Russian patriotism in the 21st century. But a global pandemic does not have recognizable border divides or command tanks and ground forces, and in a state which has thrown the bulk of its resources behind military expenditure and industry, Vladimir Putin is beginning to struggle. 

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Via Ace of Spades, this headline from the Washington Post is unintentionally hilarious: “It’s time to give the elites a bigger say in choosing the president.” If it were truly honest, it would say, “It’s time to give the elites back their bigger say in choosing the president.” For a couple of centuries now we’ve been […]

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People are always asking me why I support Joe Biden. For one, he was a senator for the Reagan administration. Secondly, he, like my hero Bill Kristol, supported the Iraq invasion. But most importantly, the reason I support Joe Biden is that I can count on him to be animated by a profound sense of […]

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Bret Stephens, op-ed columnist for The New York Times, sits down with Bridget to discuss Trump’s effect on the Republican Party, feeling out of place in your own country, the dangers of a culture that’s so sure of its convictions, mob politics, and how Trump’s behavior is both a symptom and a cause of a form of cultural corrosion. Bret talks growing up in Mexico and the perspective it gave him on the US that most Americans don’t have, and why what we have in the US is relatively rare, difficult to achieve, and extraordinarily easy to lose. He and Bridget cover tolerating behavior you find morally offensive because you realize that the price of intolerance is worse than whatever offense is being perpetrated, the unforgiving nature of writing a weekly column, maintaining the understanding you don’t possess a lock on truth, how antisemitism is like a society’s immune system, the emerging attitude of a hatred of excellence, and his experience of being in Jerusalem on 9/11.

Full transcript available here: WiW59-BretStephens-Transcript

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The nation-state isn’t forever (sorry, Fukuyama). Liberal democracy, with its mountains of debt and its failing program of compelled cohesion, will become increasingly unstable. At some point there will be a breakup, although when or how it will come about is anyone’s guess. If Las Vegas bookies have odds on this sort of thing, they […]

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Democracy Under Attack

 

I hear that a lot these days, that our democracy and our Constitution are under assault. There’s a grain of truth in it, though neither so much nor of the nature those who use the phrase intend when they say it.

Ours is not really a democracy, of course, but rather a democratic representative constitutional republic: we democratically elect representatives who then create and execute the law on our behalf, themselves bound by a Constitution intended to limit their authority.

Founding Editor in Chief of the Washington Free Beacon and self-described “Reagan enthusiast” Matthew Continetti discusses Reagan’s relationship with populism, #40’s take on democracy promotion, and the state of Reaganism today.

Christina Hoff Sommers is a former philosophy professor and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. She’s one of the Femsplainers on the podcast Femsplainers and has a series called the Factual Feminist on YouTube in which she corrects feminist myths within women’s and gender studies with truth and solid research. She and Bridget cover the disturbing rise of contempt within contemporary feminism, the appeal of Jordan Peterson, the erosion of Americans’ desire to protect free speech and democratic processes, why lack of gratitude is such a problem in our society, and the perceived sense of persecution and contagion of hysteria that is being taught in liberal educational systems. They discuss the infantalization of college students, going from common humanity (humanism) to common enemy (tribalism), the attack on centrists, and the fact that history is one long lesson in the dangers of dogma mixed with moral zealotry, distortion and bad information – it leads to fanaticism. They also cover the gender debate, the power dynamics between girls and boys, and why Harvard should have known better. It’s a fascinating conversation and definitely one you shouldn’t miss!