The Tools Progressives Give Us

I am frequently amused by the mental gymnastics that progressives perform on a regular basis.  There is an element of pity too: it must be a tortured mental existence to put one’s order of thought into such contortions.  All the worse for it being put on display as the latest gem of brilliance.  There are as many examples of this as to fill a book and in fact they have. As brevity is wanted in this manner of forum I’ll limit the discussion to one small serving from this buffet.

One of the most sacred of causes for progressives in recent times has been LGBT issues in general, transgender issues specifically.  On it’s face I take no issue with the broader intent behind this crusade.  If we truly believe in the liberty that we espouse then surely the right of the individual to be comfortable in their own skin must be included. Let’s not delude ourselves, however, to the meaning of liberty. Liberty is the state in which the individual may exercise an unencumbered freedom of conscience, whatever that may entail.  We accept certain limitations upon this, of course. As an example let us say that if one’s freedom of conscience inspires acts of arson or other forms of mayhem that may lead to the harm of innocents then there is a healthy consensus of opinion that this is not to be permitted.

Absent any sensible restraints designed to preserve public safety this freedom of conscience should be protected, something I believe the US Constitution was clearly intended to provide.  Nowhere within it’s social compact does the Constitution specifically enumerate or even imply that along with this freedom of conscience one is equally entitled by law to the acceptance or approval of one’s fellow citizen.  Where it does not impinge upon the rights of others one person’s freedom of conscience does not carry more weight under the law than any other persons exercise of the same freedom. It may seem a bit facile here, but there is a line from a source as unlikely as The GI Joe Movie that encapsulates this idea quite succinctly: “We all go home or no one goes home”. No one says that you have to like it, but folks this is how liberty is supposed to work.

There could be endless debate on the part of those who harbor their own moral reservations around transgenderism.  Those may wish to make arguments as to the validity of any science behind the phenomenon. They are free to do so, but it is futile to argue science with morality. One may view either through the lens of the other, but the two can not be equated. Scientifically transgenderism is legitimate, it is a reality. One can dispute this, but that does not alter the science. Where this issue enters a public discourse it becomes removed from cold and sterile clinical examination. This is where we find the proverbial sticky wicket of the “bathroom equality” issue.

Those who advocate for the plight of the transgendered have, at least in some instances, done a reasonably good job of trying to clarify just what being transgendered means. These explanations are immediately clouded by the fact that the language is incorrect. Sex and gender, though they are inarguably related terms, do not mean the same thing.  Sex is a biological term; gender is a term of identity. The sex of an individual is determined by their biological characteristics. It is one thing or it is another. There is a criteria which leaves no room for any ambiguity. Gender, however, is not an objective term. It is subjective and thus not as simply defined. The fact that an improper use of the terms has generally been accepted only serves to further confuse what is already a complicated issue.

The transgender advocacy groups will explain that although an individual may physically present as one gender (the correct term in this instance being sex), their condition has left them with a gender identity (here the term gender is properly applied) that is the opposite of their physical characteristics.  This is the basic premise.  Some people can get their minds around this and others can not, but it is as simple an explanation as one will find. What this advocacy asks of the public is that we should accept the person for their gender identity despite their bearing sexual characteristics to the contrary. Now what they mean to do, I believe, is to argue for that individual to have the same right of freedom of conscience, the right to be who they are. What comes across quite often is what seems to be a demand not only to accord an equal right of conscience, but to further make acceptance compulsory under the law. This is where they find the resistance, which whether one agrees or not must, to be honest about it, be expected. These advocates compound their error by almost instantaneously equating the lack of acceptance to denial of equal rights.

The highest profile of this dispute on the national stage has been the controversial North Carolina “bathroom law”.  One of the justifications for this piece of legislation was to protect the public from those who might attempt to abuse transgender accomodation by assuming the condition falsely in order to engage in acts of voyeurism or exhibitionism. As a point of law this may be a valid concern. The number of cases where such a thing might occur probably do outnumber the instances of a true, clinically defined case of transgenderism. By the best measure available the trangendered represent less than one percent of the population. Though it’s intent may have been more benign the law does have a problem. Whether intended or not the law does result in a targeting of individuals who are guilty of nothing more than having a condition not of their own choice.  There are already statutes that prohibit under penalty such behaviors. Assuming that those statutes were properly crafted they would apply equally to all, regardless of sex and/or gender identity. The only thing that this law is guilty of is redundancy.  It is more symbolic, like “hate crime” provisions, which ironically I suspect most transgender advocates would approve of. It certainly does not warrant such punitive measures as the economic boycotts that these same advocacy groups and their political allies have attempted to foment against the state.

The ironies reach farther than this.  Transgender advocates admonish not to discriminate against an individual on the basis of their sexual characteristics. The sexual characteristic, like race, is incidental. We are not to discriminate on this basis. The individual is to be treated under the law on the merits of their character and their individual identity irrespective of those factors of race and sex, as matters of fact, creed or religion as matters of choice. The transgendered are to be accorded the same freedom of conscience on the basis of their individual identity the same as any other citizen. This is a good principle, one I find no quarrel with.

Now let’s try applying this principle uniformly.  To be sure not each and every transgender advocate is going to be solidly allied with all other progressives or all of their political positions. It is fair, however, to say that a clear majority of them would be.  It is from this field of political voices that the chorus has been raised calling out the racism and bigotry of the angry white male responsible for placing Donald Trump in the white house and republicans in a majority of both houses of congress. They presume that the very condition of race and sex are to be used as the criteria for judging the conscience and motive of the majority of the electorate. The fact that this electorate has soundly refuted a progressive agenda is “blamed” on the white race and the male sex.  Ergo, white males are racists, bigots, homophobes, etc. Van Jones on election night characterized a republican victory as a “whitelash”.  Any opposition to open borders, climate change orthodoxy, gay marriage, transgender rights, firearms restrictions, abortion on demand or any other tenet of the progressive creed is automatically rooted in racism.  Apparently our individual identity, unlike the individual identity of the transgendered, is not to be judged on just that.  It is perfectly fine to impugn our judgement and motive on the basis of sex, gender, race, age and religion. We oppose the progressive agenda only because we wish to preserve the perceived privilege of being old, white, male and christian. Because of those factors alone we are reactionary, resistant to the demogaphic tide and lacking the powers of discernment to properly appreciate their enlightened vision for our society. They can presume that our judgements are made solely on the basis of the exclusive benefit to our own demographic group. It would never occur to these people that perhaps what we judge to be good for ourselves might just as easily be good for all.

Our objections to illegal and unrestrained immigration into our country are predicated not upon race. They are rooted in the same considerations that progressives insist that we must accord to the transgendered. They insist that we judge them not based on their sex, rather on who they are, their individual identity. This asks that we make our judgement based upon such things as character, ability, skills, how that person lives their life and how they may treat others or interact as a part of society. When we remove race from any consideration and weigh only those factors, as we are told we should, we can conclude fairly and rationally that flooding our society with low or unskilled people who do not speak our language and will not assimilate into our existing culture does not translate to the best interests of our nation. Our aim is not to preserve a “white” America. Our aim is to preserve a healthy consitutional republic that is to the benefit of all who inhabit it, regardless of the demographic composition. We wish to share in what we have enjoyed, not suffer under what progressives have envisioned for us.

 

 

 

Sometimes I dont mind being wrong

Well it’s finally over! Another presidential election put to bed.  I am relieved that the scenario I outlined in previous posts did not come to fruition. For all of their brazenness I guess even this democrat machine realized that it was too much of a blowout to try to pull any funny business. I’m glad to have been proven wrong.

Let me say, however, that even though the thievery did not occur does not mean that it wasnt a real possibility.  If it had been close, the count coming down to just one battleground state for those final critical votes to push a candidate to the requisite 270 mark, I still believe it is a scheme they were prepared to act upon. Perhaps one of several. If there is a shadow of a doubt democrats do not give in so easily. Thankfully the electorate’s rejection of Hillary was loud and convincing enough to ward off any chicanery.

Here is another observation for you.  Remember that whole Russians interfering in our electoral process thing? What happened to that? If that had been a legitimate concern, something that had really occurred, wouldn’t that still be in the news? I’m no editor of a large newspaper or network news director, but I should think that this would still be a rather important story worthy of extensive investigative reporting. That is, if it were true. Maybe someone should be asking about this?

 

Still think it’s a stretch?

Nearly two weeks ago in this journal I posted some thoughts on one possible way that the will of the electorate could be thwarted.  Since that time there have been some truly momentous developments that appear to have shifted momentum in Trump’s direction. Much more has been revealed, fueling speculation of all sorts.  For many these revelations simply affirm what had already been suspected. For others they have been spun to further the narrative central to the theory in my previous posting, Echoes of 2000.  When I listen to the spin, add it to previous observations and factor in some of the newer details my earlier concerns are not diminished. If anything they have grown. I’d like nothing better than to be proven wrong.

As more and more details of the depth and scope of corruption are exposed throughout the administration, the media and the Clinton syndicate  the once conspiratorial  now edges into the realm of the plausible. Assertions that were deemed the province of a lunatic fringe now seem to be validated by correspondence that was never meant to see the light of day.  The participants and their defenders continue in their efforts to deflect attention from the content by impugning the source. With growing evidence to the contrary they continue to point to the Russians, as if (even were it true) by revealing the e-mails they were somehow also responsible for their content.  As desperation begins to take hold the specter of a looming cyber threat to our electoral process is inserted into the daily echo chamber. The groundwork for this narrative has already been placed, but now the story line is amplified.  Google search how many mentions of this were featured in Friday night’s and Saturday morning’s reporting.  Associating this with the Russians is apparently intended to lend further credibility to the threat as much as it inflates the distraction.

Examine what DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson and the Pentagon’s head of Cyber Command, Admiral Mike Rogers, have stated quite publicly since August.  Consider the increase in news stories featuring the topic in the last few weeks and especially in the last two days. It will hardly come as a surprise to me if we are greeted by near panicked reports of more specific threats in the network reporting come Monday, on the eve of the polls opening. Also consider Secretary Johnson’s update from three weeks ago on DHS contingency planning:

“Time is a factor. There are only 29 days until election day, and it can take up to two weeks from the time we receive authorization to run the scans and identify vulnerabilities,” Johnson said. “It can then take at least an additional week for state and local election officials to mitigate any vulnerabilities on systems that we may find.”

Now if I understand correctly how all of this works the DHS can only help mitigate cyber security concerns by being  inserted in advance. Like vampire mythology one can only be harmed within one’s own home by inviting the bloodsucker across the threshold. At last count there were somewhere around thirty states who have invited this assistance from DHS.

It is worth noting that the reporting on this DHS assistance is portrayed as a purely benign and proactive measure.  Assurances are added that it would be extremely difficult for hackers to affect the outcome of a presidential election, given that it is not a “national” system.  Elections are governed by over 9,000 individual authorities. So on the one hand DHS opens the discussion, offers the assistance and adds urgency to getting prepared just a few short weeks before the election. But the chances of hackers actually getting into these systems and manipulating the results is deemed to be unlikely. Well, which is it? Why the urgency? And why go to such great pains to identify the Russians as the source at the risk of further antagonizing already strained relations?

I am not suggesting that DHS has some sinister device or software that they can plug into local elections and stack the votes. Were it possible I would not put it past them, but if you examine the script as it has been prepared thus far there is no need. Remember, they have already suggested a scenario where there might be some questions raised as to the validity of a given electoral result.  So how are we to know? Is the DHS, where they have been invited in, going to be the source to identify the potential irregularities?  If that is the case they have already given us a map to what could follow.  All that is needed is their mere suggestion, not definitive proof, that something is amiss for it to be placed in their jurisdiction.  Certification of results would be held up pending investigation by DHS, NSA, FBI, DoD and, to quote Admiral Rogers  “maybe one or two others”. So not only a state or states might be held hostage to this. The entire country could be frozen in a limbo to await a final disposition.

A few weeks ago this scenario might have been summarily dismissed , a pipe dream straining the limits of credulity. We know the media is in collusion with the Clinton campaign. We know that the State Department has been in collusion with the Clinton campaign. We know that the Department of Justice and the FBI have been populated with their allies to stonewall or shut down investigations of criminal activity. We now have a better glimpse into the scale and nature of that criminality.  There is also now evidence emerging that may implicate the President. The stakes have grown very high indeed for the ruling class. Look at the depths to which they have sunk to preserve their status quo so far.  Is it really such a stretch to suggest that, as it appears now may be the case, if the results are looking very bad for them that they would not go to such desperate extremes to preserve their privileged existence?

 

Echoes of 2000

Echoes of 2000?

 

 

Some of you may recall the fiasco that was the 2000 presidential election.  If you are a not a well-informed person, or are too young to have been conscious at the time, you may only be familiar with the popular narrative which followed.  Bush was selected, not elected. Gore won, but the system and the court was rigged against him.  It is not my purpose to re-open that debate. There was another detail of the entire post-election crisis which bears some revisiting.

In the immediate aftermath of the disputed Florida results it was revealed that the democrats had their team of legal operatives already pre-positioned in the state with a strategy outlined for how they could “steal” the election if things looked very close.  I will not credit them with the prescience of knowing how it was all going to come down, but it does suggest that their internal polling told them that it was razor close and thus there was a plan in place for that very contingency. Some of you may remember this, some of you may deny it, but if you care to do the research you will find that this is indeed true.

I shine a light upon this bit of presidential election trivia because history seems to have once again demonstrated its ugly habit of repeating itself. In the current election cycle there are a multitude of stories circulating and a variety of narratives being promoted. Amid all of the noise is a story which has remained obscured.  It is a story, however, which seems to have disturbing ties to something that has not been obscured.  It has a rather disquieting synergy with the very public narrative of Russian attempts to influence our election. When you put the two together there is an eerie similarity to the pre-positioning and strategy in place for the 2000 election.

A few short months ago the director of the Department of Homeland Security offered a public pronouncement that they were weighing whether or not the election system should not be deemed as critical infrastructure and thus subject to federal oversight. The argument posited for this was that the electoral system, administered by the individual states as it is, should be considered every bit as critical as the power grid or financial sector. Most sensible people will agree that although one may not want the federal government running the grid or finance it is certainly within their purview to be a watchdog and guarantor for the security of these institutions against attacks, foreign or domestic. What we should ask ourselves is this: if this is a policy being considered by the DHS would it not be a more prudent course to keep this quiet until such time as a plan was thoroughly vetted and prepared for implementation? Why announce it publicly, especially now in the midst a very heated election and, I hasten to add, so close to the finish line? The only sensible answer I can arrive at for this is that it has been uttered publicly to be floated as a trial balloon. Or, it has been put out there to begin to establish a particular narrative in support of the eventual action.

I will offer some observations here that I believe support this conclusion. DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson initially floated this idea at a media conference hosted by the Christian Science Monitor in August of this year. In the weeks that followed other administration officials began to also very publicly pick up on this and further suggest the possibility of such action. Most notable among these has been Admiral Michael S. Rogers, commander of the Pentagon’s US Cyber Command. Rogers spoke at some length on this topic earlier this month at an event sponsored by the Harvard Institute of Politics. His comments not only echoed the consideration of the electoral system as critical infrastructure, but he went further to detail scenarios which could trigger such action. Rogers detailed what might be done in the event of a cyber-attack upon our election system, including which federal departments would be involved and their respective roles. Part of his statements are quoted here:

“Were there concerns that they thought there were an issue that would call into question the result, [states] potentially would approach the federal government. The Department of Homeland Security would likely have overall responsibility, they likely would turn to the FBI, us, and maybe one or two others, to say, ‘Can we put together a team and harness the breadth of this knowledge and insight and capability that you have to come back with an assessment: Do we think the result is valid? Do we think it was manipulated in any way? So that’s how I think it would play out,”

Is this another trial balloon? More groundwork being laid for an imminent action? One would be a fool to not at least wonder at this possibility. This conversation being shared publicly from two very relevant players in any such set of events is particularly disturbing when it is juxtaposed upon the now steady drumbeat in media coverage of potential Russian hacking designed to influence election results. In most of this reporting the qualifier of “potential” has been removed altogether. Russian hacking and subsequent release through Wikileaks is reported as a fact and given validity by stating that this is confirmed by multiple US intelligence services. Conveniently, given the nature of intelligence services of course, these sources remain nameless. Would perhaps US Cyber Command or DHS be included among those?

The reporting on this topic has taken on an odor like stale fish.  While the content of the hacked e-mails released from Wikileaks is discounted, or more often entirely ignored, the coverage is presented as a set of talking points. Nearly every story on the subject adheres to the same script. The script is “it doesn’t matter what is in these e-mails, they have probably been altered or falsified anyway and they are clearly an effort by the Russians to influence our election results.” Curiously none of the purported authors of these documents have categorically refuted the validity of them. One should think that if this were the case they would want to be very quick to do so. On any given day, in any given report on any given network this script is presented with little variation. With the exception of Fox News Network there is no substantive reporting of what is found in the daily releases from Wikileaks. There is only the plainly orchestrated promotion of the Russian hacking narrative.

Now when one pairs this with the administration’s public suggestion of a need for federal oversight in the event of a suspected cyber-attack on the election, one that might call into question the validity of a state’s results, it begins to take on the same color as the pre-positioned legal teams set up in Florida’s 2000 election.  I suspect that Admiral Rogers’ explanation of how the federal oversight would be triggered and what actions would subsequently be taken are very telling. If you take what he said about DHS assuming overall authority, how they in turn would look to Cyber Command, the FBI “and maybe one or two others” one need not be an ardent conspiracy theorist to guess how the scenario would play out. We should ask ourselves who those nameless one or two others might be. One of these would almost certainly be the NSA. In light of events of recent years the integrity and competence of each one of these agencies is suspect at best.

In the 2000 election there was some advance data that caused democrat party operatives to prepare and install response teams ready to act as the results were still being tabulated in Florida. It was a prepared contingency plan.  I suspect that the Obama administration has partnered with the Clinton campaign for their 2016 contingency plan. This time the stakes are higher. So high that they have conscripted the media as their co-conspirators, not that they needed much persuasion. If the democrats lose control of the Justice Department there are many of them who know that under a Trump Justice Department they will be exposed to criminal prosecution. If we return to a Justice Department that will do its job there are a lot of people that will be facing the prison time that they so richly deserve. John Koskinen, Lois Lerner, Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch and yes even Hillary Clinton, just to name a few. Barack Obama should be included in that list as well, though I suspect that for sake of the face we present to the rest of the world he would likely be granted a pardon.

I think the DNC, the White House and the Clinton campaign all are nervous. I think they have some polling data coupled with a sense of unease with the public mood that has warned them that they must have a “plan B”.  Consider this. What if the exit polling in some key swing states isn’t looking so good for Hillary? With the narrative already put in place to warn against possible Russian hacking into our election results wouldn’t it be convenient if on election night there is breaking news from DHS and the FBI?  These agencies of the Obama administration could warn of a massive hack, perpetrated by the Russians no doubt, into the election system in say Ohio. Or Florida. Maybe even multiple states if things are really going badly. DHS assumes oversight of these elections, staying the certification of election result until the FBI, NSA and any other federal agencies have ascertained their validity. States could protest, but this would have to then go through the court system. In a crisis like this there could of course be expedited hearings before the Supreme Court, as there were in 2000. Only now we are short one chair, the court is left in a 4-4 ideological deadlock. With a lame duck session of congress Obama could cite the extraordinary circumstance, a constitutional crisis of epic proportions, and declare a recess appointment to fill the vacant chair. In that scenario how do you suppose those election results will end up?

I can smell the incredulity from here. That is just too far-fetched, you say. A wildly imaginative fiction in the vein of Tom Clancy or Vince Flynn. Well my friends my four most favorite words in the English language are I, TOLD, YOU, SO. We had all better hope that come November 9 I won’t be uttering those words, but if you doubt me I would submit you do so at your peril.