Mark Steyn: The Seduction of Violence

“The Left doesn’t want to win the debate; they want to end the debate.”

This video was recorded before the Arlington baseball diamond attack by James Hodgkinson:

Here is the quote by French philosopher Alain Finkielkraut that Steyn recites at the end of the video: “The lofty idea of ‘the war on racism’ is gradually turning into a hideously false ideology, and this anti-racism will be for the 21st century what Communism was for the 20th century: a source of violence.”

I needed a new favorite sheriff, and boy did I find one!

I need a new favorite sheriff because Sheriff David Clarke of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin is leaving to take a post in Homeland Security. My new favorite sheriff in America is Sheriff Wayne Ivey of Brevard County (Tallahassee, Titusville) Florida. Sheriff Clarke recorded a radio message a few years ago urging his constituents to get a concealed carry permit and a gun to protect themselves while waiting for law enforcement to arrive. It was a brilliant stroke by Sheriff Clarke, I mean it must have been because the Milwaukee liberals went apoplectic with rage. Now Sheriff Ivey has made a video with a similar message:

Colorado has one lawyer for every 136 people

There are 40,052 lawyers registered in Colorado (as of the end of 2016). Colorado’s total population, at the end of 2015, was 5,475,000. Assuming arithmetic still works the same for both conservatives and liberals, that’s one lawyer for every 136 people who live in Colorado. So if you need or just want a lawyer you shouldn’t have any trouble finding one. If you want to become a lawyer you should know that the competition for clients is rather stiff.

Well, there’s a little more to this story. Turns out that 14,017 of those lawyers are not in the active practice of law. They could be retired or just pursuing a living in other ways. All of them are eligible to resume active practice at any time. They just have to write a check to the Colorado Supreme Court and check a box on a form. I’m in this group, retired inactive. I could go back active but I’d have to be completely off my rocker to do that.

So if we count only lawyers currently in active practice there is one lawyer for every 209 people living in Colorado. You still shouldn’t have any trouble finding a lawyer to represent you in legal matters.

Here’s some historical perspective on this, looking at the entire country and not just Colorado. From the beginning of America to about 1960 the lawyer density was fairly consistent at one lawyer for every 1,000 people in the population. Beginning in the 1960’s that ratio began to increase rapidly until it reached one lawyer for approximately every 300 people in the U.S. population.

Some might say that corresponds to when most of the societal troubles we see today began. Not me, I wouldn’t say that. It’s more likely that as American society became more contentious, and thus more complex, more opportunities for lawyers came along with that. The increasing density of lawyers to serve those needs is more a symptom than a cause. I know from the days I was in active practice that clients who were constant complainers and seemed to thrive on conflict were also excellent sources of revenue for a law firm.

The question these days is this: Is lawyering still a profession or is it just another business? Well, it’s a combination but the business part is bigger than ever before. As with other businesses those who do very well financially are a small group. Most are scratching out a living in a stressful environment. One should think about that before choosing the law as a career.

Before going to law school one should think about the bar exam, and the low pass rate that currently prevails. 1,171 applicants sat for the Colorado bar exam in 2016. 583 passed (73%).

Unelected Bureaucrats are running, and in some cases ruining, our lives

We didn’t give them this power they took it. That’s how Glenn Reynolds starts his latest op-ed in USA Today, Unelected bureaucrats are running our lives:

Watching the ongoing clown show in Washington, Americans can be forgiven for asking themselves, “Why did we give this bunch of clowns so very much power over our nation and our lives?”

Well, don’t feel so bad, voters. Because you didn’t actually give them that much power. They just took it. That’s the thesis of Columbia Law Professor Philip Hamburger’s new book, The Administrative Threat, a short, punchy followup to his magisterial Is Administrative Law Unlawful? Both deal with the extraordinary — and illegitimate — power that administrative agencies have assumed in American life.

Hamburger explains that the prerogative powers once exercised by English kings, until they were circumscribed after a resulting civil war, have now been reinvented and lodged in administrative agencies, even though the United States Constitution was drafted specifically to prevent just such abuses. But today, the laws that actually affect people and businesses are seldom written by Congress; instead they are created by administrative agencies through a process of “informal rulemaking,” a process whose chief virtue is that it’s easy for the rulers to engage in, and hard for the ruled to observe or influence. Non-judicial administrative courts decide cases, and impose penalties, without a jury or an actual judge. And the protections in the Constitution and Bill of Rights (like the requirement for a judge-issued search warrant before a search) are often inapplicable.

As Hamburger writes, “Administrative power also evades many of the Constitution’s procedures, including both its legislative and judicial processes. Administrative power thereby sidesteps most of the Constitution’s procedural freedoms. Administrative power is thus all about the evasion of governance through law, including an evasion of constitutional processes and procedural rights.”

Of course, read the whole thing. Our liberty, our right to govern ourselves, and the order of our government is at stake.

Alan Dershowitz — My Favorite Liberal

Professor Alan Dershowitz is a liberal and not just because I say so. He describes himself as a liberal. He’s also my favorite liberal. I like him because he’s an honest liberal and he’s smart. He takes stands on some issues that I find sickening, but he’s forthright and always makes an intelligent argument for what he believes.

Right now he believes his fellow Democrats, his fellow liberals, are making a huge mistake in the way they are going after Trump.

Dershowitz: Comey confirms that I’m right – and all the Democratic commentators are wrong

In his testimony former FBI director James Comey echoed a view that I alone have been expressing for several weeks, and that has been attacked by nearly every Democratic pundit.

Comey confirmed that under our Constitution, the president has the authority to direct the FBI to stop investigating any individual. I paraphrase, because the transcript is not yet available: the president can, in theory, decide who to investigate, who to stop investigating, who to prosecute and who not to prosecute. The president is the head of the unified executive branch of government, and the Justice Department and the FBI work under him and he may order them to do what he wishes.

As a matter of law, Comey is 100 percent correct. As I have long argued, and as Comey confirmed in his written statement, our history shows that many presidents—from Adams to Jefferson, to Lincoln, to Roosevelt, to Kennedy, to Bush 1, and to Obama – have directed the Justice Department with regard to ongoing investigations. The history is clear, the precedents are clear, the constitutional structure is clear, and common sense is clear.

Yet virtually every Democratic pundit, in their haste to “get” President Trump, has willfully ignored these realities. In doing so they have endangered our civil liberties and constitutional rights.

Because they are trying to criminalize political disagreement. Dershowitz hasn’t said this as far as I know, but I wonder if the Trump haters don’t realize that they are giving birth to a style of politics that can be used against a future Democrat president.

Six revelations from the Comey hearing

From Brietbart, The Six Most Important Revelations from the Comey Hearing:

Trump was not under investigation by the FBI; Comey leaked documents to the media; the obstruction of justice claim against Trump went up in smoke; Comey said the NYTimes published fake news; Loretta Lynch interfered with the Clinton investigation; and Comey came off sounding like a disgruntled former employee.

When you’ve lost Chris Matthews…..

Smashmouth uber leftist Chris Matthews says the Trump-Russia collusion theory came apart with yesterday’s Comey testimony.

Washington Examiner:

Liberal MSNBC host Chris Matthews said Thursday the accusation that President Trump directly colluded with Russia to interfere in the U.S. election “came apart” following former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony in front of Congress.

In his written and spoken testimony on Thursday, Comey said that he never felt that Trump had tried to impede the FBI’s investigation into Russia, even that the president had encouraged it and he suggested that former national security adviser Mike Flynn wasn’t at the heart of the investigation.

“The assumption of the critics of the president, of his pursuers, you might say, is that somewhere along the line in the last year is the president had something to do with colluding with the Russians … to affect the election in some way,” Matthews said on MSNBC, following the testimony.

“And yet what came apart this morning was that theory,” Matthews said, listing two reasons why. First, he said Comey revealed that “Flynn wasn’t central to the Russian investigation,” and secondly, he said that kills the idea that Flynn might have been in a position to testify against Trump.

“And if that’s not the case, where’s the there-there?” Matthews said.

Good grief. Has Matthews regained his senses? Nah, it’s too early to go that far. Expect him to walk this back today. PMSBNC will come for him today. Probably make him an offer he can’t refuse. He’s going to need body guards.

 

Democrat Witch Hunt

In quest for a Trump crime, Dems refuse to take ‘no’ for an answer

Is President Trump guilty of obstruction of justice? Not if you take the nation’s three top security officials and former FBI Director James Comey at their word — something Senate Democrats refuse to do.

The headlines about Comey’s opening statement, which he’ll give in person Thursday but which was released Wednesday afternoon, focus on his claim that Trump asked him to “let it go” with respect to a criminal probe of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s lies about his conversations with the Russians.
But the very same opening statement indicates that even now, after he has been fired by Trump, Comey is still unwilling to assert that he took anything Trump said as an effort to hinder “the broader investigation into Russia or possible links to his campaign.”

Much the same was heard from National Intelligence Director Dan Coats, National Security Agency Director Admiral Michael Rogers and Acting FBI director Andrew McCabe when they testified Wednesday. Though all rightly refused to discuss confidential conversations about classified subjects and ongoing investigations with the president in a public forum, all three are on record as saying Trump hasn’t tried to undermine their work.

“I have never been pressured, I’ve never felt pressure to intervene or interfere in any way with shaping intelligence in a political way or in relationship to an ongoing investigation,” Coats said.

Democrats pressed Trump during the presidential campaign to state whether he would accept the outcome of the election if it went against him. Nobody needs to ask Democrats whether they will accept the outcome of an election that goes against them. They won’t, they never do. They fight, they seek to overturn election results that go against them. They do so “by any means necessary.”

Obama officials caught up in unmasking probe

I once knew a guy in Galveston, Texas who owned a tuna boat with which he made his living as a fisherman.  I learned from him that tuna are caught in nets which often catch dolphins as well. Dolphins will drown in the nets if not released soon after they become caught in the net. To prevent the dolphins from drowning fisherman are required by law to make sure all dolphins are released from the net before pulling the net to the boat. A special technique has been developed to accomplish this task. It works very well and saves dolphin lives.

I thought of this upon learning that the National Security Agency often catches Americans in their spy nets when they are surveilling foreign persons for national security purposes. The NSA is prohibited by law from spying on Americans. That territory belongs to the FBI and other intelligence agencies. So, as in tuna fishing, a system for releasing Americans from the NSA spy net exists. It’s called “masking” the identity of any American who happens to be incidentally spied upon by the NSA. There is an approved procedure for “unmasking” any such Americans, and it’s an abuse of power to unmask Americans any other way for any other purpose.

It’s a gross abuse of power for anyone to unmask Americans collected in NSA spying activity when the purpose of the unmasking is for political gain. There are now serious allegations that the Obama administration unmasked people in the Trump campaign leading up to the presidential election. Just because some American has been collected in NSA surveillance does not mean they have done anything illegal or that they are a threat to national security. That’s why there is special procedure to be followed to unmask anyone. There has to be a good national security reason to do it.

To unmask a political opponent for the purpose of leaking that information to the media, all to gain political power, is certainly an abuse of power and could even be illegal. The Obama administration is suspected of doing just that.

Former ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power was not an intelligence analyst and would have had no reason to seek the unmasking of any American. She is among seven people who have been subpoenaed by Rep. David Nunes, chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence says, Oh, This is Just the Beginning.

Any single incident of unmasking might not rise to the level of a crime. But a pattern of unmasking without any discernible national security reason would indicate it was all political.