The War on Unalienable Rights, Part 2

The New York Analysis of Policy and Government concludes its review of the war on unalienable rights.

Robert Curry, writing in The Federalist, describes why the Declaration’s “Unalienable” concept is so vital:

“Others before the American Founders had dreamed of a political order of liberty and justice, but every previous attempt ended in failure…The Declaration does not simply declare America’s independence; it declares that every government not designed and dedicated to securing the unalienable rights of its people is illegitimate…The great failing of earlier attempts at the people ruling themselves was the tendency for them to become tyrannies of the majority. That we have unalienable rights determines a fundamental feature the design of the American regime of liberty, and any legitimate regime, must have. It must be designed to prevent a tyranny of the majority because a tyranny of the majority directly threatens our unalienable rights.”

The obvious question, then, is why would anyone who professes a loyalty to the Constitution seek to oppose the concept of unalienable rights?

The answer is that to those who seek to implement a “progressive” agenda—which seeks to impose the financial and cultural views of a self-described intellectual elite on a majority that resists being told how to run their own lives and what to do with their own property—understand that their goals can only be achieved through force, and the concept if unalienable rights stands in their way.

 Matt Palumbo writes this about Progressives “In their minds, forcing people to act in accordance with their social justice ideology is perfectly fine, and not doing so actually constitutes a crime…progressives have become increasingly supportive of using the government to censor opinions they disapprove of. In nearly every case, progressive liberals are more likely to support using the coercive power of the state to force society to be structured according to their will, and yet somehow they see themselves as good and just for doing so.”

The preference by progressive politicians for authoritarian socialist governments has been noticeable for some time.  Just one example: in 2002, reports the Weekly Standard, “16 U.S. congressmen voiced their approval for [now deceased] Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. Representatives Barney Frank, John Conyers, Chaka Fattah, Jan Schakowsky, Jose Serrano, and others complained in a letter to President Bush that the United States was not adequately protecting Chavez against a groundswell of internal opposition to his increasingly authoritarian rule–an upsurge that might lead to his ouster. Elected to power in 1998, Lt. Col. Chavez has hijacked democracy in Venezuela and is openly moving the country toward totalitarianism. Beyond Venezuela’s borders, he celebrates, protects, and does business with terrorists.”

 The diminishment of unalienable rights is not just a theoretical threat. The growing trend of progressive repression of the unalienable right of free speech can be seen today clearly on college campuses, where centrist and conservative speakers are kept out by force.  Llewllyn Rockwell, Jr., writing for the renowned Mises Institute  notes: “ it’s no wonder the left needs the total state…leftists who terrorize their ideological opponents are simply being faithful to the mandate of Herbert Marcuse, the 1960s leftist who argued that freedom of speech had to be restricted in the case of anti-progressive movements…”

Emmett Tyrell, Jr., , quoting William Harcourt, notes that “Liberty does not consist in making others do what you think is right. The difference between a free government and a government which is not free is principally this—that a government which is not free interferes with everything it can, and a free government interferes with nothing except what it must.”

Those that deny the existence of unalienable rights inevitably excuse their attacks on fundamental freedoms imbedded in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution with rationale’s both small and large. Whatever the excuse, whatever the cause, however, the end result will be the same if progressives, through force, intimidation, or public pressure get their way: the vast diminishment of freedom.

The War on Unalienable Rights

The New York Analysis of Policy and Government begins a two-part review of the growing, and disturbing, trend to disregard the concept of unalienable rights.

Some Left-wing journalists, politicians, and judges are engaged in a singular effort to overturn the central tenet of American rights and government, the concept of “unalienable rights” which should not be limited or abolished by elected officials.

Recently, news commentator Chris Cuomo disturbingly displayed what has become a major thrust of Progressive political philosophy.

The exchange, as described in the Washington Times:  “It isn’t often that a member of the media reveals the philosophy behind his political ideology, but last week, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo outed himself. In an exchange with Alabama Chief Justice Roy MooreMoore said ‘…our rights contained in the Bill of Rights do not come from the Constitution, they come from God.’ Cuomo disagreed: ‘Our laws do not come from God, your honor, and you know that. They come from man.’ Obviously, Cuomo flunked civics….The framers of the Constitution clearly understood that in order to put certain rights out of the reach of government, whose power they wished to limit, those rights had to come from a place government could not reach.”

If this exchange was an isolated incident, some might feel comfortable in ignoring it.  However, that is clearly not the case. No less a person than an incoming United States Supreme Court Justice has also expressed a similar lack of respect for the central principle behind the entire structure of American government and law.

During the confirmation hearings of Obama Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, Sen. Tom Coburn had a testy exchange in which he pushed her to state her belief in fundamental rights.  She evaded answering.

Cuomo nor Kagan are not isolated examples. They are emblematic of a significant movement favoring the eliminating the concept of unalienable rights.

The primacy of unalienable rights in America’s governing concept is neither complex nor obscure.  The Declaration of Independence is crystal clear, using these unambiguous words:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men…”

It is also enshrined in the Bill of Rights, which specifically states in Amendment 9:

“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

Amendment 9 recognizes that the government only has those rights specifically provided in the Constitution. The concept of limited federal government is fortified as well by the Tenth Amendment:

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Nor is the concept a Republican-partisan one.  In his extraordinary inaugural address,    President John F. Kennedy stated: “…the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.”

A study by Lonang Institute described unalienable rights as those that are “incapable of being lost or sold. Unalienable rights are retained despite government decrees to the contrary because civil government does not grant them in the first case. Moreover, no future generation may be disenfranchised of any unalienable right by the present generation…The Declaration translated the common principles of equality and unalienable rights into positive law. Civil government was and is obliged to observe the rule of legal equality. It must recognize that all human beings enjoy certain unalienable rights from God–rights that are not created by the civil government, but which that government is nevertheless obligated to protect to the extent that the people articulate such rights in their constitutions or statutes…The modern lament is even more sweeping. Not only are there philosophers who deny these principles, but their protégés are appointed to the judicial bench, they percolate through the state legislature and through Congress, they occupy the state house and [have occupied the] White House, and they teach and are taught in the law schools.”

The Report concludes tomorrow

Marijuana legalization Provides Revenue, at a Cost

The Associated Press (AP)   reports that Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is “leading an effort to make sure vendors working with legal marijuana businesses…don’t have their banking services taken away.” According to AP, “Two years ago, the U.S. Department of the Treasury gave banks permission to do business with legal marijuana entities under some conditions. Since then, the number of banks and credit unions willing to handle pot money rose from 51 in 2014 to 301 in 2016. Warren, however, said fewer than 3 percent of the nation’s 11,954 federally regulated banks and credit unions are serving the cannabis industry.”

Her views on marijuana tend to reflect a widespread sentiment throughout the nation. Drug Policy.org  reports that “There is more public support for marijuana law reform than ever before with new polls showing more than half the country is in favor of legalizing marijuana. The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) believes marijuana should be removed from the criminal justice system and regulated like alcohol and tobacco.”

In the sort of irony that characterizes modern day America, near-hysterical warnings about commonplace substances, especially sugar and salt, long a part of standard food and beverages, are heard almost daily.  Politicians and bureaucrats produce campaigns to wean consumers away from these everyday commodities as though they were poison. And yet many of the same officials have readily jumped on the marijuana legalization bandwagon, despite significant scientific information about its harmful effects. 28 states have legalized the substance for medicinal or recreational use.

The strange nonchalance towards marijuana contrasts with medical evidence, which are listed in many sources, among them Addict-help.com

“Some of the well-known side effects of chronic, marijuana use include:

  • Can stunt brain developmentin users until around the age of 25, when the brain reaches maturity
  • Reduces thinking, learning and memory functions that can be permanent
  • Ongoing chronic use, one study suggests, results on average in an eight point IQ loss between the ages of 13 and 38
  • Can cause breathing problems, which lead to an increased risk of regular lung infections or lung related illnesses
  • Raises the heart rate, which can increase the likelihood of heart attack, especially among older users or those with existing heart problems
  • Pregnant women that smoke weed risk causing both brain and behavioral issues in their child
  • Worsens mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and suicidal thoughts
  • On average, research suggests, one out of every 11 marijuana users becomes addicted to the drug.”

Research from Northwestern University notes that recreational use by young adults caused “significant abnormalities in two key brain regions that are important in emotion and motivation.”

Part of the new tolerance can be traced back to a lack of knowledge of how marijuana itself has changed. A Smithsonian study reports:

“…as more states approve medical and even recreational marijuana, scientific inquiries have spiked, especially studies aimed at finding out what exactly is in today’s weed—and what it does to our bodies. In Colorado, which made marijuana legal in November 2012, the latest results show that the pot lining store shelves is much more potent than the weed of 30 years ago. But the boost in power comes at a cost—modern marijuana mostly lacks the components touted as beneficial by medical marijuana advocates, and it is often contaminated with fungi, pesticides and heavy metals. There’s a stereotype, a hippy kind of mentality, that leads people to assume that growers are using natural cultivation methods and growing organically,” says Andy LaFrate, founder of Charas Scientific, one of eight Colorado labs certified to test cannabis. “That’s not necessarily the case at all.” LaFrate presented his results this week at a meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in Denver.LaFrate says he’s been surprised at just how strong most of today’s marijuana has become. His group has tested more than 600 strains of marijuana from dozens of producers. Potency tests, the only ones Colorado currently requires, looked at tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound that produces the plant’s famous high. They found that modern weed contains THC levels of 18 to 30 percent—double to triple the levels that were common in buds from the 1980s. That’s because growers have cross-bred plants over the years to create more powerful strains, which today tout colorful names like Bruce Banner, Skunkberry and Blue Cookies.”

There is little support, nor would it prove particularly effective, to treat marijuana in the same manner as crack or heroin. But the actual reason for the enthusiasm for legalization comes from the substantial income that could be gained from taxing the product in the same manner as alcohol or tobacco.

A recent Tax Foundation study found that “A mature marijuana industry could generate up to $28 billion in tax revenues for federal, state, and local governments, including $7 billion in federal revenue: $5.5 billion from business taxes and $1.5 billion from income and payroll taxes. A federal tax of $23 per pound of product, similar to the federal tax on tobacco, could generate $500 million per year. Alternatively, a 10 percent sales surtax could generate $5.3 billion per year, with higher tax rates collecting proportionately more. The reduction of societal risk in being engaged in the marijuana trade, as well as the inclusion of taxes, will combine to reduce profits (and tax collections) somewhat from an initial level after national legalization. Society pays all the costs regardless of legality but tax revenues help offset those costs.

Russia Works With Taliban

Russia continues to expand its international influence.  After allying with China and Iran, cementing its relations with Syria and growing closer to Turkey, it now seeks to regain a position of significant power in Afghanistan.

As 2016 drew to a close, reports the Times of India, Russia, China, and Pakistan held a meeting in Moscow to discuss ways to work with the Taliban. Iran is also said to be working with the group.

One major topic of the gathering was a proposal to remove top Taliban leaders from UN sanctions.

A study by The Diplomat noted that “On December 8, 2016, Russia’s ambassador to Afghanistan, Alexander Mantyskiy, announced that the Russian government had made a diplomatic outreach to the Taliban’s leaders… A senior Taliban official told Reuters in early December that Russia’s relationship with the Taliban began in 2007, as Moscow shared the Taliban’s objective of forcing all U.S. troops to swiftly withdraw from Afghanistan.

“The official end of the U.S. war in Afghanistan in 2014 did not cause Russia to distance itself from the Taliban…Critics of Russian foreign policy argue that Putin’s outreach to the Taliban is a cynical ploy to undermine the legitimacy of President Ashraf Ghani’s U.S.-backed government. Some Afghan policymakers and General John Nicholson, a leading U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, have publicly given credibility to this contention…Citing a high-level Taliban official The Daily Beast reported in October 2015 that Moscow also encouraged Tajik intelligence operatives to facilitate the shipment of Russian arms to the Taliban. This revelation, if true, would flagrantly contradict Russia’s pledge to uphold the international arms embargo against the Taliban…If the Taliban continues to recapture territory in southern Afghanistan and make a push for control of Kabul, Russia will be uniquely placed to have a decisive role in shaping Afghanistan’s political future.”

According to Reuters, “Afghan and American officials are increasingly worried that any deepening of ties between Russia and Taliban militants fighting to topple the government in Kabul could complicate an already precarious security situation…a series of recent meetings they say has taken place in Moscow and Tajikistan has made Afghan intelligence and defence officials nervous about more direct support including weapons or funding. A senior Afghan security official called Russian support for the Taliban a ‘dangerous new trend’, an analysis echoed by …General John Nicholson. He…said Moscow was lending legitimacy to the Taliban.

A Voice of America  report also quotes General Nicholson as stating that “Russia has overtly lent legitimacy to the Taliban.”  As the New York Analysis of Policy and Government has previously noted, the same could have been said about former President Obama, who negotiated with the Taliban in contradiction of long-established U.S. policy of not negotiating with terrorists.

For its part, the Taliban has acknowledged its ties to both Russia and Iran, according to the Anadolu Agency

“The Afghan Taliban group has acknowledged its ties with Moscow and Tehran, projecting them as proof of their legitimacy and their supposed diplomatic success. In a series of messages shared on their official website on Thursday, the militant group said: ‘It is joyous to see that the regional countries have also understood that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan [the name the Afghan Taliban use for themselves] is a political and military force’…[in November], Alexander Mantytskiy, Russian ambassador to Afghanistan, and Zamir Kabulov, special representative of Russia in Afghanistan-Pakistan, caused uproar here when they acknowledged ties between the Taliban and Russia….Afghan lawmakers were also increasingly becoming skeptical about the intentions of Moscow and Tehran. “Afghan officials in western Farah province have accused Iran of equipping and harboring the Taliban. Similar concerns have been raised by security officials in restive northern Kunduz province that borders Tajikistan. Kunduz briefly fell to the Taliban earlier this year, and Afghan officials claimed to have confiscated Russian arms from the Taliban after reclaiming it…Moscow had hosted Chinese and Pakistani officials for a trilateral conference on Afghanistan, without any representation from the Kabul government.”

The Taliban’s list of atrocities is on par or even exceeds that of any terrorist organization on the planet. Its massive list of crimes has been cataloged by organizations such as Amnesty International. 

JASTA’S INEFFECTIVE RESPONSE TO TERROR HINDERS REAL SOLUTIONS

The concept of allowing U.S. citizens to privately sue foreign governments for acts of terror sounds worthwhile at first, but in practice, it would produce far more harm than good. Even the innocent actions of military, diplomatic, and other American personnel serving abroad may be used as an excuse to sue Washington under the idea, and America’s foreign policy goals and activities would be jeopardized.

Legislation permitting Americans to bring other nations to U.S. courts, known as the “Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) became law in 2016. It was an outgrowth of public anger resulting from questions that arose from those who believe that Saudi Arabia may have had liability in failing to stop the 9/11 attacks that devastated New York’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon, as well as leading to the crash of flight 93 in Pennsylvania. However, the legislation wasn’t limited to the government in Riyadh, or to the events of 2001.

Some of the same members of Congress who voted for JASTA have had second thoughts, after realizing that Washington has far more citizens abroad, serving both as civilians and service members, than any other country.  While they are not involved in anything that could rationally be considered terrorism, individuals hostile to the U.S. would use that charge to, at the very least, entangle Washington in an unending round of lawsuits based on questionable interpretations of their actions.

A Northeastern University study noted that concerns have been raised about retaliatory actions by both allies and adversaries abroad. Washington’s representatives overseas could be subjected to litigation by the citizens of the countries they are assigned to for causes which may be nonsensical, un-substantive, or merely an attempt to frustrate Washington’s policies and goals through litigation. As the world’s wealthiest nation, America would certainly be a prime target for lawsuits.

Writing for Lawnewz, discusses how “…The many critics of JASTA point to the geopolitical disaster likely to result from an American decision to strip foreign countries of their sovereignty. While such criticism may be hyperbolic, it’s entirely accurate to note that several American allies have already gone on record voicing their disapproval of JASTA. The Dutch parliament wrote  to House lawmakers warning that it considers JASTA to be a ‘gross and unwarranted breach of Dutch sovereignty’ that could result in ‘astronomical damages.’ Likewise, French Parliamentarian Pierre Lellouche cautioned that JASTA would ‘cause a legal revolution in international law with major political consequences,’ and that as one example of those consequences, he would pursue legislation that would permit French citizens to sue the United States. And those are the remarks from countries unlikely to be sued under JASTA”

Retired Air Force Major General William Russell Cotney, in an interview published in The Tennessean  noted: “JASTA will undermine our ability to defend our interests around the world. In their quest for justice against terrorism, Congress may be making the United States and our military and government officials more vulnerable than they are today.”

There are practical as well as political issues that remain unresolved about JASTA, as well. Assume an American citizen proves successful in a lawsuit against a foreign government, which a court finds was, indeed, implicated in an act of terror.  The verdict calls for a substantial cash payment.  How does the plaintiff collect?

Writing for the Lawfare site, Ingrid Wuerth notes “Collecting on any JASTA judgment may be difficult, …The immunity of foreign states from the execution of judgments is protected by different sections of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act…which are not amended by JASTA.”

The Northeastern study concurs. “Countries can and always have claimed legal authority over individuals and countries beyond their borders—referred to as ‘extraterritorial jurisdiction’—but it rarely goes anywhere. After all, nations need to enforce any judgments. This brings up a host of diplomatic and military issues, and most countries resolve such disputes through international bodies, not military force. This is relatively uncharted territory, because it represents a tension between international diplomacy, international relations, and legal liability.”

Peter R. Huessy, the President of Geostrategic Analysis   presented another problem in a RealClearDefense article: “…In practical terms, JASTA does not do much to help the victims of 9/11. The idea that a state sponsor of terror would disclose its terrorism support activities in court, which by their nature are clandestine and ‘off the books,’ is absurd. Equally problematic is the idea that a state sponsoring terrorism would leave its assets in the United States where a court decision might attach them.”

Several senators, including John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) have proposed amending the law to restrict the right to sue only to governments that knowingly supported a terrorist organization, directly or indirectly, including providing funds.  That change would, unfortunately, do little to address the many drawbacks to the legal concept.

The American public’s frustration, particularly over the past eight years, with Washington’s lethargic and ineffective response to terrorism is understandable. JASTA would do nothing to change that, and would, instead, lead to greater limits on what a more activist leadership in Washington could accomplish.

Frank Vernuccio, editor-in-chief of the New York Analysis of Policy and Government, originally published this article in The Hill.

Naval Developments Threaten U.S.

The  U.S. Navy has been reduced at the same time that Russia and China have embarked in extensive strengthening of their fleets.  There is insufficient attention being paid to how this has impacted American national security.

It is a serious omission.  In key corners of the globe, including the nation’s own coasts, aggressive powers are reshaping the global power structure in ways detrimental to western interests.

China’s naval prowess will reach its zenith in 2020, when its planned fleet of 350 ships,  the National Interest notes, will vastly exceed America’s in size. Russia has already reached that goal, notes Russian Ships Info.The U.S. Navy has 273 active ships, and Moscow has 283.

The Congressional Research Service notes that  “China is building a modern and regionally powerful navy with a limited but growing capability for conducting operations beyond China’s near-seas region. Observers of Chinese and U.S. military forces view China’s improving naval capabilities as posing a potential challenge in the Western Pacific to the U.S. Navy’s ability to achieve and maintain control of blue-water ocean areas in wartime—the first such challenge the U.S. Navy has faced since the end of the Cold War. More broadly, these observers view China’s naval capabilities as a key element of an emerging broader Chinese military challenge to the long-standing status of the United States as the leading military power in the Western Pacific.”

It’s not just the size of the Russian and Chinese fleets, it’s how hostile naval vessels are deployed that Washington has failed to deal with for the past eight years. Russia and China are not alone in threat escalation—Iran must be considered, as well.

The Washington Institute reported in September that “Since January 2016, surface elements from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGC-N) have harassed U.S. naval vessels in the Gulf thirty times, 50 percent more than during the same period last year. In each case, the Iranian vessel or vessels approached within weapons range. On at least three occasions, they closed to a distance that could make a collision more likely or could render U.S. ships nearly defenseless to a boat packed with explosive charges…Last year, the IRGC-N tallied three hundred close encounters with U.S. Navy vessels…”

Understanding War discloses that “First, Iran has reprioritized some of its local maritime exercises towards solidifying or expanding territorial claims in the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, and Caspian Sea. Second, Islamic Republic of Iran Navy (IRIN) has significantly increased its long-range deployments in support of strategic relationships with key partners. Third, at the same time that Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines are being used to support Iranian objectives logistically, the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy may also be conducting similar operations. Taken as a whole, these three trends indicate Iran is modifying and expanding its maritime activities in support of strategic objectives.

In Asia, an area that had been dominated by the U.S. Navy since the end of World War 2, China has altered the strategic balance, and the Pax Americana that had been in place.

Defense One warns that “China is attempting to create a situation wherein the United States, to uphold international law, will either have to accede to their territorial claims in the South China Sea or openly resort to the use of hostile force, allowing China to publicly portray the U.S. as an imperialist aggressor state. Beijing is betting that the United States will not take this action and that power over the South China Sea and all the resources that lie beneath will pass to China, breaking American influence in the region.”

Beijing’s hostility has not been restricted to the South China Sea. In September of 2015, five of its naval vessels came within 12 miles of the U.S. coastline in Alaska. The Wall Street Journal noted that “The foray, just as President Barack Obama was visiting Alaska, threw a fresh spotlight on China’s expanding naval power and ambitions…”

The Kremlin has been the most active in directly threatening the U.S. in the western hemisphere, as well as its threatening activities in Europe.

Sen. Dan Sullivan (R., Alaska), reports the Washington Free Beacon,  has  warned “that the United States is lagging behind in the Arctic amid Russia’s push to increase its military presence in the region through a rapid buildup of ice-capable ships and infrastructure…Russia has been changing the facts on the ground in a very major way that is somewhat analogous to what’s going on in the South China Sea, where we start to talk about it, but in the meantime others are acting and all the sudden we find ourselves behind strategically…”

It’s not just Russia’s Arctic actions that are cause for concern. The Center for Security Policy reports that “Russia’s activity within the Western Hemisphere has increased since the beginning of the Obama Administration. Russian activity in the Western Hemisphere first began with the sale of military equipment to Venezuela that soon transitioned into the two nations participating in joint naval exercises…Just a year after the Russian and Venezuelan naval exercise, the U.S. spotted Russian attack submarines patrolling off the coast of the U.S. The Russian subs made it 200 miles off the East coast of the U.S., operating in international waters. Russian subs were detected operating incredibly close to U.S. data cables in 2015. While data cables near the U.S. coast commonly experience breaking or malfunctions, these cables are fixable within days. The fear from U.S. officials arose if the Russians cut a cable at extreme depths. The damages to these cables are much more difficult to find and fix, which could result in communications and internet access being down for weeks or even months.”

The naval capabilities and size of the Russian, Chinese and Iranian fleets should not be considered in isolation.  As the three nations continue to deepen their alliance, the combined size of their armed forces pose a unitary threat to the United States.

What are the Real Goals of the Anti-Trump Protests? Part 3

The New York Analysis of Policy and Government concludes its review of the anti-Trump protests.

The leftists protesters have not limited their targeting to the White House or to the overturning of the 2016 election.  Those who vocally disagree with their policies are also in their line of fire.

The Daily Caller reports that During an anti-Trump protest in Seattle this weekend, an activist associated with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement took to the megaphone to voice her support for, among other things, “killing people,” and “killing the White House.” While she said that, another protester can be heard saying, “Burn it!”

Trump supporters have been assaulted and beaten, one example being at an airport in Portland, as reported by the Daily Mail.

The CBS affiliate in San Franciscoreports that “Protesters armed with bricks and fireworks mounted an assault on the building hosting a speech by polarizing Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos Wednesday night, forcing the event’s cancellation. Several injuries have been reported and at least four banks have been vandalized after demonstrators marched away from the scene of a violent protest at the canceled speaking event by controversial far-right writer and speaker Yiannopoulos on the University of California at Berkeley campus.”

The New York Post reports that protestors sought to stop an appearance by conservative Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes, who was to address a seminar for college Republicans.

Fox News reports that “many conservatives say they are increasingly under threat and being shut out of the political dialogue…Allison Coukos, director of public relations for the George Washington College Republicans and a junior majoring in political science…said [there is a] new level of enmity for conservative students and professors. Coukos said she has basically had to stop discussing politics altogether… ‘Students have told me of instances of harassment. We had a member spat on when they were wearing a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat,’ Coukos said.

Last week, video surfaced of a left-leaning college student physically and verbally assaulting a conservative leader at West Virginia University during a meeting to organize a joint debate. Jordan Martinez, a 24-year-old U.S Army combat veteran who is now a graduate student at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, said he has been shocked with the extreme shutdown of political discourse. Two days prior to the inauguration, according to Martinez, professors introduced a documentary filmmaker who said that he was part of an anti-Trump movement and invited students to join the protests in Downtown Los Angeles. He gave each student two forms which were “delegitimizing Trump’s election” and stated that he and Pence were ‘fascist.”

A careful review might disclose that an additional motivation for the protests could include a leadership struggle within the Democrat Party, the initial shots in a civil war brought about by the devastating loss of its power in the White House, the House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, many state legislatures and governorships in recent years.  Democrats seeking the survival of their party will be forced to note that the combination of extreme left-wing policies, divisive identity politics, back-door influence by billionaires such as Tom Steyer and George Soros, and Clinton-style corruption have not served their party well.  Outrageous actions by New York Senator Charles Schumer, who introduced legislation to weaken First Amendment protections, have also harmed the party.

In addition to their losses at the ballot box, the embarrassing condition of many cities run by left-wing Democrat mayors across the nation (Chicago being a prime example) points to a clear need for significant change—an alteration which will detrimentally affect the leftist who currently control the party.

It is becoming increasingly evident that the goal of the extreme leftists sponsoring this movement is not to effectuate specific policy changes.  Part of it is a struggle to retain control of the Democrat Party despite a record of failure. And part of it is a rebellion—the word is used intentionally—against the constitutional election process which rendered a result the left did not want.  It is, in its essence, a rejection of the entire concept of the electoral process itself.

What are the Real Goals of the Anti-Trump Protests? Part 2

The New York Analysis continues its review of the anti-Trump protest movement.

The anti-Trump protests, hyped by many in the media and supported by the financiers of progressive causes, are aimed not just at an individual, but at the Constitutional process of free elections.

The Daily Signal  reported that: “Disrupt J20 organizers, [posted] this definition of what it means to take ‘direct action:’ ‘Direct Action is when you take collective action to make social change without giving power over to an authority or middle person. We don’t ask permission or put our faith in electoral politics, [emphasis added] instead, we use our bodies to stop the smooth operation of the system we oppose. Examples of direct action include the ongoing resistance at Standing Rock against the Dakota Access Pipeline, the street and highway blockades of Black Lives Matter, or the occupations of public squares during Occupy Wall Street.’ Anarchist-affiliated media sites such as Crimethinc.com…suggest the potential for violence.”

CNN reported that six police officers were injured, 217 protestors were arrested, and a limousine was set afire in Washington on Inauguration Day. Centrist Democrat Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) condemned the violence, in an interview with The Hill.

If these activities occurred spontaneously, some leeway might be given to the lack of coherence or logic in the course of their actions and statements.  But the reality is this movement is well-funded and well-planned. Breitbart reports that The Women’s March on Washington, a celebrity-endorsed event [was] backed by a who’s who of far-left organizations, including scores of groups financed by billionaire George Soros.”

The Washington Times reported “Republican strategist Michael McKenna said protesting the peaceful transition of power is ‘really an unhelpful thing’ for Democrats looking to establish the moral high ground and turn public opinion against Mr. Trump. ‘It’s pathological,’ said Mr. McKenna, who at one point advised the Trump transition. ‘Democrats need to realize that one-party rule doesn’t serve anyone’s purposes. Competition is what makes this whole thing work, and Democrats need to start being a competitive party again.’ ”

The extraordinary tenor and violence of left wing protests across the United States, both those aimed directly at President Trump and at others who vocally disagree with “progressive” viewpoints, have crossed a line.  It is no longer political dissent.  It is now an effort to overturn the results of a legal election and the protections of the First Amendment by means of harassment, false news reporting, and violence.

While there have been election results in the past that have resulted in dramatic changes in philosophy in the White House, (the switch from Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan, and from George W. Bush to Barack Obama are among the most recent; historically, the election of Andrew Jackson should be noted) only the election of Abraham Lincoln resulted in anything resembling the current climate.

Unlike prior periods of discord, these current events are not centered around a singular disputed issue or policy but rather concern the most inherent aspects of Constitutional government.

The once-sacrosanct and widely held beliefs in freedom of speech and the acceptance of election results are being challenged as never before in U.S. history.

Consider:

  • The tone for the current climate was set when numerous Democrat elected official boycotted the inauguration ceremony, and continued when Democrat members of the Senate Finance Committee boycotted votes on the nomination of President Trump’s candidate to lead the departments of the Treasury and Health and Human Services.
  • Mayors of several large cities have openly planned to defy lawful federal immigration laws.
  • Fox News reports that two Democrat lawmakers  have sought to limit Trump’s authority as commander-in-chief.
  • Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, an Obama appointee, directed her legal staff to not perform their duty to defend a lawful presidential order in court.
  • The Washington Examiner reports that a Secret Service agent refuses to protect the President because she disagrees with his policies—ending a long-standing tradition of impartiality.
  • Violating a long standing tradition of judicial impartiality,  IJR  reports, a judge wore a radical feminist symbol—the so-called “pussy hat”—while presiding at court.

Some of the actions of the protesters have been extraordinary in their tenor:

  • Yahoo news reports that “Radio stations in South Carolina and several other states say their signals were hacked and interrupted by an anti-Donald Trump rap song that contained obscene language.
  • McClatchy reports the BuzzFeed news servicehas published unverified smears, (as have other news outlets) in an effort to discredit and de-legitimize  the legally elected Administration.
  • Twitter, reports Fox News, has committed $1.6 million to oppose the President’s travel ban.
  • As reported by Fox News, comedian Sarah Silverman has called for a military coup against President Donald Trump.

The Report concludes tomorrow.

 

What are the Real Goals of the Anti-Trump Movement?

The New York Analysis of Policy Government begins a three–part review of the actions and motives of the anti-Trump protests. 

The real goals of the anti-Trump movement leaders are more complex than portrayed by the friendly media.

Even before Donald Trump took the oath of office, protests were being planned and executed across the United States. The tone and vehemence of those events are without any precedent, with the sole exception of the reaction to the election of Abraham Lincoln.

There is a certain irrationality to the comments and demonstrations.  Some of the conditions those involved are angry about exist after eight years of an Obama presidency, a leader they clearly prefer. Despite the angry shouts, signs, and statements of the participants, there is scant evidence that, absent a strenuous misinterpretation, (which a biased media has been quite willing to provide) Mr. Trump has engaged in any action that could reasonably be construed as racist, misogynist, xenophobic, or anti-lgbt.

Strangely lost amidst all the press coverage concerning the vehement and occasionally violent protests about the inauguration and subsequent policy moves of President Donald Trump are the most basic questions reputable journalists should be asking.  What, precisely, are the objections that have led to the near-hysteria that began even before the Administration took office?

Neither Trump’s campaign statements nor his prior history portray him as a doctrinaire conservative that would raise the ire of progressives.  His positions on infrastructure are, to take just one example, directly in line with liberal Democrats.  Marketwatch  noted last year that “One presidential candidate wants to end loopholes for the ‘very rich.’ He’s against trade deals that allow foreign “sweatshops” to steal American jobs. He backs “prevailing wages” for U.S. positions filled by foreigners with special visas.”  That wasn’t a description of Bernie Sanders—it was a description of Donald Trump.

The Fiscal Times  notes that in trade, infrastructure, paid family leave, carried interest, and the deficit, Trump’s positions are very similar to the many of the people engaging in strenuous objections to his Administration.

Conservative hawks also are clearly distraught over Trump’s soft rhetoric about Russia. Oddly enough, despite decades of seeking to soften tough talk from the Right about Moscow, the left now condemns Trump for doing what they have been advocating.

Human Rights and gender issues are among the more frequently heard issues at anti-Trump protests. Here, too, there is a curious lack of substance.

Throughout the entire eight years of the Obama Administration, there was a stunning lack of concern for the two most oppressed and attacked groups of middle eastern residents, Christians and Yazkidis.

As noted by Chatham House, extensive witness testimonies and the discovery of mass graves around Sinjar have evidenced ISIS’s responsibility for the expulsion, flight, forced apostasy, murder and sexual enslavement of thousands of Yazidi women and men.

According to a Georgetown University study, “a Christian was martyred about once every six minutes in 2016, making them the most persecuted religious group in the world.”

The Obama Administration clearly refused to reach out and assist either of these groups by allowing them to enter the U.S. as refugees.  An honest examination of refugee policies during Obama’s presidency would lead to the undisputable conclusion that he went out of his way to exclude them.

It also refused to take any significant steps to thwart the enslavement, rape, and murder of females throughout the region.  Which clearly leads to the question why women’s groups, who were so silent about Obama’s refusal to react to this gender-cide against women, are now so vocal in their opposition to Trump.

There does not appear to be any attempt to engage the new president in a reasonable discussion to dissuade him from the views that the demonstrators object to. Indeed, on Inauguration Day, rather than seeking to merely make their voices heard as the process unfolded, the actions were actually aimed at disrupting the process itself.

The Report continues Monday.