Author Archives: frankv

Slandering Veterans

Hollywood continues to insult veterans. A review of the television season just ended provides a number of examples.

“Designated Survivor.”  A group consisting of (surprise!) military veterans and Second Amendment types are revealed to be the perpetrators of a crime in which almost the entire body of U.S. elected officials were assassinated while attending a State of the Union address.

This lunatic-fringe series is not alone.  The latest “24” reboot characterizes veterans as burned-out psychotics. Newsbusters  notes that 24 “caricatures [veterans,] shows every single vet on the show as broken in some way. Even in small scenes, such as when we see a group of homeless veterans hanging out under an overpass, complete with garbage drum fire…The liberal critics have already expressed displeasure that the bad guys are radical Islamists. Funny, though, there haven’t been any objections to how our military veteran heroes are portrayed. Hollywood and its critics are so predictable. They don’t want to insult the radicals in the Muslim world but it’s no problem to slam the good guys.”

None of this new, nor is it restricted to Hollywood. Slandering America’s veterans has been an obsession, amounting to a mental disorder, on the part of Progressives and the Left for far too long. Under Barack Obama’s Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, U.S. veterans returning from Iraq were labelled as more of a security threat than Islamic terrorists.  By the way, Janet Napolitano is currently the head of Berkley College.  In her new role, she has refused to take steps to confront left-wing terrorists who have committed acts of violence and intimidation against those who merely seek to invite non-progressive speakers on campus. The College Fix notes that “500 University of California alumni joined over twenty organizations in requesting that UC President Janet Napolitano ‘adopt a number of measures to rein in anti-Semitic acts against students…’”  Despite her tolerance of anti-Semitism, and DNC Deputy Chair Keith Ellison’s history of anti-Semitism, there are no TV scripts casting them as villains.

Defamatory portrayals  of veterans cause real harm. A Breitbart study  explains that “…images matter, especially when veterans try to find employment after coming back home. Last year, the Center for a New American Security surveyed 69 companies on why (or why not) they hire veterans. Not surprisingly, more than half said negative stereotypes gleaned from media and popular culture made them wary of bringing veterans aboard…”

A Los Angeles Times  article notes that “Studies show that the public can have skewed views of veterans based on what’s seen in film or on television, said Chris Marvin, executive director of Got Your 6, [a group dedicated to helping veterans.] Dave Philipps, writing in the The New York Times  in 2015, relays how veteran activist Chris Marvin worries that “We believe that the way veterans are portrayed on the screen is the way the will be thought of in the living room and the way they will be treated in the community.”

The reality is that Hollywood’s moguls ignore reality, about veterans as well as anyone or any group who doesn’t share their progressive politics.  They refuse to back off their politically-correct and reality-challenged view of the world.  It isn’t veterans who are rioting on city streets or college campuses—it’s the professional (and frequently paid) radicals and misinformed and inaccurately educated college leftists who engage in storm-trooper tactics.   It isn’t the NRA or the American Legion that seeks to censor, through violence or intimidation, anyone they disagree with. It’s the Progressives that own that monopoly.

The defamatory portrayals of veterans, while giving a free pass to Islamic extremists, totalitarian leftists, and the drug cartels who entered the nation during the Obama open-border era, is reprehensible.

Totalitarianism and the U.S. Left

Modern American Progressive activists tend to think of themselves as an avant-garde movement at the cutting edge of a new wave. In reality, they are practicing a time worn script seen repeatedly through the ages. The trend has reached a crescendo since the 2016 election.

Throughout history, extremists of every sort have convinced their followers, and perhaps themselves, that their actions were justified.  Absolute monarchs subscribed to the belief that their power came from God. Nazis alleged that they were restoring Germany. Communists claim they represent “the people.” Theocrats insist they are the one true voice of a deity.

The excuses may differ, but the reality is the same; conform or be punished. The methods are also similar. Block dissenting voices, utilize or threaten violence against those with differing views. Any action, including mass murder, aggressive warfare, censorship, deception and violence, are, in their eyes, valid because the means, no matter how extreme, justify the ends.

Within the United States, there is a rapidly growing and deeply disturbing trend that mirrors the attitudes and actions of totalitarian movements. On college campuses, guest speakers not conforming to a hard-left perspective are kept away, through violence or the threat thereof; non-progressive professors are not hired; centrist or conservative students are intimidated or ostracized. The actions of the Berkley rioters are not functionally different from the time-dishonored precedent of their fascistic forebears of the 1930’s.

Dr. Laurie Patton, president of Middlebury College, writing in USA Today, describes a scenario that has become unfortunately typical:

“Students protested when [a non-leftist] speaker took the stage. They prevented him from speaking and went on to disrupt attempts to continue the program…when [the speaker and moderator] left the building, outsiders [and] students physically confronted them and surrounded their car. [The moderator] was injured…”

In contrast, leftists speakers utter extreme anti-centrist and anti-conservative positions with impunity.  One example: New York Senator Kristen Gillibrand delivered a profanity-laced address at New York University’ recent commencement exercise aimed the current White House. She faced no disruption.

As these students graduate and should they eventually assume positions of authority, book burning and the imprisonment of dissenters will not be far behind.

You will not hear these concerns expressed in most news analyses.

Conventional media has abandoned objective coverage in favor of Progressive-oriented “advocacy journalism.” Internet search engines bury non-leftist search results, and social media sites claim the right to omit entries they deem inappropriate. The Black Lives Matter movement, citing examples of rare police misbehavior against minorities, condone establishing a permissive attitude towards violence against the forces of law. Terrorists, such as Bill Ayers, are welcomed into the halls of power, up to and including the former Obama administration. Anti-Semites such as Keith Ellison are given positions of exceptional influence, in Ellison’s case, as Deputy Director of the DNC. Adding to Ellison’s power is the recent naming of his top political aide, Will Hailer, as a key DNC adviser, as reported by the Washington Free Beacon.

The co-opting of federal agencies for partisan purposes, such as that which occurred when the IRS was used to attack Tea Party groups in the prior Administration, mirrors methods used in totalitarian governments, such as the USSR, in which the Communist Party, not the actual government, held true power.

In American grammar and high schools, traditional fact-based education has been replaced by politically-oriented indoctrination. Radical-left texts are utilized not as alternative viewpoints but as standard guides.  The New York Post recently noted that a Brooklyn middle school teacher assigned an anti-capitalist screed as a homework assignment. A Texas text book asked students to compare the 9/11 destruction of the World Trade Center to the Boston Tea Party.

Objective science takes a back seat to Progressive philosophical course work, particularly “sustainability.”

As with all totalitarian movements, Progressivism utilizes a kind of reverse phraseology. The “AntiFa” (anti-facist) movement is, at its core, fascistic, in both practice and philosophy.

The concept of preventing “offensive speech” is merely the latest excuse to suppress differing perspectives.  Advocates of censoring so-called offensive speech should review history.  Eliminating the absolute power of monarchs, establishing representative government, allowing religious freedom, ending slavery, giving equal rights to women, all were considered deeply offensive concepts to many when they were first proposed.

The tolerance by the left of dictatorial regimes is disturbing, but quite revealing. Obama’s opening of relations with oppressive Cuba was inappropriate; so, to, was the refusal to condemn and take forceful action against radical Islam, which endorses the death of nonbelievers. Support by many prominent progressives, both those elected to office and in the entertainment industry of the destruction of Venezuela by a dictatorial socialist regime is inexcusable. Kindred souls feel no need to criticize each other.

Since the election of Donald Trump, the advocacy of violence against the elected president has become epidemic—and increasingly acceptable on the left. Writing in the Federalist, Daniel Payne notes “…There is reason to be genuinely, authentically concerned with the direction in which the left is headed.  To cope with the political defeats they suffered in 2016, liberals appear to be embracing and championing political violence.”  This, also, resembles the actions of totalitarian movements across the ages.

Leftists have brought America to a precipice.

Avoiding Past Infrastructure Mistakes

President Trump’s extensive infrastructure package, totaling $1 trillion, much of which would be financed by the private sector, has been featured this month by the White House. There will be substantial debates about how much to actually spend, and which projects to endorse.

Business Insider notes that a repair backlog of about $90 billion exists on mass transit facilities, a figure expected to grow substantially. Population growth will exacerbate the problem.

A significant look should be taken at how Obama failed at this crucial task, to avoid a repeat of his costly errors.

The prior Administration spent an incredible $825 billion on a stimulus program that failed to address vital national needs. Middle class jobs deteriorated,  (Obamacare was significantly to blame) the national debt doubled, more businesses failed than opened, national security worsened, and America’s infrastructure continued to crumble. Astonishingly, Obama declared that he had difficulty finding “shovel ready jobs”—despite the findings of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) that the nation’s roads, bridges, tunnels and airports rate only a D+. The 2017 ASCE analysis, which is quite similar to its prior studies, notes that over 55,000 bridges are structurally deficient. ASCE estimates that transportation problems cost each household $3,100 in lost income.

Much of Obama’s stimulus funding went to failed “green” organizations such as Solyndra, and politically-friendly sources, rather than infrastructure needs.

But it’s not just federal mistakes that need to be avoided. Cities and states continue to finance efforts that not only divert funds from worthwhile projects, but actually make transportation issues worse.

A salient example is the development of bike lanes on roads.  This program, which has widespread popularity, slows down vehicular traffic, is used by only the smallest fraction of commuters, poses a danger both to bikers and motorists (bikers, exempt from vehicular licensing and insurance requirements, frequently ignore traffic rules) and does almost nothing for the environment.

Some rapid-rail projects that fail to take into account expense factors have cost taxpayers extraordinary sums while accomplishing little. Robert Samuelson, writing in the Washington Post, notes:

“Somehow, it’s become fashionable to think that high-speed trains connecting major cities will help ‘save the planet.’ They won’t. They’re a perfect example of wasteful spending masquerading as a respectable social cause. They would further burden already overburdened governments and drain dollars from worthier programs…” A Congressional Research Service report found that these types of efforts face many challenges, and urged Congress to consider whether they are worthwhile investments.

Many riders note that use of intercity rail lines are prohibitively expensive.

In contrast, there has been inadequate attention paid to the restoration of neglected freight lines, which if restored, could dramatically reduce road congestion and the resulting air pollution. Some urban areas, such as New York City, have less rail freight access than existed in the early 20th Century. Abandoned freight lines have, in some cases, been turned into public parks.

In addition to transportation, the Trump proposal includes the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline and similar projects, which are expected to be a safer alternative than trucking energy supplies, as well as reducing congestion on major roads.

To insure that the necessary work is not delayed by the traditional bureaucratic delays, the President issued an executive order expediting the environmental review process.  There is speculation that a key incentive for that move was the necessity of rapidly protecting the nation’s electrical grid, endangered by a potential electromagnetic pulse assault either from a nuclear blast or a solar incident, similar to that which last occurred in the 1850’s and which astronomers believe is now overdue. This exceptionally urgent task was not addressed during the Obama Administration.

A potential drawback to the White House plan was recently noted by Ted Mann in a Wall Street Journal article. “President Donald Trump’s plan to tap the private sector to rebuild $1 trillion worth of roads, bridges and rails has encountered an early problem: geography.” While development projects in densely populated areas may prove attractive to private sector financing because they could provide a timely return on investment, those in rural areas may not offer the same inducement.  Some of those expressing doubts on the ability of securing private financing of rural area projects are Trump’s fellow Republican elected officials, including Kansas Senator Jerry Moran.

The doubling of the national debt during the Obama Administration, with no appreciable addressing of national needs, sharply hinders Washington’s ability to meet the growing and crucial infrastructure needs facing the U.S.

Dangerous Chinese Illusions, Part 2

The New York Analysis of Policy and Government concludes its two part examination of China’s challenge to the U.S.—and the unrealistic response on the part of some Washington policy makers.

The Free Beacon also reported that “China flight tested a new variant of a long-range missile with 10 warheads in what defense officials say represents a dramatic shift in Beijing’s strategic nuclear posture. The test of a missile with 10 warheads is significant because it indicates the secretive Chinese military is increasing the number of warheads in its arsenal…The new commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, Air Force Gen. John Hyten, stated during a Senate confirmation hearing in September that he is concerned about China’s growing nuclear arsenal…’Although it continues to profess a ‘no first use’ doctrine, China is re-engineering its long-range ballistic missiles to carry multiple nuclear warheads and continues to develop and test hyper-glide vehicle technologies,’ Hyten added…The 10-warhead missile test comes amid heightened tensions with China. State-run media in recent weeks has carried reports calling for China to expand its nuclear forces. A broadcast report showed that new long-range mobile missiles could strike the entire United States…The Chinese Communist Party propaganda newspaper Global Times, known for its anti-U.S. stance, issued stark calls for China to build up its nuclear arsenal for use against the United States. On Jan. 24, the newspaper said China’s strategic forces ‘must be so strong that no country would dare launch a military showdown.

China’s actions are indicative of its confidently belligerent attitude, whether in the construction of illegal artificial islands, occupying Philippine offshore areas, or in aggressive acts towards U.S. forces. Lawfare discusses a recent incident. “On December 16 a Chinese warship snatched a U.S. underwater drone literally from under the eyes of the crew of a U.S. survey ship. The USNS Bowditch is an unarmed naval oceanographic vessel that was recovering two underwater drones in the Philippine exclusive economic zone (EEZ), about 50 miles northwest of Subic Bay…China’s capture of the drone violates three norms embedded in international maritime law and reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and other treaties.

In addition to the extraordinary growth in the strength of China’s armed forces, its alliance with Russia has given it a new-found confidence. The Diplomat  notes that ‘a major feature of China’s and Russia’s defense and geostrategic interests has been rising levels of official support for each other’s security, increasingly pitched as common defense concerns… China and Russia have been accelerating their joint military drills including holding their first joint naval drills conducted in the South China Sea this year.”

According to The Navy Times, the Obama Administration had “barred Pentagon leaders from a key talking point when it comes to publicly describing the military challenges posed by China. In February [2016], Defense Secretary Ash Carter cited the ‘return to great power of competition’ in the Asia-Pacific, ‘where China is rising.’ Similarly, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson characterized China and Russia as rivals in this ‘great power competition’ in his maritime strategy. But a recent directive from the National Security Council ordered Pentagon leaders to strike out that phrase and find something less inflammatory, according to four officials familiar with the classified document, revealed here for the first time by Navy Times. Obama administration officials and some experts say ‘great power competition’ inaccurately frames the U.S. and China as on a collision course, but other experts warn that China’s ship building, man-made islands and expansive claims in the South and East China seas are hostile to U.S. interests. This needlessly muddies leaders’ efforts to explain the tough measures needed to contain China’s rise, these critics say.

Part of the “Let’s Pretend” foreign policy concept is that China may be helpful in controlling North Korea.  Unfortunately, that contradicts the evidence.

A Foreign Policy article notes that a “confidential U.N. Report details North Korea’s front companies in China. …an unpublished U.N. report obtained by Foreign Policy …documents sophisticated North Korean efforts to evade sanctions … China has proved a fickle partner at best in Washington’s effort to stymie Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions…China, despite its apparent cooperation of late with international efforts to sanction North Korea, has instead served as Pyongyang’s economic lifeline, purchasing the vast majority of its coal, gold, and iron ore and serving as the primary hub for illicit trade that undermines a raft of U.N. sanctions that China nominally supports, the report’s findings suggest. As early as December 2016, China had blown past a U.N.-imposed ceiling of 1 million metric tons on coal imports, purchasing twice that amount. China then shrugged off a requirement to report its North Korean coal imports to the U.N. Security Council sanctions committee. When U.S. and Japanese diplomats pressed their Chinese counterpart for an explanation in a closed-door meeting this month, the Chinese diplomat said nothing, according to a U.N.-based official. North Korean banks and firms, meanwhile, have maintained access to international financial markets through a vast network of Chinese-based front companies, enabling Pyongyang to evade sanctions.”

America’s policy makers must fully accept that China is a militarily equal power with an expansionist policy that views American strength, and America’s allies, as roadblocks. It would be irresponsible for Washington to continue the Obama policy of ignoring this threat and not strengthening and preparing the U.S. military for the dire challenge that lays ahead.

Dangerous Chinese Illusions

The New York Analysis of Policy and Government begins a two part examination of China’s challenge to the U.S.—and the unrealistic response on the part of some Washington policy makers.

America’s political establishment—Democrats and Republicans, liberals and Conservatives—desperately want to believe that China harbors no malign intentions.

It’s easy to understand that hope.  The consequences of facing the worlds’ largest population and second largest economy, a nation aligned directly with Russia, the planet’s greatest nuclear force and occupying the world’s largest national land mass—are truly horrifying.

That doesn’t make the reality any less substantial. There is almost no evidence that Beijing,
has any intention of acting in a manner that indicates anything other than belligerent intent. China is, indeed, acting “like a bully.” The evidence is abundant. Beijing’s military budget continues to soar. Its espionage effort is increasingly extensive. It has done nothing to rein in its North Korean client states’ nuclear brinksmanship. It continues its illegal expansionist activities, both in the development of artificial islands and its dominance of the offshore exclusive economic zone of the Philippines. Its military influence in Latin America and Africa grows.

Spacewar  reports that “Beijing has embarked on an extensive project to build a “blue water” navy and modernise its two million-strong military, the world’s largest. The country’s rapidly expanding military might includes a range of maritime defence capabilities, a fleet of attack submarines, and highly sophisticated anti-aircraft systems that prevent enemy vessels from nearing its coast. Chinese President Xi Jinping has said that ‘all must be done’ to improve the country’s battle capacities so it can ‘fight and win wars.’

Scout.com notes that “the Chinese are reportedly working on a handful of high-tech next-generation ships, weapons and naval systems. China has plans to grow its navy to 351 ships [the U.S. Navy only has approximately 276]  by 2020 as the Chinese continue to develop their military’s ability to strike global targets, according to a recent Congressional report.

A Foreign Policy  article notes that a “confidential U.N. Report details North Korea’s front companies in China. …an unpublished U.N. report obtained by Foreign Policy …documents sophisticated North Korean efforts to evade sanctions … China has proved a fickle partner at best in Washington’s effort to stymie Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions…China, despite its apparent cooperation of late with international efforts to sanction North Korea, has instead served as Pyongyang’s economic lifeline, purchasing the vast majority of its coal, gold, and iron ore and serving as the primary hub for illicit trade that undermines a raft of U.N. sanctions that China nominally supports, the report’s findings suggest. As early as December 2016, China had blown past a U.N.-imposed ceiling of 1 million metric tons on coal imports, purchasing twice that amount. China then shrugged off a requirement to report its North Korean coal imports to the U.N. Security Council sanctions committee. When U.S. and Japanese diplomats pressed their Chinese counterpart for an explanation in a closed-door meeting this month, the Chinese diplomat said nothing, according to a U.N.-based official. North Korean banks and firms, meanwhile, have maintained access to international financial markets through a vast network of Chinese-based front companies, enabling Pyongyang to evade sanctions.”

A Washington Free Beacon analysis notes that  “Recent press reports that have received little attention in the West indicate that China is quintupling the size of its marine corps, from roughly 20,000 to 100,000 troops. We really should be paying more attention…You only need a large marine corps if you intend to assert yourself overseas. A perceptive piece last year in The National Interest surveyed this development… The article asked readers to consider “the potential ramifications of such a Chinese amphibious force maintaining a constant presence in, say, Southeast Asia,’or indeed that it “may routinely operate in the Indian Ocean as well—and, for that matter, even in the Mediterranean.’With such an increase in size that we now expect, such expectations are entirely reasonable. Considered along with Beijing’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative and its newly aggressive basing strategy, with naval facilities operating and/or under construction in Pakistan and Djibouti, it also seems that merely regional goals are not the extent of China’s ambitions…Far from a peaceful rise as a nation comfortable with existing international norms and reasonably concerned with its own security, China gives every indication of a desire to call the shots globally. If it achieves such a position, the world will come to miss American predominance—and so will Americans.

The Report concludes tomorrow.

Crisis in Journalism, Part 2

The New York Analysis of Policy and Government concludes its two-part review of America’s crisis in journalism.

The New York Post wrote in August of 2016 about the “the complete collapse of American journalism as we know it…The shameful display of naked partisanship by the elite media is unlike anything seen in modern America. The largest broadcast networks … and major newspapers…have jettisoned all pretense of fair play. Their fierce determination to keep Trump out of the Oval Office has no precedent. Indeed, no foreign enemy, no terror group, no native criminal gang suffers the daily beating that Trump does. The mad mullahs of Iran, who call America the Great Satan and vow to wipe Israel off the map, are treated gently by comparison.By torching its remaining credibility in service of Clinton, the mainstream media’s reputations will likely never recover, nor will the standards.”

In the 2016 campaign, hard-left groups engaged in utterly illegal tactics against some Republican candidates. Most of the media ignored this significant story.  Likewise, the Democrat National Committees’ highly inappropriate and legally questionable tilt in favor of the Clinton campaign over primary rival Bernie Sanders received inadequate attention.  (As did an amusing incident involving the Democrat convention.  Throughout the 2016 contest, the Clinton campaign raged against the Republican drive for honest balloting, including the use of ID to cast votes.  However, to enter their convention floor, the DNC demanded picture ID from its own delegates.)

As expected, the bias of the media for Clinton over Trump was obvious throughout the campaign. What is startling, however, are the actions of the media since Election Day. The disappointed and overwhelmingly pro-Clinton media have essentially acted as though the campaign never ended. The news networks on broadcast television and cable, as well as the major print outlets, have both encouraged and emphasized a sense of crisis.

An example of the extremity of media bias was noted in a Reason article  which reported that “Two journalists covering the protests coinciding with Donald Trump’s inauguration have been charged with felony rioting, [including] Evan Engel, a senior producer for Vocativ, and Alexander Rubenstein of RT America.” RT is associated with the Russian government, but no one has questioned how this contradicts the “Russian collusion” charges.

The Washington Times reports that “Journalist Bob Woodward of Watergate fame has some advice for his younger peers — stop “binge drinking the anti-Trump Kool-Aid.

A Federalist review provided 16 examples of fake news stories levied against Trump. Noting that U.S. Journalism is “… in the midst of an epidemic of fake news…The “agent” in this case is hysteria over Trump’s presidency, and the “susceptible hosts” are a slipshod, reckless, and breathtakingly gullible media class that spread the hysteria around…It is difficult to adequately sum up the breadth of this epidemic, chiefly because it keeps growing: day after day, even hour after hour, the media continue to broadcast, spread, promulgate, publicize, and promote fake news on an industrial scale. It has become a regular part of our news cycle, not distinct from or extraneous to it but a part of it, embedded within the news apparatus as a spoke is embedded in a bicycle wheel.”

Data from a recently released Harvard Harris poll  provided exclusively to The Hill  disclosed that “65 percent of voters believe there is a lot of fake news in the mainstream media.”

Ying Ma, writing in The National Interest, cautions that “During the 2016 presidential election, the mainstream media’s hostility to Donald Trump was overt, but long before that, its antipathy toward conservative public figures or issues was obvious…the mainstream media should hit the pause button on its self-adulation and reflect not just on its failed coverage of Trump but also on its inability to offer fair treatment to conservative…When that happens, American voters will see something other than the manufactured news that conforms to preexisting ideological predilections.”

 

Crisis in Journalism

The New York Analysis of Policy and Government presents a two-part review of America’s crisis in journalism.

American journalism is in crisis, one of its own making.

An honest and diligent press is vital to the functioning of a nation led not by a dictatorship or an oligarchy, but by voters.  Without access to the unfettered information provided by journalists committed to an accurate reporting of facts, the electorate cannot access the information necessary to exercise its power to select who will best represent them.

Increasingly, the U.S. media—including both the press and related professions– has abandoned its role as the provider of objective news. It has replaced that key mission with an arrogant belief in “advocacy,” in essence, telling the people what they should be thinking.  This is not the same as merely providing editorial opinion.  It is the actual shaping of the news itself, hiding information that does not fit its agenda, and overly emphasizing that which does.

While this trend has been developing for decades, (advocacy journalism began its long march to dominance in the journalism schools of the 1960’s) it has reached a dangerous crescendo in the past two presidential elections, and particularly, in the aftermath of the 2016 campaign.

There has been some candor about this, even in left-oriented publications. The Week noted during the 2016 campaign: “…the bulk of the journalists that comprise what most Americans think of as the ‘mainstream’ media lean left…The watchdog Center for Public Integrity on Monday said that journalists favored Clinton 27-1 over Trump…Some 430 in the media business donated to Clinton compared to 50 to Trump. [Washington Examiner].You can see bias in the actual coverage, too. A study from Harvard’s Shorenstein Center of the four weeks encompassing and surrounding the two major-party political conventions makes this obvious. Trump’s news coverage during this period was 75 percent negative; the friendliest week Trump got from the media was the week of the convention itself — when it was ‘only’ 55 percent negative.” Contrast that with the treatment Hillary Clinton received in the same period, which overall was 44 percent positive.

The website 538  notes that “The political diversity of journalists is not very…As of 2013, only 7 percent of them identified as Republicans (although only 28 percent called themselves Democrats with the majority saying they were independents)… Of the major newspapers that endorsed either Clinton or Trump, only 3 percent (2 of 59) endorsed Trump.”

While the media has provided preferential treatment of one contestant over another in the past, this practice has reached an unprecedented extreme level, and includes breathtakingly partisan practices.  In addition to merely warped reportage, media moderators of presidential debates have become actual participants in the events.  Candy Crowley’s blatant aggression against GOP candidate Mitt Romney during a 2012 debate is a clear and stunning example.  The 2012 debates also provided an example of how the news establishment seeks to shape opinion.  Romney, presciently, stated that Russia was a key concern; he was mocked by opponent Obama and his ardent media advocates. Moscow’s massive arms buildup, invasion of Ukraine, nuclear patrols along U.S. coastlines, placement of military equipment in Nicaragua, and more have provided Romney correct—but the media, for the most part, has refused to acknowledge its error.

Other sources concur. Public Integrity  provides a number of examples: “New Yorker television critic Emily Nussbaum, a newly minted Pulitzer Prize winner, spent the Republican National Convention pen-pricking presidential nominee Donald Trump as a misogynist shyster running an “ugly and xenophobic campaign.”What Nussbaum didn’t disclose in her dispatches: she contributed $250 to Democrat Hillary Clinton in April…. And Carole Simpson, a former ABC “World News Tonight” anchor who in 1992 became the first African-American woman to moderate a presidential debate, is not moderate about her personal politics: the current Emerson College distinguished journalist-in-residence  has given Clinton $2,800.In all, people identified in federal campaign finance filings as journalists, reporters, news editors or television news anchors — as well as other donors known to be working in journalism — have combined to give more than $396,000 to the presidential campaigns of Clinton and Trump, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis…About 430 people who work in journalism have, through August, combined to give about $382,000 to the Democratic nominee, the Center for Public Integrity’s analysis indicates. About 50 identifiable journalists have combined to give about $14,000 to Trump…”

The Report concludes tomorrow

Progressive Responsibility for Political Violence, Part 2

The New York Analysis of Policy & Government concludes its examines of what is responsible for the growing verbal and physical violence in U.S. politics. 

While desperately portrayed as trendy or “cool” by the media, the reality is that the central message of the left, who have stepped up their level of violence since losing the latest round of elections in 2016, is not acceptable to the overwhelming majority of American voters. The idea that a self-anointed group of “experts” who have decided that the United States is an evil entity and that dramatic changes that undermine Constitutional procedures and guarantees of individual rights should be adopted is, despite strenuous efforts by the press, academia and Hollywood producers, simply not gaining traction.

The implementation of progressive policies following the election of Barack Obama in 2008, accompanied by Democrat control of the House and Senate, led to fairly rapid voter remorse.  In rapid succession, the electorate replaced leftists in the House of Representatives, the Senate, most governorships and state legislatures, and finally the presidency.

Having been decimated at the ballot box, progressives have returned to a tactic that is central to their quest for power: violence.

The acceptance of violence as a left-wing political strategy is as old as Lenin (the founder of the Soviet state) himself.  Shortly after returning to Russia, Lenin sought to overthrow the people who had replaced the autocratic regime of the Czars. Communists frequently take credit for the revolution, but in fact, they violently stole the revolution from freedom-loving forces. The Reds simply replaced the old, Czarist authoritarian regime with one that was even more tyrannical. Lenin was quite blunt in his advocacy of the use of violence to achieve his goals, and his contempt for fair elections. In 1917, he bluntly declared:

“The uprising’s object is to seize power. Its political task will be clarified after the seizure…the people have the right and duty to solve such questions not by voting but by force.”

Lenin’s leftist and progressive ideological heirs have taken that message to heart.  The Daily Wire  notes that “…destructive riots seem to have become the status quo for the left’s “demonstrations.”

The concept is widespread. Judicial Watch describes how  “A club at a taxpayer-funded university in Florida advocates violence against political conservatives and trains members in a ‘leftist fight…The group is called Knights for Socialism and…there are hundreds like it in college campuses across the country…The club’s mission is to ‘establish a new society based on socialism in which democracy is extended from politics to the economy and where production of goods and services is based on human need instead of private profit,’ in records obtained by Judicial Watch… The group describes itself as a ‘coalition of Marxist-Leninists, Anarchists and Democratic Socialists…’”

Daniel Payne, writing for The Federalist,   states: “…there is reason to be genuinely, authentically concerned with the direction in which the Left is headed. To cope with the political defeats they suffered in 2016, liberals appear to be embracing and championing political violence…That’s not even the worst of it. At this year’s Screen Actors Guild awards, ‘Stranger Things’ actor David Harbour openly advocated committing criminal violence against political opponents…for his explicit call to political violence at the SAG awards, Harbour received a standing ovation from the crowd. You’re not reading that wrong: a famous actor called for violence against his fellow Americans, and a bunch of other famous actors were totally for it. So were much of the media:MTV called it ‘inspiring,’ Metro called it a ‘rousing call to arms,’ People magazine called it ‘passionate,’ Rolling Stone called it ‘fiery.’”

Payne worries that “… we see liberals accepting, embracing, rationalizing, and celebrating violence against their opponents. Even famous television stars are taking part in this alarming trend, and instead of being rebuked and shunned, they are cheered and praised by their fellow elites. This bears repeating: liberals appear to be embracing violence as a political tool. “

There is one problem with Daniel Payne’s analysis: his use of the word “liberal.” The leftists and progressives of 2017 have nothing in common with either the liberals of the latter half of the 20th century, who favored big government spending, nor the original liberals, who were staunch advocates of individual rights and would today be called conservatives.

Progressive Responsibility for Political Violence

The New York Analysis of Policy & Government examines the question of what is responsible for the growing verbal and physical violence in U.S. politics. 

In the wake of Wednesday’s attack on Republican Congressmen, elected officials of both parties have, appropriately, called for a toning down of the harsh rhetoric.  It is, of course, true that extremists exist on both side of the political aisle.

There is a difference, however, in both the intensity and source of the violent rhetoric coming from the left.

The U.S. media generally describes violent language, or the advocacy of violence, by left-wing and progressive organizations as either being spontaneous, or inspired by a specific incident or cause, or coming from the fringes of the movement.  That is utterly false.

It is time to have a bluntly honest discussion about the violent and aggressive tone of those in the mainstream of the Democrat Party, their staunch allies in the media, and their supporters in the entertainment industry. Include also those in academia who either tolerate or perpetuate violence on campuses whenever a non-leftist speaker is invited. Add to that the tolerance of violent terrorists such as Bill Ayers within Democrat inner circles. Indeed, the very leadership of the Democrat Party, especially Deputy Chair Keith Ellison, who has strong links to extremists, demonstrates that tolerance, even support, for violence. Tom Perez, the Party chair, has stated: “ Republicans “don’t give a s… about people… Donald Trump, you don’t stand for our values.’ Donald Trump, you didn’t win this election 

The very way many on the left describe themselves—“the Resistance”—gives rise to a self-perception of an aggressive movement that employs violence.

Quotes from James T. Hodgkinson, a staunch Bernie Sanders supporter and the perpetrator of the attempted assassination of Republican Majority Whip Steve Scalise and his Republican Congressional colleagues sound very much like mainstream Democrat comments. (“Trump is a traitor. Trump has destroyed our democracy. It’s time to destroy Trump & Co.”) His influencers are mainstream, as well; they apparently include MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow. His perspectives are highly partisan. He has written that “We need to vote all Republicans out of Congress.”

How much longer can the images and rhetoric of violence from the left be ignored? Whether it’s Cathy Griffin holding up a replica bloody, severed head of the President, a New York play that portrays (and seemingly advocates) Trump’s assassination, the Clinton campaign’s overheated rhetoric about her Republican rival, the screaming descriptions of Trump as being someone who will destroy the environment, the very clear message is that the nation—and the world—would be better off if the President were dead.

Before Trump even took the oath of office, calls for his impeachment, accompanied by lurid and nonsensical charges that the President-elect was against women, minorities and the poor raised tempers throughout Washington. That tone continues as investigations are commenced on the flimsiest pretexts and conducted by left-wing partisans.

Kristen Tate, writing for The Hill noted:

“Turn on TV or browse your newsfeeds on social media, and you will be bombarded with polemics about the sky falling and credible threats of violence against conservative figures. The FBI investigated a threat to kill Milo Yiannoupolis for the audacity to want to speak on a college campus. Threats against former Labor Secretary nominee Andy Puzder’s wife caused him to withdraw himself from consideration. Multiple intimidatory remarks haunted members of the Trump-voting Electoral College. President Trump has been the target of declarations of violence on a near daily basis. And yet, when it comes to this constant flow of threats, there seems to be little outrage from the nation’s leading journalists and pundits. Social media shines almost every day with a new dimwitted threat against Trump and his presidency. ‘Comedienne’ Sarah Silverman called for a military coup. Madonna told protesters she ‘thought’ about blowing up the White House.”

There is also violence of the quasi-legal sort, as well.  Rulings by Ninth Circuit judges that ignore both the Constitution and federal law in order to hamper the White House, nonsense lawsuits by several state Democrat attorneys general that amount to nothing more than legal harassment are clear examples.

The Report concludes tomorrow

The North Korean-Iranian Alliance, Part 2

The New York Analysis of Policy and Government concludes its two-part review of the Iranian-North Korean nuclear, missile, and foreign policy alliance

The National Interest has reported “over the past three decades, Iran [and] …North Korea have erected a formidable alliance—the centerpiece of which is cooperation on nuclear and ballistic-missile capabilities. As long ago as 1985, the two countries had already launched cooperative missile development, with Iran helping to underwrite North Korea’s production of 300-kilometer-range Scud-B missiles. Their interaction expanded in the 1990s, when Iran and North Korea began joint development of Iran’s Shahab medium-range missile, which is closely based on North Korea’s own nuclear-capable No Dong. Indeed, North Korea’s arsenal is the inspiration behind most of Iran’s ballistic-missile capabilities—including the Shahab 3 and Shahab 4, now in service, and its longer-range Shahab 5 and 6 variants, currently in development. And the collaboration continues today; the two nations are believed to be jointly working on a nuclear-capable missile of intercontinental range. The Islamic Republic has also relied on the DPRK for help with its nuclear program.

Evidence mounts that North Korea and Iran have shared nuclear and missile development, and now appear to be on similar foreign policy paths as well.  In addition to nuclear arms technology sharing, their foreign policies are meshing, as well.

As reported by The Diplomat “In an official statement released on April 29, Pyongyang declared its intention to “mercilessly punish” Israel for offending North Korea’s leaders… hostility toward Israel has been a consistent feature of North Korean foreign policy since the early stages of the Cold War. Under founding leader Kim Il-sung, Pyongyang frequently sought to delegitimize Israel by describing it as a U.S.-backed ‘imperial satellite’…North Korea’s fierce opposition to Israel’s right to exist … has not gone unnoticed in the Arab world. On April 30, Hamas praised the North Korean regime… Israeli policymakers fear a cash-strapped North Korean government could export its technological advances to terrorist organizations with sufficient financial backing…Israeli policymakers are concerned that North Korea’s successful construction of a nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile might encourage other states hostile to Israel, like Iran, to conclude that they can develop nuclear deterrents without risking a retaliatory U.S.-led military intervention. This argument is strengthened by the contrasting fates of the DPRK regime, which has resisted international pressure to disarm, and Libya’s Gaddafi, who voluntarily surrendered WMD capacity in 2003. [but was inexplicably attacked and overthrown with the assistance of the Obama Administration]

AOL news noted that “The Pentagon is reportedly seeing further signs of cooperation between Iran and North Korea over their missile programs—something Fox News says, ‘nonproliferation experts have long suspected.’ According to the network, such evidence includes similarly designed submarines, missiles, and launch approaches.

In May, Fox News noted that “When Iran attempted to launch a cruise missile from a “midget” submarine…Pentagon officials saw more evidence of North Korean influence in the Islamic Republic – with intelligence reports saying the submarine was based on a Pyongyang design, the same type that sank a South Korean warship in 2010.

Asia Times calls the relationship between the two regimes a “spiritual alliance…during [a] parade in Pyongyang…standing just two men apart from North Korean leader Kim Jong-eun, was an Iranian general. There was just one other foreign dignitary who was atop the tribune alongside Jong-eun and his general staff, Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao. The Iranian general was the only military attache. Iranian-North Korean relations expanded after the Islamic Revolution in Iran, but the relationship truly came into its own after the outbreak of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88). During this conflict, the DPRK was Iran’s main source of arms, with arms imports from North Korea comprising 40% of their total arms imports…Hung Son-Muk, former North Korean ambassador to Tehran, once stated: ‘We truly consider the advances and achievements of the revolutionary Iranian nation…as our own.’ Then Iranian president…[said] “The two governments and two nations of Iran and the DPRK have many common traits and ideals; it is this kinship that has resulted in the day-by-day increase in relations and cooperation between our two countries.’…The two countries conduct a “friendship week” each year, and they often even coordinate political moves.”

Washington is now wedged between two unfavorable policy options.  If it chooses to do nothing substantial to eliminate the rapidly escalating North Korean threat, it places American safety in severe jeopardy, since, using an EMP attack, the Pyongyang government could devastate the nation.  On the other hand, if it decides to take forceful action, it faces a two-front war that the Obama-era budget cuts have left it ill-prepared to face.