Reader-Edouard-Vuillard

The Reader – Edouard Vuillard

Once again, historian Victor Davis Hanson asks the compelling questions.

If there is evidence of collusion, shouldn’t we follow it … even if it leads away from Candidate Trump and to Candidate Clinton?  Read more here.

What is “white” and what is “privilege” ?  Who actually benefits from “white privilege”? Read more here.

Which is better, “mellifluous illegality” or “crass lawfulness”?  Apparently, it depends on whom you are talking to.  Read more here.

 

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johnkate

Oregon’s last governor, John Kitzhaber, served three and a quarter terms before he was forced to resign.  Governor Kitzhaber violated state laws against conflict of interest, misused his office for financial gain and improperly received gifts, and was fined $20,000 as civil penalty to settle 10 violations of state ethics law.  (No federal criminal charges were filed against the governor.)

The current governor, Kate Brown, seems to be walking in the footsteps of her predecessor.  Two of Governor Brown’s chiefs of staff had to resign due to violations of state ethics law.  Governor Brown had to amend her lobbying disclosure report after she falsely claimed $0 spent.  Governor Brown has used state funds to pay for private expenses such as her Oregon State Bar membership and personal items.  A recent independent report shows that Governor Brown has redacted an exceptionally large number of items (nearly 4000 items) from her state calendar while in office.  Most disturbing, the governor has received hundreds of thousands of dollars of campaign contributions from vendors who hold state contracts worth millions.

There seems to be a familiar pattern developing.  Hopefully, Oregon voters are paying attention.

The US House Intelligence Committee has released, with Presidential authorization, the memo detailing alleged abuse of government surveillance powers by the FBI and DOJ.  Direct links to the memo are available here and here.  (The second link at docs.house.gov is currently slow, probably due to traffic.)

My analysis of this short document is that the FBI did in fact withhold source information from the FISA court about the Steele Dossier and about data from Fusion GPS, despite having this source information at the time of the initial FISA application and subsequent required renewals.  These sources (primarily Christopher Steele and Nellie Ohr) have obvious biases and conflicts of interest that would taint any evidence provided to the FISA court.  Multiple levels of FBI and DOJ administrators knew of these problems, but signed off on the surveillance requests anyway.

I am neither a lawyer nor a national security specialist, but I see no reason this document was ever classified, except to protect the names of DOJ and FBI administrators who signed off on the FISA requests, especially since the contents of the dossier and other Fusion GPS data was leaked to the press some time ago.

homeless

In progressive states across the nation, lawmakers have been neutering themselves.  Illicit drugs are legalized – marijuana, of course.  But Oregon and California have both downgraded possession and use of small quantities of other drugs such as cocaine, heroin and even meth to a misdemeanor charge.  Panhandling, loitering, public nuisance, disorderly conduct and littering laws are routinely ignored in order to “support” the homeless.  Federal immigration laws are countered by the “sanctuary movement” seen in municipalities and even states.  Colleges and other public institutions regularly shut down the fundamental freedoms of free speech and assembly.

However, is this merely a shift in values, a change in how we judge our social behavior?  Or are there real consequences to this acceptance of lawlessness?

Read the rest of this entry »

 

I am mortified beyond expression when I view the clouds that have spread over the brightest morn that ever dawned upon any Country. In a word, I am lost in amazement when I behold what intrigue, the interested views of desperate characters, ignorance and jealousy of the minor part, are capable of effecting, as a scourge on the major part of our fellow Citizens of the Union; for it is hardly to be supposed that the great body of the people, tho’ they will not act, can be so shortsighted, or enveloped in darkness, as not to see rays of a distant sun thro’ all this mist of intoxication and folly.

You talk, my good Sir, of employing influence to appease the present tumults in Massachusetts. I know not where that influence is to be found; and if attainable, that it would be a proper remedy for the disorders. Influence is no Government. Let us have one by which our lives, liberties and properties will be secured; or let us know the worst at once. Under these impressions, my humble opinion is, that there is a call for decision. Know precisely what the insurgents aim at. If they have real grievances, redress them if possible; or acknowledge the justice of them, and your inability to do it in the present moment. If they have not, employ the force of government against them at once. If this is inadequate, all will be convinced that the superstructure is bad, or wants support. To be more exposed in the eyes of the world, and more contemptible than we already are, is hardly possible. To delay one or the other of these, is to exasperate on the one hand, or to give confidence on the other, and will add to their numbers; for, like snow-balls, such bodies increase by every movement, unless there is something in the way to obstruct and crumble them before the weight is too great and irresistible.

These are my sentiments. Precedents are dangerous things; let the reins of government then be braced and held with a steady hand, and every violation of the Constitution be reprehended: if defective, let it be amended, but not suffered to be trampled upon whilst it has an existence.