Land of infinite “second” chances

Last month, the Treasury Department’s Inspector General released a report about the Infernal Internal Revenue Agency.  That Agency, as you will recall, has been shown to have discriminated against conservative organizations trying to obtain certain tax statuses.  Nearly five years after the first revelation of this, there has been NO accountability.  Lois Lerner is gone, but was not penalized in any way for the wrongdoing on her watch (she was allowed to take full retirement).

Now the IG reveals the Agency rehired 200 (that’s “two hundred“) former employees who had either been terminated for cause or left while under substantiated investigation of wrongdoing.  That included four who were fired for “willful failure to properly file their Federal tax returns.”

To be fair to the IRS (…yeah, right…), they’re only following the example of the Veteran’s Administration, whose Human Resources department shuffles failing or criminal employees from post to post rather than letting them go.  (Yes, I know the VA now touts having fired 500+ employees recently… but the list shows these are mostly lower-level employees and a handful of physicians, not the highly paid failing leadership.)

THIS is the “swamp” many people elected Trump to “drain.”  THIS is why people have no faith in their government anymore.  Congress is bad enough, but the various Minions of MordorTM are like an infection you can’t cure.  In fact, much like an infection they seem to become more resistant every time there’s an attempt to fight them.

This permeates the whole of government.  As a supervisor I saw this first hand, as it took me over a year to discipline an employee who was unqualified to be in their position in the first place (and who made no effort whatsoever to become so).  There needs to be a wholesale overhaul of the Civil Service; one that ensures government “service” doesn’t become a lifetime gravy train regardless of performance (or misconduct).

I guess the Republican Congress could get around to that after finally fulfilling their pledge of many years to repeal Obamacare.  But that, of course, now has to wait until they’ve raised the debt ceiling (yet again). Oh, and a new fiscal year starts October 1st, but there’s no budget in place yet (status normal).  Then there’s the promise of trying for tax reform…   You get the picture: accountability isn’t very high on the list.

It never is…

A slow-motion coup

Pat Buchannan’s column today looks at how government officials are breaking the law to “leak” sensitive information in order to damage the Trump administration, and asks the question — where does this all lead:

Before Trump departed D.C., The Washington Post ran transcripts of his phone conversations with the leaders of Mexico and Australia.
Even Obama administration veterans were stunned.
So, it is time to ask: If this city brings Trump down, will the rest of America rejoice?…

Our media preen and posture as the defenders of democracy, devoted to truth, who provide us round-the-clock protection from tyranny. But half the nation already sees the media as a propaganda arm of a liberal establishment that the people have rejected time and again.

Consider the (Washington) Post’s publication of the transcripts of Trump’s calls with Mexico’s president and Australia’s prime minister.  The Post was letting itself be used by a leaker engaged in disloyal and possibly criminal misconduct. Yet the Post agreed to provide confidentiality and to hide the Trump-hater’s identity…

…there is a far larger story here, of which this Post piece is but an exhibit. It is the story of a concerted campaign, in which the anti-Trump media publish leaks, even criminal leaks, out of the FBI, CIA, NSA and NSC, to bring down a president whom the Beltway media and their deep-state collaborators both despise and wish to destroy...

The Justice Department is now running down the leaks, and the ACLU’s Ben Wizner is apoplectic: “Every American should be concerned about the Trump administration’s threat to step up its efforts against whistleblowers and journalists. A crackdown on leaks is a crackdown on the free press and on democracy.”

That’s one way to put it. Another is that some of these “whistleblowers” are political criminals who reject the verdict of the American electorate in 2016 and are out to overturn it. And the aforementioned “journalists” are their enablers and collaborators.

Read the entire piece hereNot every leak qualifies as “whistleblowing.”  In fact, I’d say that most leaking in D.C. is done out of political motivation of some sort.  True whistleblowing is the release of information a government, business or organization is holding back simply because it reveals wrongdoing.  The classic case of this is, of course, the Pentagon Papers.  The Supreme Court upheld the publishing of the papers because they clearly showed the Johnson administration had lied multiple times to the American people about the progress (or lack thereof) in Vietnam, and because revealing the contents posed no direct national security risk (only a political risk!).  When such a concerted effort is being made to conceal the truth, going outside the system as a whistleblower can be justified.  There are, of course, many other examples of people who took great personal risk to expose wrongdoing.

But that’s not what’s happening today.  Nobody is claiming the release of presidential telephone transcripts reveals devious doings and attempted cover-up.  In fact, most of the “leaks” are more like the National Enquirer’s gossip-mongering (“you won’t BELIEVE what Steve Bannon and H.R. McMaster said to each other today!”).  It’s a scattershot rumor mill enabled by spineless weasels who put their vanity as an “unnamed source” to a reporter above their duty to the country.  The ACLU has it all wrong here.  Cracking down on leaks doesn’t threaten whistleblowing — it protects it from abuse.  Protecting whistleblowing means bestowing that status only on courageous individuals who see clear, unaddressed wrongdoing in a failing system and literally blow the public whistle on it.

Speaking of failing systems, that now seems to include our entire crony-infested government bureaucracy.  The public has a right to know a great many things, but their are legitimate reasons for the government to protect certain types of information.  Those who abuse that trust need to go to jail, period (including Her Hillariness and Huma Abedin, among many others).

The corporate press is also a failing system.  The Washington Post’s new motto is that “Democracy dies in darkness.”  Fair enough.  It can also be murdered in broad daylight by irresponsible officials working with reporters who simply want to delegitimize the last election because it didn’t go their way.

Because once the government is seen as completely and hopelessly illegitimate, it’s only a matter of time before the true “Resistance” begins. THAT’S where the road we’re on seems to be headed.

WaPo to white middle class: drop dead

The Washington Post’s Johnathan Capehart explores “The Real Reason Working-class Whites Continue to Support Trump.”  To his credit, he manages to find one of the main underlying causes:

Working-class whites feel not only voiceless, but also silenced, especially in matters involving race. “The way they understood racism is different from the way we understand racism,” said Gest. “For them, racism has become an instrument of silence. It is a way of invalidating people. By saying someone is a racist, it means they cease to matter. Don’t listen to them.” ((emphasis added)) Gest spent three months in Youngstown, Ohio, and three months in East London, England, conducting interviews and researching his book. “So, when people said to me, ‘Now, I’m not a racist but …,’ what they were actually saying to me was, ‘Listen to what I’m about to tell you, and don’t dismiss me.’ ”

Indeed, for too long, traditional Americans have been shunted aside politically by the label ‘racist.’  It’s a far easier process than actually having an honest discussion of the issues.  The dangerous thing about this long-standing trend is that many average Americans have reached the point “if you’re going to call me racist no matter what I say or do, then what do I have to lose?”  This is one of several reasons race relations have deteriorated since the Civil Rights Era.

Another is the contempt shown by various colors of our social rainbow to the plight of working-class whites in an era of globalism, open borders, free trade agreements, loss of purchasing power (and jobs to foreigners) and reverse discrimination.  But the Post reports on how to deal with these:

“The only way of addressing their plight is a form of political hospice care,” he said. “These are communities that are on the paths to death. And the question is: How can we make that as comfortable as possible?”

It’s no secret the Left has been giddy about the approaching demographic shift in America to a nation made up of competing minority groups, with no one group making up a majority.  The Huffington Post even looked at “Ten Reasons You’ll Love Living in a Minority-Majority America.”  After discussing such insignificant ‘advantages’ as “culinary diversity,” it goes on to say:

Without a numerically dominant race, people of every group could be more inspired to drop discriminatory biases and challenge the racial injustices that continue to define the American experience for many.

It’s cute that they expect such a utopia, but visible trends today seem to indicate it’s not going to happen.  Our political class has stoked social divisions for so long that a minority-majority nation will end up being even more a collection of squabbling interest groups, determined to ensure their demographic gets a “fair share” (as they define it, of course).  That such an outcome results in more government power as a referee is not coincidental.  At least one public college has attempted a “day of absence” for white teachers and students, and when a white (and by all accounts, liberal) professor protested, the campus erupted.

Since 1965 and its notorious Immigration Act, the percentage of whites in the population has fallen from 85% to just over half.  In those same 52 years, the dwindling white population has been increasingly vilified as personally culpable descendants of previous generations of slaveowners and bigots.  (Hint: this is not a good way to win friends and influence people.)  As the Evergreen State College professor found out, even if you go along with most of The Narrative, any deviation will be dealt with harshly.  Devastated by the loss of good-paying blue-collar jobs, often to immigrants, many whites have fallen into despair and substance abuse.

Is it any wonder this demographic overwhelmingly went for Trump?  His election represents one big raspberry (and a couple extended middle fingers) to the system that has pulled the country out from underneath them.  Many see Trump as the last chance to have a voice in the largely faceless U.S. bureaucracy that for so long has been stacked against them.  So I believe the Instapundit is right when he shows the latest outrage from the Left and asks “do you want more Trump?  Because this is how you get more Trump.”

No matter how “comfortable” the Washington Post may want to make the allegedly dying white community, it’s not likely that community is going to softly and suddenly fade away.  Perhaps the Washington Post should do an article on why middle-class Americans no longer put much stock into anything they (or any other traditional media outlet) have to say.  They might find out that calling certain groups ‘racist’ at the drop of a hat, while musing that such groups need to be put in ‘hospice care’ might not draw many subscriptions.

Reason #427,508

…to homeschool your children, rather than handing them over to the State:

A newly filed federal lawsuit claims that police officers groped 900 students at Worth County High School in Georgia during a warrantless drug sweep that yielded no results.  The human rights group, Southern Center for Human Rights, filed the lawsuit on behalf of the students against the Worth County sheriff over an April 14 incident when 40 officers came into the school with no advance notice, KTLA-TV reported.  …

The lawsuit mentions one girl in particular, using only her initials K.A., who was searched by Deputy Brandi Whiddon. The lawsuit goes into disturbing detail about how in-depth Whiddon’s search of K.A. was. KTLA’s report stated:

“Sheriff Hobby entered K.A.’s classroom and ordered the students to line up in the hallway with their hands on the wall,” the suit said. “Deputy Whiddon took one of K.A.’s arms, placed it higher up on the wall, and kicked her legs to open them wider. Whiddon pulled the front of K.A.’s bra away from her body by the underwire and flipped it up.

“Whiddon also looked down the back and front of K.A.’s dress. Whiddon slid her hands from one of K.A.’s ankles up to her pelvic area. Whiddon’s hands went underneath K.A.’s dress as Whiddon felt up K.A.’s leg. Whiddon’s hands stopped on and cupped K.A.’s vaginal area and buttocks. Whiddon then slid her hands down to the other ankle. Whiddon was wearing gloves, but did not change them before or after her search of K.A.”

The story concludes noting the interim superintendent of schools claims the system did not approve “of touching any students,” but it’s pretty clear the school system also took no action to stop what was going on .

Well, at least some education occurred.  Nine hundred students now know first hand that the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution is dead… and has been for a long time now.  Once they graduate high school they can move on to the adult version of that education: the Transportation Security Administration.

Quote of the day

“We have always known that eternal vigilance is the price of freedom. It’s worse now, because capture of government is so much more important than it once was. There was a time when there was enough freedom that it hardly mattered which brand of crooks ran government. That has not been true for a long time — not during most of your lifetimes, and for much of mine — and it will probably never be true again.”

Jerry Pournelle, noted Military-Science-Fiction author and occasional pundit, written shortly after the 2008 election.

Let’s connect the (measles) dots

It seems Minnesota is experiencing its worst outbreak of measles in three decades:

Health officials in Minnesota are tackling the worst measles outbreak in nearly 30 years. Most of those with the disease are unvaccinated Somali-American children in the state, which has the largest Somali population in the country.

Minnesota’s health commissioner says the community has been targeted with misinformation about vaccine risks. ((by whom? Their Imams, perhaps? — Jemison))

At Children’s Minnesota, doctors are treating 34 of the state’s 48 confirmed cases. Because measles is incredibly contagious, everyone who enters the hospital is provided a mask. If you don’t have the vaccine that prevents measles, there’s a 90 percent chance that you’ll contract the virus, reports CBS News correspondent Jamie Yuccas.

So in essence, after decades spent eradicating many diseases in the U.S. and developing group immunity, we’ve allowed them to return via unvaccinated immigrants (many of whom, I bet, are not here legally). Meanwhile, after 15 deportations (no, that’s not a typo), an illegal alien managed to nearly kill a family in a drunken hit-and-run that left a young child seriously injured:

A drunken driving suspect in a hit-and-run crash that severely injured a 6-year-old boy in San Ysidro over the weekend had been deported from the U.S. at least 15 times, authorities said Tuesday.

Soon after the collision, Border Patrol agents came upon the family’s wrecked Honda and fanned out in search of the hit-and-run driver.

A few blocks away, shortly after midnight, agents found a damaged pickup that matched the description Ingrid Lake gave them. Inside were two men, who were detained.

Banda-Acosta was identified as the driver. He was booked into jail on suspicion of felony hit-and-run with injury, drunken driving with injury and driving without a valid license.

The Border Patrol took custody of Banda-Acosta’s passenger, also an unauthorized immigrant, agency officials said.

This, of course, is far from the only such instance.  Fifteen times this person was identified as an invader and sent home, and sixteen times he illegally entered this country, before doing serious harm to its citizens.  I’ll say it again: illegal immigration needs to be treated as the invasion it is, and dealt with harshly enough to deter this kind of repeat offending.  The very fact this can happen shows our government is not serious about its primary responsibility: protecting its people (in this case, by securing the border).  I’ve summarized my suggestions on this before:

Illegal immigration will be taken seriously as a violation of the nation’s sovereignty and treated as an invasion.  Anyone found living in the United States illegally will serve 90 days hard labor maintaining the border infrastructure, then be deported to their country of origin.  Customs and Immigration will keep a full biometric record of apprehended illegal immigrants.  Second-time offenders will spend six months in solitary confinement, then be deported to their home country after having a distinctive tattoo placed on their right hand.  Third-time offenders will be subject to the death penalty as foreign invaders.  Any illegal immigrant who causes the death of an American citizen, regardless of the number of immigration offenses, will be subject to the death penalty.  Any nation that refuses to receive deported illegal immigrants from their country will lose all trade privileges with the United States until and unless they change their policy.

Ugly days are ahead of us.  Because we’ve been so lax in letting our government ignore its basic duties, any solution will now be far more difficult and painful (for ALL concerned) than simply maintaining a common sense policy would have been.  Again, all I can say is this:

“If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.”
— Thomas Paine

Sauce for the goose…

Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit has some sage advice for those on the Left who both want to have a “living Constitution” and block the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch: “Be careful what you ask for, because you won’t like it if you get it.”

He has a point.  One reason for Leftism’s steady march to ascendancy is that they play fast and loose in the courts with the meaning of the Constitution (even its most clear sections), whereas Conservatives (so far…) are loathe to use the judiciary as activists for change.  Reynold’s point is that Gorsuch is an ‘originalist’ when it comes to the Constitution, not a proponent of a “living document” that changes over time, and the Left should be glad for that.

Otherwise, they potentially would face a swift judicial rollback of their most cherished victories over the Framers’ original intent during the past 50 years:

During the New Deal era, the Supreme Court — after being threatened with “court packing” by FDR — endorsed a massive expansion of governmental power on the ground that it would lead to greater efficiency in the economy. Instead, we got a bloated bureaucracy with serious accountability problems, and a disastrous expansion in spending, regulation and federal debt. Based on this experience, I can imagine a conservative justice who sees the Constitution as a “living breathing organism” that must be kept in tune with the needs of the day deciding that the New Deal Court’s decisions were mistakes that violate the Constitution, and must now be rolled back.

To be honest, there is one point about this with which I disagree with the Instapundit.  A truly “originalist” court would indeed roll back much of the New Deal, because it was recognized even at the time as a fundamental transformation of the relationship of the Federal Government to the States and the People… one that clearly violated the Constitution on several grounds.  Rather than fight activist legislating from the bench with more of the same, however, it would be far better to undo these poor decisions via Congress, so long as the judiciary would let stand changes clearly rooted in the original meaning of the Constitution.

Reynolds’ main point is sound, though: the Supreme Court needs to get back to a strict constructionist view of our charter, rather than blow hot and cold (or Left and Right) with the prevailing political winds.  If Gorsuch is confirmed and succeeds in tacking the court that direction, it will bode well for the future.