American insurgency

“The guerrilla must move amongst the people as a fish swims in the sea.” – Mao Zedong

Under cover of protesters reacting understandably to what appears to be yet another instance of police brutality, the enemies of our nation have launched what amounts to a full-blown insurgency.  Pallets of bricks conveniently show up in time to be thrown through store windows.  Networks of celebrities are providing bail money for those who are arrested.  Politicians are pledging support to Antifa, even as the Federal government finally labels it a terrorist organization (spoiler: it always has been).  And the airwaves are thick with misinformation and misdirection, minimizing the extent to which actual violence and destruction have become daily routine over the past week.

And if that wasn’t enough, at least one potential agent provocateur has now been arrested while posing as a National Guardsman.  Keep that in mind the first time you hear of an incident between a Guardsman and a ‘protester.’  Things are not always as they seem, especially in press reports.

This is perhaps the most dangerous moment for the U.S. since 1861.  President Abraham Lincoln rightly pointed out:

At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow?  Never!–All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years.

At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. (emphasis added)

And so it was our adversaries, beginning in the Cold War, began the “long march” through American institutions, seizing control of the means to shape the culture in such a way as to alienate a significant portion of the population from loyalty to the United States.  Their efforts were greatly aided by the deep scars of slavery and racism in our country.  One of the major reasons any sort of lasting racial reconciliation eludes us is that the issue is too useful a wedge for gaining influence — and yes, this is a trick used by partisans of many persuasions.  Remember the adage “divide and conquer.”

Now we’ve arrived at a point in our cultural programming where trying to rightly discern between protest and pillaging is dismissed as ‘racist.’  Now Mao’s ‘fish’ in the above quote can swim easily in the ‘sea.’  If only pillaging were the only goal, however.

Mao Zedong literally wrote the book on insurgency, after successfully fighting the Japanese in World War II and toppling the post-war Nationalist government of China.  He identified three phases to a revolutionary insurgency:

(1)  Organize: Build cells and support
(2)  Guerilla Warfare: Undermine the Government
(3)  Conventional (open) Warfare to topple the Government

Our internal enemies are well organized and enjoy considerable support from “the commanding heights” of society: educators, politicians, entertainers, wealthy ‘movers and shakers’ and so forth.  The violence we now witness is the movement into phase two.  Our Federal, State and local leaders are confronted with a choice: show restraint, in which case they look weak, or crack down, in which case the propaganda machine will work overtime to paint them in the worst possible light.  Either way, the insurgents seek to reduce support for our government.  President Trump has openly criticized State and local leaders for not doing more to control the violence.  Contrary to published reports, he is not calling for the arrest or abuse of peaceful protesters.  (Don’t rely on reports: listen to the man’s own words.  And notice ABC’s headline for the linked video.  Do they match?)  The corporate media blur the distinction between protester and criminal so that the president’s calls for law and order appear to be an effort to curb legitimate expressions of dissent.  Heads, they win.  Tails, he loses.

Do not lose sight of the fact that during all of this chaos, the public is not paying attention to the recent declassification and release of very damning documents that show how contrived and politically motivated the entire “Russia Russia Russia” hoax was, and how Michael Flynn was wrongly targeted as part of that process.  Powerful people have great reason to do anything to keep focus from turning to these developments.  Many have remarked about 2020’s penchant for disaster. Think of the main media themes in the U.S. this year: in January, it was impeachment.  Hardly had that fizzled than we were told COVID would kill us all, so better shut society down.  Once it was clear society was tired of being shut down and was de facto on the way to opening up, suddenly a case of police brutality sets the nation on fire.  (By the way, want to see ‘diversity?’  Look at the four officers involved and fired — it wasn’t a gang of white cops, but photos of officers Thao, Kueng and Lane don’t appear in the Minneapolis Star’s report on Monday. Why is that?.)

None of these events are occurring in isolation.  This is not a normal election year.

I believe the experience gained in our overseas fights must be put to use here at home, and quickly.  The networks of support for organizing violent, criminal activity, must be rolled up, and those involved forced to pay a high price for their incitements.  There are very good reasons not to like Donald Trump, who is a deeply flawed man.  But many of his opponents (on both sides of the aisle) are no longer the “loyal opposition” — they are literally fifth columnists who are a domestic threat to the Constitution of the United States, willing to overturn an election through rumor and innuendo from within the apparatus of shadowy government agencies.  Never forget that our leaders and our armed forces take an oath requiring them to defend that document against ALL enemies, foreign AND domestic.  At the very least, there are a large number of people guilty of sedition in this country.  And while treason is a word too lightly tossed around these days, an argument could be made it’s applicable in some cases as well.

Even if the government moves effectively to end the current crisis, it’s not finished.  The reason insurgency is so hard to defeat is that unless the ideas and motives behind it are completely discredited, even losing in stage three can leave a small cadre of the committed to begin all over again.  This is the type of war we have been fighting in Afghanistan and the Middle East since 9/11, and the reason Al Qaeda and Islamic State still persist, however diminished.  Killing combatants is easy.  Killing an idea is damned well impossible.  (I use “damned” deliberately, as the resiliency of Marxist and Jihadist aspirations, despite the long historical record of horrors in their names, shows the hellish perniciousness of their deceit.)

This is why the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.  We have been lulled into complacency, our attention directed anywhere other than where it needs to be.  Whether the insurgency grows to phase three or is knocked back to the starting line for another generation depends on Americans learning what’s really going on.  Lots of dots need to be connected to see the picture.  The question is whether we have the attention span and discernment to do so anymore.  Otto von Bismark, the statesman most responsible for the creation of a unified Germany in the 19th Century, is said to have remarked “God has a special providence for fools, drunkards, and the United States of America.”

I certainly hope that still holds true.

Be armed and vigilant

This is not ‘protesting:’

If you confront these groups, you need to be prepared with more than just a tire wrench, or whatever it was the husband was holding.

For all the people who’ve asked in recent years “why does anyone need an AR-15 with 30-round magazines:” here’s your answer.  No matter how unjust the treatment of George Floyd was, there is no justification for randomly attacking a business and its owners with deadly weapons (and yes, a 2×4 is potentially a deadly weapon).

This is not a game.  If you find yourself in this situation, you are on your own.  The past three nights have shown the authorities are incapable or unwilling to provide a defense.  Don’t be a soft target.  Be a rooftop Korean.

Most of all, don’t let yourself be harmed for fear of what people might call you for defending yourself.  The inherent right of self-defense is the foundation of all other rights we have.  What we’ve been seeing is organized violence.  Anyone foolish enough to volunteer to be a foot soldier for it has no room to complain when they get hurt or killed.  Play stupid games, win stupid prizes (warning: language).

May God break this fever before our society tears itself apart.

The clueless would-be rulers

Today’s must-read, by Walter Mead:

This is not what his critics expected. At 49% overall job approval in the latest Gallup poll, and with 60% approval of the way he is handling the coronavirus epidemic, President Trump’s standing with voters has improved even as the country closed down and the stock market underwent a historic meltdown. That may change as this unpredictable crisis develops, but bitter and often justified criticism of Mr. Trump’s decision making in the early months of the pandemic has so far failed to break the bond between the 45th president and his political base.

One reason Mr. Trump’s opponents have had such a hard time damaging his connection with voters is that they still don’t understand why so many Americans want a wrecking-ball presidency. Beyond attributing Mr. Trump’s support to a mix of racism, religious fundamentalism and profound ignorance, the president’s establishment opponents in both parties have yet to grasp the depth and intensity of the populist energy that animates his base and the Bernie Sanders movement. . . .

That a majority of the electorate is this deeply alienated from the establishment can’t be dismissed as bigotry and ignorance. There are solid and serious grounds for doubting the competence and wisdom of America’s self-proclaimed expert class. What is so intelligent and enlightened, populists ask, about a foreign-policy establishment that failed to perceive that U.S. trade policies were promoting the rise of a hostile Communist superpower with the ability to disrupt supplies of essential goods in a national emergency? What competence have the military and political establishments shown in almost two decades of tactical success and strategic impotence in Afghanistan? What came of that intervention in Libya? What was the net result of all the fine talk in the Bush and Obama administrations about building democracy in the Middle East? . . .

On domestic policy, the criticism is equally trenchant and deeply felt. Many voters believe that the U.S. establishment has produced a health-care system that is neither affordable nor universal. Higher education saddles students with increasing debt while leaving many graduates woefully unprepared for good jobs in the real world. The centrist establishment has amassed unprecedented deficits without keeping roads, bridges and pipes in good repair. It has weighed down cities and states with unmanageable levels of pension debt…

Mr. Trump’s supporters are not comparing him with an omniscient leader who always does the right thing, but with the establishment—including the bulk of the mainstream media—that largely backed a policy of engagement with China long after its pitfalls became clear. For Americans who lost their jobs to Chinese competition or who fear the possibility of a new cold war against an economically potent and technologically advanced power, Mr. Trump’s errors pale before those of the bipartisan American foreign-policy consensus…

…the U.S. establishment won’t prosper again until it comes to grip with a central political fact: Populism rises when establishment leadership fails. If conventional U.S. political leaders had been properly doing their jobs, Donald Trump would still be hosting a television show. (emphasis added)

To reinforce the point, Exhibit A, from the just-passed Senate coronavirus relief bill:

Kennedy Center

The legacy media portion of the establishment is no better, in their deranged hatred both for Trump and those in the country who prefer risking him rather than the proven failures of past leadership.  CBS screamed in a headline recently that a man died and his wife was seriously hurt after taking an anti-malarial drug (hydroxycloroquine) Trump and Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo have expressed optimism about as a possible treatment for COVID-19.  The problem?  What the Arizona couple actually did was notice their fish tank cleaner contained the chemical, and consumed it as a preventative measure, without consulting any medical expert.  Only two-thirds of the way through the story does it clarify the headline: “The difference between the fish tank cleaning additive that the couple took and the drug used to treat malaria is the way they are formulated.”  In other words, despite the headline, the couple didn’t take the drug.  They drank fish tank cleaner!  A factual headline, though, wouldn’t have been potentially damaging to Trump, which seems to be the primary goal of all mainstream journalism these days, facts and context be damned.

We’re supposed to be practicing social distancing.  But the elites in this country are (and have been for some time) so far out of touch with the common person’s daily experience that it shouldn’t be a surprise the latter has had more than enough of the former.

Coordinating the invaders

In reporting on the Supreme Court’s decision to allow the Trump administration to keep it’s “remain in Mexico” policy in place for “asylum” seekers, the Wall Street Journal adds this telling piece of information:

Within hours of the Ninth Circuit court’s decision blocking the policy, hundreds of migrants queued at ports of entry in San Diego, El Paso, Texas, and Brownsville, Texas, some clutching printed copies of the court’s ruling, asking border officials to allow them into the U.S. They were turned away.   (emphasis added)

As Glenn Reynolds observed, “the migrant crowd sounds surprisingly well organized.”

Those who want to throw the border open try to tug on heartstrings by saying these poor, poor people being kept in Mexico are having to live in crowded tent cities near border crossings.  This raises a couple questions for me:

  1. If they’re so poor and vulnerable, how do they erect tent cities (note this picture)?
  2. How did these desperate outcasts quickly get printed copies of the 9th Circuit Court’s ruling (presumably in English, to better pressure U.S. agents at the border)?

These waves of migrants crashing against our border are not completely spontaneous, self-resourced affairs.  Despite the sob stories that get printed, they’re not walking the entire way from wherever in Central America (or elsewhere…); they get plenty of lifts along the way.  Plenty of humanitarian organizations are providing logistical support, not realizing that by doing so, they’re encouraging more migrants to travel to the very conditions they allegedly decry.

Which brings up another point:

Human Rights First, an advocacy group that opposes the policy, said it found more than 1,000 public reports of kidnappings, torture, rape and assaults of asylum-seekers returned to Mexico.

It would be helpful to know if these are cases of Mexican cartels preying on some of the people they often make money smuggling into the U.S., or if it’s migrants themselves attacking other migrants, or if, like many useful statistics, the numbers are just plucked from thin air.  Any of these is possible.  Many who’ve broken the law just entering the country have only added to their rap sheet once here.

The bottom line is history shows illegal immigrants and “asylum seekers” (but I largely repeat myself), once admitted to the United States, disappear and fail to show up for court dates, etc.  That’s why the administration now requires asylum applicants to wait in Mexico.  That kind of realism, and support for constructing effective border barriers was long overdue.  Thank goodness the Supreme Court agrees with the president — for now, at least.

Now we need to identify and render ineffective the various groups that work actively to undermine our nation’s sovereignty by aiding and abetting the wave of illegal immigration we currently face.  That includes politicians who support “sanctuary” policies.

Government by gangsterism

Senator Chuck Schumer personifies the authoritarian nature of the Left: “our way, or else.”

In front of the Supreme Court Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer joined pro-choice protesters on the day justices debated the constitutionality of [legislation in Louisiana] titled “Louisiana Unsafe Abortion Protection Act.”

During his speech, Schumer made threatening remarks aimed at Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

“I want to tell you Neil Gorusch, and you Brett Kavanaugh, you have unleashed a whirlwind, and you will pay the price,” Schumer said. “You won’t know what hit you, if you go forward with these awful decisions.” (emphasis added)

How inappropriate were these remarks?  His spokesman strained credulity to the limit trying to walk them back:

Sen. Schumer’s comments were a reference to the political price Senate Republicans will pay for putting these justices on the court, and a warning that the justices will unleash a major grassroots movement on the issue of reproductive rights against the decision,” Schumer spokesman Justin Goodman said in a statement.

A plain reading of Schumer’s remarks reveals no reference to the GOP’s political fortunes, only two Supreme Court justices being called out by name.  Nor is this the first time Schumer has engaged in marginally veiled personal threats:

The new leader of Democrats in the Senate says Donald Trump is being “really dumb” for picking a fight with intelligence officials, suggesting they have ways to strike back, after the president-elect speculated Tuesday that his “so-called” briefing about Russian cyberattacks had been delayed in order to build a case.

New Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Tuesday that President-elect Donald Trump is “being really dumb” by taking on the intelligence community and its assessments on Russia’s cyber activities.

Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,” Schumer told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.

Former Justice Antonin Scalia, often considered one of the most influential conservative jurors in the history of the Supreme Court, died in 2016 under circumstances that offered plenty of opportunity for so-called ‘conspiracy theory.’  When such public threats as Schumer’s are being issued by a ranking member of Congress, and FBI agents are revealed to have sent texts during the last presidential election worrying about a Trump victory and saying “we’ll stop it,” and a reputed pedophile with links to prominent people “commits suicide” in his jail cell despite being a high-profile prisoner, is it any wonder the public increasingly agrees there is a “Deep State” at work that ensures its own purposes regardless the expressed wishes of the American people?

For the record, the Senate should call for Schumer to resign.  His remarks are wholly inappropriate for a person in his position.  Don’t worry, though — I’m not holding my breath.

It’s not just the military

A former Naval officer makes an observation in The Atlantic magazine:

I spent nine years on active duty in the U.S. Navy. I served as an aircraft commander, led combat reconnaissance crews, and taught naval history. But the first thing I did upon joining the military, the act that solemnized my obligation, was swear an oath to support and defend the Constitution. How strange, then, that despite all of my training, the millions of taxpayer dollars devoted to teaching me how to fly, lead, and teach, not once did I receive meaningful instruction on the document to which I had pledged my life.

It’s a fair statement.  I’ve always been interested in the history of our nation and its institutions, so when I served on active duty I had a fairly solid knowledge of our Constitution.  It surprised me how many others did not — and moreover, how many didn’t care.  A member of one of the teams I once led was an enlisted legal resident from the Philippines (did you know citizenship is not required for military service?  You do now…).  She was studying for her citizenship exam, and we were all cheering for her to complete that lengthy process.  Out of curiosity, I asked to see the study materials she’d been given.  It was fairly detailed, and I realized if she mastered it she’d likely have a better grasp of how our nation is supposed to function than most high school graduates do today.  (This is why LEGAL immigration processes and paths to citizenship, rather than amnesties, are important).  For fun, I tossed a few basic questions from the book out to the rest of the team, and was disappointed in how little they could answer.  Like the author of the linked article, I reminded them they’d sworn an oath to protect the Constitution, so they might want to know what’s in it.

The military is in many ways a reflection of the society from which it’s drawn, and this is but one example.  There is a glaring lack of basic understanding of our institutions, particularly among those who are handed the privilege of voting at the tender age of 18.  I taught High School for a year after leaving the military.  The seniors I had for Government were roundly disinterested in the subject (to be fair, they weren’t thrilled with many others, either).  I explained they wouldn’t play any of their sports without knowing the rules.  So why were they content to begin adult life without knowing them?  Frankly, it was a depressing experience.

Almost 2,500 years ago, one of the most successful republics in history inscribed 12 tablets with basic social laws, and placed them in a public forum for all citizens to see.  This action did not create a utopia, of course, and by today’s standards some of the laws are quite questionable.  But it did foster an idea later expressed as “lex rex”  (“the law rules”), as opposed to governance being merely the whimsy of those in power.  Though that republic later fell into tyranny and then disarray, later documents such as the Magna Carta continued this line of thought: that there were limits even to a king’s power.

What limits today do Americans recognize on Uncle Sam and his little cousins, the States?  Can Sam simply take your money without due process?  What about your home?  Is the 2nd Amendment subject to curtailment by the States?  Did the writers of the Constitution intend for the government to be a dispenser of welfare?  Are we supposed to have equal justice under the law, or is your risk of prosecution for similar offenses dependent on whether you are a former deputy FBI director or someone working for a president who acts as an ‘outsider?’

Short of the Bible, there is no more important document in our society’s fabric than our Constitution.  Yet the average American today is alarmingly ignorant of both.  Is it any wonder our nation is so troubled?

Make lawlessness consequential again

Many Americans continue to look on in disbelief as States, cities and even judges(!) thumb their nose at Federal immigration law, actively aiding and abetting illegal immigrants in eluding Federal agents.  President Andrew Jackson wasn’t about to put up with nullification when South Carolina used the theory to declare it wouldn’t collect tariffs.  And it appears the current administration is running out of patience with modern nullificationists:

Attorney General William Barr said Monday that the Justice Department will review the policies of sanctuary cities to determine if they’re a breaking federal law that prohibits the “harboring or shielding of aliens in the United States.”

“When we are talking about sanctuary cities, we’re talking about policies that are designed to allow criminal aliens to escape,” Barr said.

“These policies are not about people who came to our country illegally, but have otherwise been peaceful and productive members of society. The express purpose of these policies is to shelter aliens whom local law enforcement have already arrested for crimes,” he added.

At least one Senator is looking to put some teeth into the administration’s pushback:

Senator Marsha Blackburn (R., Tenn.) announced on a conference call Wednesday that she was proposing a bill to block grant funding from the Department of Justice for local law enforcement in states with sanctuary policies that allow illegal immigrants to receive drivers’ licenses…

A similar measure was proposed by Justice Department under then-attorney general Jeff Sessions in 2017 to combat sanctuary policies, but federal judges in Pennsylvania, California, Illinois, and New York all subsequently ruled against the Trump administration.

It amazes me that federal judges would hamstring the federal government’s constitutional duties to regulate immigration.  As a country, we have made it far too easy to be an illegal alien.  In addition to States granting drivers licenses (based on what documentation?), we publish our official documents and election materials in multiple languages, at a not insignificant cost.  And while there’s occasionally a publicized raid on a company knowingly employing illegal immigrants, the penalties are usually less than the profit margin the companies make by hiring them, often at less than minimum wage (since they can’t file a complaint).  How about yanking the business license of such organizations?

People talk about “bringing illegals out of the shadows,” and “reducing the stigma of illegal entry.”  No!  Human beings respond to incentives and disincentives.  Right now the incentive to come to this country illegally is huge.  For all the administration says it has stopped “catch and release,” the reality is that millions of border violators have been turned loose with no way to hold them accountable for their court date as long as they stay out of sight.  And there are too many officials in State and city governments eager to help them do just that.

Are we a sovereign nation of laws, or one big doormat upon which anyone may tread at will?

All or nothing

The Democrats insist on dragging out the impeachment circus as long as possible by calling for witnesses that should have been heard by the House if they were so important to the case.  Naturally, the RINOs* (Sen. Romney, Sen. Collins, and Sen. Murkowski) are only too happy to help the “stupid party” prove once again it rarely knows how to use majority status to effect its goals:

GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine claimed credit Wednesday morning for shaping the initial impeachment procedures resolution to require a vote adding witnesses and additional evidence. A Senate vote on whether to consider calling witnesses and allowing other new evidence is expected as early as Friday.

“I am pleased that I along with Mitt Romney, Lisa Murkowski and others worked very hard to get into the resolution a guaranteed vote on whether or not to call witnesses at this point in the trial,” Collins said Wednesday.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell needs to ensure that if witnesses are called, it’s not a selective assortment designed solely to try to make the president look bad.  No, if we’re going to call witnesses, let’s hear from those whose activity the president was concerned about in the first place:

Even Mitt Romney, the first link to break, has said that he thinks calling witnesses should be reciprocal. That means Joe and Hunter Biden, at minimum. But calling the Bidens in exchange for calling John Bolton and Mick Mulvaney has been rejected by Democrats.

So McConnell’s way out it to force Democrats to reject a witness deal. That way, Democrats are the ones responsible for no new witnesses. It provides cover to people like Susan Collins who may be concerned how voting against witnesses my impact their reelection chances.

McConnell needs to go nuclear. Mutually Assured Destruction nuclear on witnesses — the Bidens or bust.

The GOP has become more politically assertive and aggressive with Trump in the White House, and that’s been a pleasure to see.  I’ve said before that if he does nothing else, Trump’s at least showing the Right how to fight.  That said, there are still plenty of “Republicans” who’d be happy to see the president fail.  McConnell must insure that if the investigation is going to be rehashed in the Senate, that it’s done in full, so that all the truth comes out.

Otherwise, there will be a lot of people like me who will wonder what point there is in handing the Republicans political power at all.  If they fail here, they should expect alternative political organizations to challenge for their place.  And they’ll deserve their irrelevance.

* RINO = “Republicans in Name Only,” for those unaware.  And no, it’s not a compliment.

They will stop at nothing

NBC floats the idea of declaring any reelection of Trump invalid on grounds those who support him are ‘racists:’

If the Trump era has taught us anything, it’s that large numbers of white people in the United States are motivated are motivated at least in part by racism in the voting booth…

Rather than excuse racist voters or try to figure out how to live with their choices, [Terry Smith, a visiting professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law] argues that racist voting is not just immoral, but illegal. The government, Smith says, has the ability, and the responsibility, to address it.

Naturally, two of the proposed remedies are old standbys: eliminate ID requirements to vote, making vote fraud easier, and turn the Senate into another House of Representatives:

Because the majority of white voters in the South vote Republican, and because they outnumber black voters, there isn’t a single Democratic senator from the Deep South other than Doug Jones in Alabama, who may well lose his seat in 2020. Smith argues that we could remedy these disparate, racially motivated outcomes by creating Senate districts. Presumably, that would make it at least possible for black voters to elect a senator who would support their interests.

Translation: we’re not getting the outcomes we want, so let’s make it easier to commit vote fraud, and change the constitutional form of Congress so things might go our way.  I’ve said it before: the Left will delegitimize any institution they cannot control.  More importantly: who gets to determine if voters are casting “racist votes?”  Had Obama lost in either 2008 or 2012, would the learned Terry Smith say that outcome alone was proof of racist motivation (policy differences be damned), and invalidate the election?

This line of thought is very much in the mold of leftist revolutionaries who seek to have the public vote until they get it “right” — after which usually no more voting is allowed.  Ever. Make no mistake: the Left will not accept a Trump reelection, by any margin, however large.  Plan accordingly – November is not far away.

Straining credulity to infinity and beyond

There’s been plenty of memery online about Jeffrey Epstein.  It’s so easy even I can do it:

AP Explains Iran Revolutionary Guard

While all this has done a good job of keeping the story of Epstein alive, it’s really not all that funny when you look closely as his alleged “suicide,” as the CBS program “60 Minutes” did Sunday.  Attorney General William Barr himself said there were “serious irregularities” involved in the case.  There are just too many “monumental failures at all levels,” in the words of former Federal prison warden interviewed by CBS.  As the saying goes, once is chance, twice is coincidence, but three times is enemy action.  So exactly how many ‘failures’ were there in this so-called suicide?

1. After what was reported as an earlier attempt, Epstein was placed on suicide watch… for only a week.

2. Epstein claimed the first incident was actually an attack by his cellmate, a former police officer jailed for a murder believed to be related to drugs and Mexican organized crime. The cellmate’s lawyer obviously denies the accusation.

3. After release from suicide watch, Epstein was returned to a cell and required to have a cellmate. The night before his death, though, his cellmate was released, and no new one was assigned.  Epstein’s lawyers say during their visit the day before his death, their client was “upbeat” and looking forward to an upcoming bail hearing.

4. The night of his death, two guards required to check on him every 30 minutes failed to do so for over 10 hours, and are now facing charges of falsifying logs to conceal the fact (revealed by video) they were web surfing or sleeping instead.

5. Regarding video, however, in response to requests from the lawyer for the inmate Epstein said attacked him, the Feds have now given differing explanations for why footage from the day of the first incident isn’t available. The latest story is that they preserved video from the wrong cell.

6. The camera that should have captured footage of Epstein’s cell door and of the other cells in the block the night of his death was “corrupted,” and no footage exists.

7. Though there are photos from Epstein’s cell showing nooses and other items after his death, there are no photos of his dead body inside the cell, even though such an incident requires preservation of evidence as a crime scene.  Instead, Epstein’s body was taken to an emergency room before any photography occurred.  Did the 6-foot Epstein hang himself by a sheet attached to his bed frame a mere four feet off the floor?  Nobody’s saying, and there’s no photos to explain how he pulled off his own demise in a facility allegedly designed to minimize the chances of such.

8. The forensic pathologist hired by Epstein’s family says the noose sketched in the autopsy report doesn’t match the wounds on Epstein’s neck, which appear more consistent with strangulation by a wire.  The wound was also on the middle of the neck, rather than just below the jawline, as would be expected in a hanging, and says he has never seen the three fractures present in Epstein’s neck in a case of suicidal hanging.  The pathologist acknowledges the public might believe he is biased by working for the family.  But he also says he’s hesitant to make a final judgment until all the evidence is in.

9. The government declines to give the pathologist video and additional forensic reporting, citing the ongoing criminal case against the two guards. ((Convenient, no??))

Given the high-profile nature of the Epstein case, the fact his jet was dubbed the “Lolita Express,” and his known connections to many famous and powerful people, it’s simply inconceivable that his incarceration was just bedeviled by all-around shoddy administration.  Two guards are on trial, but the warden was ‘reassigned.’  Why not fired outright?  What about the psychologist who cleared Epstein off suicide watch?

The day Epstein’s death was reported, I was at a relative’s house.  I was immediately infuriated, saying “they got to him.”  I’ve never even entertained the idea it was a suicide.  Evil is only too willing to hide behind perceptions of incompetence.  It’s said the devil cannot abide being mocked, but he’s happy for you to think he’s an impotent fool — the better to help you drop your guard.  The most aggravating thing about this is the lack of public outcry and demand for accountability.  Sure, Ricky Gervais may have slapped Hollywood with Epstein’s name at the Golden Globe Awards.  But like all the memes online, this is simply acknowledging the public’s not buying the official line this time.

How do we get from joking to justice?