All posts by mrossol

Married, 1st generation American, Christian, conservative, GCC parent, Agribusiness manager, long-time Mac-owner, in Ohio.

America, It’s Time for ‘Unity’

Let’s see how close Mr. Baker comes to the “truth”. mrossol

WSJ  1/25/2021. by Geral Baker

Can you feel the unity? Have you come together to bind the nation’s wounds?

Have you renounced your white privilege? Your unconscious bias probably hasn’t been eradicated in the last week, so it will need attention. But don’t worry. If you work in the federal government, you’ll soon have the opportunity—sorry, obligation—to get that fixed with a series of bias-elimination sessions. If you work for a large company, you’ve probably already watched the videos, so you’ve no excuses for continuing not to recognize that America’s foundational malignity is all your fault.

If you’re a woman, have you shared a restroom with some strapping-looking figure you’re sure used to be a man but now says she’s all female? I hope your high-school daughters are doing their part to unify the country by ceding whatever hope of athletic success they had to the new class of 6-foot-tall girls with bulbous triceps.

 

If you work in fossil fuels—maybe you’re employed on the Keystone XL pipeline—aren’t you grateful that your imminent joblessness is bringing the country together?

If you were an enthusiastic Donald Trump supporter, are you ready to enter a re-education program? You may not realize that your reprogramming is essential to the preservation of democracy, but after attendance at a series of camps led by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and a team of journalists from the Washington Post, you’ll once again be able to contribute—civilly—to political discourse.

If you expressed doubt online about the reliability of the presidential election result, your contribution to bringing the nation together might be an interview with a pair of nice federal agents.

As a commentator on a conservative platform, I’m ready to do my part for national harmony by being deplatformed by technology companies the next time I step out of line. But if you’re that rare thing, a conservative in academia, you might want to make sure your barista skills are up to snuff, though you probably won’t be welcome in any of the Starbucks in Cambridge or Ann Arbor—or anywhere else.

After four years of hateful, divisive leadership that stoked raging enmities and fuelled murderous bigotries, I hope you’re feeling the soothing balm of comity as it pours forth from executive orders, presidential declarations and the various ministries of truth that used to be news organizations.

 

In President Biden’s inaugural address—which in its composition and significance was reminiscent of Lincoln’s second inaugural, Pericles ’ funeral oration and the Sermon on the Mount—he emphasized that the path to national unity lies not only through our acquiescence to the Democrats’ agenda, but in a renewed communal asseveration of the truth.

 

“There is truth and there are lies. Lies told for profit and for power,” he said. “And each of us has a duty and responsibility . . . to defend the truth and defeat the lies.”

It must have been in that spirit that on day one some administration official told CNN that the Biden team had discovered that their predecessors had left them a nonexistent coronavirus vaccine distribution plan. It was presumably heeding the president’s call to defeat lies that the CNN reporter decided not to challenge the official, given that, with almost 40 million vaccines already distributed, there might have been some plan in place.

Then there was defending the larger truth about Mr. Biden’s plan to get 100 million doses into American arms in 100 days—a million a day. An ambitious goal, his team called it. An ambitious goal, the press repeated, helping to lower the expectations bar for the new president.

Only in the small print did we learn that in the final week of the Trump administration, doses administered were already up to well over 900,000 a day, on a rapidly rising trajectory. Ambitious indeed.

Truth is attested to by actions as well as words. Wearing a mask, Mr. Biden has told us, is essential to saving lives. But on inauguration night, there he was, celebrating, maskless. His press secretary, in a searing moment of truthfulness, told us it was fine because he had “bigger issues” to worry about.

That admission, in its own way, was a clarifying one, capturing as it did the real meaning of our new era of truth and unity: the truth is that our unity will be achieved by your doing what we tell you to do.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/america-its-time-for-unityor-else-11611602325?mod=opinion_lead_pos8

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Unmasking Samantha Power

The WSJ.  1/25/21.

Samantha Power in 2016.

Presidents deserve the advisers they choose absent significant cause. In the case of Joe Biden’s choice to lead the U.S. Agency for International Development, Samantha Power, one question to ask is how honest she was about her role in snooping on Michael Flynn.

In late 2016 Mr. Flynn was the incoming national security adviser for Donald Trump. Mr. Flynn’s conversation with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. was recorded by U.S. spooks, and his name leaked after being “unmasked” by several figures in the Obama Administration. Who did the leaking—a felony—has never been solved. But the leak fed the media fires over Mr. Trump’s alleged collusion with the Russians, and Mr. Flynn was unjustly prosecuted.

At the time Ms. Power was U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. She was a political appointee and not an intelligence professional. Yet Congress looked into it and found that over her last year in office Ms. Power had unmasked nearly 300 people, without any concrete explanation of why she needed this information.

During an Oct. 13, 2017, appearance before the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Calif.) asked her directly about the unmasking and leaking of Gen. Flynn’s name. “I did want to get you on the record,” he told her. Ms. Power categorically denied she leaked his name—or any classified information.

She was fuzzier about unmasking. “I have no recollection of making a request related to General Flynn,” she replied. Then again, maybe she had reason to be fuzzy.

Three years later, in May 2020, Republican Senators Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson released a declassified list of Obama Administration officials who had “unmasked” Mr. Flynn. The list showed that between Nov. 30, 2016, and Jan. 17, 2017, 39 separate officials made unmasking demands for that information. Ms. Power made seven requests.

Ms. Power did this in her last days in office. Before the Senate confirms her for a job that Mr. Biden says will include a seat on the National Security Council, she owes the American people a full explanation of what she did during the last presidential transition.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/unmasking-samantha-power-11611526126?mod=opinion_lead_pos2

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Alan Dershowitz: Calls to Disbar Giuliani ‘McCarthyism,’ Would Defend Him

We’re not even one week into the Biden presidency… mrossol

The Epoch Times.  1/25/21

Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz said the push to disbar former Mayor Rudy Giuliani is a form of “McCarthyism,” adding that he would defend him.

Over the past several weeks, there have been growing calls to disbar Giuliani, who had served as former President Donald Trump’s personal attorney in response to claims of voter fraud during the Nov. 3 presidential election.

It’s McCarthyism. I grew up during McCarthyism when the lawyers were being disbarred for representing clients that people didn’t like,” Dershowitz said Sunday on New York WABC 770 AM radio.

“Rudy is a lawyer. And that’s what he is supposed to do. And if his client says, ‘Challenge the election,’ he challenges the election,” according to Dershowitz. “If you don’t agree with his analysis, answer it in the court of public opinion. But don’t disbar him. Are we going to disbar Adam Schiff? Adam Schiff got on the floor of the Senate and the House and lied through his teeth about a range of things, including Russian collusion, and including me.”

The longtime legal expert was making references to Rep. Schiff (D-Calif.), who had served as a House manager during Trump’s first impeachment and who is also head of the House Intelligence Committee.

Rudy Giuliani in Georgia
Former NY city mayor Rudy Giuliani testifies before the Georgia Senate subcommittee hearing on election issues at the state capitol in Atlanta on Dec. 30, 2020. (Screenshot)

“I hope the bar association thinks differently about it. If it doesn’t, I will help Rudy. I will help defend him. I will be a witness for him. I’ve known Rudy for, what, 45 years. We disagree about almost everything. And yet, I would defend him to the depths of my being for being a lawyer,” Dershowitz said.

Several days ago, a legal advocacy group said Giuliani should be investigated and possibly disbarred from practicing law, according to an ethics complaint.

“This complaint is about law, not politics,” the attorneys claimed. “Lawyers have every right to represent their clients zealously and to engage in political speech. But they cross ethical boundaries—which are equally boundaries of New York law—when they invoke and abuse the judicial process, lie to third parties in the course of representing clients, or engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation in or out of court.”

Giuliani, on his radio show last week, said he believed he acted ethically during his post-election legal challenges and comments.

“I was a prosecutor all my life—I’m not stupid,” Giuliani said. “I don’t want to get in trouble. And I have a high sense of ethics, personally. I hate it when people attack my integrity.”

https://www.theepochtimes.com/alan-dershowitz-calls-to-disbar-giuliani-mccarthyism-would-defend-him_3670363.html?utm_source=news&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=breaking-2021-01-25-3

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US Criticizes China After Latest Military Incursion Against Taiwan

This is an encouraging sign! mrossol

The Epoch Times – 1/24/2021

 
 

TAIPEI, Taiwan—The U.S. State Department has voiced concerns about China’s continued military aggression against Taiwan, after China breached the island’s air defense zone with 13 military aircraft.

“We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure against Taiwan and instead engage in meaningful dialogue with Taiwan’s democratically elected representatives,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement on Jan. 23.

He added: “We will continue to assist Taiwan in maintaining a sufficient self-defense capability. Our commitment to Taiwan is rock-solid and contributes to the maintenance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and within the region.”

Beijing’s coercion against Taiwan is nothing new, as the Chinese communist regime claims the self-ruled island as a part of its territory and has repeatedly threatened to use military force to bring the island under its fold. However, the coercion intensified under the Trump administration, which elevated engagement with Taiwan through more arms sales and the lifting of restrictions on U.S. contact with Taiwanese officials.

Chinese jets violated Taiwan’s airspace about 380 times in 2020 and have continued to carry out such incursions on a nearly daily basis this year, according to Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense.

On Saturday, less than a week into Joe Biden’s presidency, China made its largest-scale military incursion this year, when the Chinese regime sent 13 military aircraft—eight bomber planes, four fighter jets, and an anti-submarine aircraft—to fly over Taiwan’s southwest waters.

Taiwan is a de-facto independent nation-state, with its own democratically elected government, military, currency, and constitution.

“The United States will continue to support a peaceful resolution of cross-strait issues, consistent with the wishes and best interests of the people of Taiwan. The United States maintains its longstanding commitments as outlined in the Three Communiqués, the Taiwan Relations Act, and the Six Assurances,” Price added.

Washington ended its diplomatic ties with Taipei in favor of Beijing in 1979 but has maintained a robust relationship with the island based on the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), which was signed into law by former President Jimmy Carter in April 1979. The TRA authorizes the United States to provide the island with military equipment for its self-defense.

In 1982, former President Ronald Reagan also made six security assurances to Taiwan, including that the United States pledges not to set a date for ending arms sales to the island, and that it would neither consult Beijing on any arms sales nor revise the TRA.

It remains to be seen how President Joe Biden will maintain U.S.-Taiwan relations.

Biden’s nominee for Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, said during his Senate nomination hearing on Jan. 19 that Beijing would be making a “grievous mistake” if it decided to use military force against Taiwan.

“We need to make sure that they [Taiwan] have the means to deter aggression,” Blinken said. He added that he would like to see “Taiwan even more engaged in the world.”

On Jan. 21 in a daily briefing, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying voiced opposition against how Taiwan’s de-facto ambassador to the United States Hsiao Bi-khim had attended Biden’s inauguration ceremony.

Hua said China was “firmly against” any official interactions between the United States and Taiwan. She also called on the U.S. government to “prudently and properly handle issues relating to Taiwan.”

Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs thanked the State Department for its support via Twitter on Jan. 24.

“Based on shared values & interests, we’re committed to our partnership with the #US in furthering peace & stability in the #IndoPacific,” the ministry said.

Also on Sunday, Taiwanese lawmaker Wang Ting-yu applauded the State Department for its powerful statement on his Facebook page. He added that it was worth watching any concrete military or political actions the U.S. government might take next with regards to Taiwan.

Wang also added that the Chinese Communist Party was “testing” the new Pentagon chief with its large-scale military incursion against Taiwan on Saturday.

On Jan. 22, the Senate confirmed Biden’s nominee, Lloyd Austin, as the new Secretary of Defense.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/us-state-department-criticizes-china-after-latest-military-incursion-against-taiwan_3668833.html?utm_source=news&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=breaking-2021-01-24-2

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