WOOF! Watchdogs of Our Freedom

Harden your schools, America, or harden your hearts!

In "Gunning for success" forum on March 6, 2018 at 6:18 pm

In which WOOF’s editor in chief, Old Bugler, expresses his up-to-the-minute-if-frustratingly-excursive views on nothing but 100% guaranteed genuine news, mostly in the annoyingly officious third-person, as befits his station!   ______________________

At the risk of incurring accusations of sociopathy, Old Bugler admits that he is bored. He is also, of course, infuriated—but owing to years of tantric Tibetan-Zen exercises and little-known sigil/chaotic mental disciplines, he can be both infuriated and bored at the same time. And he is.

Are astronauts allowed to lie?

Infuriated, of course, because some addlepated punk once again took it upon himself to gun down innocent children in an American public school, and simultaneously bored by the histrionic ululations of the ever-predictable (although never in any respect useful) Left to the effect that some phantasm called “common-sense gun laws” will save us from a recurrence of the latest  tragedy– if only we turn the second-amendment over for extensive revision by ninnyhammers like Senator Bill Nelson (D-FLA) who spent the entire afternoon of 15th February ranting to  “journalists” that “automatic weapons” pose an imminent threat to American school kids. “Here is an automatic weapon, an assault rifle,” Nelson bellowed at a vigorously nodding Mika Brzezinski, referring to Nikolas Cruz’s AR-15, adding “Just look in Florida: Pulse Nightclub a couple of years ago, a year ago the Fort Lauderdale airport, now this.”

“An automatic weapon–an assault rifle!”

Okay, let’s be exact. Cruz used an AR-15 .223 caliber rifle to commit last month’s atrocities. The Pulse Nightclub assault on Gays perpetrated by an Islamic extremist (are we allowed to mention that part?) involved a Sig Sauer MCX .223-caliber rifle (similar to the AR-15) and a 9mm Glock 17. None of these weapons are automatic. The shooter at the Fort Lauderdale airport (also an ISIS-inspired Islamic extremist–in for a penny, right?)  used a Walther 9mm pistol. Why Senator Nelson would call any of these guns an “automatic weapon, an assault rifle” is utterly beyond your humble editor, especially since Nelson, in his less effete past, was an astronaut, and prior to that, an Army reservist. Surely somebody taught him at some point what an automatic weapon is and is not? For that matter, he might have learnt the details about “assault rifles” by keeping abreast of WOOF’s reporting on such matters [available here]—but no. One must ruefully conclude that a lot of progressive Kool-Aid has gone down the Senator’s gullet since his more contributory days, leaving him in thrall to the establishment, echoing its deceitful boilerplate to the bobble-headed approval of Zbigniew Brzezinski’s dull-witted daughter, and a fool’s parade of similarly vacuous news personalities who lined up last week to join the Senator in decrying “automatic assault rifles” despite their having been illegal since the passage of the National Firearms Act of 1934.

Good news kids–problem solved!

Sic semper tyrannis!

And say, what about Nikolas Cruz, anyway? Whilst fiercely traducing the NRA and whipping up a frenzied abhorrence of guns, gun owners, and gun makers, the system took almost no interest in Cruz, especially once the news (reported with stentorian authority by ABC, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, Politico, CBS, time,com., The Daily Beast, and the Associated Press) that he was part of a white supremacist group transpired to be fake. Once beyond that unacknowledged embarrassment (except at Politico, which apologized for the “misunderstanding”), Cruz escaped any further media curiosity, while blame for his actions was assigned entirely to his gun.

Yet another empty-chair exercise.

One action to discourage future school shooters, we dare say, would be to kill Cruz, legally, publicly, and expediently. He should receive a fair trial at a credible remove from the venue in which he committed his crimes, following which—pretermitting the unlikely possibility of his being found innocent– he should be executed. True, Florida has the death penalty, but the odds of Mr. Cruz actually occupying the electric chair are remote in the extreme. For starters, Floridians now oppose the death penalty by a 57% majority. Aramis Ayala, the Democratic state attorney for Orange and Osceola counties is on record insisting she will not seek the death penalty in any of her office’s cases, no matter the circumstances. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, occasional Republican, often expresses qualms about the death penalty. State Attorney Michael Satz, whose office is handling Cruz’s prosecution, insists he will “announce his offices position at an appropriate time.”

Aramis Ayala, protectress of the no-fry zone.

But even if Cruz receives the death penalty, he is unlikely to receive the death penalty. The state has 348 inmates on death row, whereas only 95 murderers have been executed since 1976. It is a sign of the times that the most realistic assessment of how justice will be served in Cruz’s case came from MSN News, which waxed jubilant upon discovering Cruz is heir–in two years–to an $800,000 trust fund. Quick to grasp the report’s Sophoclean implications, MSN’s reporters expressed wonder at so striking a manifestation of karma, rejoicing in the near certainty that Cruse will now inherit nothing, since he will be obliged to drain his fortune on legal fees. Sic semper tyrannis!

Killing evil….

Beyond MSN’s short-lived celebration of forensic kismet, almost nothing concerning Cruz, and certainly nothing denunciatory of Cruse or his actions, has beclouded the anti-gun argument. No one should find this bewildering. Liberalism long ago abolished evil, except insofar as it may be represented totemically, or by special demons like Trump, or Dick Cheney, who are dehumanized to the point of qualifying as talismans. In the liberal imagination, evil is now acknowledged only in effigy, thus we have evil corporations, Big Oil, Big Pharma, one-percenters, the ever-serviceable military-industrial establishment, and, of course, the ultra-demonic NRA.

Some days you just can’t get rid of a magic sword!

Yes, once again, we must kick some guns, vilify all guns, snarl about gun owners, and decry the existence of guns, all the while shouting, “no guns!” just in case someone missed the point. We must endure a stream of you-tubed videos in which newly “woke” owners of AR-15s seek redemption by confessing their depravities and smashing their guns to pieces, like Roland clashing Durandal against the rocks at Roncevaux…except more successfully (and more expensively, considering that AR-15s often go for upwards of a thousand dollars, whereas Durandal was a gift from Charlemagne). Meanwhile, pundits boresomely rehearse the same solecisms, no matter how often or decisively refuted, and with such mind numbing incessance that one almost brightens at the appearance of any freshly invented canard, for instance the patently confected news that Parkland constituted the 18th school shooting of the year (trumpeted uncritically by such liberal wellsprings of misinformation as the Washington Post, USA Today, CNBC, ABC News, MSNBC, and The New York Daily News).  Even SNOPES demurred at defending such poppycock.

Dumb, Dumber, and Stephen King….

Joe Scarborough nearly secured first prize for most fatuous gun rant of the news cycle by repeatedly assuring his audience and his interviewee (some hapless anti-gun lobbyist who contented  himself with nodding wordlessly throughout the segment, whether out of ignorance or politeness Old Bugler cannot say), that the AR-15 rifle is “more lethal than the M-16 that was used in Vietnam!” Without going into detail about how and to what degree Mr. Scarborough completely misunderstood the details on which he based this daft assertion, suffice it that an M-16 can be set to fire full automatic, at which setting it can discharge a fusillade of 900 rounds (that’s bullets, liberal readers) per minute. Only a blithering idiot would describe this as less lethal than the semi-automatic AR-15, and while Scarborough was certainly the man for the job, he cannot claim the prize.

In the process of conducting a Twitter storm against guns, horror author Stephen King jumped on a rival tweeter’s allusions to the growing dangers posed by MS-13 (the notorious Salvadoran street gang currently spreading violence, drugs, and crime across America’s major cities). But King’s rejoinder struck even his fans as oddly incoherent, even allowing for the author’s well-known tendency to sputter torrents of disjointed invective whenever confronting viewpoints at odds with his rigidly dogmatic progressivism. Someone finally realized that King’s tweet made sense only when re-read with the understanding that King thought MS-13 was a gun. For the record, by the way, Mr. King opposes MS-13s, and his tweeted opposition to their sale or ownership garnered well over a thousand “likes” from supporters.

What is to be done?

Adina Kutnicki, because who wants to look at Lenin?

So, as Vladimir Ilyich Lenin liked to say (and as the Zionist goddess Adina Kutnicki likes to echo with a delightsome hint of informed contrariety) “What is to be done?” And while your humble editor retains a healthy respect for the underutilized tactic of doing nothing no matter how clamorously the vox populi may otherwise, he is unshakably of the view that doing something, in this instance, is imperative. Allowing school children to be shot down almost routinely, and in considerable numbers on each occasion, ought to strike any rational American as unacceptable—not “unacceptable” in the State Department’s sense of the term, a disingenuity invoked whenever foreign depredations against the United States demand more retaliatory vigor than Foggy Bottom is actually willing to muster; but rather in the term’s original acceptation, before its brisk unequivocality was debauched by diplomats.

Not the last psychopath…

The present situation demands shrewd analysis and immediate action. Wasting time on polemical or Quixotic whimsicalities is especially hazardous given that Nikolas Cruz was almost certainly not the last psychopath in North America, nor even in Florida. A frank evaluation of the Parkland case as well as past cases of similar stamp exposes a seemingly unbreachable chasm between the sociopolitical Left and America’s sustaining yeomanry—its armed citizens. Two diametrically opposed ideas emerge whenever such atrocities make headlines, and frustratingly enough, the only one that ever receives widespread attention and praise is the one that cannot possibly work.

The liberal solution, deprived of its myriad layers of pettifoggery, has always entailed repealing the second amendment. Lately, however, liberals are noticeably less vociferous on this issue. Even the progressive echo chambers in Washington, Manhattan, and Los Angeles must occasionally entertain realities apart from those promulgated by their subsidiary news media. One such reality recently penetrated the elitist echo chamber, mainly that advocating repeal of the 2nd amendment, or parts thereof, amounts to political suicide. And since the gun issue’s political utility supplies its only authentic allure for liberal politicians–all pretenses to the contrary notwithstanding–their focus this time around seems decidedly totemic.

That’s 5 million members–can they all be subdued without using guns?

The children’s crusade

After all, when one can manipulate armies of adolescents, many of whom only days before experienced profound emotional trauma, beguile them with one’s media monopoly whose talking heads unanimously praise their vision and integrity, inflame their undeveloped prefrontal cortexes with massive doses of Soros-affiliated agitprop, regale them with Oprah’s ridiculous remarks comparing them to the freedom riders of the civil rights era, tuck them in to the eulogistic inanities of Jimmy Kimmel on what remains of the Tonight Show, and roundly applaud their “honesty” and “courage” as they hurl ad hominem invective at such contemptible subhuman fascists as Dana Loesch and Marco Rubio (both of whom evinced the temerity to join them on a CNN “townhall,” further compounding their effronteries by presuming to offer viewpoints at variance with the mob)—well– one hardly needs policies! The entire liberal argument, thus reduced to an emotive display—an insensate spasm of pre-scripted activism on demand, amounts to nothing more than a massive opportunity to vent—a persuasive demonstration that, at least insofar as social policies are concerned, liberals are from Venus and Conservatives are from Mars.

Others, meanwhile, prefered simply to keep matters vague, favoring the familiar Obamism, “common sense gun laws” to precise demands. Like most Obaman rhetoric, the phrase ignites the  base without meaning anything in particular, or better still, while meaning whatever the particular individual mouthing it happens to imagine it means. Mainly, the students prefer to chant “no more guns!” which is no more useful, really, than shouting “no more hurricanes!” or “no more car crashes!” How about, “no more demagoguery!”? Just a thought.

So, if the loudest,  crudest, least criticized, but most uncritically publicized solution to school shootings is nothing more than an amorphous social-justice trope confected by establishment strategists and frothily propounded by touring cohorts of ill-mannered children, what might we expect to result were its particulars embraced by America’s school systems? What if the AR-15 rifle were, in, fact, banned? So far as your humble editor can deduce, once all the guerrilla theatre and grandiosity is peeled away, the only expectable outcome would be a series of school shootings more horrible than any previously experienced, because the shooters would be using 7.62X51MM NATO ammo, fired with the same rapidity and in the same volume as previously, but now packing a considerably greater wallop than the AR-15’s .223 varmint round.

More bang for the buck?

The basis for your editor’s gruesome prediction is disturbingly obvious. The probable choice of a military-looking semi-automatic rifle that is not an AR-15 but comparably priced and just as available, is any of the widely manufactured M-14-style rifles sold under various designations by various manufacturers. The most obvious effect would be better-armed psychos, assuming psychos capable of laying hands on the one weapon would prove equally resourceful in acquiring the other. So, do we ban M-14 clones as well? (READ MORE….)


The Pinky Principle: Watching Congress Demote Itself Beneath any Pretense of Competence!

In "Dead Elephant in the Room" forum on March 19, 2018 at 7:49 pm

Most literate Americans are at least vaguely familiar with the Peter Principle, a management theory promulgated in the early ’70s by Laurence J. Peter who theorized that because promotion is routinely based on an individual’s performance at a given level,  promotions continue until people are promoted to that level at which they no longer perform effectively. Thus, Peter reasoned,  employees everywhere tend to rise to their respective levels of incompetence.  Actually, however, politicians are exempt from the principle. Think about it; they are simply elected, and once elected–unless advancing from House to Senate, for instance–they are not so much promoted as retained in situ. Of course, one oft-voiced criticism of the Peter Principle is that is fails to adequately provide for the possibility of demotion, but again, politicians are immune to demotions (except within party ranks), their overwhelming concern being loss of office.

Fugitives from principle…

That said, it seems obvious that if congress comprises fugitives from the Peter Principle, it is nonetheless subordinate to certain, less equivocal injunctions, among them the second law of thermodynamics–namely that entropy only increases and never decreases.  You knew that, right? True, the statistical mechanics attached to this rule have been so debauched by disputants stretching them to win their points, we feel slighty abashed at invoking them here; but not so abashed as to abandon the matter. To smooth things over with sticklers for scientific exactitude, we will presently reframe our argument in considerably less pretentious terms. Besides, operationalizing a reliable system of measurement is impossible because idiocy, while widely recognizable, can only be quantified subjectively.

Joe Starnes, hot on the trail of Christopher Marlowe.

True, members of congress have engaged in all sorts of bone-headed absurdities throughout our national history, all the while affecting the demeanor of important men (and nowadays women) fixed with grim solemnity upon the virtuous work of statecraft.  Invariably, humor is minable from this. What, after all, is more comically ironic than an assemblage of dunces whose pomposity renders them incognizant of their duncery?  But we contend the contemporary political class has achieved a record-breaking apex of insipidity–a contention, we admit, that resists empirical proof.  How might we objectively demonstrate that government’s current quotient of dunderheads surpasses in numerousness and intensity all previous examples?  Well, the second law of thermodynamics, maybe, but we promised to drop that argument. Suffice it that congress has always been bountifully endowed with morons, maniacs, mountebanks and poltroons. From Senator Benjamin Ryan Tillman (D-SC) complaining in 1900 that “we stuffed ballot boxes, we shot them,” but that his constituents were “scratching their heads,” because Blacks kept voting anyway; to Joe Starnes (D-Ala.), who, while associated with HUAC, demanded that a witness tell him whether Christopher Marlowe was a member of the Communist Party, examples abound.

Comrade Marlowe

Alexa de Tocqueville, pride of “the greatest generation.”

Consider Hillary Clinton, widely advertised by the establishment media as peerlessly brainy, who, while addressing a crowd of adulative supporters in 2016 felt moved to advert to Alexis de Tocqueville, whom she called “Alexa,” and who, she told her audience, “came to the United States in the very early 1930s and traveled around our country…” thus relocating the famous author of Democracy in America, who died in 1859, to the 20th century.  Significantly, those present greeted Mrs. Clinton’s manipulation of the temporal/spacial continuum enthusiastically– and for all we know, Mrs. Clinton continues to suppose that someone named “Alexa” de Tocqueville was a contemporary of Tom Joad’s.  In a similar vein, President Obama, whose entire docket of clownish errata is best enumerated elsewhere [for instance here], swept to the podium during a state visit by French President Hollande in order to laud de Tocqueville, whom he called “Alex.” (Both Hollande and the Bamster might have benefitted from exposure to de Tocqueville, particularly his piercing critique of socialism, but at least Obama kept “Alex” in his rightful century.)

Unusual knowledge, or: The truth is over there in England….

During a painfully scripted appearance with late-night sycophant Jimmy Kimmel (whose enthusiasm for UFOs is well known), Mrs. Clinton vowed that once she was president she would make the government’s flying saucers files public. In so saying, she echoed identical pledges from the campaigns of Jerry Ford and Jimmy Carter, both of whom dropped the subject entirely once ensconced in the West Wing. But the world’s smartest woman was naturally inclined to expatiate. “You know,” she told Kimmel, “there’s a new name, it’s unexplained aerial phenomenon [sic], U.A.P. That’s the latest nomenclature.”

Ivan T. Sanderson–spawning the latest nomenclature back in 1967.

Notwithstanding the absence of any official UFO authority empowered to issue nomenclatural revisions, the term is actually UAO for Unidentified Aerial Objects, which Hillary might have found simpler to pluralize. The coinage originated with biologist and UFO theorist Ivan T. Sanderson who suggested it in his 1967 book Uninvited Visitors, but Sanderson died in 1973 leaving Mrs. Clinton to soldier on alone.  Later, in an interview with Daymond Steer of New Hampshire’s Conway Daily Sun, Clinton reiterated her  determination to declassify the government’s X-files.  For good measure, she promised to unveil the truth about “Area 54.” The candidate subsequently corrected herself, agreeing she meant to say Area 51 (the government’s uninspired name for the best known secret installation in America), but the former First Lady’s gaffe inspired awe among Internet “ufologists” a majority of whom blogged praise for the smartest woman in America, insisting Hillary had not misspoken at all. Rather, they assured one another, she had cunningly updated the UFO community on the location of the Air Force’s new, extra secret UFO testing facility.

Mainstream media (being less inclined to esoteric inferences than most ufologists) simply scrubbed the error and misquoted their favorite candidate as if she’d said “Area 51” in the first place. (In fact, readers seeking to confirm Clinton’s lapsus linguae will be hard pressed unless they explore British press accounts, for instance here).  Substituting the correct designation for Clinton’s misstated one as if they were quoting verbatim enabled the New York Times to remind its readers that Hillary was “known for her grasp of policy,” and possessed “unusual knowledge about extraterrestrials…”  We guess it depends on how you define unusual.

Bozos, left and right…

Donald Rumsfeld–unpredictable from the beginning?

To be fair, none of this is any more risible than “W” Bush explaining that “human beings and fish can co-exist peacefully,” or vowing to “restore chaos” in the Middle East…orthe time W’s  Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, philosophized during a press conference that he “wouldn’t say that the future is necessarily less predictable than the past,” adding, “I think the past was not predictable when it started.”

In 2008, John McCain dazzled viewers of Good Morning America with his geopolitical acuity when, after enumerating the obstacles confronting American forces in Iraq, he summed matters up by explaining, “It’s a very hard struggle, particularly given the situation on the Iraq-Pakistan border.” Actually, a struggle on the Iraq-Pakistan border would be impossible, not hard, because there is no such border.  Iraq and Pakistan are separated by 1,519 miles of Iran. Presently, in a mood remindful of Donald Rumsfeld’s teleological ponderings, McCain enjoined the Pentagon to prepare for the unexpected, but appended, after a museful pause, “What I don’t know is what the unexpected might be.”

Who can forget Bill Clinton defending himself against Kathleen Willey’s charges of rape by explaining, “I would never approach a small-breasted woman,” or Arnold Schwarzenegger insisting that “…gay marriage should be between a man and a woman,” or Tom DeLay epitomizing America’s post-cold-war military primacy by exclaiming,”We’re no longer a superpower. We’re a super-duper power!” or Joe Biden, whose blunders and gaucheries provide an embarrassment of riches, advising firing “two blasts” from a double-barreled shotgun into the darkness off one’s balcony as preferable to owning a semi-automatic firearm. Republican Jay Dickey, U.S. representative from Arkansas, famously opined that “incest should be handled as a family matter” and visionary Democratic state representative Sissy Farenthold  summed matters up best by vowing to work “for the time when unqualified blacks, browns and women join the unqualified men in running our government.”

Sissy Farenthold brings clarity to the issue.

Occasionally failing our words….

Farenthold’s vision may fairly be regarded as realized, and it is our contention that Washington’s current herd of legislative mooncalves is even more bumfuzzled than its historic predecessors. Surely, one can confidently assert that no previous congress has been so pan-institutionally devoted to the production of comic effects, but this immediately invites the rejoinder that quantity and dedication do not necessarily trump refinements of technique or subtleties of execution. It depends, ultimately, on how one prefers one’s drollery. A more significant question presents itself in the meanst, that being: How do such nanoid intellects contrive to win elections, and how do they get re-elected despite establishing records of incontestable oafishness and chicanery?

Sometimes, of course, the plain old “Peter Principle” rears it’s dopey head!

As a case in point, consider Senator Dick Durbin (D-Wis), whose unflagging asaninity first drew national attention when he compared American forces in Iraq to “…Nazis, Soviets in their gulags or some mad regime–Pol Pot or others.” When this characterization proved less popular than Durbin anticipated, he murmurously apologized, explaining that “more than most people, a senator lives by his words [but] occasionally words will fail us and occasionally we will fail words.” A word Durbin failed recently was “chain,” which, he insisted, could no longer be conjoined with “migration,” lest Blacks, upon hearing it, suffer some previously unknown epigenetic trauma and lapse into mass catatonia.  Wondering aloud whether Trump realized “how painful that term is to so many people,” Durbin explained that “African-Americans believe they migrated to America in chains, and when you speak to chain migration, it hurts them personally.”  Apparently this awareness dawned only recently on Senator Durbin, who used the term liberally (no pun intended) prior to proscribing it, besides which, one cannot speak to chain migration–at least, not in anticipation of an answer, but Durbin’s difficulties with syntax are as chronic as his mendacities.

Senator Durbin, wondering aloud….

Recapturing our point, we wonder aloud: Why do the people of Illinois return this egregious jackanapes to the Senate again and again? Could it be the dynamics of entropy affect voters as well as candidates?  Or do the qualities of visibility and fulmination nowadays provide ample grounds for political longevity, supplanting such superannuated concepts as sagacity and substance in an era of dumbed-down discourse and educational decline?  We think so. We submit that energy and timarity (laudable attributes taken in isolation) are now more significant to political success than coherence or productivity; and we have seen this before, gentle readers, but mainly in the realm of pop culture. The problem we currently confront is that all culture is rapidly becoming pop culture. Once we accept this, we begin to perceive the situation’s epochal antecedents…which brings us to:

The Pinky precedent…

Take Pinky Lee as an example. (Yes, really.) Lee was a product of the burlesque era but found his niche hosting a five-afternoons-per-week TV program in the early 1950s. Occupying the time slot leading into the enormously popular Howdy Doody Show, Lee aimed his material emphatically at a juvenile audience. Each show began with the host bursting a balloon in front of the camera lens before dashing madly onto the stage where he danced fitfully while performing his uncompromisingly inane theme song, “Yoo hoo, it’s me, my name is Pinky Lee– I skip and run with lots of fun, for every he and she!” –and so on. You get the idea.

“Yoo-hoo, it’s me!”

It may surprise some readers to learn that in this long-ago time, reasonable people paid reasonable amounts of attention to what Newsweek (then an actual news magazine rather than a DNC-affiliated web page) wrote about matters both epic and trivial, and it was Newsweek’s verdict that while Lee’s antics bespoke a level of puerility no rational adult could endure for more than a nanosecond, “he expends more energy than anyone this side of Jerry Lewis.” Indeed, in an article otherwise bereft of encomia, Time magazine went so far as to call Lee “One of the hardest working men in TV.”

Lee’s phenomenal success proved that within his chosen niche, energy and determination sufficed to ensure wild popularity, albeit exclusively among children, who viewed the star’s antics as the very embodiment of quality entertainment.  To anchor our position, we will dub this observable correlation between mindless phrenetics and popular approval “the Pinky Principle.” Obviously, we are about to apply it politically.

All naiveté is local

It is an encouraging fact that Americans consistently tell pollsters congress is a cesspool brimming with nincompoops, reprobates, and larcenists—to which critique we must now add sexual predators, not because they are recently arrived, but rather because the liberal media discovered them only recently, which officialized their presence. Bewilderingly, however, the very Americans who regularly denounce congress whenever polled on the subject, regularly rate their own representatives as superior. One must either conclude that a majority of Americans is mistaken in impugning the intellectual and moral fiber of our bicameral legislature taken as a whole, or, conversely, that most Americans regularly overestimate the character and performance of their locally elected representatives. We trust our beloved readers will join us, with few exceptions, in deeming the latter hypothesis more plausible. (READ MORE…)

“THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING, THE RUSSIANS ARE—Oh, wait–the RUSSIANS ARE GOING!” (or) WOOF Chronicles the outbreak, the feverish climax, and the sweaty aftermath of the Media’s year-long bout with Russian Flu.

In "Apocalypse NOT" forum on October 28, 2017 at 6:24 pm

The unluckiest moment of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign may well have been his decision to crack wise about Hillary Clinton’s emails during a March rally. He had already joked during a televised debate that Mrs. Clinton’s preternaturally irretrievable emails might be locatable by Russia—a fairly amusing quip since the press was even then full of Russian hacking stories, none of which, at the time, involved Trump.  At a campaign rally, Trump iterated: “I will tell you this, Russia, if you’re listening; I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”

“Maybe Russia can find them!”

It is unfair, we think, to say as many do that Leftists have no sense of humor. It is less unfair to observe that the liberal establishment is jocundly challenged, its mainstay attribute—sanctimony –having withered its less officious instincts. For this reason, the pontificators of the mainstream media routinely ignore or misinterpret irony, which explains, among other things, how Trump’s topical jape was deprived of context by Democrat politicians and newscasters.

So competent, I keep Putin up at night!

Initially, the chief utility of misreporting Trump’s laugh line as a serious remark derived from the tactical desirability of portraying Trump as a rapacious, sell-seeking power broker brazenly maneuvering to enlist foreign dictators in his effort to win office by defaming Hillary Clinton. The Russians, pundits claimed, might well collude with Trump in order to prevent a presidency helmed by the former Secretary of State whose brilliance, exhaustive geopolitical knowledge, sophisticated grasp of diplomatic nuances, and steely nerves would make her exactly the kind of chief executive Putin feared. The tone of analysis, in other words, was already psychotic.

We now know from Shattered, Jonathon Allen’s and Amie Parnes’s inside account of Hillary Clinton’s disastrous presidential campaign, that “Within 24 hours of Clinton’s concession speech, top officials gathered ‘to engineer the case that the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up.… Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument.’” But while the Clintonistas initially saw this fiction as little more than a face-saving device, the idea caught fire with media savants, Hollywood polemicists, disgruntled liberal voters, and a wide array of mentally unbalanced politicos who speak on their behalves.

In support of the hacked-election construct, the NSA seems to have leaked its own top-secret report to the effect that Russia attempted to manipulate certain regional elections by spear-phishing emails to more than 100 local election officials. By all accounts, these efforts fizzled, yet appear to constitute the entirety of arguable Russian meddling in the 2016 election. More recent accounts suggest the Russians had nothing to do with the scheme. Even The Nation, that redoubtable house organ of American liberalism, admitted last August that “Former NSA experts say it wasn’t a hack at all, but a leak—an inside job by someone with access to the DNC’s system.”  Nevertheless, the impression was widely given by mainstream media that besides enlisting Putin to leak damaging information on Hillary, Trump had somehow persuaded the Russians to “hack the election” in some terrifyingly sophisticated manner that actually altered the vote count. Oddly, the Ruskies seemed to limit the application of this fiendish technology to the electoral count, perhaps leery of rigging the popular vote too, lest they overplay their hand.

“Mustn’t overdo! Hee, hee!”

At long last, hate!

The Dadaistic oddness of liberalism’s volte face on the subject of Russia inspires a mixture of bemusement and awe. Suffice it that nobody to the left of, say, Charlie Rose, would have dreamt of speaking ill of the former Soviet Union, its leadership, or its concerted efforts to manipulate our sociopolitical culture over the past eight decades, even while immiserating half the planet into the bargain. Russia’s immunity from liberal displeasure would be intact even today, were it not for the utility of Russo-phobia as a means of undermining the presidency of Donald Trump.

“Sunday” with Chuck and Alger….

At the height of their newly adopted Russo-phobia it seems reasonable to surmise that most Democrats would have enthusiastically impanelled a modern iteration of the House Un-American Activities Committee were its first function to investigate Russia’s clandestine abetment of the Trump administration. Notably, this signals the Democrat Party’s recent divorcement from longstanding philosophical premises (however irrational in the first place) and its newfound enthusiasm for whatever dogma seems momentarily opportune. The media, following like a leash-broken Maltese, shed its own longstanding Russophilia—a tradition that as recently as the late ‘80s saw Charles Kuralt narrating a segment of CBS’s Sunday Morning devoted to extolling Alger Hiss’s patriotism while rebuking his accuser, “the homosexual Whittaker Chambers.”

Haberman: “Never hit seventeen….”

Times change. The Great Liberal Russian Scare so fixated every establishment media outlet that remaining current on the topic proved almost impossible. Every day, newspapers rushed to print with fresh accusations attributed to unnamed sources quoted in articles that—read to their conclusions—ended with disclaimers acknowledging the absence of any substantiating evidence. For example, the New York Times initiated a particularly robust mythology when reporter Maggie Haberman mocked Trump’s refusal “to acknowledge a basic fact agreed upon by 17 American intelligence agencies that he now oversees: Russia orchestrated the attacks, and did it to help get him elected.” In fact, America has exactly 17 intelligence agencies, but to believe the Times, one would have to believe that Russia was cited as tampering with the presidential election by every one of them, including such disparate organizations as the 25th Air Force, United States Coast Guard Intelligence, and the TSA.  Indeed, after publishing several additional yarns featuring Haberman’s “basic fact,” the Times quietly retracted the story, burying their apology in the Gray Lady’s bowels, but Haberman’s “17 intelligence agencies” lived on, thunderously declaimed by congressmen and media babblers bent on revealing Vladimir Putin’s role in helping Donald Trump steal the presidency.

Rumors of Russian computer hacking predated Trump’s victory, of course.  Going into the election year, the FBI warned both the RNC and the DNC that efforts to ransack their cyber files might be afoot. The RNC responded by taking the recommended precautions. The DNC did not respond at all, presumably because their efforts to sideline Bernie Sanders, as well as a plethora of additional, equally sleazy shenanigans, were not items they cared to share with the Bureau. Consequently, the DNC was hacked to a fare thee well, allegedly by the Russians, although no evidence of Russian involvement ever surfaced. The resulting embarrassment led to the resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, not because she dumbly permitted her data to be filched, but because the hacked material exposed her lies, schemes, and often shockingly illiberal opinions. Obviously, there is some good in everything.

The theft of John Podesta’s computer files occurred when Podesta, then chairman of the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, fell for a primitive phishing scam. No sooner had Podesta clicked the poison link, then tens of thousands of his messages were pilfered by nefarious powers, again widely reported to be Russian, although—as seems normative in these matters–no proof of Russian culpability materialized.


Julian Assange, from liberal icon to doggie doo, in just one, short election!

Also during this period, Julian Assange was busily leaking information damaging to the Clinton campaign, widely reported as the fruits of Russian espionage, although Assange repeatedly denied receiving any material from the Russians, maintaining throughout that his sources were closer to the candidate–whose own computer scandals were now of a magnitude that demanded reporting, even by a media proclived to spike any news unflattering to her. Yes, this is the part where silly Hillary misplaced over thirty thousand emails formerly available on her private server–which she maintained in contravention of federal law–in order to (shall we speak bluntly?) trade confidential, often classified information for favors and money.  Worse, Hillary’s oft-cited ignorance of computers accounted not only for the accidental purging of her emails, but also for her equally accidental purchase and application of a pricey software product called BleachBit, designed to cleanse hard drives completely, ensuring that all accidentally deleted items were accidentally unrecoverable.


Loretta and Bill

In this regard, it will also be recalled that while appearing before congress, FBI Director James Comey detailed numerous crimes and malfeasances attributable to Mrs. Clinton, mainly related to her emails, her false statements, and her bizarre indifference to matters of national security, following which, Mr. Comey announced his unilateral decision to waive prosecution in each of the cases cited, mainly, he explained, because Mrs. Clinton didn’t know what she was doing.  Comey’s tortured rationale aside, it remained mysterious which federal codicil absolved criminals of legal responsibility on the grounds of not knowing what they were doing. Moreover, FBI Directors do not determine whether charges are preferred, they report to the Justice Department, where such determinations are made.

Fairly Odd Grandparents

We know now, however, that Obama’s Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, instructed Comey to excuse Mrs. Clinton’s offenses, and, that done, hastened to assure reporters that she would abide by whatever decision Comey rendered.  Lynch’s surreptitious stand-down order came in the immediate wake of her controversial private meeting with Bill Clinton, (whose wife was currently under investigation by her department). Bill Clinton afterwards promised a preternaturally credulous news media that nothing political was discussed during his huddle with Lynch. Rather, Clinton contended, his conversation with the Attorney General focused entirely on such casual topics as the pair’s grandchildren—a version of events only slightly complicated by the fact that Lynch doesn’t have any.

The golden shower dossier….

The charges against Trump enjoyed a major revivification with the introduction of what might be called the blackmail hypothesis. By incorporating a simple, easily comprehended plot device, this approach finessed the objection that Putin had no discernible motive for promoting a Trump presidency.  Trump, in this variation on the theme, received Russian support because Putin held Trump in thrall. Details varied version to version, but the theme common to all blackmail scenarios, many of which are still recited at Georgetown cocktail events, was that Russia possessed information so damaging to Trump that policies dictated by the Kremlin would be slavishly implemented a Trump White House, lest the appalling details come to light. The apex of this narrative came and went with the discovery of the “golden shower” dossier—trumpeted in Vanity Fair (for example) as an “explosive revelation.”

“Steele…Christopher Steele!”

The secret details were provided by one Christopher Steele, whom Vanity Fair described as an “ex-Cambridge Union president, ex-M.I.6 Moscow field agent, ex-head of M.I.6’s Russia desk, ex-adviser to British Special Forces on capture-or-kill ops in Afghanistan, and a 52-year-old father with four children, a new wife, three cats, and a sprawling brick-and-wood suburban palace in Surrey.” Eat your heart out, James Bond.

In one of the most inadvertently hilarious contributions to the Russia-gate narrative, Vanity Fair breathily detailed the urgency with which Senator John McCain dispatched representatives to London to take physical possession of Christopher Steele’s Trump dossier, which must have been deemed too sensitive to be scanned and emailed—or perhaps it remains the case that Senator McCain cannot use email. At any rate, what emerged was the now-infamous yarn of Trump hiring Russian prostitutes during a visit to Moscow to urinate on a hotel bed formerly slept in by Barack Obama. This news burst upon the scene unvetted, as seems characteristic of all negative reports on Donald Trump, and dwindled slowly over the following weeks as its absurdity waxed increasingly manifest.

Director Comey–looking riveted.

FBI Director Comey initially found Steele’s “bombshell” riveting, having received his copy courtesy of John McCain’s office. Prior to its exposure as palpable nonsense, the pee scandal appears to have seized Comey’s imagination with a peculiar fixedness. That Comey, at that juncture, realized that the dossier was concocted at the behest of the DNC seems improbable, given that WOOF knows Comey initially planned to pay Steele to “continue his research.” How much Agent Steele was in fact paid by John McCain, Vanity Fair, various TV networks or any similarly dedicated guardians of the commonweal may never be known, but we hope it was a lot. We do know the DNC ponied up $6 million, although nobody at the DNC can itemize the amount, recalls paying that amount, or recalls having anything to do with the project.  It now appears, in fact, that as Obama’s outgoing functionaries took pains to ruminate publicly over Trump’s Russian involvement, each offering up vague accusations dissembled as vital gleanings fresh from the files of the FBI, the CIA, or whichever agency was up to bat, no one really had anything more substantive in hand than the Mr. Steele’s bogus pee story. The stark absence of any symmetrical concerns regarding the Clinton campaign is telling, Hillary’s transfer of 20 percent of America’s uranium storage to Vladimir Putin through Russian corporate fronts in exchange for millions laundered through the Clinton Foundation, and $500 thousand handed to husband Bill as “speakers fees,” seemed to fly entirely under the CIA’s radar. Of course, they can’t be everywhere at once. (Read more!)