Category Archives: Ann Coulter
Cuomo Threat Against Trump Applies to All Who Support President’s Agenda – AmmoLand Shooting Sports News
Cuban dictator Fidel Armas para qu? Castro provides an appropriate backdrop for New York's gun-grabbing wannabe totalitarian. (Governor Andrew Cuomo/Facebook)
U.S.A. -(Ammoland.com)-He better have an army if he thinks hes gonna walk down the street in New York, the New York Post quoted Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a Sept. 3 article. The governor was reacting to the president saying he was considering pulling federal funds from cities that encourage lawlessness by using threats that do just that.
New Yorkers dont want to have anything to do with him, Cuomo asserted. He cant have enough bodyguards to walk through New York City, people dont want to have anything to do with him.
That sure sounds like a death threat. If youre skeptical of that, feel free to send similar sentiments to Joe Biden about your town, and see if that doesnt result in a Secret Service response.
Its also a telling admission that New Yorks draconian gun laws must not work, but as history teaches us, thats not why those bent on political supremacy really impose them. And its more than that. Its a warning to all Trump supporters that they can expect the same hostility directed at them by New York Democrats and by those they encourage or incite to violence.
Thats because, in a very real way, Trump is an avatar, making fair the question How is it possible to hate a man like this and not hate those he represents? Those who voted for him didnt so much do it because they like the man it's because what he pledged in his campaign resonated with their values, and with the direction they want to see the country move in.
The Left Has One More ArgumentKill Them! a column by conservative commentator Ann Coulter noted:
What were seeing is the following: Prominent liberals repeatedly tell us, with deadly seriousness, that Trump and his supporters are: Hitler, fascists, bigots, haters, racists, terrorists, criminals and white supremacists, which is then followed by liberals physically attacking conservatives.
Its not just prominent liberals. Prominent useful idiot Republican for Biden Rick Wilson told MSNBCs openly socialist Lawrence ODonnell:
[H]e's a guy backed in large measure by a group of white supremacists and neo-nazis
Not all Trump supporters are Nazis, Wilson tweeted, seemingly conceding that point, but not quite. All Nazis are Trump supporters, he followed up, showing he intended the lying smear to tar all. And not to wander too far afield, but Hitlers National Socialism was based on Marx and dont let lying socialists tell you otherwise.
We're living in a time when Antifa/BLM street thugs are accosting people simply trying to mind their own business and screaming demands that they raise their fists in solidarity with communism. It is now considered acceptable in progressive circles to parrot the narrative lie that Silence is violence (thereby justifying self-defense). Such deliberate mob-inciting rhetoric from Democrat politicians like Cuomo needs to be seen for what it is: Political extortion to chill public support for Republicans. Its morally no different than radical leftists threatening to (further) dox people they hate for attending a Self Defense is Not a Crime rally in support of Kyle Rittenhouse.
Its no surprise that we see low-hanging fruit inspired to action, as the recent murder of Patriot Prayer member Aaron Jay Danielson proves. Nor should we be surprised when we see academics further stoke the flames, like the University of Rhode Island Professor Erik Loomis, a man who incidentally feeds off tax plunder at a public trough.
He killed a fascist. I see nothing wrong with it, at least from a moral perspective, Loomis wrote on his blog concerning that murder. Essentially, if you disagree, hes saying you deserve a death penalty.
How do you think such lunatics react when they see billionaire Michael Bloombergs Everytown spreading lies about those who believe the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed like:
GHOST GUNS ARE THE WHITE SUPREMACIST GUN OF CHOICE
Does anyone really still believe that the reason behind the citizen disarmament wish list a Biden/Harris administration threatens to impose is about commonsense gun safety?
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance, is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.
Alan Endries was among them. When asked what spurred him to make the 40-mile drive from Milwaukee for President Donald Trumps visit to Kenosha on Tuesday, he said he felt empathy for Rittenhouse. I just feel bad for that 17-year-old.
Hes a hero. He stuck up for the population, for property owners, Endries said. He didnt come up here just to shoot people. He came up here to defend himself.
The defense of Rittenhouse by Trump backers reflects the chasm thats opened across the nation in the wake of deadly violence in Kenosha and Portland, Ore. Activists on the left rushed to defend Jacob Blake, a Black man shot seven times in the back by a white police officer, launching a series of demonstrations protesting what they call systemic racism by police.
But many people on the right see a different dominant narrative from Kenosha: A teen who was wrongly charged with homicide and should be lionized. Online crowdfunding petitions have sprouted, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars in support of Rittenhouse. And he's gotten a hand from the president himself, who refused this week to denounce the teens actions.
The divisions were on full display Tuesday in Wisconsin, one of the most pivotal swing states in the country. During Trumps visit, his supporters and Black Lives Matter activists clashed in the street along the main government complex near downtown, trading chants of All Lives Matter and Black Lives Matter.
Participants in a community gathering at the site of Jacob Blake's shooting hold a sign in support of justice during speeches Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. | AP Photo/Morry Gash
BLM activists held signs and voiced support for Blake, whose shooting prompted both peaceful protests and destructive riots. Meantime, more than a dozen Trump supporters interviewed Tuesday questioned the case against Rittenhouse, accusing the media of clouding the facts in the case.
Rittenhouse, wielding a military-style weapon that he could not legally carry at his age, shot three protesters, killing two of them. His attorney has said Rittenhouse acted in self-defense.
Rittenhouse was charged as an adult with six criminal counts, including two counts of first-degree murder, for shootings that killed two men, Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and injured a third. In videos of the incidents, Rittenhouse was pursued before he fired his weapon. The criminal complaint filed against Rittenhouse states Rosenbaum threw a plastic bag at him. The footage also shows Huber trying to hit Rittenhouse before he was shot in the chest, perforating his heart, aorta, pulmonary artery and right lung, according to authorities.
You shouldnt put a gun in a childs hand, Shawn Lyons, a Trump supporter from nearby Burlington, said. But it was self-defense, definitely. I think we could have avoided the whole thing if we had the National Guard protecting Kenosha at the time instead of children wondering how their familys business is going to do it with all the mobs.
Free him. Free Kyle, said another man who said he was a Kenosha resident but declined to provide his full name. He was here to protect us.
His friend agreed. Hes a patriot, he was protecting people," said the man, who also declined to give his name. "The people out there are trying to make him look bad. He shot some people thats bad. He killed two people, thats bad, I understand that. But thats our right as American people, to protect ourselves, right?
Rittenhouses interactions with police have drawn scrutiny, particularly when compared with the swift reactions of officers to Black suspects.
J.A. Moore, a Biden supporter and South Carolina lawmaker whose sister was one of nine Black congregants killed at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston in 2015, recalled how officers brought fast food to the shooter, Dylann Roof. Moore and others compared that with Kenosha police providing water to Rittenhouse and thanking his armed group just before the shooting last week.
Clashes between racial justice advocates and Trump supporters. Cries of "Black lives matter" met with chants of "all lives matter." POLITICO's Natasha Korecki gives an on-the-ground look at Kenosha.
If he was Black, he would be a thug. But because hes white, hes a young man,' Moore said of how Rittenhouse has been portrayed. Hes not a young man. Hes a murderer.
Rittenhouse has become a cause clbre on the right. Shortly after the shootings, someone tweeted they wanted Rittenhouse to be their bodyguard. Ann Coulter tweeted back that she wanted the teen to be my president. Aubrey Huff, a former baseball player for the San Francisco Giants, hailed him as a national treasure.
And Tucker Carlson, the Fox News host, quickly dedicated time on his program to the Rittenhouse story. Carlson drew fierce backlash when he seemed to justify the shootings by questioning why anybody would be surprised that 17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would?
Carlson was slammed by Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter died in the Parkland, Fla. school shooting in 2018, while others urged his Fox News advertisers to boycott the show.
The rush to defend Rittenhouse prompted a Chicago Sun-Times columnist to ask, "How does a teenage vigilante get to be the hero?"
But right-wing activists and Trump supporters began seizing on new information, including a detailed sequence of the period leading up to the shootings published by The New York Times, to argue that Rittenhouse had no choice but to defend himself. In his first remarks about Rittenhouse, Trump on Monday refused to condemn the shootings and seemed to indicate that they may have been warranted. He also "liked" a tweet offering support for Rittenhouse.
He needs to be in jail, said Jayden Brown, a Kenosha resident who is Black.
Bryan Lanza, who worked on the 2016 campaign and remains close to the White House, lauded Trumps trip to Kenosha and said the celebration of Rittenhouse helps drive a narrative around the president thats helpful to energizing supporters.
The facts will play out, Lanza said. What plays in the burbs is that you have the right to defend yourself and theres no district attorney or attorney general that can take that away from you. If the facts bear out that he had a gun for safety reasons and used it to defend himself because he was attacked, thats a pretty strong case to make.
But other Republicans think Trumps refusal to denounce Rittenhouse including by liking a tweet that said, Kyle Rittenhouse is a good example of why I decided to vote for Trump could backfire. GOP strategist Rob Stutzman said he thinks the rush to support Rittenhouse will repel key segments of voters the president needs.
The image of a dopey delusional kid with an AR-15 isnt comforting to the burbs, Stutzman said. The type of weapon he had I think influences those perceptions.
Rittenhouses attorneys have portrayed him as a good kid who works as a lifeguard, saw that Kenosha was burning, and spoke with a Kenosha business owner before traveling there to help stand guard.
The lawyers did not respond Tuesday to a request for comment. But in previous statements and cable interviews, they said Rittenhouses gun never crossed state lines and was legal in Wisconsin, an open-carry state.
Joe Biden has not spoken in-depth about Rittenhouse, though he said last week he was concerned about armed militias. In a statement Monday after Trumps news conference, Biden criticized the president for refusing to repudiate the Kenosha shootings.
He is too weak, too scared of the hatred he has stirred to put an end to it, Biden said. He urged Trump to join him in saying violence is wrong, period. No matter who does it, no matter what political affiliation they have. Period.
CORONA WATCH--Donald Trump loves parades. In 2018, for no particular reason other than to gratify himself, he organized a military parade in his honor. But as plans for the parade developed, Trump insisted on excluding wounded veterans because nobody wants to see amputees, according to anexplosive new piece inThe Atlantic. In general, Jeffrey Goldberg writes, Several observers told me that Trump is deeply anxious about dying or being disfigured, and this worry manifests itself as disgust for those who have suffered. (Photo above: President Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Photo: Jeff Swensen/Getty Images).
Although Trumps willingness to denigrate wounded and fallen soldiers flies in the face of American norms, hes done it before. In 2015, hecalled Sen. John McCain a loserfor getting captured during the Vietnam War, and one year later, hemocked Ghazala Khan, the mother of a fallen U.S. soldier. Whats different about the latest reporting on Trumps comments is that it comes as were mired in a terrible medical crisis, when his terror of sickness is shaping his bungled response and endangering all of us.
I think weve generally underestimated the policy implications of Trumps disgust toward sickness, though the evidence of his sentiments has been present from the start of his political career. He infamously mimed fake spasmodic gestures to mockNew York Timesreporter Serge Kovaleski just months into his campaign in 2015. (Less infamous was right-wing pundits defense of Trump then: Ann Coulter said Trump was just doing a standard retard, waving his arms and sounding stupid, as if somehow that made it better.) He described the Paralympics as tough to watch. He constantly mocked Hillary Clinton for alleged signs of age and illness in 2016,pretending to wobble and faintat one campaign event, questioning her stamina, andpromoting conspiracy theoriesthat Clinton has conditions including strokes, Parkinsons disease, and epilepsy; now he and his campaign aredoing the same to Joe Biden.Perhaps most ominously, he has repeatedlyendorsed policiesthat would cut health care for disabled Americans. (Read the rest)
The Readers’ Forum: Tuesday letters | Letters To The Editor | journalnow.com – Winston-Salem Journal
How can kids really get school from being on a computer for hours upon hours five days a week? I realize social distancing is necessary, but in the meantime, what is this doing to families with school-age kids?
I watch my daughter struggle with performing her remote-work obligations shes currently the only full-time breadwinner in her home, with a 2-, 6- and 12-year-old in her charge. And she is expecting a baby in November.
It was bad enough last spring when the kids went to remote learning. Things were kind of lax last year, but now kids are expected to be on point. How can they be? And how does a working parent suddenly become equipped with teacher skills during working hours? I will tell you how: They do not. The amount of stress remote learning is placing on my daughter and her family is shameful. Is anyone else experiencing this reality?
This is not to say teachers are exempt from the burden and reinvention of our educational system. Teachers, you have my deepest sympathies as well. And those parents who can afford to home-school their children, more power to you. But I imagine parents who can quit their job to stay home to educate their kids are the exception.
I do not have the answers, but I hope families can withstand this enormous pressure. The only way I see remote education working is that it will only be remotely effective.
Our president has instructed his supporters to vote twice ("Election officials cry foul," Sept. 4), once by mail-in ballet and once by voting in person on Election Day at their precinct. This is illegal. We need to know that police will be stationed at all voting precincts so as to arrest all people who try to vote twice.
President Trump complains a lot about Democrat cities that are mismanaged, but thats just his opinion. A city can be managed very well and still have problems. If theres anything we should know about Trump by now, its that he doesnt have the best judgment.
Large cities are complicated. They bring in people from all over the country and often from all over the world. These people bring aspects of their own cultures with them, which makes for a rich and vibrant social environment. Thats why so many of them are Democratic, too, because they understand that people are different, but they can still get along with each other.
Thats not exactly a Republican characteristic. Republicans tend to be uncomfortable with people who are different from them.
Unfortunately, when you put a lot of people in one place, there are also negative aspects. There may be friction. There are likely to be drugs, poverty and crime.
Republic cities have problems, too. They're just not very good at confronting them.
It should be noted, though, that not all crime associated with city living is alike. Destruction associated with protest is different from gang violence. Republicans would like to say theyre the same, but theyre not.
Its complicated. Books have been written about crime in cities. Its not all going to be told in a letter to the editor. Or on a Fox network TV show. Or by a presidential tweet.
Jacob Blake didnt kill anyone.
Tamir Rice didnt kill anyone.
George Floyd didnt either, nor did Breonna Taylor.
But police officers killed them and conservatives rush to the police's defense.
That 17-year-old kid with the AR-15 killed two protesters in Kenosha and tried to kill more. And commentators on Fox News praised him. Ann Coulter tweeted, I want him as my president. President Trump stood before the nation and made excuses for him.
Why is killing people the conservative solution? Is property truly more valuable than human life?
Every single day, pro-life is reaffirmed to be another conservative lie.
Bill Gindlesperger, Columnist Published 7:00 a.m. ET Sept. 2, 2020
Senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway leaves position to focus on family, and her husband will also be stepping away from the Lincoln Project. USA TODAY
So who is George Conway, and why should you care?
George Conway is a 57-year-old American attorney and ultra-conservative Republican. Not a RINO (Republican in name only). He is dyed in the wool.
Conway knows Donald Trump. He was on the shortlist for appointment to U.S. solicitor general. He was also recruited for assistant attorney general heading Civil Division in U.S. Department of Justice.
Trump wanted him, because Conway is a star. Conway argued Morrison v. National Australia Bank before the U.S. Supreme Court. He won unanimously with the opinion authored by conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.
Twenty years ago Conway dated conservative Fox News pundit Laura Ingraham. Then he saw Kellyanne Fitzpatrick on the cover of a society magazine and was stunned. He called another friend, Ann Coulter, for an introduction.
Bill Gindlesperger(Photo: Bill Gindlesperger)
More: Social Security issue shows that Trump's words mean nothing
More: Political trial balloons are soaring all around, testing the atmosphere for Trump
George and Kellyanne were married in 2001, and Kellyanne Fitzgerald became Kellyanne Conway. Today they have four children and live in Washington, DC.
Kellyanne turned out to be no slouch. She is a pollster, political consultant and pundit. She worked as campaign manager and strategist in the Republican Party and was CEO of The Polling Company / Woman Trend. She became Trump's campaign manager when he ran for president.
Up until recently Kellyanne was Trumps counselor and spokesperson. She appeared regularly on Fox News. Thats why you may recognize the Conway name.
Meanwhile George Conway and Neal Katyal, another high-powered lawyer, wrote an op-ed in New York Times challenging the constitutionality of Trump's appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general after Trump fired conservative Jeff Sessions. Conway and Katyal argued Trump was overriding explicit wording in the Constitution.
George Conway sought support from members of the ultra-conservative and libertarian Federalist Society. Members were influential in selecting candidates for Trump to appoint to federal courts. They concluded Trump was betraying well-established legal norms and conservative values.
None of this went down well with Trump.
With Trump suffering from narcissism to the detriment of the country and its Constitution,George Conway founded the Lincoln Project.
This conservative Super PAC wants to Defeat President Trump and Trumpism at the ballot box. In fact the Lincoln Project is dedicated to "persuading enough disaffected conservatives, Republicans and Republican-leaning independents in swing states and districts to help ensure a victory in the Electoral College, and congressional majorities that dont enable or abet Mr. Trumps violations of the Constitution".
Contrary to what Trump has tweeted, the Lincoln Project is hard right, conservative, libertarian, rule-of-law, and Constitution-based.
Trump has called George Conway a "stone cold LOSER & husband from hell".
Trump has publicly called George Conway Moonface. This racial slur is based on George Conway being half Filipino. His mother was a well-respected organic chemist from the Philippines.
George Conway grew up near Boston, graduated from Harvard College magna cum laude, and obtained a Juris Doctor from Yale Law School. Thats where he was editor of Yale Law Journal and president of Yale Law Schools chapter of the ultra-conservative Federalist Society.
More: Trump is pulling the ultimate con on the American people
More: Political posturing will not change the facts about COVID-19
Several weeks ago, conservative Republican George Conway made a statement regarding COVID-19 and Trumps responsibility to the American people. Here it is:
"For Trump supporters, let me make one thing VERY clear!
For the record NO ONE is blaming the President for the virus. Let me repeat. Coronavirus is not Trumps fault.
Heres a detailed list of what we are blaming him for:
* Trump declined to use the World Health Organizations test like other nations. Back in January, over a month before the first Covid-19 case, the Chinese posted a new mysterious virus and within a week, Berlin virologists had produced the first diagnostic test. By the end of February, the WHO had shipped out tests to 60 countries. Oh, but not our government. We declined the test even as a temporary bridge until the CDC could create its own test. The question is why? We dont know but what to look for is which pharmaceutical company eventually manufactures the test and who owns the stock. Keep tuned.
* In 2018 Trump fired Homeland Security Advisor Tom Bossart, whose job was to coordinate a response to global pandemics. He was not replaced.
* In 2018 Dr. Luciana Borio, the NSC director for medical and bio-defense preparedness left the job. Trump did not replace Dr. Borio.
* In 2019 the NSCs Senior Director for Global Health Security and bio-defense, Tim Ziemer, left the position and Trump did not replace the Rear Admiral.
* Trump shut down the entire Global Health Security and Bio-defense agency. Yes, he did.
* Amid the explosive worldwide outbreak of the virus Trump proposed a 19% cut to the budget of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention plus a 10% cut to Public Health Services and a 7% cut to Global Health Services. Those happen to be the organizations that respond to public health threats.
* In 2018, at Trumps direction, the CDC stopped funding epidemic prevention activities in 39 out of 49 countries including China.
* Trump didnt appoint a doctor to oversee the US response to the pandemic. He appointed Mike Pence.
* Trump has on multiple occasions sowed doubt about the severity of the virus even using the word hoax at events and rallies. He even did it at an event where the virus was being spread. Trump has put out zero useful information concerning the health risks of the virus.
* Trump pretended the virus had been contained.
* Trump left a cruise ship at sea for days, denying them proper hospital care, rather than increase his numbers in America.
Repeat. We do not blame Trump for the virus. We blame him for gutting the nations preparations to deal with it. We blame him for bungling testing and allowing it to spread uninhibited. We blame him for wasting taxpayer money on applause lines at his rallies (like The Wall). We blame him for putting his own political life over American human life. I hope this clears things up."
This is not a liberal speaking. These are the words of George Conway and members of the ultra-conservative libertarian Federalist Society.
Bill Gindlesperger is a central Pennsylvanian, Shippensburg University trustee and founder of eLynxx Solutions that provides Print Buyers Software for procuring and managing direct mail, marketing, promo and print. He is a board member, campaign advisor, published author and commentator. He can be reached at Bill.Gindlesperger@eLynxx.com
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One of Trump's biggest detractors is as conservative as they come - Public Opinion
Members of far-right militias and white pride organizations rally near Stone Mountain Park in Stone Mountain, Georgia, on Aug. 15.Logan Cyrus/Getty Images
David Kilcullen is one of the worlds leading authorities on insurgencies. For decades he has studied them. As an infantry soldier in the Australian army and an adviser to the U.S. Army, hes fought against them. His latest scholarly work has focused on their role in urban conflicts.
So when Kilcullen says that America is in a state of incipient insurgency, its worth sitting up, taking notice, and trembling just a little.
The official definition of an insurgency is the organized use of subversion and violence to seize, nullify, or challenge political control of an area. An incipient insurgency might be happening when inchoate actions by a range of groupsfollowed by organizing, training, acquisition of resources (including arms), and the buildup of public supportlead to increasingly frequent incidents of violence, reflecting improved organization and forethought.
Kilcullen argues that this is what weve been seeing the past few months in the waves of provocations and street violence that have blown through American cities since the May 25 police killing of George Floyd. By and large, the protesters havent been at fault. Its been the extremistsleft and rightwho have tagged alongside the protests and counterprotests, exploiting the disorder.
In some cases, the violence has been committed by individual idiotsas Kilcullen calls themsuch as, most notably, Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old self-appointed vigilante who, after reading radical right-wing ravings online, drove from his home in Illinois to Kenosha, Wisconsin, armed with a semi-automatic rifle, and wound up shooting three people, killing two of them, in the wake of demonstrations over the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
The incidence of violence is rising. According to a new report by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (which usually monitors violence in war-torn countries), 20 violent groupsleft and righthave taken part in more than 100 protests related to the George Floyd killing. In June, there were 17 counterdemonstrations led by right-wing militant groups in June, one of which sparked violence. In July, there were 160 counterdemonstrations, with violence in 18.
Armed militias are nothing new in the United States. A decade ago, Kilcullen counted about 380 right-wing groups and 50 left-wing ones, many of them armed. In the early 1990s, the faceoff between the FBI and the Branch Davidians, outside Waco, Texas, left 80 people deadand inspired Timothy McVeigh and his gang of extremists to blow up a federal building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people. In the late 1960s and early 70s, left-wing groups such as the Weather Underground set off bombs all over the country; police waged deadly shootouts with the Black Panthers in Oakland, California, and Chicago; and marchers for and against the Vietnam Warmainly students and hard-hat workersclashed in violent street battles.
But except for the last set of clashes (which didnt involve organized groups, much less insurgencies), those earlier incidents rarely corresponded with the divides between the nations political parties. This is one way in which the current conflicts are differentand, potentially, more dangerous.
Another difference and danger is the prevalence of cable TV networks and social media, which amplify and spread the shock waves. Incidents that in the past might have stayed local now quickly go viral, nationwide or worldwide, inspiring others to join in.
After Rittenhouse shot three people in Kenosha, right-wing militants touted him as a hero. FoxNews host Tucker Carlson hailed him for deciding that he had to maintain order when no one else would. Frequent Fox guest Ann Coulter said she wants Rittenhouse as my president.
Kilcullen also has observed, in the militias social media, a steady rise of dehumanizing rhetoricthe left calling the right parasites, the right calling the left (especially the left wing of Black Lives Matter) rats. The trend parallels, and intensifies, the mutual hostility between Democrats and Republicans in Congress and politics broadly.
Meanwhile, a powder keg is building. FBI background checks for gun sales hit 3.9 million in Junean all-time high. Many of them were for first-time gun buyersby definition untrained, possibly rash in their actions. An estimated 20 million Americans carry a gun when they leave their homes. It takes just a few trigger-pullers to set off a conflagration; even in intense insurrections, such as the postwar rebellion in Iraq, only 2 percent of insurgents actually fired their weapons.
Kilcullensees a pattern similar to the patterns that precipitated insurgencies in Colombia, Libya, and Iraq. The key factor is the rise of fear. He cites Stathis Kalyvas book The Logic of Violence in Civil War as observing that fear, not hate, drives the worst atrocities. Every civil war and insurgency of the last 50 years has been driven by fear, Kilcullen told me. Todays politics and social tensions are dominated by three fears: fear of other social groups, fear that those other groups are encroaching on ones territory, and fear that the state no longer has the ability to protect the people.
Things do not have to get worse. Incipient insurgency doesnt mean inevitable insurgency. We are still in the very early phase of this rampagea pre-McVeigh moment, as Kilcullen puts it. And the extent of disorder has been exaggerated, usually for political motives. When violence has occurred during protests, it has been confined to just a few blocks; it hasnt spread throughout a city. Contrary to Trump and other Republican politicians, New York is not a hellscape, Portland is not ablaze all the time, and Chicago is not more dangerous than Afghanistan.
In other words, there is still time for political leaderslocally and nationallyto calm the storm, douse the flames, and stifle the violent provocateurs across the spectrum, while also addressing the underlying social, political, and racial issues that sparked the (legitimate) protests.
Unfortunately, President Donald Trump has no interest in calm. Instead, he is deliberately fanning the flames as part of a cynical election strategy. He has declined to criticize Rittenhouse, viewing his actions as self-defense. In general, he rails only against left-wing militants such as antifa activistsnever against the right-wing ones, such as the Boogaloo Bois, Patriot Prayer, or Proud Boys. More than that, he has lumped antifa alongside the truly peaceful protesters of Black Lives Matterand alongside the Democratic Party. His words encourage some police, in some cities, to take the same view. (In Kenosha, police were caught on camera tossing water bottles to armed right-wing militants, thanking them for coming out to help.)
Trump is also threatening to cut off federal aid to cities with Democratic mayors and rising crime rates, calling them anarchist jurisdictions. He has painted his opponent, Joe Biden, as a weak politician in thrall to leftist radicalsignoring Bidens long record as a left-centrist and his repeated denunciations of violence and looting, regardless of the cause.
Trumps aim is to incite fearfear of violence, disorder, changeand to paint himself as the bastion of law and order. Its an odd tactic for an incumbent president, and its unclear whether the ploy is working. But, as Kilcullen and Kalyvas point out, hes right about the fears potency. And the first violent incidents can spark a self-reinforcing cycle of violence, retaliation, and retaliation for that. It doesnt matter what the original grievance is, Kilcullen says. It becomes self-sustaining.
The report by the Armed Conflict Location a& Event Data Project concludes:
In this hyper-polarized environment, state forces are taking a more heavy-handed approach to dissent, non-state actors are becoming more active and assertive, and counter-demonstrators are looking to resolve their political disputes in the street. Without significant mitigation efforts, these risks will continue to intensify in the lead-up to the vote, threatening to boil over in November if election results are delayed, inconclusive, or rejected as fraudulent.
In short, the authors write, The United States is in crisis. The upcoming electionhow it plays out, as well as how it ends upcould determine how deeply into crisis the country continues to plunge.
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"A Movement of Women" takes a critical look at conservative women in the century since the 19th amendment was ratified – Art Critique
Next week, on the 100th anniversary of when the 19th amendment to the US constitution was certified, an exhibition of works by American artist Michelle Vaughan will open in New York. In the show, called A Movement of Women, Vaughan investigates the last century of feminist history in an unusual way. Instead of looking at the women who led the fight for the 19th amendment and those who carry on their legacy today, Vaughan reflects on the role prominent conservative women, many of whom have opposed progressive ideals, have played in womens rights.
The show is set to open at Theodore: Art in Brooklyn on August 26th, the centennial of the day when the 19th amendment was officially ratified giving women the right to vote, although it would be decades, still, before all women, particularly women of colour, were able to vote. A Movement of Women will showcase a series of portraits by Vaughan depicting 40 major conservative women. Some, like anti-feminist and anti-gay activist singer Anita Bryant and anti-Equal Rights Amendment champion Phyllis Schlafly, are from bygone decades but others, like Kellyanne Conway, Sarah Palin, and Betsy DeVos, are current conservative women weighing in on the state of womens rights today.
Vaughans portraits are purposefully created in pastel tones, evoking a stereotypical notion of femininity, set against pale pink paper. Accompanying the portraits are quotes, also set on pink paper, said by the women Vaughan painted. Some of the quotes are nothing short of shocking, like that of Ann Coulter, who stated: [i]t would be a much better country if women did not vote. That is simply a fact. Others cut against women who have fought and continue to fight for equality, like Nikki Haleys comment that [t]here is no war on women.
The purpose of the exhibition, though, isnt meant to be slanderous, but to ask viewers to do their part in critically evaluating the arguments and statements of some of the most notable women in the US. Vaughan wants guests to ponder the complexities of American political history. In addition to the portraits and quotes, A Movement of Women will offer a research library and archival materials for visitors to begin their research.
A Movement of Women was inspired by the 2016 election when Hillary Clinton won the popular vote but still lost to now president Donald Trump. To Vaughan, it seemed like a giant paradox, which she then set out to unravel through an examination of prominent conservative women.
In a press release, Vaughan said of A Movement of Women:
Why solely conservative women? Because I wanted a clearer understanding of progress versus tradition when it comes to womens rights, health and equality. For instance, a womans right to choose has been under attack since the passing of Roe v. Wade, leaving progressive women in a constant state of defense for the last 46 years, instead of building a stronger coalition for womens health as a whole. Also fascinating are the recent sexual discrimination lawsuits which took place at companies like Fox News, the Department of Education rolling back sexual assault protection on college campuses and the unfair pay gap women still face in the workforce.
I wanted to unpack some of these issues and learn more about the stories and backgrounds of women who help enforce the status quo and traditional values. Much of my work investigates power and paradoxes, and this project is no different.
Now based in New York, Vaughan studied at UCLA. Her works have been included in a number of group exhibitions as well as the focus of solo shows. Hand-set, hand-pulled letterpress prints that are included in A Movement of Women are available through Theodore: Art.
A Movement of Women is on view between August 26th, 2020 and October 22nd, 2020 Theodore: Art in Brooklyn, New York City.
Advocates on both sides of the right-left divide defend their viewswith a zeal that is more religion than intellectual exercise.
Who threatens free speech?
That was the title of my last blog post. In it I argued that conservative speakers are routinely prevented from speaking on college campuses, but far left speakers are not.
The left uses an armamentarium of tactics to silence conservative speakers. These include: threats of violence that discourage schools from considering conservative speakers in the first place; demands that scheduled speakers be uninvited; outlandish claims that the conservative speaker is a racist, white nationalist or bigot; and shouting, screaming and being disruptive, or physically barring them from entering the lecture hall.
At Middlebury College, where researcher Charles Murray was prevented from speaking, audience members, in organized fashion, turned their backs to Murray and held up banners to prevent attendees from seeing him.
After human rights activist and scholar Ayaan Hirsi Ali was invited to speak at Brandeis University to accept an honorary degree in 2014, left wing students and faculty pressured the administration to cancel her talk (although to save face they vaguely promised to welcome her to campus in the future to engage in a dialog). That same year, former presidential advisor Condoleezza Rice decided to cancel her invited commencement speech at Rutgers University due to student protests. She was too controversial for the left-leaning students.
When the University of California, Berkeley invited conservative pundit Milo Yiannopoulos to speak in 2017, riots resulted in $100,000 in damage to the campus. Intimidated by the destruction, the university canceled the speech. Due to left-wing pressure, UC Berkeley also canceled a talk by conservative commentator Ann Coulter, although they restored Coulters invitation to a later date.
Historically, the term liberal was applied to people who held the liberal values of tolerance, support for free and open debate, and respect for individual points of view. Far-right conservatives, on the other hand, were associated with excessive nationalism, nativism, racism and intolerance for people unlike themselves.
But today the left has hijacked the liberal ethos and converted it into a belief system characterized by the worst elements of intolerance formerly associated with the right. When it comes to tolerance for free expression of opposing ideas the difference between right and left is clear.
But why the difference?
Psychologist and social critic Jordan Peterson has offered an insight into the left-right divide on free speech. He believes that when the intellectuals and politicians who established the modern conservative movement defined themselves in the mid-twentieth century, they faced a critical choice. Were they going to include voices from the fringes of their movement? These included groups that were nativist, anti-Semitic, racist and overly nationalistic-for example, the John Birch Society, the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party.
Peterson believes that the emerging conservative movement wisely decided to define its boundaries by excluding its far-right fringe. But the left has never defined its boundaries. It never answered the question, How far left is too far?
As a result, today we see the left include extreme groups like Antifa, the Earth Liberation Army, and an assortment of anti-capitalist parties like the Communist Party-USA and the Socialist Workers Party. Some of these groups are as intolerant and violent as anything ever seen on the right. Along with the extreme ideas of these groups come extreme tactics which sometimes are violent and often shut down free speech.
What are other reasons for the conservative-liberal divide on free speech?
Many of todays social institutions are populated by people who lean left. This is true of the press, universities and many civil society groups. The very largest and most influential social media platforms are decidedly left-leaning. They often censor voices on the right while they restrict, de-monetize or ban voices on the left. The social media giants also tolerate openly anti-American, anti-Israel and anti-Semitic content.
Activists and others on the left are thus supported by a range of powerful social institutions-and they are aware of this. Perhaps this awareness emboldens them to disrupt and shut-down speakers. On the other hand conservatives cannot count on the sympathetic support of the most dominant social institutions. Could this restrict their willingness to engage in extreme tactics?
This phenomenon is perhaps more evident in Europe than the US. In 2014, a politician in England stood on a public street and read aloud from an essay written by Winston Churchill. The essay was critical of Islam. The local police promptly arrested the man for anti-Muslim incitement. But last year, during a flare-up of violence at the Israel-Gaza border, protesters in London screamed death threats to Jews. Their chants included You dog only death will come to you/You Zionist only death will come to you. Nevertheless the protestors proceeded uninterrupted.
Both those on the right and left are keenly aware of what sorts of speech will get one into trouble or not.
Recently, at San Francisco State University, anti-Israel students intimidated and physically stopped a group of Jewish students from distributing literature and speaking to passers-by on campus. And they did this while university administrators and campus police looked on. Had students presented an informational table critical of, say, the policies of Arab countries, they would have been denounced as racist and shut down by the very same administrators and campus police.
The threat to free speech comes not just from violence, but also from the threat of violence. Spineless college administrators and faculty will self-censor in favor of leftist speakers and against conservative speakers. They know that a conservative speaker may lead to an uproar and violence that will, at a minimum, be a headache and at maximum, a threat to their careers.
Far-right groups are sometimes violent. But there arent enough violent people on the right to constitute a major threat on most campuses.
A group of students at Portland State University met to air their experiences with political correctness in their classes. One student after another described their decisions to keep silent in the face of liberal professors who presented views they disagreed with. As one student explained, I paid $1,000 for this course and I was not going to risk my grade. So I stayed silent. The left-supporting atmosphere on campus had a chilling effect on these students free speech.
Religion may also play a role in all of this. Advocates on both sides of the right-left divide defend their views with a zeal that is more religion than intellectual exercise. Both sides may go off the rails. But those on the right-where religious belief is more common than on the left-have a built-in circuit breaker when it comes to zeal. That circuit breaker is a religiously-based ethical system that values the individual, sets standards for right and wrong, and promises rewards and punishments to keep ones behavior in line. The secular activist on the left is less likely to have these ethical restraints.
Defending Free Speech
Whether the threat comes from the left or the right, free speech must be defended. The free and open expression of views is the oxygen that keeps a free society alive.
Instead of teaching young people to advocate blindly for the racial, ethnic, gender or sexual identity groups popular today, why not teach them the genuinely liberal values that are the foundation of a free society? Foremost among those is free speech.
The author is a life-long Zionist and advocate for Israel. He believes that a strong Jewish state is invaluable, not only to Jews, but to the world-wide cause of democracy and human rights.Dr. Berger earned a PhD in Social Welfare from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has twenty-seven years of teaching experience. He has authored and co-authored three books as well as over 45 professional journal articles and book chapters. His parents were Holocaust survivors.
Michael J. Stern, Opinion columnist Published 1:58 p.m. ET Aug. 19, 2020 | Updated 7:08 a.m. ET Aug. 20, 2020
Biden did not seize the Democratic nomination based on his mental dexterity. He is the nominee because voters trust him to be the opposite of Trump.
Lets be honest about Joe Biden.
Sometimes he exaggerates events, like when he said he was arrested in South Africa while trying to visit imprisoned anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela. Turns out he was onlybriefly "detained."
Sometimes he misspeaks, like when he said if elected president he would appoint the first Black woman senator.
And sometimes he says things that appear untethered to logic, proprietyand rational thought, like referencing his hairy legs during a campaign rally.
Knowing all of this, I look forward to casting my presidential ballot for Biden in 75 days. Because in addition to these less than ideal qualities, Biden has an inherent decency, was an effective co-pilot during Barack Obamas successful presidencyand is well-suited to heal the polarizing woundsgripping this country.
But some Democrats are withholding their enthusiastic support for Biden because he is a centristwho does notendorsedefunding the police,unlimited free college and eliminating private health insurance.And some onTeam Blueare judgingtheir candidates character through the same unforgiving lens.
In sharp contrast, Republicans have abandoned broad purity tests in exchange for a handful of must-haves.Never mind that the GOP is dumping clean water and air laws in favor of corporate pollution.What matters to them is Supreme Court justices, abortion, a walland the ability to refuse wedding cakes to gays.And theres no agonizing at the ticket counter over the moral character of their candidates. They gladly pay the overweight baggage fee to ensure their agenda reaches its destination.
This means that bragging about sexually assaulting women, botching the effort to protect Americans from a deadly virusand getting impeached havelittle effect on most Republicans voting calculations. They havecircled the wagons and are stronger for it.
Meanwhile, as the GOP ignoresitsown dirty laundry, its propaganda machine is masterful atlobbing scandal bombs into Democratic territory. Whether its Hillary Clintons emails or Sen. Elizabeth Warrens Native American heritage, they know how to make the dog chase its tail to the point of exhaustion.
Bidens you aint black gaffe earlier this year caused less offense to most African Americans than to white Republican pundits who feigned outrage on behalf of a community they are not interested in courtingbut are working hard to alienate from Democrats.
Jill and Joe Biden on Aug. 18, 2020.(Photo: Democratic National Convention via AP)
So far, congressional Republicans have worked hard to tar Biden with an unfounded allegation that he used his position as vice president to further his sons business interests as a board member of a Ukrainian gas company.And any minute now, Attorney General William Barrs inquiry into those who initiated the Russia investigationis likely to be deployed as a smear campaign against Obama, and Biden by proxy.
But the most insidious GOP attack on Biden alleges that his mental cognition is failing, making him unfit to hold the presidency. In an interview with Fox News last month, Donald Trump said Biden could not pass a senility test. Republican operative and author Ann Coulter said Biden has "senile dementia." And a pro-Trump super PAC has run a TV ad suggesting that Biden has lost his mind.
During my 25 years litigating for the Department of Justice, one of the most important lessons I learned is this:You will lose if you try to convince a jury that a weakness in your case does not exist.Voters are the jurors in the upcoming election, and Democrats need to stop trying to convince them that Bidens blunders, like saying hes running for the United States Senate, are due to his childhood stutter.
Biden has been a gaffe machine for decades.But yes, maybe his mental acuity is not what it once was. We must acknowledge this possibility and accept it, or every future slip will lead to endless hand-wringing.
The case for Joe Biden: Trump makes politics excitingbut terrifying. Democrats bore,but they govern.
Biden did not seize the Democratic nomination based on his mental dexterity.If Democrats wanted someone who could draft a 300-page Ph.D. dissertation over the course of a weekend, after a Friday night of binge drinking and with one arm tied behind his back, they would have selected former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana.
Biden is the Democratic nominee because voters know he willnot:solicit foreign assistance in American elections;exchange love letters with dictators;cripple the U.S. Postal Serviceto suppress votes;make hush money payoffs to porn stars.
And, Biden is the Democratic nominee because voters know hewill:appoint Supreme Court justices who will protect civil rights; work across the aisle to ensure all Americans have health care; cut tax breaks for billionaires; recognize that the First Amendment is as important as the Second; push for reasonable gun control; work to slow climate change; restaff the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention so itcan effectively respond to a viral pandemic; appoint competent Cabinet members; listen to them when they speak truth to power.
Former GOP state chair: I never expected the Democratic convention to inspire me
Biden will also bring back the human empathy that has been achingly missing from the White House since Jan. 20, 2017.Biden buried his first wife and young daughter, and then his grown son.Sorrows map is tattooed on Joe Bidens heart.And its scars are big enough to embrace the agony and anger in a time whennearly 173,000lives have been stolen by a malevolent twist of viral RNA.
The former vice president represents the worn tire groove that promises to pull us back on the road, after DJT seizure syndrome sent us careening into the trees. This must be the theme that drives the Democratic campaign.
No one candidate can be everything to everyone, and allowing Republicans to dictate the terms of Democratic debate will send us down a rabbit hole from which there is no escape.
We must learn to say no. Noto watching Republicans prop up the rot that is their chosen leader while egging on infightingabout Bidens verbal slips or his sons job.
And Democrats need to accept that they can no longer protect both American democracy and the moral high ground.When Republicans raise Hunter Biden, Democrats need to go all in on the nepotism and graft buoying the bank accounts of Trumps offspring and son-in-law.
When Republicans attack Bidens mental competence, Democrats need to deploy their own Trump blooper reel. From windmills causing cancer, to injecting disinfectants, to calling Apple CEO Tim Cook Tim Appleto nonsensical speech like a kidney has a very special place in the heart, the well of Trump blunders is deep.
And Republicans must pay a price every time they clutch their pearls over a minor Biden misstatement.Trump has filled a Pinocchio barrel with more than 20,000 false and misleading claims. Lets use them. Political tit for tat isnt pretty, but it is effective.
Authoritarian threat: Sanders is the MVP of the Democratic convention. We have to save our democracy from Trump.
Most important, the Democratic nominee is chosen and we need to accept that he is the only alternative to Trump. As Sen. Bernie Sanders told Democratson the first night of theirconvention, primary disappointment and ego need to be put aside. Every protest vote, or failure to vote, inches Trump closer to four more years.
When I bought my house, it needed a new roof, plumbingand foundation repair.The seller insisted I sign a contract taking it as is, meaning with its flaws.I love that house, and its the best investment I ever made.
If Republicans can respond to the abject corruption of their leader with thats Trump being Trump, we should be able to accept Bidens innocuous foibles with thats Joe being Joe.
Given the alternative, Ill take Joe Biden any day of the week. And Ill take Joe as is.
Michael J. Stern, a member of USA TODAY's Board of Contributors,was a federal prosecutor for 25 years in Detroit and Los Angeles. Follow himonTwitter: @MichaelJStern1
A New Gallery Show Scrutinizes the Legacies of Anti-Feminist Women, From Ayn Rand to Kellyanne Conway – artnet News
On August 26, 2020 the United States celebrates the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which ended the decades-long fight by suffragists for women to be allowed to vote.In her latest exhibition, opening at Brooklyn-based Theodore: Art to coincide with the occasion, the artist Michelle Vaughan is looking at feminist history. But instead of celebrating those who led the fight for equality, shes taking a hard look at some of the women who have held it back.
A Movement of Women features pastel portraits of some 40 womenculled from the pantheon of conservative activism. Some areluminaries of a previous generation of anti-feminist women, like singer and anti-gay activist Anita Bryant, author and objectivist philosopher Ayn Rand, and anti-Equal Rights Amendment campaigner Phyllis Schlafly (recently also examined in the Hulu series Mrs. America). Others, likeBetsey DeVos, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, or Kellyanne Conway, are familiar from recent headlines.
Why train the spotlight on such figures?Vaughn tells Artnet News that the project actually began back in 2016, when history-making candidate Hillary Clinton won the popular vote but lost the election. When post-election analysis revealed that educated white women had voted for Trumpeven after the infamous Access Hollywood tapeshe decided to look into conservative women, to unravel what looked to me like a giant paradox.
A selection of portraits from Michelle Vaughans A Movement of Women (2020). Courtesy of the artist and Theodore: Art.
The show is presented as a genuine investigation, amassing a huge reserve of information about conservative women including a research library and archival materials in addition to the 40 pastels.
Perhaps the most striking components of the show are the quotes Vaughan selected, presented as letterpress prints painstakingly hand-set on decidedly feminine-pink office paper, and juxtaposed with the beaming portraits. Each picks out one of the more despicable quips associated with the women in question.
The more outrageous might sound like raw material for SNL skits or Twitter memese.g. Ann Coulter declaring, [i]t would be a much better country if women did not vote. Vaughn wants viewers to really scrutinize the words and the faces behind them and ponder the complexities of American political history.
Michelle Vaughan: A Movement of Women is on view at Theodore:Art in Brooklyn from August 26October 22, 2020. Before the show opens, prints are available at a discounted price of $80 (originally $100).
Michelle Vaughan, Ann Coulter (2020). Courtesy of the artist and Theodore Art.
Michelle Vaughan, It Would Be (quote by Ann Coulter) (2020). Courtesy of the artist and Theodore Art.
Michelle Vaughan, Phyllis Schlafly (2020). Courtesy of the artist and Theodore Art.
Michelle Vaughan, What I am defending (quote by Phyllis Schlafly) (2020). Courtesy of the artist and Theodore Art.
Michelle Vaughan, Suzanne Silvercruys (2020). Courtesy of the artist and Theodore Art.
Michelle Vaughan, There are Practically (quote by Suzanne Silvercruys) (2020). Courtesy of the artist and Theodore Art.
Michelle Vaughan, Anita Bryant (2020). Courtesy of the artist and Theodore Art.
Michelle Vaughan, If Gays are Granted (quote by Anita Bryant) (2020). Courtesy of the artist and Theodore Art.