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Westlake Legal Group > Conservatives

The Lewis Carroll Queen’s Speech

“Alice looked round her in great surprise. ‘Why, I do believe we’ve been under this tree the whole time! Everything’s just as it was!’”

We have a Speaker who makes up the rules to suit himself – and thwart Brexit.  A real Prime Minister, Oliver Letwin, who seizes control of the Order Paper when it suits him, but is not questioned at the despatch box, nor subject to any accountability mechanism.  A Bill with major constitutional implications – the Benn Act – rammed through Parliament in a few days.  A Supreme Court that believes Parliament to be synonymous with the legislature.  And MPs who are unwilling to submit themselves to the verdict of the people.

Given this Lewis Carroll-like Westminster, we should not be at all surprised by a Queen’s Speech with Bills that almost certainly will never be considered and not become law – at least, not this side of a general election.

Which is what we have today, and in a sense those sympathetic to the Government and Boris Johnson should not complain.  The 22 Bills that the Queen will describe today with have the upside of publicity without the downside, from Ministers’ point of view, of scrutiny – a little of which for them goes a very long away indeed.

A Government can stay in office for a very long time without much of a majority at all.  Harold Wilson won a majority of only three in 1974.  Nonetheless, his administration lasted the best part of five years.  But what governments in such a position cannot do is pass much legislation of any real significance.  There are currently 288 MPs in receipt of the Conservative whip.  Add ten DUP ones and you have 298 votes at the Government’s disposal.  That is not the basis for passing very much at all.

Consider, for example, the sensible and overdue plan to ensure that those who cast votes can actually prove who they are.  (Hats off to Peter Golds for hammering away at this issue on ConservativeHome.)

And credit too to Eric Pickles for his 2016 report, which explored ways of tackling electoral fraud.  All the same, the Government doesn’t have the kind of stable majority which would guarantee getting the proposal through.  So too with Priti Patel’s flagship law and order bills, or Grant Shapps’ reforms of rail franchising – or almost anything else.

What Boris Johnson and his team have set out at home – as his Brexit negotiating proposals apparently hang in the balance abroad – is a Dominic Cummings-type programme with a strong emphasis on the NHS, an Australian-style points-based immigration system, and tougher sentencing, seasoned with a dash of Johnsonian greenery.

Voters tend to hate elections, but the place to put these proposals to the test is at the ballot box, where they can be endorsed or rejected – not to a Parliament apparently determined to do little other than delay Brexit, while continuing to draw its salaries and expenses.

The final twist in this Through the Looking Glass tale would be were the speech to be defeated….and MPs to carry on as though nothing at all had happened, with a Government yearning to be no confidenced and an Opposition refusing to oblige.

Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!’

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

David Gauke: Whatever briefings from Downing Street may claim, an election fought on a No Deal platform would be disastrous

David Gauke is a former Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary, and is MP for South West Hertfordshire.

How much has the Conservative Party changed? To what extent has it moved from being a mainstream, centre-right party containing a broad range of views to being a party overwhelmingly focused on delivering an uncompromising Brexit?

It is a question I have asked myself a lot in recent months. Having fought off a deselection attempt because I opposed a No Deal Brexit, and having lost the Conservative whip because I continued to oppose a No Deal Brexit, it is hard to escape the conclusion that quite a lot of Conservatives disapprove of people who oppose a No Deal Brexit. Has the debate become so rancorous and intolerant that there is no longer a place for the likes of me in the Conservative Party?

The answer to that question is uncertain, but I took some encouragement from the Manchester Party conference.
I admit to attending with some trepidation. My position on Brexit is evidently a minority one within the Party. I have not sought to hide my criticisms of the substance and tone of the Government’s approach to Brexit. And I have not ruled out standing in my constituency as an independent if the whip is not returned. If ever I was going to get a hard time from Party activists, now would be the time.

And yet, at fringe event after fringe event, Party members were courteous and polite. Andrew Gimson generously wrote up my appearance at the ConservativeHome event, but a similar report could have been written for those I did with the Daily Telegraph and the Spectator. Don’t get me wrong: I am not claiming that I won the audiences over to my position – the occasional eye-roll, sigh and shake of the head was detectable – but nor was there anything like the hostility one might expect if, for example, you ever read the comments below one of my ConHome articles.

In truth, the Conservative Party felt – in those fringe meetings, at least – very similar to the party of which I have been a member for 29 years. Sensible, practical, well-meaning and decent.

I also take some encouragement from the apparent, new-found enthusiasm within the Government to reach a deal on Brexit. In previous columns, I have argued that seeking a deal and being willing to compromise is the right approach. That view would appear to be in the ascendant at the time of writing.

Until recently, an alternative approach appeared to be prevailing which seemed determined to crash us out on  October 31 at any cost. I have previously acknowledged the electoral case for this strategy, but in terms of the outcome for the country, it is thoroughly irresponsible. As such, it is also a huge departure from the modern traditions of the Conservative Party.

Let me give seven examples of principles that most Conservatives would support. I would happily sign up to each and every one of them but I struggle to reconcile them with those pursuing a No Deal Brexit at any cost.

  • We believe that living standards can only be raised and public services properly funded if you have a strong economy.

It is the argument that we have to fight at every election when our opponents make great promises but we respond by pointing out that we have to create the wealth in the first place if we properly want to fund the NHS, for example. Yet the overwhelming economic consensus is that No Deal Brexit would result in a sharp contraction in GDP. And before anyone rushes to claim that this is all a re-run of 2016’s ‘Project Fear’, remember our economy is 2.5-3 per cent smaller than it would have been had Remain won.

  • We believe in free trade.

Open markets benefit both our exporters but also our consumers. This has not always been the Conservative position but, thankfully, it has been for some time. And I know that there are plenty of Brexiteers who are sincere free traders and think that Brexit provides great new opportunities for bringing down trade barriers.

Unfortunately, it is simply not true. The Government’s analysis shows the benefit of getting trade deals with all the English-speaking nations and the major emerging economies will be just 0.2 to 0.6 per cent of GDP whereas the loss of access to European markets of a Canada-style free trade agreement (let alone a no deal Brexit) will be 4 to 7 per cent of GDP. The net effect of a No Deal Brexit or even a Canada style FTA will be to make our economy less open and more protectionist.

  • We believe in fiscal responsibility.

This was the battleground of British politics from 2009 to 2015 when we made the case for getting the deficit down. The contraction of the British economy will inevitably result in deteriorating public finances. Add to that a political strategy which focuses on winning the support of traditional Labour voters which has meant that we are almost certainly already breaking our fiscal rules.  Remember when we criticised Labour for more borrowing and more debt?

  • We don’t believe that the Government should bail-out unviable industries or businesses.

As a statement, this sounds like a bit of a throw-back to the 1980s when Margaret Thatcher weaned the country off supporting lame-duck businesses. But what do we think would happen when businesses no longer became viable because of the impact of No Deal? The pressure to provide support ‘in order to deal with the temporary disruption’ will be immense. The Government has already prepared for this with Operation Kingfisher but removing that support will be very difficult politically. There is a risk that our economy will become much more corporatist than any time since the 1970s.

  • We believe in our national institutions – Parliament, the monarchy and the independent judiciary.

This should go without saying but when Number Ten briefs that the next election will be people versus Parliament, that the Prime Minister will ‘dare the Queen to sack him’, that the judiciary is biased and that the Government will not comply with the law, we don’t sound very conservative (to put it mildly).

  • We believe in national security and ensuring that we do all we can to protect our citizens from terrorism.

And yet a ‘source in No 10’ says we will withhold security co-operation from those countries that fail to block an extension. Meanwhile, the former head of MI6 says that our security depends upon co-operation with the EU and that leaving without a deal means we will have to ‘start again with a blank sheet of paper’. In addition, it is hard to see how any ‘no deal’ outcome doesn’t destabilise the Good Friday Agreement one way or another. The Prime Minister, it is reported, is increasingly concerned about the risk of an upsurge in terrorist activities by dissident republican groups.

  • We believe in the United Kingdom.

It is obvious that Brexit is placing a strain on the union. A No Deal Brexit would be likely to result in a border poll in Northern Ireland, especially with Stormont not sitting and some form of direct rule being necessary. As for Scotland, the chaos of a No Deal Brexit provides plenty of ammunition for the separatists.

Not every Conservative voter will agree with every single one of those principles, or my criticisms of a No Deal Brexit. But a Conservative Party that fights a general election with No Deal at its heart must know that it will be pursuing an approach that is such a radical departure from the traditions of the Conservative Party and that it is vulnerable to losing the support of millions of our longstanding supporters.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Say What? Bernie Sanders Says Elizabeth Warren Is a Capitalist As a Diss

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(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

 

Bernis is back.

Kinda.

He is READY TO RUMBLE.

Maybe.

Sanders in a new interview with ABC’s Jon Karl says that the big difference between him and his female counterpart who is also white, rich and boring is that she is…..GASP…A CAPITALIST.

From The Hill

In an interview airing Sunday with ABC’s Jon Karl, Sanders struck a stronger tone in distancing himself from Warren’s views on economic policy than he has in previous months, and again asserted that he was the strongest candidate to take on entrenched, powerful corporations and special interest groups in Washington.

“There are differences between Elizabeth and myself,” Sanders said, referring to Warren. “Elizabeth, I think, as you know, has said that she is a capitalist through her bones. I’m not.”

Ohhhhh can you feel the BERRRRRNNNNNNNNNNNN?

How pathetic.

In case you had forgotten Bernie while you have been taking it easy since the ticker attack, you have a net worth of around 2.5 to 3 million dollars according to Business Insider and Warren is worth around 10 million. So she is a better capitalist than you. et you still made money selling books from a company that makes big profits selling books.

Color thy hypocrisy green. As in money.

This is obviously an attempt to stem the inevitable bleed off of his support after his recent health episode. When a 78-year-old guy has any sort of heart event they shut them down for months. Running for President is not the shutdown type of activity that most doctors would recommend.

So he goes after Liz, the New York Times goes after Biden and hopefully by the time Iowa and New Hampshire come around he is strong enough to mimic Biden’s campaign schedule which is one or two appearances a week. Maybe.

This will not work and the time is ticking before he will have to drop out. I do appreciate the effort though.

One last thing.

Capitalism is the most perfect of all the imperfect systems of economics. That the democratic party has a candidate that says this as a diss and he is not roundly booed shows that the fringe left in this country is becoming more delusional by the day. I know that might infuriate at some of you while you are reading this in a Starbucks on your i phone 11 but I promise you that you will survive.

Unlike Bernie’s campaign.

Viva la CAPITALISM!!!

Check out my other posts here on Red State and my podcast Bourbon On The Rocks plus like Bourbon On The Rocks on Facebook and follow me on the twitters at IRISHDUKE2 

The post Say What? Bernie Sanders Says Elizabeth Warren Is a Capitalist As a Diss appeared first on RedState.

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CLIMATE FLASHBACK: In 1978 Mr. Spock Told Us Another Ice Age Would Be Here By Now.

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LIVE LONG AND FREEZE

I love Star Trek. The whole notion that we survive the mess we see the world in now and actually get to go for drinks on the moon and take a quick spin around Jupiter for fun is just a warm and fuzzy concept.

The show became part of our cultural DNA and the stars of the show went out to successful careers in other areas. Leonard Nimoy A.K.A. Mr. Spock was one of these Trek stars that found other things to do while not on the bridge of the Enterprise.

Nimoy hosted a fantastic show called “In Search Of…from 1978 until 1982 and it covered a wide range of topics that were explored. Material such as, is there a bigfoot, UFO’s and the lost city of Atlantis were some of its episodes.

They also in May of 1978 covered something according to their IMDb page called “In Search Of… The Coming Ice Age”. Of course, with all the interest of climate change and the 1.5-degree shift of getting warmer and all of us dying in less than 12 years ( Not my words ask A.O.C.  Ocasio-Cortez says the world will end in 12 years. She is absolutely right.) I was absolutely intrigued.

Below is a video clip from that show.

Below I have taken some short clips that Nimoy says here to add my stellar commentary.

The data shows that the average temperatures in the Arctic have fallen dramatically over the last 30 years. In most locations, the drop has been 2 degrees centigrade.

According to NOAA we are up almost 1.42 F since 2000. I’m gonna call this a draw.

The whole Northern hemisphere has grown steadily cooler.

Check the NOAA link above. I guess we are getting warmer. Which is really nice for Michigan in Feb.

If we are unprepared for the next advance ( Ice Age) the result could be hunger and death on a scale unprecedented in all of history.

Whether it is massive ice sheets rolling our way or Florida flooding out, it’s always doom and gloom with these people. How about the world comes together like in the movie Independence Day and either does a huge BBQ or use the ice for drinks. CMON PEOPLE.

What scientists are telling us now is the threat of an ice age is not as remote as they once thought.

Well, scientists are telling us something different now. Now I’m not gonna blame them here. They get stuff wrong like this all the time.

During the lifetime of our grandchildren, arctic cold and perpetual snow could turn most of the inhabitable portions of our planet into a polar desert.

Nimoy has 5 grandchildren and from what the scientists are telling us is that we will be all fried before frozen. I’m not sure which one is worse actually.

What does this all mean?

That 41 years ago a show on network television with a beloved actor who played a character that relied on “logic,” scared the crap out of a 9-year-old Duke, making me think the ice was going to kill my family and I.

They were not just wrong but fabulously wrong.

Now those that believe the current dire warnings will say the technology is better, the computer models are more accurate and we have learned so much since 1978.

Well, how about if we do this as a test. Get the current weather reports you do EXACTLY RIGHT for 30 days, then we can chat about making predictions 40 years or 12 years maybe even just 30 months into the future.

Back in 1978, the climate alarmists used an actor who played a Vulcan ( who is not supposed to lie) as a messenger to get people ginned up about impending doom. In 2019 they used a 16-year Lil kid to do the same thing. They were wrong in 1978 and I’m willing to bet Al Gores billions that he made on this fantasy that they are wrong now also.

Predicting the weather, stocks or what women are thinking when they are really mad is a dangerous proposition. Doing any one of these things is just…

Illogical.

P.S. Kirk is the best Captain E-V-E-R.

Check out my other posts here on Red State and my podcast Bourbon On The Rocks plus like Bourbon On The Rocks on Facebook and follow me on the twitters at IRISHDUKE2 

The post CLIMATE FLASHBACK: In 1978 Mr. Spock Told Us Another Ice Age Would Be Here By Now. appeared first on RedState.

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WHERE’S HUNTER? He Just Quit His Sweet Gig On The Board Of a Chinese Company

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(AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)

President Trump asked “Where Is Hunter?” and now we know. He just stepped down from his cool board job with a Chinese equity firm.

According to Bloomberg

Hunter Biden is stepping down from the board of a Chinese-backed private equity company and promising to forego all foreign work if his father, former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, is elected president in 2020.

After months of keeping a relatively low-profile as President Donald Trump leveled a barrage of unsubstantiated accusations of corruption at him, the younger Biden is publicly vowing to avoid any conflict of interest.

According to a statement released on his behalf by his lawyer George Mesires, Biden said he’ll resign at the end of the month from the management company of a private equity fund that’s backed by Chinese state-owned entities. He also pledged that he wouldn’t work for any foreign-owned companies or serve on their boards during a potential Biden administration. He reiterated that he never discussed his business activities with his father.

Trump has been teeing off on Hunter and his business dealings with great success. If you have noticed the rivals for the Democratic nomination have been whimpering support for Biden while snickering in the background as Trump does their work for them.

Even for those that want to look at the bright side of things. Hunter Biden has absolutely been able to capitalize on his father’s political position. He was not the first but also not the last. Just the appearance of him having no experience and getting gigs on both Ukraine and Chinese companies scream of impropriety.

Is it fair? Probably not.

Has it been fair when the Trump kids have had the same done to them? Probably not.

Here is where my friends that are #NeverTrump seem to skip or be appalled at.

The Democrats have done this stuff for years. Stern editorials were written at the Weekly Standard and National Review on the practice of Democrats doing these things, yet it continued on. Candidates for all sorts of office on the left could virtually say that Republicans are trying to kill grandma and make sure you starve to death in old age. Talking heads would go on news shows and say how outrageous it was and the practice continued.

Trump has broken all the old rules and this is the clearest example of that.

He went DIRECTLY at Joe Bidens son.

He accused the Bidens of some shady dealings ( While there is no proof you sure as hell can make the case it looks shady) and he made it stick. While others in politics would have had their surrogates go out and do the dirty work, Trump says hold my non-alcoholic beer and goes and does it himself.

That is why his most ardent supporters love him.

Trump has probably wounded Biden so badly with this that even if Joe survives the primary he will be badly damaged for the general election. So if Biden does not make it Trump faces a weaker candidate nationally. If Joe does make it he gets to tee off on him 3 times on national stages for Presidential debates.

Either way with the rule book being re-written by Trump since he came down those escalators in 2015, the way that national politics is done has been forever changed.

Get used to it.

Check out my other posts here on Red State and my podcast Bourbon On The Rocks plus like Bourbon On The Rocks on Facebook and follow me on the twitters at IRISHDUKE2 

The post WHERE’S HUNTER? He Just Quit His Sweet Gig On The Board Of a Chinese Company appeared first on RedState.

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Kidnapped Whisky, Kowtowing to the Commies, and The Friend Police: Are We Doomed?

Welcome back to my Saturday column in which I take a look back on the news of the week and try to determine- are we doomed?

Let Communism Ring!

As you probably heard, the general manager of NBA’s Houston Rockets supported those fighting for freedom in Hong Kong. The Chinese government, Chinese Basketball Association, and Chinese businesses were upset. It was going to cost the NBA money and, being capitalists who wanted those communist dollars coming in from China, the NBA caved. They’re even censoring fans now as well as the media.

Still, it hasn’t made a lot of difference. Nike, for example, has pulled Houston Rockets merchandise from all stores in China. What happened to this slogan from just about a year ago?

Either they don’t believe in freedom or they’re not really willing to sacrifice much.

Verdict: Yeah, we’re doomed.

I Trusted You, Scotch

If you spend any time at all on the internet you  have, at some point, been faced with the question “if you were to be kidnapped, what would you post on social media to let your followers know you needed help, what would it be?”

I can only assume The Glenlivet has been kidnapped.

There is no other justifiable reason for whisky pods to exist. The Glenlivet Distillery has only been around since 1824, so it’s not even close to being the oldest distillery operating in Scotland,  but they’re hardly a new upstart looking to disrupt the market by getting milennials to shove Tide Pods full of whisky down their gullets. They’re better than that, surely.

Verdict: Full doom. Possibly numbed by whisky, but you’ll have to eat it, so what’s the point?

You Can’t Sit With Us

Last Sunday, Ellen DeGeneres went to a football game and sat with friends.  People were outraged, because Ellen has friends with whom she is not ideologically identical.

Liberals were outraged that she would do such a thing. Conservatives barely thought about it beyond seeing a couple of cute photos floating around the internet and absently thinking it looked like they were having a good time (although we probably knew she was going to get tarred and feathered by her own for it).

Here was Ellen’s reaction to the hate that was tweeted at her for knowing a person with differing opinions.

Yes, that was me at the Cowboys game with George W. Bush.

Yes, that was me at the Cowboys game with George W. Bush over the weekend. Here’s the whole story.

Posted by Ellen DeGeneres on Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Here’s the thing. Conservatives have lots of friends we disagree with. Heck, we don’t even agree with our other conservative friends half the time, and I can’t think of any conservatives who don’t have liberals in their circles. I can think of plenty of liberals who won’t associate with conservatives, or just know one who isn’t like the rest of them (who are, obviously,  terrible).

In short, conservatives are like:

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But liberals are like:

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Verdict: On one hand, the people who are supposed to be on her “side” took her to task for not self-segregating and, even after this video, refused to pause and consider that maybe she was right. Many just doubled down. On the other hand, in 2019 it takes courage to sit with people that you know you’re going to get torched for sitting with, then go on television to say that, not only are you not sorry about it, but everybody else needs to check their kindness levels. It makes me think that some people are beyond human reach, but the world itself isn’t doomed yet.

Honoring His True Dad

Check out this college football player who changed his last name to honor the man who raised him.

Verdict: We’re going to be ok.

The post Kidnapped Whisky, Kowtowing to the Commies, and The Friend Police: Are We Doomed? appeared first on RedState.

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Beto vs Booker, Who Will Drop Out First After Religious Bigotry Statements?

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What a week in truly finding out where some of the Democrats running for President feel about the separation of Church and State.

The topic of the Beto Bomb that was dropped in a CNN forum has been covered extensively all over the interwebs by others and right here at Red State by Bonchie and Joe Cunningham.

However, something that did not garner much attention was that Sen. Corey Booker from New Jersey essentially said the same thing. He just didn’t go all SPARTACUS about it.

The Catholic News Agency picks it up…

On Thursday night, during and Equality Townhall hosted and broadcast on CNN, Robert Francis O’Rourke, a former congressman, was asked by CNN anchor Don Lemon if he thought that “religious institutions like colleges, churches, charities, should they lose their tax exempt status if they oppose same sex marriage?”

O’Rourke answered “yes,” and after applause and cheers from the crowd, added, “there can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break, for anyone or any institution, any organization in America that denies the full human rights and the full civil rights of every single one of us. And so, as president, we’re going to make that a priority, and we are going to stop those who are infringing upon the human rights of our fellow Americans.”

That’s the part we already know. Here is the part most people have not seen.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), another presidential candidate, was asked earlier in the night if he would strip the tax-exempt status of churches who were opposed to same-sex marriage. Booker said that such a move would entail a “long legal battle,” but signaled his sympathy with the idea.

“I’m saying I believe fundamentally that discrimination is discrimination,” he said. “And if you are using your position to try to discriminate others, there must be consequences to that. And I will make sure to hold them accountable using the DOJ or whatever investigatory [body].”

So here we have in the year 2019, two major candidates for President of the United States saying that they want the United States government to FORCE religious institutions to abide by the modern-day #WOKENESS that has gripped the Feelings over Facts crowd.

That should scare you.

Now it is no coincidence that both Beto and Booker are both circling the drain at just around 2% in the latest polling I have read. This is obviously a desperate attempt to shoot up to over 4% and steal the nomination from Biden.

Will it work? No, not for this cycle.

The way these things work though is those two candidates floated an idea and now the top tier candidates will do polling to see if it works with the base. My guess is those churches in the deep south and the mosques in Minnesota will be equally opposed to being singled out for being called bigots and losing any sort of tax-exempt status they have.

The idea though, now having been introduced will be debated among the progressive left and will gain steam. Bernie Sander candidacy in 2016 and this time around has shown that the actual ideas do not matter. Just the feelings that surround those ideas. If it makes you feel warm and fuzzy than roll with it.

We should all be about the discussion of ideas and have vigorous national debates on it. These things usually turn into a discussion on your feelings though and that is just irrelevant and that is just a damn shame.

The only thing left to do for Beto and Booker after agreeing that this horrible idea is worth exploring is to guess which one of these “serious” candidates will be the first to call it quits in their futile race.

My money is on Beto. Anyone who is scared to use their real name that DOESNT work in Hollywood is too timid to be President.

Place your bets.

Check out my other posts here on Red State and my podcast Bourbon On The Rocks plus like Bourbon On The Rocks on Facebook and follow me on the twitters at IRISHDUKE2 

The post Beto vs Booker, Who Will Drop Out First After Religious Bigotry Statements? appeared first on RedState.

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Why Are the Same People Irate About the NBA’s Hong Kong Stance Silent About the Same Thing Happening to Americans

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A protester waves a U.S. flag as hundreds of protesters gather outside Kwai Chung police station in Hong Kong, Tuesday, July 30, 2019. Protesters clashed with police again in Hong Kong on Tuesday night after reports that some of their detained colleagues would be charged with the relatively serious charge of rioting. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

The outrage du jour is over the NBA and a gaming company, Blizzard Entertainment, following the old adage of “money talks and bullsh** walks” and forbidding players or, in the case of the NBA, fans from making any overt gesture of support for the demonstrators in Hong Kong.

I don’t have a particular dog in the geopolitical part of this argument. Hong Kong, since the Brits pulled out in 1997, has been part of Communist China. They may not like it, but there it is and the odds of Beijing just letting it go approaches zero. While I have sympathy for their cause, I don’t have enough sympathy to get Americans killed over it. I’m also doubtful that egging on demonstrators when you have zero intention of doing anything but clucking over the massacre videos streamed into your home is a particularly ethical thing to do (see East Germany 1953 an Hungary 1956 for examples of what that looks like). I certainly don’t fault China for bringing to bear whatever power it has to shut down sympathy for the demonstrators because we, ourselves, are the ones who’ve given them that power and they, like most governments, will act in their own interests.

What I’m sort of at a loss to understand is why I’m supposed to feel outraged by the NBA, a private company, engaging in suppression of speech that it doesn’t like.

For at least three years now, ever since it has become obvious that the large tech companies like Facebook and Twitter and Google were actively suppressing conservative viewpoints and ever since Trump was elected, I’ve been lectured by TrueConservativesWestlake Legal Group 2122 Why Are the Same People Irate About the NBA’s Hong Kong Stance Silent About the Same Thing Happening to Americans twitter Pro-Life Politics North Carolina NBA Hong Kong Google Front Page Stories Featured Story facebook Conservatives Censorship Business & Economy bathroom bill Allow Media Exception   and VichyConsWestlake Legal Group 2122 Why Are the Same People Irate About the NBA’s Hong Kong Stance Silent About the Same Thing Happening to Americans twitter Pro-Life Politics North Carolina NBA Hong Kong Google Front Page Stories Featured Story facebook Conservatives Censorship Business & Economy bathroom bill Allow Media Exception   (though it is getting increasingly hard to separate the two groups in any meaningful way so great is the overlap in that Venn Diagram) on how “muh private company” can’t engage in censorship and how if I don’t like being suspended from Twitter for suggesting some sloppy fat goober laid off from BuzzFeed learn a useful occupation that I could just start my own social media company and my problems would be solved.

Over and over, conservative viewpoints, whether they are pro-biology, pro-traditional-family, or pro-life are being overtly crushed via demonetization or by having access to their materials deliberately restricted. The most recent example of this is Facebook refusing to let the pro-life group Live Action distribute its videos to followers of its Facebook page because professional pro-aborts who double as “fact checkers” for Politifact didn’t like the content. Twitter has forbidden Live Action from showing ultrasound images of babies in utero.

Back in 2016, when the NBA went to war with the state of North Carolina over the “bathroom bill,” a commonsense measure that ensure adult men were not going to be hanging out in women’s bathrooms, outlets, such as National Review, posted articles like A Conservative Defense of Transgender Rights. Few people on the right said boo about the NBA using its economic power to coerce the government of North Carolina into abandoning its defense of common decency and Western Civilization.

Why is it any more odious for the NBA to follow the money their autocratic impulses and shut down support of the Hong Kong demonstrators in their venues than for it to follow the money and their autocratic impulses and shut down opposition to trans activists in North Carolina? In both cases, the NBA is telling people how to live their lives. In both cases, it is refusing to lend its economic support to political causes that it disagrees with on the merits or perceives to be a financial loser. How is security at an NBA game evicting pro-Hong-Kong protesters any different than YouTube or Facebook or Twitter blocking pro-life or pro-actual-marriage or pro-Second-Amendment information? It really isn’t.

The bottom line is that you either believe corporations, particularly large monopolistic ones, either have an obligation to observe what we, in America, perceive to be basic human rights or you don’t. You don’t get to choose what the cause is. It is binary. If your position is that the difference is the Chinese government calling the tune, does that mean you’d only oppose corporate thuggery if the current administration was behind it? If you are trying to shame the NBA into changing policy, then I’d submit the hundreds of millions of dollars they get from China is going to prove more influential that a lot of media saying meany-pants things. In other words, you’re engaging in nothing more than the most grotesque form of virtue signaling. You could take action, like have Congress outlaw this dumbf***ery, but then you’d just be a poseur with very malleable principles.

So, while I have a great deal of sympathy for the people in Hong Kong, I can’t in good conscience sign onto some kind of selective outrage over a corporation silencing speech it dislikes. When all of you folks who are outraged about the NBA and Hong Kong decide you’re outraged by Facebook and Twitter and Google and you’re ready to go to war with them and the NBA to end this bullsh**, well, give me a call. If you want me to get exercised over something happening in China while telling me that the same exact thing directed at conservative causes taking place in the US (and in Europe) is just the private sector at work, sorry, I don’t want to be bothered. I’ll be clipping my toe nails or taking a dump or doing something else that is actually meaningful.

As a parting note, my colleague Brad Slager discussed this topic on KLRNRadio last night in the second half of the show.



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You Have The Right To Remain Silent: Jane Fonda Gets Arrested In Washington D.C.

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(Photo by Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP)

Good ole Jane Fonda sure knows how to stay relevant in an era of has been and washed up activists looking for some relevancy. If only Abbey Hoffman could see her now.

Hanoi Jane who was so moved by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate change activist from Sweden that she decided to move to Washington D.C. for a spell and was going to get herself arrested.

Mission Accomplished Jane.

According to Fox 2 Detroit

The arrest comes after Fonda, a liberal Hollywood celebrity long known for activism and outspokenness, said she soon planned to leave Tinseltown and relocate to the nation’s capital, at least temporarily.

Fonda told the newspaper she planned to spend about four months in Washington for a series of sit-ins and rallies – after getting an OK from Netflix to take time off from her series “Grace and Frankie” with Lily Tomlin. She claimed to have drawn inspiration from Greta Thunberg, the teenage climate-change activist from Sweden.

“She read the [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] report and she realized that the crisis was barreling straight at us, like a train and looked around and people weren’t behaving appropriately, Fonda said. “It so traumatized her that she stopped eating. I hadn’t realized that she stopped eating and speaking for almost a year. And that really hit me.”

There ya go. Listening to the advice of a 16-year-old kid who is not well versed on this subject because of F-E-E-L-I-N-G-S.

I will give a little credit to Jane. She has consistently been on the wrong side of most of the political debates in her lifetime. Her absolute disgusting behavior during the Vietnam war was one of the greatest shows of spitting in the faces of those that helped defend her right to do so.

Yet, here she is again almost 45 years later still making the wrong choices based on faulty data and getting arrested for the cause so she can show those Lil snot-nosed kids how it is done. She isn’t gonna wear any mask hiding her identity while chanting poorly constructed chants or hide behind twitter. HELL, NO, she is going to get arrested by the man and strut to the paddy wagon looking fabulous.

Plus she has lots of bail money so she can do this all day. Maybe she will share it with some of it with the rest of you radicals.

Don’t count on it.

Check out my other posts here on Red State and my podcast Bourbon On The Rocks plus like Bourbon On The Rocks on Facebook and follow me on the twitters at IRISHDUKE2 

The post You Have The Right To Remain Silent: Jane Fonda Gets Arrested In Washington D.C. appeared first on RedState.

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Will Johnson get a Brexit deal done after all?

Iain Dale presents the evening show on LBC Radio and is a commentator for CNN.

It is still impossible to predict what will happen next week, but whatever it is will be pretty momentous.

It still seems unlikely that a deal will be done before the deadline day of October 31st but, given yesterday’s events on Merseyside, it doesn’t seem as unlikely as it did just hours before. At the time of writing, we don’t know who has conceded what – so it’s impossible to say what the Northern Ireland parties will make of it all, and whether any concessions on the UK side would affect the likelihood of any deal getting through the Commons.

So let’s park that one and look at a somewhat negative scenario.

So Boris Johnson goes to the EU council next Thursday; it ends in chaos; he comes back, addresses the Commons on Saturday week, sends the EU a letter requesting an extension to Article 50 – but also makes clear he doesn’t believe a word of it.

The EU then grants a year-long extension, thus enabling a second referendum to happen and at that point Johnson challenges the opposition parties to agree to an election.

And that is where the fun starts. Labour decides that it will only agree to an election after a second referendum is held, and it says that the options put to voters would be Theresa May’s deal v Remain. It is assailed by the SNP for effectively inflicting another nine months of a Conservative government on the country.

At that point, Johnson resigns as Prime Minister, and attempts are made to form an alternative government – all of which fail. He fights the election on a ‘leave the EU with no deal’ manifesto, which results in dozens of Tory MPs quitting, but the Brexit Party stand down all of their candidates.

Would Johnson win a majority in those circumstances? As the polls stand at the moment, yes, but we all know what can happen in election campaigns. And if you don’t know, just ask May.

– – – – – – – – – –

The scenario I paint above shows just how much influence Nigel Farage will have over events. And the core thing to remember is that he doesn’t trust Johnson one iota. I cannot see how the latter could ever agree to a formal electoral pact with the forner and if, he did, it would have to be written in stone.

There’s some talk of the Prime Minister offering the Brexit Party a free run in 50 selected seats, presumably in the north of England, I return for a free run everywhere else. I think it’s completely fanciful. But in this political environment, I suppose stranger things have happened.

– – – – – – – – – –

The best news of the week is that Chris Mason is taking over the reins as the new host of Any Questions. Chris is one of the few journalists that is liked by everybody (by which I mean everybody in the political firmament).

This is not because he’s pliant, or soft; it’s because he’s a transparently nice bloke who knows his stuff. I haven’t got a clue what his politics are anymore than anyone else has. It’s a cracking appointment, and even though he has huge shoes to step into, I have absolutely no doubt he’ll do well and bring a freshness and vitality to the show.

I did ponder applying for it myself, but I figured there was little point given I’ve been on the show as an opinionated panellist a dozen times, and the BBC would never appoint someone to a show like that with a previous political background.

The fact that I present a similar show and have proved my hosting abilities would be by the by. Sometimes you have to just accept the reality of a situation. Newsnight quite happily employed James O’Brien as a host, but then of course he is a man of the centre left. Someone on the centre-right would never get a look-in. And if you think that’s me being paranoid, John Humphrys says the exact same thing in his excellent new book.

– – – – – – – –  – –

For almost this entire year, most of my weekends have involved work of some description or other. Not this one. At least, that’s the intention.

After doing my regular slot on Good Morning Britain, I’ll be driving west to spend three days in North Devon with my Aunt and cousins, who live in Braunton.

No Andrew Marr, no newspaper columns, no Twitter (that one is a lie) – just catching up with family gossip and reminiscing about times gone by. And a walk across Saunton Sands. I have honestly never looked forward to a weekend more. The calm before the storm…

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