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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Featured Story" (Page 299)

Joe Biden Tries to Play the Middle of the Road Game on Abortion, but Democrats Demand Total Compliance

Westlake Legal Group JoeBidenTheView Joe Biden Tries to Play the Middle of the Road Game on Abortion, but Democrats Demand Total Compliance washington D.C. republicans Pro-Life Politics North Carolina Joe Biden Hyde Amendment Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post democrats Campaigns Bernie Sanders Allow Media Exception Abortion 2020 Elections 2020

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks on ABC’s The View – 4/26/19.

2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden is facing massive backlash from other Democratic candidates over his campaign’s comments earlier this week on where he stands on the Hyde Amendment.

NBC News reports:

Yet his presidential campaign confirmed to NBC News that Biden still supports the Hyde Amendment, a four-decade-old ban on using federal funds for abortion services, except in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the woman.

Biden’s continued support for Hyde not only sets him apart from the rest of his 2020 Democratic competitors, but it may surprise progressive groups like the American Civil Liberties Union, which promoted a recent tweet by one of its activists appearing to get Biden to commit to ending Hyde during a rope-line exchange in South Carolina. Biden’s campaign told NBC he would be open to repealing Hyde if abortion avenues currently protected under Roe were threatened.

Here’s the exchange Biden had with the woman in South Carolina:

The Biden campaign, in turn, issued this response to the ACLU’s tweet:

Biden misheard the woman on the ropeline and thought she was referring to the Mexico City rule, which prevents federal aid money from going to organizations overseas that perform abortions. He supports the repeal of the Mexico City rule because it prevents critical aid from going to organizations even if abortion is a very small fraction of the work they are doing. He has not at this point changed his position on the Hyde Amendment.

How could he have “misheard” the question? It was as plain as day:

It’s hard to imagine Biden “misheard” the activist: The words “Hyde amendment” don’t sound much like “Mexico City Policy.” What the campaign is trying to say is that the candidate “confused” the two policies. It’s still odd that the campaign waited two weeks after the Washington Post first reported Biden opposes the Hyde amendment to clean up this gaffe.

Other Democratic candidates for president condemned Biden’s postion:

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who has campaigned as an unapologetic feminist, tweeted “reproductive rights are human rights, period. They should be nonnegotiable for all Democrats.” On Capitol Hill, California Sen. Kamala Harris told The Associated Press she was “absolutely opposed to the idea that a woman is not going to have an ability to exercise her choice based on how much money she’s got.”

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, during an MSNBC town hall in Indiana, said Biden was wrong to support the abortion funding restriction. “Women of means will still have access to abortions,” Warren said. “Who won’t will be poor women, will be working women, will be women who can’t afford to take off three days from work.”

Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke said on CBS News that Biden was “absolutely wrong” on his stance on the Hyde Amendment. “I hope that Joe Biden rethinks his position,” O’Rourke said. “Perhaps he doesn’t have all the facts. Perhaps he doesn’t understand who the Hyde Amendment huts the most.”

As part of his new “no middle ground” mantra, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) tweeted out his position on the Hyde Amendment yesterday:

It would appear that Biden is trying to have it both ways on the Hyde Amendment, as part of what he calls his “middle of the road” approach to the abortion issue. While other candidates have said they disagree with him, it’s not likely to matter to Biden who is still far out-polling everyone else.

———————
—Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter.–

The post Joe Biden Tries to Play the Middle of the Road Game on Abortion, but Democrats Demand Total Compliance appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group JoeBidenTheView-300x170 Joe Biden Tries to Play the Middle of the Road Game on Abortion, but Democrats Demand Total Compliance washington D.C. republicans Pro-Life Politics North Carolina Joe Biden Hyde Amendment Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post democrats Campaigns Bernie Sanders Allow Media Exception Abortion 2020 Elections 2020  Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

BREAKING. Mike Flynn Fires His Legal Team

Westlake Legal Group ap-mike-flynn2-620x545 BREAKING. Mike Flynn Fires His Legal Team Uncategorized Front Page Stories Featured Story

National Security Adviser Michael Flynn arrives in the east Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, for a news conference with President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. . (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Mike Flynn pleaded guilty to what was obviously a nonsense charge in order to keep Mueller’s gestapo from going after his son. But the sentencing hearing in December became a fiasco when the judge overseeing the case, Emmett Sullivan, basically told Flynn that he was going to ignore the Mueller team’s recommendation an order Flynn to prison. Now we’re getting close to a re-do of that and Flynn has suddenly fired his attorneys.

I am not a lawyer so I won’t even try to explain what is happening here beyond noting that it is very difficult, bordering on impossible, to withdraw a guilty plea that has been accepted by a court.

The post BREAKING. Mike Flynn Fires His Legal Team appeared first on RedState.

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Nancy Pelosi Says She Wants to See Trump in Prison, Media Oddly Un-Phased

Westlake Legal Group chuck-schumer-and-nancy-pelosi-responding-to-trum-2-23931-1547040396-4_dblbig-620x412 Nancy Pelosi Says She Wants to See Trump in Prison, Media Oddly Un-Phased prison Politics Politico Nancy Pelosi Lock Him Up lock her up jail impeachment Hillary Clinton Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story double standards donald trump democrats

Remember the sheer amount of gnashing of teeth that took place throughout 2016 when Republicans would suggest that Hillary Clinton should have been charged for her crimes? Then there were the “lock her up” chants at Trump rallies that really set hair on fire in newsrooms across the country.

Was it a little brash? Sure. But Hillary had clearly violated the law and people were rightly upset that she was being evaluated under a different set of rules.

Enter Nancy Pelosi.

The remarks came in a meeting with Jerry Nadler. Pelosi was actually attempting to rebut calls for impeachment because she knows it will backfire. Now, her new line to sell to the base is that if we don’t impeach now, then Trump can be arrested when he leaves office.

She’s trying desperately to hold back the tide and this latest line is pretty pathetic. If you think he should be in prison, why in the world would you not impeach him? None of this makes sense.

The real question is, will CNN run in terror at her remarks? Will The New York Times write dozens of op-eds letting us know how dangerous this is to our democracy? Nah, of course not.

The double standards at play here are obvious. If a Republican suggests criminal liability against a political opponent, it’s the end of the world and it will spawn hundreds of media reports condemning the action. If a Democrat does it, meh, whatever. Trump is always different.

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Russia Tries to Crap on the Sacrifices of D-Day

Westlake Legal Group AP4406010167 Russia Tries to Crap on the Sacrifices of D-Day WW2 World war 2 Western Powers Thin skin Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Russia Politics Nasty Tweet June 6th Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Downplaying Sacrifice d-day allies

Today marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the allied invasion of France and the opening of the Western Front in WW2. Ceremonies are happening on the beaches of Normandy this morning while many others honor their sacrifices from afar.

The invasion is often noted as the greatest of its kind in history and the undertaking was massive. Hundreds of thousands of troops, tanks, airplanes, and artillery pieces took part in the culmination of years of planning and preparation.

While Germany was currently fighting in the East against the Soviets, the large scale fighting that started on D-Day with U.S. Airborne Rangers just after midnight helped divert masses of German troops and materials. The entirety of the 5th Panzer army was used to defend France while millions of German soldiers would eventually surrender in battles to come.

Even before D-Day though, Allied forces were fighting in North Africa, Italy, and of course the Pacific (and the air battle over Britain). There’s no question that the western armies played a pivotal role in the defeat of Nazism from start to finish.

But Russia wants you to know that it really wasn’t that big of a deal. This is from the official account of Russia’s Ministry of Affairs.

To be frank, this is a-historical garbage.

That’s not to say that Russia didn’t lose a lot of men and materials, because they did. Astronomical levels in fact. But they didn’t push back the tide of Nazism alone. Russia’s armored divisions were nearly wiped out at one point. It was on the back of U.S. vehicles and materials that the Soviets were able to turn the tide.

Given their “to the death” mentality, perhaps the Russians would have been victorious without lend-lease? But there’s no question it helped them immensely. There’s also the fact that the North African and Italian theaters drew large numbers of German troops and tanks from the Eastern Front, helping relieve some of the pressure around Kursk and Stalingrad.

Another major factor is that the U.S. was  fighting a brutal war in the Pacific. The Russians refused to get involved with that until after Hiroshima (because they wanted to be around for the spoils). By fighting the Japanese, the U.S. kept them from further invading Russia on its eastern side. Had Russia itself ended up in a two front war, things could have gone very differently for them.

Lastly, it should be noted that Russia was busy collaborating with the Nazis and trying to carve up Europe well into 1941. Perhaps not helping and empowering Hitler while ensuring future genocide in places like Poland would have been prudent. Russia also wasted man and materials attempting to invade Finland for no reason whatsoever except naked expansion.

The point being that Russia should probably just shut up about D-Day. They made a myriad of massive mistakes, committed huge atrocities throughout the war, and then used it as an opportunity to expand their dictatorial borders. Yes, tens of millions of Soviets died fighting the Germans. Some of that is related to Stalin’s foolish missteps and complete disregard for life. The goal wasn’t to lose the most people, it was to win the war.

I write all this not to downplay what happened on the Eastern Front. Enormous sacrifices were made there. But that should never be used to try to hand wave away the sacrifices of the western powers and the massive impact they had on eventually defeating Nazi Germany. I’ll end by noting that not having Russia take over all of Europe was an incredibly important victory in and of itself.

Russia’s response isn’t surprising though. They just barely rank above North Korea when it comes to the thinness of their skin. Nationalism of mythical proportions is a cultural staple there.

(Note: This article is not meant to be an exhaustive history of World War 2. There are obviously many more details not mentioned here.)

————————————————-

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The Problem is not Rotten Tomatoes, The Problem is Film Outrage Culture

Westlake Legal Group Dark-Phoenix The Problem is not Rotten Tomatoes, The Problem is Film Outrage Culture X-Men Rotten Tomatoes Popular Culture Moviess Movies Marvel Hollywood Front Page Stories Featured Story Entertainment Disney Culture Comic Book Movies Allow Media Exception

promotional still courtesy 21st Century Fox 

As reviews for “Dark Phoenix” show it to be a poor film, fans are not sure what they are upset about.

This weekend sees the release of “Dark Phoenix”, the culmination of the 21st Century Fox “X-Men” franchise. Many fans are actually relieved over this, as many have regarded the Fox treatment of the property to be a mess. (Not more so than the same studio repeatedly butchering “Fantastic Four”, but similar.) There is anticipation that Disney’s purchase of Fox means those characters will now be under the guidance of Marvel, and proper development can finally take place.

Currently there is a brewing outrage though, as “X-Men” does have its core fans, and they seem upset that “Dark Phoenix” is being lashed by critics in general. On Rotten Tomatoes the film is sporting a dismal 22% approval, after more than one hundred reviews have been tabulated.

At The Playlist Charles Barfield gives voice to this outcry, by suggesting that the issue here is people are rooting against the film by circulating the tally. If you simply report that critics are trashing the film then you, and Rotten Tomatoes, are part of the problem. There are many amusements to be had in this mindset. Not to dump entirely on Barfield, he is simply giving voice to what many are saying.

But those that are carping over the reviews are in direct opposition to the last superhero controversy that took place on RT, just months earlier. When “Captain Marvel” was poised to be released there was concern over a surge of fans indicating on the site they did not want to see the movie, as a result of the social activism comments made by star Brie Larson. The site reacted by closing down its feature where readers could indicate if they did or did not intend to see the film.

Defenders were stating that trolls were flooding the site with negative reviews to a movie they had not seen, just to damage its prospects — except that was not what took place. Many simply indicated their lack of desire; those were not reviews. Regardless, the news cycle filled with the claim that these audience impressions had to be shut down, and only legitimate reviews were to be heeded. Now the call going out is that we should dispatch these critical pans and instead listen to what the audience thinks.

It appears the only constant in all of this is that anything less than praise for a movie is problematic.

To say that there is a divide between the passions of movie fans and the aesthetics of film critics is by no means me being revelatory. There is a long tradition of critics hating a release that fans embrace, and titles receiving uniform praise from the professionals that get spurned by the audiences. These dichotomies cycle throughout the calendar year but seem especially pointed during the summer blockbuster season.

This is typified currently by last week’s #1 film, “Godzilla: King of the Monsters”. The movie mavens have largely given the film a downgrade, but the audiences have actually enjoyed it. Is a rampaging leviathan destroying the city of Boston while contending with other mutated behemoths the apex of cinema? By no means. It is what I have called “Big Gulp Films” — a bloated, oversized, content-free affair that could leave you queasy after consumption. I also would recommend it as giddy summer fun.

 

Westlake Legal Group Godzilla-620x259 The Problem is not Rotten Tomatoes, The Problem is Film Outrage Culture X-Men Rotten Tomatoes Popular Culture Moviess Movies Marvel Hollywood Front Page Stories Featured Story Entertainment Disney Culture Comic Book Movies Allow Media Exception

 

What is taking place is that fans of established properties like comic book films have a built-in passion. They regard these properties emotionally, and that irrationality is compounded by art being subjective. This generally means a fan’s devotion is unlikely to be swayed by a divergent critical analysis. And just as likely it could lead to the imbalanced reactions we have been treated to in recent years.

How else do we reconcile that in just the matter of a few months we are told first to only trust the impressions of professional critics, then we should dispatch the reviews of professional critics? Fans should read reviews and digest the content, rather than reading statistics and reacting.

The post The Problem is not Rotten Tomatoes, The Problem is Film Outrage Culture appeared first on RedState.

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Tolerance: San Mateo County Supervisor Launches Shame Campaign to Force Chick-fil-A to Withdraw Expansion Plans

Westlake Legal Group ChickFilAMBStadium Tolerance: San Mateo County Supervisor Launches Shame Campaign to Force Chick-fil-A to Withdraw Expansion Plans Politics North Carolina LGBTQ LGBT gay rights Front Page Stories Front Page First Amendment Featured Story Featured Post Faith democrats Culture & Faith Culture Chick-Fil-A California Allow Media Exception

The Chick-fil-A at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA. Screen grab via CFA.

Inspired by the success of the San Antonio city council banning Chick-fil-A from opening a location at their airport, and a Democratic state lawmaker’s successful push to get the restaurant banned from the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, a San Mateo County supervisor has come up with a plan he thinks will stop the company’s expansion in Redwood City, CA.

The San Mateo Daily Journal reports:

“Chick-fil-A’s values don’t represent our values,” said San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa. “The logo might as well say ‘we hate gay people.”

[…]

Canepa hopes for a similar outcome [to San Antonio and Buffalo] in San Mateo County and plans to write a letter to the company discouraging it from setting up shop in Redwood City.

“I expect demonstrations and protests,” he said. “My goal ultimately is that they withdraw their permit and not do business in San Mateo County.”

Unlike the Buffalo and San Antonio locations that came under fire, the one in Redwood City would be on private property:

The Georgia-based purveyor of chicken sandwiches has obtained city approval for renovations and will replace the McDonald’s at 536 Whipple Ave., city spokeswoman Meghan Horrigan confirmed last week.

Another local official is in agreement with Canepa that the proposed location is not welcome in San Mateo county:

Craig Wiesner, sits on the San Mateo County LGBTQ Commission, said the community should stand up to the company.

“I don’t think that we should necessarily be regulating what businesses can open in Redwood City, but I do think that as a community, we can stand up and say we don’t want this particular business which has taken a very open stand against LGBTQ people and spent millions of dollars against us at the heart of our county,” Wiesner said.

Canepa told KPIX 5 that “When people think of the Chick-fil-A logo — what they think of is anti-LGBTQ.”

Literally nobody thinks about this outside of concern-trolling social justice warrior types and their authoritarian government allies who have nothing better to do with their time than to try to force private businesses to conform to their belief system – or else.

I get that Canepa is not using his position as a county supervisor to get the county to ban the restaurant from opening, but he IS using his position to whip up phony outrage and essentially shame the company into withdrawing their expansion plans – all because he disagrees with the owner’s personal beliefs.

That is a key point in all of this anti-Chick-fil-A madness, I think. There is zero evidence – nada, none – that the company discriminates against the LGBTQ company in its hiring practices. But because the owner of the chain is personally opposed to gay marriage, he should be outed, shamed, and – ultimately – forced out of business.

What will happen if Chick-fil-A doesn’t comply with Canepa’s letter encouraging them to withdraw their plans? Will government force be the next step? It doesn’t appear that local media outlets have asked him that question, but they should.

———————
—Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter.–

The post Tolerance: San Mateo County Supervisor Launches Shame Campaign to Force Chick-fil-A to Withdraw Expansion Plans appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group ChickFilAMBStadium-300x171 Tolerance: San Mateo County Supervisor Launches Shame Campaign to Force Chick-fil-A to Withdraw Expansion Plans Politics North Carolina LGBTQ LGBT gay rights Front Page Stories Front Page First Amendment Featured Story Featured Post Faith democrats Culture & Faith Culture Chick-Fil-A California Allow Media Exception  Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

D-Day Remarks By President Reagan June-6-1984

Westlake Legal Group reagan-military-SCREENSHOT-300x174 D-Day Remarks By President Reagan June-6-1984 white house washington D.C. War Veterans Ronald Reagan Front Page Stories France Featured Story D-Day 40th Anniversary Allow Media Exception 2019

Today we mark the solemn anniversary of the 75 years since D-Day was begun. President Trump and other world leaders will meet today in France to honor the sacrifice the free world made all those years ago to free a continent and her people.

President Reagan also had this honor back in 1984 for the 40th anniversary of this occasion and his speeches are still recalled to this day for their eloquence.

Below is the video of one of the two speeches he made that day courtesy of The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

The end of his speech has often been quoted and I hope it is still true today in this country.

We Will Always Remember
We Will Always Be Proud
We Will Always Be Prepared
So We May Be Always Free

The post D-Day Remarks By President Reagan June-6-1984 appeared first on RedState.

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The Beatings Will Continue Until the Stupidity Ends

The most attractive part of the human body, based on centuries of human experience, is not the face, or the legs, or the midsection, or the chest, or the hips, or any genital; but, rather, the navel. This has come into starker relief now that we as a society have discovered that our ability to share our most trivial insights with a waiting world is quite literally at our fingertips. It is made worse in the face of absolute futility of action, something to which American conservatives would be absolutely conditioned but for the historical success of a former Democrat who launched one of those epochal political revolutions that happen in our system from time to time.

I have very little to add to the Sohrab Ahmari-David French affair that has consumed the attention of people who write about ideas, politics, and political grunting for a living, because this entire contretemps is not even a disagreement over tactics, or strategy, or even temperament or attitude. It’s a disagreement that cannot even agree on the field of battle.

On the one hand, the one side correctly notes that we have entered the stage of the culture wars in which evil may safely shed its love of tolerance because it has the upper hand. On the other hand, the other side correctly says that political liberalism has delivered on the promise of peaceful coexistence and prosperity. Many pixels have died to make exactly these points, changing no one’s mind in the process.

Each may find fault, I would suggest with great accuracy, with the other. But they’re not even talking to each other. They’re simply staking out stances, because neither really grasps the import of why they’re yelling past each other; or, worse, simply doesn’t have a solution except to keep doing what it has done so far.

The real problem here is simple to identify, but hard to solve. It is actually a combination of both positions: We are part of a liberal political order. (Here, I mean the word “liberal” in its classical sense, which refers to sometimes-muted popular sovereignty over and against the authority of a monarch, buttressed by norms and rules and laws both substantive and procedural; so the American system, for example, is liberal, while the Saudi system, by contrast, is conservative. This does not map perfectly onto how we perceive conservatism, which is a spectrum of rightist attitudes including some species of political liberalism; or progressivism, which historically includes others.)

Within the liberal order is the underlying presumption that whichever side wins a debate, absent a structural violation, wins. The other side must briefly yield, even if promising to reverse the effect through liberal means — debate, persuasion, and votes taken in representative bodies. But as ours has recently evolved, it is one in which one combatant is slowly but surely and successfully using illiberal tactics and strategies not merely to deny the other victory, nor even to deny it legitimacy, but to deny it access to the tools of liberalism and therefore the system; and the real battlefield, for now at least, is the governed, who cannot fathom a world outside that liberal order but who are constantly bombarded with cultural messages about the rightness of the side abandoning liberalism.

Indulge me in an example near and dear to my heart. Assume Republicans retake the House and expand their majority in the Senate. They also grow spines. They send up a budget not merely stripped of Planned Parenthood funding, but that instructs that no Medicaid funds may go to any abortion provider. States may use their own funds as they will, but Federal funding is right out. Trump, because he’s not smart but he knows marketing, signs this.

Raise your hand if you honestly believe a venue-shopped District Judge won’t void that part of the budget because reasons. Keep it up if you think the Ninth or Fourth or Second Circuits, where venue will probably be, won’t affirm. If the Trump years have taught us anything — an open question — it is that the total absence of a Constitutional basis for this behavior is irrelevant.

Now strain your shoulder to the tearing point if you believe (1) SCOTUS will take cert and (2) there won’t be a non-stop media, every medium, war on the GOP for denying funds to people who provide mammograms even though their leadership has testified under oath that they do not, in fact, provide mammograms.

As the great Justice Antonin Scalia noted, the Court is designed to be illiberal but limited, and is instead illiberal and expansive, and we have tacitly accepted this; and where the Court has not ruled or has ruled in our favor, we face a multi-pronged assault from tiny but disproportional elements of what’s left of civil society that serves to deny us legitimacy even in the eyes of our own representatives. If you doubt that, look at subdued reaction by every, single major Republican candidate in 2016 to Obergefell — or more precisely, to the demands by their constituents that they rein in the Supreme Court’s ad hoc lawmaking. Over one hundred and fifty years ago, a future President railed against unjust Supreme Court adventurism. Today, we shrug and accept the destruction of our system by men and women sworn to uphold it because their social milieu demands it. As the late Justice Scalia also noted, “when the Court takes sides in the culture wars, it tends to be with the knights rather than the villains — and more specifically with the Templars.”

There is no liberal solution to this. The tools of liberalism are thwarted, capriciously or at least without much reflection to their nominal sources of authority, by the illiberal part of the system to which we agreed, and from which we cannot extricate ourselves without armed rebellion or exile; and by a culture that has the ear of that illiberal block. So even when we win liberally, not only do we lose, but we have agreed to the means of our defeat and exile from future competition.

How do you fight this? French says he’s won using the tools of liberalism and he’s right, but he then points to victories we all know are etched in sand — every win to which he proudly (and rightfully!) points was made in court and is therefore subject to a later court pulling a Lawrence to his Bowers, or was accomplished legislatively and is therefore even more fragile. Ahmari says that the tide is coming, and he’s right, but he completely lacks any description or even general idea of how we get around this.

Their various champions have not acquitted themselves appreciably better, even when arguing eloquently and movingly. (Most of their champions, at any rate: Over at the Bulwark and Reason, they smell from Ahmari a dangerous whiff of Trump-loving Popery, and their work sounds like it; those weirdo integralists, against whom Ahmari went to war just two years ago, and with whom he has not aligned himself, the Bulwark anti-Catholics’ suspicions notwithstanding, are detached from reality.)

There are a thousand problems here that neither side even bothers to attack except fitfully and incompletely. Our system relies on an engaged populace who nevertheless draw their validation and morals from some place other than governance — presumptively religion, but even a philosophy with fixed goals and morals could work in a pinch. It is designed around having States be not just outposts of the Federal government, but also independent stakeholders in it, and therefore prone to loudly and angrily reining it in or at least standing toe-to-toe and arguing with it. It assumes that most decisions of importance and triviality are made locally and at any rate by elected representatives. It assumes, let’s be honest, a bunch of church going Protestants who believe in Hell and I guess Heaven are gonna be the bulk of the populace, with a small minority of Catholics willing to buck Rome on liberalism and some other people who don’t make a big stink about themselves, all of whom accept the underlying premises of the system as something other than a springboard to the next. It relies on a Federal government of enumerated powers only. It relies on shared assumptions about governance and indeed the universe. And so on.

None of this is true any more, and so we get two groups of people being swept away by the tide competing with each other to make ever-crappier allusions to (and accusations of watching!) a crappy TV show based on crappy books about the War of the Roses. Also Trump, because these days, even choices in pizza toppings involve Trump.

I don’t side with either because this is all stupid and they’re not making it less so.

This was originally posted to my blog, where I sometimes post but usually don’t.

The post The Beatings Will Continue Until the Stupidity Ends appeared first on RedState.

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Trump Administration Puts the Brakes on the $100 Million Market in Baby Parts

Westlake Legal Group rendering-baby-in-the-womb-SCREENSHOT-620x332 Trump Administration Puts the Brakes on the $100 Million Market in Baby Parts Science Politics HHS Front Page Stories Fetal Tissue Featured Story donald trump Allow Media Exception Alex M. Azar Abortion

Today the Department of Health and Human Services announced that it was terminating some grants and contracts that relied upon tissue from babies killed in utero via elective abortion and that other projects using fetal tissue would be reevaluated.

The Trump administration announced Wednesday that the federal government would sharply curtail federal spending on medical research that uses tissue from aborted fetuses, mainly by ending fetal-tissue research within the National Institutes of Health.

The move goes a long way toward fulfilling a top goal of anti-abortion groups that have lobbied hard for it; it is just the latest in a string of decisions that have pleased such groups. But scientists say the tissue is crucial for studies that benefit millions of patients.

Besides ending N.I.H. research, the Department of Health and Human Services said it would immediately cancel a $2 million-a-year contract with the University of California, San Francisco, for research involving fetal tissue from abortions; the contract started in 2013. Other university research projects would be subject to case-by-case review.

“Promoting the dignity of human life from conception to natural death is one of the very top priorities of President Trump’s administration,” the department said in a statement. It added that about 200 research projects involving fetal tissue and conducted at universities with N.I.H. grants would be allowed to continue until their funding expires, but that ethics advisory boards appointed by Alex M. Azar II, the health and human services secretary, would review and recommend whether to fund future individual projects involving aborted fetal tissue.

Some scientists were puzzling over the announcement on Wednesday, wondering in particular about who would be appointed to the new ethics advisory boards and what exactly the boards would consider. According to the department, each board would include 14 to 20 people, at least one-third of whom would be scientists “with substantial accomplishments in biomedical or behavioral research.” Each board must also include a lawyer, an ethicist, a practicing physician and a theologian.

Currently, the federal government funds research on aborted fetal tissue to the tune of $100 million per year.

There is a lot of howling in the research community over the lost opportunities, and by that I mean money, but this is the right thing to do.

Doctors, for all their penchant to lecture everyone else about how to live, have never been all that great about observing ethical niceties if they aren’t actively restrained by the force of law. One of the world’s leading malaria researchers, Claus Schilling, was hanged at Landsberg Prison on May 28, 1946 for carrying out experiments on concentration camp inmates…people, I would submit, who were viewed just as non-human by the Nazi doctors as fetuses are view by much of the current medical community. Schilling’s experiments weren’t necessarily bad science but it was a case of science unmoored from any concern about ethics or morality. The same state of affairs existed in Japan’s Unit 731. And it is a very, very safe bet similar research on human subjects was carried out in the USSR and is being carried out right now in Communist China because we know, via press release, that China has actually edited the genetic make-up of babies without any thought as to what this might mean for the children. We have strict rules in the United States for experiments on human subjects because scientists have proven, time and again, that they simply don’t have the moral compass to be trusted with the power of life and death over humans (see the Tuskegee syphilis study and the Guatemala syphilis experiment if you want to know what otherwise decent people are capable of doing to folks they don’t think are all that human in the name of advancing science).

Yes, research on fetal tissue MIGHT yield breakthroughs. It hasn’t but it might. The same claim was made about embryonic stem cells. The same can be said about conducting experiments on prisoners or the homeless or the elderly or the infirm. Just because something might yield a positive out come doesn’t make the action right. Just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should do it.

Pope John Paul II in his 1998 encyclical Fides et ratio (Faith and Reason) says:

In the field of scientific research, a positivistic mentality took hold which not only abandoned the Christian vision of the world, but more especially rejected every appeal to a metaphysical or moral vision. It follows that certain scientists, lacking any ethical point of reference, are in danger of putting at the centre of their concerns something other than the human person and the entirety of the person’s life. Further still, some of these, sensing the opportunities of technological progress, seem to succumb not only to a market-based logic, but also to the temptation of a quasi-divine power over nature and even over the human being.

As a result of the crisis of rationalism, what has appeared finally is nihilism. As a philosophy of nothingness, it has a certain attraction for people of our time. Its adherents claim that the search is an end in itself, without any hope or possibility of ever attaining the goal of truth. In the nihilist interpretation, life is no more than an occasion for sensations and experiences in which the ephemeral has pride of place. Nihilism is at the root of the widespread mentality which claims that a definitive commitment should no longer be made, because everything is fleeting and provisional.

It should also be borne in mind that the role of philosophy itself has changed in modern culture. From universal wisdom and learning, it has been gradually reduced to one of the many fields of human knowing; indeed in some ways it has been consigned to a wholly marginal role. Other forms of rationality have acquired an ever higher profile, making philosophical learning appear all the more peripheral. These forms of rationality are directed not towards the contemplation of truth and the search for the ultimate goal and meaning of life; but instead, as “instrumental reason”, they are directed—actually or potentially—towards the promotion of utilitarian ends, towards enjoyment or power.

Fetal tissue research is a monument to utilitarianism. Babies are killed because the interfere with the plans of the mother or prevent her from actualizing herself. Their remains are cut up and sold as parts for medical experiment. The scientist who buy the remains, using your tax dollars, are only seeing some “greater good” of what they are doing and don’t care that they are subsidizing abortion.

This call is the right call. As a culture and society we should not be in the business of creating an after market for dead babies. Whatever the scientific benefit, the very fact that it exists puts us on a slippery slope. If we agree that research can be done on fetal tissue, what are the logical limits on the source of such tissue given physician assisted suicide and, inevitably, euthanasia taking hold.

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The post Trump Administration Puts the Brakes on the $100 Million Market in Baby Parts appeared first on RedState.

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Jussie Smollett’s Manager’s 911 Call From Night Of Hoax Obtained By New York Post

Westlake Legal Group jussie-smollett-head-SCREENSHOT-620x366 Jussie Smollett’s Manager’s 911 Call From Night Of Hoax Obtained By New York Post Jussie Smollett Front Page Stories Frank Gatson Featured Story Fake Hate Crimes Culture Allow Media Exception

 

The audio recordings of two 911 calls from Jussie Smollett’s creative manager, Frank Gatson, were obtained by the New York Post by a Freedom of Information Act request.

Gatson made the first call at 2:22 am on January 29th, which was “about 20 minutes after Smollett says he was attacked by hate-spewing goons on a desolate Chicago street.”

Gatson told the dispatcher, “I work with an artist — I don’t really want to say his name — but he states that [redaction] he went to Subway he was walking by and some guys somebody jumped him or something like that, and I just want to report it and make sure that he’s alright.”

The dispatcher asked why the victim wasn’t making the call and Gatson replied, “He was cool, he didn’t want me to call you guys.”

She said that only the victim can file a police report. Gatson said, “He’s definitely gonna make the report. I’m gonna make him make the report.”

He then said that Smollett didn’t require medical attention. He told her, “I just think he’s startled. I’m scared and I don’t know what it is — They put a noose around his neck. They didn’t do anything with it, but put it around his neck. That’s pretty f–ked up to me — sorry for saying it like that.”

She told Gatson she had reported their location to the police.

At 2:38, Gatson called again, 16 minutes later because the police had not arrived. He said, “I reported I’ve been waiting on the police. I thought they’d be here by now.”

They arrived while he was speaking to the dispatcher.

Fox News reported:

Smollett said he was jumped by two men who threw a noose around his neck and tossed bleach on him while shouting, “This is MAGA Country.” But his story fell apart when a pair of Nigerian brothers told cops Smollett paid them to stage the attack.

Smollett, who is black and openly gay, claimed the attackers also shouted racist and homophobic slurs at him.

The Chicago Police Department opened a hate crime investigation and later determined the attack was staged. Cook County prosecutors charged Smollett with disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report, but then surprisingly dropped the charges in March.

The city is now suing the embattled actor for the $130,000 in overtime costs associated with investigating the case.

Lee Daniels, co-creator and executive producer for “Empire,” said Tuesday that Smollett would not be returning for the show’s sixth and final season.

Listen to the audio recording.

The post Jussie Smollett’s Manager’s 911 Call From Night Of Hoax Obtained By New York Post appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group jussie-smollett-head-SCREENSHOT-300x177 Jussie Smollett’s Manager’s 911 Call From Night Of Hoax Obtained By New York Post Jussie Smollett Front Page Stories Frank Gatson Featured Story Fake Hate Crimes Culture Allow Media Exception  Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com