PowerLine – Do Terror Attacks Doom the European Union?
- Do Terror Attacks Doom the European Union?
- At Emory, a trail of Trump tears
- McKibben Gets One Right!
- Observations about last night
- IRS baloney meets Sixth Circuit grinder
|Do Terror Attacks Doom the European Union?
Posted: 23 Mar 2016 03:44 PM PDT
Details continue to emerge regarding the recent terrorist bombings in Brussels, but the basic story is familiar. In Melbourne’s Herald Sun, columnist Andrew Bolt answers the question: Why Brussels?
Why Brussels? Why have Muslim terrorists in Brussels this week slaughtered 34 civilians in the city’s airport and underground?
Why did Muslim terrorists from Brussels earlier join the Islamic State attack in Paris that killed 130 people?
Why did a Muslim terrorist in Brussels kill four people at the city’s Jewish museum? Why did Muslim terrorists from Brussels have a deadly shootout with police last year and again last week? Why have an astonishing 450 Belgian Muslims–the vast majority from Brussels–served with Islamic State?
The answer? There are now 300,000 Muslims in Brussels. That’s why.
Brussels is Europe’s biggest Muslim city, home to a virtual colony large enough to sustain its own culture and hide entire networks of terrorists from the police. What’s more, the huge Muslim enclave is in a European country already torn between its Flemish and Walloon halves, making newcomers in this militantly multicultural land more likely to take refuge in their own ethnic identity, too.
Bolt argues that in the wake of mass Islamic immigration, it is too late for Europe:
The vast demographic experiment of the West–importing largely unskilled immigrants from an essentially hostile culture–has failed and cannot be undone.
Europe is now paying the deadly price. There have been mass murders by Muslim extremists in Madrid, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Copenhagen, Brussels, and Toulouse.
There have been attacks on cartoonists in Denmark, riots against Jews in Paris, a rape epidemic in Scandinavia, pack attacks on women in Cologne and the assassination in Amsterdam of a film director who mocked Islam.
For Australia, Bolt writes, there is still hope, if that country “severely restrict[s] immigration from Muslim nations until we prove we can assimilate those here already,” and ends “[t]he state-sponsored denigration of Australia,” along with government-encouraged tribalization. The same prescription would seem to apply to the United States.
Meanwhile, persistent terrorism clouds the future of the European Union. The first duty of any government is to maintain order and protect its citizens. The EU’s inability to defend Europeans against Islamic terror, or even contribute seriously to that effort, makes starkly evident the fact that the EU is not a government, despite its nanny-state pretentions, and “Europe” is not a country.
But the reality is worse. Through the Schengen Treaty, the EU mandates open borders among member states. It thereby opens the door to terrorists, about whom it is powerless to do anything. With respect to the most basic duties of a state, the European Union is worse than useless. Thus, we are seeing the inevitable nationalist backlash across the continent, as Europeans try to re-institute borders and shore up the only authorities that have any ability to maintain security.
|At Emory, a trail of Trump tears
Posted: 23 Mar 2016 01:48 PM PDT
Emory University crosses the current race for the GOP presidential nomination with tales of the Ivory Tower. Students protested on campus earlier this week at the Emory Administration Building following a mysteriously appearing series of overnight, pro- Trump for president (“Trump 2016″) chalkings. The chalkings were too much to bear for many students who received no trigger warnings.
“I’m supposed to feel comfortable and safe [here],” one student said. “But this man is being supported by students on our campus and our administration shows that they, by their silence, support it as well … I don’t deserve to feel afraid at my school,” she added.
The Emory Wheel reports:
Roughly 40 students gathered shortly after 4:30 p.m. in the outdoors space between the Administration Building and Goodrich C. White Hall; many students carried signs featuring slogans such as “Stop Trump” or “Stop Hate” and an antiphonal chant addressed to University administration, led by College sophomore Jonathan Peraza, resounded “You are not listening! Come speak to us, we are in pain!” throughout the Quad. Peraza opened the door to the Administration Building and students moved forward towards the door, shouting “It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.”
Freedom is slavery or something like that. Chalk this: Orwell 1984!
An update to the story late last night shows that the Emory administration has responded about as you might expect. President Wagner has vowed to bring the situation under control by tweaking the rules to clamp down on free expression if I’m reading this right (which isn’t easy, as you’ll see):
The following day, University President James W. Wagner, as well as representatives from College Council (CC) and Student Government Association (SGA) sent emails to the Emory community to address student concerns and responses. In his University-wide email, Wagner wrote that he intends to implement “immediate refinements to certain policy and procedural deficiencies, regular and structured opportunities for difficult dialogues, a formal process to institutionalize identification, review and [the] addressing of social justice opportunities and issues and a commitment to an annual retreat to renew our efforts.” Wagner added in his email that the previous day’s chalkings represented “values regarding diversity and respect that clash with Emory’s own.”
President Wagner has the bureaucrat’s gift of verbose obfuscation, but you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.
Here is the rest of the story so far:
In the joint email sent on behalf of CC and SGA, representatives wrote that they “remain unapologetically dedicated to inclusion, diversity, and equity,” and that both institutions will stand in solidarity with any Emory students who have encountered a lack of safety and support. To provide Emory students an opportunity to discuss such support and inclusive on Emory’s campus, SGA will hold office hours on Thursday, March 24 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and CC will hold office hours on Thursday from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
According to the Dobbs University Center’s (DUC) Posting Policy, chalking must be reserved and approved through Emory’s campus reservation service, 25Live. The Posting Policy says that: chalk cannot be on columns or walls, it must be done on horizontal, ground surfaces and areas where rain can easily wash it away. Failure to comply with these policies results in a clean up fee. Chalking also may only remain for 48 hours. After this time, another group can chalk if they reserve their chalking through 25Live.
The DUC’s Posting Policy also points out that the DUC is guided by the University’s policy on open expression, and any member of the Emory community who violates the open expression of others will be held in violation of said policy.
According to Emory University’s Open Expression Policy 18.104.22.168, “nonpersonal protests” such as chalking, should follow “all applicable flyer posting policies and banner reservation rules.” It also states that “no nonpersonal protests will be denied because of the content” of the display as long as they fall within the law, and that members of the community who “deface the open expression of others” are also violating this policy.
Let me repeat for emphasis: Unauthorized nonpersonal protests (including chalking) are prohibited on campus, but no nonpersonal protests are to be denied because of content. So the Trump 2016 chalking may have been permitted if permission had been sought.
How can that be? You can see how someone chalking Trump 2016 with a permit could create a whirlwind of rage and tears on campus, and why President Wagner has vowed to fine tune a policy with such wildly unanticipated results.
|McKibben Gets One Right!
Posted: 23 Mar 2016 09:59 AM PDT
Multiple Power Line Green Weenie Award winner Bill McKibben, who puts the “fan” in “fanatic,” is out with a new article attacking the Obama Administration for tolerating fracking. But it’s the cover note from his publicist that is giving me a smile this morning, which reveals the real culprit in this story:
Bill looks at the latest studies on methane coming out of Harvard and concludes that greenhouse gas emissions may have actually gone up during the Obama administration because of the natural gas boom. [Emphasis added.]
Well yes, since methane is one of Harvard’s leading products I can imagine that the EPA has underestimated Harvard’s contribution to global warming. My one quibble is whether the methane coming out of Harvard should be considered “natural” gas. In any case, the EPA should crack down on Cambridge immediately.
We’ll get Harvard’s Green Weenie Award in the mail today.
|Observations about last night
Posted: 23 Mar 2016 08:48 AM PDT
Last night’s GOP primary/caucuses results represent a split decision. Donald Trump won in Arizona; Ted Cruz won in neighboring Utah. And in far away American Samoa, the nine delegates apparently are not committed to any candidate.
Last night continued a familiar pattern. Trump won in a primary state; Cruz won in a caucus state.
However, Trump’s Arizona victory occurred in a closed primary — only Republicans voted. This was atypical of Trump’s primary victories.
One is tempted to write off Trump’s huge Arizona win. That state, after all, is ground zero for illegal immigration. And, atypically, Trump had the support of key figures — the state’s popular ex-Governor and the well-known sheriff of Maricopa County, a leader in the fight against illegal immigration.
But if we take a step back, we see that Trump has piled up impressive victories in big states throughout the land — states as varied as Massachusetts (Trump 49 percent; Kasich 18), Florida (Trump 46; Rubio 27); Alabama/Mississippi (Trump 45; Cruz 28); Michigan (Trump 36; Cruz 25); and now Arizona (Trump 47, Cruz 25).
Two regions have yet to be heard from: the West Coast and the mid/upper-mid Atlantic seaboard. Trump seems clear to have the upper-hand in the latter region, which includes Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. He also did well in the most recent California poll I’ve seen (from March 9-10), in which his support stood at 38 percent and his lead was double-digit.
It’s true that by this stage of the primary season, the GOP frontrunner’s numbers usually will be even more impressive. However, the typical GOP frontrunner is backed by most leading figures in the party and is not despised by the remainder. Trump is running into unprecedented headwinds for a frontrunner. Yet he flourishes.
The number crunchers question whether Trump can win a majority of delegates via the primaries and caucuses. I have no reason to doubt the number crunchers.
But if Trump falls a few dozen delegates short, will the Party deny the nomination to a candidate who does so consistently well in races throughout this land? Here, there is room for doubt.
|IRS baloney meets Sixth Circuit grinder
Posted: 23 Mar 2016 07:06 AM PDT
Yesterday the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (the Circuit that includes Ohio and thus the IRS’s Cincinnati office) released its decision in United States v. NorCal Tea Party Patriots. In the court’s published decision, rejecting the IRS’s petition for extraordinary relief in a pending class action by the NorCal Tea Party and others mistreated by the IRS, the baloney meets the grinder. Judge Kethledge introduces the court’s opinion with these striking paragraphs:
Among the most serious allegations a federal court can address are that an Executive agency has targeted citizens for mistreatment based on their political views. No citizen—Republican or Democrat, socialist or libertarian—should be targeted or even have to fear being targeted on those grounds. Yet those are the grounds on which the plaintiffs allege they were mistreated by the IRS here. The allegations are substantial: most are drawn from findings made by the Treasury Department’s own Inspector General for Tax Administration. Those findings include that the IRS used political criteria to round up applications for tax-exempt status filed by so-called tea-party groups; that the IRS often took four times as long to process tea-party applications as other applications; and that the IRS served tea-party applicants with crushing demands for what the Inspector General called “unnecessary information.”
Yet in this lawsuit, the IRS has only compounded the conduct that gave rise to it. The plaintiffs seek damages on behalf of themselves and other groups whose applications the IRS treated in the manner described by the Inspector General. The lawsuit has progressed as slowly as the underlying applications themselves: at every turn, the IRS has resisted the plaintiffs’ requests for information regarding the IRS’s treatment of the plaintiff class, eventually to the open frustration of the district court. At issue here are IRS “Be On the Lookout” lists of organizations allegedly targeted for unfavorable treatment because of their political beliefs. Those organizations, in turn, make up the plaintiff class. The district court ordered production of those lists and did so again over an IRS motion to reconsider. Yet, almost a year later, the IRS still has not complied with the court’s orders. Instead, the IRS now seeks from this court a writ of mandamus, an extraordinary remedy reserved to correct only the clearest abuses of power by a district court. We deny the petition.
Judge Kethledge quotes the comments of the district court judge handling the case at a discovery conference:
My impression is the government probably did something wrong in this case. Whether there’s liability or not is a legal question. However, I feel like the government is doing everything it possibly can to make this as complicated as it possibly can, to last as long as it possibly can so that by the time there is a result, nobody is going to care except the plaintiffs. . . . I question whether or not the Department of Justice is doing justice.
As one can infer from the district court judge’s comments, behind the IRS’s foot-dragging and stonewalling is Obama’s Department of Justice. Judge Kethledge, therefore, reserves a few choice words for the Department of Justice:
The lawyers in the Department of Justice have a long and storied tradition of defending the nation’s interests and enforcing its laws—all of them, not just selective ones—in a manner worthy of the Department’s name. The conduct of the IRS’s attorneys in the district court falls outside that tradition. We expect that the IRS will do better going forward. And we order that the IRS comply with the district court’s discovery orders of April 1 and June 16, 2015—without redactions, and without further delay.
Stephen Dinan reports for the Washington Times: “Justice Department officials declined to comment on the judicial drubbing, and the IRS didn’t respond to a request for comment on the unusually strong language Judge Kethledge used.” The decision deserves much more comment, but it won’t be coming from the IRS or the Department of Justice anytime soon.
Here I will just elaborate the obvious. The Sixth Circuit decision represents a disgrace that goes to the top of the Obama administration.