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Lies, damn lies, and political cults

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Cults of personality never cease to amaze me. People latch on to a politician as if he or she is their savior, and they change their worldview to fit whatever mold that person espouses at any given moment.

I, and people like me, aren’t afflicted with this condition. You might ask what makes us so special. It’s simple really.

You have to know WHAT you believe in before you can decide WHO to believe in.

The most recent example of this, obviously, is the Cult of Trump. Those who ardently support Trump decry this label, but they never once stop to consider whether or not it might be true.

I’ve seen people who support Trump scream and cry over Obama’s excessive golf outings, but somehow Trump’s are different. Why? Because you like Trump? If Obama’s golf outings and expensive vacations were a problem, Trump’s should be too.

According to The Hill, the DOJ is reportedly asking formore than a million IP addresses related to a Trump “resistance” site. How is his any different than Obama using the DOJ to wiretap reporters who he didn’t like? I’m sure the Trump clan will SAY it’s different, but I’m not seeing it. For the record, I roll my eyes every time I see “The Resistance” in someone”/ Twitter bio. I think these are stupid people throwing a tantrum. However, collecting data on them by the government is against the Constitution and should be condemned by all Americans.

I’m sure the anti-Trump “Resistance” agrees with me. However, I have to wonder how many of THEM spoke up in concern when the IRS was targeting conservative groups. My guess is few, if any.

For all the noise everyone makes about “freedoms of speech” and “not wanting to live in a police state,” people sure are fine with totalitarianism as long as it’s going against the other side. Nobody should be ok with this under any circumstances.

I’ve been mostly quiet on the violence and racial tension that has taken place in the last week or so, speaking of it to nonone but a couple of close friends. There’s a reason for this. Most everyone will hate what I have to say. That’s ok. It’s a free country and I respect that you have the right to disagree with me.

Everyone there except the cops and National Guardsmen who HAD to be there, are a bunch of idiots. Everyone there had a right to be there. Everyone there had a right to speak, whether I liked it or not (I didn’t). ALL of these groups, neo-Nazis, KKK, BLM, Antifa, are a bunch of racist fascists. Yes, I said ALL of them, and yes, I count them all the same. Don’t like it? Too bad. Freedom of speech.

It’s amazing to me though that people can’t sit back and let any one group have their say, as long as they are doing it PEACEFULLY. Peacefully does not mean you can block traffic, by the way, any more than it means you can’t throw rocks at police, or break windows or set fires. (Have an angry mob block the street in front of my truck and see what happens.) No, they have to make themselves feel better by “counter-protesting.”

Ben Shapiro has been kept from speaking on college campuses because Leftists don’t like what he has to say. Those on the Right scream “free speech.” Then when it’s Linda Sarsour, the tables are flipped and those wanting to stop Shapiro from speaking are screaming “free speech” for Sarsour’s hate speech, while those who defended Shapiro want her to be stopped.

Boycotts are another example. I’ve seen people boycott for supporting or not supporting a certain someone or something, and those same people bemoan a boycott on a company they like. Pick one. You can’t have it both ways.

Back to the politics of specific policies, if Obama did it and you were mad, you should be mad when Trump does it. By the same token, if you are mad because Trump is doing something, you should have been mad when Obama did it. If not, you’re a hypocrite, and you’re part of a cult, whether you acknowledge it or not.

You can keep defending or criticizing Trump and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama etc, and keep switching positions based on who is doing it. That’s your right. But I’m going to call you out on it every time. This isn’t “whataboutism.” Whataboutism excuses one side for the other, something Trumpers and Obamabots do as nauseum. I don’t excuse one for the other, I just point out hypocrisy for someone to be for it when one does it and against it when the other does it.

Harry Reid (D-NV) railed against illegal aliens entering the country for years. Now the Democrats have learned how to weaponize illegal immigration through voter fraud and a move toward Cloward-Piven economic policies. Now suddenly, conservative Americans are somehow racist for wanting to know who is entering our country? Hypocrisy.

Obama had socialist policies of wanting to take hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars for “infrastructure” spending. Conservatives were rightly outraged. But now Trump wants to do the same thing and “infrastructure spending” is now sound public policy? Hypocrisy.

The last two Presidents whined incessantly about various things, but if you ask either side, only the opposing President did that. (I’m rolling my eyes so far I can see inside my skull here.) Trump’s whining just seems worse because he does it so inarticulately, and does it every day on Twitter.

The bottom line is this: principles DO matter, despite what we were told by the legions of “Apprentice” fans last year. If you are consistent with your principles, it shouldn’t ever feel uncomfortable to call out a politician you mostly agree on when he or she is being inconsistent. If you have to change your opinions to fit their actions, then you’re doing it wrong, and yes, you’re in a cult.

And not for nothing, but this cultish behavior wasn’t confined to Bernie and Trump supporters like many believe. I saw it among Cruz and Rubio supporters, and don’t even get me STARTED on Ron and Rand Paulbots. The “Never Trump” crowd of supposed conservatives have become a cult of anti-personality. ThePresident could say “rain is wet” and some of them would say “See? He’s a racist authoritarian.” Just give it a rest. Criticize the bad, complement the good. It’s not all or nothing.

Just believe what you believe. Stop trying to be part of the “in” crowd by agreeing OR disagreeing with everything a polician says or does, just because he or she is the one to do it. Nothing is going to truly get better until you do that, because once you do that, you’ll see that BOTH major parties are full of the same hypocrites who don’t care about you. Stop looking for a politician to save you. You will always be disappointed, and if you’re not disappointed, it’s because you didn’t really know what you were looking for in the first place.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. rick rude

    August 17, 2017 at 4:28 am

    great article Mr. Wilhelm

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News

In plea deal, Russian woman admits to being a secret agent

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In plea deal, Russian woman admits to being a secret agent

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Russian woman accused of being a secret agent admitted Thursday that she conspired to infiltrate the American gun-rights movement to gather intelligence on conservative political groups as Donald Trump rose to power.

Maria Butina, 30, agreed to plead guilty to a conspiracy charge as part of a deal with federal prosecutors.

The case, which is separate from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, has offered insight into how Moscow seeks to influence American policy.

Prosecutors say Butina and her Russian patron, Alexander Torshin, used their contacts in the National Rifle Association to pursue back channels to American conservatives during that campaign, when Republican Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Court documents detail how Butina saw the Republican Party as prime for Russian influence and courted conservatives through networking and contacts with the NRA. She posed for photos with prominent Republicans, including former presidential candidates, and snagged a picture with Donald Trump Jr. at a 2016 NRA dinner.

Butina’s case, brought by federal prosecutors in Washington, comes amid a broader push by the Justice Department to enforce U.S. laws governing foreign agents, including those accused of working for Russia.

As part of her deal, Butina pleaded guilty to a single charge of conspiracy to act as an unregistered foreign agent and she agreed to cooperate with investigators.

Prosecutors say it is “very likely” she will be deported from the U.S. after her sentence is completed. The charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, though the defense noted Thursday that federal sentencing guidelines recommend no time to six months. She has been jailed since her arrest in July.

According to her plea agreement, Butina’s work was directed by Torshin, a former longtime member of the Russian parliament who until recently was an official in Russia’s central bank. He is now under sanction by the Treasury Department for his ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Butina, dressed in green jail scrubs with her red hair pulled into a long ponytail, acknowledged she “sought to establish unofficial lines of communication with Americans having power and influence over U.S. politics.” She admitted that her boyfriend, conservative political operative Paul Erickson, helped her as she tried to use his ties with the NRA to set up the back channels. Erickson, who is referred to as “U.S. Person 1″ in court papers, has not been charged. His attorney said he is a good American who “has done nothing to harm our country and never would.”

In a 2015 proposal she crafted with Erickson’s help, Butina argued it was unlikely Russia would be able to exert influence using official channels and, as an alternative, suggested using back channel communications to build relationships with Republicans, according to court papers.

Pushing her travel to the U.S. and her work with the NRA as selling points, Butina argued that she had already “laid the groundwork for an unofficial channel of communication with the next U.S. administration.” She asked for $125,000 from an unnamed Russian billionaire to attend conferences in the U.S. and meet with people who she thought may have influence with the Republican Party and sent the proposal to Torshin. He responded by telling her the proposal would “be supported, at least in part,” according to court documents.

Torshin also asked Butina to help justify him attending a national NRA meeting in 2016 and Butina encouraged his attendance “partly because of the opportunity to meet political candidates,” according to her plea agreement. In addition to attending numerous NRA events, Butina also organized “friendship dinners” in Washington with influential political figures.

In their filings, prosecutors have said federal agents found Butina had contact information for people suspected of working for Russia’s Federal Security Services, or FSB, the successor intelligence agency to the KGB. Inside her home, they found notes referring to a potential job offer from the FSB, according to the documents.

Investigators recovered several emails and Twitter message conversations in which Butina referred to the need to keep her work secret and, in one instance, said it should be “incognito.” Prosecutors said Butina had contact with Russian intelligence officials and that the FBI photographed her dining with a diplomat suspected of being a Russian intelligence agent.

Butina’s lawyer, Robert Driscoll, had previously decried the charges against her as “overblown” and said prosecutors criminalized her mundane networking opportunities. He said Butina was a student interested in American politics and wanted to see a better relationship between the U.S. and Russia.

On Thursday, prosecutors also appeared to have backed off their assertion that Butina’s attendance at American University was little more than a cover to enter the U.S. In their filing, prosecutors said “all available evidence” indicated she had a genuine interest in a graduate school education.

Butina had mounted an aggressive defense and tried to have the charges against her tossed. But for several weeks, Butina’s lawyers and federal prosecutors had indicated in court papers that they were working toward a resolution in the case.

After Butina’s plea, a senior Russian lawmaker said he was convinced that Butina had caved and was pressured to confess. Leonid Slutsky, chairman of the State Duma’s foreign affairs committee, told Russian news agencies that the charges against Butina had been trumped up and that she fell victim to what he called “political inquisition.”

“They broke her down. Anyone would break down in circumstances like that,” he said, referring to Butina’s time in prison, which included being held in administrative segregation.

Butina told the judge on Thursday that she was pleading guilty of her own volition and was not pressured, threatened or coerced.

___

Associated Press writer Chad Day contributed to this report.

___

Read the plea agreement: http://apne.ws/qHA37wM

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Immigration

Will Trump suspend the Constitution to build his wall?

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Will Trump suspend the Constitution to build his wall

What do martial law, illegal immigration, and using the military as a national police force have in common with Barack Obama and Donald Trump? Possibly more than you realize.

After years of failing to fix the illegal immigration problem and Obama’s abuse of executive orders, there were conspiracy theories being spread by people like Alex Jones at InfoWars.com that Obama was laying the groundwork to declare martial law and cancel the 2016 election.

Of course, that never happened, although I sometimes wish it had (just kidding, no letters please). But with the obvious assault on our Constitutionally protected, God-given rights increasing with every passing day, and with Trump’s ignorance of the Constitution, we need to ask ourselves if something like that could still happen.

Trump convinced America to vote for him in 2016 based on his promise to build a “big beautiful wall” on our southern border and have Mexico pay for it. Yet, after two years, no such wall exists, and Mexico has let Trump know in no uncertain terms they have no intention of financing one.

As a result, all of the problems associated with illegal immigration not only still exist, but they’ve gotten worse. On top of that, Trump is busy gearing up for another four years as president … or more.

Trump has often joked about being president beyond the Constitutionally allowed eight years, but recent comments about his border wall would seem to indicate that he’s not all that concerned about any limitations placed on him by the Constitution he once called “archaic.”

On Tuesday, Trump bragged about the success he was having with the wall even though it doesn’t exist while issuing this threat. “If the Democrats do not give us the votes to secure our Country, the Military will build … the Wall.”

In essence, Trump is saying that he will play the role of dictator by ignoring Congress and using the military to force his will, a threat he also made earlier this year.

Such an action would turn the military into a national police force, but it would also require some manipulation of the Constitution. Trump can’t simply shift Border Security funds from the Department of Homeland Security to the military without Congress, unless he declares a national emergency.

Such a declaration would suspend the limits placed on the president by the Constitution and allow him to use the military as he sees fit without Congressional approval such as he did when he sent thousands of troops to the border to deal with the migrant caravan in October.

In a survey released in the summer of 2017, a majority (52%) of respondents supported the idea of postponing the 2020 election if Trump needed to declare a national emergency to deal with the immigration problem.

It looks like Trump might just take them up on the offer.

Originally posted on StridentConservative.com.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook.

Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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News

Shooting near West Bank settlement kills at least 2 Israelis

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Shooting near West Bank settlement kills at least 2 Israelis

JERUSALEM (AP) — A shooting attack near a West Bank settlement on Thursday killed at least two Israelis and critically wounded another two, Israel’s rescue service said.

The deaths extend a violent week that began with a shooting outside a West Bank settlement on Sunday, resulting in the death of a baby who was delivered prematurely following the weekend attack, and continued with the killing of two Palestinians wanted in that and another attack on Israelis in the West Bank.

Eli Bin, the head of Israel’s Magen David Adom service, told Israeli Army Radio that two people were killed in the shooting, which occurred at a location about a ten-minute drive south from the place of Sunday’s attack. Their identities were not immediately known.

A later statement from the service said paramedics arrived at a bus stop to find four “youngsters” with gunshot wounds.

Israeli media reported that a passing car opened fire outside the settlement, but it was not clear if the gunmen had fled the scene or were stopped. The Israeli military had no additional information.

While the West Bank experiences occasional deadly violence, often between Israeli troops and Palestinian protesters, much of the Israeli-Palestinian violence in recent months has been limited to the Gaza Strip, where some 175 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in border protests.

“In recent days, we definitely feel like the situation (in the West Bank) is getting worse,” Shalom Galil, a paramedic who assisted at the scene of the shooting, told Israeli Army Radio.

The shooting comes hours after Israeli security forces tracked down and killed a Palestinian accused of killing two Israelis.

Israeli police said Ashraf Naalweh was found armed near the West Bank city of Nablus and was killed during an arrest raid.

Israel accuses Naalweh of shooting to death two Israelis and wounding another at an attack on a West Bank industrial zone in October. He fled the scene and Israeli forces have been searching for him since.

“Israel’s long arm will reach anyone who harms Israeli citizens,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

Police said it had made a number of arrests in its attempt to hunt down Naalweh and suspected he was planning on carrying out another attack.

On Wednesday, Israeli forces killed Salah Barghouti, a Palestinian suspect wanted in the drive-by shooting earlier this week at a West Bank bus stop.

In Sunday night’s attack, assailants in a Palestinian vehicle opened fire at a bus stop outside a West Bank settlement, wounding seven people, including a 21-year-old pregnant woman, before speeding away.

The militant Hamas group that rules the Gaza Strip said that both Barghouti and Naalweh were its members but stopped short of claiming responsibility for the attacks the two carried out.

“The flame of resistance in the (West) Bank will remain alive until the occupation is defeated on all our land,” Hamas said.

Also Thursday, police said an assailant stabbed two officers in Jerusalem’s Old City, wounding them lightly. The officers opened fire on the attacker and he was killed, spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

Police identified the man as a 26-year-old Palestinian from the West Bank. It released security camera footage that shows the man lunging toward the officers and appearing to stab them.

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