The Evergreen State College Controversy in 7 Blood Boiling Minutes

Evergreen State College, a Washington college with a student acceptance rate of 98.9%, has recently come into the news for a free speech controversy. The controversy centers around Bret Weinstein, a progressive evolutionary biology professor, who had the audacity to object to a student led initiative to make white students and professors stay home for a day.

The ensuing student protests show perfectly what today’s neo-Marxist campus left has become.  The only thing more pathetic than the student’s behavior has been university president George Bridges’ response. By allowing these intellectually stunted campus bullies run roughshod over the college, even while they shout profanities and attempt to block his access to the bathroom, he is only pouring gasoline on the fire.

Evergreen State College has always been a left-wing training ground. In addition to the 98.9% acceptance rate (the national average is 65%), the college boasts “narrative evaluations” instead of a traditional grading structure. This speaks volumes about the institution’s lack of academic standards.

If the behavior in the video wasn’t irritating enough, consider this: Evergreen State College currently receives over $24 million in taxpayer funding annually. The controversy has led a state lawmaker to introduce a plan to privatize the university and eliminate the funding over five years. Even better would be to eliminate all taxpayer funding of colleges and universities, as well as ending all government subsidy of student loans. Let the campus crazies terrorize impotent college presidents on their own dime.

 

McCain Institute funded by Soros, Saudis

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has recently come under fire for some questionable donations that were made to the institute that bears his name, the Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group is reporting.

The McCain Institute for International Leadership was created in 2012 using almost $9 million dollars of unused campaign contributions from McCain’s failed 2008 presidential campaign.

According to the Institute’s website, the “McCain Institute is a non-partisan do-tank dedicated to advancing character-driven global leadership based on security, economic opportunity, freedom and human dignity – in the United States and around the world. The Institute seeks to promote humanitarian action, human rights and democracy, and national security, and to embrace technology in producing better designs for educated decisions in national and international policy.”

Per the Daily Caller, though, “Critics worry that the institute’s donors and McCain’s personal leadership in the organization’s exclusive “Sedona Forum” bear an uncanny resemblance to the glitzy Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) that annually co-mingled special interests and powerful political players in alleged pay-to-play schemes.”

Here are a few of the donations in question:

George Soros – $100,000

If there was ever a match made in hell, it’s this one. Soros, who has been linked to funding violent leftist groups like Antifa, and McCain, maybe the senate’s worst authoritarian warmonger, extending their “leadership” internationally should terrify anyone who values peace, liberty, and self-determination.

Teneo – $100,000

Teneo, the international advisory firm and investment banking platform, was co-founded by Doug Band. Band, a former Clinton assistant and lawyer, helped create the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) and later worked for the Clinton Foundation. Both the CGI, which was dissolved in early 2017 after Hillary Clinton’s presidential election loss, and the Clinton Foundation have been criticized for many of the same issues that now plague the McCain Institute.

Saudi Arabia – $1,000,000

First reported by Bloomberg in 2016, the McCain Institute collected a $1 million donation from the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia. The Saudis are notorious sponsors of terrorism in the middle east and thanks to the release of now infamous ’28 pages’ report have even been implicated in helping organize the 9/11 attacks.

Morocco – $100,000

Per the Daily Caller:

“It accepted more than $100,000 from OCP, S.A., a Moroccan state-owned phosphate company operating in the Western Sahara, territory which Morocco seized in 1975. The North African country has since occupied the region by force in defiance of U.N. resolutions and legal declarations by other international bodies.

Morocco has come under criticism from human rights groups that the government violates basic human rights and that its state-owned companies subject its workforce to gruesome conditions while exploiting the disputed territory’s natural resources.”

Not to mention that the King of Morocco is a long-time donor to the Clinton Foundation, including a multimillion-dollar donation that secured a CGI meeting in Marrakech in 2015.

For the record, McCain claims to have very little involvement with the institute, even though he regularly attends events and meetings, his wife is on the institute’s Human Trafficking Advisory Council, many of his “longtime political allies” sit on the board of directors, and one of his fundraisers keeps the institute’s books.

So far, there is no definitive proof that pay to play going on at the McCain Institute, but if there seems like there is overlap between the Clinton Foundation and the McCain Institute, it’s easy to see why.

Quote of the Day

Today’s quote comes from Patrick Henry, along with commentary by the Mises Institute’s Ryan McMaken (read the whole thing here).

Henry’s quote comes from a speech he gave at the 1788 Virginia convention, which was called to ratify the U.S. Constitution. Henry’s insights into the abusive nature of a strong Federalist government is prescient and McMaken drives the point home.

“If we admit this consolidated government, it will be because we like a great splendid one. Some way or other we must be a great and mighty empire; we must have an army, a navy, and a number of things: When the American spirit was in its youth, the language of America was different: Liberty, Sir, was then the primary object…But now, Sir, the American spirit, assisted by the ropes and chains of consolidation, is about to convert this country to a powerful and mighty empire.”

And quite an empire it has become. Today, as Americans, half our incomes are taxed away to that consolidated government; we send our sons to die toppling dictators armed and financed by those same taxes; we bleat like sheep for protection from each other and every foreign bogeyman near and far, and we call it liberty!

And for most Americans today, Patrick Henry is no doubt seen as a hopeless romantic, an impractical partisan of an imperfect ideology. He should have compromised and joined the Convention, we are told. His vision for America is in the dustbin of history. A fine man for a revolution perhaps, but of little use for our civilized government of today. Such are the rationalizations we now must resort to.

Patrick Henry may have failed to prevent the destruction of the free states of 18th century America, but he speaks to us across the centuries. Henry provides us with an eloquent example of those men of principle who put liberty first and were not afraid to fight for it. Today, as we beg for scraps at government’s table, perhaps we could learn a little something about courage and liberty from Mr. Henry.

 

James Madison and the Problem with the Constitution

This comes from an early section of Tom Wood’s excellent The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. (Seriously, if you don’t have it, click the link and go buy it.)

Madison wrote to Thomas Jefferson in 1792,

If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands, they may appoint teachers in every state, county, and parish, and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume provision for the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all the roads other than post-roads; in short, everything, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress.

Sound familiar?

The man who wrote the First Amendment knew exactly well that the federal government would try to exploit areas of the constitution in order to expand their power. Madison wrote the above in 1792, but even by 1798 John Adams’ Alien and Sedition Acts were pushing the envelope of what the federal government could get away with.  With the later help of activist, federalist judges like John Marshall and those after him, the door was officially opened to allow the federal government to grow into the monstrosity it is today.

So the question becomes, does the constitution authorize the federal government expand it’s powers into every area of our lives, or is it simply too weak to restrain it?

My answer is: does it matter if the outcome is always the same?

19th century political theorist and lawyer Lysander Spooner convincingly argued in No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority, that the constitution shouldn’t even apply to those who never agreed to it. To him, the constitution was a contract between men. Spooner saw the idea of the constitution binding future generations of people by some mythical “social contract” as a ridiculous one.  I agree.

The State always expands its own power and authority at the expense of its subjects. It is parasitic by nature. The goal for should be to decentralize that power away from the federal government and back to the individuals, who are far better capable of making decisions for themselves.

Walter Williams on Rewriting History

Walter Williams has an interesting column today on the left’s tired attempts to rewriting American history. In it, I think, he encapsulates the proper way to think about this issue. This is no surprise from the always clear-thinking Williams.

He starts his column (which you can read in its entirety here), fittingly, with a quote from Orwell, “The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” That is certainly an apt description of the left’s incessant need to tear down the elements of history that they don’t approve of.

Some brief history is necessary. Outlawing or tearing down confederate monuments and symbols is certainly nothing new. There have been organized movements to remove the confederate flag and other monuments in southern states since the 1960’s. The movement has gained even more traction since the 2015 South Carolina church massacre, which led to the removal of the confederate flag from the South Carolina capitol building. This success has led directly to the recent events in New Orleans, where four long time historical monuments are now being removed.

Whether controversial historical monuments belong on public property or not should be up to the people who live there, but it is a dangerous game the left is playing. If you believe that those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it, how much more so for those who willingly repress and destroy the past? Wouldn’t a better solution be to allow a private dealer to purchase the monuments and display them on private property? Well, no, because the goal isn’t to relocate the monuments to somewhere more appropriate, the goal is to destroy them and any memory of them. It isn’t about tolerance and inclusiveness, it’s about political power, pure and simple.

Not to mention, where do you stop? This is ultimately Williams’ point.

“The challenges of rewriting American history are endless, going beyond relatively trivial challenges such as finding new pictures for our currency. At least half of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence were slave owners. Also consider that roughly half of the 55 delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia were slave owners. Do those facts invalidate the U.S. Constitution, and would the history rewriters want us to convene a new convention to purge and purify our Constitution?

The job of tyrants and busybodies is never done. When they accomplish one goal, they move their agenda to something else. If we Americans give them an inch, they’ll take a yard. So I say, don’t give them an inch in the first place. The hate-America types use every tool at their disposal to achieve their agenda of discrediting and demeaning our history. Our history of slavery is simply a convenient tool to further their cause.”

Well said.

Making Sense of Climate Change and the Paris Accord

The recent decision of President Trump to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord was predictably met with all the hand wringing, pearl clutching, and establishment disdain one has come to expect. Some have remarked that this will be the end of the United States as leader of the free world. Eleven U.S. states have even said that they will continue to pursue energy policies as if the Paris accords are still in place, in direct defiance of the federal government. I support any state’s right to nullify federal laws, but I always find it interesting that leftists will use nullification and federalism for the causes they support, but are aghast when other states use nullification to say, enforce less restrictive gun control policies. But that’s another post.

So what about the Paris Accord? Has President Trump doomed us all to a life of smoggy darkness until climate change kills us all? Or are the Paris accords are like so many other international agreements? The fact is that the Paris climate accords are no more than an extremely expensive way to achieve extraordinarily little, while being able to say we are “doing something!”

As Oren Cass writes in Commentary Magazine:

The Accord was doomed before negotiators ever assembled for photographs in December 2015. They were not there to commit each country to meaningful greenhouse-gas reductions; rather, everyone submitted their voluntary pledges in advance, and all were accepted without scrutiny. Pledges did not have to mention emissions levels, nor were there penalties for falling short. The conference itself was, in essence, a stapling exercise.

The Paris accord is made of many individual nation’s pledges to fight climate change, but those pledges aren’t required to set any caps or goals for reducing emission levels, nor do they contain any penalties if said goals aren’t met.

Cass sums it up nicely:

So should the U.S. have stayed or gone? To quote another of President Obama’s secretaries of state: “What difference, at this point, does it make?” For the climate, not much of one. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s assessment of the agreement found that even full compliance would only have reduced global temperatures in 2100 by only 0.2 degrees Celsius.

Is the climate changing? Yes. The climate has gone through long periods of cooling and warming for millions of years. Is man the primary cause of climate change? There is no doubt that man’s activities have played some role, but the extent is way overblown. For example, tectonic plate activity plays a huge role in climate change and has virtually nothing to do with man.

The real question isn’t whether climate is changing or not. The real question is: should the U.S. spend $2.5 trillion and lose over 200,000 jobs for the mere possibility of reducing the global temperature 0.2 degrees in 100 years?

Comey Testifies on Trump, Clinton, and Russia

Former FBI Director James Comey testified before the Senate yesterday to speak on Trump, Clinton, email servers, Russia, and the leaked “Comey Memo”. For the left, the highly anticipated testimony was supposed to produce the smoking gun against Trump and his administration’s collusion with the Russians. Instead, what we got was three hours with very little new information.

It seems that Comey’s testimony has succeeded in confirming everyone’s biases. If you are apt to believe that Trump is lying and colluding with the Russians, then him saying he hoped Comey could “see clear to letting [Flynn’s investigation] go” sounds like a threat approaching obstruction of justice. If you believe that Trump isn’t working with the Russians and just wants to story to stop negatively effecting own executive agenda, then his words seem like a good faith effort to put the issue to rest. That’s why today you see Trump supporters claiming vindication and the anti-Trump crowd calling for impeachment.

So what did we actually find out during Comey’s three hour long testimony?

1. Comey himself leaked the now infamous “Comey Memo”

Per the Hill:

“I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter,” Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday. “I didn’t do it myself for a variety of reasons but I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel.” 

Apparently, Comey decided to leak the memo after Trump tweeted that “there better be no tapes of our [Trump and Comey’s] meeting before he [Comey] starts leaking to the press” as a way to get ahead of the story. Ironically, he didn’t want to do the leaking himself, though, because of the media feeding frenzy. How dense can this guy be? It doesn’t matter who physically leaked the information, this is Donald Trump, the media feeding frenzy was coming no matter what.

2. Loretta Lynch told Comey to call Hillary Clinton’s email server investigation a “matter”, not an investigation.

Per the Washington Times:

“At one point, [Ms. Lynch] directed me not to call it an ‘investigation’ but instead to call it a ‘matter,’ which confused me and concerned me,” Mr. Comey said of Ms. Lynch. “That was one of the bricks in the load that led me to conclude I have to step away from the department if we are to close this case credibly.”

Mr. Comey said the language suggested by Ms. Lynch was troublesome because it closely mirrored what the Clinton campaign was using.

Acknowledging that he didn’t know whether it was intentional, Mr. Comey said Ms. Lynch’s request “gave the impression the attorney general was looking to align the way we talked about our investigation with the way a political campaign was describing the same activity.”

Though certainly a new piece of information, this only confirms what we already know: both parties in Washington are more than willing to participate in the game of using the FBI as a tool of political influence.

Whether President Trump was attempting to obstruct justice during his meetings with Comey or not is a matter for the special prosecutor to decide. As it stands, even Comey confirmed that he didn’t believe Trump’s behavior was obstruction of justice. He also told the Senate that Trump is not personally under any investigation and that there is no credible evidence that suggests Trump and the Russians colluded on anything, even taking time during his testimony to smack down a New York Times article claiming repeated meetings between Trump’s campaign and Russian government.