Category: Society

Debtor Nation: Treasury Quietly Adds Another $1 Trillion In Debt

As many on the blog are aware, I am a fiscal conservative and social liberal (the profile of many a libertarian). I have previously railed against our soaring debt and the continued inability of our presidents and members of Congress to exercise a modicum of fiscal responsibility. This is a new low with the Treasury Department taking on $1trillion in more debt — for a second year in a row. We are saddling our children with this crippling level of debt to avoid our politicians to escape their responsibility to make tough decisions. With the start of the 2020 presidential election, politicians are lining up with expansive new spending proposals to entice supporters as our government plunges deeper into debt.

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Roger Stone Indicted


Months ago, I wrote about how Special Counsel Robert Mueller was clearly gunning for Stone with an increasing intensity (here and here and here). Stone was arrested early Friday morning in another signature raid on his home by the FBI. Once again, as with the treatment of Paul Manafort, it is unclear why prosecutors wanted to have a night raid on his home (captured by awaiting media) for non-violent crimes. It was entirely unnecessary in my view. The criminal counts themselves are additional counts of false statements and witness tampering. These type of process crimes are the majority of charged conduct against non-Russians in the investigation other than the unrelated crimes against figures like Manafort.

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Saudi Sisters Commit Suicide After Reportedly Seeking Asylum

First photos of Saudi sisters found duct-taped together released

We previously discussed the plight of a young teenage girl who fought for asylum rather than return to the medieval laws of Saudi Arabia where women must live without equal rights or opportunities. The case for asylum of woman from our “close ally” is strong given the violence meted out to women who seek to express their own views or pick their own future, let alone their own religion. The stark choice for women was tragically evident this week when a medical examiner confirmed that two young sisters chose to die together rather than return to Saudi Arabia. Tala Farea, 16, and Rotana Farea, 22, reportedly wanted asylum but when their credit card ran out of money, they bound themselves together and threw themselves into the Hudson River, according to chief Medical Examiner Barbara Sampson as said in an official statement.

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Montreal Club Cancels Comedian For Wearing Dreadlocks

I have been previously critical of “cultural appropriation” campaigns against students and faculty and others accused of incorporating or adopting clothes, food (here and here and here), or exercise (and here) or even art (and here) associated with other cultures. These controversies have also involved hair and jewelry styles, including dreadlocks. The latest controversy arose over a comedian, Zach Poitras, who happened to have dreadlocks who was scheduled to have a show in Montreal at a bar associated with the University of Quebec. It was cancelled after people objected that he was white and thus his hair style was cultural appropriation. It is the same misguided position that we have seen on college campuses in sanctioning those who explore different styles or art forms or foods.

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Saudi Teenager Involved In Bangkok Standoff Granted Asylum In Canada

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

On Friday our host featured an article depicting the plight of Saudi Arabian National Rahaf al-Qunun who fled to Thailand to escape what she described as religious persecution for apostasy. Ms. al-Qunun renounced Islam and refused to submit to the state’s discriminatory practices toward women.

Her asylum pleading for many seemed a prima facie case, given apostasy is punishable up to and including the death penalty and Canada swiftly approved her petition upon her arrival.

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Notorious New York Lawyer Aaron Schlossberg Sued By Former Client

There is an interesting postscript story to the controversy surrounding New York attorney Aaron Schlossberg. As we discussed earlier, Schlossberg who went on a bizarre tirade against Spanish-speaking restaurant workers has quickly become the most hated man of the week in New York.  The New York Post reported that he has now been kicked out of his office by Corporate Suites, the company that held his lease.  Now, Schlossberg’s former client, Niche Music Group LLC, is suing him for embarrassing the company by its association to him. While I have little sympathy for Schlossberg (who is a GW grad), the lawsuit raises a troubling question over the liability of lawyers for statements or conduct made in their private lives. The premise of the action is that a lawyer can be sued if his views or actions cause embarrassment by association with clients.

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NAACP Declares Portland Earthquake Warnings To Be Racist

There is a bizarre controversy in Portland, Oregon after the city began to put up notices on buildings that it deemed unsafe for possible earthquakes. The city is trying to prepare for “the big one” — a massive earthquake that is now overdue. It is identifying older buildings susceptible to collapse with public signs. However, it is facing a challenge from the NAACP of Portland which has declared the signs to be the embodiment of “white supremacy” and racism. There is also a challenge for building owners.

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Hitler Goes Ballistic Over Patreon Censorship: Patreon Part 5

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

You know you’ve reached a level of notoriety when someone creates a Hitler Goes Ballistic meme in your disfavor. Well, now it has happened for our friends at Patreon where a creator dubbed over a clip from the WWII film “Der Untergang / Downfall” and had the charity to cast Patreon CEO Jack Conte as Hitler.

The reported author surely displays courage to craft this, considering that he receives significant funding from Patreon, who’s Trust and Safety Team seems bent on wiping out what they disagree with, or what others label as being “Nazi” or such. Casting Mr. Conte as Hitler is worth a laugh in itself for the irony.

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Exodus: Patreon: A Threat To Free Speech Part 4

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

The damage resulting from Patreon’s ill-advised venture into censorship continues with the departure of both content creators and their patrons.

Among many others, two of Patreon’s largest subscribers not only announced their departure but that they also intend to construct a crowd-funding source that they hope will insulate content creators from the whims of Patreon’s and other exchanges’ staff’s political or personal ideals. Many regard their departure not just in terms of protests in the name of free speech, but as sound financial stewardship to protect their own livelihood from a possibly unreliable payment and revenue source.

The bleeding continues

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“The Machine of Perpetual War Acceptance”: Veteran NBC Journalist Resigns In Protest Over One-Sided Coverage

This week I published a column on how the Democratic Party seems to have jettisoned many of its defining values to simply become the anti-Trump party. The best example of that transformation is the automatic opposition to Trump’s decision to pull troops out of Syria and other countries. At the same time, liberal media outlets like CNN and MSNBC have been airing continual experts denouncing the “hasty” withdrawal. Now veteran NBC award-winning journalist William Arkin has resigned in protest of what he says is the unrelenting support of the network for endless wars. He notes that the anti-Trump agenda at the network has overwhelmed what used to be critical coverage of “the machine of perpetual war acceptance and conventional wisdom to challenge Hillary Clinton’s hawkishness.” Now the reflective anti-Trump response at the network has overwhelmed all such considerations, according to Arkin. While Arkin calls Trump “an ignorant and incompetent impostor,” he cites the transformation of NBC into an opposition network as the main reason for his departure.

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Former Alabama Sheriff Who Used Inmate Food Funds To Buy Beach House Now Faces Allegations of Pocketing $1.5 Million In Federal Funds

We have previously discussed the shameful and corrupt law in Alabama that allowed sheriffs to personally pocket any money left over from food funds for inmates. It is astonishing to me that the entire legislature was not held responsible and thrown from office for maintaining such a moronic and perverse law. Nevertheless, despite scandals of sheriffs pocketing hundreds of thousands for beach houses and personal windfalls, the legislature ignored national outcry over the law. Now Sheriff Todd Entrekin of Etowah County, Alabama, may have finally gone too far. Not for Alabama, mind you, but the federal government which takes a different view of pilfering the public fisc. Entrekin, who lost his re-election this year after he was found to have pocketed $750,000 allotted for feeding inmates in county lockup and using it for a beach house, is facing new allegations that he took an additional $1.5 millions aside for feeding federal immigration detainees.

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Feminist Activist Posts Sexist Tweet . . . Then Allegedly Retaliated Against Boston College Adjunct Professor Who Objected

Amy Siskind, founder of the feminist nonprofit The New Agenda, shocked many people in stating that she would never support any white male in the Democratic primary. Period. Does not matter what they have accomplished or what they want to accomplished. Does not matter if they are the most qualified for the White House. Siskind simply intended to vote on race and gender, but apparently does not like being called a sexist or racist. When political talk show host and Boston College professor David Pakman made the obvious objection to her tweet in a video entitled “Racism & Sexism Exist On The Left, Too“, he says that she not only blocked him on Twitter but allegedly complained to Boston College to jeopardize his adjunct position.

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Tonight we rang in 2019 at home in McLean, Virginia.  New Year’s eve is also my wedding anniversary. Twenty-one years ago,  Leslie and I eloped in Old Town Alexandria after dating eight years. Once again, we will celebrate two anniversary dates. I count the anniversary as our 29th while Leslie insists on counting this year as our 21st anniversary.  We will toast our anniversary and the New Year (as we did 20 years ago) with a bottle of Schramsburg Cremant.

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Happy New Year to all of our blog community from around the world. As has been our tradition on this blog, with the start of 2019, I thought I would wanted to share our annual “State of The Blog” statistics. It has been a great year for the blog with the highest traffic in years with another expansion of roughly 20 percent. We also have an increasingly large international contingent of readers and commenters. We are approaching 36 million views and remain one of the largest legal blogs in the world.

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