Pictures of the Week, After the Fourth

Might be ‘fake news’!

And finally, a Kaitlin Bennett encore

From PowerLine, Bookworm, and PA Pundits, mostly.

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Another Week; Still Winning!

Don’t see this sort of picture very often from US officials. Well done Amb. Haley!

Welp, another week. This happened.

This is working so well!

The end justifies the jeans.

Mostly from PowerLine and Patriot Post.

Death of the Free Internet

Yesterday the EU essentially voted to kill the free internet, although there is one more step to make it valid. Let’s let Robert Tracinski of The Federalist tells us why.

This [Article 13] is ostensibly a measure to enforce copyright protections, but it is drawn so preposterously overbroad that it will catch everybody.

A proposed new European copyright law wants large websites to use ‘content recognition technologies’ to scan for copyrighted videos, music, photos, text, and code in a move that that could impact everyone from the open source software community to remixers, livestreamers, and teenage meme creators.

This law is calculated to destroy the free-wheeling Internet in five ways.

1) It restricts the flow of content on computer networks.

Article 13 reverses one of the key legal doctrines that allowed the Internet to thrive: the idea that computer networks are not “publishers” and are therefore not liable for the actions or statements of their users. This means that you can sue an individual user for libel or copyright infringement, but not the e-mail service or bulletin board or social media platform on which he did it. This immunity made it possible for computer networks to open a floodgate of content produced by independent individuals, without requiring service providers to serve as editors or moderators.

2) It creates an Internet surveillance state.

Article 13 would require big tech companies to establish the infrastructure to monitor and control all communications that go through their networks, which is precisely what they are already doing too much of.

3) It entrenches the big media giants.

The expense of setting up the electronic filters mandated in Article 13 is so great that tiny little startups can’t do it. Only the giants can do it.

But wait, it gets worse. Along with Article 13 is Article 11, dubbed the “link tax,” which requires websites to buy a license from established publications in order to quote, excerpt, or possibly even link to their material. Ostensibly, this is to protect publications from sites that “curate” content by stealing it, providing a link to the original source only after they have excerpted all of its key information and gathered all the Web traffic for themselves. But the egregious abuse of excerpts is already illegal. Article 11 replaces existing laws with something much broader and more vague, whose exact scope hasn’t even been defined yet.

4) It would outlaw legitimate uses of information.

As another opponent explains, “Automated systems just can’t distinguish between commentary, criticism, and parody, and mere copying, nor could the platforms employ a workforce big enough to adjudicate each case to see if a match to a copyrighted work falls within one of copyright’s limitations and exceptions.”

5) It would unleash false and malicious copyright claims.

Article 13 allows for mass uploading of copyright claims but imposes no penalty for making a false claim. This creates an incentive for bad actors to suppress information by targeting it with false copyright claims.

[S]tock-market manipulators could use bots to claim copyright over news about a company, suppressing its sharing on social media; political actors could suppress key articles during referendums or elections; corrupt governments could use arms-length trolls to falsely claim ownership of footage of human rights abuses…. It’s asymmetric warfare:…. Bots will be able to pollute the copyright databases much faster than humans could possibly clear it.

More, and more detail at The Federalist, linked above.

It is a blatant grab for censorship by the elites, for the elites. Not something we are unfamiliar with if you can’t compete with something outlaw it. In theory, it should not affect us here in the US. Yeah right, if you read that privacy notice on this and every article on this site, it is there because the EU mandates it.

Europe is a dying market, but it is a very self-important market, with a very entrenched ruling class, who would much rather you didn’t know what they were up to. Just like HMG with regard to Tommy Robinson, where we got the word on the internet and America and Australia have embarrassed the British government.

It’s doubtful that we would have ever heard about his arrest (or likely even him) if this had been in force. Nor would we have heard about the green revolt in Iran a few years ago.

It is a pernicious measure, which has the power to remove the truth from the public sphere, and ways around it must be found if we cannot kill it. Because this could kill freedom of speech, perhaps only on the internet, but…

What you don’t know, you can’t speak of.

 

Tommy Robinson and Liberal Democracy

Over the weekend Paul Mirengoff of Powerline wrote an article called Getting “World Order” Wrong. It’s a very good one. Here’s some…

In this post called “Getting Italy wrong,” I argued that when EU types say populism threatens liberal democracy they usually mean it threatens their policy preferences, which often are not particularly democratic. The same is largely true, I think, of complaints that Donald Trump threatens the “world order.”

This story by Karen DeYoung of the Washington Post — “In Trump, some fear the end of the world order” — is full of moans that, as the pompous Donald Tusk puts it, Trump is challenging “the rules-based international order.” But how is Trump doing this?

Through tariffs? What rule prohibits Trump from imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum? I disagree with Trump’s decision to do so, but surely the rules-based international order does not depend on the absence of these tariffs. Canada imposes ungodly tariffs on U.S. agricultural products without threatening the world order. Why should our tariffs threaten it?

They don’t. Eurocrats and their friends are just using buzz words to defend their economic interests.

And that is the exact truth, what Donald Trump threatens is a lot of corporatist rice bowls. Those people who aren’t good enough to make in on their own and so run to the government to protect them from those who are.

You know, maybe he does threaten the world order, if so he does so by attempting to reintroduce the American order, where merit is the sole determinant of success. It’s never been quite that clean-cut, of course. Paul Revere founded the Revere Copper Works to make the copper bottom for the USS Constitution, and Abraham Lincoln was a railroad lawyer (and a good one). But both of them, and many others provided real quality for a realistic price.

Now what we have in most instances are people providing shoddy merchandise and services for an inflated price which includes a kickback for the politicians.

And do not think it doesn’t carry beyond business either. Why is Tommy Robinson in jail (or gaol, if you prefer)? Because he threatens the system, which enriches politicians who turn a blind eye to abuses, like industrial scale rape and abuse of working-class girls, for a price. The British system can no longer exist in sunlight but must hide in the shadows of the night to exist. It is that corrupt.

And so in time-dishonored fascist fashion, Robinson was frog-marched through a risible parody of a conviction, for not much and consigned to a prison where he has a fair chance of being murdered. If he is, his blood will be on the government of the United Kingdom. This is such a bad thing that it is a parody of the infamous star chamber which the Stuart kings used to try and defenstrate Parliament.

The Dutch MP Geert Wilders spoke to a very well attended rally in Whitehall not long ago to demand Robinson’s release. His address is here.

This is the ‘liberal democracy’ (two lies for the price of one!) that they are so very afraid that Donald Trump and America, in whose name he acts, will tear down.

By God, I hope so!

In 1653, Oliver Cromwell spoke to what we call the Rump Parliament. I think his comments just as applicable today:

It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place,

which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice.

Ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government.

Ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.

Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess?

Ye have no more religion than my horse. Gold is your God. Which of you have not bartered your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?

Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defiled this sacred place, and turned the Lord’s temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices?

Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation. You were deputed here by the people to get grievances redressed, are yourselves become the greatest grievance.

Your country therefore calls upon me to cleanse this Augean stable, by putting a final period to your iniquitous proceedings in this House; and which by God’s help, and the strength he has given me, I am now come to do.

I command ye therefore, upon the peril of your lives, to depart immediately out of this place.

Go, get you out! Make haste! Ye venal slaves be gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors.

In the name of God, go!

The time has again come, all across Europe.

A Wave of Summitry, Illustrated

 

From USA Today

Bwhahaha!

 

From Archbishop Cranmer, after Caravaggio:

The Globalist Last Supper

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

And, of course…

Most but not close to all from PowerLine.

Seriously, but not Literally

This could be a book review, except all I’ve read is the Amazon excerpt, which was enough to sell me the book, which I’ll likely read today – it’s that good. What book is that? This one: The Great Revolt: Inside the Populist Coalition Reshaping American Politics, by Salena Zito and Brad Todd, Crown Forum, New York.

Thing is, I’m one of the people she’s writing about (no, not personally) but their background is my background, it is our shared history – in the breadbasket and manufactury of America. We are the people who elected Trump. Why? Because we had simply had enough of what many, likely most, of us see as the uniparty.

Time for something new. And Trump speaks our language, blunt, to the point, always looking out for America First. It was Zito that first described so well how we take Trump, then and now: We take him seriously, but not literally. That’s also how we take each other. How a Brooklyn born, Manhatten based multi-millionaire builder/CEO manages to sound like us is remarkable, but he does, and on 20 January 2017, a president of the old America took office. After all, he is the President of the United States, not the freakin’ world.

Fred Siegal of City Journal has a good review of the book up there, here is an excerpt from that.

Despite Trump’s narrow margin of victory—just 77,000 votes—in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, Zito and Todd see the 2016 election as representing a tectonic shift in America’s electoral plates. “Far from a fluke, the 2016 election was a product of Obama’s globalist conceits that produced defective trade deals, open borders and an aggressive secularism.” Trump’s victory was his triumph, not the Republican Party’s.  Neither the two-time Obama voters who switched to Trump nor the habitual nonvoters who came out to the polls in 2016 saw much to rally around in the GOP. Their ties are to Trump, a finding with implications for the upcoming midterms.

“Eighty-nine percent of Trump voters represented in the Great Revolt Survey agree with the statement ‘Republicans and Democrats in Washington are both guilty of leading the country down the wrong path,’” Zito and Todd write. An Iowa voter insisted that the “only person that is able to turn me against Trump is Trump.” Similarly, in economically hard-hit Ashtabula, Ohio, east of Cleveland, a voter said: “So to ask me what would extricate me from Trump would be like asking me to remove me from myself, from my family, and from my community.” The most important issues for voters in the authors’ survey were “restoring manufacturing jobs, protecting Medicare and social security and appointing conservatives to the Supreme Court to protect religious liberty being threatened by assertive Hilary Clinton Progressives.” One interviewee said that NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, “is no longer an acronym—it’s a noun, and a profanity.”

It’s interesting that as this goes on, not to mention the hysterical bleating from the Democrats and the Never-Trumpers (in whom I fail to discern any difference) the president’s support from Hispanics and Blacks is starting to rise, not surprisingly, a rising tide really does lift all boats, and their lives are getting better. Even most of the Republican party seems to be starting to see the light, not least because it’s fairly easy to primary a candidate, even to the Senate level, especially with a popular president providing the tar and feathers.

Zito and Tod see American politics as a tectonic process, huge groups crashing into each other and changing. They have at least a fair amount of right. The morphing of the Whigs and others into the nascent Republican party in the 1850s was one. Don’t forget they fielded their first candidate for president in 1856, Lincoln was only the second. The Democratic Party’s switch to Progressivism in Wilson’s term, soon followed by Roosevelt paved the way for the welfare state.

This may well be the next, as the center of America, the people (and their sons and daughters, and grandsons and granddaughters) who fight America’s wars, build and fix America’s machines, and feed the world, once again bring their common sense, reality-based outlook to the governance of the country.

I don’t think it will end with Trump, either, there is an optimism in the air. And when the most open and largest market in the world starts flexing its muscles, the world will change, and not for the better for snowflakes and bureaucrats anywhere in the world. Have I mentioned that the Atlanta Federal Reserve is predicting an annual growth rate of 4.7% in this quarter? We’ve only just begun.

There’s an old Negro spiritual that says it well:

Get on Board, little chillun’, Get on board.

 

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