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Thursday, April 30, 2015


How to get $75k in benefits for you and your girlfriend 
Follow these proven steps.

1. Don't get married to your girlfriend.

2. Use your mom's address to send mail to.

3. The guy buys a house.

4. Guy rents out house to his girl girlfriend who has 2 of his kids.

5. Section 8 will pay 900 a month for a 3 bedroom home.

6. Girlfriend signs up for Obamacare so guy doesn't have to pay out the butt for family insurance.

7. Girlfriend gets to go to college for free being a single mother.

8. Girlfriend gets 600 a month for food stamps.

9. Girlfriend gets free cell phone.

10. Girlfriend gets free utilities.

11. Guy moves into home but uses Mom’s house to get mail sent to.

12. Girlfriend claims one kid and guy claims one kid on taxes.  Now you both get to claim head of house hold at $1800 credit.

13. Girlfriend gets disability for being "crazy" or having a "bad back" at $1800 a month and never has to work again.

This plan is perfectly legal and is being executed now by millions of people.  A married couple with a stay at home Mom yields $0 dollars.  An unmarried couple with stay at home Mom nets:

21,600 disability +
10,800 free housing +
6,000 free ObamaCare +
6,000 free food +
4,800 free utilities +
6,000 Pell grant money to spend +
12,000 a year in college tuition free from pell grant +
8,800 tax benefit for being a single mother =


Total: $75,000 a year in benefits

Any idea why the country is 18 + trillion in debt?  Keep it up … your children will pay the price.

Soros is a tax cheat

The average spectator of American politics can save themselves quite a bit of heartache by embracing cynicism. Credulity is an ailment shared by those on both the left and the right, but it often seems that grassroots liberals more often suffer under the delusion that their compatriots are unimpeachable ideologues incapable of hypocrisy. That condition was perhaps slightly ameliorated when it was discovered that the liberal cable news network MSNBC is jam-packed with duplicitous personalities. 

For MSNBC’s liberal hosts, the tax burden assumed by the wealthy is criminally trivial. These hosts have also been known to decry the complex network of loopholes within the absurdly intricate American tax code that allows the wealthy to shirk many of their tax obligations. The properly cynical were not surprised to learn that many of this network’s hosts were guilty of regularly failing to meet the standards they set for others. In fact, no fewer than four prominent MSNBC hosts have been accused by the IRS of owing a substantial amount in back taxes. But Al Sharpton’s $4.5 million debt to the government and his refusal to pay even payroll taxes on his charity’s employees hasn’t prevented him from demanding others pay their “fair share.” 

MSNBC hosts are in good company. Maybe the most prolific donor on the left, a figure with a financial stake in so many political organizations with a leftist mission, George Soros, also appealed to tax dodging to amass his fortune. 

“George Soros likes to say the rich should pay more taxes,” Bloomberg’s Miles Weiss observed. “A substantial part of his wealth, though, comes from delaying them.”

“While building a record as one of the world’s greatest investors, the 84-year-old billionaire used a loophole that allowed him to defer taxes on fees paid by clients and reinvest them in his fund, where they continued to grow tax-free,” the report continued. “At the end of 2013, Soros—through Soros Fund Management—had amassed $13.3 billion through the use of deferrals, according to Irish regulatory filings by Soros.”

From October 2008 through the end of 2013, Quantum Ireland paid Irish taxes of $962 on $3,851 of net income after allocating $7.2 billion of operating income to investors as distributions on profit participation notes, according to its financial statements. Most, if not all, of the notes were held by Soros’s tax-exempt Open Society foundations. Last year, Soros shut down Quantum Ireland and moved the deferred fees to a new entity incorporated in the Cayman Islands.

Soros may have found another way to defer paying taxes on fees. After Congress placed restrictions on U.S. investors in offshore funds in 1986, Soros created a security that enabled partners in his firm to defer taxes and convert ordinary income into lower-taxed capital gains, according to the person familiar with the firm’s finances. In 2010, Soros revived that maneuver by having Quantum Endowment issue $3 billion of convertible preferred partnership interests to “related parties” of Soros Fund Management, according to the Irish financial filings.

bloomberg soros

Soros was held up by the left as a model of propriety during the 2012 election cycle when he advocated for raising taxes like people on himself. “Yes, I very much do so,” Soros said when asked by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria if he supported the president’s desire to hike the tax burden for the rich, “because it’s the big boom, the super-bubble that resulted in a great increase in inequality.”

“Not only do we have the after effect where we have slow growth one way or the other, but if you have better distribution of income, the average American will be better off,” Soros added. 

But just like the hosts at MSNBC, Soros isn’t really referring to himself. He knows that his intentions are just and good. He’s referring to the villains constructed in his head; the greedy, uncharitable, faceless Republican billionaire that serves as a cartoonish foil in the minds of so many on the left. Who cares if I take advantage of tax loopholes or even fail to pay taxes entirely, Soros and his MSNBC cohorts tell themselves. My intentions are noble, and that’s what really counts.

Sheriff: ‘I Was Sick To My Stomach’ After Being Told To Stand Down

BALTIMORE (CBS BALTIMORE) — A Maryland sheriff who traveled to Baltimore to help law enforcement stop Monday’s riots told 105.7 The Fan that he was stunned when officers alerted him of the orders to stand down.

Michael Lewis is the Sheriff in Wicomico County, and was also a Sergeant with the Maryland State Police. He joined Ed Norris and Steve Davis on Thursday to talk about the alleged controversial orders the police were given during the riots.

Lewis said it wasn’t his intention to come to Baltimore, a drive of about two hours, but he felt it was his duty to help.

“I hadn’t planned to go to Baltimore at all. I watched the events unfold Saturday night like we all did, and was very concerned about what I saw, and the the lack of response Saturday night,” he said. “I immediately rallied up the troops. We made sure our MRAP was prepared and ready. … We were assigned to assigned to protect Baltimore City Police headquarters, all of E. Fayette Street up to City Hall, to include City Hall. There wasn’t a whole lot of activity taking place at all. We could smell that putrid smell of burning tires and a city on fire when as we came into the city. Had lots of concerns like everyone else. We maintained our post all night long until we were relieved.”

But what shocked him the most, he said, was when city police told him not to confront and accost the rioters.

“I was sick to my stomach like everybody else. … This was urban warfare, no question about it. They were coming in absolutely beaten down. The [city officers] got out of their vehicles, thanked us profusely for being there, apologized to us for having to be there. They said we could have handled this, we were very capable of handling this, but we were told to stand down, repeatedly told to stand down,” he said. “I had never heard that order come from anyone — we went right out to our posts as soon as we got there, so I never heard the mayor say that. But repeatedly these guys, and there were many high-ranking officials from the Baltimore City Police Department … and these guys told me they were essentially neutered from the start. They were spayed from the start. They were told to stand down, you will not take any action, let them destroy property. I couldn’t believe it, I’m a 31-year veteran of law enforcement. … I had never heard anything like this before in my life and these guys obviously aren’t gonna speak out and the more I thought about this, … I had to say a few things. I apologize if I’ve upset people, but I believe in saying it like it is.”

Lewis said though he didn’t hear the order to stand down come from the mayor, he did hear it from police officials.

“I heard it myself over the Baltimore City police radio that I had tethered to my body-armor vest, I heard it repeatedly. ‘Stand down, stand down, stand down! Back up, back up, retreat, retreat!’ I couldn’t believe those words. Those are words I’ve never heard in my law enforcement vocabulary,” he said. “Baltimore City police, all law enforcement agencies are very capable of handling that city. They’re trained to handle that city. These guys were hearing words that had never been echoed in their lives, in their careers.”

Lewis claims after the riots many officers told him they were done being cops in the city and how heartbroken they are that they were not allowed to defend their city and stop businesses from burning.

Listen to even more in the entire controversial interview with Sheriff Lewis below:

U.S. Navy Warships to "accompany" every U.S.-flagged commercial vessel that passes through the Strait of Hormu

CNN has learned U.S. Navy warships will now "accompany" every U.S.-flagged commercial vessel that passes through the Strait of Hormuz between Iran and Oman because of concerns that ships from Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps navy could try to seize a U.S. cargo ship. The classified plan was approved by the Pentagon Thursday, a senior defense official told CNN's Barbara Starr.

The decision to do this comes after IRGC ships harassed a U.S.-flagged vessel, the Maersk Kensington, and then also seized another cargo ship, the Maersk Tigris, flagged in the Marshall Islands. The worry is that with the uncertainty about Iran's intentions, any seizure of a U.S.-flagged vessel could provoke an international incident with Iran. "This is a way to reduce the risk of confrontation," the official told CNN.

A second U.S. official said if it becomes necessary, U.S. warships are prepared to escort U.S. commercial vessels throughout the entire Gulf.

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52% of Democrats view socialism favorably

So, while some might scoff at Sen. Bernie Sander’s (I-VT) self-described “democratic socialism and think it won’t resonate with the electorate, let’s not forget the Reason-Rupe poll that showed just as many Democrats who viewed capitalism favorably, viewed socialism with the same regard. Philip Bump at the Washington Post noted this flashback today, but also included that self-avowed socialists have done miserably in national elections. Nevertheless, when Sanders does announce his 2016 intentions Thursday, he will do so with a Democratic coalition that has a “meh” reaction to the word. Moreover, an entire cornerstone–young people–that is less hostile to the term, but can’t really define what it is when asked (via WaPo):

When he first won election to the House in 1990, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) embraced his political identity. "I am a socialist and everyone knows that," Sanders said, responding to an ad that tried to link him to the regime of Fidel Castro.

He continued: "They also understand that my kind of democratic socialism has nothing to do with authoritarian communism."

Last year, a Reason-Rupe poll asked people about their attitudes toward various economic systems. More than half of respondents viewed capitalism favorably, while 36 percent viewed socialism positively. Among Democrats, capitalism and socialism were viewed similarly, with 52 percent of those responding giving a thumbs up. (Slightly more Democrats viewed socialism very favorably, but not to a point of statistical significance.)

That's assuming people knew what socialism was. Asked to define the term, one-fifth said it referred to government control of the economy. A quarter said they didn't know. Other research suggests that younger people are both less hostile to the concept and less likely to know what it is, having lived through less of the Cold War.

So when Bernie Sanders, avowed socialist, announces his presidential bid on Thursday, he will not have a large pool of Socialists from which to draw support. But he will also probably not have to deal with any ads linking him to Cuba. If in 1990 "they" understood that Sanders' form of socialism wasn't the same as Castro's communism, now, Democrats in particular don't really care.

Somewhat amazingly, socialism has seen its political slate nearly wiped clean.

Yet, Sanders’ democratic socialism isn’t the issue. It’s whether he can successfully build a national campaign apparatus, grease it with enough campaign cash to last him through the early voting states, and siphon enough Hillary voters, who have so far been in lock-step behind her–in the polls and in Congress. On the GOP side, some potential candidates, like Scott Walker, will have to raise at least $75 million for the early voting states. With the Democrats, it’s a less competitive field, but it’s still an expensive venture. So, in all, yes, it’s probably a bit disconcerting that a lot of Democrats believe in a system of economics that eventually leads to neoliberal reforms to right itself (hey, that’s what happens when government-run industries balloon and you waste other people’s money), but it’s safe to say that government philosophy is the least of Sanders campaign problems concerning Hillary.

Al Sharpton’s Baltimore

Al Sharpton’s Baltimore 

“No justice, no peace” finally blew into an urban riot. 

The streets of Baltimore on April 28.ENLARGE
The streets of Baltimore on April 28. PHOTO: MATT ROURKE/ASSOCIATED PRESS

‘No justice, no peace.”

In Baltimore now, they’ve got both. 

When Al Sharpton popularized the chant, “No justice, no peace,” it was unmistakably clear that “no peace” was an implicit threat of civil unrest. 

Not civil disobedience, as practiced by Martin Luther King Jr. Civil unrest

Civil unrest can come in degrees. It might be a brief fight between protesters and the cops. It might be someone throwing rocks through store windows. Or it might be more than that.

Seven Reasons China Will Start a War By 2017

Seven Reasons China Will Start a War By 2017

David Archibald

China will start its war for a number of reasons:

Regime Legitimacy

Very few people in China believe in communism anymore, including almost all of the 80 million members of the Chinese Communist Party. The party itself is now a club for mutual enrichment. The legitimacy of the party ruling China is derived from the notions that democracy does not suit China and that the party is the organisation best placed to run the country. The latter is based on an ongoing improvement in conditions for the bulk of the population. In the absence of economic improvement, some other reason must be found for the population to rally around the party's leadership. This may explain the sudden base-building that started in the Spratly Islands in October 2014. 

China's public debt grew from US$7 trillion in 2007 to US$28 trillion in 2014. This is on an economy of US$10 trillion per annum. A high proportion of the economic growth of the last seven years is simply construction funded by debt. The real economy is much smaller.

The Chinese government is likely to see the contracting economy and realise that issuing more debt won't have an effect on sustaining economic activity. Thus the base-building was accelerated to allow the option of starting their war. This is a life and death matter for the elite running the party. They are betting the farm on this. If this gamble does not work out then there is likely to be a messy regime change.

Chosen Trauma

Japan treated the Chinese as sub-humans during World War 2. Before that, Japan starting mistreating China by attacking it in 1895, not long after they started industrializing themselves. That was followed by Japan's 21 demands on the Chinese state in 1915. The Nationalist government in China started observing National Humiliation Day in the 1920s. Then followed the Mukden Incident of 1931 and China's start to World War 2 in 1937.

During the poverty of the Mao years, the Japanese were forgiven for World War 2. Mao and Deng were pragmatists and said that Japan couldn't be punished forever. China's recent prosperity has allowed the indulgence of Japan-hating to be resurrected as a form of state religion. National Humiliation Day is observed again on the 18th September. The party has directed that television take up the theme of Japanese aggression. Today 70% of prime time television in China is movies about World War 2. There are at least 100 museums in China dedicated to the Japanese aggression of World War 2.

The regime generates and sustains anti-Japanese sentiment to give it the option to go to war. 

Being Recognised As Number One

The Chinese are a proud nation. They actually resent the fact that the United States is considered to be the number one nation on the planet. China also realises that to be recognised as number one, they have to defeat the current number one in battle. This is why it won't be just creeping increments in Chinese aggression. They need a battle for their own psychological reasons.

This means that they will attack the United States at the same time that they attack Japan. Because surprise attacks are more successful, it will be a surprise attack on US bases in Asia and the Pacific and perhaps well beyond. This most likely will include cyber-attacks on US utilities and communications.

China has structured its armed forces for a short, sharp war. Of any country on the planet, they are possibly the most prepared for war. They have one year of grain consumption in stock and even a strategic pork reserve. They have just filled up their strategic petroleum reserve of about 700 million barrels.

China's war has nothing to do with securing resources or making their trade routes secure. Some western analysts have projected those notions onto China to rationalise what China is doing. The Chinese themselves have not offered these excuses. To China it is all about territorial integrity, which is sacred and not the profane stuff of commerce.

Humiliating The Neighbours

The importance of the Spratly Islands and the Chinese nine-dash claim is that it divides Asia. 

Nine-dash claim (U.S. Central Intelligence Agency via Wikimedia Commons)

China claims that the whole of the sea within its claim is Chinese territory, not just the islands. When China gets around to enforcing that claim, foreign merchant vessels and aircraft will have to apply for permission to cross it. Non-Chinese warships and military aircraft will not be allowed to enter it. The Chinese claim extends to 4° south, almost to the equator.

The worst affected country will be Vietnam, which will be bottled up to within 80 km of its coast. Japan realises that its ships from Europe and the Middle East will have to head further east before heading up north through Indonesia and east of the Philippines. Singapore will be badly affected because the passing trade will drop off.

Japan will become quite isolated because its aircraft will have to head down through the Philippines to almost the equator before heading west. 

China ranks the countries of the world in terms of their comprehensive national power, which the Chinese consider to be the power to compel. This is a combination of military power, economic power and social cohesion. When it is enforced, the nine-dash claim will do a lot of compelling of China's neighbours.

Strategic Window

Chinese strategists see a window of strategic opportunity for China early in the 21st century, though they haven't publicly outlined the basis for that view. But we can make a good stab at it. Firstly, an air of inevitability is important in winning battles. While China is perceived to have a strong, growing economy that is crushing all before it, that perception of inevitability rubs off on China's military adventures. To use that perception, China has to attack before its economy contracts due to the bursting of its real estate bubble. This explains the current rush to build the bases in the Spratly Islands. 

Another problem for China is that its aggression and increased military spending has caused its neighbors to rearm and form alliances. China is better off attacking before its neighbors arm themselves further. 

Another consideration is the US presidential electoral cycle. President Obama is perceived to be a weak president and the Chinese might rather attack before he is replaced. President Obama has made the right noises, though, about Chinese irredentism and the coming war remains quite popular in the US military, in that the different services are jockeying for position, which means they have official blessing to the highest level. President Obama does have some inconsistent policies that aid China, though, in that while a strong economy is needed to fight China, his administration is doing its best to choke the US economy with carbon dioxide-related regulations. The two ends are mutually exclusive.

President Obama spent a period of his childhood in Indonesia and would have heard a lot of anti-Chinese sentiment (the Chinese were and are more successful merchants and shopkeepers) in those formative years. As with Valerie Jarrett's childhood in Iran, this will affect policy.

Great-State Autism

This is a term created by the strategist Edward Luttwak to describe the fact that China is seemingly oblivious to the effects of its actions on its neighbours. China sees itself as the center of the world and purely through the lens of its own self-interest. This has the practical result that China could not perceive the possibility of things not going the way it wants them to. Luttwak also considers that the Chinese overestimate their own strategic thinking. He says that China doesn't have a strategy so much as a bag of stratagems, most of which involve deception.

President Xi Jinping

While preparation for this war started in the 1980s, the recent ramp up in aggression has been at the direction of President Xi who, in his formative years as a party apparatchik, was impressed by how the war with Vietnam in 1979 was used to consolidate power in the politburo. President Xi has accumulated more power than any Chinese leader since Deng Xiaoping. He is using an anti-corruption campaign to purge political opponents. Chinese leaders are supposed to only rule for ten years before standing aside. Just two years into his presidency, Xi's supporters have raised the possibility of resurrecting the position of chairman of the party (abolished by Deng to stop another Mao) so that Xi could continue to rule from that position. President Xi is a nasty piece of work who has been toughened up by his life experiences. At the age of 15, he was sent to live and work with peasants in the yellow earth country after his father was purged. His accommodation was a cave. His stepsister suicided due to his father's oppression by the Red Guards.


Japan sees this war being thrust upon it and is approaching it with a great deal of foreboding. It sees it as being inevitable, though Prime Minister Abe did ask to meet President Xi in Indonesia recently. President Xi intends to kill many tens of thousands of Prime Minister Abe's countrymen, so the meeting was strained. Yesterday, Prime Minister Abe addressed a joint session of the US Congress, part of his making the rounds to make sure everyone is on the same page with respect to absorbing and repelling the Chinese attack.

United States

The United States believes that a rules-based wold order needs to be maintained for global security and prosperity, including its own prosperity, because that relies upon world trade to a large extent. So for the United States, this war will be about preserving access to the global commons. The US military establishment has not kept the public up to date with all of China's preparations for war, probably because they do not want to be perceived to be causing escalation. But the US military is in no doubt that China will start a war. The main unknown is the timing.

Chinese aggression has been a godsend to the US Navy, which had lacked a credible threat and had faced ongoing shrinkage. There is a tendency to overstate the efficacy of enemy weapons systems. The Chinese would have read the US Navy reports on their weapons systems, which would have emboldened them further.

How The War Will Be Conducted

There will be two main theatres of operation: the East China Sea north of Taiwan and the South China Sea west of the Philippines.

China claims sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands (last occupied by the Japanese about 100 years ago) and the entire Ryuku chain from the Yaeyama Islands at the southern end to Okinawa in the north. If it is going to seize the Senkaku Islands, it might as well seize the Yaeyama Islands at the same time. To that end, China is building up a military base in the Nanji Islands about 300 km west of the Senkakus. This includes a 10-pad helicopter refuelling base which suggests that the initial assault will be led by helicopters overflying Japan's coast guard vessels around the Senkakus.

China has a substantial fishing vessel fleet and merchant shipping totalling 70 million tons. It has been using its fishing fleet to harass the Japanese coast guard around the Senkakus and as far east as the Osagawa Islands, which includes Iwo Jima. This suggests that fishing vessels could be used to land Chinese Special Forces to widely attack Japanese bases that would normally be considered to be well back from the front line. These forces would be used sacrificially to cause maximum mayhem to dispirit the Japanese defense. In the north, the Chinese approach would be to seize and hold against the Japanese and US counter attack.

In the South China Sea, China is building seven massive forts and one airstrip. The forts are designed with flak towers standing out from the corners so that each tower has at least a 270° field of fire. The forts seem to be designed to take a large amount of punishment and hold out until they can be relieved. China wins if it is still in the possession of these forts by the end of the war.

China is likely to start the war in the south with attacks on other countries' bases in the Spratly Islands and US bases in the region, as far east as Guam. A long war will be bad for China in that the run down to the Spratly Islands from Hainan Island is very exposed, both for ships and aircraft. Vietnam has been upgrading its radars and one hopes all the non-Chinese combatants will be sharing targeting information. US AWACS over the Philippines will be able to track Chinese targets handed over from Vietnam. Singapore is likely to operate its F-15s out of Cam Ranh Bay. Chinese aircraft that survive the run down will be at the end of their range by the time they get to the Spratly Islands. 

The US Marines have taken up a number of bases in the Philippines with the intention of mounting the attack that will remove the Chinese from their newly constructed forts. A number of US weapons systems, such as the USS Zumwalt, may have to be rushed into service to that end. 

In the bigger picture, Japan and China will try to blockade each other, mostly with their submarine forces. Japan's navy has a qualitative edge over China and is most likely to win the blockade battle.

Industry throughout Asia will be badly affected by the war, but Chinese industry in particular is likely to grind to a halt quickly, and this will eventually cause social disruption. The longer the war goes on, the worse China's relative position becomes. Meat will disappear from the Chinese diet. Unsold soybeans will pile up in US warehouses. 

The removal of the Chinese bases in the Spratly Islands will allow a peace settlement with whoever ends up running China. It will be one of the most pointless, stupid and destructive wars in history, but that is what is coming. 

David Archibald, a visiting fellow at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C., is the author of Twilight of Abundance (Regnery, 2014)

Prisoner in van said Freddie Gray was ‘trying to injure himself,’ document says

View Photo Gallery: Aftermath of Baltimore riots: Residents clean up from the looting and fires that plagued parts of the city Monday after the funeral for Freddie Gray, a black man who died after suffering a spinal injury while in police custody. Hundreds of Baltimore high and college students led a protest march from Penn Station to City Hall.

APRIL 29, 2015

BALTIMORE — A prisoner sharing a police transport van with Freddie Gray told investigators that he could hear Gray “banging against the walls” of the vehicle and believed that he “was intentionally trying to injure himself,” according to a police document obtained by The Washington Post.

The prisoner, who is currently in jail, was separated from Gray by a metal partition and could not see him. His statement is contained in an application for a search warrant, which is sealed by the court. The Post was given the document under the condition that the prisoner not be named because the person who provided it feared for the inmate’s safety.

The document, written by a Baltimore police investigator, offers the first glimpse of what might have happened inside the van. It is not clear whether any additional evidence backs up the prisoner’s version, which is just one piece of a much larger probe.

View Video: Social media users capture massive protests in New York on Wednesday against the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore. (Ashleigh Joplin / The Washington Post)

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

George W Bush on Al Qaeda

Vote Democrat Poster

Mister, we could use a man like their Supreme Leader?

Mister, we could use a man like their Supreme Leader?

By Scott Johnsonon Wed, 29 Apr 2015

(Scott Johnson) 

I have found Iranian reports concerning the (current) so-called Joint Plan of Action with Iran as well as the arrangement in process to be more reliable than those deriving from official sources in the Obama administration. This, however, is where I draw the line:

Secretary of State John Kerry told his Iranian counterpart that he wished the United States had a leader more like Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, according to comments made by a senior Iranian cleric and repeated in the country’s state-run media.

Ayatollah Alam al-Hoda claimed during Friday prayer services in Iran that in negotiations over Tehran’s contested nuclear program, Kerry told the country’s foreign minister that he “wished the U.S. had a leader like Iran’s supreme leader,” according to a Persian-language report on the remarks published by the Asriran news site.

“In the negotiations Kerry told [Iranian Foreign Minister Javad] Zarif that he [Kerry] wished U.S. had a leader like Iran’s supreme leader,” according to Alam al-Hoda, who is a senior member of the Iran’s powerful Assembly of Experts.

Although the truth value of the ayatollah’s statement is likely lacking, the statement signifies:

Saeed Ghasseminejad, an Iranian dissident and fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), said U.S. overtures to Iran at the negotiating table have failed to win it any respect from the Islamic Republic’s leaders.

“President Obama thinks that by making more concessions he can gain the trust and respect of Iranian leaders,” Ghasseminejad said. “However, Iranian leaders neither trust him nor respect him.

“Seeing unprecedented weakness in the U.S. president, Iranian leaders do not fear the United States anymore. Partnership, trust, and alliance between the radical Islamist regime of Tehran and United States cannot and should not exist.”

In short, their Supreme Leader has our Supreme Leader’s number. 


How the Dogmatic Left Is Crippling Itself

If you try to shut down public debate, is this a way of ensuring that you win—or an admission that you have already lost?

The question seems relevant today, because the most remarkable characteristic of our current national debate is that one side wants desperately to stamp it out whenever it occurs.

Recently, for example, a gay New York businessman had the temerity to sponsor a “fireside chat” with Republican presidential candidate and arch-conservative Ted Cruz. He was, of course, required to repent the error, calling it “a terrible mistake” to actually talk to a politician who disagrees with him about gay marriage. We can assume that no gay businessman or activist will repeat that error any time soon, which is the whole point.

More recently, the actress Alice Eve got into trouble for stating the obvious fact that Bruce Jenner is not a woman. She, too, was forced to recant, concluding: “I felt confused and now I feel enlightened and like I know what education I need to move forward.”

What gives this a creepy totalitarian feel is the way she found it necessary, not only to change her views, but to express gratitude for her re-education.

College campuses have long been on the forefront of this kind of “speech code,” and Judith Shulevitz recently wrote an eye-opening description of the latest innovation: the campus “safe space.” In this case, the safe space was created in response to that most troubling of events: a debate (in this case, between a feminist and a libertarian).

The safe space, Ms. Byron explained, was intended to give people who might find comments “troubling” or “triggering,” a place to recuperate. The room was equipped with cookies, coloring books, bubbles, Play-Doh, calming music, pillows, blankets and a video of frolicking puppies, as well as students and staff members trained to deal with trauma. Emma Hall, a junior, rape survivor and “sexual assault peer educator” who helped set up the room and worked in it during the debate, estimates that a couple of dozen people used it. At one point she went to the lecture hall—it was packed—but after a while, she had to return to the safe space. “I was feeling bombarded by a lot of viewpoints that really go against my dearly and closely held beliefs,” Ms. Hall said.

God forbid anyone should have to encounter viewpoints that go against their beliefs. And on a college campus, of all places!

Even some lefty college professors are starting to become uncomfortable—and afraid that the new revolutionary tribunals will devour them, too. Posting anonymously, here is how one academic describes it.

Saying anything that goes against liberal orthodoxy is now grounds for a firin’. Even if you make a reasonable and respectful case, if you so much as cause your liberal students a second of complication or doubt you face the risk of demonstrations, public call-outs, and severe professional consequences….

Personally, liberal students scare the sh– out of me. I know how to get conservative students to question their beliefs and confront awful truths, and I know that, should one of these conservative students make a Facebook page calling me a communist or else seek to formally protest my liberal lies, the university would have my back.

The same cannot be said of liberal students. All it takes is one slip—not even an outright challenging of their beliefs, but even momentarily exposing them to any uncomfortable thought or imagery—and that’s it, your classroom is triggering, you are insensitive, kids are bringing mattresses to your office hours and there’s a twitter petition out demanding you chop off your hand in repentance.

The Onion, as usual, manages to encapsulate the whole thing in a headline: “College Encourages Lively Exchange of Idea: Students, Faculty Invited to Freely Express Single Viewpoint.”

The cultural and political left is cocooning itself in a bubble of ideological uniformity. This is intended to totally suppress dissent on key issues by making it impossible for anyone to even express a divergent opinion. The result is to entrench leftist dogma, in the hope that a whole generation will graduate from college unable to engage in thoughtcrime.

That’s the dilemma for anyone trying to overturn any aspect of this dogma. How can you debate an issue and change anyone’s mind, when the discussion has been rigged so that your viewpoint is dismissed as illegitimate before anyone has even heard it? So the new orthodoxy seems impenetrable and its hold on the young unbreakable.

Yet the safe space described by Shulevitz, with its Play-Doh and frolicking puppies, captures the infantilizing nature of the ideological bubble. As Shulevitz puts it:

People ought to go to college to sharpen their wits and broaden their field of vision. Shield them from unfamiliar ideas, and they’ll never learn the discipline of seeing the world as other people see it. They’ll be unprepared for the social and intellectual headwinds that will hit them as soon as they step off the campuses whose climates they have so carefully controlled. What will they do when they hear opinions they’ve learned to shrink from? If they want to change the world, how will they learn to persuade people to join them?

If I were to come up with one idea for how the left could cripple itself over the long term, it would be: teach your young adherents that ideological debate is an abnormal trauma and that it is a terrible imposition to ever expect them to engage in it. It is a great way of raising a generation of mental cripples. And that is exactly what they have set out to do.

If you want a small taste of what it looks like when a leftist emerges from the ideological hothouse of academia and is forced to encounter opposing ideas he has never seriously grappled with, well, we’ve been living through it for the past six years. When President Obama drops the “post-racial politics” facade and embraces the idea that everyone who opposes him is just a racist “cracker” (which is the point of the Key & Peele routine he borrowed at the White House Correspondents’ dinner), then he will never understand the real issues, he’ll never be able to engage his opponents, and he won’t be able to convince anyone. Which pretty much explains the results of his presidency. Yet Obama came of age in an era where he had to encounter a lot more ideological opposition than most of today’s college students.

When the left attempts to envelop itself in a bubble where all decent people believe the same things, they are only fooling themselves. They are creating the illusion that all the intellectual battles have been won and they no longer need to debate or justify their positions.

At the same time, out in the real world, Democratic politicians are scrambling to move to the rightjust to survive.

At the beginning of the year, I speculated that we may have reached “Peak Leftism,” the point at which the left has achieved such uniform control of the commanding heights of the culture that they have no place to go but down. Their mania for soft ideological conformity suggests a mechanism for this decline. They are growing so accustomed to living in an ideological “safe space” that they will no longer understand what it means to debate their positions, much less how to win the debate.

The most powerful historical precedent for this is the totalitarian creed of the Soviet Union—a dogma imposed, not just by campus censors or a Twitter mob, but by gulags and secret police. Yet one of the lessons of the Soviet collapse is that the ideological uniformity of a dictatorship seems totally solid and impenetrable—right up to the moment it cracks apart. The imposition of dogma succeeds in getting everyone to mouth the right slogans, even as fewer and fewer of them understand or believe the ideology behind it.