Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Conrad Black On The SCOTUS And Media

Conrad Black is usually at his best when he uses a broad brush to place a current situation within a broader context, often incorporating historical references to enlighten. Today he takes on the 2020 Election Hoax. Black covers a lot of ground quickly, but I thought his comments regarding the disgraceful conduct of the SCOTUS and the disturbing totalitarian tendencies of the Media--which used to be considered virtually a Fourth Branch of our government, and is certainly a co-equal branch of the Establishment:

The Perilous State of America’s Republic

If the United States cannot, in Lincoln's words, “bind up the nation’s wounds,” and re-emerge as a strong democracy, the end of Western Civilization is in sight.

I'll skip over Black's judicious remarks about the election generally as well as his remarks about AG Barr's misguided judgment calls. I think he pretty much nails--in a few brief sentences--the rot in our public institutions that is exemplified by the craven behavior of the SCOTUS (although he fails to understand the precise nature of Texas' complaint) and our Media lords:

The refusal of the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the appeal from the state of Texas, joined by 18 other states, is an outright abdication. ... Where the courts don’t exercise their jurisdiction, a vacuum arises which is likely to be filled by lawlessness, and potentially, even violent lawlessness. 

The United States has become a country where a majority of Americans—people of good will from both parties—believe presidential elections are not conducted honestly. (Think back to the contested election of 2000.) An overwhelming majority do not trust the media, which, in political matters, is effectively a totalitarian enterprise slandering the Republicans and censoring criticism of the Democrats. 

The Supreme Court has declined to opine on the most important question that possibly can be legitimately brought before it ...

Who can doubt that the Texas lawsuit--representing fully half the nation in various capacities--touched directly on the very nature of our constitutional order, the nature of our political and social compact? Nor, as Black points out, is this an entirely new crisis in our political order. After all, a solid majority of Americans, embracing significant percentages of Dems as well as Republicans, believe this was a Steal--an Election Hoax. That such large numbers of Americans are willing to believe that reflects a long experience of fraudulent elections, with recent decades returning to the most blatantly fraudulent practices of the past. The SCOTUS' failure to seriously address the concerns of the nation is a stunning abdication of responsibility. In the circumstances, to say that the nation deserved better than a brief, two paragraph order that relied on a blatant misrepresentation and questionable application of a suspect legal 'doctrine' is an understatement. The SCOTUS--the constitutional institution that represents our proud dedication to rule of law as a principle of our political and social order--has quite simply delegitimized itself.

Black does well to include in his excoriation of the SCOTUS his remarkable characterization of of American media as "effectively a totalitarian enterprise." While Black frames that characterization here in terms of partisan electoral politics, the role of the media in advancing successive hoaxes over the past two decades cannot be ignored as part of the bigger picture. Surely the SCOTUS cannot ignore the implications of remaining, essentially, silent in the face of a barrage of disinformation, much of which is framed in legal contexts. Sadly, Bill Barr shares the blame in that respect, but the SCOTUS is our pre-eminent legal institution. Its abdication speaks volumes with respect to the disarray in our constitutional order brought on by the many decades of Leftist assaults in politics, the media, and in our educational institutions.

Black expands on the state of American media in a separate paragraph. His comments are in the context of the media's determined suppression of information critical to an informed choice for voters, but also in the broader context of almost universal distrust of this key societal institution by the broader range of American society:

... The severity with which practically all of the media and social media denounced and ignored suggestions of potential misconduct by former Vice President Biden and his family, including suspending the Twitter account of the New York Post, the country’s oldest newspaper, and of the White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, is indicative of the undemocratic tendencies of the media and it helps to explain why professionally conducted surveys uniformly show that fewer than 15 percent of Americans trust the media. A free press is an indispensable pillar of a functioning democracy, but is now in the United States a despised, corrupted, and shriveled facsimile of the reliable and fearless media a vibrant democracy requires.

 Black concludes with two telling references to American history:

If the United States cannot, in Lincoln’s words, “bind up the nation’s wounds,” and re-emerge as a strong democracy, the end of Western Civilization is in sight. It remains the indispensable country, and as Richard Nixon said in 1970: “No power on earth can . . . defeat or humiliate the United States, except the United States.” The whole world is watching as vital history is made. 

While that evaluation may sound hyperbolic, a careful consideration of Black's words should be enough to persuade otherwise. Western civilization rests, ultimately, on deeply religious foundations, and it is precisely those foundations that have been under determined attack in the United States since at least the last decades of the 19th century. In Europe that attack dates further back and the process of dissolution as regards anything that could be credibly termed Western civilization is far advanced. Unfortunately, the self humiliation of our key constitutional and societal institutions has accelerated in the decades since the emergence of the New Left. President Trump--a flawed man in his personal life--has consistently sounded a call for a spiritual return to the roots of Western civilization, realizing that only that will ever Make America Great Again. Will America listen? As Black says, "The whole world is watching ..."


  1. Google 'The end of America' and take a look at what is served up, and by which publishers. There IS no '4th Estate' in large part because Google owns 96% of every web, image and video search done on the web. Facebook produces NOTHING in terms of 'news': they are an aggregator whose model - along with Google - has financially eviscerated 'traditional' news companies.

    The American Society of News Editors has been surveyed multiple times over the last 30 years, and has always been predominantly Left leaning; they vote Blue, and always have.

    But 'newsrooms' now are not remotely a 'pillar of functioning democracy': they are dying, and/or already dead.

    Their survival depends on selling 'hooks' (fear & sensationalized headlines) in order to get that click, and drive ad revenues.

    Impartiality isn't part of that mix, and hasn't been for at least 10 years.

    Back to the Google results of 'the end of America', you'll find dozens - if not hundreds - of resulting links to Opinion articles claiming if Trump is re-elected, THAT will be the end of America, and those Opinion blogs are served AS news.

    IMO, we simply won't turn that machine around - ever. If Google/Facebook/Twitter are stripped of 230 protections, it helps, but the damages have been done.

    You have to wonder how much 'surfing' of all the tripe produced on the web around Trump and this fraudulent election was done by those sitting on SCOTUS; are they as lazy in research as is 95% of the population, only reading what feeds their own confirmation biases, and skimming/skipping any resulting research that doesn't align with their own ideology?

    We're watching history unfold in front of us...and I have to say, I'm really worried for my kids and grandkids...

    As it stands today, they likely won't grow up living with the basic freedoms and the opportunities America and the Constitution has provided for generations before them.

    1. I have to admit, I feel pretty much the same. With this added--I don't think America as a nation has the spiritual roots to overcome this.

    2. I feel pretty much the same Mark only I guess I have more faith in the "average" american than you do. Mostly because I know myself, and to outward appearances I am a very very average american indistinguishable from the vast majority of us who are not "elite" or famous or noticeable. But I am a complex human being with hopes and dreams and a thinking brain and I can evaluate the political historical situation for myself and even give my opinion. I don't presume to be special, I presume instead that there are many like me, very many, and we will respond to the yoke-fitting in ways that I suspect will surprise even ourselves. Google managed to capture the market. Google will be broken up or it will be increasingly be seen to be a set of chains, and people will learn ways to escape the chains. PDJT has dealt the totalitarians a death blow: pulling the scales from the eyes of the freedom-loving.

    3. @Mark, ditto!

      And, a pause to again thank you for doing what you do. So many sites have lost their minds go conspiracy and slinging monkey crap right now.

      You have attracted a reader base that is a cut above with many many incredible thinkers and wonderfully knowledgeable individuals.

      EZ, Bebe, aNany, Cassandar and MANY others whom frequent here add and contribute so much.

      I am both humbled and appreciative.

    4. Agreed. I don't post because I don't have the knowledge base, but learn a lot reading through the comments in addition to Marks posts.

    5. I agree whole-heartedly, Dave. I have been thinking more and more of how we on the right fail to use our power in the same way that a markedly smaller group of leftists use theirs. The leftists who repeatedly organize boycotts against conservatives, Sleeping Giants, is actually just two guys. Somehow they have managed to project an image of great numbers and power. Trump is the leader who could energize 70 million actual consumers. If he made serious, repeated calls to action against the power centers of the left, he (we!) could destroy them. This is the only language--aside from violence--that the left understands. Were we all to walk away from the left's products and services en masse we COULD end their dominance. I sent this suggestion to the WH contact form recently. We have the numbers. We can absolutely bring them to heel non-violently. What the heck do have to lose now that we have so little political power?

    6. @PD
      "Were we all to walk away from the left's products and services en masse we COULD end their dominance."

      Yup. In a small way, I've been trying to do that.

      I've retired and moved from NY to a Western Red State. I'm happy to pay my taxes here. I try to buy local whenever possible.

      I -

      Won't watch anything produced in Hollywood.
      Won't subscribe to the NYT or Wapo.
      Won't watch network television.
      Won't watch NFL or NBA.

      I'm still working on MLB and NHL...

      I'm trying to use DuckDuck, Parler and Rumble as much as possible. I'd like to avoid amazon more than I do, but its hard during the 'pandemic'. Eventually I will.

      I even bought some pillows from Mike Lindell -:)

      If I had some more knowledgeable guidance I would be happy to follow it.

    7. Every now and then I search things like how to do without Gmail.

    8. @Mark
      "Every now and then I search things like how to do without Gmail."

      Haha. We never left AOL. Our (adult) children are mortified.

    9. Use protonmail. It's not as intuitive as gmail, but it's legitimately secure and private.

    10. Right on. I unplugged cable six years ago, have used DuckDuckGo for a few years, haven't watched or paid for any sporting event except one minor league baseball game in ten years, don't do social media accounts, watch mostly foreign films (but I am pirating Netflix). My most egregious weakness is Amazon--but I'd like to think that I would drop it if it was part of a concerted, nationwide effort to kneecap Bezos. My mother passed away in August leaving us free to abandon CA, my native state. We are looking in AZ where Trumpists could use another set of hands and feet. I realize that everyone can do a little bit by themselves, but a rallying cry from DJT would be like a rebel yell.

    11. @ Cassander & PD - bravo!

      Sounds like we should have a drink together. ;)

      I also: stopped watching anything produced in Hollywood.
      Won't subscribe to the NYT or Wapo.
      Won't watch network television.
      Won't watch NFL or NBA.

      I'm still working on MLB and NHL...

      I've started using 'StartPage' as default search; it leverages Google, but strips out all the crap Google uses to track.

      Stopped using Chrome; started using Brave browser and also Firefox with a couple of plug-ins that kill tracking.

      Doing all we can to buy local here as well.

      Cheers -

    12. What stops me is the simple fact that Google still gets all my emails and info that go to anyone using Gmail. And I don't trust any of the mainstream providers any more than that.

    13. But Charles, isn't it only as secure as your correspondents are?

  2. This echoes what I believe, as well, about "western civilization" such as it remains. Seems almost self-evident to me, but then I do not hate my own culture... that if the US falls into chaos, the forces of evil have a free pass to do as they wish, because no one is going to stop them in any meaningful sense. If we're embroiled in our own borders, who will stop China from taking Taiwan, annexing HK fully, or even bullying India? Who would keep them from using NKorea as a buly proxy in region against Japan, Philippines, and others? What will push back on Russia and Iran? Certainly not Europe - they have enjoyed their mealy-mouthed socialism at our expense as well, so they have no real defense against tyranny remaining.

  3. The success of the Tea Party and Trump give me a lot of hope for the future. And the opposition that destroyed the tea party is lot weaker now.

    And Trump is still POTUS, and he still has a lot of cards to play. My guess is a lot more of the deep state corruption will be revealed before Trump leaves office. Trump planted a lot of seeds that are changing our society in the right direction. At the state level the Democratic Feeder Teams keep on getting decimated.

  4. I see McConnell has accepted Biden now.

    Wonder how he'll get along with Trump when Trump gets inaugurated. Wonder how any of them will get along.


    1. McConnell went through the motions. Election theater. Form over substance. I doubt that any Republican will ever view Joe Biden as the president of the United States. Not even the Uniparty ones like Romney.

    2. I'm not totally shocked at this, seeing as yesterday
      the usual suspects (Thune, Blunt) were joined by Mitch pals Capito & Portman.
      At least, so far, the House brass are holding firm.
      If they cave, that'll likely spell major trouble.

    3. Update on my Comment of 12:44 PM, apparently the NYT reported that McConnell had a phone call with the Republicans, urging them to not go along with the Senators who plan to rebel re finally saying grace over the election. It came from anonymous sources to the NYT, so I’m sure grains of salt should be handy, but if that is true I would have to reverse my opinion that McC’s formal congratulations to Biden were just form. Theater.

  5. Certainly the three Trump picks plus Roberts, and almost certainly the three Dems as well, knew very well that if they took the Texas case, there’d be no way to keep the election fraud genie in the bottle. They knew that once the American peoples’ eyes we’re opened to this, it would lead to all hell not just for the Democrat Party but for all of political America up and down.

    In other words, they turned the case down because they know the fraud and the swamp are both as real as it gets, and they just can’t allow the American people to know what they themselves know.

    I don’t know if the Trump 3 + Roberts act so cowardly because they really have been made to feel threatened by evil actors if they don’t tow the line on the really big cases. (Probably they’re just too much of the ruling class -too damn swampy- to be willing to act against it.) What I do know is they act so much like that’s the case that whether or not it’s true is all but academic.

    1. Rumor has it that Roberts was connected to Jeffery Epstein along the way??????

  6. I say that all of our presidents have been personally flawed in some way, just as we are all flawed in some way.

    1. Presidents are human beings, and human beings are flawed. All of us. It has been painful to see so many seemingly bright people (that includes Black, whom I admire) clucking away about the President’s tweets, or what they saw as boastfulness. Brits and Canadians I have known always thought Americans boasted too much, but the Brits never got over losing us and our subsequent success. Our “American teeth” are also an object of their envy. But some who were alive back then remember our saving their bacon in WWII.

      The President’s daughter summed him up very accurately when she described him as blunt. Blunt is not a pejorative when you see the dictionary definition which is “uncompromisingly straightforward”. Who would not want that in a president? With President Trump, WYSIWYG. He is authentic. Better an authentic guy than one who is devious, deceptive, wily, sneaky… you get my drift.

      Those who fuss about his tweets are ignorant of or just plain ignore the way the state media has treated him. If they do report on him it is negative, or twists his words. In tweets, he knows (and we know) that what he said will be produced as he said it.

      I admire the man and look askance at those who pick at little stuff. Petty. One thing I don’t admire about Black, who should be sophisticated enough, experienced enough, to know better.

    2. @Bebe

      One of the first things I came to accept in Trump was his flaws. I now believe Trump would not be Trump without his flaws, and he would be diminished.

      To my squishy 'conservative' friends who lament his tweets, or his 'lies', or his appearance I saw (as you both have said above) he is flawed, as we are all flawed, but there has been no one during our lifetimes as fundamentally honest as Donald Trump, nor more disciplined, uncompromising, intelligent, energetic and courageous. I include Ronald Reagan.

      In my judgment, Trump may well be ultimately recognized as the savior of the American experiment.

    3. To your squishy 'conservative' friends, who lament his tweets, or his 'lies', how can they *remotely* compare his 'lies' with those of his foes, who systematically lie/ deceive about everything of any importance?

    4. Cassander: Bravo!

      I still remember the sign on Trump’s campaign office in 2016:


      Those men in the gray flannel suits are too often just empty gray flannel suits. Or worse. I think of Mitt Romney (he of the dyed black hair with just a touch of gray, so contrived). I wouldn’t trust him with my wallet.

    5. Good question, Mouse. Excellent, really. My best answer would be...because they simply ignore the lies of Trump's foes.

      Is this one of the manifestations of Trump Derangement Syndrome?

    6. @Bebe

      Re Mitt: "I wouldn’t trust him with my wallet."

      Yes, there's that. But I, increasingly, am inclined to conclude he is compromised.

      I spoke to him one-on-one before he ran for the Senate in 2018. I asked him about the exorbitant cost and enormous total casualties in the Endless Middle East war. He was unapologetic and remorseless. I could only conclude he is somehow invested in it.

      There's his absurd play to get Trump (who he despises) to name him Secretary of State in 2017. Then there's his friendship with Cofer Black, who served on the Burisma board with Hunter Biden. Then there was his vote to convict Trump in the impeachment trial, based on no evidence of a crime or wrong-doing of any kind.

      Then there was his Pierre Delicto persona.

      It doesn't add up.

    7. Yeah, Cass, they simply ignore the lies of Trump's foes, and hatchet-job spin Trump's 'lies', out of all proportion to their actual magnitude.

    8. "In my judgment, Trump may well be ultimately recognized as the savior of the American experiment. "

      In my mind I like to think so as well, but Victor Hanson keeps comparing Trump to "the tragic hero", someone like Gary Cooper in High Noon, or John Wayne in The Searchers, the hero who comes to clean out the stables.

      After the job is done, he's just too uncouth, too rough and raw for polite society, so he's sent away with barely a thank you.

      Very sad if that's what ends up happening.


    9. @Frank

      "In my mind I like to think so as well, but Victor Hanson keeps comparing Trump to "the tragic hero"..."

      Either way, Frank, savior or tragic hero, I predict Trump will be 'sanctified'...although perhaps in a secular way. And the more his enemies try to destroy him, ultimately the taller the pedestals for his statues will be.

      I think I'm only exaggerating a little bit.

  7. OT but... Some info on solarwinds for those whom are interested.

    I am scraping info from tech articles for this but it is hard to navigate because the politics bleed every where.

    Solarwinds appears to have been hacked sometime in earlyish 2019. Their product Orion which is used as a asset tracking IT tool for hardware monitoring uses service pack / patch updates like most software today does. Sometime in 2019 a malware was inserted into their previous two service packs by what appears to be a state actor. I'll note, this was a brilliant idea and probably very hard to pull off.

    The malwares purpose was to create a gateway into the system to download and install a trojan for remote access into the host system. This wasn't always successful as many are finding traces of the malware with no sign of the actual Trojan making into the system.

    By whom? We don't know yet. Washington Post and others are saying "Russia". I don't believe that purely on the basis there is absolutely no way to know yet, it's too soon. I think this one place where politics are bleeding in. It could be china, hell it could be Canada and in 2020 it could be the CIA, you just can't tell.

    The "raid" yesterday announced on Sean Hannity is pure speculation and I find him about as reliable as the Sunday comics. More than likely the FBI/Rangers were there to gather evidence of the hack it's self so it was probably a crime scene.

    There is however a legal issue with solarwinds' CEO and the SEC because it appears that he and others knew of the hack weeks ago, dragged their feet on telling their customer base and dumped massive amounts of stock. This is being conflating as Solar is actually the hackers. It's possible a rogue actor inside the company helped this effort but there is nothing to date to support this idea.

    The big National Security Council angle seems to be purely from the fact that it's so big many Government entities (DoD, NSA, etc) and thousands of blue chips from every industry use this product.

    Beyond that there is piles of conspiracy to be found in Solar.

    One being Dominion, I've yet to see anything remotely supporting the fact that Dominion was using Orion. Solar has 300,000+ customers, 18,000 use Orion. "Partnerships" can be as loose as both attending or having a booth at the same tech conference. Innuendos, innuendos, EVERYWHERE...

    There also seems to be a great desire to related this to the election. This seems implausible because the distribution of Orion is used worldwide by 18,000+ company networks and dates back possibly to 2018. I would gander this was an industrial scale espionage fishing expedition in targeting.

    Another angle is EO 13868, to be honest I am wondering if there is anything that the QAnon guys think that EO doesn't do or it's part of. Again I would say Orion was unrelated because of its nature.

    Solarwinds, Dominion and election all have a three syllables "o" in them!! 🙄

    A few sources, articles to my madness...

  8. I believe Trump is leaving Biden sort of handcuffed through his previous executive orders, various policy decisions and also through the EO that will be shared by the NSC on Friday. While Trump may not be in office, my feeling is this EO will create urgency for Biden to do things he may not want to do or to be uncomfortable. Soon we'll see.

    1. Some of Trump's reorg in the government--coupled with problems getting confirmations (possibly?)--could definitely have that effect.

    2. @AmericanCardigan

      Agreed, the EO does hold merit and a lot of power. But within it's actual scope.

      There are MANY laid mines for continuity of Trumpisum.

    3. "this EO will create urgency for Biden to do things he may not want to do...."
      I doubt that this will matter much, as long as he knows that the GOPe effectively have his back, e.g. when he runs roughshod over all precedent, with the ferocious backing of the entire Dem party.
      These Lefties have minor diffs between them, but are all united in their determination to torment the Deplorables.

    4. Those Lefties (e.g. Greenwald, Taibbi), who don't aim for torment of the Deplorables, have no (real) power among Dems.

  9. For the techies (which I am not) here is Microsoft’s information on the SolarWind/Orion hack:

  10. I don't think they're technically related but I find it more interesting to think about who gains from muddying up the dominion issue by suggesting "russia" is involved. I don't think it's Qanon that is doing that, I think others would benefit though.

    1. On the "qui bono" question, I think it makes sense to think, this is deep state attempting to front run upcoming Ratcliffe report.

      They might say, it was Russia hacking Dominion systems, to plant fake evidence, so that Ratcliffe rings the alarm and Trump can claim Biden stole the election.

    2. @Mark A

      I think anything our beloved 4th pillar can do to deflect from China or keep the Russia boogie man alive they will do.

    3. 'Muh Russia' is the equivalent of Saddam's weapons of mass distraction.

  11. Like a cat with its latest mouse, they keep dragging in Russia. China expert Michael Pillsbury wonders why the focus is on Russia when China is our #1 adversary/threat today… But it’s unlikely that we’ll hear much about that during Xiden’s regime… China will be our best friend. /s

  12. Supremely irrational supreme court justices acb proved people will do anything to be associated with ivy league hacks.

  13. Rather o/t, but Wikipedia touts the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, as being a fair watchdog of US elections since 2002, but it links to a piece in The Hill, on the number of observers sent to see this year's fiasco:

    "*102* observers from 39 countries to observe the U.S. elections.
    This includes 50 ODIHR-deployed experts and long-term observers, and 52 parliamentarians and staff from the OSCE PA.
    It is a **scaled down** version of an original assessment, that called for *100* long-term observers and *400* short-term observers."
    From .