Rex Tillerson ‘Is a Dead Man Walking’

By Peter Van Buren

Pity soon-to-maybe-be-former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Here’s a man who can’t get to the sports page of his favorite newspaper without wading through a new round of rumors of his own demise. If it is not a new leak out of Foggy Bottom saying someone cut in front of him in the cafeteria, presaging a palace coup, it is the New York Times, based on unnamed government sources, claiming Thursday that the White House plans to oust him by the end of the year, possibly to replace him with current CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

As of Thursday night, Fox News, based on its own sources, confirmed that Tillerson would be leaving his post in January, noting the “most likely succession plan would involve moving Pompeo to the State Department and nominating Arkansas GOP Sen. Tom Cotton to lead the CIA.” This was flatly, if not glibly denied by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, in a tweet.

When Tillerson is leaving—and whether it is by his own choice—doesn’t seem to matter anymore. He is not long for the job. The real question at this point is who, if not Pompeo, will replace the neutered secretary, and what if anything that means.

From his first day, neither the media nor his own organization offered him a chance. Even before the 2016 election results were in, the State Department’s supposedly non-political diplomats leaked a dissent memo calling for more U.S. intervention in Syria, a move opposed by then-candidate Trump. Soon after Tillerson took office, his non-political diplomats leaked a dissent memo opposing the State Department’s role in President Trump’s immigration plans. Yet another dissent memo leaked just ten days ago, this time with Foggy Bottom’s minions claiming their boss was in violation of the law over a decision regarding child soldiers. “Reports” from “sources” claim the Secretary has cut himself off from the organization’s rank and file.

The media offered Secretary Tillerson no rest, proclaiming in near-apocalyptic terms the end of diplomacy, the dismantling of the State Department, and announcing with regularity the loss of U.S. standing in the world. Never one to miss a chance to pile on, Senators John McCain and Jeanne Shaheen sent a letter to Tillerson declaring that “America’s diplomatic power is being weakened internally as complex global crises are growing externally.” In the midst of all this, Tillerson supposedly called Trump a moron, and Trump’s tweets were interpreted as undermining whatever standing Tillerson might have had internationally.

Despite factual evidence to the contrary, most mainstream media also claimed State was hemorrhaging diplomats. With no evidence presented (the department has always been notoriously tight-fisted with its personnel statistics), the New York Times stated that among those Tillerson “fired or sidelined” were “most of the top African-American and Latino diplomats, as well as many women.” The media, who had blissfully ignored when State was hiring below attrition during the Obama years, now seized on every routine retirement out of …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Sen. Marco Rubio: This World AIDS Day, we must recommit to make AIDS a disease of the past

By Marco Rubio As 2017 comes to a close, nearly 37 million people around the world are living with HIV/AIDS. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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NFL owners appear poised to pay nearly $100 million bribe for nothing

By Jim Hanson NFL owners seem poised to donate nearly $100 million (including some contributions from players) over seven years to support the favorite social justice causes of the players. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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Illegal Alien Walks In Steinle Death

By Rod Dreher

Well, this is just what the country needs:

An undocumented Mexican immigrant was acquitted of murder and manslaughter charges on Thursday in the killing of Kathryn Steinle, whose death while out walking on a San Francisco pier became a touchstone in the national debate over immigration.

A jury, which reached its verdict on its sixth day of deliberation, convicted the man, Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, only of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was also found not guilty of assault with a firearm. A sentencing date had not yet been set.

Ms. Steinle’s death in July 2015 fed into a fierce debate over whether immigrants without legal status should be deported more aggressively, and over the role local law enforcement should play.

Ms. Steinle, known as Kate, a 32-year-old medical equipment saleswoman, was walking along Pier 14 in San Francisco when she was struck by a bullet and collapsed into her father’s arms. Mr. Garcia Zarate acknowledged firing the weapon, but said it was an accident.

Mr. Garcia Zarate had been homeless at the time of the shooting and had multiple felony convictions and five prior deportations to Mexico. He had been set free from jail only months before the shooting, in defiance of requests by federal immigration authorities, who had asked that he be held longer so he could be deported again.

More details from a San Francisco TV station:

The Steinle family has been waiting more than two years for this day. Kate Steinle was shot and killed when she was walking with her father and a friend on the pier.

Garcia Zarate, who was homeless at the time, claimed he found the gun wrapped in a piece of cloth under a swivel chair at the pier. He says he picked it up, and it accidentally fired, hitting Steinle in the back. The bullet, the defense claimed, ricocheted and then traveled 78 feet before striking Steinle.

The prosecution has always maintained that Garcia Zarate had the gun all along, aimed it at Steinle and fired. But, because, he had little experience with guns, the bullet ricocheted first, a common mistake made by amateurs.

I understand that for Garcia Zarate to have been found guilty of voluntary manslaughter (the charge on which he was being tried), the prosecution had to convince the jury that he had fired the gun intentionally. But how did they not convict him of involuntary manslaughter?

There might be a good legal explanation for this. There really might. Wait for all the details before making your decision.

I realize that I am shouting into cyclone with that advice.

This is a massive gift to Donald Trump. The jury might well have botched this case, but even if they didn’t, as an emotional and political matter, this is a complete disaster. The fact is, if that dirtbag felon had not been in this country illegally, Kate Steinle would be alive today. There’s no getting around that. A jury in San Francisco — a sanctuary city — let him walk free. There’s no getting …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Jessica Tarlov: Conyers out? Not today. But maybe tomorrow. A girl can hope

By Jessica Tarlov We all wanted to see more bipartisanship in Washington and it looks like we’ve finally got it. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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Matt Lauer’s out at NBC. Here’s what would make this a true watershed moment, America

By Lauren DeBellis Appell Powerful men are at long last being held accountable for their sexual misconduct. But is this really the watershed moment women have been waiting for? …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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Newt Gingrich: President Trump is decisively reining in the left

By Newt Gingrich Since President Donald Trump took office, he has been consistently strategic in working to dismantle the radical, leftwing legacy of his predecessor. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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Texas College Op-Ed Calls For Ethnic Cleansing

By Rod Dreher

Rudy Martinez, a student at Texas State University, penned an op-ed this week for the student newspaper. He called for the elimination of white people. Here’s a report. Excerpts from the op-ed:

I see white people as an aberration. … Ontologically speaking, white death will mean liberation for all … accept this death as the first step toward defining yourself as something other than the oppressor. Until then, remember this: I hate you because you shouldn’t exist. You are both the dominant apparatus on the planet and the void in which all other cultures, upon meeting you, die.

And:

When I think of all the white people I’ve ever encountered—whether they’ve been professors, peers, lovers, friends, police officers, et cetera—there is perhaps only a dozen I would consider ‘decent’.

And:

Remember this: I hate you because you shouldn’t exist. You are both the dominant apparatus on the planet and the void in which all other cultures, upon meeting you, die.

Do I even have to say it? Can you imagine a piece like this being published in a student newspaper about black people, or Asian people, or Latino people, and so forth? Of course you can’t. If it appeared, there would be a national media frenzy, and people would be fired over it. As it happens, the editor of the paper apologized, as did the president of the college. The editor and everybody who approved this hateful column ought to be fired.

Texas State University is in San Marcos. You might remember my writing earlier this year about how Texas A&M has on its faculty a black philosophy professor who speculates in his work on when it is okay to kill white people (see here and here). When the Chronicle of Higher Education wrote about the controversy, the reporter was highly sympathetic to Curry, and didn’t seem too bothered by the incendiary racial, anti-white rhetoric from him. The elites honestly don’t seem to grasp why this is offensive.

A&M and Texas State are both public universities, supported by Texas taxpayers. As the Texas student reader who tipped me off to this writes:

Note the cowardly use of quotations around ‘racist’ by local news:
http://www.kvue.com/news/local/hays-county/texas-state-president-speaks-out-after-publications-racist-opinion-column/495614124

Editorial in Texas State student newspaper condemned as ‘racist’

Or otherwise distancing themselves from the claim that it was racist
https://www.ksat.com/news/texas-state-campus-paper-issues-apology-after-publishing-opinion-column-calling-for-white-death-

Does anyone doubt that news organizations would call such an article racist–with no quotation marks–were it written by a European about non-Europeans?

It is amazing how our media LOVES to report on racism and goes looking for it and engages in interpretive heroics to impose it on rather mundane statements, but when real proto-ethnic cleansing speech appears, they can’t call it for what it is. I fear this will cause things to get much worse. Everyday white people are going to sense that the media is out to get them at some level. They will sense the disparity in coverage. They will begin to see the media an enemy. We are descending into something horrible, a kind of constant warfare between elites …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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The Benedict Option In Oz

By Rod Dreher

Is this kangaroo a moralistic therapeutic deist? (Bradley Blackburn/Shutterstock)

Evangelical theologians Bruce Ashford and Michael Bird (who is Australian) recently spoke at a Southeastern Seminary event in which they offered responses to The Benedict Option. From the report, here’s part of what Bird had to say:

The Benedict Option won’t work in Australia and it soon won’t work in other Western countries because even the existence of separate Christian communities is anathema—if we build monasteries, they will attack those too. As a whole, Bird agrees with Dreher about the state of the West—the future looks bleak and culture continues to spiral out of control.

Despite this dreary outlook, Bird did not sink into pessimism. Instead he called for Christians to “turn the world upside down,” much like Paul did when he came to Thessalonica. Rather than capitulate to civic totalism (in which the state holds supreme power and regulates as much of life as possible) or retreat from the public square, Bird calls Christians to “wage a counter insurgency armed with peace and pluralism.” Christians can turn the world upside down by acting as peaceful public nuisances who promote a community of love and freedom and “practice allegiance to Jesus rather than Democratic Caesars and Republican czars.” Christians should expose the hypocrisy, violence and predatory nature of progressivism as well as the political right, which uses Christianity for its own agenda. They have to get creative in their resistance to a culture that demands total surrender to tyranny disguised as tolerance.

Well, Bird would be right if I advocated retreating to gated communities. Good thing that I don’t.

I have to wonder, though, where Bird thinks Christians who are going to “turn the world upside down” are going to find the teaching and the discipline to do this, especially in a society where they are looked down upon, and even persecuted. If he asks himself this question, then he will come to understand the need for the Benedict Option.

This is a fundamental mistake that people who have not read the book keep making: assuming that it’s about building external protections for the church in the post-Christian West. It is to some degree, but it’s mostly about rebuilding the church’s internal culture. This 2004 quote, from the historian of early Christianity Robert Louis Wilken, I cite in The Benedict Option; it’s what the Ben Op is trying to achieve:

Nothing is more needful today than the survival of Christian culture, because in recent generations this culture has become dangerously thin. At this moment in the Church’s history in this country (and in the West more generally) it is less urgent to convince the alternative culture in which we live of the truth of Christ than it is for the Church to tell itself its own story and to nurture its own life, the culture of the city of God, the Christian republic. This is not going to happen without a rebirth of moral and spiritual discipline and a resolute effort on the part …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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North Korea Won’t Be Denuclearized

By Daniel Larison

Mira Rapp-Hooper does an excellent job spelling out why the denuclearization of North Korea is an impossible goal and why the administration’s refusal to acknowledge this puts the U.S. on the path to a disastrous war:

By clinging to the notion that North Korea can still be denuclearized and denying that it has achieved a long-range strike capability, Trump and his team gave themselves room to develop futile, dangerous military options that guarantee regional devastation. This logic is premised on the notion that there remains a window of opportunity for action, when, in fact, North Korea has now emphatically slammed shut that very window.

By denying North Korea’s nuclear and missile capabilities and insisting that there remains time and space for military action, the Trump team raises the risk of conflict on the Korean Peninsula. By threatening to start that conflict themselves, they raise the chance that Kim will miscalculate and lash out first.

The Trump administration has boxed itself in on North Korea by accepting a number of shoddy hawkish assumptions about “rogue” regimes, U.S. power, and preventive war. They regard deterrence as irrelevant or outdated when dealing with a “rogue” state because they wrongly perceive such regimes to be unpredictable and “crazy.” They assume that the U.S. can achieve any goal it sets for itself despite the evidence of the last two decades, and they still believe this because of a near-mystical faith in American “leadership” and “strength.” Because they have rejected the possibility of deterrence, they consider illegal and unjust preventive war an appropriate means for achieving their goals. Finally, the biggest mistake on the administration’s part is their inability to see things from the adversary’s perspective, and that causes them to misunderstand why North Korea does the things it does.

As Rapp-Hooper mentions, the president and other administration officials have repeatedly endorsed the idea that North Korea’s government is irrational and undeterrable. North Korea has given us no reason to think this is true, and many observers see their pursuit of a nuclear deterrent as proof that they are behaving as a predictable, rational actor. Just as the Bush administration did when selling its case for war with Iraq, the Trump administration has cited the regime’s cruel and abusive practices inside their own country as evidence of how the regime will behave internationally. These arguments made no sense 15 years ago, and they still make no sense, because they share the same flaw of conflating a regime’s authoritarian behavior at home with aggressive designs abroad. It is a rhetorical sleight of hand to try to trick the public into imagining that a cruel regime must also be a suicidal one, but this doesn’t hold up under scrutiny.

Most of the administration’s other errors flow from this basic misunderstanding of the North Korean government’s motives. If self-preservation is North Korea’s main concern, their regime can be deterred in the future just as it has been over the last six decades. If they have acquired nuclear weapons and the means …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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