March 23, 2018

Friday Musical Interlude - Battle Hymn of the Republic

Something slightly different this week, definitely aligned with the broader theme of this blog - The Battle Hymn of the Republic performed by the United States Army Field Band.

Trump to veto omnibus bill?

It seems like a real possibility.

UPDATEPerhaps not. But next time... (assuming he gets another chance from his supporters).

March 22, 2018

Trump is not against free trade

President Trump is not anti-free trade, he's against the United States being taken advantage of, in trade deals.  It's akin to Ronald Reagan's "trust but verify" in the sense that it's a view that free trade is fine, but only fine if we're sure it really is free going both ways.

It's important to keep in mind that a trade war would hurt China just as much as it would anyone else. Wanting them to play fair is not an unreasonable stance, and showing a bit of teeth is not a bad way to show it.

Conservative Insurgent Thursday - Episode #4

Insurgentnoun a rebel or revolutionary.
      "an attack by armed insurgents"
synonymsrebel, revolutionary, revolutionist, mutineer, insurrectionist, agitator, subversive, renegade, incendiary

After a couple of weeks of delay, Conservative Insurgent Thursday returns in force with a look at beloved conservative loudmouth and web-based editorialist/entertainer (hopefully that's a fair descriptive) Steven Crowder who is taking the conservative argument to the trenches, wherever those trenches may be - campuses, the web, social media.

Who is Steven Crowder? 

Steven Crowder is a 30 year old conservative political commentator and comedian. He was born in Gross Pointe Michigan but raised in the predominantly French province of Quebec in Canada.  He was raised  Christian and has been married since 2012 to his wife Hilary (not Clinton).  Previous to his calling to conservatism's defense Crowder was an actor, starting at a young age. Currently his Youtube channel has over one million subscribers, including myself. His show, Louder With Crowder is also available on CRTV.


Steven Crowder's political background became apparent when he started appearing as a guest or panelist on Fox News, where he eventually worked from 2009 through 2013, when he was 'fired' for criticizing Fox in a radio interview.  In addition to Fox News, Crowder has contributed videos to Breitbart, PJ Media, Prager University and in 2011 he was the MC at the CPAC conference.

Notable Achievements:

Most conservative insurgents would not count being punched as a notable achievement but in Crowder's case, he was punched in defense of the conservative cause.  In 2012 he was punched several times by a union activists when he was at at a Demonstration in Michigan where unionists were protesting Michigan's new Right To Work law.  Americans For Prosperity had a tent at the event and it was also torn down.  No charges were brought against Crowder's assailant. In terms of that being an achievement, getting punched is not so much an achievement, but getting punched and continuing to crusade for conservative values and against progressivism and socialism, that is an achievement worth mentioning.

Crowder has also been the august conservative The American Spectator for his work on Youtube. He's also done the university tour in an effort to fight back against the tide of socialism the prevails on university campuses.  It's yeoman's work but he's clearly up to the challenge.

Why We Need Him:

Crowder is fearless, much like all of the other conservative insurgents I've profiled so far.  More importantly, he brings a sharp comedic edge to his conservatism that demands people take note.  Yet despite the bite, Crowder comes across as personable and approachable.  Indeed in his Change My Mind video series he debates liberals in a surprisingly engaging and affable way.  He's hard not to like on a personal level and it only helps him with his message.

Here's a prime example;

Highlight Reel:

There are a number of great Crowder clips, but I would be remiss to not include this particular epic rant in response to a social justice warrior attempt to shut down a talk hosted by campus Republicans, before anyone had even spoken.  It's crude in spots, but brilliant in it's frontal assault on the flaws in the SJW hypocrisy on free speech.  The crudeness itself even speaks to the generation he's trying to reach.

Social Media:

Omnibus ouch!

Bad then, bad now.
Well, I'm forced to be consistent on this.  When Democrats introduced an omnibus bill when Obama was president I was infuriated by the debt implications of the spending.  Now that it's happening under president Trump's watch, I again have to say, ouch.

Via Hot Air, this observation:
Like most omnibus bills, this will get shoved through Congress quickly enough to keep people from noticing its worst aspects. Its 2200-page length would require several days to read in detail — well, several days and plenty of No-Doz.
I haven't had time to review it but it seems like both military and domestic spending are up. The deficit and debt will go up as a result (discounting potential tax revenue increases a la Art Laffer resulting from the tax cuts).  An increase in military spending is an unfortunate necessity given a near decade of Obama-era neglect desecration of military readiness.

But no border wall funding of which to speak.  No DACA resolution, which was the issue of the day last time around.   And increased domestic spending?  How can you drain the swamp when you keep pumping money into it?

The interesting piece will be how president Trump reacts to the bill.  Does he veto it?  He has reasons to do so but then again he's outsourced the budget discussions to congress and my suspicion is that he won't veto it. That would be a big disappointment.  Then again if he does, it will be a big win with his supporters.

Cambridge Analytica scandal for thee but not for me

The media is all agog over the fact that the Trump campaign worked with data collection and usage firm Cambridge Analytica which leveraged Facebook data for message targeting for the Trump campaign.  They fail to note that when president Obama was a candidate, his team was doing the exact same thing.  So while it's a terrible scandal for president Trump, it was apparently a genius move when team Obama did the same thing.  In reality the worst thing president Trump's election team could be accused of doing is copying a formula that worked for his predecessor (whom the media still adore).

The Hill, not exactly a bastion of Trump support, reports:
On Sunday, The Guardian reported on the supposedly nefarious workings of President Trump’s data-gathering team at Cambridge Analytica. The report suggested that Cambridge Analytica had essentially issued questionnaires through a third party; those questionnaires, which were personality quizzes, requested that you use your Facebook login. Cambridge Analytica then compiled data regarding those who completed the quiz and cross-referenced that data with political preferences in order to target potential voters.
This isn’t particularly shocking. In 2012, The Guardian reported that President Obama’s reelection team was “building a vast digital data operation that for the first time combines a unified database on millions of Americans with the power of Facebook to target individual voters to a degree never achieved before.” 
What, exactly, would Obama be doing? According to The Guardian, Obama’s new database would be gathered by asking individual volunteers to log into Obama’s reelection site using their Facebook credentials. “Consciously or otherwise,” The Guardian states, “the individual volunteer will be injecting all the information they store publicly on their Facebook page — home location, date of birth, interests and, crucially, network of friends — directly into the central Obama database.” 
Facebook had no problem with such activity then. They do now.  
There’s a reason for that. The former Obama director of integration and media analytics stated that, during the 2012 campaign, Facebook allowed the Obama team to “suck out the whole social graph”; Facebook “was surprised we were able to suck out the whole social graph, but they didn’t stop us once they realized that was what we were doing.” She added, “They came to [the] office in the days following election recruiting & were very candid that they allowed us to do things they wouldn’t have allowed someone else to do because they were on our side.”
Not so with Trump. As soon as Facebook realized that Cambridge Analytica had pursued a similar strategy, they suspended the firm.
Part of the problem here is timing.  Facebook (specifically Mark Zuckerberg) has provided a mea culpa for political purposes (they are heavy Democrat supporters) as a way to try yet again to tarnish president Trump with something, anything, that they think will stick.  It's interesting as the Mueller fever begins to break that yet one more attempt has been made to take out president Trump's 2016 electoral victory credibility.  

News flash liberals - it didn't work before, it's not working now, and it won't work with this either.  You are looking increasingly desperate and hypocritical in your reporting, simultaneously.  That's an impressively odious feat but it's not going to help your cause of deposing a duly elected president.  But keep it up - actions always have consequences.  Maybe even Zuckerberg will discover this too.

[ADDITIONAL NOTE & FULL DISCLOSURE: I work in data analytics and we have clear guidelines to follow for what data is acceptable to use and what would infringe upon privacy rights. If anyone is guilty in this it's not Camebridge Analytica or their clients, it's Facebook for not protecting user rights. That's the real scandal - they either are protecting user rights or they allow any non-criminal organization access to user data and advise Facebook users accordingly.  They wanted to have it both ways, under the radar.  At a minimum they were deliberately negligent until a time of their choosing, at worst, they are complicit in deceptive and predatory practices for political purposes.]

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