Unfortunately for President Donald Trump, America got more bizarre while he was away on his first official international trip.
How depressing for him to have to return home to continuing weirdness. The recent Day of Absence and the Portland shooting are but two examples, more about which below.
Trump has cancelled his Iowa rally which was scheduled for June 1. Whatever he has to do this coming week must be pretty important.
The escalating crisis surrounding the Russia investigation (with reports last night on FBI interest in Jared Kushner) looks like good news for somebody in the White House: Steve Bannon.
Nine sources in the West Wing and within Trump’s close orbit said the Russia situation is Bannon’s shot at redemption. He’s being described as a “wartime consigliere” relishing a fight against the “deep state,” media, Democrats and investigators.
According to Axios, Bannon, Reince Priebus and Jared Kushner are teaming up to fight common enemies.
While his father-in-law met with world leaders, Kushner dominated the news cycle. It is still unclear how much of this is fake news. Are the FBI really interested in him? Is he really going to leave Washington? Axios picked up on an analysis by James Fallows of The Atlantic about how the Washington Post and the New York Times have been reporting on Kushner:
The two publications apparently talked to the same people, but the approaches to relaying that information manifested in nearly two different stories. When reporters are tasked with deciphering and spreading the messages from a White House filled with sources who mislead and often contradict each other, it’s important that they’re not too trusting or too gullible with those who claim to have inside knowledge about Kushner’s thinking — especially if they’re not Kushner himself.
While the media fixated on Kushner, they ignored other big stories. None of the Democratic Party water carriers covered the story about Obama’s intelligence community spying on untold numbers of Americans over his two terms in office. Nor did they cover the mysterious Awan family who managed the IT systems for Democrat legislators and have now returned to Pakistan.
Another story that will probably slip through the cracks is the NYPD arrest of Jacob Schwartz for child pornography. He worked for New York City mayor Bill De Blasio and was also the president of the Manhattan Young Democrats as well as the downstate region vice president of the New York State Young Democrats.
The New York Post has an excellent report:
… his name and photo were scrubbed from both groups’ Web sites after The Post broke the news of his arrest.
A statement from the Manhattan Young Democrats said the organization was “shocked” by the allegations against Schwartz, and added that he was “no longer a member of the board, and an interim president is now in place” …
De Blasio ignored questions about his arrest following a news conference in The Bronx, but a spokeswoman later said Schwartz “is being terminated immediately, and the agency is cooperating with investigators.”
According to his online biography, Schwartz got involved in politics at a young age, helping his father campaign for Democratic district leader in Greenwich Village.
The elder Schwartz served as New York counsel to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ failed presidential campaign, and was also the campaign treasurer for law professor and liberal activist Zephyr Teachout when she challenged Gov. Andrew Cuomo for the 2014 Democratic nomination.
Schwartz was all over the media during Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign. He was on CNN, had his photo taken with her campaign manager Robby Mook and participated in the Clinton post-mortem panel on why she lost.
The media are also ignoring the harassment of Bret Weinstein, a biology professor at Evergreen State College in Washington state.
On April 12, 2017, Weinstein refused to leave campus in the Day of Absence during which all white people were to leave campus, with minorities remaining in dorms and in class. The College Fix explains:
Evergreen State practices explicit and institutional racial segregation once a year. Typically nonwhite students and faculty leave campus (to show how valuable they are) and the whites stay on campus (to be indoctrinated in “anti-racism workshops and seminars”), but this year it was reversed, and Weinstein told the director of a campus multicultural office that he was staying put.
At the time, Weinstein sent an email outlining his position:
You may take this letter as a formal protest of this year’s structure, and you may assume I will be on campus during the Day of Absence. … On a college campus, one’s right to speak – or to be – must never be based on skin color.
Now — weeks after the event — Evergreen State students want him fired. He was on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show last week to explain his lack of personal safety. This tweet of his from May 24 lays it out succinctly and asks for a response from college president George Bridges:
To be clear: the police told me I am not safe on campus. They can not protect me. Students in jeopardy. No contact from admin. George?
Not surprisingly, Weinstein’s family are unhappy:
Bret’s brother Eric, managing director of investment firm Thiel Capital, defended his brother against the “lying mob” on Twitter: “You SJWs just targeted the wrong guy.”
Atheist author Sam Harris indirectly defended Weinstein:
These kids don’t belong at a university. They need cult deprogramming first.
Weinstein is not the only person on campus that students want to sack:
Student activists are also trying to get the college’s police chief fired because officers are allegedly seeking out and confronting “black trans disabled students” at the college, The Olympian reports.
Bizarrely, the college administration doesn’t care:
the administration is encouraging even more disruptive student protests by promising to work with the activists “to address their issues,” saying officials have had “an intense and useful conversation” with them.
Madness, utter madness.
More insanity took place in Portland, Oregon on Friday, May 26, just as people began contemplating Memorial Day weekend.
A white extremist, Jeremy Joseph Christian, 35, went into a stabbing frenzy on a local train when three men attempted to stop him harassing a girl wearing a hijab. The Oregonian reported that two of the three men died:
The rampage, unlike anything the city has seen, stunned city leaders and left friends and strangers mourning the loss of two lives, applauding the selfless acts of heroes and condemning the racist vitriol that preceded the violence.
One of the victims was an Army veteran employed by the City of Portland. The other man had a degree in economics. Both died a short time after being stabbed in the neck.
Naturally, early reports said that Jeremy Joseph Christian was a Trump supporter. Nothing could have been further from the truth. In reality, he supported Bernie Sanders and couldn’t stand Trump. He wrote on his Facebook page that Trump was better than Hillary only because he was ‘fast poison’:
I take the fast poison over the slow any day …
Then there was the case of the California professor Eric Clanton who advocated battering Trump supporters with bicycle locks at USC Berkeley. No one knew who he was for weeks until 4chan folks got on the case and discovered his name, his employer (a small college in the Bay Area) and more. Clanton was finally arrested on May 24. Someone following the story tweeted:
Shame on you, friends in the media, for not covering the
#EricClanton arrest. Took 4Chan to catch him. Now y’all wont cover the story? Evil.
In news about the media, speculation surged as to whether Fox had sacked Sean Hannity. However, alternative media’s Mike Cernovich noted:
Hannity has taken Memorial Day weekend off for years (2010 …); he takes it off this year and “sources” claim he’s out at FOX. Fake news.
In another media-related story, for whatever reason, ESPN is changing from sports to left-wing politics. Why? In any event, layoffs of experienced sportscasters took place recently. One of them, Jason Whitlock, originally a sportswriter in Charlotte, NC is now employed at Fox Sports 1. He appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight last week to say that ESPN made the wrong decision. Sports is one of the few great unifiers and character builders. The Charlotte Observer reported on their former employee, who told Carlson:
“If you really understand sports culture, and all the values taught in sports, from Little League, Pee Wee, on, you’re never a victim. There are never any excuses that are accepted. Every coach teaches every play from 5 years old on to 45 years old, we don’t tolerate excuses, we don’t tolerate victimology, and now so much of the conversation by the sports media, ESPN being the leader of this, is just filled with so-and-so is a victim, Colin Kaepernick’s a victim, everybody’s a victim. It’s turning traditional sports fans off.”
Whitlock said he has written and talked often about what he feels is a change in the sports landscape.
He went on to say:
Everyone is catering all of their content to Silicon Valley and San Francisco values.
That’s far different than the old media which catered everything to New York traditional liberal values. The values in San Francisco, a bit more revolutionary, a bit more progressive, than a traditional New York-based media.
General James ‘Maddog’ Mattis knows what’s going on with all of this: alienation, particularly of those in the armed forces retiring from active service. In an interview published this weekend, Mattis told The New Yorker that his biggest concern is (emphases mine):
“The lack of political unity in America. The lack of a fundamental friendliness. It seems like an awful lot of people in America and around the world feel spiritually and personally alienated, whether it be from organized religion or from local community school districts or from their governments.
“I come out of the tight-knit Marine Corps, but I’ve lived on college campuses for three and a half years,” he went on. “Go back to Ben Franklin—his descriptions about how the Iroquois Nations lived and worked together. Compare that to America today. I think that, when you look at veterans coming out of the wars, they’re more and more just slapped in the face by that isolation, and they’re used to something better. They think it’s P.T.S.D.—which it can be—but it’s really about alienation. If you lose any sense of being part of something bigger, then why should you care about your fellow-man?”
I hope President Trump has big changes in mind. Sometimes a change is as good as a rest. He toured parts of the Middle East and Europe. It’s possible he was able to think differently while he was away, even though he was busy the whole time.
The Trump presidency might well be entering a new phase. I hope so.