Category Archives: Corruption

Election Choices Made Easy

Published / by Lee Kessler / 1 Comment on Election Choices Made Easy

Well, as complex and numerous as the issues are that we face in the US today, you may be in a quandary about who to vote for in November. So many things to consider, so many choices, so much noise. Medical dilemmas, foreign policy issues, economic issues, social issues. So much noise!

Here are two questions that may simplify this particular election for you.

Do you like watching mobs seize neighborhoods, vandalize and loot stores, destroy people’s business dreams, burn buildings, blind federal agents, throw Molotov cocktails? Or like watching young children gunned down in the street in their own neighborhood? Is that the America you want to live in going forward?

If no, go on to the next question.

Did your mayor, city council members, governor, state senators and representatives, US Congressperson and Senators, and Presidential candidate stand up and openly decry the lawlessness? Or have they remained silent, in tacit agreement with the anarchy?

Assuming you understand that what you reward you get more of, you only need to decide what kind of world you want. If you reward lawlessness, you get more lawlessness. If you reward anarchy, you get more anarchy.

So, if you answered no to #1 and #2, then your vote is simple. Any politician who has failed to stand up and OPENLY decry the criminality–no matter the ostensible justification–wants that world to continue. Your government leaders have the power to stop it and restore order. If they did not do so, and if you reward them with re-election or election, you will have more of what invades your household daily on the news. Only soon, this traveling show will show up in your pristine, tranquil neighborhoods.

As for me, I will not vote for ANY politician who did not take a stand against chaos and anarchy. If they encouraged the mayhem, they are gone. If they stood silent while their constituents suffered, they deserve to be unelected.

All the rest is just blabber and political pandering. It can all be debated post election. Unless of course the American people decide they want to live in the world that is being created now by violent anarchists. In that world, nothing will be debated. Censorship and violent extortion will silence all dissenting voices. And none of these other important issues that you are trying to decide on will be solved. It is impossible to solve America’s problems while America burns, and anarchists force you into submission.

The choice is yours. No matter your party, this one is real simple.

The Greatest Diversion Ever!

Published / by Lee Kessler / 1 Comment on The Greatest Diversion Ever!

Hey, Director John Brennan, the “Bloodhound” is closing in now. The world may have been distracted by the China virus–a very real-world, real-threat situation. It may have been distracted by America burning, and the seemingly relentless nights of anarchy and violence in the name of social justice.

People are struggling to wrap their wits around something that is supposed to be peaceful, righteous, and motivated toward an end of equal justice, when their cities and streets explode with Molotov cocktails, broken glass, shattered statues, vandalism, theft, physical assault, and even murder. Unless one is brain dead or a sociopath, the words “social justice” and this mayhem don’t jive.

But, it sure has created a diversion for you and your cohorts to elude a true American “equal justice under the law.” Media eyes are on explosions and blood. America’s eyes are on the same. That is a great military strategy to provide cover, and potential escape.

“The Bloodhound,” however, has never taken his eyes off from you.

My friends, daily now for some time, declassified material–actual documents, notes, sworn testimony, government files–have been released to the public for you to read and understand the reality of an attempted coup. Yes, that is what it will likely be called. A conspiracy to overthrow a duly elected President of the United States. You were more than misled, my fellow Americans. You were outright lied to and deceived.

Now, that is a scandal. That is a crisis. These other “distractions”–albeit mighty ones–will pass. And if you truly love your country and freedom, you should be more than just dismissive or disdainful of this, more than just mildly interested in it. You should feel your hair stand up on end, and you should have trouble sleeping at night.

Because, while we all have sacrificed for our fellow countrymen in order to save lives, while we all have maintained extraordinary restraint in the face of nightly bullying by rampaging mobs, a group of men and women tried to steal your government.

They are still trying. Their names are all known now. I have been writing about them for two years to get you prepared for the reality of what you are about to have to face. The Media may not want to cover it. They long ago ceased to be News, and have turned into social activists and political activists. One established and renowned journalistic empire will likely be listed among the people who advanced the coup. You may want to deny it, and drive yourself batty in doing so. But, when these documents start showing up in a court of law–criminal and civil– as evidence, and juries are being selected, and the prosecutors or plaintiffs open their case, it is going to become staggeringly real to you.

No longer a parlor game, or material for Twitter wars, and the rantings of uninformed celebrities and politicians as they dismiss facts and embrace “anonymous” gossip, this is going to be VERY REAL.

‘The Bloodhound”, as I like to refer to him, has likely found evidence and connected dots in the UK, Canada, Australia, Italy, the Ukraine, possibly Russia, and sadly the good ol’ USA–in the Media, Government Agencies like the State Department, the Justice Department, possibly the Defense Department, and the Treasury Department, and in the halls of Congress.

We’ve stood up to Covid-19. We are standing up to anarchists masquerading as saints. We will stand up to this.

Once, more than two years ago, you, Mr. Brennan, looked straight into the camera and threatened the President of the United States. Well, it’s your turn now, sir. Truth has a way of surfacing. And traitors have a way of turning on each other. Your words, “Stay tuned…” have boomeranged on you. These diversions will no longer divert the eyes of justice. They will no longer provide you “cover.” Stay tuned…

How Did CNN & MSNBC Miss This?

Published / by Lee Kessler / Leave a Comment

Yesterday, a bombshell dropped that rocked the Fourth Estate that seems to feel they are our guardians and masters. Many news agencies did cover this, because to fail to cover it would be dereliction of duty. Yet CNN and MSNBC avoided it. And in doing so, misled all of their viewers by withholding something of significance, and worthy of thought.

Bari Weiss, the Opinion Editor for the New York Times, resigned yesterday. Below is the letter she sent to the head of the Times, explaining her decision to leave. Any fair-minded person will want to read this. You CNN fans and MSNBC fans should ask them why this story just didn’t warrant their attention.


Dear A.G.,

It is with sadness that I write to tell you that I am resigning from The New York Times. 

I joined the paper with gratitude and optimism three years ago. I was hired with the goal of bringing in voices that would not otherwise appear in your pages: first-time writers, centrists, conservatives and others who would not naturally think of The Times as their home. The reason for this effort was clear: The paper’s failure to anticipate the outcome of the 2016 election meant that it didn’t have a firm grasp of the country it covers. Dean Baquet and others have admitted as much on various occasions. The priority in Opinion was to help redress that critical shortcoming.

I was honored to be part of that effort, led by James Bennet. I am proud of my work as a writer and as an editor. Among those I helped bring to our pages: the Venezuelan dissident Wuilly Arteaga; the Iranian chess champion Dorsa Derakhshani; and the Hong Kong Christian democrat Derek Lam. Also: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Masih Alinejad, Zaina Arafat, Elna Baker, Rachael Denhollander, Matti Friedman, Nick Gillespie, Heather Heying, Randall Kennedy, Julius Krein, Monica Lewinsky, Glenn Loury, Jesse Singal, Ali Soufan, Chloe Valdary, Thomas Chatterton Williams, Wesley Yang, and many others.

But the lessons that ought to have followed the election—lessons about the importance of understanding other Americans, the necessity of resisting tribalism, and the centrality of the free exchange of ideas to a democratic society—have not been learned. Instead, a new consensus has emerged in the press, but perhaps especially at this paper: that truth isn’t a process of collective discovery, but an orthodoxy already known to an enlightened few whose job is to inform everyone else.

Twitter is not on the masthead of The New York Times. But Twitter has become its ultimate editor. As the ethics and mores of that platform have become those of the paper, the paper itself has increasingly become a kind of performance space. Stories are chosen and told in a way to satisfy the narrowest of audiences, rather than to allow a curious public to read about the world and then draw their own conclusions.I was always taught that journalists were charged with writing the first rough draft of history. Now, history itself is one more ephemeral thing molded to fit the needs of a predetermined narrative.

My own forays into Wrongthink have made me the subject of constant bullying by colleagues who disagree with my views. They have called me a Nazi and a racist; I have learned to brush off comments about how I’m “writing about the Jews again.” Several colleagues perceived to be friendly with me were badgered by coworkers. My work and my character are openly demeaned on company-wide Slack channels where masthead editors regularly weigh in. There, some coworkers insist I need to be rooted out if this company is to be a truly “inclusive” one, while others post ax emojis next to my name. Still other New York Times employees publicly smear me as a liar and a bigot on Twitter with no fear that harassing me will be met with appropriate action. They never are.

There are terms for all of this: unlawful discrimination, hostile work environment, and constructive discharge. I’m no legal expert. But I know that this is wrong. 

I do not understand how you have allowed this kind of behavior to go on inside your company in full view of the paper’s entire staff and the public. And I certainly can’t square how you and other Times leaders have stood by while simultaneously praising me in private for my courage. Showing up for work as a centrist at an American newspaper should not require bravery.

Part of me wishes I could say that my experience was unique. But the truth is that intellectual curiosity—let alone risk-taking—is now a liability at The Times. Why edit something challenging to our readers, or write something bold only to go through the numbing process of making it ideologically kosher, when we can assure ourselves of job security (and clicks) by publishing our 4000th op-ed arguing that Donald Trump is a unique danger to the country and the world? And so self-censorship has become the norm.

What rules that remain at The Times are applied with extreme selectivity. If a person’s ideology is in keeping with the new orthodoxy, they and their work remain unscrutinized. Everyone else lives in fear of the digital thunderdome. Online venom is excused so long as it is directed at the proper targets. 

Op-eds that would have easily been published just two years ago would now get an editor or a writer in serious trouble, if not fired. If a piece is perceived as likely to inspire backlash internally or on social media, the editor or writer avoids pitching it. If she feels strongly enough to suggest it, she is quickly steered to safer ground. And if, every now and then, she succeeds in getting a piece published that does not explicitly promote progressive causes, it happens only after every line is carefully massaged, negotiated and caveated.

It took the paper two days and two jobs to say that the Tom Cotton op-ed “fell short of our standards.” We attached an editor’s note on a travel story about Jaffa shortly after it was published because it “failed to touch on important aspects of Jaffa’s makeup and its history.” But there is still none appended to Cheryl Strayed’s fawning interview with the writer Alice Walker, a proud anti-Semite who believes in lizard Illuminati. 

The paper of record is, more and more, the record of those living in a distant galaxy, one whose concerns are profoundly removed from the lives of most people. This is a galaxy in which, to choose just a few recent examples, the Soviet space program is lauded for its “diversity”; the doxxing of teenagers in the name of justice is condoned; and the worst caste systems in human history includes the United States alongside Nazi Germany.

Even now, I am confident that most people at The Times do not hold these views. Yet they are cowed by those who do. Why? Perhaps because they believe the ultimate goal is righteous. Perhaps because they believe that they will be granted protection if they nod along as the coin of our realm—language—is degraded in service to an ever-shifting laundry list of right causes. Perhaps because there are millions of unemployed people in this country and they feel lucky to have a job in a contracting industry. 

Or perhaps it is because they know that, nowadays, standing up for principle at the paper does not win plaudits. It puts a target on your back. Too wise to post on Slack, they write to me privately about the “new McCarthyism” that has taken root at the paper of record.

All this bodes ill, especially for independent-minded young writers and editors paying close attention to what they’ll have to do to advance in their careers. Rule One: Speak your mind at your own peril. Rule Two: Never risk commissioning a story that goes against the narrative. Rule Three: Never believe an editor or publisher who urges you to go against the grain. Eventually, the publisher will cave to the mob, the editor will get fired or reassigned, and you’ll be hung out to dry.

For these young writers and editors, there is one consolation. As places like The Times and other once-great journalistic institutions betray their standards and lose sight of their principles, Americans still hunger for news that is accurate, opinions that are vital, and debate that is sincere. I hear from these people every day. “An independent press is not a liberal ideal or a progressive ideal or a democratic ideal. It’s an American ideal,” you said a few years ago. I couldn’t agree more. America is a great country that deserves a great newspaper. 

None of this means that some of the most talented journalists in the world don’t still labor for this newspaper. They do, which is what makes the illiberal environment especially heartbreaking. I will be, as ever, a dedicated reader of their work. But I can no longer do the work that you brought me here to do—the work that Adolph Ochs described in that famous 1896 statement: “to make of the columns of The New York Times a forum for the consideration of all questions of public importance, and to that end to invite intelligent discussion from all shades of opinion.”

Ochs’s idea is one of the best I’ve encountered. And I’ve always comforted myself with the notion that the best ideas win out. But ideas cannot win on their own. They need a voice. They need a hearing. Above all, they must be backed by people willing to live by them. 

Sincerely,

Bari

“Seven Hours to Dawn”

Published / by Lee Kessler / 1 Comment on “Seven Hours to Dawn”

While in lockdown over the last few months, I engaged avidly in my online business, but I entertained myself by watching reruns of “Gunsmoke.” That, my friends, is something I highly recommend to you during these perilous times.

It’s not just that the show which started airing in 1955–with no slick production values–gained its 20-year following for stellar, provocative, adult writing, and for its stunning acting by not only the series regulars, but also for a list of guest stars that reads like the Who’s Who of Great Hollywood Stars in the ensuing decades. It seems almost as if everyone who ever became a star started on Gunsmoke. If you want TV, real TV, it doesn’t get any realer than “Gunsmoke.”

It was my father’s favorite show. Though I rarely watched it, I see now why it was. And, I see my father, in his own way, was Matt Dillon. That’s what drew me to watch the series now.

But I did not expect to find what I found. The messages of nearly every show I have watched echo to this very moment in time, relevant to nearly every crisis America is facing today–including the crisis of honor, common sense, and emotional maturity.

So, if you have been tearing your hair out as anarchists created “Chaz” in a section of Seattle that they seized, listen to me now. ABC calls it a “festival.” I call it something altogether different when a police station is abandoned and 6 city blocks are cordoned off–not by police–but by the demonstrators. I call it something altogether different when they erected barricades and fences and declared themselves to be a separate, autonomous zone. Armed demonstrators who are self-proclaimed civilian law enforcement guard the entrances to those blocks, and decide who gets in and who does not. Reports of threats of violence against business owners who want to get to their already Corona-Virus, and riot-embattled businesses are surfacing. Reports of extortion, whereby a citizen or business owner has to pay money to be allowed to return to their own property, are surfacing.

I am not there. I have not checked this out in person, as I was prone to do when I was young. Today, however, the group released its “demands,” which must be met, or they will not return the Capital Hill District to Seattle.

And that is why I want you all to YouTube search, or Google Search, and find a way to watch the “Gunsmoke” episode entitled “Seven Hours to Dawn.” I mean it. You will see for yourself in a drama from long ago what it’s like when a gang suddenly arrives in town, closes off the town, shuts down law enforcement, and extorts everything from the now-helpless citizens and businesses.

The Mace Gore gang made its demands. Confident that no law enforcement could rise up against them, they created their own “festival.” But it was not a festival to the citizens of Dodge City whose town, freedom, and civil rights had been stolen.

I would encourage you to watch this. And then see that the news rooms at ABC–and any other fool places who think that this is a “festival,” just a “harmless group of people with grievances”– get to watch it too.

If you are part of the gang that is lawless, and fostering anarchy, it’s a “festival,” a fun evening out where you can tweet out for vegan food. But, for those whose rights have been taken, and who have no police protection now, I am sure it feels very different.

A TV series from 65 years ago is not only powerfully entertaining, but it holds insight for us today. “Seven Hours to Dawn–” if you care!

So, watch it, and decide if you stand with Mace Gore, or you stand with the people of Dodge City. Who knows, “Gunsmoke” might just solve most of our country’s problems, if we will learn today the lessons that show was trying to teach us in 1955.

I will eagerly await your feedback.

Words that Haunt

Published / by Lee Kessler / Leave a Comment

Sir John Dalberg-Acton was a 19th Century English-Catholic historian. He is perhaps best known for the remark, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely…”

That is one of the greatest arguments for limited government, and governmental powers. Throughout time, Dalberg-Acton’s observations have proven true. No matter how well-intentioned men may be when they seek power, and especially political power, when that power has been given to them, it corrupts them in some way.

There must be something so insidiously delicious and seductive about power that men and women will forfeit honor and integrity once power has been vested in them. They will deny all manner of previous viewpoints they held and statements they have made. And, in the last four years, I have watched the DC Swamp jump through hoops to try to justify their apparent forfeiture of the beliefs that got them elected or appointed.

Therein lies the greatest danger to our Republic. The power in this country–by design, and after great sacrifice–was vested in the people of the United States. We are the source of power, and those who serve us are intended to answer to us.

At times we the people have vested greater power in the hands of Washington politicians and civil servants because of some catastrophe globally where we felt we needed to give them more authority, and to do it quickly.

That, in and of itself, is not an issue. Certainly, we would likely agree that after Pearl Harbor, the powers given to Congress and the President etc. were a necessary evil. 9/11 is another case where we empowered our President to wage war. That attack and threat was apparent to all of us.

What we did not really think through, however, was the fact we also gave our government the power to set up secret courts in order to obtain warrants to electronically spy on our countrymen. If each of those warrants had been properly sought, and no one’s rights had been violated, we the people would not be in turmoil over the last four years about what is now emerging factually as an abuse of power by the outgoing administration against the incoming administration.

Cover-ups and abuses abound. People will yell, they will shrilly deny, they will justify in the coming weeks in the Senate Hearings, and in the actions forthcoming related to the Durham criminal investigation. That’s natural. After all, we gave some very brazen and arrogant men and women power over us. They corrupted it, became corrupt–and now refuse to give the power back. The nectar of power and control over their fellow countrymen seems to have addicted them.

Sadly, something far more ominous is hanging over us relevant to Dalberg-Acton’s observation. During this pandemic, we–in order to save ourselves and others–gave almost complete authority to our state and federal governments. We felt we needed them to take control, and order us into actions that would be good for all. Hopefully history will record that our cessation of almost all of our First Amendment rights was warranted–that we did the right thing. We harmed the many to save the few.

What history will not record kindly is if our governments never give that power back. Even when the crisis abates, or disappears altogether, we are discovering that some state leaders and federal leaders are loath to relinquish the control they have over our entire future and security. Frankly, we are going to have to pry that power out of their tightly clenched fists. (Electorally)

You may be in a quandary about how this beneficent leader of your city or your state could turn into a dictatorial tyrant, hell-bent on forcing you to bend to their agenda and will–even if it destroys your life and livelihood. You may agree with them. I am aware of that.

Regrettably though, someone like me is going to eventually have to come to rescue you and our countrymen from the clutches of the new tyrant. You thought Covid-19 was a menace?! You thought it threatened your life?! It did.

But, my friends, we all had better wake up. Because in order to handle that biological menace, we created a new one: politicians with more power than they have EVER had over you. I am by nature an eternal optimist. In this matter though, I know history, and I know men. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Put every single one of those 5 freedoms I wrote about a few weeks ago back in place, before you no longer can. Ask the people of Venezuela if they expected what they got when Chavez died and the new elected fool took office. Ask the people of Hong Kong if they expected what happened to them yesterday.

The power rests with “we the people” and spread out through our whole society no one man or group can gain the monopoly on it. Hard to corrupt 350 million Americans of diverse background, races, ethnicities, education, careers, religions etc.

An unwieldy bunch, we Americans. Perhaps that is key as to why this nation has prospered for so long, and helped so many other nations to prosper.

Pry their little fingers loose–one control at a time, one day at a time, one week at a time until your freedoms are fully restored. You can do it. I may not have faith in bureaucrats, but I have always had faith in the American people.