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When I wrote this post, I hadn’t heard of Hannah Scherlacher. When I finish writing this post, Sen. Franken will wish he’d never heard of Hannah. In my post, I wrote about Sen. Franken’s reliance on ratings from the Southern Poverty Law Center, aka the SPLC, during Amy Coney-Barrett’s confirmation hearing. To hear Sen. Franken tell it, SPLC is a neutral arbiter of who is qualified to be a federal judge. The truth is that SPLC is a bunch of bottom-feeding low-lifes who have stockpiled tons of cash in accounts in the Caribbean.

Sen. Franken, what part of that sounds legitimate? But I digress.

Hannah’s op-ed questions SPLC’s integrity from a personal standpoint. In her op-ed, Hannah wrote “It’s an understatement to say that I was dumbfounded as to how I ended up on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) LGBTQ hate-list — I have never said or done anything to indicate hate for the LGBTQ community. When I called to inquire, SPLC informed me that I am guilty because I did a radio interview with Family Research Council Radio (FRC). I am a program coordinator for The Leadership Institute’s Campus Reform. org. The segment was about socialism, but because FRC holds traditional family values, I was labeled an LGBT-hater just for being a guest on the show. No LGBT topics even came-up.”

Sen. Franken, have you no shame?

What US senator would rely on sloppily-gathered information from a bunch of bottom-feeders like the SPLC? Ms. Scherlacher’s sin was to do an interview with the Family Research Council, an organization whose mission statement states that their “mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a Christian worldview” and whose vision “is a culture in which all human life is valued, families flourish, and religious liberty thrives.”

The FRC’s vision and mission earned it a spot on SPLC’s hate map. That’s significant because that map has helped cause physical pain:

Reckless and irresponsible hate-labeling not only stifles free speech and expression, it empowers and emboldens vicious groups and individuals to violently attack people. Consider the 2012 Family Research Council shooting, when a man walked into the organization’s office in Washington, D.C., with 100 rounds of ammunition and 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches. He planned to kill as many staff members as possible and smear the sandwiches in their faces. He said he chose his target based on SPLC’s Hate Map.

This is more than ironic:

Nowhere is the danger more real than on our college campuses where Antifa, By Any Means Necessary, and other domestic terror groups (which are not found on any SPLC hate list) now feel emboldened to attack conservative students and shut down events under the guise of, ironically, fighting fascism, hate and white supremacism.

Some of the organizations found on the SPLC’s Hate Map are legitimate hate groups. It’s indisputable that the KKK, Holocaust deniers and the Skinheads deserve to be on that map. Being a traditional values Christian shouldn’t land a person on SPLC’s hate map, though.

I’ll close this post with Hannah’s closing argument:

Groups like the SPLC threaten our constitutional rights and the very fabric that makes this nation great. We need to start pushing back. If this trend of bullying and ostracizing anyone with a different opinion continues, we can only expect a chilling, mob-rule effect and the suppression of speech and ideas in this country.

I am calling on SPLC to remove me from this list and stop engaging in the game of identity fear politics. I urge all Americans who have been bullied, silenced, and pushed into a corner by radical groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center to push back too.

Amen, Hannah.

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There isn’t much dispute that Antifa’s tactics are similar to those of a domestic terrorist organization. First Amendment advocates’ arguments just got strengthened thanks to Antifa’s public stalking of the Berkeley College Republicans, aka BCRs.

According to Campus Reform’s article, it’s indisputable that Antifa’s chief tactics are bullying and intimidation. Campus Reform’s article starts with “Conservative students at the University of California, Berkeley have been actively stalked and targeted by a regional Antifa organization known for inciting violence. While the Berkeley College Republicans met at a local restaurant Wednesday evening, Berkeley Antifa took to Twitter to post the exact location of the student group online. “Antifa has taken pictures of me, followed me on the street, and tracked my location using social media. BCR meeting right now inside Eureka at 2068 Center St after drinking with Kyle Chapman and Joey Gibson at Fashy’s, I mean, Pappy’s,’ the Antifa organization tweeted. ‘Inside right now is Troy Worden, Ashton Whitty, Naweed Tahmas, Matt Ronnau, Angelie Castenada, and two others.'”

Lately, the radical Left’s 2 major weapons against free speech are the Southern Poverty Law Center, aka SPLC, and Antifa. Anyone that thinks Antifa isn’t a domestic terrorist organization needs to read this:

In late August, Ashton Whitty, one of the conservative students at the university, was stalked by several Antifa demonstrators who approached her at a gas station and pummeled her vehicle as she fled the scene. “Antifa has taken pictures of me, they’ve followed me on the street, and have tracked my location using social media,” Whitty told Campus Reform. “It’s rather odd why these people would see us as such a priority when we’re just everyday people.”

This video captures what happened to Ms. Whitty:

Antifa’s tactics are different than SPLC’s but their goal is the same: silence conservative voices through any means necessary. This is frightening:

Anyone that thinks the Democratic Party’s hardline lefties are capable of being reasoned with is foolish. Yes, that includes Sen. McCain. He wants to cut deals with people who’ve praised Antifa. Sen. McCain wants to cut deals with senators who’ve relied on the SPLC’s input on judicial nominees.

Anyone that cites the SPLC as a neutral arbiter of judicial nominees is nuttier than a fruit cake. If only I could find someone who’d recently trusted the SPLC:

Sen. Franken actually said that SPLC “tracks hate groups.” Watching the video of the young lady who was labeled by the SPLC as enabling hate for doing an interview with Tony Perkins on the subject of socialism hints that the SPLC doesn’t track hate groups. It is a hate group.

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Rather than being called the University of California-Berkeley, the school should be renamed the University of Censorship-Berkeley. This Campus Reform article highlights just how ridiculous things have gotten.

According to the article, “On Sunday, conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos attempted to follow through on his promise to speak at Berkeley despite the decision of the Berkeley Patriot, a student organization that had agreed to sponsor the Free Speech Week, to pull its support from the 4-day event, citing pressure from the university. In a letter to Berkeley’s Interim Vice Chancellor Stephen Sutton posted online by Yiannopoulos, the attorneys representing the Berkeley Patriot threatened legal action against the university for allegedly failing ‘to protect our students from physical assault and vandalism,’ threatening students with a ‘hate crime’ investigation, and several other grievances. ‘The intent of the threat was clear: Cease speaking out or face criminal investigation,’ the attorneys wrote. ‘Well, our clients’ heard the Chancellor’s threat. They will be quiet, for now.’ You are further notified that our clients are contemplating initiating litigation against the responsible parties and the administration for violation of our clients civil rights,’ the attorneys also warned.”

That’s quite a story. The birthplace of the free speech movement now threatens people it disagrees with criminal investigations. If that doesn’t sound like the tactics of a fascist state to you, it’s time for you to hit the books. That’s definitely one of the tactics a fascist state would employ.

Berkeley isn’t part of the free speech movement. They’re just another mindless liberal institution that’s been infiltrated by anti-American thinking. How the mighty have fallen.

A generation ago, the Democratic Party was a legitimate political party. It isn’t anymore. Today’s Democrats have gone so far around the bend that even lifelong Democrats have started backpedalling … fast. Jim Geraghty’s column illustrates just how foolish the Democratic Party is. What caught my attention is the paragraph that says “The Democratic party’s leaders haven’t changed their methods, either. They denounced Trump and his ‘Deplorables’ and the rest of the Republican party in the most furious terms in 2016, but that didn’t produce the results they wanted. In 2017, Democrats decided to just keep on doing that, but with more profanity.”

Later, Geraghty wrote “After 2016, one might have expected Democrats to reconsider their full embrace of identity politics. Instead they’ve doubled down. Instead of examining why so many voters in so many states rejected their arguments and philosophies, many within the academy and universities greeted 2017 by insisting even more adamantly that freedom of speech is dangerous and that you should be threatened or violently assaulted if you express a view they disagree with. Instead of giving the lecturing speeches at awards shows a break, Hollywood celebrities are becoming even more politically outspoken and strident, and even more openly contemptuous of roughly half their audience.”

Rational people wouldn’t think that Sending rioters to a congressman’s front steps isn’t a way to prove you’re rational, either:

These tactics might help fire up the Democratic Party’s bi-coastal base but they won’t help flip any of the districts or states that they’ll need to retake the House, Senate or the White House. Republicans will increase their margin in the Senate, thereby marginalizing John McCain, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Rand Paul. Republicans will maintain their House majority, too. Most importantly, they’ll have net gains in terms of governorships, state legislators and total control of state governments.

This isn’t because Republicans are doing a great job. I’ve repeatedly said that they aren’t. It’s because Democrats are doing a great job frightening people, either with violence or unaffordable ideas like Medicare for All.

Next November, Democrats will gather somewhere to question what went wrong … again. The Media Wing of the Democratic Party won’t accept the fact that they’re hurting the Democratic Party. The Bernie Sanders/Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party won’t figure it out that their policies don’t appeal to many people. Instead, they’ll think that the enthusiasm that their supporters show are proof that they’re on the right track. They’ll be wrong … again.

I just learned that Antifa has its own spinmeister. His name is Daryle Jenkins. Recently, Vox sat down with Jenkins for an interview. Saying that most of Mr. Jenkins’ statements weren’t honest is understatement. Let’s start with Vox’s interviewer Sean Illing asking Jenkins “Let’s talk about Antifa, the militant left-wing group that has received a lot of attention since Charlottesville. You’ve emerged as one of the faces of this group. Do you own that label?”

Jenkins replied “Absolutely. I proudly stand with Antifa, and I’ve always been Antifa, even before people knew what that meant. People keep talking about Antifa like it’s a comprehensive belief system, but it’s not. Antifa, as a group, simply stands against fascists — and we fight them wherever they emerge. Once upon a time, anti-fascists were just called civil rights activists or anti-racist activists. So this isn’t exactly new or unusual.”

Let’s get serious. Antifa’s tactics look a lot like the Black Panthers. They don’t look like anything that Martin Luther King would’ve sanctioned. Jenkins’ attempt to portray himself as a civil rights activist isn’t honest. It’s spin.

As dishonest as that spin from Jenkins was, it doesn’t compare with this exchange:

Sean Illing: Antifa endorses violence as a justifiable means, and I assume you do as well. Why?
Daryle Jenkins: I’m glad you brought this up, because I’ve noticed a lot of attention has been placed on Antifa’s use of violence. But it’s not as though we’re running around like the nihilists in A Clockwork Orange looking for a nasty fight. Violence is not a central component of what we do and it’s definitely not the only thing we do. It’s not preferred or even the first option.
Sean Illing: And you, personally, how do you think about violence in defense of your political goals?
Daryle Jenkins: Look, I was a police officer in the Air Force. I was trained to deescalate situations. That’s how I approach things. I try as much as I can to deescalate, and if I can’t, I’m prepared to do what I have to do to protect myself and anyone around me.

Does this video show Antifa trying to de-escalate things:

I don’t think there’s an honest person that’d say that Antifa was trying to de-escalate the situation. The police officers that arrested these thugs later certainly didn’t think Antifa tried de-escalation. This might be the most honest answer Jenkins gave:

Sean Illing: Do you think your emphasis on de-escalation is shared by most of the people in Antifa?
Daryle Jenkins: While we do have some people who go on the offensive, that’s not what I do. I try to encourage folks to not put themselves in bad positions. I tell them to not make themselves the aggressor or the bad guy when you’re not. But what’s happened over the last couple of years is that the frustration levels have gone way up. People are lashing out now. There’s a desperation setting in and people don’t know what to do.

People of integrity know exactly what to do. Antifa isn’t made up of people of integrity. Antifa is composed mostly of thugs. Their first instinct is to react violently. This exchange is telling, too:

Sean Illing: When you say expose them, you mean dox them, right?
Daryle Jenkins: Exactly. Our belief is that we research and report on these groups and encourage communities to be proactive in dealing with them. This diminishes their ability to hide and function. This is why we expose them.
Sean Illing: So you take their pictures, find out their names, and share that information with their communities, their friends, their employers?
Daryle Jenkins: Yes, all of that. We share it with communities and employers in particular. We contact anybody that may be receptive to this particular information. Most importantly, we make sure it’s on our website. We write new stories, and we also write mini-bios of various individuals as well. And that exposes them. They don’t like that.

That isn’t all that Antifa does. This article exposes Antifa:

I expected to see a dust-up, a handful of white supremacists in MAGA hats, angry that that they’d been denied a permit to spew their reprehensible bile due to a “culture of political correctness” or some other preposterous catchphrase. What I saw was a photographer—a white guy, thirty-something, pink shorts, black tee-shirt; media affiliation, if any, still unknown—taking blows to the head and body while cradling his camera like a football recovered post-fumble. Evidently, he’d captured something the Antifas didn’t want him to document. They wanted to destroy the evidence, and he wasn’t going to hand it over.

Berkeley’s mayor is getting called out in Allahpundit’s post. In his post, AP quotes Mayor Arreguin as saying “I don’t want Berkeley being used as a punching bag. I’m very concerned about Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter and some of these other right-wing speakers coming to the Berkeley campus, because it’s just a target for black bloc to come out and commit mayhem on the Berkeley campus and have that potentially spill out on the street. I obviously believe in freedom of speech, but there is a line between freedom of speech and then posing a risk to public safety. That is where we have to really be very careful; that while protecting people’s free-speech rights, we are not putting our citizens in a potentially dangerous situation and costing the city hundreds of thousands of dollars fixing the windows of businesses.”

Actually, it isn’t obvious that Mayor Arreguin believes in free speech. I’d argue quite the contrary, in fact. It’s obvious that Mayor Arreguin is letting thuggish rioters like Antifa cast a ‘rioters veto’, thereby chilling the exercise of free speech.

If Mayor Arreguin wants to restore free speech to Berkeley, he should take a page out of President Trump’s immigration handbook. Before President Trump took office, Fox News interviewed Sen. Schumer. One of the topics discussed was building the wall. Sen. Schumer insisted that Democrats wouldn’t budge on building the wall, that they’d insist on “comprehensive immigration reform” instead. I said at the time that Schumer was blowing smoke because Jeff Sessions could stop Sen. Schumer in his tracks simply by enforcing the law.

The point is that Gen. Sessions’ enforcement and President Trump’s belligerent tone on immigration, illegal immigration has slowed to a trickle. The point Mayor Arreguin should take from this is simple: If you’re willing to enforce the law and dangle the possibility of stiff prison sentences in front of Antifa, the conditions on the ground shift pretty dramatically. BTW, forget about expensive fines. They won’t work because Soros is willing to pay the fines.

Enforcement is the only way to restore free speech in Berkeley or any other place where Antifa threatens to cast a rioter’s veto. If they know you’re serious, they’ll stop. If they don’t stop, then they’ll be thrown in prison for a lengthy stay. According to this TV segment, there was a standoff between law enforcement and Antifa:

The reporter then said that law enforcement “withdrew.” If Mayor Arreguin wants to be seen as a wimp who won’t defend his citizens’ civil rights, then he should be impeached, then immediately thrown out of office without his pension. When rioters threaten citizens’ civil rights, it’s time to take action.

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According to Jillian Melchior’s WSJ article, the University of Missouri-Columbia has gone to hell in the proverbial handbasket. In fact, it’s gone there rather quickly.

According to Melchior, it “began in October 2015, when student activists claiming that ‘racism lives here’ sent administrators a lengthy list of demands. Among them: The president of the University of Missouri system should resign after delivering a handwritten apology acknowledging his ‘white male privilege’; the curriculum should include “comprehensive racial awareness and inclusion” training; and 10% of the faculty and staff should be black.” Predictably, the University caved in epic fashion.

Melchior reports that “As protesters occupied the quad, administrators bent over backward to accommodate them, even providing a power strip so they could charge phones and a generator so they could camp in comfort. A communications instructor, Melissa Click, appeared on viral video calling for “muscle” to remove a student reporter from the quad. By Nov. 9, both the president and the chancellor of Mizzou, as the flagship Columbia campus is known, had resigned.”

Then there’s this:

As classes begin this week, freshmen enrollment is down 35% since the protests, according to the latest numbers the university has publicly released. Mizzou is beginning the year with the smallest incoming class since 1999. Overall enrollment is down by more than 2,000 students, to 33,200. The campus has taken seven dormitories out of service.

After watching this video, it’s obvious that the lunatics run the asylum:

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This article highlights how progressive activists expect corporations to be their newest poster children corporate morality police. It isn’t surprising that these leftists demand obedience to their code of conduct. It’s something they’ve had in their playbook for years, at least back to the Walker recall election.

That’s when AFSCME decided they wanted to destroy businesses that didn’t display their signs in their window. In my post, I quoted a WSJ article that said “Last month, Dawn Bobo, owner of Village Dollar Store in Union Grove, Wis., was asked to display a pro-union sign in her window. Ms. Bobo, a self- described conservative Republican, refused and received a letter from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees asking her to reconsider. ‘Failure to do so will leave us no choice but do [sic] a public boycott of your business,’ the letter said.”

It’s time that conservatives remember the left’s fascists when they enter a voting booth. Further, it’s perfectly fine to criticize the left’s major institutions. It’s painfully obvious that the hardline progressive left wants to be the morality police. Specifically, they want corporate America to be America’s morality police.

Question: Remember when conservatives were considered America’s morality police? I do, too. They were called prudes for sticking with the Bible’s teachings. The left’s morality police aren’t prudes. Instead, they’re mostly fascists. They’d rather shut down speech they disagree with. The Left’s morality police are bullies, too.

Another part of the Left’s morality police are useful idiots like Joe Scarborough:

In the most instance, the CEOs of Merck and UnderArmor stepped down from the White House manufacturing council following Trump’s initial response to the Charlottesville violence that was widely panned in the media as insufficiently tough on white nationalists. Both CEOs’ decisions to step down received applause from public figures, including in the media. “I’m going out to buy Under Armour,” declared MSNBC host Joe Scarborough.

Scarborough is a media whore, willing to say anything to remain politically relevant. When Trump was riding high, Scarborough wanted Trump on their show every day. Now, Scarborough criticizes President Trump’s actions in virtually every segment of his show.

I’d ask if the real Joe Scarborough would stand up if I thought there was a real Joe Scarborough. It’s like the old joke about how to give a chameleon a nervous breakdown. A: Put him against a plaid background. Saying that Scarborough’s principles are situational is being a little too gentle.

Last night, Hugh Hewitt took the dramatic step of saying Republicans should adopt new rules and dump Donald Trump as their nominee. Hugh Hewitt has always been a ‘company man’ when it comes to presidential candidates. After Hewitt’s statements last night, the Trump campaign didn’t take long to express their disgust with Hewitt.

Late this afternoon, Dan Scavino Jr., one of Trump’s hatchet men, took to Twitter to say “Assume hater Hugh Hewitt will not be attending the @GOP Convention. If he is – the RNC should BAN him from attending.”

Scavino knows that Hewitt is a member of the media. He knows because Trump has appeared on Hewitt’s show multiple times. This begs the question of why Scavino and Trump hate the First Amendment. Previous nominees have gotten hounded by the press. They dealt with it. Trump has abolished reporters from his events. He’s protected Corey Lewandowski after Lewandowski attacked a female reporter. Now this. Why does Trump hate the First Amendment, which is the cornerstone of this republic?

Hewitt isn’t the only one calling for dumping Trump:

“Since the Indiana primary when my candidate, Ted Cruz, dropped out, I’ve woken up every morning looking for reasons to support Donald Trump,” Lonegan admitted. But “it’s going in the other direction. What we’ve seen from Donald Trump — we all agree it’s racism, but worse than that, what you’ve seen is incredible poor judgment.”

“Our delegates have an obligation come July to do what’s right for the Republican Party, not just anoint Donald Trump,” Lonegan said. When CNN’s Kate Bolduan clarified by asking, “Are you calling for a revolt?” he responded, “I would love to see a revolt.”

Trump is a Hillary landslide waiting to happen. Trump’s shoot from the lip habit has turned large parts of the electorate off. (Think women and minorities.) Trump was too busy loving the sound of his voice to build a campaign organization. That means he’d lose any tight races to Hillary.

Here’s the video of Lonegan on CNN:

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Every 4 years, the same people argue that we have to unite around the GOP presidential standard bearer. They’re doing it again this year. In the past, I’ve been guilty of uniting around the GOP standard bearer. I won’t be guilty of that this time.

Mitch Berg wrote this thoughtful piece explaining why he will support Trump. I’ve known Mitch to be a thoughtful, principled conservative with a strong libertarian streak in him for over a decade. That’s why this discussion deserves to be done in a respectful, point-counterpoint fashion.

I can relate to Mitch when he started with saying “I’m sick of holding my nose and voting for the lesser of two evils.” We’ve all heard that too often lately. We’ve been there, done that, especially in 2008. Mitch made a legitimate point when he self-replied “And I’m sick of people wishing things would get better on their own. They don’t. They won’t. They never will. Sack up. This is life. The best thing that happens is the conservative ‘movement’ will grow up and realize that it can’t win by speaking to the echo chamber any more than the Paulbots could.”

Honestly, I’m not into talking only to the echochamber. While I write posts for LFR, LFR isn’t the only tool I use to influence people. I write articles for Examiner. I frequently write LTEs and op-eds for the St. Cloud Times, the Duluth News Tribune and the Mesabi Daily News. Further, I don’t just pontificate on the latest political happenings. I write about important reports that highlight the things that happen when progressive/socialist policies are implemented.

Most importantly, I won’t vote for Trump because he’s a pathological liar who’s questioned John McCain’s patriotism, who’s accused Ted Cruz’s father of being part of the team that assassinated JFK and who’s bragged that a convicted rapist (Mike Tyson) had endorsed him. I won’t vote for someone that’s quite possibly the most immoral presidential candidate in my lifetime. And remember, I followed Nixon’s fall in Watergate and I watched Bill Clinton try explaining away a stained blue dress.

The difference between a leader and a bully is about the same as the difference between a bank robber and a police officer. They both carry guns but that’s where the similarities end. Trump’s bullying of the press is frightening for any First Amendment- and Constitution-loving person. Overlooking a person’s squishiness is one thing. Ignoring a tyrant’s actions are unforgivable. It’s the line I won’t cross. Period.

I’m not interested in being a loyal Republican if all I get from it is aggravation. If the GOP machine isn’t interested in my ideas, then it doesn’t get my vote or activism, either. As for the bad things that will happen if Hillary’s elected, I’ll simply say that that’s what needs to happen. An addict doesn’t turn their life around if they don’t hit rock bottom. A call to unity is a call to not let the GOP hit rock bottom.

Finally, Trump has bought into more conspiracy theories than Ron Paul. Remember that Dr. Paul once said during a debate that he didn’t want a wall built on the Tex-Mex border because he was afraid it would be used to keep people in the United States. Based on the things that Trump has said about Sen. Cruz’s father, Dr. Paul looks virtually sane compared with Trump.

What won’t change is that I’ll work hard to keep Republicans in control of the Minnesota House, the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate. I’ll work tirelessly to flip the Minnesota Senate, too.

As for my presidential vote, I’m wholeheartedly opposed to Hillary and Trump. It’s that simple. They can both go to hell.