Saturday, September 24, 2016

Why did feds grant immunity to Hilllary’s ‘highly improper’ aide?

September 24, 2016
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Hillary Clinton and Cheryl Mills in 2010.
If anyone would know Hillary consigliere Cheryl Mills’ reputation for obstructing investigations, it’s FBI Director James Comey. He complained about her lack of cooperation while probing Clinton scandals in the 1990s. Yet he agreed to give Mills immunity from prosecution in his probe of Hillary’s illegal e-mails as secretary of state, where Mills was chief of staff.
As a Whitewater investigator for the Senate in the mid-1990s, Comey sought information from Mills; but wouldn’t you know, the then-deputy White House counsel claimed a burglar stole her notes.
Comey concluded that Hillary Clinton ordered Mills to block investigators. The obstruction, the Senate committee found, included the “destruction of documents” and other “highly improper . . . misconduct.”

Two years later, Mills was in the middle of another Hillary scandal, involving the then-first lady’s integration of White House and Democratic National Committee computer databases.
This time the House subpoenaed information from Mills, who not only withheld the documents but, a government committee said, “lied under oath” — prompting staff lawyers to send a criminal referral to the Justice Department demanding prosecutors charge Mills with obstruction of justice and perjury.
In 2000, a Commerce Department official testified that Mills ordered her to “withhold” from investigators e-mails and other documents exposing yet another scandal involving the first lady — the selling of seats on foreign trade junkets for campaign cash.
At the same time, a federal judge suggested Mills helped orchestrate a cover-up that blamed a technical “glitch” in the White House archiving system that conveniently resulted in the loss of 1.8 million e-mails under subpoena in the Monica Lewinsky, Filegate and other scandal investigations.
Fast-forward to Hillary’s tenure as secretary. In October 2012, Mills sorted through key Benghazi documents and decided which to withhold from a review board. She also leaned on witnesses. Deputy ambassador to Libya Gregory Hicks testified before Congress in 2013 that Mills told him in an angry phone call to stop cooperating with investigators.
The FBI chief was fully aware of Mills’ M.O. when he launched his investigation. Yet even after discovering she was in the middle of everything improper, if not illegal, he treated her with kid gloves.
Comey knew it was Mills who had Hillary’s e-mails moved off her private unsecured server and onto laptops, where she decided which ones were government-related and OK for public release and which were “personal.” He knew it was Mills who shredded the e-mails that were printed out and who had the rest of the 31,000 e-mails deleted, and then had the laptops bleached clean.
And he knew it was Mills who told the Denver tech who maintained the server to stop retaining her e-mails and to delete Hillary’s archived e-mails, all of which the tech dutifully performed after Congress subpoenaed them and ordered them preserved.
Even so, Comey agreed to grant Mills immunity in exchange for her cooperation in the investigation. He also agreed to ground rules that left some lines of inquiry off-limits. When agents in April tried to pin her down on the procedures she used to search for Hillary’s e-mails under order, she and her lawyer stormed out of the room. So much for Comey’s cooperative witness.
Mills claimed such information was protected under “attorney-client privilege,” which is ridiculous. Mills was chief of staff for Hillary, not her lawyer, at the time Hillary was bypassing government security and squirreling away state secrets in her basement.
And even though Mills deleted the records after she left State and was supposedly acting as Hillary’s attorney then, privilege does not apply when a client seeks advice on how to commit a crime and the crime is committed.
Yet Comey’s agents abided by her claim and never pursued the line of questioning again. In effect, they gave her a pass on the whole question of the criminal obstruction behind which she looks to be the mastermind. And then, three months later, they let her sit in on Hillary’s interview even though Hillary was represented by attorney David Kendall!
Mills should be dragged before Congress to publicly answer questions the FBI refused to ask her. But she would just lie with impunity like she did in her past testimony involving other Hillary scandals.
Rather, it would be more productive to grill Comey under the klieg lights. Why did he give a key suspect who orchestrated the destruction of government records immunity as a witness? Why didn’t he demand prosecutors convene a grand jury to question Mills under oath? Was he pressured by the attorney general?
Sweating Mills could have cracked the case wide open. No one would have ever let H.R. Haldeman get away with editing the Nixon tapes. Why would the FBI director let Hillary’s chief of staff get away with deleting her e-mails?
Paul Sperry is author of “The Great American Bank Robbery,” which exposes the role of race-based Clinton housing policies in the mortgage bust.

Our Dangerous Drift from Reason

Media distortion of ‘officer involved’ police shootings has consequences.

By Andrew C. McCarthy — September 24, 2016

Image result for crime scene police car

In a time when “narrative” has supplanted factual reporting, Fox’s Bret Baier’s evening news program is usually an oasis in the desert. So I winced when he asserted, amid Thursday’s report on the deadly Charlotte rioting — euphemized by the media as “unrest” and “protest” – that blacks are significantly more likely than whites to be killed by police.

It echoed the distortion peddled by the Chicago Tribune in July, when “officer involved” shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana led not merely to “unrest” but to a massacre of cops in Dallas. African Americans, the paper claims, are two and a half times more likely than Caucasian Americans to be killed by police.

Are they really? The Trib says so, but only after adjustments are made for the marked population difference between the two races. But wait a second: If there is so plainly a bounty on black men – if the chances that a young African American will be killed in a police encounter are so uniquely high that our cities are in upheaval, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division is on permanent alert, and black parents nationwide feel compelled to have “the talk” with their kids – then why is statistical fiddling necessary to portray this crisis?

Because there isn’t a crisis – unless we’re talking about one that is wholly manufactured.
The exceedingly inconvenient fact of the matter for the “cops are preying on black men” narrative is that far more whites than blacks are killed in confrontations with police. Last year, in fact, it was roughly twice as many.

The social justice warriors can’t have that, of course. So, making like Olympic judges from the old Soviet bloc they so resemble, today’s narrative repairmen knead the numbers to make the story come out right. The spin becomes “fact,” dutifully repeated in press coverage and popular discussion.

In this instance, the hocus-pocus is to factor in that, although there are 160 million more whites than blacks in the country, this 62 percent portion of our population accounts for “only” about half of “police involved” fatalities (49 percent). Blacks, by contrast account for an outsize 24 percent of the deaths despite being only 13 percent of population.

The premise of this exercise is ludicrous. By and large, police are having lethal interactions not with the nation’s total population but with its criminal population.

The elephant in the room, the fundamental to which we must never refer, is propensity toward criminality. It is simply a fact that blacks, and particularly young black men, engage in lawless conduct, very much including violent conduct, at rates (by percentage of population) significantly higher than do other racial or ethnic groups.

This is not a matter of conjecture. Crime gets reported by victims; the police don’t invent it, they investigate it. Overwhelmingly, the victims of black crime are black people. Indeed, as Heather Mac Donald relates in her essential book, The War on Cops, only 4 percent of black homicide victims are killed in police interactions. If African-American parents were really having “the talk” that is pertinent to protecting their children, it would have to involve the reality that those children are overwhelmingly more likely to be shot by other black youths. The police are having “police involved” confrontations with young black men largely because black communities demand police protection — and understandably so.

What would happen if police were to default from their duty to serve and protect — the position demagogues are increasingly pressuring cops into. Then, naturally, we would hear the alternative “narrative”: that American society had abandoned its most oppressed communities to a dystopia of crime, poverty, drug abuse, and hopelessness — and don’t you dare mention who is doing the oppressing.

To brand the cops as villains regardless of whether they are active or passive is play-acting, not problem-solving.

There’s another infuriating thing about the “cops preying on black men” narrative fed us nightly on the news and daily on the campus. There used to be, if not truth, at least a certain coherence to it: The story line, consistent with a racialized fable, was that white cops are preying on black men.

But the narrative won’t hold. In too many “police involved” incidents, such as the tragic one in Charlotte this week, the involved police are themselves black. So just as “global warming” had to become “climate change” to adjust for, you know, reality, the cops in our narrative have been “whited out,” as it were.

Sadly, this legerdemain has been a boon for the narrative. Now the story is that racism is institutionally ingrained. It is not an individual cop’s race that matters. It is that the profession of policing itself is, to hear the head of the Obama Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division tell it, an enduring symbol of slavery and Jim Crow.

Presto: The African-American cop is no longer a change agent moving us toward a better, more integrated, more harmonious society. When he dons the blue uniform, he is just another perpetuator of a hate legacy. And thus, the real-life fallout of our increasingly perverse, race-obsessed narrative is that all cops become targets.

The supplanting of fact by “narrative” — in race relations, in our politics, in our assessment of national-security threats, in our foreign policy — has become such a fad that we are at the mindless point of skipping past what it portends.

It is all well and good — even necessary — to find thematic ways to express truth, to teach its lessons. “All that glitters is not gold,” for example, is a theme, not a narrative. It is a transcendent bit of fact-based wisdom that allows us to navigate the world as we actually experience it.

A narrative, to the contrary, is an excuse for avoiding reality and acting against our best interests.

The most consequential organization in radical Islam is the Muslim Brotherhood. Laying the groundwork for its American network, the Brotherhood gave pride of place to an intellectual enterprise, the International Institute of Islamic Thought. The IIIT’s explicit, unapologetic mission is the “Islamization of knowledge.”

It is not a slogan or an idle phrase. The mission traces back to the ninth century. Its purpose was to defeat human reason. In this fundamentalist interpretation, Islam is a revealed, non-negotiable truth. Reason, rather than hailed as mankind’s path to knowledge and salvation, is condemned for diverting us from dogma. Knowledge therefore has to be Islamized — reality must be bent and history revised to accord with the Muslim narrative.

But with the demise of reason comes the demise of progress, of the wisdom that enables us to solve problems. That is why Islamic societies stagnated, and why the resurgence of fundamentalism has made them even more backward and dysfunctional.

It is this way with every totalitarian ideology. We’d be foolish to assume it can’t happen to us. Slaves to narrative are fugitives from reason. Their societies die.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior policy fellow at the National Review Institute and a contributing editor of National Review.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Today's Tune: Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band - Incident on 57th Street - 09/20/78


Nothing says “family man” like assaulting women and children.

September 23, 2016

Keith Lamont Scott was scum.
He had been convicted of assault with a deadly weapon in two different states and convicted of assault in three states. He had been hit with “assault with intent to kill” charges in the 90s. His record of virtue included “assault on a child under 12” and “assault on a female.”
The media spin; “Family and neighbors call Scott a quiet ‘family man.’”
Nothing says “quiet” like “assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill” and nothing says “family man” like assaulting women and children.
Keith Lamont Scott, the latest martyr of Black Lives Matter and its media propaganda corps, was shot while waving a gun around. He had spent 7 years in jail for “aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.”
This vicious monster’s career of crime ended when he was shot by Brentley Vinson, an African-American police officer, protecting himself from the latest rampage by this “quiet family man.”
Brentley Vinson is everything that Scott isn’t. The son of a police officer, Brentley dreamed of following in his father’s footsteps. He used to organize his football team’s bible studies and mentored younger players. Former teammates describe him as a “great guy” with “good morals.” His former coach calls him a “natural leader” and says that, “We need more Brent Vinsons… in our communities.”
Except that Obama, Black Lives Matter, the media, the NAACP and everyone else going after this bright and decent African-American officer has decided that what we really need are more Keith Lamont Scotts. And the streets of Charlotte are full of “Scotts” throwing rocks at police, assaulting reporters and wrecking everything in sight in marches that are as “peaceful” as Scott was a “quiet family man.”
That’s what Hillary Clinton wanted when she tweeted that, “We have two names to add to a long list of African-Americans killed by police officers. It’s unbearable, and it needs to become intolerable.”
What exactly should be intolerable? An African-American police officer defending his life against a violent criminal who happened to be black? Should black criminals enjoy a special immunity? The greatest victims of black criminals are black communities.
Whom does Hillary Clinton imagine she’s helping here? Instead of standing with heroic African-American police officers like Vinson, she’s championing criminal scum like Scott.
Tim Kaine, Hillary’s No. 2, wants us to think about Scott’s family. We should do that. Scott’s brother announced on camera that all “white people” are “devils.” Timmy should check to see if he can get an exemption from white devildom.  But if there are any white devils, it’s men like Kaine and women like Hillary who enable the worst behavior in a troubled community while punishing those who try to help.
Every time the lie about “peaceful” protests is repeated, another black community becomes unlivable.
Twenty police officers have been injured and National Guard troops have arrived to deal with all those “peaceful” protests. Protesters chanted, “Black Lives Matter” and “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” before throwing things at police and then peacefully shooting each other. Stores had their windows broken and decorated with Black Lives Matter graffiti. A Walmart was peacefully looted and trucks were torched.
A police officer was peacefully hit by a car. Another was peacefully hit in the face with a rock. Mobs besieged and attempted to break into hotels. Reporters were attacked and a photographer was nearly thrown into a fire. White people were targeted by the racist Black Lives Matter mob and assaulted.
But all these peaceful rioters are probably just quiet family men too.
The peaceful protests are as big a lie as the “bookish” Keith Lamont Scott reading a book in his car. Police had no trouble finding a gun. They couldn’t have found Scott anywhere near a book. The only thing he could have done with a book is try to beat someone to death with it. Maybe a child.
Scott wasn’t a quiet family man; he was a violent criminal with a horrifying vicious streak. He and the rest of the Black Lives Matter rioters remind us of the monsters that we need dedicated police officers to protect us from.
The spin on what happened between a deranged black criminal and a courageous black police officer fell apart as fast as the Freddie Gray case, where black police officers were targeted and a city terrorized over conspiracy theories relating to the accidental death of a drug dealer.
The claims of racism are absurd. Not only was Scott shot by an African-American police officer, but Charlotte Police Chief Kerr Putney, who has taken the lead in defending him, is also African-American.
Are we supposed to believe that an African-American police officer and an African-American police chief are racists or that these two black men took the lead in a genocidal conspiracy to kill black men?
That’s the laughable premise of the racist Black Lives Matter hatefest that alternates between “Stop killing us” street theater and violent assaults on police officers, reporters and anyone in the area. 
But the truth doesn’t matter. Black Lives Matter rioters are still chanting, “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” long after the Michael Brown lie fell apart. They’re holding up signs reading, “It Was a Book.”  The lie is backed by some of the biggest media corporations in the country, by $130 million from George Soros and the Ford Foundation, by Barack Hussein Obama and by Hillary Clinton.
These are the malign forces destroying Charlotte, as they trashed Baltimore. On the ground there are the vulture community organizers of Black Lives Matter, funded by the left, who parachute in to organize race riots, behind them are the reporters who sell the spin live on the air and the photographers who capture glamor shots of the racist rioters, and after them come the lawyers of the DOJ out to ruin, terrorize and intimidate whatever law enforcement survived the riots.
They did it in Ferguson and a dozen other places. Now they want to do it in Charlotte.
They want to do it because they hate white people and black people. They hate peace and decency. They hate the idea of people getting up in the morning and working for a living. They hate the idea of good officers, white and black men and women, like Brentley Vinson, who genuinely believe in doing the right thing. They want unearned power. They demand unearned wealth. And they thrive on destruction.
This is the real evil in Charlotte. And we need to stand up to it. From the ghetto to the manors of the liberal elite from burning cars to pricey restaurants in exclusive neighborhoods, it plots against us.
It is a lie repeated a million times. Sometimes the lie is simple. Other times it’s sophisticated. But the way to fight it is to begin with the truth.
The truth is that Keith Lamont Scott was a violent criminal who came to a bad end because of his own actions. Just like Michael Brown, Freddie Gray and too many other Black Lives Matter martyrs to count.
The truth is that everything Black Lives Matter does reminds us of why we need police officers.
The truth is that this is not about race, but about those who want to build and those who want to destroy. It’s about the difference between Brentley Vinson and Keith Lamont Scott.
It’s about what kind of country we want to be. Is it a country that celebrates a young black football player who chose to follow in his father’s footsteps, who organized bible study and helped others, who risked his life to keep other people safe. Or is it one that celebrates Keith Lamont Scott, who assaulted a woman, a child and anyone else he could get at, who terrorized three states and died as he lived.
Obama and the left want a nation of Keith Lamont Scotts. But now it’s our turn to choose.


By Ann Coulter
September 21, 2016

Image result for donald trump september 2016 bombing

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump walks across the tarmac as he arrives for a rally at the JetCenters of Colorado in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Saturday.(Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

Forty minutes after the explosion in Chelsea Saturday night, Donald Trump told a crowd in Colorado that a bomb had gone off in New York and said, "We better get very tough, folks. We better get very, very tough."

For the next 48 hours, the media denounced Trump for jumping to conclusions about a "bomb" -- and especially for the wild suggestion that government policy had had anything to do with it. (How about our policy of naturalizing 858 people from terrorist-producing countries who were under orders of deportation? Is it deplorable to ask about that policy?)

That night, CNN boasted that it placed "numerous requests" to the Trump campaign, demanding his evidence that it was a bomb. This explosive-filled device with a detonator that blew up in a dumpster -- what makes you think it was a bomb?

Hoping to get a snappy riposte from the pouty pantsuit on Trump's wild leap from an explosion in a dumpster to a "bomb," the press asked her to comment on Trump's "conclusion" -- as they termed his statement of the blindingly obvious.

Hillary referred to the bombing as a "bombing," then snipped, "I think it's important to know the facts about any incident like this ... I think it's always wiser to wait until you have information before making conclusions."

True, there was a bombing, but that doesn't mean there was a bomb. Let's not fly off the handle. It could have been an exploding Edible Arrangement.

Even after the dumbest mammal in North America, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, had admitted it was a bomb, journalists were indignant that Trump had called a bomb a "bomb" before they said so.

On CNN's "Inside Politics" on Sunday, The New York Times' Maggie Haberman said that even Trump's supporters worry that "he often gets ahead of information" and that Democrats would make it an issue of his not being "careful, that he doesn't wait for facts. That he just goes off and talks."

Hey, Maggie? I'm a Trump supporter and I know lots of Trump supporters. None of us ever worry about Trump "getting ahead of the facts."

CNN's Sara Murray complained that Trump "seizes on these moments so instantly before we have the facts."

Instead of instantly seizing on this moment to assume Trump was wrong, shouldn't Sara have waited until all the facts were in?

On CBS' "Face the Nation," The Washington Post's Ruth Marcus announced, "I'm a facts girl" -- thanks for sharing your OKCupid profile with us, Ruth! -- "so I think the response, 'I'd like to wait for the facts until I comment,' is always a good idea."

The media was enraged that Trump was sensible enough to realize what had happened. HE COULD HAVE BEEN WRONG! Yeah, but he wasn't. As Trump said, "I should be a newscaster because I called it before the news."

By Monday morning, Hillary was doing PR work for Islam, calling the culprits "bad guys," but stressing that "we're not going to go after an entire religion." No one had suggested "going after an entire religion," but I guess you can never be too careful when dealing with all those deplorable, irredeemable Americans.

A few hours later, New Jersey police caught the suspect, an Irish Catholic altar boy from Teaneck named Seamus Patrick O'Sullivan. Just kidding! He was an immigrant from Afghanistan named Ahmad Khan Rahami.

This is the doubletalk the public has been forced to endure after every terrorist attack.

As described in In Trump We Trust: E Pluribus Awesome! our media and politicians are pretty quick to jump to the conclusion that terrorist attacks have absolutely nothing to do with Islam.

The night a truck bomb was found smoldering in Times Square, Mayor Michael Bloomberg went on "CBS Evening News" and said he thought it was somebody "homegrown," maybe "somebody with a political agenda that doesn't like the health care bill or something."

The morning after the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando, NBC's law enforcement analyst, Jim Cavanaugh, said that his best guess was that the shooter was a person "rooted in white hate movements," and had picked the club "because it's a diverse club and he hates diverse people."

(By which I think he means yours truly! I have the perfect alibi, of course. If I ever found myself in a gay nightclub, I'd be too busy signing autographs to shoot anybody.)

The fact that the shooter was a second-generation Muslim immigrant named Omar Mateen, who had repeatedly pledged his allegiance to ISIS during the attack, was treated by our media as one of many strands of evidence, not nearly as important as the possibility that Mateen might be gay and had been scarred by America’s endemic homophobia.

After the 2009 Fort Hood attack by a Major Nidal Hasan yelling, "Allahu Akbar!" Obama warned Americans not to "jump to conclusions." (Deplorable, irredeemable Americans are always jumping to unwarranted conclusions!)

He proceeded to label the jihadist attack an act of "workplace violence." To Obama's credit, his policies have reduced workplace violence considerably by putting so many Americans out of work.

The media and Obama administration officials took weeks to settle on a motive for the San Bernardino terrorists, despite their having pledged allegiance to ISIS while committing the attack. That night, the Los Angeles Times falsely reported that an office dispute had preceded the slaughter. The Times won a Pulitzer for the reporting that included this intentional misdirection.

The left has apparently decided that white America is a declining demographic and they are going to treat Muslim grievance groups like NARAL: We are with you on everything. It's probably just a coincidence that Muslim immigrants are advantageous to the Democrats' electoral prospects.

Even the terrorists have been getting impatient with the American left's refusal to give them due credit. Major Hasan's spiritual adviser, Anwar al-Awlaki, denounced the Obama administration for denying that the Fort Hood shooting was a glorious act of Islamic terrorism. After Orlando, al-Qaida's in-house magazine, Inspire, ordered jihadists in America to concentrate on killing Anglo-Saxon Americans to avoid confusing the U.S. media.

When American settlers sent scouts to ride ahead and look for Indians, if the scouts returned saying there were 6,000 Sioux on the other side of the ridge, no one cared about their horsemanship or the language they used.

Trump is the only politician in 50 years to say, "Immigration security is national security." The media won't listen. But the voters are listening.


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Bruce Springsteen’s Memoir: Riding Shotgun With the Boss
September 20, 2016

Image result for springsteen born to run book

Long dark highways and thin white lines; fire roads and Interstates; the skeleton frames of burned-out Chevrolets; barefoot girls sitting on the hoods of Dodges; pink Cadillacs; last-chance power drives; men who go out for a ride and never come back.

Bruce Springsteen’s song lyrics have injected more drama and mystery into the myths of the American road than any figure since Jack Kerouac. He knows this, of course. So it’s one of the running jokes in his big, loose, rangy and intensely satisfying new memoir, “Born to Run” (what else was he going to call it?), that he didn’t begin to drive until he was well into his 20s — around the time he landed simultaneously on the covers of Time and Newsweek.

His brooding and violent father had been too impatient to teach him and, anyway, he couldn’t afford a car. When Mr. Springsteen was forced to sneak behind the wheel, licenseless, to handle some of the driving on his earliest tours, his ineptitude terrified his band members. He did not exactly, when young and virile, ride through mansions of glory on suicide machines. He mostly stuck out his thumb. He’d been born to hitch.

“Every sort of rube, redneck, responsible citizen and hell-raiser the Jersey Shore had to offer, I rode with ’em,” he writes in “Born to Run.” These rides matter because Mr. Springsteen’s songs, like the blue-collar poems of Philip Levine, are intensely peopled. Wild Billy and Crazy Janey, Johnny 99, Mary from “Thunder Road,” Wayne from “Darlington County,” Jimmy the Saint and Bobby Jean had to come from somewhere. This memoir suggests Mr. Springsteen met many of them while cackling over there in the shotgun seat.

The headline news in “Born to Run,” to judge by the early news media tweets, is that Mr. Springsteen, who turns 67 on Friday, has suffered periodically from serious depression. I will admit that this information shook me. If Bruce Springsteen has to resort to Klonopin, what hope is there for anyone? But these sections are not the reason to come to “Born to Run.”

The book is like one of Mr. Springsteen’s shows — long, ecstatic, exhausting, filled with peaks and valleys. It’s part séance and part keg party, and then the house lights come up and you realize that, A) you look ridiculous dancing to “Twist and Shout” and, B) you will be driving home in a minivan and not a Camaro.

His writing voice is much like his speaking voice; there’s a big, raspy laugh on at least every other page. There’s some raunch here. This book has not been utterly sanitized for anyone’s protection, and many of the best lines won’t be printed in this newspaper. Most important, “Born to Run” is, like his finest songs, closely observed from end to end. His story is intimate and personal, but he has an interest in other people and a gift for sizing them up.

Here’s just one example, chosen nearly at random. When Mr. Springsteen meets a future girlfriend on the boardwalk in Asbury Park, N.J. (one of innumerable girlfriends on display here), he delivers this electric introduction: “She was Italian, funny, a beatific tomboy, with just the hint of a lazy eye, and wore a pair of glasses that made me think of the wonders of the library.” Well, hello, you think.

Much of the writing in “Born to Run” is this fresh — the sound of a writer who could have phoned his book in but did not. There are dollops of pretension and word-goo in “Born to Run.” Springsteen wouldn’t be Springsteen without homilies, a few of them leaden, about fathers and sons and love and work and community. But this book mostly gets away clean, leaving behind the scent of lightly scorched rubber.

Mr. Springsteen’s father was a frequently unemployed bus driver, among other blue-collar jobs; his mother a legal secretary. They were fairly poor. In their houses — half-houses, more often — there was generally no telephone and little heat. Meals were cooked on a coal stove. “Born to Run” is potent on the subject of social class.

In Mr. Springsteen’s part of New Jersey it was the “rah-rahs” (preppies) versus the greasers, and there was no doubt which side of that line he was on. At some of his early shows, guys in chinos spat on him.

“I could still feel the shadow of that spit that hit me long ago when I moved to Rumson in 1983, 16 years later,” he writes. He’d found fame and bought a decent place. Yet: “At 33 years old, I still had to take a big gulp of air before walking through the door of my new home.”

He suggests there’s a freight of psychic payback in “Darkness on the Edge of Town,” his most fully realized album. “For my parents’ troubled lives I was determined to be the enlightened, compassionate voice of reason and revenge.”

Mr. Springsteen got his first guitar, a rental, after seeing Elvis on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” He had a serious work ethic, and went on to play in a string of well-regarded bands with names like Child and Earth and Steel Mill.

When his word-drunk first record, “Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.,” appeared in 1973, he was lumped with the so-called New Dylans, folk singers like Loudon Wainwright III and John Prine. But there was a crucial difference. Unlike those performers, Mr. Springsteen onstage, thanks to his long bar-band apprenticeship, could blow audiences backward.

Mr. Springsteen writes that he’s never thought much of his singing voice. As good a guitar player as he is, others were better. It was his songs, he realized early, that would have to put him over the top. If this book has one curious blind spot, it’s that we never quite understand how those words came into being.

He studied the songwriting of people like Mr. Dylan, Donovan and Tim Buckley, he writes. But so did many others. If his early reading was an influence, he doesn’t say. The words were apparently just there, available, on tap. And they stayed there, even when his lyrics became pared down. Songs like “The River” and “Stolen Car” are as evocative in their details as are Raymond Carver’s best short stories.

“Born to Run” takes us, album by album, through his career. These chapters sometimes feel clipped and compressed, as if he’s wedged the data in his heart onto a thumb drive.

The book takes us through his many stabs at romance, which tended to end badly. (He once gave his father the crabs after they’d shared a toilet seat.) He details the failure of his first marriage, to the actress Julianne Phillips, and the success of his second, to Patti Scialfa, whom he describes, in a childhood photo, as “a freckle-faced Raggedy Ann of a little girl.”

He raised his three children without rock-star mementos in the house. “My kids didn’t know ‘Badlands’ from matzo ball soup,” he writes. “When I was approached on the street for autographs, I’d explain to them that in my job I was Barney (the then-famous purple dinosaur) for adults.” His eldest son says, in shock, “Dad, that guy has you tattooed on his arm.”

Mr. Springsteen’s work ethic has never abandoned him, or he it. “I’m glad I’ve been handsomely paid for my efforts,” he writes, “but I truly would have done it for free.”

Follow Dwight Garner on Twitter: @DwightGarner

(Eric Meola)

For most of us nine jillion Bruce Springsteen fans who’ve stood through years of his barn-burning, bombs-dropping, ceiling-­cracking, ozone-splitting three-hour mega-­extravaganza concerts, in all manner of nasty weather and good, who’ve bought and rebought album after album, who’ve pored over lyrics, mused over his complex musical and band life, as well as his privacy-shrouded marital, familial and psychic forays, and who’ve demarked sovereign occasions in our own lives with the strains of “No Surrender” running through our hectic brains — for all of us in his global audience — the perpetual fascination of Bruce (I’ve never, I give you my word, shouted that out at a performance) is simply: How the hell do you get from Freehold, N.J., to thisin only 50 short years? It’s reminiscent of the old Maine farmer who, when asked directions to the next town over the hill, allows that you can’t get there from here. Really, in Springsteen’s or anybody’s life, you can’t get there from here. But, well . . . here he is. Are we not all present to testify?

The Boss’s new autobiography, “Born to Run,” ought at its heart to penetrate and lay bare this mystery housed in a paradox. And to a great extent it nicely does.

Pretty much everybody who encountered Bruce Springsteen over the many years, from the proprietors of the gritty Upstage in ’69 Asbury Park, to the iconic Columbia hitmakers John Hammond and Clive Davis, to his ever-loyal, ever-­querulous, suffering but indispensable E Street sidemen, to Ronald Reagan, to Pete Seeger, all the way to Barack Obama, has recognized Springsteen as somebody way special — somebody who proved it all night onstage, owned major chops, was a guy you couldn’t take your eyes off, and somehow couldn’t stay mad at, even though he possessed charmingly immodest valuations of his young abilities, treated his bandmates like favored employees and could go all moody, isolated ’n’ stuff when things rubbed him the wrong way. You could say the same thing — using different words — about the Morrison brothers, Jim and Van, about Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Janis Joplin, even about Eric Burdon and no doubt the Big Bopper. They are and were all special — in their way. But “special” doesn’t get you Bruce Springsteen in front of 90,000 people for 30-plus years in 40 different countries, and still going strong as late as last Wednesday afternoon.

People who see art from the outside — from the spectator seats where we’re intended to see it — often don’t get the making of art very right. Which is a victimless crime. But it’s partly because we don’t quite get it that hosts of fans are drawn to Springsteen. His work’s entirety — the songs, the music, the guitar, the voice, the persona, the gyrations, the recitativos, the whole artifice of “the act,” or what Springsteen calls the “sum of all my parts” — is so dense, involved and ­authentic-seeming as to all but defy what we think we know about how regular human beings make things at ground level. Having been present at many of his performances, I can attest that you’re often close to being overwhelmed by what you’re hearing and seeing. It’s an experience that draws you toward itself — to taste the best and richest stuff, but also naturally enough to find things out, such as if you’re being ­deceived.

In “Born to Run,” Springsteen seems at his most actual when he’s telling us how in fact one gets to be him. He’s preoccupied by his own and his music’s “authenticity,” even though he understands that the act is ever the act. He’s close to humble about his musician’s “journeyman” status, about how rock music is at heart “escapist entertainment,” and concedes that rock ’n’ roll itself as a vehicle for ideas (always questionable to me) is in serious decline.

But he’s also straight up and smart about just what the whole Springsteen enterprise requires. Talent. O.K., that’s one. A great band behind you for all the years. Two. But also alarming self-certainty at a preposterously young age (“It is ultimately my stage,” “my band,” “my will,” “my musicians”). Near-feral discipline he’s more than willing to impose on self and anybody else in earshot — especially the band. Studious and encyclopedic knowledge of the genre and rock history. An ungodly number of irreplaceable life hours spent practicing, practicing, practicing in small, ill-lit rooms. A ruthless calculation to be nothing less than great, powered by a conviction that greatness can exist and be redeeming. A willingness to imagine himself as a dutiful and grateful avatar of his own adored fan base. An ease with his influences, teachers and heroes. An uncommon awareness of his personal frailties (“About my voice. First of all, I don’t have much of one”). A ­Picasso-like certainty that all art comes out of a “rambunctious gang feeling” born of the neighborhood. And a complex fear of failure mingled with the understanding that success is often the enemy of the very authenticity he’s seeking — so you gotta stay on your guard 24-7. Or, at least, from 1967 to now. “If you want to burn bright, hard and long,” the Boss writes, “you will need to depend upon more than your initial instincts. You will need to develop some craft and a creative intelligence that will lead you farther when things get dicey.” And if that sounds a bit too much like the Gotham Writers’ Workshop, add this: “In the beginning I knew I wanted something more than a solo act and less than a one-man-one-vote democratic band. I’d been there and it didn’t fit me. Democracy in rock bands, with very few exceptions, is often a ticking time bomb. . . . A moderate in most other aspects of my life, here I was extreme.”

So much for a band of brothers in that shining rock ’n’ roll mansion on the hill. “We all grow up,” Springsteen later adds, “and we know ‘it’s only rock ’n’ roll’ . . . but it’s not.”

It should be said, just to keep my own credibility flickering, that all this I’ve just spun out here is long and well known (probably memorized catechistically) by the great sea of Springsteen faithful. At a recent concert at the Barclays Center — attended by me, my wife, Governor Christie, Steve Earle and 18,000 strangers — the Boss brought a 10-year-old girl up onto the stage and stood by admiringly as she sang, apparently spontaneously, all the verses to “Blinded by the Light” — 547 dizzying words. Which means it’s going to be hard for most of the insider intel in “Born to Run” not to be already long-­assimilated by the ever-vigilant and protectively gimlet-eyed “Springsteen fan.” It’s also likely that if you’ve never heard of Bruce Springsteen — in whatever dark-ops lazaretto you might’ve been held captive in for four decades — you might not pick up this book at all.

Which isn’t to say that Springsteen shouldn’t have written it — if only as a love letter to his legions; or that the publishers won’t be printing money from September on. All Springsteen fans will read this book. Though it’s fair to say that “Born to Run’s” focus audience is likely us punters in the middle; those for whom “Independence Day,” “Wild Billy’s Circus Story,” “Bobby Jean,” “Nebraska,” “Streets of Philadelphia,” “Hungry Heart” and “Born in the U.S.A.” have been the emotive background music — and for some of us the foreground music — of a lifetime, but who as yet haven’t dedicated our entire lives to Bruce. We’ll feel better, though, when we learn that the Boss can’t really read music, that “Born in the U.S.A.” and “Nebraska” were recorded at the same time, that Springsteen has a daughter who’s a champion equestrian, that he’s spent years in therapy, can forgive those who’ve wronged him, thinks of his career as a “service” performed for others who’re like him, and owns a supple sense of humor capable of poking fun at himself (at least when the mood’s right).

It helps that Springsteen can write — not just life-­imprinting song lyrics but good, solid prose that travels all the way to the right margin. I mean, you’d think a guy who wrote “Spanish Johnny drove in from the underworld last night / With bruised arms and broken rhythm and a beat-up old Buick . . .” could navigate his way around a complete and creditable American sentence. And you’d be right. Oh, there are a few gassy bits here and there, a jot too much couch-inspired hooey about the “terrain inside my own head.” A tad more rock ’n’ roll highfalutin than this reader really needs — though the Bruce enthusiasts down in Sea-Clift won’t agree with me. No way. But nothing in “Born to Run” rings to me as unmeant or punch-pulling. If anything, Springsteen wants credit for telling it the way it really is and was. And like a fabled Springsteen concert — always notable for its deck-clearing thoroughness — “Born to Run” achieves the sensation that all the relevant questions have been answered by the time the lights are turned out. He delivers the story of Bruce — in digestibly short chapters — via an informally steadfast Jersey plainspeak that’s worked and deftly detailed and intimate with its readers — cleareyed enough to say what it means when it has hard stories to tell, yet supple enough to rise to occasions requiring eloquence — sometimes rather pleasingly subsiding into the syntax and rhythms of a Bruce Springsteen song: “So we all made do,” he writes about his parents’ abrupt move from Freehold to California, in 1969, leaving him behind. “My sister vanished into ‘Cowtown’ — the South Jersey hinterlands — and I pretended none of it really mattered. You were on your own — now and forever. This sealed it. Plus, a part of me was truly glad for them, for my dad. Get out, Pops! Out of this [expletive] dump.”

It’s the family parts that mean most to me in “Born to Run,” the parts that add ballast to Springsteen’s claim that when audiences see him they see themselves. Just like we’re frequently wrong about how art gets made, we also often can’t reliably say where it comes from. We might not stay interested in it very long if we could. And nothing here conveys the whole secret of how you get from Freehold, 1964, strumming a $69 Kent guitar, to the Meadowlands with a Telecaster, standing in front of a multitude. But one place art can come from is a life full of forces-­difficult-to-make-fit-together, a life that finds, in art, a providential instrument for reconciling the jagged bits. Springsteen’s part Scots-Irish, part Italian family was a caldron of these bubbling forces. A silently brooding, unsuccessful, hostile, misanthropic father (“He loved me but he couldn’t stand me”), an enormously loving mother whose first loyalty, however, was to the unhappy husband. Plus, a reticulated, extended, occasionally volatile but doting family of immigrant descendants — grandparents, aunts, uncles, sisters, one greaser brother-in-law — some of them, Springsteen says, with serious mental illness, “a black melancholy,” to which he himself falls heir. All of these denizens encamped within a declining, postindustrial neighborhood of poor, rented, cold-water houses, in a “one-dog burg” down in that lost part of the Garden State you never thought about until you heard the words Bruce and Springsteen in that order.

You could say of course, and again you’d be right, that this is nothing very remote from a lot of lives. Mine. Yours. Mid­century American Gothic. A “crap heap of a hometown that I loved.” But therein lies at least a hint to the magic in the Springsteen mystery: the muscular rise to the small occasion, taking forceful dominion over your poky circumstance and championing your own responses to what would otherwise seem inevitable. “Those whose love we wanted but could not get,” Springsteen writes, memorably, “we emulate. It is dangerous but it makes us feel closer, gives us an illusion of the intimacy we never had. It stakes our claim upon that which was rightfully ours but denied. In my 20s, as my song and my story began to take shape, I searched for the voice I would blend with mine to do the telling. It is a moment when through creativity and will you can rework, repossess and rebirth the conflicting voices of your childhood, to turn them into something alive, powerful and seeking light. I’m a repairman. That’s part of my job. So I, who’d never done a week’s worth of manual labor in my life . . . put on a factory worker’s clothes, my father’s clothes, and went to work.”

Seamus Heaney wrote once in a poem that the end of art is peace. But I think he’d have been willing to share the stage with Springsteen, and to admit that sometimes the end of art is also one hell of a legitimately great and soaring noise, a sound you just don’t want to end.

Richard Ford is a novelist. He teaches at Columbia University.

It doesn’t matter what names the mainstream media call Trump – he says exactly what most Americans think, especially when it comes to Islamic terror

20 September 2016
Watching and reading American media, one would think Trump is a sexist, racist, homophobe, the new Hitler - and a misogynist pig
Watching and reading American media, one would think Trump is a sexist, racist, homophobe, the new Hitler - and a misogynist pig
Donald Trump’s a monster.
A vile, hideous, bigoted, nasty, ignorant, deluded, psychotic, ruthless, preposterous, demented buffoon on a collision course to steal the White House and destroy the planet.
Oh, and he’s a sexist, racist, homophobic, misogynist pig too, and every other word ending in ‘–ist’ you can think of for that matter.
Actually he’s even worse than that; in fact, Trump’s the new Hitler – a man who, you may recall, ordered the slaughter of six million Jews.
I know all this because I’ve been reading those exact descriptions about Trump for weeks in the US media, from a whole phalanx of intelligent, experienced journalists, broadcasters, politicians and pundits.
All of them sounding increasingly like Dr Frankenstein in their desperation to try to put this ‘disgusting’ political creature they helped create, nurture and flourish firmly back in his reality TV box.

Yet despite this unprecedented bombardment of mainstream abuse, Trump’s poll numbers keep rising and his chances of becoming President keep increasing.

The reason, to me, is obvious: tens of millions of Americans just don’t agree with that withering verdict.

They think Trump’s a fiery, flamboyant, super-rich, shoot-from-the-hip buccaneer on a mission to make America great again.

They agree with him about illegal immigration, about big Government corruption, about Wall Street greed, about ‘crooked’ Hillary Clinton and most pertinently, about the threat of Islamic terrorism.

They see Trump as standing up for them, the little guys, especially the working class little guys, against the Establishment that’s conspiring to ruin their lives.

To them, he’s a towering, unbelievably self-confident fusion of Robin Hood and Friar Tuck who has decided ‘enough is enough’ and wants to reclaim the American dream from those who’ve abused it and take it back to the way it was, to what it was meant to be.

They like the way he talks, struts and fights.

So the more the media whack him, the more they root for their guy.

Especially when he whacks the media back with even greater ferocity.

All this came to a head over the past week with the two terrorist attacks by radicalised Muslims in Minnesota and New York.

This was a perfect storm for both Trump-haters and Trump-lovers.

The former knew he would benefit politically from the incidents, because they were of the exact type he has been vociferously warning about for the past year.

The latter shared his outrage at the indiscriminate attacks on fellow Americans and the apparent impotence of President Obama in doing anything to stop them.

Hillary Clinton, as she normally does, tried to be all calm and collected.

This is not a war against Islam, she insisted. We can’t blame all Muslims for what’s happened, she declared.

She’s right, it’s not and we can’t.

But what neither she nor Obama offers the American people is any kind of plan to combat such attacks.

They talk of how awful it all is, but studiously avoid advocating any real action for fear of upsetting or offending people.

The President doesn’t even like using the phrase ‘Islamic terrorism’, which is utterly absurd given that’s plainly what it is.

In the face of such apparently weak, insipid, mealy-mouthed and frankly meaningless rhetoric, it’s hardly surprising that Trump emerges as a non-PC, no-nonsense voice of reason to many Americans.

His anger is THEIR anger.

It’s real.

I’ve been down to places like Florida and Texas recently and heard with my own ears many people ranting about the abject failure of their government to tackle ISIS.

In Trump, they see someone at least prepared to say the unsayable, even if it ruffles a few feathers.

Ahmad Khan Rahami, the New Jersey and New York pipe and pressure cooker bomber, is the perfect illustration of what Trump has been talking about.

His family came to the US as asylum seekers in the 1990s, when he was seven years old.

In recent years, Rahami made ‘multiple’ visits to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Authorities told CNN that he spent a whole year, between 2013 and 2014, in the Pakistan city of Quetta, a hotbed of Islamic extremism.

A friend revealed the shocking change in him after these trips.

‘He left to go to Afghanistan,’ said Flee Jones, ‘and two years ago he came back, popped up again and was real religious. It was shocking. I’m trying to understand what made him like this.’

It’s not hard to work out the likely answer: Rahami was radicalised by jihadis.

He then brought his new radicalised views back to America where they festered inside his rage-filled mind until he finally erupted in an orgy of violence.

His story, and his method of attack, bear a striking resemblance to the Russian-born Tsarnaev brothers who terrorised the Boston marathon.

The case of the Minnesota terrorist, Dahir Ahmed Adan, is less clear.

We know he was a 22-year-old student who randomly stabbed ten people in a shopping mall, making ‘some reference to Allah’ and asking at least one victim whether they were Muslim before knifing them.

ISIS gleefully claimed responsibility, as they will for any attack of this nature where there’s even a suggestion of allegiance to or inspiration from their barbarous group.

Who knows what his exact connection might have been? But the FBI seem pretty firmly of the belief Adan was radicalised too.

How many more of these potential killers are out there, ready to strike in the name of their warped view of Islam? We don’t know, nobody does.

That’s the problem.

And that’s why Donald Trump is damn right to keep shouting about it, even if some of his comments are unpalatable.

At least he seems to understand the gravity of the situation and is coming up with plans to try to deal with it.

This week, it emerged the Obama administration wrongly granted citizenship to over 800 immigrants awaiting deportation from ‘countries of concern’ because the Department of Homeland Security didn’t have their fingerprints on file.

The Washington and media elite seems more intent on mocking, belittling and abusing Trump himself than on such staggering and dangerous incompetence.

They need to realise he’s not the real enemy here, and that when it comes to Islamic terror, Trump’s been proven absolutely, horribly right.