Sunday, October 4, 2015

Monsignor Asks for Dismissal

For John, BLUF"Don't poke the bear."  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Reuters, via The New York Times, "Priest Dismissed by Vatican After Saying He Is Gay".

Dismissed as in dismissed from his day job, at the Vatican (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith).  He also lost his other job, as a teacher of theology at pontifical universities in Rome.

Saying he was gay in public, with his partner by his side.  And gave an interview to the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

I would say the Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa was looking for a fight.  And a different Catholic Church.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Proposing Gun Control

For John, BLUFI don't think the Anti-Second Amendment types see any righteousness in the gun owners' positions.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the The Atlantic"Why Conservatives Mistrust Even Modest Efforts at Gun Control".  The sub-headline is "Liberals tend to blame the gun lobby for blocking new regulations, but they dismiss firearm owners’ fear of government at their own political peril."

Here are the two paragraphs Professor Glenn Reynolds pulled in his blog post:

While Obama has repeatedly called for new gun controls, those attempts have hit a wall in Congress. Furthermore, of the gun laws enacted at the state level since the Newtown massacre, more have actually loosened restrictions than tightened them. Firearm production and sales have also increased since Obama took office.

The common liberal explanation for why this has happened is the entrenched power of the gun lobby—the National Rifle Association and gun manufacturers. This isn’t wrong. The NRA’s power is considerable and it is carefully and effectively wielded. But focusing exclusively on the lobbying angle overlooks the very real fear and distrust with which many gun owners regard the government that drives much of the opposition to gun laws. Many of them simply don’t believe that enhanced background checks—or whatever other modest changes are proposed—are what they appear to be.

The way I would describe it is that gun owners don't trust Progressives to not keep asking for more.  If the Congress passes a nationwide background check, will they then ask for more, until they have progressed to gun confiscation.

Is there a way to assuage those concerns?  I would think that affirmation of the Second Amendment would help.  However, the proposal by former Supreme Court justice John Paul Stevens to add five words to the Amendment (when serving in the Militia), is not the kind of thing that builds confidence.  The Amendment as it reads now:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.
And as proposed:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.
What does this do?  Does it mean that I can tell the Platoon Sergeant that "Yes I can keep a pistol under my pillow, since I have been called up"?  Does that even make sense?

I think another thing that might build confidence is adoption of what I call "The Windy City Test".  How will this change in the law impact the number of gun discharges (shootings) and gun deaths in Chicago, IL?

The Comments to Professor Reynolds' blog post are here. Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff


Friday, October 2, 2015

The Place The Donald Fills

For John, BLUFMr Trump as a cleaning agent.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Two weeks again New York Magazine had a piece by Mr Frank Rich, "THE IMPORTANCE OF DONALD TRUMP".  The sub-headline sums it up:  "Far from destroying our democracy, he’s exposing all its phoniness and corruption in ways as serious as he is not.  And changing it in the process."

I thought this was a key paragraph:

In the short time since Trump declared his candidacy, he has performed a public service by exposing, however crudely and at times inadvertently, the posturings of both the Republicans and the Democrats and the foolishness and obsolescence of much of the political culture they share.  He is, as many say, making a mockery of the entire political process with his bull-in-a-china-shop antics.  But the mockery in this case may be overdue, highly warranted, and ultimately a spur to reform rather than the crime against civic order that has scandalized those who see him, in the words of the former George W. Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson, as “dangerous to democracy.”
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff


For John, BLUFHow can it be science is politicians can shut it down if they disagree with it.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Gleichschaltung is the word Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds uses to describe this incident, report in The Hill.  Fairly appropriate.

Here is part of what Professor Reynolds extracted from the article.

Five top Democratic economists are criticizing Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and the left-leaning Brookings Institution for forcing one of its nonresident economic fellows to resign.

Warren raised concerns earlier this week that Robert Litan, a nonresident and unpaid economics fellow at the think tank, was using Brookings to peddle an industry-backed study that was critical of a financial advice regulatory pitch championed by Warren and the White House.

In a letter to Brookings earlier this week, Warren questioned the independence of the study, which Litan openly notes in the text “was supported by the Capital Group, one of the largest mutual fund asset managers in the United States.”

Hours later, Litan was forced to resign.

The Democratic economists say they’re “concerned” about Litan’s treatment.

They said Warren’s approach and Brookings’ “complicity with it threatens ad hominem attack on any author who may be associated with an industry or interest whose views are contrary to hers.”

Well, Senator E Warren is a US Senator, and she should be free to question a study.  The really embarrassing thing is that Brookings Institution caved and caved so quickly.  On the other hand, Ms Warren should be concerned that Brookings rolled over so easily.  Is she abusing her position?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Stopping Crime

For John, BLUFTotal freedom from crime means totalitarianism.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Writer Eric Scheie, writing in Classical Values, gives us "Beria would be envious".

Of course you need to know who Lavrentiy Beria is.  Odds are, you don't.  Think of the worst secret police chief you ever heard of.  Now cube that.

The take-away Beria quote:

Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Pope Visits

For John, BLUFIf you wish to take offense, you will.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

I was dubious about this report when I first say it, even though it was in The Old Gray Lady. "Kim Davis, Kentucky Clerk, Is Said to Have Met Pope".  Bless her little heart.

Over at the Althouse Blog CWJ commented:

I believe this and the visit to the little sisters of the poor, both happening in Washington, were the Vatican's response to the White House's gay bishop, etc. guest list.  The Vatican has practised politics for centuries longer than Chicago has even been in existence.  Amateurs should not go up against professionals.
The strange part, for me, is that Ms Davis is a Protestant Pentecostal and not a Roman Catholic.  Why did she tag up with the Pope?

The thing is, we have to have a little space for people.  For the Franz Jägerstätters of the world.

Sure, Ms Davis should be removed from her official position, legally, with all due process, but we should acknowledge that she is doing what she is doing as a matter of conscience.  You may think she is a bigot, but unless you believe that culture is on a path to perfection, you will, privately, acknowledge that 100 or 200 years from now her view might be back in fashion.  I am not saying it should be, but it might be.

UPDATE:  Typos :-(

Regards  —  Cliff

  After all, slavery still exists in this world.  We hide from that fact, but that doesn't make it any less true.  We are lucky to live in a nation that thinks we should expand freedom of individual action.  We shouldn't become rigid about who is in and who is out of the circle.

Ms Clinton's Health Care Plan

For John, BLUFThere is no free lunch.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

I liked these quotes from Bloomberg View on Ms "Clinton's Plan to Mess Up Prescription Economics":
Hillary Clinton thinks drug development should be riskier, and less profitable.  Also, your health insurance premiums should be higher. And there should be fewer drugs available.

This is not, of course, how the Clinton campaign would put it.  The official line is that Americans are just paying too darn much for drugs, and she has a plan to stop that...

I think Columnist Megan McArdle is correct.

Controls don't make things cheaper.  The Soviet Union proved that.  As Bridge players say, "a cheap trick now costs you later."

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff