Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Running in Lowell


For John, BLUFCandidates are emerging.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



On City Life this morning Host George Anthes asked former City Councilor Joe Mendonça if he would be running this year, for City Council, and Joe said yes.

Then Host George Anthes asked GLTHS Committee Member Ray Boutin if he was running for anything this year and Mr Boutin said he would be running for a full term at Greater Lowell Technical High School.

Not on the show, last Sunday, someone asked me if I would be running for Lowell School Committee.  My response was like that of then Episcopal Father (later R/C Cardinal) Henry Edward Manning, "Only if they need me to solve a crisis".  I said that if no one else ran I would, but I would rather not.  I say let Fred Bahou run.  He has the time and this time it would pay him some money.  Yes, I think that is a winner.

Regards  —  Cliff

  He had been asked about making Bishop in the Anglican Church.

Clash of Civilizations


For John, BLUFWhile the Administration negotiates in private, we can hear, in public, the arguments against cutting a deal with Iran.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



While we await The House and the Senate to convene at approximately 10:45 a.m. for a Joint Meeting of Congress to receive His Excellency Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, we can contemplate Commentator Roger Kimball's missive, here.  It is titled "The Lessons of Culture, Benjamin Netanyahu Edition".

I think the schwerpunkt of Mr Kimball's opinion piece is contained here:

Those attacks, he said, were part of “a war to reverse the triumph of the West.”

Netanyahu was right then, and he is still right. For the prime minister of Israel, it is an existential — a life-or-death — issue. (Actually, it is an existential issue for the entire world, as Ilan Berman shows in his forthcoming book Iran’s Deadly Ambition.) The tiny, dynamic country of Israel is surrounded by Islamic states of varying degrees of radicalism, monstrousness, and doctrinal identity; nearly all are united in hating Israel and plotting for its destruction.

Actually, I would argue that in the current state of affairs in the Middle East Israel has some degree of support, or at least cooperation, from Egypt, Jordan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  But, Iran and Daesh and some other nations are a problem for Israel, and for us.

As one person noted this morning,

They [The Arab Muslim Societies] have no historic experience or religious context for representative arrangements, inclusiveness, democracy, power sharing, what ever you want to call it.  They have authority, tribes, families, military leaders, royal families.  Life is zero sum, not win/win.  They may want to change this mindset one day, but only they can change this.
Only they can change this.  In the mean time, we have to stay alive.

Hat tip to the Instapundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Birth of a Nation, Examined


For John, BLUFThose were different times.  Ours are better times.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



Trigger Warning:  This links to Red Mass Group.

My Father used to say that he hadn't seen a movie since Birth of a Nation.  Given his birth date, I am doubtful he saw it as a first run movie.  As this blog post points out "'The Birth Of A Nation' Turns One Hundred Years Old This Year".  And at the link is an interesting assessment of the film, which "revolutionized the art of making movies".

Regards  —  Cliff

"Blue, blue, love is blue"


For John, BLUFThe Subject is from Amour est Blue.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



Here at Business Insider is an article by Mr Kevin Loria, "No one could see the color blue until modern times".  Pretty interesting.

In the Odyssey, Homer famously describes the "wine-dark sea." But why "wine-dark" and not deep blue or green?

In 1858, a scholar named William Gladstone, who later became the Prime Minister of Great Britain, noticed that this wasn't the only strange color description. Though the poet spends page after page describing the intricate details of clothing, armor, weaponry, facial features, animals, and more, his references to color are strange. Iron and sheep are violet, honey is green.

So Gladstone decided to count the color references in the book. And while black is mentioned almost 200 times and white around 100, other colors are rare. Red is mentioned fewer than 15 times, and yellow and green fewer than 10. Gladstone started looking at other ancient Greek texts, and noticed the same thing — there was never anything described as "blue." The word didn't even exist.

How sad for them.

Hat tip to Lynne Lupien, on Facebook.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, March 2, 2015

Unbelievable, Except It Is Massachusetts


For John, BLUFThe Commonwealth is often well behind settled law.  It was that way when I moved up here and had to pay income tax on my Air Force retirement, until the Commonwealth settled a law suit on the issue, years after other states had accepted the law.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



Today the Supreme Judicial Court said stun guns are not guns, at least as understood by the Second Amendment.  The reference is SJC-11718 and the case is COMMONWEALTH vs. JAIME CAETANO.

Here it is in a nutshell:

The defendant, Jaime Caetano, asks us to interpret the holdings of the United States Supreme Court in McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 742, 791 (2010), and District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 635 (2008), to afford her a right under the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution to possess a stun gun in public for the purpose of self-defense. The defendant was arrested for possession of a stun gun in a supermarket parking lot, claiming it was necessary to protect herself against an abusive former boy friend. She now challenges the constitutionality of G. L. c. 140, § 131J, which bans entirely the possession of an electrical weapon with some exceptions not applicable here. We hold that a stun gun is not the type of weapon that is eligible for Second Amendment protection, see Heller, supra at 622, and we affirm the defendant's conviction.
I wonder what this means for the Lowell Police tight grip on issuance of gun licenses?  Per his appearance on City Life this AM, our City Manager, Kevin Murphy, seems to think our policy, notwithstanding McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 742, 791 (2010), and District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 635 (2008), will be upheld.  I texted in:
If guns goes toward SCOTUS, we lose money and the case.
Maybe not at the Supreme Judicial Court.  Second Amendment advocates may have to go all the way to the US Supreme Court.

Where do I send my contribution to the law suit to protect our rights?

Hat tip to the Instapundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Immigrants Working While Others Are On Welfare


For John, BLUFWe can't get out of our own way.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



From Channel 10 in Sacramento we have a news report on how the California Unemployment Office provides employment to immigrants to it can process unemployment checks.
It's nearly 8 p.m., and inside a state office building two dozen computer experts design and troubleshoot a system that will take and process millions of unemployment claims each year.

It's a $200 million Employment Development Department project, but with the exception of two managers, everyone inside the office is from outside of the U.S.  They are employed by Deloitte, a major U.S. IT company hired by the state to create and manage its Unemployment Insurance Modernization project.  The mostly Indian nationals are allowed to work here under a visa program called H-1B.

Tech companies like Microsoft, Intel, Google and Facebook say they need hundreds of thousands of foreign workers to fill jobs here because American colleges can't crank out computer science grads fast enough.  In 2013, the industry lobbied Congress on the issue to the tune of almost $14 million.

At least they aren't illegals.

Maybe within those billions of dollars the Federal Government spends there could be found a small amount to create a "National Defense Cyber Education Fund" to provide tuition to men and women who wish to get a BS or an MS in certain realms of Computer Science.  The rationale would be that we need a large pool of cyber-experts from which DoD can draw to provide the cyber-force of the future.

Hat tip to the Instapundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Of course there is the underlying question of if the issue is education or if it is work ethic.  Is it a case that the Indians just want it more?

The Third Amendment


For John, BLUFGovernment, and government snooping, should be limited.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds looks at the application of the Third Amendment
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
—to Cyberspace.

I believe his column from USA Today, "Quartering spyware troops in the digital age", is pretty interesting, and it is an easy read.

Hat tip to the Instapundit.

Regards  —  Cliff