Sunday, December 10, 2017

"Associate Democrats"

For John, BLUFYou may not like political parties, but that is what you get when people band together to follow an ideology.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The [:Lowell] Sun and Columnist Peter Lucas, 8 December 2017.

Here is the key paragraph:

While all her fellow Democrats in the Senate were running for cover -- or quietly plotting to succeed Rosenberg as Senate president -- L'Italien, 56, publicly insisted that Rosenberg step aside.
But, this is also an interesting paragraph:
The minority Republicans, who are like associate Democrats, hardly objected to Rosenberg staying on as Senate leader.
"…who are like associate Democrats."  That is a terrible indictment of the Republicans in the Massachusetts State Senate, all seven of them.  On the other hand, there are forty senators over all and there are not enough Republicans to sustain a Governor's Veto.  Even with the recent election of Republican Senator Dean Tran, from Fitchburg.  It would take about twice as many.

While it will be an uphill fight, here in the 1st Middlesex District we do have Candidate John McDonald opposing incumbent Eileen Donoghue.

But, back to the State Senate, Ms Harriette L. Chandler, PhD, is currently acting as the President.

Regards  —  Cliff

John Doe Exposed

For John, BLUFThis was a cynical attempt by Democrats in Wisconsin to use the force of secret investigations to beat back Republicans in State Government.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The author of this purloined Blog Post is Emeritus Law Professor All Althouse, on 8 December 2017.  If she sounds angry it may be because she is.

Here is how the blog post lays out, with a link to the original article:

The Wisconsin State Journal covers the Wisconsin Department of Justice report on the leaking of records from the John Doe investigation into Gov. Scott Walker’s 2012 recall campaign.
In an 88-page report, Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel lays bare the actions of staff at the former Government Accountability Board as they dug into what is described as a previously unknown, secret “John Doe III” investigation into several GOP officials and staffers who were [absolved of the suspicion that they] campaign[ed] out of taxpayer-funded offices….

[T]he report criticizes the “breathtaking” sweep of the three John Doe investigations, which included 218 warrants and subpoenas.  DOJ found the John Doe investigators obtained and categorized several private emails unrelated to campaigns, including 150 personal emails between Sen. Leah Vukmir and her daughter that included health information, and placed them in a folder labeled “Opposition Research” — a term that refers to political dirt collected on opponents….

Schimel concluded the GAB staff didn’t act in “a detached and professional manner” and that it was reasonable to infer “they were on a mission to bring down the Walker campaign and the Governor himself.”  He pointed to a November 2013 email in which [former GAB lawyer Shane] Falk encouraged Schmitz, who was having doubts about the GAB’s legal theory, to “stay strong.”

“Remember, in brief, this was a bastardization of politics and our state is being run by corporations and billionaires,” Falk wrote.  “This isn’t democracy to say the least, but due to how they do this dark money, the populace never gets to know.  The cynic in me says the sheeple would still follow the propaganda even if they knew, but at least it would all be out there so that the influences on our politicians is clearly known.”

I wonder how the cynic in Shane Falk feels about us sheeple getting all of this out here where it can be clearly known.
For those interested in the document, "REPORT OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL CONCERNING VIOLATIONS OF THE JOHN DOE SECRECY ORDERS," it can be found here.

Herre is a key paragraph:

As this report describes in detail, the systemic and pervasive mishandling of John Doe evidence likely resulted in circumstances allowing the Guardian leak in the first place, and now prevents prosecutors from proving criminal liability beyond a reasonable doubt.  Moreover, DOJ is deeply concerned by what appears to have been the weaponization of GAB [Government Accountability Board] by partisans in furtherance of political goals, which permitted the vast collection of highly personal information from dozens of Wisconsin Republicans without even taking modest steps to secure this information.
In case you are missing it, Democrats embedded deep in the Wisconsin State Government used their John Doe powers to conduct a broad and secret investigation of Republicans, who they saw, not as an opposition political party, but as enemies of the People.

When one party or another feels it can and should engage all the levers of Government to beat back the political successes of its opposition we have slipped into being a third rate Banana Republic.

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Evangelicals Move Republicans on US Israeli Embassy Location

For John, BLUFThis issue shows how there have been realignments in the political firmament.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the Five Thirty Eight Blog and reporter Rebecca Shimoni Stoil, 8 December 2017.

Here is the lede plus one:

A host of Israeli leaders and pro-Israel voters had long been advocating for the decision that President Trump announced on Wednesday, which recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and began the process of relocating the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv.  The fact that the controversial decision was carried out by a Republican president is indicative of the dramatic change in the GOP’s position on Israel since Israel was founded.

The Republican party has moved from not supporting Israel enough, in the eyes of many Jewish Americans, to backing policies that now go further than the positions espoused by many Jewish voters — but are in keeping with the views of evangelical voters.  As bipartisan support for Israel erodes, the controversial move risks further accelerating a growing party split.

Of course some of the resistance to the move is based upon the fact that some believe whatever President Trump does is the wrong thing.  If the President declared ice cream good there are those who would mourn for the lactose intolerant.

Hat tip to the FiveThirtyEight Blog.

Regards  —  Cliff

Others Moving Also

For John, BLUFI back the President on moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, but I think I already said that.  Nothing to see here; just move along.


Here is the lede:

According to reports in the Israeli press, several other countries will follow President Trump's lead and move their Israeli embassies to Jerusalem.  Who is doing this and why speaks volumes about the moral condition of the world.
Here is the thing.  Peace was not making progress since 1993.  Too long and Israel still not recognized by the Palestinians.  Maybe President Trump's action will break the logjam.  The actions of Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama didn't move the needle.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Moving to Jerusalem

For John, BLUFI am with Mr Lake.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The sub-headline:

Straight talk from the U.S. shouldn't be the end of peace talks, but the beginning.

From Bloomberg, by Reporter Eli Lake, 6 December 2017.

Here is the lede plus one:

A year ago, when Donald Trump's transition team first said they intended to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, I was skeptical.  Like most of the foreign policy establishment, not to mention America's Arab and European allies, I thought such a move was too risky.

You will see that argument a lot today. Israel needs U.S. help in strengthening its blossoming relationships with Arab states that were once its foes.  Why risk straining those ties with a largely symbolic move?

I have since changed my mind.  There are a few reasons. To start, that column came out right before the outgoing administration broke precedent and abstained from a U.N. Security Council resolution that said all of East Jerusalem was effectively occupied territory.  This would mean any Israeli construction within the disputed territory was a violation of international law.  Barack Obama's parting gift to the Palestinians made U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital more urgent.

But what really changed my mind was this summer's metal detector uprising.  Here's what happened: Israeli Arabs began a rampage near the mosque that sits atop the Temple Mount, an area that contains the remains of the outer wall of the Second Jewish Temple at its base and al-Aqsa Mosque on top.  The gunmen then fled into the esplanade around the mosque and began firing back at Israeli police officers from within the holy compound.

What happened next was both tragic and cynical.  While Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas condemned the terrorists, his political party, Fatah, also called for "days of rage." Was this in response to the gunmen at al-Aqsa?  No, it was because Israeli authorities sought to place metal detectors at al-Aqsa compound following a horrific shooting.  This was after Israeli police found weapons stored in the mosque compound.

An alternative view.  And given our apparent lock step approach from the establishment foreign policy crowd, we need alternative views.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, December 8, 2017

Maybe Catching A Break

For John, BLUFThis who "Trump" investigation is far from finished.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from Zero Hedge, by MrTyler Durden, 8 December 2017.

I got here from the InstaPundit, a blog post by Mr Stephen Green, 8 December 2017.

Here is the lede plus two:

U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras abruptly recused himself Thursday night with no explanation. Contreras is an Obama appointee who also sat on the FISA court while the Trump team was under surveillance by the Obama administration.  Judge Emmet Sullivan, an Bill Clinton appointee, was randomly assigned to take over the case after Contreras’ recusal.

Of note, Contreras was appointed to the FISA court on May 19, 2016 – before the warrant to surveil one-time Trump advisor Carter Page was issued “in the summer” of 2016.  It is unknown whether or not Contreras was involved in the decision, or whether he was involved in surveillance on Michael Flynn.

The replacement, Judge Emmet G Sullivan, is the judge who presided at the trial of Senator Ted Stevens, who was railroaded.  He is the judge who eventually appointed a Special Counsel to go after the corruption in the Department of Justice.  If there is the need for a fair trial, Judge Sullivan is LTG Mike Flynn's best shot.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Counting the People

For John, BLUFThe Ballot Box is still the arbiter of what people think.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Pajama Media, by Mr Phil Baker, 6 December 2017.

Here is the lede plus two:

In a paper published earlier this year, Stanford computer scientist Timnit Gebru wrote about how neighborhoods can be evaluated by the makes and models of the cars parked in their driveways.  The paper appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and it's an interesting read.

By analyzing the images already available as part of Google Street Views, the research team was able to identify which neighborhoods were Republican and which were Democrat as well as many other characteristics.

It determined that in those areas where the number of sedans is higher than pickup trucks, there’s an 88 percent chance of the district voting Democratic.  Where there are more pickup trucks, there’s an 82 percent chance it’s a Republican-voting district.

In fact, the conclusion is that this is almost as good as the American Community Survey (ACS).  And quicker to analyze.  And cheaper to execute.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff


For John, BLUFThe system sometimes does work.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The highway sign on VFW Highway, eastbound just beyond the intersection with School and Mammoth has been fixed and was fixed yesterday, when I went by.

I blogged about this on 27 November and then sent the link to the local MassDOT Highway Engineer, who wrote back and said he had passed it on to the proper person.

Government works.  It is just that sometimes they need our help to see the problems.

Regards  —  Cliff

Democrats Already Miss Sen Franken

For John, BLUFAnd he hasn't even left yet.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The Tweet:
Eliza Collins‏
Follow @elizacollins1

Many of the female senators who called on him to resign visibly emotional as they hugged him
9:15 AM - 7 Dec 2017

So many things one could say.

Ms Collins is a reporter for USA Today.

Regards  —  Cliff

To Be Or Not To Be

For John, BLUFDo we actually know what Senator Al Franken is going to do?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Hot Air and Cap'n Ed Morrissey, 7 December 2017.

Now there is a headline.

I listened to the first part of Senator Franken's speech from the Well of the Senate and thought for sure he was going to tough it out.  Now I am just not sure.  It isn't that Senator Franken needs a few more months to make retirement.  He has been a Senator since July of 2009.  Maybe he is just angry at being pushed out by his Democratic Party senate Colleagues.  He might actually think that the things he did were not nearly on a level with Representative John Conyers.  And, it appears that he doesn't think he is as evil as President Trump or Judge Roy Moore of Alabama.

Then there is this from Emeritus Law Professor Ann Althouse, "TEN senators on Wednesday called on fellow Democrat Al Franken to resign, in a jaw-dropping avalanche…"

The 10 are: Gillibrand of New York, Hirono of Hawaii, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Patty Murray of Washington, Kamala Harris of California, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, and Joe Donnelly of Indiana.
Where are our two Democratic Party Senators?  Especially our senior Senator, E Warren?

At any rate, here is how Ms Althouse does the TRUMP V FRANKEN Comparative Analysis:

  1. In place of a presumption of consent — "they let you do it" — Franken claims a right.  He contends that because of his status as "an entertainer" he gets to do it whether she wants it or not.
  2. Franken actually does it, even when confronted with active non-consent.  Trump was only talking — outside of the earshot of any woman — about what he supposedly does.  Who knows what he actually does?  But even in the bragging context, the woman consents.  Trump's joke is her susceptibility to star power.
  3. Franken seems to get off on the forcible intrusion on the woman.  Trump seems to delight in the fact that women want him.  Those are entirely different sexual orientations!  Franken is the one on the rapist spectrum.
  4. Trump said you needed to be a star to have special access.  Franken claimed access based on status as an "entertainer."  That's more self-effacing and maybe he thought it was sort of cute and funny.  But self-deprecation attached to forcing himself on the other person puts him in a very dark place, and makes me want to say those often-mocked feminist words: That's not funny.
I am not sure Senator Franken actually "gets it".

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Or President James Madison, when he was a Delegate to the Continental Congress.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Nancy on Republicans

For John, BLUFToo bad.  I remember when at least Southern (and Northern) California was bi-partisan.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Ricochet, by Mr Jon Gabriel, Ed., 5 December 2017.

Here is the House Minority Leader's Tweet:

I wonder if she feels the same way about Republican Tourists?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  The future State of Jefferson.

Christine Keeler (RIP)

For John, BLUFVery few of us know about Christine Keeler, Mandy Rice-Davies or John Profumo.  But, it is another sign of how sex influences the course of history.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub headline:

Showgirl’s affairs with Russian diplomat and British MP John Profumo caused one of UK’s biggest scandals of 20th century

Caroline Davies Tuesday 5 December 2017 15.09 EST.

Here is the lede plus one:

Christine Keeler, the former model at the centre of the Profumo affair that shook British politics in the 1960s, has died aged 75, her family and a close friend have said.

Keeler, then a teenage model and showgirl, became famous for her role in the 1963 scandal that rocked the establishment when she had an affair with the Tory cabinet minister John Profumo and a Russian diplomat at the same time at the height of the cold war. Profumo was eventually forced to resign after lying to parliament about the affair.

Here are some comments by Mark Steyn on MP John Profumo, who was forced out of Parliament over the affair, and lying about it:
There was no comeback, and no attempt at one. He accepted that his career was ruined and never sought public sympathy.  As extraordinary as his downfall was, the aftermath was unique.  On June 5th 1963 he resigned from the government, from Parliament and from the Queen’s Privy Council.  Not long afterwards, he contacted Toynbee Hall, a charitable mission in the East End of London, and asked whether they needed any help.   He started washing dishes and helping with the children’s playgroup, and he stayed for 40 years.  He disappeared amid the grimy tenements of east London and did good works till he died.  And, with the exception of one newspaper article to mark Toynbee Hall’s centenary, he never said another word in public again.

* * * * * * * *

In 1963, “Profumo” was shorthand for establishment hypocrisy.  Across 40 years, he reclaimed the narrative, as a story of shame and redemption, of acting honorably, making the best of a sticky wicket and all the other allegedly obsolescent virtues of his class the sex and hookers had supposedly rendered risible.  Had Stephen Ward not thrown a teenage girl’s bathing suit into the topiary, John Profumo would have been noted as the last surviving member of the House of Commons to vote in the confidence motion of May 8th 1940, after the fall of Norway.  He was one of only 30 Conservative MPs to join the opposition in declining to support the continued leadership of Neville Chamberlain and thus to usher Churchill into Downing Street.  That vote changed the course of the war.  But instead his place in history is as the man who saw a call-girl naked in a swimming pool.

I hadn't realized his roll in the fall of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and the rise of Winston Churchill in the management of World War II.

I do wonder who in our current spate of scandals will take the Profumo Road?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Unforced Errors

For John, BLUFBeing Anti-Trump, and obvious about it, is not compatible with being impartial in investigations by the Special Counsel.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

By Reporter Katie Pavlich, 5 December 2017.

The lede:

New documents obtained by government watchdog Judicial Watch show a top DOJ prosecutor, who is now working as a deputy on Special Counsel Bob Mueller’s investigation, cheered the decision by former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates to defy orders and refusal to enforce President Trump’s first travel ban in January. Yates was the acting attorney general at the time and was promptly fired for her defiance.

Emails show Andrew Weissmann, who served as chief of the Justice Department’s Criminal Fraud Section under President Obama, loved Yates’ refusal to implement the ban.

“I am so proud. And in awe. Thank you so much. All my deepest respects,” Weissmann wrote.

The New York Times has described Weissmann as “Mueller’s Pitbull.”

And it isn't like Ms Sally Yates was on the proper side of the question, at least per the US Supreme Court.

And, as for Mr Andrew Weissmann, Here is Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds' comment:

Nothing says “independent and professional” like fanboi squee at sticking it to the hated Trump.  These people are embarrassing.
It seems to me that Mr Mueller needs to tighten up his organization and explain to his players that there are ethics rules and explain to them that leaking information is unethical.  And he needs to start thinking about the Brady disclosure rules.  He has to not only be good, but also look good.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

US Grant on Leadership

For John, BLUFUS Grant, an underrated President and General.  Nothing to see here; just move along.


Grant's memoirs show that self-awareness and honest reflection are crucial to leadership

From Reporter and Author Thomas E Ricks, 1 DECEMBER 2017, 10:15 AM, By Best Defense guest columnist Michael Hennelly, Ph.D.

Here is the lede plus two:

I recently went to Amazon's book section and found, to my surprise, that it offers 23 different biographies of Ulysses Grant.  One of those biographies stood out.  It offered strikingly unique insights into leadership because it was written by Grant himself.  The Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant provides leadership lessons that can be obtained nowhere else.

Civil War histories and Grant biographies give the impression that one of Grant's most valuable qualities was his relative imperturbability.  The fact that he did not get agitated during the course of the war was a characteristic noticed by many of his subordinates.  Sherman would always remember Grant's steadiness after that first horrible day at Shiloh.

Reading Grant's memoirs, however, made me realize that focusing on this aspect of Grant is unsatisfactory in the context of leader development.  Recommending Grant's trait of imperturbability to other leaders is the biographical equivalent of a "Keep Calm" poster.  One of the key insights of his Memoirs is that Grant taught himself to be steady amid the chaos, uncertainty and bloodshed of warfare by his habit of engaging in reflection.  He was willing to spend time reflecting on his experiences and he became very good at it.  As his example clearly demonstrates, the process of reflection is both achievable and valuable for people interested in developing themselves as leaders.

Regards  —  Cliff

Turmoil at Justice

For John, BLUFI wonder if the Special Council would be better off wrapping this imbroglio up quickly.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the Editorial Board of The Wall Street Journal, 4 December 2017.

Here is what The Instapundit Excerpted from the article:

Donald Trump is his own worst enemy, as his many ill-advised tweets on the weekend about Michael Flynn, the FBI and Robert Mueller’s Russia probe demonstrate. But that doesn’t mean that Mr. Mueller and the Federal Bureau of Investigation deserve a pass about their motives and methods, as new information raises troubling questions.

The Washington Post and the New York Times reported Saturday that a lead FBI investigator on the Mueller probe, Peter Strzok, was demoted this summer after it was discovered he’d sent anti- Trump texts to a mistress. As troubling, Mr. Mueller and the Justice Department kept this information from House investigators, despite Intelligence Committee subpoenas that would have exposed those texts. They also refused to answer questions about Mr. Strzok’s dismissal and refused to make him available for an interview.

The news about Mr. Strzok leaked only when the Justice Department concluded it couldn’t hold out any longer, and the stories were full of spin that praised Mr. Mueller for acting “swiftly” to remove the agent. Only after these stories ran did Justice agree on Saturday to make Mr. Strzok available to the House.

This is all the more notable because Mr. Strzok was a chief lieutenant to former FBI Director James Comey and played a lead role investigating alleged coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election. Mr. Mueller then gave him a top role in his special-counsel probe. And before all this Mr. Strzok led the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails and sat in on the interview she gave to the FBI shortly before Mr. Comey publicly exonerated her in violation of Justice Department practice.

Oh, and the woman with whom he supposedly exchanged anti-Trump texts, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, worked for both Mr. Mueller and deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe, who was accused of a conflict of interest in the Clinton probe when it came out that Clinton allies had donated to the political campaign of Mr. McCabe’s wife. The texts haven’t been publicly released, but it’s fair to assume their anti-Trump bias must be clear for Mr. Mueller to reassign such a senior agent.

There is no justification for withholding all of this from Congress, which is also investigating Russian influence and has constitutional oversight authority. Justice and the FBI have continued to defy legal subpoenas for documents pertaining to both surveillance warrants and the infamous Steele dossier that was financed by the Clinton campaign and relied on anonymous Russian sources.

I am withholding judgement, but I am scanning the horizon.  Currently I am reading Licensed to Lie about the Enron trials, and with a discussion of the Senator Ted Stevens trial.  In that case the Ninth Circuit, sometimes criticized here, held DOJ's feet to the fire after (DOJ) Prosecutorial Wrongdoing was uncovered.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

A Scatter Gun, Misaimed

For John, BLUFK T McFarland was Deputy National Security Advisor early in the Trump Administration and now is the Ambassador Designate to Singapore.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is The Washington Examiner and Reporter Becket Adams, 5 December 2017.

Here is the lede plus two:

The New York Times got ahead of itself again with yet another supposedly hot scoop involving former deputy national security adviser K.T. McFarland, the Russians and the 2016 presidential election.

The story, now titled “McFarland’s Testimony About Russia Contacts Is Questioned,” reported originally that an email sent by the former Trump transition official indicated she lied to Congress this summer when she was questioned about disgraced Gen. Michael Flynn's communications with the Russians.

The article has been heavily amended since publication so that it is now mostly innuendo.  The initial references to the emails have been removed, and the story now leans mostly on Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., who only questions whether McFarland was forthright in her testimony.

Could we use the expression "getting out over her skis"?

I think the urge on the part of the bien-pensant to be the first when the Trump Administration implodes is strong.  Problem is, it is not apparent to some of us that this will happen.  What could happen and would be worse would be if the media damaged the reputations of individuals by running speculative stories based on unethical and inaccurate leaks from the investigation.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Dilly Dilly

For John, BLUFAdvertising genius.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the Foundation for Economic Education, by Mr Jeffrey A. Tucker, 4 December 2017.

Here is the lede plus two:

Sometimes a commercial appears that both shatters a paradigm and creates a popular meme that truly sticks.  The genius is undeniable but extremely hard to manufacture from a formula.  It just works.  Think of “I’d like to teach the world to sing,” “Where’s the beef?”, “Mikey likes it!”, and “Do you have any Grey Poupon?”  All these were huge cultural moments that managed to achieve what advertising is supposed to achieve:  brand recognition, pride in consumption, affirmation of cultural identity.

We had another one come to us in 2017.  It’s Bud Light’s Dilly Dilly commercial that first ran during an NFL game.

I ordered a Bud Light at a random bar in Chicago this weekend.  The bartender said “Dilly Dilly” to me and I said it back and we smiled and moved on.  When I was speaking the previous day, I kept a Bud Light on the podium and, at some point, held it up and said “Dilly Dilly” and half the audience lost it (while the other half was just lost).

Where does Dilly Dilly come from?  I suspect the child's song Lavender's Blue:
Lavender's blue, dilly dilly, lavender's green,
When I am king, dilly dilly, you shall be queen:
Who told you so, dilly dilly, who told you so?
'Twas mine own heart, dilly dilly, that told me so.
Here is Burl Ives singing the song (on YouTube).

Hat tip to the Foundation for Economic Education.

Regards  —  Cliff

Things Are Looking Up

For John, BLUFThe world has improved a lot in the last couple of hundred years.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

An oldie but goodie from Vox, by Mr Max Roser, from 23 December of last year.

Go to the Link and view the charts.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Cleaning House

For John, BLUFIs FBI Agent Peter Strzok going to require his own tag?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Emeritus Law Professor Ann Althouse, 4 December 2017.

Here is the lede plus one:

CNN reports.
A former top counterintelligence expert at the FBI, now at the center of a political uproar for exchanging private messages that appeared to mock President Donald Trump, changed a key phrase in former FBI Director James Comey's description of how former secretary of state Hillary Clinton handled classified information, according to US officials familiar with the matter.

Electronic records show Peter Strzok, who led the investigation of Hillary Clinton's private email server as the No. 2 official in the counterintelligence division, changed Comey's earlier draft language describing Clinton's actions as "grossly negligent" to "extremely careless," the sources said....

I was going to eschew this topic, at least for a while.  But, since Blogger Ann Althouse brought it up, I am jumping in.

It looks like Agent Peter Strzok was up to his eyebrows in this Trump imbroglio, including the Russian Dossier, the collusion investigation and Ms Clinton's EMails.  For Special Counsel Mueller the good news is that he fired Agent Strzok.  At this point it looks like good on him.  When you may be about to strike at the President you better have a very clean operation.  You wouldn't want someone turning over a rock a year after an impeachment effort, and finding that you had done a less that proper job.

From the Comments to Professor Althouse's Post, Young Hegelian says:

I'm sorry, can someone please tell me what saint Trump lights a votive candle to so that he gets enemies like these?  I mean, the man is absolutely blessed by God in the choice of his enemies.
I would say that I miss the days when Inspector Lewis Erskine (Efrem Zimbalist Jr.) was with the FBI.  It captured that pristine law enforcement organization those of us who grew up in the '40s and '50s believed to exist.  Were we naive?

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, December 4, 2017

Ban On

For John, BLUFThe US Supreme Court seems to agree the President can ban immigration from certain areas.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From CNN's Supreme Court Report, Ms Ariane de Vogue, 4 December 2017.

Here is the lede plus one:

The US Supreme Court on Monday allowed the newest version President Donald Trump's travel ban to take effect pending appeal.

This is the first time justices have allowed any edition of the ban to go forward in its entirety.  It signals that some of the justices might be distinguishing the latest version from previous iterations and could be more likely, in the future, to rule in favor of the ban.

Issued in September, the third edition of the travel ban placed varying levels of restrictions on foreign nationals from eight countries:  Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Somalia and Yemen. Lower courts in two separate challenges had partially blocked the ban.

The order is a significant temporary win for the Trump administration, which has fought all year to impose a travel ban against citizens of several Muslim-majority countries.  Monday's order means it can be enforced while challenges to the policy make their way through the legal system.

The Trump administration has maintained that the President has the authority to install travel bans in order to protect national security.

"The Constitution and acts of Congress confer on the President broad authority to prevent aliens abroad from entering this country when he deems it in the nation's interest," Solicitor General Noel Francisco argued in court papers.  Francisco argued that the ban was necessary "in order to protect national security."

This seems a slap in the face to those lower courts out West.

Regards  —  Cliff

Christmas Getting Squeezed Out

For John, BLUFThe Heckler's Veto, but with maiming and death.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

I make that roughly $20,000, but if you want the real number based on the exchange rate this evening, $23,699.60.

From Pajama Media and Mr Tyler O'Neil, 3 December 2017.

Here is the lede plus two:

This week, the French city of Lyon announced it would cancel its world-famous Christmas market after seven years, as costs to protect the market against potential terror threats escalated to € 20,000 — a price the city could not afford.

Security around Christmas markets in Europe has increased following Tunisian Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist Anis Amri's truck attack in Berlin, Germany last year.  Amri targeted the Breitscheidplatz Christmas market, murdering 12.

"Unfortunately, this end of the year 2017 Place de la Croix-Rousse will not welcome its Christmas market and farm animals," reported the French newspaper Le Progrès.

Think if Lyon needed to build a new High School.

The good news here in Lowell is that we have our displays up and running down by City Hall.

But, the year after next?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  I was told, as of this morning, Sam Poulten, of WCAP, still had not delivered the Menorah, but it is on its way.  The Buddhist shrine is in place.

Act Like an Adult

For John, BLUFI was going to title this post "Be an Adult", but that might be too hard for some people.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The New York Post, 3 December 2017, Ms Karol Markowicz.

Here is the lede plus three:

If you’ve interacted with me on social media lately, you probably noticed something:  I haven’t called you a clown since August.

You’re welcome.

About four months ago, I did the unthinkable:  I stopped name-calling on Twitter.  While I was never a very combative person, on Twitter or in real life, I have always enjoyed the clapback.  I’m a mild-mannered mother of three — but if crossed I, as my husband calls it, “go Brooklyn.”  When someone does something stupid, I am quick to point it out, and not in the gentlest of terms.

A shortlist of people I had called a “clown,” my favorite of all the insults, on Twitter, includes Michael Bloomberg, Tupac Shakur, Barack Obama, Ron Reagan Jr., Al Sharpton and, more times than anyone else, Donald Trump.  Many random Twitter users have been on the receiving end of my calling them a “dummy” or an “idiot.”

We all could benefit from this woman's example.

Hat tip to Rob Eno.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, December 3, 2017

What and Why Did Michael Flynn Go For a Plea Bargain?

For John, BLUFI don't think things are clear yet.  I am hoping that Special Council Mueller is a man of integrity, seeking the truth.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from The Hill, 2 December 1017, by Mr Alan M. Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus, Harvard Law School, and author of Trumped Up: How Criminalizing Politics is Dangerous to Democracy.

A reasonably short read, but an interesting alternative opinion on the Michael Flynn plea bargain.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Free Fire Zone

For John, BLUFSome people just can't let go.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Vanity Fair and "The Hive", by James Wolcott, 1 December 2017.

Here is the lede:

Reputations aren’t what they used to be.  The bigger they are, the faster they fall.  Reputations that lurched upright for decades, showered with a confetti of newspaper clippings, festooned with honorary degrees, and fortified with genuine accomplishments, can be brought down today with an inglorious crash in a frenzy of social-media fury, like Frankenstein’s monster given the old village stomp.  Two thousand seventeen has hosted a monster mash of big-name demolishings, an extended Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre of problematic men.  Disturbing, unsavory rumors had long ghost-dogged the producer Harvey Weinstein, the producer-director Brett Ratner, and the writer-director James Toback, dark princes whose names became associated by many in the film industry with a bad moon rising.  (Disclosure:  I’ve known and been on friendly terms with Toback since the 1970s, when we met through the movie critic Pauline Kael.)  Louis CK’s masturbatory spasms were the simmering subject of gossip and speculation seemingly for ages, likewise the salacious rumors and bad vibes riding on the skulking shoulders of Kevin Spacey.  The accusations against Spacey of sex with minors and aggressive groping of co-workers which led to the demise of House of Cards and the radical excision of his performance from Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World confirmed suspicions that had brewed in the whisper zones of show business for a considerable spell.  Hence, it was mulishly mistaken of journalistic Hall of Famer Gay Talese to fume at the New York Public Library’s Literary Lions celebration, “I hate that actor that ruined this guy’s career,” as if the incident with Anthony Rapp were an isolated lapse that leapt out of the blue.  (As for Talese’s lecturing adult survivors of sexual abuse to “suck it up once in a while!,” oy.  It sounded like something Larry David might blurt out on Curb Your Enthusiasm, landing himself in a heap of grief.)  However, I understand Talese’s reportorial itch to profile Spacey and ask what it’s like to lose “a lifetime of success and hard work” in a whoosh.  Only, the person I’d want to know that of is Mark Halperin, a journalistic juggernaut formerly of ABC, MSNBC, NBC, HBO, Showtime, and the best-seller list, now professionally stuck in oblivion.
We are talking a long article, with long paragraphs.

But, the thing is, the sarcastic Mr Wolcott is a sexual harasser.  I point to "…McCain’s ding-a-ling running mate, Sarah Palin."  Gratuitous.  Adds nothing.  Shows him to be a jerk.  I give it a TL/DR.

Hat tip to Memeorandum.

Regards  —  Cliff

Apple Kowtows to China?

For John, BLUFI am worried that the free and open internet is going away, as more governments and do gooders demand regulation.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Bloomberg, with assistance by Mr David Ramli, 3 December 2017.

Here is the lede plus two:

Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook made his first appearance at China’s World Internet Conference, using the surprise keynote to call for future internet and AI technologies to be infused with privacy, security and humanity.

Cook made the comments on Sunday at the opening ceremony for the conference -- an event designed to globally promote the country’s vision of a more censored and controlled internet.  It’s the second Chinese appearance in two months for the executive, who met with President Xi Jinping in October.

“The theme of this conference -- developing a digital economy for openness and shared benefits -- is a vision we at Apple share,” Cook said.  “We are proud to have worked alongside many of our partners in China to help build a community that will join a common future in cyberspace."

Maybe it is just me, but I don't like the Chinese vision of the Internet.  They are after social control.  I am for freedom.  I wonder if I should rethink my commitment to Apple.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Fishing Expeditions

For John, BLUFKeeping the powers of the police within reasonable limits is important to our democracy.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from the UK, but it is still a good point, and our sense of law and the "Rights of Englishmen" comes to us from that fabled isle.

This post to Samizdata is from Ms Natalie Solent (Essex), 1 December 2017.

Here is the lede plus one:

David Davis, the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union has threatened to resign if Damian Green (the First Secretary of State, effectively Deputy Prime Minister) is sacked unfairly.  Why, you may ask, is Davis – a Brexiteer – willing to put Theresa May’s already shaky government at risk for the sake of a Remainer like Green?

The Guardian link above explains it better than I can:

The Brexit secretary believes his cabinet colleague is the victim of a police vendetta and made it clear to Theresa May that he would be willing to leave the government if he felt Green had been unfairly treated.

The threat emerged only hours after a former Metropolitan police detective came forward with fresh claims implying that Green himself had been viewing pornography found on his workplace computer when police raided his Commons office in November 2008.

Green was a shadow Home Office minister at the time and was under investigation because he had received a series of sensitive Home Office leaks.  He denies viewing pornography on his parliamentary computer.

At the time, the Conservatives were fighting some of the Labour government’s law and order measures on libertarian grounds and Davis was a strong backer of Green’s work.

Here is the thing.  We have, in our own way, become a very prudish society.  And, subpoenas have become fishing licenses.  It would be better if we limited a subpoena and the results collected from raids under a subpoena to the topic of the subpoena.

And, yes, retired policemen (and others) should not be telling tales out of school.

Regards  —  Cliff

False Claims For Nationalized Health Care

For John, BLUFI am afraid we are not far from getting a dose of bad medicine.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Erik, at the blog ¡No Pasasán!, 1 December 2017.

Here is the lede plus one:

As Bernie Sanders, in a CNN debate between him and Senator Maria Cantwell on the one hand and Senators Ted Cruz and Tim Scott on the other, again defended nationalized health care — his main argument, or one of his main arguments, being nothing more than its very existence in European countries and around the world — across the pond Britons were treated to the splendid news that NHS patients face longer waits and rationing of treatment.
I think it speaks for itself.

Regards  —  Cliff

Charlottesville Revisited

For John, BLUFRemember the Demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier in the year.  Another strange turn.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

By Emeritus Law Professor Ann Althouse, at her blog, 1 December 2017.

Ms Althouse links to a USA Today article:

“This represents a failure of one of government’s core functions — the protection of fundamental rights,” reads the 220-page report from Timothy Heaphy, a former U.S. attorney who reviewed the protest for the town's city council.  “Law enforcement also failed to maintain order and protect citizens from harm, injury and death.”
This isn't good.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Matt Lauer Did It

For John, BLUFThere is almost no limit to whom the supporters of Ms Clinton will assign blame.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Opinionator Jill Filipovic, in The Old Gray Lady, 1 December 2017.

Ms Filipovic focuses on Mssers Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose and Mark Halperi, as well as her former Old Gray Lady colleague, Reporter Glenn Thrush.

Here is an Excerpt:

A pervasive theme of all of these men’s coverage of Mrs. Clinton was that she was dishonest and unlikable.  These recent harassment allegations suggest that perhaps the problem wasn’t that Mrs. Clinton was untruthful or inherently hard to connect with, but that these particular men hold deep biases against women who seek power instead of sticking to acquiescent sex-object status.

A month ago, Rebecca Traister wrote in New York magazine that with the flood of sexual harassment charges, “we see that the men who have had the power to abuse women’s bodies and psyches throughout their careers are in many cases also the ones in charge of our political and cultural stories.”  With the Lauer accusations, this observation has come into sharper focus on one particular picture: the media sexism that contributed to Hillary Clinton’s loss.

The 2016 presidential race was so close that any of a half-dozen factors surely influenced the outcome:  James Comey, racial politics, Clinton family baggage, the contentious Democratic primary, third-party spoilers, Russian interference, fake news.  But when one of the best-qualified candidates for the presidency in American history and the first woman to get close to the Oval Office loses to an opponent who had not dedicated a nanosecond of his life to public service and ran a blatantly misogynist campaign, it’s hard to conclude that gender didn’t play a role.

I'm not buying it.

As for not a "nanosecond of" Mr Trump's life to public service, he is the one who made the rebuild of the NYC Ice Skating Pond happen.  Writers should avoid hyperbole whenever possible.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, December 1, 2017

Kate Steinle Decision

For John, BLUFI can't distinguish, in this case, between incompetent and unlucky, but aside from being here illegally and picking up a gun he shouldn't have, he committed no crime.  As the author says, the guilt is on the City Fathers of San Francisco.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

By Mr Roger L Simon, 30 November 2017, at Pajama Media.

As we know, the shooter, a klutz by the name of Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, was acquitted by a jury of six men and six women of murder and manslaughter  I am with the jury.  He didn't want to harm her, or anyone else, at the time.  He was just clueless about handling a gun.  He was, rightly, convicted of felony possession of a gun.

Here is a discussion of the outcome from SFGATE, the on-line version of The San Francisco Chronicle.

I am with the jury, but I think the analysis by Mr Simon is spot on:

  1. Attorney General Sessions, with the firm backing of the president, will redouble his efforts to do away with sanctuary cities both financially and legally.  It may take some time, but the days of these sanctuaries are over.
  2. ICE will be set free to do its work.  (It already has been, but even more so now with fewer complaints.)
  3. The border wall will be built, at least a good part of it, and Trump will find it far easier to get his way with border security.  The Dreamers will remain, but the public will back Trump on further security measures that will be enacted.  Those measures will be stronger than hitherto predicted.
  4. Fewer people will "leave their hearts in San Francisco."  Many Californians have already left the state, but some who have been on the fence about decamping will get off that fence and finally leave.
  5. Although I'm probably overly optimistic here, fewer people will use the noxious euphemism "undocumented immigrants."  (Well, maybe a dozen or so. Or perhaps Zerate should have a document of his own that says "I'm a bloodthirsty killer.  Set me free!")
All rightfully so.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Who Can Vote?

For John, BLUFYes, voting should not be suppressed.  However, those who aren't good citizens shouldn't be joining the rest of us in voting.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

These state laws are another form of voter suppression – like gerrymandering, voter ID requirements, and bars on anyone with felony convictions from voting.

From Nation of Change, by Professor Robert Reich, 21 November 2017.

I was reading with an open mind until I got to the "like gerrymandering, voter ID requirements…".

Here is the lede plus one:

Hundreds of thousands of Americans are being denied the right to vote because they are poor.

In nine states, Republican legislators have enacted laws that disenfranchise anyone with outstanding legal fees or court fines.  For example, in Alabama more than 100,000 people who owe money – roughly 3 percent of the state’s voting-age population – have been struck from voting rolls.

Dealing first with Gerrymandering, it is an issue and it exists everywhere, including here in Lowell and Chelmsford.  This isn't a Republican issue.  This is a power issue.  That is, those who are in power, working to stay in power.  Professor Reich should understand this, having twice lived in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

As for Voter ID, there is the fact that if the folks checking you in to vote don't know you, an ID is the quick way to confirm you are who you are.  If you go to a hospital or a physician's office, you are expected to present an ID.  Why is voting different?  Besides, why isn't Professor Reich urging all those Democrats on Beacon Hill to repeal our Commonwealth's Voter ID Law?

As for felons, they lose their rights.  Should they get them back once they are out of prison and they are past all post-release encumbrances?  Maybe.  Should they then have the right to obtain a Commission in the US Army Reserve or the National Guard?  I wouldn't object to them getting their vote back after they have fully paid back their debt to society.  But, not before.

I would say that if there are small amounts owed to courts or government, then the person should be allowed to vote.  However, there should be a limit to this.  If large amounts are owed then the person should lose their right to vote.  I would draw the line somewhere between $1,000 and $10,000.

The "poll tax" line is just another Democratic Party dog whistle.

Regards  —  Cliff

Risk Assessment and Driving

For John, BLUFRegulating for the idiots may make all of us less safe.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The sub-headline is:

We need more intelligence and less attempted engineering of preferred outcomes.

From the Foundation for Economic Education, by Mr Jeffrey A. Tucker, 26 November 2017.

Here is an excerpt, with the lead-in being a woman who saw a green light and got in trouble for acting on it:

Green gives her the legal right to drive forward.  It doesn’t guarantee that doing so will be safe.

Traffic engineers need to rig the signaling system to let people know that most basic condition of driving:  for your sake and others, be safe.  Increasingly, in Europe, they are addressing the problem in an unusual way:  fewer lights, stops, rules, and signals are better than more.  Some cities are eliminating signs and signals at major intersections completely, based on the realization that individual, on-the-ground rationality works better than top-down rules.

When we lived in the Naples, Italy, area there was a tough intersection, and with no traffic lights or traffic control signs.  It was a free-for-all and known to the Americans stationed in Naples as "Chicken Corner".  The priority road was the Via Antonio Beccadelli, coming up the hill from the South and, past the intersection, going down the hill to the north.  Coming up the hill from the east (and Naples) was the Via Provinciale San Gennaro.  Leaving the intersection and going up hill was the Via San Gennaro Agnano (becoming, eventually, the Via Domitiana, all the way to Rome).  This road was named after Saint Januarius, who was martyred up where he highway bends around the mountain, near the Italian Air Force Academy.  By the way, Antonio Beccadelli was a Fifteenth Century Poet associated with Alfonso V of Aragon, who ruled Naples at the time.

But, back to the story.  After we left, the Italian authorities put in traffic control devices and reports are that traffic was a tangle from that point on.  In the old days, coming up one of the hills the driver would lift his or her foot off the gas, slowing just a tad, look at the traffic and then accelerate forward.  No sweat.

Another example, lost in the 1950s, was that when neighborhood signs made the speed limit 25 MPH and the average speed was 37 MPH, increasing the speed on the signs to 30 MPH resulted in a drop in average speed to 33 MPH.  When the drivers found the speed limit to be reasonable, they tended to follow it.

Drivers are, as a group, a population with a certain risk assessment capability.  We should be aware of that and take advantage of that to create safer streets.

UPDATE:  Provided information on Antonio Beccadelli, after whom one of the roads in Naples was named.

Sometimes less is more.

Regards  —  Cliff

Opioids to Kill the Physical Pain

For John, BLUFGiving folks with chronic pain medical attention could reduce opioid overdoses by a significant amount.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from United Press International (UPI) and their HealthDay News, 28 November 2017.

Here is the lede plus two:

More than 60 percent of opioid overdose deaths involve people who suffer from chronic pain, a new analysis reveals.

Many of them also struggled with depression or anxiety, the investigators found.

The findings stem from a study that examined the medical backgrounds of more than 13,000 men and women who died from an opioid overdose between 2001 and 2007.

Another study says that a factor in not getting off drugs, and thus being at risk for overdose is isolation.  A story in NPR in 2015 said that a study showed that 95% of returning Vietnam Veterans, who had been using "in theater" did not pick up the habit again once returned stateside.  I am not sure we really understand all there is to know about drug addiction and drug overdoses.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

For DC Metro the 25th of December Doesn't Exist

For John, BLUFThese kinds of things are why folks talk about a "war on Christmas".  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Pajama Media, by Stephen Kruiser, 28 November 2017.

Here is the lede:

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) rejected a Christmas advertisement from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese on the grounds that it ran afoul of guidelines for religious advertising.
Go to the Link and view the advert.  Doesn't seem that "offensive" to me.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Those Pesky EMails

For John, BLUFI think SecState Clinton was careless in caring for classified information and folks around her covered for her.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This Pajamas Media item is by Ms Debra Heine, 28 November 2017.

Here is the lede plus three:

A former government watchdog says Hillary Clinton's campaign threatened retribution against him and his loved ones when he raised concerns about classified info on Clinton's private email server while it was being investigated in 2016.

“There was personal blowback.  Personal blowback to me, to my family, to my office,” former Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles McCullough III told Fox News' Catherine Herridge on Monday.

He said the Clinton campaign even put out word that it planned to fire him if Clinton won the 2016 election.  Democrats in Congress also mounted what he thought looked like a coordinated campaign to intimidate him.

McCullough, an Obama appointee, became inspector general after "more than two decades at the FBI, Treasury and intelligence community," Fox News reported.  He explained how the probe was quickly politicized and his office marginalized by Democrats in Congress.

Oh goody.

My view is that if you are not paranoid about classified, you shouldn't be handling classified.  An example—when I was the Squadron Intelligence Officer for the 525th Tactical Fighter Squadron (Bulldogs—"You Bet Your Sweet A__ I Am") I went into work one Sunday and when I left the base I turned around and drove back on base, unlocked the squadron front door, unlocked the Intel Office and rechecked the safe, relocked the Intel Office door, relocked the squadron front door, then went through my steps in my mind and then reentered my car and drove off the base and went home.  Like I said, paranoid.  And we didn't have any SAP stuff, as mentioned in the article.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

A Dark Future

For John, BLUFSarah has a head of steam today.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From her eponymous blog, According to Hoyt, Science Fiction Writer Sarah Hoyt wrote this piece for 27 November 2017.

Here is the lede plus three:

No, that’s not my life.  Why would you ask, other than the fact that I woke up with a non-functional computer and then got sidetracked into a million other things?  And this is really late.

Okay, fine, massed confusion IS my life, but it is not the kind of confusion I wanted to talk about.

Richard Fernandez was talking about the death of prestige on PJMedia.  He viewed it as a side effect of the recent sex scandals, but I think the sex scandals and the disintegration of our “respect” for people and institutions are more the result of two twin things:  first the fact that the left has been undermining established society for a long time, initially because once “capitalist” (which is to say normal) society vanished, paradise would magically appear, and since 91 in a sort of mad fury that they can’t have their little red wagon*; second the same left was, at the same time taking over all the institutions.

Their lack of respect for the institutions they took over, their complete inability to see what’s in front of their eyes, and the fact that their entire philosophy is based on resentment and envy — which means they’re convinced everyone else, everywhere else is getting away with stuff, and so they might as well — results in the “take over a respected institution; kill it; flay it; wear its skin and dance in front of the horrified people involved in that institution, demanding respect.

For the footnotes, go to the original.

Ms Hoyt fears the left would destroy civilization in order to save humanity, and would thus kill humanity along with it.  And, I think she is correct.  And, judging by Russia and China and Cuba and Cambodia and Venezuela, it would be ugly to boot.  Not that Chancellor Hitler did any better.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

What A Mess

For John, BLUFThe corruption of sexual misconduct in Hollywood and Hollywood East (DC) continues still.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Mr Rob Eno, in the daily mailout from Conservative Review, 28 November 2017.

Here is the lede plus one:

Cokie Roberts stunner … Appearing on ABC’s “This Week,” veteran broadcaster Cokie Roberts said something that, if true, means the Washington press corps covered for Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., who has recently been accused of being a sexual predator.  Regarding Conyers, Roberts said, “Don’t get in the elevator with him, you know, and the whole— every female in the press corps knew that, right, don’t get in elevator with him.  Now people are saying it out loud.  And I think that does make a difference.”  You need to see it to believe it.

Wait, what?  Roberts is admitting that at the very least she “knew” it wasn’t safe to be in an elevator alone with Conyers.  Roberts covered Congress for ABC News primarily 20 years ago in the 1990s.  Conyers has been in Congress for 52 years.  Roberts’ job at ABC was to hold members of Congress accountable.  If we are to believe Roberts, she knew that Conyers was a danger to women and she did nothing about it.  Why?  Is it because he held views she liked?  This is a stunning admission of bias.

And, if you don't like the opinion of a local man gone to the big time, there is, from New Jersey, Emeritus Law Professor Ann Althouse, Madison, Wisconsin, asking the hard questions.  And the Comments at the post are great.

Her Blog Post is titled (based on what Reporter Cokie Roberts said):

"Now people are saying it out loud. And I think that does make a difference."

So Professor Althouse asks:

The question, of course, is why didn't she or any of the other women in the press corps say it out loud?  And what are you still not saying out loud?  Are you just waiting until somebody else exposes one of the politicians you have been protecting or is there no one else you're just hanging back not talking about until the day comes when you'll be saying, once again, oh, yeah, we all knew that?
It isn't like this is new.  It is like Ms Linda Tripp said.  Nothing has changed, except some of this is now out in the open.

In the 1980s I had a couple of tours in the Pentagon.  On one of them I was there with two of my cousins, also in the Air Force.  One of them, EE, told me that her fellow female officers, who worked on Capitol Hill, told here there were three people one did not get into an elevator with alone—Senators Bob Packwood, Chris Dodd and Ted Kennedy.  Two questions:

  1. Why didn't Ms Roberts mention those three senators?
  2. Did you ever vote for Senator Ted Kennedy?
And remember Hollywood (and Broadway) with the phrase "casting couch", which was current when I was young.  In fact it goes back to the 1920s and 1930s.

So, is it much deeper, but all of us are covering for someone, or is this it?

Regards  —  Cliff

  I blame Donald Trump, God Bless Him.

Lights of Confusion

For John, BLUFIf they don't make sense, should we ignore them?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

If you are running down Andover Street, toward downtown Lowell, and cross over the Concord River, where the street magically becomes Church Street, you will soon come to a "Y", with Westbound traffic splitting to the right and becoming Green Street.  At the intersection of Green and George there are a set of traffic lights for the two lanes of traffic.

Here is the closeup, so you can see that BOTH lanes have both a straight ahead and a right turn arrow.

Does that make sense?  I could see the left lane with a straight ahead arrow and the right lane (Number 2 Lane) with a straight ahead and right turn arrow.  I could also see the left lane with a straight ahead arrow and right turn arrow and the right (Number 2) lane with just a right turn arrow.  I don't see the current setup.

Back when I first got to the City, Mr Brian J Martin was the City Manager.  At the time he lived on Fairmount Street, near where I lived.  I didn't know City Manager Martin from Adam's Odd Ox, but I did use his name.  I called the City about the light situation and said that I lived down the street and around the corner from the City Manager and some day he was going to be going down Green Street, in the right hand lane and I was going to be in the left lane.  At the traffic light at George Street I would make a right hand turn and bang the City Manager's fender, defending myself by pointing to the traffic lights.

That worked.  The traffic light in the left lane was changed.  But it was only a temporary victory.  Eventually it was changed back.  State highway and all that.

I will admit that I don't really expect anyone to try and make a right turn out of the left lane at this intersection, except perhaps in a moment of absentmindedness.  On the other hand, that is not a reason to not do away with non-sensical traffic signals.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, November 27, 2017

Adjusting Highway Signs

For John, BLUFAs you would say, moving at the speed of Government.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

If you are Eastbound on the VFW Highway, at the O'Donnell Bridge and Mammoth Road (McDonalds and Pawtucket Congregational Church) you have this aerial view.

Now put yourself at street level.  Looking to the East, we have this view.  Notice anything wrong?

Here is the closeup. As you can see, the highway sign for Route 113 has turned upside down, so it now reads E11.

Why yes, I did call this in.  To the City, which noted it is a State Road.  And to the State, a couple of weeks ago.  Maybe it is just in the queue, awaiting action, but so far, no feedback.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Actually Riverside Street going East from the Intersection.
  E11 is a North/South highway in France.  Driving along is almost like a vacation in France.

Slavery Today

For John, BLUFI blame the press.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

'We came, we saw, he died,' she joked. But overthrowing Gadhafi was a humanitarian and strategic debacle that now limits our options on North Korea.

An Opinion Pice by Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds, in USA Today, 27 November 2017.

Here is how the article begins:

Black Africans are beingsold in open-air slave markets right now, and it’s Hillary Clinton’s fault. But you won’t hear much about that from the press or the foreign-policy pundits, so let me explain.

Footage from Libya, released last week by CNN, showed young men from sub-Saharan Africa being auctioned off as farm workers in slave markets.

And how did we get to this point? As the BBC reported back in May, “Libya has been beset by chaos since NATO-backed forces overthrew long-serving ruler Col. Moammar Gadhafi in Oct. 2011.”

And who was behind that overthrow? None other than then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Under former president George W. Bush in 2003, the United States negotiated an agreement with Libyan strongman Gadhafi. The deal: He would give up his weapons of mass destruction peacefully, and we wouldn’t try to depose him.

That seemed like a good deal at the time, but the Obama administration didn’t stick to it. Instead, in an operation spearheaded by Clinton, the United States went ahead and toppled him anyway.

Frankly, I hope Ms Clinton is frosted by this article.  She may not have foreseen this outcome—Black Africans being sold into slavery—but it was her job, or the job of the State Department Director of Policy Planning.  Sadly, Ms Anne-Marie Slaughter had left the office by January 2011 and it was up to Mr Jake Sullivan to speak truth to power.  He failed, but he is still Ms CLinton's foreign policy advisor to this day.

And African-Americans of all stripes should be outrage by this.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, November 26, 2017

The Trump Foreign Policy

For John, BLUFIt isn't a safe world out there, but it wasn't two years ago, either—plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Atlantic Monthly and Analyst Uri Friedman, 25 November 2017.


The Trump administration "has handled things in a ... measured and firm way that will prevent North Korea from miscalculating," Han argued.  "I do not know if it is wise to push North Korea to the extent they feel they have to react in a non-peaceful way.  But North Korea has shown some degree of restraint as far as deeds are concerned, although their rhetoric has also been quite blustery."

"The most important thing is not to make the situation worse," he continued.  "We can't expect to resolve the problem in a short period of time.  But we have to patiently work on it while all the time maintaining deterrence and defense capabilities, and that the United States [under Trump] has done."

"So far," Han noted, "the present U.S. administration hasn't really made any major mistakes."

After the Thanksgiving meal, with the politically inclined at one end of the table, one person brought up Judge Roy Moore, looking, I expect, for a reaction from his staunchly Democratic Party inclined Father-in-Law.  With some deftness, and a lot of luck, I diverted the conversation to North Korea, where I figured months of reading daily proffered about North Korea gave me escalation dominance.  The Democrat, let's call him Jim, wanted to do something about Kim Jung-un.  I argued for patience, deterrence and propaganda (propaganda like the folks using balloons to send information filled USB Thumb Drives over the north).  Put me down as favoring the stats quo.

But, I am happy to hear arguments about WWHD.  Any opportunity to learn.

Regards  —  Cliff

At 8:50 This Morning

For John, BLUFPerhaps a new form of transgenderism.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

A short, but insightful comment from Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds:

IF I WERE SOMEBODY ELSE, THIS COULD BE A TEDIOUS 3000 WORD THINKPIECE IN THE NEW YORKER.  INSTEAD, YOU GET A BLOG POST.  But I was pondering the weird behavior of people like Harvey Weinstein and Charlie Rose.  This isn’t just about using the power of your position to get women.  Instead, there was this weird stuff about walking around naked or in a bathrobe and expecting women to be impressed.  So my thought:  Instead of exercising traditionally male power, they were trying to exercise the traditionally female power of being desirable and desired.  Maybe it’s because they were in industries where that power is especially prominent, but pathetically, they were acting like they hoped someone would find them . . . beautiful.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Google is Naughty

For John, BLUFActually, Google is evil, but I am going with a Christmas theme here.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

At this link Google Refuses to go away.  I have, a dozen times, returned to my interesting article, only to have Google pop up again.  Allowing the Advert "timer" to run out didn't help.

It is almost like someone is trying to prevent me from reading the article, suppressing free speech.  I am reasonably doubtful it is Federal, State or Local Government (since Ms Clinton isn't President), but it might be a violation of some FCC Rule.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Giving Thanks

For John, BLUFYes, with the First Amendment we do have a "Civil Religion" but believers understand and non-believers are sometimes upset about it.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This Washington Post OpEd is by Mr James K.A. Smith, professor of philosophy at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich, 23 November 2017.

The lede:

Thanksgiving has always been one of the high holy days of American civil religion.

Its rituals are surprisingly widespread — pilgrimages home through packed airports; gatherings of family and friends (and attendant tensions that are the stuff of Hollywood rom-coms); the dining room altar on which the turkey is supped, then a long day of drifting in and out of consciousness while hours and hours of football flicker in our darkening dens.

Our Thanksgiving traditions reflect the country’s mix of secularization and religious fervor — what theologian William Cavanaugh calls “migrations of the holy.”

In a secular age, our religious impulses aren’t diminished; they just find new devotions: consumption, the self, the nation. Now, the NFL — in all its popularity and current controversy — sets the script for our Thanksgiving Day litany. It gives us something to worship.

Of course, the typical symbols and traditions of Thanksgiving have their own vague history, which has become both assumed and contested. Those who observe the holiday maintain a baseline spirit of gratitude and pause to “give thanks.” But to whom?

Historically, this gratitude was expressed to God, to the Creator, the Lord of the Harvest, the one in whom we live and move and have our being. Establishing our national observance, Abraham Lincoln commended the nation to “set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.”

But in a secularized, naturalized world where we are at least officially agnostic about such a being, to whom shall we give thanks? Here’s where the liturgies of football on Thanksgiving provide an alternative.

And on it goes, but it does end on this note:
We might not thank God anymore, but that doesn’t mean Thanksgiving isn’t still religious.
. Even so, I was arrested by this phrase:
…secularized, naturalized world where we are at least officially agnostic about such a being…
That may be the view from the "Lilly Pads", but it isn't the view out across th Fruited Plain.

There are a lot of folks out there who are successfully integrating Thanksgiving and Football, thank you very much.&Nbsp; And many who are taking a knee on football.

With this being Christ the King Sunday, maybe it is time to remember we are all citizens of a higher kingdom, and are Thanksgiving is to Christ, our King.

You want more Trump?  This is how you get more Trump.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff