Thursday, October 19, 2017

Another View of the Special Prosecutor

For John, BLUFMy fear is that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller will feel he has to find something to justify his appointment and the cost of his investigation.  Anything.—Nothing to see here; just move along.

An Opinion Piece from The Hill, by Ms Sidney Powell, 19 October 2017.

Much has been written about the prosecutorial prowess of Robert Mueller’s team assembled to investigate allegations of Russia’s involvement in the Trump campaign.  Little has been said of the danger of prosecutorial overreach and the true history of Mueller’s lead prosecutor.

What was supposed to have been a search for Russia’s cyberspace intrusions into our electoral politics has morphed into a malevolent mission targeting friends, family and colleagues of the president.  The Mueller investigation has become an all-out assault to find crimes to pin on them — and it won’t matter if there are no crimes to be found.  This team can make some.

Many Americans despise President Trump and anyone associated with him.  Yet turning our system of justice into a political weapon is a danger we must guard against.

Think back to April 1, 1940, and a world awash in turmoil, hate and fear.  Revered Attorney General Robert H. Jackson assembled the United States attorneys.  In remarks enshrined in the hearts of all good prosecutors, he said, “the citizen's safety lies in the prosecutor who tempers zeal with human kindness, who seeks truth and not victims, who serves the law and not factional purposes, and who approaches his task with humility.”

Yet Mueller tapped a different sort of prosecutor to lead his investigation — his long-time friend and former counsel, Andrew Weissmann. He is not just a “tough” prosecutor.  Time after time, courts have reversed Weissmann’s most touted “victories” for his tactics.  This is hardly the stuff of a hero in the law.

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Ms Powell has been both a Federal Prosecutor and a Defense Attorney.  She is the author of Licensed to Lie:  Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice.

Attorney v Attorney

For John, BLUFSpecial Council Robert Mueller (Russia Gate) is not a choirboy.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This essay is from Attorney Harvey Silverglate, on 17 October 2017, at Boston Public Radio station WGBH (89.7 FM).

The first three paragraphs don't leave me with a good feeling about Special Council Robert Mueller:

Is special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, appointed in mid-May to lead the investigation into suspected ties between Donald Trump’s campaign and various shady (aren’t they all?) Russian officials, the choirboy that he’s being touted to be, or is he more akin to a modern-day Tomas de Torquemada, the Castilian Dominican friar who was the first Grand Inquisitor in the 15th Century Spanish Inquisition?

Given the rampant media partisanship since the election, one would think that Mueller’s appointment would lend credibility to the hunt for violations of law by candidate, now President Trump and his minions.

But I have known Mueller during key moments of his career as a federal prosecutor.  My experience has taught me to approach whatever he does in the Trump investigation with a requisite degree of skepticism or, at the very least, extreme caution.

Especially the Friar Tomas de Torquemada part.

Further down in the essay Mr Silverglate points out to us that Federal laws are so loose and so plenteous that just about anyone can be found to have violated one or another of them.

My impression, after reading the item, is that Mr Mueller will come up with someone to indict, no matter how long it takes to do it.  It may have nothing to do with the allegations of the Trump Campaign colluding with the Russians, but it will be something.

My question is, will there be any examination of the other side to see if they colluded with the Russians?

How silly of me.

My supplemental question is the one asked by former Labor Secretary Raymond J Donovan:  "Which office do I go to to get my reputation back?"

I would like to see Attorney General Jeff Sessions answer that question by publicly acknowledging the innocence of those who are smeared by the accusations of wrong-doing and are found to not be guilty of the crime or crimes of which they were accused, by indictment, innuendo or leak.

ADDED THOUGHT:  When Public Radio is turning against you it should be a sign that you are losing the PR Battle.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

The President at Work

For John, BLUFPresident Trump, perhaps with 2020 in mind, is trying to fulfill his campaign promises.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

From Iran to Obamacare to DACA, the president is acting on what Republicans have long promised, in a way that rightly devolves power to the legislative branch.

From Reason Magazine and Mr Matt Welch, 18 October 2017.

What we are seeing down in DC is that President Trump is moving to implement policies that reflect the issues he ran on, and which Congressional Republicans claimed were their issues.  However, those Republicans in Congress can't seem to act.  Then the President throws the issue into Congress' lap.  Now Republicans and Democrats have to act, sometimes with a deadline.  An example is the DACA Policy of the last Administration.  President Trump said fix it or I will end it in six months.  Another is the unconstitutional payments to insurance companies under the PP&ACA.

Good job Mr President.  Fulfilling campaign promises AND prodding Congress to do its job.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Unfit For Service

TRIGGER WARNING:  In which I suggest you are not fit to make the grade in the US Army.

For John, BLUFYoung Americans are over-weight and out of shape, by and large.  Further, others have gotten into trouble with the law.  We have a problem.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the Web Presence, Task and Purpose, By Mr James Clark, 13 October 2017.

Here are some excerpts:

The military is facing a growing recruiting crisis:  71% of Americans between 17 and 24 can’t meet the minimum criteria for service, which places the burden of service on an ever-small and shrinking pool of troops with a family history of joining the military.

Some quick math shows what the services are up against.  For the Army, the recruiting goal for the coming fiscal year is roughly 180,000 new soldiers.  According to a detailed analysis by Army Times, only 9.7 million out of the 33.4 million Americans between 17 and 24 meet the Army’s minimum standards.  The reasons for disqualification range from failure to meet weight and fitness standards, misconduct, medical issues, mental health, and substance abuse concerns.

Once you take into account whether or not the remaining 9.7 million are enrolled in college — and that the Army doesn’t want the bare minimum for its future soldiers — the recruiting pool shrinks to just 1.7 million.  And that’s before you get to those who are even interested in enlisting.  What you’re left with is just 136,000 potential recruits interested in joining out of the original pool of 33.4 million, Army Times reports.

This is not a good thing.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Hope Springs Eternal

TRIGGER WARNINGS:  In which I suggest that Professors at Harvard often speak through their hat.

For John, BLUFThe Left, the Clintonistas, just cannot let go of the defeat of Mrs Clinton by Mr Trump.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Newsweek, by Ms Julia Glum, on 16 October 2017.

From the third paragraph:

Harvard University professor Lawrence Lessig offered a Clinton path to the presidency on Medium, putting forward a series of "if/then" scenarios that lead to House Speaker Paul Ryan handing the White House keys to Clinton.
Here is the Professor's proposed path:
If number 1:  If Trump is definitively found to have colluded directly with Russia, he would be forced to resign or be impeached.

If number 2:  If Trump is removed, Vice President Mike Pence would become president.

If number 3:  If Pence becomes president, he should resign too, given that he benefited from the same help from Mother Russia.

If number 4:  If Pence resigns before appointing a vice president, Ryan would become president.

If number 5:  If Ryan becomes president, he should do the right thing and choose Clinton for vice president. Then he should resign.

"The answer seems unavoidable: He should nominate the person defeated by the treason of his own party, and then step aside and let her become the president," Lessig writes. "Without doubt, if Ryan did the right thing, that would be the most extraordinary event in the history of America since the Confederate Army fired on Fort Sumter. But unlike that, this event would build the union, not divide it."

But, the first "IF" is the hard one, although "IF" Number 3 is also a huge leap.  The reason I say the first "IF" is the hard one is because it isn't clear there is a connection between the Trump Campaign and Putin and Putin's Russia.  The use of "Should" in the headline is a leap that probably won't reach the other side.  Oops.

Perhaps more important is the question of if Mrs Clinton and the Clinton Campaign had greater "ties" to the Russians than the putative Trump Campaign ties.

And, if all of Professor Lessig's scenario comes to fruition we would be stuck with Mrs Clinton as President.  The Government Official who, through her Libya Policy, gave us Benghazi, and then tried to cover it up.  Keep that in the back of your mind when you think about nKorea.

UPDATE:  Here is the Blog Post by Law Professor Ann Althouse.

UPDATE:  Professor Lessig just said, on The Tucker Carlson show that it hasn't been proven that Russian interference was connected to Mr Trump.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Reading Time at your Local Branch Library

TRIGGER WARNINGS:  In which I suggest that all things in due time.

For John, BLUFWe need to not introduce too many adult ideas too soon to fresh minds.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Mr Rod Dreher, at The American Conservative, 17 October 2017.

Right up front I wish to make the point that this is NOT the Branch Library where I was a member of a high school book club.

I am not against young men and women learning about the realities of alternative life styles—remember, I was reading Christopher Isherwood when I was in High School.

It is that I think a too early introduction of long term alternatives can sow more confusion than insight.

And, doing in at a Branch Library named after a former First Lady just adds to the roil.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  I do acknowledge that I did read a Christopher Isherwood novel while participating, but it was my choice.  That said, we watched Oscar Levant on the TV most weeknights, and Mr Isherwood was a frequent guest.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Who is Skipping the PP&ACA?

For John, BLUFThe PP&ACA is a solution that makes the Left feel good, but it doesn't make things better.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from The Washington Free Beacon and Reporter Ali Meyer, on 9 October 2017.

The sub headline is:

79 percent of penalized households made less than $50,000,

On the other hand, the income of Americans is pretty much like a pyramid, with few at the top and many at the bottom.  But, still, that is a lot of folks below $50,000 PA who have elected to not enroll in a PP&ACA approved program.
There were 6,665,480 households who chose to pay the Obamacare penalty in that year rather than signing up for Affordable Care Act coverage. They paid a total of $3,079,255,000.

Of the 6.7 million households who chose to pay a penalty, 37 percent—2.5 million households—earned a salary less than $25,000 per year. There were 5.2 million households that earned a salary less than $50,000 per year who decided to pay the penalty, which totaled 79 percent of households paying the penalty. Finally, 92 percent of the households—6.1 million households—paid the penalty and earned less than $75,000 a year.

That is a lot of low income folks who are willing to pay the avoidance tax.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Well, the $250,000 and above is a long line, but if we ran in $5000 increments there would be a lot more lines and a lot shorter.  In fact, the next to top line gathers up ten of the lower increments and thus is ten times over its natural size.
  So, who are we really helping with the PP&ACA?  At least as interesting is the question of if ten percent of Mr Trump's November vote came from those paying the PP&ACA Penalty Tax.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Puerto Rico—What did the President Say?

For John, BLUFIf it can't sustain itself, over the long term, bring the citizens to the US and quarantine it.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is a Washington Post article by Reporter Philip Rucker, published on 12 October 2017 in The Boston Globe.

I am trying to see the President's sin here.  The headline says, to me, the fifty states can't afford to underwrite Puerto Rico for ever.  And I agree.

Here is the lede plus two:

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump served notice Thursday that he may pull back federal relief workers from Puerto Rico, effectively threatening to abandon the U.S. territory amid a staggering humanitarian crisis in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

Declaring the U.S. territory’s electrical grid and infrastructure to have been a ‘‘disaster before hurricanes,’’ Trump wrote Thursday that it will be up to Congress how much federal money to appropriate to the island for its recovery efforts and that recovery workers will not stay ‘‘forever.’’

In a trio of tweets, Trump wrote, ‘‘We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!’’

Para 1 seems to overstate the case.

Para 2 has the President stating the obvious, the Puerto Rico infrastructure was a problem before the Hurricane.  And, in this nation the Congress appropriates and authorizes the funds, not the President.

Para 3 is also true, unless the US Congress provides for more FEMA folks and Service Members and those First Responders on loan never go home.  At some point Puerto Rico has to return to normal and the residents, overwhelmed by the Hurricane, have to pick up their normal responsibilities.  Otherwise the relationship will continue to give people like San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz a reason to decry American colonialism.

And speaking of San Juan Mayor Cruz, I do think the United States should declare Puerto Rico an independent nation.  Immediately after this Hurricane disaster is cleaned up.  And we should take five years of decreasing Federal Payments to ease them into their new status.  At the end of five years we should provide them one shot at statehood within the United States, with English as the official language.  It would require a two-thirds vote in favor of statehood, with a two-thirds turnout of registered voters.

In or out, but no more this straddling of the fence, by any side.

UPDATE:  Fixed a typo.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

A Statistician Look at Gun Control Ideas

For John, BLUFThe real reason for the Second Amendment is not target practice.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Washington Post and Ms Leah Libresco, on 3 October 2017.

Here is the lede plus one:

Before I started researching gun deaths, gun-control policy used to frustrate me.  I wished the National Rifle Association would stop blocking common-sense gun-control reforms such as banning assault weapons, restricting silencers, shrinking magazine sizes and all the other measures that could make guns less deadly.

Then, my colleagues and I at FiveThirtyEight spent three months analyzing all 33,000 lives ended by guns each year in the United States, and I wound up frustrated in a whole new way.  We looked at what interventions might have saved those people, and the case for the policies I’d lobbied for crumbled when I examined the evidence.  The best ideas left standing were narrowly tailored interventions to protect subtypes of potential victims, not broad attempts to limit the lethality of guns.

If passing gun control laws work, that is, passing laws, why do we find so many shivs and so much drugs in prisons?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Leah Libresco is a statistician and former newswriter at FiveThirtyEight, a data journalism site. She is the author of “Arriving at Amen.”

Lost Bearings in Michigan

For John, BLUFCrime Victims should be protected from the Perps.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

A Rapist who impregnated a twelve year old girl is ordered listed as the Father and given his victim's address.  It seems possible, per the blog post, he might even win visiting rights.

I find this to be sailing off the edge of a flat earth.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Liberal Conflicting Agendas

TRIGGER WARNING:  In which I suggest you can't have it both ways.

For John, BLUFAnd this doesn't even touch on the Harvey Weinstein imbroglio.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Of course it is from Breitbart (Reporter Aaron Klein, 9 October 2017), but it is a problem for the bien-pensant.

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, October 9, 2017

Some Folks Like Christopher Columbus

TRIGGER WARNING:  In which I talk to the view of the majority.

For John, BLUFHowever, history shouldn't be based on polls.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Pajama Media, by Tyler O'Neil, 5 October 2017.

Money paragraph:

Perhaps in light of this, a Marist/Knights of Columbus (KOC) poll conducted in September found that 57 percent of Americans said they think "it is a good idea ... to have a holiday named after Christopher Columbus."  Only 29 percent said they think it is a "bad idea," while 15 percent remained undecided.
Regards  —  Cliff

Christopher Columbus Alternatives

TRIGGER WARNING:  What if C^2 had been funded by Abu `Abdallah Muhammad XII, the Emir of Granada?

For John, BLUFIf Christopher Columbus did wrong, then was there a "right" way of learning about the rest of the world?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

A nice, but short read, by UPI and Mr James C Bennet, on 12 October of the year 2002.

Here is the meat of it.

I do not join in the politically-correct denigration of Columbus.  But I do raise the question of whether, by celebrating him rather than John Cabot [born Giovanni Caboto], we of the Anglosphere may be celebrating the wrong Italian.
The answer is yes.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, October 8, 2017

NFL Failing

For John, BLUFQuestion:  If Hillary had won, would the NFL be riding high at this point?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from the "Washington Secrets" section of The Washington Examiner, by Reporter Paul Bedard, 7 October 2017.

The lede plus one:

Over just one month of player, coach, and owner protests of the flag and National Anthem, the National Football League has gone from America's sport to the least liked of top professional and college sports, according to a new poll.

From the end of August to the end of September, the favorable ratings for the NFL have dropped from 57 percent to 44 percent, and it has the highest unfavorable rating – 40 percent – of any big sport, according to the Winston Group survey provided exclusively to Secrets.

Former Evergreen State College Professor Heather Heying summed it up, here:
Who would have guessed that when America cleaved, the left would get the National Football League and the right would get uncontested custody of science?
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Culturally Corrupt Academics

For John, BLUFIt is just UMass Amherst being UMass Amherst, wandering off the left side of a steep slope.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from Campus Reform, and their Massachusetts Campus Correspondent, Ms Kassy Dillon (@kassydillon), on 5 October 2017.

The key paragraph:

According to the course description, the seminar will explore “the consequences of neoliberalism, cultural conservatism, Islamophobia, and anti-immigrant sentiments for women of different social and economic strata as well as women’s divergent political responses.”
But, it seems to follow the line being presented by Former First Lady Michelle Obama.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Belleville Shooter

TRIGGER WARNINGS:  In which I suggest gun laws only go so far.
For John, BLUFAuthorization to carry is a good thing.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from Daily Caller Associate Editor Peter Hasson, 6 October 2017.

Here is the lede plus one.

The left-wing Bernie Sanders supporter who opened fire on a crowd of Republican congressmen in June intentionally committed an “act of terrorism” that was “fueled by rage against Republican legislators,” according to a new report released by the state’s attorney on Friday.

The suspect, 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson, picked the baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia as his target months in advance of the shooting, according to the report.  Hodgkinson was also seen watching the Republicans practice for the congressional baseball game the day before the shooting, where he shot and wounded four people, including Louisiana Republican Rep. Steve Scalise.

Mr Hodgkinson is from Belleville, Illinois, an otherwise very normal little city.

Think how bad that could have been if Mr Hodgkinson was any kind of a shot or if there had not been armed men present to return fire.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Masses Against Christopher Columbus

For John, BLUFAnti-Columbus demonstrations planned for Monday.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This Pajamas Media article was written by Ms Debra Heine, 6 October 2017.

Violent left-wing anarchists have announced a nationwide campaign to deface Christopher Columbus statues this coming Monday.

Five Christopher Columbus statues have already been vandalized in New York City in recent weeks, according to Far Left Watch. In one case last month, vandals defaced a "larger-than-life" statue of Columbus in Central Park, leaving blood-red paint on his hands, and scrawled, "Hate will not be tolerated" and “#SomethingsComing” on its pedestal.

What is coming appears to be a coordinated campaign to destroy monuments all across the country on Columbus Day.

The NYC-based antifa group Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement (RAM) made the announcement on Thursday, September 21, calling on antifa groups nationwide to “decorate” their neighborhoods.

If you are scratching your head, go back to Marxist revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara and his intellectual explainer, the French intellectual and government official Régis Debray.

They gave us the foco theory of revolution.  This is the idea that the revolutionary cells, usually engaged in guerrilla warfare, provide a focus for the grievances of the masses.  It is also known as focalism (foquismo [foˈkizmo]).

Actually, the majority of folks in the US like Christopher Columbus.

I would like to know what the world would be like if King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella had not funded Christopher Columbus' trip?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Unbecoming America

For John, BLUFUnless you were a member of a "disfavored group" you should be OK, if you watch your tongue.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Hoover Institute, by Mr Paul R. Gregory, Thursday, 5 October 2017.

Here is the lede plus two:

Nobel laureate F.A. Hayek said totalitarian regimes—Bolshevism, Fascism, and Nazism—are forms of government that direct “members of society by a single will supposed to represent the ‘whole.’” This “single will” is dictated by a Stalin, Mao, Hitler, or some collective rule. Per Hayek, such dictatorships require that “everything be governed by a single system of thought,” which rules out freedom of speech and press. These regimes may claim to aspire to lofty goals that compensate for the loss of freedoms, but they inevitably turn brutal, particularly against those who reject their ideology.

A single system of thought has many faults. At a minimum, it rules out competition of ideas. Just as the economy stagnates without competition among firms, so too do social and political regimes stagnate without a competition of ideas. This principle has applications today. The modern left disavows the most destructive aspects of totalitarianism. And yet, its approach to language and ideas is increasingly dictatorial. In recent years, radical leftists have been trying to promote a single system of thought via politically correct speech. This effort is doomed to fail.

In communist and fascist states—as exemplified by the USSR, China, North Korea, and Nazi Germany—a ruling monopoly party dictates a single system of thought which is drummed into the people by a propaganda ministry, a state-media monopoly, and the state-educational establishment. A pervasive secret police apparatus (KGB, Gestapo, or Stasi) finds and punishes those who resist.

After further discussion of how ideologically oriented regimes, such as communism and fascism, corrupt language and require conformity of thought, he looks at America today.
Surely such things would not be a problem in the United States. American constitutional guarantees of free speech, a competitive political system, the private ownership of media and entertainment, and a system of local public schools should rule out a single political language in the United States. Yet leftists have been actively working to stifle free speech on campuses, in corporations, and on social media platforms in recent times. It seems as if these progressives are campaigning to become the arbiters of what speech is allowed and what is forbidden in American society. They are promoting a new variant of speaking Bolshevik— “speaking PC.”
Read the whole thing and be prepared.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, October 6, 2017

California Slides Toward The Pacific Ocean

For John, BLUF"Save your Confederate Dollars, the South will rise again."  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Twitchy, by Brett T, on 5 October 2017.

As Mr Ed Driscoll said in posting this:

Old and busted:  Confederate-era Democrats believe they can pick and choose which federal laws they wish to enforce.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Speaking For Free Speech

For John, BLUFWithout free speech you have Fascism.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Daily Wire, for 3 October 2017.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

For John, BLUFMaybe it is just Hollywood.  I can't imagine her father saying something like this.  But, maybe Old Blue Eyes knew his audience.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Mr Ed Driscoll writes:
Since the NRA contains about 5,000,000 members, “Sinatra is calling for mass murder worse than Rwanda, Armenia, Bosnia, Cambodia, etc. But not quite the Holocaust, so there is that,” Alex Griswald tweets.

So she’s got that going for her at least, which is nice.

Yes, there is that.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

The "Real" Source of Mass Shootings

For John, BLUFIt is CNN, so there is the standard discount factor (divide by seven).   Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from Breitbart And Reporter Ben Kew, on 4 October 2017.

In the column by Naaz Modan, editor of Muslim Girl magazine, Modan argues that recent mass shootings have been met with a “fatal passivity” and would generate far greater anger if they were committed by ethnic minorities:
So what is her explanation for happenings in Europe?

And let us be careful in the use of the term Caucasian [I am sure that is what she meant to say].  Aren't a large percentage of Muslims Caucasians?

Besides, there is the whole "Trump as Hitler" thing, which the Antifa says justifies violence.  My head hurts.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Gun Control in the Age of Trump?

For John, BLUFConflicting Rhetoric.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

As day follows night.

The author of this Reason article is Robby Soave, on 3 October 2017.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Asking the Important Questions

For John, BLUFThe motive is the thing.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from Pajama Media and Doctor Helen Smith, 3 October 2017. An excellent question.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Subverting STEM Academics

For John, BLUFFifty years ago we were on a good path in terms of race and racism, but now we have jumped the tracks.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The sub=headline reads:

The postmodernist left on campus is intolerant not only of opposing views, but of science itself.

By Heather Heying, a former biology professor at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, Datelined 2 October 2017.

Here is the start of the OpEd.

Who would have guessed that when America cleaved, the left would get the National Football League and the right would get uncontested custody of science?

The revolution on college campuses, which seeks to eradicate individuals and ideas that are considered unsavory, constitutes a hostile takeover by fringe elements on the extreme left. Last spring at the Evergreen State College, where I was a professor for 15 years, the revolution was televised—proudly and intentionally—by the radicals.  Opinions not fitting with the currently accepted dogma—that all white people are racist, that questioning policy changes aimed at achieving “equity” is itself an act of white supremacy—would not be tolerated, and those who disagreed were shouted down, hunted, assaulted, even battered.  Similar eruptions have happened all over the country.

What may not be obvious from outside academia is that this revolution is an attack on Enlightenment values: reason, inquiry and dissent.  Extremists on the left are going after science.  Why?  Because science seeks truth, and truth isn’t always convenient.

The left has long pointed to deniers of climate change and evolution to demonstrate that over here, science is a core value.  But increasingly, that’s patently not true.

A great lede by Professor Heying.  And, sadly, true.

Hat tip to my Buddy, Zyg.

Regards  —  Cliff

Fallout from Vegas

For John, BLUFWhat about the line "But I say to you, Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you." (Matt 5:44)  Nothing to see here; just move along.

There was a tragedy in Las Vegas Sunday evening, with a death toll of 59 at this writing.  Someone, for yet unexplained reasons, stockpiled rifles and ammunition in a hotel and then began shooting at people gathered for a Country and Western music event, just at the conclusion.

To keep it straight, it is J R Salzman who exposes the posting of this comment about wanting "every Trump supporter dead" by a person with the handle "i am cassie".

This isn't like the recently fired CBS Vice President, Ms Hayley Geftman-Gold, who said on social media, “I’m actually not even sympathetic bc [sic] country music fans often are Republican gun toters [sic].”

No, Cassie wants 60-some million people dead.

That would be more than five times the population of our Commonwealth of Massachusetts, but mostly people in flyover country.

And, unlike lawyer jokes, she isn't going for the laughs.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Rights For Me, But Not For Thee

For John, BLUFOnce you start picking who gets civil rights you are in trouble.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

There is not much to say here.  I was going to praise Ms Steinem praise to see that we need leadership to pull both parties back from the edge, but then she blathers on in a manner that makes obvious that she does not really believe in civil rights and justice for all  Just those she favors.

It makes me sad.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Ongoings in New Jersey Not Covered

For John, BLUFTo the Media your Party makes a difference.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the InstaPundit, quoted in fool.
THINK OF THEM AS DEMOCRATIC PARTY OPERATIVES WITH LAVALIER MICS AND IT ALL MAKES SENSE: CNN covered Republican Ted Stevens’ corruption trial 6 times more than Democrat Robert Menendez: Study.
But then it turned out that the DOJ was railroading Ted Stevens, and prosecutors got their hands slapped.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Germans Have a Word For It

For John, BLUFThere is no reason to think we are immune from really terrible ideas.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from The [Lowell] Sun, Reporter J.D. Capelouto, Statehouse Correspondent, Datelined 27 September 2017.

The article is at the link, above.

The two things to remember are one, once legal there will be pressure for folks to follow through and die. Second, after they come for the terminally ill they will come for the worthless eaters and then they will come for those with birth defects.  Just ask those who actually follow history.

This is an old idea.  And a slippery slope.

This is wrong and for members of our society not to recognize it is disturbing.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Think about the poem by German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984), "First they came …".
  The Germans had a term for it back in 1939.  It was Gnadentod.  You can get a Kindle version of the 1920 book Permitting the Destruction of Life Unworthy of Life for $4.99.

Trump v NFL

For John, BLUFIs the NFL going to go the way of K-Mart?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The sub-headline:

"Satellite broadcaster will let at least some customers get refunds for its Sunday Ticket package of NFL games if they cite players’ national anthem protests."

The Wall Street Journal has three Reporters on this, Joe Flint, Amol Sharma and Andrew Beaton.  The dateline is 26 September 2017.  The full story is behind a paywall, but here is an excerpt:

DirecTV is letting at least some customers cancel subscriptions to its Sunday Ticket package of NFL games and obtain refunds if they cite players’ national anthem protests as the reason, customer service representatives said Tuesday.

Sunday Ticket’s regular policy doesn’t allow refunds once the season is under way. But the representatives said they are making exceptions this season—which began in September—in response to the protests, in which players kneel or link arms during the national anthem.

Spokesmen for DirecTV-parent AT&T Inc. and the National Football League declined to comment.

The shift is the latest twist in a controversy that has divided the nation after President Donald Trump blasted players who took a knee during the anthem and said they should be fired. He has called on people to walk out of stadiums when players are kneeling.

“For people to disrespect that by kneeling during the playing of our national anthem, I think is disgraceful,” Mr. Trump said on Tuesday.

Several teams have issued statements defending the rights of their players to express their opinion. The NFL also has shown solidarity with the players.

While there has been, in the media, a lot of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, I think that Mr Trump either chose his target wisely or is incredibly lucky.  The National Football League is in some degree of economic trouble and this protest action isn't helping.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

A Word Against the ACA

For John, BLUFNot everyone likes the Affordable Care Act.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

"My 96-percent increase in premiums is a useful, unvarnished look at Obamacare’s effects."

Writer and Analyst Mary Katherine Ham tells us why she isn't all that enthusiastic for the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare).

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Paying Attention

For John, BLUFI think Mr Trump can chew gum and walk at the same time.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

A friend of mine, perhaps echoing criticism he had heard elsewhere, complained that President Trump was going after NFL football players for kneeling during the National Anthem and ignoring Puerto Rico.  I countered with the fact that President Trump had talked to Governor Ricardo Rosselló, and the Governor said he was happy with the effort so far.

From the Associated Press, Friday, the 22nd of September of this year:

The White House says President Donald Trump has spoken with the governors of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Trump said earlier Thursday that Puerto Rico was "absolutely obliterated" and the Virgin Islands were "flattened" by recent hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Then there is this item from The Wash Post, Reporter Ed O'Keefe, on 24 September 2017.

Rosselló said he has had “great collaboration and communication” with FEMA and the Department of Health and Human Services, which have been on the island since the morning after the storm assessing damage and setting up shelters.

But after several intense days of preparation, response, rescue and cleanup, Rosselló said, local law enforcement agencies are strained and hampered in their ability to reach far-flung areas that may still need relief.  Even as he asked for more assistance from the Defense Department, he stopped short of requesting that the Trump administration declare martial law.

If the situation isn't addressed in the coming weeks, there could be “massive migration to other states, which will bring a whole host of other problems to Puerto Rico and the states.  It is within everybody’s interest that we handle this situation for what it is — an unprecedented situation, where two hurricanes back-to-back hit Puerto Rico on an island that was under fiscal turmoil.  Those considerations need to be taken into consideration when Congress puts together its aid bill.”
The Governor of Puerto Rico, Mr Rosselló, is worried about Congress as well as the Executive Branch.
Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló is warning that his government needs broader assistance from the federal government, calling on the Pentagon especially to provide more aid for law enforcement and transportation.

Rosselló said he's also worried that Congress will shortchange his island once the initial wave of emergency relief is gone.

“We still need some more help.  This is clearly a critical disaster in Puerto Rico,” he said on a shaky cellphone connection Sunday night from San Juan.  “It can’t be minimized and we can’t start overlooking us now that the storm passed, because the danger lurks.”

Did you pick up on “massive migration to other states"?

What is our Commonwealth doing to prepare for a possible influx of American Citizens from Puerto Rico?  The population of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is 3.4 million.  If 1% came here it would be 34,000, who would have to be dispersed to various Cities for shelter and support.  I don't think Otis AFB, down on the Cape, is big enough to meet all the needs of these Americans.  Just think of schools alone.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Foreign Support for Hillary

For John, BLUFIt is all about Hillary winning.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Retired Professor Ann Althouse.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Trump Gives NFL Free Advice

For John, BLUF"If you want more Trump, this is how you get more Trump."  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Interestingly, the accompanying photo is of the NFL Logo, on the field, and not of the stands, which have sometimes been fairly empty this season.

This is an Associated Press story in The Boston Globe, by Reporter Catherine Lucey, 23 September 2017.

Here is the lede plus two:

SOMERSET, N.J. — The NFL and its players’ union on Saturday denounced President Donald Trump for suggesting that owners fire players who kneel during the national anthem and that fans consider walking out in protest ‘‘when somebody disrespects our flag.”

“Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players,’’ the league commissioner, Roger Goodell, said in a statement.

DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Players Association, tweeted: ‘‘We will never back down. We no longer can afford to stick to sports.’’

Poor Donald Trump.  He tries to give some good marketing advice to the NFL and he gets disrespected for it.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Meuller Investigation Update

For John, BLUFWhen you wrestle pigs in the mud you get dirty, but they enjoy it.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

I have been assured by experts that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has the goods on President Trump and on Mr Paul Manafort.  And California Congresswoman Maxine Waters has impeachment right around the corner, or January 2019, at the latest.

From the blog L'Ombré L'Olivier, by Guest Blogger Jason Garik, 22 September 2017.

LANGUAGE WARNING.  Some people never grow up.

Here are a couple of excerpts:

C.  Manafort has publicly stated that the feds can release the information from the wiretaps and he has nothing to hide.  Considering that the feds stopped tapping him at some point, this probably means he’s calling their bluff.  It’s not a good look for the feds, and it doesn’t look like Manafort has something to hide.

Over at The Spectator we have some musings about how the wire tapping that never happened, did.  They compare it to Watergate, where, after the CIA said no, the Committee for the Reelection of the President hired former operatives to do the job.  Today the FBI cooperates with the Administration in spying on political opponents.

Will we be looking an another Ray Donovan moment?  "Which office do I go to to get my reputation back?"  Probably not the FBI or Robert Mueller's law firm or the Obama Presidential Library.  Maybe Ms Susan Rice will step up, or Mr Ben Rhodes?

Then there is this question about the Clinton Camapign. 

D.  Look at this from Manafort’s side.  Why the hell would he be gallivanting around saying “Russia! Russia! Russia!” for the feds to maaaaaagically listen in on him?  It’s too f___ing cute, and too amateur hour from a guy who’s been working in the game as long as he has.  Also, the John Podesta—a Clinton consigliere also worked as an advisor with many of the same Russian/Ukrainian figures.  Why aren’t the feds checking him out?
On top of this there is the whole "raid" on Mr Paul Manafort's home.  Is that just Special Counsel Robert Mueller playing the tough guy, or was it FBI Agents out of control?  Really, picking the lock before dawn, while the person was still in bed?  What if he had greeted them with a shotgun?  On the other hand, shouldn't the FBI Agents have been wearing leather trench coats for this kind of operation?

Maybe the agents were in a contest with the US Congress, since "agents appeared the day Manafort was scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee".  "Appeared" is a euphemism for "broke into the home".

Here is how The Old Gray Lady wrote the lede:

Paul J. Manafort was in bed early one morning in July when federal agents bearing a search warrant picked the lock on his front door and raided his Virginia home.  They took binders stuffed with documents and copied his computer files, looking for evidence that Mr. Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, set up secret offshore bank accounts.  They even photographed the expensive suits in his closet.
Is Washington so out of control that the Special Counsel feels he needs "shock and awe" tactics?  Is the swamp that wide and deep and fetid?  And if it is, is Special Counsel Robert Mueller the person to drain it?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  If it comes to pass in January 2019 that the Democrats control at least the Lower House, then you can probably thank Senator John McCain, who campaigned on a promise to repeal Obamacare (PP &ACA).

Genetic Defects

For John, BLUFSorry about that.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from Business Insider, Zach Williams and Jessica Orwig reporting, 21 September 2017.

If I understand this correctly, we are all blue eyed, but normally people have an additional factor in their genes which gives them another eye color.  Blue eyes themselves are a genetic defect.  That is interesting.

The other interesting thing is that I had understood the blue eye problem to come from the south shore of the Black Sea.  The graphic has it coming out of Africa.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, September 22, 2017


For John, BLUFIncentives are important, but not sufficient.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from the blog Chicago Boyz, posted by Mr David Foster, 22 September 2017.

And this is why Venezuela is in trouble.

Regards  —  Cliff

Protecting Young Girls

For John, BLUFHow much multiculturalism do you want?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

I am assuming this is the normal "scare" headline we are used to, but it is concerning.  The article, from the Metro, by Reporter Oliver McAteer, is datelined 19 September 2017, in New York City.

The sub-headline is:

Some practitioners are happy to perform brutal female genital mutilation (FGM) procedures on little girls on kitchen tables in New York City, warns a leading organization.

Here are the first three paragraphs.  Here is a link to a discussion of FGM.

More than 48,400 women and girls in the state of New York are at risk of or have undergone FGM, estimates the Population Reference Bureau.

And the AHA Foundation — a global activist group fighting for an end to violence against women — says these terrifying and brutal procedures are happening right under our noses.

Senior director Amanda Parker told Metro US:  ‘With that number of at risk women and girls from communities where FGM is practiced in the state, with a large concentration in New York City, we are deluding ourselves if we think it’s not happening right in Manhattan.

Shouldn't folks be speaking out?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

After the IRS For Political Actions

For John, BLUFIt seems the IRS is just not able to outrun their past actions.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the TaxProf Blog and Tax Prof Paul Caron, on Friday, 22 September 2017, we have a link to a an item in the Cincinnati Enquirer, New Details Emerge in Tea Party Suit Against IRS Here is the lede plus four:
The IRS used the political views of conservative "tea party" groups trying to get nonprofit status as a reason for extra scrutiny and continued delaying applications until 2013 — long after they said they'd stopped — new federal court filings allege.

The new accusations counter previous IRS claims that agents did not consider political beliefs when slowing down tax-exempt applications from right-leaning groups in the months leading up to the 2012 presidential election.

The IRS had instead argued that it was merely monitoring whether the groups were conducting more political activity than was allowed.

The filings by conservative groups suing the IRS also state the agency continued the practice after IRS officials said it had stopped in 2011. …

"By trying to make this about whether this was done to help Obama win is setting the goalpost artificially too high," Eddie Greim, a lawyer representing conservative groups in the class-action suit, said in an interview with The Enquirer.  "All we have to prove is whether they had the intent and if they indeed treated a set of groups differently based on their ideology."

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, September 21, 2017

EU Struggles in Brexit Negotiations

For John, BLUFThis could ripple through to jobs in the US.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

That would be 66 year old French politician Michel Bernard Barnier, who is the European Union Chief Negotiator for Brexit.

I ripped this off from Guido Fawkes at the Blog Site Order-Order.

Two interesting quotes on Newsnight suggesting that at least some Europeans are pushing Barnier and the Commission to take a more reasonable negotiating stance.  Geert Bourgeois, the head of the Flemish government, stressed the need for trade talks:  “I’ve met twice Barnier.  I brought him to Zeebrugge.  45% of the trade of the export from Zeebrugge is to the United Kingdom, so that’s why I do my best to influence all the people, the ambassadors of the surrounding countries, to work together”.  Xavier Bertrand, the influential French politician who runs the Hauts-de-France region, says Brussels’ tone should change:
“I know one thing for sure – nobody has the right to punish the UK and the British people.  It was a sovereign choice… punishing and looking to punish is a terrible mistake.  It would be a bad message to send.  It was the will of the people who voted, regardless of the consequences.  It would give rise to the feeling that there’s something with more power than the will of the people, or wanting to go against the will of the people. That would be a terrible error.”
The suggestion in today’s papers is that May’s speech will aim to go over the head of Barnier and appeal to the EU27 to break the deadlock.  Clearly it is in the interests of EU politicians like the two above to do that.
You say, so what.  The so what is that a too arrogant approach on the part of the European Union toward Brexit would mean a disruption of trade, with resulting reductions in jobs and wages in both the EU and the UK.

Selfishly, I hope it means that the US capitalizes on this EU faux pas and develops stronger relations with the United Kingdom.

Hat tip to Order-Order.

Regards  —  Cliff

  When the Speaker of the House of Commons wishes to bring order back to an unruly house she or he says "Order, Order".  The best in my living memory was The Right Honourable Betty Boothroyd, MP for West Bromwich West

Is the "Right" Done in Europe?

For John, BLUFSunday could offer up a surprise for Germany and others.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Reuters and Reporter Madeline Chambers, on 21 September 2017.

The lede plus two:

BERLIN (Reuters) - Fears that apathy could boost the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) in an election on Sunday have driven Chancellor Angela Merkel and her main rival to urge their backers to go out and vote.

With many voters viewing a fourth term for Merkel as almost inevitable and put off by a turgid campaign - occasionally punctured by heckling and tomato hurling in protest at Merkel's refugee policy - pollsters say turnout may be low.

A GMS poll on Thursday said 34 percent were not planning to vote or were undecided, higher than the 29 percent who did not cast ballots in the last election in 2013.

Here is part of the reason for Chancellor Angela Merkel's concern:

Source is Pajama Media and Writer Bruce Baker, 20 September 2017.

Remember, Chancellor Merkel has been very pro-immigration, very pro-refugee settlement.

And here is one vignette within the article:

On September 14, CNN's website ran a story about gays in Germany who are supporting the Alternativ für Deutschland (AfD). A middle-aged Bremen couple interviewed for the piece had been violently gay-bashed by “two locally known Muslim extremists” who “were never arrested and later fled to Syria.” After failing to receive justice from local prosecutors and the mayor's office, the couple had cast their lot in with AfD.

“I don't like everything they say,” admitted one of the two gay men, a longtime leftist and former Green Party voter, “but this is too dangerous for gay people to live openly here, if we get attacked like that. We need a party that's talking openly about this.” Like FN, AfD opposes same-sex marriage – but also has gay people in its leadership, and is supported by a higher percentage of gays than of straights.

If betting I would be on Chancellor Merkel, but I think I would not be surprised if she ended up like Ms Clinton.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Being Permanently Irritated

For John, BLUFDoes everything trigger us now.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from the blog The Declination and the Blogger Dystopic, 19 September 2017.

Here is the lede plus one:

The recent kerfuffle over Clay Travis and his trademark phrase “I like the First Amendment and… boobs” has flooded social media these last few days.  And it brings up a fascinating amount of cognitive dissonance.  Keith Reed, who immediately white-knighted on behalf of poor, offended Brooke Baldwin, posted frequently on the subject of boobs, ass, and attractive women on his public social media pages.  Brooke herself frequently wears things that accentuate her breasts and has ‘suffered’ references to boobs many times before.  The outrage over the mere mention of boobs is all fake.

The thing of it is, today people often take things out of context deliberately in order to feel the rush of being offended; to get attention and sympathy from others.  Being offended supplies a person with increased social status.  Being offended makes them powerful for a moment.  So any opportunity that presents itself, even if deliberately taken out of context or obviously exaggerated, is quickly embraced.  Brooke and Keith both saw golden opportunities to be offended by Clay Travis mentioning boobs.

This seems to be a modern version of a Kulturkampf.

Wikipedia bios:

Clay Travis
Keith Reed
Brooke Baldwin
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Edward McDonald (RIP)

Overnight my Brother-in-Law, Edward (Mic) McDonald, passed away, quietly in his sleep.

When we last saw him, a few weeks ago, he was still up and about and chipper, reading a novel about Nazi Occupied France.

Mic lived a full and productive life.  He was from Janesville, Wisconsin, and graduated from Purdue University as a Pharmacist.  He had a career in drug sales with Eli Lilly, including an assignment at their "staff college".  Later he helped form a startup company that tested blood gases during operations.  The company sold to 3M and Mic bought a trawler, Pendragon, and Summered in Seattle and Wintered in Laguna.

Mic is survived by his wife and two daughters, and, of course, my wife.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Surveillance Within Trump Tower

For John, BLUFOf course there was, but who cares now?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the short form version of the story.

This is from Real Clear Politics and Reporter Tim Hains, posted 20 September 2017.  It includes a video.

Here is the lede plus three:

According to a new report from CNN, Paul Manafort, who for a time last year was the Trump campaign chairman, was indeed wiretapped by the federal government, both before and after the election.

Manafort, it ought to be noted, had an apartment inside Trump Tower at that time, so it is virtually certain that surveillance of him would have included other members of the Trump campaign staff, maybe even Trump himself.  In other words, it looks like Trump's tweet may have been right.  So why did three top members of Congress from both parties, and the country's top law enforcement officers all assure us that the surveillance didn't happen?  That there wasn't a shred of evidence to suggest it had happened? Were they lying or did tey simply not know?

Neither answer is comforting.

Either the intelligence agency has gone rogue, pursuing its own goals without meaningful oversight from elected officials, or, our elected officials are colluding with each other to lie to the public, apparently for political reasons.

Don't you wish Richard Nixon was still in the White House?  If he was this would are a major scandal.

Here is the long form version of the story.

The sub-headline is:

Obama had to spy on Trump to protect himself.

From Front Page Magazine and Writer Daniel Greenfield, it has a dateline of 20 September 2017.

The lede and a few:

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.

Last week, CNN revealed (and excused) one phase of the Obama spying operation on Trump.  After lying about it on MSNBC, Susan Rice admitted unmasking the identities of Trump officials to Congress.

Rice was unmasking the names of Trump officials a month before leaving office.  The targets may have included her own successor, General Flynn, who was forced out of office using leaked surveillance.

While Rice’s targets weren’t named, the CNN story listed a meeting with Flynn, Bannon and Kushner.

Bannon was Trump’s former campaign chief executive and a senior adviser.  Kushner is a senior adviser.  Those are exactly the people you spy on to get an insight into what your political opponents plan to do.

Now the latest CNN spin piece informs us that secret FISA orders were used to spy on the conversations of Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.  The surveillance was discontinued for lack of evidence and then renewed under a new warrant.  This is part of a pattern of FISA abuses by Obama Inc. which never allowed minor matters like lack of evidence to dissuade them from new FISA requests.

Desperate Obama cronies had figured out that they could bypass many of the limitations on the conventional investigations of their political opponents by ‘laundering’ them through national security.

I am hoping the current Ken Burns series on Viet-nam will talk about the Domestic Spying that went on in the 1960s and early 1970s.  Things covered by the Church Committee.  Then there was the veneer of national security.  Today it is just politics.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  I wonder if Mrs Clinton thinks back to her time on the Senate Watergate Committee as a staffer and thinks about how wrong President Nixon was, or if she thinks that he was just wrong to get caught.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


For John, BLUFEventually they will be coming for Ladd and Whitney, because they had great uncles who were once slave holders.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The New York Post, by Mr Karol Markowicz, 17 September 2017.

Here is the lede plus a few paragraphs:

After last month’s violent clashes in Charlottesville, Va., that left one woman dead and many others injured, the left has focused not on some sort of national healing but on destruction — specifically, of old statues of long-dead men.

And it doesn’t much matter what those men stood for.  America’s culture of idol worship and public defenestration has come for anything set in stone.

Last Tuesday, a statue of Christopher Columbus in Central Park had its hands painted red and a sinister message warning “#somethingscoming” was spray-painted on the statue’s base.  That same day, protesters covered a Thomas Jefferson statue at the University of Virginia with a black sheet.  On Wednesday in Baltimore, a monument to Francis Scott Key, author of “The Star Spangled Banner,” was defaced with the words “Racist Anthem.”  On Thursday, Wall Street’s “charging bull” was covered in blue paint.

Conservatives and President Trump warned the vandalism of Confederate monuments was a slippery slope. Liberals scoffed.

. . .

The differences were so obvious, we were told, that common sense would prevail.  It was the triumph of hope over experience.  Anyone who doesn’t line up with current progressive social mores is out.  The war isn’t on history; it’s on anything that isn’t specifically leftist — now, today, subject to change tomorrow.

There is no telling where this may go.  What will be needed to please the crowd next time.  It is almost like the Roman Circus, but without the animals being involved.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Adjusting the Settled Science

TRIGGER WARNINGS:  Our understanding of science evolves, as we learn more.  The other option is to become more ignorant as Normals become smarter.

For John, BLUFSo, 1.5 C (As in Communist) is like 2.7 Fahrenheit.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Ms Natalie Solent, of Essex, at Samizdata, 18 September 2017.  She describes herself thusly—"I remain more of a believer in anthropogenic climate change than many here, but after three or four cycles of this, cynicism does creep in."

Here is how the Blog Post starts:

As ever, Paris was the place to see really hot models, but you have missed your chance.  A couple of years ago they were basking in the admiration of the world. Now, they are looking a little old.  However you can still read about them in today’s Times:
We were wrong — worst effects of climate change can be avoided, say scientists

Catastrophic impacts of climate change can still be avoided, according to scientists who have admitted they were too pessimistic about the chances of limiting global warming.

The world has warmed more slowly than had been predicted by computer models, which were “on the hot side” and overstated the impact of emissions on average temperature, research has found.

New forecasts suggest that the world has a better chance than claimed of meeting the goal set by the Paris Agreement on climate change of limiting warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

The study, published in the prestigious journal Nature Geoscience, makes clear that rapid reductions in emissions will still be required but suggests that the world has more time to make the necessary changes.

Michael Grubb, professor of international energy and climate change at University College London and one of the study’s authors, admitted that his previous prediction had been wrong.

Here is how it ends, with a bit of snark:
He [Professor Grubb] said that too many of the models used “were on the hot side”, meaning they forecast too much warming.

See, I promised you hot models and here are so many hot models, you may even get tired of hot models.

Another approach may be that this is mainly an engineering problem, in which the engineering has to stay ahead of the climate changes.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, September 18, 2017

Smeared by SPLC

For John, BLUFHow can you be Female and Black and be Conservative, unless you reasoned your way to that position?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The sub-headline:

I paid a professional price when the group attacked me in 2009. Now I wear its mud as a badge of honor.

From The Wall Street Journal, an OpEd from Professor Carol M Swain, 11 September 2017.

From the article:

Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, was to testify before the House Homeland Security Committee about threats posed by domestic extremist groups.  The hearing, scheduled for Tuesday, has been postponed because of Hurricane Irma.  As a black conservative who has been smeared by the SPLC, I recommend against reinviting Mr. Cohen.

When Morris Dees and Joseph J. Levin Jr. started the SPLC in 1971, it was needed and it had noble goals. In recent years, however, it has become a tool of the radical left.  Domestically, it uses its influence to paint with a broad brush that smears immigration restrictionists, orthodox Christian churches and pro-family organizations as “hate groups.”

What landed me in the SPLC’s crosshairs was a Sept. 10, 2009, Huffington Post blog entry titled “Mission Creep and the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Misguided Focus.”  I pointed out the SPLC’s silence about video footage released after the 2008 elections showing members of the New Black Panther Party, decked out in full paramilitary regalia, patrolling a polling precinct in Philadelphia where they were clearly intimidating white voters.

Although several news organizations covered the story, the SPLC ignored the incident.  At the time, the law center was spending an inordinate amount of time attacking then-CNN host Lou Dobbs for his relentless focus on illegal immigration.  It demanded that CNN fire the anchor. After CNN and Mr. Dobbs parted ways, the SPLC took credit for getting him off the air.  I ended my post with a one-liner that raised the ire of the organization and had a devastating effect on my life.  I wrote: “Rather than monitoring hate groups, the Southern Poverty Law Center has become one.”

The SPLC’s retaliation was vicious and effective.  On Oct. 17, 2009, my photo appeared on the front page of my local newspaper, the Tennessean, with the headline “Carol Swain is an apologist for white supremacists.”  That was a quote from Mark Potok, at the time the SPLC’s national spokesman.  The context for Mr. Potok’s attack was a review I gave for a film titled “A Conversation About Race.”  I endorsed it for classroom use because it offered a perspective on race rarely encountered on university campuses.  Mr. Potok argued that the filmmaker was a bigot.  I felt then and now that the perspective needed to be heard.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

I stand with Ms Swain.

Regards  —  Cliff

Man Bites Dog Story

For John, BLUFYour City (or State) suing you in court for asking questions.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the Associated Press, Reporter Ryan J Foley, 19 September 2017.

The lede plus one:

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — An Oregon parent wanted details about school employees getting paid to stay home.  A retired educator sought data about student performance in Louisiana.  And college journalists in Kentucky requested documents about the investigations of employees accused of sexual misconduct.

Instead, they got something else:  sued by the agencies they had asked for public records.

This is just flat wrong.

The General Court should act to ban this kind of thing.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Autobiography Intro

For John, BLUFMy Father used to say "Threw away the baby and raised the afterbirth."  Must be a 1940s quip.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from Ms Elizabeth Scalia, at Aleteia, on 13 September 2017.

I am reluctant to quote a big swath of some blog, but this is too good to not drag you into it.  Ms Scalia has dummied up an intro to her own future autobiography, based on the recent offering of Ms Hillary Clinton.  Here it is:

When she was pregnant with me, my mother gained 70lbs and her doctor was convinced she would be giving birth to twins.  In the instinctive way of knowing that predated sonograms, my mother assured him, “there’s just one baby.”

“I don’t know, you’re pretty huge,” he told her as he lit a cigarette for himself, and one for her.

His conviction held until several minutes after my birth.  The way my mother told it, she had just enjoyed a plate of spaghetti and meatballs when her labor began and, “I walked right into the delivery room with my coat still on.”

A few minutes later the doctor limped in.  “He only had one leg,” my mother always made sure to add, “because the other one got blown off in World War II, so we called him Doctor Pegleg.”

This was a lie.  He wore no prosthetic at all and lumbered around on crutches, but my mother relished little flourishes like that, so Dr. Pegleg he remained.

“After he delivered you, he kept reaching around and even ordered a sandbag to be put on my stomach! I said, ‘what are you doing?’ and he said, ‘I’m looking for the other baby.’

‘There is no other baby!’ I told him, and when he finally got the placenta out he believed me.  Then, standing on the one leg, he lifted you up in both of his hands, like he was making an offering to the sun, and started to sing ‘When Irish Eyes are Smiling.’”

“I always tell people I threw away the baby and kept the afterbirth,” she would add.

From there, things went downhill pretty quickly.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Land of the American Dream

For John, BLUFRather than building a wall, should be just abolish the border?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Brookings Institution and Mr William A. Galston, back on Wednesday, 13 September 2017.

Here is the lede:

When Donald Trump announced his decision to end DACA—former president Obama’s program to protect the so-called Dreamers from arrest and deportation—in six months and threw the issue to Congress, he pleased his core supporters. However, it turns out that for many Americans, the issue of keeping or cancelling DACA is not the same as the question of what to do about the Dreamers.
So, what we are seeing is that supporters of President Trump may be more nuanced in their views than they are given credit for.  Yes to the 800,000 illegal immigrants under DACA, but no to any further immigration.  The appears to be President Trump's position.

What is Congress's position?

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, September 15, 2017

The South Will Rise Again

For John, BLUFIn Democrat run cities.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Boston Globe and the Associated Press, today, 15 September 2017.

The lede;

CHICAGO — Attorney General Jeff Sessions can’t follow through — at least for now — with his threat to withhold public safety grant money to Chicago and other so-called sanctuary cities for refusing to impose new tough immigration policies, a judge ruled Friday in a legal defeat for the Trump administration.
Remember, back in your history lessons in school, how all those Democratic Party controlled Southern States used to defy the Federal Government?  It is the same old game, except it has shifted from Democratic Politician controlled states to Democratic Party controlled cities and now they are suing in Federal Courts where they hope to get favorable rulings.

Regards  —  Cliff

  One time President Eisenhower Federalized the Arkansas National Guard to turn them from defying the order of a Federal Judge to enforcing it.

538 On Hillary's Book

For John, BLUFThis isn't the last word.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is "A FiveThirtyEight Chat" (or Roundtable).

The date is 13 September 2017.

In this week’s politics chat, we talk about Hillary Clinton’s new book. The transcript below has been lightly edited.
Regards  —  Cliff

Protecting Our Rights

For John, BLUFA too quick move for punishment can leave justice in the dust.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

An OpEd by Mr Bret Stephens, 8 September 2017, in The Old gray Lady.

Here are two paragraphs from well down in the OpED:

The travesties of justice carried out under the new Title IX guidelines have been the subject of some excellent books and superb journalism, none better than Emily Yoffe’s in The Atlantic.  And yet the response of the progressive left has been indifferent or worse.

On Thursday, the social activist Amy Siskind tweeted that the conservative writer David French should “ST🁢U with your hackneyed due process talking point” after the latter pointed out that “campus kangaroo courts violate fundamental rights.”

"Hackneyed" due process?  Ms Siskind is ignorant.  Due process is what keeps the law on the rails.  And the Government, with its vast powers.

In the 1966 play A Man for All Seasons, the case is well put by Sir Thomas, talking to his Son-in-Law, Mr William Roper, MP.

William Roper:  So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!

Sir Thomas More:  Yes!  What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

William Roper:  Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!

Sir Thomas More:  Oh?  And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat?  This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's!  And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?  Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!

This is the kind of understand totally lacking on the part of the Antifa movement, and by Progressives who adhere to them and their approach to freedom.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  "Hackneyed" is a term used when legitimate arguments are not working.  It is a weak response.