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Sunday, April 30, 2017


For John, BLUFRemember, Eugenics was an approved scientific theory a hundred years ago, and look where that ended up—the Holocaust.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

AGW: when a scientific theory becomes a religion…

…then those with an opposing view become apostates.

Over at Neo-NeoCon the Blogger, who hides behind an apple, takes on the Controversy over at The Old Gray Lady over having a new columnist who looks at the other side of things like Global Warming.

The Times has been excoriated by thousands of readers. Here is the Blog lede plus two:

That’s especially true if the topic is one with very high stakes, such as AGW (anthropogenic global warming).  Think about it this way: if a person is—(a) convinced that AGW has been proven beyond any doubt (b) threatens life as we know it all over the globe; and (c) can be halted and/or decreased by measures we understand and can control if only we had the will to implement them—then if follow that anyone who disagrees is a person who is endangering life on earth.

Science, of course, is not a religion, and the history of science is littered with theories that have been considered proven and then are disproven. So scientists must remain skeptical and open to any evidence that would challenge their theories and their findin gs.  That’s difficult enough to do when the topic is an abstract one with few practical applications.  But when a topic is highly highly politicized (as with AGW), the difficulty increases exponentially and the public also becomes very much involved.

Which brings us to an article Bret Stephens wrote in his new venue, the NY Times.  It was really a rather modest suggestion that people listen to both sides of the issue—not so much on AGW (which he himself seems to believe is true) as on whether we know enough to accurately predict the future of AGW and/or to fix the problems it may cause.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit, where Author Sarah Hoyt blogged about this.

Regards  —  Cliff

UK Labor Party Promises Good But Has a Bad Proposal

For John, BLUFWith snap elections the weird ideas come out.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from The Guardian and Reporters Ewen MacAskill and Toby Helm, on Saturday, but the lead-in was from Samizdata and a Blog Post by Ms Natalie Solent, titled "Zero tolerance".
Great is the rejoicing among most of the Guardian commentariat at the news that the Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, has said that if it wins the election the Labour party will outlaw all zero-hours contracts.
A "zero-hour contract" means no commitment to provide hours to workers or for workers to work the hours provided.

It turns out not everyone wishes to be protected by the nanny state.  And not all businesses thrive on the 40 hour work week—like newspapers, with stringers.

Hat tip to Samizdata.

Regards  —  Cliff

What is Acceptable?

For John, BLUFDo we have cultural standards?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

At The American Conservative Blogger Rod Dreher wrote, Saturday, about standards in religious organizations.

It starts out by examining celebrating Asparagus at the Anglican cathedral in Worcester, UK.  Some condemned this activity as demeaning of true religion.  My sense is that Mr Dreher sees this as a little off, but not morally wrong.

But, this is his 1305 Post, which is on top of a 0925 Post:

This is a little more complicated, but it is also about standards.  Will the United Methodist Church continue to resist the ordination of a Lesbian Bishop, as their Brothers and Sisters in Africa want, or will they eventually fold to the desires of the Progressives amongst their congregations.  For now the UMC High Court is hanging tough.

So, what happens next?  Will one or the other side fold?  Will there be a schism?  Will the UMC just disappear?

Writer Dreher thinks this goes to a larger issue for all Christian Churches, what do they teach about human sexuality?

Frankly, I’m pretty cynical about this stuff in all American churches, broadly speaking.  So many people — pastors and lay leaders — just don’t want to touch the whole question of Christian sexual teaching.  Too controversial.  The mainstream culture knows what it believes about sex and sexuality, and it never misses an opportunity to catechize us vividly and emotionally.  What do we in the church offer our people?  Mostly, I think, an uncomfortable silence.
The Blogger tries to end with this quote, by Mr Philip Rieff, back in 1966:
The death of a culture begins when its normative institutions fail to communicate ideals in ways that remain inwardly compelling, first of all to the cultural elites themselves.  Many spokesmen for our established normative institutions are aware of their failure and yet remain powerless to generate in themselves the necessary unwitting part of their culture that merits the name of faith.  “Is not the very fact that so wretchedly little binding address is heard in the church,” asked Karl Barth, rhetorically, in 1939, “accountable for a goodly share of her misery—is it not perhaps the misery?”  The misery of this culture is acutely stated by the special misery of its normative institutions.  Our more general misery is that, having broken with those institutionalized credibilities from which its moral energy derived, new credibilities are not yet operationally effective and, perhaps, cannot become so in a culture constantly probing its own unwitting part.
Then he gets a Reader Comment which he tacks on at the end.

Do we want our religious leaders to take stands, or are we happy with things the way they are?  Up here in Lowell, at least in my Parish, we hardly ever have alter servers.  Where my youngest son and his family go to Mass, in Fauquier County, I usually count ten to twelve alter boys, and they are all boys.  I put it down to them being more orthodox in the Arlington Diocese.

In the Article there is a mention of the Q Conference.  This is run by the Fermi Project, founded by Gabe and Rebekah Lyons back in 2003.  There are small groups of Christians out there exploring what it means to be Christian.  And up here in the Lowell area we have people concerned about what it means to live a Christian life and exploring, in small groups, that same question.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Of course they offer the Extraordinary Form of Mass, the liturgy of the 1962 Roman Missal, widely referred to as the Tridentine Mass.  Not every Mass.

Saturday, April 29, 2017


For John, BLUFDemocrats are in denial.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Hill and Reporter Lisa Hagen, on Friday, the 28th.

How does Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds put it?  "They told me that if I voted for Trump it would be like Nazi Germany"?

While Senators Bernie Sanders and Chuck Schumer, and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, deny it, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez is saying different.

He followed up with another statement last week, saying that every Democrat should be pro-abortion rights — a stance Perez said is “not negotiable” and shouldn’t vary by city or state, according to The Huffington Post.
Since the Democrats are really attacking Deviationism, perhaps the better analogy is to the Soviet Union.  Think of poor Earl Browder and Browderism.

In the mean time, would someone please explain to me how this is going to help Democrats gain votes in the next election?  Opposition to abortion in each of the four trimesters is not restricted to a small group of uneducated Caucasians, mostly Roman Catholics, in the hinterlands.  Ms Ilyse Hogue notwithstanding.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  From the article there is this quote from NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue:  "If Democrats think the path forward following the 2016 election is to support candidates who substitute their own judgment and ideology for that of their female constituents, they have learned all the wrong lessons and are bound to lose."

Only After Death

For John, BLUFIs Trump Derangement Syndrome going to drive me to need a "Violent Metaphor" tag?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from Mr Jim Treacher, of the "DC Trawler" Blog of The Daily Caller.

I know it is only so scientists can see if they have hearts, but still…

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Another Reason to Elect Judges

For John, BLUFMaybe George will comment on this situation.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Tape reveals judge quick with low bail

Reporter Brian Dowling and The Boston Herald, yesterday, 28 April 2017.

Here is the lede plus one:

A state judge freed a previously deported Uber driver accused of rape on light bail even after a prosecutor insisted that federal immigration agents were drafting a detainer and asked for high bond to hold him, according to a court recording obtained by the Herald.

The stunning tape of Tuesday’s hearing reveals Newton District Court Judge Mary Beth Heffernan cutting the arguments short before a defense attorney could even counter the prosecution’s $100,000 bail and GPS-monitoring demand, interjecting, “Twenty-five hundred dollars cash.”

Cast of Characters:
  • Luis Baez — Previously Deported illegal immigrant, using a false name, accused of raping an inebriated Boston College student.
  • Raquel Frisardi — The Middlesex Assistant District Attorney, who requested a $100,000 bail and GPS Monitoring.
  • Mary Beth Heffernan — The impatient Judge of the Newton District Court, who gave the now missing Mr Baez a $2500 bail.
  • John Benzan — The Defense Attorney, who didn't even get a chance to complete his counter to the Prosecutor's requests.
  • The General Court — Who will do nothing.
  • The Governor's Council — Who will learn nothing.
  • Unnamed BC Student — Who will not see here complaint tried in court.

Here is a poll, where you can pick as many options as you wish.

Ask yourself, if you live in our Proud Commonwealth, what your role is in this? free polls

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, April 27, 2017

German/Scot-Judeo/Christian-Veteran-Straight Males-Of Relatively Good Health

TRIGGER WARNING:  Live by the sword, die by the sword.

For John, BLUFAh, the rest of us.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Town Hall and Mr Kurt Schlichter, today, 27 April 2017.

Here is the lede:

As a person of absolutely no color who embodies an intersectional reality that includes my utter lack of genderfluidity and my unemployment-questioning, differently-veteraned, and non-pagan experiences, I am totally oppressed by progressivism’s hegemonic power structure.  I am also the victim of a systemic system of hostile paradigms that denies my truth regarding my phallo-possessory identity.
Here is how it wraps up:
No longer will we allow our pallor to render us invisible!

No longer will we tolerate being left out of the acronym LGBTQ!

No longer will we be scrotum-shamed!

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

[Political Fund Raising] Party Time

For John, BLUFGoing to fundraising parties is the price of local democracy.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

First off is Noelle Creegan's fundraising event tonight, Thursday, 27 April, from 6-9 PM, at the Old Court.

Noelle is running as a challenger for Lowell School Committee.  As the late Bill Taupier, former Lowell City Manager, used to say, the School Committee is more important than the City Council.

So consider coming out to 29 Central Street and The Old Court, to support Noelle Creegan.

But, Noelle is not alone in this race.  There is also Dan Shanahan, also a challenger.  His Fundraiser will be Friday, 5 May.  Also at The Old Court, but from 7 to 10 PM.

And, somewhere out there is Gerry Nutter, who is planning his own School Committee race fundraiser.

If you think you know what the problems are and you have some solutions, you too should consider running.  It is not too late.  You only need 50 good signatures on a petition, which will be available on 1 June, in the Election Office in the basement of City Hall.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Tying Trump's Hands

For John, BLUFThink of it as weaponizing the Judiciary to thwart the will of the voters.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Pajama Media and Reporter Bridget Johnson, today, 26 April 2017.

The lede plus two:

California's attorney general insisted that the jurisdictions within the state are locking up dangerous illegal immigrants despite the Trump administration's argument that sanctuary cities endanger public safety.

Xavier Becerra, former chairman of the House Democratic Caucus who was appointed to fill the attorney general's post vacated by now-Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), told CNN on Tuesday after a federal judge granted an injunction against the administration's vow to strip all federal funding from sanctuary cities that the White House is "in denial."

"You just have to read the constitution. It's very simple. You can't force states to do things that the constitution lets them do. And public safety is one of those items that a state has the responsibility to take care of, not the federal government," he said.

That is the trouble with giving young kids large responsibilities.  They lack institutional memory.  Like when the Federales threatened to withhold Federal Highway Funds if individual states didn't set the highway speed limit at 55 mph.

I wonder if we here in Lowell can get money back from the Federal Department of Housing and Ubran Development (Sec Ben Carson), which they took back because they (HUD) thought a local homeless organization wasn't following their policies.

I see chaos as unintended third order consequences kick in.  On the other hand, Congress can fix this when it does the FY2018 Authorizations and Appropriations, come 1 October.  Or SCOTUS can fix it, or not.

Hat tip to PJ Media.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Running (Politically) in Lowell

For John, BLUFWe need to encourage citizens to run.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

If you are going to run for office in local elections (and why wouldn't you?) this is the year.

It isn't that hard.  For one thing, the nice people down at the Lowell Election and Census Office are more than willing to walk you through the minimal requirements to stay street legal.

Here are key dates:

  • 1 June — Nomination Papers available
  • 8 August — Turning in Nomination Papers
At this point you need 50 signatures to run for either City Council or School Committee.

Hat tip to the Eda Matchak.

Regards  —  Cliff

  The physical address is City Hall, 375 Merrimack Street, Basement, Room 5, Lowell, MA 01852.
  If, before 1 June the General Court, down on Beacon Hill, approves our "Home Rule" Petition, the number of signatures for City Council will go to 150, still an easy number to make.

Has Socialism Ever Worked?

For John, BLUFIt is a plan.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From a Brian Micklethwait post at Samizdata, yesterday, we have this quote from Robert Tracinski:
Socialism has been tested out more times and in more variations than probably any other social system.  It has been implemented in every continent, every culture, every stage of economic development.  It has always led to disaster, to the extent it has been implemented.  If you’re lucky, your country gets off with a mere economic crisis, as in Greece.  At the worst, your country is in for decades of living hell.
The source is a longer post on "Holocaust Denial for the Left", in which Tracinski takes on British athlete (and potential MP Candidate) James Cracknell.  It seems Mr Cracknell cited North Korea and Cuba as examples of how to “get a handle on obesity”.  They, of course, like Venezuela, do it the old fashioned way.  They starve their people..

Regards  —  Cliff

Third Parties Alive

For John, BLUFPerhaps the Party for you.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

By Reporter Jim O'Sullivan, in The Boston Globe, yesterday.

Here is the lede plus one:

Topping the Capital Source rundown of fun things to do this weekend: Pirate Party in Boston.

Not just any pirate party, but the fifth annual conference of the Massachusetts Pirate Party, an august body formed in 2007 “to promote candidates registered in the Pirate designation who will vote to reign [sic] in corporate power.”

See, Republicans aren't the only minority party in this one-party Commonwealth.

Hat tip to Reporter Joshua Miller, who has a free daily newsletter, Political Happy Hour.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, April 24, 2017

Mutilating Young Female Children

For John, BLUFPeople need to speak out against this practice.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

It is The Daily Caller and Reporter Amber Randall.

Here is a key sentence:

“There’s a gulf between the Western (and some African) advocates who campaign against the practice and the people who follow the rite, and I felt the language used widened that chasm,” NYT science and health editor Celia Dugger explained Friday.
There has been a couple of recent prosecutions of Female Genital Mutilation in the United States, including one in Michigan.

So there is a gulf, but are we going to try to bridge the gulf in the United States with some sort of compromise?  Would we allow it for the young girls of parent who are immigrants from areas where this is practiced?  What about the granddaughters?

No, this is a practice that we should not compromise on.  If it is important to the individuals, let them move to an area where FGM is an acceptable custom and legal.  But not here.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Cultural Affinity

For John, BLUFMales are being oppressed everywhere.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds blogged, this morning:
SO I RAN ACROSS THIS PIECE ON SUICIDES AMONG THE INUIT IN GREENLAND, and wondered if it has any relevance for the epidemic of suicide among white, working-class Americans:

There’s also something broader — a loss of identity that happens when a culture, in this case Inuit culture, is demonized and broken down.


So, do these things apply across cultures?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Litmus Test Politics

For John, BLUFI wonder of they realize a lot of folks don't believe as strongly as they do?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

DNC chair Tom Perez said all Democratic candidates must support a woman’s right to choose.
I picked this up from a Tweet by Ms Emily Zanotti, who wrote about three hours ago:
They realize Catholics vote Democrat, right?  Now they can't.
But, here is the story out of The Huffington Post, written by Ms Laura Bassett, on the 21st (Lede plus three):
Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez became the first head of the party to demand ideological purity on abortion rights, promising Friday to support only Democratic candidates who back a woman’s right to choose.

“Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body and her health,” Perez said in a statement. “That is not negotiable and should not change city by city or state by state.”

“At a time when women’s rights are under assault from the White House, the Republican Congress, and in states across the country,” he added, “we must speak up for this principle as loudly as ever and with one voice.”

Perez’s statement follows the DNC’s controversial embrace of Heath Mello, a Democratic mayoral candidate in Omaha, Nebraska, whose years-long history of voting against abortion rights in the state Legislature drew fire from progressives this week. Daily Kos, a liberal website that raises money for lesser-known Democratic candidates, pulled its endorsement of Mello this week after discovering his history on the issue, and NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue slammed the DNC for adding him to its cross-country unity tour.

‏Will we next be having "self-criticism" sessions within the Democratic Party?

By the way, Senator Bernie Sanders thinks that as long as Democratic Party politicians vote for abortion it is OK if they oppose it personally.

Regards  —  Cliff

Beginning Round Two

For John, BLUFA sprint to the finish with a lot of "Trump" comparisons and concerns about the coming Apocalypse.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is the late Sunday situation per The New York Times and Reporter Alissa J Rubin.

Here is the lede plus one:

In France’s most consequential election in recent history, voters on Sunday endorsed Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen — one a political novice, the other a far-right firebrand — both outsiders but with starkly different visions for the country, early returns and projections indicated.

The result was a full-throated rebuke of France’s traditional mainstream parties, setting the country on an uncertain path at a critical moment when France’s election could also decide the future of the European Union. The two candidates appeared to be headed to a runoff on May 7.

There you have it, Mr Emmanuel Macron and Ms Marine Le Pen.

After reading the article, please participate in this poll, below.

What is the NYT View of the French Candidates for the May runoff? free polls

Regards  —  Cliff

Polling:  Trump vs Clinton

TRIGGER WARNING:  I blame the new book, Shattered.

For John, BLUFSo far, so good for President Trump.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

It is The Washington Examiner (Mr Paul Bedard reporting, 23 April), the cross town junior rival of The Wash Post.

The thing is, based on polling, Mr Trump would again beat Mrs Clinton if the election were held now, but he would not only beat her in the Electoral College, but also in the Popular Vote.

And, those who voted for Mr Trump are pretty happy with what he has done so far, starting with his Supreme Court nomination.  I think a thing to keep in mind is that those who voted for Mr Trump knew that they were settling for someone who was not a politician and would have to fight to achieve his goals, against an establishment that would oppose him at every turn.

And, via the InstaPundit, there is this New York Post article by Ms Salena Zito, "How Trump voters feel about his first 100 days".  They are happy.  Here sample is people who live along US Route 30, from Times Square to San Francisco.

Here is how she wraps up the article:

Like FDR, Trump has taken the country in a completely different direction from his predecessor.  It is still unclear whether his break towards a new philosophy of governing will be successful — but, if you listen to his supporters, they have his back.

For now.

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Road Trip!  How does she get all the fun assignments?

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Celebrating Earth Day

TRIGGER WARNING:  Back in 1970 they didn't know as much as you know now.

For John, BLUFI would like to see a discussion of the upside to climate change.  Things like more available fertile farm land.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here we have the "13 Most Ridiculous Predictions Made on Earth Day, 1970".

This is an ever green item at Ricochet, posted by Mr Jon Gabriel, Editor.

The good news is that we are no longer worried about global cooling.

The bad news is we have run out of oil, or will in the next few minutes.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  On the other hand, Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds believes we can drill our way out of this problem.  I believe the Saudi Arabians worry about the same thing.

Changing Perspectives

For John, BLUFIt is past time to drop the "Russian hacking meme".  Nothing to see here; just move along.

So, it is a darkened alleyway and person in a trench coat, with a head a lot like a donkey, is talking to a person in a trench coats and a hat pulled low.

The balloon from the donkey character is saying:

We need you to say that the Chinese hacked the election and only made it look like the Russians did it...
The cartoonist is Mike Shelton.

Hat tip to The [Lowell] Sun.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, April 21, 2017

A Dean Scream

TRIGGER WARNINGS:  Per the First Amendment, I can legally say you are stupid.  I grant you it would be impolite and show a lack of good upbringing.
For John, BLUFEven the stupid have free speech rights.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

It is Law Professor Eugene Volokh, writing at "The Volokh Conspiracy" (The Wash Post, today).

The lede:

Former Vermont governor Howard Dean writes:
Hate speech is not protected by the first amendment. …
8:13 PM - 20 April 2017
Second Para:
This leads me to repeat what I’ve said before:  There is no hate speech exception to the First Amendment.  Hateful ideas (whatever exactly that might mean) are just as protected under the First Amendment as other ideas.  One is as free to condemn, for instance, Islam — or Muslims, or Jews, or blacks, or whites, or illegal immigrants, or native-born citizens — as one is to condemn capitalism or socialism or Democrats or Republicans.  As the Supreme Court noted in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez (2010), “this Court’s tradition of ‘protect[ing] the freedom to express ‘the thought that we hate’ ” includes the right to express even “discriminatory” “viewpoint[s].”  (The quote comes from the four liberal justices, plus Justice Anthony Kennedy, but the four more conservative justices would have entirely agreed with this, though also extended it to university-recognized student groups’ freedom to exclude members, and not just their freedom to express their thoughts.)
Here is the final paragraph:
But those who want to make such arguments should acknowledge that they are calling for a change in First Amendment law and should explain just what that change would be, so people can thoughtfully evaluate it.  Calls for a new First Amendment exception for “hate speech” shouldn’t rely just on the undefined term “hate speech” — they should explain just what viewpoints the government would be allowed to suppress, what viewpoints would remain protected and how judges, juries and prosecutors are supposed to distinguish the two.  And claiming that hate speech is already “not protected by the first amendment,” as if one is just restating settled law, does not suffice.
Remember, if today you stifle my free speech, six months from now someone will use your rationale to stifle your free speech.  Our kind of government requires a high tolerance for stupid ideas, in the belief (hope?) that the good ideas will push out the bad.  If you don't accept that, you are asking for a dictatorship of one sort or another.  And you need a Constitutional Amendment.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Is It Really Free Speech?

For John, BLUFBe glad you live in Lowell and not Wellesley.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

I am still trying to figure out the ebb and flow of tweeting, but this one helps me understand.  First I get this item from David Burge, the Iowa Hawk, some six hours ago:
David Burge Retweeted Byron York
Good lord, the whole passage is a hate crime against grammar.
He is referring to a passage from The Wellesley News, which Byron York is talking about, where he says:
Student editors insist free speech is not violated at Wellesley, threaten those who disagree.
Here are a couple of paragraph from the item in The Wellesley News:
We have all said problematic claims, the origins of which were ingrained in us by our discriminatory and biased society.  Luckily, most of us have been taught by our peers and mentors at Wellesley in a productive way.  It is vital that we encourage people to correct and learn from their mistakes rather than berate them for a lack of education they could not control.  While it is expected that these lessons will be difficult and often personal, holding difficult conversations for the sake of educating is very different from shaming on the basis of ignorance.

This being said, if people are given the resources to learn and either continue to speak hate speech or refuse to adapt their beliefs, then hostility may be warranted.  If people continue to support racist politicians or pay for speakers that prop up speech that will lead to the harm of others, then it is critical to take the appropriate measures to hold them accountable for their actions.  It is important to note that our preference for education over beration regards students who may have not been given the chance to learn.  Rather, we are not referring to those who have already had the incentive to learn and should have taken the opportunities to do so.  Paid professional lecturers and politicians are among those who should know better.

OK, I get it.  If you go to college at Wellesley you conform or they beat you up.  That seems straight forward.  And another reason to go to a commuter college or university.

I know you want to get away from your parents, but why trade one group that is telling you how to live your life for another group that is telling you how to live your life.  Submission is submission. Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Middlebury College Meltdown

For John, BLUFYou can walk away from someone speaking, but shutting them down is not the American Way.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Old Gray Lady, and its "Gray Matter" column in the "Sunday Review", for 15 April 2017.  The Authors are Wendy M Williams and Stephen J Ceci.

Here is how it starts:

The talk that the political scientist Charles Murray attempted to deliver last month at Middlebury College in Vermont must have been quite provocative — perhaps even offensive or an instance of hate speech.  How else to explain the vehement opposition to it?

Before Mr. Murray’s arrival on campus, an open letter to the college from several hundred alumni protested that his scholarly opinions were “deceptive statistics masking unfounded bigotry.”  And when it came time for Mr. Murray to give his speech, which was based on his 2012 book, “Coming Apart,” an analysis of the predicament of the white working class in the United States, he was shouted down by student and faculty protesters. In chants they accused him of being a racist and a white supremacist.  Some of the protesters became unruly and physically violent, forcing Mr. Murray to flee.

Mr. Murray ended up giving a version of his talk later that day, via livestream, from another room.  How extreme were his views?

We have our own opinion, but as social scientists we hoped to get a more objective answer.  So we transcribed Mr. Murray’s speech and — without indicating who wrote it — sent it to a group of 70 college professors (women and men, of different ranks, at different universities).  We asked them to rate the material on a scale from 1 to 9, ranging from very liberal to very conservative, with 5 defined as “middle of the road.”  We also offered them a chance to explain why they gave the material the score they did.

Here are the results from their first pass at the issue:
American college professors are overwhelmingly liberal. Still, the 57 professors who responded to our request gave Mr. Murray’s talk an average score of 5.05, or “middle of the road.”  Some professors said that they judged the speech to be liberal or left-leaning because it addressed issues like poverty and incarceration, or because it discussed social change in terms of economic forces rather than morality.  Others suggested that they detected a hint of discontent with the fact that Donald Trump was elected president.  No one raised concerns that the material was contentious, dangerous or otherwise worthy of censure.
That was the blind test.  Here is a test a little further out toward the edge:
We also sent the transcript to a group of 70 college professors who were told that the speech was by Mr. Murray. The 44 who responded gave it an average rating of 5.77. That score is significantly more conservative, statistically speaking, than the rating given by the professors unaware of the author’s identity (suggesting that knowing Mr. Murray was the author colored the evaluation of the content). Even still, 5.77 is not too far from “middle of the road.”
The following is the third slice of the pie"
Finally, we divided Mr. Murray’s speech into 10 portions and got ratings on each portion from a paid sample of 200 American adults via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, an online marketplace for jobs and tasks. These participants identified themselves as having an average political orientation of 4.21, or leaning slightly liberal. When their ratings for the 10 sections were averaged, they too gave the talk a centrist score: 5.22. (Average ratings for the 10 portions ranged from 4 to 6.)
What happened to the free exchange of ideas?  If we are going to shut down free speech we are going to end up with distorted political outcomes.  In fact, part of what propelled Mr Trump, in my humble opinion, was the idea that political correctness was distorting the political discourse.  People voted for Mr Trump who felt that Mrs Clinton represented a political correctness out of control.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Another view of the MOAB Attack in Afghanistan

For John, BLUFIt is political commentary via sarcasm.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is a week old, but it is still pertinent commentary.

MOAB—Massive Ordnance Air Blast (Bomb) (GBU-43).

The first four paragraphs of the article:

NEW YORK — The American public learned today the U.S. military was still fighting in Afghanistan after the Pentagon announced it had dropped a huge bomb there, sources confirmed.

Just hours after the U.S. Air Force dropped a massive ordnance air blast bomb, nicknamed “the mother of all bombs,” on an ISIS cave complex in Nangahar Province, a wide swath of Americans were seen with confusion on their faces over the revelation there’s still a war going on there.

“You mean to tell me that we’re still at war in Afghanistan?  The country we invaded almost 16 years ago after 9/11?” asked Benjamin Martin, a financial advisor who, like most Americans, supports the troops 100% in their fight against the terrorists or whatever.  “And they’re going after ISIS?  I thought ISIS was in Syria, or Iraq?  Where’s Syria and Iraq again?”

According to defense officials, the bombing was yet another blunder for the Pentagon, since news of it dashed hopes that most people outside of the military wouldn’t ask too many questions or even think of the longest war in American history.

There is more at the above Link.

Remember, it is The Duffle Blog.  The humorist sarcastic cynical writer is Mr Paul Sharpe, on 14 April 2017.

Regards  —  Cliff

There is No Truth

For John, BLUFWhat was Pilate's line?  "What is truth?" (John 18:38).  Nothing to see here; just move along.

As Ms Neo-Neocon says:
Find them in the NY Times:
Check it out and read the comments.  And check out this link from the Blog Post.

I particularly like the fact that the Mr Michael Oren, currently a Knesset Member and Deputy Minister for Diplomacy in the Prime Minister's Office, suggested to the person in The New York Times Editorial Office that the Allied Landing in Normandy in 1944 was a fact and the response was a waffle.

Here is the article from The Claremont Independent, a student newspaper where three students condemn the paper for believing there is truth out there, as truth.

We are in a post-modern era. Take this item out of Pajama Media

That is the only way to read an open letter written by three students who say the idea of objective truth is a "myth" designed to "silence oppressed peoples."  The authors, Dray Denson, Avery Jonas, and Shanaya Stephenso, along with over twenty co-signers, are demanding that all five Claremont Colleges “take action” against the conservative journalists on the staff of The Claremont Independent, presumably for reporting facts that make them feel unsafe.
In their letter the three students state:
The idea that there is a single truth–‘the Truth’–is a construct of the Euro-West that is deeply rooted in the Enlightenment, which was a movement that also described Black and Brown people as both subhuman and impervious to pain.  This construction is a myth and white supremacy, imperialism, colonization, capitalism, and the United States of America are all of its progeny. The idea that the truth is an entity for which we must search, in matters that endanger our abilities to exist in open spaces, is an attempt to silence oppressed peoples.
This, of course, goes along with the item in The Huffington Post call for Caucasian Males to be denied the right to vote for twenty years.  "Could It Be Time To Deny White Men The Franchise?  This redistribution of the world’s wealth is long overdue, and it is not just South Africa where white males own a disproportionate amount of wealth."  The person writing what turned out to be a hoax called herself Shelley Garland, a Master of Arts Philosophy Student.  The publication date was 13 April 2017.  Perhaps a belated April Fools Joke.  There are comments on the item here, at National Review.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Do The Rules of DACA Apply?

For John, BLUFSo, is this judge a member of La Raza, or not, and is that good or bad?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

DACA—Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

From CNN and Reporters Tal Kopan and Laura Jarrett.  Today, just before noon.

Here is the lede plus two:

A highly unusual and racially charged episode from the 2016 campaign suddenly resurfaced this week when a federal judge whom President Donald Trump repeatedly criticized was assigned to hear the case of a man who claims he was improperly deported.

Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who was born in the US but is of Mexican heritage, was attacked by Trump last year over his handling of a lawsuit against Trump University.  Trump claimed Curiel could not impartially hear the case because of his background and Trump's hardline immigration policies.  The case was eventually settled.

Now, Curiel is assigned to hear the case of Juan Manuel Montes Bojorquez, 23, who his lawyers allege was deported from California to Mexico earlier this year despite having active protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA.

I see this as a Win-Win for President Trump.

If the Judge rules that the defendant in fact forfeited his DACA status he makes ICE and the President happy and incurs disdain from his fellow Federal Judges out on the Coast and beyond.  If he rules for the defendant he gets overturned by the US Supreme Court.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Our Privacy Lost

For John, BLUFAs you sometimes suspect, so do others—the Federal Government is not circumspect in its listening.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Mr Andrew C McCarthy, contributing editor at National Review.  The dateline is 18 April.

Here is the final paragraph:

There is considerably more evidence that the Obama administration grossly abused its awesome intelligence-gathering and law-enforcement powers than that Russian meddling had a meaningful impact on the 2016 election.  And these abuses of power certainly did not start with the targeting of Donald Trump’s campaign.
The article touches on not just surveillance of then Candidate Donald Trump, but also Congressman Dennis Kucinich and then CBS Reporter Sharyl Attkisson.

Of course, if you do not stick your head up no one will notice you and surveil your communications and computers.  Just don't join some Tea Party or Tea Party like organization.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, April 15, 2017

The President's Powers to go to War

For John, BLUFThe President can start a military action, but Congress can cut it off.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Bloomberg and Law Professor Stephen L. Carter, on 7 April.

Here is the Bottom Line, Up Front (BLUF):

The result is that the commander in chief can order the U.S. military into action whenever it suits his judgment.  Many people, myself included, are uneasy with that hard truth.  For better or worse, however, it’s been our practice for a very long time.  Clinging to the long-dead notion that Congress must first declare war might be comforting, but it has nothing to do with reality.
But, back to the beginning, here is the lede plus two:
So now President Donald Trump is a war leader.  His decision to launch 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles across an international border is an act of war.  And, like most of America’s wars, it will never be declared by Congress.

Immediately upon the news of the Syria strike breaking Thursday night, Twitter erupted with complaints that the U.S. Constitution vests the power to declare war only in Congress.  This common worry misapprehends both the structure of the Constitution and the historical understanding of the declaration of war.

Let’s start with the obvious:  Every U.S. president, all the way back to the founding, has at some point used military force without first obtaining the approval of the legislative branch.  A few snippets: George Washington fought the so-called Northwest Indian War to subdue the native people of Ohio.  James Monroe sent forces to conquer Amelia Island, off Florida.  James Buchanan sent Marines to halt the civil war in Nicaragua.  In 1893, U.S. forces overthrew the government of Hawaii, although apparently without White House permission.  Still, the overthrow stuck.  On the eve of World War I, Woodrow Wilson ordered the Marines into Mexico.  Half a century later Ronald Reagan invaded Grenada.  Most prominently, in the Cuban Missile Crisis, President John Kennedy took the nation to the brink of nuclear war with the Soviet Union.

I too would like to tighten up Congress' control of the President's war making authority, but I think practical facts suggest it would be a bad idea.

If North Korea starts pummeling South Korea the President shouldn't have to wait for Congress to gather back from vacation to act.  He needs to act now.  If not for our commitment to our friend and ally South Korea, then for our US forces stationed in South Korea.  In modern warfare, if "A" is attacked, it may require "B" to act so that "C" can do something to help "A" protect itself.  This isn't the right to self defense inherent in any soldier's Rules of Engagement.  This isn't just a home owner defending herself with a pistol.  It is the neighbor down the street attacking a pickup truck which is shooting rockets from around the corner.

Here is the other side.  Congress, through the power of the purse, has the ability to end any military action, and has.  I have personally experienced this.  I was stationed at Korat RTAFB in 1973, flying missions into Cambodia, supporting the legitimate government against the insurgent Pol Pot.  The US Congress cut off the money for those missions.  Because I was so disgusted, I took leave and went home to Florida, where I watched on TV Lt Col Paul Schwim crawling out of the back seat of the Wing Commander's airplane, after the last official USAF mission into Cambodia.  Given that I was the Wing Commander's Instructor Pilot, that would have been me flying with Colonel Bob Crouch if I had been there.  My war protest.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Professor Carter is a Bloomberg View columnist.  He teaches law at Yale University and was a clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.  His has several fiction and non-fiction books to his credit.
  In those days the Wing Commander flew with an Instructor Pilot.  By the time I became a Wing Commander I could fly solo.  Which was more fun.

Easter Meditation

For John, BLUFRecognizing a higher power is good.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This author of this "Style Section" item in The Old Gray Lady is Author Sandra Tsing Loh.  The dateline is 15 April 2017.

I liked it.  Not from a victor's point of view, but from a happiness for the Author point of view.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, April 14, 2017

Ins and Outs

For John, BLUFWhite House Press Secretary may be a bumbler, but he isn't anti-semetic.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

If you basically lay — put down a red line and say don't use chemical weapons, and it's been enforced in the Western community, around the world — international community for decades — don't use chemical weapons.  We didn't use them in World War II, Hitler didn't use them.

So, why are the Media not jumping on Chris Matthews?  Oh, I forgot.  It is because Chris Matthews is inside the [Democratic Party] rope line.  Republican Sean Spicer is not.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Turning to God

For John, BLUFTolerance should be the word of the day.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

We have been going through Passover and now we come up to Good Friday.

It is the same God, but different understandings of how he is acting in this world.

We need to realize that all Christians, and all Jews, are our brothers and sisters. As a Christian I believe that Jesus Christ died for all of us.  As someone who is ethnically Jewish, per my DNA test, I appreciate that not everyone believes the Messiah has come.  Some are still awaiting His arrival.  That is OK.  We each see God through our own eyes and here in the United States there is freedom to do that, or even to claim not to see anything.

So, let us all celebrate each other's understanding and not be dismissive of their journey.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Enough to get reported on my list of ancestors.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Get 'er Done

For John, BLUFPresident Trump should encourage more of this.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

That would be the Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, a former Republican Congressman, and a Veteran.

And not just standing around, looking pretty, but pushing a brush, scrubbing the Wall.

Don’t recall an Obama cabinet member doing this.

Regards  —  Cliff

Trump Polls at 48%

For John, BLUFNobody is really happy.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Rasmussen, for Thursday, April 13, 2017.  Here is the lede plus one:
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows that 48% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump’s job performance.  Fifty-two percent (52%) disapprove.

The latest figures include 29% who Strongly Approve of the way Trump is performing and 42% who Strongly Disapprove.  This gives him a Presidential Approval Index rating of -13. (see trends).

On the other hand, there is this, from Gallup, and Writer Jim Norman, on 11 April:

Congressional job approval declined to 20% in April, eight points lower than the seven-year high reached in February after Donald Trump's presidential inauguration. The drop was driven mainly by a loss of support among Republicans, whose approval fell from 50% two months ago to 31% in April.
Then on the Democratic Party side, in a revolution that looks like the Republican Party in 2015 and 2016, the "grass roots" is upset with the establishment.

This is from McVlatchy and Reporter Alex Roarty.

Here are the first three paragraphs:

Liberal activists are unleashing their fury on the Democratic Party establishment for failing to recognize that rampant disgust with President Donald Trump is now fueling an enthusiasm among voters that could turn even Republican districts blue.

After a longshot Democratic candidate came within seven points of winning a Kansas district that has been Republican for more than 20 years, progressive strategists blamed the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for not putting enough money and resources into the race, and national operatives more broadly for too little attention.

"To the Washington Democratic insiders who wrote this race off before it began, it’s time to wake up and realize that the grassroots expects this resistance effort to be waged unflinchingly in every single county and every single state across the country,” said Jim Dean, president of Democracy for America, a progressive advocacy group.

I do think the thing is they are trying to put lipstick on a big.  A seven percentage point difference is nothing to sneeze at.  And a lot of Republicans are still quite happy with President Trump, like "Joseph" on the Rush Limbaugh Radio Show today.

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Trump Derangement Syndrome

For John, BLUFRemember, this guy is paid by the taxpayers and by the parents of students.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Miguel at the Blog Gun Free Zone, yesterday, we have notice of an interesting Tweet.

The person Tweeting is Professor Lars Maischak, a History Professor at Fresno State (California State University, Fresno).

Here is the Tweet:

Ethnic cleansing, climate genocide, subversion of voting rights, & propaganda:  Trump runs a terror regime.
A Mr David Schroeder responded:
If climate is to be killed can we agree that winter should be the 1st to go?  I hate cold.  Then we eradicate the heat of August next.
I like that response.

I do wonder about the "Ethnic Cleansing".  I thought the last President to do that was President Franklin D Roosevelt.

Unlike many in the Academy, I believe in the necessity of free speech and the necessity of a smorgasbord of ideas in higher education, so I will not call for the removal of this Professor.  But, lightly mocking him is just fine with me.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Press and the News

For John, BLUFWe have to be paying attention when we get the news.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This started out as an InstaPundit item on Politico changing its theory on a supposed Trump-Putin relationship, but the blogger links to a 7 January item on a vicious attack in Chicago.

The author of this item is Mr Rod Dreher, in The American Conservative.

This is where the idea that The New York Times is (part of) the "Cathedral" comes in.

But, the line I liked from The American Conservative article was this:

I said that I read and subscribe to the Times mostly for the same reason Soviets used to read Pravda back in the day:  to know what the Official Story the ruling class wishes to tell itself is.  That’s not to say that the Times doesn’t feature excellent reporting and good writing; it does.  But I don’t trust it to tell me the truth.  I trust it to reveal to me the narrative that the greater part of the ruling class (minus the Republican elites) tells itself.  That’s a useful thing to know, as long as you know that you’re only getting a take.
When you are right you are right.

And, yes, I do read The Old Gray Lady, on line.  And, once in a while I buy a Sunday edition.

But, back to the article, it was about four Black youths in Chicago abusing and killing a mentally ill Caucasian boy, and how the media elided over the racial aspects of the story.

Going back to the original posting, Mr Ed Driscoll notes this item from The Federalist and Writer Bethany Mandel, datelined today.

Ms Mandel asserts:
Politico has written an indictment of an entire sect of Judaism, getting basic facts wrong and making wild implications about a Jewish conspiracy in Russia tied to the Trump family.
Today, on his Radio Show, Commentator Rush Limbaugh suggested that we have shifted from the "liberal media" being an arm of the Democratic Party to the Democratic Party being an arm of the missionized liberal media.

What is it Lowellian Betty Davis says, as Margo Channing in All About Eve: "Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night!"  Well, more like a bumpy 18 months, or even three and a half years.

Unless the non-Trump crowd gets over its funk.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Or perhaps this item from 19 February 2013.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Don't Be Confused

For John, BLUFPresident Trump continues to befuddle the press.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Some are suggesting that President Trump, who campaigned against getting involved in Syria, has now switched to the position of being involved.  Please don't be confused by the media and punditry.  This is the President taking specific action in regard to a specific situation.

For example, there is this article from The Old Gray Lady, by Reporter Peter Baker, from yesterday.

Here is the lede:
As he confronted a series of international challenges from the Middle East to Asia last week, President Trump made certain that nothing was certain about his foreign policy. To the extent that a Trump Doctrine is emerging, it seems to be this: don’t get roped in by doctrine.
The Punditry and the Think Tanks seem to be populated with people with short term memories.  Does no one remember that during the primary election and the general election Candidate Trump always responded when he thought people were disrespecting him.  That is the case here.

The President had signaled that we could live with a President Assad.  That was part of the President preparing to move on.  Part of the President preparing to reduce our profile in the Middle East.

Then President Assad (mistakenly) takes the signal from Washington as a Green Light to do as he sees fit.  That was a mistake.  President Trump took President Assad's actions as trampling on his (President Trump's) willingness to move along.

If you are looking for a "doctrine" to describe President Trump's approach, try "Don't Tread on Me".

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, April 8, 2017

President Trump Illiterate?

For John, BLUFReading is important.  Not everyone enjoys it.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

It is the web site Boing Boing.  The article is authored by Ms Xeni Jardin, and was posted on Friday, 7 April.

Here is the lede plus one:

The President is “a moron,” says former SNL cast member Taran Killam.  That may be true.  But can he read?

When Donald Trump hosted Saturday Night Live in 2015, none of the regulars were happy about it, according to an interview with Killam in Brooklyn Magazine.

Then the article goes on to quote Mr Taran Killam, from an interview with Brooklyn Magazine
"What you see is what you get with him, really," he said.  "I mean, there was no big reveal.  He struggled to read at the table read, which did not give many of us great confidence.  Didn’t get the jokes, really.  He’s just a man who seems to be powered by bluster."
In posting this story at his own Blog Sight, Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds quips:

If it’s true, then Hillary and all the brightest minds of the left were beaten like drums by a man who can’t even read!
Well, "beaten like a drum" may be a little over the top, but the basic fact remains, per this SNL cast member, a functional illiterate beat Ms Hillary Clinton.

To quote President Donald John Trump, "It is sad, very sad."

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  On the other hand, we were told the same thing about President George W Bush, who read a number of books each year, and was even in a book reading contest with his advisor, Karl Rove.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Doing What Needs to be Done

For John, BLUFI think the House should precede, but we voters need to keep an eye on them.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Gateway Pundit, via Instapundit we have notice that Attorney Larry Klayman has filed an Ethics Complaint with the Honorable Susan W Brooks.  The target is US Representative Adam Schiff, Democrat from California.  The Reporter is Ms Cristina Laila and the article is from Thursday, 6 April.

You knew this was coming, didn't you?

It follows the ethics complaints against Devin Nunes, like night follows day.  Representative Devin Nunes is the Chairman of the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.  Because of ethics complaints filed against Representative Nunes he has recused himself from his committee’s probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

A copy of Mr Klayman's letter of complaint is in the article, plus a video.

As Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds said:

He [Schiff] must recuse himself immediately.  The precedent has already been set.  This investigation is too important to be sullied with the involvement of members with an ethics complaint hanging over their heads.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Hillary in Pain

For John, BLUFI think we are still working through the several stages of the Kübler-Ross model.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Hot Air, posted Thursday, 6 April, by Mr John Sexton.

Hillary Clinton gave an interview Thursday during the Women in the World Summit in New York.  Segments of the interview which were posted online show Hillary offering an array of outside forces which she blames for her electoral loss last year, from FBI Director Comey’s letter to Russian interference to generalized misogyny.

“You know in any campaign there’s so many different cross-currents and events and some have greater impact than others,” Clinton said in response to a question about misogyny and the fact that a majority of white women voted for her opponent.  She continued, “But it is fair to say…certainly, misogyny played a role.  I mean that just has to be admitted.”

I guess that women not voting for Mrs Clinton is misogyny.

From the Dictionary on my computer, misogyny is:

dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women:  she felt she was struggling against thinly disguised misogyny.
And, as if to prove it, here is an item from Yahoo News, by Reporter Caitlin Dickson
"Nikki Haley booed at Women in the World summit"
Here is the lede plus one:
U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley received an icy reception at the Women in the World summit in New York City Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, Haley had delivered a harsh critique of the Russian government and its support for Syrian President Bashar Assad at an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council following this week’s deadly chemical attack on Syrian civilians.  But at the kickoff of the annual feminist conference at Lincoln Center, Haley was the one under fire.

I think US UN Ambassador Nikki Haley is doing a good job at Turtle Bay.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Can We Examine This Puzzle?

For John, BLUFI wonder if there is a belief out there that if President Trump was forced from Office that Mrs Clinton would magically ascend to that place?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

I admit I am in the "Basket of Deplorables", and thus part of the crowd of the undereducated, so I am confused by this current Susan Rice / Russian Hacking Imbroglio.

First, what is "Hacking the Election"?

  1. There is the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and Campaign Chairman Leon Penetta.  That is hacking, where the security on the computer is weak and folks just walk in.  If you think it doesn't happen everywhere, you are naive.  We, the US Government, do it all the time.
  2. Then there is the theory that the Russians, or whoever, dumped materials to influence voters.  This is a bit more edgy, but it is what the Obama Administration used to do, as did others before it.
  3. Finally, there is the actual "hacking" of voting machines or vote counts, in order to change the outcome.  We have been assured by competent authority that this did not happen.
But, now to the contradictory stories on then Mr Trump and President V Putin, and thus President Obama and Ms Susan Rice.

The Main Stream Media, in an act of mental gymnastics, tell us that (1) Mr Trump and President Putin were working together to swing the election, but that (2) no one "wire tapped" Mr Trump.

My question is, if they didn't do (2), how do they know about (1).  I would say that they wouldn't know, but also the whole story of Russian meddling represents a logical inconsistency if there was no "wiretapping".

There is, of course, the comment of the late F. Scott Fitzgerald:

The true test of a first-rate mind is the ability to hold two contradictory ideas at the same time.
And, Reporter and Author George Orwell gave us the term doublethink in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Regards  —  Cliff

  I find it interesting that all of a sudden Mr Julian Assange is a Russian stooge.  At one time he was a hero of Democracy, but, alas, he was converted into an enemy for the convenience of the Democratic Party in the United States.
  This reminds me of the joke in which Moscow buys a whole bunch of old voting machines from the City of Chicago and in the first election for Mayor of Moscow, the winner is Richard J Daley.
  There was a theory going around that Mr George Soros owned a company that had made voting machines for 16 states, but Business Insider debunked that idea.
  Or otherwise eavesdropped on Mr Trump or his family or his campaign staff.
  I am not saying I believe (1), but that even if it were true, the various holdovers from the Obama Administration, from FBI Director James Comey, to DoD Official Evelyn Farkas, to former National Security Advisor Susan Rice would not know anything unless they were spying on Mr Trump, which seems a pretty un-American kind of thing to do.  This is the stuff of novels and movies, and now of real life politics.

A Pecking Order of The Oppressed

TRIGGER WARNINGS:  In which I suggest you would betray your gay friend rather than your Muslim acquaintance.
For John, BLUFWe are accidentally betraying our liberal values.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Pajamas Media, by Mr Bruce Baker, the 5th of April.

Near the end of the article the author writes:

Indeed.  The point, wrote Hurd, is clear:  according to contemporary progressive ideology, Muslims are higher on the victim scale than gays.  Period.  Actual events don't enter into this calculus.  Gay rights only matter when the offenders against those rights are people even lower on the totem pole than gays – for example, the aforementioned Christian bakers.  When gays are butchered by Muslims, the only proper progressive response is silence.
Human and civil rights pecking order.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, April 5, 2017


For John, BLUFCurrnt operations in Mosul show how difficult cities are for infantry units.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

MOUT — Military Operations in Urban Terrain.

This article, by Retired Army Infantryman John Spencer, comes from the US Military Academy's Modern War Institute.

From the first paragraph:

Train as you fight.  It’s the first of the Army’s ten principles of training, meant to ensure that the Army will develop and execute tough, realistic training.
My older son, who once was an Infantryman in the Blue and Gray, wrote to me:
Trump is into real-estate, have him work on this.
I like that idea.

Regards  —  Cliff

  The 29th Division, as a National Guard unit, once included units in Massachusetts.

TRIGGER WARNINGS:  In which I suggest that our Senior Senator is like NATO—No Action, Talk Only.
For John, BLUF.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:
Warren only Democratic woman in Senate not to recognize Equal Pay Day
From The Washington Free Beacon, by Mr Brent Scher, today, 5 April 2017.

Here is the lede plus one:

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) failed to acknowledge Equal Pay Day for the first time in her Senate career after it was reported on Tuesday that women working in her Senate office earned just 71 percent of what was earned by men.

Warren has used Equal Pay Day, which fell on April 4 this year, in years past as an opportunity to speak out on the gender pay gap.  Last year she took to the Senate floor to call Equal Pay Day a "national day of embarrassment" and pledged to continue her "fight" until the pay gap was erased.  She gave similar statements on Equal Pay Day in 2015, 2014, and 2013, her first year in the Senate.

Didn't Mr Donald Trump used to provide equal pay for equal work when he was in the private sector?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Covering For Ms Susan Rice

For John, BLUFFrom poor misled to misleading.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Newsbusters and Mr Curtis Houck, Yesterday, 4 April 2017

Here is the lede:

On Tuesday’s edition of Hardball, MSNBC host Chris Matthews and MSNBC political analyst/Mother Jones D.C. bureau chief David Corn were unglued over the Susan Rice “unmasking” controversy, suggesting that it was racist and sexist for these accusations to be leveled at the former National Security Adviser because she’s never done anything wrong.
And, straight from the InstaPundit, as posted:
HOWIE CARR:  “If I ever get in a jam, I ask for no special treatment.  Just treat me like Susan Rice.”
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, April 3, 2017

Nomination of Judge Gorsuch

For John, BLUFMake them talk.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Today, 3 April, at 2:45 PM EDT, from the Associated Press, by Ms Mary Clare Jalonick.

And here is an opinion piece by Mr Marc Thiessen, who writes a weekly column for The Post.  He is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.  It explains some of the back story to the discussion.

Do Democrats really want to provoke an unprecedented showdown over Gorsuch?
My personal hope is that the Senate Majority Leader, Mr Mitch McConnell, will ask for the Democrats to actually execute their threatened filibuster.  That is to say, force them to talk on and on and on in order to stifle a vote.  Then come later in the month, ask them to pause while the Continuing Resolution is considered.  Of course, if they are paranoid they might say no, thus shutting down the Federal Government.  Then, for a long period of time, during which pundits on the Conservative side remind the People that the filibuster was "invented" by the democrats to stop the curtailment of slavery.  And then, later, to stifle civil rights for Republicans.

Then the Republicans can use the Reid Option.

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

Susan Rice Did It

For John, BLUFThe New York Times was basically correct, back on 20 January.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

MASKING:—NSA has wide discretion to conduct surveillance on people outside of the US, but there are supposed to be legal barriers to snooping on US citizens. If the NSA picks up communications from a US citizen in the course of monitoring a foreign national, it is practice to "mask" the identity of the US person. Additionally, the identification of a US citizen mentioned in discussions between two foreign nationals is supposed to be masked.
Source is CNN.

UNMASKING:  When the Government exposes who these "masked" people are.

This is from Mr Mike Cernovich and The Medium.

Bloomberg, here.

Remember the line "When in charge, take charge."  In the Obama White House not so much.

I apparently will be needing a tag for Ms Susan Rice.  I used to think that she was a smart woman, abused any her masters in the White House.  Like when she was put out on the weekend talk shows to defend the Administration position on Benghazi.  I am moving away from that position.  And making her the fall guy for this action is just part of the pattern of her being abused, and her accepting it.

Maybe we need a new Church Committee.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff