Friday, June 23, 2017

Who Gets to Pick


For John, BLUFThanks for letting us know about this.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



Looking at the School Committee’s Responsibility to Vote on Day School, Laura Lee School and possibly LHS Site!


I searched back a couple of blog posts in Gerry Nutter's blog to find this long and detailed 22 June Post.

Gerry cheated and read the City's Charter and wondered if the process for picking a new Lowell High School location was wrong.  That is to say, the School Committee should have voted for the option selected, not the City Committee.

Gerry being Gerry, he asked the question.

And, Gerry being Gerry, he posted the response from the City Law Department, "City Law Dept. say NO VOTE Required".

Frankly, I don't see that as being the final final answer, as we are a land of lawyers, and likely someone will sue over the matter.

For sure, the City Fathers (and Mothers) don't want to let the Residents vote.  They might make the wrong choice.

Good job so far, Gerry.

Hat tip to the Gerry Nutter and John McDonough.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Gerry is running for Lowell School Committee.
  Navigating his blog seems overly difficult, but it can be done.
  Options were three down town and options 4 (and 5) being at Cawley Stadium.  A short discussion from The [Lowell] Sun is here.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Illinois as Venezuela


For John, BLUFIt isn't so much Illinois, but who is right behind them in line.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




This is from The Chicago Tribune and Contact Reporter John Kass.  It is reaction to reports of the impending bankruptcy of the State of Illinois (sort of like Puerto Rico and Venezuela—althoughPuerto Rico is a US Problem).

Reporter Kass' solution:

Let the other states have Illinois, John Kass proposes.
Here is the lede plus three:
Illinois is like Venezuela now, a fiscally broken state that has lost its will to live, although for the moment, we still have enough toilet paper.

But before we run out of the essentials, let's finally admit that after decade upon decade of taxing and spending and borrowing, Illinois has finally run out of other people's money.

Those "other people" include taxpayers who've abandoned the state. And now Illinois faces doomsday.

So as the politicians meet in Springfield this week for another round of posturing and gesturing and blaming, we need a plan.

Here is the plan

My Daughter assures me that the State Retirement fund is sound.  I have small nagging doubts.

At any rate, as Mr Kass (and Maggie Thatcher) said, you soon run out of other People's money.

Hat tip to the Srudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

Lack of Interest in US Senate


For John, BLUFWe have our collective head in the sand over the differences between Islam and our Anglo-Saxon traditions of the rights of individuals (the Rights of Englishmen).  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From the Opinion Pages of The Old Gray Lady, an item by Ms Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Ms Asra Q Nomani, on 22 June 2017.

Here is the lede plus three:

Last week, Senator Kamala Harris, a Democrat from California, made headlines when Republican senators interrupted her at a hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee while she interrogated Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The clip of the exchange went viral; journalists, politicians and everyday Americans debated what the shushing signified about our still sexist culture.

The very next day, Senator Harris took her seat in front of us as a member of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. We were there to testify about the ideology of political Islam, or Islamism.

Both of us were on edge. Earlier that day, across the Potomac River, a man had shot a Republican lawmaker and others on a baseball diamond in Alexandria, Va. And just moments before the hearing began, a man wearing a Muslim prayer cap had stood up and heckled us, putting Capitol police officers on high alert. We were girding ourselves for tough questions.

But they never came. The Democrats on the panel, including Senator Harris and three other Democratic female senators — North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp, New Hampshire’s Maggie Hassan and Missouri’s Claire McCaskill — did not ask either of us a single question.

Basically, Women in the Democratic Party don't wish to explore discrimination against women (by our American Standards) within Islam.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Candidates for Senate


For John, BLUFGood show this AM.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



Elizabeth Warren, 68 (2020 Democratic Primary Frontrunner)


According to Condé Nast.

But first she has to get past the Senate Election in 2018.

Dr V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai was not too polite to her this morning on Lowell's City Life.  Dr Shiva is running for the Republican nomination for the Massachusetts Senate race coming up in 2018.  And, of course, Dr Shiva thinks of himself as a real "Indian", although he is also a proud American.

One of the points that Dr Shiva made on City Life this morning is that President Trump is a "disruptive" force, which is what is needed to get people back to work and earning a living.  His view is that the Politicians down in DC are not solving our Nation's problems.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Follow-Up on Mr Otto Warmbier's Death


For John, BLUFI can see why Cuba recognizes the Government of North Korea, but not the Government of South Korea.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



This is from the organization Free Korea and Mr Joshua Stanton.

Here is the very powerful lede:

In North Korean prisons (at least, in those from which release is possible at all) when the guards conclude that a prisoner is about to die, they release her and send her away to die at home, so that disposing of her body will be someone else’s problem, and so that the warden can manipulate the camp’s rate of in-custody deaths downward. (Perhaps in some small way, even the wardens of North Korean prisons fear being held accountable, one day, for what they do.) The same is true when North Korean officers conclude that a soldier is about to die of starvation or tuberculosis — the army will send the soldier home to die.
Regards  —  Cliff

Knowing When to Resign


For John, BLUFPolarization won't end well  I will say this for Ms Lynne Lupien—she knewknows how to cut a political deal to make things happen.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




This is from The [Boston] Pilot, for Monday, 19 June 2017. It is about British Liberal-Democratic Party Leader Tim Farron.

Here is the first part of the article:

London, England, Jun 17, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- After facing backlash for his Christian faith, the head of the UK’s Liberal Democratic Party announced his resignation on Wednesday, claiming that leading the party was becoming incompatible with living his faith.

“To be a political leader – especially of a progressive, liberal party in 2017 – and to live as a committed Christian, to hold faithfully to the Bible's teaching, has felt impossible for me,” said Tim Farron, noting he would hold his position until the parliamentary recess begins next month.

Farron’s announcement follows significant media attention surrounding his answers to press questions on abortion and homosexuality.

During the recent election, Farron had been asked repeatedly by reporters about his views on the morality of homosexual acts.

Earlier this week, the party's home affairs spokesman Brian Paddick – a prominent gay politician – resigned abruptly, citing concerns over opinions held by the party’s leadership.

Despite the Liberal Democrats gaining several parliamentary seats under Farron, he faced opposition from within his own party. According to the Telegraph, one senior Liberal Democrat said Farron was “unhelpful during the campaign.”

He also said Farron’s “views [were] not compatible with being the leader of the Liberal Democrats.”

That was not the only mention of the resignation.  There was this:

"Tim Farron:  Christian Canary In The Coalmine"

This is from The American Conservative, posted on 16 June by Mr Rod Dreher.  Mr Dreher includes Mr Farron's resignation speech.  He also notes the following, which is the critical point for all of us, even Progressives, as Progressivism progresses and gets ahead of those who thought they were orthodox progressives, but didn't advance with the time.

Farron supports same-sex marriage and supports abortion rights, but that was not enough for his media inquisitors.  They wanted to know if he thought those things were sinful.  It wasn’t enough for him to pledge to defend gay rights and abortion rights.  It wasn’t even enough for him to clarify that no, he doesn’t think that gay sex is a sin (a heterodox position for a Christian to take, but he took it.)  No, Farron had to think correct thoughts, and to have thought them at all times, clearly, or be shamed and hounded out of public life.  As he has been.

At least in the end, he learned that it profits a man nothing to gain the world if he loses his soul.

There appears to be no compromise with the Progressives, no making a deal.  The likes of Senator Chuck Schumer and Representative Nancy Pelosi aren't about the deal.  They are about "the truth" as they understand it.  I used to think the political solution to abortion was to go with Roe v Wade and pick 20 weeks as the point after which abortions of choice would be banned.  However, with people who think abortion should be allowed in the fourth trimester there is no cutting a deal, no recognizing that not everyone is in lockstep.

It is a sad day.

Regards  —  Cliff

Otto Warmbier (RIP)


For John, BLUFThe passing of Mr Warbbier is tragic.  The human rights situation in North Korea is a human disaster.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



HRNK Statement on the Passing of Otto Warmbier


HRNK is the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea.

Otto Warmbier, a 22 year old Ohio native and University of Virgina student, has passed away from injuries suffered while detained on fabricated charges in North Korea. This is a shocking and sad development. A beloved son was taken away from the Warmbier family. We will keep them in our thoughts and prayers. The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) is saddened by this tragedy.

The Kim regime imprisoned and killed Otto Warmbier. Millions of unknown North Koreans are similarly subjected to the brutality of this regime. More than a hundred thousand men, women and children are being tortured, starved, and abused in North Korea's political prison camps. This continuing outrage is what motivates HRNK to do what the Kim regime fears the most: discover and disclose the truth about the regime's crimes. To honor Otto Warmbier's life and memory, we will continue to strive to inform, persuade and inspire political leaders to confront this terrible challenge to global security and to human values.

We urge our political leaders to reach across the aisle and foster bipartisan support for the millions of faceless, nameless North Korean victims, by elevating the importance of addressing the human rights situation in that country.

Here are ten practical things the US can do to advance human rights in North Korea.

Regards  —  Cliff

Who Was Hacking Who?


For John, BLUFI think you are right that they are reading everyone's mail.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



A friend of mine, commenting on the news toward the back of the A Section, said:
So, it now seems that, for much of the 2016 Election season, it was DHS that was trying to hack into STATE level voting systems. Especially those that opposed the Obama Admnistratin's attempt to exert federal control over state voting regulations and mechanisms.
That would be the US Department of Homeland Security.  I am sure they were just trying to help.

Isn't that reassuring?

And where is the outrage?

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Influencing the FBI Director


For John, BLUFI had so hoped she would restore the Department of Justice after General Eric Holder's time in office.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




It is The Hill reporting this.

The reporter is Ms Jordain Carney and the dateline is 18 June 2016.

That would be former US Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

The lede plus one:

Senate Republicans are clamoring to hear from Loretta Lynch after former FBI Director James Comey raised concerns about her involvement in the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee are seizing on Comey’s testimony earlier this month that he was concerned over the former attorney general telling the FBI to refer to the Clinton investigation as a "matter," which resembled the Clinton campaign line.

If nothing else, such a hearing might help to frame the Trump-Comey conversation.

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

Fair Compensation For Workers


For John, BLUFIt is about how we cut up the pie.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



>

A racist vestige of the past that progressives are happy to leave in place


From The Washington Post and the pen of Columnist George Will.

This is about the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931.

The Act mandates that contractors pay the local prevailing wages for laborers and for mechanics on federally funded public works projects and applies to:

"contractors and subcontractors performing on federally funded or assisted contracts in excess of $2,000 for the construction, alteration, or repair (including painting and decorating) of public buildings or public works."
Here is the "Bottom Line":
Davis-Bacon is rent-seeking, the use of political power to supplant the market as the allocator of opportunity and wealth.  Rent-seeking is lucrative, which is why there is so much of it, even when its pedigree is repulsive.
Mr Will thinks that this reduces the amount of infrastructure we produce each year, but enriches union workers.
A 2011 Heritage Foundation study estimated that Davis-Bacon would add almost $11 billion to that year’s construction costs.  That sum will be eclipsed when — if — bold talk about making America’s infrastructure great again is translated into spending.  Then we build up the national debt while purchasing less infrastructure than the appropriated sums should purchase.
There is the psychological impact of cost.  Look at the sticker shock for the new High School (or renovated High School) in Lowell.  Each option is north of $300 million.  Sometimes the status quo is preferable to spending more and more money.

We do need equity, but Mr Will is correct in noting the racist origins of Davis-Beacon.

Hat tip to Memeorandum.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Mr Will is so old school I bet it does still use a pen to write out his thoughts.

Fan Photo


For John, BLUFNot everyone can love the President.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




Here is the link to the NPR Article, with the photo of the Sassy Teacher, the fan, the President and the First Lady.

The comment from Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds:

To realize that the “gay rights” crowd is really just a bunch of Democrat shock troops, all you have to do is look at how badly they’ve treated the most pro-gay president ever elected.
The other thing to think about is that in other cultures Teacher Nikos Giannopoulos would not be meeting with the President, but would be facing being hurled from the top of some building.  Lucky for Mr Giannopoulos that he lives in the United States of America.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Holding Accountable


For John, BLUFI was pleased to see this from The Wash Post.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




This is in reference to people (and newspapers) blaming Governor Sarah Palin for the shooting of US Representative Gabby Giffords by some left wing loon.

And it is The Wash Post.

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

Turning Central Park into Berkeley


For John, BLUFSometimes bad behavior teaches that same bad behavior to others.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




This is from Heat Street and Reporter Joe Simonson, at 10:12 PM, yesterday, Friday, 16 June 2017.

Here is the lede:

Right-wing activists Jack Posobiec and Laura Loomer disrupted a Friday night showing of the controversial Shakespeare in the Park rendition of “Julius Caesar” as an act of protest against the assassination scene where a President Donald Trump lookalike is stabbed by his senate cohorts.
This is just reciprocity.

Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds commends this Blog Post to our consideration.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Turn Back Now


For John, BLUFThings seemed to go from bad to worse after Former Director Comey's testimony.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From Novelist Sarah Hoyt, a warning, today.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Former A/G Lynch Loses Status


For John, BLUFI had high hopes for Ms Loretta Lynch when she took over from A/G Eric Holder.  I now see my hope was misplaced.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




It is The Daily Caller, from 9 June, by Associate Editor Peter Hasson.

Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, referring to Former FBI Director James Comey's Testimony Thursday last, said:

“What makes it egregious is the fact — and I think it’s obvious that it is a fact — that the attorney general of the United States was adjusting the way the department talked about its business so as to coincide with the way the Clinton campaign talked about that business.”
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Veganism BadEvil?


For John, BLUFIf you open your trap you are going to offend someone out there.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




It is National Review being snarky, but there is a grain of truth in it.  The Writer is Ms Katherine Timpf and the dateline is 30 May 2017.

So maybe this is the punchline:

Referring to the female reproductive system is problematic.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Power Vacuum


For John, BLUFThe Politicians have messed this up and thus created a place for amateurs.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



Here is a lift from the Saturday edition of the Quartz Daily Brief:
The United States of Zuckerberg.  The Facebook CEO has set a goal to visit 30 American states—all those he has never been to—by the end of 2017.  Groundwork for a political campaign, or just getting to know Facebook’s users as people instead of data?  This Zuckerberg tour tracker by Annalisa Merelli and Christopher Groskopf will, as he travels, follow the demographics, economics, and issues of the places he visits.
It is a prep for a political campaign.  If Real Estate Developer Donald J Trump can do it, why not Mark Zuckerberg?

And, in 2020 he would be old enough to be President.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Free Daily News updates, but some articles are behind a paywall.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Another Comment on Comey Testimony


For John, BLUFWhen you have lost alan Dershowitz you are in trouble.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




This is from The Washington Examiner, dateline 8 June 2017, by retired Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Trusting that Old Gray Lady


For John, BLUFThe New York Times, a great reputation, ruined.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




This item is a month old, from 11 May 2017, but the points author Jonathan B Coe make are near timeless.  The source is Crisis Magazine.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Coming Apart


For John, BLUFWe need to see in others the things we hold in common.  We are not being good at that right now>.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




This article, about the American "Left" and "Right" is by Mr Rod Dreher, from 5 June 2017.

I found it at The Instapundit, where Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds, summarizing the article, writes:

“The rising Left is bound and determined to crush or at least permanently sideline people it deems heretics — in particular, whites, males, orthodox Christians, and skeptics of the LGBT project.  It does not want a pluralistic modus vivendi; it wants total domination.  The establishment Left lacks the will to stop them.  Its members are terrified of appearing un-woke. . . .  The establishment Right lacks the will to stop them either, for fear of being called bigots.  And it lacks the will or the imagination to stand in any way against corporate interests. . . .  Bottom line:  Identity politics will dissolve the traditional bonds that have held Americans together, and re-bind forces of the Left and forces on the Right to each other.”
The fact is that Mr Rod Dreher writes from a Christian perspective.  When the looks back on the American Experiment to date he sees Christianity as being the glue that holds things together, from the beginning.

Back to The Instapundit, Professor Reynolds, reflecting on politics in America today, says:

The thing is, you don’t get Hitler because of Hitler — there are always potential Hitlers out there.  You get Hitler because of Weimar, and you get Weimar because the liberals are too corrupt and incompetent to maintain a liberal polity.
When he says "a liberal polity" I take that to be liberal in terms of freedom for all.  He is not talking about the Left Wing of the Democratic Party. While Mr Dreher thinks Christianity is the glue holding everything together, I wonder if it isn't the English Common Law, the idea of the Rights of Englishmen.  I suspect it is racist, sexist, specie-centric and just plain offensive to social justice warriors to hold such views.  However, the rest of the world is not as keen on individual rights, and some parts have tribalism down to a fine science.  Neither of those is good for Democracy as we have known it.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, June 5, 2017

Equivalency


For John, BLUFA good point.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



My buddy Neal said:
I read somewhere that the reason Barnum and Bailey Circus went out of business is that they could no longer compete with Congress.
Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Trump Goes to SCOTUS


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




".... when, after consulting with three members of his cabinet, he placed a brief pause on entry from six countries that present heightened risks of terrorism… "
“The court did not dispute that the president acted at the height of his powers in instituting” the executive order’s “temporary pause on entry by nationals from certain countries that sponsor or shelter terrorism,” the brief said. The brief also said the order’s “text and operation are religion-neutral.”…

“This order has been the subject of passionate political debate,” the brief said. “But whatever one’s views, the precedent set by this case for the judiciary’s proper role in reviewing the president’s national security and immigration authority will transcend this debate, this order, and this constitutional moment. Precisely in cases that spark such intense feelings, it is all the more critical to adhere to foundational legal rules,” the brief said.....

Quotes from Donald Trump's petition to the Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari, in the NYT article "Trump Administration Asks Supreme Court to Revive Travel Ban."
If SCOTUS reverses the Ninth and Fourth Circuit Courts, what is the consequence, aside from allowing the implementation of the immigration ban?
  • Will the litigations go away, or do we litigate until there is a Democrat in the White House?
  • Does everyone go back to where they were and the complaining stops, or at least quiets down?
  • Does Congress give us a long term change in immigration policy?
  • Do we get over the accusations of racism and get back to cooperating?
If the SCOTUS affirms the rulings of the Ninth and Fourth Circuit Courts?
  • Will future Presidents find themselves shackled by their campaign (or other) rhetoric?
  • Will there be any blowback if there is a significant terror attack tied to immigrants?
  • Will Congress rewrite the current laws authorizing the President to limit immigration for national security?
  • Will there be lawsuits against the Federal Government for not providing security to the People?
Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

Conversion By Study and Reason


For John, BLUFSome have a Damascus Road experience and some come by their thinking.  Either is acceptable.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




This is a testimony from Professor Sarah Irving-Stonebraker, of Western Sydney University.  And a good Pentecost Story.

The thing that quickly caught my eye was the mention of Professor Peter Singer.  He is the man who would value each human being and allow those less worthy of life to go.

I welcome Professor Sarah Irving-Stonebraker.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  There is the 1920 concept presented in the book Die Freigabe der Vernichtung Lebensunwerten Lebens (Allowing the Destruction of Life Unworthy of Life) jurist Karl Binding and psychiatrist Alfred Hoche.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

A Misunderstanding


For John, BLUFWhen the attack is happening around you, the police may be only a 911 call away, plus travel time.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



We are looking at a "potential" terrorist attack in London.

The British Prime Minister, Theresa May, thanked the First Responders.

The problem is that she has misidentified the First Responders.  The First Responders are NOT the Police, Fire and Rescue organizations of the local authorities.

The First Responders are the folks at the scene as the attack in taking place.  For example, the people in a restaurant who where throwing things at a knife wielding attacker, in hopes of driving him off after he knifed a restaurant patron.

Of course if we realize who the true First Responders are then someone will ask how we help them.  I don't know what the U.K. Can do, but we can be more open about the Second Amendment.

Regards  —  Cliff

How Others See Us


For John, BLUFNot everyone around the world sees our politics the way we do.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



This is from the English version of the Chosun Ilbo, out of Korea, 2 June 2017.

Here is the lede plus two, to set the stage:

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin on Wednesday warned President Moon Jae-in that Washington could divert the money for the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery that has been stationed here somewhere else.

The peevish outburst came after Moon pledged to have the National Assembly reexamine the process of the THAAD deployment, which was rushed through by the previous administration.

Durbin is a ranking member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations and therefore has a say in how the U.S. spends its defense budget.

But, here is the payoff paragraph:
But Durbin is the Democratic whip, and his party has been completely routed in both houses of the U.S. Congress, so it is unclear how much sway his opinions hold.
By the way, the THADD Missile installation is a sunk cost.  The only ongoing expenses are stationing costs and they will come up in the periodic negotiations with Korea over the expenses of stationing US Forces in Korea.

Regards  —  Cliff

Kathy Griffin, Cultural Appropriator

TRIGGER WARNINGS:  This is The Duffel Blog.

For John, BLUFLive by the hurt feelings and die by the hurt feelings..  Nothing to see here; just move along.



This is, of course, The Duffel Blog, and the Reporter uses the handle SaltySam.  On 1 Jun 2017
RAQQA, Syria — The self-proclaimed Islamic State has issued a statement condemning self-proclaimed comedian Kathy Griffin, accusing her of “cultural appropriation” after she posed for a photograph with a mock severed head of President Donald Trump.

The group, which has been protective of its brand ever since taking over vast swaths of Iraq and Syria and establishing itself as the premier beheading agency in the Middle East, said it was deeply disturbed by Griffin’s “ignorant and offensive” use of a “sacred Islamic State tradition.”

“This is just another example of a privileged white woman culturally appropriating the proud custom of a marginalized people. Beheadings are our thing, not your thing,” said the statement, which was released on Telegram.

Reports indicate that ISIS was at least somewhat relieved to see the swift and overwhelming backlash against Griffin on social media.

“Of course, the West’s social justice ‘warriors’ have always been our ally, and once again, they did not disappoint. We’re thankful that our fatwa friends immediately identified her offensive appropriation of one of our most cherished rituals,” said Aahil al-Raqqa, an executioner for the group.

There is more sarcasm at the Link.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Our Privacy Rights


For John, BLUFJust assume you are being monitored.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




This Circa 24 May 2017 article is by Mr John Solomon and Ms Sara Carter.

Here is how the article starts out (at the link is another link, to the FISA Court Decision):

The National Security Agency under former President Barack Obama routinely violated American privacy protections while scouring through overseas intercepts and failed to disclose the extent of the problems until the final days before Donald Trump was elected president last fall, according to once top-secret documents that chronicle some of the most serious constitutional abuses to date by the U.S. intelligence community.

More than 5 percent, or one out of every 20 searches seeking upstream Internet data on Americans inside the NSA’s so-called Section 702 database violated the safeguards Obama and his intelligence chiefs vowed to follow in 2011, according to one classified internal report reviewed by Circa.

The Obama administration self-disclosed the problems at a closed-door hearing Oct. 26 before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that set off alarm. Trump was elected less than two weeks later.

The normally supportive court censured administration officials, saying the failure to disclose the extent of the violations earlier amounted to an “institutional lack of candor” and that the improper searches constituted a “very serious Fourth Amendment issue,” according to a recently unsealed court document dated April 26, 2017.

The admitted violations undercut one of the primary defenses that the intelligence community and Obama officials have used in recent weeks to justify their snooping into incidental NSA intercepts about Americans.

This is bad new and Congress needs to do something about it when laws come up for renewal.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, June 2, 2017

Loose Threads


For John, BLUFIf we are going to have investigations and hearings we need to cover the entire waterfront..  Nothing to see here; just move along.




This OpEd by Mr Wayne Allyn Root appears in the Las Vegas Review Journal Wednesday, 31 May 2017. This is another Commentary on the question of if the Wikileaks source was, in fact, Mr Seth Rich.  And on the question of the progress of the investigation of his murder.  I frankly don't believe there is a connection, but the murder complicates the investigation of the leaks.

Frankly, I would be more than happy to grand Mr Julian Assange immunity in return for his testimony as to if Mr Rich is the source for his leaks from the Democratic National Committee.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wayne Allyn Root

A Coin With Two Sides


For John, BLUFThis "Russia Hacking" thing may not turn out all that well for Democrats.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



From PJ Media And Reporter Debra Heine, today, 2 June 2017.

This is about Representative Adam B. Schiff (D-CA) (House Intelligence Committee ranking member) whinging to the press that he had been cut out of the loop. From the article:

But according to Fox News' James Rosen, Schiff's staff was given a day's notice about the subpoenas.
Twenty-four hours notice that Team Obama members Samantha Power, Susan Rice, and John Brennan (Unmasking issues) were being called in addition to four witnesses regarding possible Russian interference in the US election November last.

I think Rep Adam Schaffer sees the whole thing unwinding, and worse, getting Democratic Party skirts dirty.

Regards  —  Cliff

"The Last Hours of Life on Earth"


For John, BLUFClimate change and all that.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



Canada Mark Steyn, your undocumented anchorman.

Regards  —  Cliff

Understanding National Leadership


For John, BLUFBeing liked by the New Class should not be the criteria for picking a leader.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From the Hoover Center we have an article by Prof Victor Davis Hanson, from Wednesday, 31 May 2017.

Here are two key paragraphs:

From what we can tell, the more Rome prospered under Claudius, the more the imperial court grew to despise him—as if his odd mannerisms and the even odder way he came to power could not be squared with the able administration of a far-flung empire over the 13 years of his reign.

In the end, Claudius was likely murdered by dynastic rivals and relatives who thought that a young, glib, handsome, intellectual, and artistic Nero would be a pleasant relief from the awkwardness, bluntness, and weirdness of Claudius.  What followed was the triumph of artists, intellectuals, stylish aristocrats, obsequious dynastic insiders, and flatterers—many of them eventually to be consumed by the reign of terror they so eagerly helped to usher in.

Grab your violin and read the whole thing and learn a little history.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Watch What You Think


For John, BLUFBe careful out there.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




This is from Porter at The Kakistrocracy. Here are the first two paragraphs of this Blog Post:
You’re reading a blog post right now, which is a presumptively constitutional act.  But what if you’re reading this while dripping with intolerance?  That might stain your couch; but does it also place you in legal jeopardy?  According to the US Fourth Circuit Court, the answer–by a 10-3 margin–is absolutely yes.

That was the determination on offer in this ruling, which upheld a lower court’s denial of Trump’s executive order temporarily restricting certain Barbary Coast imports.  The appeals court upheld the injunction citing IRREPARABLE HARM to the country if it were allowed to proceed.  Life is often too hectic to permit our leisurely indulgences.  But more people should take a moment to savor the dense and luscious absurdity of that statement.  Ceasing the human traffic flow from Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for even just 90 days would cause irreparable harm to an American people whose majority would sigh in gratitude for the respite.

The Blogger raises an interesting point.  The Fourth Circuit Court has said that your actions as an official (or whatever) must be judged based upon thoughts you have expressed in the past.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Well, maybe except if you are a Democrat.

Bad Ballots


For John, BLUFAsk Jack about this.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



On the one hand they tell me even a single vote counts.  On the other hand they tell me that voter fraud is almost non-existent and should be ignored.


This is from Judicial Watch, on 26 April of this year—it is a month old.

Here is the lede:

Less than a year after a federal appellate court sided with the Obama administration to strike down North Carolina’s election integrity reforms, a state audit reveals that hundreds of votes were illegally cast by felons and non-citizens in just one election. Voter impersonation, double voting and irregularities in absentee ballots sent via mail also tainted the election, according to the investigation conducted by the North Carolina State Board of Elections (NCSBE). The probe analyzed records from the 2016 general election.
It isn't like there were thousands of bad ballots, only hundreds.  That should make us all more comfortable.  On the other hand, the denials of any voter fraud should be rejected out of hand.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Trump and Paris Climate Accord


For John, BLUFDoing it the regular way.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



I understand from news reports that the President will announce his decision on the Paris Climate Agreement at a news conference at 3:00 PM.

I am hoping the President does the fun thing and submits it to the US Senate as a Treaty, under the Treaty Clause of the US Constitution, giving them 90 days to decide before he withdraws it and we go on our own way.

This is for the People's representatives to agree to, not the foreign policy Blob in DC.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Government Spying on You


For John, BLUFNot you specifically, but fellow citizens who should be protected by the law from such things.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




by John Solomon and Sara Carter Here is the sum of it:
The FBI has illegally shared raw intelligence about Americans with unauthorized third parties and violated other constitutional privacy protections, according to newly declassified government documents that undercut the bureau’s public assurances about how carefully it handles warrantless spy data to avoid abuses or leaks.
The Link goes to this document:
United States
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court
Washington DC
Memorandum Opinion and Order
Filed 26 April 2017
LeeAnn Flynn Hall, Clerk of Court
At the link is also this document:
A Review of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Activities Under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Act of 2008, Sept 2012
There are important Fourth Amendment issues here, but also, at a lower level of interest, there is the question of if during the Obama Administration, the Trump Campaign was being hacked by parties within the US Government.  Not the Russians, but the Democrats and the larger Foreign Policy Blob.

And why hasn't Mr Carter Page been called to testify before the House Intelligence Committee?  What are the Democrats on the Committee afraid of?  Representative Adam Schiff (D-California), a name that could go down in infamy.

Regards  —  Cliff

Anniversary


For John, BLUFGiving you a target to shoot for.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



H A P P Y   A N N I V E R S A R Y


To my Wife.

Fifty-one Years.

Regards  —  Cliff