The EU

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Saturday, June 23, 2018

Fixing the Outcomes of Racism

For John, BLUFI know, you like Colleen best.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Quillette, by Coleman Hughes, 5 June 2018.  Mr Coleman is an undergraduate philosophy major at Columbia University.  He defines himself, in this article, as Black.

A question the author asks is:

Though the question seems naïve to some, it is in fact perfectly valid to ask why black people can get away with behavior that white people can’t.
Attorney General Eric Holder said, almost a decade ago, that we needed to have a conversation on race.  It didn't happen then and it hasn't happened yet.

In fact, this hiatus is only making things worse.  And it needs to be a real conversation, not just a condemnation of someone's position on what is called "entrenched racism", as in a letter to the editor of The [Lowell] Sun on Friday, the 22nd of June.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Please Show Some Class

For John, BLUFDoxxing with double sawbucks.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The National Review, by Theodore Kupfer, 8 June 2018.

Doxxing is publishing on the Internet the personal information of someone you find odious in some way.

Doxxing results in people being harassed, losing their jobs and losing their businesses.  Sometimes even folks a couple of degrees of separation away from the primary target.

Please don't engage in doxxing.  It is definitely low-rent.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Invidious Comparisons

For John, BLUFEnough with the Hitler comparisons.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Ms Sarah Hoyt, 22 June 2018.

Here are the first three paragraphs:

My sons started playing a game about ten years ago when they were in their early and mid-teens.  If I was doing something, usually something perfectly normal, particularly if I told them, “Wait a minute, while I finish writing this post” they’d say “You know who else wrote posts?” and the answer was “Hitler.”

Younger son, who is… uh… like me threw in a new wrinkle, when I got exasperated and said “Hitler” before he could, he would say “Good Lord, no.  What made you think that?” with an expression of theatrical horror.

Little did I know the left would be playing this for real.  And honestly now I wonder if the kids were saying that because their teachers were already playing at this nonsense.

Of course, the other side could go with the Joseph Stalin comparisons, with Mr Robert Mueller being cast in the role of Lavrentiy Beria.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday Vote in Turkey

For John, BLUFThis is one of those little noted, in the United States, elections that could have big impacts on us, as the results unfold.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

President looks set to win new term but economic pain and united opposition threaten his leadership

From The Wall Street Journal, by Mr David Gauthier-Villars, 22 June 2018.

Here is the lede plus four:

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is bidding to extend his 15-year rule on Sunday in elections that rivals deem unfair—a growing pattern in countries from Russia to Hungary to Egypt, where leaders are using ballots as a waypoint to cement their authoritarian grip on power.

But with economic woes weighing heavily on Turkish voters, Mr. Erdogan’s prospect of entering a five-year term with a rubber-stamp parliament isn’t guaranteed, threatening a period of uncertainty in this strategic linchpin between the West and the Middle East.

Since a 2016 military coup attempt that nearly swept him away, Mr. Erdogan has jailed former allies he accuses of plotting the attack and run the country under “extraordinary rule” that allows for exceptional police measures and governance by decree.  He has cracked down on political opponents and assembled a coterie of loyal oligarchs; he has repressed independent press and purged the military.

This one-man drive has given Mr. Erdogan unprecedented control over all state institutions, including the electoral authority, ahead of Sunday’s presidential and parliamentary ballots.  A re-elected Mr. Erdogan would also gain vastly expanded executive powers over legislation and the judiciary, thanks to constitutional changes voters narrowly approved last year.

And yet, unlike in Russia where President Vladimir Putin was re-elected with 77% of the votes in March, Turkish pollsters predict a divided result.

The Reporter uses the term "linchpin", and so Turkey is.  Turkey moving into instability would be bad for Europe, Asia and the Middle East.  It sits at the cross roads of Eurasia and if it does well others have a chance of doing well.  While I have no special affection for Mr Erdogan, I do wish the voters well in a very important decision.

Regards  —  Cliff


For John, BLUFThis is why the current and past) Administrations don't want employees freely talking to the Press, rather than checking with Public Affairs first.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

"Our defense of speech may have a greater or lesser harmful impact on the equality and justice work to which we are also committed."

From Reason Magazine, by Mr Robby Soave, 21 June 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

The American Civil Liberties Union will weigh its interest in protecting the First Amendment against its other commitments to social justice, racial equality, and women's rights, given the possibility that offensive speech might undermine ACLU goals.

"Our defense of speech may have a greater or lesser harmful impact on the equality and justice work to which we are also committed," wrote ACLU staffers in a confidential memo obtained by former board member Wendy Kaminer.

I used to give, annually, to the ACLU, and the NRA (to cover what the ACLU didn't in terms of rights), but now I don't know who covers the First Amendment.  Apparently not the ACLU, at least any longer.

Hat tip to the The Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

Bias Confirmation

For John, BLUFRemember, Psychopaths are just like us, only more goal oriented.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

A new study ranks each state, plus D.C., by their psychopathic tendencies.  The race for first? It isn’t even close.

From Politico by Mr Derek Robertson, 23 June 2018.

Read it yourself.

Hat tip to the The Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, June 22, 2018

The Societal Danger of Mathematics

For John, BLUFWe don't need no stinking math.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Some things in life are objective and rational, and that’s perfectly okay.

From National Review, by Katherine Timpf, 20 June 2018.

Here is the lede plus five:

According to a new textbook written by a professor at the University of Exeter, learning mathematics can cause “collateral damage” to society because it “provides a training in ethics-free thought.”

“Reasoning without meanings provides a training in ethics-free thought,” Paul Ernest writes in “The Ethics of Mathematics:  Is Mathematics Harmful?” — a chapter of his book The Philosophy of Mathematics Education Today.

In an abstract for the book, Ernest claims that although he does “acknowledge that mathematics is a widespread force for good,” “there is significant collateral damage caused by learning mathematics.”

According to Ernest, this “collateral damage” happens in three ways.  First, he argues, the styles of thinking involved with mathematics are “detached” and “calculated” ones, which value “rules, abstraction, objectification, impersonality, unfeelingness, dispassionate reason, and analysis” — which he claims “can be damaging when applied beyond mathematics to social and human issues.”

The second problem, he explains, is that “the applications of mathematics in society can be deleterious to our humanity unless very carefully monitored and checked.”

“Money and thus mathematics is the tool for the distribution of wealth,” he writes.  “It can therefore be argued that as the key underpinning conceptual tool mathematics is implicated in the global disparities in wealth.”

Finally, Ernest claims, “the personal impact of learning mathematics on learners’ thinking and life chances can be negative for a minority of less successful students, as well as potentially harmful for successful students.”  Ernest continues to explain that math is often viewed as “masculine,” and that that can essentially make it difficult for women to deal with learning it.

I guess the solution is to stop teaching math in school, although still teach counting, so we can tell ages and book page numbers.  And the knowledge of making change.  But, leave anything else up to a Secret Society.  The initiates would learn the secrets of quadratic equations and trigonometry and geometry and things beyond.  Boy Scouts would still be allowed to use that trick for measuring the width of a river by using trees and pacing things off.

By the way, the book is another overpriced item out of academia.  Don't buy it, even in the Kindle version.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Walls Have Existed For Millennia

For John, BLUFSure, there are places it is hard to build the wall, so step back and build it elsewhere.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

From , by Mr Andrew Klavan, 22 June 2018.

While re-reading Aristotle’s classic Politics, Mr Klavan finds that Aristotle says, build the wall.

Who am I to argue with the eminent Greek?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Senator Warren's Claims

For John, BLUFYou should have Senator Warren on the show some day, just not when I am the host.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

The Elizabeth Warren scandal you probably never heard of, but will be an issue if she runs for president.

From Legal Insurrection, by Professor William A. Jacobson, 22 June 2018.

And it isn't just Professor Jacobson.  Law Professor Gail Heriot wrote about it back in 2006.

Here is the meat of it:

There’s another scandal which, in some ways, is even bigger than Warren’s Native American problem, since it goes directly to Warren’s academic and political credibility.  That scandal concerns Warren’s research methods into consumer issues which catapulted her to liberal fame.
Yes, while I judge her better than our Commonwealth Attorney General, I still feel like I need check everything she says.  Remember her "You didn't build that."?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  To be fare, that was President Obama's spin on what she originally said, and then doubled down on.  Of course, in Senator Warren's state of residence, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Supreme Judicial Court just ruled that the Commonwealth Constitution does not allow rich people to be taxed more than others.

IRS as Enforcer

For John, BLUFThe IRS can be a weapon, wielded by politicians or bureaucrats, to keep the hoi polloi in line.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Note:  It was a Staffer, and not the Senator.

From The Lid Blog, by Mr Jeff Dunetz, 21 Jun 2018.

Here are the first two paragraphs:

Judicial Watch released some documents revealing that a John McCain staffer urged Lois Lerner to audit non-exempt organizations until they financially collapsed. What he didn’t know was Lerner was already attacking the 501(C)(3), groups.  By April 30th, 2013, Sen. John McCain’s staff director Henry Kerner, had moved on to be the chief counsel on the McCain-chaired Senate Homeland Security Permanent Subcommittee.

On that last day of April he urged a group of senior IRS officials, including the infamous director of exempt organizations Lois Lerner that if she thinks the groups were being political to “audit so many that it becomes financially ruinous.”

One assumes that the [unelected] staffer was working at the direction of his principal, and not free lancing.

And, one assumes that the IRS would only go against those that were violating the rules.

And, one assumes that this was not that Lois Lerner.

UPDATE:  Senator McCain's Office Pushes Back, strongly.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Human Rights in Venezuela

For John, BLUFFailed societies create refugees.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Campus Reform, by Grace Gottschling, Investigative Reporter, on 1 June 2018.

Here is how it starts off:

A law professor who specializes in human rights claims that Venezuelans are “better off” because of Hugo Chávez and are currently enjoying “free and fair” elections.

Daniel Kovalik, who teaches international human rights law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, argues in a recent op-ed for The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that U.S. media coverage of Venezuela “ignores the fact” that the U.S. is the “greatest impediment to democracy” in Venezuela and “throughout Latin America.”

Kovalik asserts that the “true patriots” of Venezuela “resent” the “devastating economic sanctions” imposed by the U.S., claiming that a vote for current socialist President Nicolás Maduro “was a vote against U.S. meddling” in the country’s affairs.

On the other hand, there is this lede sentence from the Wikipedia entry for Bolivarian Diaspora:

The Bolivarian diaspora is the largest recorded refugee crisis in the Americas and refers to the emigration of millions of Venezuelans from their native country during the presidencies of Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro, due to the establishment of their Bolivarian Revolution.
The good news for the Venezuelans is that they don't live in North Korea.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Hacking the Election

For John, BLUFMaybe this problem is down in the noise level.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Yahoo News, by Mr Michael Isikoff, Chief Investigative Correspondent, 20 June 2018.

This is not "new" news, having been revealed earlier.  President Obama’s “stand down” order and decision to confront Putin directly about Russian election interference at the Sept 2016 G20 meeting in Singapore has been in the public domain for some time.  Former National Intelligence Director James Clapper describes these circumstances in a similar manner in his recent memoir of his career.

Here is the lede plus three:

The Obama White House’s chief cyber official testified Wednesday that proposals he was developing to counter Russia’s attack on the U.S. presidential election were put on a “back burner” after he was ordered to “stand down” his efforts in the summer of 2016.

The comments by Michael Daniel, who served as White House “cyber security coordinator” between 2012 and January of last year, provided his first public confirmation of a much-discussed passage in the book, “Russian Roulette:  The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump,” co-written by this reporter and David Corn, that detailed his thwarted efforts to respond to the Russian attack.

They came during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing into how the Obama administration dealt with Russian cyber and information warfare attacks in 2016, an issue that has become one of the more politically sensitive subjects in the panel’s ongoing investigation into Russia’s interference in the U.S. election and any links to the Trump campaign.

The view that the Obama administration failed to adequately piece together intelligence about the Russian campaign and develop a forceful response has clearly gained traction with the intelligence committee.  Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., the ranking Democrat on the panel, said in an opening statement that “we were caught flat-footed at the outset and our collective response was inadequate to meet Russia’s escalation.”

This is about the previous Administration.  Why were the Russians allowed to conduct a continuous meddling in our elections?  The understanding of the situation was reinforced here:

That conclusion was reinforced Wednesday by another witness, Victoria Nuland, who served as assistant secretary of state for Europe during the Obama administration.  She told the panel that she had been briefed as early as December 2015 about the hacking of the Democratic National Committee — long before senior DNC officials were aware of it — and that the intrusion had all the hallmarks of a Russian operation.
What this testimony and Clapper’s recollection do not do is explain why, after confronting Putin and Russia about standing down its election interference efforts, the US did not employ its cyber capabilities in an escalating manner against the Russians.  I am blaming Governor Mitt Romney.

Or, maybe, the previous Administration was concerned that this might escalate into a shooting war, as in Ukraine, although where the shooting might break out is a mystery.

In the mean time, the current Administration seems to be following the lead of its predecessor.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Being Ugly in Public

For John, BLUFEveryone has a First Amendment right to free speech.  On the other hand, those taking the King's shilling [a classic reference] are expected, in my mind, at least, to not be out disrupting the King's work, so to speak.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Daily Caller, by Reporter Joe Simonson, 20 June 2018.

Here is the lede plus five:

One of the activists who chased Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen out of a Mexican restaurant Tuesday night over the Trump administration’s immigration policies is an employee of the Department of Justice, The Daily Caller News Foundation has confirmed.

Members of the Washington, D.C., chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America crashed Nielsen’s meal with a demonstration full of chants and other outbursts.

One of those participants, _______ ______, actually works for the Trump administration — as a paralegal in the DOJ.

“Kirstjen Nielsen, you’re a villain, locking up immigrant children,” activists can be heard saying in a video.

The right to free speech is the right to be stupid, or uncouth, as in this case.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Not doxxing here.

Charade of Immigration

For John, BLUFI think this is a sign that the Mueller Investigation is not going well in the polls.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Mr Roger L Simon, 19 June 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

If you sought to preserve the violent, reactionary and undemocratic regimes of countries like El Salvador and Honduras -- and, to a great extent, Mexico -- into perpetuity, how would you do it?

One way would be by providing a permanent U.S. safety valve for all their poor and downtrodden, the victims.

Yes, that is Mr Simon's point.  Emigration means the depletion of the human capital needed to fix the immigrants' home nation.

And, of course, this is now a cudgel for the Democrats to use to beat President Trump over the head.

The part I find most interesting is where Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer wants the President to ignore the law by issuing a Presidential Executive Order.  I think he should, and then add one more, one that Senator Schumer is bound to dislike.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  The problem is, that WOULD make us like National Socialist Germany, or, even better, the Soviet Union.

Reining in Asset Forfeiture

For John, BLUFExcessive fines are abusive.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

The case will decide whether the Excessive Fines Clause of the Eighth Amendment applies to the states.  If so, it will also have to address how much it restricts asset forfeiture.

From The Volokh Conspiracy, at Reason Magazine, by Lawyer Ilya Somin, 19 June 2018.

This is one of those obscure items that lawyers and those interested in the Constitution like to wrestle with.

I am with Lawyer Somin on this.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

A Fork in the Road

For John, BLUFKudos to Harvard for supporting this.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The New York Post, by Ms Salena Zito, 16 June 2018.

Here is the lead-in to the story:

On a blustery afternoon in April, I filed into a van along with 10 students from Harvard.  We had just spent the last two days in Chicopee, Mass., where we had chatted with the police chief and his force, the mayor and his staff, small-business owners, waitresses and firemen about their struggles living in small-town America.

The undergrads were buzzing with their impressions. Chicopee is about 90 miles west of their prestigious university in Cambridge, but when it comes to shared experience, it might as well have been 1,000 light years away.

As they settled in, I looked at them.

“So,” I said, “who do you think most of the people you just got to know voted for president?”

None of the students had an answer. It hadn’t come up in their conversations and they didn’t know I had privately asked each person who they’d voted for.

So, I let a minute pass and told them.

“Nearly every one of them voted for Trump.”

My students looked stunned, at first.  But then a recognition crossed their faces.

Gives me hope.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Erik Prince Grilled

For John, BLUFMaybe it isn't presentism, but this view that Messrs Trump and Putin are the most evil ever is a little off the mark.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

The Trumpworld insider is under scrutiny for his alleged backchanneling with Russia, his work for China, and his plans for Afghanistan.  He defends it all in a new interview.

From The Daily Beast, by Ms Betsy Woodruff, 11 June 2018.

A comment attributed to Mr Erik Prince:

As I've said before, if Franklin Roosevelt can work with Joseph Stalin to defeat German fascism, Nazi fascism, national socialist fascism, then certainly Donald Trump can work with Putin to defeat Islamic fascism.
It is more than this quote, and an interesting read.

I have to admit that between Putin and Stalin, I see Joseph Stalin as, by far, the more evil leader.

Regards  —  Cliff

Action at J Edger Hoover Building

For John, BLUFI have a friend, who wrote regarding a closely related topic, "I love it when the circus comes to town."  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Wash Post, by Mr Matt Zapotosky, 19 June 2018, at 1650.

Here is the lede plus three:

The FBI agent who was removed from the special counsel investigation for sending anti-Trump texts was escorted from the FBI building Friday and effectively relieved of work responsibilities — though he technically remains an FBI agent, his lawyer said.

Peter Strzok already had been re-assigned to the FBI’s Human Resources Division after he was taken off Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s team, though the move last week effectively took him off even that assignment.

His lawyer, Aitan Goelman, said in a statement, that Strzok was “being put through a highly questionable process,” and those in the public should be concerned about how politics had “been allowed to undermine due process and the legal protections owed to someone who has served his country for so long.”

“Pete has steadfastly played by the rules and respected the process, and yet he continues to be the target of unfounded personal attacks, political games and inappropriate information leaks,” Goelman said.  “All of this seriously calls into question the impartiality of the disciplinary process, which now appears tainted by political influence.”

I thought it was rich that Agent Strzok's lawyer, Mr Goelman, was concerned that "politics" was being "allowed to undermine due process".  I wonder if Mr Strzok would garner sympathy from President Trump over that.

Agent Strzok's case is probably being examined by the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility.

As a side point, the DOJ said it was slow in releasing Text Messages to the Congress due to a technical glitch.  On the Howie Carr show this afternoon the poll question was if the listeners believed the DOJ with regard to the technical glitch.  Believers was two percent when I was listening to the show at around 1630.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, June 18, 2018

Looking Up

For John, BLUFEach of us has to take an interest in our City.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

It is Monday of a new week and the "R" is back in "PARKING" in the sign on the end of the Edward Early Jr. Parking Garage.

Thank you, City Manager.

Regards  —  Cliff

For John, BLUFThe Southern Poverty Law Center is a bully.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Acronym Alert:  SPLC stands for Southern Poverty Law Center.

From The Daily Beast, today, 18 June 2018.

It is just one paragraph and a link. The SPLC seems to have an agenda and seems to lack nuance.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Losing Science

For John, BLUFThere are truly weird ideas out there, foisted on us in the name of "social justice".  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The linked item is a comment on a 6 June 2018 editorial in Nature, headlined "Science benefits from diversity".  Here is the sub-headline:

Improving the participation of under-represented groups is not just fairer — it could produce better research.

The discussion is from L'Ombre de l'Olivier, by Francis Turner, 14 June 2018.

The blog discussion ends with this quote from Quora:

I got into an argument with my friend because I reject evolution because it’s heteronormative.  Are science going to make evolution more inclusive or will they replace it with something else?
Yes, we should absolutely have diversity in science.  Everyone should have a crack at playing in that sandbox, since, after aviation, it is the most fun sandbox around.

As for the idea that there is caucasian male heteronormative science and then there are alternative scientific answers and caucasian male heteronormative science is oppressive, I would like to see the peer reviewed studies.  Back in the day there was the expression "light in the loafers" for those whose sexual orientation was gay, but that did not literally mean that there was a separate law of gravity for non-straight men.  That approach to science is like a self-licking ice cream cone and does nothing to unlock the secrets nature still holds.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Pope Says No

For John, BLUFForty percent of the Commonwealth budget is for health care.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is an AP Story in The New York Post, on 17 June 2018.

Here is the lede plus five:

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis denounced abortion on Saturday as the “white glove” equivalent of the Nazi-era eugenics program and urged families to accept the children that God gives them.

Francis spoke off-the-cuff to a meeting of an Italian family association, ditching his prepared remarks to speak from the heart about families and the trials they undergo.  He lamented how some couples choose not to have any children, while others resort to pre-natal testing to see if their baby has any malformations or genetic problems.

“The first proposal in such a case is, ‘Do we get rid of it?'” Francis said.  “The murder of children. To have an easy life, they get rid of an innocent.”

Francis recalled that as a child he was horrified to hear stories from his teacher about children “thrown from the mountain” if they were born with malformations.

“Today we do the same thing,” he said.

“Last century, the whole world was scandalized by what the Nazis did to purify the race.  Today, we do the same thing but with white gloves,” Francis said.

And, as the cost of medical care continues to rise, we will go from the "right to die" to the "duty to die".

The Pope is right here.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Who Advocates For The Patient?

For John, BLUFThis is a disgrace.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Wash Post, by Ms Theresa Vargas, a Columnist, 16 June 2018.

Here are two key paragraphs:

But here is what we already know:  Nationally, black babies are more than twice as likely as white babies to die, and black women are more than three times as likely to die of pregnancy-related causes as white women.

The District’s maternal mortality rate is more than double the nation’s, and among the maternal deaths recorded between 2014 and 2016 in Washington, 75 percent were of African American women.  Infants in predominantly black Southeast Washington have been found to die at nearly 10 times the rate of those in wealthier and whiter Northwest Washington.

I would like to see the statistics for Washington Northeast, as a comparison.  If the Columnist is correct, they would be between NW and SE.  The Southwest numbers are probably too small to fit into the discussion.

There is no doubt that this represents a failure to provide proper health care, both in DC and across the nation.  And while I can see it being partly due to a lack of understanding on the part of patients and their family and friends, I also see it as a crying need for the medical community to compensate.

And, this isn't a secret.  While I have seen indications of this from time to time, this is a strong confirmation.  What have the health care professionals been doing for the last 50 years?

One thing this does point up is the need for people in hospitals and even those visiting doctors, to have strong advocates with them, advocates to ask the questions that need to be asked to avoid a simple, but wrong, medical solution resulting in death or disability.  One of the many good things my wife does is perform as a health care advocate for others, asking questions, checking things on the World Wide Web, and making suggestions.  Advocating.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Pres Trump Putting His Stamp on DC

For John, BLUFGood surface analysis, but a deeper dive is needed.  And, Mr Viser should be checking out the Massachusetts border towns.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Boston Globe, by Mr Matt Viser of the Globe Staff, datelined 15 June 2018, out of Washington.

Here are the first three paragraphs:

President Trump’s White House presents a daily tableau of chaos, falsehoods, caustic attacks, and allegations of corruption.  But despite his stormy and impulsive management style — and in some ways, because of it — Trump is presiding over an administration that is grinding out policy victories with surprising efficiency, fulfilling campaign promises and propelling his support among Republican voters to record heights.

Nearly 18 months after taking office, his accomplishments have reached something of a critical mass, with Republicans rallying around him over wins that have thrilled the party base from social conservatives to defense hawks.  The majority of his successes have been reversals of the Obama agenda, a goal shared by Republican leaders who are now tacitly or actively participating in his remake of the 164-year-old Republican Party to match his own image and priorities.

Republican supporters assert that, after a rocky start in 2017, Trump has learned on the job and is now firmly in control of the GOP and the nation’s agenda.  If they are right, it is certainly Democrats’ worst nightmare.

OK, so far so good.

I thought this was an interesting comment by Mr Peter Fenn, a longtime Democratic strategist:

There are people, whether in the Justice Department dealing with immigration or in housing and urban development dealing with help for poor people — you’ve got ideologies in there who are undermining, in our view, clear, right policy objectives.
Interesting in that it is said like there were no ideologies under the previous administration, or no deeply imbedded ideologies left over in the Federal Government in the current Administration.  Ideologies are, apparently, only those evil Republicans.

Here is the concluding paragraph:

In those places where he placed very conservative people who had a clear agenda . . . there is definitely big change happening in subterranean ways,” said Daniel Gitterman, a professor of public policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who has studied Trump’s executive orders.  “Perhaps by all the focus on dysfunction of the White House, we’re missing that he’s got some lieutenants who have a clear mission.
I am glad that sort of thing didn't happen in the previous Administration.  And you can tell by the way Government employees pretty evenly split their contributions amongst the several candidates for President in 2016.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Matt Viser can be reached at

Friday, June 15, 2018

A Twisted Path at DOJ

For John, BLUFHere is the fun side of the DOJ IG Report on the Hillary EMail Investigation.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Lid Blog, by Mr Jeff Dunetz, 15 Jun 2018.

Here is the lede plus five:

The IG report about the FBI’s Hillary investigation absolutely skewered the senior players of the FBI.  While the Democrats and Media (I guess those terms are redundant).  While the Democrats and the Mainstream Media are focusing on the most damaging (or mitigating) parts of the almost 600-page report, we will take a different approach and focus on the five most ironic parts of the investigation\
1)  While Comey was investigating Hillary Clinton for using her personal email to conduct State Department business, “Comey used a personal email account (a Gmail account) to conduct FBI business.” (pg. 427)  So did the FBI lovers and Trump haters Peter Strzok and Lisa Page (xii).

2)  Comey was one of the few people in the world that didn’t know that Huma Abedin was married to Anthony Weiner.

3)  For those who believe that the reopening of the Hillary Clinton Email investigation two weeks before the election helped Trump win–guess what?  Don’t blame it on Comey, blame it on Peter Strzok and Lisa Page the FBI lovers and the ultimate Trump haters.

4)  According to the IG, the FBI, supposedly the best law enforcement agency in the world may have taken bribes from the press in exchange for leaking information.

5)  Strzok, the first FBI investigator of any Russia/Trump connections, and hater of President Trump believed there was nothing to the Russia collusion charges:

Res ipsa loquitur.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

A Certain Animus

For John, BLUFDo the members of the FBI have contempt for you?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

A followup on my earlier Post on DOJ text messaging suggesting a certain animus toward Candidate Donald J Trump:
11:02:22, FBI Employee:  “All the people who were initially voting for her would not, and were not, swayed by any decision the FBI put out.  Trump’s supporters are all poor to middle class, uneducated, lazy POS that think he will magically grant them jobs for doing nothing.  They probably didn’t watch the debates, aren’t fully educated on his policies, and are stupidly wrapped up in his unmerited enthusiasm.”
DoD IG Report, Page 417
I remember someone here in Lowell telling me I didn't have anything to say until I renounced Trump.

Then there was another candidate who put me in a "basket of deplorables".

Then there was the earlier candidate, who suggested I was a "bitter clinger" (I am originally from Western Pennsylvania).

Now I find that I am an "uneducated, lazy POS".  Frankly, the uneducated and lazy parts may well be true.  I only have a Masters Degree (USC) and my wife suggests to me sometimes that I am lazy.  It is the POS part that I find insulting.  And I find it disturbing that it is being said of me by a Federal Government Civilian Employee, who lives off my tax dollars and the tax dollars of many like me.  It is worse than disrespectful.  It is full of contempt.

If it wasn't that my Father and my two Brothers have all been Civil Servants, and did great jobs for we taxpayers, and others I know who have been Civil Servants, like my Daughter and two Sons, I would begin to question if we were developing a corrupt class, at least in Washington.  I still have faith, but there is some leadership needed, at least in DoJ.

The big issue is that the DOJ, and the FBI, failed to foster a culture of non-partisan investigations.  Yesterday, in response to the IG Report, the head of the FBI, Director Christopher A. Wray, said that the FBI would reeducate the workforce.  Reeducation isn't what is needed.  Cultural leadership is what is needed.  It may require firing everyone who works on the top two floors of the J Edgar Hoover Building.  I hope not, but Mr Wray doesn't seem to get it.  It is culture, not education.

Regards  —  Cliff

Lowering Education

For John, BLUFParents, leading their children are what can make our schools better.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is not Professor Althouse's headline, but the headline of the article she linked to in her Blog Post of 13 June 2018.

She doesn't comment on the article, but does balance it with a second item from The Old Gray Lady, "De Blasio’s Plan for NYC Schools Isn’t Anti-Asian.  It’s Anti-Racist.  It gives a diverse group of working class kids a fairer shot, which shouldn’t be controversial," by Minh-Ha T. Pham.

Here is the quote that Professor Althouse led with:

"Admission to Stuyvesant was and remains determined by a single test available to all middle school students in the city.  There are no soft criteria for admission no interviews, no favoritism for legacies, no strings to be pulled.  It’s all about whether you do well on the test, which best determines whether or not you can do the academic work.  You would think that Mayor Bill de Blasio would celebrate Stuyvesant as the crown jewel of the city’s school system.  Instead, he has announced a plan that will destroy it in all but name.  This month, the mayor said he would seek legislation that would eliminate the test completely.  Instead, he’d guarantee automatic admission to Stuyvesant — and the seven other specialized high schools in the city — for the top students at every middle school, regardless of their abilities.  The mayor says he is trying to address what is undoubtedly a heartbreaking problem:  the gross underrepresentation of black and Latino students at Stuyvesant and schools like it....  But the mayor’s solution is no solution at all.  For one thing, his plan seems purposely oblivious to his administration’s utter failure to prepare students across the city for the admissions test — and for a school as challenging as Stuyvesant.  In nearly one quarter of the city’s public middle schools, zero seventh graders scored at the advanced level on the annual New York State Mathematics Exam in 2017.  Mr. de Blasio would send the top 7 percent of students at every middle school to the specialized high schools, but at 80 middle schools — or one out of every six — not even 7 percent of seventh graders passed the state math exam."
Deep down inside that paragraph is the idea that New York City Mayor Will de Blasio is trying to cover for the fact that he can't get the City Schools to perform by wiping out the high quality examine high schools, like Stuyvesant.  He won't change the names, but he will change the quality of education in those high schools.

Here is an excerpt from the second article, supporting Mayor de Blasio:

[F]or school admissions to be truly unbiased, all students would need to have equal access to elementary schools and middle schools that receive equal shares of property taxes and state and federal aid and have the same cultural, educational and social resources.
I think the second author makes the point about cultural, educational and social resources.  Within Lowell all students have access to the property taxes and State and Federal aid.  But, students coming from families, and neighborhoods, where education is valued and parents facilitate education, will do better.

The real tragedy here is that Mayor de Blasio, and those like him, are hurting the students by not recognizing the critical importance of parents (even if a single parent) in motivating students to learn.  Here in Lowell we missed an opportunity when we didn't follow up on then City Councilor Franky Descoteaux's idea for adopting the "Promise Neighborhoods" approach.

Oh, and, yes, this will hasten the growth of alternative systems of education, like charter schools, parochial schools and home schooling.

Hat tip to the Althouse Blog.

Regards  —  Cliff

My Error

For John, BLUFLet us readdress on Monday.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the deal.  On City Life Show this morning (Local Lowell Channel 8, Repeat at 4:00 PM this afternoon or here on the Internet) I raised the question of a Text Message interchange between DOJ Lawyer Lisa Page and FBI Agent Peter Strzok.

The exchange I mentioned was this one:

Lisa Page text to Peter Strzok: “(Trump’s) not ever going to become president, right? Right?!”

Strzok: “No. No he’s not. We’ll stop it.”

The show's producer immediately jumped on me for this, for which I did not have (foolishly, on my part) "proof".  It was, he suggested, all part of the fake news we hear and see every day.  My co-host, Jim, did not disagree with the Producer and our guest, Erik, was on his side also.  So, my question of how we take that just died right there.

After the show, I went to a meeting of the "Access to Healthy Foods Working Group", and then came home and opened the above referenced DOJ IG Report.

Here are the two quotes, from the source:

We were deeply troubled by text messages exchanged between [Peter] Strzok and [Lisa] Page that potentially indicated or created the appearance that investigative decisions were impacted by bias or improper considerations. Most of the text messages raising such questions pertained to the Russia investigation, which was not a part of this review. Nonetheless, when one senior FBI official, Strzok, who was helping to lead the Russia investigation at the time, conveys in a text message to another senior FBI official, Page, “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it” in response to her question “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!”, it is not only indicative of a biased state of mind but, even more seriously, implies a willingness to take official action to impact the presidential candidate’s electoral prospects. This is antithetical to the core values of the FBI and the Department of Justice.
DoD IG Report, Pages xi and xii
So, how do we understand this.  Is this just casual banter between two DOJ "colleagues" or is this, as the IG Report suggests, an indication of Swamp People who had decided that they should move from their Civil Service neutrality into a more partisan position?

My take is that if you are not concerned you don't understand how serious the situation is.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Space Weather Threat

For John, BLUFThe question is, who funds this?  The Power Companies or the People collectively (i.e.; the Government)?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Bloomberg Quint, by Reporter Brian K. Sullivan, 13 June 2018.

Here are the basics:

Here’s something you probably didn’t know you needed to worry about:  There’s a layer of 300 million-year-old rock under Interstate 95 that’s capable of killing the lights from Washington to Boston and beyond the next time the sun erupts in all its fury.

Sound far-fetched? Perhaps.  But not to scientists.  A solar storm is now viewed as enough of a risk in fact that grid operators across North America are working on plans to respond to just such a disturbance.  And a draft of a soon-to-be-published U.S. Geological Survey report pinpoints the Eastern Seaboard as one of the areas most in danger.

That’s because this Paleozoic-era rock doesn’t let the energy from a major geomagnetic storm — a once-in-a-100-years kind of event — pass through it but instead acts as a backstop that sends the surge back up above the ground for a second shot at causing mayhem.

“It’s an active problem that a lot of people are trying to solve and understand,” said Christopher Balch, space scientist at the Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado.

Through a stroke of bad luck, the worst of these rocks basically traces the path of I-95 from Richmond, Virginia, to Portland, Maine, passing through Washington, New York and Boston along the way.


Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

California Dreaming

For John, BLUFGiven the mood of voters these days, Californians could vote to split up.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Hot Air, by Captain Ed Morrissey, 12 June 2018.

While the topic of a California breakup is interesting (and is as old or older than Captain Ed suggests) I wanted to look at this issue:

Everything they claim about California is true, of course. It’s an economic wreck, where regulation has strangled small business and where income inequality is fourth-highest in the nation, right behind New York, Connecticut, and, er … Louisiana.
So, for all the whinging about income disparity, three of the most progressive states, New York, Connecticut and California, along with Louisiana, are the four highest in the nation for income disparity.

As to the breakup itself, I am not sure Congress will look with favor on such a split-up.  For me, if it knocks folks off top dead center WRT Puerto Rico it will be worth it.  Regarding Puerto Rico, I say make them a State or kick them lose (over five years, to allow their economy and government to adjust). End that vestige of colonialism.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Yes, I would allow the Commonwealth of Guam, where America's day begins, to remain in its current status, if it wishes.  If it ain't broken, don't fix it.

Bake That Cake

For John, BLUFI think, in the long run, we benefit from applying the principle of Freedom of Association to commercial practices, while encouraging everyone to be open to the hopes and aspirations of others.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

A product of W Magazine, by a person unknown, on 12 June 2018.

They always start with a quote:

“We are all sacred and we all belong, so let’s just bake a cake for everyone who wants a cake to be baked.”  —  Andrew Garfield
I like this idea, but I still want space for people to politely decline.

What if some group in berets shows up asking for a Birthday Cake for Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin (18 December)?  How about one for Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria (29 March).  Then there is the old standby, Adolf Hitler (20 April).

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

In and Out, from W Magazine

Monday, June 11, 2018

California Nightmares

For John, BLUFOne of the great things about these United States is that the individual states provide places to experiment.  When I was young California experimented and it is good.  Today California experiments and it is a warning to other states.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Snopes, Facebook, and others purporting to ‘fact check’ conservative frustrations with California’s new water-restrictions law are the ones misleading about its effects.

From The Federalist, by Ms Inez Feltscher Stepman, 11 June 2018.

Here are the first three paragraphs:

The latest in Facebook-policed “fake news” is a claim echoing through the conservative Twittersphere, including from my own account, that two bills outgoing California Gov. Jerry Brown signed impose such draconian water use standards that fines could be imposed for taking a shower and running laundry on the same day.  Snopes rated these assertions as “mostly false,” and Facebook flagged stories about them as fake news.

But Snopes, Facebook, and others purporting to “fact check” conservative frustrations with the law are the ones misleading about its effects.  The way these allegedly neutral fact-checkers present repackaged liberal assumptions as hard fact is a great illustration of how the Left pulls off the kind of logical ju-jitsu that allows them to label conservative arguments as fake news in order to dismiss them.

In this particular case, none of these “debunking” articles actually dispute the three most crucial facts: there is a daily per-person 55-gallon limit ratcheting down to 50 gallons over the course of a decade, fines will be imposed upon violation, and, for at least some users, a reasonable-length shower and running the wash will put them over.  In fact, most of the articles in question actually confirm these three vital points, usually squashed into a final paragraph that contradicts the headline.  Nevertheless, they conclude that conservatives are spreading false information.

From there, Ms Stepman goes on to show how Snopes and Facebook suffer from innumeracy.

But, the thing I really liked about this post by Mr Ed Driscoll, at the InstaPundit, is this:

P.J. O’Rourke once wrote that “You can’t get good Chinese takeout in China and Cuban cigars are rationed in Cuba.  That’s all you need to know about communism.”
Too right.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Trump Expanding His Base

For John, BLUFOf course he is and an improving economy helps, Speaker Pelosi notwithstanding.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Yes, next question.

From The Los Angeles Daily News, by Ms Susan Shelley, 9 June 2018.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Impeach Trump Now

For John, BLUFWhen politics gets too personal it gets too dangerous.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Huffington Post, by Opinion Writer Kaitlin Byrd, 8 June 2018.

Here is the lede plus four:

It would be dangerous, divisive and difficult for Democrats to impeach Donald Trump.  Or so says a growing consensus among the Washington political establishment.

Pundits counsel caution, hanging onto visions of bipartisan compromise.  Others invoke the hazards of 1998, when the impeachment and acquittal of then-President Bill Clinton hobbled GOP political ambitions.  And Democrats weigh the potential backlash to pursuit of impeachment against the unvented anger of their base in this year’s midterm elections.

Some argue that running on impeachment is a trap; others, that it is a threat.  What no one disputes are the merits.

Of the many arguments against impeachment, none is a moral one. Republicans not immediately within the Trump inner circle do not even assert his innocence as a defense.  Instead, they use the threat as a motivating tactic for their base, stoking their resentments and fueling partisan animosity.

Perhaps if the only costs paid by the American people were ones of hyperpartisanship and aggressive Fox News broadcasts, it would be a reasonable calculation to avoid the question of impeachment.  But there are far more terrible costs extracted by Trump’s malfeasance and Republican complicity.

No mention of "Russia", "Putin" or "Collusion" or even "Mueller".  So, for this writer there is no need for the Mueller Investigation.  Donald J Trump is a jerk and deserves to be impeached based on his actions as a human being.

I hope the Democrats run on impeachment, I hope they follow the lead of Article Author Kaitlin Byrd and Representative Maxine Waters.

The thing is, there are a lot of voters out there who will think of this as the Clerisy devaluing their vote back in November 2016.  An act of total disrespect.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Trying to See to November

For John, BLUFJust a few months ago (14 March) The Boston Globe was predicting a "Blue Tsunami".  It is a long way to November, but I don't think that Blue Wave is a certainty.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Old Gray Lady, by Christopher Buskirk, 8 June 2018.

Here are three key paragraphs:

Mr. Trump tapped into this.  Most Republicans accept his transgressive personality and his intentional tweaking of social and political norms because they see it as in service of those larger ideas.  That will seem counterintuitive to Trump haters, but fiddling with tax rates, however necessary and beneficial, can’t sustain a political movement, let alone a nation.  Issues of citizenship and solidarity — that is to say, asking what it means to be an American — have returned to the fore.  This is partly because of Mr. Trump and partly in spite of him.  What is important is that the tumult caused by his unusual candidacy and his unusual approach to governing created an environment in which an intellectual refounding of Republican politics became possible.

The three-legged stool of the new Republican majority is a pro-citizen immigration policy, a pro-worker economic policy and a foreign policy that rejects moral imperialism and its concomitant foreign wars.  John Adams described just such a foreign policy when he wrote that America is “the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all” but “the champion and vindicator only of her own.”

Giving up on a failed policy of moral imperialism allows Republicans to focus on forming good citizens and restoring a sense of Americanism that relies upon strong ties of fellowship and belief in a shared destiny.  To that end, our candidates would be well advised to ignore strategists and consultants who talk exclusively in terms of messaging tailored to statistical constructs like “disaffected Democrats with some college” or “married suburban men who drive S.U.V.s.”  When it comes to politics, most people don’t want to be addressed as members of a demographic group looking for a payoff. They want to be addressed as Americans.

If you are a statistician it is good to know if there is a group of "married suburban men who drive SUVs."  That data, helps understand who is where.  We still need to understand what might be behind their voting Republican, if they do.

Here is another good point:

That’s why Mr. Trump’s rhetoric works.  When he speaks off the cuff, he talks about “we,” “us” and “our.”  He has said repeatedly that we love our farmers, our police, our flag and our national anthem — even our coal miners.  It is an odd construction, or at least one we’re not used to hearing.  It speaks to the essential fraternity of the nation, but when Mr. Trump says it — maybe when any Republican says it — too many people don’t believe that they are included in the “our.”  They hear something much narrower than what is meant.  People reject the essentially wholesome message because of the messenger.  That needs to change because they are, in fact, our farmers, our police and our coal miners, and we should love them.  The bonds of civil union that ought to hold us together demand that we love our fellow citizens in their imperfection even as they love us in ours.
And that is something have I noticed.  Unlike Presidents Bush and Obama, who were big into "I", "me" and "my", President Trump is not.  I wonder if the reason President Trump has such popularity as he does is because, unlike his two predecessors, he says "we" and "our" rather than "I" and "my".  From that may flow an idea in the minds of some that he is Walter Mitty come to life.  He will pull out his fountain pen at the needed point and put it where it will do the most good.  I can almost hear something going "pocketa pocketa".

Regards  —  Cliff

  Mr. Buskirk is editor and publisher of the journal American Greatness and a contributing opinion writer.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Desolve the People

For John, BLUFGovernments sometimes forget that the People are sovereign.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Old Gray Lady, by Columnist Maureen Dowd, 2 June 2018.

The beginning of last week's column:

It was a moment of peak Spock.

Hours after the globe-rattling election of a man whom Barack Obama has total disdain for, a toon who would take a chain saw to the former president’s legacy on policy and decency, Obama sent a message to his adviser Ben Rhodes:  “There are more stars in the sky than grains of sand on the earth.”

Perhaps Obama should have used a different line with a celestial theme by Shakespeare:  “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.”

As president, Obama always found us wanting.  We were constantly disappointing him.  He would tell us the right thing to do and then sigh and purse his lips when his instructions were not followed.

Shortly after Donald Trump was elected, Rhodes writes in his new book,  “The World as It Is,” Obama asked his aides, “What if we were wrong?”

But in his next breath, the president made it clear that what he meant was:  What if we were wrong in being so right?  What if we were too good for these people?

“Maybe we pushed too far,” the president continued.  “Maybe people just want to fall back into their tribe.”

So really, he’s not acknowledging any flaws but simply wondering if we were even more benighted than he thought.  He’s saying that, sadly, we were not enlightened enough for the momentous changes wrought by the smartest people in the world — or even evolved enough for the first African-American president.

“Sometimes I wonder whether I was 10 or 20 years too early,” Obama mused to aides.

Which reminds me of East German Poet and Playwright Bertolt Brecht and his poem, after the 1953 East German uprising, The Solution
After the uprising of the 17th of June
The Secretary of the Writers' Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts.  Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

A Fairy Tale

For John, BLUFI guess it cpuld always be worse.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Hill, by Ms Sharyl Attkisson, 10 June 2018.

It is a fairy tale, told by Reporter Sheryl Attkisson, who has had her own nightmares dealing with the FBI.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Strange Particles

For John, BLUFI wonder if we have to move the experiments into outer space.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Live Science, by Staff Writer Rafi Letzter, 1 June 2018.

Here is the start:

Scientists have produced the firmest evidence yet of so-called sterile neutrinos, mysterious particles that pass through matter without interacting with it at all.

The first hints these elusive particles turned up decades ago.  But after years of dedicated searches, scientists have been unable to find any other evidence for them, with many experiments contradicting those old results.  These new results now leave scientists with two robust experiments that seem to demonstrate the existence of sterile neutrinos, even as other experiments continue to suggest sterile neutrinos don't exist at all.

That means there's something strange happening in the universe that is making humanity's most cutting-edge physics experiments contradict one another.

I love science and I love the way it works.

However, in science old ideas have to be bludgeoned to death by new scientists, because yesterday's truth clings to life with real tenacity.

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

Reaching for the Humanity in Someone

For John, BLUFWhoever they are, they are a brother or sister.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The New Yorker, by Dr Atul Gawande, 2 June 2018.

The following was delivered as the commencement address at U.C.L.A. Medical School on Friday, June 1st.
Here is the lede plus one:
I want to start with a story.  One night, on my surgery rotation, during my third year of medical school, I followed my chief resident into the trauma bay in the emergency department.  We’d been summoned to see a prisoner who’d swallowed half a razor blade and slashed his left wrist with the corner of the crimp on a toothpaste tube.  He was about thirty, built like a boxer, with a tattooed neck, hands shackled to the gurney, and gauze around his left wrist showing bright crimson seeping through.

The first thing out of his mouth was a creepy comment about the chief resident, an Asian-American woman.  I won’t say what he said.  Just know he managed in only a few words to be racist, sexist, and utterly menacing to her.  She turned on her heels, handed me the clipboard, and said, “He’s all yours.”

And Dr Gawande stepped up.

I am no Saint Francis of Assisi, prepared to kiss a leper's open sores, but I admire his understanding of his duty as a physician and a human.  Thank you, Dr Gawande.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Sex on Campus

For John, BLUFWhen we try to engineer human nature we run into problems.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

A Title IX case at the University of Cincinnati—rife with legal, anatomical, and emotional improbabilities—illustrates the potential excesses of policing sex on campus.

From The Atlantic, by Ms Caitlin Flanagan, 1 June 2018.

In summary, two students, one female and one male, got drunk and woke up and had sex.  He decided to protect himself (she had previously file a complaint against a third party) by blaming her for taking advantage of him.

Here is a key paragraph:

In other words—college students and administrators take note—the days of blaming one person (almost always the man) for a no-harm, no foul, mutually drunken hook up may be coming to an end.  It was a ridiculous standard, one that that infantilized college women, demonized male sexuality, and was responsible for harsh punishment meted out to an unknown number of college students, almost all of them male.  It trivialized something grave: sex crime.  And because it poured all of these experiences through an interpretive system that forced women into the role of passive victims and men in that of aggressive predators, it has helped stoke understandable resentment among young men on campuses across the country.
Yes, the vector of that approach was going to end up in males avoiding schools with female students.  This would be a higher education reversal of major proportions.

But, our author sees hope out on the horizon:

That time is coming again on American campuses, as the strongest and smartest and bravest among the students are beginning to realize that the beliefs and practices that dominate these places are irrational and hugely political.  These new students are waking up, resisting, fighting back, in all sorts of areas of college life.  The administrators want to crush them, but the wind is at their back.  The progressive left has all the power on campus, but this unfolding awareness on the part of these counter-revolutionaries has its own unassailable power: truth, logic, and reason.
I appreciate living in interesting times.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Separate Rules...

For John, BLUFA reference to Jack Kerouac.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

For Clinton, the real story of the impeachment drama was that he did nothing wrong.

From National Review, by Mr Jonah Goldberg, 8 June 2018.

It is longish, but here is a good sample:

For Clinton — both of them — all of his or her misdeeds were scandals because other people, nefarious forces, Comstocks and prudes, vast right-wing conspiracies, talk-radio critics, et al., unfairly turned them into scandals.  For Clinton, the real story of the impeachment drama was that he did nothing wrong.  “I did the right thing,” he said.  “I defended the Constitution.”

Yes, that is totally how history will remember that chapter.

I wonder how many times Bill told one of his paramours:  “Lie back and think of the Constitution.”

Speaking of history, I particularly enjoyed when Bill snapped, “You think President Kennedy should have resigned?  Do you believe President Johnson should have resigned?”


Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, June 8, 2018

Going to Singapore

For John, BLUFWhat is the skill set required here?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Pajama Media, by Mr Roger L Simon, 7 June 2018.

Remember, experts built the Titanic, while amateurs built the Ark.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Who Gets to Vote?

For John, BLUFFunny, the Progressives have switched from "no illegals registered" to "there is no reason to drop illegals from the voting roles."  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The American Thinker, by Thomas Lifson, 7 June 2018.

Here is the beginning of the article:

The registrar of voters in the third most populous county in the United States is battling in court to keep non-citizens eligible to vote.  Ann Harris Bennet of Harris County, Texas (population: over 4.5 million) takes that astonishing position in filing with federal court.

Stephen Dinan of the Washington Times reports:

In a federal court filing last week she said people can be removed for other reasons, but there is no requirement she erase names of people even after they tell her they aren't citizens.

"Once a person is officially registered to vote, a state may only remove them from the voting list if: the person dies, changes residence, asks to be removed from the list, or becomes ineligible under state law because of criminal conviction or mental incapacity," Ms. Bennett said in court papers.  The National Voter Registration Act "does not create any obligation for a state to conduct a list maintenance program to remove the names of voters who may be ineligible due to lack of citizenship."

Ms. Bennett is fighting a request by the Public Interest Legal Foundation, a conservative group pushing to clean up voter rolls, which asked the county to turn over records of people who'd signed up to vote then later admitted they weren't citizens.

It seems not to occur to people that efforts to dilute my vote is depriving me of the right to vote.

Here in Lowell we are being sued because we have at-large City Councillors.  Worse, some Citizens are willing to get out and vote, while others can't be bothered.  As it is, my Precinct turns out in much higher numbers than many other Precincts, with the result that my Precinct is a decider in many races.

The obvious solution is to get more people to vote in other Precincts.  However, that is too hard.  So, to make up for that someone is suing the City, to create City Council Districts, so the votes in some districts will carry greater weight that the votes in others, where the proportional turnout is higher.  Thus diluting my vote.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff


Thursday, June 7, 2018

An Adult in the Room

For John, BLUFHere is a moment to be proud of Barney Frank.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Mr Nicholas Ballasy, 6 June 2018.

Here is the lede plus four:

Reacting to the Supreme Court ruling in favor of a baker who refused to make a cake for a same-sex couple, former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said that people “have a right to be bigots,” which is not “a license to trash them in return.”

“It was a very narrow ruling and there’s a lesson in there for LBGT people and advocates and others.  Be careful.  The fact that there are bigots who trash us is not a license to trash them in return.  Yes, it’s important to stand up and call bigots ‘bigots,’ but don’t make illegitimate complaints about them,” Frank said during a discussion about the history of the LGBT movement on Tuesday evening at the Newseum, which plans to open its new exhibit “Rise Up:  Stonewall and the Gay Rights Movement” next March.

Frank, who came out as gay in 1987 as a member of Congress and served until 2013, noted that Justice Anthony Kennedy authored the majority opinion in the Colorado baker case but wrote all of the past pro-gay opinions.

“He was moved to decide this in part because people on the Colorado Human Rights Commission may have been well-intentioned, but they were mean-spirited when they made nasty comments about religion.  And so there’s a very important point for people on our side to understand:  You can’t have a one-way standard,” said Frank, who became the first sitting member of Congress to enter into a same-sex marriage in 2012.

“Secondly, yeah, the ruling is very limited.  I think it’s very clear if you are a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, whatever your sexual self-description is, you will not be legally denied any service that is normally provided to others.  Let’s be clear:  that’s a given.  The question is, if you want something specifically tailored to reflect your interests as a lesbian couple or as transgender people, how far can you go?  And it is logical, yes, people have a right to be bigots and you have some limits on what you could have people sign on to,” he added.

Representative Barney Frank, who can be pretty acerbic, hits the right notes here.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Not Talking About Bill

For John, BLUFI am thinking that the Democrats are not interested in talking about former President Bill Clinton.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Twitchy, by Doug P, posted at 11:41 AM on 7 June 2018.

Here is the money tweet:

During a conversation with Chris Cuomo, Sen. Chuck Schumer said that #MeToo was very important to him, but just after that Cuomo asked about Bill Clinton, and Schumer slammed the door hard:

Burgess Everett

CUOMO:  What Bill Clinton said about Me Too, a lot of controversy.  Your take?
SCHUMER:  Not getting into that.
CUOMO:  Because?
SCHUMER:  I think it's irrelevant to what we need to talk about.
7:37 AM - 7 Jun 2018

What do they need to be talking about?

The $64,000 Question is if all this will have any impact come November.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Solo, the Movie

For John, BLUFI had to fill that square.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Yes, I went to see the movie, notwithstanding the bad reports in the media.  It is part of the Starwars saga, after all.  Yes, it filled in parts of the story, but it was not the best of the genre.  However, I found an article to help me understand.  First of all, I recognized myself in the article as a "fanboy".
I’d bet every fanboy went to see Solo this weekend anyway.
Actually, I went a week later.  And here is an interesting take on the movie and the comments on the movie.

Here is the sub-headline:

The real reasons the latest Star Wars movie flopped.

From The Weekly Standard, by Mr John Podhoretz, 31 May 2018.

Here are, for me, the two key paragraphs:

Weirdly, every one of these movies centers on an orphaned young hero from nowhere, with nothing, who becomes a player in a major interplanetary game.  Rey from The Force Awakens is a scavenger; Jyn of Rogue One is part of a rebel gang.  The uniquely uninspired idea behind Solo is that he’s basically Dickens’s Artful Dodger, growing up in a slum stealing things for a local crime boss.  Does that strike you as Han Solo’s back story?  Doesn’t he seem more like the louche son of an upper-middle-class family who became a small-time smuggler because he found bourgeois life too dull?

There’s no bad boy to Alden Ehrenreich’s young Han; he’s a boy scout who is determined to save the love of his life.  All he does is sacrifice things and help people.  But the Han we know and love from the original Star Wars movies is someone who sticks his neck out for the first time when he shows up in the last act to help blow up the Death Star and transforms his life as a result.  Solo should be a movie about what made him so cynical yet charming in the first place.  It isn’t.  It isn’t really about much of anything, actually.

That's it.  I didn't really recognize the Harrison Ford Hans Solo in this actor.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  For all I knew, it was fake news being pushed by lovable old George Soros.

Generators of Fake News

For John, BLUFYou have to check out every story, however much you like it.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from the InstaPundit Blog, this morning, posted by Mr Charles Glasser.
FAKE NEWS:  THE EUROPEAN EDITION– Cardiff University professor Richard Sambrook dissects three recent fake stories.  The first one is of particular interest, because it alleged the London Evening Standard has been selling favorable news coverage to companies including Uber, and Google for £3m.  The allegation is made by a fake news outfit calling themselves “”

And who are the major sponsors behind this fake news outfit?  George Soros’ Open Society Foundations and the Rockefeller Fund.  Hold on…we keep getting told that Fake News is a Russian scheme to keep Trump in power. What gives?

Who would have thunk it, that nice Mr George Soros?

Regards  —  Cliff

Distrust of Government Grows

For John, BLUFI think the Democrats are losing the fight for the narrative.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Breitbart, by Mr John Norte, 4 Jun 2018.

Here are the first two paragraphs, and the source:

A majority of 51 percent of voters now believe “senior law enforcement officials are likely to have broken the law in an effort to prevent Trump from winning the presidency,” according to a poll from Rasmussen Reports.

Only 42 percent of voters believe it is “unlikely that these officials illegally attempted to stop a Trump presidency.”

It seems it is time for the Democrats to cauterize this wound.  As the old adage goes, "when you are in a hole, stop digging."

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff