Thursday, March 22, 2018

Unable to Move On

For John, BLUFWe are at the point where many, if not most, are willing to cut off their nose to spite their face.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the Althouse blog, 22 March 2018.

This is an Althouse excerpt from a WaPo article on a debate on CNN between Mr Jeffrey Toobin and his former professor, Alan Dershowitz.  It is Professor Dershowitz speaking:

“None of my liberal friends invite me to dinner anymore,” he said.  “Thanks to Donald Trump, I’ve lost seven pounds.  I call it the Donald Trump diet.”
Remember Mr Rodney King?  Remember what he asked?

People, I just want to say, can we all get along? Can we get along?
Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Hillary Isn't Helping

For John, BLUFSome people just can't give up their dream, even for the good of others.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the blog Legal Insurrection, posted by Ms Mary Chastain, 21 March 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

We all knew this would happen after failed Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton bashed those who did not vote her.  She said that women who did not vote for her did so because a man told them not to.

Now, Hillary’s blame game is coming back to haunt incumbents like Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), who is considered one of the more vulnerable Democrats up for re-election.

At the link is a video of an advertisement from Senator McCaskill's opponent, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley.

There may be a blue wave coming, or a Tsunami, if you read The Boston Globe, but is is possible that people like Ms Hillary Clinton could cause the wave to peter out before it hits shore.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Our Brother's Keeper

For John, BLUFThe thing is, we need to prevent this from falling into 1984.  We do need to be prepared to judge some actions as unacceptable.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Washington Times, an Analysis/Opinion Piece by Reporter Everett Piper, way back on 11 March 2018.

Here is the lede plus four:

“The Lottery” is a classic short story written by Shirley Jackson in 1948. It’s the tale of a rural, farming community in America of about three hundred residents. The town seems normal by all accounts as it prepares for a traditional, harvest-time event known as The Lottery.

Each year the name of every family is written on a piece of paper and securely stored in a locked box. On the morning of the annual gathering, the heads of each household draw from the box until a paper slip with a black spot is extracted.  One of these clans is that of the “Hutchensons.”

Upon “winning” this first phase of the lottery, each member of the Hutchinson family joins the father to select another slip of paper out of another box until one member of that family — the mother, named Tessie — draws a piece of paper with the final black spot on it.

In spite of her cries, the townspeople, including her own husband and children, pick up rocks and stone her to death to ensure a more prosperous harvest.

For some 70 years, “The Lottery” has rightly been included in many literary anthologies for its shocking portrayal of the power of groupthink and the human inclination to accept evil.

The point of this item is that Pasadena City College English Professor Kay Haugaard has noted that over thirty years of teaching the student reactions have gone from shock to "who am I to judge".  To which you may respond, "who are you to judge?"  The thing is, this is how a nation falls into accepting the murdering of millions.  Think the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Red China and Cambodia.

Back before Columbus sailed the Ocean Blue, back before Hernán Cortés defeated the Aztec Triple Alliance, there was human sacrifice.  Would those student in Pasadena find that acceptable?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

City of Betrayal

For John, BLUFWashington is an ugly place these days.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From ABC News, by Reporter Mike Levine, 21 March 2018.

Here is the lede plus three:

Nearly a year before Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired senior FBI official Andrew McCabe for what Sessions called a "lack of candor," McCabe oversaw a federal criminal investigation into whether Sessions lacked candor when testifying before Congress about contacts with Russian operatives, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.

Democratic lawmakers have repeatedly accused Sessions of misleading them in congressional testimony and called on federal authorities to investigate, but McCabe's previously-unreported decision to actually put the attorney general in the crosshairs of an FBI probe was an exceptional move.

One source told ABC News that Sessions was not aware of the investigation when he decided to fire McCabe last Friday less than 48 hours before McCabe, a former FBI deputy director, was due to retire from government and obtain a full pension, but an attorney representing Sessions declined to confirm that.

Last year, several top Republican and Democratic lawmakers were informed of the probe during a closed-door briefing with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and McCabe, ABC News was told.

Washington seems to have turned into a place that is described in the Gospel of Saint Matthew:
The brother also shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the son: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and shall put them to death.
Matthew 10:21
It reminds me of our then Nation's Capitol when Thomas Jefferson was Secretary of State.

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

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

David Brooks JAN. 4, 2018.

Yes, this is almost three months old, but it is timeless advice and well worth heeding, even if you are currently a practicing atheist.

Here is the lede plus two:

Over the past several years we have done an outstanding job of putting total sleazoids at the top of our society:  Trump, Bannon, Ailes, Weinstein, Cosby, etc.  So it was good to get a reminder, from Pope Francis in his New Year’s Eve homily, that the people who have the most influence on society are actually the normal folks, through their normal, everyday gestures being kind in public places, attentive to the elderly.  The pope called such people, in a beautiful phrase, “the artisans of the common good.”

Small deeds, he said, “express concretely love for the city … without giving speeches, without publicity, but with a style of practical civic education for daily life.”

The pope focused especially on driving, praising those people “who move in traffic with good sense and prudence.”  As Richard Reeves of the Brookings Institution points out, driving is precisely the sort of everyday activity through which people mold the culture of their community.

And, Mr Brooks then relates it back to our Fair Commonwealth:
Studies have been done, of course.  According to Allstate, the most accident-prone drivers live in Boston; Baltimore; Worcester, Mass.; Washington, D.C.; and Springfield, Mass.  (Way to go, Massachusetts!)  The safest drivers live in Kansas City, Kan.; Brownsville, Tex.; Madison, Wis.; and Huntsville, Ala.
At the bottom of the article was the welcome news that "Paul Krugman is off today."

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Yes, I do note a certain bitter political twist here, but we are all trying to be uplifting here, and by including Mr Harvey Weinstein, of Hollywood, he did include a likely Democrat.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018


For John, BLUFThe Reporter is extrapolating from the Pennsylvania 18th the January 2019 power of Democrats to Impeach President Trump.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Boston Globe, by Mr Astead W. Herndon, 14 March 2018.

Here is the lede:

Before Tuesday’s special election in Pennsylvania, most signs pointed to a Democratic wave in the upcoming midterm elections.  But after Democrat Conor Lamb scored a razor-thin congressional victory in the heart of Trump Country, there’s a creeping consensus that the wave could become a tsunami.
I go with the conventional wisdom.  Unless the Republicans come up with new tricks they are going to lose seats in the House of Representatives.

The question is, how many Conner Lambs can the Democratic Party field in those Districts that are not highly populated with Progressives?  Will they all last until November?

This thing we are talking about is a localized phenomenon.  I very much doubt there will be any Conner Lambs in Massachusetts, or in the coastal Congressional Districts of California or in Western Washington State.  And, there don't need to be, since Progressives in those locations control the Democratic Party.  Heck, in California not even Democrat Senator Diane Feinstein could get a Party endorsement this year.

Regards  —  Cliff

Then What?

For John, BLUFIf the Democrats move to kill the king, they better plan on holding onto Government for a couple of decades, to use the Deep State to avoid the retribution.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:


Here is the lede plus one:

Filmmaker Michael Moore urged Democratic voters to remember that they are voting for the impeachment of President Trump in the upcoming midterm elections.

“I am optimistic.  I have a thread of optimism still in me.  I believe we will, in November, see a tsunami of people coming to the polls and after that I hope you, both of you, and the other senators, do their job,” Moore said during a town hall on “Inequality in America:  The Rise of Oligarchy and Collapse of the Middle Class” organized by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) Monday evening.

I can see that.  It is sort of Maxine Waters like, but it is clear.

Then Mr Moore goes on to say there needs to be more.  A lot more:

Moore urged the Democratic Party to also provide its “vision” to the voters rather than impeach Trump and go back to the day before he took office.

“If we just get rid of Trump and we just go back to the day before Trump, how are things then, Sen. Warren and Sen. Sanders, with our healthcare, with our job situation, with poverty? I don’t want to go back to that day. We’ve got to move forward and we have to provide that vision and provide that leadership to make that happen,” he said.

Then Mr Michael Moore adds:
Moore said America’s capitalist economic system is not fair.
OK, I see that Mr Moore wants a revolution.  He is a modern day anarchist or communist radical—or something.

However, he seems to forget that once Mr Trump goes the Vice President fleets up and takes over and Mr Pence is a conservative, not a Progressive.  He has to get rid of Mr Pence as well before Ms Nancy Pelosi takes over as our first Female President (Congrats, Nancy, and good luck).

Does Mr Michael Moore think that a President Nancy Pelosi will move to destroy corporate America?  Will she deconstruct Financial Leasing Services, Inc?

Of course the key to victory in November, for the Democrats, maybe "Lambism".

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Notwithstanding what some might think, if President Trump is impeached and convicted, Ms Hillary Clinton will not automatically become President.

Get Out of Washington!

For John, BLUFBoth Parties, hanging out in DC, are drinking their own bathwater.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This Washington Examiner article, by Reporter Salena Zito, who lives in the Pennsylvania 18th, is dateline 18 March 2018, Lebanon, PA.

Here is the lede plus three:

One of the biggest advantages Conor Lamb had in his victory last week in the special election for Western Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District was that his campaign manager lived in his district.

Abby Nassif Murphy did not have an office at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee; she did not hold daily meetings with fellow Democrats in the Beltway who, on average, are fairly progressive both culturally and politically. She understood the heartbeat of the district not because of polls and data, but because she spends the bulk of her time carting her sons to and from their activities.

Untethered from the pressures of Washington consultants, agenda items, and resistance talking points, she was able to respond to what she saw the community wanted.

This was no cookie-cutter operation. The ads were fresh, the message was safe, and there was no evidence of any Beltway residue on anything they did.

Here, however, is the most insightful paragraph:
Last December, Brad Todd, co-author of our upcoming book, "The Great Revolt: Inside the Populist Coalition Reshaping American Politics," wrote for The Federalist that the only thing that will keep the Republican Party a healthy party was to get it the hell out of D.C. and set up headquarters somewhere in Ohio so that they knew what their voters really wanted — not what they want them to want.
If only Ms Hillary Clinton had been reading Reporter Salena Zito's news reports she might well be sitting in the White House today, with Mr Bill Clinton as First Dude.

So, it isn't Democrats who won in the Pennsylvania 18th, but Mr Lamb, and his campaign manager.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Anti-Blasphemy LawsRules

For John, BLUFThe PC Police are out of hand.  Freedom, and thus democracy and economic growth, are at risk.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Samizdata, posted by Mr Perry de Havilland (London), 15 March 2018.

Here it is:

In Britain in the 21st century you can be punished for mocking gods.  You can be expelled from the kingdom, frozen out, if you dare to diss Allah.  Perversely adopting medieval Islamic blasphemy laws, modern Britain has made it clear that it will tolerate no individual who says scurrilous or reviling things about the Islamic god or prophet.  Witness the authorities’ refusal to grant entrance to the nation to the alt-right Christian YouTuber Lauren Southern.  Her crime?  She once distributed a leaflet in Luton with the words ‘Allah is gay, Allah is trans, Allah is lesbian…’, and according to the letter she received from the Home Office informing her of her ban from Britain, such behaviour poses a ‘threat to the fundamental interests of [British] society’.

This is a very serious matter and the lack of outrage about it in the mainstream press, not least among those who call themselves liberal, is deeply disturbing.

Brendan O’Neill

Much as I applaud The United Kingdom for moving to leave the European Union (BREXIT), I think this kind of high handedness to be appalling.

Regards  —  Cliff


For John, BLUFTo catch the wave you have to see the wave.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from the Blog Mistress at Neo Neocon Blog, 15 March 2018.

Here is the lede plus three:

No, I’m not predicting what the results will be.

I’m predicting what the Democratic tactic will be.  Let’s call it the Lamb Approach.

Here’s how I imagine it will go.  In vulnerable Republican-held districts, find a pleasant, articulate Democrat who’s willing to espouse somewhat conservative principles and to say that he or she will stick to them if elected.

Make sure that Conor Lamb follows through on his conservative-leaning promises, right up till Election Day in 2018.  After all, in terms of consequences it doesn’t matter how he votes till then, because the Republicans are in control right now and will be able to pass legislation in the House whether he votes with them or against them.

One of Mr Lamb's campaign advertisements showed him firing an M-16 (or AK-47, I don't remember which).

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff


For John, BLUFThe thing about vendettas is that they never end.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the Zero Hedge blog, by Mr Tyler Durden, 20 March 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy was arrested on Tuesday morning in connection with a probe into the financing of his successful 2007 presidential run which allegedly included funding from late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
If you think your opponent is an evil person then there is no limit to how far you will go to take him or her down.

This will not end well.  Nor would it in the US.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Beacon Hill Calls Attention to Itself

For John, BLUFPoor General Hooker.  Known for ever for his camp followers.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is a blog post by Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds, posted today, at InstaPundit.

Here it is:

Sign Referencing Civil War Hero Is Sexual Harassment, Says Massachusetts Lawmaker:  Rep. Michelle DuBois wants to remove a statehouse sign that reads “General Hooker Entrance” because it is an affront to “women’s dignity.”

But if there were such a test in Massachusetts, it would feature an IQ ceiling, not a floor.  .  .  .

Plus: “Of course, DuBois is positioning herself as a crusader against sex-based harassment and patriarchy.  But attitudes like hers—which treat women as excessively fragile beings, and which posit that female ‘dignity’ is diminished by even so slight an association with sex work as walking under a door that says ‘hooker’—just props up old-fashioned and patriarchal ideas about sex and gender.”

It would be easy to write an argument for restoring the patriarchy based solely on feminists’ statements about how weak, fragile, and stupid women are.

Surely State Rep DuBois was joking.  As a joke it works.

Top Comment so far:

Everyone wants to be Maxine Waters.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Weather Caused Deaths Down

For John, BLUFI think what this is saying is that a free market system across the globe, but not instantiated everywhere, means more safety for the population.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the blog site Watt's Up With That, by Mr Anthony Watts, 14 March 2018.

Here is the lede plus three:

Bjørn Lomborg writes on his Facebook page of a reverse hockey stick graph, one that is certainly inconvenient to the gloom and doom message of climate alarmists who try to link regular weather events to climate.  So, Lomborg plays their game, and the results are surprising.

Fewer and fewer people die from climate-related natural disasters

This is clearly opposite of what you normally hear, but that is because we’re often just being told of one disaster after another – telling us how *many* events are happening.  The number of reported events is increasing, but that is mainly due to better reporting, lower thresholds and better accessibility (the CNN effect).  For instance, for Denmark, the database only shows events starting from 1976.

Instead, look at the number of dead per year, which is much harder to fudge.  Given that these numbers fluctuate enormously from year to year (especially in the past, with huge droughts and floods in China), they are here presented as averages of each decade (1920-29, 1930-39 etc, with last decade as 2010-17).  The data is from the most respected global database, the International Disaster Database,  There is some uncertainty about complete reporting from early decades, which is why this graph starts in 1920, and if anything this uncertainly means the graph *underestimates* the reduction in deaths.

This doesn't prove that climate change doesn't exist, but it does suggest that in this more modern era we have more money and more infrastructure and more tools to aid in recovery from climate based disasters.

Hat tip to the Mr Bob Ayers.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Who Else Has Been Exposed by the McCabe Investigation?

For John, BLUFThere will always be corruption.  How much is acceptable?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Mr Roger L Simon, 16 March 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

Friday's firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, based on a report from the Office of Professional Responsibility, is only the beginning of what is likely to be the most explosive series of revelations in American history.

Forget Watergate. It will be the distant past once the Inspector General's reports—there apparently will be more than one—start to come out. This will be the "Gate of Gates."

From the FBI and across the intelligence agencies an astonishing number of people are going to find themselves accused, one can safely predict at this point, of some atrocious behavior in a free republic.  And it will not just be the small change of Peter Strzok (the dimwitted director of counter-intelligence) and his gal pal Lisa Page.  It will include—on one level or another—James Comey, Loretta Lynch, John Brennan, James Clapper, Susan Rice and, almost inevitably, Barack Obama, not to mention others known and unknown.

Maybe Roger Simon is right, but maybe the Swamp will protect all those people named above.  Only time will tell.  That said, since we didn't really get a fire break with Mr Andrew McCabe, perhaps the fire needs to consume more territory before we can get it under control.  At the end of the day it is about cleansing and strengthening the Republic.

Personally, I wish he had gone quietly, with his pension in tact, but with the word out to others that it was time to stand down.  Didn't seem to happen.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Germany and Immigration

For John, BLUFGerman Chancellor Merkel is deciding the course of the future Germany and it isn't certain where that course is taking the nation.  Nothing to see here; just move along.


Here is the lede plus two, plus quotes:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's disastrous decision to throw open an essentially defenseless western Europe to hordes of military-age males from the Islamic ummah will go down in history as one of Christendom's greatest blunders, either a triumph of wishful childless-feminist thinking or a malevolent act of epic proportions.  So this statement by new Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, while welcome, is way too little, and far too late:
New Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said Islam does not belong to Germany, and set out hardline immigration policies in his first major interview since being sworn in this week, as he sought to see off rising far-right challengers.
Note that in the European media -- and soon enough in the American -- any conservative defender of tradition is now labeled "far-right."  As I've often said on Twitter (@dkahanerules), on the Left, "treason is the highest form of patriotism."
His comments put him on a collision course with Chancellor Angela Merkel, who on Friday reiterated her long-held view that Islam was a part of Germany, even if the country was traditionally characterized by Christianity and Judaism.

“Islam does not belong to Germany,” Seehofer, a member of Merkel’s CSU Bavarian allies who are further to the right than her own Christian Democrats (CDU), told Bild newspaper in an interview published on Friday.  Seehofer said he would push through a “master plan for quicker deportations” and classify more states as ‘safe’ countries of origin, which would make it easier to deport failed asylum seekers.

Seehofer is particularly keen to show his party is tackling immigration ahead of Bavaria’s October regional election, when the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) is expected to enter that state assembly.  “Of course the Muslims living here do belong to Germany,” Seehofer told Bild, but added that Germany should not give up its own traditions or customs, which have Christianity at their heart.

“My message is:  Muslims need to live with us, not next to us or against us,” he said.

If you think the White House is in chaos, think about being in a coalition that took four months to form and in the end didn't consist of the expected three parties, but of two, Chancellor Merkel's CDU/CSU and the SPD (Social Democratic Party of Germany—Progressives).  Four months without a Government.  What a mess.

So, what does Germany, with a declining birthrate, look like in twenty years?

For sure, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer is correct in saying that (for the experiment to succeed) the Muslim immigrants need to live with the Germans and not next to them or against them.(CSU) Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Who Should Head the CIA

For John, BLUFOn the other hand, if you think they are all breaking the law, what difference, at this point, does it make?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Boston Globe, by Speech Boy (Mr Michael A. Cohen), 16 MARCH 2018.

Here is the lede plus three:

In August 2002, less than a year after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded 83 times n a CIA secret prison in Thailand. Seven months later, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was tortured in the same manner 183 times.

Other suspected terrorists rounded up during the US global war on terrorism were subjected to mock executions and threats to rape and murder family members. They were placed in stress positions, which included being kept in coffin-like boxes for days on end. They were deprived of sleep (some for as many 180 straight hours), physically assaulted, and forced to take ice-cold baths. One prisoner died from hypothermia during an interrogation. Detainees experienced severe psychological and behavioral problems, including hallucinations, paranoia, and suicidal actions.

In the words of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA’s detention and interrogation program, detainees were subjected to “cruel, inhuman, and degrading” treatment and “the evidence of this is overwhelming and incontrovertible.”

In the 15 years since this happened not one person has even been held responsible for these heinous acts — and this week a key architect of the CIA’s torture program, Gina Haspel, was nominated to become the director of the agency. If she gets the job it will be, in effect, an acknowledgment by the federal government and Congress that those who broke US and international law by torturing prisoners did nothing wrong. If the rule of law means anything in America, that can’t be allowed to happen.

To me the problem is that if Ms Haspel doesn't meet our standards, then who does?  Do we bring in someone from the outside?  Do we recycle a previous office holder?

Regards  —  Cliff

Economics Comes to the Ivy Halls

For John, BLUFI suspect this is a self-inflicted wound and I find it, in one way, sad.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The American Thinker, by Mr Thomas Lifson, 16 March 2018.

Here is the lede plus two:

If you are sick and tired of professors indoctrinating students in politicized classes that teach nothing of any use in real life, and hate the idea that tenure immunizes them from accountability, the next decade or so is going to provide some relief.  The reckoning is coming, as shocked professors at a University of Wisconsin campus just discovered.  The higher education bubble that Professor Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit has forecast to burst has just popped in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.

It turns out that you can’t earn a living teaching subjects that students aren’t that interested in.  Even if you have tenure.  Colleen Flaherty writes in the Chronicle of Higher Education:

…the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point announced its plan to cut 13 majors -- including those in anchor humanities departments such as English and history and all three of the foreign languages offered -- and, with them, faculty jobs. Tenured professors may well lose their positions.
Further down we learn who died:
Here is the list of the departments being closed at Wisconsin, Stevens Point.
  • American studies,
  • art (excluding graphic design),
  • English (excluding English for teacher certification),
  • French,
  • geography,
  • geoscience,
  • German,
  • history (excluding social science for teacher certification),
  • music literature,
  • philosophy,
  • political science,
  • sociology
  • Spanish.
I have a BS, and a Masters focused on Management in the Aerospace area, but still, there are some majors there I have enjoyed dabbling in, including History, Philosophy, Political Science and Sociology.  There are things to be learned in those fields.  For instance, there is that old bromide, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." (George Santayana)  I would suggest Venezuela is an example of that.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Mr Corbyn Sides With the Other Side

For John, BLUFIf only Ms Clinton had been elected this wouldn't have happened.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

May Slams Corbyn Over His Refusal to Condemn Russia.

This is from Guido Fawkes, at his Blog, Order-Order, on 14 March 2018.  It has embedded video of the Prime Minister condemning the Opposition Leader.

Here is the lede plus one:

Theresa May slammed Jeremy Corbyn for his lack of support over the Russian spy poisoning crisis. The Prime Minister told Jezza:
There is a consensus across the backbenches of this House. I am only sorry that this consesnsus does not go as far as the Right Honourable Gentleman, who could have taken the opportunity as the UK government has done to condemn the cuplability of the Russian state.
To his face.  It was, after all, Prime Minister's Questions.

But, back to Jessa (Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn).  He has refused to point a finger at Russian President Putin in the attempted murders of two Russian Expatriates and the incidental poisoning of a British Police Office.

There is this, further down the blog post:

In this type situation Guido would normally expect the leader of the oppostion’s spin doctor to back pedal in the Lobby briefing huddle that follows, he would “clarify” and nuance the wording. Emphasise the more conventional parts of the argument to soften the inevitably hostile headlines coming tomorrow. When that spin-doctor is Seumas Milne however it seems there was to be no compromising on Putin’s line. Under intense questioning he refused to say that the Labour Party’s leader accepted the Russian state was at fault:
The government has access to information and intelligence on this matter which others don‘t. However, also there is a history in relation to weapons of mass destruction and intelligence which is problematic, to put it mildly. So, I think the right approach is to seek the evidence to follow international treaties, particularly in relation to prohibitive chemical weapons.
The reference to "a history" refers to the run up to the 2003 Invasion of Iraq, when the UK supported the United States Government regarding accusations of Iraq having weapons of mass destruction.  There was, first, The Butler Review, and then in 2009, The Chilcot Inquiry.

There you have it.  The Labour Party in the United Kingdom is officially in President Putin's pocket.  There is a lot more evidence for that than there ever was for President Trump being in collusion with the Russians.

Regards  —  Cliff

  President George H. W. Bush said, "I count my blessings for the fact I don't have to go into that pit that John Major stands in, nose-to-nose with the opposition, all yelling at each other."
  For those hoping to see Special Counsel Robert Mueller wrap up soon, the Chilcot Report started in 2009, with its appointment by Prime Minister Gordon Brown and ended in 2016 with a public statement by Sir John Chilcot.  Speaking of sinecures.

Going After Russia's Espionage

For John, BLUFWe are taking actions against Russia, but it is a game that needs some deft action, less it spiral down into war.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is interesting.  The EMail Alert is:

US imposes sanctions on 19 Russians for alleged interference in election

On the other hand, at the article itself, the headline writer gives us:

US accuses Russia of ongoing effort to hack US energy grid

This is an Associated Press item by Messers Matthew Lee and Josh Lederman, in the 15 March 2018 edition of The Boston Globe.

Here is the lede:

The Trump administration accused Russia on Thursday of a concerted, ongoing operation to hack and spy on the U.S. energy grid and other critical infrastructure, and separately imposed sanctions on Russian officials for alleged high-tech interference in the 2016 American presidential election.
By the way, there is a teaser at the right of the article, "US, France, Germany join Britain in blaming Russia for poisoning".

So, how does this fit into the Democratic Party narrative, the narrative of US Representative Adam Schiff?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  That is to say, President Trump is President Putin's puppet.

Pushing Back on Russia

For John, BLUFIn case you thought this poisoning in England was not a big deal, we have folks trying to make it a bigger deal than it is.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from The Lawfire Blog, written by Duke Law Professor Charlie Dunlap, on 13 March 2018.

Here is the lede plus two:

Yesterday the British Prime Minister Theresa May stated that “it was highly likely that Russia was responsible” for the March 4th poisoning attack on a former Russian spy and his daughter in Salisbury, England.  May also said that in the absence of a “credible response” from Russia, the UK “will conclude that this action amounts to an unlawful use of force by the Russian State against the United Kingdom.”

According to a new essay by respected scholars Ryan Goodman and Alex Whiting, if an “unlawful use of force” is the conclusion, the two nations were, as a matter of law, in an “international armed conflict.”  My view is that international law should avoid construing events like this which are essentially criminal in nature as creating an armed conflict between two nuclear powers.

Prime Minister May was careful to use the words “use of force” and not “attack” in describing the incident.  Why would that be important?  Article 2 (4) of the UN Charter says that “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nation.”  Obviously, a “use of force” violates the Charter.

In response to a comment on the article, saying "As terrible as these crimes were, do they really sound like enough to declare that 200 million people were in an armed conflict?"

To which Charlie replies:

You make excellent points, and I'm not dismissing the seriousness of the actions, but at the end of the day, I can't agree with you. The fact of the matter is that as bad as it is that three people were injured, a state of armed conflict between two nuclear powers carries more potential for harm. The UK can do lots of things to counter and punish Russia without being in an armed conflict with it.
So, there you have it.  Serious things happening, but with a little statesmanship we can avoid armed conflict between nuclear armed nations.

Regards  —  Cliff
-, Wed 3.0

Poking the Bear

For John, BLUFPresident Putin seems to think he is free to do as powerful men do, but it turns out he may have been reading too many US Democratic Party press releases.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the article:
Part of Haley's message was an American threat to counter Russia where its forces and foreign policy were most over-extended:  in Syria.  “Sixteen days ago, we came to an agreement.  Russia cast its vote in favor of the agreement. And with that vote, Russia promised its support for a 30-day ceasefire, as did the rest of the members of the Security Council…During the negotiations, the United States put all parties on notice that we needed to act if the ceasefire was not honored, and members of the Security Council agreed.  And now that day has come.  The ceasefire has failed. The situation of the civilians in eastern Ghouta is dire.  And the United States is acting.  We have drafted a new ceasefire resolution that provides no room for evasion.  It is simple, straightforward, and binding. It will take effect immediately upon adoption by this Council.”

It's a deadline with about fourteen days -- thirty minus sixteen -- to run.

This is from The Belmont Club, via PJ Media, by Mr Richard Fernandez, 14 MARCH 2018.

Here is the meat of the issue:

The Red Line shoe is now on the other foot.  By issuing a warning against infringing his freedom of action Putin has drawn a Red Line and Haley just threatened to cross it in the most public possible way.  Radio Free Europe writes “the United States has said it is ready to act in Syria to end chemical attacks and “inhuman suffering” if Russia, Iran, and Syria continue to allegedly ignore a 30-day cease-fire approved by the United Nations, prompting a warning from Moscow that it will strike back if the lives of its servicemen are threatened”.

What Russia will do when the clock counts down remains to be seen.  The US threat is both asymmetric and strategically calculating.  The US has power dominance over Russia in Syria.  In almost any scenario except the use of nuclear weapons or nerve gas, Russia is likely to be badly worsted in Syria.  Striking at Assad and Iran will be supported by Saudi Arabia and Israel.

It is dangerous but also profoundly psychological.  Vladimir Putin has now been threatened twice by women, Theresa May and Nikki Haley, even as [he] stands for election as the Macho Man.  The Kremlin strongman can hardly back down now without immense loss of face, which is perhaps the point.  Putin is in a tight spot.  He can either eat crow or roll the dice.  His first reaction in past situations has been not to yield but double down.  This will make the next two weeks extraordinarily dangerous.  It’s a big data point.  The administration has taken the risk.

We are looking at the United States Ambassador to the United Nations drawing a line in the sand, with Russia, Syria and Iran on the other side.  Now the winds of the desert could obscure that line, but with the First Round of the Russian Presidential Election scheduled for this Sunday, 18 March 2018, it could impact how the voters react.  And it could impact how the Candidates react.

As an historic side note, poison gas is classified as a weapon of mass destruction (WMD).  And, it is classified as a WMD because the Old Soviet Union (now Russia) pushed the idea to include chemical and biological weapons along with nuclear weapons as weapons of mass destruction.

The comment from Blogger Glenn Harlan Reynolds is "Wait, I thought Trump was Putin’s puppet."

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  As in Belmont, Massachusetts.
  And my pick for GOP Presidential Candidate in 2024.
  I wonder if they now regret that move from the 1980s.

Licensed to Kill

For John, BLUFSo, James Bond lives, but he is a Russian.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is an Opinion Piece by Mr John R. Schindler, in The Observer (UK), 14 March 2018.

Here is the lede plus two:

For the past dozen years, Russian President Vladimir Putin has employed his spies as assassins in the West, beginning with the murder of the defector Aleksandr Litvinenko in London in late 2006.  Kremlin killers have left a trail of bodies in several Western countries, but above all the United Kingdom.  Although Russian spies have made only modest efforts to cover their tracks in these crimes, the consequences for Moscow have been distinctly limited.  No Western country has been willing to stand up to Putin and his increasingly gangster regime—until now.

In response to the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal, a 66-year-old former Russian military intelligence colonel, who, along with his 33-year-old daughter Yulia, received a near-lethal dose of a nerve agent on March 4 in Salisbury, England, the British government is finally showing resolve in confronting outrageous Russian crimes perpetrated on their soil.  As I explained a week ago, there is no serious doubt that the Kremlin stands behind the would-be hit on the Skripals:

Vladimir Putin has resumed wetwork in a fashion not witnessed in the Kremlin since the days of Joseph Stalin.  Putin’s assassinations abroad over the last 15 years have been more aggressive than anything done during the Russian president’s KGB career.  Moreover, his views on turncoats are well known:  “Traitors always end badly,” he famously explained.  In 2010, the year Skripal was swapped to Britain, Putin chillingly stated, “Traitors will kick the bucket.  Trust me.  These people betrayed their friends, their brothers-in-arms.  Whatever they got in exchange for it, those 30 pieces silver they were given, they will choke on them.”
It is obvious that Mr Putin wants what he wants.  One has the sense that he thinks that he is not going to let some woman, like British Prime Minister Theresa May, push him around.

This may not end well.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Poor Al Franken

For John, BLUFI wonder if the Democrats are as ignorant of the Internet as the Reporter suggests.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This article has a strange pedigree, being attributed to Newsweek and Reporter Nina Burleigh, on 19 February 2018, but coming from Yahoo News, out of the UK.

Here is the lede:

White nationalist provocateurs, a pair of fake news sites, an army of Twitter bots and other cyber tricks helped derail Democratic Senator Al Franken last year, new research shows.
I always thought that Senator Al Franken was small potatoes in the search for evil.  Not that I didn't think he was a jerk, but I wasn't convinced he was one to be run out of the US Senate, especially consider fellow members who knowing young ladies would not get in an elevator with alone.

That said, the article has the paranoid approach of someone convinced that the Republicans (and the Russians) are ten feet tall when it comes to the Internet.

Like targeted Facebook ads that Russian troll farms used in the 2016 election, Twitter bots have been around for years and were originally created for sales purposes.  But since the 2016 election, arguably lost due to the right's superior utilization of darker online strategies, the left is not known to have created or mobilized its own fake cyber army to amplify its viewpoint.

"Agreed we need one," Democratic digital media strategist Jess McIntosh, who worked on Franken's campaign and for Hillary Clinton's bid for president, said in an email to Newsweek.  "But it's harder to use these tactics when you can't rely on either lies OR hate to do it."

This makes me think that Ms Nina Burleigh sounds a little unhinged.  Ms Clinton lost because she did a bad job of campaigning.  The idea that she lost due to "the right's superior utilization of darker online strategies" is paranoid.  Who are this evil little men?

Then there is the denial of the left having its own fake cyber army.  Between the FBI (and people from other Intelligence Communities, there was more than enough "Left" skullduggery.  If this whole Steele Dossier imbroglio blows back on the Democrats it will be pretty ugly.

It is time to stop putting out this kind of fantasy and own up to doing a bad job of politics.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Just More People Offended

For John, BLUFIsn't this what the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr, thought—"live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character".  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Maxime Bernier is right: Identity politics dissolves community, reduces a country to subsets of clans, and obscures the diversity of individual lives

This Opinion Piece, by Mr Rex Murphy, 9 March 2018, appears in the National Post (Canada).

Here is the lede plus five:

There is much to choose from this week, including the infantile wailing and moronic ignorance of social-justice hooligans driven crazy mad (Pavlovian response) by Jordan Peterson giving a lecture, by invitation, at Queen’s University.  (Three cheers for Queen’s president and the law faculty for inviting Dr. Peterson.)

Then there is Justin Trudeau inviting the fanatically anti-Alberta-oil Bill Nye to Ottawa for a public chat on science, the highlight of which was the signal revelation of the centrality of breastfeeding to the scientific method — delivered by our PM. When baby wails and the milk flows, can Planck’s constant be far behind?

As well: Jaspal Atwal, failed Sikh assassin, holding what he ludicrously called a press conference.  The only takeaway: his lawyer is scarier, though not necessarily more competent.

More fertile than them all however was the brisk, chippy, and entitled Twitter blast levelled by Liberal MP and person of colour, Celina Caesar-Chavannes (Whitby, Ont.), at Conservative MP Maxime Bernier (Beauce, Que.).

Bernier had criticized an earlier tweet by Ahmed Hussen in which the Immigration Minister said the federal budget was historic for “racialized Canadians.”

Bernier said he deplored that tweet’s “awful jargon,” the pitch to “racialized” Canadians, and put out a plea for “colour blindness,” character over skin colour.  His critics, Bernier said, implied (he was) a racist because “I want to live in a society where everyone is treated equally and not defined by their race.”

You are offended by something someone says, so you say something that happens to offend me.  This strikes me as a never-ending cycle that benefits no one.  And it doesn't work.  It is time to try something new.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Another Teen Death in Florida

For John, BLUFWe need high quality analysis to figure out what is really happening.  "Guns" is the easy answer, but it might not be the correct answer.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Frankly, I don't see this as so much Islam as it is a disturbed youth who had been reported up the law enforcement chain, but ignored by officials, until something terrible happened.

From News Busters, by Reporter Kristine Marsh, 14 March 2018.

Here is the lede plus two:

News broke on March 13 that a Florida teen had been arrested, after stabbing to death his friend and attempting to kill his friend’s mother and another peer at a sleepover.  The suspect confessed afterwards that he had recently converted to Islam and his beliefs motivated him to murder.

While the horrific violent act was covered by local news in Jupiter, Florida, and nationally March 14 by Fox News Channel, the big three networks have ignored the story thus far.

Florida’s The Palm Beach Post reported March 13 that “a Jupiter teen said his Muslim faith led him to fatally stab a boy on his 13th birthday and injure two others at a sleepover Sunday night.”

From a news point of view, if you don't fit the profile you don't get reported.  The TV Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) are not interested in a knife wielding convert to Islam.  It flows against the narrative.  Especially today, when students at a number of schools (including Greater Lowell Technical High School) are out as a protest against that happened at Parkland High School a month ago.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

London Lord Mayor Calls for Curbs on Free Speech

For John, BLUFThe SJWs are going to miss the First Amendment, after they make it go away in the name of preventing anyone from having hurt feelings.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Acronym Alert:  SXSW is South by Southwest, which is, per Wikipedia, "an annual conglomerate of film, interactive media, and music festivals and conferences that take place in mid-March in Austin, Texas."

From Business Insider, by Ms Melia Robinson, 12 March 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

At the annual SXSW festival in Austin on Monday, the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, made a moving plea for tech companies to take on hate speech.

During his talk, the mayor read racist tweets about himself.

So, free speech is not to be allowed on the World Wide Web.  Where will it be allowed?  More important, who will define what is acceptable and what is not?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Hillary Takes Another Stab at Explaining What Happened

For John, BLUFSomewhere out there is a reason acceptable to Ms Hillary Clinton for her loss in 2016.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Fox News, by Reporter Alex Pappas, 13 March 2018.

Here is the lede plus two:

Hillary Clinton’s trip to India is evoking memories from her failed 2016 bid for president, as the Democrat makes headlines for blaming racism and misogyny for her loss while taking stumbles in front of the cameras.

During an appearance in India over the weekend, Clinton claimed she lost the 2016 presidential race in part because white women didn’t stand up to the men in their lives pressuring them to vote for Donald Trump.

“We do not do well with white men and we don’t do well with married, white women,” Clinton said at a conference in Mumbai, India.  “And part of that is an identification with the Republican Party, and a sort of ongoing pressure to vote the way that your husband, your boss, your son, whoever, believes you should.”

I am sure she meant "Caucasian", but just couldn't remember the word.  Otherwise, she would be slurring a lot of people  Or at least offending me, which is the kind of thing that otherwise might get you in a lot of trouble, given the sensitivity of the special snow flakes and the vigilance of the social justice warriors.

And she takes another swipe at then FBI Director James Comey.  I have a hard time knowing if Mr Comey is a bad guy or if he is a good guy, wrongly fired by President Trump.

What do we believe about Mr James Comey free polls

Hat tip to my Wife, who found this item and told me about it.

Regards  —  Cliff

Changes at High Levels

For John, BLUFAre we shocked by this?  I hope not.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

This Boston Globe Article, by Ashley Parker and Philip Rucker, from The Washington Post, 13 March 2018.

Here is the lede plus two:

President Trump has ousted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and replaced him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, orchestrating a major change to his national security team amid delicate negotiations with North Korea, White House officials said Tuesday.

Trump last Friday asked Tillerson to step aside, and the embattled top diplomat cut short his trip to Africa on Monday to return to Washington.

Pompeo will replace him at the State Department, and Gina Hapsel — the deputy director at the CIA — will succeed him at the CIA, becoming the first woman to run the spy agency, if confirmed.

Congratulations to Ms Gina Hapsel, who may be the only winner in this most recent shift of offices.

Regards  —  Cliff

An "IF" Story

For John, BLUFIt is an alternative future, but an interesting look at Ms Clinton and her followers.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is a dystopian look at a bad future, brought forward from two and a half years in the past by the InstaPundit

From Town Hall, by Mr Kurt Schlichter, 10 August 2015.

Here is the lede plus one:

“And to President Clinton,” President Abbot said into the camera, “I ask that you stop your threats of war and allow the Free States of America to separate in peace, and let our two nations remain brothers instead of enemies. Goodnight, and God bless all Americans.”

“Arrrgh!” shrieked Hillary, heaving her tumbler at the Oval Office big screen.  The empty glass missed, hitting a bust of Saul Alinsky on the mantle.  It smashed into a cloud of shards and ice; She certainly didn’t let any of her Macallan Lalique whisky go to waste.

Ms Hillary Clinton still sees it as a war between her people and those people.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, March 12, 2018

Presidents Downed by Office Seekers

For John, BLUFFrom Mark Twain, “It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble.  It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.”.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This evening I drove my friend, Rick, to the Monday Night Dinner Group (MNDG) location, at the Raddison, over in Chelmsford (his eyes were dilated for ophthalmic procedures).  On the way back we were talking about how, in my view, the Democrats are shifting from the "Trump colluded with Russia" meme to one of general corruption.  My friend Rick was trying to make the point that the "Stormy Daniels" Affair was harmful to President Trump.

Somehow we got over on Watergate and I made the point that like the Assassination of President James A Garfield, President Richard M Nixon was brought down by a disgruntled office seeker, in this case a member of the FBI Hierarchy who wanted to be the Director.  At the time I couldn't remember this person's name, so I had to look it up.

President Richard M Nixon was brought down in the Watergate Scandal by someone known to us for some time as "Deep Throat".  It later turns out that "Deep Throat" was a failed office seeker, Mr Mark Felt.

President James A Garfield was shot on 2 July 1881 by Mr Charles J. Guiteau, a disgruntled office seeker.  President Garfield was killed by his attending physicians, but Mr Guiteau got the credit at the trial

I hope history does not repeat itself.

But, my exit question is, do we think the pittance Russia spent on our 2016 election was more than rust on the scales when compared to the amounts spend by the Republicans ($646.8M) and Democrats ($1,191M) on the same election?

Regards  —  Cliff

Rose Sunday Comments

For John, BLUFComments on yesterday, Rose or Laetare Sunday, by a very bright and holy Cardinal.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Archbishop of Washington Cardinal Wuerl: ‘We must continue to stand strongly for the religious freedom that allows them and us to be true to what we believe’

From the on line forum Zenit, a Comment from Washington DC Cardinal Donald Wuerl, on 12 March 2018.

Below is a reflection of Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, entitled ‘The Rose Mass’ from Cardinal Wuerl’s blog:

The Gospels record vivid examples of Christ the healer as he cured people and revealed the healing love and mercy of God’s kingdom: “the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised” (Matthew 11:5).

At this morning’s 27th annual Rose Mass at the Church of the Little Flower in Bethesda, the Church of Washington invokes God’s blessings on the medical, dental, nursing and allied health care workers and many health care institutions that bring Christ’s healing to our own community.  The Mass gets its name from the rose-colored vestments worn on Laetare Sunday, the fourth Sunday of Lent, with the rose also symbolizing life, which is entrusted to the care of these dedicated men and women.

Especially for a disciple of Jesus in the healing professions, medicine is more than a job. It is a vocation, combining the science of medicine with Christian charity and reflecting in their daily work Christ the healer.  It is God’s mercy and love at work among us and in us through human hands, words, actions and hearts. This liturgy is an opportunity to pray for and say in a small way, “Thank you,” to these care givers.

Adding to our prayerful gratitude, after Mass the John Carroll Society presents Pro Bono Health Care Awards, which specially recognize volunteers from the Catholic Charities Health Care Network.  This program of the good works arm of our archdiocesan Church has nearly 200 volunteer doctors, dentists and other specialists, who along with participating hospitals and clinics served over 5,200 poor and uninsured patients last year, providing about $10.7 million in free care.  Yet that is only part of all the good our Catholic family provides in health care.

Every day, other providers in the Archdiocese of Washington bring Christ’s healing to people from every socio-economic and cultural background.  Through Catholic hospitals, clinics, emergency rooms, specialty offices and community outreach, our family of faith offers in particular a safety net for many who are on the margins of society, combining world-class care of the body and mind with the love, compassion and caring of Jesus which treats the spirit as well.

At a time when our society continues to threaten to erode freedom of conscience and religious liberty, these Catholic health care professionals and institutions bear witness to the God-given dignity of human life in all its stages.  As we celebrate the Rose Mass and offer prayers and thanks for those working in Catholic health care, we must continue to stand strongly for the religious freedom that allows them and us to be true to what we believe, and true to who we are as Catholics and as Americans, called to bring Christ’s love and healing to others.

Regards  —  Cliff

Progressives Against Women

For John, BLUFFeminism is for Progressives.  Conservative women are just male enablers and thus are non-persons.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Town Hall, by Mr John Hawkins, 10 March 2018.

A bit harsh toward Progressives, but on the other hand, they are being a little harsh themselves.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Personal Freedom Requires Economic Freedom

For John, BLUFThe more the Government controls your life, the less freedom you have.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Only in a free-market system can we truly achieve individual liberty and human flourishing.

From The Foundation for Economic Education, by Carmen Alexe, 9 March 2018.

Here is the lede plus three:

Individual freedom can only exist in the context of free-market capitalism.  Personal freedom thrives in capitalism, declines in government-regulated economies, and vanishes in communism.  Aside from better economic and legislative policies, what America needs is a more intense appreciation for individual freedom and capitalism.

I was born and raised in communist Romania during the Cold War, a country in which the government owned all the resources and means of production.  The state controlled almost every aspect of our lives: our education, our job placement, the time of day we could have hot water, and what we were allowed to say.

Like the rest of the Eastern European countries, Romania was often referred to as a communist country.  In school, we were taught it was a socialist country.  Its name prior to the 1989 Revolution to overthrow the Ceausescu regime was the Socialist Republic of Romania.

From an economic standpoint, a petty fraction of property was still privately owned.  In a communist system, all property is owned by the state.  So if it wasn't a true communist economy, its heavy central planning and the application of a totalitarian control over the Romanian citizenry made this nation rightfully gain its title of a communist country.

Notwithstanding Mr Karl Marx working in the British Museum, and the existence of the British Labor Party, Communism is not compatible with the Rights of Englishmen.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Abolish ICE?

For John, BLUFI expect folks will end up giving us reform, but what will it look like?  That is the interesting question.  What will a bill look like after it comes out of Conference.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Hot Air and Jazz Shaw, 10 March 2018.

Not all Democrats, but it is a creeping trend.

And of interest only if Democrats win control of Congress in 2018 (or 2020).

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

For John, BLUFIf we give health care over to the Government the treatment of some may well improve, but others will face a rationing they had not previously seen, to balance the books.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Decision comes amid 'unprecedented financial challenges' due to 'stretched' budgets

Acronym Alert:  IVF is In-Vitro Fertilization.

Remember, it is the United Kingdom, and just one of the several local National Health Service Groups.

From The Independent (UK) and Reporter Tom Embury-Dennis, Friday 9 March 2018.

Here is the lede plus three:

Women who have obese partners will be denied fertility treatment in a bid to cut costs by the Bath and North East Somerset clinical commissioning group (CCG).

If their male partner has a body mass index over 30 – something suffered by more than a fifth of British men - women will be barred from IVF.

The decision was made in the face of “unprecedented financial challenges” due to “stretched” NHS budgets, the CCG said.

The move was in line with NICE guidance on fertility that says men with a BMI over 30 are less likely to be able to conceive, said its clinical chair, Dr Ian Orpen.

Not quite "death panels", but still, a pretty drastic curtailment of treatment.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Justice for All

For John, BLUFWe need to avoid being caught up in a moral panic.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Nocturnal Lives, the blog of Ms Amanda Green, by Ms Green, 9 March 2018.

Here is the lede:

A couple of days ago, I did a quick bit about an allegation that Mark Cuban, the sometimes controversial owner of the Dallas Mavericks, sexually assaulting a woman in 2011.  I’ve been thinking about the story and the follow-ups to it since.  Whether you’re a fan of Cuban or not, what is happening to him — and to so many other men right now — should worry you.  We have gone from a country where someone was assumed innocent until proven guilty to one where, if you are male and a woman accuses you of sexually harassing her, you are assumed guilty until you prove yourself innocent.
This isn't a case of Mr Cuban having done something and it just now coming to the surface.  It was investigated at the time, to include a polygraph.  A District Attorney, with the agreement of the complainant, decided not to prosecute.

And this is the money graph:

When are we going to remember that one of the core foundations of our country is the presumption of innocence?  When are we going to accept that not every allegation of sexual assault or harassment is valid and that they need to be investigated before we rush to judgment?  No, we do NOT have to believe every allegation as it comes forward.  Why?  Because there are too many cases where a woman — or members of her family — have leveled charges falsely against a man.
It we just go on believing the victim then there will be cases where the pain will transfer from the accuser to the innocent person accused  That is not the Anglo-Saxon way of justice.  Sir William Blackstone set the standard back in 1765:
It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.
On the other hand, there is the more European view, as expressed by WWII NKVD Chief Lavrentiy Beria:
Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Women and STEM

For John, BLUFEither men and women are alike or we aren't.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Acronym Alter:  STEM is science, technology, engineering, and mathematics

From the Blog Cat Rotator's Quarterly, by TXRed, 9 March 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

So which one is it? Women don’t go into STEM because there aren’t enough female role models, because we don’t like “geek culture” stuff, or because we aren’t smart enough.  Pick one, dang it, and stick with it.

What? You didn’t know that Star Trek, Star Wars, and other sci-fi things were sexist and off-putting to women?  That’s according to a librarian at MIT, so it must be true. Especially since there is an academic study to support the assertion (“Ambient Belonging: How Stereotypical Cues Impact Gender Participation in Computer Science” by Cheryan et al in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2009, Vol. 97, No. 6, 1045–1060)

And then we have one of the colleges at Oxford helpfully giving female students a few more minutes on their exam:

And then there’s a dissertation that pretty much argues that women and minorities think differently from males of European descent, and so we need science changed so more women can learn science.  [The second link is a not-unbiased synopsis of the article].

Of course maybe, given that there have been a number of very accomplished female members of "STEM", it is possible that the success in the field has little to do with gender, but rather there is some other dimension of the human condition that we have yet to identify.  Although I will grant you that sexism does exist, although those who have broken through seem to have overcome it.  Why they broke through is a question worth asking.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff
Sat 3.5

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Book Reading by Age

For John, BLUFAre you holding down our numbers?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

People age 65 and older more likely than younger people to read for personal interest

5 March 2018.

Here is the lede:

March 2 was Read Across America Day and, not coincidentally, the birthday of children’s author Dr. Seuss. This annual program aims to motivate children and teens to read. Let’s look at the most recent data on the reading habits of Americans. On an average day in 2016, 38.3 percent of people age 65 and older read for personal interest. That was a larger percentage than any other age group. By comparison, 9.4 percent of people ages 15 to 24 read for personal interest on an average day in 2016.

So, is this because we have entered the age of on-line games or is this a natural progression as people age?

Regards  —  Cliff
-, Wed 3.0

Candidate for Minnesota AG—Rep Keith Ellison?

For John, BLUFI would think our friends who are Democrats would be embarrassed.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Power Line, 27 January 2018, by Mr Scott Johnson.  Note this is over a month ago.

Here is the lede plus one:

Edward-Isaac Dovere reported in Politico yesterday that Minnesota Fifth District Rep. Keith Ellison is exploring a run for Minnesota Attorney General.  Dovere confirmed his story with four acquaintances of Ellison with whom Ellison has discussed the possibility.  Dovere adds that Ellison “has indicated to several people close to him in recent days that he’s less likely to run,” although Ellison still “finds the idea enticing.”

In addition to serving in Congress, Ellison holds the position of deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee.  According to Dovere, Ellison “has grown listless and bored” as a congressional backbencher and is frustrated serving at the pleasure of DNC chairman Tom Perez.  Ellison has been ready to move on for a while, as I inferred from his disingenuous 2014 memoir cum manifesto My Country, ‘Tis of Thee.

The thing is, Representative Ellison cozying up to Minister Farrakhan means he is cozying up to a rabid anti-semite.  That is not a good look for a member of the US House of Representatives.  And how did the Democrats pick him to be the deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC)?  Are we to assume the Democratic Party has become, as have its Progressive followers, a home for anti-semitism?

I wonder what DWS thinks?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

DOJ Finally Moving on Democratic Controlled States With Pre-Civil War Thinking

For John, BLUFAs the AG says, the actions of California and other "sanctuary" entities creates open borders.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Pajamas Media and Mr Roger L Simon, 7 March 2018.

The story is about Attorney General Jeff Sessions moving forward.  Mr Simon talks about the larger issues, but I liked this Attorney General Jeff Sessions quote in the article:

I understand that we have a wide variety of political opinions out there on immigration.  But the law is in the books and its purpose is clear.

There is no nullification.  There is no secession.  Federal law is "the supreme law of the land."  I would invite any doubters to Gettysburg, and to the graves of John C. Calhoun and Abraham Lincoln.

A refusal to apprehend and deport those, especially the criminal element, effectively rejects all immigration law and creates an open borders system.  Open borders is a radical, irrational idea that cannot be accepted.

The United States of America is not "an idea;" it is a secular nation-state with a Constitution, laws, and borders, all of which are designed to protect our nation's interests.  Surely, we should be able to agree on this much.

The other thing touched on was a Fox News interview with Ms Shannon Bream, which included this comment by the AG on calls from the House of Representatives for a second Special Counsel:
I have appointed a person outside of Washington, many years in the Department of Justice, to look at all the allegations that the House Judiciary Committee members sent to us and we're conducting that investigation.
Sounds like General Sessions is moving along in a workman like manner. Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  As we know, the President takes jibes at the Attorney General, because he is unhappy with him recusing himself from the Russiagate imbroglio.  I think General Sessions was right to recuse himself from involvement in the Russiagate imbroglio.

Making the World Great, For Once

For John, BLUFDo you think the Nobel Committee would deny President Trump the Nobel Peace price just because he was being impeached.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The American Thinker, 6 March 2018, by Mr Thomas Lifson.

Here is the lede:

It is hard to overstate the significance of a hugely symbolic move by the reformist crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman (MbS).  American media mostly are clueless about religion and lack any understanding of the momentous changes underway in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with the full support of the Trump administration.  The fact that MbS is reputed to be close to Jared Kushner seals the deal: the mainstream media have little interest in extolling the world-historical transition underway in the nation that is pre-eminent in Sunni Islam, the Guardian of the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina, and which has been the moneybags for radical jihadists for three generations.
It is not necessarily because we have the Great Disrupter in the White House, but there is change in various locations, and with it a chance for a reduction in tensions and violence around the world.  In particular on the Korean Peninsula and in the Middle East.  Whatever President Trump, and his advisor, Jared Kushner, are doing, I hope it continues.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

The True Fascists

For John, BLUFDemocrats have devalued the term Fascist, to where it is approaching meaningless.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Says When Bigots, Profiteers Get Control of Country They Select 'Front Man' to Rule


Truman Tells Chicago Audience a Republican Victory Will Threaten U.S. Liberty TRUMAN SAYS GOP PERILS U.S. LIBERTY


This was the 'Chaser" at an Ed Driscoll post at InstaPundit on 7 March 2018.

The "Shot" was The Old Gray Lady OpEd “We’re All Fascists Now,” by Opinion Writer Bari Weiss, which I blogged about here.

Buts, back to 1948, here is the lede:

A Republican victory on election day will bring a Fascistic threat to American freedom that is even more dangerous than the perils from communism and extreme right "crackpots," President Truman asserted here tonight.
View the full article in Timesmachine.

So Fascism is always been threatened, by Democrats, as the mode of Republicans, but fascist activities always end up being performed by Democrats, and especially Progressives.  See, for example The News of Ottowa and "Woman arrested after rally against controversial professor Jordan Peterson".  She had, in her bag, when pinched for kicking in a window, a garrotte.

If all Republicans are Fascists then the term loses its meaning.

In the mean time, the Progressives have put on the cloak of Fascism.  Sad.  Very sad.

UPDATE:  Bits and pieces.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Suppression of Free Speech

For John, BLUFI see this as a particular failure of higher education, where the Professors and the Administrators should know better.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Old Gray Lady by Writer Bari Weiss, 7 March 2018.  Mr Weiss (@bariweiss) is a staff editor and writer for the Opinion section of the paper.

Here is the lede plus three:

Christina Hoff Sommers is a self-identified feminist and registered Democrat with a Ph.D. in philosophy and a wicked sense of humor.  She is also a woman who says bad things.  Things like:  Men and women are equal, but there are differences between them.  Or:  The gender gap in STEM fields isn’t simply the result of sexism.  Or:  Contrary to received wisdom, the American school system actually favors girls, not boys.

When such a person steps foot on a college campus these days, you know what’s coming.  So it was on Monday at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Ore., where Ms. Sommers had been invited by the Federalist Society to give a talk about feminism.

In advance of the lecture, nine student groups, among them the Portland National Lawyers Guild, the Minority Law Student Association, the Women’s Law Caucus, the Jewish Law Society and the school’s Young Democratic Socialists of America chapter sent a letter protesting the appearance by this “known fascist.”

The letter added that her invitation amounted to an “act of aggression and violence” and went on to offer a curious definition of free speech:  “Freedom of speech is certainly an important tenet to a free, healthy society, but that freedom stops when it has a negative and violent impact on other individuals.”

Soon we will all be fascists and the Progressives will consume themselves.

I am glad to see the media, in this case The New York Times, wake up to the dangers to our precious freedoms, especially those incorporated in the First Amendment.  The paper seems to be woke to the idea that when people start restricting one First Amendment freedom the others will tumble into the abyss in turn.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff
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