The EU

Google says the EU requires a notice of cookie use (by Google) and says they have posted a notice. I don't see it. If cookies bother you, go elsewhere. If the EU bothers you, emigrate. If you live outside the EU, don't go there.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Time is Running Out

For John, BLUFActually, cumulate change is serious business and we should be putting in place hedges.  On the other hand, we shouldn't destroy the economy, and the nation, doing it.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

I liked this Tweet from Ms Emily Zarotti, yesterday.

Here is the lede plus five:

I worry about how the coming ice age is going to impact us if Congress does nothing?

Avoiding the Woody Allen quote, let's go with:

The world is run by those who show up
Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The Draft For All

For John, BLUFIt is time to have this discussion.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From USA Today, by Mr Gregory Korte, 24 February 2019.

Here is the lede plus two:

A federal judge in Texas has declared that the all-male military draft is unconstitutional, ruling that "the time has passed" for a debate on whether women belong in the military.

The decision deals the biggest legal blow to the Selective Service System since the Supreme Court upheld the draft in 1981.  In Rostker v. Goldberg, the court ruled that the male-only draft was "fully justified" because women were ineligible for combat roles.

But U.S. District Judge Gray Miller ruled late Friday that while historical restrictions on women serving in combat "may have justified past discrimination," men and women are now equally able to fight.  In 2015, the Pentagon lifted all restrictions for women in military service.

The issue not addressed is that of pregnancy.  In time of war it is important to not allow the continued growth of the population to fall off.  Bearing children is a risky enterprise and require a long term investment.  As we bring women into the draft (conscription) we must also make allowance for that duty that only women can fulfill, giving birth.

Regards  —  Cliff

Abortion Loosening in Vermont

For John, BLUFVermont is, in my humble opinion, heading in the wrong direction.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The [Boston] Pilot, by the Catholic News Agency Staff, 22 February 2019.

Here is the lede plus five:

Burlington, Vt., Feb 22, 2019 CNA.- With a bill to legalize abortion for any reason until birth advancing in Vermont, the local Catholic bishop has stressed that defending unborn babies is a matter of human rights.

“Do we really want to allow this? Do we really want to test the limits of where human brokenness can take us?  Please God, no,” Bishop Christopher Coyne of Burlington said in a Feb. 15 statement.

Coyne cited his previous comments from January, saying the bill goes beyond Roe v. Wade and “does not recognize a viable life at any stage of pregnancy.”

“This bill will legalize infanticide.  This is wrong,” he said.

The Vermont House of Representatives passed H. 57, called the “The Freedom of Choice Act,” on Feb. 21 by a vote of 106-36.

The bill had at least 90 co-sponsors in the House and has strong support in the state Senate.  It claims to “safeguard the right to abortion” by ensuring it is not “denied, restricted, or infringed.”  It bars the prosecution of “any individual” who performs or attempts to perform an abortion.

With regard to abortion this has to be about educating Mothers.  Educating them as to the fact that they are carrying an individual life.  Educating them as to what options are available to them if they feel they don't wish to raise a child.

Bigger than the narrow abortion issue is the one of judging that there is life unworthy of life.  If this idea gains ground it will not be held narrowly to the issue of abortion but will become a broader issue with regard to children and adults, to include the elderly.nbsp; Some will speak of quality of life, which is a cover for saying that some humans are disposable.  This is something we need to resist, lest we become like Germany in the late 1930s and early 1940s, and other nations, such as Cambodia under Pol Pot or China during the great leap forward.

Regards  —  Cliff

Dealing With The nKorean Threat

For John, BLUFMr William Aikin is not a known "Right Wing" crank.  On the other hand, as a "defense analyst" he has been known to question the conventional wisdom.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

US officials warn of a president who is a dangerous wildcard, but Trump should be supported in his denuclearization plan

From The Guardian, Analyst William M Arkin, 25 February 2019.

Here is the lede plus four:

When Donald Trump sits down with Kim Jong-un in Hanoi this week to further discuss eliminating North Korea’s nuclear capability, there are lots of reasons to doubt that the American president can pull it off.

Yet denuclearization is exactly the right goal and the president should be cheered on to succeed.

And yet, ever since the president announced last year that he would pursue “complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean peninsula”, jeering has been the near universal response.&Nbsp; It’s come from almost every imaginable American quarter: Republican and Democrat, liberal and conservative, expert and amateur.

Former president Barack Obama’s CIA director John Brennan has been the most vociferous, saying that a president “prone to flattery” and oblivious to North Korea’s “agile feint” has taken Kim’s “bait”, canceling exercises and contemplating reductions of forces.  Meanwhile, the news media is filled with leaks and speculation that North Korea clandestinely continues to manufacture nuclear materials and work on long-range missiles.  Ahead of the meeting, US officials promise that troop withdrawals from the Korean peninsula won’t happen, more of a hope as to the actual agenda, given the portrayal of Trump as a dangerous wildcard.

The picture painted is of an unmanageable patriarch who desires to give away the family fortune.  That family fortune of course is in the possession of the national security establishment.  On North Korea, but not only with regard to Korea – look also at Syria and Afghanistan – expert Washington is the master at adhering to their own preferred solutions.  Their passive-aggressive ways – whether applied to Trump on Korea or Obama on issues like Guantánamo and general nuclear disarmament – perpetuate stagnancy, any real change stymied through the imposition of conditions that are never quite achievable.

Yes, North Korea still has nuclear weapons.  But, we are talking and there have been no recent tests.  I judge the new normal to be better than the old normal.  As for Chairman Kim's belief that if he gives up his nuclear weapons he makes his position less secure, we can thank then Secretary of State Clinton.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Amazon and Taxes

For John, BLUFIn cases like this it is usually beneficial to dig a little deeper.  Tax policies are usually structured to drive certain behaviors, like corporate investment.  Put another way, taxes are not so much about raising money as they are about shaping human behavior.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

There's a reason Amazon as a corporate entity usually escapes income taxes.

From FEE, by Prof Tyler Cowen, 20 February 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

The main reason Amazon as a corporate entity does not pay much in taxes is because the company so vigorously reinvests its profit.  The resulting expensing provisions lower their tax liabilities, in some cases down to zero or near-zero.

That is, in fact, the kind of incentive our tax system is supposed to create, and does so only imperfectly, noting that many economists have suggested moving to full expensing.

I am thinking reinvestment creates jobs, at least temporarily, as buildings are built and equipment purchased.  And later people are hired to work in those buildings, to operate that machinery.

A little bit later the article makes this point:

Amazon pays plenty in terms of payroll taxes and also state and local taxes.  Nor should you forget the taxes paid by Amazon’s employees on their wages.  Not only is that direct revenue to various levels of government, but the incidence of those taxes falls somewhat on Amazon, which now must pay higher wages to offset the tax burden faced by their employees.
I am glad there are people, like Mr Jeff Bazos, out there creating jobs.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Being Strong, Moving Forward

For John, BLUFWe should be celebrating those who overcame their victimization.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

It shows a peculiar aspect of 21st-century America: victimhood chic.

From The Atlantic, by Professor John McWhorter, 20 February 2019.

Here are the final two paragraphs:

But that’s just it—Smollett, if the latest reporting is true, was an eager puppy, jumping with joyous inattention into American social politics as he has encountered it coming of age in the 21st century. He would have known that in this moment, very important people would find him more interesting for having been hurt on the basis of his identity than for his fine performance on an interesting hit television show. He would have known this so well that it didn’t even occur to him that his story would have to be more credible than the dopey one he threw together about being jumped in near-Arctic temperatures by the only two white bullies in America with a mysterious fondness for a black soap hip-hopera. (Yet again, I’m assuming the latest reporting is accurate.)

Only in an America in which matters of race are not as utterly irredeemable as we are often told could things get to the point that someone would pretend to be tortured in this way, acting oppression rather than suffering it, seeking to play a prophet out of a sense that playing a singer on television is not as glamorous as getting beaten up by white guys. That anyone could feel this way and act on it in the public sphere is, in a twisted way, a kind of privilege, and a sign that we have come further on race than we are often comfortable admitting.

People are looking for solutions, not victimhood.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Digging a Hole for the Future

TRIGGER WARNING:  In which I suggest covering up statues and paintings of past events is unhelpful for learning about who we are.

For John, BLUFIf you don't know how you got here, how can you know which direction to take into the future?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

The ongoing monument controversy shows the susceptibility of ‘liberating tolerance’ to fanaticism

From The Spectator, by Dr Roger Kimball, 18 February 2019.

Here is the lede plus four:

The news that the University of Notre Dame, responding to complaints by some students, would ‘shroud’ its 12 134-year-old murals depicting Christopher Columbus was disappointing.  It was not surprising, however, to anyone who has been paying attention to the widespread attack on America’s past wherever social justice warriors congregate.

Notre Dame may not be particularly friendly to its Catholic heritage, but its president, the Rev. John Jenkins, demonstrated that it remains true to its jesuitical (if not, quite, its Jesuit) inheritance.  Queried about the censorship, he said, apparently without irony, that his decision to cover the murals was not intended to conceal anything, but rather to tell ‘the full story’ of Columbus’s activities.

Welcome to the new Orwellian world where censorship is free speech and we respect the past by attempting to elide it.

Over the past several years, we have seen a rising tide of assaults on statues and other works of art representing our nation’s history by those who are eager to squeeze that complex story into a box defined by the evolving rules of political correctness.  We might call this the ‘monument controversy,’ and what happened at Notre Dame is a case in point:  a vocal minority, claiming victim status, demands the destruction, removal, or concealment of some object of which they disapprove.  Usually, the official response is instant capitulation.

As the French writer Charles Péguy once observed, ‘It will never be known what acts of cowardice have been motivated by the fear of not looking sufficiently progressive.’  Consider the frequent demands to remove statues of Confederate war heroes from public spaces because their presence is said to be racist.  New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, for example, has recently had statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson removed from a public gallery.  In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio has set up a committee to review ‘all symbols of hate on city property.’

A hundred and fifty years from now, when we are generally in agreement that late term abortions are, in fact, infanticide, will we be tearing down or covering up the statues of President Obama and Senator Clinton and chiseling out of plaques the names of various Senators and House Speakers?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, February 22, 2019


For John, BLUFSee the previous post.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Wash Post! by Reporter Antonia Noori Farzan, 21 February 2019

Here is the lede plus four:

Just outside downtown Dunn, N.C., a historic antebellum-style house honors Maj. Gen. William C. Lee, a hometown hero often described as the father of the U.S. Army’s airborne infantry.  The World War II veteran served as the first commanding general for the 101st Airborne Division, nicknamed the “Screaming Eagles,” and helped plan the Allied forces’ D-Day invasion of Normandy.

He’s a widely respected, if somewhat obscure, military figure — which is why, after anonymous vandals attempted to torch a statue of him last week, museum officials concluded it had been a case of mistaken identity.  They suspect that the perpetrators thought they were burning a memorial to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

“This is not a Civil War museum and this is not Robert E. Lee,” Mark Johnson, the curator for the Maj. Gen. William C. Lee Airborne Museum, told WNCN on Tuesday.  “This is General William C. Lee from United States Army Airborne from World War II.”

Dunn, a city of under 10,000 people, is located in the greater Raleigh-Durham area, where some of the most heated debates over removing Confederate memorials have taken place in recent years.  In August 2017, protesters in Durham, N.C., took matters into their own hands by toppling a bronze statue depicting a Confederate soldier that sat in front of the city’s old courthouse.  A year later, activists and students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill used ropes to pull down the monument known as Silent Sam, which was originally erected in honor of UNC graduates who died fighting for the Confederacy in the Civil War.

While the vandals who targeted the memorial to William C. Lee last week didn’t leave anything behind that would explain their motivation, Johnson told the Daily Record that he thought they were trying to make a similar statement about racism and slavery.

Ed Driscoll, the InstaPundit blogger Of this item qasked:
The clueless iconoclasts.  How can we follow them?  They would lead us off a cliff.  Which would be painful.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Respecting Your Fore Bearers

For John, BLUFSenator Harris seems to be snakebit.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This was picked up on InstaPundit.

From Front Page Magazine, by Mr Daniel Greenfield, 19 February 2019.

Here are the InstaPundit Excerpts:

Professor Donald Harris Kamala Harris’ Jamaican father, has vigorously dissociated himself from statements made on the New York Breakfast Club radio show earlier this week attributing her support for smoking marijuana to her Jamaican heritage.  Professor Harris has issued a statement to in which he declares:
“My dear departed grandmothers(whose extraordinary legacy I described in a recent essay on this website), as well as my deceased parents, must be turning in their grave right now to see their family’s name, reputation and proud Jamaican identity being connected, in any way, jokingly or not with the fraudulent stereotype of a pot-smoking joy seeker and in the pursuit of identity politics.  Speaking for myself and my immediate Jamaican family, we wish to categorically dissociate ourselves from this travesty.”
As Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds said, "Ouch."

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Mass Delegation re Wall

For John, BLUFSo the Dems in the House of Reprsentative exerted their will on the President, but didn't expect blow back?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From MASSterlist.

Here is the "blog post":

A coalition of 16 states, which doesn’t include Massachusetts (at least not yet), yesterday officially challenged in court President Trump’s plan to use “emergency powers” to spend billions of dollars on a new border wall, the NYT reports.

Meanwhile, protests were held yesterday in Boston, Worcester, Northampton and elsewhere against the president’s wall plan, with U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley in Boston calling Trump’s attempted unilateral move “constitutional vandalism” and asserting Trump has “lost all moral authority to continue to serve,” reports Jacqueline Tempera at MassLive and Simón Ríos at WBUR. George Barnes at the Telegram and Jacquelyn Voghel at the Gazette have details on the Worcester and Northampton rallies, respectively.

From an Old Gray Lady article.

Does our whole Congressional Delegation think President Trump has “lost all moral authority to continue to serve”?  I was never good in language arts in school, but I parse that to mean Representative Ayanna Pressley believes—not just thinks, but deep down believes—Resident Trump should be Impeached, and Convicted.  This is not a half measure step.  As fellow Massachusetts thinker Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “When you strike at a king, you must kill him.”  If we, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, as represented by our all Democratic Congressional Delegation are going to make war on President Trump they had better make quick work of it.  He apparently doesn't suffer fools gladly, and while there is safety in numbers, the President can find ways to diddle with us.

Regards  —  Cliff

Bill Weld is Back

For John, BLUFIf Gov Weld a stalking horse for Gov Charlie Baker?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From he New Hampshire Journal, by Commentator Michael Graham, 14 February 2019.

Here is the lede plus four:

If you’re a 2020 GOP primary voter who’s been holding out for a pro-abortion, pro-amnesty liberal who endorsed Barack Obama, praised Hillary Clinton and compared Donald Trump to the Nazis — Bill Weld’s your man!

And if you’re Donald Trump, concerned that a primary challenge could cripple your re-election bid the same way it did for George H. W. Bush or Jimmy Carter, former Governor Weld really is your man.

He’s the ideal candidate for Trump to run against.

Weld, the Libertarian Party nominee for vice president in 2016, will be speaking at the Politics and Eggs breakfast in Bedford, NH Friday morning, where it is expected he will make a major announcement related to a possible primary challenge to President Trump.  “We’re going to make news,” Weld told Jim Brett, head of the New England Council which, along with the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, co-hosts the event.

Political observers are less than optimistic about Weld’s chances.  “Bill Weld makes Don Quixote look like a pillar of sanity and prudence,” Real Clear Politics president and co-founder Tom Bevan told NHJournal.

I guess former Mass Governor Bill Weld is a Republican, if you compare him to some of the DemocratsSocialists lining up for the 2020 run for the Democratic Nomination.

It is going to be a very interesting contest.

Regards  —  Cliff


For John, BLUFInterestingly, Drug Lords sometimes care about more than just dealing drugs.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Washington Examiner, by Reporter Quin Hillyer, 15 February 2019.

Here four key paragraphs:

Edmond, himself a good basketball player, grew up as friends with John Turner, a Hoya role player.  Thompson heard Edmond had been seen hanging around with Turner and Hoya superstar Alonzo Mourning.  There was and is no evidence either player was involved with drugs; indeed, Mourning remains to this day a man almost universally admired for both grit and character.  But Thompson wanted to take no chances.

Thompson sent word to the streets:  I want Rayful Edmond in my office.  Rayful Edmond complied.  Think of what would have happened if, say, Knute Rockne had summoned Al Capone to a meeting.  Capone would have sent word back:  “You want me to come to you?  No, you come to me.  Capisce?”

But Edmond dutifully showed up at Thompson’s office — and Thompson told him, in no uncertain terms, to leave his kids alone.

And Edmond did. He was never seen in the company of a Hoya player ever again.  As Andrew Sharp wrote for SB Nation, Thompson “single-handedly scared the shit out of one of the most infamous drug dealers in U.S. history.”

The edge Coach John Thompson had was that Rayful Edmond had respect for the Hoya basketball team.  And, he (Coach Thompson) was ornery enough to confront the problem head on.  An edge Coach Knute Rockne wouldn't have had.

But, it does say that each of us needs to be aware and speak to those we are in contact with.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

"According to people familiar"

For John, BLUFI am sorry, Virginia, but there appears to be no there there.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

While I found this item in The Boston Globe, it is really from the WaPo, The Washington Post.  And who did they talk to?  "People familiar."  How familiar?  The Charlady or some nameless, faceless bureaucrat?

From The Boston Globe! by Washington Post Reporters Devlin Barrett, Josh Dawsey and Matt Zapotosky, 21 February 2019

Here is the lede plus two:

WASHINGTON — Justice Department officials are preparing for the end of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s nearly two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and believe a confidential report could be issued in coming days, according to people familiar with the discussions.

The investigation has consumed Washington since it began in May 2017, and it increasingly appears to be nearing its end, which would send fresh shock waves through the political system.  Mueller could deliver his report to Attorney General William Barr next week, according to a person familiar with the matter who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Regulations call for Mueller to submit to the attorney general a confidential explanation as to why he decided to charge certain individuals, as well as who else he investigated and why he decided not to charge those people.  The regulations then call for the attorney general to report to Congress about the investigation.

The article notes that CNN has reported "that [Special Counsel] Mueller could send a report to Barr as early as next week."  Great.  Just as President Trump is sitting down with Chairman Kim.

Does anyone think this will be the end of it?  Not even a Trump victory in the 2020 Election will end it.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, February 18, 2019

Earmarks For the Winners

For John, BLUFA Federally financed bridge to nowhere?  Yes, the Democrats control the House and money is leaking.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Read the Blog Post and then go to the Link.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

A False Flag Operation

For John, BLUFThe big problem is we can't outlaw stupid, on any side.  Perhaps, if we honored and knew our history we could put some of this stuff on the shelf and mark those who took it down as just plain stupid.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Yes, it is The Babylon Bee, from 18 February 2019.

Here is the lede plus three:

U.S.—The nation’s liberals were struck by a devastating blow this week after finding out a hate crime, reported by Empire actor Jussie Smollet, didn’t actually happen.

“I needed this to be true,” said liberal columnist Hanna Spalding.  “When I first heard the news of this attack, I was filled with so much hope. I felt so validated.  Then that was taken away.  Now I just want to cry into my pillow.”

The attack had been called “a modern-day lynching” by democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker but after Chicago police reported that the “trajectory of the investigation” into Smollet’s story had shifted, Smollet was stripped of his victim status.  Booker became irate, phoning the Chicago police chief and shouting repeatedly, “Check it again!  CHECK IT AGAIN!”

After some deep breathing exercises, Booker spoke with reporters.  “How are we supposed to intentionally turn the nation against each other and exploit these divisions for political power if people won’t commit a simple hate crime once in a while?”

It is satire, but it reflects our not moving on.  How are we going to agree with reparations if we don't have someone who can say it is done, it is satisfied?  And we don't.  I would agree to "reparations" if that would pay the bill due.  But who has the moral authority to sign off on a reparations package?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Happy Presidents Day

TRIGGER WARNING:  It is all about old Caucasian guys.

For John, BLUFEnjoying the day off.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

When I was young this was two separate holidays, President Washington's Birthday and President Lincoln's Birthday, and then some bright individual decided to consolidate them, perhaps for efficiency.  Or perhaps to avoid another holiday, on 30 January, for FDR's Birthday.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Deep State Coup Attempt?

For John, BLUFIf the Principles think there is a problem, they should speak up.  The children should stay quiet.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

“a grievous offense against the Constitution”

From Legal Insurrection, by Mr Mike LaChance, 16 February 2019.

Here is the lede:

Andrew McCabe’s new revelations about high level meetings to discuss removing Trump have been described as an attempted coup.  Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz says if the 25th Amendment was on the table, then it absolutely was an attempted coup.
This is embarrassing.

Could it be all the illegal immigrants from Latin America have infested us with a Coup bug?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff


For John, BLUFSecure borders aren't important?  How much of Central America and Northern South America should we import to the US, and if we are going to do it, shouldn't there be an organized process?  I will say the current system does reward those with grit and determination, and that is a good thing.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

“Yes, absolutely.  I’d take the wall down.”
Former Congressman from El Paso, Texas, Beto O'Rourke

From Legal Insurrection, by Ms Kemberlee Kaye, 15 February 2019.

Besides former Congressman Beto O'Rourke, we have Senator Kirsten Gillibrand supporting taking down the barrier along our Mexican border.

I think President Trump should have asked for a couple billion to tear down the existing wall, from San Diego to Yuma.  I wonder how the Dems would have reacted to that?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Amazon and Local Politics

For John, BLUFNew York State, and New York City, are special cases, but, they raise questions about where we are heading.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Wash Post, by Columnist Megan McArdle, 15 February 2019.

Here are The Excepts at InstaPundit:

Though Amazon won’t lose much by redirecting expansion elsewhere (including adding personnel to its offices elsewhere in New York), Big Tech should be worried about the company’s experience.  Once viewed by the left as the Good Big Business, Big Tech has now been reclassified to the ranks of the rapacious monopolists.  Meanwhile, the right is also getting less tech-friendly as it perceives Big Tech taking the other side in the culture wars.  At the moment, tech has no obvious political allies.

Allies are going to be essential, because Amazon’s battles with local activists in Seattle and now New York were but the opening skirmishes in what promises to be a long war.  Activists are looking to curb tech’s economic power, with whatever political tools they have at their disposal, from the special employment taxes tried in Seattle to lobbying for federal antitrust actions.

It will all sort itself out, but maybe not by 2020.

And by then the Green New Deal (GND) will be in full swing.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Public Exposure

For John, BLUFIt seems a little disrespectful for individuals to flaunt their sexual assets, while expecting others to know where the flaunter is drawing the line.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Ricochet, by Mr Paul A. Rahe, 15 February 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

Now that I have your attention, I wish to direct it to a split decision handed down today by the 10th Circuit. On equal-protection grounds, the court struck down an ordinance in place in Fort Collins, CO forbidding women from baring their breasts in public except for the purpose of breastfeeding. Ed Whelan at National Review is on the case, and he reports the following:
In his majority opinion (joined by Judge Mary Beck Briscoe), Judge Gregory A. Phillips cites with approval the district court’s objection that the ordinance “perpetuates a stereotype engrained in our society that female breasts are primarily objects of sexual desire whereas male breasts are not.”  In a classic false dichotomy, Phillips concludes that the city’s “professed interest in protecting children derives not from any morphological differences between men’s and women’s breasts but from negative stereotypes depicting women’s breasts, but not men’s breasts, as sex objects.”  Ditto for “notions of morality” that might underlie the law.
I find the judge's ruling here to be disconnected from our civil society.  It isn't just sad.  It is also destructive.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Amazon Flees

For John, BLUFWhen folks say "do the math" I usually do, to check their sums, which are often off.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Powerline, by John Hinderaker, 15 February 2019.

Here is the lede plus two:

The two hottest commodities in the Democratic Party are Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  Earlier this week, Omar exhibited stunning ignorance in her hostile questioning of Elliott Adams Abrams.  Similarly, Ocasio-Cortez has often displayed a surprising lack of knowledge for someone who apparently is a college graduate.  Don’t get me started on the “Green New Socialism.” But she outdid herself yesterday.

The context was Amazon’s announcement that it would not, after all, build a second corporate headquarters in Long Island City, which I understand is close to, but not within, Ocasio-Cortez’s district.  The project reportedly would have entailed 25,000 new jobs–normally considered a good thing by Congressmen.  But Ocasio-Cortez thought it was wonderful that her constituents would not have the option to compete for those jobs:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez @AOC

Anything is possible:  today was the day a group of dedicated, everyday New Yorkers & their neighbors defeated Amazon’s corporate greed, its worker exploitation, and the power of the richest man in the world.

Here is where it goes sideways:
What’s great is that our economy, our local economy, is already growing.  So I firmly believe that if we want to take that $3 billion dollars that we were willing to give to Amazon and invest it in our local community, we can do that.
The thing is, there is no $3 Billion now free for alternative uses, like job training.  That was future tax revenue to be forgone as an incentive to Amazon to bring jobs, which would mean workers earning and spending and all that financial activity being taxed.  Those jobs will now go elsewhere.  Some other tax jurisdiction will face a reduced tax intake from the acquisition of some 25,000 new jobs.  That is, before there was nothing, but now there will be, somewhere else, 25,000 new jobs and some new tax revenue.  Somewhere other than New York City.  Maybe someplace like Boston, Massachusetts, which had made the "short list".

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, February 14, 2019

France Has Its Critics and Prophets

For John, BLUFHere is a rundown on one of the "right wing" pundits in France.  France is a little unsettled at this time, which is probably not good, especially if the centre does not hold.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

The pop historian Eric Zemmour has fashioned himself as an evangelist of French culture — and become a driving force for French conservatism.

From the Old Gray Lady, By Ms Elisabeth Zerofsky, 6 February 2019.

Here is the lede plus three:

To follow Éric Zemmour around Paris this fall was to make a tour of the city’s slightly faded belle epoque salons.  In September, after his latest book, “French Destiny,” was published, Le Figaro, France’s center-right daily paper, where Zemmour is a columnist, hosted a talk at the Salle Gaveau.  A 1906 chamber-music hall, painted pale yellow and lined with parterre boxes, it is just two blocks from the presidential palace.  “I’m not going to introduce Éric Zemmour,” his presenter told the sold-out hall, noting that you would have to live at the very edge of the universe to escape him.

“I’m always intimidated when someone says something nice about me,” Zemmour replied.  “It happens pretty rarely.”

At 60, Zemmour is slight, with thinning hair and a spry energy.  In a normal week, he might be a guest on morning radio, discuss the death of Gaullism on his Wednesday-evening talk show and publish a column on the genius of the French language.  But when he releases a book — he has written three since 2014 — his frequent speaking engagements mean additional opportunities to expound on his preferred topics: the historical curtailment of French dominance and the elites who have destroyed what remains of French identity.  All this time in front of the public increases the chance that he will do what he is best known for:  defy the still-robust codes of French politesse. “I have the great fault of being unable to concede,” Zemmour says.  “I’m not glorifying being this way. I just can’t help it.”  It is a trait that ensures not only that Zemmour is to be found everywhere, talking, but also that everyone, everywhere, is talking about him.

In the lobby, before the evening’s program, Zemmour’s colleagues were chattering about his latest clash, the so-called affaire des prénoms.  On a talk show the previous Sunday, Zemmour went on a riff about the importance of a first name in signaling Frenchness, a longstanding obsession of his.  (In 2009, he publicly castigated the minister of justice, Rachida Dati, for naming her daughter Zohra.)  Zemmour concluded by informing one of the panelists, a young journalist with Senegalese roots named Hapsatou Sy, that her mother was wrong not to give her a French name — say, Corinne — to show that their family was dedicated to the task of assimilating.  Everyone laughed, but the producers cut the cameras and the conversation continued offscreen, where Zemmour told Sy that her name was “an insult” to France.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Two Visions of Europe

For John, BLUFThe trouble with Britain is not the only trouble the European Union faces.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Quartz, by Professor Simon Toubeau, 12 February 2019.

Here is the lede plus six:

France and Italy are in a diplomatic crisis, provoked by a recent meeting between Italy’s deputy prime minister, Luigi Di Maio, and representatives of the French Gilets Jaunes protest movement.

Di Maio has expressed his support for the Gilets Jaunes as they prepare to stand candidates in the European Parliament elections this year.  This has caused so much trouble for the French president, Emmanuel Macron, that the French government has pulled its ambassador out of Rome, accusing the Italian government of making verbal attacks “without precedent since World War II.”

Di Maio’s gesture was the straw that broke the camel’s back.  Tensions between the two governments—over corporate takeovers, policy towards Libya, and an exhibition Leonardo Da Vinci’s works—have been mounting since a new populist “government of change” came to power in Italy last June.  This latest conflict has soured relations to an unprecedented point.  It’s difficult to see how they can improve in the near term.

It is exceptional for two of the founding members of the European Union to have such an open conflict.  But it is also exceptional for Italy to have a government that is so openly hostile to the EU.  This reveals that behind this crisis lies a deeper rift over Europe.

Macron’s La Republique En Marche movement is a newcomer on the French political scene, but it nevertheless represents the mainstream, pro-European liberal center.  Macron poached people from across the moderate left and right to form his new government.  In France, the forces of the populist left (the France Insoumise movement) and right (the far-right party Rassemblement National) are in opposition.  But in Italy, the equivalent forces—the Five Star movement and the League—are in government.  There, it is the mainstream pro-European center that is in opposition.

So the French and Italian governments now have very different visions for the EU.  Macron has ambitions for deeper cooperation in foreign, military, and economic affairs.  In contrast, the League and the Five Star movement have been aligning themselves with fellow populist governments in Austria, Poland, and Hungary, all of which are either promoting eurosceptic views or are in open conflict with Brussels.

These two parvenus governments need to give some credibility to their contrasting visions because elections to the European Parliament are now in sight.

My sense is that the author favors France in this fracas.  The is, sadly, putting one's head in the sand.  Pundits are still learning the wrong lessons from Mr Donald Trump, and others.  Mr Trump represents a shift in the thinking of the People.  The same thing is going on in Europe.  Not everyone, but enough to change election outcomes.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, February 11, 2019

Ed Goes Hard Left

For John, BLUFPolitics makes for strange bedfellows—Mr Charles Dudley Warner.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Boston Herald, by Ms Marie Sianiszlo (, 8 February 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

Sen. Edward Markey partnered with freshman U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on her controversial “Green New Deal” proposal to cut fossil fuel use and achieve “net-zero” greenhouse gas emissions within 10 years — an idea that one economist said would “significantly” raise the cost of energy?

Markey’s move to the left is seen by political analysts as a positioning for his own looming re-election battle — to ward off the kind of progressive challenge that took out former veteran U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano.  Markey himself cited the initiative as a looming campaign issue.

“This is going to enter the 2020 election cycle,” Markey said at a news conference outside the Capitol with Ocasio-Cortez and several of the resolution’s more than 60 co-sponsors.  “The greatest climate denier of them all is in the White House.  …The green generation has risen up, and they are saying we want this issue solved.  We now have the troops, we now have the money, and we’re ready to fight.”

One hopes this will not become the law of the land until we figure out how much it will cost and how to pay for it.  In saying that I am flat out rejecting the idea that the end of the world as we know it is only 12 years off.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Of course the Second Coming could end the world as we know it, but with a good outcome, not a bad one.

Like Sparta, Except the Mother

For John, BLUFAs for Virginia Governor Northam, the fact that he was careless about "Black Face" or "White Hoods" is just a symptom of his being careless of life itself.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Novelist Sarah Hoyt, 10 February 2019.

Here is the lede plus five:

When I was little, my dad told me about Spartan infanticide:  How a new baby was brought to the father, who then either accepted/recognized him/her or directed that the child be killed.

I wasn’t that little, and this was by the way of being a joke on the fact that I was premature, very small and would never have survived.  While old enough to understand the joke, I thought it was a barbaric and despicable system, putting the life of a newborn in the hands of a flawed individual who might just not feel really cordial that day, or kill the child for monetary and convenience reasons.

I was very glad we no longer lived in such a barbarous age.

For a while now, I’ve suspected I was wrong.  Governor Northam’s speech was only the glaringly obvious slap in the face to prove that indeed and in fact, we do very much live in a world like Sparta’s.  Only these days it’s not the father who gets to decide, but the mother.

You see, lacking a solid point at which we declare that life in the womb is/isn’t human, we have defaulted by degrees to “It’s human if it’s wanted.”  Specifically, if it’s wanted by the mother.

Unfortunately, this opens the door to atrocity.

It’s not even a slippery slope, just a working out of the conclusion.  If you’re not wanted once you’re born, why should you be accorded any more “humanity” than you were if unwanted in the womb?  Why should there be a limit to when you stop being wanted?

The implication is clear.  Under the current rules in New York State and as proposed for Virginia, the baby could be several hours old and be aborted, or a day old, or 14 years old and a disappointment to the Mother.

Here is the conclusion to the article:

We should respect humans as humans because we are human.

Once we open the door to granting conditional humanity for any reason, we are rendering ourselves open to also be considered non-human for any reason, as society shifts and the needs of government change.

At the end of that lie death camps and bodies piled like cordwood.

It’s time to turn back while we can.

I am opposed to elective abortion, but we are a pluralistic society and not all think the way I do.  The US Supreme Court Ruling in Roe v Wade seems like a reasonable compromise.  Getting too far out beyond that "first trimester" seems to me to be on a slippery slope.

If someone uses the "Hitler" analogy with you, mention that Governor Andrew Cuomo and Governor Ralph Northam are more the mold, men willing to eliminate those found to be unworthy of life and thus to be eliminated in a quick and efficient manner.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Which goes back to a 1920 Book, Allowing the Destruction of Life Unworthy of Life

Sunday, February 10, 2019

When Does Russiagate Turn Back on the Democrats?

For John, BLUFAfter the State of the Union, what do they have?  Locking him up over something.  It will set a new bar.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Hill, by Opinion Contributor John Solomon, 10 February 2019.

Here is the lede plus five:

Now that both the House and Senate investigative committees have cleared Donald Trump of Democrat-inspired allegations of Russian collusion, it is worth revisiting one anecdote that escaped significant attention during the hysteria but continues to have U.S. security implications.

As secretary of State, Hillary Clinton worked with Russian leaders, including Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and then-President Dmitri Medvedev, to create U.S. technology partnerships with Moscow’s version of Silicon Valley, a sprawling high-tech campus known as Skolkovo.

Clinton’s handprint was everywhere on the 2009-2010 project, the tip of a diplomatic spear to reboot U.S.-Russian relations after years of hostility prompted by Vladimir Putin’s military action against the former Soviet republic and now U.S. ally, Georgia.

A donor to the Clinton Foundation, Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, led the Russian side of the effort, and several American donors to the Clinton charity got involved.  Clinton’s State Department facilitated U.S. companies working with the Russian project, and she personally invited Medvedev to visit Silicon Valley.

The collaboration occurred at the exact same time Bill Clinton made his now infamous trip to Russia to pick up a jaw-dropping $500,000 check for a single speech.

The former president’s trip secretly raised eyebrows inside his wife’s State Department, internal emails show.

I doubt that Rep Adam Schiff (D-CA) will be willing to travel down this path, and I doubt the Republicans in the Senate are much interested in the turmoil.

On the other hand, the Democrats have not given up all hope of nailing President Trump, as this Politico article shows:

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Sunday said that President Donald Trump “may not even be a free person” by 2020, suggesting the president might become ensnared by the special counsel’s investigation before she has a chance to face him in a general election.
In my opinion, this will never be over.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Housing the Homeless

For John, BLUFI don't see this story get any better if we provide medical care for all.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

With homelessness rising and shelter beds scarce, healthcare facilities are accused of abandoning people in Skid Row following treatment

From The Guardian, by Ms Carla Green (@carlaflou), 4 May 2018 (Yes, nine months old, but still current).

Here is the lede plus two:

Two days before Valentine’s Day, Santiago Tarver collapsed at a homeless women’s center in Los Angeles’s Skid Row.  He lay on the ground convulsing as staff members called an ambulance, which took Tarver to a public hospital about three miles away.

“I didn’t expect to see him for a couple days,” said Spencer Coats, a medical social worker at the women’s center.

But just a couple of hours later, Tarver, a transgender 28-year-old, was back.  Although he was still disoriented from the medication he’d been given, Tarver said the hospital had given him bus tokens and sent him home to his tent amid feces, discarded syringes and trash.

It is LA, out in California, but, it could be, some time soon, here in Lowell.  We need to begin planning for a possible future of greater homelessness.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, February 9, 2019

E Warren Announces

For John, BLUFShe did it in Lawrence, which is interesting.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Professor Ann Althouse, 9 February 2019.

Here is the lede:

I don't see how she could have done any better. Her delivery — the passion, inflection, energy, clarity — is as close to perfect as I can imagine from someone who's found her way into the position to run for the presidency.
And here is a key paragraph:
Much of what she said was about the troubles of the middle class, and it sounded a lot like Trump.  There were many times when I said out loud, "This is like Trump."  And she got a crowd reaction that reminded me of Trump's.  People cheered and chants got going.
Independently, my oldest son, who watched the speech while having lunch, said it was very good.

I wonder if Senator Warren, sensing why Candidate Trump did as well as he did in 2016, is going back to her Bible Belt roots to connect with those voters Candidate Hillary Clinton lost?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Letter to Editor on Voting Lawsuit

For John, BLUFIt would be nice to actually solve problems.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The [Lowell] Sun! A Letter to the Editor, 8 February 2019.

Here is the lede plus three:

A recent front-page article in The Sun suggested we do the math with regard to the ongoing voter-rights lawsuit.  I did, with regard to the 2017 local elections, and came away with two lessons learned.  In doing this I arranged the 33 voting precincts from the one with the most votes to the one with the fewest cast (Ward 1, Precinct 2, 531 voters, to Ward 2, Precinct 1, 107 voters).

Looking at the high school ballot Initiative, the result was determined by just a few precincts.  Eight precincts provided the majority needed to pass the proposal to keep the high school downtown.  That is less than 25 percent of the total number of precincts.

This rises the question of fairness.  Should Lowell have an Electoral College-like system for ballot initiatives, to ensure all areas of the city get a say?

On the other hand, in the City Council race in 2017, the ninth and last city councilor, Dave Conway, was finally elected by the votes of the lowest-voting precinct.  This suggests that Conway could not run a campaign focused exclusively on a few high voting precincts, but rather needed to make himself known across the City.  This attention to the broad electorate is even shown for high vote-getters, like Councilors Rita Mercier and Rodney Elliott, who even traveled to Cambodia, showing their interest in the local Cambodian Community.

I don't think the current lawsuit settles anything.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, February 8, 2019

Are We Doing Education Right?

For John, BLUFWe need to rethink education and we need to go down range and think back to high school and before.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the Blog of Professor Ann Althouse, today, 8 February 2019.

Here is Professor Althouse's lift from an Old Gray Lady article, "Why Girls Beat Boys at School and Lose to Them at the Office/Hard work and discipline help girls outperform boys in class, but that advantage disappears in the work force.  Is school the problem?" by the clinical psychologist Lisa Lamour (That is one long title.):

"Girls consistently outperform boys academically.  And yet, men nonetheless hold a staggering 95 percent of the top positions in the largest public companies.  What if those same habits that propel girls to the top of their class — their hyper-conscientiousness about schoolwork — also hold them back in the work force?...  So how do we get hyper-conscientious girls (and boys, as there certainly are some with the same style) to build both confidence and competence at school?...  Th[e] experience — of succeeding in school while exerting minimal or moderate effort — is a potentially crucial one.  It may help our sons develop confidence, as they see how much they can accomplish simply by counting on their wits.  For them, school serves as a test track, where they build their belief in their abilities and grow increasingly at ease relying on them.  Our daughters, on the other hand, may miss the chance to gain confidence in their abilities if they always count on intellectual elbow grease alone."
Professor Althouse calls attention to her tag "Scrupulosity", which she says is the downside of conscientiousness.  I think of scrupulosity as being an almost psychotic concern for not sinning.  But that may be something peculiar to certain religious traditions.

So, does school set females up for failure?  We need to ask if there is any basis for that thought.  Or, are we fishing in the wrong pond?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Religion and Happiness

For John, BLUFIt would appear that religion is a place for people to gather and bond and feel better about themselves.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

In the U.S. and other countries, participation in a congregation is a key factor

From Pew Research Center, a Report without attribution, 31 January 2019.

Here is the lede:

People who are active in religious congregations tend to be happier and more civically engaged than either religiously unaffiliated adults or inactive members of religious groups, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of survey data from the United States and more than two dozen other countries.
The report has a lot of detail broken down by nation.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Green New Deal Announced

For John, BLUFI am not sure this is needed and I am not sure it will help the Democrats in 2020.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

‘We have tried their approach for 40 years — to let the private sector take care of it’

From Grabien News, by Reporter Tom Elliott, 7 February 2019.

Here is the lede plus five:

Democrats’ plans to counteract climate change will involve “massive government intervention” into Americans’ lives, one of the chief proponents admitted in an interview Thursday morning.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said she has no qualms about acknowledging a so-called “Green New Deal” will mean unprecedented governmental intrusion into the private sector.  Appearing on NPR, she was asked if she’s prepared to tell Americans outright that her plans involve “massive government intervention.”

“As you know, congresswoman, one reason that people are politically conservative are skeptical of efforts to combat climate change is that it sounds to them like it requires massive government intervention, which they just don’t like,” Steve Inskeep asked.  “Are you prepared to put on that table that, ‘Yes actually they’re right, what this requires is massive government intervention’?”

“It does, it does, yeah, I have no problem saying that,” Ocasio-Cortez quickly replied.  “Why?  Because we have tried their approach for 40 years.  For 40 years we have tried to let the private sector take care of this.  They said, ‘We got this, we can do this, the forces of the market are going to force us to innovate.’”

“Except,” she continued, “for the fact that there’s a little thing in economics called externalities.  And what that means is that a corporation can dump pollution in the river and they don’t have to pay, but taxpayers have to pay.”

Despite her Green New Deal including plans to remake “every” building in the United States, impose Medicare-for-All, as well as a universal basic income, Ocasio-Cortez said her proposals are small compared to the crisis the world faces.  [Her office posted an updated outline of the plan today.]

I don't see this program making it past this US Senate this term, but if it does, I expect it will face a veto.

For 2021 all bets are off.  Maybe in the 2020 election Senator Ed Markey will run for President and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will convince the electorate to go full Bolivarian Socialist.

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Creating Jobs

For John, BLUFConverting Natural Gas to plastics in Western Pennsylvania.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Washington Examiner, by Reporter Salena Zito, 25 January 2019.

Here is a key paragraph:

The project has already created 1,000 new jobs and is expected to top out at 6,000 during the construction and preparation phases over the next decade before the plant is fully operational. The plant itself is expected to employ more than 600 people permanently, a mix of labor, engineers, and chemists, with Shell analysts predicting it will provide work for two to three times that number in its supply chain.
If your company is about to make a big investment in the petrochemical area, are you pulling for President Donald Trump or US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?

After all it is only about jobs, and people's sense of self worth, and thus their sense of dignity.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Caravan Concerns

For John, BLUFIllegal immigrants, streaming north, are not just a problem for the US.  They are also a problem for Mexico.  And think of the problems in South America, being caused by the Venezuelan diaspora.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Fox News, by Reporter Griff Jenkins, 6 February 2019.

Here is the lede plus three:

PIEDRAS NEGRAS, Mexico -- The Governor of Coahuila, the Mexican state where this border city is located, has one thing to say after overseeing the arrival of a caravan of nearly 2,000 migrants:  “No Mas Caravanas,” or no more caravans.  That was the headline in the local newspaper.

“In the case of the state government, we will not allow more migrants to travel to Coahuila,” Gov. Miguel Riquelme told reporters.

The governor explained it wasn’t up to him to stop this caravan when it crossed Mexico’s southern border nearly three weeks ago because that’s the federal government’s job.  But this one is here now and he’s doing everything he can to deal with it in the most humanitarian way.

And that way involves the enormous security operation that has contained the migrants at the shelter.

I am glad to see that President Trump and I aren't the only persons with concerns about migrant caravans.

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

School Mx (Mx for Maintenance)

For John, BLUFSomething is going n here, but I am not sure what.  I hope we don't outfox ourselves.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The [Lowell] Sun, by Reporter Aaron Curtis (, 6 February 2019.

Here is the lede plus seven:

LOWELL -- A mouse scurrying across the floor of this Lowell High School classroom has become so common, the teacher named the rodent, according to Faith Salbasfregeau.

Salbasfregeau -- told this by her grandson who sits in that classroom -- shared the story with the Board of Health on Wednesday night.

"This might be a joke, but I take it very seriously," the Lowell resident told the board.

Salbasfregeau was one of the roughly 25 concerned family members in attendance for the meeting. Complaints of rodent droppings and frigid classroom temperatures across the district, and how they are being addressed, were the focal point.

The concern expressed during the meeting was spelled out in almost six pages of complaints compiled by Paul Georges, president of the United Teachers of Lowell union.

The list is part of George's push to place pressure on the city and the district to find short-term solutions to the ongoing problems in school buildings. In December he called the Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards, prompting a state probe, Georges said.

The Board of Health went through each complaint regarding the 27 district schools Wednesday night, and the maintenance and repairs to address each of those complaints.

City Manager Eileen Donoghue said the city and district are working aggressively to address issues and apply both short and long-term solutions. The district has repaired "virtually" all the problems listed, according to Donoghue.

The article goes on from there.

It isn't like we are the only industrial government entity with a Mx problem.  The whole German Military has a Mx problem with its equipment.  Which is why President Trump complains about their [lack of] financial contribution to our common defense.

This is one of City Manager Eileen Donoghue's big problems, and she seems to be getting a handle on it.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

School Superintendent

For John, BLUFMinutes from the Executive Session would be good.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The [Lowell] Sun, by Ms Elizabeth Dobbins,, 6 February 2019

Here is the lede plus two:

Will she stay or will she go?

Two weeks after Acting Superintendent Jeannine Durkin told the Lowell School Committee she would not apply for the permanent superintendent position, four of the seven School Committee members said they were interested in negotiating a contract to keep her in the district.

In a 4-2 vote, the School Committee approved a motion to enter into executive session Wednesday night to discuss the contracts with Durkin and the district's Interim Chief Financial Officer Billie Jo Turner.

Enough with "Acting" Superintendent.  Either Jeannine Dorkin is good enough or they need someone new ASAP.  (Hint:  She is more than good enough!)

Regards  —  Cliff

Virginia in Trouble

For John, BLUFAfter the Gov, Lt Gov and A/G it is the House of Delegates Speaker, a Republican.  I wonder how former Gubernatorial Candidate Ed Gillespie is feeling right now?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Wash Post, by Reporters Gregory S Schneider and Laura Vozzella, 6 February 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (D) said Wednesday he dressed in blackface during college, elevating the Capitol’s scandals to a new level that engulfed the entire executive branch of government.

“In 1980, when I was a 19-year-old undergraduate in college, some friends suggested we attend a party dressed like rappers we listened to at the time, like Kurtis Blow, and perform a song,” Herring said in a statement. “It sounds ridiculous even now writing it. But because of our ignorance and glib attitudes – and because we did not have an appreciation for the experiences and perspectives of others – we dressed up and put on wigs and brown makeup.”

Herring acknowledgment comes as Gov. Ralph Northam (D) faces calls for his resignation after a photo emerged on his 1984 medical school yearbook page featuring someone in blackface standing next to someone in Ku Klux Klan robes.

And early Monday, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) denied the allegations of a woman who said he sexually assaulted her at the Democratic National Convention in 2004.

The scandals suggest a possible constitutional crisis. If Northam should step down, Fairfax would succeed him because of his position as lieutenant governor. Herring, as attorney general, would be next in line.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Spartacus Concerned About Sin

For John, BLUFI guess this plays to his base, and it dirties up future SCOTUS nominees.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Mr Tyler O'Neil, 5 February 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

On Tuesday, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), a 2020 candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, asked Trump judicial nominee Neomi Rao if she considered homosexual relationships to be sinful.  Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) immediately called Booker out on this line of questioning.

Booker seized on Rao's 2008 article opposing the Supreme Court decision Lawrence v. Texas, which decriminalized homosexual activity. He then directly asked her, "Are gay relationships in your opinion immoral?"

In a pluralistic society, such as ours, we need to distinguish between illegal and sinful.  We all have friends who have sinned.  Forgiveness is a useful attitude and one God probably agrees with.

On the other hand, we should avoid an "anything goes" attitude.  Stable families, raising stable, hard working kids, is the bedrock of a successful long term society.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

The New Puritans

For John, BLUFI would like to see a happy balance.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Ms Sarah Hoyt, 27 January 2019.

Here is the lede plus ten:

Every time I blunder into a discussion of [paperbackbook] covers in my field, I realize that the left has turned into puritans so slowly we barely noticed.

When I was young – yes, and Mastodon roamed the Earth – the left was all about “liberation.”

Of course, even then, if you paid close attention – or any attention, really – you’d see they idolized the Soviet Union and no one could really believe it was “free” when people were dying to get out.

But as the seventies progressed on their very strange way, I told myself they were just odd people who believed the lies published about the Soviet Union, and they wanted complete freedom to do whatever they wanted.

It might surprise the people who were born after the seventies to find out that the left really wanted no taboos at all.  At least in Europe, if you attended a certain type of party, you might be importuned by adult males way before the age of consent.  And when you refused you were told you had a problem and were repressing your sexuality or had “inhibitions.”  (I developed an answer that was something like this “No, I don’t have any hang-ups about nudity.  I just have no interest in seeing old men naked, thank you.” It usually made them go away.)

In fact, just about anything you didn’t want to do or try, you were told that you had hang-ups, and how much better you’d feel if you just gave them up and did whatever the person talking to you wanted.

If someone had told me back then that the left would in time become complete Puritans, I’d not have believed them.

But just look at them now.

When the cover for Darkship Thieves was settled on, the male editor who was attending the conference I was at did not show it to me because I am a woman, and he was afraid I’d be offended.

To be clear, the cover has zero sexual content.  It shows a woman in a pose reminiscent of Botticelli’s Venus, mostly naked, with a sort of wrap around her that hides all the crucial points.

It is also quite obviously art, not porn.  And it did wonders for the book sales.

The thing that goes along with this new Puritanism is the idea that females need to be protected from toxic, hypermasculine males.  We have regressed back to the Victorian Era, or maybe to the age of Chivelry.  Or maybe we are enroute to an age without males.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

When Does Life Begin?

For John, BLUFThis is the real reason Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has to go, he doubled down on New York Governor Andrew Cuemo's advocacy of killing babies born alive.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Sen. Ben Sasse:  'You're either for babies, or you're defending infanticide'

From The Washington Times, by Ms Valerie Richardson, 4 February 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

An effort by Senate Republicans to enhance protections for newborns who survive abortions, spurred by New York and Virginia bills making it easier to perform late-term procedures, was blocked Monday by Democrats.

Sen. Ben Sasse, Nebraska Republican, asked for the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act to be approved by unanimous consent after an outcry over comments last week by Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam decried on the right as pro-infanticide.

The Bill was introduced under Rule XIV and upon the objection of Sen. Patty Murray, (D-WA), died.

I am not sure Senator Sasse expected to win, but I expect he wanted to point out that the Democratic Party is moving in the direction of infanticide and eugenics (not to mention, down the road, euthanasia).

I don't believe the majority of Americans are there.  They accept abortion as a right, but not "any abortion, any time."  That day may come, but then it would be a different nation, with a different set of values.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Taxes Bite

For John, BLUFTaxes fund government, but also create social change.  In New York State, high taxes encourage people to emigrate to other states.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The New York Post, by Reporter Carl Campanile, 4 February 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that state income tax revenues plummeted by $2.3 billion since he introduced his new budget plan last month — a bombshell that will force him to curb spending.

Cuomo attributed the revenue drop in December and January largely to the new federal tax code, as well as volatility in the stock market and other uncertainties.

“That’s a $2.3 billion drop in revenues.  That’s as serious as a heart attack.  This is worse than we had anticipated,” the governor said in Albany.

“This reduction must be addressed in this year’s budget.”

The New York Governor attributed this drop in revenue, in part, to the change in Federal tax laws, which caps the federal deduction for state and local taxes (SALT) at $10,000.

People being the way they are, when state taxes became too high, they moved.  Is Governor Cuomo surprised by this?

Of course some may be leaving New York State because it is slowly turning into 1930s Germany.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, February 4, 2019

Protesting the Patriots?

For John, BLUFThe New England Patriots, the team America loves to hate.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Their star quarterback, coach, and owner all supported Trump.  But that’s not the only thing that makes the Super Bowl LIII-bound Patriots the preferred team of white nationalists.

From The Daily Beast, by Mr Corbin Smith, 1 February 2019.

Moving beyond the racism of Boston Sports, the writer then drags in Nick Sandman":

Remember that scumbag teen, bused into DC by his racist-ass private school to protest a woman’s right to choose, smirking at a Native American military veteran while wearing that dumb little red hat as his schoolmates stood around and did tomahawk chops?  Remember how, at first, everyone saw what was happening for what it was, entitled little shits being racist and disrespectful, until this kid’s wealthy parents hired a PR firm to run interference and coach him up to do an interview where, even if he was saying the right things on paper, he still seemed like a low-boil sociopath?
Hat tip to Memeorandum.

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Little Engine That Could

For John, BLUFThe trick is to have the economy grow without inflation, which only helps those in debt.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Breitbart, by Mr Neil Munro, 31 January 2019.

Here is Professor Reynolds' excerpt:

Salaries for college graduate Americans are growing much slower than for Americans who are working in transportation, restaurants, services, construction, and sales, according to federal data. . . . Poll ratings shows that Trump’s support is weaker among university graduates than among blue-collar workers.
I blame President Trump for this.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Nancy the Master Politician

For John, BLUFMayor, and former California Assembly Speaker, Willie Brown is an excellent politician and reader of politicians.  Well worth following him every week.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

We are back at "Willie's World".

From The San Francisco Chronicle, by Mayor Willie Brown, 2 February 2019.

Here is the portion on Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat from San Francisco:

No one smarter: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is the envy of every politician in America.

She took on the most powerful person on the planet and humbled him.

Pelosi is also the most disciplined politician in America. She had the grace and smarts not to rub President Trump’s face in it when she beat him on the shutdown without having to deliver money for his wall.

She gave him the space to pull himself back together as Congress talks about border security measures, but make no mistake — not one shiny dime for the wall is going to roll through her House.

I think Speaker Pelosi has been firm in her commitment to not letting President Trump have a victory on the Wall.  But, as readers may know, I think the President's play is to demand money to tear down the wall, from San Diego to Yuma, due to its immorality.

For updates on 2020 Candidate Kamala Harris, go to the article

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

AOC in the Lead

For John, BLUFI wonder what it would be like if she were 36.  On the other hand, if she was older, then maybe the Middle Aged women of the Democratic Party might have a blanket party for her.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Fox News, by Mr Deroy Murdock, 30 January 2019.

Here is the lede plus six:

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has become, in essence, the new leader of the Democratic Party.  The avowed socialist from the Bronx, New York, is now a one-woman Democratic National Committee.

Despite having served in office for less than a month, she is now the pace car for the Democrats’ turbocharged race to the far left.  If AOC says it, many Democrats adopt it as their new gospel.

Nine months ago, “Abolish ICE!” was an exotic, extremist idea.  But then AOC stunned the Democratic establishment by beating 11-term Rep. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., in their June 26 primary and winning her heavily Democratic district last November.

AOC called for scrapping Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  Other politicians on the left – no less than Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., swiftly leapt aboard AOC’s abolish-ICE express. This is now a mainstream Democratic position.

AOC campaigned on and promises Medicare-for-All. Among other things, if you like your health plan, you will lose your health plan.  Period.  Medicare-for-All would vacuum private insurance into Uncle Sam’s newfangled universal health care system.  And George Mason University’s Mercatus Center estimates that it will cost taxpayers $32.6 trillion over 10 years.

But what AOC wants, AOC gets.  So the House Budget and Rules Committees will explore Medicare-for-All in depth.

“House Democrats would not be holding hearings,”’s Libby Watson explained, “without outside pressure from Medicare for All proponents and the constituencies of popular leftists like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders.”

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Howard Schultz to Run in 2020

For John, BLUFI welcome the billionaire to the race, even though I don't drink coffee.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Mr Roger L Simon, 28 January 2019.

Here is the lede plus three:

Elections are often a reaction to the previous one.  America will be searching for a calm, level-headed voice.  That, we know, is not Trump, nor is it the hard-left candidate that could well, in fact likely will, win the Democratic nomination.  Current frontrunner Kamala Harris is far from reassuring.  She's a shrill (see the Kavanaugh hearings) quasi-socialist promising pie in the sky -- Medicare-for-all, debt-free college, guaranteed pre-K, minimum basic income, confiscatory taxes -- and she's just getting started.  Bernie and others will soon be following suit.  Fauxcahontas already has, competing in a game of socialist one-upmanship.  Even supposedly centrist Biden is playing along.  Who will win the approval of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? Too bad she's too young to run.

The cost of all this, the actual numbers, if they ever even publish any, will be stratospheric.  The national debt will reach the moon and beyond. Maybe Alpha Centauri.  If this nonsense were all enacted, the stock market would plunge, unemployment would soar, incomes would plummet, and we'd be headed for a global Depression.  It's that stupid.

And Howard Schultz knows it.  That is why -- straight out of the box or whatever -- he has isolated the escalating national debt as his main issue and pilloried Trump for doing nothing about it.  (He has a point there.)  At first, he will seem stodgy to "idealistic" millennials, but after a while, they too will wise up.  It's their futures too, after all. The outrageous costs of the Democratic platform will be made known to them and then some. The election, already started, is long. The hard left's proposals will not wear well.

Schultz's policies would end up being much closer to Trump's than to the Democratic opposition. He would want to increase taxes, but only a smidge, so as not to disrupt the economy.  He opposes Medicare for all as far too expensive.  He would be for a strong defense, at least relatively.  He would be middle-of-the-road on immigration, where many Americans are.  He would be Trump-lite, a palatable Donald that many of the media could swallow because he wouldn't insult them for being liars (even though they are) or say outrageous (though often accurate) things for them to deliberately misinterpret.

The Democrats should scoop him up, rather than denigrate him.  But, he does, as an outsider, disrupt the regular political order.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff