The EU

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Sunday, June 16, 2019

Donald Trump and Andrew Johnson


For John, BLUFA review, and comparison, with the first Impeachment.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From the Blog Chicago Boyz, posted by Mr Michael Kennedy, 29 May 2019.

Here is the lede plus two:

I think I see some similarities between the Democrats’ apparent efforts to try to impeach President Trump and the impeachment of Andrew Johnson in 1868.

Andrew Johnson was a “war Democrat,” meaning that he was a Democrat who supported the Union.  He was Governor of the border state of Tennessee.  Lincoln considered the border states critical in saving the Union.

“I hope to have God on my side,” Abraham Lincoln is reported to have said early in the war, “but I must have Kentucky.”  Unlike most of his contemporaries, Lincoln hesitated to invoke divine sanction of human causes, but his wry comment unerringly acknowledged the critical importance of the border states to the Union cause.  Following the attack on Fort Sumter and Lincoln’s call for troops in April 1861, public opinion in Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri was sharply divided and these states’ ultimate allegiance uncertain.  The residents of the border were torn between their close cultural ties with the South, on the one hand, and their long tradition of Unionism and political moderation on the other.

My thought is that while Impeachment of President Donald Trump might be good for Republicans, it would be bad for the nation as a whole.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Immigration Nonsense


For John, BLUFThe linked OpEd is very dishonest.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




Here is the sub-headline:

Immigration quotas should be based on how much the host country has ruined other countries.

From The Old Gray Lady, by Mr Suketu Mehta (Mr. Mehta is the author of This Land Is Our Land:  An Immigrant’s Manifesto.), 7 June 2019.

Here is the lede plus three:

There is a lot of debate these days about whether the United States owes its African-American citizens reparations for slavery.  It does.  But there is a far bigger bill that the United States and Europe have run up:  what they owe to other countries for their colonial adventures, for the wars they imposed on them, for the inequality they have built into the world order, for the excess carbon they have dumped into the atmosphere.

The creditor countries aren’t seriously suggesting that the West send sacks of gold bullion every year to India or Nigeria.  Their people are asking for fairness:  for the borders of the rich countries to be opened to goods and people, to Indian textiles as well as Nigerian doctors.  In seeking to move, they are asking for immigration as reparations.

Today, a quarter of a billion people are migrants.  They are moving because the rich countries have stolen the future of the poor countries.  Whether it is Iraqis and Syrians fleeing the effects of illegal American wars, or Africans seeking to work for their former European colonial masters, or Guatemalans and Hondurans trying to get into the country that peddles them guns and buys their drugs:  They are coming here because we were there.

Before you ask them to respect our borders, ask yourself:  Has the West ever respected anyone’s borders?

Monday last, on City Life, Mr George Zaharoolis, talking about the Greek Orthodox Church, kept saying Constantinople.  But, today it is Istanbul.  So why does the author not reference that non-respect of borders, some 566 years ago (1453AD).  No mention by the Writer of the Armenians, or the Ukrainians or the Baltics.  Maybe it is not PC.

I wonder where he comes down on the Reconquista?  Who was in the wrong?  Were reparations owed?  And perhaps most interesting, when does a conquest stop being a conquest and becomes accepted social reality?  Have we accepted and adapted to the Norman Conquest of 1066?  On the other hand, do we accept the Roman conquest of the Holy Land, and all that flows from it as fait accompli?

This is rubbish.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Protecting Religious Freedom


For John, BLUFActually more than religious freedom.  It is freedom of conscience.  Even atheists and agnostics have a sense of right and wrong.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




Here is the sub-headline:

What this administration has finally done is to take the long-standing conscience laws seriously, defining key terms and establishing an effective complaint and enforcement process.

From The Boston Pilot, by Mr Richard Doerfliinger, 7 June 2019.

Here is the lede plus five:

Our political life has become such a war of words that many may not notice that the Trump administration has done something very good and long overdue -- and is being condemned for it.

The very good thing is a regulation to implement numerous federal laws on conscience rights in health care, chiefly on conscientious objection to abortion.

One law, called the Church amendment (after sponsor Sen. Frank Church of Idaho), has been in effect since 1973.  Another, the Weldon amendment (after sponsor Rep. Dave Weldon of Florida), has been signed into law as part of the appropriations bill for the Department of Health and Human Services by every president of both parties since 2004.

Yet no regulation has been in place to clarify key terms in the laws or ensure effective enforcement.

President George W. Bush had proposed such a regulation.  But that was reversed by President Obama, who left all matters of interpretation and enforcement to the HHS Office for Civil Rights.  That office then proceeded to distort the laws' meaning so they would seldom do much good.

For example, the Weldon amendment clearly forbids state governments receiving federal funds to force private health plans to provide abortion coverage.  But when California issued just such a coercive mandate, the Obama administration found no violation, saying that no insurance company had claimed a moral or religious objection to such coverage.

I am saddened that the Obama Administration failed to move forward on this.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, June 14, 2019

Abortion's Possible Future


For John, BLUFAt this point in time we had a compromise that seemed to work.  Unacceptable, but it provided access to abortion, if you are paying attention to your body, but discouraged abortion for all, at any point in the pregnancy.  Moves by both sides look to destroy that compromise.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From The New Yorker, by Harvard Law School Professor Jeannie Suk Gersen, 5 June 2019.

Here is the concluding paragraph:

When Republican lawmakers consider the fact of rape or incest irrelevant to a decision to terminate a pregnancy, and when Thomas invokes the spectre of discrimination against a fetus, they are making the same point—that every “unborn child” is entitled to the same dignity as you or me.  And, if fetuses are thought to have basic rights as persons do, then a future ruling might reach beyond overturning Roe.  It might hold that it is unconstitutional for any state to allow abortions at all. This position—the constitutionalization of abortion abolition—would go far beyond what either liberals and conservatives have imagined possible, but it is where the ambitions of fetal personhood now entering the legal mainstream are headed.
There will be abortions, as long as men and women are having sex.  What is created, if there is creation, is a human (something some are blindly unwilling to admit).  At the same time, most of us have no stomach for putting in jail those who decide, early on, that their pregnancy is too much of a burden.

We are a diverse democracy.  Thus we must look for a compromise.

Regards  —  Cliff

Foreign Sources in Political Campaigns


For John, BLUFDid the President set up Reporter George Stephanopolis in answering the question about opponent information from another country?  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From The Althouse Blog, 14 June 2019.

Here is the Professor Althouse excerpt from Mr John Hinderaker's blog post: />

"But what is blindingly obvious, yet absent from every Democratic Party news account feigning horror at the ABC interview, is that the Hillary Clinton campaign didn’t just receive 'foreign dirt' on the Trump campaign.  It paid for foreign sources to fabricate lies about Trump, which it then disseminated to the press.  Listen to 'foreign dirt'?  The Clinton [campaign] paid for it!"
Yes, I agree.  But it is a case of tunnel vision, target fixation.  In the flying dodge the problem with target fixation is that the aircraft impacts unscorable at twelve.

One thing to think about is that information wants to be free.  So, should we be locking it up?  Should the salacious "information" in the Steele Dossier have been locked away?

What I worry about is summed up in this Blog Comment:

whitney said...
Doesn't matter.  Everyone's locked into their positions now.  You're either in the Trump evil crowd or Trump not evil crowd. Perhaps the structure can survive past Trump but the divisions will remain.  The gulf is too wide, violence is going to be met with violence and Chaos will ensue.  All the symptoms of late-stage Empire are around us.  It will be different than the other falls but there will be similarities.  No amount of preparation will save you because preparation is based on predicting the future and predictability will be lost first.

6/14/19, 6:44 AM

Unlike Whitney, I don't think we are there yet, but we could get there.

What gives me hope is talking to people.  On City Life this morning we had myself, the Co-Host, Jim Peters, and three guests, plus the Producer.  We had 2016 voters for Mrs Clinton and for Mr Trump, but we were civil in our discussion.  And, there was little to no interest in Impeachment.  If we can maintain that civility we will get through this.

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

Bernie Sanders Explains Socilalism, As He Understands It


For John, BLUFDemocratic Party Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders believes in Unicorns and Democratic Socialism.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From The Atlantic, by Writer Yascha Mounk, 13 June 2019.

Here is what Professir Althouse excerpted:

If Sanders was coy about the details of a “socialist” economy, he was downright disdainful of the notion that a speech on socialism and authoritarianism should seriously grapple with the long history of socialist movements that have ended in dictatorship.  In his view, the threat of autocracy comes exclusively from the right.  Just as in the 1930s, “America and the world are once again moving towards authoritarianism.”  This danger is driven by “right-wing forces of oligarchy, corporatism, nationalism, racism, and xenophobia.”  The only answer that will stave off fascism is, you guessed it, “democratic socialism.”

Thus Sanders name-checked Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini but remained silent about Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong.  And while he rightly decried the autocratic tendencies of Russia’s Vladimir Putin, China’s Xi Jinping, Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman, the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte, Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, and Hungary’s Viktor Orbán, he neglected to mention leftist autocrats such as Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro, Cuba’s Raúl Castro, Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega, Zimbabwe’s Emmerson Mnangagwa, or North Korea’s Kim Jung Un.  Indeed, the only connection between socialism and autocracy that Sanders was willing to acknowledge is the one that exists in the feverish imagination of the ignorant right:  He decried the “red-baiting” in which Republicans have long engaged.

The implication was obvious.  Anybody who was hoping for a clear account of the differences between Sanders’s political ambitions and those of autocratic socialist regimes is a fellow traveler of Richard Nixon, Newt Gingrich, John Boehner, Donald Trump, and the Heritage Foundation....

The speech Sanders gave was not serious.

When, as a Democrat, you have lost The Atlantic, you are in trouble.  Notwithstanding, "Socialism" polls well amongst younger voters.  That, however, is on the heads of school teachers and textbook writers.  Shame on you.

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Cuba Goes For Rationing


For John, BLUFWe have a couple of examples of socialism right here in our own hemisphere.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




Here is the sub-headline:

It’s clear that price controls are in the Cuban state’s toolbox of economic tricks and won’t be going away anytime soon.

From the Foundation for Economic Education, by Writer José Niño, 12 June 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

While it is fashionable to talk about Venezuela and its notorious shortage of basic goods such as toilet paper, flour, and milk, Cuba is now implementing a rationing program to combat its very own shortages of basic goods.  A CBC report indicates this program would cover basic items such as chicken, eggs, rice, beans, and soap.

What has caused these shortages has been a subject of debate. Cuban Minister of Commerce Betsy Diaz Velazquez blames the Trump administration’s stiffening of the trade embargo with the island nation.  Others contend that decreasing aid from Venezuela has contributed to Cuba’s newly emerging rationing dilemma.  Over the past few years, Venezuela has provided Cuba with subsidized fuel and other forms of aid in order to keep its basic infrastructure intact.

Although these explanations do have validity and will be touched upon later, there is another factor that is not being considered. The lowest common denominator in the Cuban economy during the past five decades is excessive government control.

I guess when socialism fails it is always someone else's fault, although the Venezuela theory means socialism failing socialism.  Has anyone told Democratic Candidate Bernie Sanders or Congresswoman AOC?

Regards  —  Cliff

  Of course if Bernie becomes President it will fix the illegal immigration problem as he turns America into a socialist nation.