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.

Monday, September 26, 2022

Verizon Lags


For John, BLUFVerizon is not the forward leaning 21st Century operation I had expected.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



I have a cell phone plan with Verizon.  It includes my Wife, myself and two of our children, plus two iPads.

I wanted to upgrade one of the Apple iPhones, which is currently in Illinoi.  I thought I could waltz into the Verizon Store in Tewksbury, arrange a deal and have the iPhone holder go into a store out in Belleville, Illinois, and be off with a new phone.

Not so fast.

This is not the 21st Century I had envisioned.  No, at the Verizon Store it is still 1999.  They are not able to cut such a deal.  I could shut down the Cell Plan from here, but I couldn't purchase a new phone.

I think it is time for the Verizon CEO to call for an upgrade to his opersting methods.  It might even make him more money.

Regards  —  Cliff

  On the other hand, the previoous week I was able to go to the Tewksbury Verizon store and activate the cell capability on an iPad out in Belleville.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Getting the Holocaust Strait


For John, BLUFThe performance of the United States Goveernment toward Germany's handling of Jews in the 1930s and early 1940s was abominable.  Including the actions of President Franklin D Roosevelt.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




Here is the sub-headline:

Streaming this week, historian Rafael Medoff says ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ misrepresents President Roosevelt’s actions leading up to and during the genocide

From The Times of Israel, by Reporter Matt Lebovic, 18 September 2022, 10:11 pm.

Here is the lede plus four:

Early in his new film “The U.S. and the Holocaust,” documentarian Ken Burns claims the United States admitted more Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany than any other country on Earth.

The problem with this statement, according to historian Rafael Medoff, is that it flies in the face of publicly available data on refugees from that period.

Clocking in at six hours, “The U.S. and the Holocaust” begins airing on PBS this week.  In recent press interviews, Burns said he attempted to handle Roosevelt “more critically” for “The U.S. and the Holocaust,” compared to the previous, somewhat glowing treatments of FDR in his other documentaries on the period.

Calling Burns “seriously mistaken” about the issue of Jewish refugees, Medoff told The Times of Israel that the discrepancy is connected to several other “well-worn myths” that appear in “The U.S. and the Holocaust.”  These myths, said Medoff, run the gamut from why the US could not rescue Anne Frank to Roosevelt’s role in the “St. Louis” affair, alongside the perennial debate on bombing the tracks to Auschwitz.

Medoff is an American professor of Jewish history and the founding director of The David Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, which is based in Washington, DC.  He is the author of “America and the Holocaust: A Documentary History,” among other works on the Holocaust and Zionist history.

Yes, this is one historian's view of the work of another historian, but it should cause us to be cautious in acceptying whst is presented to us about the Holcaust.  Some don't even accept the existence of the Holocaust as an historic event.  During an interview on CBS's '60 Minutes" The Iranian president, Ebrahim Raisi, commented that “there are some signs” that the Holocaust happened but that the issue required more research.  Perhaps I should sent the Irnian UN Mission a book for the President.

Here is another view on the Ken Burns Documentsry, by Ms Carla Seaquist, "'The U.S. and the Holocaust': Documentary Throws Harsh Light on 'Immigrant Nation'".

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Is Abortion an Absolute Right?


For John, BLUFAuthor carla Seaquist doesn't seem to thinkk abortion is an absolute right and she counsels going forward with an eye toward other rights.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From Medium, by Writer Carla Seaquist, 31 May 2022.

Here is the lede plus three:

Abortion is every woman’s concern and every feminist’s issue.  We feminists, the advocates of the species, array ourselves along a spectrum on the issue of abortion — over viability of the fetus, over religious injunction, over access to the procedure, over restrictions to access.  It is perhaps the latter — unrestricted versus restricted access — that causes the most argument among our number.

A defining moment for me came in the mid-1990s.  I was in New York on business and was to meet a friend there for coffee during my break (from rehearsal for a play of mine).  When I called to arrange where to meet, my friend informed me of a scheduling conflict:  As a board member of an abortion rights group, she had committed to a march that would take place during our coffee-time.  I’d read of the upcoming march, a major event involving feminists from across the country. “You can come march with us and we can talk,” she said.  I demurred:  “I don’t think so, but thanks.”  What ensued got prickly, as it came out her advocacy of abortion was stronger than mine.

Finally, in exasperation, my friend asked:  “What kind of feminist are you?”  And out of my mouth came my position on abortion, finally:  “One who believes in limits, in restrictions.”

By then, in the 20-some years since the 1973 Supreme Court’s historic ruling in Roe v. Wade granting the right to abortion, when the ruling was operationalized — women getting abortions, feminists touting women’s progress with this signal right — I became increasingly unsettled by how seldom I heard reference to, or concern expressed for, that which was aborted: the fetus.  Too often I heard relief expressed that abortion was a fix for a “wild weekend of unprotected sex.”  Also unsettling was what I took to be specious rationales about when life begins, with the more extremist voices arguing for later and later in the term, with fewer and fewer restrictions, including into the third trimester.  But, but, but:  Left to its own, the fetus will grow, I felt; it is a living thing.  “Safe, legal, and rare” seemed a sound dictum to me, but the “rare” part was losing ground.

What are the limits to abortion?  The receond governor of Virginia, a pediatric neurologist, Dr Ralph Northam, said that we birth the child and set it aside and consult with the Mother as to if the child should live.  On the other hand, we have Professor Peteer Singer, who thinks that abortion is ethical up to two years post-oartum.  I think I am with Ms Seaquist in thinking the first trimester is a time of confusion and an area where action might be reasonabe.  Beyond the first trimester there should be a lot more clarity, and lesss action.  Are Mothers and Schools not teaching young women to recognize the signs in their own bodies?

Ms Seaquist supports a reformed strategy, once that sounds more responsible:

One that resets its parameters: away from the extreme of unrestricted abortion through the third trimester — and back to the more defensible parameter of abortion restricted to the first.  In other words, the Golden Mean, not the extreme.
. Here is the style being advocated bt Ms Seaquist:
In my early career in civil rights, in the 1970s and ’80s, when I organized the women’s caucus of a major think-tank (Brookings Institution) and served as an equal opportunity officer for a major American city (San Diego), I found that, for a policy to stick, not trigger reactionary resistance, the Golden Mean worked — moderation in goals (if you keep meeting your goals, over time you make real headway), moderation in implementation (making yourself helpful in reaching those goals), moderation in style (don’t scare people).  I also saw how extremes, expressed as cultural trend (dressing sexy), could hurt “my” women.  “Nothing in excess,” as the ancients put it.  This isn’t about panache (“living big”), but policy: bringing the masses over to our side.
I am a pro-life kind of person, but we live in a pluralisti society.  Is there some medium point at which we can meet?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Not that I am advoacting abortion at this point.  I am recognizing that for many fellow Americans it seems a reasonable and legal option.

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Hillary Says No


For John, BLUFMs Hillary Clinton goes all William T Sherman on us.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From The Hill, by Reporter Chloe Folmar, 6 September 2022, 8:25 PM ET.

Here is the lede plus four:

Former secretary of State and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on Tuesday said she will not run for president again.

“No, no,” Clinton said when asked by “CBS Evening News” anchor Norah O’Donnell if she would ever run for president again.

“But I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that we have a president who respects our democracy and the rule of law and upholds our institutions,” Clinton continued.

Clinton said former President Trump would not fit into that category and that “he should be soundly defeated” if he runs again.

“It should start in the Republican Party,” Clinton said.  “Grow a backbone. Stand up to this guy.”

Why now?  What is the hidden message Mrs Clinton is trying to send?.

She did say she is backing Joe Biden in 2024.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Can We Let It Go?


For John, BLUFWe, as a nation, need to find a way to move beyond the RussiaGate/ Crossfire Hurricane imbroglio and get back to trying to be one nation, under the Constitution.  Durham in this case is Feeral Attorney John Durham, who has been assigneed to track down th whole mess of Crossfire Hurricane.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From The Epoch Times, by Reporter Paul Sperry, Updated 24 July 2022 .

Here is the lede plus two:

Several individuals connected to a 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign plot to cast Donald Trump as a covert Kremlin collaborator are working in high-level jobs within the Biden administration—including at least two senior Biden appointees cited by Special Counsel John Durham in his “active (and) ongoing” criminal investigation of the scheme, according to recently filed court documents.

Jake Sullivan, who now serves as Biden’s national security adviser, and Caroline Krass, a top lawyer at the Pentagon, were involved in efforts in 2016 and 2017 to advance the Clinton campaign’s false claims about Trump through the media and the federal government, documents show.  Other evidence shows that two other Biden officials—senior State Department official Dafna Rand and Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler—also are entangled in the so-called Russiagate scandal.

It’s not known whether these Biden appointees have been interviewed by Durham’s investigators. But as the probe widens, some government ethics watchdogs anticipate that Biden’s presidency could be pulled into the scandal, which saw the FBI abuse its surveillance powers to spy on a Trump campaign adviser based on Clinton opposition research.

Add to this that FBI Agent Peter Strzok was really a sheep dipped CIA Agent.

Part of me wonders why smart people in our Nation’s Capitol won’t just let this go away quietly, which would be good for the Republic and good for the individuals.

Then I think about the monumental egos involved and I see how they can’t let go.  This ego problem is setting a bad precedent for the lesser politicians to follow.  We would all be better off to just let this mess drop and all shake hands and smile.  My limited experience tells me that proving you were right, especially when you weren’t, usually ends poorly.

What is really surprising is that we are so willing to jettison the history of our nation, an action that will leave us devoid of a basis for who we are, but we hang on to these recent bitter feuds, which fail to inform us as to who we should be.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Housing the Poor

For John, BLUFPublic Housing is a big deal in the United States and represent the efforts of progressive thinkers to provide better housing for the poor.  However there is a question of if the cure is worse than the disease.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




The Poor Side of Town: And Why We Need It
Author:  Howard A. Husock
Kindle Version:  Pages
Publisher:  Encounter Books
Language:  English
ASIN:  B08SKK7FGP
Publication Date:  21 September 2021

The theme of this book is that Public Housing, as understood in the united States from the 19th Century is not just a failure, but destructive of the individuals caught up in its web.  The author compares Public Housing with the City Slums it was supposed to clean up and concludes that more was lost than gained.

To be clear, those advocating Public Housing down over the decades had the best of intentions.  What they lacked was an understandihg of, and faith in, the working of small scale democracy and capitalism.  An Economist who undertands this is Peru's Hernando De Soto, who wrote about Peru (but could apply what he says to the Great Migration in the united States):

...“surprise revolution”—the movement of millions from the countryside to cities—has been choked in its potential for uplift, not because slum dwellers lack talent or energy but because the legal systems in their new locales don’t allow them to be secure in ownership and accumulate wealth.  New arrivals in slums, de Soto explains, face “an impenetrable wall” of rules that bar them from “legally established social and economic activities.”  Even when they begin to accumulate assets, those assets aren’t safe.  “Poor people save, but they hold these resources in defective forms:  houses built on land whose ownership rights are not adequately recorded and unincorporated businesses with undefined liability.  Without the formal legal institutions that allow one to accumulate wealth and borrow against it to build businesses, wealth cannot be put to full use, maintains de Soto.  It stays locked up, frozen.  It is 'dead capital.'”
Immigrants to the United States from Europe moved into slums and then worked their way into the middle class.  The slums, as inadequate as they were, provided commmunity and a place for small businesses and the chance to accumulate wealth.  This, in turn, allowed those immigrants to move into the Great American Middle Class.

The author mentions Levittown as an example of inexpensive housing providing a chance for people with jobs to move up to home ownership.  In 1955 my Parents moved to Levittown, PA, and it was exactly as the book states.  A mix of people, working to be neighbors and to improve themselves.  A year later, as an Eighth Grader I was angry that we were leaving for Southern California and a promotion for my Father.  But, that starter house, owned for about ten months, was the beginning of family wealth accumulation that, upon the passing of my Father, allowed me to use my one-third inheritance to pay off my own mortgage.

Where this did not work was for Black Americans who were part of the Great Migration.  The Great Migration was from 1910 to 1970.  People left the South, the Old South, and moved North.  But, they didn't get the chance to grow into home owners and independent business people.  Instead, the Do Gooders wished to enure runnning water and adequate toilet facilities, and adequate housing.  Thus the projects.

However, the Publilc Housing Projects did not allow for the accummulation of wealth.  In fact, in many cases rents were tied to inconme.  Further, the arrangements dicouraged co-habitation.  This worked against the building of family units, with its direct effect on child rearing.  It also worked against providing living space for family memembers or for renting out a room, which would allow the building of capital.

The author writes:

“Missing middle” housing—privately built and unsubsidized—should be seen as a substitute for the reform projects that have distorted housing markets, skewed the incentives of lower-income families, denied the poor the opportunity to accumulate assets, and leveled historic and vibrant poor sides of town, leaving sterility and despair behind.
One wonders if this analysis can be extended to the homeless problem.  Granted, homelessness is a cover term for a number of issues.  That said, is our approach to homelessness (not connected to mental health or domestic violence) not helping the homeless become productive members of society?

But, beyond Public Housing there is the issue of Zoning in helping or hurting the poor to achieve home ownership.  Zoning is not so much a Federal issue as it is a Local Government issue.  That level of government is thee and me and our influence on our local lawmakers and those they appoint to Boards and Commissions.  That means we need to be informed and we need to vote.

Regards  —  Cliff

  There seems to be a certain bias against the baby father in these setups.  He was seen as not necessary by the reformers.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Morale


For John, BLUFTown employees want to think their civic leaders have their back, are there to support them as they do their job.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From The Chicago Boyz, by Sgt. Mom, 25 July 2022.

Here is the lede plus one:

I read the various news and commentary about the regular police force; five full-time officers and a chief strong, and a couple of other city employees resigning in a body from their jobs in Kenly, North Carolina, in protest over the hostile work atmosphere generated through a new city manager hire.  Details on this are all obscure about the personalities and specific incidences of workplace hostility involved.  One can sort of fill in the empty spaces, just applying what can be deduced from the personal details and past employment record of the city manager involved, and suppositions regarding the civic employees who have resigned.  That and reading the comments appended to the news stories about this interesting happening from those who seem to be familiar. All the parties involved seem to be tight-lipped about what set the whole thing off.  The town council was supposed to have held a closed-door meeting on Friday to resolve the situation, but there has not been anything new in the news media that I can find.

I did not grow up in a small town like Kenly, but in a suburb on the distant outskirts of Los Angeles, a suburb so remote from the urban core when I grew up there, that it might just as well have been a small town.  There was only one high school – a largish one, as semi-urban/suburban consolidated high schools go – but otherwise a semi-isolated, tight, and cohesive community, a community only cracked, dispersed and amalgamated to the larger urban core when the 210 Highway went through, making the place an easy commute to the larger city.  I have since made a study of small towns, doing books about them, visiting such towns regularly, participating in regular celebrations (mostly book-oriented), absorbing local history, gaining a sense of places where everyone knows each other, or is related, even at one or two removes.  Look – these places are tightly-woven with personal and familial ties.  Screw around with them at your peril, as all those folk tales about the country folk and the city slicker will attest.

We need more information on what has been happening in the town of Kenly, North Carolina.  However, the signs point to a leadership problem within Town Government.  It could just be a case of racial prejudice, but I am doubtful.  It could be the introduction of CRT into the workplace.

It could be like Minneapolis School System, which has agreed with the Union to lay off Caucasian teachers first, violating both the Constitution and Title VII.  At best, this is disrespectful to a portion of the employees, both by the Union and by the School System.

Regards  —  Cliff