The EU

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Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Speaker and the President

For John, BLUFMartha conjectures he didn't want to go into the family business, Undertaking.  He is from her home town.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Politico, Reporter Edward-Isaac Dovere gives us "Obama and Ryan:  Covert collaborators".  The sub-headline is "The two wonkish leaders, who've had their ups and downs, get ready to try to get along."
President Barack Obama and House Speaker Paul Ryan haven’t had a face-to-face meeting in more than two-and-a-half years.  And despite Ryan’s election this week and Obama’s congratulatory call to him in advance of the vote, there still isn’t one scheduled.

But the two already have a good sense of each other — and beside John Boehner, Ryan's probably the House Republican Obama's spent the most time with.nbsp; And if Obama had to pick a House Republican to be speaker, people who know the president say he’d probably have voted for Ryan himself.nbsp; There isn’t a close runner-up.

Looking ahead to what the dynamic between them will be now, aides to the president and new speaker point to their collaboration on getting trade fast-track through Congress last summer as a model.

People in both offices note that the two leaders helped produce a bill with bipartisan support and tea-party opposition that the president eagerly signed.nbsp; They’re a lot less eager to talk about what happened behind-the-scenes to get there: significant collaboration between the president's staff in the West Wing and Ryan's staff on the Ways and Means Committee, along with several direct phone calls the White House still won’t confirm between Obama and Ryan.nbsp; Those calls were in part vote counting, in part strategizing about how to avoid looking like they were working together — even though they were.

Facing each other now as Ryan's setting the tone for his speakership and Obama's looking to wrap up his presidency is the latest stage in a long relationship between the two self-styled wonks.nbsp; It began with a lovefest on stage when Obama visited the House GOP retreat before the 2010 midterms.nbsp; It took a dive after Ryan's selection as Mitt Romney's running mate in 2012 — proof to West Wingers at the time that they'd been silly to think he'd ever sacrifice his brand to work with them.nbsp; And it's been on a slow track back since.

If it was about Rep Paul Ryan running for Vice President, that is pretty petty.  That is like the Downtown Boston Republicans being in a snit because the Grass Roots Republicans up this way (and elsewhere) wanted to have a contested Primary for the Republican Gubernatorial nomination last time.  Give the voters a shot?

Hat tip to the Drudge.

Regards  —  Cliff

Palestinian Involvement in the Holocaust

For John, BLUFAs hundreds of thousands of refugees pour into Europe, keeping past history straight is important.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

It being Saturday, here is an item from Israel.

"Netanyahu Retracts Assertion That Palestinian Inspired Holocaust".

The reporter is Ms Jodi Rudoren, the Bureau Chief for The Old Gray Lady.

This dustup is about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stating, on 20 October, that then Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, advised Chancellor Adolf Hitler, in November 1941, to burn all the Jews, so they would not immigrate to then Palestine.  The implication was that it was the Mufti who put the idea of the death camps in the mind of Chancellor Hitler.

The historic fact is that Chancellor Hitler was already on his way to the Holocaust and the Mufti was just another person along the way willing to support the German conclusion that eugenics allowed the extermination of certain peoples.

One of the reasons this comment was roundly criticized is that some felt it would provide a wedge for Holocaust Deniers.  That would create its own problems.

After ten days the Prime Minister took to Facebook and admitted he was wrong in his characterization of the meeting between the Palestinian Leader and Chancellor Hitler.

Here, per The New York Times, is the text of the Facebook posting:

“The decision to move from a policy of deporting Jews to the Final Solution was made by the Nazis and was not dependent on outside influence,” Mr. Netanyahu posted on Facebook, in Hebrew and English. “The Nazis saw in the Mufti a collaborator, but they did not need him to decide on the systematic destruction of European Jewry, which began in June 1941.”

He went on:  “Contrary to the impression that was created, I did not mean to claim that in his conversation with Hitler in November 1941 the Mufti convinced him to adopt the Final Solution.  The Nazis decided on that by themselves.”

Too right.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, October 30, 2015

Fixed World Views

For John, BLUFAssumptions need to be tested from time to time.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is nothing to be happy about, but it does suggest that not every act of "domestic terrorism" is from the "white supremacists" of the far right.

"Black Man Arrested For Setting Fires To Six Black Churches In St. Louis".

Wouldn't that be "setting fires at [to] six Black Churches…".  Or make "fires" "fire"?

At any rate, the SPLC was all over this with talk such as (per The Daily Caller link above):

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks white supremacist groups, suggested in an article last week that the arsons were carried out by white supremacists.

The group quoted a journalist who covers African-American issues who said that the fires were “both alarming and not surprising.”

“This is alarming because domestic terrorism is alive and well,” David A. Love told the SPLC.  “It is such a problem that the U.S. Department of Justice recently predicted increases in violent acts by white extremists who are responding to a new reality in which people of color will become a majority in America.”

The SPLC also quoted Love blaming “a vicious cycle created by rightwing politicians, the NRA and hate groups who stir up anger, fear and resentment over changing demographics and want their country back.”

To its credit, the SPLC did tweet out a link to the article in the St Louis Post-Dispatch, mentioning the suspect was an African-American male.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Clueless in the Media

For John, BLUFSome in the Media should be ignored, for the good of the rest of us.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

"ESPN's Tony Kornheiser asks whether Tea Party is like ISIS".

Why?  Why would Mr Kornheiser even go there?  I accept that Mr Kornheiser is a golfing buddy of President Obama, but to suggest a bunch of his fellow Americans are like ISIS members (he meant Daesh, I hope), is, to use the current fashionable word, despicable.

Aside from that I have no strong views on this.

Hat tip to Memeorandum.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Bolsheviks vs Mensheviks

For John, BLUFThe thing is, it might not be a joke.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is a joke, isn't it?

Was the Ted Cruz line totally lost on Chuck Todd?

Maybe Mr Todd was trying to make a joke, being a Reformed Jew.

To be fair, the Mensheviks were the more moderate side of the Socialists in the Russian Revolution of 1917.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  For a long time time I thought his name was F Chuck Todd, but is apparently just a Rush Limbaugh characterization.  The real name is Charles David Todd.

Congratulations to Rep Paul Ryan

For John, BLUFPoor Paul Ryan.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

I was hoping to get the article from The Hill, but their website is blank, as in all white pixels.

So, from The Old Gray Lady we have have Reporter Jennifer Steinhauer and "Paul Ryan Is Elected House Speaker".

Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin was elected the 54th speaker of the House on Thursday, taking the gavel that he never sought to wield from John A. Boehner, who relinquished it under fire.

But the personal jubilance and high expectations felt by Mr. Boehner, who was elected in a sweeping Republican takeover of the House in 2011, have been replaced with a grim recognition that Mr. Ryan’s ascent stems not from electoral victory but rather the chaos in the ranks of his party’s sizable majority.

Mr. Ryan received 236 votes, a comfortable margin that included several of the hardline conservatives who had worked to oust Mr. Boehner

My Congratulations and Condolences to Mr Paul Ryan, the new Speaker of the House.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Debate Train Wreck

For John, BLUFOne shouldn't believe one's own hype.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

I give you Nation of Change on last night's debate.  "The CNBC Republican Debate Was a Total Train Wreck".

Quoting Reporter Emily Atkin of Think Progress:

Reporters from both conservative and liberal-minded news organizations seem to agree:  the CNBC Republican presidential debate was kind of a train wreck.

That wasn’t really because of the candidates, though — it was because of the moderators.

Regards  —  Cliff

Political Change

For John, BLUFI know we are told she is inevitable, but I don't believe it.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

If you are one of those who is so opposed to a Hunny Bunny victory that you would leave the country, my recommendation is that you move to Poland.

From The Daily Caller, "Poland’s Parliament Has Literally Zero Liberals Now".  Thank Heaven for elections.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Frankly, I am one of those who says hunker down and fight harder.

Lost Questions

For John, BLUFIt was a long debate and things could have been missed.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Ms Imani Gandy was flat out wrong when she said, on Democracy Now, today, that no question was asked in last evening's debate about pay inequality.  Flat.  Out.  Wrong.

Here, from The Old Gray Lady, is Ms Becky Quick's question:

Senator Cruz, working women in this country still earn just 77 percent of what men earn. And I know that you’ve said you’ve been very sympathetic to our cause. But you’ve also you said that the Democrats’ moves to try and change this are the political show votes.

I just wonder what you would do as President to try and help in this cause?

Why I remember is that at the time I thought the Candidate should have turned it around and asked her how much less she was paid than the other Moderators.  That would have provided the basis for the rest of the answer.

The unforced errors just keep on coming.

Then there was Ms Gandy's complaint that not enough was asked about "reproductive rights".  I would have thought that after the members of The View described Dr Ben Carson's not unreasonable response to the issue as "despicable" that some folks would have pulled their head back in their shell as a sign that they knew they were way over the top.  Despicable?  So, do we find that most of the nation, which thinks that while abortion should be legal, think it should be limited, are despicable?  Even the ones watching The View, or are they only the other 20%?

I was disappointed in Democracy Now and moved on to other things this morning.

Regards  —  Cliff

Scoring the Debate

For John, BLUFWhen the audience boos the person asking a question….  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Stating the obvious, in last night's Republican debate, the Candidates beat the Panel of Questioners.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

I Finally Got My Letter

For John, BLUFA data breach can happen anywhere.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

I finally got my letter from Ms Beth Cobert, Acting Director, Office of Personnel Management (OPM).  It was undated.

I quickly called my two sons, making it my first three way conversation on my new iPhone.  I thought I was somebody.  One son said "I got mine some time ago" and the other said that his was probably in mail he hadn't yet opened, but did mention his 25 years in the "Community".

OK, I said to myself, I will call my two brothers.  The Youngest wasn't home, but my Middle Brother was and he said "Are you just getting yours?"  He also enlightened me as to the slow pace at which OPM operates.  He said they claim they are seriously understaffed.  And, the first thing they do is ask you for your personal data—SSAN, Driver License Number and things of that ilk.  Great, they are writing to tell me that my personal data has been taken by "a malicious cyber intrusion" (read Chinese hackers), and now they want to double my exposure.

Considering there were some 18 million letters to send out, someone had to be at the end of the line.  Why not me.  As to it being a letter, it was one of those mailers where one side of the paper was the "letter" and the other side the addressing and I had to pull off the ends to open it up.

But, they did offer me "credit monitoring, identity monitoring, identity theft insurance and identity restoration services for the next three years".  Three years.  That doesn't seem very long.

I did, however, get my own PIN Number (isn't that like saying Pizza Pie?), five groups, with five digits each.

The joys of not having a good cyber-security policy in the Federal Government.  At least I wasn't using my personal computer for Government business.  Well, except for the License Commission, but the City didn't offer up a computer and I doubt that any of the Licensees are into cyber-espionage.  And, thanks to the Open Meeting Law it is all out there somewhere anyway.

Regards  —  Cliff

  This letter was about the recent OPM Data Breach.


For John, BLUFNature suggests that gratification is not the same for all genders.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Writing in The Globe and Mail (Toronto), Ms Margaret Wente asks, "Why are young feminists so clueless about sex?".

The lede:

A few months ago, a Harvard senior named Reina Gattuso wrote a column in the school newspaper.  It described her crummy night of drunken sex with a couple of men she didn’t know.  “I have so much to drink my memory becomes dark water,” she wrote.  She freely admitted that she consented.  Enthusiastically.  And that was the problem.  She thought she would enjoy it, but instead she just felt rotten!
The rest of the piece talks about why Ms Gattuso has this from the wrong end of the stick.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tyranny of the Bureaucrats

For John, BLUFI've been one.  They need outside supervision.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

On City Life this morning the Host, George Anthes, asked guest Ben Opara, running for School Committee, how he could tell the professional school teachers what to do.  Aside from the face that the School Committee doesn't get into the nitty-gritty of running the schools, there is the question of if Dr Anthes is suggesting our Government be run by the unelected bureaucrats.  That is not the American Way.

Would this be Bureaucracy as Government?

Or would it be Bureaucratic Collectivism, which sounds somewhat like what Senator E Warren talks about?

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Happy Birthday, John

For John, BLUFThis would be you.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Still young, so hang in there.

Regards  —  Cliff

Representing the Values of America

For John, BLUFA callous Federal Government, throwing the little guy overboard.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Mr Sarah Westwood, reporting for The Washington Examiner, gives us "Benghazi hearing resurrects YouTube controversy".

In the article it is noted that Presidential Candidate Carly Fiorina picked up the real problem, the real injustice.  The four lives lost were never going to be saved, no matter what was done in Washington.  Forces could have been moved forward, incase this became more than an isolated attack, but they were not.  Lesson learned.  But, as Ms Fiorina notes Secretary Clinton put the blame on a videotape that wasn't part of the problem, and let the weight of government fall on the videographer.  Why?

"She never answered a fundamental question, and the fundamental question is this:  knowing that this was a purposeful terrorist attack on the night it occurred, why did you go the next morning and address the American people and talk about a videotape that didn't represent the values of America?" Fiorina said of Clinton.  "And why did you continue to do that over the bodies of the fallen and for many weeks thereafter?"
So what are the values of America the video failed to represent?  It was apparently not Freedom of Speech.  Apparently not Freedom of Religion.

This was all about signaling to our friends in the Middle East that we would do nothing to stir up trouble, even if it meant stepping on our own citizens.  Not that I credit the videographer involved with a lot of common sense, but he was treated as a pawn.

It is enough to make one wonder if the people in Foggy Bottom actually believe in the Bill of Rights, or if they think it is not for the little people, the great unwashed.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Public Notices the Debt

For John, BLUFDebt can not continue to go up for ever.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

"AP-GfK Poll: Use default, shutdown threats to cut spending".

This can't be right, can it.  Has the Associated Press gone off the rails?

Reporters Alan Fram and Emily Swanson think this is what the public thinks:

A divided public thinks it's worth shutting the government or halting its ability to borrow to pay bills unless President Barack Obama consents to spending cuts, an Associated Press-GfK poll has found.  Predictably, Democratic and Republican loyalists have starkly different views.

A bit of reality:

Some specific goals of GOP lawmakers fare poorly when they are in the balance:  There's little taste for forcing a shutdown over halting federal payments to Planned Parenthood, repealing Obama's health care overhaul or blocking a nuclear deal with Iran.
But, still, in a more generic look, the Great American Public is worried about the national debt, which is $18.422 Trillion, up $8 Billion from when I mentioned this a couple of days ago.

Hat tip to Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Unanticipated Consequence of the Mass Migration

For John, BLUFImmigration issues are not just about numbers, they are also about the degree of cultural separation and the ambition of the immigrants.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Jerusalem Post we have this insight into the thinking of German State Security Services regarding the longer term consequences of the vast migration of people out of refugee camps in the Middle East.  "German intel:  Migrants will bring anti-Semitism".

Directly and indirectly.

Remember the last time we had rampant anti-Semitism in Germany?  Of course not, but it wasn't that long ago.  Chancellor Hitler had to wait for President Hindenburg to die, because the President remembered the Service of Jews in The Great War, but then it all went down hill, and not just for Jews.  Also for the crippled, the Communists, those with sexual interests outside the mainstream, Communists, then Trade Unionists and then religious leaders and on and on.  Once things like this start it is hard to get them to stop, short of military action.

The lede plus some:

BERLIN – Germany’s security and intelligence agencies expressed alarm over the influx of refugees and migrants who harbor radical Islamic views and hatred of Jews, according to a Sunday report in Welt am Sonntag.

According to a security document obtained by the paper and read by top-level agency personnel, “We are importing Islamic extremism, Arab anti-Semitism, national and ethnic conflicts of other peoples as well as a different societal and legal understanding.”

The newspaper wrote that security sources warn that “the integration of hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants Germany is no longer possible in light of the number and already existing parallel societies.”

The term “parallel societies” in Germany is frequently defined as insulated Muslim communities that have little or no contact with mainstream society.

The document, called “the non-paper” because it was not signed, stated: “German security agencies...will not be in the position to solve these imported security problems and thereby the arising reactions from Germany’s population.”

A senior level security official told the paper that, “The high influx of people from all parts of the world will lead to instability in our land.”  The official added, “We are producing extremists through immigration. Mainstream civil society is radicalizing because the majority don’t want migration and they are being forced by the political elite.”

He predicts that many Germans “will turn away from the constitutional state.”  The paper’s exclusive information came from the four major security agencies in Germany – the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the Federal Intelligence Service, the Federal Police and Federal Criminal Police Office.

It isn't the first move, or even the second, but the subsequent moves that begin the unraveling.

Think of it in terms of no good deed goes unpunished.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  For George, World War One (1914-1918), which didn't become World War One until after World War Two popped up, later in the story.
  See, for example, Pastor Martin Niemöller
  How do "parallel societies" work when you get in a war and are drafting folks?  A nation as big as the US can handle a few small such communities, such as the Plain Folk (Amish and other Mennonites), but there is a practical limit, where a nation is no longer a single nation.  It will happen in Germany much more quickly than in the US.

Monday, October 26, 2015

DOJ 2015 Awards to Many

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

So, there are a lot of words here, but that is just so we can get to Mr Clifford R R Krieger and his award from the Attorney General, Ms Loretta E Lynch.
The sixth Distinguished Service Award is awarded to the multi-agency team responsible for their exemplary performance in the shutdown of the Silk Road website and the subsequent sale of bitcoins.  The multi-agency effort to dismantle the Silk Road website was a landmark event in the department’s fight against cybercrime.  These efforts brought the owner and operator to justice through a cutting-edge criminal investigation and subsequent trial and pioneered the first-ever government-sponsored sale of bitcoins.  Silk Road was a sprawling, black market bazaar which operated on the “dark web” and required all transactions to be paid for in bitcoins, enabling its users to anonymously buy and sell illicit goods and services, including drugs, counterfeit IDs, computer hacking tools, pornography and weapons.  The team, which was nominated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York and the U.S. Marshals Service, led this extraordinary and groundbreaking effort by successfully navigating uncharted government territory and dismantling a notorious criminal enterprise of unprecedented scope and sophistication.  The case not only serves as a model for others to follow in conducting complex cybercrime investigations, prosecutions and asset dispositions in the future, but it also demonstrates that law enforcement is capable of rising to the challenge in the growing shift of criminal activity on the Internet.

Award recipients include, from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Timothy Howard and Serrin Turner; from the FBI’s New York Field Office, Special Agent Vincent D. D’Agostino and Computer Scientist Thomas Kiernan; from the U.S. Marshals Service-Southern District of New York, Acting U.S. Marshal Eric B. Timberman; from the U.S. Marshals Service’s Office of General Counsel, Associate General Counsel Clifford R.R. Krieger; from the U.S. Marshals Service’s Asset Forfeiture Division, Assistant Program Manager Kyle T. Bateman; from the Criminal Division’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section, Assistant Deputy Chief for Policy John W. Vardaman III and Attorney-Advisor Joseph F. Mignano; from the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, Intelligence Analyst Catherine Diane Pelker; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sharon Cohen Levin and Christine I. Magdo; from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security-U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, Special Agent Jared Der-Yeghiayan; and from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Special Agent Gary L. Alford.

Taking down the Silk Road, out on the Dark Web, is a big deal.

I add my congratulations to all the recipients of this award and to the other award recipients, and especially to my youngest son.

Regards  —  Cliff

Redesigning Our Folding Money

For John, BLUFI like consistency from politicians.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

For Democrats the Jefferson-Jackson Day dinners are an important fundraising opportunity.  And, yesterday, in Iowa, there was such an event, with Hunny Bunny, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley.

Which brings me around to the proposal to put a woman on our paper money.

Why are we getting rid of Alexander Hamilton, on the Ten, an immigrant from the Caribbean, where he was born out of wedlock?  Why is he not the model in this time of discussion of immigration?

On the other hand, Andrew Jackson, on the Twenty, is just the kind of racist Democrats have been railing against.  The Trail of Tears?  Can't we let Andy Jackson go and put someone like Harriet Tubman on the Twenty.

Here is someone who appears to agree with me, at least regarding the denomination (at least back in mid-June):

Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Democrat of New Hampshire, had introduced legislation to put a woman on the $20 bill, and she wrote to President Obama this month urging him to use his power to that end.
To give the Treasury Department its due:
Currency is redesigned to stay ahead of counterfeiting.  The ACD [Advanced Counterfeit Deterrence] Steering Committee recommended a redesign of the $10 note next.  The ACD will make its next recommendation based on current and potential security threats to currency notes.
While we all know that there will be politics involved in this, the Secretary of the Treasury is the designated stuckee for the choice:
The Secretary of the Treasury makes the final decision on currency design as established by the Second Legal Tender Act of July 11, 1862 and 12 U.S.C. 418.
Remember, Harriet Tubman, for the Twenty.

Regards  —  Cliff


For John, BLUFBut, she is inevitable.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

My concern about Hunny Bunny for President is not that she is clueless, but that she doesn't even know that there is a clue bag somewhere.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Hillary on VA

For John, BLUFThis is a tricky game being played, because it is, in the end, people's lives.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the computer of Reporter Bradford Richardson, of The Hill, "Clinton:  Veterans Affairs scandal not a ‘widespread’ problem".

Here is the lede plus 4:

Democratic primary front-runner Hillary Clinton says the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) scandal is not as “widespread” of a problem as coverage would indicate.

She said the problem is real, but cautioned that “it’s not been as widespread as it has been made out to be” on MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow Show” on Friday.

The former first lady blamed Republicans for using the issue as part of an “ideological agenda” and said they want the VA to “fail.”

“Now nobody would believe that from the coverage you see, and the constant berating of the VA that comes from the Republicans, in – in part in pursuit of this ideological agenda that they have,” Clinton said.

“They try to create a downward spiral, don’t fund it to the extent that it needs to be funded, because they want it to fail, so then we can argue for privatization.”

Well, there is the narrative that it is all the fault of the Republicans.  Even Senate Minority Leader Reid is on it, and helping it along.
Senate Democrats blocked a bill to fund the VA earlier this month in order to negotiate a larger budget deal.
Funnily enough, Senator Reid was dismissive of the vote to close debate on the Committee Bill by the whole Senate, saying that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell knew he didn't have the votes, so why bother.  For those who don't understand, it was to put the Democrats on record.

Like the President's veto of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the Democrat Minority vote to not end debate on the VA Bill was to crack open sequestration, the President's plan from a few years ago to control spending.  At the time the Administration thought the Republicans would eventually crack over the constriction of defense spending, and when they didn't it held down all spending.

As for the VA, it is truly a mixed bag.  Some get great service, and some don't.  And it isn't based on retired rank.  Rather, it is location.  Some VA offices are better than others.

The problem is, if there is not good service Veterans (and their families) suffer, people die prematurely and sometimes the Veterans are on the street, homeless, suffering from PTSD or TBI or other problems picked up while serving our nation.  None of this is good.

Hat tip to Memeorandum.

Regards  —  Cliff

  But not enough.  Our National Debt is at $18.414 Trillion and growing.
  I would like to see the "secret map" to see if it breaks down along the lines of Blue States vs Red States.

Friday, October 23, 2015

The REAL Issue WRT Benghazi

For John, BLUFMaybe they stopped teaching Civics before Ms Clinton entered High School.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The New York Post we have the Editorial Board talking about "Hillary’s horrid Benghazi-hearing howlers".

If you believe, as I do, that the reason our Ambassador was there was to meet with people who have salvaged the remains of an alien space ship, the secrecy makes sense.

However, the real crime regarding the Benghazi imbroglio is that the US Federal Government:

  1. Tried to use a private videographer as a scapegoat for the attack (and did so for several days, even though the truth was known from the beginning).
  2. Tried to use the scapegoated videographer as a way to "signal" to Muslim Governments, and Muslims, that while we have Freedom of Speech, it will not be allowed to extend to comments on The Prophet Muhammad.
  3. And, worst of all, used its assets to bring attention to the videographer, and perhaps encourage local California authorities to arrest him on a parole violation and put him in jail for six more months.  For Justice?  No, to support the signaling being done by the Department of State over disparaging videos, cartoons or comments on The Prophet Muhammad.
To give us some perspective, what happened to American artist and photographer Andres Serrano for his infamous Piss Christ?  Perhaps you don't see the two as basically the same.  Shame on you.

Here is the Department of State Mission:

Advance freedom for the benefit of the American people and the international community by helping to build and sustain a more democratic, secure, and prosperous world composed of well-governed states that respond to the needs of their people, reduce widespread poverty, and act responsibly within the international system.
With regard to Benghazi, they ignored the mission and went with damage control.  Sad.  I wonder how Ambassador Chris Stevens would have felt about it?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  I guess that passes for alliteration.

A Sea Change in Jurisprudence?

For John, BLUFDown the road to Fascism.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

We seem to have traveled a long ways from when, in 1765, there was published "Blackstone's ratio":
It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.
Today, the Boston University Student Newspaper, The Daily Free Press, says:
We would rather see someone falsely accused than see someone avoid coming forward for fear of retribution for wrongly accusing someone.
The InstaPundit published the names of the Editorial Board.  Maybe shame will help these students learn.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  This, of course, applies to campus sexual assaults.  For now.

Tax Blue Areas

For John, BLUFNot an issue for Highland Street residents.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From USA Today we have an OpEd by Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds—"Tax the blue zones".  The sub-headline is "A climate change tax measure Democrats and Republicans alike should get behind."

The lede plus two.

It’s already too late to stop global warming, say scientists.  No matter what we do, sea levels will rise.  Some climate activists have even released an interactive map that will let you see how much of, say Washington, DC, will be under water in the next century, with the flooded zones depicted in blue. (Not all of it, alas).

Well, if it’s too late to stop global warming, I have a modest proposal instead:  Tax the blue zones.  That is, minimize the damage that will occur from flooding many decades in the future by reducing development now.

If we’re seriously worried about flooding from higher sea levels, then we want to make sure that areas that will be flooded in the future won’t be developed now.  We want to limit the investment in buildings that will be swamped, and we want to limit the number of people who’ll have to move.  And we want to encourage people who live in those areas now to move away in the near future, before they’re flooded.

I like this idea, but then the sea level won't reach my home for many decades.  Thus, I would not be subject to the tax.  Tax those who are in the areas to be flooded, because they will be the ones who will be asking for future dollars to help them ameliorate their situation.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, October 22, 2015


For John, BLUFNewspaperman Emile Zola would understand.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the BBC we have this item—"France:  Marine Le Pen goes on trial over Muslim remarks".

Yes, Marine Le Pen is the leader of the French "National Front" Party.

The point of this is that before you applaud the French Government for going after someone you think of as a bigot, remember that Freedom of Speech is best defined by how the obnoxious in society are treated.  Be glad you live in the United States.  We have lots of obnoxious people, saying obnoxious things.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Wikipedia describes the NF as dirigist.  Think Senator E Warren.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Ryan To The Rescue?

For John, BLUFI like Rep Ryan.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

It isn't a done deal, but, per National Review, "Speaker Ryan’s Conditions".
He laid them out at a Republican-conference meeting on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, telling his colleagues he wants the bickering to end.  That means, Republicans said as they exited the meeting, he wants universal endorsements from the various caucuses, specifically from the conservative Freedom Caucus, the Republican Study Committee, and the more moderate Tuesday Group.  He gave members until Friday to let him know if they could rally behind him, so that he could make preparations or give other candidates the opportunity to do so.  “If I can truly be a unifying figure, then I will gladly serve,” Ryan reiterated to reporters later.  If not, he said, “I’ll be happy to stay where I am at the Ways and Means Committee.”
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

All In For Hillary

For John, BLUFNo wonder the rank and file look elsewhere.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Daily Mail (UK) we have this article wherein "Democratic National Committeewoman says her party is 'clearing a path' for Hillary because 'the women in charge' want it that way."

Gee, what happened to Primaries and the "rank and file" of the Party.  It isn't like we haven't seen this in the Republican Party.  This kind of activity results in the People throwing up a Donald Trump (or a Bernie Sanders) as their choice.

Hat tip to Drudge.

Regards  —  Cliff

Pope in the News

For John, BLUF"We never did that way before."  Nothing to see here; just move along.

On Sunday The Boston Herald had an article by Reporter Brian Dowling, "Populist pontiff to shift power".  The Pope is trying to push power down within a unified Church.  But, it isn't easy, but His Holiness has ideas.
“The flock has an ‘instinct’ to discern new ways that the Lord is revealing to the Church,” Pope Francis said yesterday. “How would we ever be able to speak about the family without engaging families, listening to their joys and hopes, their sorrows and their anguish?”
On the same page is a commentary by Former Boston Mayor (and one time US Ambassador to the Vatican) Ray Flynn, "Flynn: Pope Francis takes a page from my book".  Ambassador Flynn's book is The Accidental Pope.

But, the Pope also came up for discussion this last Sunday in The Old Gray Lady, where Columnist Ross Douthat gave us "The Plot to Change Catholicism".

I wish the Pope had read some Hernando de Soto and did not think of the distorted socialism of Argentina as some form of Capitalism, but so far I like the cut of his jib.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Sin is Sin…

For John, BLUFNon-mainline Protestantism is a complex land.  Nothing to see here; just move along.


It is The Blaze, but sometimes The Boston Globe doesn't provide the full range of what is going on, such as "Westboro Baptist Church Goes After Defiant Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis".

"You can't tell the players without a score card."

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Family Tree

For John, BLUFI wonder if Ancestor dot Com is going to go DNA on us?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Reporting for Live Science, Staff Writer Tia Ghose asks "Are You Part Iceman? Famous Ötzi Has 19 Living Relatives"

The lede plus one:

Ötzi the Iceman, a stunningly preserved mummy found in the Italian Alps in 1991, has living relatives in the region, new genetic analysis shows.

The study, published in the journal Forensic Science International:  Genetics, found that the 5,300-year-old mummy has at least 19 [living] male relatives on his paternal side.

And, being very modern, Mr Ötzi the Iceman had Lyme Disease, but that is not what killed him.  Neither did old age.  It was bow and arrow violence.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, October 16, 2015

Bernie v CNN

For John, BLUFTheDemocrat Machine is in the tank for Hunny Bunny, and apparently doesn't care that we know.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Nation of Change, "CNN Deletes Pro-Bernie Sanders Poll and User Comments"

Is CNN censoring Bernie Sanders supporters?  The network is under fire this week after users noticed that not only was a poll removed showing Sanders as the winner of the first Democratic debate, but that pro-Bernie comments were disappearing as well.
Sure, Nation of Change is the extreme side of the Progressive movement, but still, missing records are missing records.  And, I think Senator Sanders did better in the Debate than Secretary Clinton, even though the MSM didn't score it that way.

UPDATE:  Mr John Cassidy, of The New Yorker, wonders, "Did the Media Get the Democratic Debate Wrong?"

Regards  —  Cliff

Stab Your Neighbor

For John, BLUFWhat does George think?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

A friend of mine down in Virginia sent me this link.  It is from the Web Site MEMRI.

It is instructions, just in case you don't know, on how to stab your neighbor.  Unfortunately, it is in Arabic, but there are subtitles in English.  By a preacher, no less.

Very interesting.

There is talk these days of a new Intifada.

I suspect that the Palestinians believe "No Justice, No Peace."  But, then, so do the Jewish people living in Israel.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Energy Prices Down

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

Mr Michael Walsh, writing in The PJ Tatler, gives us "The Revenge of Sarah Palin"

In sum:

The price of a gallon of regular gasoline on Monday was $2.13 nationwide, and below $2 in 18 states.
Remember when gas was $4 a gallon?

Turns out that President Obama was wrong, if you can imagine it.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Copyright To Get Worse

For John, BLUFWill it impact City Life?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

With a delicious sense of irony, I copy the whole post from Law Professor Ann Althouse:
"I had a Supreme Court Justice tell me it’s over for me," said Drudge.

"They’ve got the votes now to enforce copyright law, you’re out of there.  They’re going to make it so you can’t even use headlines...  To have a Supreme Court Justice say to me it’s over, they’ve got the votes, which means time is limited...  That will end [it] for me – fine – I’ve had a hell of a run…."

Drudge added "that web users were being pushed into the cyber ‘ghettos’ of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram":  "This is ghetto, this is corporate, they’re taking your energy and you’re getting nothing in return – nothing!"

There you have it.  Our Congress is going to make the Mickey Mouse Copyright laws even worse.

And, those of us blogging on news articles are not going to be able to mention the article.

This will definitely limit the publics discussion of current events.  That will, in turn, lead to a more ignorant public.  I guess it will help the Democrats.  It definitely won't help those of us who believe in truth, justice and the American way.

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Picking Our Enemies

For John, BLUFMs Clinton seems to have violated the rule about conservation of enemies.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the InstaPundit we have Ed Driscoll making this point about Hunny Bunny and her answer to the question about who she saw as her "enemy".
This should properly be considered a "Kinsley gaffe" in that she accidentally told the truth.  For much of the night, she stuck to her focus-grouped talking points, boasting about how she knows how to build consensus and work the system in Washington “to get things done.”  And then, in a spontaneous slip, she revealed that she considers Republicans — altogether — not only her enemy, but the enemy she is most proud of.  It would have been nice if Anderson Cooper, Jim Webb or one of the pushovers on stage had seized that point and asked, “How can you talk about building consensus when you’ve just boasted that you consider all Republicans your enemy?” Clinton is much more of a Manichean than she usually lets on.  That’s one reason she keeps Sid Blumenthal on retainer as a Wormtongue.  He says the things about Republican conspirators she wants to hear and believe.
Read the whole thing.

Posted at 2:39 pm by Ed Driscoll
Again, Mr Driscoll says:

“How can you talk about building consensus when you’ve just boasted that you consider all Republicans your enemy?”
Actually, I think that is straight forward.  She would like to strip away folks from the Republican Party and make them unenrolled or Democrats.  She has no use for Republicans.  It is all a Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Dem Candidates on Edward Snowden

For John, BLUFTry him by a jury of his Peers.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

"The CNN Democratic debate transcript, annotated", from The Washington Post.
COOPER:  Governor Chafee, Edward Snowden, is he a traitor or a hero?

CHAFEE:  No, I would bring him home. The courts have ruled that what he did -- what he did was say the American…

COOPER:  Bring him home, no jail time?

CHAFEE:  ... the American government was acting illegally.  That's what the federal courts have said; what Snowden did showed that the American government was acting illegally for the Fourth Amendment.  So I would bring him home.

COOPER:  Secretary Clinton, hero or traitor?

CLINTON:  He broke the laws of the United States.  He could have been a whistleblower.  He could have gotten all of the protections of being a whistleblower.  He could have raised all the issues that he has raised.  And I think there would have been a positive response to that.

COOPER:  Should he do jail time?

ClINTON:  In addition -- in addition, he stole very important information that has unfortunately fallen into a lot of the wrong hands.  So I don't think he should be brought home without facing the music.

COOPER:  Governor O'Malley, Snowden?

O'MALLEY:  Anderson, Snowden put a lot of Americans' lives at risk.  Snowden broke the law.  Whistleblowers do not run to Russia and try to get protection from Putin.  If he really believes that, he should be back here.

COOPER:  Senator Sanders, Edward Snowden?

SANDERS:  I think Snowden played a very important role in educating the American people to the degree in which our civil liberties and our constitutional rights are being undermined.

COOPER:  Is he a hero?

SANDERS:  He did -- he did break the law, and I think there should be a penalty to that.  But I think what he did in educating us should be taken into consideration before he is (inaudible).

COOPER:  Senator Webb, Edward Snowden?

WEBB:  I -- well, I -- I would leave his ultimate judgment to the legal system.  Here's what I do believe.  We have a serious problem in terms of the collection of personal information in this country.  And one of the things that I did during the FISA bill in 2007, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, was introduce with Russ Feingold two amendments basically saying, "We understand the realities of how you have to collect this broad information in the Internet age, but after a certain period of time, you need to destroy the personal information that you have if people have not been brought -- if criminal justice proceedings have not been brought against them."

We've got a vast data bank of information that is ripe for people with bad intentions to be able to use. And they need to be destroyed.

Thinking about the answers:

Governor Lincoln Chaffee—An American Hero.  Bring him home so we can thank him.

Governor Martin O'Malley—Put a lot of lives at risk, making him a criminal and perhaps (he doesn't say it) a traitor.

Secretary Hillary Clinton—Secretary Clinton believes in the tooth fairy.  She believes that Mr Snowden could have been a Whistleblower, with the protection of the Federal Government.  But, she does think he did wrong, making our secret information available to others; "very important information that has unfortunately fallen into a lot of the wrong hands."

Senator Bernie Sanders—He should face punishment, but what he did to open the eyes of "the American people to the degree to which our civil liberties and our constitutional rights are being undermined" should be mitigating.

Senator Jim Webb—The former Senator thinks Mr Snowden should be dealt with by the judicial system, but at the same time acknowledges the Federal Government is collecting too much information and not destroying it in a timely and appropriate way.

Four out of five realize Mr Snowden did wrong and deserves punishment.  Perhaps their advisors pointed out that if we won't punish Mr Snowden, who would we punish.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Sort of like leaving your server unprotected while running State Department EMails on it.
  Apparantly the British have stopped 24 /7 surveillance of Mr Julian Assange, editor of Wikileaks.

Dem Candidates on National Security

For John, BLUFJim Webb understands.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

"The CNN Democratic debate transcript, annotated", from The Washington Post.
COOPER:  Thirty seconds for each of you. Governor Chafee, what is the greatest national security threat to the United States?

CHAFEE:  It's certainly the chaos in the Middle East.  There's no doubt about it.  And it all started with the Iraq invasion.

O'MALLEY:  I believe that nuclear Iran remains the biggest threat, along with the threat of ISIL; climate change, of course, makes cascading threats even more (inaudible).

CLINTON: I think it has to be continued threat from the spread of nuclear weapons, nuclear material that can fall into the wrong hands.  I know the terrorists are constantly seeking it, and that's why we have to stay vigilant, but also united around the world to prevent that.

SANDERS:  The scientific community is telling us that if we do not address the global crisis of climate change, transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to sustainable energy, the planet that we're going to be leaving our kids and our grandchildren may well not be habitable.  That is a major crisis.

WEBB:  Our greatest long-term strategic challenge is our relation with China.  Our greatest day-to-day threat is cyber warfare against this country.  Our greatest military-operational threat is resolving the situations in the Middle East.

Thinking about the answers:

Governor Lincoln Chaffee—Well, if it is the "chaos in the Middle East", then what are we going to do about it.  Will it heal itself if we pull out, given that it all started with the "Iraq invasion"?  Or do we need to be more engaged?  Should we team up with Russia?

Governor Martin O'Malley—The Iran issue is a long term threat, but then he rings in ISIL, but doesn't show how it is a threat. Is it the near term threat, or another long term threat and if so, will it invoke the use of Iranian nuclear weapons, once they get them.  There is a duty nob to climate change, making all other threats greater.

Secretary Hillary Clinton—When I first heard it, live, I thought it was nuclear weapons and their spread:

  • Iran and Korea getting them and not being stable players.
  • Russia and China having them and able to destroy the US.
  • India and Pakistan perhaps using them, making the world safe for nuclear weapons.

But, then she wanders off into "nuclear material that can fall into the wrong hands."  So, is the real threat insurgent groups (terrorist groups) willing to use nuclear weapons?  If that is the case, and we wish to unite the world against this threat, what compromises are we willing to make?  Is President Putin correct that stability is more important than self-determination?

Senator Bernie Sanders—It is the Climate, but fixing the Climate issue is more than killing the Keystone Pipeline and instituting Cap and Trade in the US.  There is the Pope's admonition to not fix this problem not the backs of the poor.  What accommodations are we prepared to make with China, India and Russia, not to mention Brazil and other developing nations, to limit climate change while allowing the more to emerge into a world that provides them with opportunities?

Senator Jim Webb—I thought that Senator Webb was the one with the best thought out answer.  China is the long threat and we need to be paying attention to it now.  That said, the immediate threat is cyber-warfare, the theft of our data.  At the same time, our greatest "operational-military" threat is the Middle East.

Regards  —  Cliff

Money and Politics

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

Last night, during the First Democrat Presidential Debate, Senator Bernie Sanders asserted that money has corrupted the political process.  From the debate:
As a result of this disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision, our campaign finance system is corrupt and is undermining American democracy. Millionaires and billionaires are pouring unbelievable sums of money into the political process in order to fund super PACs and to elect candidates who represent their interests, not the interests of working people.
So, the question is, if Senator Sanders wins the Democrat nomination, does that call into question his proposition?

If Senator Sanders were to win the Presidency, would that show that his thesis on politics and money is all wet?

Would a Senator Sanders victory show that ideas do trump money?

Or is Citizens United and other "corrupting money" assertions just an excuse for ideas that fail to mobilize the People?

Regards  —  Cliff

The NRA Isn't About Money

For John, BLUFMoney corrupting politics is the current Meme.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The New Yorker, we have Mr James Suowiecki talking about the NRA as a political organization—"Taking on the N.R.A.".

Like most folks, I think of the NRA being a well funded organization.  However, it turns out that money is not the forte of the NRA.

But money is less crucial than you’d think.  The N.R.A.’s annual lobbying budget is around three million dollars, which is about a fifteenth of what, say, the National Association of Realtors spends.
It isn't money, it is political mobilization.  This is an area where one would think Democrats (who tend to be the Party of gun control) would dominate, but not necessarily so.
The N.R.A.’s biggest asset isn’t cash but the devotion of its members.  Adam Winkler, a law professor at U.C.L.A. and the author of the 2011 book “Gunfight,” told me, “N.R.A. members are politically engaged and politically active.  They call and write elected officials, they show up to vote, and they vote based on the gun issue.”  In one revealing study, people who were in favor of permits for gun owners described themselves as more invested in the issue than gun-rights supporters did.  Yet people in the latter group were four times as likely to have donated money and written a politician about the issue.
So, does money dominate politics or is it ideas?

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

CNN Dem Presidential Debate

For John, BLUFIf we tax you (and those richer) more we can pay for utopia.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Five folks who can't play by the rules.

And try as he did, Mr Anderson Cooper couldn't keep them in line.

Regards  —  Cliff

Down With Ben

For John, BLUFI think Dr Ben Carson worries the Progressives.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

It is Brietbart, but then it is Saturday night Live"SNL’S MICHAEL CHE ON BEN CARSON: ‘PLEASE, AMERICA, PICK ANYBODY BUT THE BLACK GUY’".

"You pays your money and you takes your chances."

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, October 12, 2015

The No Party People

For John, BLUFThese are your folks.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From USA Today we have this OpEd on one of the "other" Democrat candidates for President, Harvard Law Professor Larry Lessig.  The article is "Larry Lessig, trying to be heard".  The sub-headline is:
The electoral system that Lessig hopes to reform is keeping him out of October's DNC debate.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Paul Ryan Ponders

For John, BLUFIt would be a sacrifice on his part.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Old Gray Lady we have an article on Rep Paul Ryan, "Hometown Lets Paul Ryan Ponder Speaker Job on Own Terms".
JANESVILLE, Wis. — Representative Paul D. Ryan stepped out of St. John Vianney Roman Catholic Church after Mass here Saturday evening into the twilight of a cloudless day, far removed from the bleating of Washington that had surrounded him roughly 24 hours before.

In his hometown, he was not being chased by reporters with microphones or beseeched by his colleagues courting him to be the next speaker of the House.  Instead, he was among friends and neighbors, shooting the breeze as he meandered across a large suburban parking lot.

“Hey, Paul, what are the odds?” one of them asked about the chances he would try to ascend to the office second in the line of succession to the presidency.

A knowing Mr. Ryan stopped, smiled and gestured toward the lone journalist in the crowd.  “He’s a reporter,” he said, by way of apology, and kept walking.

But the question is on many minds in Janesville, a town of blue-collar workers, still suffering from the idling of a General Motors plant almost seven years ago, and of well-to-do families like the Ryans.  The people here seem almost as conflicted as Mr. Ryan himself professes to be.

Sounds like Janesville to me.

As for the Speakership, no one is going to make all the Republicans happy.  And, the question is, how much respect should the more conservative Members get in this process.  That is tied to the question of how much of their agenda has been accommodated.  Think of it in terms of a typical European Parliament.  They form a coalition with the Center-Right Republicans, so that they are part of the majority.  What do they get in exchange?

Regards  —  Cliff

  My two cents worth is that those European Parliament arrangements would not be good here in the Good Old USA.  See, for example,

Happy Columbus Day

For John, BLUFColumbus made his discovery stick, in Europe.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Think of Chris as one more refugee, looking for some place.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Marchers Down on Israel

For John, BLUFA lot of people just don't think out their ideas to the logical conclusions.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Hill we have this report on the 20th Anniversary of the Million Man March—"Jeremiah Wright:  'Jesus was a Palestinian'".

You can almost hear President Obama saying "Isn't this job hard enough, without this kind of thing?"

As written, this article by Reporter Bradford Richardson, allows us to wonder if Rev Wright is saying that Israel should go.  There is a strong hint of it.  Of course, if the nation of Israel goes, where do the Jews of Israel go?  Apparently not addressed.  And given that the Good Reverend is address Native Americans, one suspects he is not pushing the US as a destination.  Should they just all die out?

Frankly, I find that an interesting scenario, as it brings to mind Revelation and Daniel and the End Times.  Is that what Rev Wright is invoking?  The End Times?  Frankly, I doubt it.  Frankly, I think he doesn't think about it, or if he does, dismisses it.  But, he very much invokes 1948 and the founding of Israel.

If, at some point we have to choose, my advice to the American People, is choose Israel, choose God.

Hat tip to Memeorandum.

Regards  —  Cliff

The President In Charge

For John, BLUFActually, I had not previously known this "well-known" passage.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Mr Ed Driscoll, writing at the InstaPundit says the following as his conclusion to his comments on the Niall Ferguson article, discussed yesterday in this blog:
That’s not much a head-scratcher, considering this well-known passage from Jodi Kantor’s 2012 book, The Obamas:
Obama had always had a high estimation of his ability to cast and run his operation.  When David Plouffe, his campaign manager, first interviewed for a job with him in 2006, the senator gave him a warning:  “I think I could probably do every job on the campaign better than the people I’ll hire to do it,” he said.  “It’s hard to give up control when that’s all I’ve known.”  Obama said nearly the same thing to Patrick Gaspard, whom he hired to be the campaign’s political director.  “I think I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters,” Obama told him.  “I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors.  And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director.”
Presumably, Obama believes such boundless omniscience extends to foreign policy as well.

(And being too insular not to give a damndarn about the hash you’re making of the world helps, also.)

President Obama should have been a Fighter Pilot.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Workers' Party of Korea

For John, BLUFHumans will put up with a lot, e.g., North Korea.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Happy 70th Anniversary to the People of North Korea and to the Grandson of founder Kim Il-sung.

Regards  —  Cliff

Yale Professor Looks at Administration Foreign Policy

For John, BLUFWe are adrift, except for TTP and climate change.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Wall Street Journal we have "The Real Obama Doctrine", written by Yale Professor Niall Ferguson.  The sub-headline is "Henry Kissinger long ago recognized the problem:  a talented vote-getter, surrounded by lawyers, who is overly risk-averse."  Let us be frank, Professor Ferguson has just written a book about Henry the K.

Following his Kissinger theme, Professor Ferguson notes:

Two distinctively American pathologies explained the fundamental absence of coherent strategic thinking. First, the person at the top was selected for other skills.  “The typical political leader of the contemporary managerial society,” noted Mr. Kissinger, “is a man with a strong will, a high capacity to get himself elected, but no very great conception of what he is going to do when he gets into office.”

Second, the government was full of people trained as lawyers.  In making foreign policy, Mr. Kissinger once remarked, “you have to know what history is relevant.”  But lawyers were “the single most important group in Government,” he said, and their principal drawback was “a deficiency in history.”  This was a long-standing prejudice of his.  “The clever lawyers who run our government,” he thundered in a 1956 letter to a friend, have weakened the nation by instilling a “quest for minimum risk which is our most outstanding characteristic.”

So, of course, this lead to the next paragraph:
Let’s see, now.  A great campaigner.  A bunch of lawyers.  And a “quest for minimum risk.”  What is it about this combination that sounds familiar?
The author believes that the President has a foreign policy based on the theory that we should all just try to get along.  Thus our withdrawal from the Middle East and our lack of confrontation with Russia and China.  And, for right now, if you ignore the little players, it seems to be working just fine.

As for Russia, their view seems to be that chaos is bad and is to be prevented.  Someone I know wrote today, about President Putin,

… he has been very clear about his goals since his 2007 Munich speech.  Putin sees international liberalism—with its inherent norm and rule setting regimes, structural equivalence between great and minor powers (and races, cultures, societies, and peoples), and explicit view that every domestic political system other than liberal democracy is intrinsically illegitimate—as an existential threat to himself, his junta and, by extension, Great Russia and its white-Orthodox people, and the world.  He wants to upend this system, replace it with a great power centric balance of power structure comprised of several spheres of influence.  Most of these spheres would be authoritarian and, to some extent, autarkic as a way to hedge against and contain what he sees as the cancerous, expansionary, chaotic nature of liberalism and democracy.
One can see how that seems to fly in the face of what President Obama is trying to do.

Back to the article, it winds up with:

Some things you can learn on the job, like tending bar or being a community organizer.  National-security strategy is different.  “High office teaches decision making, not substance,” Mr. Kissinger once wrote.  “It consumes intellectual capital; it does not create it.”  The next president may have cause to regret that Barack Obama didn’t heed those words.  In making up his strategy as he has gone along, this president has sown the wind. His successor will reap the whirlwind.  He or she had better bring some serious intellectual capital to the White House.
So, looking to the future, the question is, who is the Professor trying to knock down, aside from The Donald?  Ben Carson, I suspect.  And Carly Fiorina.  And most of the other Republicans.  On the Democrat side there is Hunny Bunny, who brought us Libya  There is Vice President Biden.  Moving on, there is Governor O'Malley of Maryland.  He can't even keep good relations with Charm City.  There is former Senator Jim Webb, who resigned as Secretary of the Navy over the size of the US Fleet.  Is there a dark horse out there?

Regards  —  Cliff

  No, not liberalism as understood in the US, to be about Democrats, but liberalism as understood in Europe, with its emphasis on individual freedom.
  Please pay attention, this is Libya as a whole, not Benghazi.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Battle of Lepanto

For John, BLUFA turning point.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

I missed this yesterday, but it was the 444 years ago that the West won the Battle of Lepanto.  Against the Ottoman Empire.

The last major battle between fleets propelled by oars (galleys).

Per Wikipedia, RAND expert Dr Paul K. Davis noted:

This Turkish defeat stopped Ottomans' expansion into the Mediterranean, thus maintaining western dominance, and confidence grew in the west that Turks, previously unstoppable, could be beaten.
Regards  —  Cliff

  The breakup of the Ottoman Empire is still ongoing.  Most recently as a result of World War One.

Medal of Honor 97 Years Ago, Today

For John, BLUFStarted out as a pacifist.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Thanks to Doctrine Man for reminding us that today is the day, in 1918, that Corporal Alvin C York attacked the Germans and killed 20 and captured 132.  Worth a Medal of Honor.

There was a movie.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, October 5, 2015

Why Gun Control Efforts Fail

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

In a bit of self-promotion, Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds plugs his short item in The Old Gray Lady.  I shamelessly copy his whole blog post at the InstaPundit
IN THE NEW YORK TIMES’ “ROOM FOR DEBATE” SECTION, I explain why the “Gun Lobby” remains invincible.  Basically, it’s because politicians always lie about gun control, and people don’t trust the police to protect them.  The ironic way in which lefty anti-police activism conflicts with lefty gun-control messaging is also mentioned.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Monsignor Asks for Dismissal

For John, BLUF"Don't poke the bear."  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Reuters, via The New York Times, "Priest Dismissed by Vatican After Saying He Is Gay".

Dismissed as in dismissed from his day job, at the Vatican (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith).  He also lost his other job, as a teacher of theology at pontifical universities in Rome.

Saying he was gay in public, with his partner by his side.  And gave an interview to the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

I would say the Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa was looking for a fight.  And a different Catholic Church.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Proposing Gun Control

For John, BLUFI don't think the Anti-Second Amendment types see any righteousness in the gun owners' positions.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the The Atlantic"Why Conservatives Mistrust Even Modest Efforts at Gun Control".  The sub-headline is "Liberals tend to blame the gun lobby for blocking new regulations, but they dismiss firearm owners’ fear of government at their own political peril."

Here are the two paragraphs Professor Glenn Reynolds pulled in his blog post:

While Obama has repeatedly called for new gun controls, those attempts have hit a wall in Congress. Furthermore, of the gun laws enacted at the state level since the Newtown massacre, more have actually loosened restrictions than tightened them. Firearm production and sales have also increased since Obama took office.

The common liberal explanation for why this has happened is the entrenched power of the gun lobby—the National Rifle Association and gun manufacturers. This isn’t wrong. The NRA’s power is considerable and it is carefully and effectively wielded. But focusing exclusively on the lobbying angle overlooks the very real fear and distrust with which many gun owners regard the government that drives much of the opposition to gun laws. Many of them simply don’t believe that enhanced background checks—or whatever other modest changes are proposed—are what they appear to be.

The way I would describe it is that gun owners don't trust Progressives to not keep asking for more.  If the Congress passes a nationwide background check, will they then ask for more, until they have progressed to gun confiscation.

Is there a way to assuage those concerns?  I would think that affirmation of the Second Amendment would help.  However, the proposal by former Supreme Court justice John Paul Stevens to add five words to the Amendment (when serving in the Militia), is not the kind of thing that builds confidence.  The Amendment as it reads now:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.
And as proposed:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.
What does this do?  Does it mean that I can tell the Platoon Sergeant that "Yes I can keep a pistol under my pillow, since I have been called up"?  Does that even make sense?

I think another thing that might build confidence is adoption of what I call "The Windy City Test".  How will this change in the law impact the number of gun discharges (shootings) and gun deaths in Chicago, IL?

The Comments to Professor Reynolds' blog post are here. Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff


Friday, October 2, 2015

The Place The Donald Fills

For John, BLUFMr Trump as a cleaning agent.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Two weeks again New York Magazine had a piece by Mr Frank Rich, "THE IMPORTANCE OF DONALD TRUMP".  The sub-headline sums it up:  "Far from destroying our democracy, he’s exposing all its phoniness and corruption in ways as serious as he is not.  And changing it in the process."

I thought this was a key paragraph:

In the short time since Trump declared his candidacy, he has performed a public service by exposing, however crudely and at times inadvertently, the posturings of both the Republicans and the Democrats and the foolishness and obsolescence of much of the political culture they share.  He is, as many say, making a mockery of the entire political process with his bull-in-a-china-shop antics.  But the mockery in this case may be overdue, highly warranted, and ultimately a spur to reform rather than the crime against civic order that has scandalized those who see him, in the words of the former George W. Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson, as “dangerous to democracy.”
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff


For John, BLUFHow can it be science is politicians can shut it down if they disagree with it.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Gleichschaltung is the word Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds uses to describe this incident, report in The Hill.  Fairly appropriate.

Here is part of what Professor Reynolds extracted from the article.

Five top Democratic economists are criticizing Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and the left-leaning Brookings Institution for forcing one of its nonresident economic fellows to resign.

Warren raised concerns earlier this week that Robert Litan, a nonresident and unpaid economics fellow at the think tank, was using Brookings to peddle an industry-backed study that was critical of a financial advice regulatory pitch championed by Warren and the White House.

In a letter to Brookings earlier this week, Warren questioned the independence of the study, which Litan openly notes in the text “was supported by the Capital Group, one of the largest mutual fund asset managers in the United States.”

Hours later, Litan was forced to resign.

The Democratic economists say they’re “concerned” about Litan’s treatment.

They said Warren’s approach and Brookings’ “complicity with it threatens ad hominem attack on any author who may be associated with an industry or interest whose views are contrary to hers.”

Well, Senator E Warren is a US Senator, and she should be free to question a study.  The really embarrassing thing is that Brookings Institution caved and caved so quickly.  On the other hand, Ms Warren should be concerned that Brookings rolled over so easily.  Is she abusing her position?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Stopping Crime

For John, BLUFTotal freedom from crime means totalitarianism.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Writer Eric Scheie, writing in Classical Values, gives us "Beria would be envious".

Of course you need to know who Lavrentiy Beria is.  Odds are, you don't.  Think of the worst secret police chief you ever heard of.  Now cube that.

The take-away Beria quote:

Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff