The EU

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Monday, October 31, 2016

Persecution of Geert Wilders

For John, BLUFNot everyone understand free speech the way we do.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

That would be Dutch Prosecutors, going after Mr Geert Wilders for saying that Moroccans in the Netherlands should be removed.  The latest New York Times article, from today, is here.

The question is, does free speech give you the right to say bad things about other groups?  In the United States the answer is yes.  In Europe, perhaps not.

Law professor Althouse says:

Speaking about discrimination should be countered by speech against discrimination, and let people decide which is the better viewpoint.  The prosecution is relying on the argument that speech about discrimination is discrimination.  But anyone who smashes those 2 ideas together is quite simply rejecting the idea of free speech.
By the way, this quote, early in the blog post, captures part of the problem:
"His remarks touched the very being of this population group.  You cannot choose to be part of a population group or not; it’s a group that’s decided by birth, so it’s a whole different matter."
Why can not members of that population group elect to be atheists or Dutch Reform in their religious outlook?  A group which ensures people born into it adhere to its tenets through cohesion, perhaps even force, deserves to be questioned.  Catholics should be free to become Atheists, Jews become Christians, Atheists become Jews.

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Yes, I get the whole Mother thing, but still, you get the point and I wonder if someone would be refused entrance into the local synagogue over the faith and lineage of their Mother.

Accusations of Fascism

For John, BLUFThen there is the question of "Stalinism".  Don't get me started.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

"Fascism begins to creep into the Government."

I just heard that on Fox News, from Bernard Whitman.

When people don't even understand what is Fascism, they should be barred from holding political office.  Period.

I would commend to people like Mr Whitman the Foreign Affairs article, "Populism Is Not Fascism".  That said, the sub-headline of Ms sheri Berman's article is "But It Could Be a Harbinger".  Of course it could, just as the proposals of Senator Bernie Sanders could be a harbinger of Bolivarian Socialism.

Here are the first three paragraphs:

As right-wing movements have mounted increasingly strong challenges to political establishments across Europe and North America, many commentators have drawn parallels to the rise of fascism during the 1920s and 1930s.  Last year, a French court ruled that opponents of Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s National Front, had the right to call her a “fascist”—a right they have frequently exercised.  This May, after Norbert Hofer, the leader of Austria’s Freedom Party, nearly won that country’s presidential election, The Guardian asked, “How can so many Austrians flirt with this barely disguised fascism?”  And in an article that same month about the rise of Donald Trump, the Republican U.S. presidential candidate, the conservative columnist Robert Kagan warned, “This is how fascism comes to America.”  “Fascist” has served as a generic term of political abuse for many decades, but for the first time in ages, mainstream observers are using it seriously to describe major politicians and parties.

Fascism is associated most closely with Europe between the world wars, when movements bearing this name took power in Italy and Germany and wreaked havoc in many other European countries.  Although fascists differed from country to country, they shared a virulent opposition to democracy and liberalism, as well as a deep suspicion of capitalism.  They also believed that the nation—often defined in religious or racial terms—represented the most important source of identity for all true citizens.  And so they promised a revolution that would replace liberal democracy with a new type of political order devoted to nurturing a unified and purified nation under the guidance of a powerful leader.

Although today’s right-wing populists share some similarities with the interwar fascists, the differences are more significant.  And more important, what today’s comparisons often fail to explain is how noxious politicians and parties grow into the type of revolutionary movements capable of fundamentally threatening democracy, as interwar fascism did.  In order to understand this process, it is not nearly enough to examine the programs and appeal of right-wing extremist parties, the personalities of their politicians, or the inclinations of their supporters.  Instead, one must carefully consider the broader political context.  What turned fascists from marginal extremists into rulers of much of Europe was the failure of democratic elites and institutions to deal with the crises facing their societies during the interwar years.  Despite real problems, the West today is confronting nowhere near the same type of breakdown it did in the 1930s.  So calling Le Pen, Trump, and other right-wing populists “fascists” obscures more than it clarifies.

Let us focus on the line "So calling Le Pen, Trump, and other right-wing populists “fascists” obscures more than it clarifies."

What do we gain from obscuring rather than clarifying?  To answer my own question—nothing.

Regards  —  Cliff

DOJ Meddling in Elections

For John, BLUFI thought it was just Bush and Stevens.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Announcing an investigation days before an election, or going after someone who is running and then having your prosecutors disciplined for misconduct seems tacky, regardless of who is the victim, or which is their party.  The Clinton Campaign is crying foul over this latest action by FBI Director Comey.  But, they are not the only campaign to so suffer.  This Sunday blog post from The Lid, by Jeff Dunetz, talks to the history of this kind of thing.

Is it time for the first verse of Don't Cry for Me Argentina?  The Madonna version?

It won't be easy
You'll think it strange
When I try to explain how I feel
That I still need your love
After all that I've done
You won't believe me
All you will see is a girl
You once knew
Although she's dressed up
To the nines
At sixes and sevens with you
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Disrespecting Kapparot

For John, BLUFOur rights, under the Bill of Rights, need to be defended.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is a 20 October article from National Review, written by Mr Howard Slugh.

The subject is the Jewish ritual of Kapparot.

Here are the first three paragraphs:

For too long, believers have ignored warnings signs that their rights were under siege.  ‘That should not happen in America,” exclaimed a left-leaning friend of mine upon hearing that a federal judge had prohibited some Jewish Californians from engaging in a ritual that Jews have performed for thousands of years.  Unfortunately, it did happen in America, and it is not an isolated event.  It is part of what Supreme Court justice Samuel Alito has described as an “ominous” trend that should cause “great concern” to “those who value religious freedom.”

In United Poultry Concerns v. Chabad of Irvine, a group of chickens’-rights activists petitioned a federal judge to prohibit a California Jewish organization, Chabad of Irvine, from engaging in Kapparot, a Jewish ritual.  This tradition is associated with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, and involves symbolically casting off one’s sins.  Some Jews, including the defendants in this case, symbolically “transfer” their sins to live chickens. The chickens are then killed and, typically, donated to needy families.

The judge initially granted the plaintiffs’ request and prohibited the Chabad rabbi, Alter Tenenbaum, from engaging in the ritual use of live chickens.  Eventually the judge lifted the ban, but only after it was already too late for Chabad to perform the ritual this year.  The damage had been done and can never be entirely remedied.  That a federal judge granted such a ban highlights a disturbing trend currently playing out in America’s public and legal understandings of religious liberty.  I have written about how foes of religious liberty seek to re-categorize that liberty as an indulgence, doled out at the discretion and convenience of the majority, rather than a fundamental right that may be denied only in rare and exceptional cases. That desire is manifest in this case.

It reminds me of that line from Pastor Martin Niemöller, "Als sie die Juden holten," ("When they came for the Jews…").

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Michael Moore Advantaged by Citizens United

For John, BLUFThe Left finally has a use for the SCOTUS Decision in Citizens United.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The link is to Reason Magazine and the Reporter is Mr Ed Krayewski.  The dateline is 18 October.

Here is the sub-headline:

Moore can also be honest about the point of his film now that the Supreme Court has freed him to do so.
Here is the lede plus two.

Director Michael Moore announced last night that he would be releasing a new film, Michael Moore in Trumpland, calling it his "October Surprise" and offering free tickets on a first come, first serve basis for the debut in New York City tonight.

The film is about Moore's attempt to put on a one-man show at the Midland Theater in Newark, Ohio and how theater management "prevented him from taking the stage as they deemed him too controversial," according to Deadline.

Moore bills the film as one "Ohio Republicans tried to shut down." On September 26, he wrote on Medium for the first time about his "October surprise," revealing the one-man show he was trying to put on a live one man show about "this crazy Presidential race" and film it. He wrote that his plans "got dealt a death blow by the Republicans of Licking County, Ohio," saying his team got a call from theater management that said that "the community board that oversees the theater has voted not to allow Michael Moore to perform his how here" and were declining the rental.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Funny we haven't heard more about this.  No pun intended.

"That They May Repent"

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

From this weekend our First Reading is from the Book of Wisdom (WIS 11:22-12:2)
Before the LORD the whole universe is as a grain from a balance
or a drop of morning dew come down upon the earth.
But you have mercy on all, because you can do all things;
and you overlook people's sins that they may repent.
For you love all things that are
and loathe nothing that you have made;
for what you hated, you would not have fashioned.
And how could a thing remain, unless you willed it;
or be preserved, had it not been called forth by you?
But you spare all things, because they are yours,
O LORD and lover of souls,
for your imperishable spirit is in all things!
Therefore you rebuke offenders little by little,
warn them and remind them of the sins they are committing,
that they may abandon their wickedness and believe in you, O LORD!
I like this reading from the Book of Wisdom, where the writer points out that God loves all things and loathes nothing.  It is a reading of hope.  It say that everyone is redeemable.  It is a passage that gives me hope.

The rest of the readings follow along, including the Psalm (PS 145:1-2, 8-9, 10-11, 13, 14), the Second Reading, from The Second Letter to the Thessalonians (2 THES 1:11-2:2) and the Gospel (LK 19:1-10), about the tax collector, Zacchaeus.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Notwithstanding those who suggest a quarter of the voters are unredeemable.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Where is the Election Going

For John, BLUFThis is not a formal or scientific poll.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The admonition is:
Remember, the question isn’t who you want to win, it’s who you think will win.
This was the results at about 2030 this evening:

Sort of like my informal poll at various Longhorn Restaurants, which has Mr Trump leading.

Over at the Ann Althouse Blog we have a different version.  The question is who do you think Professor Althouse will vote for, and, as a supplemental question, how did you get to your conclusion.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tom Hayden (RIP)

For John, BLUFA Leftist, with all that conveys.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here his how Mr Ron Radosh, writing for Pajamas Media starts his 26 October appreciation of the late Tom Hayden:
The death of Tom Hayden last Sunday at the age of 76 produced obituaries and tributes in scores of newspapers throughout the United States, as well as notices of his passing on major network news programs.  In the 1960s, Hayden helped define and popularize Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), which garnered support on many college campuses.  It was Hayden who made the phrase “participatory democracy” popular, by which he and the original author of the phrase, philosopher Arnold Kaufman, meant that individuals should have decision-making power in all decisions that affect their lives.  A new politics, Hayden believed, would lead to “common participation” and put an end to apathy and the meaningless, corrupt politics of the mainstream political parties.
That didn't work out very well.

In the end, Mr Hayden was a Progressive, more interested in international Left Wing regimes than in the participation of Americans in their own democracy.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thoughts on Why Director Comey Moved

For John, BLUFWhatever one does, it is wrong.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Today, on Power Line, Mr Paul Mirengoff looks at the FBI reopening the Hillary Clinton EMail Server issue.  The trigger for this appears to have been the investigation of Mr Anthony Weiner and his sexting with a 15 year old.  The examination of computers revealed additional Department of State EMails.

The question is why would Director Comey reopen this wound?

There are three related reasons why Comey would nonetheless reopen the investigation now.  First, he may have been under intense pressure from within his agency to do so.

Second, he may have wanted to insulate himself from criticism for taking sides.  Imagine the abuse Comey would have taken if he had waited until after the election to reopen the investigation.  Imagine the fallout if FBI agents or officials leaked word that Comey was waiting until after the election to investigate.

Third, it may be that Comey is trying to fashion some sort of compromise in the way his agency presents this scandal to voters.  His initial approach had compromise written all over it:  Don’t throw the FBI’s weight into the election so strongly as to indict the Democratic nominee for president, but provide voters with damning facts uncovered in the investigation — something the FBI almost never does in a case where there is no indictment.

The thing is, as Joe Klein says, "if you walked into a Hollywood studio pitching this plot, they’d throw you out the door.”

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, October 28, 2016

Insurrection?  Really?

For John, BLUFDrivel, but front page drivel.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Now there is an ambiguous headline.  Are they warning about others?  Or are they talking about themselves?  When you get to the end, more the former than the latter.  I blame headline writers.  Clever, but dangerous.

The source is The Old Gray Lady and the Reporters are Ms Ashley Parker and Mr Nick Corasaniti.

The reporters deployed to six states, one of which was Florida and the rest more hinterland, including Colorado, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.  Those interviewed tended to be older, fifties and above.  In the article the last person mentioned was forty.  The thing is, the states look like ones with gun laws closer to the intent of the Second Amendment than would other states.  For example, Pennsylvania is the state which caused Presidential Candidate Barack Obama to quip about "bitter clingers, clinging to their guns and religion."  (You can find the full quote here, but you have to search for it—Control/Command F).

So what we have is a small number of people, willing to speak to reporters from the NYT, expressing concerns, after the past year of violence, that some people could get out of hand.  Who can blame them?

Here is the end of the article:

And Vicki Sanger, 40, of Grand Junction, Colo., said she had more practical concerns. “I would just be scared that Hillary would be impeached before she finishes her term,” she said.

But, Ms. Sanger added, she will accept the outcome on Election Day.  “I would absolutely respect the result and support the next president,” she said.  “Pray for the next president, whoever it is.”

I am with Miss Vicki.

And, I see this as just a feel good story for the Hillary supporters in the urban areas.  Reminds one of the line about Public Relations people with Press Credentials.  Or the new term, Presstitutes.

Hat tip to an anonymous correspondent.

Regards  —  Cliff

  That is to say, from a generation likely to be polite and respectful to members of the Fourth Estate.

Don't Make Enemies or You Could Be Condemned.

For John, BLUFThe support of the SPLC is one more indication of why people think the Main Stream Media is all fouled up.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

IT’S COME TO THIS:  Southern “Poverty” Law Center Lists Ayaan Hirsi Ali as “Anti-Muslim Extremist.”

As Jonah Goldberg tweets, “What morons.  But the MSM will never stop treating them as an authoritative non-biased institution.”

UPDATE:  “Why is the SPLC more critical of Pamela Geller than the [people] who tried to kill her?  Talk about blaming the victim.”

Posted at 7:20 am by Ed Driscoll
The thing is, Somali born Ayaan Hirsi Ali has been expressing opinions about Islam which bring it into some sort of disrepute.  At one time a Member of the Lower House of the Dutch Parliament, in 2004, working with Videographer Theo van Gogh, she produced a short film titled Submission, about the oppression of women under Islam.  Theo van Gogh was brutally murdered in public for his role in the film. Ms Ali went into hiding and then came to the United States.

The assassin, Mr Mohammed Bouyeri, received a life sentence, the harshest punishment available under Dutch Law.  He is Mr Bouyeri's view on things:

Serving as witness in another court case involving the Hofstad Network in May 2007, Bouyeri stated that armed jihad was the only option of Muslims in the Netherlands and that democracy was always a violation of Islam because laws cannot be produced by humans but only by Allah.  Six years after the assassination, in a letter to a Muslim group in Belgium, he wrote that he had no regret killing Van Gogh.
So, the SPLC is down on a woman who worries about oppression in Islam and whose film production parter was brutally murdered by a man, in the name of Islam.  A man who thinks that democracy is always a violation of Islam.  The conclusion can only be that the SPLC thinks democracy is bad and those who object to what they see as oppression within Islam, or in external manifestations thereof are evil racists.

So, basically, the SPLC is as messed up as Hogan's goat.

I guess my rejection of the SPLC and what it stands for is one of the reasons I am part of the basket of deplorables.

Maybe we will all start to come together again, on 9 November.


Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Pamela Geller
SPLC, which at one time listed Dr Ben Carson as an extremist.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Exit question.  If you are a Muslim are you inherently of a different race, even if your forebearers were Caucasian?  Think the Balkans.  For the 2020 Census there could be a new category in the selections for Race or Ethnic Group.

Regards  —  Cliff

Trump Molding Democratic Party Line

For John, BLUFYes, Mr Trump is causing Democrats to do mental gymnastics.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from The Federalist and the author is Mr Daniel Payne, a senior contributor at the magazine.

Here is the sub-headline:

Whether liberals really hate Donald Trump more than they love their supposed convictions, or their convictions [are] all pretense, it’s hard to say.
The article lists six areas where what the Progressives say today differs from what they used to say.

This raises the question:

What core value or belief will Trump cause liberals to abandon next?  There’s still a few weeks left yet.  Soon he may have them denouncing gay marriage and top marginal tax rates of 91 percent!
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Mr Payne runs the blog Trial of the Century.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Honesty in Government

For John, BLUFRemember, the coverup is worse than the crime.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

A couple of Marines look at the Department of Justice action with regard to handling of classified at War on the Rocks.

The Bottom Line is that General Cartwright and General Petraeus were not fully frank and honest with the FBI, which is a bigger sin than any other, in the eyes of the FBI.  The authors suggest that the actual case with regard to the handling of classified information wouldn't have held up (or in fact fell apart) in court.

Fortunately for Mrs Clinton, she just couldn't remember the answers to the questions.  She forgot.

As an aside, should the FBI be allowed to prosecute you for lying to its agents, while those agents are allow to lie to you?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Yes, one is retired, but once a Marine, always a Marine.

New Proposal for Term Limits

For John, BLUFThis campaign most of the medial are, in fact, public relations people for Democrats.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The person asking this question is Academy Award Nominated screen writer and mystery author Roger L Simon.

His plan is to give aspiring reporters a trial period and then separate them into two groups, either real journalists or flacks (public relations people).

Seems fair to me.

UPDATE:  It appears that some at Trump Rallies are calling members of the Media "Presstitutes".  Apparently it isn't just Roger Simon and myself.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

As Goes Canada, So Goes the Nation

For John, BLUFActually, the old line was "as goes Maine, so goes the nation, but this is an update for this year.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

It is Canada, so a few local quirks re language:
by election
a one-off the normal schedule, like to fill a vacancy in the legislature created by death or resignation.
This is a Britishism for the local district.
The source is the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the Reporter is Mr David Bell, reporting on the 25 of October.  The sub-headline is "Conservative Glen Motz thanks Trudeau after winning Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner byelection".  That would be Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a member of the Liberal Party, whose father had also been Prime Minister, back in the day.  The aforementioned Glen Motz, MP, is a member of the opposition party.  The electoral district is Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner, which replaced the former Medicine Hat, in the province of Alberta.

Here is the lede plus one in the story:

Conservative candidate Glen Motz was full of gratitude for the prime minister after taking the Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner byelection Tuesday evening.

"I want to thank Justin Trudeau," Motz said in a victory speech.

Yes, thanking the national leader of the opposition is a way of rubbing it in.

It is also an indication of a swing to a more conservative voting public.

"The activity in our campaign absolutely spiked the day he arrived," he said, referring to a recent visit to the riding by Trudeau to support Liberal candidate Stan Sakamoto.

Motz took 69.9 per cent (21,355) of the vote with Sakamoto receiving 25.6 per cent (8,778 votes).

The NDP candidate, Beverly Ann Waege, received 353 votes (1.0 per cent) roughly half of the votes cast for Rod Taylor of the Christian Heritage Party, who got 702 votes (2.0 per cent).

Turnout out of 76,911 registered voters was 44.54 per cent.

There you have an indication of how voters are thinking in the "fly over" part of Canada, and maybe in the "fly over" part of the US.

Hat tip to a friend of mine.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, October 24, 2016

Britain is Going Solo

For John, BLUFThe Europeans could make some tragic errors if they decide to "punish" the Brits for Brexit.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the web magazine War on the Rocks, and the pen of Mr Luis Simón, Research Professor at the Institute for European Studies (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) and Director of the Brussels office of the Royal Elcano Institute.  He has a PhD in International Relations from the University of London (Royal Holloway College). A quick history of Britain and Europe from the middle 1700s to today and a discussion of what the departure of Britain from the European Union (EU) via Brexit might mean.

Regards  —  Cliff

More on Voter Fraud

For John, BLUFVoter Fraud is a real thing, but it is not yet a major thing.  This isn't Venezuela, after all.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This article is from The new York Times, for 21 October 2016.  The Reporter is Mr Michel Wines.

This is the standard Democratic Party pitch that voter fraud is not a thing.  And, that it is a dog whistle for Republicans. On the other hand, while it cites a couple of studies it doesn't address things like Mrs Clinton's Campaign Chairman, John Podesta, calling for illegals to be registered to vote.  Doesn't that seem irregular?

It does claim that Republicans who call for ID to vote are trying to suppress the vote of minorities and the poor, since these folks supposedly don't have suitable IDs.

The notion of widespread fraud has also become a potent political weapon: Since 2010, 16 states have placed new identification requirements on voting in the name of security. Increasingly, they have required voters to produce proof of identification that young, poor and minority voters — often Democrats — disproportionately lack.
That is actually something of a mystery to me.  I know I have to show an ID of some sort (sometimes a bank card) to transact a lot of business at my bank.  I need an ID when I go into a Doctor's Office or to pick up certain drugs.  And, I need an ID to drive (legally).  The poor, receiving Food Stamps could have a photo ID given to them when they sign up for Food Stamps.  Others could be given a photo ID at Motor Vehicle Offices or their local Town or City Hall, at no cost.  Isn't that what Wisconsin does?

It seems to me that providing everyone with an ID is a Government responsibility.  Not misplacing your ID seems to be an individual responsibility.

The other side of this is that there are a lot of fake IDs floating around.  If that is the case, why can't the Government provide real IDs for all people?

I think that this ID requirement as a suppression of the vote meme is really a case of Government at all levels failing to help its citizens become part of the economic engine known as the United States.

Of course Mr Trump is not the only Presidential Candidate to warn about voter fraud.

By the way, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has a Voter ID Law, but it is worded so that if it is applied to one person in the voting location it must be applied to all.  So, where I vote, since most voters are known to the Poll Workers, it is dispensed with.  That said, they are very careful to mark me down when I get a ballot and when I check out.  Good Job, poll workers of Ward 1, Percent 3.

Hat tip to my Brother Lance, who sometimes Comments at this Blog.

Regards  —  Cliff

  I walked into Santander bank a couple of years ago and they had a sign up saying some transactions would require two identifications.  I could produce five government issued IDs, but I am just lucky (and one, while a photo ID, is expired).
  Retired Military (Photo) ID, Mass Driver License, UMass Lowell Student ID, City of Lowell Employee ID and US National Archives ID.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Mr Biden on Mr Trump

For John, BLUFIt is OK if Democrats talk ruff, but not for Republicans.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The author is Mr Harper Neidig.  Mostly, it is a video.

I guess this is just the Vice President being the Vice President, like Manny being Manny.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Michael Moore on Voting on 8 November

For John, BLUFSorry, but I don't see taking voting advice from Mr M Moore.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The source is Mediaite and the writer is Mr Sam Reisman.  The dateline is 21 October 2016.

And here is the lede:

Oscar-winning documentarian-provocateur Michael Moore said in an interview with Rolling Stone published Friday that anyone choosing to vote for Trump was effectively a “legal terrorist” because they were participating in an act that would “blow up the system.”
The thing that I find interesting is that Mr Michael Moore has been trying to "blow up the system" for years and years.  So, I guess this is expert testimony.

On the other hand, Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is likely to crash the system.  We need change and she does not represent change.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday Readings at Mass

For John, BLUFI just like the wisdom of Joshua son of Sirach.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is the First Reading for this Sunday, Sir 35:12-14, 16-18.
The LORD is a God of justice,
who knows no favorites.
Though not unduly partial toward the weak,
yet he hears the cry of the oppressed.
The Lord is not deaf to the wail of the orphan,
nor to the widow when she pours out her complaint.
The one who serves God willingly is heard;
his petition reaches the heavens.
The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds;
it does not rest till it reaches its goal,
nor will it withdraw till the Most High responds,
judges justly and affirms the right,
and the Lord will not delay.
This is from the Book of Sirach, or sometimes called The Wisdom of Sirach, and also known as the Book of Ecclesiasticus (not to be confused with Ecclesiastes).

I like the point, made early on, that God "knowns no favorites."  And, that he is "not unduly partial toward the weak".  However, as the Psalm Reading say, "The Lord hears the cry of the poor".  But he hears the cry of each of us, as we seek him.

Here are all the readings for this Sunday.

Regards  —  Cliff

  This is the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Times.
  PS 34:2-3, 17-18, 19, 23.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court 25 Years

For John, BLUFThere is accepted orthodoxy and those who sail against it are shunned.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Surpisingly, it is The Washington Post.  The author is Lawyer Mark Paoletta.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Rich Going for Hillary—NYT

For John, BLUFAnd Sam Poulten wants to further restrict alternative views?  We will never understand this election, based on the MSM.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This stunning piece of news was brought to us by Reporter Robert Frank, of The Old Gray Lady.  The dateline is today, 22 October 2016.

Here is the lede plus one:

For the first time in decades, the wealthy are set to deliver a landslide victory for a Democratic presidential candidate.

While polling data on the rich is imprecise given their small population, polls of the top-earning households favor Hillary Clinton over Donald J. Trump two to one.  The July Affluent Barometer survey by Ipsos found that among voters earning more than $100,000 a year — roughly the top 25 percent of households — 45 percent said they planned to vote for Mrs. Clinton, while 28 percent planned to vote for Mr. Trump.  The rest were undecided or planned to vote for another candidate.

Given that the wealthy are such a small percent of the population, I am not sure they are going to "deliver" anything, but the fact is, they do see Mrs Clinton as their candidate.  The reporter tries to spin it that it is because they dislike Mr Trump, but it appears to me that it is because Mrs Clinton favors Wall Street.  Mr Trump, on the other hand, is not so predictable.  He may actually want to follow through on promises to the rust belt and to inner city Black communities.

Here is how the reporter [mis]frames it:

Mr. [Andrew] Gelman said the wealthy naturally favored policies that favor them, and Republican staples like lower taxes and smaller government were preferable than larger government and redistribution of wealth.  “They support policies that benefit their group, because in their view, those are the best policies and best ideas,” he said.
The main stream media continue to miss the story, continue to miss what is going on.

Hat tip to Memeorandum.

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, October 21, 2016

Battle of Trafalgar Anniversary

For John, BLUFThe US was another big winner at Trafalgar, without committing a sailor to the fight.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Independent TV (UK) we have video of the ceremony, and this cutline:
A poignant ceremony was held on board HMS Victory to mark the 211th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar.
Here is the Blog Post from Ace of Spades, with this quote from Lord Nelson, the British Admiral in charge:
No captain can do very wrong if he places his ship alongside that of the enemy.
The important thing to remember is that the Battle of Trafalgar (21 October 1805) limited Bonaparte and his French forces to the Continent and thus prevented an invasion of England, and thus helped ensure the growth of freedom and democracy.  If the British had lost at Trafalgar today would be 30 Vendémiaire CCXXV and not 21 October 1016.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Farther Left on WikiLeaks

For John, BLUFcould City Life be the last beacon of a free press?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

No, not Fox News, nor is it the Trump Campaign.  It is Nation of Change, the on line partner of Democracy Now.  The author is Mr Jay Syrmopoulos and the dateline is yesterday, the 20th.

Here is the money quote:

The fact that most of the newsworthy information contained in the emails is not being reported by the corporate media is indicative of the incestuous relationship between the mainstream media and the Clinton campaign – and is on full display in the Podesta emails.
As for the ten most damning EMails, they are listed, with internet links.

Interesting stuff.

Even if Mrs Clinton were to govern with the best of intentions, Governments being what they are, the lack of transparency, the lack of the Free Press doing its job, could lead us down some seriously bad rabbit holes.

UPDATE:  The Link was missing and is now in place.

Regards  —  Cliff

Rigged Elections

For John, BLUFI think Professor Carter may be a Democrat.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The author is Yale Law Professor Stephen L Carter, and the source is Bloomberg.

Here is the penultimate paragraph:

The partisan will insist that all of the cases I have mentioned are different from the current political moment.  Black voters were intimidated in the South 1876.  The Supreme Court did put an end to the Florida recount in 2000.  But such nuances miss the point.  The principal charge against Trump is that merely suggesting the possibility of unfairness in the election outcome constitutes an offense against our democracy.  If that’s so, then lots of us are guilty.
But, of course this time is different.

I do think Law Prof Glenn Reynolds is on to something when he says Mr Trump runs like a Republican, but campaigns like a Democrat, which isn't fair on his part.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Another Look at Voter Fraud

For John, BLUFDemocrats deny voter fraud, except when they trumpet it.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

But, that is OK, I guess, because Russ Feingold is a Democrat.

This is from the Blog of University of Wisconsin Madison Law Professor Ann Althouse.  Former Senator Russ Feingold is from Wisconsin.

The cause of the Blog Post was Mr Trump saying that he would not, at this time, commit to the results of the election on 8 November.

There is this quip from the Instapundit as he linked to the Althouse Blog Post:

Then there is this item in The Federalist, yesterday, "8 Times Liberals Claimed An Election Was Stolen Or Rigged".  As an aside, one of the noted articles has the Governor's name as Huey Long.  It is Huey P Long.

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

WikiLeaks Points A Finger

For John, BLUFThere is a lot going on there.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Green Party Candidate Jill Stein isn't all wrong here.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Is the System Rigged?

For John, BLUFOf course it is.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

A short, succinct, blog post from the InstaPundit.  Professor Reynolds writes:
THAT’S FUNNY, BECAUSE THE WIKILEAKS DOCUMENTS DEMONSTRATE THAT THE PRIMARY WAS:  Clinton campaign fires back: ‘The system is not rigged.’
Note that when folks say "Rigged" some think about rigged voting, but others, more subtle in their thinking, look to how the press is played or plays and how that impacts the perceptions of the voters before they ever show up to vote.  Without the truth, without a free press reporting the truth, the system is, in fact, rigged.  Thus, the importance of a free and open internet and the importance of the Federal Elections Commission and the Federal Communications Commission keeping their collective hands off what is broadcast.

If it wasn't so bad it would be funny.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Worst President

For John, BLUFThis year isn't really the worst year.  The election of 1856 gave us President James Buchanan and the US Civil War.  Abe was left to pick up the pieces.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Worst. President. Ever.:  James Buchanan, the POTUS Rating Game, and the Legacy of the Least of the Lesser Presidents.  A book written by Mr Robert Strauss.  This is a Wharton Business School interview with the author.

Here are a couple of excerpts.

Knowledge@Wharton: But for Buchanan it was pretty much bad thing after bad thing?

Strauss:  From day one. I don’t try to bring too many parallels to this election, but he was sort of the leftover Democrat.  He was the most experienced man ever to run for president.  He had been a state legislator in Pennsylvania, congressman, senator, secretary of state, ambassador to Russia, ambassador to Great Britain. A lot of experience.  But still when he ran, he was sort of just the next guy in line.

Does that remind you of anyone running in the current race?
Knowledge@Wharton:  Does it surprise you now that we have two presidential candidates that have disapproval ratings in the 60% range?

Strauss:  Yes and no.  In doing this book I studied the 1856 election, which was a much more bizarre election.  The Whig party had dissipated. There had been a Whig president in 1853, only three years before.  This new party, the Republican party, starts and they nominate a celebrity, much the same as today: John Fremont.  He was the pathfinder.  He was the guy who mapped out the west with Kit Carson.  He wrote journals.

His young bride, she was 17 when they got married, was Jessie Benton, the daughter of the most prominent Democratic senator, Thomas Benton.  She gussies up the journals and is sort of the Kris Kardashian to his Bruce Jenner.  She makes him a celebrity.  She knows everybody in Washington. Everything gets publicized, so he runs for president on this new Republican party. Then there’s a thing called the Know Nothing party.  Can you imagine an election where somebody calls themselves the Know Nothing party? They were anti-immigrants.  That election is bizarre enough that it sort of compares to the current day.

Does that remind you of anyone?

If those descriptions don't ring a bell you haven't been paying attention.

But, that doesn't excuse you from registering (in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by COB Wednesday, on line, by mail or in person at City Hall) and then, on Tuesday, 8 November, voting.  It is a civic duty.  If the person who wins turns out to be the "wrong person" then it is on you (and me).  So, vote.  Don't let someone turn to you and say, "If only you had bothered to vote."

Regards  —  Cliff

Justice Messed Up

For John, BLUFYou should never lie to the person doing your Poly (Polygraph), the Priest hearing your confession (he could be another Father John Vianny or a Padre Pio) or Government Officials (but look for them to lie to you).  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from the AP, yesterday, and the Reporters are Messrs Sam Hananel and Eric Tucker.  The lede plus three:

A former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff pleaded guilty Monday to making false statements during an investigation into a leak of classified information about a covert cyberattack on Iran's nuclear facilities.

Retired Marine Gen. James Cartwright entered the plea at a hearing before U.S. District Judge Richard Leon, convened just a few hours after the Justice Department announced the charges.

The plea ends a Justice Department investigation that began after the 2012 leak to reporters of information about use of a computer virus called Stuxnet that disabled equipment the Iranians were using to enrich uranium.

The offense carries a maximum of five years in prison, but under a plea agreement, the government is recommending a sentence in the range of zero to six months.  Cartwright is scheduled to be sentenced on January 17, and it will be up to Leon to decide the sentence.

First Off:  I think it is wrong that we have a law that says it is a crime to lie to a Federal Official (what is sworn testimony for, after all), but it is perfectly legal for a Federal Official to lie to your average citizen.  Those folks on Capitol Hill need to change this.  And they should have changed it years ago, like when Mr Scooter Libby was jacked up over the disclosure of the CIA status of Ms Valerie Plame, when he was not actually connected to the actual crime.  Shame.

Secondly:  I really don't see General Cartwright as doing something egregious with regard to national security, not like Mrs Hillary Clinton and her unsecured homebrew server.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Reading the People Wrong

For John, BLUFThe Elites just don't understand, nor do they sympathize with, the great unwashed out in the fly over states.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Guardian, on Thursday, the 13th, by Reporter Sara Smarsh.  Here is the sub-headline:
Trump supporters are not the caricatures journalists depict – and native Kansan Sarah Smarsh sets out to correct what newsrooms get wrong
Ms Smarsh is no Trump fan, but she is also not a fan of the elite media, which judges the people in the hinterlands without understanding them.  Thus, her final paragraph.

If you would stereotype a group of people by presuming to guess their politics or deeming them inferior to yourself – say, the ones who worked third shift on a Boeing floor while others flew to Mexico during spring break; the ones who mopped a McDonald’s bathroom while others argued about the minimum wage on Twitter; the ones who cleaned out their lockers at a defunct Pabst factory while others drank craft beer at trendy bars; the ones who came back from the Middle East in caskets while others wrote op-eds about foreign policy – then consider that you might have more in common with Trump than you would like to admit.
This story follows in the thread of a previous post at this Blog, The Other People.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, October 14, 2016

The Other People

For John, BLUFI think we are on the margin between urban and hinterland.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The source is Cracked, not your normal source for political insight.  The author is David Wong, who was born and grew up in Lawrenceville, Illinois.

See, political types talk about "red states" and "blue states" (where red = Republican/conservative and blue = Democrat/progressive), but forget about states.  If you want to understand the Trump phenomenon, dig up the much more detailed county map.
If you look at the election map by Counties rather than by States you get a new picture.  What you see is:

Blue islands in an ocean of red.  The cities are less than 4 percent of the land mass, but 62 percent of the population and easily 99 percent of the popular culture.  Our movies, shows, songs, and news all radiate out from those blue islands.
So, while the majority rules, the people remaining in those red areas feel they are not part of the success of the nation.  Large numbers of them reject the values found among people living in urban areas.  And they support Mr Trump.

The question is, are there others, in Urban areas, who also support Mr Trump?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Deploring Bad Judgment

For John, BLUFSee, Democrats can think for themselves.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

It is The Washington Examiner and the Reporter is Mr Ashe Schow. He is talking about two women, one of whom is DC Democratic Party Shadow Rep, Ms Eleanor Holmes Norton.  Rep Norton said:
That line, about half of somebody's supporters being deplorables, was maybe the worst line I've ever heard in politics.  You never — even when you're running against a bunch of racists, you never take off against the voters. It was a politics 101 foible.
Would we say it was deplorable?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Avoid the Whiteness of Starbucks

For John, BLUFNot everything out of egg-headville is good.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Up North, in Canada, Ms Margaret Wente writes for The Globe and Mail.

I don't like lattes, so I don't care, but Ms Wente's deeper issue is the fact that people write "academic papers" on this kind of thing.  Academic papers that involve our sons and daughters wasting their time on this kind of thing.  Academic papers that soak up resources that could be put to good use.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Old Razzle Dazzle

For John, BLUFThe good news is that the election is less than 30 days away.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is the response by New York Times OpEd Writer Maureen Dowd (MoDo to her fans) on the "Fox News Sunday" show yesterday.  The question came from Anchor Chris Wallace, who asked her how much damage Hillary Clinton will suffer from the leaked speeches she gave to Wall Street insiders.
I think it would have been lethal during the primaries, but now not so much because, you know, in many ways, she is the GOP candidate.  She's the one who cuddles up to hedge funds, and she's the shill of Wall Street.  So, it's only what we already knew.
I guess the quip about Mrs Clinton being the GOP candidate is correct, if you view the GOP as being the way the Democrats portray it.  On the other hand, you have the Republicans going into Black neighborhoods, telling the folks they are oppressed, by the Democrats.

At Professor Althouse's Blog Post we have a comment that links to Razzle Dazzle, from the Show Chicago.  One line is, "How can they hear the truth above the roar?"

But, let's give Chris Wallace (almost) the last word, in which he commented to his show panel:

[T]here was also a passage in one of her big money speeches in which Clinton invokes Lincoln fighting for the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery and saying, you need both a public and a private position.  This goes to the core, as I was talking to Maureen, about what people don't trust about this woman.
Exit question:  Do you think Mrs Clinton is like President Lincoln?

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

A Strange Glow

For John, BLUFYou won't see this with a helo flying over Lowell.

The Kopp-Etchells Effect.

Michael Yon.

The photos at the link are pretty neat, but I am not reproducing them due to unknown copyright rules.  That is, are they in the public domain or do they belong to Michael, or to someone to whom Michael sold the rights?

Regards  —  Cliff