The EU

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

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Mass General Court Senate in Turmoil

For John, BLUFUp North here we just don't get any respect.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Boston Globe, by Analyst Matt Stout, 31 March 2018.

And no mention of Eileen leaving.

That is pretty clueless.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, March 30, 2018

The AR-15 is not the Culprit

For John, BLUFOnce we make the AR-15 go away and nothing much changes, then what?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Check Your Facts, a product of The Daily Caller News Foundation, by Mr Kush Desai, 29 March 2018.

Here is the lede plus:

Parkland student Kyle Kashuv claimed in a Monday tweet that “hammers and fists” are used to kill more people than AR-15s.
The AR-15 is most widely owned rifle in America, owned by at least 10 million people, and is used less times per year to kill people than hammers and fists are used to kill people according to the FBI. Also, according to DHS, handguns are the weapon of choice for mass shooters.

— Kyle Kashuv (@KyleKashuv) March 26, 2018

“The AR-15 … is used less times per year to kill people than hammers and fists are used to kill people,” he tweeted.

Verdict:  True

The FBI reports that more people are killed each year using blunt objects or “personal weapons” (fists, hands or feet) than are killed using rifles. Rifles are used in a small fraction of gun homicides.

So, we are again back to the need to sort out the violent from the masses of people and to ensure they get mental health help.

And to resisting bullying in school and in encouraging natural fathers to be real Fathers.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Some Democrats Awake to Bad Data on Voting

For John, BLUFIf you have the wrong data it is easy to draw the wrong conclusions.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Old Gray Lady, by Columnist Thomas B. Edsall, 29 March 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

Crucial disputes over Democratic strategy concerning economic distribution, race and immigration have in large part been based on Election Day exit polls that now appear to have been inaccurate in key ways.

According to subsequent studies, those polls substantially underestimated the number of Democratic white working-class voters — many of whom are culturally conservative — and overestimated the white college-educated Democratic electorate, a far more culturally liberal constituency.

Here is a key paragraph:
In sum, Pew’s more precise survey methods reveal that when Democrats are broken down by education, race and ethnicity, the white working class is the largest bloc of Democratic voters and substantially larger than the bloc of white college-educated Democratic voters.
I think this goes with a post yesterday, "Lack of Understanding", about an article "'Roseanne' Star Sandra Bernhard: Women Who Support Trump Unable To Think For Themselves".  Yes, the Progressive Wing of the Democratic Party wants to believe that they are the future and the future is college graduates and minorities, but in the here and now it just isn't so.  And, there is no promise that minorities will always vote Democrat.  As Democrats become more progressive and Hispanics crowd out Blacks, the more likely it is that the church-going portion of Blacks might slide toward Conservative candidates  Stranger things have happened.

Then there is the whole relative decline in males going to college, vs females.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  I am sure Mr Edsall does not realize that "White" is a term that should be replaced by 'Caucasian".  Just because Blacks wish to be called Black does not mean that all Caucasians wish to be called "White".  Time to stop offending people.

Phone Privacy

For John, BLUFI know, you think the Gov't already has all this info and are just looking for a legit way to disclose it.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Old Gray Lady, by Mr Charlie Savage, 24 March 2018.

Here is the lede plus two:

Federal law enforcement officials are renewing a push for a legal mandate that tech companies build tools into smartphones and other devices that would allow access to encrypted data in criminal investigations.

F.B.I. and Justice Department officials have been quietly meeting with security researchers who have been working on approaches to provide such “extraordinary access” to encrypted devices, according to people familiar with the talks.

Based on that research, Justice Department officials are convinced that mechanisms allowing access to the data can be engineered without intolerably weakening the devices’ security against hacking.

Well, except for what has been happening with Russiagate, where it seems the FBI and the larger DOJ have acted in ways unethical to violate the Fourth Amendment Rights of US Citizens.

Why would we think this technology wouldn't be abused?  Because Mr James Comey promised?  Please.

Regards  —  Cliff

Good Friday

For John, BLUFWhere are you celebrating Good Friday?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

It is amazing that, considering the events this day some 2000 years ago, that we would call it "Good Friday".

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Toxic Masculinity Examined

For John, BLUFSeeking a perfect world is destroying the one we have, which is quite good.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Pajama Media, by Ms Writer Sarah Hoyt, 29 March 2018.

Here is the lede plus four:

Screaming against masculinity and “toxic masculinity” is much in the news these days.  Some colleges have courses with that title, in which they devote their time to yelling at men for being men.

Some idiot or sociologist has created this concept that masculinity is “toxic” to civilized environments.

By the time I was in college, in the early eighties, we were inundated with texts on how men were not created for civilized life, how women were so much better as office workers, etc, and how men were “obsolete.”

This is by the way of being an idiocy on a par with the academic whom I heard state that biological gender didn’t exist.  (And before you get lost in the weeds of gender isn’t sex, yeah, because arguing over words has got us so far.  Also in English, there are two genders that apply to human beings, period.  So stow it.)  It might make some sense to say that psychological gender/sex doesn’t exist, that the amazing variety of gender behavior we see is all the result of gender conditioning and social.  Not that it makes sense per se and even the left obviously can’t square that circle.  But, by definition, you can lie with impunity about things that are inside people’s heads and invisible.  It’s much, much harder to deny the biology.  Biologically there are males and females, which for our species (but not all of them) are XY and XX.  Yes, sure there are intersex individuals, but claiming that because of a birth defect there is no biological sex/gender, is the same as arguing that because some kids are born without hands, it’s not normal for humans to have hands.  Defects don’t deny the matrix.

Why do I say even the left doesn’t believe it?  Because if the left believed that males and females are exactly alike, they would be horrified and offended by transgenders.  After all, why would you go through all the trouble of changing your body shape if it would be enough to behave however you wanted to?  How could your brain be a different sex from your body if all brains were alike?

And it goes on from there.  Yes, Ms Hoyt doesn't take much to the idea that the people who brought us civilization (men) are ruining civilization because of their toxic masculinity.

But, that doesn't mean that these projects against males will end, at least any time soon.  What Ms Hoyt thinks, however, is:

I don’t think there’s a happy ending.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  I tend to think that in Western Culture, at least, woman have played strong roles, even if only from the sidelines.  You don't get a Queen Boadicea from some woman without a sense of who she is.

Lack of Understanding

For John, BLUFProgressive women want to shame other women into voting the way the progressive women think they should vote.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Real Clear Politics, posted by Mr Ian Schwartz, 28 March 2018.

Here is the lede plus two:

Sandra Bernhard talks to MSNBC's Ari Melber about reprising her role as Nancy Bartlett Thomas on the reboot of popular sitcom 'Roseanne' and the role Trump plays in dividing the family.  Bernhard said a lot of women have "compromised" and "given in" by getting married and unfortunately "don't have the luxury to think for themselves."  She said these women must be "under the thumb" of their husbands.

When asked about "white women for Trump," Bernhard is stumped and said she "can't understand it."

She said women Trump voters must have felt "inadequate" compared to someone as "educated" as Hillary Clinton and just couldn't have brought themselves to vote for someone superior to them.  Bernhard said all that Hillary has accomplished is "threatening" to a lot of women which turned them off to such a person.

So, the theory of Ms Sandra Bernhard, and Ms Hillary Clinton, is that if you are a woman and you voted for Mr Trump you aren't really an adult.  Sad, very sad.  That is, this kind of thinking.  Women who voted for Mr Trump were doing so to send a signal to the Democrats that those Democrats had lost their way.  Way too progressive.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Back to Paper Ballots

For John, BLUFThis is a move in the proper direction.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Boston Globe, a story by Mr Matt Viser, 19 February 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

Hoping to counter waves of Russian Twitter bots, fake social media accounts, and hacking attacks aimed at undermining American democracy, state election officials around the country are seizing on an old-school strategy: paper ballots.

In Virginia, election officials have gone back to a paper ballot system, as a way to prevent any foreign interference.  Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolfe this month ordered county officials to ensure new election equipment produces a paper record.  Georgia lawmakers are considering legislation to replace a touch-screen voting system with paper.

I am not sure how paper ballots will impact twitter bots or fake social media accounts, but in this time of Russiagate that is what passes for news reporting.

The good news is going back to paper ballots.  Kudos to the states that do it.

Incidentally, this is a theme that the InstaPundit hammers away at this frequently.

Regards  —  Cliff

White Rose Remembered

For John, BLUFNo, this is not a justification for Never Trumpism.  If anything, it is an appeal against Progressives and the terrible ideas they are bringing to the table.  And how free speech is suppressed on campus today in the US.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

To stand by silently, they claimed, was to be complicit in "the most horrible of crimes -- crimes that infinitely outdistance every human measure." To do nothing was to truckle to Hitler; and "every word that comes out of Hitler's mouth is a lie."

This is from The Boston Pilot, written by Mr George Weigel, 14 March 2018.

Because the Pilot says "PLEASE SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON SOCIAL MEDIA" I am posting the whole thing:

To stand by silently, they claimed, was to be complicit in "the most horrible of crimes -- crimes that infinitely outdistance every human measure."  To do nothing was to truckle to Hitler; and "every word that comes out of Hitler's mouth is a lie."

Seventy-five years ago last month, Sophie and Hans Scholl and their friend Christian Probst were executed by guillotine at Munich's Stadelheim Prison for high treason.  Their crime?  They were the leaders of an anti-Nazi student organization, the White Rose, and had been caught distributing leaflets at their university in the Bavarian capital; the leaflets condemned the Third Reich, its genocide of the Jews, and its futile war.

How did young people once active in the Hitler Youth come to recognize the evil of the Nazi regime and risk their lives to oppose it?

The 2005 Oscar-nominated film, Sophie Scholl:  The Final Days, offers a part of the answer.  The garish brutality of the Nazis, not least at its Nuremberg party rallies, was a first hint to serious young people that something was wrong here.  The White Rose youngsters were also thinkers, and studied Socrates, Plato, and Pascal under the tutelage of Kurt Huber, a philosophy professor who despised the Hitler regime.  The leaflets that were their primary resistance tool included references to Goethe, Aristotle, Schiller, and Lao Tzu -- further signs of deep and broad reading.

What you won't learn from the film, however, is that the triggering inspiration for their activism was the "Lion of Muenster," Archbishop Clemens von Galen, whose anti-Nazi preaching convinced the members of the White Rose that thought and discussion must give way to action.  So, between June 1942 and February 1943, the White Rose produced and distributed six leaflets urging others to nonviolent resistance against the Nazi regime.  To stand by silently, they claimed, was to be complicit in "the most horrible of crimes -- crimes that infinitely outdistance every human measure."  To do nothing was to truckle to Hitler; and "every word that comes out of Hitler's mouth is a lie."

The fourth pamphlet made a promise:  "We will not be silent. We are your bad consciences.  The White Rose will not leave you in peace."  And therein lies a clue to another inspiration for the Scholls and their friends: John Henry Newman and his writings on conscience.

In Britain's Catholic Herald, Paul Shrimpton notes that the youngsters of the White Rose were deeply influenced by Augustine's Confessions and George Bernanos's Diary of a Country Priest.  But it was Newman's sermons, recommended to the White Rose students by a philosopher who had converted to Catholicism after reading Newman's Grammar of Assent, which prompted that fourth pamphlet with its call to heed the demanding voice of conscience.

Shrimpton reports that when Sophie Scholl's boyfriend, Fritz Hartnagel, was assigned to the Russian front in 1942, Sophie gave him two volumes of Newman's sermons.  He later wrote her that "we know by whom we are created, and that we stand in a relationship of moral obligation to our creator.  Conscience gives us the capacity to distinguished between good and evil" -- words, Shrimpton notes, that "were taken almost verbatim from a famous sermon of Newman's called 'The Testimony of Conscience.'"  On the witness stand before the notorious Nazi "People's Court" judge Rudolph Freisler, 21-year old Sophie Scholl testified that it was her conscience, and her Christian conviction, that had led her to nonviolent resistance against Hitler and his gangsters.  That Christian conscience, we now know, was formed in part by a serious intellectual and spiritual encounter with Blessed John Henry Newman.

There is a lot of talk in the Church these days about "conscience," and Newman is invoked by many prominent personalities in those debates.  So it might be useful for all concerned, including Church leaders in the Munich where the White Rose youngsters gave their lives for the truth, to ponder Newman's influence on these contemporary martyrs.

What did the members of the White Rose learn from Newman about conscience?  They learned that conscience could not be ignored or manipulated.  They learned that the voice of God speaking through our consciences sets before us what is life-giving and what is death-dealing.  They learned that conscience can be stern, but that in submitting to the truths it conveys, we are liberated in the deepest meaning of human freedom.

They learned that obedience to conscience can make us courageous, and that to strive to live an ideal with the help of grace is to live a truly noble life with an undivided heart.

George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.
Keep in mind the White Rose did not engage in bombings and attacking speakers.  It distributed flyers.

Freedom of speech, suppressed.  Heck we see that today on campuses across the nation.  It is just that we are not guillotining the offenders, but driving them from the marketplaces of ideas.  Well, and some get roughed up a bit.

Regards  —  Cliff


For John, BLUFYes, certain things need licenses and there should be some minimal training for certain non-standard tasks, or at least a test, but 1500 hours to be OK'd to shampoo hair is a little off the beam.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Michigan Capitol Confidential.

This is "Rent-Seeking", which is, per my Computer installed dictionary:

the fact or practice of manipulating public policy or economic conditions as a strategy for increasing profits:  cronyism and rent-seeking have become an integral part of the way our biggest companies do business.
Are we saying, through the actions of the Government of Michigan, that women don't know a good shampoo from a bad one and that they are not able to tell their friends about their experiences?

This is worse than rent-seeking.  It is passing laws because we believe that women are not capable of making normal rational judgments.

Shame on the Michigan Legislature.  Shame!  Shame!

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Courts as Boundaries

For John, BLUFA Federal Prosecutor without boundaries will soon flow his investigation to cover everything.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Courthouse News Service, by Mr Dan McCue, 28 March 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

A federal judge has denied Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s request for a protective order for materials gathered during discovery for the upcoming trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort in Alexandria, Virginia.

In a two-page order entered Wednesday morning, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III said Mueller’s request was “insufficiently specific in describing the information to be subject to the requested protective order, which is, in the circumstances, excessively broad.”

An interesting read and not too long.

The good news is that the courts are setting some limits on the ever spreading investigation of anyone involved in the Republican Presidential Campaign of 2016.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  I am surprised I haven't been swept up, given that I lead the Pledge of Allegiance when Candidate Trump visited the Tsongas Arena, here in Lowell.

Something Is Up

For John, BLUFIt is time to start looking around.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is a Blog Post at Althouse this afternoon, 28 March 2018:

It's quiet... too quiet.

"Why Is Trump So Quiet?/This might be the slowest period of news since the president took office—despite ample material to get him fired up" (The Atlantic).

Oh, that Trump. He's always up to something.

Posted by Ann Althouse at 4:07 PM 24 comments
Tags: President Trump

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

Patriot Missiles for Poland

For John, BLUFAnd about time.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Poland has signed an agreement to buy the Patriot missile defence system from the US, in a move that is likely to anger Russia.

This is an anonymous story from The Beeb, 28 March 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

President Andrzej Duda said the "historic" $4.75bn (£3.4bn) deal gave Poland "state-of-the-art" defences.

It follows reports that Russia had permanently deployed nuclear-capable missile systems in its territory of Kaliningrad, which borders Poland.

This is a culmination of efforts by the Obama Administration to help strengthen NATO defense in Eastern Europe.

Don't be silly.  President Obama scratched this deal while in Office and President Trump is the one executing a new deal.  It does raise questions as to the veracity and the sanity of folks like former CIA Director (and current talking head) John Brennan.

Hat tip to Jim Buba.

Regards  —  Cliff

Google Crushes

For John, BLUFFreedoms and Princciples surrendered for convenience as still lost.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Reuters, by Mr Jonathan Stempel, 27 March 2018.

The three key paragraphs:

In a decision late Monday, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh said a nonprofit run by conservative radio talk show host Dennis Prager failed to show that YouTube infringed its free speech rights by placing age restrictions on its content.

The plaintiff, Prager University, said YouTube’s “animus” toward its “political identity and viewpoint” led it to curb access to videos, including through its “Restricted Mode” setting, on such topics as abortion, gun rights, Islam and terrorism, despite its stated promise of neutrality.

But the judge said Google and YouTube, both units of Mountain View, California-based Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O), did not qualify as “state actors” subject to the First Amendment by creating a “public forum” for speech.

The only solution is the economic one.  Deny them profits by seeking alternative solutions where feasible.

UPDATE:  But, who am I to talk?  This is a Google platform I blog on and I use G-Mail for my License Commission business.  But, first things first.  I have to delete Facebook, where I have faced attempts at bullying.  I would have thought the ever thoughtful Progressives would eschew such activity.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Gun Control and The Second Amendment

For John, BLUFSince an "assault" weapons ban will not end shootings, over time the gun control folks will wish to further and further restrict gun ownership.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

I had been hearing about this on the news and traced it from InstaPundit to Hot Air and Cap't Ed Morrissey, back to the original Old Gray lady Opinion Piece by retired Supreme Court Justice, "John Paul Stevens: Repeal the Second Amendment".

So the former Justice wants us to repeal the Second Amendment.  What are the odds?  Not high.  Two-thirds of each House of Congress and approval by three-quarters of the states (38).  There are some variations, like having a Constitutional Convention, but basically it is hard.  There aren't that many Amendments.

The other thing is that if owning a gun is a natural right, then eliminating the Second Amendment won't change that.  Maybe a Constitutional Amendment saying that civilians shall not own weapons (guns, swords, knives?) should be the law of the land.

Then there is the question of who SHOULD have weapons.  The police, but perhaps not the cop on the beat.  Then there are all those other Federal (and State) agencies, as Forbes points out:

The number of non-military federal officers with arrest and firearm authority (200,000+) now exceeds the number of U.S. Marines (182,000).  Spending on guns, ammo and military-style equipment at 67 federal agencies – including 53 regulatory, administrative agencies amounted to $1.48 billion between 2006-2014.  The IRS gun-locker is an example of this growing federal firepower.  Nearly $11 million was spent on guns, ammo and military-style equipment for 2,316 ‘special agents’ during this period.  The IRS stockpile includes pump-action and semi-automatic shotguns with buckshot and slugs; and semi-automatic AR-15 rifles (S&W M&P 15) and military-style H&K 416 rifles.
Finally, how will this anti-gun stance work in November of this year, when we vote in a new House of Representatives and a third of the US Senate?

Exit question:  If you need to be 21 to purchase a gun, should you have to be 21 in order to exercise the right to vote?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Given that the police have no special responsibility to protect the individual, why should they be armed when we are defenseless?  It doesn't seem balanced and fair.

Bankruptcies and Health Care

For John, BLUFFor those who say one is entitled to one's opinions but not one's own facts, what happens when the facts change?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Washington Post and Ms Megan McArdle, 26 March 2018.

Back when we were considering health care reform (the outcome being "Obamacare") numbers were floating around suggesting half of bankruptcies were due to medical problems.  Turns out it may not be true.

And last week, the New England Journal of Medicine published a new estimate done by a team of health and labor economists.
The new study suggests the number is probably closer to 4%.

Yes, 4% is much less than 50%.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Hemp In Your Drink

For John, BLUFIndustrial hemp is not the same as cannabis, in the eyes of the Commonwealth Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



Here is the lede plus two:

On July 1, 2018, cannabis is expected to become legal for retail sale in Massachusetts.  The Commission issues this Advisory to inform the industry on the use of cannabis in alcoholic beverages in the Commonwealth.

Cannabinoid extract from the cannabis plant is considered a Schedule 1 drug by the Drug Enforcement Agency. Infusing or otherwise adding cannabinoid extract in alcoholic beverages is considered adulteration of alcohol under M.G.L. c. 270, § 1.2

Please be advised that even though retail sales of cannabis are expected to become lawful starting July 1, 2018, it will remain unlawful to manufacture and/or sell alcoholic beverages containing any cannabinoid extracts, including tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”) and cannabidiol (“CBD”), regardless of whether it is derived from the cannabis plant or industrial hemp.

There is more to the letter, but the basic point is that there will BE NO spiking of alcoholic drinks with marijuana.

On the other hand, there is this:

While cannabinoids, including CBD and THC, can never be used in the manufacture of alcoholic beverages in Massachusetts, industrial hemp can be used in the manufacture of alcoholic beverages.
While "hemp" is an old nickname for marijuana, there is a difference.

Note that there are hoops to be jumped through to use "industrial hemp" in the manufacture of alcoholic beverage in our Commonwealth.  Follow the rules.

Hat tip to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission.

Regards  —  Cliff

Anti-Sanctuary Movement

For John, BLUFI am betting that all those children of Viet-namese refugees contribute to the Conservative flavor of Orange County, California.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The LA Times, by Ms Cindy Carcamo, 27 March 2018.

Here is the lede plus four:

Just more than a week after tiny Los Alamitos voted to defy California's law protecting immigrants in the country illegally, Orange County is poised to become a counterpoint against the state's resistance to the Trump administration's policies.

On Tuesday, Orange County supervisors may consider whether to take up a resolution to condemn and possibly take legal action against the state's "sanctuary" laws.

"These state laws are preempted by federal law," Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson said. "Our officers actually face penalties under state law if they so much as talk to federal agents for the wrong thing. That's just unacceptable and it's contrary to federal law."

Nelson said he'll broach in closed session whether to join a federal lawsuit against the state or launch its own litigation.

Other cities in the county, including Yorba Linda, Buena Park, Huntington Beach and Mission Viejo are also starting to take action to voice their grievances against the state's sanctuary laws aimed at protecting immigrants from President Trump's immigration crackdown.

The cutline for the photo at the top of the story has someone, holding a sign with the ICE hotline number, on Katella Avenue outside Los Alamitos City Hall, in Orange County.  When I was in high school in Long Beach, in Los Angeles County, I road my bicycle on Katella.

Orange County used to be pretty conservative, but then with the outflow of people from LA County became more "Progressive".  Now it seems to be flowing back the other way.  And this resistance to the Sanctuary movement is a good thing.

What I find strange is State and Local Governments looking for help with the Opioid Crisis, but, on the other hand, rejecting the Federal Government with regard to illegal immigration.

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff


For John, BLUFDo you think the Democrats are that confident of victory in November, that they can afford to rub Republican noses in the dirt?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The American Mirror, by Mr Victor Skinner, 22 March 2018.

The lede plus three:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and her esteemed counterpart in the Senate, Sen. Chuck Schumer, are declaring the spending bill rushed through by Republicans this week as “a victory.”

“The distinguished leader has clearly put forth many of the priorities that we’re very proud of in a bill that’s one yard high,” Pelosi said of House Speaker Paul Ryan at a joint press conference with Schumer on Thursday.

“It’s one yard high,” Pelosi repeated, referring to the stack of documents that make up the legislation. “About half of it is the bill, a quarter of it is earmarks, and another quarter are report language.”

Pelosi skewered Republican House leaders for sidestepping the normal process for moving the legislation, alleging the goal was to rush it through before folks realize what’s in it.

Frankly, this is just tacky.  And, it is unlikely to engender future cooperation.  I am thinking that at this rate the Democrats need to win Yuge in November, so they can override any potential Presidential Veto.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, March 25, 2018

"To dissolve the people"

For John, BLUFPopulism isn't a political philosophy as such, but a cry of the People that the parties aren't listening.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Despite all the dire Brexit forecasts, the U.K. has had a strikingly good year. Leaving the EU may well boil down to far less, economically, than anyone thought.

This is from The Wall Street Journal, 23 March 2018, by Mr Fraser Nelson (Editor of the Spectator and a columnist for the Daily Telegraph).

Here is the lede plus three:

For a country supposedly crawling out of the ruins of the Brexit vote, the U.K. has been having a strikingly good year so far.  The number of people working stands at a record high, and income inequality is approaching a 30-year low, according to the Office for National Statistics.  New orders for manufacturers are at their highest level in a generation, and employers in general are struggling to find enough staff to cope with demand.  Even the (relatively new) national happiness index stands at a peak.

When Britain voted to leave the European Union in June 2016, a very different future was forecast.  Mark Rutte, the Dutch prime minister, declared that Britain had just “collapsed: politically, monetarily, constitutionally and economically.”  But the plague of locusts has yet to show up—which is odd, given how many experts predicted that a victory for Brexit would bring catastrophe.  Now, almost two years after the vote, the picture is clearer, and there is plenty of evidence to challenge the conventional wisdom, for those with eyes to see it.

To be sure, the quality of our political drama remains dismal.  If you have only been looking at Westminster, you will have only seen disaster.  The leaders of the Brexit campaign hadn’t given enough thought to what they’d do if they won, so they ended up destroying each other when the time came.  Theresa May, who had opposed Brexit, became prime minister and then lost her majority in a snap election last summer; she carries on, but with little authority.

Brexit capsized the entire political establishment.  It was a revolution, but no new regime has emerged.  And that may be no bad thing:  After the pyrotechnics of the past few years, a spell of boring politics is welcome.  If this is a crisis, it is one with its compensations.

This was forwarded by a friend down in Key West, Florida, who commented:
From the essay:  "How could so many great minds get it so wrong?  It is a case study of unconscious bias in forecasts."

And, "To confuse populism with Brexit is to confuse a disease with its cure.  As the Princeton political theorist Jan-Werner Müller has observed, populism is primarily a form of rhetoric, not a political agenda.  It’s all about shaking a fist at the establishment, saying that your party alone can represent the silent majority.  The reaction in the chancelleries of Europe has seemed to follow the Bertolt Brecht poem:  “Would it not be easier… To dissolve the people/ And elect another?”  But Britain offers an easier remedy: If you address what people are concerned about, populism goes away."

I like the Bertolt Brecht item. It goes along with the idea of "Bitter Clingers" and "Basket of Deplorables".

Here is his Poem, "The Solution":

After the uprising of the 17th June
The Secretary of the Writers Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?

              Bertolt Brecht

Regards  —  Cliff

  Also the author of The Three Penny Opera.  Remember the song "Mack the Knife"?
  It was written about the 1953 East German uprising.

Palm Sunday

For John, BLUFOne man taking on a lot of suffering for the rest of us.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This short meditation on this weeks Gospel is by Dr Scott Hahn and was published 23 March 2018.

Here is the short article:

Crowned with thorns, our Lord is lifted up on the Cross, where he dies as "King of the Jews."  Notice how many times he is called "king" in today's Gospel--mostly in scorn and mockery.

As we hear the long accounts of his Passion, at every turn we must remind ourselves--he suffered this cruel and unusual violence for us.

He is the Suffering Servant foretold by Isaiah in today's First Reading.  He reenacts the agony described in today's Psalm, and even dies with the first words of that Psalm on his lips (see Psalm 22:1).  Listen carefully for the echoes of this Psalm throughout today's Gospel—as Jesus is beaten, his hands and feet are pierced; as his enemies gamble for his clothes, wagging their heads, mocking his faith in God's love, his faith that God will deliver him.

Are we that much different from our Lord's tormenters?  Often, don't we deny that he is King, refusing to obey his only commands that we love him and one another?  Don't we render him mock tribute, pay him lip service with our half-hearted devotions?

In the dark noon of Calvary, the veil in Jerusalem's temple was torn.  It was a sign that by his Death Jesus destroyed forever the barrier separating us from the presence of God.  He was God and yet humbled himself to come among us, we're reminded in today's Epistle.  And despite our repeated failures, our frailty, Jesus still humbles himself to come to us, offering us his body and blood in the Eucharist.

His enemies never understood:  his kingship isn't of this world (see John 18:36). He wants to write his law, his rule of life on our hearts and minds.  As we enter Holy Week, let us once more resolve to give him dominion in our lives.  Let us take up the cross he gives to us—and confess with all our hearts, minds, and strength, that truly this is the Son of God.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, March 24, 2018

The Individual or the Group?

For John, BLUFIf we don't stand up to the new conformism we will all be divided like cattle at the slaughter house and sent down the cutes defined for us.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is an Opinion Piece from The Old Gray Lady, written by Mr David Brooks and published 22 March 2018.

Here is the lede plus four:

How much are you in control of your own opinions? I ask this sincerely because, as you’ll see, I’m trying to think this through and I’m not sure how.

If you go back to the intellectuals of the 1950s, you get the impression that they thought individuals could very much determine their own beliefs.  People like Hannah Arendt and Irving Howe believed that if you stood alone and researched carefully and hard, you could transcend your own background and render independent and objective judgments about society.

Writers like George Orwell believed that experience was more important than identity, that if you put yourself in other people’s shoes, you could feel what other groups were feeling and communicate that experience.  Lionel Trilling put great faith in imagination, certain that Shakespeare could capture the experience of being a woman, though he was not a woman.

Busy fighting communism and fascism, people back then emphasized individual reason and were deeply allergic to groupthink.

We don’t think this way anymore, and in fact thinking this way can get you into trouble.  I guess the first step was the rise of perspectivism.  This is the belief, often traced back to Nietzsche, that what you believe is determined by where you stand:  Our opinions are not guided by objective truth, because there is no such thing; they are guided by our own spot in society.

My Brother Lance sent this along to me.

I don't often think of David Brooks as going my way, but here he is, very much.

Having said that, I wish he had categorized himself as a Caucasian, rather than as a White Man.  That is a label from someone else and if they can label you, they can define you and thus control you.

And, to be picky, while it is a common place, why is Augustine Black, rather than Maghrebi?  My DNA is about 2% from his Berber lands, and so, I expect, is that of my Brothers.

But, I find myself sharing the thoughts of David Brooks.  We need to think of ourselves as individuals.  It is funny that we can define ourselves in terms of our identity group pretty much as we feel free to do, like Ms Rachel Dolezal, who decided she was Black and ran a local Washington State NAACP Chapter.  But, folks are reluctant to let us be different from our identified group stereotype.  And if we try to break out the mob works to shame us into going back and conforming.  Thus the current use of "Uncle Tom".

And, some of this is just strange.  We have the Hispanics, who are a minority, and identified by their Hispanic surnames.  And that comes from the Iberian Peninsula.  Now, also from the Iberian Peninsula are the Portuguese, the Lusitanians.  They are also in the Azores and the Cape Verdians also speak Portuguese.  More people in South American speak Portuguese than Spanish.  And we have a bunch of them up here in Lowell.  However, in the recent lawsuit against the City they are treated as just more Caucasians.  When the lawyers bringing a lawsuit on voting rights against the City of Lowell and they list minority members of the City Council, Joe Mendonça is not mentioned.  No one talks about how the are oppressed.  Deep down, inside and hidden, I think the reason is assimilation.  You can see it at the Post Office.  All sorts of parents, off all sorts of backgrounds and racial makeup are talking to their children in English, except those speaking Spanish.

Regards  —  Cliff

Southern Corruption

For John, BLUFFreedom of speech is bigger than the First Amendment.  It is granting our fellow citizens the right to be stupid.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Branding dissenters as haters undercuts its effectiveness.

From Reason Magazine and Writer Shikha Dalmia, 23 March 2018.

The lede:

With America's president casually stirring racial and other hatreds, it would be helpful for our civic good to have an organization that tracks with honesty and precision what rabble his rhetoric is rousing. The Southern Poverty Law Center, the nation's largest (and richest) watchdog of hate groups, has long sought to fill that role. Unfortunately, the SPLC is not up to the task. It is too busy enforcing liberal orthodoxy against its intellectual opponents.
The SPLC is a corrupt institution.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, March 23, 2018

"Publish and Be Damned"

For John, BLUFDo we really think that 60 Minutes (or The View) think this is the final nail in the coffin, or that President Trump is even in the same room as the coffin?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

The adult-film star and director describes the affair she says she had with Donald Trump in her first television interview about the alleged relationship

But this isn't anything new.  The Independent, in the UK, had a 20 March 1994 article titled "Rear Window: When Wellington said publish and be damned: The Field Marshal and the Scarlet Woman".  The Writer was Mr Brian Cathcart.

Here is the lede, plus:

ONE morning in December 1824, the Duke of Wellington received an unpleasant letter.
'My Lord Duke,' it began, 'in Harriette Wilson's Memoirs, which I am about to publish, are various anecdotes of Your Grace which it would be most desirable to withhold, at least such is my opinion.  I have stopped the Press for the moment, but as the publication will take place next week, little delay can necessarily take place.'
The letter, signed by one Joseph Stockdale, a pornographer and scandal-monger, was a naked attempt at blackmail.  The Duke was a field marshal, cabinet minister, national hero, husband and father, while Harriette Wilson was a famous London courtesan past her prime, then living in exile in Paris.  Wellington was being asked to pay money to be left out of her memoirs.

His response is famous: 'Publish and be damned]' And they did. Through 1825 the memoirs appeared by instalments, each with a dramatis personae listing the notables named in order of rank - 'Dukes: Argyll, Beaufort, de Guiche, Leinster . . .' and so on through earls and viscounts down to humble esquires.

London society was thrilled and scandalised.  Half the aristocracy was named in the book, and painted in a most unflattering light.  The memoirs went through 31 editions in one year; excerpts were pirated and sold as illustrated broadsheets and French and German editions quickly appeared to delight the gossips of the Continent.

To repeat the quote
Publish and be damned.
I think that sums it up.

And, Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, went on to be Prime Minister from 1828 to 1830 and again in 1834, and to hold several other high offices, including Leader of the House of Lords.  It appears the scandal did him little harm.

I do think Mr Trump should suggest the money given to Ms Stormy Daniels be returned, since she seems to have been unable to uphold her end of the bargain, although I getting it back is a game not worth the candle.

Hat tip to my Brother Lance.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Unable to Move On

For John, BLUFWe are at the point where many, if not most, are willing to cut off their nose to spite their face.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the Althouse blog, 22 March 2018.

This is an Althouse excerpt from a WaPo article on a debate on CNN between Mr Jeffrey Toobin and his former professor, Alan Dershowitz.  It is Professor Dershowitz speaking:

“None of my liberal friends invite me to dinner anymore,” he said.  “Thanks to Donald Trump, I’ve lost seven pounds.  I call it the Donald Trump diet.”
Remember Mr Rodney King?  Remember what he asked?

People, I just want to say, can we all get along? Can we get along?
Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Hillary Isn't Helping

For John, BLUFSome people just can't give up their dream, even for the good of others.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the blog Legal Insurrection, posted by Ms Mary Chastain, 21 March 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

We all knew this would happen after failed Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton bashed those who did not vote her.  She said that women who did not vote for her did so because a man told them not to.

Now, Hillary’s blame game is coming back to haunt incumbents like Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), who is considered one of the more vulnerable Democrats up for re-election.

At the link is a video of an advertisement from Senator McCaskill's opponent, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley.

There may be a blue wave coming, or a Tsunami, if you read The Boston Globe, but is is possible that people like Ms Hillary Clinton could cause the wave to peter out before it hits shore.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Our Brother's Keeper

For John, BLUFThe thing is, we need to prevent this from falling into 1984.  We do need to be prepared to judge some actions as unacceptable.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Washington Times, an Analysis/Opinion Piece by Reporter Everett Piper, way back on 11 March 2018.

Here is the lede plus four:

“The Lottery” is a classic short story written by Shirley Jackson in 1948. It’s the tale of a rural, farming community in America of about three hundred residents. The town seems normal by all accounts as it prepares for a traditional, harvest-time event known as The Lottery.

Each year the name of every family is written on a piece of paper and securely stored in a locked box. On the morning of the annual gathering, the heads of each household draw from the box until a paper slip with a black spot is extracted.  One of these clans is that of the “Hutchensons.”

Upon “winning” this first phase of the lottery, each member of the Hutchinson family joins the father to select another slip of paper out of another box until one member of that family — the mother, named Tessie — draws a piece of paper with the final black spot on it.

In spite of her cries, the townspeople, including her own husband and children, pick up rocks and stone her to death to ensure a more prosperous harvest.

For some 70 years, “The Lottery” has rightly been included in many literary anthologies for its shocking portrayal of the power of groupthink and the human inclination to accept evil.

The point of this item is that Pasadena City College English Professor Kay Haugaard has noted that over thirty years of teaching the student reactions have gone from shock to "who am I to judge".  To which you may respond, "who are you to judge?"  The thing is, this is how a nation falls into accepting the murdering of millions.  Think the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Red China and Cambodia.

Back before Columbus sailed the Ocean Blue, back before Hernán Cortés defeated the Aztec Triple Alliance, there was human sacrifice.  Would those student in Pasadena find that acceptable?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

City of Betrayal

For John, BLUFWashington is an ugly place these days.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From ABC News, by Reporter Mike Levine, 21 March 2018.

Here is the lede plus three:

Nearly a year before Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired senior FBI official Andrew McCabe for what Sessions called a "lack of candor," McCabe oversaw a federal criminal investigation into whether Sessions lacked candor when testifying before Congress about contacts with Russian operatives, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.

Democratic lawmakers have repeatedly accused Sessions of misleading them in congressional testimony and called on federal authorities to investigate, but McCabe's previously-unreported decision to actually put the attorney general in the crosshairs of an FBI probe was an exceptional move.

One source told ABC News that Sessions was not aware of the investigation when he decided to fire McCabe last Friday less than 48 hours before McCabe, a former FBI deputy director, was due to retire from government and obtain a full pension, but an attorney representing Sessions declined to confirm that.

Last year, several top Republican and Democratic lawmakers were informed of the probe during a closed-door briefing with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and McCabe, ABC News was told.

Washington seems to have turned into a place that is described in the Gospel of Saint Matthew:
The brother also shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the son: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and shall put them to death.
Matthew 10:21
It reminds me of our then Nation's Capitol when Thomas Jefferson was Secretary of State.

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

It Is On Us Normals

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

From The Old Gray Lady, by Opinion Writer David Brooks, 4 January 2018.

Yes, this is almost three months old, but it is timeless advice and well worth heeding, even if you are currently a practicing atheist.

Here is the lede plus two:

Over the past several years we have done an outstanding job of putting total sleazoids at the top of our society:  Trump, Bannon, Ailes, Weinstein, Cosby, etc.  So it was good to get a reminder, from Pope Francis in his New Year’s Eve homily, that the people who have the most influence on society are actually the normal folks, through their normal, everyday gestures being kind in public places, attentive to the elderly.  The pope called such people, in a beautiful phrase, “the artisans of the common good.”

Small deeds, he said, “express concretely love for the city … without giving speeches, without publicity, but with a style of practical civic education for daily life.”

The pope focused especially on driving, praising those people “who move in traffic with good sense and prudence.”  As Richard Reeves of the Brookings Institution points out, driving is precisely the sort of everyday activity through which people mold the culture of their community.

And, Mr Brooks then relates it back to our Fair Commonwealth:
Studies have been done, of course.  According to Allstate, the most accident-prone drivers live in Boston; Baltimore; Worcester, Mass.; Washington, D.C.; and Springfield, Mass.  (Way to go, Massachusetts!)  The safest drivers live in Kansas City, Kan.; Brownsville, Tex.; Madison, Wis.; and Huntsville, Ala.
At the bottom of the article was the welcome news that "Paul Krugman is off today."

UPDATE:  Cleanup and Title.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Yes, I do note a certain bitter political twist here, but we are all trying to be uplifting here, and by including Mr Harvey Weinstein, of Hollywood, he did include a likely Democrat.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018


For John, BLUFThe Reporter is extrapolating from the Pennsylvania 18th the January 2019 power of Democrats to Impeach President Trump.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Boston Globe, by Mr Astead W. Herndon, 14 March 2018.

Here is the lede:

Before Tuesday’s special election in Pennsylvania, most signs pointed to a Democratic wave in the upcoming midterm elections.  But after Democrat Conor Lamb scored a razor-thin congressional victory in the heart of Trump Country, there’s a creeping consensus that the wave could become a tsunami.
I go with the conventional wisdom.  Unless the Republicans come up with new tricks they are going to lose seats in the House of Representatives.

The question is, how many Conner Lambs can the Democratic Party field in those Districts that are not highly populated with Progressives?  Will they all last until November?

This thing we are talking about is a localized phenomenon.  I very much doubt there will be any Conner Lambs in Massachusetts, or in the coastal Congressional Districts of California or in Western Washington State.  And, there don't need to be, since Progressives in those locations control the Democratic Party.  Heck, in California not even Democrat Senator Diane Feinstein could get a Party endorsement this year.

Regards  —  Cliff

Then What?

For John, BLUFIf the Democrats move to kill the king, they better plan on holding onto Government for a couple of decades, to use the Deep State to avoid the retribution.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:


Here is the lede plus one:

Filmmaker Michael Moore urged Democratic voters to remember that they are voting for the impeachment of President Trump in the upcoming midterm elections.

“I am optimistic.  I have a thread of optimism still in me.  I believe we will, in November, see a tsunami of people coming to the polls and after that I hope you, both of you, and the other senators, do their job,” Moore said during a town hall on “Inequality in America:  The Rise of Oligarchy and Collapse of the Middle Class” organized by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) Monday evening.

I can see that.  It is sort of Maxine Waters like, but it is clear.

Then Mr Moore goes on to say there needs to be more.  A lot more:

Moore urged the Democratic Party to also provide its “vision” to the voters rather than impeach Trump and go back to the day before he took office.

“If we just get rid of Trump and we just go back to the day before Trump, how are things then, Sen. Warren and Sen. Sanders, with our healthcare, with our job situation, with poverty? I don’t want to go back to that day. We’ve got to move forward and we have to provide that vision and provide that leadership to make that happen,” he said.

Then Mr Michael Moore adds:
Moore said America’s capitalist economic system is not fair.
OK, I see that Mr Moore wants a revolution.  He is a modern day anarchist or communist radical—or something.

However, he seems to forget that once Mr Trump goes the Vice President fleets up and takes over and Mr Pence is a conservative, not a Progressive.  He has to get rid of Mr Pence as well before Ms Nancy Pelosi takes over as our first Female President (Congrats, Nancy, and good luck).

Does Mr Michael Moore think that a President Nancy Pelosi will move to destroy corporate America?  Will she deconstruct Financial Leasing Services, Inc?

Of course the key to victory in November, for the Democrats, maybe "Lambism".

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Notwithstanding what some might think, if President Trump is impeached and convicted, Ms Hillary Clinton will not automatically become President.

Get Out of Washington!

For John, BLUFBoth Parties, hanging out in DC, are drinking their own bathwater.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This Washington Examiner article, by Reporter Salena Zito, who lives in the Pennsylvania 18th, is dateline 18 March 2018, Lebanon, PA.

Here is the lede plus three:

One of the biggest advantages Conor Lamb had in his victory last week in the special election for Western Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District was that his campaign manager lived in his district.

Abby Nassif Murphy did not have an office at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee; she did not hold daily meetings with fellow Democrats in the Beltway who, on average, are fairly progressive both culturally and politically. She understood the heartbeat of the district not because of polls and data, but because she spends the bulk of her time carting her sons to and from their activities.

Untethered from the pressures of Washington consultants, agenda items, and resistance talking points, she was able to respond to what she saw the community wanted.

This was no cookie-cutter operation. The ads were fresh, the message was safe, and there was no evidence of any Beltway residue on anything they did.

Here, however, is the most insightful paragraph:
Last December, Brad Todd, co-author of our upcoming book, "The Great Revolt: Inside the Populist Coalition Reshaping American Politics," wrote for The Federalist that the only thing that will keep the Republican Party a healthy party was to get it the hell out of D.C. and set up headquarters somewhere in Ohio so that they knew what their voters really wanted — not what they want them to want.
If only Ms Hillary Clinton had been reading Reporter Salena Zito's news reports she might well be sitting in the White House today, with Mr Bill Clinton as First Dude.

So, it isn't Democrats who won in the Pennsylvania 18th, but Mr Lamb, and his campaign manager.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Anti-Blasphemy LawsRules

For John, BLUFThe PC Police are out of hand.  Freedom, and thus democracy and economic growth, are at risk.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Samizdata, posted by Mr Perry de Havilland (London), 15 March 2018.

Here it is:

In Britain in the 21st century you can be punished for mocking gods.  You can be expelled from the kingdom, frozen out, if you dare to diss Allah.  Perversely adopting medieval Islamic blasphemy laws, modern Britain has made it clear that it will tolerate no individual who says scurrilous or reviling things about the Islamic god or prophet.  Witness the authorities’ refusal to grant entrance to the nation to the alt-right Christian YouTuber Lauren Southern.  Her crime?  She once distributed a leaflet in Luton with the words ‘Allah is gay, Allah is trans, Allah is lesbian…’, and according to the letter she received from the Home Office informing her of her ban from Britain, such behaviour poses a ‘threat to the fundamental interests of [British] society’.

This is a very serious matter and the lack of outrage about it in the mainstream press, not least among those who call themselves liberal, is deeply disturbing.

Brendan O’Neill

Much as I applaud The United Kingdom for moving to leave the European Union (BREXIT), I think this kind of high handedness to be appalling.

Regards  —  Cliff


For John, BLUFTo catch the wave you have to see the wave.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from the Blog Mistress at Neo Neocon Blog, 15 March 2018.

Here is the lede plus three:

No, I’m not predicting what the results will be.

I’m predicting what the Democratic tactic will be.  Let’s call it the Lamb Approach.

Here’s how I imagine it will go.  In vulnerable Republican-held districts, find a pleasant, articulate Democrat who’s willing to espouse somewhat conservative principles and to say that he or she will stick to them if elected.

Make sure that Conor Lamb follows through on his conservative-leaning promises, right up till Election Day in 2018.  After all, in terms of consequences it doesn’t matter how he votes till then, because the Republicans are in control right now and will be able to pass legislation in the House whether he votes with them or against them.

One of Mr Lamb's campaign advertisements showed him firing an M-16 (or AK-47, I don't remember which).

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff


For John, BLUFThe thing about vendettas is that they never end.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the Zero Hedge blog, by Mr Tyler Durden, 20 March 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy was arrested on Tuesday morning in connection with a probe into the financing of his successful 2007 presidential run which allegedly included funding from late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
If you think your opponent is an evil person then there is no limit to how far you will go to take him or her down.

This will not end well.  Nor would it in the US.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Beacon Hill Calls Attention to Itself

For John, BLUFPoor General Hooker.  Known for ever for his camp followers.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is a blog post by Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds, posted today, at InstaPundit.

Here it is:

Sign Referencing Civil War Hero Is Sexual Harassment, Says Massachusetts Lawmaker:  Rep. Michelle DuBois wants to remove a statehouse sign that reads “General Hooker Entrance” because it is an affront to “women’s dignity.”

But if there were such a test in Massachusetts, it would feature an IQ ceiling, not a floor.  .  .  .

Plus: “Of course, DuBois is positioning herself as a crusader against sex-based harassment and patriarchy.  But attitudes like hers—which treat women as excessively fragile beings, and which posit that female ‘dignity’ is diminished by even so slight an association with sex work as walking under a door that says ‘hooker’—just props up old-fashioned and patriarchal ideas about sex and gender.”

It would be easy to write an argument for restoring the patriarchy based solely on feminists’ statements about how weak, fragile, and stupid women are.

Surely State Rep DuBois was joking.  As a joke it works.

Top Comment so far:

Everyone wants to be Maxine Waters.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Weather Caused Deaths Down

For John, BLUFI think what this is saying is that a free market system across the globe, but not instantiated everywhere, means more safety for the population.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the blog site Watt's Up With That, by Mr Anthony Watts, 14 March 2018.

Here is the lede plus three:

Bjørn Lomborg writes on his Facebook page of a reverse hockey stick graph, one that is certainly inconvenient to the gloom and doom message of climate alarmists who try to link regular weather events to climate.  So, Lomborg plays their game, and the results are surprising.

Fewer and fewer people die from climate-related natural disasters

This is clearly opposite of what you normally hear, but that is because we’re often just being told of one disaster after another – telling us how *many* events are happening.  The number of reported events is increasing, but that is mainly due to better reporting, lower thresholds and better accessibility (the CNN effect).  For instance, for Denmark, the database only shows events starting from 1976.

Instead, look at the number of dead per year, which is much harder to fudge.  Given that these numbers fluctuate enormously from year to year (especially in the past, with huge droughts and floods in China), they are here presented as averages of each decade (1920-29, 1930-39 etc, with last decade as 2010-17).  The data is from the most respected global database, the International Disaster Database,  There is some uncertainty about complete reporting from early decades, which is why this graph starts in 1920, and if anything this uncertainly means the graph *underestimates* the reduction in deaths.

This doesn't prove that climate change doesn't exist, but it does suggest that in this more modern era we have more money and more infrastructure and more tools to aid in recovery from climate based disasters.

Hat tip to the Mr Bob Ayers.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Who Else Has Been Exposed by the McCabe Investigation?

For John, BLUFThere will always be corruption.  How much is acceptable?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Mr Roger L Simon, 16 March 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

Friday's firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, based on a report from the Office of Professional Responsibility, is only the beginning of what is likely to be the most explosive series of revelations in American history.

Forget Watergate. It will be the distant past once the Inspector General's reports—there apparently will be more than one—start to come out. This will be the "Gate of Gates."

From the FBI and across the intelligence agencies an astonishing number of people are going to find themselves accused, one can safely predict at this point, of some atrocious behavior in a free republic.  And it will not just be the small change of Peter Strzok (the dimwitted director of counter-intelligence) and his gal pal Lisa Page.  It will include—on one level or another—James Comey, Loretta Lynch, John Brennan, James Clapper, Susan Rice and, almost inevitably, Barack Obama, not to mention others known and unknown.

Maybe Roger Simon is right, but maybe the Swamp will protect all those people named above.  Only time will tell.  That said, since we didn't really get a fire break with Mr Andrew McCabe, perhaps the fire needs to consume more territory before we can get it under control.  At the end of the day it is about cleansing and strengthening the Republic.

Personally, I wish he had gone quietly, with his pension in tact, but with the word out to others that it was time to stand down.  Didn't seem to happen.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Germany and Immigration

For John, BLUFGerman Chancellor Merkel is deciding the course of the future Germany and it isn't certain where that course is taking the nation.  Nothing to see here; just move along.


Here is the lede plus two, plus quotes:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's disastrous decision to throw open an essentially defenseless western Europe to hordes of military-age males from the Islamic ummah will go down in history as one of Christendom's greatest blunders, either a triumph of wishful childless-feminist thinking or a malevolent act of epic proportions.  So this statement by new Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, while welcome, is way too little, and far too late:
New Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said Islam does not belong to Germany, and set out hardline immigration policies in his first major interview since being sworn in this week, as he sought to see off rising far-right challengers.
Note that in the European media -- and soon enough in the American -- any conservative defender of tradition is now labeled "far-right."  As I've often said on Twitter (@dkahanerules), on the Left, "treason is the highest form of patriotism."
His comments put him on a collision course with Chancellor Angela Merkel, who on Friday reiterated her long-held view that Islam was a part of Germany, even if the country was traditionally characterized by Christianity and Judaism.

“Islam does not belong to Germany,” Seehofer, a member of Merkel’s CSU Bavarian allies who are further to the right than her own Christian Democrats (CDU), told Bild newspaper in an interview published on Friday.  Seehofer said he would push through a “master plan for quicker deportations” and classify more states as ‘safe’ countries of origin, which would make it easier to deport failed asylum seekers.

Seehofer is particularly keen to show his party is tackling immigration ahead of Bavaria’s October regional election, when the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) is expected to enter that state assembly.  “Of course the Muslims living here do belong to Germany,” Seehofer told Bild, but added that Germany should not give up its own traditions or customs, which have Christianity at their heart.

“My message is:  Muslims need to live with us, not next to us or against us,” he said.

If you think the White House is in chaos, think about being in a coalition that took four months to form and in the end didn't consist of the expected three parties, but of two, Chancellor Merkel's CDU/CSU and the SPD (Social Democratic Party of Germany—Progressives).  Four months without a Government.  What a mess.

So, what does Germany, with a declining birthrate, look like in twenty years?

For sure, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer is correct in saying that (for the experiment to succeed) the Muslim immigrants need to live with the Germans and not next to them or against them.(CSU) Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Who Should Head the CIA

For John, BLUFOn the other hand, if you think they are all breaking the law, what difference, at this point, does it make?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Boston Globe, by Speech Boy (Mr Michael A. Cohen), 16 MARCH 2018.

Here is the lede plus three:

In August 2002, less than a year after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded 83 times n a CIA secret prison in Thailand. Seven months later, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was tortured in the same manner 183 times.

Other suspected terrorists rounded up during the US global war on terrorism were subjected to mock executions and threats to rape and murder family members. They were placed in stress positions, which included being kept in coffin-like boxes for days on end. They were deprived of sleep (some for as many 180 straight hours), physically assaulted, and forced to take ice-cold baths. One prisoner died from hypothermia during an interrogation. Detainees experienced severe psychological and behavioral problems, including hallucinations, paranoia, and suicidal actions.

In the words of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA’s detention and interrogation program, detainees were subjected to “cruel, inhuman, and degrading” treatment and “the evidence of this is overwhelming and incontrovertible.”

In the 15 years since this happened not one person has even been held responsible for these heinous acts — and this week a key architect of the CIA’s torture program, Gina Haspel, was nominated to become the director of the agency. If she gets the job it will be, in effect, an acknowledgment by the federal government and Congress that those who broke US and international law by torturing prisoners did nothing wrong. If the rule of law means anything in America, that can’t be allowed to happen.

To me the problem is that if Ms Haspel doesn't meet our standards, then who does?  Do we bring in someone from the outside?  Do we recycle a previous office holder?

Regards  —  Cliff

Economics Comes to the Ivy Halls

For John, BLUFI suspect this is a self-inflicted wound and I find it, in one way, sad.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The American Thinker, by Mr Thomas Lifson, 16 March 2018.

Here is the lede plus two:

If you are sick and tired of professors indoctrinating students in politicized classes that teach nothing of any use in real life, and hate the idea that tenure immunizes them from accountability, the next decade or so is going to provide some relief.  The reckoning is coming, as shocked professors at a University of Wisconsin campus just discovered.  The higher education bubble that Professor Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit has forecast to burst has just popped in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.

It turns out that you can’t earn a living teaching subjects that students aren’t that interested in.  Even if you have tenure.  Colleen Flaherty writes in the Chronicle of Higher Education:

…the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point announced its plan to cut 13 majors -- including those in anchor humanities departments such as English and history and all three of the foreign languages offered -- and, with them, faculty jobs. Tenured professors may well lose their positions.
Further down we learn who died:
Here is the list of the departments being closed at Wisconsin, Stevens Point.
  • American studies,
  • art (excluding graphic design),
  • English (excluding English for teacher certification),
  • French,
  • geography,
  • geoscience,
  • German,
  • history (excluding social science for teacher certification),
  • music literature,
  • philosophy,
  • political science,
  • sociology
  • Spanish.
I have a BS, and a Masters focused on Management in the Aerospace area, but still, there are some majors there I have enjoyed dabbling in, including History, Philosophy, Political Science and Sociology.  There are things to be learned in those fields.  For instance, there is that old bromide, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." (George Santayana)  I would suggest Venezuela is an example of that.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Mr Corbyn Sides With the Other Side

For John, BLUFIf only Ms Clinton had been elected this wouldn't have happened.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

May Slams Corbyn Over His Refusal to Condemn Russia.

This is from Guido Fawkes, at his Blog, Order-Order, on 14 March 2018.  It has embedded video of the Prime Minister condemning the Opposition Leader.

Here is the lede plus one:

Theresa May slammed Jeremy Corbyn for his lack of support over the Russian spy poisoning crisis. The Prime Minister told Jezza:
There is a consensus across the backbenches of this House. I am only sorry that this consesnsus does not go as far as the Right Honourable Gentleman, who could have taken the opportunity as the UK government has done to condemn the cuplability of the Russian state.
To his face.  It was, after all, Prime Minister's Questions.

But, back to Jessa (Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn).  He has refused to point a finger at Russian President Putin in the attempted murders of two Russian Expatriates and the incidental poisoning of a British Police Office.

There is this, further down the blog post:

In this type situation Guido would normally expect the leader of the oppostion’s spin doctor to back pedal in the Lobby briefing huddle that follows, he would “clarify” and nuance the wording. Emphasise the more conventional parts of the argument to soften the inevitably hostile headlines coming tomorrow. When that spin-doctor is Seumas Milne however it seems there was to be no compromising on Putin’s line. Under intense questioning he refused to say that the Labour Party’s leader accepted the Russian state was at fault:
The government has access to information and intelligence on this matter which others don‘t. However, also there is a history in relation to weapons of mass destruction and intelligence which is problematic, to put it mildly. So, I think the right approach is to seek the evidence to follow international treaties, particularly in relation to prohibitive chemical weapons.
The reference to "a history" refers to the run up to the 2003 Invasion of Iraq, when the UK supported the United States Government regarding accusations of Iraq having weapons of mass destruction.  There was, first, The Butler Review, and then in 2009, The Chilcot Inquiry.

There you have it.  The Labour Party in the United Kingdom is officially in President Putin's pocket.  There is a lot more evidence for that than there ever was for President Trump being in collusion with the Russians.

Regards  —  Cliff

  President George H. W. Bush said, "I count my blessings for the fact I don't have to go into that pit that John Major stands in, nose-to-nose with the opposition, all yelling at each other."
  For those hoping to see Special Counsel Robert Mueller wrap up soon, the Chilcot Report started in 2009, with its appointment by Prime Minister Gordon Brown and ended in 2016 with a public statement by Sir John Chilcot.  Speaking of sinecures.

Going After Russia's Espionage

For John, BLUFWe are taking actions against Russia, but it is a game that needs some deft action, less it spiral down into war.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is interesting.  The EMail Alert is:

US imposes sanctions on 19 Russians for alleged interference in election

On the other hand, at the article itself, the headline writer gives us:

US accuses Russia of ongoing effort to hack US energy grid

This is an Associated Press item by Messers Matthew Lee and Josh Lederman, in the 15 March 2018 edition of The Boston Globe.

Here is the lede:

The Trump administration accused Russia on Thursday of a concerted, ongoing operation to hack and spy on the U.S. energy grid and other critical infrastructure, and separately imposed sanctions on Russian officials for alleged high-tech interference in the 2016 American presidential election.
By the way, there is a teaser at the right of the article, "US, France, Germany join Britain in blaming Russia for poisoning".

So, how does this fit into the Democratic Party narrative, the narrative of US Representative Adam Schiff?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  That is to say, President Trump is President Putin's puppet.