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Friday, November 30, 2018

The Words We Pick

For John, BLUFThis is disturbing. . I wonder if Caucasian progressives dumb themselves down when the speak to Republicans.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Althouse, by Law Prof Ann Althouse, 30 December 2018, from a Wash Post article.

There is a lot of explaining in the blog post and article, but I will cut to the chase:  Republicans tend to treat everyone as equals, until they prove otherwise.  Democrats, not so much.

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff


For John, BLUFI suspect that if the Special Counsel delivers a lot of narrow legal technicalities against President Trump it won't go well with the American People, perhaps even those who are anti-Trump.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Week, no named reporter, 29 November 2018.

Here is the lede:

"You know, today's the first day I actually thought Donald Trump might not finish his term in office," CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin told Anderson Cooper Thursday night, after a week of revelations about the Trump campaign and Russia.  "Really?" Cooper asked.  "I mean, I think this thing is enormous," Toobin said.  He laid out a series of "preposterous" positions now being staked by President Trump, including that lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen negotiated Trump Organization deals in Russia for six months without telling Trump, that Trump and Roger Stone never discussed WikiLeaks, and that Don Jr. never talked to his father about the Trump Tower meeting with Kremlin-linked Russians offering dirt on Hillary Clinton.
The President needs 34 Senators to stand by him to avoid conviction in the event of Impeachment.  Not a very big number.

One of the early questions is if the Democrats have learned from the Clinton Impeachment that an impeachment can be politically costly.

Hat tip to the Drudge report.

Regards  —  Cliff

Crime or Slime?

For John, BLUFFBI Director Comey gave Mrs Clinton a pass on her "home brew" EMail server.  Is WikiLeaks the Karma response?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Althouse, by Law Professor Ann Althouse, 30 December 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

"Building buildings in Moscow, using stolen material from Assange.  These are not crimes.  He has no authority to be a roving commissioner to find political sins.  So far, I don’t see any evidence of crimes except for ones that he helped to facilitate by getting people to lie in front of his own investigators."

Said Alan Dershowitz to Sean Hannity, quoted (with video) at Mediaite.

Professor Dershowitz makes sense.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Did 0s Hollywood Get Trump

For John, BLUFIn my view, when President Trump leaves office he should pull a five star badge out of his pocket and throw in onto the driveway, and then ride off.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

The gunslinging outsider saved the vulnerable farmers, but they didn’t love him for it.

From National Review, by Professor Victory David Hanson, 27 November 2018.

Shane, the movie, starring Alan Ladd as Shane.

Is President Trump Shane?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Learning the Wrong Lessons

For John, BLUFA little distrust is a good thing.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Victory Girls, by Ms Amanda Green, 26 November 2018.

Here is the lede plus two:

Not long ago, I came across an op-ed piece by Michael Gerson.  The name sounded familiar, and not necessarily in a good way, but I couldn’t place it.  But the title of the piece caught my eye:  Has the West already forgotten the lessons of World War II? After all, I’d been asking variations of that question for some time.  Except my question wasn’t always limited to the lessons of World War II.  So, hoping for a well-researched and even-handed article, I started reading.  How quickly expectations turned to disappointment and frustration. Gerson, like so many others, wants to do all he can to make President Trump the Hitler of our day.
Many Americans seem to have forgotten that a foreign policy of America First allowed international malignancies to grow that made war inevitable and resulted in the deaths of tens of millions.”
There are several things Gerson fails to note with regard to America First.  The phrase was first used by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916 when he was running for re-election. Wilson, a DEMOCRAT, pledged to keep the United States neutral during World War I.  Hmmm, funny that Gerson didn’t mention that little detail.
Ah, President Woodrow Wilson.  In the 1940s and 50s he was taught in school as a hero.  Now he is a bit of an embarrassment.  And a pre-runner of President Trump.

There are diplomatic and foreign policy lessons to be learned from WWII, the runup to it and the ensuing post war arrangements.  However, many of those being served up by Progressives, even Progressive Scholars, are wrong.  We have to be our own researchers.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Schiff Unleased

For John, BLUFIf Elected Speaker, San Francisco area Democrat US Rep Nancy Pelosi is going to have her hands full next year, preventing the Democrats in the House of Representatives from beclowning themselves.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Hill, by Reporter John Bowden, 28 November 2018.

Here is the lede plus three:

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) on Wednesday called on President Trump to sit down for an in-person interview with special counsel Robert Mueller and his team, saying that the president's written statements to the special counsel's office were insufficient.

Schiff, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, said Mueller needed the opportunity to ask follow-up questions based on the president's responses.

“There really needs to be a live interview with the president because you need to be able to ask follow-up questions in real time," Schiff told CNN on Wednesday.

Schiff also said the committee, under new Democratic leadership next year, would pursue phone records related to the setup of June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Trump campaign associates and a Russian lawyer who had promised dirt on then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Is this the Democratic US Rep, Adam Schiff talking, or is he a mouthpiece for the Special Counsel, using "leaked" information?  This is a point in the investigation when it is most important for the Special Counsel to keep his skirts clean.

My sense is that Mr Schiff is hyper-active, but not analytical.  Perhaps appropriate, given he is from North LA and Rep Maxine Waters is from South LA..

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

Asset Forfeiture Challenged

For John, BLUFI guess one could argue it is a particularly effective police tactic, but if it is, why haven't we won the drug war with it?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Slate, by Mr Mark Joseph Stern, 28 November 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

Tyson Timbs just wants his car back.  In 2015, Timbs was charged with selling heroin to undercover officers in Indiana to fund his opioid addiction.  After he pleaded guilty, a private law firm filed a lawsuit on behalf of the state to confiscate his Land Rover SUV, valued at $42,000.  That’s more than four times the maximum $10,000 fine for Timbs’ crimes.  But because he briefly carried drugs in the vehicle, the firm claimed that it could seize and sell it, turning over some of the profit to Indiana and pocketing the rest.

Welcome to the topsy-turvy world of civil asset forfeiture, also known as legalized theft.  Every year, the federal and state governments obtain billions of dollars thanks to the work of prosecutors who expropriate property with some tenuous connection to a crime.  Most states use the money to fund law enforcement, called policing for profit.  Indiana also lets private attorneys file forfeiture claims against defendants, earning contingency fees and a share of the profit.  That’s what happened to Timbs—so he sued, insisting that extreme forfeiture violates the Constitution.  On Wednesday, the Supreme Court signaled that it agreed, with an unusual coalition of justices assailing the practice.  A decision for Timbs could curb law enforcement abuses across the country, limiting one of the most scandalous components of our criminal justice system.

The whole article, snarky though it was, was a fun read.  And, it looks like asset forfeiture will be reined in a bit.  The other fun thing was seeing supposedly ideologically different people, like Justices Neil Gorsuch and Sonia Sotomayor, working the same side of the street.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Smother the Churches

For John, BLUFNarrow minds that are looking for conformance rather that exploration.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Mr Tyler O'Neil, 26 November 2018.

Here is the lede plus Three:

An atheist group has taken direct aim at the free exercise of religion, attempting to subject churches to the rule of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), enabling the exact kind of targeting experienced by tea party groups under President Obama.  A Washington, D.C. church is fighting back, defending the central constitutional principle that religious freedom is not subject to the whims of government control.

"This is nothing more than just a naked attempt to harm churches and religion because FFRF believes that religion is bad," Erik Stanley, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), told PJ Media on Monday.  His organization filed a motion to intervene on behalf of New Macedonia Baptist Church in the case NonBelief Relief v. David J. Kautter.

NonBelief Relief sued Kautter, acting commissioner for the IRS, in October.  The IRS had revoked the organization's tax-exempt status after NonBelief Relief refused to file a Form-990 for the third year in a row.  The IRS requires non-profit organizations to submit the form — which documents the internal finances and efforts of the organization in question — every year, unless the organization is a church or other religious body.

It seems natural that NonBelief Relief might demand the same exemption given to churches should also apply to them, but that's not what they argue for in this lawsuit.  Instead, they claim that churches should not be exempt.  They support the Form-990 so much, they want everyone to have to fill it out, and they'll protest by not filling it out until they can force everyone to fill it out.  Make sense?

In some ways this type of legal action is like a protection racket.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Following Interests

For John, BLUFI wonder if those who went before us are not quite as ignorant and rigid as we think they were?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Times (of London), by Science Editor Tom Whipple, 15 September 2018.  Yes, this is a bit moldy and I am a bit slow in blogging about it.

Here is the lede plus three:

We all know what is meant to happen when the genders become more equal.  As women smash glass ceilings and open up education, other differences should disappear too.

Without the psychological shackles of being the second sex, women are free to think and behave as they want; to become physicists or chief executives, unfettered by outdated stereotypes.

Yet to the confusion of psychologists, we are seeing the reverse.  The more gender equality in a country, the greater the difference in the way men and women think.  It could be called the patriarchy paradox.

Two new studies have again demonstrated this counterintuitive result, meaning it is now one of the best-established findings in psychology, even if no one can properly explain it.

Or maybe the researchers are going with assumptions that are just flat wrong.

Perhaps equality provides the opportunity for women, and men, to beam off in the direction they wish, rather than the direction society has been pointing them.

Be warned, there is a pay wall and no freebees.

Why do we assume that, given the different functions of the two genders in perpetuating the human race, the two genders have identical interests, insights and abilities?  This is not to say that one area belongs to one or the other gender.  However, there might be tendencies and interests that diverge.  I wonder how many people we have harmed, to some degree, because of our beliefs about what is and isn't proper for children growing up?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Social Credit and the Inherent Dignity of Man

For John, BLUFThis is about the Chinese Social Credit System.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

“will be used to reward or punish people and organisations for “trustworthiness” across a range of measures”

From Legal Insurrection, by Mr Mike LaChance, 24 November 2018.

Here is the lede:

China is planning an authoritarian system which will essentially reward people for good behavior and punish others with difficulty based on a points system.  And if you think this sounds like something that will happen in the distant future, guess again.  Beijing is planning to begin implementation in 2020.
There is more at the link.

I have seen reports on this "Social Credit" system that say it will never happen.  That ignores the fact that Google is helping out.  And it ignores the fact that China has a different understanding of individual freedom and of social cohesion. For example, the Chinese have a "diplomatic hold" on an American woman and her two children, because they are looking for the estranged husband.

On top of that, China will want other nations to follow its lead.  This would not be a good thing for individual freedom, as we Americans understand it.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, November 26, 2018

Helping the World

For John, BLUFWe can't fix the problems of the Third World by letting them all move here.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Sarah Hoyt, 23 November 2018.

The thing is, Ms Hoyt is an immigrant, from the Iberian Peninsula, just not the Spanish speaking (Hispanic) part.

Here is the key paragraph for summing up the issue, from Ms Hoty's perspective:

Or so they think. Of course, they’re nowhere near it.  What they are actually enabling is the plundering of the first world by the third and the destruction of civilization and the engine of creation and production that has lifted most of the world population to a level our ancestors would consider unimaginable wealth.  (Yes, even most of the third world is richer than, say, Elizabethan England.  But never mind that.)
For the first time, half the world is middle class or more well off.  On the other hand, not everyone has developed the idea of freedom and the idea of corruption being a drag on moving forward.

If we wish to encourage the betterment of people in the third world we need to encourage freedom of thought and expression and open economies.  We need to discourage paternalism and corruption.  And we need to do it with a light touch and a long time horizon.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Liberation of Manila, With Casualties

For John, BLUFWar in built up areas is particularly ugly.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is, in essence, a review of a new book, Rampage: MacArthur, Yamashita, and the Battle of Manila, by Mr James M. Scott.

From Task and Purpose, by Mr James M Scott, 21 November 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

American General Douglas MacArthur, driven from the Philippines at the start of World War II, famously vowed to return. Few people recall the tragedy of his homecoming.

The 29-day battle to liberate Manila in February 1945 proved a fight unlike any other in the Pacific War, a bloody urban brawl that forced American soldiers to battle block by block, house by house and even room by room.  The end result was the catastrophic destruction of the Philippine capital—613 city blocks flattened, 200,000 civilians left homeless, and another 100,000 killed, many raped and murdered by the Japanese in atrocities that mirrored the Rape of Nanking.

The battle was very ugly and little noted.  And still, at the time, The Philippines was a Commonwealth under the United States.  Our responsibility to liberate Manila, and the rest of the Commonwealth.

Regards  —  Cliff

Civics Education

For John, BLUFThis is a good thing.  But how much can you fit into a twelve pound bag?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Hot Air, by Ms Karen Townsend, 23 November 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

Hallelujah! The governor of Massachusetts signed a bill into law that encourages civics education in public schools. Acting just two days after the mid-term elections, he was able to get bi-partisan support, though I would argue that Democrats want civics education for different reasons than Republicans.  Let’s hope that the push for a re-birth of civics education continues in all of the states.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Bring Asia Bibi to America

For John, BLUFWe can't force reform on other nations, but we can grant refugee status to the truly in need.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Why hasn't she been granted asylum?

From The Washington Free Beacon, by Mr Matthew Continetti, 23 November 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

Asia Bibi got into an argument with her co-workers and ended up in jail.  Bibi is a Pakistani Catholic and mother of five.  She cannot read. For years, she picked fruit in her rural village.  One day in June 2009, her peers refused to share a pitcher of water with her because she is a Christian.  She argued with them, muttering some caustic words about the founder of Islam.  They responded by accusing her of blasphemy:  a capital crime in Pakistan.  The next year she was sentenced to death row.

No longer.  In October the Supreme Court of Pakistan acquitted and released Asia Bibi after a long legal battle, during which Islamic radicals assassinated a Pakistani official for supporting her cause.  The response to her acquittal was unsurprising.  Global media and human rights organizations cheered, while Pakistani fundamentalists demonstrated and hung Asia Bibi in effigy.  The outrage spooked Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan into making it more difficult for her to leave the country.  Facing the risk of extrajudicial killing,  Bibi remains in hiding. Her lawyer Saiful Malook fled to Europe.  Protests greeted his arrival

And here is the fourth paragraph:
How lucky one is to be born in the United States.  The American tradition of religious freedom is strong, and it is neither to be underappreciated nor tossed off lightly. Religious dissenters founded several of the original colonies.  The first clauses of the Bill of Rights prohibit an established church as well as abridgments of the free exercise of religion.  George Washington's letter to the Touro synagogue in Newport reflects the American (and Biblical) ideal:  "Every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid."  Asia Bibi's story pricks the conscience because it is so outside the American understanding of public speech, of religious practice.
Other freedoms can be seen to flow from the recognition of the freedom of religion.  Were it that all nations recognized this freedom.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, November 25, 2018


For John, BLUFI think many believe the United States is like Europe, but I think not.  We still believe in all men being created equal, with the potential to grow up to be President, and that is just the risk they have to take.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Its robust civil society and lack of hierarchy are cherished by Americans and curious to foreigners.

From The Wall Street Journal, by Professor Allen C. Guelzo, Professor of history at Gettysburg College, 23 November 2018.

Here is the closing paragraph:

But to reject exceptionalism is also to reject the fundamental philosophical principles on which the republic was founded, relegating the guarantee of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" to the level of tribal myth.  We do not need to claim perfection to reclaim exceptionalism.  And the exceptional principles that guided our founding may turn out, as Lincoln said, to be "the last best hope of earth" after all.
It is a short Opinion Piece and worth the read.  We are an exceptional nation and if parents put their children on the right path those children will achieve much.  This being America, those children may even set themselves on the right path.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, November 24, 2018

IRS At It Again

For John, BLUFThis is one of those "If they can do it to them they can do it to me" kind of things.  We should not let it pass without a comment.  Thank you, Professor Caron.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From TaxProf Blog, by Professor Paul Caron, 24 November 2018.

Here is the lede:

he Internal Revenue Service infamously targeted dissenters during President Obama’s re-election campaign.  Now the IRS is at it again. Earlier this year it issued a rule suppressing huge swaths of First Amendment protected speech.  The regulation appears designed to hamper the marijuana industry, which is still illegal under federal law although many states have enacted decriminalization measures.  But it goes far beyond that.

The innocuously named Revenue Procedure 2018-5 contains a well-hidden provision enabling the Service to withhold tax-exempt status from organizations seeking to improve “business conditions . . . relating to an activity involving controlled substances (within the meaning of Schedule I and II of the Controlled Substances Act) which is prohibited by federal law.”  That means that to obtain tax-exempt status under any provision of the Internal Revenue Code’s Section 501—whether as a charity, social-welfare advocacy group or other type of nonprofit—an organization may not advocate for altering the legal regime applicable to any Schedule I or II substance.

There is more elucidation of the subject at the link above.

I didn't vote for the commonwealth's Marijuana initiative and I do not see blue skies ahead with this last week's opening of two Pot Shops, but the People voted and the IRS should not be fighting this kind of rear guard action.

If only Trump knew.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Voting to Advance Your Objectives

For John, BLUFVoting your values and not your ethnicity.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

DeSantis owes his win to unexpected support from minority women.

From The Wall Street Journal, by Reporter William Mattox, 20 November 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

Believe it or not, Republican Ron DeSantis owes his victory in the Florida gubernatorial election to about 100,000 African-American women who unexpectedly chose him over the black Democratic candidate, Andrew Gillum.

Of the roughly 650,000 black women who voted in Florida, 18% chose Mr. DeSantis, according to CNN’s exit poll of 3,108 voters. This exceeded their support for GOP U.S. Senate candidate Rick Scott (9%), Mr. DeSantis’s performance among black men (8%) and the GOP’s national average among black women (7%).

This is one of the reasons I am strongly opposed to the voting lawsuit against our fair City, Lowell.  The lawsuit appears to assume that people vote based on race or country of origin or some other exterior characteristic.  This is, in fact, a feature in our political mythology.  When I was young people thought Catholics voted Democrat.  But, 1948, in the small town we were living, the Protestants in town (there were six R/C families) turned out for Harry Truman.

This quote sums it up:

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, November 23, 2018

Be Strong, and Show Humanity

For John, BLUFI hope both sides in DC can work together to create a deal on illegal immigration.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Mr Joshua Rabotnick, 23 November, 23 November 2018.

Here is the lede plus three:

Amid the controversy of President Trump ordering 5,200 active-duty soldiers to deploy to the United States’ southern border, tension has once again peaked politically. The Trump administration’s decision has come as a caravan of over 3,000 migrants from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala begins arriving at the Mexican-American border to claim asylum.  Democrats have been quick to highlight images of women and children among the caravan, and have echoed the claims that the caravan is composed of families fleeing violence and poverty that must be offered entry into the United States.  Meanwhile, Republicans have taken a hard stance against the thousands of unknown individuals, arguing that national security must be our nation’s primary consideration and that the caravan should be unreluctantly turned away.  Once again, this country is seemingly at yet another impasse.

Little attention has been paid though to a small country several thousand miles away that seems to face a similar dilemma:  and Israel.

A country of only 8.7 million people with an area just smaller than the size of New Hampshire, Israel is the only industrialized country adjacent to Syria amidst their civil war.  Having been involved in eight wars, two intifadas, and a series of armed conflicts in the country’s 70-year history, Israel is all too aware of the risks associated with bringing in unknown refugees.  As thousands of Syrians continue to flee to their northern Golan Heights border, Israel has to decide how it is going to respond.

While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made it perspicuously clear that Israel would not open its northern border, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) began providing tents, food, clothing, medicine, and humanitarian aid to the refugees as they amassed at the border, a mission they termed “Good Neighbor.”  Further, as sick and injured Syrians approach the border for medical aid, after being screened by the IDF, the individuals are taken via Israeli ambulances to nearby hospitals for medical treatment and hospitalization before being returned to the border.  Lastly, following the Yom Kippur War in 1973, Israel and Syria signed the "Agreement on Disengagement,” which created a demilitarized zone between the two countries in which the refugees are now dwelling.  Israel has made it categorically clear that any attack on the demilitarized zone would be militantly reciprocated, and Israel has moved tanks, artillery cannons, and troops to their northern border accordingly.  Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has yet to violate the decades-old agreement, and a degree of military protection is thus additionally offered to the refugees.

Sounds like the basis for a trade between the Political Parties, and between the US and Mexico.

In excluding the unfettered, we should keep in min these statistics from the U.S. Sentencing Commission (USSC):  that between 2011 and 2016, illegal immigrants accounted for 31.5% of drug convictions, 42.4% of kidnapping convictions, and 7.5% of firearm convictions, and from January to November of 2011, Mexicans living in the U.S. (many doing so legally) sent a record-breaking $21.6 billion to Mexico.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff


For John, BLUFWe are part of the struggle for truth, five days a week.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

An InstaPundit Blog post by Law Professor Gail Heriot, 23 November 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

AREOPAGITICA:  On this day in 1644, Areopagitica, John Milton’s famed defense of free expression, was published. He wrote:
And though all the winds of doctrin[e] were let loose to play upon the earth, so Truth be in the field, we do injuriously by licensing and prohibiting to misdoubt her strength.  Let her and falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the wors[e], in a free and open encounter.
Yes, truth has a struggle, but the solution is not Government licensing of speech.  Down that path lies tyranny..

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Doing the Right Thing

For John, BLUFPray that you will have the strength and courage to protect the oppressed.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Cecylia Roszak was thought to be the oldest nun in the world; poet Abba Kovner was one those she and her sisters saved at a local convent

From The Times of Israel, by Reporter Stuart Weiner, 21 November 2018.

Here is the lede plus five:

A Polish Catholic nun who was honored by Israel for helping to hide Jewish would-be resistance fighters in her convent during World War II died last week aged 110.

Among those who hid in the small convent of nine Dominican nuns during the war was poet and activist Abba Kovner, who in 1942 circulated among the Vilna Ghetto residents a manifesto, titled “Let us not go like lambs to the slaughter,” that warned of Nazi Germany’s plans to wipe out the Jews of Europe.  It marked the first time a victim of the Holocaust had sounded the alarm over what was happening to the Jewish population and called for rebellion against the Nazis.

Cecylia Roszak was believed to be the oldest nun in the world when she passed away in the Dominican convent in the city of Krakow, the archdiocese of Krakow in Poland said last Friday in announcing her death.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Confusion in the [stupid] Gender War

For John, BLUFSociety is maximized when everyone maximizes her or his capabilities.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the InstaPundit, by Mr Ed Driscoll, 20 November 2018.

Here is the lede:

Since the World Scrabble Championship began in 1991, all winners have been male.  The North American Scrabble Championship has had one female winner (in 1987) since its founding in 1978.  All eight finalists in this year’s French World Scrabble Championships were men.  Competitive Scrabble constitutes a natural experiment for testing the feminist worldview.  According to feminist dogma, males and females are identical in their aptitudes and interests.  If men dominate certain data-based, abstract fields like engineering, physics and math, that imbalance must, by definition, be the result of sexism—whether a patriarchal culture that discourages girls from math or implicit bias in the hiring process.
I am not sure what to make of this.  Maybe women don't like competitive Scrabble, although I have my doubts. : On the other hand, the first person to win two Noble Prizes was Ms Marie Curie.

Should we expect the numbers to break down evenly?  Should some percentage be LGBT…?  Does anyone care outside competitive Scrabble players?  While flipping tens heads in a row should raise an eyebrow it is not proof of cheating.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Happy Thanksgiving

For John, BLUFCold and clear.  Nothing to see here; just move along.


Yes, we are all Pilgrams.  Including the American Indians who joined the English immigrants on that first Thanksgiving Day.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Big Brother is Watching

For John, BLUFYes, we wish to be safe, but we also believe we should be safe in our ideas.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Clicking the “wrong” link can get you interrogated by the authorities—and the situation may soon get worse.

From Reason, by Writer J.D. Tuccille, 20 November 2018.

Here is the lede:

When you have an overreaching government "anti-terrorism" program tasked with countering violent ideological messages, anything that rubs officialdom the wrong way starts looking like extremist propaganda, ripe for intervention.  That includes, it turns out, a standard-issue lefty reading-assignment at England's University of Reading:  Cautious about how the message might be perceived, school officials warned students reading Our Morals:  The Ethics of Revolution "not to access it on personal devices, to read it only in a secure setting, and not to leave it lying around where it might be spotted" so as to avoid the attention of the "Prevent" program.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The Case For Political Parties

For John, BLUFIs politics, is governing, a team sport or is it individual events?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Parties are losing control over their candidates. Two scholars argue that ordinary Americans are the ones paying the price.

From The New Yorker, by Harvard Lecturer Yascha Mounk, 12 November 2018.

Here is the heart of the argument:

In one of the most lopsided elections in the country’s history, [Senator George] McGovern was trounced by Richard Nixon, carrying only Massachusetts and the District of Columbia.  “I opened the doors of the Democratic Party,” a dumbfounded McGovern admitted in the wake of his defeat, “and twenty million people walked out.”

According to two Yale political scientists, he shouldn’t have been so surprised.  The most important ingredient of a functioning democracy, Frances McCall Rosenbluth and Ian Shapiro argue, in “Responsible Parties: Saving Democracy from Itself” (Yale), is strong political parties that can keep their rank-and-file members in check.  In a successful political system, the authors say, two big parties compete for popular support by developing and implementing a cohesive platform.  Unlike individual candidates, who might stay in power for only a few years, such parties have a vested interest in maintaining a good reputation over the course of decades.  And unlike political newcomers, who may have little sense of what governments can actually achieve, they have the experience and the financial resources to develop effective proposals for political reform.  Thanks to “long-view horizons” and “incentives to invest in relevant information about the effects of policy choices,” strong parties are more likely to promote the interests of the general public.

I remember the election.  In 1968 I voted for the "Happy Warrior", Democrat Hubert H Humphrey, for President.  In 1972 I went with Richard Nixon.  I said to myself, better a known crook than a known incompetent.

This idea that the fringes need to be empowered will be tested again in January of 2019, when the Democrats decide who to elect as Speaker of the House and how to proceed with legislating in a time of Trump.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

San Ysidro Port Closed Temporarily

For John, BLUFThere are some 47 million people in Central America.  How many of them can the US absorb in the next two years?  And how many jobs in San Diego and Tijuana will be lost due to the complications of illegal immigration?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Daily Caller, by Reporter Will Racke, 19 November 2018.

Here is the lede plus two:

Homeland security officials shut down all northbound lanes at the San Ysidro port of entry early Monday morning, after receiving reports that caravan migrants were planning to rush the border and cross illegally, U.S. officials said.

Port operations were suspended for just over three hours while border authorities, supported by military personnel deployed to the area, carried out “hardening efforts” at the facility, according to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

“This AM, all of #SanYsidro Port of Entry’s northbound lanes were temporarily closed to initiate additional port hardening efforts after @CBP officials were notified that a large # of caravan migrants were planning to rush the border in an attempt to gain illegal access to the US,” Nielsen wrote on Twitter.

I will interpret this.  A large number of people, conducting perfectly legal activities (and some not) were prevented from conducting their business by the antics of illegal immigrants.  One of the busiest ports in the world shut down by people not willing to wait their turn in the queue.

The 'Caravan is viewed differently on the south side of the border.  And, the Mayor of Tijuana, Señor Juan Manuel Gastelum, has a red baseball cap that has, in white letters, "Make Tijuana Great Again."  I wonder where he got that idea?


“Tijuana is a city of immigrants, but we don’t want them in this way,” Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum said in an interview with Milenio Television on Thursday.  “It was different with the Haitians, they carried papers, they were in order.  It wasn’t a horde, pardon the expression.”

The mayor’s comments reflected anger among many Tijuana residents at the increasing number of caravan migrants camped in shelters and public spaces in the city.  At least 3,000 were there as of Sunday, and thousands more are expected to arrive over the coming weeks.

For those who think that the "Trump Mindset" is confined to the White House, or just amongst old white men, the situation in Tijuana might be an indicator that this is a larger phenomenon.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Moral Panic in America

For John, BLUFYes, we are unable, in our sense of righteousness, to learn from the past.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Moral Paniv defined.

An InstaPundit Blog post by Law Professor Gail Heriot.

Here is the lede:

On this day in 1615, Francis Dane, later to become the Rev. Francis Dane, pastor of the North Parish Church in Andover, Massachusetts, was born.  In 1658, he testified for the defense at a witchcraft trial, where he “judged against the probability”—a polite way to say that he though it was a warm pile of horse manure.  The defendant was acquitted.
It takes a lot of moral courage to stand up to the mob during a moral panic.  The Reverand Francis Dane is an example for all of us.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, November 19, 2018

Elections Require Faith

For John, BLUFI am with the 2016 Hillary Clinton, who The Washington Examiner described as saying:  "Her official Twitter account said later on Oct. 24:  'Donald Trump refused to say that he'd respect the results of this election.  That's a direct threat to our democracy.'".  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

"... despite Brian Kemp’s odious voter suppression efforts," cautions lawprof Richard Hasen (at Slate).

From Althouse, by Retired Law Professor Ann Althouse, 19 November 2018.

The 3 reasons::

First, rhetoric about stolen elections feeds a growing cycle of mistrust and delegitimization of the election process, an attack pushed by President Trump and other Republicans who have been yelling “voter fraud” every time they are behind in the count.  I’ve already set out my fear that Trump could refuse to concede the 2020 presidential election if he is ahead in the count on election night and then ballot counts inevitably shift toward Democrats as the counting continues….

Second... Saying Kemp tried to suppress Democratic votes and saying the election was stolen are two different things, and making charges of a stolen election when it cannot be proved undermines Democrats’ complaints about suppressive tactics.  If Democrats can’t prove it, some people will think the suppression is no big deal when it really is….

[Third] It focuses attention on the wrong question: whether there was enough suppression to change election outcomes....

And ADDED by Professor Althouse:
Let me expand on Hasen's first point: Fomenting cynicism about elections might hurt Democrats more than Republicans. Democrats are the ones who need to mobilize more of the people who are inclined to sit things out, and the idea that the everything's fake and rigged isn't going to motivate people to participate.
I think the issue of cynicism is very important.  How do we encourage voting when cynicism is suppressing motivation.

Either we accept elections or we have civil war.  I opt for accepting elections.

Regards  —  Cliff

Truth in Reporting

For John, BLUFThis sounded dubious from the start.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

NBC News reported the Trump administration had explored whether it could extradite Gulen, as a way to persuade Tayyip Erdogan to ease pressure on Saudi Arabia over the killing of Jamal Khashoggi

From Heeretz, from Reuters, 17 November 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

U.S. President Donald Trump said Saturday he was not considering extraditing a U.S.-based Muslim cleric to Turkey as part of an effort to ease pressure on Saudi Arabia.

“No, it’s not under consideration,” Trump told reporters when asked about potential extradition of Fethullah Gulen, who is wanted in Turkey over accusations he was involved in a failed 2016 coup.

So, is this item from NBC what we call "Fake News"?  Or, was it a trial balloon?.

I wonder why NBC fell for this?  Did they do their due diligence? 

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Monoculture Believing in Diversity

For John, BLUFHearing diverse opinions is fun.  Condemning divergent views, while fun, is not nearly as much fun, and it is an intellectual dead end.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

From Quillette, by Author Matthew Binder, 15 November 2018.

Here are two paragraphs:

Just weeks after arriving in the city, I attended a dinner party full of writers and industry folk.  The subject of conversation turned to America—and, in particular, how uniquely racist and evil it is.  The term “fascist” was bandied about casually—even in regard to centrist Democrats such as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.  One attendee described how much more tolerant Canada is, citing the example of a Toronto swimming pool accommodating religiously observant Muslim residents by sex-segregating swimmers at certain times.  Everyone at the table agreed that this was a wonderful thing.  The conversation then moved on to the television adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale—a dystopian science fiction tale that my dinner mates unanimously agreed represented a plausible future for American women.  Indeed, some indicated that we already were living this nightmare thanks to Donald Trump.

My efforts to play contrarian did not meet with success—especially when I suggested that encouraging the segregation of Muslim women might be seen in a very different light if the policy had been championed by, say, Mike Pence or Donald Trump.  When I cut to the chase and asked why no one at the table seemed to feel aggrieved for women suffering under Islamic oppression, voices were raised and, well, I may or may not have been asked to leave.  There were other experiences like this, and I learned to hold my tongue.

The Author has a novel which is soon to be published, but which was put down, along the journey, for being written by a "white male".  It is The Absolved

Lack of diversity of thought leads to a very stifled intellectual environment.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, November 17, 2018

The Pocket Knife

For John, BLUFYes, I carry a three blade pocket knife.  It used to an Old Timer.  Now it is a Buck.  Doesn't everybody?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Appalachian Magazine, by AppalachianMagazine, 24 October 2018.

Here is a key paragraph:

Military veterans, conservative before that was even a word people in the country knew, and Appalachian proud, these men also shared another thing in common, each of them carried a knife — Not a large killing knife, but a small 3-4 inch knife that would inevitably find its way into their hands a countless number of times through the course of each day.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

A Once Great Institution Craters

For John, BLUFYup, I mailed off my letter to the Executive Director earlier this week, asking them to take me off their list, as I no longer saw the ACLU as aligned with my civil rights views.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

The ACLU no longer even pretends to believe in civil liberties.

From The Volokh Conspiracy, by Law Professor David E. Bernstein, 17 November 2018.

Here is the first sentence:

In the late 1960s, the ACLU was a small but powerful liberal organization devoted to a civil libertarian agenda composed primarily of devotion to freedom of speech, free exercise of religion, and the rights of accused criminals.
And here is how the article ends:
Meanwhile, yesterday, the Department of Education released a proposed new Title IX regulation that provides for due process rights for accused students that had been prohibited by Obama-era guidance. Shockingly, even to those of us who have followed the ACLU's long, slow decline, the ACLU tweeted in reponse that the proposed regulation "promotes an unfair process, inappropriately favoring the accused." Even longtime ACLU critics are choking on the ACLU, of all organizations, claiming that due proess protections "inappropriately favor the accuse."

The ACLU had a clear choice between the identitarian politics of the feminist hard left, and retaining some semblance of its traditional commitment to fair process. It chose the former. And that along with the Kavanaugh end signals the final end of the ACLU as we knew it. RIP.

It is sad, very sad.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Trump Wins Again

For John, BLUFSometimes it is better not to stir the pot.  And, odds are that in 2025 Mr Trump will be a retired two term President and Jim Acosta will be forgotten.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

You don't alway win by winning. That's too easy. The genius move is to win by losing.

From the eponymous blog of Retired Law Professor Ann Althouse, 16 November 2018.

Here are the last two paragraphs:

The judge framed it as a matter of process, which justifies Trump issuing a set of rules of decorum.  I assume the rules will include a requirement that a reporter who has received a response (whether it's to his liking or not) must relinquish the microphone, that there can be no physical interference with a staff member who reaches out to take the microphone, and that one much stop talking once the President (or press secretary) has moved on to the next questioner.

Any complaints about these rules and the prescribed consequences of violating them can be met with pieties about adhering to the judge's ruling.  Things must be done in an orderly way — in the press room and in a system of due process.  Any complaints premised on freedom of the press will be met with statements like "We want total freedom of the press" and we want perfect due process.  So here you are, here's notice of our rules of decorum. And that should be the end of the kind of questioning Acosta has become famous for.  Trump wins.

Best Comment so far:

Jupiter said...
These Democrats just can't seem to keep their hands off the White House interns.

11/16/18, 8:46 PM

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, November 16, 2018

Maunder Minimum

For John, BLUFThe science is often unsettled, but it would be nice to buy a few years of cooling.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Humanity is facing a long, cold winter which could see temperatures across the planet plunge to depressing lows.

From Metro News (UK), by Mr Jasper Hamill, 16 November 2018.

Here is the lede plus six:

That’s the warning from a Nasa scientist who fears sunspot activity on the surface of our star has dropped so low that it could herald the arrival of a uniquely grim mini Ice Age.

‘We see a cooling trend,’ Martin Mlynczak of Nasa’s Langley Research Center told Space Weather.

‘High above Earth’s surface, near the edge of space, our atmosphere is losing heat energy.

‘If current trends continue, it could soon set a Space Age record for cold.’

Sunspot activity follows a cycle which is believed to last 11 years as the number of patches peaks and drops.

There have been very few spots on the sun for most of this year, meaning that it could be about to get very cold, very quickly.

‘It could happen in a matter of months,’ Mlynczak added.

The Maunder Minimum, in the 17th century, was coincident with the last mini-ice age, when the Thames froze over.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Press and the President

For John, BLUFThis isn't about Mr Jim Acosta's First Amendment right as much as his Ninth Amendment right to be stupid, or to hector someone.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

The legendary newsman calls for more reporting rather than more outrage or puffery.

From Reason, by Mr Nick Gillespie, 14 November 2018.

Here is a quoted tweet by Mr Dylan Byers:

BOB WOODWARD at Global Financial Leadership Conference in Naples, Fla., shortly after CNN sues White House over @Acosta ::  "In the news media there has been an emotional reaction to Trump ... too many people for Trump or against Trump have become emotionally unhinged about this."
And, from Mr Jon Stewart, the former Daily Show host
[Journalists are] personally wounded and offended by this man.  He baits them and they dive in, and what he's done well, I thought, is appeal to their own narcissism, to their own ego...

It's all about the fight.  He's able to tune out everything else and get people just focused on the fight and he's going to win that fight.

At the end of the day this is a fault Of public education.  These journalists should have learned when they were in grammar school that one shouldn't wrestle with pigs.  As G B Shaw told us, a while ago, you both get dirty and it makes the pig happy.

And, "You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar."

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Real Drama

For John, BLUFI am for Brexit because I can't see how the British tradition of Common Law and the Rights of Englishmen can long under side beside with the Continental idea of Civil Law.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Theresa May hopes to secure support for the ‘product’, but tougher challenges await

From The Guardian, by Political Editor Heather Stewart, 13 November 2018.

Here is the lede plus five:

In the two years and four months since she arrived in Downing Street, Theresa May has become adept at kicking the Brexit can down the road – postponing the inevitable confrontation with the Tory right wing, and her intransigent DUP bedfellows.

She can delay no longer. Key cabinet ministers were summoned to No 10 on Tuesday night and a reading room was set up for them to pore over what May’s deputy, David Lidington, last week called the “product”.

For some weeks now, Brussels has been signalling the key obstacle to finalising a text of the withdrawal agreement – the divorce deal between the UK and the EU – lay not in EU27 capitals, but in Westminster.

The prime minister will learn on Wednesday around the cabinet table whether she has secured the backing of her ministers for the painstakingly drafted text and, most crucially, the Irish backstop.

Leave-minded ministers, not least the Brexit secretary, Dominic Raab, are known to have significant concerns about whether, and how, the UK will be able to extricate itself from what is meant to be a temporary, insurance arrangement but many fear risks becoming Britain’s de facto long-term trading relationship with the EU.

After weeks of increasingly bloodcurdling rumours about resignations and pizza plots, Downing Street is braced for resignations.  May could probably withstand losing a minister or two, as she did when David Davis and Boris Johnson walked out after Chequers.

The reason the establishment, the elite, dislikes Brexit, is because its success would indicate the hoi polloi, the common people, might, and could, take things into their own hands.

Heaven forfend.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Mr Bill Maher Suggests Mr Trump Will Never Go Away

For John, BLUFIt is a joke, isn' it?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This headline is a joke, isn't it?

From Breitbart, by Mr Ian Hanchett, 9 November 2018.

Here is the lede:

On Friday’s broadcast of HBO’s “Real Time,” host Bill Maher argued that President Trump’s involvement in the election controversy in Florida is “a dress rehearsal” for Trump refusing to leave office if he loses in 2020.
Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Noble Gobbler

For John, BLUFMy exit question is, can I still have Turkey for dinner?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Campus Reform, by Campus Correspondent Andrew Lawrence, 20 November 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

A library at a Massachusetts college referred to Thanksgiving as a “#NationalDayOfMourning” on Sunday.

The McQuade Library at Merrimack College in North Andover, Mass. took to Facebook to promote an article entitled “Decolonizing Thanksgiving: A Toolkit for Combatting Racism in Schools.”

I wonder what a "Decolonized Thanksgiving Day would look like?  Who cares if the Pilgrims would recognize it.  Would those who lived through the Civil War have recognized it?  What about those who lived through World Wars One or Two?

Deep down inside I wonder if the perpetrators of "decolonizing" are really against any form of Thanksgiving that has any sort of Judeo-Christian patina on it.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Orange Man Bad

For John, BLUFIn truth, this was an election night line dropped by The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway, on Fox News.  The line “orange man bad” has been picked up as a satirical line by a number of outlets, including the infamous Babylon Bee, which just pokes fun at everyone.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

By Anonymous, in The Babylon Bee 12 November 2018.

Here is the lede:

ATLANTA, GA—Billing the rebrand as part of a larger effort to differentiate itself in the crowded mainstream media environment, news channel CNN rolled out a new network slogan Monday: “Orange Man Bad.”
Read the whole short thing for the humor of it.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Grand Solar Minimum

For John, BLUFI will be impressed if I am still wearing long handles in June of next year.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

“It could happen in a matter of months,” says Martin Mlynczak of NASA’s Langley Research Center.

From Ice Age Now, by Robert, 12 November 2018 by Robert.

Here is the lede plus four:

“The sun is entering one of the deepest Solar Minima of the Space Age,” wrote Dr Tony Phillips just six weeks ago, on 27 Sep 2018.

Sunspots have been absent for most of 2018 and Earth’s upper atmosphere is responding, says Phillips, editor of

Data from NASA’s TIMED satellite show that the thermosphere (the uppermost layer of air around our planet) is cooling and shrinking, literally decreasing the radius of the atmosphere.

To help track the latest developments, Martin Mlynczak of NASA’s Langley Research Center and his colleagues recently introduced the “Thermosphere Climate Index.”

The Thermosphere Climate Index (TCI) tells how much heat nitric oxide (NO) molecules are dumping into space. During Solar Maximum, TCI is high (meaning “Hot”); during Solar Minimum, it is low (meaning “Cold”).

How low?

Ten times smaller.  I assume that is like one-tenth.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

CNN Sues the White House

For John, BLUFI guess one solution, if the White House loses, is to readmit him and then stop holding pressers.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

From CNBC, Reporter Kevin Breuninger, 13 November 2018.

Here is the lede:

CNN is suing President Donald Trump and multiple White House aides for revoking press pass of the news network's White House correspondent, Jim Acosta.
Developing.  CNBC had only two paragraphs at this time.

I guess that when the only real tool you have is a lawyer, every problem cries out for a lawsuit.

It seems to me the real issue the count will face is if the First Amendment guarantee of a free press includes the right of reporters to hector the President of the United States.

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff


For John, BLUFI hope this is wrong, but I doubt it is.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Washington Examiner, by Mr Daniel Chaitin, 9 November 2018.

Here is the lede plus four:

Former FBI Director James Comey used his personal email account to discuss his agency's investigation into Hillary Clinton's unauthorized private email server.

Through a Freedom of Information lawsuit, the Cause of Action Institute, a conservative watchdog group, obtained some of the emails Comey sent from a Gmail account and revealed them Friday evening.

In one email sent on Sept. 30 to James Rybicki, Comey's chief of staff, the FBI director shared a Fox News article about how Russia-linked hackers tried to access Clinton's email server.

"Need to be sure our colleagues across the street don't think I actually said most of the stuff they attribute to me," he told Rybicki.

In a separate email a week later, Comey was aware that the revelation of his use of a personal email account for government business would be “embarrassing."

It isn't good when people make up their own rules.  Sure, a wink and a nod to help some honest subordinate jammed by the system, but those should be rare exceptions.

Senior officials should hold themselves to a "higher standard", both as a moral imperative and as an example to others.  In the end there are no secrets.  Someone always knows.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, November 12, 2018

What-If History

For John, BLUFThis makes sense to me.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From HillFaith:  Good News for Congressional Staff, by Mr Mark Tapscott, 11 November 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

Imagine for a moment that Jesus never entered history.  There would be no Sermon on the Mount.  No Crucifixion.  No Resurrection.  No New Testament.  No Paul. Rome is the foundation of everything that comes after its fall.

And Rome, indeed virtually the entire ancient world, was based politically and economically on slavery, the rights and perogatives of elites, and raw, brute, unaccountable power.

Would there be an America if Christianity never happened?

Without Christianity, as it came to be explained in the New Testament and spread by Paul’s missionary journeys throughout the ancient Mediterranean world, it’s hard to imagine how we get to any recognizable notions of individual liberty, representative assemblies and equality under the law.

These are the views of British Historian Tom Holland.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Hate is Corrosive

For John, BLUFNo matter what you do, you are a racist.  That is why "Republican" begins with "R".  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is a tweet:
Chris Loesch
In the aftermath of the Texas Senator race I think it's wildly funny white rich progressives are calling conservatives racists because they voted for the Hispanic guy instead of the white guy. You can't make this up.
True diversity is in ideas.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Up Front

For John, BLUFIt is good to remember, to take inspiration, but not to get hung up.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Bill Mauldin was a special person, as was his collection of WWII cartoons, Up Front.

As Linus says:

Bill Mauldin was the greatest cartoonist of WWII.
Regards  —  Cliff

It Was an Especially Terrible War

For John, BLUFAnd it didn't totally end on 11 November 2018.  It just wasn't as bad for a while.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Daily Mail, by Mr Alexander Robertson.

Here is the quick background:

The original black and white photographs were painstakingly colourised by Tom Marshall of PhotograFix to mark the 100th anniversary of World War One ending, some of which are pictured here...
A horrible, botched job, leading directly to World Wasr II and the Cold War.  Tens of millions died, overall.

Thanks to the Veterans who fought, died, disappeared or were wounded in body or spirit, or just did their duty and showed up for duty, in combat or in training.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Today, 100 Years On

For John, BLUFA day to say thanks.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

They are all the same day.

From the Armistice between Germany and her opponents in World War I.  The agreed time was 11 o'clock (not 11:11), on 11 November 1918.

It was the end of fighting on the Western Front, but not the end of fighting everywhere.  There was still fighting in what would become Poland, in parts of the Middle East, and within Russia.

Remembering our Service Members, all sacrificed, as did their families, but some sacrificed all.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, November 10, 2018

The End of #Me Too?

For John, BLUFThe Stephen Colbert video on the encounter between Reporter Jim Acosta and the White House Intern trying to retrieve the White House microphone.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Althouse Blog, by Professor Ann Althouse, 10 November 2018.

Here is the lede, mostly:

This is an important cultural moment.  There is now a comic meme about being physically violent to a woman.  Notice how it's upping the violence that makes it funnier and funnier.  It ends with a "Road Runner" type image where a bag of "intern feed" is handed to the woman and then a giant weight falls on her.  Have we ever seen mainstream comedy like that before?  We're laughing at a woman getting crushed to death.
I didn't include the last part of the paragraph.  While it is spot on, it is a little indelicate.  Worth reading the whole thing, and the comments.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit, who sent me to the The Althouse Blog.

Regards  —  Cliff

Acosta—Another Look

For John, BLUFWhen your ego gets to big it can blot out even the sun.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The NY Post, Columnist Michael Goodwin, 7 November 2018.

Here is the lede plus five:

The conduct of a handful of so-called reporters during President Trump’s news conference was disgraceful beyond measure. This is not journalism, this is narcissism.

Naturally, the boorish Jim Acosta of CNN was the instigator. As is his habit, Acosta doesn’t ask questions — he makes accusations and argues. Almost daily, he does it with the press secretary; Wednesday, he did it with the president.

“I want to challenge you,” Acosta began after Trump called on him. Trump realized he’d made a mistake, murmuring, “Here we go,” and Acosta didn’t disappoint.

He insisted that despite the president’s use of the word “invasion,” the caravan of Central American migrants “is not an invasion.”

He adopted a lecturing, I-know-best tone to declare that “they’re hundreds and hundreds of miles away; that’s not an invasion.”

Trump’s response should not have been necessary: “Honestly, I think you should let me run the country, you run CNN.”

He could have gotten his point across with well framed questions.  He might even have worked with a fellow reporter to do follow-up questions.  But, no, not Mr Acosta.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, November 9, 2018

For John, BLUFWe are talking economic migrants, and a sprinkling of MS-13 thugs and Islamic fundamentalists.  What should we do about this?  Just absorb them and thin them out by our much larger population?  Stop this set as a deterrent to others who may wish to follow?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Out in the Punditry, and the News—is there a difference—and in the Democratic Party, there is a lot of criticism of President Trumps characterization of the thousands marching toward the US Southern Border.  As long as migrants are coming in penny packets there will likely not be a big uproar in this country.  However, let there be violence associated or larger groups start coming out of the failed states of Central America and then there will be an uproar.

From PJ Media, by Mr Michael Walsh, 22 October 2018.

Here is the lede plus three:

Three years ago, a horde of "migrants" from the Islamic ummah arrived suddenly in the Hungarian capital of Budapest, marching right through a sovereign nation without a care in the world.  They were on their way to the promised lands of old Christendom, and the glittering, helpless welfare societies that tried to offer cradle-to-grave security but too late realized that it forgot the cradle part, and only had the grave to look forward to.  Shortly thereafter, the Hungarians sealed their borders, built a fence, and enlisted other similarly minded countries in central Europe to join them in an adamant refusal to admit "migrants" masquerading as "refugees."

The Muslim army was raised and funded by unknown players, but it was welcomed by Angela Merkel, the worst German chancellor since you-know-who.  With no personal stake in the future of her country, the childless Merkel was suddenly hailed as Mutti Merkel by her new charges, who then promptly went on a orgy of cultural enrichment that will end with the total collapse of Merkel's government and, hopefully, Merkelism itself.  In retrospect, it's clear that the "migrant" horde should have been stopped at the Serbian or Hungarian borders and turned back by any means necessary; Europe is still facing the enormous consequences of Merkel's hideous error.

Now it's America's turn.  Thousands of economic migrants -- they make no bones about it -- are heading our way, insouciantly traversing the basket-case failed state of Mexico on their trek to El Norte and boasting that there's no stopping them.  The media, speaking for the Democrat party, acts as if this is some sort of natural phenomenon, like an earthquake or a hurricane, and the only "humane" thing to do is to accommodate them in America, no questions asked.

Luckily, President Trump is made of sterner stuff that either Merkel or the media.  He's announced he's cutting back on aid to the three worst, most dysfunctional and violent countries in Central America (Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador), has demanded that our friends the Mexicans stop them before they reach Texas and Arizona, and has even threatened to use the U.S. military to prevent the migrants from crossing into American territory.

I think Mr Walsh may be a bit over the top in his reporting, he is touching on a very real political nerve.

While folks saying that they are hundreds to thousands of miles away seems to suggest that they aren't really a threat, at some point in time they will arrive at the border.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff


For John, BLUFI believe Ms Graham has misread the situation, and her solution is not a good one.  Nothing to see here; just move along.


Misandry—dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against men (i.e., the male sex): her brand of feminism is just poorly disguised misandry

From The Boston Globe, by Columnist Renée Graham, 8 November2018.

Here is the lede plus five:

In the midterm elections, about 17 percent of black men voted to give Texas Republican Ted Cruz another term in the Senate.  Around 11 percent supported Georgia gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp, even though he did his best, as the Republican secretary of state, to disenfranchise more than a million voters, the majority of them African-American.

So, here’s my request:  Black men, vote like black women.

It seems to me that if you want to see change in politics you have to be willing to spread some votes around.  If all the votes are bound to one side, then the other side has no motivation to seek out those votes.  No motivation to change its platform, its approach to legislating, since there is no reward in that for them.

On the other hand, if Black men, as a group, see some benefit from Republican Party policies, they can encourage those policies by voting Republican.  As a famous Republican once said, "What do you have to lose?"

Regards  —  Cliff


White House Press Corps

For John, BLUFIt seems to me that Mr James Acosta has gotten too big for his britches.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Washington Times, by Emeritus Editor in Chief Wesley Pruden, 8 November 2018.

Here is the lede plus five:

Yamiche Alcindor of National Public Radio asked the president why he calls himself a “nationalist” when he should know that the word has been twisted into a meaning it once never had.

“Mr. President,” she said, “on the campaign trail you called yourself a ‘nationalist,’ and some heard that as emboldening white nationalists.  There are some people that say the Republican Party is seen as supporting white nationalists because of your rhetoric.  What do you make of that?”

This is the classic ‘when-did-you-stop-beating your wife’ question.  To answer it is to accept the premise, that a nationalist is a racist and bigot simply because “some people” say so, and that “the Republican Party is seen as supporting white nationalists because of [the president’s] rhetoric.”  She apparently never learned that “some” is not a legitimate source.

The president might have delicately said something like “I have never said anything to support racial bigotry,” or merely defined “nationalism,” a devotion to national rather than international goals, and let it go.  But It’s difficult for anyone, even a president, to let such an accusation go.  Attributing bigotry to someone with whom you disagree has become a liberal’s first line of argument, and even a president finds it hard to ignore, and this president doesn’t do letting it go.

“I don’t know why you’d say that,” Mr. Trump replied.  “Such a racist question.  Honestly?  Let me tell you, that’s a racist question.  Why do I have the highest poll numbers ever with African Americans?  That’s such a racist question.  I love our country, I do.  You have nationalists, and you have globalists.  But to say what you said to me is so insulting to me. It’s a very terrible thing you said.”

“The Washington Press Corps,” reported one Web publication, “was floored.” The White House reporters, who can sometimes seem like a “corps,” but the reporters who cover the presidents are never so organized as a “corps.”  (Aside to Barack Obama, the scholar from Harvard, Columbia, and Occidental College, it’s still pronounced as if it were spelled “core” not “corpse,” which is a dead person.)

It isn't just about CNN's James Acosta, who has had his White House Press Pass lifted.  The Press Corps seems to be trying to prove, during Press Conferences, how evil the White House is, under President Trump.

The only thing that is surprising is that the Press Corps, and their Masters back at the newspapers and stations, are surprised that the President pushes back.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  It did seem like Mr Acosta was acting like he was the star of the show and should be afforded more than his fair share of the time.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

General Sessions Moving On

For John, BLUFI don't find this shocking.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here are a pair of Tweets from our Senior Senator, E Warren, one from 2017 and one from yesterday:
As our top law enforcement officer, the AG must be truthful and uphold the law. Sessions cannot continue to serve. He should resign.
6/13/17, 3:30 PM

.@realDonaldTrump's firing of Jeff Sessions brings us one step closer to a constitutional crisis. Congress must act to ensure Special Counsel Mueller can do his job without interference.
11/7/18, 1:32 PM

It would help my understanding of Senator E Warren's position shift if I understood what she thinks has changed.  If nothing has changed this is just another mindless tweet.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Color as a Construct

For John, BLUFMaybe he is over the top, but maybe he is on to something.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Before I came to America, I didn’t see color.  Now, unfortunately, I do.

Robin Koerner, Monday, October 29, 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

It took me a couple of seconds to get Stephen Colbert’s joke line—“I don’t see race”—when I first heard it.

In the USA, the joke works because no one can seriously imagine everyone not seeing race.

But when I first heard it, I had to work that out because I was born and raised in the UK … and I never saw race.

That’s not because I am more evolved than any American or more “woke” or more of anything at all. It’s just that I was brought up in a culture and a manner in which skin color was something one paid about as much attention to as hair color. Colbert’s joke simply wouldn’t work in the England of my generation.

Well, there is that belief about blonds.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

“Remember, the Nazis were socialists.”

As Young As You Feel

For John, BLUFIs what we think, in fact, reality.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Telegraph (UK), their Foreign Staff, 7 November 2018.

Here is the lede plus three:

A pensioner has begun a legal battle to be recognised as being 20 years younger than his actual age so he can go back to work and achieve greater success with women on Tinder.

Emile Ratelband, 69, argues that if transgender people are allowed to change sex, he should be allowed to change his date of birth because doctors said he has the body of a 45-year-old.

The entrepreneur and self-help guru is suing his local authority after they refused the amend his age on official documents.

Mr Ratelband's case has now gone to a court in the city of Arnhmen in the eastern Dutch province of Gelderland.

I checked, and it is not 1 April anywhere in the world.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff