The EU

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Saturday, August 31, 2019

Tulsi Gabbard Being Sidelined?

For John, BLUFThe author rails against "the permanent bipartisan fusion party" which keeps things pretty much where they are.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

The four-term Hawaii congresswoman is too unorthodox for the Democratic party.  What a shame

From Spectator USA, by Geopolitical Analyst Brandon J. Weichert, 30 August 2019>.

Spectator USA is the US online version of the British Magazine The Spectator.

Here is the lede plus one:

Tulsi Gabbard is arguably the most interesting woman in American politics today.  A combat veteran from the Iraq war, the Hawaii Democrat’s beliefs were forged not only in the desert wastelands of Iraq but also by the wastefulness of America’s permanent bipartisan fusion party.

Having served in the US Army National Guard in a medical unit during the darkest days of pre-surge Iraq, Gabbard was forced to question all of her pre-war assumptions.  From that point, she entered politics and quickly rose to prominence as one of the few voices of restraint and reason among Democrats now infected by the warmongering ruling class.

Since then, the four-term congresswoman has been lampooned by the leaders of her own party for her troubles.

If she were any other Democrat — say, John Kerry — she would have been lauded by the Democratic National Committee both for her war service and for her outspoken opposition to it — at least as long as Republicans were in charge.  Trouble is, Gabbard is not a white, Ivy League-educated male with a patrician disposition like Kerry’s andthat of so many powerful Democrats today.  Gabbard actually has skin-in-the-game.  She fought for — and earned — everything she’s achieved.

I pretty much agree with the article.  My one objection is where the Writer tries to smear the Democratic Party Establishment for racism, by commenting that Representative Gabbard isn't "white".  For one thing, who cares?  Content of character and all that?  Secondly, with what it means to be "White" expanding, why exclude anyone who falls within the broader category.  The New York City School System has said that the Chinese should be grouped with Caucasians (whereas Harvard University treats them the way they used to treat Jews).  The Washington Post appears to think Author and Lawyer J D Vance is a "White Nationalist, which I guess means his Indian Subcontinent extraction Wife, who immigrated from South Africa, is a Caucasian.

Here is how the article ends:

It’s too bad that she and Trump don’t get along, as she’d make a great VP choice for Trump.  The combination of Trump and Gabbard would blow up the permanent bipartisan fusion party while protecting the interests of ordinary Americans, like us.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Left's Abuse of Andy Ngo

For John, BLUFAntifa is an excuse for leftist extremists to abuse other people and commit violence.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Masked activists attacked the Quillette editor with fists and milkshakes, sending him to the emergency room.

From Reason, by Reporter Robb Soave, 29 June 2019.

Here is the lede plus two:

Andy Ngo, a photojournalist and editor at Quillette, landed in the emergency room after a mob of antifa activists attacked him on the streets of Portland during a Saturday afternoon demonstration. The assailants wore black clothing and masks, and were engaged in a counter-protest against several right-wing groups, including the Proud Boys. Ngo is a well-known chronicler of antifa activity, and has criticized their illiberal tactics on Fox News. He attended the protest in this capacity—as a journalist, covering a notable public event. According to Ngo, his attacker stole his camera equipment. But video footage recorded by another journalist, The Oregonian's Jim Ryan, clearly shows an antifa activist punching Ngo in the face. Others throw milkshakes at him:
Nation of Change denigrates Reporter Andy NGO as not being a real Reporter, but that is no reason for violence.  What jerks think otherwise?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

German Government Broaches Censurship

For John, BLUFThere is Fascism in the air, and it has nothing to do with Donald Trump.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From FOCUS News Agency, 28 May 2019.

Here is the lede plus six:

Sofia. German Chancellor Angela Merkel's favoured successor Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer sparked outrage on social media on Tuesday with an apparent call for limits to free speech around elections, AFP reported.

The CDU chief's comment came after her party and its centre-left coalition partner SPD suffered their worst scores in Sunday's European election -- a result partly blamed on the fact that some 70 YouTube stars had urged Germans not to vote for either party.

Addressing the issue on Monday night, Kramp-Karrenbauer said if 70 newspaper editors had called to boycott parties ahead of an election, that would be classed "clearly as propaganda".

"The question is... what are rules from the analogue realm and which rules should apply to the digital realm?

"I'll tackle this discussion quite aggressively," said Kramp-Karrenbauer, or AKK as she is dubbed in Germany.

Her comments immediately sparked a storm on social media with #AKKRuecktritt (AKKresign), #annegate, #Zensur (censorship) and #Meinungsfreiheit (freedom of opinion) making up the top four topics trending on Twitter in Germany.

Many users pointed to article five in the German constitution guaranteeing freedom of opinion, speech and writing.

The belief that you are right does not justify preventing others from speaking.

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

European Economic Success and Failure

For John, BLUFNot everything in Europe is perfect.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Economic growth was diverse across EU regions, yet it is crucial to control for region-specific factors in assessing growth performance.  We find that there are rather successful regions in many EU countries, suggesting that the EU can provide a good framework for growth.  Yet the worst performers are more concentrated in some countries, suggesting that country-specific factors can play a major role in regional development.

From Bruegel, by Zsolt Daria’s, Jan Mazza and Catarina Midoes, 3 June 2019.

Here is the lede:

Economic growth has been markedly different across EU regions. The fastest-growing regions of the EU between 2003 and 2015 were in Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, Slovakia the three Baltic countries and in the southern part of Ireland (Map 1).  On the other end, Greece experienced a particularly dramatic recession, while most regions of Italy and many regions in France, Spain and the United Kingdom are also among the slowest growing regions.
Europe is uneven in economic growth and Brussels isn't fixing the problems.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, August 30, 2019

Housing Crisis?

For John, BLUFHigh housing prices, with a rising population, will mean marginalized people being dropped into homelessness, which is not a good thing.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

The combination of high home prices and property tax rates can making buying a home a costly proposition in some states

From Market Watch, by Mr Jacob Passy, 30 August 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

Prospective home buyers may want to steer clear of the Bay State if they don’t want their purchase to break the bank.

Massachusetts ranked as the most expensive state to buy a home in, according to a report from personal-finance website SmartAsset

Note it is the combination of price and property tax.  With our Mass population growing (240,000 in Middlesex County over the next 25 years) we need to find a way to get ahead of the housing curve.  And to get ahead of the transportation infrastructure.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Fiddling While Rome Burns

For John, BLUFGovernor Gavin Newsom seems to not grasp that the California of the 1940s, 50s and 60s then started a slow motion implosion.  I was a resident for 38 years, before ending up in Lowell in 1994.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Hill, by Mr Owen Daugherty, 17 June 2019.

Here is the lede plus four:

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) in an interview published Monday said the Republican Party is headed for the “waste bin of history.”

In an interview with Politico, Newsom compared national Republicans to the GOP in California in the 1990s.

California Republicans were once a force, but have seen their power disappear over the last two decades.

Washington Republicans will "go the same direction — into the waste bin of history, the way Republicans of the '90s have gone. That’s exactly what will happen to this crop of national Republicans,” Newsom told Politico.

Former California Gov. Pete Wilson's (R) push for a ballot measure in 1994 that prohibited illegal immigrants from gaining access to public schools and health care has been widely linked to the GOP's erosion in the state.

It is sad, what has happened to the once wonderful state of California, but the voters lost track of what made California great..

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Foreign Sources

For John, BLUFThe President criticized for listening to foreign sources.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is a couple of months old, but in our unrepentant and unforgiving culture, still relevant.

From The Hill, by Opinionator John Sullivan, 14 June 2019.

Here is the lede plus six:

If you read the newspapers, tuned into the cable TV pundits or received an email from one of the Democrats running for president, you’d swear Donald Trump was back to his treasonous ways.

All that was missing was an annoying OMG text exclamation punctuating the unfounded claims that Trump might violate the law in 2020 by accepting intelligence on a political rival from a foreign country.  The inference, of course, is that it would come from a hostile power such as Russia or North Korea or Iran.

Actually, what Trump told ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos was that he’d consider taking intelligence dirt about a rival from a friendly ally.  (Norway was the actual example he used.)

Sound familiar? That is EXACTLY what the Obama administration did in 2016.  It’s something no one in the media or the political space grasped during the tsunami of breathless reaction that followed the interview.

In July 2016, the Obama administration accepted unsolicited information from Alexander Downer, an Australian diplomat who just happened to have helped arrange a $25 million government donation to the Clinton Foundation years before.  Downer said that he had witnessed a Trump campaign aide, George Papadopoulos, bragging about some dirt that the Russians supposedly had on Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

Though Downer’s claim was reported two-plus months after the alleged event, and was only hearsay gathered at a London tavern, the Obama administration gave it to the FBI which, in turn, thought it was weighty enough to justify opening a counterintelligence case against the lawfully elected Republican nominee for president.

In other words, the Democratic administration accepted dirt from a foreign friendly and used it to justify investigating its GOP rival.

It appears, in the eyes of Democrats, candidates for foreign office may not read foreign news sources.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Keep to Yourself

For John, BLUFHis neighbor gave him a gesture, with both hands, of an extended digit, and he formed a gun with his fingers, which traumatized a second neighbor, who reported him to the police.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Pajama Media, by Mr Rick Moran, 29 August 2019.

My generation had a lot of people who would have been convicted under this ruling.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Self-Righteous Prig

For John, BLUFFormer FBI Director James Comey abused his authority to satisfy his personal goals, while hiding behind an aura of sanctimony.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The New York Post, by Opinion Writer David Harsanyi (a senior editor at The Federalist), 29 August 2019.

We are talking about disgraceful former FBI Director James Comey.  Here is a Tweet on the topic.

Benjamin Wittes @benjaminwittes · 5h
From famed @Comey apologist @matthewamiller
Matthew Miller @matthewamiller · 5h
This is perhaps the stupidest investigation the IG has ever done, and one of its dumber conclusions.  Talk about fiddling while Rome burns.
Here is the article lede plus three:
For nearly three years now, those who promise to save us from the wicked clutches of President Donald Trump have bombarded America with lectures about the “rule of law.”  Yet, over and over again, these self-styled champions of justice feel free to disregard the law whenever it suits them.  The latest example is former FBI Director James Comey.

A new report by the Office of the Inspector General for the Justice Department found that Comey had written FBI memos, illicitly passed them on to a lawyer friend, who in turn leaked them to a friendly New York Times reporter who had been spreading the Russian conspiracy theory.

Why? Because Comey was interested in extracting revenge on the man who had fired him, Donald Trump.

Comey, the report found, had leaked “investigative information, obtained during the course of FBI employment, in order to achieve a personally desired outcome.”

What a jerk.  This is how we get a Junta.  Bluntly, OK maybe in Latin America, but very Unamerican.

Here is how the OpEd ends:

If you want to know why so many Americans believe there’s a “deep state” working against their interests, look no further than men like Comey.  We have growing evidence that senior officials in the FBI and CIA acted as partisan opponents of the duly elected president, abetting and inciting partisan investigations.

Americans will continue to lose trust in institutions, if leaders keep misappropriating power for political purposes.  Comey claimed he leaked his memos because they were of “incredible importance to the Nation, as a whole,” which is what everyone who has ever pursued arbitrary and capricious power says to rationalize their abuse.

I can only hope we realize how wrong this was.

Here is the Althouse Blog view.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

ICE and Local Governments

For John, BLUFA local government in California is being sued over its actions with regard to illegal immigrants.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Epoch Times, by Mr Mark Tapscott, 28 August 2019.

Here is the lede plus two:

Non-profit government watchdog Judicial Watch announced Wednesday it has filed a lawsuit in California Superior Court seeking a permanent injunction to bar Santa Clara County officials from enforcing a sanctuary policy that protects illegal aliens accused of heinous crimes.

Filed on behalf of Santa Clara County taxpayer Howard Myers, the suit requests an injunction against Sheriff Laurie Smith and Rick Sung, acting chief of corrections.

The injunction would prevent Smith and Sung “from expending taxpayer funds and taxpayer-financed resources on a recently enacted policy that requires federal immigration officials to obtain a judicial warrant before an alien in Santa Clara County’s custody may be transferred to Afederal immigration officials’ custody for removal from the United States.

Live by the Lawsuit, die by the Lawsuit.  I wonder if Santa Clara will fold to save the money, sort of like Lowell.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Free Markets At Work

For John, BLUFIt isn't fixed that China will pull in all jobs.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From CNBC, by Jasmine Kim, 27 August 2019.

Here is the lede plus four:

Hasbro shifting its business out of China has been positive for the company, according to its CEO. “It’s gone very well for us,” Brian Goldner told CNBC on Tuesday.

The toy company has been focused on diversifying its manufacturing operations since 2012 due to “enterprise risk reasons,” he said.

“We’re seeing great opportunities in Vietnam, India and other territories like Mexico.  We’re doing even more in the U.S. We brought Play-Doh back to the U.S. last year, ” Goldner said on “Squawk on the Street. ”

As the U.S.-China trade dispute has intensified over the past month, President Donald Trump last week urged U.S. companies to leave China. He said in a tweet, “Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies HOME and making your products in the USA.”

According to Hasbro, this isn’t hard to follow.

China is not for free trade, but rather has a mercantilist approach to economics.  It May not be the best approach, for China or for the world as a whole.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Electoral College

For John, BLUFThe election of Donald Trump in 2016, because he better gamed the Electoral College, seems to upset the Democrats.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Daily Signal, by Ms Tara Ross, 27 August 2019.

Here is the lede plus three:

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez loves to hate on the Electoral College. Once again, she has the nation up in arms about America’s unique presidential election system.

The Electoral College, the New York Democrat said on Instagram last week, is a “scam” that “effectively weighs white voters over voters of color.”  Then on Friday afternoon, she doubled down, tweeting that the Electoral College is nothing more than “affirmative action” for rural voters.

In her view, rural areas are too white—and too powerful in presidential elections.

Perhaps Ocasio-Cortez should take a step back in time.  Civil rights leaders once had a different view, and they came out in force to argue for the preservation of the Electoral College.

Given the size and diversity of these United States, the Electoral College is a tool for ensuring that all voices are heard.  If we change the system, and marginalize certain segments of the nation the response will come, and it will be surprising and disliked.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Russiagate Drags On

For John, BLUFThere is much we don't yet know about Federal Government efforts to subvert the 2016 Trump Campaign.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Real Clear Investigations, by Reporter Paul Sperry, 28 August 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

More than three months after President Trump granted his attorney general unprecedented power to declassify intelligence files, key U.S. intelligence agencies are still withholding documents related to the Trump-Russia affair, say people with direct knowledge of White House discussions on the subject.

The source of the logjam: the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which Trump is in the process of shaking up after the resignations last month of its director, Dan Coats, and principal deputy, Sue Gordon.  “Establishment” officials in that agency are still dragging their feet, say the sources, who spoke on condition that they not be further identified.

That the larger Intelligence Community, including the FBI, is still stonewalling Investigations into Federal Government meddling in the 2016 Election should be disturbing to all Americans.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Rights and Responsibilities

For John, BLUFMaturity is awarded at age 16, for driving, but 21 for owning a gun.  We are told the human brain is not fully developed until age 24.  Imposing life-forming decisions at age 8 seems to not be consistent with our evolving culture.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Pajama Media, by Reporter Tyler O'Neil, 25 August 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

Children as young as 8 years old are being given untested experimental drugs to verify their gender identity. Activists argue that these drugs are essential for the health of kids who identify as transgender, and many in the medical establishment increasingly agree. Nevertheless, a dissenting endocrinologist explained to PJ Media that these drugs actually give children a disease that could cause heart and bone problems and stunt brain growth, and condemned the transgender "treatments" often carried out on children as "child abuse."

If a girl child identifies as a boy, she may be given so-called "puberty-blockers" to prevent her from going through the natural human process of development. In some cases, she would then be given testosterone in an attempt to make her become a man. The effects of these hormones are not fully known, but some negative side effects have been widely reported.

"I call it a development blocker — it’s actually causing a disease," Dr. Michael Laidlaw, an endocrinologist associated with Sutter Roseville Medical Center in Rocklin, Calif., told PJ Media. The disease in question is hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. It occurs when the brain fails to send the right signal to the gonads to make the hormones necessary for development.

I expect most people of my age remember Christine Jorgensen.  Sexual transition is not new.  This is America in the 21st Century.  Adults can be whatever they want.

The question is, at what age is an individual old enough to give informed consent to a transition in their gender identification?  I suspect it isn't 8, and maybe not 18.  Such a change, perhaps not easily reversible, needs to be carefully considered.  Otherwise, it is child abuse.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Warming in the US

For John, BLUFNature will follow the path nature selects.  The job of science is to follow that path, wherever it leads.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Real Clear Energy, by Reporter James Taylor, 23 August 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

When American climate alarmists claim to have witnessed the effects of global warming, they must be referring to a time beyond 14 years ago.  That is because there has been no warming in the United States since at least 2005, according to updated data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

In January 2005, NOAA began recording temperatures at its newly built U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN).  USCRN includes 114 pristinely maintained temperature stations spaced relatively uniformly across the lower 48 states.  NOAA selected locations that were far away from urban and land-development impacts that might artificially taint temperature readings.

Hat tip to a friend of my Middle Brother.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, August 26, 2019

Full Representation

For John, BLUFWho speaks for Native Americans in the US Congress?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From CNN, by Reporter Harmeet Kaur, 25 August 2019.

Here is the lede plus two:

The Cherokee Nation announced Thursday that it intends to appoint a delegate to the US House of Representatives, asserting for the first time a right promised to the tribe in a nearly 200-year-old treaty with the federal government.

It was a historic step for the Oklahoma-based Cherokee Nation and its nearly 370,000 citizens, coming about a week after Chuck Hoskin Jr. was sworn in as principal chief of the tribe.  The Cherokee Nation says it's the largest tribal nation in the US and one of three federally recognized Cherokee tribes.

The move raises questions about what that representation in Congress would look like and whether the US will honor an agreement it made almost two centuries ago.

Do they also get a Presidential Elector?  For the District of Columbia The Twenty-third Amendment provides three Electoral College votes.

I say yes to a Rep in Congress and maybe on an elector.

On the other hand, do members of Cherokee Nation get to vote in Oklahoma State level Elections for House Members?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Another Spin on the 1619 Project

For John, BLUFShould The New York Times be shamed into dropping its masthead motto, "All the news that's fit to print"?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Leaked transcripts from a New York Times crisis town-hall meeting shows some within its senior leadership are determined "to get" Donald Trump out of office, according to Sky News host James Morrow

Dateline 24 August 2019.

It is a 5:32 video.

I guess it is an editorial position.  One that influences me.  To not shell out money.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Once A Green Land

For John, BLUFI suspect that President Trump's fertile mind is making connections 24/7.  And, If he is like most of us, he is dismissing most of them pretty quickly.  I like that in him.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

While the American media mocks Trump for Greenland purchase remarks, it misses the strategic motivations behind the move

From Legal Insurrection, by Leslie Eastman, 22 August 2019.

Government by leak.  I guess that is why the previous Administration cracked down so hard on leakers.

In the mean timthe issue of China's interest in Greenland needs to be appreciated.  They have an interest in the Arctic.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Back during a previous warming period Vikings named it Greenland to attract immigrants.

Saturday, August 24, 2019


For John, BLUFThe Old Gray Lady is not taking a whole of America look at slavery.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Title of the Project is wrong, not to mention the Premise

From Da Tech Guy , by Baldilocks (Juliette Akinyi Ochieng), 24 August 2019.

It is short.  Read it.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Warping History

For John, BLUFThe Masses need to stand up against the shenanigans of the Elites.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From According to Hoyt, by Author Sarah A Hoyt, 24 August 2019.

Here is the lede plus five:

In haste:

Dumas said that you shouldn’t rape history unless you intend to conceive a bastard.  The left has taken this to heart and is trying to create a bastard that will rule us with a rod of iron.

It won’t take.  Just like the leftist/Marxist illusion is a child of the mass production era, that era is passing and ushering in more customized times, more individual times.

This is good, because honestly the era of mass production and mass behavior encouraged us to see humans as widgets.  Humans are not widgets, and we haven’t done well under this regime.

The Twentieth Century was worse than the fourteenth for soaking the Earth with blood.

The left will have trouble putting their boot on our necks again, now we’ve tasted freedom.  They’re trying, but it’s the spasms of a dying beast and a dying way of life.

Hat tip to Memeorandum.

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

I Blame Trump

For John, BLUFI am sure the Blogger is tapping into the mindset of the Squad.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From IMAO, by Harvey, 20 August 2019.

Here is the post:

Most of the countries which are now failed socialist states had healthy economies and democratic governments when President Trump was born.  See?  Socialism would totally work if it weren’t for Trump.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, August 23, 2019

Israel in the Long Run

For John, BLUFAt some point there will need to be hard choices.  Will we back Israel against its revanchist neighbors or will we provide shelter for the seven million citizens of Israel, or will we just abandon them.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Jewish Journal, by Reporter Aaron Bandler, 22 August 2019.

Here is the lede plus three:

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas continued to defend the PA’s “pay-to-slay” policy of paying terrorists to murder Israelis in an Aug. 10 speech and declared that the Palestinians will one day “march into Jerusalem by the millions.”

Abbas gave the speech at the Jalazone Refugee Camp, which is close to Ramallah. In his message to Israel, he said:  “Every stone you have built on our land and every house you have built on our land – there is no escaping that they will disappear, Allah willing.  And the more they announce houses here or settlements there – they will all disappear, Allah willing, and will be in the garbage dump of history.”

He added that “this land belongs to the Canaanites who were here 5,000 years ago – and we are the Canaanites! We will enter Jerusalem as fighters by the millions.  We will all enter it, all of the Palestinian people and all of the Arab and Islamic and Christian nations!  Everyone will enter Jerusalem!”

Abbas then denounced Israel’s law that reduces funding to the PA for each time they provide money to a terrorist.

I do not see any Palestinian entities being interested in cutting a peace deal with Israel.  I do not see the BDS Movement as encouraging a peace settlement  I do not see Congressional visits to encourage Palestinian resistance as being helpful..

Long time readers of this blog know I am for what I call Jewish Dakota.  If it gets really ugly in the Holy Land we should be prepared to land troops to allow an evacuation, to the United States of all Israelis wishing to settle here.  I would create land in the upper Plains States.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Conflicting Ideas

For John, BLUFThe Democrats are supporting Palestinian groups, which, in turn, oppose civil rights for homosexuals and the broader LGBTQ Community.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Powerline Blog, by Blogger John Hinderaker, 18 August 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

If Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar had made their visit to “Palestine,” their time would have been devoted exclusively to bashing Israel.  Their attacks would have combined American-style leftism with Palestinian religious solidarity.  And yet, as Scott [Johnson] has pointed out more than once, there are obvious tensions between Islam and the contemporary Left, as embodied by the Squad.  What branch of Islam is it, exactly, that celebrates abortion, homosexuality and transgenderism?

It would be interesting to see a reporter ask Tlaib or Omar about this news story:  “PA Bans LGBTQ Activities In West Bank.”

On the one hand, the Republicans are trying to find unifying themes, while, on the other, the Democrats are trying to find what distinguishes groups from one another, appealing to each.

We should have some admiration for the Democrats, for as Author F Scott Fitzgerald said:

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff


For John, BLUFI remember, from my youth, the struggle for fluoridation, against the "no nothings".  The "antis" were right, but for the wrong reasons.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

The findings could undermine public-health messaging, fuel conspiracy theorists, and give pregnant women something else to worry about.

From The Daily Beast, by Reporters Shira Feder And Tracy Connor, 19 August 2019.

Here is the lede plus three:

An influential medical journal published a study Monday that links fluoride consumption during pregnancy with lower childhood IQs—a finding that could undermine decades of public-health messaging, fire up conspiracy theorists, and alarm mothers-to-be.

The research was expected to be so controversial that JAMA Pediatrics included an editor’s note saying the decision to publish it was not easy and that it was subjected to “additional scrutiny.”

“It is the only editor’s note I’ve ever written,” Dimitri Christakis, editor in chief of JAMA Pediatrics and a pediatrician, told The Daily Beast. “There was concern on the journal’s editorial team about how this would play out in the public eye and what the public-health implications would be.”

About three-fourths of the United States drinks fluoridated tap water—which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared one of the 10 greatest public-health achievements of the 20th century because it dramatically reduces tooth decay.

With science there are no permanent truths, just expanding chances for research and new breakthroughs.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Climate Change Mass Extinction

For John, BLUFNot all we hear about species extinction will square up with the facts.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

From What's Up With That, by Charles the Moderator, 27 May 2019.

Here is the lede plus two:

One million species will become extinct in the not-too-distant future and we are to blame.  That is the conclusion of a new study by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).  The Summary for Policymakers (SPM) was issued on May 6th {the full report will be issued “later this year} and warns that “human actions threaten more species with global extinction now than ever before” and that “around 1 million species already face extinction, many within decades, unless action is taken to reduce the intensity of drivers of biodiversity loss.”

It also asserted that we have seen increasing dangers over the last several decades, stating “the threat of extinction is also accelerating:  in the best-studied taxonomic groups, most of the total extinction risk to species is estimated to have arisen in the past 40 years.”  The global rate of species extinction claimed “is already tens to hundreds of times higher than it has been, on average, over the last 10 million years.”

The release of the report spawned a media frenzy that uncritically accepted the study’s contention that we will see more than 20,000 species per year bite the dust in the not too distant future.  PBS called it the “current mass extinction,” and the New Yorker’s headline read “Climate Change and the New Age of Extinction.”

Then there is this paragraph, with a reference to a chart in the story:
Below, all 529 species available from the Red List with a known extinction date are shown below in Figure 2 by decade of extinction.  This chart reveals quite a different story than that advanced by the new report.  Instead of a steady increase in the number and rate of extinctions we find that extinctions peaked in the late 1800s and the early 20th century, followed by a significant decline that continues today.  It is thought that this extinction peak coincides with introduction of non-native species, primarily on islands (including Australia).
We need to be aware of species loss, but we have to take a wholistic approach, so we don't dame one species at the expense of another.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, August 19, 2019

Larger Cities Shifting Politically

For John, BLUFOne implication is that Homelessness is driving a shift toward a more socially conservative electorate.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

In some blue cities, a divide is opening between an activist political elite and liberal—but more pragmatic—voters.

From City Journal, by Mr Christopher F. Rufo, Summer 2019 .

Here is the lede plus two:

The political ground may be starting to shift in America’s bluest cities. While San Francisco, Seattle, and Denver remain reliable Democratic strongholds, a divide is opening between the cities’ activist political elite and a liberal, but more pragmatic, majority of voters.

In Denver, voters recently rejected Initiative 300, the “right-to-survive” ballot measure that would have legalized homeless encampments in public spaces. The city’s activist class—progressive politicians, social-justice organizations, and nonprofit service providers—claimed that the city’s camping ban, in place since 2012, is unconstitutional and inhumane. They argued that, since society forces the homeless onto the streets, it must afford them the “right to exist,” which would include living on public property, without interference from law enforcement. Citizens, businesses, and neighborhood groups—led by the Downtown Denver Partnership, National Association of Realtors, and Colorado Concern—rose up in opposition to the initiative, raising more than $2.3 million to fight it. Voters rejected Initiative 300 by an 81 percent to 19 percent margin.

The public sentiment behind the Denver vote has been growing in cities up and down the West Coast, where rampant homelessness has led to deterioration in the quality of life for many residents. In Washington State, progressive lawmakers and activists tried to pass a similar “survival crimes” bill through the state legislature, but it died in committee after a barrage of public opposition. Even in hyper-progressive Seattle, 68 percent of voters don’t trust the mayor and city council to make progress on homelessness, and 53 percent support a “zero-tolerance” policy on encampments.

It isn't like big city electorates are becoming more Republican.  But it is like they want their cities a little cleaner and more orderly.  But, there are a number of equities.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  The next election for Sufffock County DA (Rachel Rollins), in 2022, will be a test.

Woodrow Wilson and the 1919 Treaty of Versailles

For John, BLUF"Belief in his own righteousness" has been a problem for a large number of politicians and government servants.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Woodrow Wilson thought so.  But his belief in his own righteousness undermined his vision for world peace.

From The Old Gray Lady, by Professor Ted Widmer (distinguished lecturer, City University of New York), 28 June 2019.

Here is the lede plus two:

June 28, 1919, dawned as a beautiful day; fair, with moderate winds, according to The New York Times.  It was a perfect day to see a baseball game, and 28,000 did, going to the Polo Grounds to watch the Yankees and Red Sox split a doubleheader.  New Yorkers could only envy the Red Sox, who had won the last World Series, and seemed poised to win many more, since they boasted “the mighty Babe Ruth, Boston’s swatting all-around player.”

It was hard to believe on this sunny day, but it had been precisely five years since World War I began with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo.  Since then, nearly 20 million had died, and entire empires, including Franz Ferdinand’s, had vanished.  But those painful memories were softened by the knowledge that nothing so terrible could ever happen again.  Because June 28 was the day that a new history would begin.

Across the Atlantic, outside Paris, another huge crowd thronged the old royal seat of Versailles, where a peace treaty awaited signature.  It was the culmination of months of work, led by the American president, Woodrow Wilson, who had promised to make the world safe for democracy.

There was great hope at that time.  Future North Vietnam-nam leader Ho Chi Minh traveled to France to plead for freedom for his Nation.  Not everyone got what they wanted.
[British Junior Diplomat] Harold Nicolson cautioned, “people who study the past under the conviction that they themselves would automatically behave better in the present are adopting a dangerous habit of mind.”  Perhaps it is better to retrieve what was valuable in 1919 — when America briefly stood for a higher standard — while taking care to avoid the obvious mistakes of a group of politicians who failed to rise above their circumstances.  Who knows how future historians will judge us, as the world slides toward a new era that feels palpably less democratic?
The author writes of America in 1919, "when America briefly stood for a higher standard".  That was a time when racism was on the rise, aided by a racist President, and that same President was so convinced of his own righteousness that he was unwilling to cut a deal with the US Senate.

Regards  —  Cliff

Bee Line to Snopes

For John, BLUFIt seems The Babylon Bee Has gotten under the skin of Snopes.  FYI, The Babylon Bee is a satire site.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Babylon Bee, 19 August 2019.

Here is the lede plus two:

As Snopes turns up the heat on The Babylon Bee, its writers were finally forced to admit that they are not real journalists.

In a statement issued Monday, Babylon Bee's editorial team confessed they have been making up their stories this entire time.

"The headlines, the copy, the quotes---they're all fake," said the site's editor in chief, hanging his head in shame.  "It started a few years ago.  We made up a few stories about church culture, some about politics, some about everyday life, just for fun."  But the EIC said that things quickly got out of hand, as their completely made-up stories started going viral.

UPDATE:  (19 August 2019) This story just won't go away.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, August 18, 2019

French Language Threat

For John, BLUFIt's all Greek to me.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Wanderer, by Monsieur John J Metzler, 15 August 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

PARIS — A long linguistic battle between French and English appears to have been settled: English won.  Some twenty-five years after passage of legislation to specifically defend use of the French language, and protect its patrimony throughout the land, what’s known as the Toubon law has become a quaint footnote.

The respected French daily newspaper Le Figaro headlines, “Advertising, Business, and Politics:  Franglais is gaining territory.” Franglais, which is a mix of French heavily mixed with English words and terms, has evolved since WWII.  It does not have its roots in British English but in American English, which like the Latin of old, has become the lingua franca of our modern age.

This is a language driven by entertainment, commerce, and computers more than by the pages of Hemingway.

But the reality is less that of Shakespeare and Longfellow surpassing Molière and Proust, but rather the language of Google and Facebook setting the linguistic parameters in an Anglo information universe. Long before globalization put English on the fast track, it was American music, television, and movie that brought English into the homes and cinemas of France, making it the cultural soundtrack for a generation.

Now, for example, the slogan of the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics is Made for Sharing!

Even Air France, the national airline, uses the advertising and branding slogan, France is in the Air!

Though the Toubon linguistic legislation was passed in August 1994 to reaffirm French as the official language of the Republic, practically speaking English has been gaining rapidly in usage especially among the young and the business classes.  Back then the all-knowing State assembled an informal dictionary of 3,000 English words to supplant with French words.  This quickly fell by the wayside as the new expanding Internet injected English phrases into usage on steroids.

Today phrases like start-up, meeting, marketing, and benchmarks proliferate in the French commercial sector.

Part of this, in my opinion, has less to do with the words being English per se, but more to do with being more direct, short, and precise in their meaning and intent than their French counterparts.

For example, I’m looking at a catalogue for the cellphone/cable/WiFi provider Orange.  Here we see Livebox Fibre, 4G Home, Packs Open Up offerings from which to choose.

French radio is swamped by American music.  This is nothing new.  Stations play a steady stream of entertainment from Top 40, to Jazz and Hip Hop.  It’s the same at the movies.  Despite a strong and highly state-subsidized French cinema, the most popular films across France are usually American.  This summer, Lion King has captivated French moviegoers.  Usually about half the major films playing in France are made in the USA.

In a way, it is sad.  But, I remember the introduction of the Toulon Law.  Some of the proposed Français versions of Anglais terms were a little over the top.

Personally, I blame President Trump.

Regards  —  Cliff

The SPLC Exposed, Againt

For John, BLUFSome view the Southern Poverty Law Center as a fighter for human rights.  Others see it as a criminal racket.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

After internal challenges with discrimination, the Southern Poverty Law Center can't call itself an arbiter of justice.

From USA Today, by Ms Jessica Prol Smit, 17 August 2019.

Here is the lede plus:

I’ll never forget the moment I learned we were on lockdown. It was Aug.15, 2012. My frustration mingled with fear. Trapped on the sixth floor, we knew someone had been shot. We knew we couldn’t leave yet. We knew little else?

. . .

It was the type of violent incident that one could expect a group that purportedly monitors “hate,” like the Southern Poverty Law Center, to notice, research, and decry. In fact, we were on the center’s radar but for all the wrong reasons. The assailant acknowledged later in FBI testimony that he had selected our office precisely because the SPLC had labeled my employer a “hate group.”

It’s always been easier to smear people rather than wrestle with their ideas. It’s a bully who calls names and spreads lies rather than thoroughly reading a brief’s legal arguments or challenging the rationale underlying a policy proposal. The SPLC has chosen to take the easy path — to intimidate and mislead for raw political power and financial benefit.

Yes, the SPLC has been an abusive organization.  On the other hand, the First Amendment covers everyone, Saints and scoundrels.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Brexit Moving Forward

For John, BLUFSome see the value in big, inclusive, government.  Others want decision making closer to them, made by people they know or they know someone who knows the decision makers.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Boris's "Totemic" Exit Plan

From Order-Order, by Guido Fawkes, 17 August 2019.

Here is the lede:

Boris has directed Stephen Barclay to sign the official order to end EU law’s supremacy in Britain, a move that Steve Baker described to The Times as “absolutely totemic”, proving Boris is “willing to leave on a fixed date with no question of extension.  It’s the do-or-die pledge in black and white”.  Just one of the many jobs May never got round to doing…
Eventually a majority of people will believe Britain is actually leaving.

Hat tip to Order-Order.

Regards  —  Cliff

Satire Examined

For John, BLUFGood satire hews pretty close to reality.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Althouse Blog, by Law Professor Ann Althouse, 17 August 2019.

The fun is to be found in The Comments Section.

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

Root Causes of Mass Murders

For John, BLUFMass murders need a better explanation if they are going to be halted.  Or maybe they are just the cost of our current culture, a price we are willing to pay for the satisfaction of other ego issues.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The American Conservative, by Blogger Rod Dreher, 13 August 2019.

We are told that Mass Murders are not the result of mental illness.  The knifing spree in Garden Grove, California, the same weekend as the El Paso and Dayton shootings, suggests it isn't guns, or just guns that cause mass murders.  We need a better explanation.

From Mr Dreher's Blog we have this start:

Tara Isabella Burton is telling us something very, very important about these mass killers:
Domestic right-wing terrorists, like the man accused of the shooting last weekend in El Paso, are not so different from their radical Islamist counterparts across the globe — and not only in their tactics for spreading terror or in their internet-based recruiting. Indeed, it is impossible to understand America’s resurgence of reactionary extremism without understanding it as a fundamentally religious phenomenon.

Unlike Islamist jihadists, the online communities of incels, white supremacists and anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists make no metaphysical truth claims, do not focus on God and offer no promise of an afterlife or reward. But they fulfill the functions that sociologists generally attribute to a religion: They give their members a meaningful account of why the world is the way it is. They provide them with a sense of purpose and the possibility of sainthood. They offer a sense of community. And they establish clear roles and rituals that allow adherents to feel and act as part of a whole. These aren’t just subcultures; they are churches. And until we recognize the religious hunger alongside the destructive hatred, we have little chance of stopping these terrorists.

She goes on to describe how these ideological communities serve as pseudo-religions for their members. It’s hard to overstate the importance of what she’s seeing here. As I’ve been saying, Hannah Arendt says these factors are exactly the kind of thing that, when it went viral (so to speak), created 20th century totalitarianism.
Here is the last paragraph:
Tara Isabella Burton suggests that the apocalyptic violence we keep seeing in these mass shootings are social and psychological consequences of metaphysical materialism.  She’s right, I believe.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  While our laws do need to be strengthened with regard to background checks and "red flag" actions, adding more laws will never be enough.  Politicians who promise "gun control" as the answer are liars, or so misinformed as to never be qualified for your vote.

Out in the Cold

For John, BLUFEquality is important, but it can not be achieved by herding various majorities into corners and stripping them of their own right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

The municipality of Anchorage goes after the Hope Center for acting in the best interests of the women it serves.

From National Review, by Ms Madeleine Kearny, 16 August 2019.

Long story short, a man identifying as a woman wants access to a woman's shelter, in January, in Anchorage, Alaska.  Obviously we need more Trans shelter space, but that doesn't mean we should expose cis-women to traumas from having to sleep in the same room as a person with male genitalia.  We need alternatives.

The Anchorage Equal Rights Commission (AERC) seems clueless.  And apparently lacks the resources to help fix the problems at the Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, August 16, 2019

Women's Soccer

For John, BLUFEqual pay for equal performance seems fair.  In the case of Soccer it is the gate.  And, Ms Rapinoe seems like a jerk.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

“It’s quite simple from our perspective,” her teammate Christen Press said during a Thursday interview on “Good Morning America.”

From Huffington Post, by Reporter Alanna Vagianos, 15 August 2019.

Here is the lede plus two:

The members of the U.S. women’s national soccer team know their worth ― and they’re not backing down from the ongoing equal pay fight against the U.S. Soccer Federation.

“We won’t accept anything less than equal pay,” star midfielder Megan Rapinoe said Thursday during an interview on “Good Morning America.”  “We show up for a game.  If we win the game, if we lose the game, if we tie the game, we want to be paid equally, period.”

The USWNT filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation earlier this year and entered into mediation just before the World Cup started in France in June.  The women’s team has fought long and hard to get paid the same as their male counterparts, who win fewer games but get paid roughly $30,000 more per player.


Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Thomas More, Saint

For John, BLUFTrue heroes are hard to find.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

As Law Professor Gail Hariot points out today, at InstaPundet, today would have been Writer Robert Bolt's 95th Birthday.  She links tothis post at The Volokh Conspiracy, "Today Is the 95th Anniversary of Playwright Robert Bolt's Birth", which she also authored.

Thus this article at the Wanderer, "St. Thomas More Didn’t Die For This — Did He?”, seemed appropriate. 

More exemplified two very distinct Catholic virtues, ones that Americans instinctively embrace and totalitarians of any stripe — Elizabethan, socialist, or fascist, for example — instinctively reject.

First and foremost is the role of conscience in public life.  Not the sort of gnostic conscience that embraces some abstract personal truth, nor the slavish devotion to rules.  Rather, conscience properly formed that understands the subjective and objective qualities of its purpose are directed toward one end — to conform to the just and to the good.

Second and perhaps less discussed is the surrender of Christian pluralism to totalitarianism, something Bolt clearly communicates in A Man for All Seasons but is somewhat lost today.  Critics of More will claim that he extended very little religious freedom to those who fought against the Catholic Church while ignoring the bloodthirsty nature of both Cromwell and the Elizabethan pogroms that followed the death of Queen Mary.  Yet More’s defense regarding his silence is what touches the Catholic heart.  We quote Bolt’s play in full:

“I am the King’s true subject, and I pray for him and all the realm.  I do none harm.  I say none harm.  I think none harm.  And if this be not enough to keep a man alive, then in good faith I long not to live.”
Considering the events of the present day, and it is becoming increasingly clear to many faithful Catholics that our silence — our willingness to live good lives, to do none harm, say none harm, and think none harm — will not be enough.
Saint Thomas more lived 500 years ago, but left us a model of how to live, and die.  His parting words were:
I die the King's good servant, and God's first.
Regards  —  Cliff

Gun Control Raises Risk

For John, BLUFAny sort of violence is bad and gun violence, because of the equalizing effect, making the weak strong, is especially bad.  In Philly yesterday a gunman held police at bay for some time.  However, the solution isn't in disarmament.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Writer in Black, Author David L Burkhead, 14 August 2019.

Here is the lede plus two:

I get that question whenever I object to more “gun control” as a response to the latest tragedy.  I have long held, and continue to hold, the position that more restrictions on law-abiding gun owners is not the answer to mass murder.  It doesn’t work.  It just leaves the law abiding helpless in the face of criminal violence.

First, let’s dispense with that “end”.  I hate to tell you this, but you can’t end them.  “Gun control” certainly cannot.  France’s strict gun control did not prevent Charlie Hebdo nor the 2015 Paris attacks.  India’s draconian gun laws did not prevent Mumbai.  Norway’s gun laws did not stop the spree shooter there.  And so on.

“Ending” is an unachievable target.  No matter what you do, somebody, somewhere, who intends to harm others–particularly if the’re looking at going out in a blaze of “glory” (with “infamy” serving for their purpose)–will find a way to do it.  When you use it as a justification for restrictions on the law abiding there is no end to that.  No restrictions will ever be enough.  So it will always be an excuse for more restrictions.  And if at any point anyone objects, you can do then as you do now and say “Don’t you care about the victims of gun crime?”

Further down in the blog post the author talks about a value to an armed citizenry:
More than 90 percent of mass shootings happen in gun free zones.  Numbers vary depending on source (which can vary in how they’re counted) but the figures I’ve seen range from 92 to 97 percent.  Yes, even the Fort Hood massacre, on an Army base, and the Norfolk Navy Yard shooting, Navy base, were “gun free zones” for this purpose–the military forbade personnel from being armed unless they were doing so as part of their duties–Stateside that meant Military Police on duty.

These shootings tend to stop once the shooter encounters armed resistance.  Indeed, as I have noted before, FBI studies covering 2000 to 2017 had 33 cases of spree killers where armed citizens were present.  In 25 of them, the armed citizen totally stopped the attack.  In an additional 6 the armed citizens reduced the number of casualties.  That’s 94% of the time the situation is made better by armed citizens being present.  And what about the claim that people “getting caught in the crossfire” would make the situation worse?  Those same reports also give the number of innocents killed by the armed citizens in those incidents.  It’s a surprising number, all told.  That number?


On the other hand, there is the Democratic Party position, summarized by Former Vice President, and Candidate for President, "We choose truth over facts."

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Gun Control Statistics

For John, BLUF"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."—H. L. Mencken.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This 13 August 2019 blog post at InstaPundit, by Professor Glenn Reynolds, highlights an article in The Washington Post, I used to think gun control was the answer. My research told me otherwise.  The Author, Leah Libresco, is a statistician and former newswriter at FiveThirtyEight, a data journalism site.  She is the author of “Arriving at Amen.”

Here is the key excerpt:

The thing to understand is that gun control isn’t about saving lives.  It’s about humiliating the deplorables and keeping them in their place.  It’s culture war of the crassest kind.
Then there is Senator Ed Markey's Primary opponent in 2020, Ms Shannon Liss-Riordan, Esq.  She has come out for abolishing the Second Amendment.

Hat tip to InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Violence in Society

For John, BLUFLast year the Lord Mayor of London came out strongly against knives with over a three inch blade.  Sort of a British version of New York's Sullivan Law.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is a flashback to April of last year.

From USA Today, by Mr William Cummings, 9 April 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced a crackdown on knives Sunday in response to the rising levels of violence in London, which recently surpassed New York City's homicide rate for the first time.

"No excuses: there is never a reason to carry a knife," Khan tweeted.  "Anyone who does will be caught, and they will feel the full force of the law."

While firearms may make killing easier, there seems to be no limit to the tools employed by those who wish to express their anger by violence.  Yes, guns are used in the United States (and elsewhere), but world-wide there is use of knives, airplanes, knives, fire, high explosives, poison gas and other tools of violence.  Remember, so called "Angels of Death" use medical tools to kill over time.

On the other hand, we are assured by the Media that the kind of violence we saw about ten days ago (El Paso, Dayton, Garden Grove) had nothing to do with mental health.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, August 12, 2019

White Supremacy Attracts Immigrants?

For John, BLUFBad as the US may be, where immigrants are from must be far worse.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From American Greatness, by Professor Victor Davis Hanson, 11 August 2019.

Here is the meat of the argument:

Most estimates suggest new American immigrants range from 80 percent to 90 percent nonwhite, the vast majority from Mexico and Latin America, and Asia, and in particular Mexico, Central America, India, Southeast Asia, and China.  Given the dominance of the American media worldwide, the influence of American movies and television, and the ubiquity of American pop culture, most immigrants have a fairly good idea of what life inside America is like.

Why, then, if we as a people are plagued from the outset by an incurable “white supremacy” and “white privilege,” would hundreds of thousands of nonwhite immigrants each year wish to enter such a dreadful place?

The answer to why America appears attractive to newcomers is obvious: what global elites say and what non-elites do are two quite different things.

Certainly, one can damn in the abstract (whether for careerist purposes or from psychological angst) what one desires in the concrete.  For all her expressed disappointment in America, U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) may well have violated U.S. tax and perhaps immigration law in an allegedly felonious effort to facilitate her brother’s entry into America—a fact that resonates far more than her often tired whines about her dissatisfaction with her adopted country.

In sum, millions over the last few decades would have avoided or been barred from entering the United States, as they have avoided immigrating into an exclusionary but prosperous China or Japan—had they believed America was a racist country dominated by overweening white privilege.  Throughout history white supremacist societies—or any other supposedly racially defined nation—have not adopted de facto or de jure immigration policies that welcome immigrants who are 80-90 percent of a different race or ethnic background.

Why are Democrats not urging immigrants to the US to stay home?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Civility in Politics

For John, BLUFAs long as we still believe in the peaceful transition of government there is no need to be uncivil to one's opponents.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Washington Examiner, by Reporter Salena Zito, 8 August 2019.

This article, datelined Yuma, Colorado, is about Incumbent US Senator Cory Gardner interacting with two of his potential challenger.  Interacting in a very civilized manner.  Compared to the Mainstream Media.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Look More Broadly

For John, BLUFBad analysis usually doesn't solve hard problems.  Blaming guns and "White Privilege" for all mass killings is an example.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Bearing Arms, by Mr Tom Knighton, 6 August 2019.

Without getting into details, the point of Mr Knighton is that racially-motivated attacks, gun and other, is not just a one way transaction.  We need a broader view of the social and cultural tensions.  Put another way, it isn't just about Deplorables and irredeemables.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

"Our" Women's Soccer Team

For John, BLUFDown in my list of draft posts was this on the US Women’s Soccer Team, with a reference to Quarterback Colin Kaepernick.  Today CBS Reported this:  'President Trump on Colin Kaepernick getting another NFL opportunity:  "I'd like to see it. Frankly, I'd love see Kaepernick come in if he's good enough.'".  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Jeffrey Epstein Gone

For John, BLUFHe tried suicide two weeks ago and then tried again and it was missed by the Prison Guards.  Something is wrong here.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

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

Here is the lede plus one:

ALSO: Back on July 24th, there was news of a suicide attempt by Epstein. I was dubious at the time. With a recent suicide attempt — by hanging, too — how was he kept in a way that would allow him to kill himself by hanging? He was so important as a person with knowledge of possible crimes by many other people — such important people — the government had an especially strong obligation to keep him alive.

PLUS: Who will believe this was truly suicide? The conspiracy theories will go on forever. This is like Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald. Even if Epstein directly sought and achieved his own death, the authorities apparently KNEW that he wanted to kill himself and therefore they caused the death by not stopping it. They were on notice and they let him do it. I infer they wanted him dead and got what they wanted, whether he killed himself or not.

Then Professor Althouse presents these two Tweets:
AOC says:  "We need answers. Lots of them."

Then Congressman Matt Gaerz tweeted:

Chairman @RepJerryNadler should prioritize a Judiciary investigation into how Jeffrey Epstein died in federal custody (in Nadler’s own neighborhood!) over the Kavanaugh confirmation (which already happened), and the Russia hoax (which never happened).
For sure, this, on top of the murder of Whitey Bulger, calls into question the Federal Prison System. Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

Brexit Update

For John, BLUFBrexit is about local communities and customs, as opposed to a homogenized European Union, dominated by bureaucrats.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:


From Order Order, by Guido Fawkes, 10 August 2019.

Here is the lede plus two:

Parts of the EU are slowly coming to the realisation that the UK is serious about No Deal – the Telegraph carries the headline “Brussels expects no deal” while the Guardian has “PM intent on hard Brexit and has no desire to renegotiate, EU told.”  The EU’s previous calculations have centred around the assumption that Parliament will be able to block no deal, and failing that the UK Prime Minister will back down anyway.  They are gradually waking up to the fact that this is no longer the case…

EU officials are now putting out spikey quotes including:  “It was clear UK does not have another plan.  No intention to negotiate, which would require a plan.  A no deal now appears to be the UK government’s central scenario.”  This is not accurate, Boris has made clear he will negotiate if the EU drops the backstop.  Evidently EU officials have forgotten that “negotiating” does not consist exclusively of grovelling for concessions at Barnier’s door like May did…

However, the memo doesn’t appear to have reached as far as stagnating Germany yet, according to Bloomberg German officialsuled are still banking on Parliament blocking No Deal, even as Remainers start to grasp at increasingly desperate schemes.  As the CBI of all people warned last week, the EU is actually less prepared than the UK, while Ireland is continuing to get increasingly jittery.  The EU is finally starting to take its cues from what the Prime Minister says, not Dominic Grieve’s wet dreams…

Brexit was originally scheduled for 29 March 2019, but was subsequently extended to 31 October 2019, to allow further negotiations.

The terminology can be a bit confusing.  Here is Wikipedia's explanations.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Although one could argue it was to give the Anti-Brexit folks time to hurl back the Luddites advocating Brexit.

A Savage Game of Politics

For John, BLUFThe idea of savage politics works if you are willing to destroy your enemy.  If you don't utterly destroy your enemy you will merely have taught that enemy the need for scorched earth politics, which is not a good lesson to be teaching.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Chicago Boyz, by Sgt. Mom, 8 August 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

My initial reaction upon reading of Juaquin Castro ‘outing’ local San Antonio donors to the Trump campaign was along the lines of “oh dear, that was so not a good idea!” Nothing that I have read about the imbroglio in the days since has given me cause to revise that opinion … other than to confirm it.  Yes, such information is a matter of public record, but opening up certain of your constituents to harassment, especially in the wake of such things as calls for Republicans to be harassed in restaurants, protested by persons threatening violence at their homes, attacked physically, and going so far as shooting up their softball teams … this does not calm the political passions in any degree.  No, it’s as good as spraying gasoline on a bonfire, and the Castro brothers richly deserve every bit of the opprobrium they have earned – especially locally.

There is a rather curious thing about San Antonio; it may look like a medium-sized city to the distant observer, but it is actually the biggest small town in the world.  The networks of personal connection are as strong and as intertwined as any small town.

I noted that my auto insurance company got scorched in this.  I am not (we are not) switching.  However, I now have a lower opinion of Presidential Candidate Castro.

The Nation improves when there is some level of cooperation, some modicum of camaraderie amongst the political operatives.  Especially at the local level.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, August 9, 2019

Social Media Elections

For John, BLUFIt is about influencing voters.  And, for some, telling the truth.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Dr. Robert Epstein is a psychologist, professor, and author. He’s the former editor-in-chief of Psychology Today.

From Powerline Blog, by Mr Paul Mirengoff, 9 August 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

Dr. Epstein is a liberal Democrat. In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee (see below), he described himself as a “vocal public supporter” of Hillary Clinton.  He said that to characterize him as not a Republican and not a conservative is “an understatement.”

Epstein testified that in the 2016 election, Google generated a minimum of 2.6 million votes for Clinton through deceptive manipulation of search results.  He warned that if, in 2020, companies like Google and Facebook all support the same presidential candidate (as surely they will) they could affect up to 15 million votes, e.g. by “go vote” reminders sent only to those believed to be Democrats.

Blogger Mirengoff is skeptical of the claim, but I am willing to give it some credit.  someone I respect has suggested that there are folks with Psychological Operations experience who have become political guns for hire.  in this modern digital age we may be going back to the ideas of Author Vance Packard and his book The Hidden Persuaders.

I wonder if Law Prof Glenn Harlan Reynolds addresses this in his new book, The Social Media Upheaval?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Mayor Pete Blames "Whites"

For John, BLUFThis might be a good discussion, if this isn't a bluff like then AG Eric Holder gave us, 10 years ago.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From MSM News, by Reporter Rachel Frazin, 9 August 2019.

Here is the lede plus three:

Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg (D) said Thursday that "systemic racism" in the U.S. "is a white problem," following a mass shooting over the weekend that authorities said involved a suspect believed to be a white supremacist.

Speaking at the National Association of Black Journalists conference in Miami, the South Bend, Ind., mayor said the U.S. was "by no means even halfway done dealing with systemic racism in this country."

"I hope over the course of this campaign, you will see how I speak about these issues - not only with mostly black audiences, but with mostly white audiences," Buttigieg continued. "Because if there's anything we've learned in the last few days, systemic racism is a white problem."

Buttigieg's remarks come as President Trump faces scrutiny for his rhetoric following two mass shootings over the weekend that left at least 31 dead and dozens other wounded.

I am not sure about the logic of tying the Dayton shooting last weekend to racism.  The shooter, now dead, was a Caucasian.  His first victim, it appears, was his sister.

The deeper question is if it is all Caucasians or just some faction or factions.  Or is it a problem for Caucasians to solve?  By themselves?

If the problem is Caucasians, then who?  Republicans only?  Deplorables?  Deplorables with Fascist leanings, but not those aligned with Antifa?

I think we need more definition from Mayor Pete.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Off Narrative

For John, BLUFA lot of violence around.  Could there be some underlying social and cultural issues?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the Associated Press, by Reporter Robert Jablon, 8 August 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

A man who was “full of anger” went on a two-hour stabbing and robbery rampage in Southern California, killing four people and wounding two others, authorities said Wednesday.

The 33-year-old Garden Grove man was taken into custody after he came out of a 7-Eleven in Santa Ana, southeast of Los Angeles, and dropped a knife along with a handgun that he had taken from a guard, police said.

So, not all violence is "gun violence".  Or, alternatively, if you are stabbed to death it really isn't violence.

On the other hand, this is outside the bubble of "White Supremacy", given the ethnicity of the knife wielder and the victims.

There is obviously nothing to learn here.  Even Democracy Now passed over the story this morning.

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

Abolish Grades?

For John, BLUFIf we abolish grades, how does a teacher signal that someone is in the wrong field of study?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here are the sub-headlines:

  • New School professor Richard Wolff is known for his outspoken views against capitalism.
  • He recently asserted that capitalism is being propped up by “meritocracy,” and that therefore “all levels” of education should do away with grading scales.

From Campus Reform, by Investigative Reporter Celine Ryan, 6 Aug 2019.

Here is the lede plus three:

A New York professor is calling for the abolition of grades.  He claims they are not only unfair to students, but that they are a means of propping up capitalism, and as such, academia would be better off doing away with grading entirely.

“Grading takes up much of my time that could be better spent on teaching or otherwise directly interacting with students,” New School professor Richard Wolff wrote in a Monday op-ed entitled “Grades Are Capitalism in Action.  Let’s Get Them Out of Our Schools.”  He claims the practice of administering grades to students has “little educational payoff” and “disrespects [students] as thinking people.”

Wolff has been known to promote Marxism and condemn capitalism, even going so far as to blame capitalism for American homelessness.   More recently, he made headlines by comparing President Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler on Twitter.

According to Wolff, the practice of grading is one that has served to prop up America’s capitalist economic system and its “major failures,” including "socially divisive inequalities” and the creation of “boring, dangerous, and/or mind-numbing” jobs.  He asserts that capitalism’s survival can be attributed only to flawed human ideologies, one of which is the concept of “meritocracy.”  Grades, he says, are one of many “mechanisms” used to “anchor” the concept of meritocracy in society.

I wonder if Professor Wolff has considered that some students may be differently learning abled and need grades to succeed?

I wonder if Professor Wolff ever contemplates that if not for capitalism he would be living as a serf in Europe, rather than as a Professor at the New School?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff