The EU

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Monday, September 30, 2019

He Thought He Had the Photos?

For John, BLUFThe sins of 2016 have been revised and are now being flipped against the President.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Pajama Media, by Stephen Green, 30 September 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

Florida Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz just resurfaced a two-year-old audiotape of House Intel Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) telling two Russian shock-jocks that he would "welcome the chance" take their non-existent dirty photos of President Trump.

If you'll recall from February of 2018, one of the radio hosts posed as a Ukrainian official who had information damaging to Trump, and was willing to share it with Schiff.  Gaetz is smart to bring this up now, with Schiff working hard to impeach Trump for a phone call in which he didn't actually pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into investigating Joe and Hunter Biden.  With impeachment fever hitting triple digits in Washington (less so in the rest of the country), it's important to remember three things:

  • Zelensky said his phone call with Trump was friendly, involved no pressure, and that virtually all the major news organizations clipped 540 words out of the middle of their conversation to make it appear otherwise.
  • Joe Biden bragged about pressuring Ukraine into firing an investigator looking into his son Hunter, by threatening to withhold a billion dollars worth of aid.
  • Schiff himself is no stranger to making stuff up, then claiming it was just a prank when he got caught.
Representative Adam Schiff is all Hollywood, but without the honesty of Tinsel Town.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Happy New Year

For John, BLUFYes, it is cultural appropriation, but this is America and it is OK.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Thanks, Neo.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, September 29, 2019

We Were Warned

For John, BLUFThe inability of some to accept Donald Trump as President is not just disappointing to me, but a sign of those who want stability over democracy.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The New Neo, by an Anonymous Massachusetts Blogger, 28 September 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

Right after the 2016 election, I read some articles describing people in government who had decided to stay put and secretly sabotage Trump.  These articles weren’t exposes written by the right; they were proud confessions from the left, part of the righteous Resistance.

We are seeing the fruit of that today.

Read it for the whole ugly story.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Labour Party Hates Diversity

For John, BLUFThe right thinking blunder on, ignoring the voters, until nothing is left except rebellion.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Why do you care?  Because Socialists are alike the world 'round.  The believe they know the truth and popular will be damned.

From Order Order, by Guido Fawkes, 23 September 2019.

Here is the lede:

Only 22% of the public support Labour’s new policy to abolish private schools, a snap YouGov poll has found, with 50% of the public actively opposing the move.  Labour were desperate for new policies to distract from the chaotic start to their conference, turns out they should avoid coverage of their policies as well…
Hat tip to Order Order.

Regards  —  Cliff

Just in Time

For John, BLUFIf you don't believe in coincidences you won't like this coincidence.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Red State, by Bonchie, 27 September 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

This is a major, major development in the Trump-Ukraine saga and it points exactly at what a lot of people suspected.

The Federalist’s Sean Davis has discovered that the intel community secretly changed the rules governing whistle-blowers, including amending the required form, in order to allow 2nd hand information to suffice.  This happened just days before the Trump-Ukraine whistle-blower filed his complaint

This references an article in The Federalist , "Intel Community Secretly Gutted Requirement Of First-Hand Whistleblower Knowledge"! Which is subheadlined "Federal records show that the intelligence community secretly revised the formal whistleblower complaint form in August 2019 to eliminate the requirement of direct, first-hand knowledge of wrongdoing."

Yes, the Whistleblower complaint does look a little too polished, which raises the question of if this is a coordinated hit job.  I just can't imagine Speaker Nancy Pelosi being involved in such an underhanded action.

Hat tip to Hot Air.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Hillary in 2020

For John, BLUFI know our Democrat neighbor here in Lowell are enamored of Senator E Warren, but I don't think she goes the distance, nor does former Vice President Joe Biden.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Althouse Blog, by Professor Ann Althouse, 24 September 2019.

Professor Althouse talks about an article in The Washington Examiner, "New Hillary listening tour:  ‘I’d like to hear what you're thinking'".  And, she talks about a question, her Son John asked on Facebook.

Here is the key paragraph:

I certainly think Donald Trump is by far the most likely to win the election.  That's easy to say because his party is pretty much adapted to him.  That fight is over.  What Trump did to the GOP has played out and (mostly) resolved.  The Democratic Party is currently going through some kind of crack-up or evolution.  It's fractured and chaotic, and there are — what? — 20 candidates and not one of them is much good.  None seems equipped to go head-to-head with Trump.
Here is the penultimate paragraph, with the question Democrats should be asking themselves.

News from the future:  The Democrats beat Donald Trump in the 2020 election.  It was nothing in particular that he did.  He stayed the same.  And nothing changed in the economy or foreign affairs or domestic violence or anything like that.  It's all about the performance of the Democratic candidate.  Now:  Who was Democratic candidate?
The nomination of Mrs Clinton is not a totally unlikely outcome.  While I may not be quite as harsh as the Professor, each of them is flawed in some way, some more than others.  The best of the lot is Representative Tulsi Gabbard, Democrat from the Great State of Hawaii.

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

To be inclusive, my wife thinks the Democratic Convention will deadlock and the compromise candidate will be Ms Donna Brazile, who rescued the DNC in 2016, when it was imploding under the leadership of Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, September 23, 2019

Why Impeach?

For John, BLUFThe Democrats are in a pickle over Impeachment.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Althouse Blog, by Professor Ann Althouse, 23 September 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

That's my working theory. I don't know if the Democrats in Congress will go so far as to impeach Trump, but I tend to think that if they do, it will be because they think they're going to lose the election and they need another route toward defeating Trump.

Of course, if Trump is impeached by the Democrats who have a majority in the House, he will not be removed from office, because the Republicans control the Senate.  We'll be subjected to a horrific blend of legal mystification and political advantage seeking.

So why would the Democrats predict that it will advantage them?  My answer is:  because they feel sure they're losing the actual election, the straightforward political fight.

The timing is important.  They could wait for the actual election, the normal process of American democracy, or — if they think that won't work — they can start delegitimatizing it now, while they think they have a decent shot at making us believe they're doing something righteous and noble.  If they wait too long, the con will become more obvious.

I tend to agree.  The Democrats are inwardly worried they can't win the 2020 Run for the White House.  Worse, they might not even pick up any Senate seats.  Then where are they?

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

China Trade War

For John, BLUFChina has tried to maximize its own economy by snookering other nations.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Fox News , by Ms Helen Raleigh, 22 September 2019.

Here is the lede plus two:

China already lost in the trade war with the U.S.  Although you will never hear Chinese authorities, especially President Xi Jinping, admit it as such, the evidence is everywhere and only becoming more compelling by the day.

Reuters recently reported that based on the Chinese government's own data, China's economic slowdown has worsened in August, with "growth in industrial production is at its weakest in 17-1/2 years amid spreading pain from a trade war with the United States and softening domestic demand.  Retail sales and investment gauges worsened too."  Despite such poor readings, Premier Li Keqiang insists that China is still on track to achieve 6 to 6.5 per cent growth rate this year.

Given the Chinese government's tendency to present a rosier economic picture to satisfy political goals, most China watchers believe that Li's statement was an about-face, and that the actual economic situation is much worse.

It is about farm imports, and in particular, pigs.

Second, China's own hog industry is experiencing the worst African swine fever in decades.  The government has been criticized for its ineffective measures to stamp out the epidemic.  It is estimated that China could lose up to 50 percent of its pig population by the end of 2019.  Pork prices have spiked by more than 46 percent so far, and some experts predict the price increase may be over 80 percent by next year.  This spike has pushed prices for other types of meat higher as well, increasing inflation pressure to the overall economy.  This has hindered Chinese consumers' willingness and capacity to spend in other areas.  Given the pivotal role pork plays in the Chinese diet, the country could potentially experience social unrest if the pork price continues to skyrocket while the supply continues to be sparse.

China exempted U.S. farm products, including soybean and pork, from additional tariffs, effective Sept. 17.  This announcement was seen widely as a goodwill gesture ahead of the October trade talks between U.S. and China.  But this seems to be a desperate, self-serving measure, because all the other pork exporting countries combined couldn't fill China's supply shortage.  Simply put, China has a need of pork from the U.S., and its suspension from additional tariffs is, in essence, a tactical and indirect acknowledgment that it won’t be able to sustain this trade fight for much longer.

And, it isn't a flash in the pan.  The trade war started with China and finally a US President stood up.

If China had hoped that it could simply wait until Trump loses the 2020 presidential election to get out of the trade war, it has to think again.   At the most recent Democrat presidential debate, not a single candidate proposed to remove the trade tariffs Trump imposed on China.  So even if Trump loses, China likely would not get someone friendlier in the White House.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Vote Tomorrow!

For John, BLUFVoting is part of Citizenship.  Nothing to see here; just move along to your polling place, with a smile.

OK, it is the Preliminary for slimming down the list of City Councilor Candidates.  But, it is a way to ensure the candidates you favor are on the ballot in November.

Please vote.

Regards  —  Cliff

Gun Red Flag Law Hypocrisy

For John, BLUFThe Democrats in Congress are serious about gun control, just not for everybody.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The American Thinker, by Daniel John Sobieski, 21 September 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

If Democrats were serious about using red flag laws to keep guns out of the hands of people who might use them to senselessly murder others and therefore are danger to society, and not just as a gun-control tool to disarm law-abiding citizens, then why did they kill an attempt to use compiled lists of known gang members, which many police departments and law enforcement agencies possess?  Why did they kill a measure to red flag gang members?  And if Beto O’Rourke is going to come and take our guns, particularly our AR-15s, is he going to start on the south side of Chicago?
Read the whole thing to see the excuses.  But, gangs are killing a lot of people with guns, just not always four per event.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Elections in Israel

For John, BLUFThe Holy Land is not a place where peace can be promised, except Post-Apocolypse.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Brookings Institution, by Researcher Natan Sachs, 20 September 2019.  This article originally appeared in The Atlantic.

Here is the lede plus one:

Israel’s second election of 2019 managed to produce both high drama and anticlimax.  The top-line result:  There is no clear winner.  Neither the right-wing bloc led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, nor the center-left bloc led by former military Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, commanded a majority of the 120 seats in the 22nd Knesset.  But there was still a loser of sorts:  Netanyahu.

The one thing that was clear, following the election, was that the results signal a dramatic shift in policy. Israel had stepped all the way to the brink on two fundamental issues, and it has now taken a half step back.  These results scuttle Netanyahu’s plans to officially apply Israeli law to parts of the West Bank, annexing the Jordan Valley, and to curtail the Israeli Supreme Court’s powers in order to secure himself immunity from prosecution on corruption charges.  Both issues would have had serious ramifications, the former for the possibility of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the future, and the latter for the health of Israeli democracy.  Tuesday’s results will not produce peace nor resolve Israel’s internal challenges, but they stave off those prospects, at least for the moment.

Mr Sachs is no friend of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, But he seems to do a fair job of laying out the political situation in Israel.

For me the real question is if there can be peace for Israel this side of the Second Coming.  I have my doubts.  We, here in the US, should be prepared to welcome all Israelis if push comes to shove.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Progress is Ongoing

For John, BLUFThe world is, on average, a much better place than it was a hundred years ago.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Town Hall, by Reporter John Stossel, 18 September 2019.

Here is the key paragraph:

There is less war and more food.  We live healthier and longer lives.  HIV will soon be history.  We are increasingly free to be whoever we are and love whom we want.  Even work has become more pleasant.
Of course we could reverse this trend, but going for some sort of socialist utopia.  Like Cuba, Venezuela, or North Korea.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, September 13, 2019

Women in the Workplace

For John, BLUFThe history of the relations of the sexes has been fraught and has includes solutions that have included separations and restrictions.  We need better ways forward or we will end up with very rigid rules for interactions.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Boston Globe, by Ms Katie Johnston, 3 September 2019,.

Here is the lede plus one:

In the two years since the #MeToo movement took off, igniting a firestorm over sexual harassment in the workplace, another form of less incendiary but more insidious gender-based harassment has been building quietly.

Women say they are being subjected to sexism far more than they used to be, according to a new study out of the University of Colorado Boulder Leeds School of Business — even as they report less overt harassment, such as sexual coercion (“sleep with me and you’ll get a promotion”) and unwanted sexual attention (ogling or fondling).

Women are facing a “massive increase in hostility,” said Stefanie K. Johnson, the business professor who coauthored the study.&nsp; Research shows that people in power feel threatened when other groups rise up, as women have during the #MeToo era, and that men believe their status declines when women’s rises, which could cause some men to lash out.

“It’s not that the need to subjugate women goes away, I just think it takes a different form,” Johnson said.  “Rather than make sexual comments about women, men who are prone to sexually harass will just accuse women of being incompetent.”

The key is understanding what is happening.  Are men, on average, just hostile to women in the workplace, do they perceive that women are inferior or are mores just different, misunderstood or incompatible?  For sure, our current laws and culture call for men to give women an even break, and visa-versa.  At the same time, concern about women using the tools for fighting sexual harassment to achieve other ends causes men to act defensively.  We know, from history and our own experience, that change engenders hostility.  Mutual respect and trust should mitigate the hostility.

We need a truce, but that requires good faith on all sides.

Should we all be frank about our concerns or should we just muddle through, showing our distrust in other ways?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Prison Overcrowding Solved

For John, BLUFThis is from the Democratic Debate, on ABC TV yesterday.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is a Tweet:
Natalie Johnson
My god, Biden wants to free Manafort!!!
Annie Linskey
· 12h
Biden: "Nobody should be in jail for a non-violent crime."
8:56 PM · Sep 12, 2019 from Washington, DC·Twitter for iPhone
Suffolk County District Attorney Rachel Rollins agrees.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Looking For Solutions in All The Wrong Places

For John, BLUFOur problems, from drug abuse to mass murders, are being viewed through defective lenses.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Pajama Media, by Mr David P Goldman, 7 August 2019.

Here is the lede plus:

Writing in the left-wing Forward website today, Cathy Young warns the Left to take its own violence seriously:
...It has been a staple of conventional wisdom that the real danger comes almost entirely from the far right....But is that still true today? We don’t know if Connor Betts, the 24-year-old Ohio man who killed nine people (including his own sister) and wounded 27 more when he opened fire on a crowded street in Dayton on Sunday, had any involvement with Antifa. But Betts’s Twitter trail makes it clear that he was a hardcore leftist who embraced some fairly extreme ideas—and, in some cases, advocated violence toward political enemies in Antifa-style language.
Good for Ms. Young, who declines to join the chorus blaming President Trump for the last two atrocities. Never mind that the five worst mass shooting incidents took place outside the United States, or that more mass shootings occurred during the Obama presidency than under Trump. But that leaves us with the question: Why are there mass shootings?

Mass shootings are a special form of suicide. The shooter never expects to survive. But the shooter combines self-hatred with group hatred. Hate becomes so melded with the shooter's identity that he determines to take as many people as he can with him. They are of the same order as the pilot who crashed a Germanwings airliner into the Alps in 2015.

Emil Durkheim's 1897 diagnosis of "anomic suicide" describes the Columbine perpetrators as well as the 2016 San Bernardino attack by Muslim fanatics, the "right-wing" shooter in El Paso and the "left-wing" shooter in Dayton. They are individuals cut off from society, destabilized by change and despairing of their own place in the world. Such monsters always have been among us. But now we are cultivating such monsters by destroying the ties that bind us to each other, to our past and to our future.

We are looking for easy answers, or answers that don't point back to cultural failures, at least not failures in our current culture.  Blaming The Gun is foolish.  It is like The Old Gray Lady, yesterday, saying airplanes aimed at the Twin Towers.  No, People did.  To achieve an objective.  And most discussions of the El Paso and Dayton mass killings neglect the Garden Grove killings that weekend—perhaps because an edged weapon was used.

If we can't (or won't) name the problem, any solution will be partial, and by accident.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Balance on the Supreme Court

For John, BLUFDemocrats are apoplectic about President Trump perhaps being able to appoint another US Supreme Court Associate Justice, to be confirmed by Majority Leader Mitch McConell's Senate Majority.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Over the past several sessions, Supreme Court Justices appointed by Democratic presidents voted in unison more than their Republican counterparts.

From USA Today, by Opinion Mr Ilya Shapiro, 10 September 2019.

Here is the lede plus four:

Ever since Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement last year, commentators have prophesied that President Donald Trump’s replacement of that moderate jurist would lead to a conservative majority running roughshod over core liberal concerns.  That’s why opposition to the milquetoast establishmentarian Brett Kavanaugh was so fierce, even before the 11th-hour sexual-assault allegations.

Justice Kavanaugh was supposed to have single-handedly overturned Roe v. Wade, but a funny thing happened on the road to apocalypse. Particularly in petition rejections and other procedural votes, Kavanaugh has demonstrated a pragmatic approach.  And a term with few big controversies showed the liberals voting together much more than the conservatives.

There were 67 decisions after argument in the term that ended in June. In those cases, the four justices appointed by Democratic presidents voted the same way 51 times, while the five Republican appointees held tight 37 times.  And of the 20 cases where the court split 5-4, only seven had the “expected” ideological divide of conservatives over liberals.  By the end of the term, each conservative justice had joined the liberals as the deciding vote at least once.

That dynamic isn’t something that sprang up in the Trump era or with the court’s newest personnel.  In the 2014-15 term, with Kennedy at the height of his “swing vote” power — the last full term before Justice Antonin Scalia’s death and resulting year-long vacancy — the four liberals stuck together in 55 of 66 cases, while the four conservatives (not counting Kennedy) voted as a unit in 39.

Our Nation's Capitol seems to be a place where analysis, although available, is not absorbed easily.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

9/11 Again

For John, BLUFThe attack on 11 September 2001 was a traumatic event for almost everyone in the United States, and the larger West.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Today is the 18th Anniversary of the 9/11Attack.

A terrible event.  And now, 18 years on, do we still want to be fighting in Afghanistan?  In The LA Times Retired Historian and Army Colonel Andrew Bacevich talks about pulling out of Afghanistan.

Here is the sub-headline:

When Americans finally leave Afghanistan, we won’t look back. It will be Vietnam all over again.

Ending a war with someone who has a radically different view of culture and government can be difficult and the outcome may not be what we desire.  However, this isn't World War II and we are not going to crush the opposition, the way we did Japan and Germany.

The other side of the coin is that we need to do some strategic study, thinking about what is the best way to engage in these kinds of wars.

That is, we need to ask, now, what we will do the next time.  There will be a next time, because the ISIS crowd is intolerant and we are not knuckling under.

Yes, I am a Viet-nam Veteran, and was part of the force supporting Cambodian forces against the Khmer Rouge, by flying Close Air Support and Air Interdiction missions.  I was not there for the last day of Us Operations, having chosen to take leave and avoid the reporters, lest I say something untoward.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Turn About IS Fair Play

For John, BLUFThe Old Gray Lady Publisher, Arthur Sulzberger, Was all in the high branches over this role reversal.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Hill, by Reporter Madison Gesiotto, 9 September 2019.

Here is the lede:

The people who have made an industry out of destroying ordinary people’s lives over old social media posts and out-of-context comments are very upset that it’s happening to them.  The New York Times! clearly worried by the recent exposure of blatantly anti-Semitic tweets posted by one of its reporters, and clearly worried that even more embarrassing material is in reserve, tried to stop the hemorrhaging with a rambling article demonizing the independent journalists who uncovered the tweets.
As Writer Ed Driscoll said here, "SAUL ALINSKY SMILES".

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Federal Government Fiscal Health

For John, BLUFWe haven't turned the corner on Federal Budget Deficits, and don't appear to have a plan, either Party.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Axios, by Ms Rebecca Falconer, 9 September 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

The federal deficit exceeded $1 trillion in the first 11 months of fiscal year 2019, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said in a report published Monday.

The big picture: The deficit is $168 billion more than for the same period in the previous fiscal year. The growing deficit has been driven by mandatory spending in areas including Social Security and Medicare, President Trump's tax cuts, and bipartisan agreements to increase spending in areas such as defense — which contributed toward overall federal government spending increasing 7%.

  • The current deficit of $1.068 trillion is expected to be reduced when quarterly tax payments are paid in September.
  • Trump's tariffs on imported goods from China contributed toward the federal government’s revenue increasing 3% in the first 11 months of the 2019 fiscal year, along with other sources such as individual income and payroll taxes and corporate taxes.
Hat tip to Memeorandum.

Regards  —  Cliff

Technology Meets Bureaucracy

For John, BLUFFederal liscensing and Bureaucracy held up cell phone introduction a couple of decades.  Did you miss them?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

This technology was intentionally prevented from getting off the ground for decades.

From Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), by Mr Thomas W. Hazlett, 20 June 2017 .

Here is the lede plus one:

The basic idea of the cellphone was introduced to the public in 1945 – not in Popular Mechanics or Science, but in the down-home Saturday Evening Post.  Millions of citizens would soon be using "handie-talkies," declared J.K. Jett, the head of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  Licenses would have to be issued, but that process "won't be difficult."  The revolutionary technology, Jett promised in the story, would be formulated within months.

But permission to deploy it would not.  The government would not allocate spectrum to realize the engineers' vision of "cellular radio" until 1982, and licenses authorizing the service would not be fully distributed for another seven years.  That's one heck of a bureaucratic delay.

Note this is about the cell phone as phone, and not your smart phone, as hand held computer.

Not to be a conspiracy theorist, but this bureaucratic delay, this imposition of regulation, is probably happening today, with one or more other technologies.

Regards  —  Cliff

Huey P Long

For John, BLUFA lot of what we know is wrong.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Louisiana’s populist 1930s dictator was shot by his own security guards, not a political opponent

From The National Review, by Ms Ellen Carmichael, 7 September 2019.

Here is the lede plus two:

Dr. Carl A. Weiss Jr. died on August 1, 2019.  It’s not typically considered newsworthy by the New York Times when a retired orthopedic surgeon passes away at the age of 84, but Weiss was more than a physician.  He was the son of the man who shot Huey P. Long.

Or so we were taught.  As a child growing up in Louisiana in the 1990s, I learned that there was absolutely no doubt that in the 1930s, the state’s best governor and all-around great man died at the hands of a political opponent out for blood.  That story, like so much about Long, is a lie.

The myth of Long’s assassination is just one in a long line of tales meant to lionize the former governor and U.S. senator, painting over his lengthy track record of corruption and brutality in his pursuit for power.  Huey P. Long, historian Arthur Schlesinger explained in a 1986 Ken Burns documentary about the populist politician, was the closest thing to a dictator the U.S. has ever seen.

I had thought it was Dr Carl Austin Weiss Sr.  This is the story I read in Writer Robert Penn Warren's book, All the King's Men.  But, i did understand that Senator Long presented a challenge to American economic growth and the well being of the Common Man.  Like Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, before his time.

Here is the common story on Senator Long:

Long took the nickname "The Kingfish," from the radio show Amos and Andy.  He was a Democrat and noted for his radical populist policies.  He served as Governor of Louisiana from 1928 to 1932 and as a U.S. senator from 1932 to 1935.  Though a backer of Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1932 presidential election, Long split with Roosevelt in June 1933 and allegedly planned to mount his own presidential bid.

Long created the Share Our Wealth program in 1934, with the motto "Every Man a King," in which a tax on the wealthy would be used to redistribute wealth to the very poor to curb the poverty and crime resulting from the Great Depression.  He was an ardent critic of the Federal Reserve System.

If we don't do a good job studying our history we will continue to make bad decisions.  Unfortunately, our Elites don't like to study history.  However, history is the tool of the Common Man, from Abe Lincoln to Harry Truman.  Painting over murals in San Francisco and white washing Huey P Long is not helping.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, September 9, 2019

Small Town Rejuvenation

For John, BLUFOur small towns and cities are going to have to find their own salvations within themselves, helped, of course, by a growing economy.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Washington Examiner, by Reporter Salena Zito, 6 September 2019.

Here is the lede plus five:

Greg Bricker is tired of his community looking through the rearview mirror to an idyllic past, rather than looking forward and trying to plot a better course.

He feels this rearview mindset dominates his town, especially the local government.

So after missing the statewide deadline for getting on the Nov. 5 ballot, Bricker went down to the Columbiana County Board of Elections to register as a write-in candidate for mayor of East Liverpool.

He didn’t even tell his family, outside of his wife Katie.  The rest of his family “found out when they read in the local paper,” Greg smiles.

Street after street in the neat grid of East Liverpool is filled with stunning turn-of-the-century buildings that are all boarded up.

East Liverpool was once the pottery capital of the world. More than 300 pottery companies competed here to win business all around the country.  But since the 1960s, East Liverpool has been plagued with massive population loss and a fentanyl crisis that made national headlines.  This is the town where, in 2016, a grandmother and her companion were found overdosing in their car, while the four-year-old grandson looked on helplessly from a carseat.

There are no magic solutions to bringing back, economically, small towns and cities in the US.  However, Local residents, working together, can make a difference.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Anti-Gun Culture

For John, BLUFOur betters believe they have to save the rest of us from our ignorance.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Column:  Why the debate over gun control is so polarized

From The Washington Free Beacon, by Mr Matthew Continett, 9 August 2019.

Here is the lede plus three:

The pattern was established long ago. A killing spree happens.  The Democratic Party and mainstream media erupt in calls for gun control.  Republicans shy away from cable news for a few days. Various fixes to the background check and mental health systems are proposed, video games are criticized, and eventually our attention turns elsewhere, until another spectacular attack restarts the cycle.  President Trump increases the volume and heightens the perceived stakes.  The advocates of gun control, such as Elizabeth Warren, say he's a "white supremacist.  Opponents of regulation say he's the only thing that stands between them and dispossession of their Second Amendment rights.

Disentangling the various threads of argument in the debate over guns, mass shootings, mental illness, white nationalism, and domestic terrorism would take volumes.  What interests me, as someone who is inclined to support some gun controls, is why the debate takes the shape it does.  Indeed, the fact that I, a child of the D.C. suburbs and graduate of Columbia University, am a self-confessed squish on guns points to a possible explanation.  For the argument over firearms is not really over any of the specific proposals floated in the aftermath of mass murder.  It is over who shall direct the shape of American society, and by what means.

Beginning in the 1970s, some of the writers and editors who became known as neoconservatives observed changes in the American elite.  The tradition of liberal internationalism, which held individual liberty as the preeminent value and believed in equality of opportunity, as well as a safety net, was under assault.  A rising generation of activists charged liberal internationalism with hypocrisy: not only abroad, where intervention in Vietnam had run aground, but also at home, where formal equality under the law had not produced substantive results.  Something was wrong with America, the students said. Only a fundamental transformation of our nation would set things aright.

Neoconservatives called this incipient elite the "new class."  It consists, Irving Kristol wrote in 1975, "of scientists, lawyers, city planners, social workers, educators, criminologists, sociologists, public health doctors, etc.—a substantial number of whom find their careers in the expanding public sector rather than the private." To that list one might add journalists, professors, post-docs, adjuncts, foundation officers, and a great number ofprogrammers, managers, human resource officers, and CEOs.  The neoconservatives never defined the "new class" precisely—something their critics pointed out.  The category was meant to be a catchall, a handy description of the well-schooled professionals who began their long march through America's academic, media, entertainment, government, and corporate institutions in the aftermath of 1968.

The New Class is an excellent term, but it wasn't invented here.  Yugoslav intellectual Milovan Đilas, who defined the Communist apparatchiks as The New Class in his book of the same name.  Per Wikipedia:  "He proposed that the party-state officials formed a class which 'uses, enjoys and disposes of nationalised property'".

Here is how the article ends:

No amount of evidence showing the inefficacy of gun control, or the virtues of alternative policies, will convince the new class to drop its crusade for regulation.  That is not just because guns are safety hazards.  It is because guns remind the new class that it has not succeeded in imposing the values of one part of the country, and one segment of the population, on the rest.
Isn't that the truth!

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Israel and the Palestinians

For John, BLUFHow does this end?  If it means the end of Israel, God allowing, then we need to make space for the Israelis in our nation.  Maybe in the Upper Midwest.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Jewish Journal, by Mr Aaron Bandler, 22 August 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

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.”

The question is, if the Palestinian Authority rejects the nation of Israel, what is the basis for peace?  Submission?  Is that what the Squad (Gang of Four) seeks?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Delaying the Inevitable?

For John, BLUFThe British voted to leave the European Union and the British Elites can't stand it.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

MPs prepare for legal battle in case PM attempts to defy law forcing him to ask for extension

From The Manchester Guardian, by Mr Michael Savage—no, not that Michael Savage—7 September 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

Senior MPs opposing a no-deal Brexit sought assurances from the EU that their bid for a three-month delay would be granted, it has emerged.

European leaders were sounded out before MPs, including the “rebel alliance”, passed a bill, which is expected to receive royal assent on Monday, forcing Boris Johnson to ask for an extension.  However, those involved said there were no guarantees in a process that was changing by the day.

It comes as the rebels, including former Tories who have been thrown out of the party, prepare for a legal battle in case the prime minister attempts to defy a law forcing him to ask for an extension on 19 October.  The UK is due to leave the EU on 31 October, but the new law would envisage a Brexit extension until the end of January 2020.

Opposition parties have agreed to block a general election before a Brexit extension has been agreed.

I especially like the fourth paragraph, where the British Elites, the Remainers, pledge themselves to NOT seeking the will of the people through a national election.  Think of Climate Change and how the Elites of the Democratic Party want you to stop eating cheese burgers and using plastic straws, not through persuasion, but by force.  It’s for your own good.

As Writer Bertolt Brecht wrote of the East German uprising of 1953:

After the uprising of the 17th of June
The Secretary of the Writers Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only By redoubled efforts.

Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?

It will be interesting to see how BoJo deals with this problem.  He can't dissolve Parliament, but he can send them home, so they do no more mischief.

It does seem a tad disloyal for Members of Parliament to be negotiating with the EU Elites in Brussels in their fight with the Prime Minister.  And careless to let their disloyal actions leak.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

British PM Next Step

For John, BLUFThe People voted to leave, but the elites are afraid, so a number of weak kneed Conservative turned on Brexit and hung the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, esq, out to dry.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The New Reform Club, by Mr Seth Barrett Tillman, 7 September 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

The Benn-Burt Bill goes back to the Commons on Monday morning, where it is expected to be finalized and then receive royal assent—and so become a statute.

Can the Prime Minister (“PM”) stop that process?  Yes, as a formal, legal matter nothing stops the PM from asking the Queen to prorogue Parliament on Monday morning.  It could be a short prorogation—one day.  That would kill the bill, even if it was on its way to receive royal assent.  And if the Commons restarts the process by passing Benn-Burt-Bill-#2 the next day it sits—absent amendments making the bill palatable to the government—the PM can prorogue again, and again, and again.

This is no time for the PM, BoJo, to go weak kneed.  If he does it is all over for him.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Bolivarian Socialism

For John, BLUFAll of the current Democrat candidates for President seem to be intent on crashing the US economy and restricting the shopping options of ordinary citizens.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From InstaPundit, by Writer Ed Driscoll, 7 September 2019.

Here is the key paragraph:

"On Thursday after CNN’s seven hour “climate change town hall,” Bryan Preston wrote, “Seriously, if you see all of the above — which is just a sample — and vote for any of these people for any office at any level, it’s on you.  If you like Venezuela, voting for any of them will bring you a whole lot of Venezuela.  Thank you, CNN, just for letting these people talk.  Do it again next week?  Please?”
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Watch Your Hand Gestures!

For John, BLUFDon't point your index finger as someone, with your thumb up and your other fingers curled back.  At least in Pennsylvania it can get you in trouble.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

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

Here is the lede plus two:

Remember the case of a 7-year-old Maryland boy who ate his pop tart into the shape of a gun?  He was suspended for two days because he apparently upset some of his classmates.

The kid's parents sued and the case was eventually settled.  The boy was suspended for two days, but at least he wasn't charged with a crime.  Unfortunately, 64-year-old Stephen Kirchner wasn't so lucky.

A Pennsylvania court ruled that Kirchner could be charged with "disorderly conduct" for the crime of pretending his hand was a gun and pointing the "gun" at his neighbor.  Another neighbor saw the gesture and became frightened enough to call 911.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Trump vs The Elite

For John, BLUFI like to know people who think like me, but I also like to know people who think differently, without them having to hate me.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Althouse Blog, by Professor Ann Althouse, 5 September 2019.

The Progressives have not yet figures out that Donald J Trump, when attacked, likes to fight back, and is very good at it.

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, September 6, 2019

The Likely Next Associate Justice Confirmation

For John, BLUFWe have trust issues between our two major political parties.  Neither believes the other won't go totally wacko at the first opportunity.  We are settling into a Bismarck-like Culture War, and that is not good.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

From The American Thinker, by Mr Fletch Daniels, 27 August 2019.

Here is the lede plus three:

The news that Ruth Bader Ginsburg was treated for pancreatic cancer raised the possibility of a Supreme Court opening within the next year.

The 86-year-old Ginsburg's health has been declining for years, to where the last year has felt like a bad remake of the 1989 Weekend at Bernie's movie.  Instead of enjoying her golden years in retirement, Ginsburg has been propped up and hidden in the hopes of holding the seat until a Democrat is elected.

The always elegant Michael Moore, who previously placed a Ginsburg doll atop a Christmas tree, summed up the Democrat zeitgeist when he tweeted, "HOLYMOTHEROFRBG!! EVERYBODY, RIGHT THIS SECOND, JOIN A MOVEMENT, CAMPAIGN, GRASS ROOTS GROUP -WHATEVER - AND WORK NONSTOP BTWN RIGHT NOW & NOV 2020!"

The Left is already manning the barricades.  The resulting hearing will make the Brett Kavanaugh fiasco, a dark moment in U.S. history, look like a charming affair.  In the event that President Donald Trump nominates Amy Coney Barrett, as many conservatives hope, this hearing will be a preview of the Apocalypse.

It goes down hill from there.

As for Professor Amy Coney Barrett! I can't think of a better choice.  Yes, I find her association with the People of Praise Community as a positive thing.  Two of our very close friends from Naples, Italy, joined an affiliated Covenanted Community in Ann Arbor, Michigan, when he got out of the Navy.

To wrap up, I wish Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg the very best, including a continued long life.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Blacks and Guns

For John, BLUFThe history of Blacks and the Second Amendment is complex.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Black gun rights advocates say limiting access would make them more vulnerable to racist attacks, especially in the absence of real problem solving.

From USA Today, by Mr Kim Trent, 26 August 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

Black Americans have had a curious relationship with firearms.  These weapons were used to keep them subdued during slavery, then terrorized in the Jim Crow south.  African-American gun advocates argue that guns also preserved our ancestors’ peace when they were menaced by racists in the antebellum South and the divided North.  They argue that, as with all social issues in America, the role of race cannot be downplayed in gun control debates.

I am an adamant proponent of what I believe to be sensible gun reform.  But I also recognize that America’s offirearm fetish won’t be addressed by folks like me having conversations in a vacuum.  So I reached out to Kofi Kenyatta, a gun rights advocate I deeply respect, to get his take on how the issue affects America in general and the black community specifically.

Those with a smattering of post-Civil War history know that "gun control" legislation was a way of keeping guns out of the hands of Black Americans.  I don't think now is the time for Blacks to walk away from the Second Amendment.  Nor other thinking Americans to walk away.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Confirmation Circus

For John, BLUFInformation on the Kavanaugh Hearings is slowly sweeping out, and it isn't pretty.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Previously denied accusations were politically motivated

From Washington Free Beacon, by Reporter Graham Piro, 4 September 2019.

Here is the lede plus two:

Debra Katz, the lawyer for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's accuser Christine Blasey Ford, said that putting "an asterisk" next to Kavanaugh's name was "part of what motivated" Ford's accusations in a video posted to Twitter.

In the video, posted by Daily Caller reporter Mary Margaret Olohan, Katz is heard saying that Kavanaugh "will always have an asterisk next to his name" when he "takes a scalpel" to landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade.  Revealing what she considered to be Kavanaugh's true character ahead of a hypothetical reversal of Roe is "part of what motivated Christine," according to Katz.

"I believe that Christine's testimony brought about more good than the harm misogynist Republicans caused by allowing Kavanaugh on the Court," Katz said, according to the video.  "We were going to have a conservative.  Elections have consequences."

This does tend to put Professor Blakey Ford's testimony in a bad light.  Sad.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Evolution or Creation?

For John, BLUFThe New York Times Series "1619" makes the argument that America's success is based on the economic benefits flowing from slavery, and all evil flows from that.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From According to Hoyt, by Science Fiction Writer Sarah A Hoyt, 4 September 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

Forget the NYT — pretty much always, really.  They’ve become purveyors of bad, bad fiction — and their project to prove America is the most racist nation evah!

That kind of idiocy will only convince the feeble minded.  (Of course none of us knows how many are feeble minded.  After all the data is vitiated all the way down by people repeating nonsense to virtue-signal and vote fraud… never mind.)

Sure, there was slavery in America in the seventeenth century.  Bad news guys. There was slavery everywhere in the seventeenth century, pretty much.  And it is a failure of the American education system that most people assume that all slaves were black.  First of all, it depended where the slavery was.  Also, if you think slavery in the US was the worst thing ever, (which btw, is the new modified, limited hangout when you call them on their idiocy) you probably are ignorant of conditions in the rest of the world at that time, period.  Hell, it might have been better to be a slave in America at the time than to be a serf in France.  Alma mentions what we can infer about conditions for slaves in the rest of the world.

And no, guys, no.  Slavery in Africa wasn’t kinder and gentler just because everyone was the same color.  To begin with, the chances are really high that people didn’t consider themselves the same race, no matter what the similarities in coloring or even facial structure.  In tribal societies, small differences become really exaggerated.  But beyond that, if you study that time period in Africa well…  The Dahomey liked sacrificing slaves over the tombs of their kinds.  The ones they sold to the west were the lucky ones.

Maybe the founding sin was to believe in the concept of individual freedom and building on that belief.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Mass Murder as Domestic Terrorism

For John, BLUFI checked The Center On Terrorism website and din't see a link to the data mentioned.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Hill, by Opinionator Courtney La Bau, 1 September 2019.

Here is the lede plus two:

Mass shootings are a uniquely American tragedy.  I have worked in the extremism and counterterrorism space for a long time, as a federal contractor for the Department of Homeland Security and as a national security expert for several think tanks around the world.  I have sat in prison cells and interviewed convicted terrorists.  I have sought to understand the nuances of violent hate whether it manifests in an ISIS-inspired bombing in Sri Lanka or a white supremacy-driven shooting in El Paso.

What I have seen is a common narrative: hatred, the notion of superiority and cleansing, and mobilization to violence in the name of an ideology.  But in the United States, we’ve chosen to fight back a lot harder against the kinds of violent extremism perpetrated by foreigners or those with a certain color of skin.  We created a vast toolkit to counter al Qaeda and ISIS, but we do nothing to prevent these homegrown extremists who happen to be white from accessing weapons of mass destruction in our country.

Though the radicalization process might be the same across the extremism spectrum, the numbers do not lie.  The Center on Extremism released statistics showing that 73 percent of extremist-related murders in the U.S. over the last 10 years (through 2018) were committed by right-wing domestic extremists.

Except the Global War on Terrorism isn't working.  The current Administration is working on a way to pull out of Afghanistan, but without having eliminated terrorism.

The other thing is that gun violence in certain neighborhoods in Chicago, and other cities, is a major source of terror for individuals and families.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Corporate Censorship in the Future

For John, BLUFThe fear is that corporate interests "with a social conscience" will limit the scope of available information.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Ricochet, by Mr Brian Watt, 16 May 2019.

Here is the lede:

The prerecorded disc market is about to disappear. At some point in the near future, UHD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, and standard DVDs will no longer be sold by Amazon and other retailers because most content will be available for streaming in very high definition. As Jerry Del Colliano explains in his article “Netflix and Amazon are Killing Ultra HD Blu-ray and I Feel Fine” at Home Theater Review, Netflix and Amazon are leading the transition to eliminate the disc market because the economics of streaming content are so much more profitable than shipping a physical disc, even as it undercuts the traditional studio industry.
I love the convenience of Amazon and I love the ability to watch movies on demand, but Mr Watts points out the down side:
When the day comes that only a handful of major streaming services – Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and soon Disney and Apple and others that fund the creation of content and control the content that you are able to view — then some films and television series that are now or in the future considered politically incorrect will begin to disappear.
The thing that Gutenberg introduced was the ability to mass produce heresy.  Even typewriters and carbon papet worked, giving us Samizdat ("self-publishing"), like Doctor Zhivago In Russian.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Suicide Problem

For John, BLUFBoth suicides and drug overdose rates are a symptom of social breakdown.  But why?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

On a problem that literally has life-and-death significance for a pivotal portion of his base, Trump has been AWOL.

From Nation of Change, by Author Rajan Menon 19 June 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

We hear a lot about suicide when celebrities like Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade die by their own hand.  Otherwise, it seldom makes the headlines.  That’s odd given the magnitude of the problem.

In 2017, 47,173 Americans killed themselves.  In that single year, in other words, the suicide count was nearly seven times greater than the number of American soldiers killed in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars between 2001 and 2018.

A suicide occurs in the United States roughly once every 12 minutes.  What’s more, after decades of decline, the rate of self-inflicted deaths per 100,000 people annually — the suicide rate — has been increasing sharply since the late 1990s.  Suicides now claim two-and-a-half times as many lives in this country as do homicides, even though the murder rate gets so much more attention.

In other words, we’re talking about a national epidemic of self-inflicted deaths.

This is a serious problem.  I don't think the Author is willing to do the deep dive, which would reveal how the destruction of so many families, of all races and ethnicities and creeds, has resulted in more isolation and higher suicide rates.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Deep Fake

For John, BLUFThe future, which is lurking around the corner, and may already be here, includes artificial intelligence and the danger of deception,  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From War on the Rocks , by Writer Hal Wilson, 30 August 2019.

This is a very short story, telling an important message.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, September 2, 2019

Trust Test

For John, BLUFDistrust between the President and the Intelligence Community goes back to before the election, and has not gotten better.  This article is from June and here in September it is still an atmosphere of distrust.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Pajama Media, by Roger L Simon, 16 June 2019.

Here is the lede plus four:

When Donald Trump told George Stephanopoulos he (Donald) might listen to "oppo" research coming from a foreign source and that he might not tell the FBI about it, the mainstream media, as is so often the case, deliberately missed or misstated what he meant, went into one of their usual hissy fits, and attacked the president, even calling him treasonous.

Besides the obvious hypocrisy, pointed out with characteristic aplomb by Andrew McCarthy, something else, likely more important, was at play.

The media (and the Democrats, of course) deliberately missed the point because you would have to be seriously intellectually challenged not to get why Trump might have been hesitant or ambivalent about going to the FBI.  These days only a total dimwit would unquestioningly trust the supposed "world's greatest law enforcement agency."  The FBI is under a dark cloud.

The litany of personages who have recently left or been expelled from that organization is long and getting longer.  As is well known, it's under investigation for its practices during and before the Mueller probe, via the inspector general and recently-appointed U.S. Attorney John Durham, who is famed for prosecuting FBI agents with ties to the Boston mob.  All this is being supervised by AG William Barr.

Significantly, Durham is also investigating the CIA and, it appears, the State Department.  President Trump has given Barr (and therefore presumably Durham) the ability to compel the agencies to reveal their secret documents and to make their personnel cooperate with investigators.

If the President can't trust the FBI, or the larger Intelligence Community, then who in DC can he trust?

My question is, how do we restore trust.  Did the recent DOJ IG Report On Mr James Comey make it worse or did it put us on a positive path?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Northern Latitudes Warming

For John, BLUFChanges in the permafrost is an indication that there is warming ongoing.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Reuters, by Mr Matthew Green, 18 June 2019.

Here is the lede plus two:

Permafrost at outposts in the Canadian Arctic is thawing 70 years earlier than predicted, an expedition has discovered, in the latest sign that the global climate crisis is accelerating even faster than scientists had feared.

A team from the University of Alaska Fairbanks said they were astounded by how quickly a succession of unusually hot summers had destabilized the upper layers of giant subterranean ice blocks that had been frozen solid for millennia.

“What we saw was amazing,” Vladimir E. Romanovsky, a professor of geophysics at the university, told Reuters by telephone. “It’s an indication that the climate is now warmer than at any time in the last 5,000 or more years.”

Here is how the article concludes:
Even if current commitments to cut emissions under the 2015 Paris Agreement are implemented, the world is still far from averting the risk that these kinds of feedback loops will trigger runaway warming, according to models used by the U.N.-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

With scientists warning that sharply higher temperatures would devastate the global south and threaten the viability of industrial civilization in the northern hemisphere, campaigners said the new paper reinforced the imperative to cut emissions.

But, if Southern regions become too hot, then will not northern areas become more habitable?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Playing Nice

For John, BLUFDidn't we learn to play nice in Kindergarten?  Doesn't the history of American politics teach us that the other side eventually gains the upper hand, only to then relinquish it.  Bipartisanship means working together to get the business of America done.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Fox News, by Nick Givas, 26 August 2019.

Here is the lede plus three:

Washington Post opinion writer Jennifer Rubin pushed for Americans to work together to "burn down the Republican party" in the hopes of extinguishing any trace of the enthusiasm for President Trump.

Rubin appeared on MSNBC's "AM Joy" Sunday and said that not only does Trump have to lose in 2020, but there must be a purging of "survivors" who still support the commander-in-chief.

"It's not only that Trump has to lose, but that all his enablers have to lose," she said. "We have to collectively, in essence, burn down the Republican Party."

"We have to level them because if there are survivors -- if there are people who weather this storm, they will do it again."

I don't think it is helpful for the body politic to make all discussions life or death.  Maybe we need to turn down the rhetoric a tad.  Maybe not talk in terms of "burning down" the opposition.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Wealth is Comparative

For John, BLUFIn these United States the poor people live well below the level of the rich, but, a new study suggests that American poor are better off that the average person in other nations.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The American Thinker, by Mr Thomas Lifson, 26 August 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

Most of the articles you read decrying the purportedly wretched state of the poor in the United States, blaming prosperous people for the "inequality" of our "income distribution" (as if rich people got that way by expropriating the earnings of the poor, because someone "redistributed" their income to the rich) are phony.  They rely on income reported to the IRS and ignore the substantial untaxed benefits supplied to low-income people.

A new study from the public policy research group Just Facts corrects for this ignored income and finds that our poorest 20% consume as much as the average in many European and other developed countries.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Bad Analysis Leads To Bad Solutions

For John, BLUFThe author argues that some of our social problems may not be due to evil corporations, but rather cultural shifts as we embraced more freedom in our interactions, leading to a breakdown in relationships.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The New York Post, by Ms Mary Eberstadt, 23 August 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

Declining life expectancy, mass shootings, alarming rates of mental illness, rising white nationalism, the opioid crisis:  By many measures, our society is in trouble, and we are ignoring a root cause:  the unprecedented familial dispersion that followed the 1960s sexual revolution.

At heart, that revolution aimed to radically sever human sexuality from marriage and child-rearing, from the responsibilities society had hitherto imposed on the individual sexual appetite.  Afterward, fatherless homes, family shrinkage and breakup, childlessness and abortion all became commonplace.  The net effect of these changes is having fewer people to call one’s own.

Many Americans would say that their own lives have been enhanced mightily by the new liberties wrought by the ’60s revolution.  Perhaps.  But if we examine what these same changes have delivered at a collective level, an unsettling picture emerges.

One feature of the new landscape is widespread loneliness.  And while initial studies were trained on the isolated elderly, scholarly focus is rapidly expanding as social-science data reveal ravaging isolation at the opposite end of the spectrum.

I believe Ms Mary Eberstadt is correct, but I believe her analysis is incomplete.  We need to examine the impact of LBJ (Great Society) and California Assemblyman Jim Hayes (No Fault Divorce).  These were not political actions that strengthen the family.  Just the opposite.  I think that, as Daniel Patrick Moynihan pointed out in his report, The Negro Family:  The Case Fore Nation action, family life can have a major impact on culture and on individual success.

Until we fix the family everything else is just bandaids.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Equal Justice For All?

For John, BLUFAre we creating an "under class" who are treated by a different set of rules, maybe Deplorables who are unredeemable?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

“Equal justice under the law” is not supposed to be an aspiration or a quaint slogan. It is supposed to be a guarantee.

From National Review, by Author Andrew C McCarthy, 24 August 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

The date of a meeting, that’s all the lie was about. George Papadopoulos claimed that a meeting he’d had with the mysterious Maltese professor, Josef Mifsud, happened slightly before the green-as-grass 28-year-old was recruited into the Trump campaign.  In reality, it was slightly after.

It wasn’t a very important lie.  It was of no consequence to the FBI or the special counsel’s investigation. Papadopoulos was such an afterthought that the Bureau did not bother to interview him until late January 2017 — about 10 months after he met Mifsud.  By the time Papadopoulos was charged, the Trump–Russia investigation had been ongoing for well over a year — it was already clear that there was no conspiracy.

Here is how the article ends:
For about ten days, I’ve had a new book out on Russiagate, called Ball of Collusion.  I’ve gotten to do lots of speeches and interviews.  Most interesting are the ones when members of the audience ask questions.  Without fail, they home in on the thing I least like to talk about:  What is going to happen to government officials who are suspected of abusing their powers and misleading such bodies as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court?  A name that reliably comes up is Andy McCabe.  People who have followed the story know the IG referred him to the Justice Department for a possible false-statements prosecution.  They know other aspects of McCabe’s conduct are still under investigation.

I hate this topic because I am not one to cheerlead for comeuppance against law-enforcement people.  I know how hard their jobs are, how readily errors can be made because one often has to act on imperfect information; because there is a natural zeal to catch bad guys that can easily become overzealousness.  I have no problem analyzing their judgment calls — mine got analyzed plenty, and we all make our share of mistakes.  But I am hard-wired not to presume bad motive.

So I tell people what they don’t want to hear:  We don’t know all the salient facts; we should wait for the imminent reports of investigations being conducted by Horowitz and John Durham (the Connecticut U.S. attorney tasked by AG Bill Barr to probe Russiagate); and we should disabuse ourselves of the notion that errors in judgment and abuses of discretion, even egregious ones, necessarily entail criminal-law violations.  It is much more important to have a factual accounting of what happened, and to take whatever curative measures are apt to prevent bad things from happening again.

Suffice it to say, this does not get a warm reception.

There is a great deal of anger out there.  People see the kid-gloves approach to the Clinton-emails investigation, and they can’t square it with the aggression of the Trump–Russia probe.  They see the laws contorted to let Mrs. Clinton slide, while the screws get put to Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort over the Logan Act and the Foreign Agent Registration Act – statutes the Justice Department almost never invokes.

They see the false-statements investigations of Andy McCabe and George Papadopoulos and think, “Hey, wait a second . . .”

“Equal justice under the law” is not supposed to be an aspiration or a quaint slogan. It is supposed to be a guarantee.

If I don't have equal rights, equal access to justice, am I really part of the social compact, really an equal citizen?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Antifa Backlash

For John, BLUFWhile Academia is a far left mess, that is no reason to deny Free Speech Rights.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Pajama Media, by Mr Rick Moran, 27 August 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

A professor at an Iowa community college was forced to resign after some of his social media posts supporting the radical left group Antifa came to light.

Jeff Klinzman, an adjunct professor of English literature at Kirkwood Community College told local reporters last week "I affirm that I am antifa." Klinzman was responding to one of his social media posts that appeared to threaten Donald Trump.


In response to a tweet from President Donald Trump calling antifa "gutless Radical Left Wack Jobs who go around hitting (only non-fighters) people over the heads with baseball bats," Klinzman had written, "Yeah, I know who I'd clock with a bat…" on Iowa Antifa's Facebook page.
The school claimed that Klinzman was not removed due to his beliefs, but that their decision was "based solely on their commitment to harboring a safe learning environment for our students, faculty and staff."
"However, when the expression of views by him or any member of our community is perceived as placing public safety in jeopardy, or hampers our ability to deliver on our mission, we will always do what is necessary in service to our students' pursuit of a higher education."
Even if one identifies with the indefensible Antifa, one’s right to speak what one wants should not be curtailed.  If the First Amendment means anything, it means the right to be wrong.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Mental Health Failings

For John, BLUFWe took a wrong turn on mental health a while back, and we still have no path back.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From NPR, By Ms Samantha Raphelson, 30 November 2017.

Yes, this is almost two years old, but the facts persist.

Here is the lede plus three:

A severe shortage of inpatient care for people with mental illness is amounting to a public health crisis, as the number of individuals struggling with a range of psychiatric problems continues to rise.

The revelation that the gunman in the Sutherland Springs, Texas, church shooting escaped from a psychiatric hospital in 2012 is renewing concerns about the state of mental health care in this country.  A study published in the journal Psychiatric Services estimates 3.4 percent of Americans — more than 8 million people — suffer from serious psychological problems.

The disappearance of long-term-care facilities and psychiatric beds has escalated over the past decade, sparked by a trend toward deinstitutionalization of psychiatric patients in the 1950s and '60s, says Dominic Sisti, director of the Scattergood Program for Applied Ethics of Behavioral Health Care at the University of Pennsylvania.

"State hospitals began to realize that individuals who were there probably could do well in the community," he tells Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson.  "It was well-intended, but what I believe happened over the past 50 years is that there's been such an evaporation of psychiatric therapeutic spaces that now we lack a sufficient number of psychiatric beds."

Later in the story:
While President Trump and others have claimed a connection exists between mental illness and the rise in gun violence, most mental health professionals vehemently disagree.

"There is no real connection between an individual with a mental health diagnosis and mass shootings.  That connection according to all experts doesn't exist," says Bethany Lilly of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law.

There are two key points here.  First is the belief we could deinstitutionalize large numbers of the mentally ill and improve their lives.  Turns out it was not the case.

In the story, and today, we are told there is no connection between mass murder and mental illness.  Does that mean that mass murder is normal?  Or, maybe, there is some other way of classifying mass murders?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Coming To America

For John, BLUFBlacks are being trafficked from Africa to this Continent.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

One wonders if the trade is triangular

From Da Tech Guy, by baldilocks (Juliette Akinyi Ochieng), 31 August 2019.

Here is the lede plus two:

The Organized Left seems to have a limited set of tactics.  But, I’m fascinated by the logistics of the following, not to mention the audacity.
The Assembly of African Migrants — a confederation of about 3,000 people from various African countries currently in Tapachula, Mexico — launched in the past week, according to La Jornada, citing assembly leaders.  The group issued its first press release Thursday, describing its origins, how members have suffered since entering Mexico, and their demands.

“We, the people of African origin, forced to remain in Tapachula, suffer an unbearable humanitarian situation related to nurture, housing, health and hygiene; as well as systematic discrimination by immigration authorities,” the press release began.  “Since we left our countries, for us life has been a permanent escape.  We feel despair, hopelessness, fear, demoralization, loneliness and abandonment.”

One wonder if the authors of the statement realize how anti-Mexican, how anti-Latino it sounds?

The Blogger ends her post thusly:

Another question:  has anyone warned these poor Africans about the horrible white supremacism and toxic masculinity rampant north of the USA-Mexico border?

I’m guessing not.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Rubin, Rubin, I've Been Thinking…

For John, BLUFIt seems [some] women don't know what to do with the male of the species.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

"Let me get in the car with Lewis [her dog] and go to towns named after women and ask women:  What do we need men for?  And then at the end I would know whether we should really get rid of them...."

From The Althouse Blog, by Professor Ann Althouse, 30 June 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

From "E. Jean Carroll, in Her Own Words/The writer who has accused President Trump of sexually assaulting her in the 1990s speaks to The New York Times" (NYT). Would we ask of any other group, what do we need them for? It's fundamentally immoral to believe that other people exist for your purposes, but there are so many things you can say about men — as long as you're assuming that they're white — that you'd never say about any other group. (By the way, it's white supremacy — isn't it? — to always be assuming that, if race is not mentioned, the group is white.)
Are we about to enter an era, an eon, where men will be valued only for their contribution to conception?  And, perhaps, the occasional moment when toxic masculinity is required to save a life?  Yes, men reduced to objects.

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff