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Saturday, November 30, 2019

Holiday Value

For John, BLUFIn my youth holidays were import family and community celebrations.  Now, instead of bringing us together and inspiring us to do better, they are points of contention and opportunities to argue politics.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

The NYT gives us Thanksgiving as seen through a neo-Marxist lens.  It is not only political foolish, but historically inaccurate.  This is a response.

From The Book Worm Room, by Blogger Wolf Howling, 28 November 2019.

Here is the lede plus three:

The NYT gives Space to a lily-white George Washington University History Professor, David J. Silverman, who, surprise, thinks that Thanksgiving is a tragedy of colonialism.  He states that the “Native American past and present tend to make white people uncomfortable because they turn patriotic histories and heroes inside out and loosen claims on morality, authority and justice.”  According to this donkey’s ass, white people were evil, while red people were pristine, good, and with a culture that was “every bit as ancient and rich as in Europe.”

Thanks for the Howard Zinn version of history, professor.

The reality is that all of the Eastern woodland Indian tribes were a stone age people without iron metallurgy or even the wheel. They were in constant warfare with other tribes each trying to take the other’s land or defend their own.  When the professor condemns Europeans uniquely for conducting coastal raids on Indians in the 16th century and taking slaves, the proper response is not “how evil the Europeans were,” it’s “are you kidding, you putz?”

One, the Pilgrims didn’t do any of that.  Two, the fact that others than the Pilgrims did, well, welcome to the brutality of life in the 1500’s, whether Indian, European, Middle Eastern, etc.  True, those raids represented a tiny sliver of European society at its worst.  But what does it say that such raids were simply the equal to the traditional Indian society of the day?  Will you tell us the tale of Hannah Duston next, Professor?

Let us stipulate, slavery is wrong.  It was wrong in 1619It is wrong today.  However, we are better informed today than we were before.  Just ask any Millennial or GenZ members.

And scalping people is déclassé.  Even if other people do it.

Yes, we are smarter than those who went before us, but they were trying to do something new, to provide new opportunities for freedom.  They were far from perfect.  It wasn't just Native Americans they tangled with.  There were also Catholics and Baptists.

But, they provided inspiration and a basis to go forward.  I am empowered by the Thanksgiving turkey and fixings to try and be a better person, a better American.  Let us all move forward.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

The FBI Stumbles

For John, BLUFWe all forget that when J Edger Hoover was Director of the FBI, not all the actions were Kosher.  On the other hand, I have always had faith in the FBI as portrayed by Inspector Lewis Erskine.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

An inspector general’s report underscores how the FBI departed from its tradition of professionalism and honesty in pursuit of domestic political influence.

From American Greatness, by Prof Angelo Codevilla, 28 November 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

The Justice Department’s inspector general this month reprimanded the FBI for the manner in which it recruits and supervises its “confidential human sources.”  To the layman, this seems about technicalities.  In fact, it shows that one of the CIA’s deadliest dysfunctions now infects the FBI as well.

This disease consists of choosing and rejecting sources for the purpose of indulging the agencies’ and their leaders’ private agendas rather than to further intelligence work on the public’s behalf.

Necessarily, the language of the inspector general’s November 19 report is vague:  “Ineffective management and oversight of confidential sources.”  This means the FBI has failed to use “adequate controls” in its validation of human sources, which has resulted in “jeopardizing FBI operations, and placing FBI agents, sources, subjects of investigation, and the public in harm’s way.”

The inspector general’s concern with the FBI’s source management stems from the investigation into the FBI’s involvement in the 2016 presidential campaign, including by taking seriously the infamous Steele dossier that it knew was a fabrication as well as, likely, some Russian communication intercepts that also should have been rejected on strictly professional grounds.  In short, the FBI departed from its tradition of professionalism and honesty in pursuit of domestic political influence.

Angelo M. Codevilla is a senior fellow of the Claremont Institute, professor emeritus of international relations at Boston University and the author of To Make And Keep Peace (Hoover Institution Press, 2014).  Mr Codeville's experience includes Service on the Senate Intelligence Committee staff.

Here is the Report.  Footnote 10, or what it is footnoting, is quite interesting.

At least it isn't as bad as China.  Mr Zak Doffman, in Forbes writes "China Has Weaponized The Smartphone:  Here’s Why You Should Be Concerned".  Yes, Bureaaucrats can believe their mission justifies the abrogation of human rights, because the Bureaucrats are doing what is right, what is best for the People.

Once upon a time the Democrats were sensitive to these kinds of shenanigans, but apparently no more.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, November 29, 2019

Christmas Television Watching

For John, BLUFWhat are the limits to what one wishes to watch for entertainment?  Must it represent the cultural tastes of the avant guard, the bien-pensant?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Ms Megan Fox, 29 November 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

Every Christmas season, it appears we have to endure listening to the race hustlers and the gay patrol complain about the one channel left in America that does not partake in envelope-pushing.  The Hallmark channel really is the last known entertainment that does not engage in the culture wars by pushing "diversity" for the sake of pleasing the agitators and instead focuses on its demographics; white moms and grandmas.  But these days, being white and enjoying things white people like is a cause for concern and mockery.  I'm white, and a mom, and Hallmark doesn't particularly appeal to me except in the sense that I know I can turn it on and not be concerned that my children will be exposed to clown world morality that is on every other channel. It's safe.

The Hollywood Reporter penned an article called "Hallmark Channel Struggles to Give Diversity a Home For the Holidays."  In it, author Lesley Goldberg takes aim at white people liking to other watch white people as if it's some kind of mortal sin.  "While other networks are viewing the holidays  with an eye toward inclusion, Hallmark is delivering the dream of a white Christmas, just like the one's audiences used to know."  I doubt Goldberg would ever complain about the lack of diversity on Black Entertainment Television (which, by the way, I happen to think is a great idea and caters to a specific audience that likes what they do. What a concept!)

As bad as the acting gene rally is on the Hallmark channel, the stories are blissfully devoid of any toxic cultural stew pushing politics with every line. There was a time in America where television censors would never allow any sex scenes as graphic as what you would see on Cinemax after dark but today it's old hat to have to watch people groaning and panting (and swearing) at 7 pm on NBC.  It's gross.  As a result, I've given up cable and only subscribe to online services with access to movies and shows the cultural elites now call "unwatchable."  I've completely lost the desire to watch any new programming.

In an article from 2017 in the Walrus entitled "The Unwatchable Whiteness of Holiday Movies," Hallmark fans give reasonable explanations for why they like the channel.

“It’s clean and I just don’t enjoy cussing,” a Georgia grandma told E! News in October.  The sentiment was echoed by a North Carolina senior who said, “There is no profanity nor any offensive sex acts in any movie I have ever seen.”  A middle-aged Minnesotan added, “There are no politics, there is no crime, no hate, no war.”

But in a culture that values offensive sex acts, profanity, and violence overall, the Hallmark channel is doomed.  The diversity activists will never be satisfied until everything white people like is canceled, including white people themselves.  And they will eventually get their wish because white people in America will become a minority in the not-too-distant future.  Meanwhile, however, whites are still the majority population.  Even so, if that majority wants to watch entertainment that represents them or doesn't include a constant assault on morality and decency, they're relegated to one cheesy channel that plays nothing but sappy Christmas movies most of the year.  But when the social justice soldiers get done with Hallmark, they won't even have that.

I am a Hallmark aficionado.

The Hallmark channel's CEO, Mr William J Abbot, has signaled that the network is open to gay stories.

Since we still don't force feed television programming, it will be a case of Go Woke, Go Broke.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Whither Warren

For John, BLUFOur Senior Senator, here in Massachusetts, Professor E Warren, seemed to be moving up in the Democratic Party polls, but now not so much..  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Opinionater Steven Kruiser, 27 November 2019.

Here is the lede plus five:

My always-incisive colleague Stephen Green wrote a post yesterday that examined the current state of the Democratic presidential race, specifically the shifting at the top due to the recent tumble in the polls by Elizabeth Warren:
Warren's support peaked in the first week of October, when the commentariat was all aflutter that a progressive woman-of-perhaps-some-color had eclipsed boring old Biden in the polls, even if only barely.  That's the same time Sanders saw his support dip to six-month lows.

But something remarkable has happened in the last six weeks or so.  Warren's early October high has worn off, while Sanders has steadily crept back up in the polls.  The result is that the two are in a virtual heat for second place.

That VodkaPundit post was written earlier in the day, and the news was only going to get worse for Fauxcahontas later:
This new one from Quinnipiac is “just one poll,” as the data nerds like to say, except … it’s not really “just one poll.” As we’ll see momentarily, Warren has been slipping in lots of polls over the past month and a half.  And her downturn in today’s data isn’t really a “slip,” it’s a minor catastrophe.  She went from 28 percent in Quinnipiac’s last poll, good enough to lead the pack, to 14 percent today.  Half of her support vanished.
Both Mayor Pete and Bernie have ascended during Lizzie’s downward plunge, so she has lost ground to a moderate and her main socialist rival.  This has to be about more than just her particular place on the ideological spectrum.
Yes, the idea is that the Democratic Party Organization is not yet ready for a second run at the White House with a Woman atop the ticket, even one whose philosophy runs along that of the late Senator Huey P Long, The Kingfish.

If you wish to check the numbers, look at this chart from a blog post by Law Professor Ann Althouse.

Maybe Vice Presidential Timber?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Rudy Goes on Offense

For John, BLUFThis whole Ukraine imbroglio is sticking to everyone.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Giuliani also says he knows Ukrainian prosecutors who can back his claims.

From The Blaze, by Reporter Carlos Garcia, 20 November 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

Rudy Giuliani told Glenn Beck during an exclusive interview that U.S. diplomats were doing the bidding of billionaire philanthropist George Soros in Ukraine in a "massive pay-for-play" scheme that included falsifying evidence against President Donald Trump.

Giuliani, the president's personal attorney, spoke to Beck on his program Wednesday about the claims being made against him by Democrats in their ongoing impeachment inquiry.

Of course it could be as dishonest as Representative Adam Schiff.  On the other hand, I cast a dubious glance in the direction of Mr Soros.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Is Senator Harris Presidential Timber?

For John, BLUFI think the American voting population is not hesitant about a woman President, or a Black President (although I think of Senator as being Indian, as in Sub-Continent), but they are not interested in novelty for novelty's sake.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Daily Wire, by Mr Ashe Schow, 16 November 2019.

Here is the lede plus three:

As Sen. Kamala Harris’ (D-CA) campaign for her party’s presidential nomination continues to implode, some in the media are looking for answers.

ABC News shot first, asking if Harris “proof that America isn’t ready for a woman of color as president?"  The article began with quotes from Harris making the argument herself.

She had previously spoken about her “electability” several times, and in May she went ahead and wondered whether “America was ready for a woman and a woman of color to be president of the United State of America.”   She made the claim on “The View.”  This statement set her mmmmup with the tired and ready-made excuse in case she lost the primary:  It’s because America is racist and misogynist.

Of course, that ignores the two elections of former President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 nomination.  It also ignores the fact that she is currently in a Democratic primary, meaning the people she is calling racist and sexist are her fellow Democrats.  The point seemed lost on ABC as well, since it asked if “America” was ready for a black woman of president, when they were really asking if Democrats were ready for a black woman nominee.

And there you are.  If Senator Harris can,t be nominated, it is on the Democrats, not on America as a whole.

We should acknowledge that what most recommends Senator Harris is the fact that Willie Brown likes her, or at least used to.

NB:  Democratic Presidential Debate tonight.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

You Are What You Read

For John, BLUFThere are quite a few places in the world, and a few in the US were culture dies not provide a glue to hold the people together, where trust is low and subgroups protect themselves by intimidation and violence.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Orwell’s warning in ‘1984’ is as relevant today as during the Cold War

From The Epoch Times, by Ms Barbara Kay, 18 November 2019.

Here is the lede plus two:

The Greater Essex County District School Board in the Windsor, Ont., area is supplanting its grade 11 literature curriculum, which up to now has featured great writers of the western canon such as Shakespeare and George Orwell, with a year-long program of Indigenous writers.  The change has already been effected in eight of the district’s 15 schools.
In the Peel district as well, I am informed by a reader, the same transformation is in progress.  It would be naïve to assume that these schools will remain anomalies for long.  The “disappearing” of dead white European male writers, however magnificent their achievements, may well be normalized across Canada before long.
It is hard to overstate the alarming implications of this educational earthquake.  Deliberately withholding Shakespeare from young minds is a form of aesthetic starvation, but depriving them of Orwell is a moral crime.  It is from Orwell’s “Animal Farm” that young minds first grasp the nature of totalitarian evil, whether it arises from the left or the right, and understand the preciousness of their freedoms.
It is Canada, but it could be us.

This is very scary.  We have built a functioning culture on this Western Canon.  If we stop teaching the Canon, will the culture survive?  If not, what replaces it?  Do we become like Malmo?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Hearings Impact

For John, BLUFIt appears the Impeachment Hearings viewing audience is viewing the hearings through their own individual political viewing lenses.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Althouse Blog, 20 November 2019.

Here is the tweet being commented, plus three paragraphs:

Harry Litman
not to get panglossian but I think these hearings are helping the Ds become the party of wholesomeness and patriotism and the Rs the party of grievance and pettiness.  that would be a disaster watershed moment for the party of Reagan.
2:36 PM · Nov 19, 2019
Who's Litman?  His Twitter profile says:  "Washington Post columnist.  Former US Attorney, DOJ official.  Teach con law at UCSD and UCLA.  Practice law @CCWhistleblower.  Exec. prod. & host, @talkingfedspod."

This tweet is such a perfect example of cocooned liberal self-love.  If there is one thing that has given me energy from Day 1 of this blog, it is my aversion to cocooned liberal self-love.

If there is one word in that tweet that gets me, it's "wholesomeness."  Imagine staring at Adam Schiff for hours thinking, oh, that is so reassuring, he's so gosh-darn wholesome.

I am with Professor Althouse on this.  And Mr Litman is living in an alternative university.

Check the cynical comment by "Shouting Thomas" at 11/20/19, 5:44 AM.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Getting the Straight Word

For John, BLUFWhy does the Press elide over Obama Administration data when they publish, as bad, lesser data from the Trump Administration?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Blog post, 19 November 2019, by Mr Ed Driscoll.

Here is most of the blog post:

Reuters, AFP withdraw stories on UN Study on child detentions.  In their mea culpa, Reuters notes, “A Nov. 18 story headlined ‘U.S. has world’s highest rate of children in detention -U.N. study’ is withdrawn.  The United Nations issued a statement on Nov. 19 saying the number was not current but was for the year 2015. No replacement story will be issued.”

Amber Athey of the Daily Caller tweets:

Several things going on here:

– Media largely ignored the immigration crisis under Obama.
– Things that happened under Obama admin have been used to attack Trump (kids in cages, family separation).
– UN’s blind acceptance of detention #’s from China & Russia is concerning. And as one of her followers adds, “Instead of editing the piece to accuse Obama, they deleted the story entirely.”

The bad thing is that people in the media are not embarrassed by this.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Check You Car, Carefully

For John, BLUFThe Police should not have ther hands tied, but, on the other hand it shouldn’t mean no constraints.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Slash Dot, by BeauHD, 19 November 2019.

Yes, Professor Glenn Reynolds is correct, Chutzpah, plain and simple.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Accepting Responsibility

For John, BLUFNow that gun manufacturers may be sued over guns used in crimes, this could not be far behind.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Babylon Bee, 15 November 2019.

Here is the lede plus three:

Acme Forks & Knives was trying to block a lawsuit brought against them by the obese community.  The lawsuit suggested that the company's utensils were deadly tools that caused people to become overweight.

The Supreme Court has blocked the company's attempt to block the lawsuit, paving the way for victims of heart disease and other diet-related ailments to sue Acme.

"Finally---the big forks and knives lobby will be held accountable for contributing to heart disease and obesity, the leading causes of death among American adults," said a spokesperson for the oppressed obese community.  "No human action leads to these deaths.  It is entirely on the sentient utensils used to carry out the mass eating events."

"Blood is on their hands!" protesters cried.  "Fight the corporate fork and knife lobby!"

Seems reasonable to me.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Making It Work

For John, BLUFMarriage is not about gaining equality, but about mutual self sacrifice.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Epoch Times, by Ms Suzanne Venker, 14 March 2019.

Per Wikipedia, The Epoch Times is a multi-language newspaper founded in 2000 by John Tang and a group of Chinese Americans associated with the Falun Gong spiritual movement.

Here is the lede plus five:

Not long ago I received an email from a divorced real estate agent in Beverly Hills who had this to say:
Dear Suzanne,

I just read about you, and I’d like to talk to you about my daughter who’s a high achiever.  She’s 38, well-educated (two Ivy League schools), creative, intelligent, sophisticated, loving, successful, and attractive with a model-like body, and surprisingly can’t find a desired partner.  I must say she wasted many years on several senseless relationships.  She is now extremely unhappy that she doesn’t have a partner and, most importantly, she wants to have children.  She has consulted with a few relationship coaches, but she is still single.  All of her friends are married with kids.  I’m clueless why she can’t find her desired partner.  Thank you in advance for your help.

” My emailer’s daughter is not alone.  Countless women today face the exact same problem:  They’re successful in life but not in love.  And their quandary is bigger than they realize, for if and when these women do find a husband, it will not be the end of their struggle.  Finding a man to marry today is only half the battle.

The other half is keeping him.

Although “keeping him” isn’t really the right phrase since men aren’t the ones leaving their marriages in droves.  Women are:  70 percent of divorces are initiated by wives.  Ergo, even when women do marry, they have no idea how to stay married.

Time to read the article, but the theme is that winning in the gender war may be losing at life.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Alternative View

For John, BLUFThis is like the Dreyfus Affair.  Is Reporter Battenfeld the Emile Zola of this affair?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Boston Herald! by Reporter Joe Battenfeld, 18 November 2019.

Here is the lede plus six:

President Trump is calling Nancy Pelosi’s bluff, dramatically raising the stakes of the impeachment hearings with a threat to offer testimony to House investigators.

And the ploy could work.

Trump is hijacking the hearings for a second straight week, overshadowing the Democrats’ carefully choreographed plans to methodically call witnesses to show Trump tried to bribe Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

The House speaker initially launched this latest twist, in an interview suggesting Trump should testify himself or in writing. It was said more in a condescending tone than a serious offer, and even the CBS interviewer scoffed at it.

But it was the perfect opening for Trump, who tweeted on Monday that he liked the idea and would “strongly” consider it.

As a legal strategy, Trump’s idea to give written testimony is fraught with peril. No defense attorney would ever suggest that a defendant should testify before an already-rigged jury convinced of his guilt.

But the impeachment hearings aren’t a legal proceeding — they’re a political spectacle. And Trump knows it.

In 2016 more than half of the Americans who took the time to vote voted against the Democratic Party Candidate, Ms Hillary Clinton.  Yet they can't let it go.  To the detriment of our nation.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Judging the Economy

For John, BLUFIn the absence of a big war, it is the economy.  Using Chico Marx's line in Duck Soup, "Well, who ya gonna believe me or your own eyes?"  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Town Hall, by Mr Stephen Moore, 12 November 2019.

Skipping the lede, here are the next four paragraphs:

Here's the backstory.  Several weeks ago, I reported on the very large increase in median household incomes under Donald Trump.  Based on Census Bureau monthly data, from January 2017, when President Trump entered office, through August 2019, middle-class household incomes rose from $61,000 to an all-time high of $66,000.  These numbers are in 2019 dollars -- that is, they are adjusted for inflation.  Trump has repeatedly cited these numbers.

The left freaked out for understandable reasons.  They are especially agitated because median household incomes have risen by $5,000 under Trump, compared to $1,100 in seven years under President Barack Obama.  The data also undermines the case against Trump.  Elizabeth Warren likes to say in every speech, "The middle class has been left behind by Trump's policies."  That's flat-out wrong.

The self-proclaimed "fact-checkers" on the left went to work to try to discredit the numbers.  This includes The Washington Post, PolitiFact and others.

As an aside, we have a big problem in America when the "fact-checkers" are all playing for the liberal team.  A case in point is the liberal PolitiFact, which used the screaming headline "Trump's Shaky $5,000 Boast."  The Post gave Trump two Pinocchios for claiming these income gains and said "Trump Inflates His Economic Record."

Wednesday a week ago I attended a Candidate Amy Klobuchar event in Derry, NH.  She had an excellent speech, except when she touched on the US Economy.  She characterized it as weak.  The fact is that the Middle Class is doing OK in this economy, including Blacks and Hispanics.

It is my expectation that if people think they are prospering under the Trump Administration, especially compared to the previous ten years, and are told they are not, than they will go with the Incumbent.  The economy may not be the winning issue the Democratic Party Candidates think it is.

Regards  —  Cliff

Stars in the Hearings

For John, BLUFImpeachment hearings allow new stars to emerge, in this case aided by California Democratic Representative Adam Schiff.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Last Refuge (The Conservative Tree House), by "Sundance", 16 November 2019.

Here is the lede plus three:

On March 20th, 2017, New York Representative Elise Stefanik first made a name for herself when she questioned FBI Director James Comey about why he purposefully did not inform congressional oversight, Gang-of-Eight, about the FBI investigation of candidate Donald Trump in 2016.  Ms. Stefanik caught Comey off-guard and his only response, albeit stuttered, was:  “because of the sensitivity of the matter?”  {LINK}

Fast forward to November 15th, 2019, yesterday, and Rep. Stefanik again showed her acumen when she asked Ambassador Yovanovitch to reconcile her opening statement about not ever discussing Hunter Biden or Burisma against evidence Ms. Yovanovitch previously admitting to an extensive briefing session specifically about Hunter Biden and Burisma.  Once again, Stefanik caught a political operative in their network of lies.  {LINK}

Having watched events closely it is obvious Elise Stefanik is a smart young representative with serious skills to see through the chaff, countermeasures and false narratives advanced by political left.

Hence, as if on cue, the entire apparatus of the political left began attacking their #1 new enemy.  Today the unholy alliance of corrupt political operatives and the allied media went on the attack.

My buddy Juan gives Representative Stefanik a thumbs up.  Good enough for me.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Distorted History

For John, BLUFMaybe it is the fact that the United States aimed so high is why every wrinkle is seen as such a failure.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the Blog ¡No pasarán!, by Monsieur Erik Svane, 15 November 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

Over the past few months, the New York Times has opined three times on historical questions, both ancient and recent.

How valid, how pretty (sic), have the results been?

First, the 1619 Project, which is designed to call America's entire history a scam, for which Americans deserve to be shamed and punished.  (I forgot where I read it, but this is hardly unrelated to the fact it appears that the Democrats' 2020 candidates want less to govern Americans than to punish Americans.)

(The present post is mainly about the 1619 take, and la pièce de résistance is a remarkable document by the left-leaning National Geographic's attempt to share in and to contribute to the leftist message — below, in the third part of this post.  After a presentation of the Times's, i.e., the leftists', twisted view of history (part 1 of this post) and a discussion thereof (part 2) — not least Europe's contribution to the demonization of the United States (for almost two centuries, if not more!) — the final, 3rd, part, will feature an in-depth examination of a fully left-leaning article that actually manages to utterly debunk the leftists' (and the Europeans') entire (self-serving) premise.)

A long read, worth it.

Regards  —  Cliff

Those "Rural" People

For John, BLUFWe are a diverse nation.  Which is a good thing.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is another indication of a cultural divide within the United States, or perhaps in the West In General, between those in Urban areas and those in rural areas.  This divide is not good for the nation.

Chris Arnade

He deleted the tweet & seems contrite, but he is saying out loud how a frustratingly large number of front rowers feel

Which is, impoverished regions are filled with bad people who we need to scold or fix

It is a form of colonialism, dressed up into today’s woke language

Jackson Kernion
I unironically embrace the bashing of Rural Americans.  They, as a group, are bad people who have made bad life decisions.  Some, I assume, are good people.  But this nostalgia for some imagined pastoral way of life is stupid and we should shame people who aren't pro-City.
Jackson Kernion is a Philosophy PhD student at UC Berkeley, working in philosophy of mind, epistemology, and philosophy of science.  He is visiting NYU for 2018-2019.

Chris Arnade (@Chris_arnade) writes about addiction, poverty, & other despairs.  He wrote a good book called Dignity.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Real Reason?

For John, BLUFThe House Democrats seem to have not settled on a reason for impeachment, although perhaps AOC has found it.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Washington Free Beacon, by Mr Nic Rowan, 14 November 2019.

Here is the lede plus two:

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) on Wednesday said that impeaching President Donald Trump is necessary to prevent a "disastrous outcome" in 2020.

Ocasio-Cortez said on CNN's Situation Room that House Democrats need to move quickly, citing the "potential compromise of the 2020 elections," that could lead to "a potentially disastrous outcome."

"This is not just about something that has occurred, this is about preventing a potentially disastrous outcome from occurring next year," she said.

I take her at her word.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, November 15, 2019

Gun Confiscation

For John, BLUFCandidateBeto promised to grab our AR-15s, but I have my doubts about impimentation.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Can't buy it?  That's okay, you can easily get the pieces to build one yourself.

From Reason, by Mr Noah Shepardson, 14 November 2019.

Here is the lede:

An unintended loophole in a Colorado gun control bill illustrates what happens when lawmakers legislate technology they don't understand:  Firearms owners find a way to work around the law without breaking it.
While I think the Democrats can garner votes by going for gun control, I think it will also repeal many other voters.  And you average American will resist laws he or she finds to be wrong.  And this is a good thing.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, November 14, 2019

A Coup Timeline

For John, BLUFIt is useful to review, from time to time, the timeline of the efforts to turn out Donald J Trump.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Hill, by Ms Sharyl Attkisson, 8 November 2019.

Here is the lede plus four:

It’s three full years since President Trump was elected.

Among those who predicted he could never win the election — or that he might have been conspiring with Hillary Clinton all along, worked for Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, would crash the U.S. stock market his first week in office, would ban all Muslims, would send illegal immigrants home en masse on buses and trains, and would start a nuclear war — there have been real concerns.

But to others, there are different concerns that have borne out.  We continue to get evidence of an orchestrated effort among government insiders and the well-connected to take down President Trump at all costs.  The public evidence indicates that the effort was hatched even before he took office.

Trump critics would argue that there was good reason to devise plots against him before he was inaugurated.  His supporters would argue that the opposition has crossed the line into unlawful actions involving wiretapping and attempts to frame Trump and his associates.

In any event, we can build an oversimplified timeline to make the point:

And then follows the Impeachment timeline, at least per Ms Attkisson.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Vendée Revolt—1793

For John, BLUFRevolutions are usually ugly things, and often end up with even worse governments.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

I don't remember where I picked up this description of the French Revolutionary Government dealing with the people of the Venndée Region of France (out on the Atlantic Coast).
THE FRENCH GENOCIDE that was written out of history.  “It became customary to drown brigands naked, not merely so that the Revolutionaries could help themselves to the Vendéens’ clothes, but also so that the younger women among them could be raped before death.  Drownings spread far beyond Nantes:  on 16th December, General Marceau sent a letter to the Revolutionary Minister of War triumphantly announcing, among other victories, that at least 3,000 non-combatant Vendéen women had been drowned at Pont-au-Baux.  The Revolutionaries were drunk with blood, and could not slaughter their brigand prisoners fast enough—women, children, old people, priests, the sick, the infirm.  If the prisoners could not walk fast enough to the killing grounds, they were bayoneted in the stomach and left on the ground to be trampled by other prisoners as they bled to death. . . . Men, women and children were more often shot, or burned alive in their houses.  Some of the Crusading soldiers had the idea of lighting ovens, stoking them and baking Vendéen families in them.  Babies were not spared; nor were toddlers or small children.  The usual practice was to kill babies in front of their mothers, then kill the mothers.  Young girls were often drowned, after first being raped.  Widows were usually beaten, insulted and drowned.”

The French Revolution was the model for all succeeding leftist regimes.

And that is the way with revolutions.

The likelihood of a peaceful revolution, a bloodless Coup, is small.

The Progressives best be careful of their seeking to overthrow President Trump.  The best hope for a peaceful ejection of President Trump is the ballot box in November of 2020.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, November 13, 2019


For John, BLUFThe hunt for a crime becomes murkier and murkier.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Geller Report, by Ms Pamela Geller, 7 November 2019.

Here is the lede plus two:

When the the first conspiracy (Russia) exposed the Democrat coup, the party of treason merely moved on to the next big lie.  When do we get justice?

Eric Ciaramella is a CIA analyst and former National Security Council staffer who has served in the Obama and Trump administrations as a career intelligence officer.  President Trump should have purged all the Obama America destroyers from the ranks.

“The establishment’s attempted coup against the sitting president is now entering its end game.  The stakes are high.  Either Trump is impeached and removed from office or the establishment ends up exposed as corrupt and duplicitous elitists willing to go to any lengths to overturn an election result they have never accepted.”  (more here)

Ms Geller thinks it is pretty swampy out there.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff


For John, BLUFWexit is the exit of some of Canada's Western Provinces from the nation, to form their own nation, free from Ottawa.  This May require a modification of Canada's motto, "A Mari Usque Ad Mare" (From Sea to Sea).  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Postmillennial (Canada), Mr Dylan Gibbons, 3 weeks ago.

Here is the lede plus three:

Following the reelection of Justin Trudeau as Prime Minister with a Liberal minority, #Wexit, or Western exit (a play on Brexit), immediately began trending on Twitter, with separatist accounts gaining thousands of new followers.

One of the most important takeaways from the election is the blue sweep throughout Alberta and Saskatchewan.  Both provinces have expressed growing indignation over the other provinces’ dependence on the oil industry, while simultaneously trying to stifle Alberta’s business prospects and economic growth by opposing pipelines.

In response to Justin Trudeau’s reelection, the Facebook group for gained tens of thousands of followers in a matter of hours.  According to CTV News, in just 10 minutes the group surged from 4,000 members to 42,000.  By 8:00 a.m. the next morning, the group had shot up to over 113,000 members.

Additionally, a petition for “Alberta Separation/Western Alliance” has gained significant traction, receiving over 20.000 signatures of its 25,000 signature goal at the time of this article’s writing.  This occurred in less than 24 hours.

I think this is another sign of the desire on the part of mini-cultures for a certain degree of deference to local sensibilities.  Subsidiarity, So to speak.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Globe Reviews Impeachment Hearings

For John, BLUFIt seems fairly obvious that The Boston Globe Is not sympathetic to President Trump, nor has it considered the long term consequences of Impeachment, with or without Conviction.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Boston Globe , by Globe staff Writer Christina Prignano , 11 November 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

The impeachment inquiry into whether President Trump improperly withheld aid to a foreign government in exchange for help with his re-election bid is entering an important phase this week, as the first public hearings are held by the House Intelligence Committee.

Up until now, House investigators have held closed-door depositions with key Trump officials as they gather information and documents on the allegations.

What can we expect from these hearings? Here’s a look at the format, the witnesses, and what we might learn.

I do think the lede mischaracterizes what is going on.  This isn’t about "whether President Trump improperly withheld aid to a foreign government in exchange for help with his re-election bid".  This is about digging up dirt to ensure that Donald J Trump is Impeached and Convicted, turned out of office and his election determined by history and historians as illegitimate and his number 45 revoked.

As of this writing, there have been 95 Comments, 40 of them "blocked".  Oh to have access to the Comments deemed inappropriate.  The high proportion of blocked Comments suggest that a fair segment of the Globe readership is highly engaged by the Impeachment effort.

Regards  —  Cliff

Bernie On ICE

For John, BLUFThe United States is an experiment, and it is a legitimate question as to if immigration without assimilation can sustain the American experiment.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Boston Globe, by Globe Staff Writer Jazmine Ulloa!, 7 November 2019.

Here is the lede plus two:

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders on Thursday proposed dismantling the federal agency that handles deportations as part of the most ambitious immigration plan yet by a Democratic presidential candidate — and the only one crafted with the guidance of young immigrants at the center of the national debate.

Like other contenders for the party’s 2020 nomination, Sanders would decriminalize border crossings and provide a pathway to citizenship for roughly 11 million people without legal residency in the country.  But he also went further, pledging to temporarily halt all deportations, end federal immigration raids and break up two federal agencies, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection, that have been at the forefront of President Trump’s family separation policy.

Denouncing what he called Trump’s demonization of immigrants, Sanders said the immigration proposal was personal because his father “came to America as a refugee without a nickel in his pocket, to escape widespread anti-Semitism and find a better life.”

In the back of my mind is the question of the role of culture in the political and economic success of the United States, which acts as a magnet, pulling immigrants from other, less successful nations.  To what degree does cultural dilution impact the success of the United States?  In order to sustain the success of the United States, which attracts immigrants, does the nation need to moderate immigration?

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Jane Challenges DC

For John, BLUFI can see where Ms Jane Fonda is coming from, suggesting Defense dollars be diverted to fighting global warming, but we can't arm the Ukraine, defend the Kurds and still use those same dollars to fight climate change.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Mr Nicholas Ballasy, 12 November 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

Actress Jane Fonda, along with Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, co-founders of Ben & Jerry's ice cream, led a climate action protest dedicated to calling on lawmakers to cut the defense budget and apply the savings to a Green New Deal to combat climate change.

"We are now spending over half of the federal government’s annual discretionary budget on the military when the biggest threat to mm U.S. national security is not Iran or China, but the climate crisis.  We could cut the Pentagon’s current budget in half and still be left with a bigger military budget than China, Russia, Iran and North Korea combined.  The $350 billion savings could then be funneled into the Green New Deal and ensuring a just transition for fossil fuel workers and communities," read a Facebook post announcing Friday's protest.

The organizers of the protest argued that "just one percent of the 2019 military budget of $716 billion would be enough to fund 128,879 green infrastructure jobs instead, and it would take just 11 percent — or $80 billion — to produce enough wind and solar energy to power every household in the United States."

Note that Ms Fonda is smart enough to recognize the Federal Budget is divided into discretionary and non- discretionary.  And there is a lot of money in the Defense Budget.

The thing is, Ms Fonda's ideas run counter to the views of the Deep State.  We can't cut the Defense Budget and continue to deploy forces to various global hotspots.  And the "Deep Staters" don't want to pull those forces back.  So, how are the Democrats going to square that circle?  Or, are they going to kick it down the road until after Inauguration In 2021?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Confused Over Ukraine

For John, BLUFYes, Virginia, there is a DeepState, and it is trying to thwart the American People by thwarting their elected President.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Task and Purpose, by New York Daily News Reporter Chris Sommerfeldt, 12 November 2019.

Here is the lede plus two:

A senior Pentagon official told impeachment investigators that President Donald Trump's freeze on nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine posed a strategic nightmare for the Defense Department and put the American-allied country in a deeply dangerous position, according to impeachment inquiry testimony released Monday.

Laura Cooper, a deputy assistant defense secretary overseeing U.S. policy on Ukraine, corroborated key parts of previous impeachment testimony during her Oct. 26 deposition and provided a new window into the Pentagon's role in trying to block Trump's attempt to press Ukraine into investigating Joe Biden's family and other Democrats before the 2020 election.

Cooper said national security officials across the government were confident Trump was wrong in holding up the $391 million in military assistance while pushing for the Ukrainian investigations

And what does President Barack Obama say about giving lethal aid to Ukraine?

In the mean time it is turning out that Democratic House Members believe that running for President (or at least for the Democratic Party nomination) exempts one from any investigation of corrupt conduct.

Sad.  Very sad.

Regards  —  Cliff
  Hint:  He opposed it and thwarted it until the day he turned the Presidency over to Donald J Trump.

Yes, Lavrentiy Beria

For John, BLUFSoviet Leader Lavrentiy Beria was infamous in his day, a symbol of the badly distorted Soviet "Justice" System.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

FromThe Daily Wire, by Hank Berrien, 11 November 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

Speaking on the John Catsimatidis radio show, famed attorney and liberal Democrat Alan Dershowitz blistered CNN for its coverage of the impeachment proceedings against President Trump, saying, “CNN has banned me from their airwaves.  CNN will not allow me on their network because they don’t want a liberal Democrat to be telling their viewers the truth about the Constitution.”  Dershowiz also ripped Democrats, comparing them to the Russian secret police under the murderous Russian dictator Josef Stalin, asserting, “The Democrats are now making up crimes.”

Catsimatidis prompted Dershowitz by asking, “Do the Democrats today think that the American public is so stupid on some of the things they’re doing?”

Dershowitz replied:

They’re very scary.  They’re very frightening to any civil libertarian.  Whether you’re a Democrat or Republican; whether you come from New York or the middle of the country, you should be frightened by efforts to try to create crimes out of nothing.  The latest twist was people on television, particularly CNN and MSNBC, are saying that if the president or somebody else was to name the whistleblower in the Ukrainian situation, that person would be guilty of a crime.  I said in the afternoon yesterday — searching the federal criminal statutes from beginning to end — I couldn’t find the crime.  It reminds me of Lavrentiy Beria, head of the KGB, said to Stalin, he said, “Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.”  Which he really meant, I’ll make up the crime.
Yes, Lavrentiy Beria?

Maybe it is time for Speaker Pelosi or Minority Leader Schumer or DNC Chairman Perez to introduce the vast majority of Democrats to Kübler-Ross.  The vast majority are stuck in Stage 1—Denial.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, November 11, 2019

Restocking the Democrat Fish Pond

For John, BLUFI remember Mr Patrick as Governor.  At least he did no permanent damage.  It could be worse.  Think Senator E Warren.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Boston Globe, by Globe Staffer Jaclyn Reiss, 11 November 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

Former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick is considering entering the 2020 Democratic field of presidential candidates, according to a Monday evening report from The New York Times, a move that comes days after former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg was also said to be thinking about running.

The Times report, which cites two Democrats with knowledge of the situation, states that Patrick told Democratic officials he is considering throwing his hat in the ring because “he doesn’t think that any of the candidates running have established political momentum” and that “there is an opening for somebody who can unite both liberals and moderate Democrats.”

The notion is a turnaround from what Patrick said nearly a year ago, when he announced in early December 2018 that he would not be running for president, citing “the cruelty of our elections process.”  Until then, he had been testing the waters for a nationwide campaign.

“I hope to help in whatever way I can.  It just won’t be as a candidate for president,” Patrick then said in a message posted to Facebook.

Patrick has not made a final decision on whether to run and faces fast-approaching deadlines to get on the ballot in key states, according to a report from the Associated Press.  New Hampshire, the first state to hold a primary contest, has a Friday deadline.

First former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and then former Attorney General Eric Holder and now former Governor Deval Patrick.  A busy fortnight.

This does not speak well for the current field.

Regards  —  Cliff

Exonerating Joe Biden

For John, BLUFThe Impeachment of Donald J Trump is theater all day long.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Trump allies have urged Republicans to haul the Bidens to the Hill.  Not everyone thinks it’s a good idea.

From The Daily Beast, by Congressional Reporter Sam Brodey, 7 November 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

Denate Democrats issued stark warnings on Wednesday that Republicans would severely damage the institution of Congress if they acquiesced to a push from Trump allies to haul former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter for testimony about their actions in Ukraine.

A top Biden ally, Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), told The Daily Beast that calling the 2020 presidential contender—who served for 35 years in the Senate—and his son for testimony “would be literally rolling a grenade down the aisle of the Senate” that would have “lasting consequences” on the upper chamber’s ability to work together.

"Look, Joe Biden is well known, widely respected, and frankly beloved by many in the Senate on both sides of the aisle,” said Coons.  “The impeachment process is already disruptive enough.  I think we should be approaching it with seriousness, not by entertaining conspiracy theories that are utterly unfounded.  And I think it would be a very unfortunate move."

So, here it is.  It is OK to Impeach a duly elected President, but it isn't OK to check out what a former Vice President was up to.  Because the former VEEP used to sit in the Senate, or is a Democrat, or is running for President.

I wonder if Senator Coons understands the lasting consequences of overthrowing the will of the American voters by Impeaching President Trump?

I will let Vice President Biden have the last word.

“With Donald Trump out of the way, you’re going to see a number of my Republican colleagues have an epiphany,” Biden said on Wednesday at a fundraiser in Washington, not far from the building where Republicans had spent the last month sliming him as corrupt.  “Mark my words.  Mark my words.”
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Cooking With Gas

For John, BLUFIn my mind the expression Cooking with Gas emerges from my childhood, when it signified that one was now on the right path to success.  Apparently no longer.  That said, this might make the people of North Andover happy.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From USA Today, by Ma Elizabeth Weise, 10 November 2019.

Here is the lede plus six:

Fix global warming or cook dinner on a gas stove?

That’s the choice for people in 13 cities and one county in California that have enacted new zoning codes encouraging or requiring all-electric new construction.

The codes, most of them passed since June, are meant to keep builders from running natural gas lines to new homes and apartments, with an eye toward creating fewer legacy gas hookups as the nation shifts to carbon-neutral energy sources.

For proponents, it's a change that must be made to fight climate change. For natural gas companies, it's a threat to their existence.  And for some cooks who love to prepare food with flame, it's an unthinkable loss.

Natural gas is a fossil fuel, mostly methane, and produces 33% of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.  Carbon dioxide is the primary greenhouse gas causing climate change.

“There’s no pathway to stabilizing the climate without phasing gas out of our homes and buildings.  This is a must-do for the climate and a livable planet,” said Rachel Golden of the Sierra Club’s building electrification campaign.

These new building codes come as local governments work to speed the transition from natural gas and other fossil fuels and toward the use of electricity from renewables, said Robert Jackson, a professor of energy and the environment at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.

We have not gotten to the stage where households are being forced to convert away from gas for cooking, but it does mean developers are being incentivized to switch to electric.

I wish the article had talked to the question of alternative electricity generation being brought on line to meet the deficit as gas goes away.  Is anyone doing any forward planning?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

In Flanders Fields

For John, BLUFI care partly because I got to recite this poem before the whole Robert A Millikan High School student body, as a student.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Reform Club, by Mr Seth Barrett Tillman, 13 January 2017.

Here is the lede:

John McCrae’s Flanders Fields is iconic.  No more need be said.  Unfortunately, its meaning has been distorted by the most popular voice and instrumental accompaniment.  This new reading of the poem has transformed Flanders Fields’ meaning.  My guess is that this metamorphosis was unintentional, but one and all should work to recover the original public meaning.
Well worth the read.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

This Veterans Day

For John, BLUFBeing a Vet isn’t about the sacrifice, but about the willingness to lay it all on the line.  Many had it worse than me, tramping through the jungles of Viet-nam.  Some gave all, like my wife's late husband, whose plane crashed in the Western Pacific on a peacetime training mission.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Citizen (Fayette County GA), by Mr Terry Garlock, 29 January 2019.

Here is the lede plus two:

Well into the autumn of my life, I am occasionally reminded the end is not too far over the horizon.  Mortality puts thoughts in my head, like, “What have I done to leave this world a better place?”

There actually are a few things that I think made my existence worthwhile.  I will tell you just one of them, because so many of you need to hear it.

No matter how much this rubs the wrong way, I am quite proud to have served my country in the Vietnam War.  Yes, I know, most of you were taught there is shame attached to any role in the war that America lost, an unfortunate mistake, an immoral war, an unwise intrusion into a civil war, a racist war, a war in which American troops committed widespread atrocities, where America had no strategic interest, and that our North Vietnamese enemy was innocently striving to re-unite Vietnam.

I had two tours in Southeast Asia.  My second was in Thailand in 1973.  We were flying missions in support of the Cambodian Government, against the soon to be infamous Khmer Rouge.  But the US Congress, lacking strategic insight, cut off the funding for our operations in mid-summer.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Doing More in Less Time

For John, BLUFThere is probably a lot we don't know about high functioning organizations.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Insider, by Ms Lisa Eadicicco, 4 November 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

An experiment that involved reducing the workweek by one day led to a 40% boost in productivity in a Microsoft subsidiary in Japan, the technology giant announced last week.

The trial was part of Microsoft's "Work-Life Choice Challenge," a summer project that examined work-life balance and aimed to help boost creativity and productivity by giving employees more flexible working hours.

Microsoft Japan closed its offices every Friday in August and found that labor productivity increased by 39.9% compared with August 2018, the company said.  Full-time employees were given paid leave during the closures.

The company said it also reduced the time spent in meetings by implementing a 30-minute limit and encouraging remote communication.

Microsoft isn't the first to highlight the productivity benefits of a four-day workweek. Andrew Barnes, the founder of a New Zealand estate-planning firm, Perpetual Garden, said he conducted a similar experiment and found that it benefited both employees and the company, according to CNBC.  It has adopted the four-day workweek permanently.

If this pans out it could result in increased production, and a better standard of living for all.

Of course it could be mostly due to the Hawthorne Effect.

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

"The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald"

For John, BLUFNew York Governor Andrew Cuomo would have us believe bad weather has only appeared since the Global Cooling fear of the 1970s dissipated  This would be wrong.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

The Edmund Fitzgerald sank 44 years ago this Sunday.

From The Duluth News Tribune, by Ms Tracy Briggs, 6 November 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

The [Gordon Lightfoot] song starts with whining chords and an eerie first verse
The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
of the big lake they called "Gitche Gumee."
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
when the skies of November turn gloomy.
The S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald was christened on June 8, 1958, and named after Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company's newly elected chairman of the board.  The company had contracted an engineering firm the year before to make the ship the largest ship on the Great Lakes.

Over the next 17 years, the Fitzgerald started breaking records for the largest loads of freight carried on the lakes.  Not without its troubles, the ship suffered damages in the late '60s and early '70s, but remained an important player in Great Lakes transportation.

And then it sank in a very nasty storm.  The Great Lakes can be a nasty place when the weather is bad.

And, we should remember that our economic system is sustained by low cost transportation, which sometimes extracts a high cost in terms of a freak accident.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff


For John, BLUFFormer Vice President Joe Biden's Reason for being in the race is electability.  Now comes former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Wash Post, by The Ranking Committee, 8 November 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

I’m Karen Tumulty, and this is Round 40.  I’ve gathered you all here to tell you that, yes, the rumors are true.  After much careful consideration, I have also decided to run for the Democratic nomination for president.  Thank you.

The Commentary

The bombshell news that former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg is seriously considering entering the 2020 race (copycat) speaks to something you see in the polls and hear everywhere you go in the early states this primary season.  Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents have their differences on the issues, but they are united on what they see as their top priority in picking a 2020 presidential nominee.  It’s what Ken Tentarelli, a man from Newbury, N.H., told me last weekend in Manchester:  “The thing that matters most to me is not who I would like, but who is electable.”

Until now, the “electability” argument has been working mostly in favor of one candidate in the top tier of the crowded Democratic primary field:  former vice president Joe Biden.  Bloomberg’s late move is only the most recent evidence that Biden’s performance as a candidate is not inspiring the confidence that he could actually deliver next November.

But is it true that the rest of the field falls short when it comes to the question of electability?  The newest Washington Post-ABC News poll suggests otherwise.

I think the idea of picking someone electable misses the point that in a good economy there needs to be a "better idea".  Bureaucratic Health care isn't it.  Nor is gun confiscation.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Russiagate Slowly Eroding

For John, BLUFThere is a breakdown in the self-discipline of our Civil Servants and a breakdown in the wall between the Free Press and the Civil Service.  This likely won't end well.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

These close connections between the Washington Post’s David Ignatius and people connected to U.S. and U.K. intelligence raise grave concerns about the deep state using media to push propaganda.

From The Federalist, by Ms Margot Cleveland, 4 November 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

The Federalist has learned that the now-outed CIA and FBI informant Stefan Halper served as a source for Washington Post reporter David Ignatius, providing more evidence that the intelligence community has co-opted the press to push anti-Trump conspiracy theories.  In addition, an email recently obtained by The Federalist from the MI5-connected Christopher Andrew bragging that his long-time friend Ignatius has the “‘inside track’ on Flynn” adds further confirmation of this conclusion.

Svetlana Lokhova, the Russian-born English citizen and Soviet-era scholar, told The Federalist that she only realized the significance of her communications with and about Ignatius following the filing of attorney Sidney Powell’s reply brief in the Michael Flynn case.

It is beginning to look like the Press was the stooges of Government Officials trying to hobble, if not overthrow, the Presidency of Donald Trump.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Good Economics and Bad

For John, BLUFThe world has pulled a billion people out of poverty in the last 25 years.  Do we want to do as well in the next 25 years?  If so, don't mess with capitalism.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

People seem eager to throw off the taxing, borrowing and spending constraints imposed by economics’ old-time religion. Maybe we need to slow down on that

From the Financial Post (Canada), Mr William Watson, 5 November 2019.

Here is the lede plus two:

The early 1990s were halcyon days for us neoliberals.  The Reagan and Thatcher revolutions were being consolidated. Soviet communism was collapsing.  And an informal “Washington consensus,” according to which the way for poor countries to grow was to get right with their balance sheets, control their money supplies, open their markets to trade and capital flows, privatize, de-regulate and so on, took over the (Washington-headquartered) IMF and World Bank.  In short, they should follow the policies that conservative parties in the West had been recommending for their own countries and which, by the way — in case any might be looking around for post-election suggestions — they should still be following today.

Heady days didn’t last, however, and by the turn of the new century the economics consensus on the Washington consensus was that it hadn’t worked.  Across a wide range of indicators in a wide range of countries, economic performance didn’t seem much better in the second half of the 1990s than in the preceding 15 or 20 years.

But a new study by William Easterly of New York University suggests maybe the problem was simply that things take a while.  Extending the story through 2015, the negative 1990s verdict on neoliberal reforms may have to be reconsidered.

We have very smart people telling us that we need a new economic approach to pull the world out of poverty.  Sadly, The are ignorant people, ignorant of history and of economics.  If we put them in charge they will turn the world into Venezuela, and drag China down with them.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Impeachment Sleeze

For John, BLUFGetting a fair picture of the development of Articles of Impeachment by the House of Representatives will be difficult, as the media goes for headlines and interacts with those serving their own goals.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Reporter Tyler O'Neil, 7 November 2019.

Here is the lede plus one: I expect that with the construction of an Impeachment in the House of Representatives we will see a lot of sleazy stuff in the Press.  Leaked stuff.  And not always the correct stuff.

Bear in mind that this is the Press which insists on trying to eviscerate now Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh, but which has, for years, covered for Mr Jeffrey Epstein.  And continues to fumble the ball?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Japan's Reaction to the Attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

For John, BLUFWe hear about how the Allied nations, in WWII, cracked German and Japanese communications codes.  Less known is that they were listening on us.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From EXSKF, 17 August 2013 (five years ago).

Here is the lede plus three:

There is an NHK documentary that was aired two years ago on August 6, 2011, on the anniversary day of Hiroshima atomic bombing.  I was unaware of this documentary until I saw a tweet a few days ago that had the link to a blogpost by Councilman Koichi Ohyama of Minamisoma City, Fukushima on September 25, 2012.

Mr. Ohyama's post from one year ago quotes the NHK documentary's announcement from two years ago, which says that the top officers of Japanese imperial army knew in advance the impending US attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and did not do anything.

Atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki have been described (at least in Japan) as "beyond expectation" (just like the Fukushima nuclear accident) and "surprise attacks" with no pre-warning by the US, who used to dump leaflets in Japanese from the planes to warn civilians of impending attacks.

But NHK says the top military officers in imperial Japan knew, and did nothing.  The military essentially was the government during the war.

This is an interesting two part story.  The Second Part can be clicked on at the end of Part One.

It is interesting to see how denial prevented the Japanese leadership from reacting to the attacks by the SILVER PLATE B-29s.

The other interesting thing to learn is that the Japanese were doing a pretty good job of tracking Allied communications and drawing useful conclusions.  This is a caution for the future, or for the present.  One should be careful in believing that one's communications are secure.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Media Plays Offense and Defense

For John, BLUFWe are turning individual misconduct into political warfare, excoriating some and protecting others.  This is not fair and it is not conducive of good conduct by all.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Washington Examiner, an Editorial, 6 November 2019.

The Headlines says it all, but you can read more at the link.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Naming the Sin

For John, BLUFRepresentative Eric Swalwell, a former Democratic Party 2020 Presidential Candidate is from the Eastern shore of San Francisco Bay, South of Oakland.  [Definitely] Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Twitchy, by Doug P., 6 November 2019.

Here is the lede:

As you’re well aware, Democrats have a long list of what they consider impeachable offenses Trump has committed (even if they exist only in their heads).  Rep. Eric Swalwell, who was also a presidential candidate for a few minutes, has spotted another:
A tweet from The Hill:
Rep. Eric Swalwell:  "It's an abuse of power to remove an ambassador for political reasons because you don't like what they're doing."
If it is wrong to remove an ambassador, how much more wrong would it be to remove a President?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Trusting DoJ

For John, BLUFThe Department of Justice seems to be more about winning than about justice.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From American Greatness, by Mr Adam Mill, 4 November 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

Michael Flynn’s attorney filed a response Monday to the federal government’s defense against several shocking claims of misconduct.  Attorney Sidney Powell alleged in an earlier filing that federal prosecutors, led by former Special Counsel Robert Mueller alumnus Brandon Van Grack, hid or destroyed evidence and used an edited account of Flynn’s statement as a basis for charging the former national security advisor with lying to the FBI.

Powell inferred that an earlier version of Flynn’s statement, as recorded by the interviewing agents, was suppressed or destroyed.

The case against retired Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn seemed to me to be a little far-fetched.  And, in my mind LTG Flynn seemed a bomb thrower, wanting to reorient the Intelligence Community toward the "coal face", toward the soldier on the front line.

General Flynn's Lawyer, Ms Sydney Powell, is not a stranger to DoJ prosecutorial misconduct, having handled the appeal of Senator Ted Stevens against a Federal Corruption Prosecution.

We must expect and demand better from the Department of Justice.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Interesting Polster Findings

For John, BLUFThis finding is actually not that surprising.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Fox News, by Reporter David Montanaro, 4 November 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

Author and pollster Frank Luntz said Monday that President Trump's rhetoric is having an effect on voters that he has never observed before.

Speaking on Fox News Radio's "Brian Kilmeade Show," Luntz said new focus group research from the past 10 days shows a majority of voters approve of what Trump is doing as president but disapprove of what he says.

"A majority of the public like what Donald Trump is doing and a majority of the public don't like what he's saying.  This is the first time that I can remember.  Usually, it's the opposite direction," he explained, noting that past presidents were generally liked by the public, but their policies turned off voters.

Then Mr Luntz went on to say:
"Trump is hurting himself" with his language and his messaging, Luntz said, advising the White House to focus on economic growth, rising wages and low unemployment in order to improve the president's poll numbers.
Somewhere in my younger years I was taught to not identify anyone just by their last name.  To do so is impolite.  One should add a title, such as "President".

I do think there is something to what Mr Luntz says.  The President does bother some people with his messaging.  However, I am not sure the President is going to change much in the future.  I suspect the responses he gets from the rallies he goes to encourage him.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Election Results (First Pass)

For John, BLUFA lot of analysis to be done.  Nothing to see here; just move along.


  1. Rita Mercier—5191
  2. Vesna Nuon—4821
  3. John Drinkwater —4788
  4. Rodney Elliott—4738
  5. Sokhary Chau—4321
  6. John Leahy—4182
  7. Dave Conway—3738
  8. Bill Samaras—3734
  9. Dan Rourke—3726
  1. Mike Dillon—4296
  2. Jackie Doherty—4105
  3. Andy Descoteaux—4095
  4. Bob Hoey—4057
  5. Connie Martin—3768
  6. Hillary Clark—3747

  1. Rank Choice Voting—YES 4268, NO 4431
  2. 8/3 District Option—YES 5197, NO 3507
  3. Community Preservation Act—YES 5018, NO 3646
NB:  These results are UNOFFICIAL.

The Official results will follow.

Regards  —  Cliff

Gun Grabbing

For John, BLUFI wonder if Beto saw this, or Senator E Warren.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Bearing Arms, by Blogger Cam Edwards, 4 November 2019.

Here is the lede plus three:

New Zealand’s gun grab, instituted in the wake of the Christchurch massacre, isn’t going so great.  In fact, with less than two months to go before the government-imposed deadline, fewer than 20% of the estimated number of banned firearms have been handed over.
New Zealand Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this week that more than 32,000 prohibited weapons have been returned to the government since collections began in mid-July.  Some estimates put the number of newly-banned military-style semi-automatic rifles in the country at up to 175,000.

This would suggest a compliance rate, so far, as low as 18 percent, 16 weeks into the buyback program.  With seven weeks left to go until the amnesty period ends, if the current rate of return holds, the New Zealand government is on track to collect around 50,000 prohibited weapons pursuant to the buyback.  That would impute a final compliance rate of around 29 percent, at the lower end, which would represent a modest but tangible success for policymakers.

A “modest but tangible success”?  I think it’s more like a complete failure.  Let’s say when the deadline passes less than one third of the banned firearms have been turned in.  What exactly has been accomplished, other than the compensated confiscation of a few thousand firearms and the criminalization of tens of thousands of otherwise law-abiding citizens?
There is no "Second Amendment" in New Zealand, explicitly enumerating the right to bear arms as a Right of the People, and yet tens of thousands of Kiwis are keeping their guns, rather than turning them in.

I wonder, if they are listening, what message Democrats take away from this?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff