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Wednesday, December 2, 2020

A Free Press Failing

For John, BLUFYes, the media played a big role the outcome of the Presidential Election.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Mr Tyler O'Neil, 24 November 2020.

Here is the lede plus two:

According to an explosive new study the Media Research Center (MRC) released on Tuesday, the legacy media’s suppression of eight key election-related news stories effectively handed the presidential election to Democrat Joe Biden.  According to a poll conducted by The Polling Company on behalf of MRC, a whopping 17 percent of Americans who voted for Joe Biden would not have done so had they been aware of just one of these stories.

Had the legacy media not buried these stories, Trump would have won 311 electoral votes, the study claims.

“The national news media stole this election, as far as I’m concerned, they deliberately stole it from President Trump,” MRC President Brent Bozell said in a call with reporters.  “It is absolutely unequivocal” that the biased media coverage “cost Donald Trump the election.”

News is curated for an objective.  The objective depends upon who is in charge.  To resist curation it helps to identify what goals the various media are pursuing.

The way to fight back is to read (and listen) widely and to share.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Securing John Durham

For John, BLUFThe US Attorney General took action, back in October, to ensure the Durham Probe would continue, regardless of who was Sworn in on 20 January.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Mr Matt Margolis, 1 December 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

Attorney General Bill Barr appointed U.S. Attorney John Durham as special counsel to continue investigating Obamagate and the illicit origins of the Russia probe.  “On May 13, 2019, I directed John Durham, U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut, to investigate certain intelligence and law-enforcement activities surrounding the 2016 presidential election,”  Barr wrote in a letter to the Senate and House Judiciary Committees.  “Although I had expected Mr. Durham to complete his work by the summer of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as additional information he uncovered, prevented him from doing so.”

Barr reveals in his letter that he appointed Durham as a special counsel prior to the election, on October 19, to ensure that regardless of the outcome, that the investigation would be able to continue.  “In advance of the presidential election, I decided to appoint Mr. Durham as a Special Counsel to provide him and his team with the assurance that they could complete their work, without regard to the outcome of the election,” Barr continued.  Durham has had “the powers and authority of a Special Counsel” since that time.

This is a status different from being a Prosecutor or a Special Prosecutor.  Mr John Durham is now a "Special Counsel".  The removal of a Special Counsel has certain special safeguards.

The letter from Attorney General Barr to the Senate and House Committee Leadership is here.  The lettere farom Attorney General Barr, to Mr John Durham, appointing him, is here.

I like this move by Attorney General Bill Barr.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, November 30, 2020

Is The First Amendment Passé?

For John, BLUFThis is about that difficult Right, the Right to Free Sppech.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Wanderer, by Deacon Mike Manno, JD, 30 November 2020.

Here is the lede plus six:

The In the wake of the election, which still isn’t over, there is obviously concern by conservatives about the future, not so much about the country but about the rights that we enjoy; rights we have received from God that the Bill of Rights is enshrined to protect.

But what has bothered me in the last few weeks is how the activists of the Left-Wing Party, including many Joe Biden staffers, have reacted.  There were calls to ban Trump supporters from future government positions while others wanted them banned from life itself.  There is talk of blacklists and banning others from speaking at public universities.  Social media is already practicing shadow banning and closing accounts of people too outspoken in their conservative or religious beliefs.

And the darlings of the Left-Wing Party are now trying to expand their blacklists:  Delaware Sen. Chris Coons is urging Facebook and others to take another look at climate change deniers.

So how did we get to this point?  How did the proposition of curbing free speech apparently go mainstream?

I think much of it started, as all bad ideas often do, on college campuses.  You know, those places where tenured left-wing professors have four years to shape and mold the young minds entrusted to their care by unwitting parents who have scrimped and saved to give their little ones an education that will allow them to lift themselves above the fray to a comfortable lifestyle.

And I hear the complaints from parents.  One parishioner told me about his daughter, raised a devout Catholic, who after only two years away at college is now a committed atheist who is unwilling to engage in any sort of dialogue about it.  You see, dad’s beliefs are out of touch with today’s reality and need not be considered any longer.

Our friends at FIRE, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, issued a report earlier this year that casts some light on the problem.  FIRE, along with College Pulse, and RealClearEducation, surveyed some 20,000 students and made some interesting findings.  First and foremost, not all colleges are the same.  FIRE publishes a list on its website listing good and bad schools for free speech and thought, which should be an aid to parents and families looking for appropriate educational opportunities for their offspring.  According to the report, “Seven of the top 10 colleges for free speech are public, and only one of the top 10 is in the Northeast, while the bottom 10 include many schools that repeatedly make headlines for campus censorship.

I see censurship in two forms these days.  There are the limit on the words we can use.  I have always engaged in self-censorship.  I avoid use of the "N-word" and other belittling terms.  However, I am resistent to taking commonwords and declaring them wrong, which is what I believe the "woke" crowd does.  Over does.

The other issue is curation of speech, where some institution tries to control and direct what I put our, or others putout, on the Internet.  This is especially pernicious when it results in the stiffling of information flow.  It is like Holy Mother the Church silencing Galileo.  Good and sufficient reasons, but the truth made faith and science stronger.

One of the things the First Amendment gives us is the right to be wrong, free from Government interference.  Not the right to be evil, but the right to read the facts differently.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Why So Negative?

For John, BLUFThe Media has, after it overcame its aversion to President Trump's initial COVID-19 efforts, turned negative on the virus.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Power Line Blog, by Blogger John Hinderaker, 29 November 2020.

Here is the lede plus one plus two:

Three professors, two from Dartmouth and one from Brown, have produced a paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research titled, “Why Is All COVID-19 News Bad News?”  It focuses on the U.S. press, and its findings are disturbing . . .

Why are “major” U.S. news sources so massively more negative than their international counterparts?  I think the widespread hostility toward President Trump is the obvious answer.  The fact that Fox isn’t much different from its left-wing competitors probably tells us more about Fox than about the American press in general.

But that isn’t the whole story.  This NBER article suggests that the pessimism of major news outlets is a response to reader demand.

Quoting from the original paper:  "Ninety one percent of stories by U.S. major media outlets are negative in tone versus fifty four percent for non-U.S. major sources and sixty five percent for scientific journals."  That is a lot of negativity.

The NBER post notes that Fox News, once a major mainstay of the Conservatives movement, is now the same as other press outlets.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Sorting Truth From Opinion

For John, BLUFAn expert is someone with a brief case away from his own office.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

What happens when the most respected authorities get it wrong and ruin lives and economies? Not much

From The Wall Street Journal, by Playwrite David Mamet, 27 November 2020.

Here is the lede plus three:

The wealthy and powerful must constantly expand their operations.  But even if they let their capital sit, they will need accountants, auditors, stockbrokers and consultants.  How will they choose these subordinates?  According to the opinions of other advisers.  Those closest to the boss will have the most influence—and they can keep it, even in failure, by flattery and deference.

This is the case with governmental power.  We are all, in a sense, fools, since no one person can know everything.  We all have to trust others for their expertise, and we all make mistakes.  The horror of a command economy is not that officials will make mistakes, but that those mistakes will never be acknowledged or corrected.

What about our allegedly market economy? Who will be held accountable for destroying it?  No doubt the destruction was carried out in good faith, but the shutdown didn’t accomplish what it was supposed to accomplish.

We have seen shameless incompetence rewarded before.

Here is how the author sums it up, after givinig us some examples from history:
The virus here is government—or at least the incompetents who advise our rulers and cannot admit the legitimacy of dissension.  Absent intervention, this virus may eventually kill the host organism
I am willing to do a small wager that, whoever wins the Presidency, a year (or so) from now people will be saying that President Trump overracted to Winnie the Flu and we didn't need to bar the Chinese or the lockdown or all of that Public Health Kabuki Dance.  If we had just followed then Candidate Joe Biden's advice and not gone overboard we would not be in the pickle that followed.  A very small wager, for the fun of it.

One of the questions we face is the role of the media in reinforcing the rule of the experts.  As a consumer we have to be shopping around, comparing sources.  Unfortunately, we can't be experts on everything, so we rely on the media to provide us access to the facts and to the experts.

But, we will always have experts.  Those who get the work done and those who think about it and provide advice from the edge.  It is the way of the world.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Never Forget

For John, BLUFI am glad to see the Trump Administation joining with the Holy See to remind us of that terrible evil, the Holocaust.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Cardinal Parolin:  ‘The Holy See Condemns All Forms of Anti-Semitism, Recalling That Such Acts Are Neither Christian Nor Human’

From Zenit, by Reporter Deborah Castellano Lubov, 24 November 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

Condemning any form of anti-Semitism is fundamental … As we see its resurgence, we must say ‘Never Again!’

This was at the forefront of a Nov. 19 virtual Symposium organized by U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, Callista Gingrich, and her embassy in Rome, titled “Never Again:  Confronting the Global Rise of Anti-Semitism.”

As we move further in time from the Eugenics thinking that led to "The Holocaust" it is important to remind ourselves that "Never Again" is still an important watchword.

Awareness is important.  From a Wikipedia article on the Holocaust we have:

In September 2018 an online CNN–ComRes poll of 7,092 adults in seven European countries—Austria, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Poland, and Sweden—found that one in 20 had never heard of the Holocaust. The figure included one in five people in France aged 18–34.  Four in 10 Austrians said they knew "just a little" about it; 12 percent of young people there said they had never heard of it.  A 2018 survey in the United States found that 22 percent of 1,350 adults said they had never heard of it, while 41 percent of Americans and 66 percent of millennials did not know what Auschwitz was.  In 2019 a survey of 1,100 Canadians found that 49 percent could not name any of the concentration camps
Those aare, to me, very disturbing numbers.

Where are the History teachers?  Where are our school systems?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

The COVID Kabuki Dance

For John, BLUFI continue to think that there is still a lot to learn about COVID-19 and much of what we do to protect ourselves is a Kabuki Dance.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the Behind the Black Blog, by Mr Robert Zimmerman, 22 November 2020.

Here is the lede plus two:

A new study published in the journal Nature has found that people who are either asymptomatic or undergoing a secondary illness of COVID-19 are simply not infectious, and don’t give the virus to others.

In other words, it appears that the only time people can infect others is when they have the virus for the first time, and only when they are symptomatic.  Lock downs and the use of masks by the healthy accomplish nothing.  All you need to do is quarantine the symptomatic patient, as human societies have been doing for centuries and centuries.

To once again emphasize this point, wearing masks if you are healthy and not sick protects no one.  Social distancing if you are not sick protects no one.  Shutting down businesses, such as reducing capacities at restaurants so they can’t make a profit, protects no one.  Curfews protect no one.

I look forward to clarity on this issue.  I got the first article from Science Fiction Author Sarah Hoyt (Via InstaPundit), who also sent along this item, from The Critic, a UK web site, "The Covid Physician’s true coronavirus timeline:  'My experience is no one but the government and mainstream media are sharing apocalyptic Covid-19 death experiences with me'”.

I am still dancing the dance, because one never knows which steps are of high value.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, November 23, 2020

Do We Know COVID-19?

For John, BLUFThe "science" says schools are safe, even for teachers.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Babylon Bee, by UNKNOWN, 20 November 2020.

Here is the lede plus two:

ALBANY, NY—There has been a lot of debate on whether or not to reopen schools.  And while the science is clear that schools are not a big risk for the spread of COVID-19, Democrats have expressed another fear over people going to school: children learning enough that they no longer trust the wisdom of government or believe in socialism.

“People keep talking to me like I’m dumb and I don’t know what I’m doing,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.  “It’s because when people learn things they think they know better than me -- me, the governor -- so no more schools.  I’m shutting them down.”

The move has been praised by other Democrats, such as Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  “Whenever I talk about my plans to give people lots of free stuff, people always bring up math,” Ocasio-Cortez complained.  “I don’t know what that is, but apparently it’s some crazy right-wing thing you learn at schools that makes you not like socialism.  Maybe people should just stay away from schools.”  Ocasio-Cortez also pointed out that schooling is unnecessary for the future occupation of staying home while the government sends you checks.

It is America's Newspaper of Record.

History says that during the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918 school was one of the safest places for children.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

In The Middle of Nowhere

For John, BLUFIt is 2020.  Weird things happen.  I bet nobody had shiney monolith on their bingo card.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The New York Post, by Reporter Jesse O’Neill, 23 November 2020.

Here is the lede plus three:

2020:  Another Oddity.

Wildlife officials in Utah were counting sheep from a helicopter when they discovered a shiny metal monolith in a remote area that looks straight out of a Stanley Kubrick film.

It is estimated to be about 10 to 12 feet high, and its glistening surface is in sharp contrast to the large red rocks that surround it.

Wednesday’s discovery appears to have been firmly planted in the soil, and not dropped from above.

What can I say?  It is totally out of character for the area.  Perhaps it is a rich and eccentric artist, making a statement.

If you have a thought, leave a comment.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Have Eyes But Can Not See

For John, BLUFAs a Trump supporting Republican I am often amused by what I see as the blindness of the Main Stream Media.  I guess I need to be looking for my own blind spots.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Experts weighed in on why we believe disinformation, despite a lack of evidence.

From ABC News, by Reporter Fergal Gallagher, 22 November 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

Since Election Day, numerous false allegations of fraud have been published on social media and repeated elsewhere, most of which have been easily debunked, yet a large swath of the population still appears to believe them.

According to a recent poll roughly three-quarters (77%) of Trump backers say former Vice President Joe Biden’s election win was due to fraud despite there being no evidence to back this up.

I read the article.  No where is there a discussion of the possibility that a large segment of people don't trust the main stream media.

After four plus years of being told about the Russian interference in the 2016 election, artifically causing Ms Hillary Clinton to lose, why would we believe that this record turnout was fraud free?  Is it fraud free because President Trump cleaned up the voting system and made it that way?  Is it fraud free because Russian President Vladimir Putin dropped out?  What is the reason?  Question asked, but not answered.

The lack of a reflective Press is disappointing to thoser of us who were raised to think that the Fourth Estate was an important part of our system of Government.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Problem Identification

For John, BLUFLife is an adventure and sometimes we go down weird paths.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

I noticed the lamp on my Wife's Night Stand flickering.  I immediately assumed a problem with the socket or a frayed wire, and got to work.

I went to Home Depot, looking to buy a cord to wire into the lamp.  I already had a light bulb societ.

At Home Depot I went to Aisle 43 and looked for a wire with a plug on one end and a couple of soldiered wires at the other end.  I found a heavy duty replacement for a power tool.  Not the visual presence I was looking for.

I wandered around, looking for a clerk, and couldn't find one.  I tried calling Home Depot and was told that they would send someone.  Five or so minutes later I repeated the call and again I was promised they would send someone.  After a couple of minutes I spotted "Bonnie" down at the other end of the Aisle.  She had been there when I had first started looking, thinking to do it on my own, but wandered away.  Now she was with a customer, so I waited.  I explained my problem and she took me in a totally different direction, so an "End Cap" that had what I wanted.

Equipped, I took the pretty large brass lamp into my lap and began to disassemble, which involv3d several parts.  I had to get a pair of vice grips to deal with a pipe in the middle, to free up the remainder of the socket, the cap that screwed onto the pipe.  Then I found that the replacement socket was not the same size as the pipe running through the lamp, but God smiled on me and I had a different socket available, which fit.

I got it all wired up and took it to the bedroom and plugged it in.  The light still flickered.  I pushed the mattress away from the wall, but the plug looked fine.

My wife suggested it might be the light bulb.  I was dubious, but we tried it and it worked fine.  The problem, all along, was the light bulb.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Learning From History?

For John, BLUFWe need to teach our children, and ourselves, more about history.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Chicago Boyz, by Blogger David Foster, 21 November 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

A high-school friend had a father who worked in a factory.  He had a story…it seems there was this guy who got his left arm caught in one of the machines and horribly mangled.  He was out for months, and when he came back, the other workers crowded around him, asking “How did it happen?”

“Like this,” he said, demonstrating with the other arm.

Maybe just a made-up story…but I’m reminded of it a lot, these days.

We have a century of evidence of what happens to a society when it falls into the traps of centralized economic planning, suppression of free speech, and the categorization of people–especially ethic categorization.  But an awful lot of people, including powerful and influential people, seem to want to go in these directions.

I can have some sympathy for people who became Communists and/or advocates of world government back in the 1920s.  The theory of centralized economic planning is very seductive (see this, for the actual practice), and the slaughter of the First World War led people to grasp at any possible way of avoiding such horrors in the future.

We I have a lot less sympathy for people who have refused to learn from a century of experience.

Ten or so years ago, sitting in a Rayrheon Parking Lot in Sudbury, Massachusetts, listening to NPR, I heard a woman say, unchallenged, about Communist China and the Great Leap Forward, if you are going to make an omlet you have to break a few eggs.  A few?  Easily 100 million eggs humans.

Are we, as human beings, incapable of learning.  Yes, I have heard people talk about "last century."  The problem is, a lot of stupid and perhaps avoidable mistakes were made in the last century.  For example there was a war, the Great War, in which almost 20 million died, and it was capped by a Pandemic, which killed somewhere between 17 and 100 million people.  The peace for that war wasn't all that good, laying the groundwork for a new war.  And people were so disgusted by the war that they did things like swear to never again fight for "King and Country."  Oh, and we had a Great Depression.  The US didn't pull out of the Depressionn until it mobilized for a newer and more horrific war, WWII (some 73 million dead).  Some five years later we had the Korean War and were lucky enough to have a self-taught historian as US President, who kept the war limited (none the less, a couple of million killed).  We dodged a couple of nuclear confrontations and ened up with Communism losing the Cold War, or so we thought.  The desire for centralized control and safety from freedom is strong in the human species.

we should try and avoid such mistakes in the future.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, November 19, 2020

What Causes the Spread of COVID-19?

For John, BLUFThere is a lot we don't yet know about COVID-19.  This report doesn't clear up many questions, but it does illuminate the spreadth of unknown factors, both known unknowns and unknown unknowns.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The New York Post, by Reporter Jackie Salo, 17 November 2020.

Here is the lede plus two:

Dog owners who walk their pooches are 78% more likely to come down with COVID-19, a new study claims.

Researchers from the University of Granada surveyed 2,086 people about their daily habits during the pandemic to assess the risk of various activities, according to a paper in the journal Environmental Research.

They found that people who walked their dogs had a significantly higher chance of catching the virus — with an increased risk of 78% compared to the average person.

My Middle Brother and I have different views on the needed collection of data.  I say that it is the job of the local Public Health Officer to collect information in light of local knowledger of the local population.  My Brother things this is a job for Federal Agencies, such as the NIH and CDC.  .

We need to be looking into the various anomolies regarding COVID-19.  We need to be inquisitive.  Why were, in Lowell, numbers disproportionately high for Black Residents in the beginning (Some 18% of cases, for 6.8% of the population) but even now?  We need people to ask more questions.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  I expect that the true answer is that it takes efforts on the part of both.  Working in an office in Atlanta (or working from home in the Atlanta Conurbation) one can miss a lot of what is happening in America.  At the same time, a local Public Health official may not see across reports and have trends pop out.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Strange Mr John Brennan

For John, BLUFPartisanship is distorting reality, in this case, in the Middle East.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Mr Matt Margolis, 18 November 2020.

Here is the lede plus four:

Former CIA Director John Brennan made the most bizarre statement while on MSNBC with Andrea Mitchell discussing the transition of former Vice President Joe Biden.

Among other things, Andrea Mitchell lamented that the Trump administration’s new sanctions on Iran would make it difficult for Biden to resume the Iran Nuclear Deal and that the situation “also makes it a lot harder for him to do anything in the Middle East with Israel.”

Brennan then mentioned reports that Trump is considering military actions against Iranian targets, which he called “disturbing,” because, he thinks, Joe Biden will be taking office on January 21, 2021, and will have to “pick up the pieces.”  Brennan then trashed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for doing Trump’s “bidding.”

“So I’m hoping there’ no activitha that really is going to make it more difficult for us to try to repair the damage that has been done over the last four years in terms of Donald Trump’s actions on Middle East policies.  It really needs to be addressed very carefully.”

I can see former CIA Director John Brennan having a distorted view of the Middle East, but I expected better of Newscaster Andrea Mitchell.  I am hoping Mr John Brennan is not part of Mr Biden's transition team.  Nor, should Candidate Biden win, a part of the new Administration.

My view is that President Trump has done a pretty good job of bringing peace to the Middle East.  I hope some new Administration doesn't mess it up.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, November 16, 2020

Biden/Harris and the Middle East

For John, BLUFWhile I think the lawyers for President Trumpk still have a shot, it is OK to hold two views in one's mind, one being a Biden win.  Preparing for the worst.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The New York Post, by The Post Editorial Board, 14 November 2020.

Here is the lede plus two:

Will Joe Biden throw President Trump’s Middle East achievements in the dirt, betraying a host of US allies to fecklessly chase after the goodwill of the Iranian regime? If not, he needs to choose carefully as he names his Cabinet and White House staff.

For starters, many retreads from Team Obama will want to bribe Tehran back into that dangerous nuclear deal — a slap in the face to Israel and most Arab states.

They’ll also push for a return to anti-Israel policies such as funding the Palestinian Authority even as it pays off terrorists and their families, and to allowing anti-Israel UN resolutions to pass.

A shift to a new line on Middle East peace by a new Biden Administration would be a major peace setback.  It would be worse if a new Biden Administration shifted back to a futile attempt to placate the Ayatollahs in Iran.

One can hope that Candidate Joe Biden's previous clse relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Bibbi Netanyahu will be the cement that holds together the Abraham Accords.

Good luck to us.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, November 13, 2020

Divided Nation

For John, BLUFWhat separates us is our social classes.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The National Review, by Kyle Smith, 12 November 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

James B. Meigs, the former editor of Popular Mechanics who lately has been writing an insightful column about tech for Commentary, is also doing superb work for City Journal. His latest essay carries a title that is useful shorthand for so much of what is going on around us today: “The Chump Effect.” (At the moment the essay appears to be available only for subscribers to the print edition of the quarterly, which is publishing the best long-form journalism from a center-right perspective that I’m aware of. It’s shocking that, in an era when ordinary weeklies sell for eight bucks or so, this high-impact, 128-page journal with no filler, no ads, and no celebrity fluff costs as little as $5 an issue.)

The Chump Effect is Meigs’s clever term for the bipartisan, broadly shared feeling that various systems are rigged in favor of elites, insiders, and favored groups, which leads to a breakdown in societal trust and trust in institutions. If those guys don’t have to play by the rules, we think, why should I? Meigs delves into social-science experiments that show people motivated by the Chump Effect can act irrationally by effectively volunteering to pay a cost in order that others be punished for ignoring norms.

This is another manifestation of the problem with a meriocracy that does not provide space for those in the bottom half of the population, job and income wise  See, for example, the book by Harvard Professor by Michael J. Sandel, The Tyranny of Merit: What's Become of the Common Good?.

We have become a divided nation, but it isn't between Republicans and Democrats, but between Classes.  The realization of that division is being more and more apparent, as reflected in President Trump's increased minority votes this November.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Old Themes

For John, BLUFThis, of course, refers back to the Election in 2016.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the tweet:
Scott Adams

· 6h
Did Biden get the most votes because Putin did such a bad job with Facebook memes this election or because China did an unusually good job interfering this time?

It is a good question.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Things Still in Flux

For John, BLUFThis is about West Virginia Senior Senator Joe Manchin and where he stands.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Hot Air, by Blogger Ed Morrissey, 10 November 2020.

Here is the lede plus four:

A leftover from last night, but very much still of interest for the next few weeks.  I’m torn on what Joe Manchin wanted to accomplish in this interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier.  There are three possible strategies for declaring that he won’t vote to allow Kamala Harris to push the Senate into a “Green New Deal or socialism” via a 50-50 tiebreaker:
West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin III wants to make clear that he will not be the 50th vote in favor of eliminating the legislative filibuster or expanding the size of the Supreme Court in a potential 50-50 Senate. …

Democrats still have a narrow path to a Senate majority if they are able to prevail in two January runoff elections in Georgia, assuming Republicans currently leading in North Carolina and Alaska win.  But in a move that seems partly designed to interfere with GOP talking points about the risks of unified Democratic government, Manchin appeared Monday on Fox News to declare dead several progressive priorities.

“I commit to you tonight, and I commit to all of your viewers and everyone else that’s watching.  I want to allay those fears, I want to rest those fears for you right now because when they talk about whether it be packing the courts, or ending the filibuster, I will not vote to do that,” Manchin said in the interview.  “I will not vote to pack the courts … and I will not vote to end the filibuster.”

Manchin said that in his estimation, efforts to defund the police and advance “Medicare for All” lacked support among members of the Senate Democratic Conference as well.

Now is Senator Manchin's time.  He is a highly valuable comodity.  If the Georgia runoffs go Democrat his value to Senator Mitch McConnell will stay high. If Republicans win, then it will quickly wind down.  We will see how this all plays out.

In the mean time, it is not a guarantee that Speaker Nancy Pelosi will win reelection.  She didn't sweep all the Democrat votes last time and this next term she will have fewer Democrat Party Reps.

Hat tip to my Youngest Son.

Regards  —  Cliff

Concern For Social Media

For John, BLUFCalifornia House of Representative Member Devin Nunes is concerned about Big Tech and its throttling of the Internet, thus stiffling free speech.  Remember when the Internet was going to enhance free speech and political discourse?.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Biden’s digital lackeys threaten to turn out the lights on our republic.

From American Mind, Rep Devin Nunes, 16 October 2020.

Here is the lede plus three:

Socialist regimes typically don’t excel at good government or economic stewardship, but they do tend to be experts at one thing—propaganda. Under regimes like the Soviet Union and countless other socialist monstrosities, citizens may not have been able to buy bread without waiting an entire day in line, but they could easily access a galaxy of reports via virtually any medium—print, TV, radio, billboards, schoolbooks, etc.—informing them of the glories of socialism in general and their own leaders in particular.

Americans do not have to wait in line to buy bread yet, but make no mistake: In America today, the socialist propaganda network is already in place.

The mainstream media has proven that Americans can no longer rely on them for unbiased news. Having always leaned left, reporters abandoned all pretense of objectivity following President Trump’s election, turning their outlets into unabashed organs of the anti-Trump movement and every associated leftwing cause. This was amply demonstrated by the years-long Russia collusion hoax, in which every mainstream outlet scrapped journalistic norms on sourcing, anonymity, fact-checking, and other longstanding practices in order to advance the false narrative that Trump colluded with Russians to hack the 2016 election.

Increasingly, however, Americans are no longer accessing news reports through physical newspapers and magazines but through social media. In theory, social media is a democratizing force—people no longer need to own a media company or write for the New York Times in order to reach a potential audience of millions. But it’s now clear that the tech giants who control the digital infrastructure are not providing a neutral platform for all points of view. Instead, they have weaponized their platforms to help the Democrats.

Yes, this is from a month ago, but it is still relevant.

I think the signal that we are in real trouble will be when blog sites, such as this one, start to be shut down.  Then EMail will be checked and censored.  At that point we will be in serious trouble.  On the other hand, it may never come to that.  The Government, and Big Tech will, individually or collectively, realize that they are killing the Goose that laid the Golden Egg.  That is if they are long term thinkers.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Urgent Matters on Beacon Hill

For John, BLUFAn EMail from Mr Evan Lips, MASS GOP Communications Director, alterted me to this.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From WGBH, by Reporter Mike Deehan, 9 November 2020.

Here is the lede plus two:

House lawmakers will vote on allowing abortions after 24 weeks and ending parental consent for the procedure this week when they take up their budget bill.

A version of the ROE Act, redrafted and filed by Judiciary Committee Chairwoman Claire Cronin, will come up for a vote with Speaker Robert DeLeo's blessing this week when the House tackles nearly 800 budget amendments.

In a statement, DeLeo wrote that "it is urgent that the House take up an immediate measure to remove barriers to women’s reproductive health options and protect the concepts enshrined in Roe v. Wade," in state law.

So what is urgent at this time?  I would think that the cause of urgency would be laid out, but then I am a Republican.

Not mentioned by Reporter Deehan is that the model bill, the ROE Act, includes the authority to terminate the life of those who survive abortion, or birth.  Mr Lips wrote:

Massachusetts Republican Party Chairman Jim Lyons said Monday.  “As WBUR reported, this budget amendment is essentially the same bill as the so-called ROE Act which allows babies who have survived abortions to be killed on the spot.”
How does ending a live birth help the Mother?  Are there no adoption agencies?  Have they all be squeezed out?  Or does the Mother need to know the child is extinguished in order to move on with her life?

Regards  —  Cliff

Digging the Hole Deeper

For John, BLUFThe media as a whole, now with Fox News Corp piling on, is carelessly dismissing the idea of Fraud in our recent national elections.  Yet we see before our eyes ballot counting that is not following the rules.  Following the rules, playing fair, is part of what makes for Democracy.  A little fraud is one thing.  Massive, in your face, breakinhg of the rules is something else.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Columnist Matt Margolis, 9 November 2020.

Here is the lede plus two:

On Monday, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany was explaining voter fraud issues during a press conference.  Fox News was actually covering the press conference, that was until Neil Cavuto decided to cut her off.  “Whoa, whoa, whoa.  I just think we have to be very clear,” Cavuto interjected.  “She’s charging the other side as welcoming fraud and illegal voting.  Unless she has more details to back that up, I can’t in good countenance continue to show you this.”

Trump campaign legal adviser Jenna Ellis reacted to Cavuto’s brazen actions.  “I didn’t realize Neil had left Fox to join the federal bench in Pennsylvania and already reviewed our 105-page lawsuit filed less than an hour ago,” she tweeted.

“The enormity of what’s happening in media cannot be ignored.  If an attorney held a press conference and said she has evidence exonerating her client, the press should NOT cut away and substitute its own judgment, claiming no proof.  That’s acting as a party in interest, not press,” Ellis added.

What was Mr Cavuto, or his Producer, thinking in not only cutting off White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, but also providing derogatory commentary, impugning her integrity?

I think Fox News Crop is digging a hole for itself.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, November 9, 2020

Bad Counting Diminishes Our Reputation as a Nation

For John, BLUFYes, this is almost a week old, but it is still on topic, since several States still haven't achieved settled vote totals.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Nations far poorer and less technologically advanced have no problem holding quick, efficient elections.  Distrust in U.S. outcomes is dangerous but rational.

From Greenwald at Substack, by Reporter Glenn Greenwald, 4 November 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

The richest and most powerful country on earth — whether due to ineptitude, choice or some combination of both — has no ability to perform the simple task of counting votes in a minimally efficient or confidence-inspiring manner.  As a result, the credibility of the voting process is severely impaired, and any residual authority the U.S. claims to “spread” democracy to lucky recipients of its benevolence around the world is close to obliterated.

At 7:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday, the day after the 2020 presidential elections, the results of the presidential race, as well as control of the Senate, are very much in doubt and in chaos.  Watched by rest of the world — deeply affected by who rules the still-imperialist superpower — the U.S. struggles and stumbles and staggers to engage in a simple task mastered by countless other less powerful and poorer countries: counting votes.  Some states are not expected to finished their vote-counting until the end of this week or beyond.

The same data and polling geniuses who pronounced that Hillary Clinton had a 90% probability or more of winning the 2016 election, and who spent the last three months proclaiming the 2020 election even more of a sure thing for the Democratic presidential candidate, are currently insisting that Biden, despite being behind in numerous key states, is still the favorite by virtue of uncounted ballots in Democrat-heavy counties in the outcome-determinative states.  [One went to sleep last night with the now-notorious New York Times needle of data guru Nate Cohn assuring the country that, with more than 80% of the vote counted in Georgia, Trump had more than an 80% chance to win that state, only to wake up a few hours later with the needle now predicting the opposite outcome; that all happened just a few hours after Cohn assured everyone how much “smarter” his little needle was this time around].

Further on Mr Greeewnwald wrote:
After the pervasive voting problems in the 2018 midterms, I wrote an article with my Brazilian colleague Victor Pougy describing the extraordinary speed and efficiency with which Brazil — a country not exactly renowned for its speed and efficiency — counts its votes.

Brazil is not a small country. It is the fifth most-populous nation on the planet.  Although its population is somewhat smaller than the U.S.’s (330 million to 210 million), its mandatory voting law, automatic registration, and 16-year-old voting age means the number of ballots to be counted is quite similar (105 million votes in Brazil’s 2018 presidential election compared to 130 million votes in the 2016 U.S. presidential election).  And on the same date of its national elections, it, too, holds gubernatorial and Congressional elections in its twenty-seven states.

And yet Brazil — a much poorer and less technologically advanced country than the U.S., with a much shorter history of democracy — holds seamless, quick vote counts about which very few people harbor doubts.  The elections are held on a Sunday, to ensure as many people as possible do not have work obligations to prevent voting, and polls close at 6:00 p.m.

For the 2018 presidential run-off election that led to Jair Bolsonaro’s victory, 90% of all votes were counted and the results released by 6:00 p.m. on the day of the election: the time the last state closed its polls.  The full vote tally was available within a couple of hours after that.  The same was true of the first-round voting held three weeks earlier — which also included races for governor, Senator and Congress in all the states:  full vote totals were released by computer shortly after the polls closed and few had any doubts about their accuracy and legitimacy.

That is an indictment for sure.  This election is an embarrassment to our nation.  Specific examples of vote counting, like Philadelphia, PA, is especially embarrassing.  Worse, it is a slap in the face from Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez and his apparatchiks.

Then there was the tampering with the information available to the voters by social media.  This says that social media is part of a partisan press and does not deserve exemption from being sued.

We need to get back to honest elections.  Gsining office is not more important than personal integrity.  In addition, throwing the bums out does not justify cheating to achieve that goal.

And, no, I am not advocating a voting age of 16.  I would like to return to 21.  As for Sunday voting, that would be fine with me.  Mail-in voting is fine, but the envelope has to be returned by the day before the election.  No late ballots, no excuses.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Blue Tory Voters

For John, BLUF"Pollsters let President Trump get in their way in understanding the electorate, and so did reporters and political scientists."  They missed the trend toward "Blue Tory" voters.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Washington Examiner, by Reporter Salena Zito, 8 November 2020.

Here is the lede plus two:

PINE TOWNSHIP — Had you spent any space of time in this northern suburb of Pittsburgh listening to voters, finding out what things mattered to them when it came to schools, community growth, economic prosperity, and the emotional impact of COVID-19 lockdowns, you would have at least been skeptical of the media narrative and the polls that claimed suburban voters here are no longer center-right.

Not Republican per se, just center-right.

Most reporters certainly didn’t take the time to do so.  Instead, they relied on the scolding of our cultural curators in sports, media, and Hollywood as an indicator of how these college-educated, affluent voters would vote.  Surely, they thought, these suburbs would cave under the cultural pressure, push left, and their votes would send a blue shock wave across the country.

At least there is a theory of why that dream was just a dream and not a likely reality.  The Reporter, Ms Zito, goes on to say:
Going into Election Day, the polls and the media narrative expected that Republicans were going to be swept out of office down the ballot in a blue wave.  They believed the country had now fully embraced "wokeism" and rejected center-right values and principles.

Pollsters let President Trump get in their way in understanding the electorate, and so did reporters and political scientists.

For a brief moment as a reporter, I struggled with lining up what the data was telling me.  It conflicted with what my reporting was telling me, conflicted with what voters were telling me, and conflicted with what cultural cues were telling me.  So I went back out in search of that blue wave in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Wisconsin.

It turns out that the only place that blue wave existed was on Twitter or in a poll — never once in an experience or an interview.

The big failure was on the part of the Press Fraternity.  Even Fox News failed to understand that it was going to be a close run thing and that in the House of Representatives the flow would actually be the other way.  In sum, no Blue Wave, no mandate.

I think Fox News Channel will be hardest hit.  Also likely to be hit is Facebook.  Probably not a big hit, but a noticable blip in the numbers, as folks like my Canadian like Blue Tories skip to other platforms, such as Portal.  They don't like being censored by "Woke" Progressives or Chinese agents.  They are writing in EMails that they have dropped facebook.

Remember when information wanted to be free?  Even Wikipedia remembers.  Sadly, Messrs Jeff Zuckerburg and Jack Dorsey and their ilk do not.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, November 7, 2020

The Lost

For John, BLUFThe arrogance of the Progressives is almost too much to bear.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

A letter of resignation to “finding common ground”

From the Medium, by Mr Smm Corey, 3 November 2020.

Here is the lede plus two:

here are many legitimate reasons to despise Joe Biden — enabling white supremacy is not among them.  In a nation beset by any number of ongoing, unattended, worsening calamities, many millions of Americans will turn out to vote more or less on “Do you like Trump or hate him?”  Biden is a bumbling, right place at the right time failson who’s about the bare minimum the Democrats could do to be better than a racist game show host.  This is undeniably a garbage choice, but it shouldn’t be a difficult one.  Diving too deep into the incredible clusterfuck that is 21st-century America will make you feel like your sanity is unraveling into a crazed state of constant self-gaslighting,  where you think to yourself, “maybe Chris Martin was the best part of Graduation.”  Blaming the state of this desperate and miserable present on general abstractions like partisanship or divisiveness is a cheap, if not downright evil, way of avoiding pinning the blame for our shitworld squarely where it belongs.  I don’t believe the majority of Trump voters possess some seething, menacing hatred towards marginalized groups, mostly because it is both a gross generalization and an unhelpful interpretation of a multi-faceted phenomenon.  But your average Republican is profoundly ignorant about systemic oppression — or doesn’t meaningfully oppose its existence.

I don’t loathe conservatives, at least on an individual level. Looking at the world through a rigid good/bad person binary is a disposition that is both childish and Puritanical.  Like any other human, they are products of their environment, which, in this case, is a thunderstorm of retrograde boomerisms, a failing education system, right-wing disinformation, and a ruthless political party that is contemptuous of anyone who earns less than a six-figure salary.  Above all else, it is both disappointing and depressing that many Americans, whether out of denial or principled spite, struggle to acknowledge conservatism for what it is, or at least what it has morphed into:  Rationalized ignorance and selfishness.  Of course, among the red state lumpenproles, this cultural malignancy is a jumble of venal gossip, some urgent taking of offense at a faraway abstraction, fife-and-drum patriotism, a dissonant mix of resentment and worship of capital, garbled rehashes of some vague outrage they saw on Fox or scrolled past on Facebook, Blue Lives Matter, and all things Maximum America (white people stuff).

I don’t particularly enjoy being a jaded person with dwindling respect for those with a certain party affiliation.  But when Sarah Palin was graciously plucked from the murky depths of Republican depravity, she became the gateway idiot that led to Donald Trump.  Of course, the Republican Party has always been a clammy culture-war grift in service of their abiding and only area of interest — an insatiable appetite for more of America’s wealth that they feel is rightfully theirs. Rape-happy Mexicans, tyrannical undergrads, Trump’s ongoing siege against deep state pedophile rings — the GOP’s deliriously servile cult faction actually believes this dreck.  Debate club prigs like Ted Cruz and Paul Ryan built successful careers as ostensible conservative thought leaders pretending to care about clownish pseudo-economics while mastering the kind of rhetorical bad-faith and starchy euphemisms it demands.  While capital ultimately pulls the levers on the Republican Deathstar, these supply-side doughnuts are withering in their cultural influence.  They lost to the QAnon cranks and the herrenvolk populists.

First off, it isn't like he doesn't care any more.  He never cared.  The bitter clingers, the deplorables, the chumps, have always been below the salt.  Those are the Trump Voters.

And the nasty attitude toward Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is pitiful.  Ms Palin had a real job in Government and while at it cleaned up the local Alaska Swamp.  Looking down on her is not just ignorant, but an example of the overweening cultural imperialism.

People like Mr Sam Corey just mean I am stuck praying for more people to develop a less harsh spirit.  It is a burden.  But maybe good for my soul.

Regards  —  Cliff

Where Are We?

For John, BLUFLate last night Candidate Joe Biden issued a statement on the race, which prompted a blog post from Professor Ann Althouse.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Althouse Blog, by Law Professor Ann Althouse, 7 November 2020.

Here is the key section:

The evidence is still dribbling in, however, so he [Veep Joe Biden] also could have waited.  There must be some political advantage to claiming the stage and expecting us to listen to his prediction.  I'm just guessing the reasoning had something to do with its being Friday.  We need something semi-tangible to end Ele ction Week.
And what’s becoming clear each hour is that a record number of Americans of all races, faiths religions chose change over more of the same.  They’ve given us a mandate for action on COVID, the economy, climate change, systemic racism.
Oh, now that's a stretch. He's barely won, if indeed he's won. We still don't know.  But if he's won, he wants you to know, that there's the mysterious thing called "a mandate."  And he specifies the components of the mandate — "a mandate for action on COVID, the economy, climate change, systemic racism."  Wasn't it more of a vote just to be rid of Donald Trump?  But that's the claim, the 4 elements of what we supposedly want — do something about COVID, the economy, climate change, and systemic racism.
So, after four years of denial, we now face, in all likelihood, four years of stasis.

May God have mercy on us.

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, November 6, 2020

Stealing Elections

For John, BLUFI just received an EMail from Mr Jon Rainwater, Peace Action, asking for peaceful protests tomorrow in honor of the election outcome as reported.  Mr Rainwater is apparently unaware of the fact that a lot of his fellow Citizens think there has been fraud in the vote counting.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

The mainstream pro-Biden media is poking fun at Donald Trump’s suggestion that there could be fraud involved in the post-election receipt of mail-in ballots.  Apparently they’re not familiar with the election-theft case of Lyndon Johnson, who would go on to become president of the United States.

From Zero Hedge, by Mr Jacob Hornberger, 5 November 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

The entire matter is detailed in Robert Caro’s second book in his biographical series on Johnson. The book is entitled Means of Ascent.

Johnson election theft took place in 1948, when he was running for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate against Texas Governor Coke Stevenson, one of the most admired and respected governors in the history of the state.

There is little doubt that LBJ played hard ball.  Otherwise, we might not have had the Civil Rights legislation of the mid-1960s.  But, that does not justify the fact that he stole an election.

As to the 2020 Election, Mr Rainwater may well be correct, that the ballot counting was all on the up and up.  However, if it was not, and it was reasonable to expect Mr Rainwater to understand that, then it is reasonsble to dismiss Mr Rainwater as a partisan hack and a fraud.  Or, at least, suffering from a serious case of Trump Derangement Syndrome.

Regards  —  Cliff

A Frosty Four Years Ahead?

For John, BLUF:  With a sense of moral superiority, the Progressives are unable to create space for the opinions of those who are not their sycophants.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The New York Post, by Professor Glenn H. Reynolds, 5 November 2020.

Here is the lede plus three:

This year’s presidential election hasn’t provided the catharsis that many on the left were awaiting.  Instead of the hoped-for “Blue Wave,” we have a still-too-close-to-call presidential election, while Republicans picked up House seats and appear to have held on to the Senate.

One response might be self-criticism: to wonder how, after four years of single-mindedly trying to get rid of Trump and marginalize his followers, things didn’t go better.  Instead, Democrats’ thinkers seem to be asking themselves variations on “How can I live in a country where half the people supported Donald Trump?”

According to the Campus Reform Web site, professors around America were expressing anger and claiming to feel “genuinely unsafe, given the sheer number of people willing to vote for Trump.”  Some canceled classes for the rest of the week, apparently because of the emotional strain.

An article in The New Republic by Andrew Cohen asks:  “What do we do with all these Trump supporters?”  (Spoiler:  “Learn to live with them and respect your differences” isn’t on the agenda.)

The author writes, on his blog, "I’VE QUIT MY REGULAR USA TODAY COLUMN, BUT I HAVE THIS IN THE NEW YORK POST".  I read this as saying that USA Today was not having any of this talk about the Progressives seeing Trump Voters as morally inferior.  But, they do.  In my exerience.

As an aside, in my humble opinion, a huge fraud is being perpetrated on the People of the United States.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Disrespecting the Opposition

For John, BLUFAre local officials following the rules?  I have some reason to doubt.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Last night President Trump had a sizable lead in Wisconsin but this morning Sleepy Joe somehow took the lead.

From The Gateway Pundit, by Reporter Joe Hoft, 4 November 2020.

Go to the link and look at the chart and the way the ballots for Biden jump up all at once, in an unnatural way.  About 5:00 AM on the 4th.

I hope this is looked in on by Republican lawyers.

In the mean time, I take it to be a bad look for the Democratic Party Apparatchiks.  They should be smoother than this.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Happening on the Streets

For John, BLUFIt is time to be careful out on the streets, and to avoid going to places that are a little dodgy.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Gateway Pundit, by Reporter Cassandra Fairbanks, 4 November 2020.

Here is the lede plus three:

Pro-Trump activist Bevelyn Beatty and multiple Proud Boys were stabbed in DC while attempting to help another person who was being assaulted.

Proud Boys founder Enrique Tarrio tells Gateway Pundit that he was slashed in the stomach, Beatty was stabbed in the back, and multiple other members of the men’s social group were stabbed and are now hospitalized with serious wounds.

A law enforcement confirmed to TGP that the group was walking down the street, away from the protests, when they saw an older man being stabbed and intervened.

Tarrio tells TGP that the injuries are “very serious, but not life threatening.” He says they were walking to their cars when they saw a man getting stabbed and “got involved.” He says the attackers were Black Lives Matter supporters.

We are ignoring much of the violence that is ongoing in our communities.

Hat tip to Michael Yon.

Regards  —  Cliff

Election Outcomes

For John, BLUFOne of the strengths of the United States is our ability to host a wide variety of views, but not all of those views can be actuated at the same time.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

  • A University of Virginia instructor said that Americans need to "actively topple the government" if the "worst-case scenario" happens.
  • The instructor previously tweeted a New York Times article favorable to the Chinese Communist Party.
  • He also quoted Karl Marx while responding to the death of the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

From Campus Reform, by Campus Correspondent Haley Worth, 3 November 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

University of Virginia Postdoctoral Fellow David Walsh posted on his personal Twitter feed that Americans need to do more than protest if the "worst-case scenario" happens following Tuesday's presidential election.

“Here’s the thing: if the worst-case scenario happens next week, Americans don’t need to just 'protest.'  They need to actively try to topple the government," Walsh tweeted on October 27.

That would be a coup, in plain language.  And, a coup sounds to me like treason.  So Professor Walsh is so upset with our current form of Government and who is elected that he would commit treason to make it more like he wants it.  The result is that he would substitute his own views for those of a large percentage of our voting population, perhaps a majority of our voting population.  That seems a little arrogant, but I am not an academic.

I guess Professor Walsh is just anxious to see how the election comes out.  Aren't we all?

This does remind me of the line attributed to the late Professor Herbert Marcuse, when he was still in Germany:  "Abolish the Weimar Republic.  Whatever replaces it has to be better."

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

The Reach of the Civil Rights Law

For John, BLUFThe Feds come to Lowell for the Election.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The [Lowell] Sun, by Reporter Alana Melanson, 2 November 2020.

Here is the lede plus two:

The city is one of 44 jurisdictions in 18 states the U.S. Department of Justice will monitor for compliance with federal voting rights laws on Election Day.

“Federal law entrusts the Civil Rights Division with protecting the right to vote for all Americans,” Eric Dreiband, assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division, said in a Monday statement announcing the locations to be monitored.  “Our federal laws protect the right of all American citizens to vote without suffering discrimination, intimidation and harassment.  The work of the Civil Rights Division around each federal general election is a continuation of its historical mission to ensure that all of our citizens can freely exercise this most fundamental American right.”

The Civil Rights Division has regularly monitored a variety of elections since the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 to protect citizens’ rights to access the ballot.  The Justice Department will also take complaints from the public on possible voting rights violations through its call center.

Then the reporter goes off to discuss the lawsuit by a number of Asian-Americans and Hispanics to force the City of Lowell to change from an at large City Council to one that has Districts electing the majority of Councillors.  Then she gets back to the details of the Feds snooping around in how we conduct elections.

I know the folks in the Lowell Election Office and several on the Election Commission.  Based on my interaction with them, I am insulted that the Feds are here and not Lawrence or down in Philadelphia.  As a taxpayer, I wonder who is managing the employment of my tax dollars.

Hat tip to the MASSterList.

Regards  —  Cliff

About the Extra Money

For John, BLUF:  From the Musical Fiorello!, about the WWWI Aviator and Mayor of New York City, Fiorello H. LaGuardia.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

It just seems appropriate for the Vice President from Deleware.

Regards  —  Cliff

Here is the song:

If Only

For John, BLUFDon't say Sweden.  As Abe Lincoln said, "Better you hold your tongue and appear ignorant than to speak and remove all doubt.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Babylon Bee, 5 November 2019.

Here is the tweet and the lede plus two:

The Babylon Bee
Millennial Wishes There Were Some Historical Examples Of Socialism We Could Study To Have Some Idea How It Might Turn Out

PORTLAND, OR—Local socialist millennial man Matthew Hatter lamented Monday that there are no concrete examples of socialism he can point to in order to have some kind of idea how it would turn out.

"If only there were other countries that have tried socialism before," Hatter said to a friend at an ethical coffee shop, Commiebrews, Monday afternoon, after he finished his paper route. "Then, we could see if there are any pitfalls."

Hatter said it'd be nice if there were books that covered things like world history and economics that we could read.  If that were the case, Hatter said, we could abandon socialism if it looked dangerous or proceed with socialism if every country that implemented it were incredibly successful.

Life is hard.  Harder if you went to one of those left wing universities where is was all indoctrination and none of that Wesstern style critical thinking, nothing about the Enlightenment.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Today's Mission

For John, BLUFIf you haven't already.  And if you have, don't do it again.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, November 2, 2020

The Age of Censorship

For John, BLUFThis is an indictment of the Fourth Estate, by one of its practicioners.  In the past we have counted on the raucous Fourth Estate to protect us from the secretative tendencies of the Government.  Apparently, no more.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

An attempt to assess the importance of the known evidence, and a critique of media lies to protect their favored candidate, could not be published at The Intercept

From Greenwald, at Substack, by Newsman Glenn Greenwald, 29 October 2020.

Here is the Introduction:

I am posting here the most recent draft of my article about Joe and Hunter Biden — the last one seen by Intercept editors before telling me that they refuse to publish it absent major structural changes involving the removal of all sections critical of Joe Biden, leaving only a narrow article critiquing media outlets. I will also, in a separate post, publish all communications I had with Intercept editors surrounding this article so you can see the censorship in action and, given the Intercept’s denials, decide for yourselves (this is the kind of transparency responsible journalists provide, and which the Intercept refuses to this day to provide regarding their conduct in the Reality Winner story). This draft obviously would have gone through one more round of proof-reading and editing by me — to shorten it, fix typos, etc — but it’s important for the integrity of the claims to publish the draft in unchanged form that Intercept editors last saw, and announced that they would not “edit” but completely gut as a condition to publication:
I commend the article to you.

Keep in mind that Mr Greenwald was shut out by a Media organization, The Intercept, that he and two others founded, six years back.

I commend Reporter Glenn Greenwald to you as someone to help you see the third, or fourth, or fifth side of any given problem.

Regards  —  Cliff

Choosing the Future

For John, BLUFTomorrow we decide our fate.  We seem to have divided into two opposing camps, one that accepts the injustice of differences in people and one that wishes for everyone to be the same in ability and outcome  Choose wisely.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

She wants to replace the free market engine of prosperity with a top-down leveling of aspiration and achievement

From The American Spectator, by Mr Roger Kimball, 2 November 2020.

Here is a three para extract (at the link is the accompanying video):

The third culprit in Joe’s loss tomorrow is his running mate, Kamala Harris.  I believe that we do not yet know the full story of how Harris, the spectacularly unpopular senator from California, was tapped to be Biden’s VP.  Perhaps we never will.  The whole process by which Biden emerged as his party’s front man is shrouded in mystery, and the mystery includes the behind-the-scenes machinations that resulted in Harris’s elevation.  I believe, though I have no proof, that the ticket resulted from the ascension of the hectoring, radical-left flank of the party.  They chose Biden as a convenient empty vessel into which they planned to instill the angry socialist agenda of Bernie Sanders, AOC, and others via the instrumentality of Harris.

Be that as it may, I cite Harris as the third culprit in Biden’s loss because she has impatiently let her mask slip. The Biden-Harris ticket was sold under the banner of ‘moderation’.  It was always a lie.  There is nothing moderate about either one of them, but the word contrasted nicely with Trump’s supposed ‘extremism’, a media confection, to be sure, but one that has been so assiduously repeated and amplified by a compliant press that it has become one of those undislodgeable bits of folklore, untrue but somehow ‘known’ by everyone.

But yesterday, Harris shattered what remained of the meme of moderation with a video posted to her Twitter feed explicitly promoting socialism and explaining that true equality means that ‘we all end up in the same place’.  Equality of outcome, that is to say, not just equal opportunity. Karl Marx couldn’t have put it more succinctly.

But you and I know that there never will be true equity, because "Bob's your uncle".

That, and the fact that we know that equality of outcome is not the same as a level playing field on which all can compete.  When we get to High School (if not before) we want our team to win.  That means we move beyond equity to measuring talent and equality to compete.

Senator Harris is cute and perky, but she comes across as a socialistMarxist.  That is a look that signals both bad economic theory, but also a willingness to hold back the overall good of society so no one suffers the ignorminity of coming in second.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Helping the Poor

For John, BLUF:  Notwithstnding the beliefs of AOC, et al, there is no free lunch, or as The Little Flower, upon becoming Mayor of New York, said:  "È finita la cuccagna!".  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here are the bullet points:

  • Many employers simply can't afford another hike in the Living Wage
  • Most minimum wage workers are not in poverty - so help should be targeted on those who are
  • Bankers and footballers should pay for the minimum wage hike, not struggling small businesses

From CapX, by Mr Sam Dumitriu, 30 October 2020.

Here is the lede plus two:

It will have escaped no one’s notice that the UK is in an employment crisis.  In the OBR’s Central Estimate, unemployment is set to rise to record levels, surpassing even the peak of joblessness in the 80s.  At the same time, social distancing measures have hit productivity hard.  It’s not their fault, but a waiter is simply less productive in a world with the Rule of Six, Tier Two measures, and general customer unease about eating out.

To his credit, Rishi Sunak has been willing to act to protect jobs.  At first with furlough and now with the recently expanded Job Support Scheme.  But both policies are premised on employees working fewer hours.  They’re badly suited to, for example, pubs who need more staff on call due to the switch to table service but are still seeing fewer customers through the door.

Labour markets, like all markets, are governed by the laws of supply and demand.  When workers become less productive, demand for them falls.  The typical consequence of a drop in demand is a fall in price.  Think of how you can pick up bargains in the January sales when consumer demand inevitably slumps.  But this isn’t possible in all markets.  In labour markets, wages are sticky.  Unlike petrol prices, wages don’t change daily in response to shifts in demand.  Employers are hesitant to slash wages as it can damage employee morale and attract bad press.  On top of that, bosses are legally prevented from employing any worker for less than the National Living Wage.

The article is worth the read.  And the source is an alternative worth sampling.

Regards  —  Cliff


For John, BLUFThere are those who ignore history, and are thus forced to repeat it, and those who deny what they know about history, and re thus stumbling into even worse situations.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the Jonathan Turley blog, by Blogger Jonsathan Turley, 30 October 2020.

Here is the lede:

We previously discussed the effort at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to have the famous statue of Abraham Lincoln removed as racist. The student government has now voted unanimously in favor of a resolution that calls for the removal of the Abraham Lincoln statue on campus. The students declared that the president who signed the Emancipation Proclamation, advocated for the 13th Amendment, and led the war against the South and slavery was “not pro-Black” and a “remnant of White Supremacy.” That would likely have come as something of a surprise to John Wilkes Booth.
So, the students agree with Actor John Wilkes Booth—"Sic semper tyrannis"?

If you follow Blogger Rod Dreher, you may see the University as a whirl pool, sucking folks down, and requiring a resistence movement to retain what is good from Western Civilization, including the idea of moral progress.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, October 30, 2020

Misidentifying the Problems

For John, BLUFThe kidnap plot against Democratic Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer seemed, initially, to swirl around the rhetoric of President Donald Trump, only to find that the plotters disliked President Trump just like they disliked Governor Whitmer, making the two elected officials like peas in a pod.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

This man is the second one in the plot who hated Trump. I bet the others hated Trump and Republicans.

From Legal Ibnsurrection, by Ms Mary Chastain, 29 October 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

An unsealed FBI search warrant revealed that Barry Croft, who allegedly wanted to kidnap Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, wanted to hang President Donald Trump and other politicians.

The search warrant gave the FBI permission to search Croft’s Facebook account:

"Left" and "Right" have become worthless terms.  We need better terms to be able to understand each other.  Here is how Day by Day handled this label issue today.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  I am shocked, shocked, to find the Mainstream Media actually published, early on, these smears against President Trump.  They are, after all, being soooo careful about not publishing the evidence against Mr Hunter Biden.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Stacking the Court

For John, BLUFIs there nobody who can see and talk about long term consequences of short term pleasures.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Conservative Journal Review, by Writer G. McConway, 27 October 2020.

Here is the lede plus two:

The confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett has encouraged Democrats to show their true colors.

Republicans used changed rules that Democrats put in place to push through Obama nominations, and now they are furious and acting as though it was Republicans that changed the rules.

Now, House Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) and her band of corrupt Democrats are vowing revenge.

So, if Candidate Biden wins and Congress goes for "Court Packing", what is the natural limit, as, over time, power switches back and forth between parties.  That is, how big can the US Supreme Court grow?  There is no limit in the Constitution.  I would assert that there is no limit.  Once unleashed, it could double in thirty years.

This could change my mind on term limits.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

The Implications of Your Vote Across Government

For John, BLUFThe tensions are high and it seems there are a lot of Citizens who are hard over with regard to the present political scene.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

I am not a doomist.  There are reservoirs of goodness in the American people -- including a sense of mutual obligation I've witnessed many times during the pandemic.

From The Boston Pilot, by Columnist George Weigel, 28 October 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

Sixty years ago, Father John Courtney Murray, SJ, published what I regard as the finest Catholic analysis of American democracy ever penned:  "We Hold These Truths -- Catholic Reflections on the American Proposition."  In recent decades, Father Murray has been accused of being an uncritical celebrant of the United States.  That unjust charge is decisively refuted by the most pungent sentence in "We Hold These Truths," which I shall cite in a moment.

In his wide-ranging book, Murray examined the deterioration of the moral and cultural foundations of American public life, a process he thought had been underway for some time.  Mainline Protestantism could no longer help buttress those foundations; its doctrinal and moral confusions were part of the problem, not the solution.  Nor could the country rely on its great centers of higher education for cultural ballast; the prestige universities, Murray wrote, had abandoned the classic philosophical and moral traditions of the West, settling comfortably into the dual ruts of pragmatism ("What's right is what works") and utilitarianism ("What's good is what's useful").  The notion that freedom was having the right to do what we ought -- meaning that genuine freedom is always tethered to truth and ordered to goodness -- was being supplanted by the thin and dangerous notion of freedom as willfulness.

What would happen, Murray asked, if those baleful tendencies won the contest for American culture?  What would happen if Americans decided that democratic self-governance was simply a matter of political and legal machinery, rather than the cultural accomplishment of a virtuous people?  If Americans decided that truth and goodness had nothing to do with politics and law?  If Americans, no longer believed that the laws we make are under the judgment of the moral law written on the human heart?  What would happen, Murray warned, was not going to be pretty:  ". . . The noble many-storeyed mansion of democracy will be dismantled, levelled to the dimensions of a flat majoritarianism, which is no mansion but a barn, perhaps even a tool shed in which the weapons of tyranny may be forged."

I think the author has a point.  We are very divided as a people and neither side needs to feel it can crush the other under its heel.  That means strategic voting.

Regards  —  Cliff