The EU

Google says the EU requires a notice of cookie use (by Google) and says they have posted a notice. I don't see it. If cookies bother you, go elsewhere. If the EU bothers you, emigrate. If you live outside the EU, don't go there.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Memorial Day Meditation

For John, BLUFThis blog post is different from my letter to The New York Times.  Under some rule of law the NYT Declares my letter their property.  I can understand them not wanting to publish my letter and then see it show up in The STrib.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

It is time to rename bases for American heroes — not racist traitors.

From The Old Gray Lady, by the Editorial Board, 23 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

The white supremacist who murdered nine black churchgoers in Charleston, S.C., five years ago dispensed with the fiction that the Confederate battle flag was an innocuous symbol of “Southern pride.”  A murderer’s manifesto describing the killings as the start of a race war — combined with photos of the killer brandishing a pistol and a rebel flag — made it impossible to ignore the connection between Confederate ideology and a blood-drenched tradition of racial terrorism that dates back to the mid-19th century in the American South.

Outrage over the Charleston massacre forced South Carolina to finally remove the Confederate flag from the State House grounds — where it had flown for more than half a century — and led major retailers to drop merchandise bearing Confederate insignia.  The National Cathedral in Washington showed how pervasive this iconography had become when it dismantled an elaborate set of stained-glass windows depicting the Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson in saintly poses. As the cathedral dean put it, there was no excuse for the nation’s most visible church to celebrate a cause whose primary reason for being was the preservation and extension of slavery in America.

Institutions that could once have wrapped themselves in Confederacy ideology without consequence were put on notice that public sentiment had shifted.  The commandant of the United States Marine Corps tacitly deferred to this new reality last month by banning public display of the Confederate flag at Marine installations.  Gen. David H. Berger pointed out in a letter to his fellow Marines that the flag was being pushed out because it had “the power to inflame feelings of division” in a military organization that relies on unity to do its work.

Fittingly, Memorial Day Weekend saw the publican of this Opinion Piece.  Interestingly, Wikipedia suggests the holiday, originally known as Decoration Day, originated in the South.

I want to make two points.  The first is that "base" is not an Army term, and the folks at the NYT Should have known that.  It should have been in their Style Guide.  Better terms would have been Post or Fort.

My second point is that Union Army Veterans worked hard to bring reconciliation after the war.  It started at Appomattox Courthouse, where General Grant passed the word there would be no cheering by Union Troops as the paroled Confederate Soldiers passed by after stacking arms.  As General Grant's adjutant, Ely S. Parker, put it, in a response to General Lee "Sir, we are all Americans."  It went on for four decades, and then some.

Finally, it was good for this nation, and for peace, that General Robert E Lee wasn't a Bittereinder, a bitter ender.  We had enough of that as it was.  General Lee's surrender decision likely save thousands of addition lives, Union and Confederate alike.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Our Economic Future

For John, BLUFOne of President Trump's strengths is that he encourages us to think things are going to be better.  I am not so confident about former VEEP Biden.  Does he even understand economics, or is he just rolling over to the Socialist side?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Washington Free Beacon, by Reporter Josh Christenson, 22 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

CNBC reporter Robert Frank said Friday that presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden is putting forward the most burdensome tax plan in years.

"The truth is that Joe Biden, even though he's portrayed as a moderate, is offering the most expensive Democratic tax plan that we've seen from any Democratic candidate in recent history," Frank said in an interview.  "Hillary Clinton's total plan was $1.5 trillion. Biden's plan is $4 trillion."

Biden has been courting a number of progressives in advisory roles to his campaign in recent weeks.  Last Wednesday, he announced his new "unity task forces" with rival primary candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.).  The group, which includes freshman congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) and top economic advisers to the Sanders campaign, will collectively develop the Democratic Party's 2020 platform.

So far Candidate Biden isn't selling me as the Candidate to move us forward economically.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, May 22, 2020

Censorship of the Public

For John, BLUFInformation wants to be free and those who make decisions in our stead are messing with that internet meme.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The New York Post, by Jon Levine, 16 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus three:

Big Tech companies are aggressively tamping down on COVID-19 “misinformation” — opinions and ideas contrary to official pronouncements.

Dr. Knut M. Wittkowski, former head of biostatistics, epidemiology and research design at Rockefeller University, says YouTube removed a video of him talking about the virus that had racked up more than 1.3 million views.

Wittkowski, 65, is a ferocious critic of the nation’s current steps to fight the coronavirus.  He has derided social distancing, saying it only prolongs the virus’ existence, and has attacked the current lockdown as mostly unnecessary.

Wittkowski, who holds two doctorates in computer science and medical biometry, believes the coronavirus should be allowed to create “herd immunity,” and that short of a vaccine, the pandemic will only end after it has sufficiently spread through the population.

No, this doesn't seem to be a First Amendment violation, unless the government is "back dooring" us, but it still goes against the old internet saw that "information wants to be free."  It is an insult to free men and women everywhere to muzzle people because their views differ from yours.

If we can't trust YouTube on this, how can we trust them on anything, including a video on how to swap out your car battery?

Regards  —  Cliff

What Have We Learned From WuFlu?

For John, BLUFAs we do our "Lessons Learned for COVID-19 we need to examine it in many. dimensions, to include seeing how different micro-cultures impact their own successes and failures with the Coronavirus.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Bloomberg, by Columnist Elaine He, 20 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

With governments across Europe reopening their economies for business, it’s a good moment to look back on the different paths taken to control Covid-19 outbreaks to try to see how effective they were.

The chart below shows the relative severity of Europe’s restrictions based on work done by the University of Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government, which tracks a range of measures and scores how stringent they’ve been each step of the way.

It is still early days, but it is not to early to begin thinking about the lessons to be drawn from this Pandemic.  We may have gotten some things wrong, but we probably acted approximately right, given what we know.  Mistakes were made, for sure.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Personally Confused

For John, BLUFCOVID-19 is a new disease and there is a lot we don't know, but the various government agencies are doing the best they can, and, one hopes, learning as they go along.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Fox News, by Reporter Madeline Farber, 20 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

For those of you still wiping down groceries and other packages amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, breathe a sigh of relief:  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now says the novel virus “does not spread easily” from "touching surfaces or objects" — but experts warn that doesn’t mean it’s no longer necessary to take "practical and realistic" precautions in stopping the spread of COVID-19.

Though it’s not exactly clear when, the federal health agency appears to have recently changed its guidelines from early March that simply said it “may be possible” to spread the virus from contaminated surfaces.  The CDC now includes "surfaces or objects" under a section that details ways in which the coronavirus does not readily transmit.

I think the key is that if one is older or have underlying physical conditions, one should be conservative in terms of exposure to potential points of virus transfer.  Avoid crowds, don't shake hands, no hugging of folks outside the house.  Another thing is paying attention to what health experts, and what Government officials, say.  Use judgement.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Where is the Beef?

For John, BLUFAt least some nations understand the need to balance health concerns and economic concerns, in this case, Argentina.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Successful Farming, by Reporters Maximilian Heath and Juan Bustamante, 21 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus four:

BUENOS AIRES, May 21 (Reuters) - Argentina, which has enforced one of the world's toughest travel bans against the coronavirus, plans to help charter a private flight to bring in rabbis from Israel to certify meat at the country's packing plants for kosher markets around the world.

The trip is key to Argentina being able to maintain beef exports to key buyer Israel, which has become increasingly important with exports stalled to the European Union and sharply down to major buyer China.

The global lockdown meant to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus has snarled this year's plans with borders closed and air travel paralyzed worldwide.

"The only alternative has been to be able to try to arrange a charter in combination with Israeli clients, and supervised, authorized and coordinated by the governments," said Mario Ravettino, head of Argentina's ABC meat export consortium.

Argentina is the world's fifth largest beef exporter and Israel is the No. 3 buyer of its famed cuts, snapping up over $100 million each year, Ravettino said.

The WuFlu is disrupting commerce across the globe.  As a result, nations are becoming creative in keeping global commerce going.

I just found this randomly.

Regards  —  Cliff

Pearl Harbor File

For John, BLUFJust because I am curious, I would like to know what was going through Ms Susan Rice's mind when she typed her memo of the 5 January 2016 White House meeting on Investigating retired Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Powerline, by Mr John Hinderaker, 19 May 2020.

Here is the lede:

We have known for more than two years that, on the day of President Trump’s inauguration and just minutes before she left the White House for the last time, Susan Rice, then President Obama’s National Security Adviser, wrote a memo to herself about “Russia.”  Specifically, she documented the fact, presumably for her later protection should the matter become public, that on January 5, 2017, President Obama had directed her to lie to her incoming counterpart, General Michael Flynn, about the Russia investigation that was then ongoing, in which General Flynn himself was, unbeknownst to him, one of the targets.  This deception violated all historic norms, but it was vital if the Obama holdovers (James Comey et al.) were to be able to continue their “Russia investigation,” a bare pretext for unraveling Trump’s presidency, post-inauguration.
I see this problem at two levels:
  • At one level we see harassment of Lieutenant General Michael Flynn because he is a trouble maker, both within the Intelligence Community and, as Director of DIA, with President Obama's Foreign Policy, especially Syria.
  • At the second level there is the question of how the Obama Administration handled the handover of power in January 2017, and whether the Obama Administration was prepared to actually turn over to the incoming Trump Administration or whether it was trying to hold some things back for the deep state?
Are we going to just let this pass by and not look into it?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Go Topless Rally in Texas

For John, BLUFThe People, being free citizens, that "are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness", are going to do what they see is right, even if wrong.  Especially in Texas.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the New York Post, by Reporter Tamar Lapin, 19 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

Not even the coronavirus pandemic could stop Texas’ annual “Go Topless Jeep Weekend” — a wild party that resulted in nearly 200 arrests and raised eyebrows on social media.

A viral local news report about the boozy beach bash in Galveston showed maskless revelers drinking, twerking and driving around in ATVs, as resigned cops admitted it was “impossible” to enforce social distancing.

From Blogger Ed Driscoll,
Exit quote: “The cops are doing their job, [and] as long as they don’t be mean to people who are actually being innocent, then I’m all gravy, baby!”.
I think this is a very important point.  The police need to be Peacemakers, not Stormtroopers.  That kind of an attitude should reduce tensions, reduce confrontations.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Another Bite of the Apple

For John, BLUFThe agitation amongst Democrats with regard to President Trump seems to know no limits.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Federalist, by staff Writer Tristan Justice, 18 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus two:

After spending the months preceding the global pandemic in a futile impeachment attempt,  House Democrats are now again trying to impeach President Donald Trump.

The lower chamber majority told the Supreme Court on Monday that they are in the middle of an “ongoing presidential impeachment investigation” that requires redacted information from the grand-jury proceedings that were part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s two-and-a-half-year probe.

Since Trump was finally acquitted of two articles of impeachment in February, Democrats have expressed a desire to try again, requesting that the nation’s highest court grant them classified material that they have pledged not to leak under “special protocols.”

We used to tell ourselves, once burned, twice shy.  Apparently the House Democrats are convinced there is a pony in there somewhere.  I bet they even have a third go at it, regardless of November's outcome.

For Ritchie T:  Do you think House Democrat "Special Protocols" will prevent leaks?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Dealing With WuFlu

For John, BLUFDo you think the President really takes hydroxychloroquine (and zinc), or is he just stirring the pot?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is a Tweet I saw today, referencing the President's medical choices:
David Harsanyi   @davidharsanyi   ·   15h
Killing a unborn baby is a decision made solely by a woman and her doctor.  Taking hydroxychloroquine is a joint decision between a man, his doctor, every Democrat in congress, and all on-air talent at CNN.
David Harsanyi identifies himself as a " Follow and Senior writer, @NRO.  Syndicated columnist.  Contributor, @nypost.  Author, FIRST FREEDOM. Captain Beefheart/Warren Harding fan."

In response one wag questioned Mr Harsanyi's use of the word "talent" with regard to people at CNN.

Why do people bite every time the President opens his mouth?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Anomalies That Attract

For John, BLUFScience sometimes advances because scientists find errors small errors in their scientific equations, and dive in to find out why.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Particle physicists are faced with a growing list of “anomalies”—experimental results that conflict with the standard model but fail to overturn it for lack of sufficient evidence.

From Physics, by Writer Dan Garisto, 14 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

To go beyond the realm of established theory, particle physicists are ready to move heaven and earth—and even giant magnets.  In 2013, researchers packed up a circular magnet the width of a basketball court and sent it on a 3200-mile trip from New York to Illinois.  Over the course of 35 days, the 15-ton magnet sailed down the East Coast, rounded the tip of Florida, floated up the Mississippi, and rode on the back of a truck to Fermilab, where it now serves as the central element of the revamped Muon g-2 experiment.  Particle physicists went through this colossal effort to investigate a 3-parts-per-billion disagreement between theory and experiment over the value of the muon’s magnetic moment.

Although it may seem small, this discrepancy is one of the longest-standing anomalies in particle physics.  Here, “anomaly” means a statistically significant experimental divergence from theoretical prediction.  The theory in this case is the standard model of particle physics—a schema for all the known particles and forces besides gravity.  The muon anomaly is not alone in contesting the standard model:  other anomalies concern bottom quarks, neutrinos, and kaons.  In recent years, these anomalies have taken on a new level of importance as possible routes to “new physics,” an umbrella term for phenomena unexplained by the standard model.  There are more conspicuous paths to new physics, such as discovering a dark matter particle or unifying gravity with quantum physics.  But these big problems have remained stubbornly out of reach, so many particle physicists are looking for inspiration from smaller problems.

Yes, I wondered about the "3200-mile trip from New York to Illinois" but the fact that they went mostly by water explained it.  Going by coastal waterways makes sense, given the size of the item.

I love this part of science.  Finding an anomaly and then figuring out what it means.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Who Is In Charge Here?

For John, BLUFCoronavirus is causing more people to give voice to their concerns.  This is an OpEd from a new on-line publication, Done.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Done, an OpEd, 16 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus seven:

Los Angeles County is, by a wide margin, the most populous county in the United States.  At an estimated 10 million, its population is larger than all but seven states and over a hundred countries.  In fact, LA County has nearly the same number of inhabitants as, dare I say it, Sweden.  Yes, that neo-Nazi, baby-killing, fascist, herd immunity gathering, bastion of pure evil Sweden (sarcasm intended).  Not only is LA County full of people, it is also full of money, having nearly the same GDP as Saudi Arabia.

A county with that population and wealth should have an army of world class scientists leading the battle in the fight against COVID-19.  Let’s take a look at who is leading this world class team.

Dr. Barbara FerrerOur LA County Public Health Commissioner is Dr. Barbara Ferrer.  You can find her bio here.

Impressive, right? Well, look a little closer.  She must have graduated from a top-tier medical school, or so one would think…

Now is when I usually get the “OMG” response, even from the most liberal of liberals.

To be clear she is not even a medical doctor. She has a Doctorate in “Social Welfare.”  So essentially, we have a high-powered social worker (albeit one of the most well-known in the country) leading the largest county in the United States in the fight of our lives against this biological threat.

Yes, this is the real-life version of “I’m not a doctor but I play one on TV.”

Instead of looking at science and data and adapting her public health response to attack what we now know are the strengths and weaknesses of this virus, she is essentially behaving like an elementary school principal (probably because she was one).  Exerting her new-found unchallengeable and unelected power over an entire population that she views as children.  She tells us what to do, how to do it, and even threatens to take away our few remaining freedoms, if we misbehave.

As President Obama recently said:
More than anything, this pandemic has fully, finally torn back the curtain on the idea that so many of the folks in charge know what they’re doing.
I think the assumption was that that was a swipe at President Trump.  I think the jibe really applies at the coal face, where things are done in our Federal System.

I suspect there are underlying cultural problems that increase the spread of coronavirus in LA.  For example the homeless problem.  How do we fix these underlying problems?  For example, the overall health of the homeless puts them about ten years older than the physical age.  This is a favor in COVID-19 deaths.  Social distancing is harder in a homeless environment.  What about hand washing?  Likely less.

And, the solutions are not just based in building things.  There is the needed changes in social mores.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  "Launched on Earth Day 2020, in the midst of the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, celebrates the heroes and calls out the villains amongst companies, business leaders, athletes & celebrities, politicians and everyday people.  We aim to shine the bright lights of transparency on brands, organizations and people, and commend them or hold them accountable for what they have, or haven't 'done.'"

Sunday, May 17, 2020

"No good deed goes unpunished"

For John, BLUFSometimes, in our compassion, we make matters worse, by giving too much help and taking away a person's dignity.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Shame on the U.S. government for making unemployment pay better than work.

JOHN STOSSEL | 5.13.2020 12:30 AM.

Here is the meat of it:

I’m a stutterer. Stuttering is now among disabilities covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

I wonder, had the ADA been law when I started in TV news, would I have struggled as hard to overcome my stutter?  Would I have had the career I’ve had? Probably not.

The TV station wouldn’t have hired me.  Once the ADA passed, my stutter makes me a member of a “protected class.”  The station, reasonably, would have viewed me as potential poison.

That’s because if they fired me because I didn’t work out, I might sue.  I could have accused them of failing to “accommodate the disabled,” as the law requires.  Even if I didn’t win, the lawsuit would be expensive.  It’s safer for employers to avoid members of “protected classes.”

Far-fetched? Look at the stats:

Before the ADA passed, 59 percent of disabled men had jobs.  After it passed, the number fell to 48 percent.  Today, fewer than 30 percent have jobs.

Once again, a law that was supposed to help people did the opposite of what politicians intended.

We, as a people, need to be compassionate.  But compassionate does not mean we don't expect people to work, and work hard.  It means giving them a hand up to do better.  We don't know, the next Jonas Salk may be the person next to you, with a disability.

And, we have to be careful to not create perverse incentives in the way we provide money to the unemployed.  They need help, a hand up, but we should not be encouraging them to stay home.

Thanks to my wife for forwarding this.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Streaks of Integrity

For John, BLUFAs the InstaPundit said, WHEN THE LEFT LOSES AN EDITOR AT ROLLING STONE….  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

The Blue Party’s Trump-era Embrace of Authoritarianism Isn’t Just Wrong, it’s a Fatal Political Mistake

From Reporting by Matt Taibbi, by Mr Matt Taibbi, 15 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus three:

Emmet G. Sullivan, the judge in the case of former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, is refusing to let William Barr’s Justice Department drop the charge.  He’s even thinking of adding more, appointing a retired judge to ask “whether the Court should issue an Order to Show Cause why Mr. Flynn should not be held in criminal contempt for perjury.”

Pundits are cheering.  A trio of former law enforcement and judicial officials saluted Sullivan in the Washington Post, chirping, “The Flynn case isn’t over until a judge says it’s over.”  Yuppie icon Jeffrey Toobin of CNN and the New Yorker, one of the #Resistance crowd’s favored legal authorities, described Sullivan’s appointment of Judge John Gleeson as “brilliant.”  MSNBC legal analyst Glenn Kirschner said Americans owe Sullivan a “debt of gratitude.”

One had to search far and wide to find a non-conservative legal analyst willing to say the obvious, i.e. that Sullivan’s decision was the kind of thing one would expect from a judge in Belarus.  George Washington University professor Jonathan Turley was one of the few willing to say Sullivan’s move could “could create a threat of a judicial charge even when prosecutors agree with defendants.”

Sullivan’s reaction was amplified by a group letter calling for Barr’s resignation signed by 2000 former Justice Department officials (the melodramatic group email somberly reported as momentous news is one of many tired media tropes in the Trump era) and the preposterous “leak” of news that the dropped case made Barack Obama sad.  The former president “privately” told “members of his administration” (who instantly told Yahoo! News) that there was no precedent for the dropping of perjury charges, and that the “rule of law” itself was at stake.

Professor Jonathan Turley shows, once again, that being a Democrat doesn't mean abandoning the Bill of Rights.  And thank God for that.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Democrat Game Plan--Deny, Deny, Deny

For John, BLUFThe other way of saying this is "riding into a box canyon".  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Democrats don’t have much hope to cling to, but they don’t deserve better.

From American Greatness, by Mr Conrad Black • May 11, 2020.

Here is the lede plus five:

President Trump’s almost total silence on the matters being investigated by special counsel John Durham, and his gentlemanly remark concerning the allegations against Joe Biden coming from his former aide, Tara Reade, that sometimes people make false allegations, is an enactment of Napoleon’s advice not to interrupt an enemy while he is making a mistake.

Just as he studiously avoided any comment when Christine Blasey Ford testified against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, other than that she seemed pleasant and credible, when a nasty word would have blown up Kavanaugh’s candidacy, he sometimes surprises his opponents and even his supporters by acts of unusual tactical discretion.

Trump’s opponents are advancing down several cul-de-sacs simultaneously.  They are standing firmly on the legality and propriety of the prosecution of General Michael Flynn and the applications for warrants to conduct espionage against junior Trump campaign aide Carter Page and the campaign and transition team.

This position cannot be sustained.  The prosecution was an outrage which the Justice Department has withdrawn as not only the prosecution of an innocent person, but a prosecution of one whom the prosecutors knew to be not guilty.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) activity, as Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz has determined, was in gross breach of department practices and customs.  It is not his position to determine legality, but he pointed out 17 areas that were, he determined, illegal.  The whole operation was based on the infamous Steele dossier, which was exposed years ago as a tissue of lies funded and shopped to the media via the intelligence agencies in a sequence of monstrous improprieties, to influence the election and then destabilize the incoming administration.

There is no longer any serious doubt about any of this and those who follow these things are waiting for the special counsel’s indictments.  But this past weekend, former President Obama leaked to the country his view that when someone has pleaded guilty to a criminal offense if the charge is withdrawn without being tried, this shakes his confidence in American justice.  At about the same time, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) issued a press statement accusing Attorney General William Barr of using the Justice Department to maintain “the president’s cover-up.”  This is both bizarre and insane conduct.

And on it goes.

I figure that the Democrats are heading into a cul-de-sac, but perhaps they hope the media will protect them, as it seems to be doing with the unwinding of Russiagate.  With the media providing cover the Democrats can avoid contact with reality for some time.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Deprived of the News

For John, BLUFThe news reporters now want to be our masters, controlling what we learn from the news.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From OCPA Think, by Mr Mark Tapscott, 1 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus two:

Barely more than one in 10 Americans surveyed by the Gallup Poll have “a great deal of trust” in the news media, while 28 percent profess “a fair amount” of trust, for a total approval score of 41 percent.

That compares with President Donald Trump’s 50 percent approval rating, according to Gallup, as of April 28.

When Gallup measures the most respected professions, journalists rank near the bottom, way below auto mechanics, lawyers, policemen, and military officers.

The self-righteous are a blot on news reporting, both reporters and leakers.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, May 15, 2020

Winnie the Flu Spreads

For John, BLUFThere is a lot we have yet to learn about the Coronavirus, but what we are learning isn't uplifting, including this information.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Ms Stacey Lennon, 14 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus three:

Dr. Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford Medicine recently released his antibody study of the staff of 27 Major League Baseball (MLB) teams from across the nation.  The study is of mostly staff, not players, and covered a broad demographic range.  The results of the MLB study showed that only 0.7% of the staff had the antibodies indicative of having had COVID-19.

Some staff is located in areas where antibody testing has been conducted for the general population such as New York, Los Angeles, and Santa Clara. Most of these locations showed the MLB staff had a much lower rate of prior infection than the general population.  For example, the New York City metro area showed 25% of the population had antibodies.  The MLB staff for the Yankees only showed antibodies in 1.64% of the employees. The Mets tested positive at a rate of 2.61%.

Dr. Bhattacharya said this was indicative of a trend seen in the other studies he has done. Lower-income residents had higher exposure rates to COVID-19.  While the MLB had put mitigation policies in place, he believes that middle-to-upper-income individuals, like most of these staff in this study, have lower exposure.  The ability to work from home and live in areas away from where they work that are less densely populated may be a factor.

The conclusion that Dr. Bhattacharya comes to based on the studies he has done to date is that the epidemic is far from over.  The good news is his studies show about 70% of those who display antibodies were asymptomatic.  This testing also places the death rate at somewhere between 0.1- 0.5%.  This is orders of magnitude lower than originally thought.

So, culture is a factor with the spread of coronavirus, just as Fiction Writer Sarah Hoyt told us, a month ago.  And, it is likely not so much race as it is poverty and the cultural mores associated with poverty.  Don't get distracted by race.  The solutions will require some thought.  Back when LBJ was President we worked to fix things and had some counter-productive results.  We should avoid that this time, if we can.

Hat tip to my Buddy Neal for noticing this and recognizing its significance.

Regards  —  Cliff

Fighting to Retain Kangaroo Courts

For John, BLUFI am hoping this is just a rear guard action by those who favor a nanny state that prioritizes the rights of some over the rights of others.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Yahoo News, by Reporter Erik Ortiz, of NBC News, 14 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus two:

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' revised federal guidelines on how sexual assault allegations should be handled on college and K-12 campuses is the target of a federal lawsuit filed Thursday, claiming the changes would "inflict significant harm" on victims and "dramatically undermine" their civil rights.

The suit, filed on behalf of four advocacy groups for sexual assault survivors, including Know Your IX and Girls for Gender Equity, is the first that attempts to block the Department of Education's new provisions before they go into effect on Aug. 14.

The rules championed by DeVos effectively bolster the rights of due process for those accused of sexual assault and harassment, allowing for live hearings and cross examinations.  It's what agency officials say was lacking under the Obama administration to protect all students under Title IX, a 1972 law that prohibits gender discrimination, including sexual assault, at schools.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Bad Housing

For John, BLUFIs it the housing or the upbringing of the tenets?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

"... and its owner could face fines and other charges if it doesn't make changes to improve quality of life and public safety there.... In its April 9 notice declaring the property a nuisance, the city points to three of the most serious incidents: a 4-year-old accidentally shot in the foot on Feb. 26; a tenant's nephew shot in the leg outside the tenant's apartment on March 17, and an argument between two tenants over loud music that escalated into a physical fight on March 31...."
I thought maybe this post from 13 May was a put up by Professor Althouse, but it was apparently real enough.  And it shows some of the issues with public housing.

One of those Commenting caught a big chunk of the problem.  Back in the 1960s President Lyndon Barnes Johnson, with good intent, tried to make up for a hundred years of segregation, but he managed to take a big nick out of the rising Black Middle Class.  His legislative program created a series of perverse incentives.  Perverse incentives that better housing management won’t cure.

During World War Two we destroyed 40% of German housing, yet when I lived there 22 years later housing was plentiful and I was able to rent a nice ranch style house, with detached garage, on a double lot.  Yet we can't, today, do that for our own citizens.

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

Is Biden the Guy?

For John, BLUFThe GOP has its own problem, with just under 25% wanting Mr Trump to go.  But, for Mr Biden, having gone through all those Primaries, 28% seems high.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

35% of voters overall believe that Biden will not ultimately be the Democratic presidential nominee.

From Just the News, by Reporter Carrie Sheffield, 12 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus three:

stunning 28% of Democratic voters say Joe Biden will be replaced as ultimate party presidential nominee, according to a new Just the News Daily Poll with Scott Rasmussen.

Biden is the presumed nominee following a string of primary victories that led to chief rival Sen. Bernie Sanders dropping out and endorsing Biden – who also has the backing of party leaders Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and others.

Trepidations about Biden include whether enough of the party's progressive wing will turn out for the so-called "Democratic Establishment" candidate, if he's physically and mentally up for going one-on-one with President Trump, a sexual assault allegation and a less-than-energized campaign, in part because of the coronavirus.

"There remains an undercurrent of doubt as to whether or not Joe Biden will ultimately be the Democratic presidential nominee," In fact, just 49% of voters believe he is unlikely to be replaced.  Another 35% think he’s at least somewhat likely to be replaced while 17% are not sure.

I am guessing there is some ambivalence on the part of Democrats with regard to former Vice President Biden.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Previous Administration

For John, BLUFIt appears the previous Administration is still fighting a rear guard action against the current Administration, which has hamstrung it a bit in dealing with ongoing problems.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Reporter Matt Margolis, 11 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus four:

Barack Obama’s decision to comment about the Michael Flynn case has the Wall Street Journal‘s editorial board scratching their heads as to “what he’s really worried about.”

“Barack Obama is a lawyer, so it was stunning to read that he ventured into the Michael Flynn case in a way that misstated the supposed crime and ignored the history of his own Administration in targeting Mr. Flynn.  Since the former President chose to offer his legal views when he didn’t need to, we wonder what he’s really worried about.”

In the past couple of weeks, evidence that Trump’s former national security adviser Gen. Michael Flynn was set up by FBI agents in a perjury trap resulted in his case being dropped by the Justice Department.  Soon after, the release of declassified documents and testimony revealed that Barack Obama was aware that Flynn was being wiretapped and was briefed on the details of conversations he was having with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

In a private call with former members of his administration, Obama weighed in on the DOJ dropping the charges against Flynn, bizarrely claiming that it was unprecedented, and incorrectly claiming that Flynn was charged with perjury.  Audio of the call was leaked to the media.

“The news over the last 24 hours I think has been somewhat downplayed — about the Justice Department dropping charges against Michael Flynn,” Obama said.  “And the fact that there is no precedent that anybody can find for someone who has been charged with perjury just getting off scot-free.  That’s the kind of stuff where you begin to get worried that basic — not just institutional norms — but our basic understanding of rule of law is at risk.  And when you start moving in those directions, it can accelerate pretty quickly as we’ve seen in other places.”

I can appreciate that the members of the previous Administration wish to save the American People from the follies of the new Administration, but that is the nature of Democracy--As H L Mencken would have it, "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."  While the job of the opposition is to oppose, the job of the previous administration is to move on.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Learning More About the Impeachment

For John, BLUFIt seems like eons ago that we went through the House Impeachment Hearings.  But, it was while the current Pandemic was building, and then the House Speaker put it on hold for a month, which was an interesting twist.  A lot of it seemed a little dodgy to me.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Ambassador’s impeachment testimony omitted mention of Burisma meetings, letters.

From Just the News, by Reporter John Solomon, 12 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus two:

During President Trump’s impeachment, former U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch testified to Congress that she knew little beyond an initial briefing and “press reports” about Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian natural gas firm that had hired Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter and was dogged by a corruption investigation. “It just wasn’t a big deal,” she declared under oath on Oct. 11, 2019. But newly unearthed State Department memos obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show Yovanovitch’s embassy in Kiev, including the ambassador herself, was engaged in several discussions and meetings about Burisma as the gas firm scrambled during the 2016 election and transition to settle a long-running corruption investigation and polish its image before President Trump took office.
The whole Ukraine imbroglio has seemed off from the beginning.  The willingness of Representative Schiff to inflate the facts was very unhelpful.  Also unhelpful was his apparent manipulation of the process to, it would appear, favor one side over the other.  Very disappointing.

This is just another situation where Mr Hunter Biden appears to be benefitting financially from the governmental position of his Father, with an appearance of favoritism.  And this is President Trump's fault?

The hard working Reporter John Solomon has been tenacious about this kind of thing.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Smart Move

For John, BLUFWith DOJ moving to drop charges against Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, Democrats from President Obama to Representative Adam Schiff to Brookings Analyst Benjamin Witten have said DOJ is corrupt  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Wash Post, by Reporters Spencer S Hsu and Carol D Leonnig, 12 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus two:

A U.S. judge on Tuesday put on hold the Justice Department’s move to drop charges against Michael Flynn, saying he expects independent groups and legal experts to argue against the bid to exonerate President Trump’s former national security adviser of lying to the FBI.

U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of Washington D.C. said he expects individuals and organizations will seek to intervene in the politically charged case.

Sullivan’s order came after the government took the highly irregular step last Thursday of reversing its stance on Flynn’s charges and embracing Flynn’s move to dismiss his own guilty pleas.

This seems a smart move.  If you have something to say, say it directly to the Judge.  Don't just give us a tweet or a sound-bite.

As for myself, I say DOJ has finally done the proper thing.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, May 11, 2020

The Real Reason

For John, BLUFMaybe not the sole reason, but an important reason the "system" went after Lieutenant General Michael Flynn.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Mr Jim Fanell, 11 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus two:

The Department of Justice has requested, with prejudice, to withdraw the case former Obama administration officials built against retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn.  Americans now need to investigate why outgoing President Obama told incoming President Trump that after Kim Jong-un, the only other issue he had to worry about was General Flynn.  The answers will lead us to intelligence reform.

We don’t have a fully coherent explanation in the public discussion for why Director Comey’s FBI targeted General Flynn in a perjury trap.  The dominant media narrative asserts attacking General Flynn was a stepping-stone to weakening President Trump’s administration by targeting his appointed officials.  However, the Washington establishment’s fear and animus toward Mr. Trump only partially explains the FBI’s extraordinarily corrupt conspiracy targeting and trapping the retired war veteran general.

There’s more. The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC), of which the FBI is a member, deeply feared General Flynn because of his attempted reforms as director of the underperforming Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), which for $22 billion dollars per year was not able to recognize Islamic terrorism, assess the People’s Republic of China (PRC) being engaged in expansionism, or warn of other threats to the United States, even as those issues were discussed in newspapers around the world.

It seems the US Intelligence Community is not the benign group one would expect it to be in a democracy.  Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, back in early January 2017a, before the Trump Inauguration, told MSNBC Host Rachel Maddow, "Let me tell you: You take on the intelligence community — they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you".

One would think that both Senator Schumer and Ms Maddow would have been alarmed by that thought.  Apparently not.  At the time I thought it was just senator Schumer talking like he was from New York City.  Now I am not so sure, and I am alarmed.  The fact is, if they can do it to President Trump they can do it to anybody, of any party.  The is not Democracy.  It is more like Pakistan's Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI), or, before the rise of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Turkish General Staff.  Recall that when there was some question of who would be the new Turkish Prime Minister, in 1993, the head of the Turkish General Staff paid a visit to Ms Tansu Çiller, signaling her acceptability to the Turkish General Staff, the protector of the Constitution.

Frankly, the idea that the Intelligence Community in the United States might put its thumb on the scale of Presidential Election should be anathema to all believers in Democracy.  The fact that Senator Schumer or Journalist Rachel Maddow accepts this idea with equanimity should be additionally disturbing to us all.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

What Is Happening in Korea?

For John, BLUFYou have already seen it.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Today on City Life there was a special guest, David Maxwell, Colonel, US Army (retired), who is a Senior Fellow with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Colonel Maxwell talked about Korea, South and north.

Not an “Academic” discussion, but it was, for me, an interesting review for the layperson.

It can be seen again on LTC, "Channel 8”, at 5:00 this afternoon, or at this link, again on "Channel 8”.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Is China The Source?

For John, BLUFSuee, we want it to be, but it is not certain.  .On the other hand, the secrecy, the lying, the counter-accusations to suggest some guilt or sense of guilt there.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Bipartisan consensus emerges that China must be held accountable

From The Washington Free Beacon, by Mr Adam Kredo, 7 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus two:

A bipartisan delegation in Congress is showing support for the Australian government's call to investigate China over its cover-up of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a letter sent Thursday to the Australian ambassador.

China has already threatened to boycott Australian goods and take other punitive measures against the country after Prime Minister Scott Morrison called for an independent investigation into the Communist Party's efforts to censor information about the virus and destroy medical samples that could have been used in research. Australian leaders have also pressed for an investigation into the World Health Organization and its top officials over its alleged collusion with China.

Chinese officials are using their state-controlled press organs to discredit Australia and accuse the country of being part of a U.S. plot to undermine Beijing. The statements include calls for boycotts of Australian foods and other products.

It is good to see bi-partisan feelings in the US Congress, but I am not sure that the Speaker of the House is prepared to play along.  I think she is maneuvering to pin the blame on President Trump.  And maybe show his involvement in that earlier story about the serpent and the forbidden fruit.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Russiagate as Fort Sumpter?

For John, BLUFVengeance and Justice are two different things.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Is it a tell that he says "… taught Obama and President Trump"?

From Don Surber, by Retired Reporter Don Surber, 9 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus four:

The shadow of President Richard Milhous Nixon was much longer than his aborted presidency.  Nearly a half century after his resignation, he has taught the last 2 presidents very different lessons.

President Donald John Trump learned how to handle the press and the deep state by avoiding the mistakes of President Nixon.

Obama learned that instead of using his campaign people to spy on political opponents, he would just turn the FBI into the KGB and do his evil work.  Obama's thugs lied 17 times to a federal judge to spy on President Trump.  Obama did so realizing there would be no penalty, and to date not even a lowly agent has been indicted.

On Fox this morning, President Trump openly admitted he learned from President Nixon's mistakes.

Our president said, "I study history, and the firing of everybody — I should’ve in one way, but I’m glad I didn’t, because look at the way it turned out.  They’re all a bunch of crooks and they got caught."

I expect this story hasn't played out.  I also expect that half the nation is so entrenched that they can't be convinced one way or another.  This is not a happy outcome.  It is up to the other half to ensure there is justice and mercy "and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Farewell to Drudge

For John, BLUFIn the mid-1980s CNN was my "go to" source, and then no longer.  Then, for years it was Matt Drudge.  No longer.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

From Ricochet, by Mr Michael Henry, May 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

Matt Drudge’s media links compilation has been one of the sites I’ve checked every morning for the last decade.  The Drudge Report always had links to sites with stories I would not see on my trusted sites.  I say “had” because I am weaning myself from it due to the dramatic shift in bias I’ve observed, especially in the most recent months.

The Drudge Report has become part of the leftist media cabal slanting coverage to defeat President Trump.

It is sad.  Very sad.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Let Us Hope

For John, BLUFFirst with Judge Emmet Sullivan and then with Defense Lawyer Sidney Powell there was this hope that justice would be done.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Seattle Times, by Reporters Michael Balsamo and Eric Tucker, 7 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

The Justice Department on Thursday said it is dropping the criminal case against President Donald Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, abandoning a prosecution that became a rallying cry for the president and his supporters in attacking the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation.

The move is a stunning reversal for one of the signature cases brought by special counsel Robert Mueller.  It comes even though prosecutors for the past three years have maintained that Flynn lied to the FBI in a January 2017 interview about his conversations with the Russian ambassador.

It appears it was time for the Justice Department to cut losses.  I am guessing we were at the point where careers were going to be broken.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Will 2020 Resemble 1876?

For John, BLUFDemocrats cry voter suppression and voter fraud while trying to rig the system to allow subversion of the Constitution and voter fraud.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

The president can’t simply cancel the fall balloting, but his state-level allies could still deliver him a second term.

MARCH 29, 2020 Jeffrey Davis Professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Here is the lede plus two:

Even under a normal president, the coronavirus pandemic would present real challenges to the 2020 American election.  Everything about in-person voting could be dangerous.  Waiting in line, touching a voting machine, and working in polling stations all run afoul of social-distancing mandates.  Already, Maryland, Kentucky, Georgia, and Louisiana have postponed their presidential primaries, while Wyoming, New York, and Ohio have altered their voting procedures.  Of course, other democracies face similar problems; the United Kingdom has postponed local elections for one year.

But under President Donald Trump, the possibilities for how the coronavirus could wreak havoc on the election are all the more concerning.  This is not a president who cares about the sanctity of the electoral process.  After all, he has never seemed particularly concerned about Russia’s efforts to manipulate the 2016 outcome (presumably because they were on his behalf), and he was impeached for demanding Ukrainian help in his reelection efforts.

Moreover, this is a president who has repeatedly joked about staying in office past the end of his second term and has frequently embraced authoritarian leaders and policies.  Making matters even worse, the Republican Party more broadly has displayed a willingness to bend the rules for its own political gain, frequently trying to suppress the vote (especially minority votes), purging voter rolls, and implementing aggressive racially based gerrymanders. Americans simply cannot trust that his administration will preserve the integrity of the 2020 election.

The author is Jeff Davis.  Do you think there is any relationship?

Much of this is about the Electoral College and the author manages to paint a number of scenarios without ever mentioning the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.  Is this a joke?  The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact has been designed to circumvent the US Constitution by changing the way Electoral College members vote.  Under the Compact it doesn't matter how your state voted, the Electoral College members are directed to vote based upon who won the majority, or more likely, the plurality of the national popular vote.  The author gives us a lot of background information with little impact, except to stir concern about elections.  For example, the Hayes-Tilden Contest of 1876.

Then there is Russiagate, with any Ukraine involvement being denied.  Not mentioned was Chinese playing with the election.  But then the Chinese are the friends of Progressive Democrats.  Just ask the Chinese.  Or maybe Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy.  Or Massachusetts House Representative Seth Moulton.

And, I am not impressed by the idea of massive vote by mail.  I voted by mail for 30 years straight.  It took planning and it took effort on my part, like remembering to punch out the chads and making sure they were gone on my punch ballot, but it was worth it to vote.  However, I worry about relaxing the strict rules to make it happen nation wide.  The recent law suit in Nevada by Mrs Clinton's Lawyer, Marc Elias, a partner at Perkins Coie law firm, suing Nevada over ballot harvesting sets a bad example. 

  • "We ask that your office and the office of the Nevada Attorney General immediately announce a suspension of prosecutions under this statute for all elections for which mail-in balloting will be the primary means of voting in the state," Elias said.
  • At the same time, Elias called for Nevada to stop throwing out ballots when signatures on voters' ballots appear different from those on voters' registrations, saying "lay election officials have never had the necessary expertise" to make an accurate determination.
No rules on ballot harvesting and no checking of signatures.  All I see is voter fraud.  Thanks, Jeff Davis.

Regards  —  Cliff

  There was apparently a lot of fraud in the voting, including one of the Carolinas, where 101% of registered voters voted.  Those would be Democrats,  And there was the threat of violence to keep some from voting.  That would be Democrats threatening.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Driving Dangers

For John, BLUFSince we are dealing with humans we should not make easy assumptions about how they will react in various situations.  Apparently Winnie the Flu doesn't make them safer drivers.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From CNHI News, by Reporter Christian M. Wade, 4 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus six:

With fewer cars on the road during a state of emergency, one might assume traffic crashes and fatalities would fall dramatically.

Not so, according to the state Department of Transportation, which says fatal auto crashes spiked last month despite substantially less traffic.

At least 28 people died in crashes in April, according to MassDOT's preliminary data.  That's only one more fatality than was reported in April 2019, but transportation officials say the data is "disturbing" considering that traffic is reduced by more than half amid the pandemic.

Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver said the data suggests people are speeding and taking unnecessary risks.

"It's a disturbing trend," he said Monday.  "We want people to slow down, pay attention to their surroundings, and drive more cautiously."

Gulliver said the preliminary data shows the fatalities occurred on both state highways and local roads, and they appear to be evenly spread across the state.

At least three pedestrians and one bicyclist were among those killed.

I once saw something that suggested humans have a certain degree of risk acceptance, and as we make autos safer drivers will increase their degree of risk taking.  That seems to be the case here.

The thing is, not only do they make it more dangerous for themselves, but they also make it more dangerous for you.

Hat tip to MASSterList.

Regards  —  Cliff

Liz Backs Joe

For John, BLUFMaybe we are moving to a more balanced view of sexual misconduct, including sexual assault.  Maybe we are moving back to assuming innocent until proven guilty.  Hope springs eternal.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Boston Globe, by Reporter Jess Bidgood, 4 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

Senator Elizabeth Warren on Monday defended former vice president Joe Biden in the face of a sexual assault allegation that has roiled the presumptive Democratic nominee’s campaign.

“The vice president’s answers were credible and convincing,” Warren told reporters, referring to an interview Biden gave Friday in which he denied the allegations. “I support the vice president, I support his campaign, and I’m proud to endorse him for president.”

Later in the reticle Senator Warren is quoted as follows:
“I believe that everyone has a right to tell her story, to be listened to, and treated with respect,” Warren said Monday in the halls of the Senate.  "I saw the reports of what Ms. Reade said; I saw an interview with vice president Biden.  I appreciate that the vice president took a lot of questions, tough questions.  And he answered them directly and respectfully.”
That seems like a pretty straight forward statement of support.

Hat tip to MASSterList.

Regards  —  Cliff

Equal Rights

For John, BLUFAllegations of Sexual misconduct are easy to make and hard to defend.  And in the case of Vice President Joe Biden the legal statute of limitations has run out.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is about the Joe Biden/Tara Reade imbroglio.

From Inside Sources, by Authors Samantha Harris and Joe Cohn, 5 May 2020.

Here is the key paragraph:

There is no better time to set our collective partisanship aside and take this opportunity to reach a mutual understanding of the value of due process and the presumption of innocence.
The rights of individuals, whichever side, need to be protected.  And, I expect women are no more protected, outside the courtroom, at work and leisure, by a reign of terror than by a proper enforcement of the law.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, May 4, 2020

Walter Duranty Smilies

For John, BLUFI stole the post title from Blogger Ed Driscoll .  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Breitbart, by Mr Joel B Pollak, 4 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus four:

The 2020 Pulitzer Prize for commentary was awarded Monday to Nikole Hannah-Jones for an essay in the New York Times that falsely claimed the American Revolution was fought primarily to protect slavery.

The essay, titled “Our democracy’s founding ideals were false when they were written. Black Americans have fought to make them true,” launched the Times‘ controversial 1619 project.

The essay incorrectly claimed that the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776 (signing began weeks later, on August 2).

However, the far more egregious error was Hannah-Jones’s claim about the cause for which the Revolution was fought.  She wrote:  “Conveniently left out of our founding mythology is the fact that one of the primary reasons the colonists decided to declare their independence from Britain was because they wanted to protect the institution of slavery.”

That passage, which appeared in the original text, has since been updated to include the word “some” (emphasis added):  “Conveniently left out of our founding mythology is the fact that one of the primary reasons some of the colonists decided to declare their independence from Britain was because they wanted to protect the institution of slavery.”

This is very sad.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Doing Hard Isolation

For John, BLUFIt is like doing hard time.  It can be done.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

The true story of how Ernest Hemingway, his wife Hadley, his mistress Pauline Pfieffer, his son Bumby, and the nanny spent a summer on lockdown.

From Town and Country Magazine, by Writer Lesley M M Blume, 24 March 2020.

Here is the lede plus four:

Last week, a letter supposedly written by F. Scott Fitzgerald—quarantined due to the Spanish Flu in 1920—made the social media rounds.  In it, Fitzgerald states that he and Zelda had fully stocked their bar, and called Hemingway a flu “denier” who refused to wash his hands.  This letter went viral.

The only problem? It was not written by Fitzgerald; its true author is Nick Farriella, who had written it as a parody for McSweeney’s earlier this month.  However, for those of you who crave an actual Lost Generation quarantine story, you’re in luck.  Please allow me to entertain you with the true story of how Ernest Hemingway was once quarantined not only with his wife and sick toddler, but also his mistress.  He actually took quite nicely to it.

In the summer of 1926, Hemingway was still married to his first wife, Hadley Hemingway, and they had a three-year-old son Jack, whom they called Bumby.  Hemingway and Hadley had arrived in Paris a few years earlier so Hemingway could pursue his dream of becoming a world-famous, groundbreaking writer.  That summer he was on the brink of a breakthrough, accumulating the lifestyle trappings he felt a celebrity author must have—including a fashionable mistress, Pauline Pfeiffer.

Whereas Hadley was church-mouse–poor, Pauline was an heiress; while Hadley was homely and docile, Pauline was a sleek Vogue editor with a commanding personality.  When Hadley had, just weeks earlier, learned of the affair and confronted Hemingway about it, he had grown furious and told her that she was the true offender.  He raged that everything would have been just fine if she hadn’t dragged the situation into the open.

The couple decided to carry on, but it became clear that Hemingway had no intention of giving up Pauline; nor did his mistress intend to bow out.  Rather, she made herself omnipresent.  It was just going to take Hadley a while to get used to her new normal.

I am not recommending this kind of arrangement, but I am noting that our current self-isolation is not out of the question.  It is not the end of the world.

Remember, your isolation is about protecting your relatives and friends.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Farewell Indian Maiden

For John, BLUFFrom my teen years in California I remember the Land-O-Lakes packaging, even though we used a different brand.  Now it is gone.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Mwsia, by Ms Victoria Taft, 16 April 2020.

Here is the lede plus four:

The politically-correct crowd has claimed another scalp.

Quietly and without fanfare, the makers of Land O Lakes butter rubbed out the lovely maiden that was the centerpiece of the company’s logo for 100 years.

In the middle of the logo now is a big zero.

That stands for the amount of sense that it makes to get rid of a lovely image that offended few if any Native Americans, for whom it was supposedly removed.

“You know who loves being represented in American culture?  According to a survey of 4000 Native Americans by NAGA, Native Americans do,” the red-headed libertarian tweeted.  “You know who doesn’t love Native Americans being represented in American Culture?  Woke suburban white women.”

It goes down hill from there.

I guess there was a reason for changing the logo, but this wasn't it.  Being sensitive to the feelings of others is important.  However, when the minority exercises tyranny over the majority there should be questions asked.  For example, are you offended because something is being misrepresented or are you offended because you enjoy the power of being offended and expressing it?

In fifty years only the prurient will remember this.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, May 2, 2020

China as Culprit

For John, BLUFFive Eyes is a term for the Intelligence cooperation amongst the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here are the sub-headlines:

  • A leaked 15-page dossier from the 'Five Eyes' intelligence alliance says China's secrecy over the pandemic is an 'assault on international transparency'
  • The US, Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand intelligence agencies have exposed a series of cover-ups It claims Five Eyes found a 'deadly denial of human-to-human transmission'
  • Researchers who tried to raise the alarm have been silenced or disappeared and evidence of the outbreak was destroyed, it adds
  • Report shows China refused to hand over virus samples to develop vaccines and censored its internet
  • China also allegedly censored virus news on search engines from December
  • The leaked files show the nations have evidence the virus was leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
From The Daily Mail, by Reporters Rachel Sharp, Jack Elsom and James Tapsfield, 2 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus five:

China lied about the human-to-human transmission of coronavirus, made whistle-blowers disappear and refused to help nations develop a vaccine, a leaked intelligence dossier reveals.

The 15-page document drawn up by the Five Eyes security alliance brands Beijing's secrecy over the pandemic an 'assault on international transparency' and points to cover-up tactics deployed by the regime.

It claims that the Chinese government silenced its most vocal critics and scrubbed any online scepticism about its handling of the health emergency from the internet.

China has roundly come under fire for suppressing the scale of its early outbreak which did not afford other nations time to react before the disease hit their shores.

Five Eyes - the pooling of intelligence by the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand - laid bare its scathing assessment of the Xi Jinping administration in a memo obtained by the Australian Saturday Telegraph.

The smoking gun file claims to have found evidence the virus spawned in the Wuhan Institute of Virology, close to the wet market China says it came from, and unearths 'risky' research on bat-related diseases stretching back years.

Yes, this is sensationalism.  It is The Daily Mail, after all.  However, it is reporting on the kind of thinking one finds in authoritarian regimes.  Maintain the narrative, come what may and keep doubling down.  Truth, or freedom of information or thought, is not a consideration.

This kind of thing can lead to miscalculation and that can lead to conflict, especially when the lying party is also engaged in other international activities, like naval confrontations in the South China SeaAnd hereAnd here.

Hat tip to my Wife.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, May 1, 2020

Views on Joe Biden

For John, BLUFThis is the kind of messy thing that makes folks not like politics.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Four blog posts, in order, by Law Professor Ann Althouse, on the Biden Affair:

Vice President Joe Biden Interviewed by Ms Mika Brzezinski:

The President Questioned at a Press Conference:

From the Mickey Kaus Kausfiles, "The Frankening":

Columnist Andrew Sullivan column at NY Magazine:

You pays your money and you takes your chance.  As the late Writer William Safire would tell you.

This may be a bit of a problem.  What are we judging this by.

  • Absolute:  The Law.  The statute of limitations has run out and thus there is no crime.  Thus Joe Biden can’t be guilty.
  • Relative to others:  To Donald J Trump, who Democrats presume has, in the past, raped one or more people.  Then it is a wash.
  • Relative to his own standards, as articulated as a Senator:  He helped set up the rules for college students.   He is guilty.
  • Relative to the Democratic Party.  It depends.
  • If it was your own Daughter?
Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

Cuomo Rising

For John, BLUFUp until now the Democrat Apparatchiks had no alternative to Vice President Joe Biden.  The Coronavirus has given them New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From CNN, by CNN News Editor Chris Cillizza, 1 May 2020.

Here is the lede plus two:

Thrust into the national spotlight by his state's status as the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States,  New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has rapidly become one of -- if not the -- single most popular politician in the country for his handling of the pandemic.

Cuomo's poll numbers are, literally, unbelievable.  A new Siena College poll released this week showed Cuomo's overall favorability among New Yorkers at 77% while 71% approved of the job he is doing for the state.  Asked who they trusted more to make the right decision about when to reopen New York, 78% chose Cuomo while 16% opted for President Donald Trump.

In each episode of his weekly YouTube show, Chris Cillizza will delve a little deeper into the surreal world of politics.  Cuomo's stratospheric numbers are driven by remarkable bipartisan support.  Yes, 90% of Democrats view him favorably.  But 73% of independents say the same as do a majority (53%!) of Republicans.

This does not bode well for well for Vice President Biden's campaign for the Democratic Party nomination.

This year the primary isn't over until it is over, and Vice President Biden seems to be on soft soil at this time.

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

  When did Reporter Chris Cillizza leave The Washington Post?  I am not keeping up.

Michael Flynn in the Dock

For John, BLUFLooking for an historical analogy, I go back to the Dreyfus Affair.  The lying and coverup by the bureaucracy to protect the bureaucracy.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Sidney Powell on Lou Dobbs Fox Business Show now.

The revelations about the FBI, and DOJ, in their quest to disqualify National Security Advisor nominee Michael Flynn are astounding.  In the words of Broadcaster Lou Dobbs, "stunning".

Today continues a telephone interview between Broadcaster Lou Dobbs and Attorney Sidney Powell from yesterday.

My personal opinion is that this is about concern that as National Security Advisor Michael Flynn would have reorganized the Intelligence Community.  That would have destroyed empires within the Bureaucracy.

And perhaps have revealed malfeasance.

Lawyer Sidney Powell is the new Émile Zola, but with a better sword.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Not So Fast

For John, BLUFIt is like COVID-19.  One suspects we are a ways yet from knowing ground truth.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

From the Blog Site Watts Up With That, by Mr Charles Rotter, 28 April 2020.

Here is the lede plus three:

University of New South Wales

Those looking forward to a day when science’s Grand Unifying Theory of Everything could be worn on a t-shirt may have to wait a little longer as astrophysicists continue to find hints that one of the cosmological constants is not so constant after all.

In a paper published in prestigious journal Science Advances, scientists from UNSW Sydney reported that four new measurements of light emitted from a quasar 13 billion light years away reaffirm past studies that have measured tiny variations in the fine structure constant.

UNSW Science’s Professor John Webb says the fine structure constant is a measure of electromagnetism – one of the four fundamental forces in nature (the others are gravity, weak nuclear force and strong nuclear force).

From the Party of Science I gEt the impression that they think science is all settled.  From the Party of Engineering I am not so sure they believe the science is settled.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Abolish Qualified Immunity

For John, BLUFThis coddling of Government Lawyers has gone on too long.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The CATO Institute, by Mr Jay Schweikert, 28 April 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

For the last several years, Cato has been leading the campaign to abolish qualified immunity -- an atextual, ahistorical judicial doctrine that shields state officials from liability, even when they violate people's constitutional rights.  The most immediate practical goal of this campaign has been to convince the Supreme Court to hear one of the many cases calling for qualified immunity to be either narrowed or reconsidered outright.  And over the last seven months, I've written several times about how the Court has indicated that it's preparing to consider several qualified immunity cases, given the manner in which it has repeatedly rescheduled several cert petitions that have been fully briefed and ready for resolution since October of last year.  My hypothesis at the time was that the Supreme Court was delaying resolution of these petitions so that it could consider them along with several other high-profile cases that also raised the same underlying question of whether qualified immunity should be reconsidered.

Now it would seem that prediction has been vindicated.  Just today, the Supreme Court distributed thirteen* different qualified immunity cert petitions for its conference of May 15, 2020.  This is obviously no coincidence, and it means that by the morning of Monday, May 18th, we will finally know whether the Justices are prepared to confront one of the most pernicious and legally baseless doctrines in the history of the Court.

Law Professor Glenn Reynolds says:  "It should abolish it.  It’s a judge-created doctrine with zero basis in the Constitution."

I am with the Law Professor.  Government Lawyers should not have immunity for their mistakes or their crimes.  Overturning this rule could be a step toward policing the kind of shenanigans that went on and are going on as part of Russiagate, and also in other disreputable activities.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Setting High Standards

For John, BLUFThese accusations against former Senator Joe Biden are old, but they are old and ignored.  This is an area where the Republicans need to tread carefully, but, so too do the Democrats.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The American Conservative, by Columnist Rod Dreher, 29 April 2020.

Here is the lede plus three:

Damon Linker says that there’s more confirmable substance to Tara Reade’s accusations against Joe Biden than Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations against Brett Kavanaugh — and that’s very bad news for the presumptive Democratic nominee.  Linker says that Biden can probably still have the nomination if he wants it, because even if these allegations are true, he’s still going to have the support of the party’s base.  But it will be a great gift to Team Trump.  Linker writes:
On substance, Trump will have zero moral ground to stand on.  But he won’t be taking a stand in the name of treating women with respect.  Neither will he be accusing Biden of being a sexual predator.  Instead, he and the entire Republican noise machine will constantly, relentlessly hammer Biden, leading Democrats, and the media for flagrant hypocrisy and double standards.  The moral content of the issue won’t matter one bit.  What will matter is that Biden has set himself up as a moral arbiter on issues of sexual harassment and violence, insisting we must “believe all women,” and that in the fall of 2018 he and many other members of his party sought to destroy the reputation of Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh for allegations of sexual assault that were less convincingly corroborated than those Reade has lodged against Biden.

The Democratic nominee for president and his party are ruthless political operators who seek above all else to destroy their enemies and help themselves, all the while setting themselves up as impartial moral authorities.  This will be the message, driven home over and over again: that claims of purity and impartiality are pretense, transparent fakes.  Democrats might posture like they’re better than Republicans, including the president, but they aren’t.  They’re every bit as bad.  They’re just more dishonest about it.

Read the whole thing. Linker mentions Tara Reade’s mother calling Larry King, and he mentions her friend (a self-described “strong Democrat”) going public to say that Tara told her about Biden’s alleged sexual assault at the time.  I had heard about those, but until seeing Linker’s column, I had not heard about the 2008 Alexander Cockburn column in the left-wing web journal CounterPunch mentioning Biden’s reputation.
The Democrats have run up a box canyon with their mantra of "Believe all women" and with their condemnation of the antics of Candidate Trump.  They set a pretty high standard and now it appears they can't meet it themselves.

In defense of then Senator Joe Biden, in late 1980s by Cousin, an Air Force Lieutenant Colonel stationed in the Pentagon, told me her female Air Force contacts on the Hill told her there were three Senators to not get into an Elevator with alone.  None of the three was Senator Biden.  That is not direct evidence, but it might be an escape.

On the other hand, there is more information than we got during the Kavanaugh hearings.  More believable information.

Here is how Columnist Dreher points his examination:

So, let me throw it to the room:  if Biden is persuaded to step down before the Democratic convention, who should replace him? Who will replace him?

From a strictly strategic point of view, I think Andrew Cuomo should replace him, and probably will, as long as he chooses Elizabeth Warren as his veep.

Pretty insightful.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff