Sunday, July 23, 2017

If President Trump Goes


For John, BLUFThe 2016 presidential loss was a disorienting blow to the Democrats.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



Asks Cartoonist Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays), back on 21 July 2017.

For the record:

The President is succeeded by the Vice President, in the event he leaves office (death, incapacitation, impeachment, resignation), and after the VEEP comes the Speaker of the House and then, per the Constitution, the President Pro Tempore of the US Senate.  Who is, at this time, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).

No, Virginia, it isn't Hillary Clinton.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Killing the High School Plans


For John, BLUFWell, it will be a circus.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



Why would someone give us a ballot question for November on the location of the new Lowell High School, except to disrupt the current plan of moving to Cawley?

Reading Candidate Gerry Nutter's Pocket Little for Sunday, I am thinking he is thinking that also.

There are some questions to be asked about the logic of the whole thing.

On the one hand, the competent authorities have decided on Cawley. On the other hand, the Never Move crowd seems to have settled for a Fabian Strategy, wearing down the Cawley Crowd until it all falls apart, or the delays make the Cawley option too expensive.

But, what will the ballot question look like?

  • Will it include the four options already considered?
  • Will it include an option to do nothing?
  • Will it include John McDonough's Hamilton Canal Option?
  • Will it offer an option to have two High Schools?
The wording of the question and the foils for picking are going to be all important.

Frankly, I don't care if they put the students in GP Medium Tents, as long as they (the school system) has a variety of teaching methods which enables them to reach all the students, and allows all those students to become successes later in life.

I am thinking the ballot question is a distractor.

Regards  —  Cliff

Banned in Berkeley


For John, BLUF"De-Platformed" is when a speaker is "dis-invited",  Nothing to see here; just move along.



Not the University, this time (this was, after all, The First Congregational Church of Berkeley, 2345 Channing Street).

This is from The College Fix and Associate Editor Greg Piper, on 21 July 2017.

And, it is about noted biologist and atheist Richard Dawkins.  And here is the sum of it:

Then the station learned about his tweets critical of Islam and cancelled the Aug. 9 event.

University of Chicago evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne posted the email KPFA sent through the ticketing agency announcing the cancellation – before it informed Dawkins:

We had booked this event based entirely on his excellent new book on science, when we didn’t know he had offended and hurt – in his tweets and other comments on Islam, so many people.

KPFA does not endorse hurtful speech. While KPFA emphatically supports serious free speech, we do not support abusive speech. We apologize for not having had broader knowledge of Dawkins views much earlier.

I would say radio station KPFA is both cluessless and extremely impolite.  Franky, embarrasing.  Sadly, KPFA is "the first [Progressive] Pacifica station and remains the flagship station of the Pacifica Radio Network".  I hope Reporter Amy Goodman is embarrassed at this turn of events.

It seems Mr Richard Dawkins is clear to say that Christianity is all rubbish, but if he says that about Islam he is a terrible person.  Progressives had better get their heads screwed on correctly or they will find them severed at the neck.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit, via The American Conservative ("Richard Dawkins Now A Heretic To Progressives", Written by Mr Rod Dreher, 21 July 2017).

Regards  —  Cliff

Lowell High Controversy Continues


For John, BLUFThere are those young today who will go to their grave, decades hence, arguing about this.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



These are both Links to Gerry Nutter Blog Posts:


For further information, please contact: press@savelowellhigh.com


To speak with Chairman Rob Fardin, please EMail citizensforloawell@gmail.com.

Hat tip to the The Lowell Curmudgeon, AKA Nutter for Lowell School Committee.

Regards  —  Cliff

Abortion Without Planned Parenthood


For John, BLUFMaybe it is a guild thing.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



Let us be up front about it.  I think abortion is a sin and a crime.  That said, I realize there are vast differences of opinion here in these United States.

Eighteen-year-old [Ohio] cheerleader is charged with 'killing her newborn baby and burying it in her backyard' after cops found the child's body following a tip from her doctor


It is the UK's Daily Mail, so thus the long headline.  The reporter is Ms Valerie Edwards, with a dateline of 21 July, updated on 22 July 2017.

My first question is what happened to the Physician-Patient Privilege?  Maybe Ohio isn't a "Common Law" state.

Second question is where are all those Democrats who recognize the right to a fourth trimester abortion?  Is it a right only if it is performed by Planned Parenthood and someone makes a profit, but not a right if you do it yourself?  This seems a little strange and I want to know why Tom Perez and Nancy Pelosi are not out protesting this hauling into court of a woman who apparently did it herself, the old fashioned way, the way it would have been several hundred years ago.

Hat tip to the Druge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, July 22, 2017


For John, BLUFI am thinking the role of Julian Assange is being mischaracterized by some as a puppet, but that no one has the guts to offer him immunity to testify.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



From Reuters, by Reporters Julia Edwards Ainsley and John Walcott, Saturday, 22 July 2017.

Here are two aphorisms to keep in mind during this period of Post-election campaigning:

From Lavrentiy Beria (NKVD Chief):

Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.
From Ralph Waldo Emerson (about Dr Oliver Wendell Holmes writing about Plato, but still, sound advice):
When you strike at a king, you must kill him.
I have a friend who wrote about the mission of the Special Prosecutor:  "Confirm 98% of America who believes Putin has something on Trump whether political or financial or blackmail or nefarious dealings."  But, this isn't Watergate.  I am thinking out across the fruited plain are millions who will think this is a lynching.  The legal standard Mr Mueller faces is one thing.  The political is another.  What satisfies Democrats may not satisfy Republicans and Middle America Independents.

Hat tip to the Drudge Report for the news article.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, July 21, 2017

"Let he who is without sin…"


For John, BLUFThe critics of President Trump need to make sure they don't fall off the curb while leaning forward, lest they get mud on their own shoes.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




While taking a swipe at the Trump Administration, Opinionator Jonathan Turley, writing in USA Today, today, calls into question the ethics of a number of those questioning the President, or resisting him.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Troll Not Trolling


For John, BLUFOur Tax Dollars at work, or not.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



This is via Breitbart.

Here is Law Professor Ann Althouse's closing comment on this blog post:

On whether they are silencing Milo, they are silencing themselves.  That gives free rein to all who want to say NPR was flummoxed by the troll who wouldn't troll on cue but spoke rationally about the value of a troll.
From the Comments:
traditionalguy said...
Milo is a rare interview because he is very entertaining.  PBS is stuck between a truth rock and a narrative hard place.
How embarrassing for National Public Radio.

Hat tip to the Althouse blog.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Special Counsel Expands Probe


For John, BLUFThe InstaPundit Today quoted Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria, head of Stalin’s secret police, “Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime".  Nothing to see here; just move along.



From Bloomberg News and by Reporters Greg Farrell and Christian Berthelsen, Thursday, 20 July 2017.

I am thinking Mr Robert Mueller, rather than being seen as an honest broker, may turn out to be viewed as very partisan and thus discrediting the "Special Counsel" concept for some time into the future.

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

We Have a tate Budget, But…


For John, BLUFI did send our State Senator (Eileen Donoghue) the Link, but have not heard back from her.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




This is from the George Mason University Mercatus Center and Researchers Eileen Norcross, Director for the State and Local Policy Project, and Olivia Gonzalez, Research Associate, SLPP.  The date of their Research Paper is 11 July 2017.

The bottom five are:

46.  Maryland
47.  Kentucky
48.  Massachusetts
49.  Illinois
50.  New Jersey

Even making Puerto Rico a State wouldn't boost us out of the bottom five.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Where our youngest son graduated from college.
  Where our Other Senator lives.
  Where our daughter lives.
  But, for sure they would be Number 51, at the bottom of the list if they were a state.  My preference is we cut them loose—make them independent over five years—and then allow them to become a state if they have a referendum where at least 70% of the people vote and 75% of those voters vote to join the US as a State.

The Media Doesn't Yet Get It


For John, BLUFI think it is hard for some to believe that there are folks out there who would send along a five-year-old suicide bomber to achieve their goal.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



Why Did NPR Lie About the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas?


From PJ Media and Writer Patrick Poole, on 19 July 2017.

I think Reporter Jane Arraf was just confused.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Where is Healthcare Going?


For John, BLUFThe Congressional Democrats plan to go to full socialized medicine, and then let it all slide down hill.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




An Investors Business Daily OpEd from back in May.

Followed by this one, yesterday, 18 July 2017.


So, if there is going to be all this Democratic Party winning in November of 2018, will there be an articulation of a plan before that, or will it be another Nancy Pelosi "We have to pass it so you can read it" kind of thing?

Remember, if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

We Have Seen This Before, In Literature


For John, BLUFYes, I think "snatch the presidency from its rightful owner, H Clinton" captures the mindset of many.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




This is by Mr roger Kimbal, from the web presence American Greatness this 16th of July 2017.

Here is how it starts out:

Not the Pope, Francis the anti-American environmentalist Jesuit.  No, I mean Alex, the 18th-century English poet.

Here’s my question:  Is the whole Russia-meddled-in-U.S.-election/Donald-Trump-colluded-with-Putin-to-snatch-the-presidency-from-its-rightful-owner,-H.-Clinton narrative an example of what Pope talked about at the beginning of The Rape of the Lock?

What dire Offence from am’rous Causes springs,
What mighty Quarrels rise from trivial Things . . .
Or is Kafka’s book The Trial a better entrée into the fevered and surreal swamp that has Democratic, and not a few Republican, heads exploding with conspiratorial visions?
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, July 17, 2017

Watch Your Citations

TRIGGER WARNINGS :  Is this all science or just "soft" sciences?

For John, BLUFDo you have enough embalmers who are people of color, are of various genders and sexual orientations, or are you just looking for good workers?  Nothing to see here; just move along.



This is by Mr Tom Knighton, today, 17 July 2017, in PJ Media.

The lede:

If you're writing an academic paper on any given subject, you need to do your research and get your facts straight. No, I don't mean about the topic you're writing about. You see, you're not a good academic if you don't discover who the authors referenced in your footnotes like to sleep with.
There is actually an on-line APP for showing how often one is cited.  I followed it for a month or so, but it was depressing, so I stopped.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Empowering Women


For John, BLUFI think we are better off with our Western values.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From PJ Media, by Reporter Tom Knighton, on 12 July 2017.

Here is the lede:

A woman is recovering after having her fingers chopped off by her husband in Bangladesh, a majority Muslim nation.  One of the husband's relatives then threw her fingers in the trash so they couldn't be reattached by surgeons.
The Husband, Mr Islam, is a migrant worker in the United Arab Emirates, was on home leave.

The Reporter, Mr Knighton, turned into an OpEd writer with this paragraph:

Meanwhile, progressive "feminists" in the United States -- led by their Jew-hating, Sharia-supporting, Saudi Arabia-shilling, jihad-declaring hero Linda Sarsour -- claim that the United States under Trump is becoming just like the totalitarian society depicted in The Handmaid's Tale because Trump doesn't think taxpayers should be forced to pay for their abortions.
I think that nails it, except for the part where Ms Sarsour says she is against assimilation.  What does she have in mind?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

"Suck It Up, Buttercup"


For John, BLUFBe cheerful.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



The sub-headline:
“Act to Change Your Life for the Better”
From Zenit, on 14 July 2017, by Ms Anne Kurian Here is the lede:
“You are forbidden to complain,” reads a notice attached recently to the door of Pope Francis’ apartment in Saint Martha’s House in the Vatican. The notice was reported by “Vatican Insider” and confirmed to ZENIT by the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Greg Burke, on July 14, 2017.
Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Not All Refugees Are the Same (Part Deux)

From my previous post, a continuation.

This is where, I believe Ms Linda Sarsour goes off the rails.  I don't mind her understanding of jihad, as religious struggle.  It is her refusal of assimilation that strikes me as destructive of our American way of life.  Small communities, quiet and respectful of our laws, such as the Amish and the ultra Orthodox Jews of Kiryas Joel do work.  But, not large groups of unassimilated anybody.  If they don't wish to assimilate they should leave our shores, as did several million immigrants.  See, for example, Round-Trip to America: The Immigrants Return to Europe, 1880–1930, by Mr Mark Wyman, about the four million some immigrants who returned to Europe after coming to America.

Regards — Cliff

Not All Refugees Are the Same


TRIGGER WARNINGS:  All the love and good will in the would will not overcome the bad actions of those who have contempt for you and your way of life. They need Metanoia, which they may not recognize.

For John, BLUF"You shall treat the alien who resides with you no differently than the natives born among you; you shall love the alien as yourself; for you too were once aliens in the land of Egypt. I, the LORD, am your God."  Nothing to see here; just move along.


The source is The Nation Interest and the author is Dr Cheryl Benard, on 11 July.Lest we think of Dr Benard as some uninformed Alt-Right nut job, here is her biographical blurb from the article:

Dr. Cheryl Benard was program director of the Initiative for Middle Eastern Youth and the Alternative Strategies Initiative within the RAND Corporation’s National Security Research Division.  Her publications include Civil Democratic Islam, Building Moderate Muslim Networks, The Muslim World After 9-11, The Battle Behind the Wire - US Prisoner and Detainee Operations, and Eurojihad - Patterns of Islamist Radicalization and Terrorism in EuropeCivil Democratic Islam was one of the books found in Osama Bin Laden’s library during the raid on his compound.
But, on to the lede plus two:
In 2014, when waves of refugees began flooding into western Europe, citizens and officials alike responded with generosity and openness. Exhausted refugees spilled out of trains and buses to be met by crowds bearing gifts of clothing and food, and holding up placards that read “Welcome Refugees.”

This was a honeymoon that could not last. Some of the upcoming difficulties had been anticipated: that the newcomers did not speak the local languages, might be traumatized, would probably take a long time to find their footing, and had brought their ethnic, religious and sectarian conflicts with them, causing them to get into battles with each other. All of these things happened but—as Angela Merkel promised—were manageable. “Wir schaffen das.

But there was one development that had not been expected, and was not tolerable: the large and growing incidence of sexual assaults committed by refugees against local women. These were not of the cultural-misunderstanding-date-rape sort, but were vicious, no-preamble attacks on random girls and women, often committed by gangs or packs of young men. At first, the incidents were downplayed or hushed up—no one wanted to provide the right wing with fodder for nationalist agitation, and the hope was that these were isolated instances caused by a small problem group of outliers. As the incidents increased, and because many of them took place in public or because the public became involved either in stopping the attack or in aiding the victim afterwards, and because the courts began issuing sentences as the cases came to trial, the matter could no longer be swept under the carpet of political correctness. And with the official acknowledgment and public reporting, a weird and puzzling footnote emerged. Most of the assaults were being committed by refugees of one particular nationality: by Afghans.

Look for the rest of my thoughts, here.  (Blogger has its limitations.)

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, July 14, 2017

Meanwhile, in France


For John, BLUFGeneral Pershing after arriving in France with America soldiers in 1917:  "Lafayette, we are here".  Nothing to see here; just move along.



Happy Bastille Day


And I am glad President Trump and the First Lady are representing us..

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

"Protecting the Children"


For John, BLUFSome groups are politically protected and some aren't.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




That is the headline at the Althouse Blog for this story at the (Canadian) National Post.

The National Post reports in "Drowning of Lev Tahor leader raises fears over ultra-Orthodox sect's future/The strict rules [Shlomo] Helbrans imposed led Israelis to nickname the cult-like group the Jewish Taliban, because female members wear burka-like robes beginning at age three."
Per the news report the Lev Tahor Sect has moved from the outskirts of Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, north of Montreal, to Chatham, Ontario, then on to Guatemala, due to fears of Political Authorities taking their children from them.

Would we (or the Canadians, in this case) threaten to do the same to some Muslim sect here in the US (or in this case, Canada)?  I am doubtful.

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Less Freedom For China


For John, BLUFHow much "Western" style freedom does Chinas Offer?  Nothing to see here; just move along.




VPN?  Here is the Wikipedia lede:
A virtual private network (VPN) extends a private network across a public network, and enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network.  ("In the simplest terms, it creates a secure, encrypted connection, which can be thought of as a tunnel, between your computer and a server operated by the VPN service.")  Applications running across the VPN may therefore benefit from the functionality, security, and management of the private network.
The sub-headline:
It will be up to the state-run telecommunications companies to ensure all VPNs are blocked, but even if they don't succeed, using a VPN will be a lot harder in China next year.
This is from PC Magazine, written by Reporter Matthew Humphries, and published on 11 July 2017.

The Chinese government wants complete control over what its citizens are allowed to view on the Internet.  That's why the Great Firewall exists, and why many services we enjoy in the west can't be accessed from within China.  But the Great Firewall is far from perfect, and a big thorn in its side is the use of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).

The state has been attempting to clamp down on the use of VPNs by individuals for some time, but their use is still widespread.  Last year Fang Binxing, known as the father of the Great Firewall, publicly used a VPN to bypass his own creation and in so doing caused embarrassment.

I am pleased to see that Reporter Humphries uses multi-sentence paragraphs.

On the other hand, the InstaPundit Notes:

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: “The University of Washington, Tacoma’s Writing Center now instructs students that expecting proper grammar from others perpetuates racism and ‘unjust language structures.’”

For out of state students, the annual total cost to attend the University of Washington, Tacoma is $50,037. Parents and students, choose where to spend your money wisely.

Regards  —  Cliff

Mizzou in Decline


For John, BLUFThere are no guarantees in life and bad management could cause such a decline elsewhere as well.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




By Reporter Anemona Hartocollis, from The Old Gray Lady, 9 July 2017.

Here is the lede plus three:

COLUMBIA, Mo. — In the fall of 2015, a grassy quadrangle at the center of the University of Missouri became known nationwide as the command center of an escalating protest.

Students complaining of official inaction in the face of racial bigotry joined forces with a graduate student on a hunger strike. Within weeks, with the aid of the football team, they had forced the university system president and the campus chancellor to resign.

It was a moment of triumph for the protesting students. But it has been a disaster for the university.

Freshman enrollment at the Columbia campus, the system’s flagship, has fallen by more than 35 percent in the two years since.

Here is an interesting fact:
The drop in enrollment last fall was strikingly higher among blacks, at 42 percent, than among whites, at 21 percent.
Then there is this problem:
Tyler Morris said he was afraid of being stereotyped as a bigot if he went to Missouri.  So he decided to go to Missouri Valley College.
This is a sad commentary on our current situation.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Over Regulation


For John, BLUFWhy President Trump's efforts to limit government regulations is good.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




By Francis Turner from L'Ombre de l'Olivier, 8 Jul 2017.

It starts with an extract from President Trumps recent speech in Warsaw, Poland.

The West became great not because of paperwork and regulations but because people were allowed to chase their dreams and pursue their destinies.
One of the electricians rewiring our Daughter's house in Illinois told my wife that he has a place over in Missouri he is fixing up but has been told he will be fined if he does electrical work at the place.  Doesn't have a Missouri license.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, July 10, 2017

The War of Ideas


For John, BLUF Maybe they have Socialist ideas, like Venezuela, and are thus hesitant to mention them.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



Why the Democrats are still losing the war of ideas.


This is an OpEd from The New York Post and Ms Karol Markowicz, on Sunday, 9 July 2017.

It ends:

Democrats are under the mistaken impression that simply pointing and laughing at Republicans, Trump in particular, is going to be enough.  It hasn’t been so far, and if signature Trump policies are going to poll at 60 percent approval, it won’t be next time, either.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Perverse Economic Incentives


For John, BLUFStimulating the economy is good thing, unless it is a bad thing.  I wouldn't want to see undertaking stimulated by the Government increasing deaths.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From the Foundation for Economic Education and Mr Daniel J. Mitchell, Thursday, 6 July 2017.

The 2009 Cash for Clunkers program aimed to stimulate consumer spending in the new automobile industry, which was experiencing disproportionate reductions in demand and employment during the Great Recession.  Exploiting program eligibility criteria in a regression discontinuity design, we show nearly 60 percent of the subsidies went to households who would have purchased during the two-month program anyway; the rest accelerated sales by no more than eight months.  Moreover, the program’s fuel efficiency restrictions shifted purchases toward vehicles that cost on average $5,000 less.  On net, Cash for Clunkers significantly reduced total new vehicle spending over the ten month period.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Being Led Down the Path


For John, BLUFPerfect is the enemy of good enough, and in politics perfect is an illusion.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



Gramscian damage


Now there is a name to conjure with—Antonio GramsciHere is Wikipedia's take on his views.

Anyway, the above linked article is by Mr Eric Raymond, from Armed and Dangerous, way back on 11 February 2006.

It is pertinent today because of the reactions to President Trump's speech in Poland.

Although over a decade old, the commentary is pertinent to today's activities.  Here is the lede:

Americans have never really understood ideological warfare. Our gut-level assumption is that everybody in the world really wants the same comfortable material success we have. We use “extremist” as a negative epithet. Even the few fanatics and revolutionary idealists we have, whatever their political flavor, expect everybody else to behave like a bourgeois.

We don’t expect ideas to matter — or, when they do, we expect them to matter only because people have been flipped into a vulnerable mode by repression or poverty. Thus all our divagation about the “root causes” of Islamic terrorism, as if the terrorists’ very clear and very ideological account of their own theory and motivations is somehow not to be believed.

By contrast, ideological and memetic warfare has been a favored tactic for all of America’s three great adversaries of the last hundred years — Nazis, Communists, and Islamists. All three put substantial effort into cultivating American proxies to influence U.S. domestic policy and foreign policy in favorable directions. Yes, the Nazis did this, through organizations like the “German-American Bund” that was outlawed when World War II went hot. Today, the Islamists are having some success at manipulating our politics through fairly transparent front organizations like the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Further on Mr Raymond writes:
In a previous post on Suicidalism, I identified some of the most important of the Soviet Union’s memetic weapons.  Here is that list again:

• There is no truth, only competing agendas.
• All Western (and especially American) claims to moral superiority over Communism/Fascism/Islam are vitiated by the West’s history of racism and colonialism.
• There are no objective standards by which we may judge one culture to be better than another.  Anyone who claims that there are such standards is an evil oppressor.
• The prosperity of the West is built on ruthless exploitation of the Third World; therefore Westerners actually deserve to be impoverished and miserable.
• Crime is the fault of society, not the individual criminal.  Poor criminals are entitled to what they take.  Submitting to criminal predation is more virtuous than resisting it.
• The poor are victims.  Criminals are victims. And only victims are virtuous. Therefore only the poor and criminals are virtuous.  (Rich people can borrow some virtue by identifying with poor people and criminals.)
• For a virtuous person, violence and war are never justified. It is always better to be a victim than to fight, or even to defend oneself.  But ‘oppressed’ people are allowed to use violence anyway; they are merely reflecting the evil of their oppressors.
• When confronted with terror, the only moral course for a Westerner is to apologize for past sins, understand the terrorist’s point of view, and make concessions.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Gramscian damage

Long Odds, But


For John, BLUFI hope Sarah Palin wins.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From Blogger John Hinderaker, at his Blog Power Line, yesterday, 8 July 2017.

That former Governor from a detached state is suing for defamation.

It all goes back to the 2011 shooting in Tucson and the rush to blame the Tea Party and certain persons.  The usual Professor Paul Krugman like sludge.

I would settle for $1 and a public apology by the Publisher, in front of the Flatiron Building, at noon on Sunday.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  You know, like the press being all up in arms over all the violent "left wing" rhetoric that led to the shooting at the members of the Republican Congressional Baseball Team.  By the way, Congressman Steve Scalise is back in Intensive Care.
  Plus Lawyers fees.

Life is Not Fair.  Buck Up


For John, BLUFTo his son't graduating class.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




Source is The Wall Street Journal.

From time to time in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly, so that you will come to know the value of justice.  I hope that you will suffer betrayal because that will teach you the importance of loyalty.  Sorry to say, but I hope you will be lonely from time to time so that you don't take friends for granted.  I wish you bad luck, again, from time to time so that you will be conscious of the role of chance in life and understand that your success is not completely deserved and that the failure of others is not completely deserved either.  And when you lose, as you will from time to time, I hope every now and then, your opponent will gloat over your failure.  It is a way for you to understand the importance of sportsmanship.  I hope you'll be ignored so you know the importance of listening to others, and I hope you will have just enough pain to learn compassion.  Whether I wish these things or not, they're going to happen.  And whether you benefit from them or not will depend upon your ability to see the message in your misfortunes.
Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Officials Speaking Anonymously


For John, BLUFIt goes on, but there needs to be some pushback in the name of ethics.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




By Reporter Phil Stewart, for Reuters, on Friday, 7 July 2017.

From the article:

The officials who disclosed to Reuters the precise nature and timing of the upcoming test spoke on condition of anonymity.
So, is this a good leak or a bad leak? Is this an authorized leak or an unauthorized leak?

Who can tell? I think it is a good leak, an authorized leak, but maybe not. The art of propaganda is to mix in those discordant themes along with a lot of banal truth.

I am probably naive, but I think DC needs a new set of ethics, which would include the idea that one does not “leak” but rather stands up and stands behind what one says.

What is gained by the anonymity with regard to this article? Little I can see, except maybe a staff type or even lower level leader speaking out of school so as to curry favor or to get around a leadership they either don’t like or don’t respect.

If we really believe in transparency, it being honest, we need to stop the leaking and start standing behind what we are willing to say and keeping our mouth shut if we are not willing to be named the source.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, July 7, 2017

Energy Diplomacy


For John, BLUFThose who say President Trump is in Russia's pocket are either not paying attention or are willing to say anything for political advantage or work for CNN.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




This is Reporter Andrew Malcolm, from Hot Air, posted this morning, 7 July 2017.

Here is the paragraph that explains the headline:

In Warsaw, as Ed Morrissey points out, Trump offered leaders from Poland and numerous other European countries long-term LNG deals to diversify their supplies and avoid creating undesirable political leverage with a certain large country to the East that has not hesitated to cut off natural gas supplies for political reasons.
Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds sums it up nicely.
If Trump were really in Putin’s pocket, he’d be putting the kibosh on this, probably citing bogus environmental concerns.
And with a little snark.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Meaning of nKorean ICBM Test, Short Term


For John, BLUFTime for planning, not for panic.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




I found this at the web presence Task and Purpose, but it is an article by Reporter David S Cloud, of The Los Angeles Times, on 6 July 2017.

Regards  —  Cliff

Trump in Poland


For John, BLUFGood words.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




Professor Ann Althouse talking about President Trump's speech in Poland, alongside Polish President Andrejz Duda, in Krasinski Square, in Poland.

Here is the text of the whole speech. And here is what Professor Althouse excerpted from President Trump's speech:

The world has never known anything like our community of nations. We write symphonies.  We pursue innovation.  We celebrate our ancient heroes, embrace our timeless traditions and customs, and always seek to explore and discover brand-new frontiers.  We reward brilliance.  We strive for excellence, and cherish inspiring works of art that honor God.  We treasure the rule of law and protect the right to free speech and free expression. We empower women as pillars of our society and of our success.  We put faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, at the center of our lives.

And we debate everything. We challenge everything. We seek to know everything so that we can better know ourselves….

And if we fail to preserve it, it will never, ever exist again. So we cannot fail.

Nice, short sentences.  Easy to understand.  Yes, we have something special and we should preserve it.

Remember the late British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, and her comment, "Europe was created by history. America was created by philosophy."  Per Author Sarah Hoyt, that philosophy gives us a nation, "one founded on the belief that individuals can be self-governing and are the bosses of their own government."

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Thin Skinned


For John, BLUFWe are looking at a temper trantrum.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From a web site identifying itself as American Greatness and the keyboard of Mr Roger Kimball, 5 July 2017.

One of the points Mr Kimball makes is that when it comes to thin skinned, while President Trump is accused of it, in fact it is CNN, and other media, who are the thin skinned ones.

With the wrestling GIF the CNN folks could have said "The President came up with a good one over the weekend.  And it is kind of funny, but we think in a real match we would do much better" and left it at that.  That would have been a win for CNN.

Here is a pertinent quote:

But when it comes to the art of provocation, Trump is a Supreme Galactic Master and the media are weenie pikers.
And here is additional commentary, from Vox, Vox Lectures CNN on Journalistic Ethics.

UPDATE:  Local guy makes good Rob Eno has commented, here.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Six Dead in Chicago


For John, BLUFTell me again how strict gun control works.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



6 Killed, 53 Wounded In Fourth Of July Weekend Shootings In Chicago


That adds up to 59.

CBS News Chicago:

At least 59 people were shot across Chicago, six of them fatally, by Tuesday morning of the Fourth of July weekend.

Last year’s Independence Day weekend ended with 66 people shot — a total that actually stoked cautious optimism with the lowest death toll for the July 4 weekend in nearly a decade.

OK, so it is the four-day holiday weekend, but the count is only up to Independence Day Morning.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

The NYT Vice Trump


For John, BLUFA media in opposition would be a bad thing if it came to war.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From the Ann Althouse Blog.

Here is the original NYT link.

An interesting point by Professor Althouse and an interesting discussion in the comments.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Glenn Greenwald on His Profession


For John, BLUFPresident Trump is living rent free inside the brains of the media.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




This article from The Intercept, is by Reporter Glenn Greenwald, 27 June 2017.

Here is the lede plus one:

THREE PROMINENT CNN journalists resigned Monday night after the network was forced to retract and apologize for a story linking Trump ally Anthony Scaramucci to a Russian investment fund under congressional investigation. That article — like so much Russia reporting from the U.S. media — was based on a single anonymous source, and now, the network cannot vouch for the accuracy of its central claims.

In announcing the resignation of the three journalists — Thomas Frank, who wrote the story (not the same Thomas Frank who wrote “What’s the Matter with Kansas?”); Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Eric Lichtblau, recently hired away from the New York Times; and Lex Haris, head of a new investigative unit — CNN said that “standard editorial processes were not followed when the article was published.” The resignations follow CNN’s Friday night retraction of the story, in which it apologized to Scaramucci:

Toward the end Reporter Greenwald writes:
The importance of this journalistic malfeasance when it comes to Russia, a nuclear-armed power, cannot be overstated. This is the story that has dominated U.S. politics for more than a year. Ratcheting up tensions between these two historically hostile powers is incredibly inflammatory and dangerous. All kinds of claims, no matter how little evidence there is to support them, have flooded U.S. political discourse and have been treated as proven fact. And that’s all independent of how journalistic recklessness fuels, and gives credence to, the Trump administration’s campaign to discredit journalism generally. The president wasted no time exploiting this latest failure to attack the media:

Given the stakes, reporting on these matters should be done with the greatest care. As this long line of embarrassments, retractions, and falsehoods demonstrates, the exact opposite mentality has driven media behavior over the last year.

Mr Glenn Greenwald is a professional reporter.  He knows the trade.  While I think of him as being a left-wing advocate, he tells the story square as he sees it.  Folks should listen to him on this.

Regards  —  Cliff

Pres Trump Says NO to UNESCO


For John, BLUFAnd we should say no.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




Here is the sub-headline:
Haley slams anti-Israel UNESCO vote that would designate historical sites as 'in danger'
This Washington Free Beacon article is by Reporter Adam Kredo, from 3 July 2017.

Here is the lede plus one:

The Trump administration is taking aim at a United Nations body that is trying to deny Israel's sovereignty over holy sites in Jerusalem and the West Bank, according to a letter by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is set to vote this week on a resolution proclaiming that Israel has no sovereignty over Jerusalem, its capital city, and a holy site located in Hebron, which is part of the West Bank.

Comment from Writer Sarah Hoyt:
BUT THEY TOLD ME HE WAS ANTI-SEMITE!  IS HE THAT BAD AT IT?
There are those who keep complaining about President Trump being this and that, but he just keeps plowing ahead trying to make this a better Nation and a better world.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Yes, I am a big supporter of Ambassador Nikki Haley.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

CNN:  No Sense of Humor


For John, BLUFFrankly, I don't care what CNN thinks.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




This is from Breitbart, by Reporter Joel B Pollak, on 3 July 2017

The lede:

CNN is fighting back after President Donald Trump tweeted a spoof video on Sunday showing him wrestling the network to the ground. On Sunday, network commentators described the video as a form of incitement; on Monday, the network reported that the video raised “questions” about “racism, bigotry, and violence … [and] antisemitism.”
This is rubbish.

And as for antisemitism, I bet if the President's Son-in-Law looked he would find way more at CNN than in his Father-in-Law's tweet.

Hat tip to Memeorandum.

Regards  —  Cliff

Milo At Large


For John, BLUFEvery age needs some controversialists.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



Posted at Pajama Media, by Dr Helen Smith, this Independence Day.

The lede:

Milo Yiannopoulos's book Dangerous is out today and it is fitting that it is July 4th.  The fact that Milo can publish and sell his own book despite all of the abuse and criticism he has withstood over the past few years shows that some degree of liberty still exists in the U.S., and that is cause for celebration today.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

For Now


For John, BLUFThings are a mess in the State Capitol, Springfield.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From The Chicago Tribune and Reporters Monique Garcia and Kim Geiger, on 3 July.

I guess the good news is that my Daughter's new home state's Legislature is moving forward on a budget that makes some sense.

On the other hand, Fitch Ratings said:

Fitch said it will "continue to monitor the developments in Illinois," but cautioned that "temporary or partial measures, or a failure to enact a budget within the context of this session, would result in a downgrade."  The agency warned that without action, "the state risks losing full control of its budgetary decisions."
Oh, Oh.

Hat tip to The Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

Coming to America


For John, BLUFThe Lusitanians.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



This is autobiographical writing by Author Sarah Hoyt, late of Portugal and now an American.  It was published by Pajama Media, on 30 June 2017.

She winds up this "love letter" to America thusly:

It is our solemn duty, no matter how many of our compatriots fail at it, to live up to our amazing luck in being citizens of the greatest nation on Earth, one founded on the belief that individuals can be self-governing and are the bosses of their own government.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Most Important Day


For John, BLUFMost important after Pentecost.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



HAPPY  FOURTH


At the end of Mass on Sunday, at Saint Mary's Church in Belleville, the Choir, and the Congregation, sang the first, second and fourth verses of The Battle Hymn of the Republic.  It was inspiring.

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:
  His truth is marching on.

(Chorus) Glory, Glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
  His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps,
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps:
  His day is marching on.

(Chorus) Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
  His day is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me.
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free*,
  While God is marching on.

(Chorus) Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
  While God is marching on.

Still inspiring, a hundred and fifty-six years later.

Although their Lordships at The Wash Post probably think:

Yes, it is overwrought and jingoistic.  It glorifies war.  It trumpets self-righteousness.
Hat tip to the Ann Althouse Blog for that last bit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Violent Rhetoric Bites Democrats


For John, BLUFThe "Bolsheviks" want to rule the world and don't care who they step on.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



From The Hill, by Reporter John Sexton, posted at 1701 on Sunday, 2 July 2017.

The lede:

In California, the far left is going after moderate Democrats with a vengeance.  Using tactics usually reserved for Republicans, the nurses’ union, which is the most vocal proponent of California’s single payer bill, is calling for protests against Democratic members of the Assembly.  The situation has become so ugly, with reports of death threats, that the entire Democratic Assembly caucus signed a letter asking single payer proponents to stop acting like violent bullies.
Well, if they get away with against Republicans, why not against Democrats?

Professor Jacques Berlinerblau, of Georgetown University, had an OpEd in Friday's edition of The Washington Post, "When your next college free speech controversy erupts, don't blame liberals".  His thesis is that there is a third force out there, making life miserable for Republicans and mainstream Democrats alike.

Here is the Professor's ideas in two paragraphs:

There's a lot to be gained by contemplating the tripartite distinction identified above.  College administrations and scholarly societies need to ask themselves why these ideological imbalances are so pronounced.  They might also wonder why it's so hard to identify a fourth camp, comprised of professors whose politics are inscrutable or unpredictable.  (I would hope that my teaching and research places me in that camp.)  The radical left might ponder why the academy is the sole American institution where its ideas hold any sway.  Conservatives have every right to complain about ideological imbalance.  But they need to stop blaming liberals for their misfortune, politically expedient as such a charge might be.

As for liberals, whose core values on issues like freedom of speech are everywhere under assault, they need to define what they actually stand for.  And if it causes tension with their "allies" on the radical left, so be it.

On the other hand, Ed Driscoll, writing for the Instapundit said:
I BLAME THE VIOLENT RHETORIC OF ELIZABETH SANDERS AND BERNIE SANDERS
I am sure he meant Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Living Rent Free In Their Minds


For John, BLUFGoing low invites President Trump to follow suit and he emerges ahead.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




This is Opinionator Byron York, in The Washington Examiner, on 1 July 2017. Here is an excerpt:
Of course one could say that Trump is at fault, that he regularly engages in spats that are beneath the dignity of the presidency.  He should not, for example, respond in kind to “small hands” jabs.  But Trump is Trump.  He does what he does, which is what he did during the campaign and before.  And now, in the White House, he has enlisted his media adversaries, wittingly or not, in a campaign against “fake news” that resonates with his core supporters.

“They like him, they believe in him, they have not to any large degree been shaken from him, and the more the media attacks him, the more it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy on the side of the Trump supporters who fervently believe the media treat him unfairly,” Tony Fabrizio, Trump’s campaign pollster, told the Washington Post.

If you are looking Comments at the InstaPundit, click here.  This item by Mr Byron York isn't the first mention of this phenomenon.  Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds talked about this back on 26 January of this year, with a sub-headline "He's gaslighting them and they fall for it every time."  Here is the lede from that article:
Why are the relations between Donald Trump and the press so bad? There are two reasons.  One is that Trump is a Republican, and the press consists overwhelmingly of Democrats.  But the other reason is that Trump likes it this way, because when the press is constantly attacking him over trivialities, it strengthens his position and weakens the press.  Trump’s “outrageous” statements and tweets aren’t the product of impulsiveness, but part of a carefully maintained strategy that the press is too impulsive to resist.
I agree that rolling around in the mud with Donald J Trump makes the others look muddy, but Mr Trump seems to emerge the same as he went in.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Fake News, Retracted


For John, BLUFLegions of Fact checkers, doing nothing.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




There is no byline, as is to be expected in cases like this.  There is a dateline, Friday, 30 June at 5:32 PM EDT.

So, instead of all 17 Intelligence Agencies agreeing, a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), so to speak, it was just four of the 17.

That works out to 23.52 percent.  Two thirty five is not a good batting average.  Someone should be sent down to the Minors.

And USA Today doubled down back in October, with this headline:

Hillary is correct: 17 intelligence agencies really did say Russia was behind hacking
So, both Mrs Clinton and USA Today had it wrong.

By the way, don't look to Snopes for the straight skinny:

Fake news was a prominent part of the 2016 election cycle, and Americans got a crash course in the ways that foreign powers use propaganda to tamper in elections when the U.S. intelligence community revealed their consensus belief that Russian government hackers interfered in the months leading up to November 2016 to help President Donald Trump secure a victory.
Emphasis Mine
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Confounding Studies


TRIGGER WARNING:  Life isn't fair, even when you try to make it fair.

For John, BLUFWe need to help our little girls grow up to be successful women.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



This is a posting from the InstaPundit, and references the below mentioned study.


The study was to see if going gender blink would allow more women to make the "short list" of applicants for a senior position.&nnbsp; That is, would be part of the shrunk down list of applicants from which the selected person would be picked.

In the study, for applications reviewed with a male given name the applicant's chances were down 3.2 percent, but with a female given name the changes of being hired went up 2.9 percent.  Then there is the situation where there is no name mentioned and

We anticipated this would have a positive impact on diversity — making it more likely that female candidates and those from ethnic minorities are selected for the shortlist,” said Professor Michael Hiscox, a Harvard academic.  “We found the opposite, that de-identifying candidates reduced the likelihood of women being selected for the shortlist.
Something is going on here.  Maybe it isn't that boys need to be more like girls in school, but girls need to be more like boys.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, June 30, 2017

Slow Motion Disaster


For John, BLUFWhich is why I am leaving Illinois before the end of next week.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From The Old Gray Lady and Reporters Julie Bosman andMonica Davey.  The dateline is 29 June 2017.

Here is the first part of the article:

Road construction and bridge repairs may come to a halt.

At least one agency has threatened to downgrade Illinois’s credit rating to junk, a crippling borrowing position no state has ever seen.

And in perhaps the most visible and immediate sign of the pressure on Illinois leaders to solve their budget standoff at long last, the multistate lotteries — Mega Millions and Powerball — are to be suspended.

With hours left before Illinois begins an unprecedented third year without a full budget, warring leaders were still trying to strike a deal in a political and fiscal crisis that has engulfed the state since 2015.

After two years without a budget, many people who depend on state services — public university students, drug addicts, troubled teenagers, the elderly — have already felt the repercussions.

But perhaps the most peculiar part of this endless budget standoff has been the opposite:  Life has gone on uninterrupted for many residents.  Because of court orders and other stopgap measures, state workers were paid.  Schools opened.  Prisons functioned.  Roads were built.  After a while, some people seemed to grow inured to the risks and consequences of a budget deadlock.

“This impasse has been very cleverly designed to minimize the immediate obvious impact on middle-class families that don’t have a need for state-funded social services,” said Andrea Durbin, the chief executive of the Illinois Collaboration on Youth, an association for providers of youth and family services.

“The people who get impacted are the people who are sick, who need the support from the state to be safe and healthy and get back on their feet and become self-sufficient, or to live their final days in dignity,” Ms. Durbin said.

The Illinois State Comptroller, Ms Susan A Mendosa, says:
she foresees “unmanageable financial strains” starting in July.
July starts tomorrow.  But, the first four days are two days of a weekend, a Monday before a holiday and then a National Holiday.  Then we get serious about July.

The backlog in money owed is over $15 billion, which is big money at the state level.  It is over one-third the size of the Massachusetts State Budget.

On the other hand, Ms Mendoza is a Democrat and the budget impasse is between a Republican Governor and a Democratic Party controlled Legislature.  It is easy to say it is just politics, but it is actually two different philosophies of how to handle the responsibilities of State Government.

Regards  —  Cliff

Illinois Fiscal Problems


For John, BLUFWhat does happen when a State can't meet its obligations?  Nothing to see here; just move along.




Here is the sub-headline:
Two years without a budget has left a mammoth past-due backlog, with hospitals, dentists and university towns feeling the pain
It is The Wall Street Journal (and no paywall), by Reporters Shibani Mahtani and Douglas Belkin, on the 27th of June 2017.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Where To With the ACA

TRIGGER WARNINGS:  Health Care is not "A Right", as is Free Speech or Gun Ownership.  Just like four lane roads are not a right.
For John, BLUFIf Democrats don't work with Republicans, and President aTrump, it could be a major problem, and Mr Twitter could pin it on the Democrats for 2018.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



Reporter Kathryn Watson, for CBS News, early on the 29th of June 2017.

The lede:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is delaying the vote on the Senate health care bill -- originally slated to take place before the July 4 holiday -- while a number of GOP senators remain opposed to their own party's unpopular proposal.
Informative, but I fear incomplete.

The article mentions CRS, or cost-sharing reduction payments, which the Trump Administration might not continue.  Not mentioned is the questionable legality of CRSs, an issue wending its way through the courts.

Then there is the question of blocks of the economy on waivers from "ObamaCare".  Have they ended?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Democrat Religion Problem


For John, BLUFThere are a lot of voters out there with religious feelings.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




It is The Old Gray Lady, By Professor Daniel K Williams, an OpEd on 23 June 2017.

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

Mass Extinction


For John, BLUFThere are powerful natural forces out there, determining our fate.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From The New York Post and Reporter Ron Hogan 24 June 2017.

Here is the lede:

Most of us know about the asteroid that hit Earth just off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula 65 million years ago and wiped out the dinosaurs, but that’s not the whole story.  Many scientists now believe the 110-mile-wide rock may have been only partially responsible for the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous Period, pointing to a volcanic field in modern India that erupted around the same time, flooding the land with hot lava and turning the oceans to acid.  One of the few reasons some birds, the last vestiges of the dinosaur age, were able to survive the slaughter was that they were burrowers who rode out the disaster underground.
Here is the second paragraph:
And that’s only the most recent of Earth’s major life-threatening crises. In his new book, “The Ends of the World:  Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and Our Quest to Understand Earth’s Past Mass Extinctions” (Ecco), science writer Peter Brannen criss-crosses North America to review what we know about the moments when life on our planet was knocked down, only to get back up again.  It’s a story that begins 450 million years ago, at the end of the Ordovician Period, which fell victim to a global warming that caused a 100-foot rise in the sea level, flooding the early continents.
The article then goes on to list other extinction events.

The article concludes:

“You can’t beat [human] culture for resisting all kinds of horrific things,” another scientist tells Brannen, adding that it’s more likely “quality of life is going to go down the tubes” for most people than that we’d actually die out as a species.  It’s even possible that, as the northern hemisphere once again begins losing sunlight, we may be raising the earth’s temperature just enough to save ourselves from a long-overdue ice age.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Immigration and Terrorists


For John, BLUFSo, a little hiatus and a new vetting process might be of value.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




This is old news (8 May 2017), but pertinent.  The source is National Review and the author is Mr Mark Krikorian.

Here is a key paragraph:

Comey’s testimony last week revealed the consequences of this lack of information.  While most of the time he was asked about Hillary’s e-mails and Russia, Russia, Russia, Sen. Tillis asked about terrorism investigations.  (See the transcript of the Wednesday, May 3, hearing here.)  Comey responded that out of 2,000-plus “violent extremist investigations … about 300 of them are people who came to the United States as refugees.”
Well, not a yuge number, but still a sizable number.

And, the SCOTUS move on the Trump Executive Order on a travel ban, announced yesterday and already gone from Memeorandum, seems to reflect the idea that there is a problem out there and the President has the authority to deal with it.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Feral Children


For John, BLUFTo much respect for credentialed authority and not enough independent thinking.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




This is a commentary by Science Fiction Writer Sarah Hoyt, back on 24 June 2017.

Here is the lede:

I don’t believe in grand historical conspiracies, or in designs that go on over generations.  The right suffers from a bad case of “the individualists failed to organize” and the left, by now in their third generation of social dominance, are approaching the sort of behavior and IQ one saw in the last days of the Soviet Union.  Or if you prefer, Marxist scientific efficiency has given us in three generations what it took the royal houses of Europe sixteen generations of inbreeding to achieve:  an “elite” so profoundly dumb they couldn’t pour p*ss out a boot with instructions on both sides.
My recollection is the expression is "with instructions written on the heel".  But, you get the idea.

Somewhere in this article, which you should read in its entirety, the author introduces the term "Reeeee brigades".  As in that is the sound they make as they protest how awful the current world is and how they are going to fix it.  Nothing coherent, just noise.

Down in the article are these two paragraphs, which capture an important point.  Marxism, in its various forms, promises the make a perfect world, but, Israel aside, hasn't.  On the other hand, the freedom that we characterize as the "Rights of Englishmen" has moved the ball quite a way down field.

Western civilization is not – of course, being human – perfect.  It has had its share of monsters and madmen.  We were, after all, responsible for Marx, whose ideas have been a worse scourge in Africa than all the supposed greedy colonialists.

We are, however, simply put, the most successful human civilization ever.  That is, if you judge success in terms of “fed the most people” and “lifted most of the world above the demands of immediate need”, to be able to create and think as never before.  Other things we’ve done go a long way to eliminate the quotidian misery of disease and push back aging by decades.

And Ms Hoyt concludes:
More importantly, tell your kids their school books are full of hokum. Mock the idiocy on exhibit. Make fun of it.  Yes, I’m telling you they need to disrespect their teachers “authority.”  In fact, you should make fun of it as much as possible.  What part of Americanism was ever “respect authority?” Particularly when that authority is destroying us from within.

Disprove, mock, giggle, guffaw.  The only answer to the Reeeee brigades is to show them for what they are:  Malignant, ignorant children, who deserve no more respect than their malignant, ignorant father and his Communist Manifesto.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Did the FBI Go Against Michael Flynn?


For John, BLUFMaybe "This City" is more of a swamp than we thought.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From Circa, by Reporters John Solomon and Sara Carter, 26 June 2017.

Here are the first three paragraphs:

The FBI launched a criminal probe against former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn two years after the retired Army general roiled the bureau’s leadership by intervening on behalf of a decorated counterterrorism agent who accused now-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe and other top officials of sexual discrimination, according to documents and interviews.

Flynn’s intervention on behalf of Supervisory Special Agent Robyn Gritz was highly unusual, and included a letter in 2014 on his official Pentagon stationary, a public interview in 2015 supporting Gritz’s case and an offer to testify on her behalf.  His offer put him as a hostile witness in a case against McCabe, who was soaring through the bureau’s leadership ranks.

The FBI sought to block Flynn’s support for the agent, asking a federal administrative law judge in May 2014 to keep Flynn and others from becoming a witness in her Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) case, memos obtained by Circa show.  Two years later, the FBI opened its inquiry of Flynn.

I guess I am now a member of the conspiracy crowd.

Heck, even CNN is accepting the view that some of this stuff is rubbish, and here also.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Next


For John, BLUFIntolerance of the opinions of other is as common.  In the past politeness and custom and the First Amendment has protected us from the Zealots.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




This Samizdata item from 18 June, was posted by Mr Niall Kilmartin (Stirling).

I forward this because:

  1. Leni Riefenstahl was a talented filmmaker when she teamed up with the National Socialists.  Her movie Triumph of the Will (Triumph des Willens) captures the 1934 National Socialist Party Congress in Nuremberg, which was attended by more than 700,000 supporters.  She lost her perspective.
  2. The Samizdata post is about how the Social Justice Warriors of our day are acting like Maoist acolytes during the Cultural Revolution, or National Socialists in 1930s Germany (before the death camps) in going after Author Sarah Hoyt.
Here is part of the blog post, the part that deals with Ms Leni Riefenstahl:
Late one night near the start of the 1930s in Germany, Leni Riefenstahl dropped in on friends whose house she chanced to pass as she returned from the very first Nazi rally she attended.  For ten minutes, she raved about the the glorious future awaiting National Socialism, the insight of Hitler – until the expressions on the faces of her stunned-into-silence hosts finally penetrated the haze she was in and she recalled that this married couple (that she’d been friends with for years) were two of her several Jewish friends.  She murmured something about how she was sure that aspect of National Socialism would not amount to anything that need concern them.  Then she finished her coffee and left. She never came back. Her circle of friends changed to contain fewer Jews, then fewer still.

(Leni’s next chance to meet Jews in numbers came in the early 1940s, when she borrowed concentration camp inmates to be extras in crowd scenes in her films, returning them to the camps after their scenes were shot. The couple who gave her coffee were not among them.  Before that night, they were typical intellectuals, sure that National Socialists were all very stupid self-defeating people.  That a girl like Leni – clever, strong-willed, career-minded, inventive, unorthodox – could become one was incomprehensible to them, so incomprehensible that it shattered their intellectuals’ conviction that they were the ones who understood things.  Therefore they fled Germany early and so they lived – long enough to tell the story of that night on a television programme I watched long ago.)

This kind of thing is abroad in the land.  I am sure the Progressives will think this post is about President Donald Trump and Les Deplorables.  Just as strongly I think this post is about the Progressives and their Social Justice Warriors.

The thing is, next they will be coming for you.

Hat tip to the Samizdata.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Democrats and Faith


For John, BLUFMaybe the DNC should pay for rising Dem politicians to intern at Funeral Homes for six months.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




This Opinion Piece in The New York Times was written by Professor Daniel K Williams.  It was published on Friday, 23 June, after the Democratic Party Candidate, Mr Jon Ossoff, lost the race for US Representative from Georgia's Sixth Congressional District.

Apparently some radio interviewer talked Mr Ossoff into proposing to his long term girlfriend.  It appears that neither Mr Ossoff, nor his advisors, thought that his long term relationship would be an issue in the Sixth Congressional District.  I am guessing he was wrong.  That inability to understand the faith grounding of many voters is what Professor Williams talks about in his OpEd.

Here are two paragraphs that seem to capture the situation:

Yet now younger, secular Democrats are attempting to separate their party’s progressive values from those religious traditions.  Some may belong to a religious tradition or consider themselves to be spiritual people, but they are not able to speak the language of a communally based faith because it does not inform or shape their political views.

This has posed a problem at the polls, because most Democratic voters are not as secular as these activists might assume.  While only 47 percent of white, college-educated Democrats identify as Christians, Christianity remains the faith of 81 percent of African-American Democrats and 76 percent of Latino Democrats.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Teaches History at the University of West Georgia.  He is the author of God’s Own Party: The Making of the Christian Right, which examines the Evangelical movement to the Republican Party.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Current Russia Meddling Story


For John, BLUFThe story of Russian meddling in our presidential election seems built on shifting sands.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From The Washington Post, by Reporters Greg Miller, Ellen Nakashima and Adam Entous, on 23 June 2017.

Here are some excerpts, with comments:

In political terms, Russia’s interference was the crime of the century, an unprecedented and largely successful destabilizing attack on American democracy. It was a case that took almost no time to solve, traced to the Kremlin through cyber-forensics and intelligence on Putin’s involvement. And yet, because of the divergent ways Obama and Trump have handled the matter, Moscow appears unlikely to face proportionate consequences.
Really?  Maybe the Twenty-First Century, but surely within the last 64 years there have been other such actions.  The Iranian nation, or at least the Iranian Government, is patently unwilling to forgive us for the overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister Muhammad Mossadegh'S Government, back in 1952.  Then there is the overthrow of the Salvador Allende Government in Chile, which many see as the work of the US CIA.
“The punishment did not fit the crime,” said Michael McFaul, who served as U.S. ambassador to Russia for the Obama administration from 2012 to 2014. “Russia violated our sovereignty, meddling in one of our most sacred acts as a democracy — electing our president. The Kremlin should have paid a much higher price for that attack. And U.S. policymakers now — both in the White House and Congress — should consider new actions to deter future Russian interventions.”
How high a price do we want Russia to pay?  If they think we are messing with their internal systems will they see it as tit-for-tat or as an act of war?  And planting hidden disruptive programs within their internet systems will surely disturb them..  The Obama Official quoted may like the punishment before the trial approach, but I find it to be disturbing.

Early drafts accused Putin by name, but the reference was removed out of concern that it might endanger intelligence sources and methods.
But, now it is OK to tie his name to this?  What changed to remove the concern about intelligence sources and methods?  I am betting nothing and this is just reckless leaking and journalism.  Ego before common sense.

… Putin, motivated by a seething resentment of Clinton, was prepared to go beyond fake news and email dumps.
Now here is an important motivating factor.  Why would President Putin have "a seething resentment" of Ms Clinton?  Could it be because as Secretary of State Mrs Clinton meddled in internal Russian politics?  The alternative would likely be that Mr Putin felt he was betrayed in some financial dealings.

This carcass is beginning to smell.

Hat tip to Memeorandum.

Regards  —  Cliff