Saturday, September 23, 2017

Genetic Defects


For John, BLUFSorry about that.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




This is from Business Insider, Zach Williams and Jessica Orwig reporting, 21 September 2017.

If I understand this correctly, we are all blue eyed, but normally people have an additional factor in their genes which gives them another eye color.  Blue eyes themselves are a genetic defect.  That is interesting.

The other interesting thing is that I had understood the blue eye problem to come from the south shore of the Black Sea.  The graphic has it coming out of Africa.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, September 22, 2017

Comparisons


For John, BLUFIncentives are important, but not sufficient.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




This is from the blog Chicago Boyz, posted by Mr David Foster, 22 September 2017.

And this is why Venezuela is in trouble.

Regards  —  Cliff

Protecting Young Girls


For John, BLUFHow much multiculturalism do you want?  Nothing to see here; just move along.




I am assuming this is the normal "scare" headline we are used to, but it is concerning.  The article, from the Metro, by Reporter Oliver McAteer, is datelined 19 September 2017, in New York City.

The sub-headline is:

Some practitioners are happy to perform brutal female genital mutilation (FGM) procedures on little girls on kitchen tables in New York City, warns a leading organization.

Here are the first three paragraphs.  Here is a link to a discussion of FGM.

More than 48,400 women and girls in the state of New York are at risk of or have undergone FGM, estimates the Population Reference Bureau.

And the AHA Foundation — a global activist group fighting for an end to violence against women — says these terrifying and brutal procedures are happening right under our noses.

Senior director Amanda Parker told Metro US:  ‘With that number of at risk women and girls from communities where FGM is practiced in the state, with a large concentration in New York City, we are deluding ourselves if we think it’s not happening right in Manhattan.

Shouldn't folks be speaking out?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

After the IRS For Political Actions


For John, BLUFIt seems the IRS is just not able to outrun their past actions.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From the TaxProf Blog and Tax Prof Paul Caron, on Friday, 22 September 2017, we have a link to a an item in the Cincinnati Enquirer, New Details Emerge in Tea Party Suit Against IRS Here is the lede plus four:
The IRS used the political views of conservative "tea party" groups trying to get nonprofit status as a reason for extra scrutiny and continued delaying applications until 2013 — long after they said they'd stopped — new federal court filings allege.

The new accusations counter previous IRS claims that agents did not consider political beliefs when slowing down tax-exempt applications from right-leaning groups in the months leading up to the 2012 presidential election.

The IRS had instead argued that it was merely monitoring whether the groups were conducting more political activity than was allowed.

The filings by conservative groups suing the IRS also state the agency continued the practice after IRS officials said it had stopped in 2011. …

"By trying to make this about whether this was done to help Obama win is setting the goalpost artificially too high," Eddie Greim, a lawyer representing conservative groups in the class-action suit, said in an interview with The Enquirer.  "All we have to prove is whether they had the intent and if they indeed treated a set of groups differently based on their ideology."

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, September 21, 2017

EU Struggles in Brexit Negotiations


For John, BLUFThis could ripple through to jobs in the US.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




That would be 66 year old French politician Michel Bernard Barnier, who is the European Union Chief Negotiator for Brexit.

I ripped this off from Guido Fawkes at the Blog Site Order-Order.

Two interesting quotes on Newsnight suggesting that at least some Europeans are pushing Barnier and the Commission to take a more reasonable negotiating stance.  Geert Bourgeois, the head of the Flemish government, stressed the need for trade talks:  “I’ve met twice Barnier.  I brought him to Zeebrugge.  45% of the trade of the export from Zeebrugge is to the United Kingdom, so that’s why I do my best to influence all the people, the ambassadors of the surrounding countries, to work together”.  Xavier Bertrand, the influential French politician who runs the Hauts-de-France region, says Brussels’ tone should change:
“I know one thing for sure – nobody has the right to punish the UK and the British people.  It was a sovereign choice… punishing and looking to punish is a terrible mistake.  It would be a bad message to send.  It was the will of the people who voted, regardless of the consequences.  It would give rise to the feeling that there’s something with more power than the will of the people, or wanting to go against the will of the people. That would be a terrible error.”
The suggestion in today’s papers is that May’s speech will aim to go over the head of Barnier and appeal to the EU27 to break the deadlock.  Clearly it is in the interests of EU politicians like the two above to do that.
You say, so what.  The so what is that a too arrogant approach on the part of the European Union toward Brexit would mean a disruption of trade, with resulting reductions in jobs and wages in both the EU and the UK.

Selfishly, I hope it means that the US capitalizes on this EU faux pas and develops stronger relations with the United Kingdom.

Hat tip to Order-Order.

Regards  —  Cliff

  When the Speaker of the House of Commons wishes to bring order back to an unruly house she or he says "Order, Order".  The best in my living memory was The Right Honourable Betty Boothroyd, MP for West Bromwich West

Is the "Right" Done in Europe?


For John, BLUFSunday could offer up a surprise for Germany and others.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From Reuters and Reporter Madeline Chambers, on 21 September 2017.

The lede plus two:

BERLIN (Reuters) - Fears that apathy could boost the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) in an election on Sunday have driven Chancellor Angela Merkel and her main rival to urge their backers to go out and vote.

With many voters viewing a fourth term for Merkel as almost inevitable and put off by a turgid campaign - occasionally punctured by heckling and tomato hurling in protest at Merkel's refugee policy - pollsters say turnout may be low.

A GMS poll on Thursday said 34 percent were not planning to vote or were undecided, higher than the 29 percent who did not cast ballots in the last election in 2013.

Here is part of the reason for Chancellor Angela Merkel's concern:


Source is Pajama Media and Writer Bruce Baker, 20 September 2017.

Remember, Chancellor Merkel has been very pro-immigration, very pro-refugee settlement.

And here is one vignette within the article:

On September 14, CNN's website ran a story about gays in Germany who are supporting the Alternativ f├╝r Deutschland (AfD). A middle-aged Bremen couple interviewed for the piece had been violently gay-bashed by “two locally known Muslim extremists” who “were never arrested and later fled to Syria.” After failing to receive justice from local prosecutors and the mayor's office, the couple had cast their lot in with AfD.

“I don't like everything they say,” admitted one of the two gay men, a longtime leftist and former Green Party voter, “but this is too dangerous for gay people to live openly here, if we get attacked like that. We need a party that's talking openly about this.” Like FN, AfD opposes same-sex marriage – but also has gay people in its leadership, and is supported by a higher percentage of gays than of straights.

If betting I would be on Chancellor Merkel, but I think I would not be surprised if she ended up like Ms Clinton.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Being Permanently Irritated


For John, BLUFDoes everything trigger us now.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




This is from the blog The Declination and the Blogger Dystopic, 19 September 2017.

Here is the lede plus one:

The recent kerfuffle over Clay Travis and his trademark phrase “I like the First Amendment and… boobs” has flooded social media these last few days.  And it brings up a fascinating amount of cognitive dissonance.  Keith Reed, who immediately white-knighted on behalf of poor, offended Brooke Baldwin, posted frequently on the subject of boobs, ass, and attractive women on his public social media pages.  Brooke herself frequently wears things that accentuate her breasts and has ‘suffered’ references to boobs many times before.  The outrage over the mere mention of boobs is all fake.

The thing of it is, today people often take things out of context deliberately in order to feel the rush of being offended; to get attention and sympathy from others.  Being offended supplies a person with increased social status.  Being offended makes them powerful for a moment.  So any opportunity that presents itself, even if deliberately taken out of context or obviously exaggerated, is quickly embraced.  Brooke and Keith both saw golden opportunities to be offended by Clay Travis mentioning boobs.

This seems to be a modern version of a Kulturkampf.

Wikipedia bios:

Clay Travis
Keith Reed
Brooke Baldwin
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Edward McDonald (RIP)



Overnight my Brother-in-Law, Edward (Mic) McDonald, passed away, quietly in his sleep.

When we last saw him, a few weeks ago, he was still up and about and chipper, reading a novel about Nazi Occupied France.

Mic lived a full and productive life.  He was from Janesville, Wisconsin, and graduated from Purdue University as a Pharmacist.  He had a career in drug sales with Eli Lilly, including an assignment at their "staff college".  Later he helped form a startup company that tested blood gases during operations.  The company sold to 3M and Mic bought a trawler, Pendragon, and Summered in Seattle and Wintered in Laguna.

Mic is survived by his wife and two daughters, and, of course, my wife.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Surveillance Within Trump Tower


For John, BLUFOf course there was, but who cares now?  Nothing to see here; just move along.



Here is the short form version of the story.


This is from Real Clear Politics and Reporter Tim Hains, posted 20 September 2017.  It includes a video.

Here is the lede plus three:

According to a new report from CNN, Paul Manafort, who for a time last year was the Trump campaign chairman, was indeed wiretapped by the federal government, both before and after the election.

Manafort, it ought to be noted, had an apartment inside Trump Tower at that time, so it is virtually certain that surveillance of him would have included other members of the Trump campaign staff, maybe even Trump himself.  In other words, it looks like Trump's tweet may have been right.  So why did three top members of Congress from both parties, and the country's top law enforcement officers all assure us that the surveillance didn't happen?  That there wasn't a shred of evidence to suggest it had happened? Were they lying or did tey simply not know?

Neither answer is comforting.

Either the intelligence agency has gone rogue, pursuing its own goals without meaningful oversight from elected officials, or, our elected officials are colluding with each other to lie to the public, apparently for political reasons.

Don't you wish Richard Nixon was still in the White House?  If he was this would are a major scandal.

Here is the long form version of the story.


The sub-headline is:

Obama had to spy on Trump to protect himself.

From Front Page Magazine and Writer Daniel Greenfield, it has a dateline of 20 September 2017.

The lede and a few:

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.

Last week, CNN revealed (and excused) one phase of the Obama spying operation on Trump.  After lying about it on MSNBC, Susan Rice admitted unmasking the identities of Trump officials to Congress.

Rice was unmasking the names of Trump officials a month before leaving office.  The targets may have included her own successor, General Flynn, who was forced out of office using leaked surveillance.

While Rice’s targets weren’t named, the CNN story listed a meeting with Flynn, Bannon and Kushner.

Bannon was Trump’s former campaign chief executive and a senior adviser.  Kushner is a senior adviser.  Those are exactly the people you spy on to get an insight into what your political opponents plan to do.

Now the latest CNN spin piece informs us that secret FISA orders were used to spy on the conversations of Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.  The surveillance was discontinued for lack of evidence and then renewed under a new warrant.  This is part of a pattern of FISA abuses by Obama Inc. which never allowed minor matters like lack of evidence to dissuade them from new FISA requests.

Desperate Obama cronies had figured out that they could bypass many of the limitations on the conventional investigations of their political opponents by ‘laundering’ them through national security.

I am hoping the current Ken Burns series on Viet-nam will talk about the Domestic Spying that went on in the 1960s and early 1970s.  Things covered by the Church Committee.  Then there was the veneer of national security.  Today it is just politics.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  I wonder if Mrs Clinton thinks back to her time on the Senate Watergate Committee as a staffer and thinks about how wrong President Nixon was, or if she thinks that he was just wrong to get caught.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Defenestration


For John, BLUFEventually they will be coming for Ladd and Whitney, because they had great uncles who were once slave holders.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



From The New York Post, by Mr Karol Markowicz, 17 September 2017.

Here is the lede plus a few paragraphs:

After last month’s violent clashes in Charlottesville, Va., that left one woman dead and many others injured, the left has focused not on some sort of national healing but on destruction — specifically, of old statues of long-dead men.

And it doesn’t much matter what those men stood for.  America’s culture of idol worship and public defenestration has come for anything set in stone.

Last Tuesday, a statue of Christopher Columbus in Central Park had its hands painted red and a sinister message warning “#somethingscoming” was spray-painted on the statue’s base.  That same day, protesters covered a Thomas Jefferson statue at the University of Virginia with a black sheet.  On Wednesday in Baltimore, a monument to Francis Scott Key, author of “The Star Spangled Banner,” was defaced with the words “Racist Anthem.”  On Thursday, Wall Street’s “charging bull” was covered in blue paint.

Conservatives and President Trump warned the vandalism of Confederate monuments was a slippery slope. Liberals scoffed.

. . .

The differences were so obvious, we were told, that common sense would prevail.  It was the triumph of hope over experience.  Anyone who doesn’t line up with current progressive social mores is out.  The war isn’t on history; it’s on anything that isn’t specifically leftist — now, today, subject to change tomorrow.

There is no telling where this may go.  What will be needed to please the crowd next time.  It is almost like the Roman Circus, but without the animals being involved.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Adjusting the Settled Science

TRIGGER WARNINGS:  Our understanding of science evolves, as we learn more.  The other option is to become more ignorant as Normals become smarter.

For John, BLUFSo, 1.5 C (As in Communist) is like 2.7 Fahrenheit.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



From Ms Natalie Solent, of Essex, at Samizdata, 18 September 2017.  She describes herself thusly—"I remain more of a believer in anthropogenic climate change than many here, but after three or four cycles of this, cynicism does creep in."

Here is how the Blog Post starts:

As ever, Paris was the place to see really hot models, but you have missed your chance.  A couple of years ago they were basking in the admiration of the world. Now, they are looking a little old.  However you can still read about them in today’s Times:
We were wrong — worst effects of climate change can be avoided, say scientists

Catastrophic impacts of climate change can still be avoided, according to scientists who have admitted they were too pessimistic about the chances of limiting global warming.

The world has warmed more slowly than had been predicted by computer models, which were “on the hot side” and overstated the impact of emissions on average temperature, research has found.

New forecasts suggest that the world has a better chance than claimed of meeting the goal set by the Paris Agreement on climate change of limiting warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

The study, published in the prestigious journal Nature Geoscience, makes clear that rapid reductions in emissions will still be required but suggests that the world has more time to make the necessary changes.

Michael Grubb, professor of international energy and climate change at University College London and one of the study’s authors, admitted that his previous prediction had been wrong.

Here is how it ends, with a bit of snark:
He [Professor Grubb] said that too many of the models used “were on the hot side”, meaning they forecast too much warming.

See, I promised you hot models and here are so many hot models, you may even get tired of hot models.

Another approach may be that this is mainly an engineering problem, in which the engineering has to stay ahead of the climate changes.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, September 18, 2017

Smeared by SPLC


For John, BLUFHow can you be Female and Black and be Conservative, unless you reasoned your way to that position?  Nothing to see here; just move along.



The sub-headline:

I paid a professional price when the group attacked me in 2009. Now I wear its mud as a badge of honor.

From The Wall Street Journal, an OpEd from Professor Carol M Swain, 11 September 2017.

From the article:

Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, was to testify before the House Homeland Security Committee about threats posed by domestic extremist groups.  The hearing, scheduled for Tuesday, has been postponed because of Hurricane Irma.  As a black conservative who has been smeared by the SPLC, I recommend against reinviting Mr. Cohen.

When Morris Dees and Joseph J. Levin Jr. started the SPLC in 1971, it was needed and it had noble goals. In recent years, however, it has become a tool of the radical left.  Domestically, it uses its influence to paint with a broad brush that smears immigration restrictionists, orthodox Christian churches and pro-family organizations as “hate groups.”

What landed me in the SPLC’s crosshairs was a Sept. 10, 2009, Huffington Post blog entry titled “Mission Creep and the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Misguided Focus.”  I pointed out the SPLC’s silence about video footage released after the 2008 elections showing members of the New Black Panther Party, decked out in full paramilitary regalia, patrolling a polling precinct in Philadelphia where they were clearly intimidating white voters.

Although several news organizations covered the story, the SPLC ignored the incident.  At the time, the law center was spending an inordinate amount of time attacking then-CNN host Lou Dobbs for his relentless focus on illegal immigration.  It demanded that CNN fire the anchor. After CNN and Mr. Dobbs parted ways, the SPLC took credit for getting him off the air.  I ended my post with a one-liner that raised the ire of the organization and had a devastating effect on my life.  I wrote: “Rather than monitoring hate groups, the Southern Poverty Law Center has become one.”

The SPLC’s retaliation was vicious and effective.  On Oct. 17, 2009, my photo appeared on the front page of my local newspaper, the Tennessean, with the headline “Carol Swain is an apologist for white supremacists.”  That was a quote from Mark Potok, at the time the SPLC’s national spokesman.  The context for Mr. Potok’s attack was a review I gave for a film titled “A Conversation About Race.”  I endorsed it for classroom use because it offered a perspective on race rarely encountered on university campuses.  Mr. Potok argued that the filmmaker was a bigot.  I felt then and now that the perspective needed to be heard.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

I stand with Ms Swain.

Regards  —  Cliff

Man Bites Dog Story


For John, BLUFYour City (or State) suing you in court for asking questions.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



From the Associated Press, Reporter Ryan J Foley, 19 September 2017.

The lede plus one:

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — An Oregon parent wanted details about school employees getting paid to stay home.  A retired educator sought data about student performance in Louisiana.  And college journalists in Kentucky requested documents about the investigations of employees accused of sexual misconduct.

Instead, they got something else:  sued by the agencies they had asked for public records.

This is just flat wrong.

The General Court should act to ban this kind of thing.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Autobiography Intro


For John, BLUFMy Father used to say "Threw away the baby and raised the afterbirth."  Must be a 1940s quip.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




This is from Ms Elizabeth Scalia, at Aleteia, on 13 September 2017.

I am reluctant to quote a big swath of some blog, but this is too good to not drag you into it.  Ms Scalia has dummied up an intro to her own future autobiography, based on the recent offering of Ms Hillary Clinton.  Here it is:

When she was pregnant with me, my mother gained 70lbs and her doctor was convinced she would be giving birth to twins.  In the instinctive way of knowing that predated sonograms, my mother assured him, “there’s just one baby.”

“I don’t know, you’re pretty huge,” he told her as he lit a cigarette for himself, and one for her.

His conviction held until several minutes after my birth.  The way my mother told it, she had just enjoyed a plate of spaghetti and meatballs when her labor began and, “I walked right into the delivery room with my coat still on.”

A few minutes later the doctor limped in.  “He only had one leg,” my mother always made sure to add, “because the other one got blown off in World War II, so we called him Doctor Pegleg.”

This was a lie.  He wore no prosthetic at all and lumbered around on crutches, but my mother relished little flourishes like that, so Dr. Pegleg he remained.

“After he delivered you, he kept reaching around and even ordered a sandbag to be put on my stomach! I said, ‘what are you doing?’ and he said, ‘I’m looking for the other baby.’

‘There is no other baby!’ I told him, and when he finally got the placenta out he believed me.  Then, standing on the one leg, he lifted you up in both of his hands, like he was making an offering to the sun, and started to sing ‘When Irish Eyes are Smiling.’”

“I always tell people I threw away the baby and kept the afterbirth,” she would add.

From there, things went downhill pretty quickly.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Land of the American Dream


For John, BLUFRather than building a wall, should be just abolish the border?  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From The Brookings Institution and Mr William A. Galston, back on Wednesday, 13 September 2017.

Here is the lede:

When Donald Trump announced his decision to end DACA—former president Obama’s program to protect the so-called Dreamers from arrest and deportation—in six months and threw the issue to Congress, he pleased his core supporters. However, it turns out that for many Americans, the issue of keeping or cancelling DACA is not the same as the question of what to do about the Dreamers.
So, what we are seeing is that supporters of President Trump may be more nuanced in their views than they are given credit for.  Yes to the 800,000 illegal immigrants under DACA, but no to any further immigration.  The appears to be President Trump's position.

What is Congress's position?

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, September 15, 2017

The South Will Rise Again


For John, BLUFIn Democrat run cities.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From The Boston Globe and the Associated Press, today, 15 September 2017.

The lede;

CHICAGO — Attorney General Jeff Sessions can’t follow through — at least for now — with his threat to withhold public safety grant money to Chicago and other so-called sanctuary cities for refusing to impose new tough immigration policies, a judge ruled Friday in a legal defeat for the Trump administration.
Remember, back in your history lessons in school, how all those Democratic Party controlled Southern States used to defy the Federal Government?  It is the same old game, except it has shifted from Democratic Politician controlled states to Democratic Party controlled cities and now they are suing in Federal Courts where they hope to get favorable rulings.

Regards  —  Cliff

  One time President Eisenhower Federalized the Arkansas National Guard to turn them from defying the order of a Federal Judge to enforcing it.

538 On Hillary's Book


For John, BLUFThis isn't the last word.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




This is "A FiveThirtyEight Chat" (or Roundtable).

The date is 13 September 2017.

In this week’s politics chat, we talk about Hillary Clinton’s new book. The transcript below has been lightly edited.
Regards  —  Cliff

Protecting Our Rights


For John, BLUFA too quick move for punishment can leave justice in the dust.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




An OpEd by Mr Bret Stephens, 8 September 2017, in The Old gray Lady.

Here are two paragraphs from well down in the OpED:

The travesties of justice carried out under the new Title IX guidelines have been the subject of some excellent books and superb journalism, none better than Emily Yoffe’s in The Atlantic.  And yet the response of the progressive left has been indifferent or worse.

On Thursday, the social activist Amy Siskind tweeted that the conservative writer David French should “ST­čüóU with your hackneyed due process talking point” after the latter pointed out that “campus kangaroo courts violate fundamental rights.”

"Hackneyed" due process?  Ms Siskind is ignorant.  Due process is what keeps the law on the rails.  And the Government, with its vast powers.

In the 1966 play A Man for All Seasons, the case is well put by Sir Thomas, talking to his Son-in-Law, Mr William Roper, MP.

William Roper:  So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!

Sir Thomas More:  Yes!  What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

William Roper:  Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!

Sir Thomas More:  Oh?  And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat?  This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's!  And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?  Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!

This is the kind of understand totally lacking on the part of the Antifa movement, and by Progressives who adhere to them and their approach to freedom.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  "Hackneyed" is a term used when legitimate arguments are not working.  It is a weak response.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

This is Disappointing


For John, BLUFMaybe Candidate Trump's victory convinced the Democrats walking the corridors of power that some malignant outside force must have been at work.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




Back on or about 4 April 2017.

This is a report from The Federalist, written by Mr David Harsanyi, 14 September 2017.

Very disappointing, although I suppose she thought she was protecting the family jewels of US Intelligence by not revealing the "unmasking" of members of the Trump Team, post election.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Iconoclasts at Oxford


For John, BLUFThere'll Always Be an England.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




When I first heard about this brouhaha I was skeptical.  But now that The Guardian has talked about it, I am prepared to give it credit.  It appears Oxford University Chancellor Chris Patten is telling Rhodes Scholars opposed to a statue of Cecil Rhodes, that was installed some time ago, on the facade of Oriel College, to suck it up and accept the statue, although not the racist ideas of Mr Rhodes.

Why destroy an artist's work of art when you can gather people around it and talk about it and the background of the person or event being remembered by the piece of art?

I wonder how many of those opposed to the statues of Confederate soldiers refuse to drive on US Route 1 because part of it goes through Virginia, where it is known as Jefferson Davis Highway?  Or refuse to drive over the Woodrow Wilson Bridge where Interstate 95 crosses the Potomac River?

Hat tip to my buddy Neal.

Regards  —  Cliff

  What about Confederate Sailors?

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Trial for Corruption


For John, BLUFDo you think that Senator E Warren's left and right brains are not connected?  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From Pajama Media.

Check the first item, by Ms Debra Heine.

How did the trial of a Democrat US Senator from New Jersey (Bob Menendez) turn into an issue in Massachusetts?  Big, corrupt, PAC funds.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Nominee For First Female President


For John, BLUFYes.




From Author Roger L Simon of Pajamas Media, 12 September 2017.

What more needs to be said?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Climate Change Denial a Crime?


TRIGGER WARNING:  If you punish those who you think are wrong you are back to the Inquisition.

For John, BLUFWe appear to be moving toward an era where not following the correct party line is enough to get you put in jail.  You should be concerned.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From The Washington Times and Reporter Valerie Richardson, 11 September 2017.

Here is the lede plus three:

Calls to punish global warming skepticism as a criminal offense have surged in the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, but it hasn’t discouraged climate scientists like Judith Curry.

A retired Georgia Tech professor, she argued on her Climate Etc. website that Irma, which hit Florida as a Category 4 hurricane on Saturday, was fueled in large part by “very weak” wind shear and that the hurricane intensified despite Atlantic Ocean temperatures that weren’t unusually warm.

That is the kind of talk that could get policymakers who heed her research hauled before the justice system, if some of those in the climate change movement have their way.

“Climate change denial should be a crime,” declared the Sept. 1 headline in the Outline. Mark Hertsgaard argued in a Sept. 7 article in the Nation, titled “Climate Denialism Is Literally Killing Us,” that “murder is murder” and “we should punish it as such.”

Well, it sounds like hyperbole, but this kind of talk has resulted in some nasty outcomes in the past.

Do we really want to control what people think?  If we think they are thinking wrongly we do not vote them into positions of power.  If they have the majority behind them, then we have to rethink how we are presenting the data.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Congress—Smug, But Ignorant


For John, BLUFOur ignorance is dangerous.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




This is from The Old Gray Lady, and reporter Glenn Thrush, 12 September 2017. The lede:
The House and Senate have unanimously passed a joint resolution urging President Trump to denounce racist and anti-Semitic hate groups, sending a blunt message of dissatisfaction with the president’s initial, equivocal response to the white nationalist violence in Charlottesville, Va., last month.
I will grant you the President was not particularly articulate after the demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia.  On the other hand, he was not wrong to suggest that the Antifa protestors were just as bad as the folks they were protesting, the Klan, the Neo-Nazis, the White Supremacists.  Relax for a moment and remember that the Antifa come from the line of Stalin and his ilk.

Sure, there is Prime Minister Winston Churchill's famous line "If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favorable reference to the devil in the House of Commons", referring to the German invasion of the Soviet Union, but the point was that Germany was the near threat and the Soviet Union the far threat.

Let us not be making any pacts with the Stalinists.  If Mars invades, then yes.  But, not before.  Remember, these are the people who thought the Weimar Republic should be destroyed, which, in the event, resulted in the rise of Adoph Hitler and his National Socialist Party.


Stephen Green, posting this item at the InstaPundit, said:
This isn’t the GOP majority I was hoping for, but it is the one I’ve come to expect.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Occult in DC


TRIGGER WARNING:  In which I suggest it might be real and for sure is evil.

For John, BLUFI guess Ms Sally Quinn (wife of Wash Post editor Ben Bradley (Watergate)) believes in this sort of thing, but one would think she would be mature enough to keep it to herself.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




The sub-headline:

Three years after Ben Bradlee's death, she has a memoir about embracing the supernatural. (She's given up the dark arts, though.)

From The Washingtonian, one of at least two outlets with this story.  The writer is Micheelle Cottle and the dateline is 27 Aug 2017.

Here is the second paragraph:

It’s a gorgeous spring morning, and Sally Quinn—the hotshot journalist turned wife of legendary Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee turned gatekeeper of Washington society turned religion columnist and about-to-turn evangelist for mysticism, magic, and the divine—is tucked into a wicker settee behind her Georgetown mansion, awaiting the arrival of an ABC News crew.
Folks, this is not Christianity, or Judaism, or even Islam.  This is about the embrace of the other side.  To quote from the article, Ms Quinn is:
...a believer in the occult and as an erstwhile practitioner of voodoo...
The thing is, it is probably real, and it is for sure wrong.  Remember, Samuel, now deceased, is very grumpy about being summoned by the Witch of Endor (First Samuel, Chapter 28:3–25).  King Saul should not have been doing such things.  And it turned out poorly for him.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Hurricanes vs Casualties


For John, BLUFIf this happened every year I would be concerned.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




The sub-headline:
The relatively low loss of life in both Texas and Florida underscores advances in prediction technology and citizen preparedness.  But property destruction is growing, experts say, as the US places more people and more wealth in vulnerable areas.
This is from The Christian Science Monitor, Staff Writers Patrik Johnson and Harry Bruinius.

Better forecasting and better construction and better Second Responder response.  Also, sufficient people in a given area to allow for First Responders, you and your neighbors, to effectively help one another.

Of course we could ban people from living anywhere except the Progressive Lillypads of America.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  You know, the Government.  The real first responders are you and your neighbors.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017


TRIGGER WARNING:  In which I say illegal immigrants are NOT undocumented Citizens, or Citizens of any type in the US, except for Citizenship in their Country of Origin.

For John, BLUFA Path to Citizenship is one thing, a continuously broken Border Patrol is quite another.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




Conservative Reporter Rob Eno, formerly of Lowell, points us to this News Busters item by Reporter Scott Whitlock, 7 September 2017.

Talk about twisting the English language into a pretzel. The Associated Press on Tuesday hyped fear about the end of DACA as it referred to “undocumented citizens” in Chicago.
Here is the quote Mr Whitlock pulled from the Associated Press:
[Rahm] Emanuel spoke as Chicago Public Schools marked the first day of classes Tuesday. The mayor told students at Solorio Academy High School they “are welcome in the city of Chicago.” The Chicago Sun-Times reports that school officials say about a third of the school’s students are undocumented citizens. Emanuel said Chicago schools “will be a Trump-free zone.”
Frankly, the only undocumented Citizens I know of are little babies who haven't had their foot print taken and their Birth Certificate cranked out.  All others are in this country illegally.  You are either a Citizen, a legal Immigrant, a refugee, a legal Migratory Worker or a Tourist (like those Canadians who will be driving to Florida soon to check in their mobile homes.  All others are law breakers, trying to jump the queue and thus disadvantaging those seeking to come to this nation through legal processes.

And, as a side note, one third of the students in Chicago's Solorio Academy High School.  That suggests a breakdown somewhere in the Immigration System.  A third.

Hat tip to the Conservative Review.

Regards  —  Cliff

Remembering 911


TRIGGER WARNING:  In which I say, in essence, we have a right to grieve.

For John, BLUFMartha says folks who say September Eleventh don't understand.  It is 911.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



Yesterday, Hanscom AFB, all flags at half-staff.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, September 10, 2017

SPLC is About Destroying Its Targets


For John, BLUFOnce you are identified you are going to suffer.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




This is from Pajama Media by Blogger Tyler O'Neil, 1 September 2017.

Here are the pertinent paragraphs:

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has gained traction in recent weeks, but contrary to media reports, the group does not exist to "monitor hate groups" but to destroy groups that it targets for "strictly ideological" reasons.  In light of large donations from Apple, J.P. Morgan, and George Clooney, and CNN's favorable coverage of the SPLC, Americans should learn the real motivations behind this far-left organization.

In the words of SPLC former spokesman Mark Potok (who spent 20 years as a senior fellow at the SPLC and only retired this year, according to LinkedIn), the group does not exist to monitor hate groups.

"Sometimes the press will describe us as monitoring hate groups, I want to say plainly that our aim in life is to destroy these groups, completely destroy them," Potok declared at an event in Michigan in 2007.

And, they get to decide who is a "hate group."  Sometimes they protect one side of an argument against another side.  See, for example, Ayaan Hirsi Ali.  As you may recall, the person she was collaborating with on a film on Islam, in the Netherlands, Theo van Gogh, was brutally murdered on the streets of Amsterdam.  The murderer, Mohammed Bouyeri, left a note on the body, pinned by a knife, threatening Ms Ali with death.  But, to SPLC, Ms Ali is the bad person, the hateful person, the oppressor.  Go figure.

So, who are the haters?

And why can't the ACLU see it?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Questioning One's Principles


For John, BLUFThere is the theory that the media is just Democrat Operatives with Press Credentials.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From Mediaite, by Columnist Larry O'Connor, on 7 September 2017.

Here is how it goes (lede plus five):

The big video clip breaking from the sneak preview of this weekend’s Charlie Rose interview of Stephen K. Bannon on 60 Minutes consists of Bannon claiming the Catholic Church only supports DACA and other lenient immigration policies for money and to fill their churches.

“They need illegal aliens. They need illegal aliens to fill the churches, it’s obvious on the face of it. That’s what the entire Catholic bishop’s condemning. They have an economic interest in unlimited immigration, unlimited illegal immigration.”

It’s a sexy sound byte and it’s completely understandable that it’s getting the attention it deserves. I take issue with Bannon’s take on this, but that’s better argued by brilliant Catholic writers like Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. Frankly, I’m much less interested in Bannon’s words and behavior in this exchange (as a former Breitbart employee I am more than familiar with the executive chairman’s view of the Church) than I am in Rose’s badgering of Bannon on his faith.

“I remind you, a good Catholic,” Rose intoned severely, “that Cardinal Dolan is opposed to what’s happened with DACA.” Rose then leaned in and repeated, for Catholic guilt-ridden emphasis: “Cardinal Dolan.”

Amazing.

Like many conservative Catholics, I so look forward to Rose pressuring Catholic Democrats on their abortion-on-demand policies in a similar way. In fact, isn’t it fair to ask why this kind of questioning hasn’t already taken place between the numerous exchanges between Rose and the California Democrat? Strangely, I can’t seem to find it. In the transcript of an interview in 2010, abortion is only raised by Pelosi while talking about backlash on Obamacare. No follow-up from Rose.

I actually feel sorry for Ms Nancy Pelosi.  Maybe her public and private positions are the same, but maybe not.  Maybe she is pulled, and I say that I am sorry for her if that is the case.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Incredible


For John, BLUFIt appears that there were thousands of fraudulent voters in New Hampshire November last.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From The Washington Times and Reporter Rowan Scarborough, 7 September 2017.

Here is the lede plus three:

More than 6,500 people registered to vote in New Hampshire on Nov. 8 using out-of-state driver’s licenses, and since then the vast majority have neither obtained an in-state license nor registered a motor vehicle.

Conservatives say the state’s same-day registration is an invitation for fraud because of loose proof-of-residence rules.

New Hampshire House Speaker Shawn Jasper, a Republican, issued the numbers Thursday based on inquiries he made to the Department of State, which oversees elections, and the Department of Safety.

Since Election Day, Republicans have charged that a significant number of nonresident Democrats, principally from Massachusetts, flowed into New Hampshire to vote illegally, tilting a close race to their party.

If they film this, I envision a shot of a congo line of buses heading north on US Route 3, with Burt Reynolds in the blocker.  On the sound track we hear Jerry Reed singing:
We're going to do what they say can't be done.
Because we have been assured by Democrats that voter fraud just does not happen.

The nums?

Ms Clinton, at 47.6% (348,521 popular vote)

Mr Trump, at 47.2% (345,789 popular vote)

The dif?
2,732 votes
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

First They Came For...


For John, BLUFOppressed groups (either side) must be protected from oppression.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



Southern Poverty Law Center Gets Creative to Label 'Hate Groups'


The sub-headline:

Principled conservatives are lumped together with bigots.

It is a fairly complex examination as Bloomberg's Megan McArdle dives down the rabbit hole, chasing why the Ruth Institute is listed as a hate group.  This is a report from 7 September 2017.

After the SPLC finishes up with the Ruth Institute they could be coming for you.  Remember what Pastor Martin Niem├Âller said:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, September 8, 2017

Hurricane Lerner Bypassed


For John, BLUFAnd she seems to have no regret, no remorse.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




Shame, I say.  Shame.

From The Daily Mail (UK), based on an 8 September 2017 Associated Press story.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Senators Questioning Religion?


For John, BLUFNo religious test.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




This is from Pajama Media, by Writer Andrew Klavan, 8 September 2017, about Senator Diane Feinstein (DiFi) (D-CA) questioning a Trump nominee, Professor Amy Barrett of Notre Dame University.

How would it be if we questioned Dianne Feinstein's ability to serve as a senator because she is Jewish?  After all, "You know, dogma and law are two different things. And I think whatever a religion is, it has its own dogma.  The law is totally different."  So said the senator in her recent questioning of Notre Dame law professor Amy Barrett, a Trump nominee for the Seventh District Court of Appeals, and a believing Catholic.  Of course, Senator Feinstein's hostility to Catholic dogma — including the divinity of Christ — might be seen as an expression of her own Jewish dogma, denying Christ's divinity.  We might say to the senator what she said to Professor Barrett:  "the dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for years in this country."  As a liberal Jew, for instance, the senator might deny that our founding guarantees of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," apply to children in the womb — a principle large numbers of people have indeed fought for for years.

But of course — of course — it would be despicable, disgusting and deeply unAmerican to question Senator Feinstein in this way.  Not because religious dogma can't be questioned. All ideas can be questioned and attacked. And it's not because there isn't a danger of dogmatic religious people imposing their dogma on our secular government.  I for one wouldn't allow a Muslim who believed in the abomination of Sharia to come anywhere near an American bench because the very idea of Sharia is antithetical to the underlying principles of American law.

No.  It would be disgusting and unAmerican to attack Senator Feinstein on the basis of her Jewishness because it violates the very principles of our founding, so deeply connected to Judaeo-Christian thought.  Article Six of the Constitution explicitly states that all public servants, including judges, "shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."  In other words, once it is established that a candidate for public office does not hold beliefs that prevent him from swearing allegiance to the Constitution (as a belief in Sharia would), his religion is none of your damn business.

If this an organized effort or just a smattering?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

How China Sees Us


For John, BLUFWe are still of value to, and a thorn in the side of, China.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




But still very much alive.

To be frank, it often looks like The Cipher Brief is part of the "take down Trump" crowd, but this item seems fairly balanced.

This look at how China may view the United States was provided by Mr Michael J Morell, former Acting Director of the CIA, speaking as the mythical Mr Wang Yong, an Analyst at the Chinese Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, the analytic arm of the Ministry of State Security,.

It is a pretty interesting look at both the US and China.

Regards  —  Cliff

Happy birthday, Bernie


For John, BLUFIs he viable in 2020?  Nothing to see here; just move along.



Hillary Clinton's (current) bête noire, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, is 76 today.

A patriotic number.

Hat tip to W Magaine's In & Out.

Regards  —  Cliff

The New Twenty


For John, BLUFWho better to honor on the Double Sawbuck.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



Yes, President Andrew Jackson should be moved off the $20 bill.

I am in favor of this replacement, Harriet Tubman.

Wikipedia says:

Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Ross; c. 1822 – March 10, 1913) was an American abolitionist, humanitarian, and an armed scout and spy for the United States Army during the American Civil War.  Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made some thirteen missions to rescue approximately seventy enslaved people, family and friends, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad.  She later helped abolitionist John Brown recruit men for his raid on Harpers Ferry, and in the post-war era was an active participant in the struggle for women's suffrage.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, September 7, 2017


TRIGGER WARNING:  Quoting Ms Sarah Hoyt, an Immigrant, "GOOD. WITHOUT MEANINGFUL VOTE LEGALITY, WE’RE ALL DISENFRANCHISED".

For John, BLUFIf we are going to end showing of ID, let us start with banks and medical facilities.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From Victory Girls Blob, by Ms Amanda Green, 6 zSept 2017.

A panel from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, in a split decision, stayed the district court’s granting a permanent injunction against enforcement of certain sections of the Texas Voter ID law.  Those protesting the law, claimed it was unconstitutional because it would prevent, or at least deter, voters without a “valid form of ID” from voting.  The Fifth Circuit, in a surprising turn, not only applied the law to the issue before it but they also applied common sense.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Nice airplane pics

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Work From Home


For John, BLUFI don't think this applies to your line of work.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



Working at Home


While I searched the Search Function of The [Lowell] Sun I can not find the URL (the Internet LINK) for graphic presentation on Monday's Page 10 (back of Section 1), "Working at Home.

The sub-headline says:

Most workers would like to telecommute, but few employers are in favor of it.

As a former manager, now retired, I don't think it is a great idea.  Workers rubbing up against each other is a good way of generating ideas and efficiencies.  That said, time lost in commuting isn't helping either the employee or the employer.

That said, I currently have a (volunteer) position, three or more hours a day, seven days a week and it is all on the internet.  I get together with my boss a couple of times a year and the "audience" (some of them) once a year.  It works very well.

Since our legislators are not likely to spend money on new highways, maybe it is time to ask them about improving the information highway in our Commonwealth, as a way of encouraging telecommuting and thus reducing road congestion.

Thanks to Reporter Kurt Snibbe, of Southern California News Group.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

SPLC and Antifa


TRIGGER WARNING:  In which I suggest, ever so subtly, they are just in it for the money and notoriety.

For John, BLUFSPLC, just stirring up trouble.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



SPLC and Antifa


I went to the home page of the Southern Poverty Law Center, to see if they had condemned Antifa as a hate group, a Domestic Terrorist Group, a Street Gang.

Nota.

Regards  —  Cliff

Good Bye To Ronald McDonald


TRIGGER WARNING:  No more burgers for you.

For John, BLUFThey won't be satisfied until we are back to 54 million people in the Western Hemisphere and all living a primitive nomadic life without horses or cattle.  Like after a global nuclear holocaust, with attendant global cooling.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




The sub headline:

With our already slim chances of avoiding “dangerous” global warming, the science suggests we can’t afford to leave food and farming off the negotiating table.

From Uber Progressive Nation of Change, by Reporter Ashley Braun, 2 September 2017.

Here is how it starts out:

Environmental groups place a lot of attention on trying to stop new oil, gas, and coal development since current fossil fuel projects would likely already blow us past the less-than 2°C upper limit for warming laid out in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. In fact, there’s a whole movement, known as “Keep It in the Ground,” predicated on this idea.

But when faced with a resurgence of support for fossil fuels from the White House, perhaps just as important is talking about how to “Keep It in the Cow,” according to some reports.  Right now, experts predict agriculture is set to eat up half the greenhouse gas emissions the world can release by 2050 and still stay below 2°C (3.6°F) of warming.

That is, unless the world takes a big bite out of its meat consumption, especially from cattle and other livestock that chew their cud, say researchers at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden.  Raising these ruminants produces a lot of methane, a much more potent but shorter-lived greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

While “Meatless Mondays” is one approach to this problem, their studies show that it’s not necessarily how much meat people eat that’s linked to the climate impacts of their diet.  Instead, it’s the amount of beef, lamb, and dairy.

A 2017 Chalmers study concluded that: “A switch from diets rich in ruminant meat to diets with meat from monogastric animals (pork, chicken) reduces [methane] emissions by almost the same amount as a switch to an entirely vegan diet.”  Researchers at the University of Oxford in 2016 found similar benefits, concluding that shifting to a vegetarian diet could lessen greenhouse gas emissions by two-thirds.

So President Reagan was correct?

Regards  —  Cliff

Heroes Are Made, Not Born


For John, BLUFThere'll always be an England.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




Via Fox News, 4 September 2017.

A young British girl swimming at a lake in the United Kingdom believed to hold the legendary King Arthur’s famous sword happened upon a shiny sword herself.

Matilda Jones, 7, was swimming with family at Dozmary Pool while on vacation last Tuesday, when she discovered a shiny sword beneath the water, The Sheffield Star reported.

OK then, England is to be saved by a woman.  Works for me.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, September 4, 2017

Another Look at Antifa


TRIGGER WARNING:  The Antifa are Fascists.

For John, BLUFConform to the views of the left or being ostracized.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From the blog ¡No-Pasaran!, an exposition of an article in The Tracinski Newsletter, "Moral Equivalents".

Here is the lede:

On The Tracinski Newsletter, the always accomplished Robert Tracinski has a post about Moral Equivalents.  It is his look at the "Antifa" riots in Berkeley, following up on his coverage of the upheaval in his own town of Charlottesville.  Also take a look at his take on what happened, President Trump's reaction, and how the event unhinged the left and made the Confederate statue controversy even more nonsensical.
Regards  —  Cliff

The First Kindle


For John, BLUFMaybe books were thinner then.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




I came across this little factoid while reading the Blog of (Retired) Law Professor Ann Althouse. It is from the Wonders and Marvels Blog of Ms Pamela Toler, back in 2014.

Here is the key section:

In the tenth century… the Grand Vizier of Persia, Abdul Kassem Ismael, in order not to part with his collection of 117,000 volumes when traveling…"
"... had them carried by a caravan of four hundred camels trained to walk in alphabetical order.
The larger discussion is here:
Recently, a factoid has begun popping up in my universe that makes me feel even worse. According to Alberto Manguel, author of A History of Reading,
In the tenth century… the Grand Vizier of Persia, Abdul Kassem Ismael, in order not to part with his collection of 117,000 volumes when traveling, had them carried by a caravan of four hundred camels trained to walk in alphabetical order.
Manguel goes on to explain that the camel drivers effectively served as librarians, each responsible for retrieving volumes from his camel at the vizier’s command.

At first, I found the factoid charming: a lovely illustration of the importance of books in the early Islamic world. Then I felt a little jealous at the idea of owning 1117,000 books. Now I just feel inadequate at my inability to keep control over a couple of thousand books without the added complication of moving camels.

Perhaps it is the invention of writing that has led to Scientific progress and greater Economic wellbeing and, most important, Democracy.

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Dem 2020 Gang

John, BLUF:  The Democrats are getting an early start on the race to be Jack the Giant Slayer (alternative view—pick up an easy win) in 2020.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



From The Old Gray Lady, by Reporters Kenneth P Vogel and Rachel Shorey, 2 September 2017.

Third paragraph:

In interviews, more than three dozen leading Democratic donors, fund-raisers and operatives agreed that it was the earliest start they had ever seen to the jockeying that typically precedes the official kickoff to the campaign for the party’s presidential nomination. It is a reflection of the deep antipathy toward President Trump among Democrats, and the widespread belief that the right candidate could defeat him, but also of the likelihood that the contest for the nomination could be the longest, most crowded and most expensive in history.
At least they are beginning to figure out that Antifa just generates more Trump voters.  And Senator E Warren is highlighted in Sunday's Boston Globe in a puff piece on her religion,because some of those votes needed are out in Fly Over Country.

Mentioned in the NYT article were:

  • Senator Kamala Harris of California
  • Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand of New York
  • Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia
  • Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont
  • Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts
  • Representative John Delaney of Maryland
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden
Maybe you have your favorite Democrat candidate for President in 2020.

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

Happy Labor Day


For John, BLUFEach of us benefits from a good work ethic.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



I hope we each focus, for a moment today, on the importance of work, of labor, for our nation, and for our own well being.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, September 3, 2017

The True is Emerging


TRIGGER WARNING:  Stalin was worse than Hitler.

For John, BLUFNYT Reporter Walter Duranty, a leader in Fake News.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




The sub-headline:

In 1932-33 a famine sparked by Soviet policy swept the country, leaving almost 4m dead and driving parents to cannibalism.  The Kremlin tried to keep it hidden but in a new book the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anne Applebaum uncovers the devastation

That would be Ms Anne Applebaum, a winner of a Pulitzer Prize, which justifies the Instapundit's comment:

DESPITE HIS 85-YEAR LEAD, SHE STILL SCOOPED WALTER DURANTY
Who did get a Pulitzer for his non-reporting on the Holodomor

This from The Sunday Times, 3 September 2017,

Here is the lede:

The warning signs were ample.  By the early spring of 1932 the peasants of Ukraine were beginning to starve. Secret police reports and letters from the grain-growing districts all across the Soviet Union spoke of children swollen with hunger, of families eating grass and acorns and of peasants fleeing home in search of food.  In March a medical commission found corpses lying on the street in a village near Odessa.  No one was strong enough to bury them.
The book, Red Famine: Stalin's War on Ukraine, is available on Kindle for $14.99.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Avoiding Marriage


TRIGGER WARNING:  In which I hint that you can't have it all.

For John, BLUFThese new generations don't take marriage as seriously as we did, men and women.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




The author of this 3 September 2017 short article from Pajama Media is forensic psychologist Dr Helen Smith.

The subject is a new book, by Sociologist Dr Mark Regnerus.  The title is Cheap Sex:  The Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy. Dr Smith found this summation of the book in a New York Post article:

Thanks to cheap sex, marriage may be doomed.

The share of Americans ages 25-34 who are married dropped 13 percentage points from 2000 to 2014. A new book by sociologist Mark Regnerus blames this declining rate on how easy it is for men to get off.

Regnerus calls it “cheap sex,” an economic term meant to describe sex that has very little cost in terms of time or emotional investment, giving it little value.

Regnerus bases his ideas, in part, on the work of British social theorist Anthony Giddens, who argued that the pill isolated sex from marriage and children. Add online pornography and dating sites to the mix and you don’t even need relationships.

"Cheap" is an economic term, meaning that it isn't dear or expensive.  It can be had easily.  Guys don't have to work for it and don't have to make promises of life changing committal to get it.  Further, if there is a pregnancy involved they can easily back off without societal consequences, partly due to relatively more available abortion and partly because social peers and elders are willing to accept this not accepting of parental responsibility.

And, of course, everything is doomed, until we find some new level of normalcy.  That said, Dr Smith thinks there are additional factors at play:

Fair enough, but I think enough men have seen what marriage does to the older guys in their family and friend circles to know that the antiquated marriage laws (and new ones) that put the responsibility of the actual marriage legally more on men is also a factor.  Perhaps the discrepancy between the easier ability to get sex and the actual increased duties and responsibilities of men in marriage now are so much greater than in the past that it makes marriage unappealing to many.  Sure, a man can get sex more easily without being married but I wonder if women restricted sex more and porn was made illegal how many more men would marry? Maybe no more and maybe less.
Which raises the question of if men are asking less often or women are saying yes less often (or a combination thereof)?

What ever it is, we are sailing into unknown waters, and without a map.  If this is also happening in India and China then we are probsbly OK.  Otherwise we are probably, as a society, facing a crisis down the road.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Perhaps because they have seen a lack of commitment to marriage, resulting in too frequent divorces, thanks to the "no fault divorce" laws that we passed in the 1960s and beyond.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

The Ever Changing Left

TRIGGER WARNINGS:  In which we look at how the left has evolved and students have regressed.

For John, BLUFAnd they haven't gotten better.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



From The Claremont Review of Books, by Editor Charles R. Kesler, from 31 July 2017.

This is going to be one of those longer, Jim Peters like, Posts.

This is about how the left of the late 1950s and the 1960s thought and how the left today thinks and the differences in understanding America and understanding who they are and who we all are.

Since we are jumping in in the middle of the essay, we have to explain who the SDS, the Students for a Democratic Society are and their 1962 Manifesto, the Port Huron Statement, drafted by SDS Field Secretary, the late Tom Hayden (later the husband of Ms Jane Fonda).  Click the Links.

Some review:

Yet there was something ingenuous and almost admirable about the SDS’s early manifesto that is lacking in post-Obama radicalism.  Tom Hayden had spent fall 1961 as a Freedom Rider, getting beaten up by the KKK in Mississippi and jailed in Georgia.  He and his comrades were appalled by the racial bigotry of the American South (and North), and they revered, at least in the beginning, the non-violent civil rights movement of the 1950s and early 1960s.  They longed, in a way, to emulate the heroes of that movement, who like Martin Luther King drew explicitly from Christian sources, among others, and insisted on strenuous “self-purification” as an essential stage of non-violent consciousness.  Indeed, the Port Huron Statement quoted the Declaration of Independence and Abraham Lincoln, even as the civil rights leaders did, accusing the country of not living up to its own principles.  It assailed American hypocrisy, and the apathy and alienation that went with it.

No such Americanism, however vestigial, remains in today’s campus protestors, who celebrate only victims, not martyrs, and who have been taught to believe that America, and the West as a whole, are oppressors and nothing but oppressors, six ways from Sunday—racists, sexists, imperialists, homophobes, xenophobes, transphobes, etc.

There you are.  When Candidate Hillary Clinton said "Deplorables" she was talking the language of the New Left.  We are Les Deplorables and probably irredeemable.

Then there is this contrast with today:

The old New Left hated being treated as children by professors and deans who claimed to stand in loco parentis.  Nothing offended Tom Hayden more, as he remarked in his 1961 Letter, than American universities’ “endless repressions of free speech and thought, the stifling paternalism that infects the student’s whole perception of what is real and possible and enforces a parent-child relationship until the youth is suddenly transplanted into ‘the world.’”  When the Free Speech Movement (FSM) formed at Berkeley in 1964, its analysis of frustrated, alienated students, as Allen J. Matusow writes in his very fine The Unraveling of America:  A History of Liberalism in the 1960s (1984), “came straight out of the Port Huron Statement.”  “In our free-speech fight,” said one of FSM’s leaders, Mario Savio, “we have come up against what may emerge as the greatest problem of our nation—depersonalized, unresponsive bureaucracy.”
Well, that trend reversed, sharply.  The question, for me, is what is the intellectual basis for the views of the modern leftist students?  Below is the background for the 1960s New Left.
It hasn’t disappeared entirely, but the theory embraced by today’s campus Left is far different from that of the ’60s New Left.  The Port Huron Statement reflected deep intellectual engagement, if not exactly seriousness.  Its contemporary influences included Herbert Marcuse’s Eros and Civilization (1955) and C. Wright Mills’s The Power Elite (1956).  Marcuse, a student of Martin Heidegger’s, had perhaps the primary philosophical influence on the movement, and along with other writers helped to connect it, however tendentiously, to Freud, Nietzsche, Marx, Hegel, and Rousseau.
Ah, Herbert Marcuse.  He supposedly said, at one point, "Tear down the Weimar Republic.  Whatever replaces has to be better."  The problem is, Professor Marcuse was working to tear down the Weimar Republic.  And he was wrong about what replaced it being better.  It was replaced by the Third Reich, via the Enabling Act of 1933.

The next excerpt asks if the question is "equal rights" or "equal results".  There is a difference.

It is all quite dreary.  Consider the “basic tenets” of the position.  First, in America (and the theory seems to be purpose-built for this country) racism is pervasive, inescapable, “ordinary” and “not aberrational,” the “common, everyday experience of most people of color in this country.”  Only “most”? That equivocation is one of the many slips in this slipshod argument.  But it pales beside the refusal to define “racism.”  Does discriminating against people on the basis of race mean denying them equal rights, or objecting to the imposition of equal results?  The second principle is “material determinism” or “interest convergence,” meaning that whites (but not other races?) are guaranteed to pursue their own economic interests as a race, thus ensuring and perpetuating “white supremacy.”  Third, the “social construction” thesis, which holds that race and races are not “objective, inherent, or fixed” and correspond to no “biological or genetic reality,” but are social inventions.  But how can there be “material determinism” if races are immaterial?
Tolerance, once a goal, became, by the mid-1960s, a bad thing. 
Liberals were the enemy, but in a more urgent and comprehensive way than in the Statement.  Marcuse’s influence was growing among the radicals, and his essay “Repressive Tolerance,” published in ’65, pointed them away from their old free speech idealism and towards a more ruthless, revolutionary consciousness.  Toleration was once a great progressive cause, he argued, when liberals adopted it as a weapon against authoritarian societies.  But now it risked becoming silently repressive:  toleration in a liberal society like America was a means of neutralizing and coopting all opposition to the power structure or power elite.  It was a means of preventing a liberal society from being replaced by a revolutionary one.  Marcuse urged the students to treat tolerance as a partisan tool, i.e., to show no tolerance for “affluence,” corporate capitalism, and the war.  His argument laid the groundwork for political correctness.
So, the last extract talks about how the New Left, went violent in the late 1960s.  People like now Professor Bill Ayers.  It probably doesn't impact most of us, but I actually had met one of the men killed by the Weathermen, at the University of Wisconsin, in Madison.  A real human being, and an intellectually smart one, a Post-Doc, with a wife and kids.  Dead due to a deliberate act of some Weathermen.
As the New Left came more and more to resemble the old, cheering Marx and Mao, it turned its back on the Port Huron Statement’s hope for “participatory democracy” and adopted Lenin’s principle of democratic centralism, concentrating control at the top, finally in 1969 in the so-called “Weatherman” faction.  The Weatherman’s call for “Days of Rage” in Chicago, designed ultimately to stop the imperialists’ war by starting a civil war at home, failed miserably.  Afterwards, keen to sow terror, the Weathermen went underground to plant bombs, which later blew up several of their own. From Summer of Love to Days of Rage had taken a little more than two years.
The scary part is that the New New Left seems to have not learned anything.  In violent protests they could polarize the nation and bring it down.  The thing is, one may be against the Klan and Fascism, but still be against a more Stalinist approach.  The question is, where is the acceptable middle in all of this?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Qualified Immunity Fail


For John, BLUFAccountability is important.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




It is about the qualified immunity issue, and some impolite police.

Here is the first paragraph of the Wikipedia entry on qualified immunity:

Qualified immunity is a doctrine in United States federal law that arises in cases brought against state officials under 42 U.S.C Section 1983 and against federal officials under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971).  Qualified immunity, when applicable, shields government officials from liability, unless their actions are found to violate an individual's federal constitutional rights.  This grant of immunity is available to state or federal employees performing discretionary functions where their actions, even if later found to be unlawful, did not violate "clearly established law".
Here is the Instapundit blog post in full:
ENDORSED: Every Cop Involved in the Arrest of This Utah Nurse for Refusing to (Illegally) Draw a Patient’s Blood Needs to Be Fired.  “In fact, the claim that this blood draw was part of an ‘investigation’ at all adds another layer of revulsion to Payne’s behavior.  The unconscious man Payne wanted blood from was not suspected of any crime and had done nothing wrong.  He was, in fact, a victim of a crime.”

This is just the latest example of why qualified immunity for law enforcement — an idea with no constitutional foundation, basically made up out of whole cloth by judges — should be abolished.

UPDATE: SLC mayor, police chief apologize for officer who arrested nurse; criminal investigation to follow.

If Black Lives Matter really wanted to do something about issues between police and Blacks it would be mounting a massive campaign to convince Congress to abolish qualified immunity, and not just for police, but also for prosecutors.

I would support Black Lives Matter in such a move.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff