Thursday, February 04, 2016

Crime fees

DC Wants To Pay People Not To Commit Crime

I think the project should be named Danegeld.

Proposing we just give our lunch money to the bullies.

I do have questions:
How do they prove they didn’t commit a crime?
Seems rather like a payment for not getting caught.

What’s the risk of signing up, do you get a stiffer sentence if you fail?
Rhetorical.

#bluemodel

Minimum Wages Surged In 6 Cities Last Year; Then This Happened
Another failed hypothesis.
Hiring at restaurants, hotels and other leisure and hospitality sector venues slowed markedly last year in metro areas that saw big minimum-wage hikes, new Labor Department data show.

Wherever cities implemented big minimum-wage hikes to $10 an hour or more last year, the latest data through December show that job creation downshifted to the slowest pace in at least five years.
Will this experiment be treated like the climate models, or will its proponents actually pay attention to whether their predictions match reality?

I'm betting the former.

#LetCarlyDebate

If you want to see Carly Fiorina on stage at Saturday's debate, you might consider signing this petition.

Christie, Kasich, Bush and Carson are on stage and:

  • Carly finished ahead of Christie and Kasich in Iowa.
  • She has the same number of delegates as Bush and Kasich (Christie has zero).
  • She is polling ahead of Dr. Carson in New Hampshire.
  • She has twice the cash-on-hand as either Governors Christie or Kasich.
  • She is already on the ballot in 32 states.
Let her debate. She's earned it.

You can also tell the RNC by emailing to: ecampaign@gop.com

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Advantage Sanders

Dem sen: Sanders has no 'interest in foreign policy'
Democratic senator and top Clinton surrogate Claire McCaskill bashed rival Bernie Sanders on the day of the Iowa caucus as lacking the foreign policy chops needed to serve as commander-in-chief...

"He doesn't have experience and hasn't shown a great deal of interest in foreign policy, hasn't really demonstrated the breadth and depth of knowledge you need to lead this country at a dangerous time."
McCaskill has a point. Mrs. Bill's interest in sharing state secrets with foreign intelligence agencies is well documented, and we are in a dangerous time.

Thanks, in no small part, to Mrs. Bill.

If only she'd shown a lack of interest in foreign policy, our national security wouldn't be compromised, Libya wouldn't be breeding ISIS, four Americans might not have died in Benghazi and she wouldn't be on the verge of indictment.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Law and Orders

Trump tells fans to ‘knock the crap out of’ any protesters with tomatoes

That's not "throw tomatoes at protestors," it's "punch them out if they have tomatoes." Donald offers to pay legal costs for those who follow his incitement.

Doesn't say how he'd negate the possible jail time. I guess we'll have to wait until he's president to see how he would suspend the law regarding assault committed by those he considers his nascent brownshirts.

No more deals

Unelectable

At Powerline: LIVE FROM COUNCIL BLUFFS, IT’S DONALD TRUMP
The Democrats will make a series of short videos and post them to Facebook, Google, Twitter, You Tube and Instagram. The videos will be microtargeted to the right demographic. Big Data makes it easy to target voters. My view is that the mother lode is on immigration and that the MSM will attack Trump’s (or his subcontractors) use of illegal alien labor in the hotel, golf course, restaurant and construction industries. Social media will amplify this MSM attack. The MSM ignore social media and the use of Big Data because Facebook and Google are eating their lunch on ad dollars. That’s why you don’t read much about how the campaigns use it to win elections.

Trump’s coarse and at times outlandish language and behavior can only drive his unfavorable numbers even higher. Jean Kaufman, for example, has written about Trump and eminent domain here. Kelo is practically a litmus test for conservatives and Trump is on the other side.

Think about what the Dems did to that fine man who is Mitt Romney. When the Dems got finished with Mitt, many thought he was a heartless murderer. A false accusation, to be sure, but it worked. In my opinion, the anti-Trump social media videos will result in a landslide loss for the GOP.
RTWT

Saturday, January 30, 2016

At this point

Official: Some Clinton emails 'too damaging' to release
The intelligence community has deemed some of Hillary Clinton’s emails “too damaging" to national security to release under any circumstances, according to a U.S. government official close to the ongoing review. A second source, who was not authorized to speak on the record, backed up the finding.
I find it hard to believe that emails intelligence experts declare "“too damaging" to national security to release under any circumstances" can possibly be evidence of mere internecine bureaucratic catfights.

Mrs. Bill says I'm mistaken: Hillary Campaign: Withholding of Emails Just 'Over-Classification Run Amok'
Hillary Clinton's campaign insisted today that the former secretary of State wants the release of more than 20 emails determined to have contained top-secret information, calling the withholding "over-classification run amok."
Indeed: What difference, at this point, does it make? Any interested foreign intelligence services already read them.

It's a vast intelligence agency conspiracy.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Debate

Watched both debates last night.

I know. I know. Still, here's my report.

Florina. Best of the pack.
She replaces Trump's faux outsider mythology with a true disdain for DC Dealing. Replaces Trump's bluster with intelligence, articulateness, specificity and credibility. Would destroy Hillary or Bernie (or Bloomberg, Biden or Warren). Electable. Few care.

Christie-Cruz-Rubio. Tie for second.
Focus group apparently thought Rubio was awesome. I didn’t see that, but 75% of them switched their allegiance to Marco.

Many focus group people really didn't like Trump skipping the debate. It's possible they desperately want an alternative to Trump, and Cruz didn't do well enough - thus Rubio. If the sample applies generally, Monday will be quite surprising.

Carson. Surgeon General.

Paul. The conscience of the debate. Should be on stage no matter his poll numbers.

Kasich. Should be on the Democrat undercard by himself. Or somewhere by himself.

Bush. His best performance. The bar is set below sea level, of course.

Gilmore. Who?

Huckabee-Santorum. Scurried over to carry Trump’s coat (as Gilmore said) after their typical performances.

Trump. Best debate performance yet.

Two other notes.

1- Having watched some old video of Trump, I wonder what happened to the far more articulate (relatively speaking) and polite guy in them.

He’s assumed his Apprentice persona. Or maybe I should say it has assumed him. We can be thankful he stayed away from the Honey Boo Boo show, I guess.

The election has morphed completely into a 'reality' show.

Next: Real Housewives of Chappaqua and Authentic Old Socialists of Somewhere that should be in Sweden.

2- Anybody starting to react to the sound of Trump's voice they way they do to Hillary's or Obama's? I'm probably much more susceptible to Trump fatigue than most, but you gotta wonder how long even his acolytes can tolerate Trump 24/7. TV shows do get cancelled on short notice, and I'm disinclined to attribute persistent attention spans to the politically suddenly interested.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

PbH2O

Liberals Still Say Austerity Poisoned the Water in Flint, Damn the Evidence -Reason Magazine.
An excerpt:
... Far from impugning limited government principles, the Flint water crisis is a quintessential example of the failures of government planning and Keynesian economic stimulus...

But Flint’s principal problem—one that pre-dates the water crisis by decades—is that its economically-underprivileged taxpayers can’t afford to pay the pensions of retired city workers. Excess government spending landed Flint in its current, sorry state, not austerity. Likewise, the disastrous decision to go with a more expensive water option was not austerity, but government-sponsored stimulus gone (predictably) wrong.
But, RTWT.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Dear Mr. Speaker,

Paul Ryan
Speaker of the House

Just received your “Personal Request” asking for my contribution to the NRCC. You say, “We must have every conservative step up…”

Since 2000, what did conservative voters get from “our conservative candidates?” Let me make a partial list.

Another huge, ineffective alphabet bureaucracy - DHS. A near quadrupling of the national debt. John Roberts. No Child Left Behind. Mortgages for the credit-challenged, leading to the financial collapse of the Western world in 2008.

The largest entitlement expansion since 1965. Hundreds of thousands of earmarks.

The nomination for president of John McCain, the ideal bipartisan statist. The self-styled Maverick who enjoys sticking it to conservatives.

McCain-Feingold. TARP. Cash for Clunkers. Sarbanes-Oxley.

Barack Obama. Obamacare.

In 2010, tea party conservatives gave Republicans control of the House and +7 seats in the Senate. Did the tea party get a thank you? No, they got blamed for not taking the Senate after the Republican Party abandoned Christine O'Donnell, Sharron Angle, and John Raese.

Mitt Romney. Barack Obama.

Common Core. A weaponized EPA.

Skipping ahead to 2014… You’re welcome.

What do I get next? - Your promises: “fixing a broken tax code, replacing Obamacare, strengthening our military, reducing our soaring debt. However, NONE of that is possible without your support.” Ha. None of it’s apparently possible with my support, either. (Oh, and you misspelled "repealing.")

So last year, on your watch, we pass an Omnibus budget bill giving the Democrats everything they want. Right now, Majority Leader McConnell is preparing a perpetual AUMF, unrestricted by geography, our Constitution-busting president didn’t think to ask for.

Iowa Gov. Terry Bran­stad is demanding to be allowed to continue looting for ethanol. Bob Dole says he’ll forget to vote if the conservative who enjoys sticking it to self-styled Mavericks is nominated. Orrin Hatch predicts “we’ll” lose if Cruz is the nominee, "For us to win, we have to appeal to the moderates and independents.” Who’s us? What’s win? You keep using those words. It’s being amply demonstrated they don’t mean what you think they mean.

We have “conservatives” threatening to vote Clinton/Sanders if Cruz is nominated. Who’s us? What’s win?

These same fine conservatives are stepping up to support a crony capitalist friend of Nancy Pelosi. A Progressive until the last 2 years, who never uses the words “liberty” or “freedom” in a speech, but does tell us what he’s going to force a lot of other people/countries/businesses to do. With him, “conservatives” can “deal.”

Just how stupid do you have to be to think conservatism matters to the Republican party? Pretty stupid. I’ll bet that’s why the word “Republican” appears nowhere in your letter.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Put a shiny gold TRUMP sign on it

From Field & Stream magazine:
Q&A: Donald Trump on Guns, Hunting, and Conservation
Anthony Licata: I’d like to talk about public land. Seventy percent of hunters in the West hunt on public lands managed by the federal government. Right now, there’s a lot of discussion about the federal government transferring those lands to states and the divesting of that land. Is that something you would support as President?

Donald Trump: I don’t like the idea because I want to keep the lands great, and you don’t know what the state is going to do. I mean, are they going to sell if they get into a little bit of trouble? And I don’t think it’s something that should be sold. We have to be great stewards of this land. This is magnificent land. And we have to be great stewards of this land. And the hunters do such a great job—I mean, the hunters and the fishermen and all of the different people that use that land. So I’ve been hearing more and more about that. And it’s just like the erosion of the Second Amendment. I mean, every day you hear Hillary Clinton wants to essentially wipe out the Second Amendment. We have to protect the Second Amendment, and we have to protect our lands.
Substitute "K-12 education" for "the land." Substitute "health care" for "the land." It's like essentially wiping out the 9th and 10th Amendments.


The question I'm raising isn't about the merits or historical arguments for vast Federal Land ownership, the question is how Mr. Trump would govern.

His vague policies are not clarified by his simple repetitions of "great," "very," "huge" and "really, really." When pressed as to how he would actually accomplish his promises, he falls back on his great management skills, another phrase for command-and-control. Combine command-and-control governance with Mr. Trump's belief the 2nd Amendment is just as important as Federal land ownership, and you may have a problem.

When he makes outrageous guarantees for his ability to apply executive fiat, he is not often challenged. Can anyone explain how he will force Mexico to pay for the wall he wants to build? Does anyone think it would be a lawful order if, as he has said he would, he orders our military to kill the families of terrorists? Can you describe Trump's logistics for deporting 11 million people in a matter of months?

Those who support Trump and believe they can predict what he will do, are confident he will be able to do what he says he will do, and who trust him and want to give him power, should mull it over one more time.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Trump: Obnoxious blowhards using the First Amendment just cause trouble

Donald Trump spoke with Neil Cavuto in May 2015, just after the Muslim terrorist attack on Pam Geller's "Draw Mohammed" contest in Garland, Texas, and on the eve of a Charlie Hebdo Memorial ceremony.

Trump on Geller: “[T]he last thing we need is an obnoxious blowhard like Geller to go out and start trouble, when there's no reason for it... This has nothing do with free speech. This is taunting. And all it does is cause trouble...

Cavuto asked how Trump felt about the memorial for Charlie Hebdo: “Now, I have had satirical magazines over the years go after me. And what they do is use satire in order to not to tell the truth. They make it satirical. And this way, they can say anything they want about you. So, they were taunting, and they really taunted, and guess where they are right now?,” Trump continued, taunting the Charlie Hebdo dead.

His mother was a self-satirizing hamster and his father smelt of elderberries.

Anti-Cassandra

“[U]nless drastic measures to reduce greenhouse gases are taken within the next 10 years, the world will reach a point of no return” and “a true planetary emergency.”
-Al Gore, January 25, 2006

Al? That tipping point? It's today.

The emergency is New York and D.C. digging out.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Eight No Trump

A large and growing portion of American voters are eager to shake the foundations of the electoral process in order to dramatically alter how we are governed. They are fed up with establishment politics, government waste and endemic bureaucratic corruption. Five candidates clearly agree.

Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump believe further empowering government is the solution.

Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina and Rand Paul believe government already has too much power, and want to aggressively shrink it.

At one time, this difference in preference for government intervention would have defined Progressivism vs. Conservativism. Not any more.

Donald Trump is allowed to reverse any of his positions when they become inconvenient:


  • Trump was for invading Libya when Clinton, Powers and Rice talked the beta-male in the White House into it. He's against it in retrospect.
  • He supported single payer health care. Now he doesn’t.
  • He approved of partial birth abortion. Not any more.
  • He disliked the Tea Party and loved Barack Obama. He’s changed on both those ideas.
  • He’s flip-flopped on gay marriage and funding Planned Parenthood.
  • Sometimes he’ll move our embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Sometimes he won’t.
  • Sometimes he wants the Russians to fight ISIS for us, other times he’s not so sure that works.
  • In November he said we couldn’t afford to raise the minimum wage. By December he said American wages were too low.
  • In his book The America We Deserve, Trump wrote that he supported a ban on “assault weapons.” Not until last year did he apparently reverse his position.
  • He says he’s for free trade in the same sentence where he suggests a massive tariff on Chinese manufacture.
  • He says he's going to force Mexico to pay to build a wall to keep illegal immigrants out of the U. S., and that he will quickly deport 11 million already here. In 2012 he said Mitt Romney’s mildly restrictive immigration proposals were “crazy”, and that the GOP lost the election because they didn’t “take care of this incredible problem that we have with respect to immigration, with respect to people wanting to be wonderful productive citizens of this country.”
  • He brags about his financial independence and bribing politicians in the same breath. That's just peachy on K-Street.
To be fair, Trump has been consistent on one thing – promoting big government corporatism. He loves abusing the laws covering eminent domain for his own benefit. He thinks TARP was a “great idea.” He supported Obama’s ‘stimulus’ program. He wants to expand ethanol subsidies. He told Sean Hannity, as recently as 2015, that a wealth tax is a “very conservative thing.”

None of those are remotely “conservative things,” but the point isn't whether he's a conservative. Of course he's not. The point is that he'll say anything to close the deal. And his supporters don't care. They just want somebody's ass kicked. They don’t see in the policy chaos of a Trump Administration that there’s a very good, and random, chance it’ll turn out to be their asses.

So called “Conservatives” have consistently betrayed them, so why worry about Trump's principles? It didn’t matter that the vast majority of GOP Senators and Congressmen whom conservative voters gave majorities weren’t the principled conservatives they claimed to be, why should it matter if Trump isn’t?

Nonetheless, National Review feels compelled to tell us why Donald Trump is not a conservative. Since many people who support Trump still believe they are conservative, debating the definition of this word is not just futile, it is capitulation. The Trump supporters who don’t identify as conservatives are glad to hear he isn’t. The question isn't conservatism.

The question both cohorts (should) care about is: Whose positions are consistent with the reform you want, rather than electoral expedients on the way to the next Imperial Presidency?

Fundamentally transform the GOP, or have the GOP modify its activities to fit the rules set forth in The Art of the Deal? Trump is big business, his policies demand even bigger government and he is a creature created by big media. Think that means reform?

I'm arguing here that a choice between Sanders/Clinton and Trump is no choice at all. In each case we get big government and big spending and paternalistic federal intervention characterized by crony capitalism and tribal zealotry.

There is a one party system sharing the spoils of corruption, but the implication that Trump will fix it is ludicrous. Establishment Republicans prefer him over Cruz because they know Trump can be co-opted.

Donald Trump or Ted Cruz? Republicans Argue Over Who Is Greater Threat
Arguably, based on the fears of the GOP establishment, voters disaffected by politics as usual and looking for a shake up in the Republican party are better served by a Cruz presidency than a Trump presidency. See also.

GOPe preference for Trump over Cruz indicates, if forced, they’d rather have the party gently stirred than soundly shaken. Trump has no brief against the unholy dynamics among big government, big business, and big media, he lives there and revels in it.

The creative destruction of the Republican Party now seems possible through Cruz, Fiorina or Paul. This a necessary first step to restoring choice. If you want to temporarily remake GOP participation in DC corruption in the vision of The Art of the Deal - on the way to its total destruction - Trump's your man.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Thank you, sir, may I have another?

Ten United States Navy sailors are abducted by Iran and then released. The Obama Administration claims the Iranians were helping our boats in distress. That doesn't explain why our sailors were forced to surrender on their knees, blindfolded and given sparse accommodation; why no actual distress call was received by the Navy; or how two boats with dual engines simultaneously lost power. Did someone put sugar in the gas?

Nonetheless, our gratitude is heartfelt:
Secretary of State John Kerry expressed "gratitude to Iranian authorities for their cooperation ‎in swiftly resolving this matter," in a statement Wednesday…

[A]dding later, "That this issue was resolved peacefully and efficiently is a testament to the critical role diplomacy plays in keeping our country safe, secure, and strong…”
If not a testament to the right of passage in international waters.

The Secretary might have mentioned that the swiftest way to resolve this matter would have been not to seize our military personnel in the first place and not to even think about it again or we'll keep our $150 billion, but that would have been politically incorrect undiplomatic.
There is nothing to indicate the capture was a hostile act on the part of Iran, a senior Obama administration official said.
That statement is an admission by our government that our sailors were in Iranian waters, even though the US Navy is still investigating. That's the only explanation for the abduction not having been a hostile act.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Obliviot

The WSJ reports on the attempted murder of a police officer in Philadelphia:

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross Jr. commented on the attempted murder of Officer Jesse Hartnett by Edward Archer. Archer told police he had shot Officer Hartnett in the name of Islam, because he (Archer) believes that “the police defend laws that are contrary to Islam.”

He’s right. In the United States, they do. So far.

Capt. James Clark, homicide unit commander, reported that Archer repeatedly said, “[T]he reason I did what I did,” is that he (Archer) had pledged fealty to the Islamic State and is a follower of Allah.

In the same press conference Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney (D) took guidance (though he didn’t go so far as to blame Officer Harnett) from the Mayor of Cologne, and the Stockholm police. Mayor Kenney said, “In no way, shape or form does anybody in this room believe that Islam or the teaching of Islam” had anything to do with the attack. Apparently, Commissioner Ross, homicide unit commander Clark - and everyone else - had moved to a different room, and Edward Archer wasn't there either.

Maybe the Mayor was telling a Clinton-truth: The attack hadn’t anything to do with the teaching of Islam, it had to do with the learning of Islam. Or maybe the study of Facebook.

Mayor Kenny claims to better know the perp's mind than the perp himself: Archer may have said over and over that he did it because of Islam, but he’s wrong.

Now, if the perp had claimed he was upset because of Planned Parenthood, that would be different.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

The vast Clinton co-conspiracy

On January 7th, 1999, the United States Senate began the impeachment trial of President William J. Clinton. The President had been impeached by the House for lying under oath and obstructing justice.

His semantic gymnastics over the meaning of the word "is," and his contention that while performing cunnilingus might have constituted "having sex," being fellated by a twenty-something intern in the Oval Office didn't, secured his acquittal by the Senate. But his troubles with women weren't over.

In April 1999, President Clinton was held in contempt of court by Judge Susan Webber Wright for “intentionally false” testimony in (Paula) Jones v. Clinton. He was fined $90,000 for giving false testimony. Jones' suit was eventually settled and included an $850,000 payment from Clinton.

In April 2000, the Arkansas Supreme Court suspended his law license. In order to avoid disbarment, he agreed to a five-year suspension and a $25,000 fine (January, 2001). In October 2001, Clinton’s U.S. Supreme Court law license was suspended.

Bill Clinton's lies weren't about sex, they were about what he'd done to women. This couldn't possibly have been news to Mrs. Bill, since it had been going on since at least his 1974 Arkansas Congressional campaign.

A discussion of Bill Clinton's behavior from a February, 2012 PBS documentary, Clinton:
Narrator: To make matters worse, Hillary had to deal with Bill's constant womanizing.

Paul Fray, [1974 Arkansas Congressional] Campaign Manager: I mean you got to understand at one time there was at least 25 women per day coming through there trying to find him, and I'd tell them he's out on the road, you know and they'd get out the door, but lord it was bad. Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad.

Marla Crider, [who claims to have had an affair with Clinton] Campaign Aide: He draws women in and they are literally mesmerized by this man. It was absolutely like fly to honey. And he needed that. He needed that kind of adoration. I don't think there's any question that Hillary was hurt, whether it was me or anyone else.

Narrator: Despite Bill's infidelities, Hillary decided to stay in Arkansas and dedicate herself to their mutual goals.
Emphasis mine.

Any later sympathy for Hillary would seem misplaced, since Bill Clinton's predations didn't end there, and she enabled them:
Narrator: In 1987, during his fourth term as Arkansas governor, Bill Clinton was finally ready to leap onto the national stage with a long-shot run for the presidency. In July, he summoned the national media to Little Rock for the big announcement.

Then, abruptly, he sent them home with hardly an explanation.

Bill Clinton (archival): I need some family time, I need some personal time.

Narrator: Behind the scenes, an old weakness had come back to haunt him.

Gail Sheehy, Writer: Just the day before the press conference when he was going to announce that he was going to run, Betsey Wright, his ferociously protective campaign manager, sat him down with a list of names of women and went through one after the other: how many times, where did you meet her, how likely is she to talk?

Nigel Hamilton, Writer: For each name he said, 'Oh, she'll never say anything.' And Betsey Wright said, 'But you don't know that. You don't understand on a national scale, people will investigate -- your opponents will investigate it. The media will investigate it. And the problem is, we're not just talking about you. We're talking about your wife, Hillary; we're talking about your child, Chelsea.' She said, 'I don't think you can run.'

Betsey Wright, Chief of Staff: I mean, it just became clear that night it was not the time for him to do it. It just was not the time. He felt for quite a while that, that probably was the last real chance he would ever have to run for president. That was it, it was over. You know, where would he go now that he wasn't gonna run for president? What could he do in the future? I think that over the next few months that became a tough time for them.
Mrs. Bill was Mr. Bill's co-vilifier of women and co-conspirator. The difference is, she wasn't under oath when she lied.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

#GiveBacktheNight

Mayor Henriette Reker (Cologne, Germany) tells women to behave.
The Mayor of Cologne said today that women should adopt a “code of conduct” to prevent future assault at a crisis meeting following the sexual attack of women by 1000 men on New Year’s eve...

The suggested code of conduct includes maintaining an arm’s length distance from strangers, to stick within your own group, to ask bystanders for help or to intervene as a witness, or to inform the police if you are the victim of such an assault...

The attackers were described as North African and Arab appearance by the police. The Mayor has said that not all of the attackers were newly-arrived refugees and had already been known to the police.
Basically, then, don't do anything to inflame the potential perps.

Whatever you do, don't carry a mattress around. Also missing from the list are not taking candy from strangers, staying out of dark alleys, avoiding drinking, and dressing modestly - burqas optional for now.

Cologne's code of female conduct is a message to women that they aren't safe, and can't expect State protection: The cultural values of misogynist thugs count more than their own. Mayor Reker's bottom line is women are "asking for it" if they don't conform to the preferences of a rape culture, because the thugs can't be made to follow a code of civilized conduct.

I look forward to comments from Take Back the Night supporters and SlutWalk participants.

"Similar incidents as the ones in Cologne took place in Stuttgart and Hamburg". Fortunately, Chancellor Angela Merkel is on it:
Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned the attacks, but said that refugees should not be judged for the events.

“It’s completely improper… to link a group that appeared to come from North Africa with the refugees,” Merkel said Tuesday.

A police spokesman told DW that “the recent hints go significantly toward police known offenders, refugees have nothing to do with it.”
I'm sure the women who were attacked are comforted to know the Government that covered this up for two days says it's likely their assailants weren't refugees, but what do the refugees and the "known offenders" have in common?

Monday, January 04, 2016

Obama's definition of "local" depends on something other than geography

The administration position on the Oregon occupation:
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest on Monday said President Obama is aware of the occupation at the refuge, but avoided speaking at length about it, calling it “a local law enforcement matter.”
So was Trayvon Martin's death, but apparently no one who looks like he could be Obama's son lives in the Harney Basin.

So was Professor Henry Gates' arrest, but no "beer summit" for the Hammonds.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Trump and Oregon and property rights

I'm waiting with interest for what Donald Trump has to say about the Federal attempt to force ranchers in Oregon off their land. See: The Full Story about what's going on in Oregon.

To summarize: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) have harassed ranchers in Oregon's Harney Basin since the 1970s, changing grazing rules, denying legal water rights and trying to buy up ranches to add to the Malheur Wildlife Refuge. Two of those ranchers, Dwight Hammond, Jr., and his son, Steven Hammond, have been targets of this harassment. They were arrested in 2006 for lighting fires to burn grassland. The "Harney County District Attorney reviewed the accusation, evidence and charges, and determined that the accusations against Dwight & Steven Hammond did not warrant prosecution and dropped all the charges."

There were also accusations of attempting to cover up poaching with the fires, but they were neither charged nor convicted of this.

In 2011 the Feds charged them as terrorists. Yes, terrorists. In 2012 they were convicted of setting the fires in Federal Court, but with that came a conviction for terrorism. They served 3 and 12 month sentences, respectively.

Unsatisfied, in 2014 the Feds appealed the sentences as not meeting a minumum sentencing requirement of 5 years. The Judge at the original trial had overruled the minimum terrorist sentence, commenting that if the full five years were required it would be a violation of the 8th amendment. The Fed's appeal succeeded.

The Hammonds have said they will report tomorrow to begin serving the increased sentences. The father will be 79 when he finishes his new sentence, the son 54. They have already paid $200,000 to the BLM, and another $200,000 was to have been paid before the end of 2015. They will be forced to sell to the BLM if the fine has not been paid.

On Saturday there was a peaceful protest of these sentences in Burns, Oregon, composed of about 300.

Since then, 100-150 people associated the Cliven Bundy family have peacefully occupied a Federal building in the refuge. Some are armed. The left is going nuts. The Hammond's have disassociated themselves from this group.

Now, to Trump.

I see no difference in principle here from what Donald Trump tried to do to Vera Coking, a old woman who owned a house near one of his Casinos where he wanted to build a parking lot.

Trump’s case could be considered worse. The government wasn’t taking Vera Coking's land for itself, it was taking it in order to give it to Trump, a man who said he supported the abominable SCOTUS Kelo decision 100%.

What's going on in Oregon?

This is a must read: Full Story on What’s Going on In Oregon.

Take your blood pressure medication first.

What's being done to the Hammonds demonstrates what happens when property rights are disregarded.

It's worth pointing out that presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton would both approve of this at-gun-point expropriation.


The Other Club noted the foundational nature of property rights just the other day: Property, morality and religion.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Microdefense Free Zones

UWM says 'politically correct' is no longer politically correct, "We decide what speech is permitted and you aren't allowed to talk about it."

Well, we already knew saying "Chicago" or "golf" was racist, so it's no surprise cretins at the University of California think saying "America is the land of opportunity," should be banned.

Applying UMW's and UC's logic to Harvard Law Dean Martha L. Minow, you must conclude saying someone is "politically correct" is like raping them. If you're accused, we must believe you're guilty: Harvard Law dean compares microaggressions to violence, sexual assault

And you thought a "Just Words Campaign" would be analogous to "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." Nope, that's not what the "J" in SJW is about.

Update 2:30PM
Forgot to add this recommendation for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education: 2015 Year in Review for Student and Faculty Rights on Campus

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Property, morality and religion

Just read Larry Arnn’s (President of Hillsdale College) Imprimis piece Property Rights and Religious Liberty.  It’s excellent, but ultimately uncompelling as an argument that property rights are insufficient to secure religious liberty and freedom of conscience. Some rambling reactions...

Arnn:
[R]ecognizing that property is at the heart of the political argument we are having these days, [there] are those who say that all that is needed is to protect property rights. Get money right and get property right, these people think, and leave it at that—leave morality and religion out of the political equation. But that way of thinking too is foolish.
Not sure it’s foolish.  I’d like to try it somewhere and see what eventuates.  My prediction would be that such a lucky civilization would follow the arc of history of the United States up until Woodrow Wilson… and then keep going.  

Morality and religion are different things, though they are both your property. Property rights do imply a moral code, but I can't see any particular philosophy of religion there.

I am inclined to think economic freedom is a prerequisite for “freedom of conscience and religious liberty."  Arnn seems to agree: "If private property is going to be abolished, everything will have to be abolished.”  

I will agree that an ethical system like Judeo-Christianity is necessary, if not sufficient, to establish the fundamental principle that you are your own property. Not the church's, not the State's.

I do not agree that we must have a supernatural underpinning for that.

Arnn:
Yet Churchill went against the advice of all his advisors, including his wife, to make the point publicly that the socialists would never realize their ultimate aims without the use of “some form of Gestapo.” They did not intend this, at least the better of them did not, he said; but this is what it would take for their aims to be successful—this is what it would take to produce an equality of outcomes.
And Hayek wrote The Road to Serfdom on precisely that theme.

Questions of "‘Why are we here? What is the purpose of life? Whither are we going?’” are answered differently by different supernatural interpreters.  Which Diety can bring “comfort to the soul” is a matter of long extra- and intramural contention.

How do you reconcile the G_d who cares about every sparrow's fall with your experience? A conversation between Yossarian and Lieutenant Scheisskopf's wife in Catch-22 explores this question:
"And don't tell me God works in mysterious ways," Yossarian continued... "There's nothing so mysterious about it. He's not working at all. He's playing. Or else he's forgotten all about us. That's the kind of God you people talk about -- a country bumpkin, a clumsy, bungling, brainless, conceited, uncouth hayseed. Good God, how much reverence can you have for a Supreme Being who finds it necessary to include such phenomena as phlegm and tooth decay in His divine system of creation? What in the world was running through that warped, evil, scatalogical mind of His when He robbed old people of the power to control their bowel movements? Why in the world did He ever create pain?”

"Pain?" Lieutenant Scheisskopf's wife pounced upon the word victoriously. "Pain is a useful symptom. Pain is a warning to us of bodily dangers.”

"And who created the dangers?" Yossarian demanded. He laughed caustically. "Oh, He was really being charitable to us when He gave us pain! Why couldn't He have used a doorbell instead to notify us, or one of his celestial choirs? Or a system of blue-and-red neon tubes right in the middle of each person's forehead. Any jukebox manufacturer worth his salt could have done that. Why couldn't He?"

"People would certainly look silly walking around with red neon tubes in the middle of their foreheads.”

"They certainly look beautiful now writhing in agony or stupified with morphine, don't they? What a colossal, immortal blunderer! When you consider the opportunity and power He had to really do a job, and then look at the stupid, ugly little mess He make of it instead, His sheer incompetence is almost staggering. It's obvious He never met a payroll. Why, no self-respecting businessman would hire a bungler like Him as even a shipping clerk!”

Lieutenant Scheisskopf's wife had turned ashen in disbelief and was ogling him with alarm. "You'd better not talk that way about Him, honey," she warned him reprovingly in a low and hostile voice. "He might punish you.”

"Isn't He punishing me enough?" Yossarian snorted resentfully. "You know, we certainly mustn't let Him get away with it. Oh, no, we certainly mustn't let Him get away scot free for all the sorrow He's caused us. Someday I'm going to make him pay. I know when. On the Judgement Day. Yes, that's the day I'll be close enough to reach out and grab that little yokel by His neck and —"

"Stop it! Stop it!" Lieutenant Scheisskopf's wife screamed suddenly, and began beating him ineffectually about the head with both fists. "Stop it!”

Yossarian ducked behind his arm for protection while she slammed away at him in feminine fury for a few seconds, and then he caught her determinedly by the wrists and forced her gently back down on the bed. "What the hell are you getting so upset about?" He asked her bewilderedly in a tone of contrite amusement. "I thought you didn't believe in God.”

"I don't," she sobbed, bursting violently into tears. "But the God I don't believe in is a good God, a just God, a merciful God. He's not the mean and stupid God you make Him out to be.”

Yossarian laughed and turned her arms loose. "Let's have a little more religious freedom between us," he proposed obligingly. "You don't believe in the God you want to, and I won't believe in the God I want to. Is that a deal?”
Another interpretation might be that G_d is just uninvolved. That’s not much in the way of comfort, but does answer the problem of evil and maybe of free will.

All in all, I think property rights protect, or at minimum provide the basis for, protection of religious liberty and freedom of conscience. As Arnn says, you can't really separate these things: It's not just a fight about property. But, without property rights, the fight is already lost.

Related: The foolish ‘theism’ of government enthusiasts

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

How we're governed; a Canadian view

Rex Murphy: Don’t blame Trump … blame America
I agree Trump is ridiculous — but he is an illustration of a problem and not its cause. Trump is not the swamp: he is the creature emerging from it. For however ridiculous and appalling his candidacy may be, it is no worse and no more ridiculous and appalling than the whole pattern of American politics at this time.

Is his candidacy more lunatic than the idea of a third President Bush or a second President Clinton? More despairing than the idea of an America so bereft of political talent that two families supply the major pool?

Is he more manipulative than President “you can keep you doctor, you can keep you plan” Obama? Is he less venal or arrogant than Hillary “it’s my server and it’s my State Department” Clinton?
There's much more at the link. RTWT

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Neither xenophilic nor oikophobic

From Reason Magazine:
The 'Isolationist' Smear Against Ted Cruz

I didn't realize Jennifer Rubin, one of the WaPo's pet conservatives, had trashed Senator Ted Cruz as a throwback isolationist from the 1930's. But then I seldom read the WaPo.
After the latest Republican presidential debate, the Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin argued that Sen. Ted Cruz had undone himself "courting" the "Trumpkin base," sinking "further into the far-right brew of isolationism and xenophobia."
Characterizing Cruz as a far-right xenophobe, though, certainly destroys Senator Marco Rubio's case that Cruz secretly, in his heart of hearts, favors a path to citizenship for illegal aliens. Then again, Rubin may have misremembered how much she did like the Rubio/Schumer Gang of 8 plan, "...the proposal is greatly encouraging on two fronts."

Count me as un-encouraged then, as was Senator Cruz. And count me even less encouraged now. I'm neither xenophilic nor oikophobic. Senator Rubio's defenders seem to have a touch of each.

This is unfortunate, since I would happily vote for Rubio in the general election, but I think he's picked a fight that emphasizes his greatest weakness while attempting to damage the candidate most likely to prevent a Trump nomination. Trump is the primary beneficiary of Rubio's attack.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Clueless or condescending?

So. The New York Times published and then promptly removed this insight into the President's television viewing habits:
Mr. Obama indicated that he did not see enough cable television to fully appreciate the anxiety after the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, and made clear that he plans to step up his public arguments.
There are three ways to parse that. One, the President is cluelessly isolated, gets his information from "the shows" like Donald Trump, but doesn't watch the right shows. Two, he was making a condescending joke about the drumbeat of the news cycle and denigrating the intelligence of Americans. Three, both.

It's true that the media hyped the shootings in San Bernadino. Of course, so did the President in the service of gun control.

It's true that the media hyped the shootings in San Bernadino. Just as they did Obama's candidacy in 2008.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

How we're governed

Donald Trump has a less than tenuous grasp of the policy implications and practicality of his stream-of-consciousness blowhardery, but nothing he's said is any more outrageous than any of the following links: Except they aren't bluster, they're how we're governed.

Obama meets Bloomberg as he prepares order on guns

Administration nixed probe into Southern California jihadists

Funding deal hits backlash over increase in foreign worker visas

Ominous Cybersharing Legislation Finds a Seat on the Omnibus

Congress’s $12 billion giveaway to health insurers

America surrenders on Assad, and Putin wins again

Unaccompanied children crossing southern border in greater numbers again, raising fears of new migrant crisis

The EPA's Illegal Propaganda

Celebrating a Deserter in the Rose Garden

None of the elite Beltway teeth gnashers can understand Trump's appeal, even though they laid the groundwork.

Obama's executive overreach and withering disdain for American citizens may be the proximate cause of Trump's rise, but Obama did nothing more than clarify the corrupt attitude of both major political Parties.


If you don't visit Instapundit, you should try it. Those links are just a few I reached from reading there this morning.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Immigration Policy is national security

The Weekly Standard notes that
Marco Rubio, the Florida senator who is running for president, was among those who voted against the USA Freedom Act. "Just four days before the terrorist attack in California this week, the USA Freedom Act limited our access to critical information about potential threats," said Rubio's campaign in a statement provided to THE WEEKLY STANDARD. "Because too many in Washington have failed to grasp the nature of this enemy, we have less access to intelligence information now than we did just days ago. In the wake of Wednesday's attack on innocent Americans doing nothing more than going about their daily lives, we must act swiftly to reverse the limitations imposed on these critical intelligence programs. Radical jihadists are trying to kill as many Americans as they can. Our law enforcement and intelligence professionals need access to this information. Failing to give them the tools they need to keep Americans safe is dangerous and irresponsible."
It's just a bit odd to connect an attack your policy didn't detect with the efficacy of that policy in preventing such an attack.

Rubio is better spoken than Josh Earnest, but the Senator sounds just like the Press Secretary when the latter was asked for an example of a mass shooting "more gun control" would have prevented.

Our law enforcement and intelligence professionals had the authority Senator Rubio is complaining they lost before the San Bernadino attack. Were they not using it, was it overwhelmingly vast or just useless? Or all three?

Of course, there was intelligence which could have stopped the attack, but law enforcement and intelligence professionals were prevented from using it by the Obama Administration's exquisite tribalist sensitivities, not by Senators who voted in favor of the Fourth Amendment.

The male shooter in San Bernadino was aligned with a Mosque known to promote radical Islam, but an investigation that would have raised that flag was shut down by Homeland Security on the request of the State Department’s Office of Civil Rights. Killing this investigation can only be viewed as a public relations exercise in political correctness. No profiling!

The female shooter had publicly indicated she supported ISIS long before she was Federally "vetted" on three separate occasions. Federal policy prevented a search of her Facebook account that would have revealed this. On the admittedly flimsy assumption that support for ISIS is disqualifying, she would have been denied the opportunity to shoot anyone in San Bernadino.
Fearing a civil liberties backlash and "bad public relations" for the Obama administration, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson refused in early 2014 to end the secret U.S. policy that prohibited immigration officials from reviewing the social media messages of all foreign citizens applying for U.S. visas, according to a former senior department official.

"During that time period immigration officials were not allowed to use or review social media as part of the screening process," John Cohen, a former acting under-secretary at DHS for intelligence and analysis. Cohen is now a national security consultant for ABC News.
Since multiple sources for determinative information which would have put these two under surveillance was ignored - because the approbation of the American elite left was more important to the Obama Administration than protecting Americans - we're supposed to bend the Fourth Amendment to Senator Rubio's will? Over an incident where the program he's pushing failed?

Senator Rubio, if he wants to prevent future terror attacks, might consider directing his fire at the people who failed us with their PC attitude to vetting immigrants. Of course, Rubio has demonstrated he shares a bit of that attitude. He seems not to realize that Immigration Policy is the intersection of Foreign Policy with Domestic Policy. Rubio advances the surveillance state in order to maintain the illusion the two sets of policy are unrelated.

His complaint about the USA Freedom Act boils down to this: We need this intrusion into your life to keep you safe from our incompetence in using the obvious intelligence sources we already have.

Related: Quite a long article, but with a good bit of explanatory power about Cruz and Rubio on foreign and immigration policy. And why they're attacking each other in precisely the way they are. This addresses some very substantive issues.

YMMV, but I do recommend it. It may assist you in a choice we'll face if we can ever get rid of the blowhard rug-head.

And let's finish by examining the Weekly Standard's intro to the piece in the first link:
Thanks to a law recently passed by Congress and signed into law, federal law enforcement are unable to access phone records of the terrorists who killed or injured dozens of people in San Bernardino this week.
Wrong. All that's necessary is a subpoena to get the needed records. I'm sure they got one almost instantly. I call Marco Rubio shilling on the Standard.

Monday, December 14, 2015

HSA distracted by terabytes of phone meta-data

U.S. Visa Process Missed San Bernardino Wife’s Zealotry on Social Media
Tashfeen Malik, who with her husband carried out the massacre in San Bernardino, Calif., passed three background checks by American immigration officials as she moved to the United States from Pakistan. None uncovered what Ms. Malik had made little effort to hide — that she talked openly on social media about her views on violent jihad.

She said she supported it. And she said she wanted to be a part of it.

American law enforcement officials said they recently discovered those old — and previously unreported — postings as they pieced together the lives of Ms. Malik and her husband, Syed Rizwan Farook, trying to understand how they pulled off the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil since Sept. 11, 2001.

Had the authorities found the posts years ago, they might have kept her out of the country. But immigration officials do not routinely review social media as part of their background checks, and there is a debate inside the Department of Homeland Security over whether it is even appropriate to do so.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Dark side of the Moonbeam

California Governor Jerry Brown:
Never underestimate the coercive power of the central state in the service of good.
Or evil, Governor Brown, you oh so Superior Man.

Meanwhile, California Climate Policies Chilling Housing Growth.

And, Can California Be Saved? I know which way I'd bet.

Protecting us from cattle futures*

...and preparing to force all your savings into T-Bills. NYMag.com:
Hillary Clinton has an opinion piece in the New York Times on her plans to rein in Wall Street and protect the public from excessive risk-taking.
*In case you've forgotten - Hillary Clinton Turned $1,000 Into $99,540, White House Says

Saturday, December 12, 2015

The climate for free speech

Last Tuesday Mark Steyn appeared before Senator Ted Cruz's sub-committee on Space, Science and Competitiveness. The topic was climate change.

Steyn's observations are well worth your time to read, and don't neglect the videos. I particularly enjoyed watching Senator Ed "Marquis" Markey being reminded he isn't, in fact, nobility.

While you are at Steyn's site, visit the Steyn Store. Christmas is almost upon us, and Mark's suit/countersuit with Dr. Micheal "Fraudpants" Mann drags on expensively. Gift certificates are available.

Laurence Jarvik has more from the hearing here. Also recommended for comment on GOP attendance at the hearing and a clip of Steyn defending free speech.