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.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Mrs. Bill doesn't regret

On Sunday, December 6, Hillary Clinton appeared on ABC’s This Week. The host, donor of $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation and former Communications Director for the Clinton White House - went way off the reservation and asked Mrs. Bill a Benghazi question worthy of Congressman Trey Gowdy.

George Stephanopoulos asked her about claims by four relatives of three of the victims killed in the Islamic Jihadist attacks in Benghazi, Libya* on September 11th, 2012.

Mrs. Bill met these relatives after she spoke at Andrews Air Force base on September 14, 2012. The occasion was a ceremony conducted over the remains of four Americans, one our Ambassador, killed in the Benghazi attacks. She stood over their coffins and called the deaths the result of an obscure video. A claim which her own emails have since proven she knew to be false the day of the attacks.

Stephanopoulos asked, "Did you tell them it was about the film? And what’s your response?" Clinton replied. "No."

I'll spare you the rest of her rambling prevarication. It's at the link.

While it’s amazing Stephanopoulos asked anything of substance, he neglected to ask a follow-up, “At Andrews Air Force base, you spoke with the families only a few minutes after blaming the video - while you were standing over the coffins of four dead Americans. Why don’t these multiple witnesses 'deserve to be believed' you would say that to them?"

He didn't ask any follow-ups, because the original question was intended to inoculate her against her own perfidy.

*You may recall Libya was converted from a quiescent suppurating cesspit, whose thuggish dictator had surrendered his nuclear program in the face of American threat, to a hellhole exporter of Islamic Jihad on the insistence of Samantha Power, Susan Rice and Hillary Clinton. For Hillary, lying about this was about even more than Obama's re-election. It was about her presidential ambitions.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Rubio bulks up

Senator Marco Rubio is of the opinion that passage of the USA Freedom Act, which ends certain warrantless government surveillance of your internet and phone records, is dangerously misguided:
There is not a single documented case of abuse of these programs which were put in place after 9/11 to keep Americans safe.
I disagree.

First, the Senator elides any consideration that the once secret program – in and of itself – is an abuse of the Constitution and of American citizens. Your opinion may vary, but this question is quite reasonably open to debate. Even defenders of the program don’t describe it as liberty-neutral, they say the loss of privacy is justified by enhanced security. On that basis, as we'll see below, the program is a failure.

He also seems to be equating "no abuse" with "Constitutional." If your position is "It hasn't been abused yet," I don't think you've quite thought the problem through. In any case, the definition of abuse does seem germane to the discussion. Senator Rubio has told us his definition. We'll look look at some others momentarily.

Second, since the government places gag orders on its “requests” for information, the claim that there is “no documented case,” is a Clinton-Truth and an insult to the rule of law. But, I repeat myself.

Senator Rubio may have neglected to finish his sentence and meant “not a single documented case the public needs to know about.” Or, maybe he meant there's more than one. You'd have to ask Bill and Mrs. Bill to translate. You may then pause to wonder how Mrs. Bill might use the collected data were she elected POTUS.

The FBI sent out over 400,000 National Security Letters between 2003 and 2011. NSLs are warrantless demands for information and simultaneously prohibit the recipient from publicly discussing the order. For example.

There’s a lot of secretly documented abuse going on, supported by secret judicial opinions from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

The National Security Agency’s bulk collection of phone data was ruled illegal in May 2015 under the very legislation used to justify the program, and called “probably unconstitutional.” That’s documentation of general abuse under at least one definition of the word.

Unfortunately, that decision was not accompanied by an injunction to stop the bulk data collection. Even more unfortunately, a higher court reversed that ruling in August of 2015. That is why Congress had to act to eliminate the program.

Prior to those Court rulings the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board – set up to monitor the NSA, FBI et. el., – had found the government was abusing American’s civil rights and gaining essentially nothing. The PCLOB is an independent bipartisan agency within the executive branch established by the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007. It issued a report on January 23, 2014.

Third, then, according to the people charged with oversight the bulk data collection is unauthorized overreach and without discernible benefit:

From pages 10 and 11 of the Report on the Telephone Records Program Conducted under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act and on the Operations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court:
There are four grounds upon which we find that the telephone records program fails to comply with Section 215. First, the telephone records acquired under the program have no connection to any specific FBI investigation at the time of their collection. Second, because the records are collected in bulk — potentially encompassing all telephone calling records across the nation — they cannot be regarded as “relevant” to any FBI investigation as required by the statute without redefining the word relevant in a manner that is circular, unlimited in scope, and out of step with the case law from analogous legal contexts involving the production of records. Third, the program operates by putting telephone companies under an obligation to furnish new calling records on a daily basis as they are generated (instead of turning over records already in their possession) — an approach lacking foundation in the statute and one that is inconsistent with FISA as a whole. Fourth, the statute permits only the FBI to obtain items for use in its investigations; it does not authorize the NSA to collect anything.

In addition, we conclude that the program violates the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. That statute prohibits telephone companies from sharing customer records with the government except in response to specific enumerated circumstances, which do not include Section 215 orders.

Finally, we do not agree that the program can be considered statutorily authorized because Congress twice delayed the expiration of Section 215 during the operation of the program without amending the statute. The “reenactment doctrine,” under which Congress is presumed to have adopted settled administrative or judicial interpretations of a statute, does not trump the plain meaning of a law, and cannot save an administrative or judicial interpretation that contradicts the statute itself. Moreover, the circumstances presented here differ in pivotal ways from any in which the reenactment doctrine has ever been applied, and applying the doctrine would undermine the public’s ability to know what the law is and hold their elected representatives accountable for their legislative choices...

The threat of terrorism faced today by the United States is real. The Section 215 telephone records program was intended as one tool to combat this threat — a tool that would help investigators piece together the networks of terrorist groups and the patterns of their communications with a speed and comprehensiveness not otherwise available. However, we conclude that the Section 215 program has shown minimal value in safeguarding the nation from terrorism. Based on the information provided to the Board, including classified briefings and documentation, we have not identified a single instance involving a threat to the United States in which the program made a concrete difference in the outcome of a counterterrorism investigation. Moreover, we are aware of no instance in which the program directly contributed to the discovery of a previously unknown terrorist plot or the disruption of a terrorist attack. And we believe that in only one instance over the past seven years has the program arguably contributed to the identification of an unknown terrorism suspect. Even in that case, the suspect was not involved in planning a terrorist attack and there is reason to believe that the FBI may have discovered him without the contribution of the NSA’s program.

The Board’s review suggests that where the telephone records collected by the NSA under its Section 215 program have provided value, they have done so primarily in two ways: by offering additional leads regarding the contacts of terrorism suspects already known to investigators, and by demonstrating that foreign terrorist plots do not have a U.S. nexus. The former can help investigators confirm suspicions about the target of an inquiry or about persons in contact with that target. The latter can help the intelligence community focus its limited investigatory resources by avoiding false leads and channeling efforts where they are needed most. But with respect to the former, our review suggests that the Section 215 program offers little unique value but largely duplicates the FBI’s own information gathering efforts. And with respect to the latter, while the value of proper resource allocation in time-sensitive situations is not to be discounted, we question whether the American public should accept the government’s routine collection of all of its telephone records because it helps in cases where there is no threat to the United States.
Further reading for those of most political persuasions:

Electronic Freedom Foundation
The NSA’s Call Record Program, a 9/11 Hijacker, and the Failure of Bulk Collection

House Judiciary Committee
H.R. 2048, THE USA FREEDOM ACT

National Rifle Association
USA FREEDOM Act Becomes Law, Enhances Privacy for Law-Abiding Americans

Jonathan Mayer, a computer scientist + lawyer at Stanford
MetaPhone: The Sensitivity of Telephone Metadata

ACLU
ACLU V. NSA - CHALLENGE TO WARRANTLESS WIRETAPPING

Senator Rubio says Senator Cruz voted to 'weaken U.S. intelligence.’ I’d say Cruz voted to protect American liberty.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

However and wherever you spend it, reflect on Abraham Lincoln's advice when he proclaimed the holiday:
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Take that

Obama: Climate change conference “a powerful rebuke to the terrorists."

What, we’ll lubricate windmills with bacon grease?

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The database

Donald Trump is taking flak for proposing a "Muslim database." In fact, this was proposed by a reporter, Trump never said it. Trump's mistake is that he didn't address the idea. As if the content of a reporter's question is his responsibility.

What he did say, however, is worse:
Well, we're going to have to do things that we never did before. And some people are going to be upset about it, but I think that now everybody is feeling that security is going to rule. And certain things will be done that we never thought would happen in this country in terms of information and learning about the enemy.
The larger point that seems to have gone missing is that there already is a database of Muslims... and tea partiers and ACLU supporters and college protesters and gun owners and Bernie Sanders contributors and... well, what ever filters the NSA wishes to apply to the bulk data they're collecting.

They already know where you've been, if an email had a keyword they're looking for, your age, your race, your charitable contributions, where you were born, what you've purchased, what you read, what you eat and drink, the state of your health and who you've called and when. Do you really think they can't already pretty precisely figure out your religion? A bit of information, moreover, some of you may have already directly declared on some government form or other.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

All your bases are belong to you

The Progressives discover the racist basis of one of their most accomplished enablers:
"Woodrow Wilson was extremely racist — even by the standards of his time."

It's no secret that the arrogant, mean-spirited and insufferably pedantic Wilson despised the Constitution:
All that progressives ask or desire is permission — in an era when "development," "evolution," is the scientific word — to interpret the Constitution according to the Darwinian principle; all they ask is recognition of the fact that a nation is a living thing and not a machine.
-Section II: “What Is Progress?”
...and with that, except for the "permission" bit, the crybullies and Barack Obama agree.

More on Woodrow Wilson here.

Recommended reading:
Wilson's War
Jim Powell

Theodore and Woodrow
Andrew P. Napolitano

Friday, November 20, 2015

Promises

File Says N.S.A. Found Way to Replace Email Program

So, NSA does not need to collect and store everyone's email to provide security insights. They told a Clinton "Truth" when they said they shut the program down for “operational and resource reasons” - they meant they found another way to do it.

As far as phone records, all the bulk data is still available from the phone companies - it just requires observance of the 4th Amendment.

When we are asked to trade fundamental civil rights for security by a government that could find no wrongdoing at the IRS, blamed a minor film maker for its own deadly security lapse at Benghazi, runs an airport security agency which misses 95% of weapons it's tasked with finding, prevaricates about the data it gathers on its own citizens, ignores precise warnings about bomb plots (the Tsarnaevs), refuses to use the words "Radical Islam" even while terrorists shouting "Allahu Akbar!" murder scores - calling the terrorists a lesser threat than climate change - why should we trust their promises regarding our civil rights?

Why, in fact, should we trust such power even to men and women with a good track record? Men and women in government change, sooner or later you get ones like we have now. A "good track record" means preserving and protecting the Bill of Rights.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Security vs Liberty

Leaked NSA doc reveals ‘sheer luck’ needed to find useful info in sea of surveillance data

This is the national security program Marco Rubio apparently puts ahead of the 4th Amendment. It's actually more like the TSA playing with keyboards.
The NSA didn’t know it was already sitting on a “goldmine” of data on one of its targets until one of its analysts discovered it by “sheer luck,” according to an internal newsletter entry leaked by Edward Snowden.
It increases our chance of getting lucky, but does not fulfill what's promised in exchange for giving up civil liberties.

The White House safe space

Ya ya ya ya I CAN'T HEAR YOU!
In Rise of ISIS, No Single Missed Key but Many Strands of Blame
And there were, in fact, more than hints of the group’s [ISIS'] plans and potential. A 2012 report by the United States Defense Intelligence Agency was direct: The growing chaos in Syria’s civil war was giving Islamic militants there and in Iraq the space to spread and flourish. The group, it said, could “declare an Islamic state through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria.”

“This particular report, this was one of those nobody wanted to see,” said Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, who ran the defense agency at the time.

“It was disregarded by the White House,” he said. “It was disregarded by other elements in the intelligence community as a one-off report. Frankly, at the White House, it didn’t meet the narrative.”
ATTKISSON: OBAMA WON’T READ INTELLIGENCE ON GROUPS HE DOESN’T CONSIDER TERRORISTS

Speech offensive to the President is banned. Reality is merely delayed.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Cruz? Rubio?

In recent days, Ted Cruz has attacked Marco Rubio on Rubio's well known, and since abandoned, proposal favoring a path to citizenship/illegal immigrant amnesty.

Then, Marco Rubio attacked Ted Cruz on Cruz’ (and Rand Paul’s) resistance to NSA's warrantless accumulation of email and phone records from American citizens, going so far as to link Cruz to Edward Snowden and the atrocity at Bataclan.

That settles the Cruz/Rubio question for me. Rubio is suspect on illegal immigration and squishy on the 4th Amendment. And, trying to tie Snowden and the Paris atrocities to Cruz is despicable.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Safe-space creation gap?

Supporters of the #BlackLivesMatter Speech Supression Squad have been shocked by a humiliating loss in the international safe-space creation competition.

We spoke with the coaching staff in the faculty lounge. While none would speak for attribution, the prevailing sentiment is they were caught flat-footed, failing to appreciate Team ISIS’ determination to create a world wide Islamist safe-space.

Team members were more forthcoming.

“We thought we had speech suppression and the intimidation of Western Cultural lackies locked up,” said a Graduate Assistant in Transgender Restroom Implementation Studies at Yale. “The administrators were resigning like flies. All eyes were on our message… Then this [the Paris massacres]. Now I’m worried my grant to study the Post-modern Psychological Implications of LGBT Restroom Stall Design could be reallocated to the Defense Department.”

A professor from the University of Missouri School of Relativist Morality commented, “Our scouting reports completely missed this. Our scouts didn’t even tell us about Charlie Hebdo, because they said it might upset us… Well, yeah.”

He went on to say, “We’re hopelessly outclassed in the attention whoring twitter sweepstakes, our precious little fascists are sounding like John Kasich at the last GOP debate.” As examples he displayed screen shots of tweets (since deleted) from Team #BlackLivesMatter:


For more examples, see this link.

“Look, we’re way behind,” an Administrative Assistant to the Office of Diversity Determination at the University of Michigan told us, “we understand these ISIS guys have every right to make people shut up about Mohammed, peace be upon him. We get that. They just need to leave us a little space for tweeting about what we don’t want discussed. Like police and guns and terrorism. And words.”

“We know we’ve got work to do to become competitive,” said a spokespersyn at Amherst College, “the first step in our rebuilding process is to implement the re-education camp protocols. We’re really serious about it, and we’ve started setting up safe-spaces where we can work without any distractions from reality.”

Whether Team #BlackLivesMatter can achieve a resurgence remains to be seen.

Update 4:32PM More #Mizzou whining here.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Bill O’Reilly, ahistorical buffoon

I have my reservations about George Will’s political world view, but I respect his intellect and abilities. On policy, he would make a slightly better president than Jeb!.

I have no reservations about Bill O’Reilly. He is a populist buffoon on his best day. Whenever the hell that occurred.

O’Reilly is the only person I would nominate as more aggressive-narcissist than Donald Trump. Trump has a vastly better sense of humor and more self-awareness.

I know, I know… Trump self-aware? Well, think about the contenders here. Trump might be at 8 on a scale of 1 - 100: dimly cognizant of how his hair is combed. O’Reilly, unconscious even that a coherent political philosophy is a good thing, has a downside limited only by the fact I set the scale minimum at 1.

I exclude Barack Hussein Obama from this specific competition because his narcissism is whiny passive/aggressive.

Bias disclosed, I give you some insight into a dispute George Will (not alone) is having with O’Reilly, over O’Reilly’s fatuous book, Killing Reagan.

Will takes O’Reilly apart in two (so far) columns.

Bill O’Reilly slanders Ronald Reagan
Nov 5

Bill O’Reilly makes a mess of history
Nov 10

Another view. Not Will’s.
What Bill O’Reilly’s new book on Ronald Reagan gets wrong about Ronald Reagan
Oct 16

Will went on “The Factor” to discuss the book and his critical column. O’Reilly’s technique of shouting about irrelevance is illustrated. I find it just as despicable as a dozen of O’Reilly’s “interviews” I watched 15 years ago while figuring out what a vacuous, wind-blown, opportunist and deranged cretin he is.

At the link, scroll down a touch to the "WATCH:” heading.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Note for Charlie Rose

That Hillary lied about Benghazi is true, despite Charlie Rose's ignorance: DEBUNKING THE MEDIA LIES ABOUT HILLARY’S BENGHAZI VIDEO LIE

Charlie Rose doesn't, as Marco Rubio pointed out to him, get it.

Hillary's "great week" last week fundamentally depends on support from low information journalists like Charlie Rose and lying debate moderators like John Harwood. Democrat operatives with bylines, as Glenn Reynolds would say.

EVERYBODY knew instantly that the American Ambassador was killed during a premeditated Islamist terrorist attack. Not a "spontaneous protest" caused by an anti-Muslim video.

Still, Mrs. Bill stood over the coffins of the dead and repeated the lie.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Ecclesiastic Economics

Global bishops call for 'complete decarbonisation' by 2050
Bishops launched a global appeal Monday for a break-through at upcoming Paris climate talks, including a "complete decarbonisation" of the world's economy and more help for poor countries battling the effects of climate change.
They propose eliminating 95% of reliable energy in 35 years.

What we will depend on as the basis for generating the wealth needed to help poor countries during, and after, the transition is left to God. In this scenario, absent a Miracle, poor countries will be grateful the Bishops and the green fantasists kept them poor. They'll fare an order of magnitude better than will developed economies.

The Bishops' understanding of economics fits right in with Bernie Sanders'. He should hire them as spiritual advisors. He does need a Miracle.
The bishops said any agreement "should limit global temperature increases to avoid catastrophic climatic impacts, especially on the most vulnerable communities…

Those responsible for climate change have responsibilities to assist the most vulnerable in adapting and managing loss and damage and to share the necessary technology and knowhow," they said in a statement.
They're hiring some bureaucrats to do God's work: An "agreement" is going to "limit global temperature increases." The religious fervor is settled.

This ritual invocation has already been attempted, unsuccessfully, by an individual vastly more charismatic and more widely viewed as messianic than these Bishops: "This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal."

Beyond all this, there's this other carbon based energy thing called wood. Sans miracle, that's what the survivors in what used to be known as developed countries will be burning when they are not occupied shoveling horse manure from the decaying streets. They'll care nothing for poor countries, nor for the Bishops mistaken humanist pieties.

Theoretically, robbing Peter to pay Paul can only work if Peter has something left to rob. There are always Miracles, though.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Idiots think the herd is a pack

I don't mean Kevin Williamson thinks that, but there's a dark side to the disruptive principle he describes: The Case of Uber v. San Antonio.

To have Facebook, Google, Uber, et. al. making the rules is not at all demonstrably better than having San Antonio do it. One could argue the exact opposite. The market isn't free if either San Antonio squashes it or Google seizes it. Thinking citizens are a foundational requirement for a free market. We have a shortage.

Uber could lead a renaissance of individual freedom. It could represent a suffocating corporate-populist hegemony: And I’m ever more convinced a huge number of people are short-sighted idiots. They have Facebook accounts, for example.

Google and Facebook, maybe Uber, are in the business of creating herds who believe they are the pack.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Protecting the flank

Bernie is not a Democratic Presidential candidate. His role is protecting Mrs. Bill's left flank.

The Clintons couldn't have invented a better way to suck the oxygen away from, for example, an Elizabeth Warren.

Bernie is triangulation raised to the next level. An old, white, crazy-uncle-in-the-attic - who isn't even a Democrat - from a electoral vote poor State who floats all the socialist utopian canards: He makes Hillary look presidential by comparison. He lets her selectively navigate the memes that poll well with the economically ignorant.

You can't yet run left of Bernie in this country and win, but he defends a vast space to Hillary's left. They'll have to get through him to get to her.

Bernie proved he knows his place last night when, on behalf of all Americans, he apologized to Mrs. Bill for inquiries into her obfuscation of corrupt co-ordination between the Department of State and the Clinton Foundation, and for her flippant disregard for basic national security considerations: "For convenience." She accepted the apology. He accepted a reported $1.4 million in donations for his helpfulness.

You have to scroll down slightly for this clip (the first of two), to get the full-frontal cackling, bobble-head experience (watch Mrs. Bill, just listen to Bernie).

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

None dare call it reason

I've been in IT for 47 years. I've been responsible for protecting computer networks as CIO. I've been extensively involved on both sides of penetration testing and auditing of computer networks. I've performed forensic analysis of suspected breaches of computer security.

Any CEO who asked me to do what Hillary Clinton asked her "IT staff" to do would have found my resignation on their desk in less than 60 seconds. Any client would have been fired in less time than that.

Since it's the Associated Press telling us one of their favored politicians invited hackers, ranging from kiddie scripters to foreign intelligence agencies, to freely peruse the clintonemail.com server: I tend to believe it is true that Hillary Clinton ran a jawdroppingly inept IT operation when she decided to keep her email secret from the Department of which she was head.

She did succeed in keeping her personal email a secret from the Department of State for a long time, which is why they eventually had to ask her to cough up Official Business emails, but it's mindbogglingly doubtful she kept it secret from anyone else.

She said, at one point, that our government knew she had her own server because they got email addressed from the clintonemail server. Unexplained is how the invitation to invade the server known to be used for official business by SecState was kept from hackers employed by Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un, Xi Jinping or Ali Khamenei. Or, for that matter, the thugs who killed four Americans in Benghazi. Or, for that matter, President Obama, who found out from the newspapers.

Even if no foreign government, or terrorist cell, read Department of State email during Mrs. Bill's tenure, can we afford to assume that to be true? As it stands, we have to assume everything was leaked. That's worse than if we knew what was leaked: And we don't know because she deleted 30,000 or so emails on her own recognizance, quite a number of which contradict her claim that she knew what was classified and never sent anything that was. The timing of classification doesn't even matter.

The guy who set the server up for her is taking the 5th Amendment. Mrs. Bill left all her email in the care of a third party administrator who did not possess the necessary security clearance. She left a copy with her lawyer, another uncleared recipient. She ignored directives from her own department outlawing the use of remote access software as she used it.

And she did this, she claims (or did, at one point), for "convenience."

Her rash and unconscionable sense of privilege, her toying with classified information at the highest levels of our government, her continual flat out lies about it... All make her unfit for the office she seeks.

Someone should ask her in tonight's debate, "If you are elected President, do you promise not to use a home brew server for official business?"

The Sorting Hat

…is a magical hat in the Harry Potter stories. When placed on a student’s head it divines that person's aptitudes, intelligence, interests, moral disposition, etc.. The Hat then decides to which “house” (dorm/tribe) the student will be assigned. The primary objective seems to be maximizing the students’ opportunities to develop within the cultural characteristics - supportive and conflicting - of each distinct “house.” This doesn’t necessitate uniformity; challenges contribute to development.

The Sorting Hat may be heard to mutter things like “keen mind,” “ambitious,” “has courage,” or “seeks answers” during its analysis. The Hat is omniscient in its role. It’s MAGIC. Even so, it may struggle in a decision where a student possesses qualities associated with more than one “house.” It also may take a student’s desires into account.

UC Berkeley School of Law administrators are neither omniscient, nor do they consider individuals’ talents or desires. They sort on the basis of race and ethnicity.

The primary objective seems to be enforcing an identical skin pigmentation average across all cohorts, or “mods.” In their sorting hat role UC Berkeley administrators may not speak out loud, but if they did you’d hear things like “alumni-caucasian,” “economically deprived african-american,” “overachieving-oriental,” and “Elizabeth Warren type-amerind.”

They may sort on the basis of skin color, but they’re not even able to get that right:
“In an effort to create a more positive experience for underrepresented minority students, the UC Berkeley School of Law has implemented a new “critical mass” policy, which has resulted in some racial divisions in the first-year classes.”
UC Berkeley administrators can’t plead ignorance of the consequences of their segregationism. It had to be obvious from their spreadsheets that one of their “super-mod” diversity silos wouldn’t have any blacks in it. What I don’t understand is how they failed to take gender identity into account. If only they added a factor for the explosively expanding gender-identity categories it would work. Right?

Here’s another idea. Give each student a score for what they are and an equal score for what they are not. Then, since the scores would all be identical, toss the names into a hat and get the most mixed-race, thoroughly gender-confused individual they can find to draw them out randomly.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Adults in the room

Not in University of Toronto bathrooms, though.

One of the things that most distinguishes adults from children is the ability to anticipate the results of an action; to think ahead. Children can be reckless because they can't imagine an obvious bad outcome. Adults who suffer from this lack of imagination are known as "university administrators."

University of Toronto Dumps Transgender Bathrooms After Peeping Incidents

But, don't worry, gender-warriors,
The University concluded that while the changes were made in the specific residence hall of the voyeurism incidents, “there has been no change to the designation of gender-neutral washrooms in the other University College Residences or elsewhere on campus as a result of these incidents.”
Children further frequently fail to acknowledge causality, and repeat the action that created a bad outcome. Much like administrators at the University of Toronto.

Under the "yes means yes" definitions U.S. University administrators are pursuing, these UoT incidents would all be counted as rapes.

And these are the smart people?

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

"If only there was a 'coon of the year' award"

University of Pennsylvania Professor Anthea Butler called Presidential Candidate Ben Carson a “coon” for claiming that people have the right to display Confederate flags on private property.

The First Amendment protects her right to say this, as it does the rights of those she describes in racist vitriol.

It does not protect her continued employment. Tenure does that. She brags about her tenure.

She needs to 'check her privilege.'

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

The applied fungibility of taxpayer subsidies for abortion

I was looking for data to quantify abortion subsidies derived from taxation, especially for Planned Parenthood. The money is inarguably fungible, but just how much of it actually goes to abortions?

At Forbes I found this - which far exceeded my ambitions.

The article is an overview of all tax dollars going to abortionists, and there is a specific bit on Planned Parenthood. It is a thoughtful and thorough analysis. The discussion of a PP Michigan clinic is instructive as to creative accounting practices.

Cecile Richards lied, yet again, when she told Congress PP makes no profit from federal subsidies. And no one asked about State contributions to her eugenics project.

Update: Oct 7, 504PM
The link above appears to be redirected to Forbes home page. Try copying and pasting this:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2015/10/02/are-american-taxpayers-paying-for-abortion/

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Funding the immanentization of CAGW

I’m not sure when we accepted the idea that government funding is non-ideological, even apolitical. But, today, when an idea is discredited because of its funding source it’s almost always the evil corporation(s) said to be at fault. It’s the Koch brothers or George Soros taking the heat. When government funds something that proves to be disastrous, idiotic or even evil, government gets a pass. As if government has no agenda and always has good intentions.

We've become blasé about Federal pecuniary feasance, mis-, mal- and non-, in many areas: Medicare, where periodically someone is arrested for multi-million dollar fraud; Corporate welfare, where billions are shoveled into the furnace, but those responsible are rarely held accountable; Federal grants promoting cowboy poetry, about which most merely shake their heads in wonder; Planned Parenthood, where we pretend money isn't fungible.

Nowhere, however, is the damage worse than in funding science research. Especially in the case of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW).

We’re told that anyone skeptical of CAGW is bought and paid for by Big Oil - their opinions should therefore be dismissed. Fully half the arguments from CAGW proponents would disappear if they couldn’t argue ad hominem. Well, turnabout is fair play.

In CAGW huckster Professor Jagadish Shukla, who urges the President to use the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) against CAGW skeptics we have an excellent example.

Friday, October 02, 2015

Can you say "fungible?"

"Over the past five years Planned Parenthood has funneled $22 million to its political affiliate, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund."

And, over the past 5 years, they've received $2.5 billion in Federal funding. If I were a Democrat in the House or Senate, I'd be wondering why I didn't get more back.

Dear Consumers Energy,

Why asking me for $1.50 per month to help you build more windmills is ridiculous:
A new study from Utah State University found that, as of 2013, Michigan’s renewable energy mandate, enacted in 2008, has cost families and businesses here a bundle: $15.1 billion overall, or $3,830 per family, compared to what we would have experienced without the mandate.

According to the study, the economies of all states with a renewable portfolio standard, or RPS, have suffered harm. Among the negative effects are a nearly 14 percent decrease in industrial electricity sales, plus losses in both personal income and employment. A key finding was that an estimated 24,369 jobs have been lost in Michigan because of the mandate, which is in effect a mandate for wind energy.
And, just for a bit of juxtapositioning on the "science is settled" front this morning:
MASSIVE GLOBAL COOLING process discovered as Paris climate deal looms

Update: 5:54PM
More unsettling science - WELL RATS: OCEANS NOT DYING AFTER ALL

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Planned Prevarication

Watching the CSPAN video of Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood, before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Cynthia Lummis, (R) Wyoming, elicits the following from Richards (Start at 00:54:33):

  • Mammograms provided - None. 
  • Abortions - three percent of procedures, eighty six percent of non-government revenue. (A question I asked in early August)
  • Taxpayers fund over forty percent of PP. 
  • $5.1 million in annual travel expenses. 
The fungibility issue is raised, but Richards dissembles.
Lummus: "If taxpayer dollars are being used to free up services that you provide...
Richards: "We don’t get a federal subsidy..."
Lummus: "Could you function on non-federal dollars?”
Richards: "We don’t make any profit off of federal money."
They just pay expenses with your money. We all know that has nothing to do with profit.

Keep watching Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, (R) Utah, after Lummis five minutes are over. He asks if Richards will provide the information, "How many of your affiliates receive the majority of their revenue from abortion?” requested by Lummis.

Richards at 01:01:11 “I don’t want to commit to anything that I don’t want you to have."

Did she really just say that?

Nuking Consumers Energy

I offered my support to Consumers Energy if they would get on with building nuclear plants and get rid of windmills.

This is the most obvious way to rapidly reduce CO2 emissions. Those afraid of "climate change" should be all in. Warm mongers who oppose nuclear power simply aren't serious about CO2 reduction.

But don't take my word for it, take the word of a leftwing "science is settled" magazine...
In just two decades Sweden went from burning oil for generating electricity to fissioning uranium. And if the world as a whole were to follow that example, all fossil fuel–fired power plants could be replaced with nuclear facilities in a little over 30 years...

Such a switch would drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, nearly achieving much-ballyhooed global goals to combat climate change. Even swelling electricity demands, concentrated in developing nations, could be met. All that's missing is the wealth, will and wherewithal...

"As long as people, nations put fear of nuclear accidents above fear of climate change, those trends are unlikely to change," Brook adds. But "no renewable energy technology or energy efficiency approach has ever been implemented on a scale or pace required."
Also consider the opinions of Dr. Patrick Moore, Co-Founder of Greenpeace, and Stewart Brand, publisher Of The Whole Earth Catalog.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

#PinkOut

                                             #BlackOut                                        

Monday, September 28, 2015

Open letter to Consumers Energy

I recently received from you a mailing asking me to contribute $1.50 per month to something called the Green Generation program. According to that letter, my contribution would support “projects like the Michigan Wind Farm in Ubly, which generates enough enough electricity to power every home in a city the size of Battle Creek for one year.

You neglected to mention how much standby generation by conventional means is still required. At least a third of us know that, “Wind is so undependable that fossil fuels have to be available to supplement it over 50 percent of the time.” Maybe I'm part of a less green, as in naive, generation - because your appeal did not inspire me.

I suppose it is in your interest to avoid mentioning wind power reliability when asking me directly to support your latest attempt to suck up dwindling Federal subsidies for windmills. Especially since Consumers Energy is statutorily allowed profit margins of 10 to 12 percent annually, and is guaranteed a 90-percent share of the market by the State of Michigan, while you spend money on misleading advertising about electricity choice: To make sure we don't have it.

If Solyndra had your deal, they'd still be in business.

Would supporting projects like the one in Ubly include contributing to monopoly maintenance advertising? It's a reasonable question. Any reasonable answer would include reference to the word "fungible."

Your letter reminded me that a good part of your past profitability is related to money you've already received from me via taxes and surcharges. This realization did not produce the effect I think you desired, since it prompted me to check on how bad that damage has been and continues to be.

In 2011, you bragged about $29 million in property tax revenue a wind farm project,
“...is expected to provide to Mason County over the first 20 years of operation. The Mason County Planning Commission approved a special land use permit application for the $232 million Lake Winds Energy Park project last week.

What was left out of the press release was that “the project is expected to receive $72 million in federal tax credits from the federal stimulus program, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Consumers Energy spokesman Dennis Marvin said the $72 million in federal tax credits is expected to come over a 10-year period.”
That's net $43 million for Consumers Energy from Federal taxpayers, after $29 million in redistribution pass-throughs. And how's that lawsuit about this wind farm working out for you?

From 2009 through 2011 you charged me $2.50 per month as a Renewable Energy Surcharge. I already paid for constructing the damn windmills, but, as we'll see, maybe not for the maintenance.

Now you're asking me to give you just $1.50 of my own volition. Why didn't you ask the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) to put that back on my invoice? You're running sort of a poll, I guess, anyone dumb enough to contribute probably voted for the guy who said he'd make electricity rates involving coal “skyrocket,” and the results might be able to be used to pressure the MI legislature.

In November 2014the MPSC approved a settlement agreement authorizing Consumers Energy to recover $9,752,187, with interest, in deferred major maintenance expense.” That's one way to ensure your profit margins stay in double digits. What interest rate was used?

In December 2014, Consumers Energy requested of the MPSC “an electric rate increase of $163 million in its electric rates. On June 4, 2015 Consumers self-implemented a portion of the requested increase, $110 million, subject to refund, as authorized by the MPSC. The rate increase reflects major company investments to maintain and improve service.” Maintenance again, how much of it is for windmills?

In September of this year you charged me $1.41 for the income taxes you pay on your “securitization charge” - charges for which you billed me an additional $2.49. So, I'm paying $3.90 a month, over a third of which is your taxes, so you canreplace traditional financing with low-interest bonds, lowering overall costs for customers.” Thanks.

In September I paid $4.14 for “Energy Efficiency” “that helps recover costs associated with the company’s Energy Efficiency Programs required by the 2008 energy law.” Maybe not your fault, but I can't recall any lobbying against it. Certainly nothing reaching the level of your fight to maintain your 90 percent monopoly.

From June through September you charged me extra for usage over 600 kWh becauseThe tiered pricing structure reflects the higher price to buy and produce electricity during the summer. This is primarily because of the increase in customer demand (load on the system) associated with air conditioning... Consumers Energy does not make a profit on the cost of fuel or purchased power.

OK. I guess you are more likely to purchase power (Ontario?) when the wind isn't blowing. And, of course, you're using fuel to keep your standby generators turning anyway. That's like me paying twice.

I realize this green idiocy is not all your fault. We have more than enough fools in the State and National legislatures. However, they didn't force you to waste money on that mailing insulting my intelligence, and you're more than happy to take 'their' money. Unfortunately, the money isn't sufficiently laundered. I know a bunch of it came out of my pocket.

So, while I appreciate the opportunity to further the green propagenda, I think I'll wait until you're begging me for funds to dismantle windmills instead of building more. Then I'll laugh. Until the legislature lets you bill me for it.

If you'd really like some help, I could get behind a big effort to build some nuclear plants. I'll bet there's enough concrete in those windmill pads to have built a couple already.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Ben Carson and Muslim Presidents

The Muslim Islamophobes Who Agree With Ben Carson

One of these religions is not like the others.
Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth.
-Omar Ahmad, founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations

It's ironic that Progressives who reference Jefferson's "wall of separation between church and state" to bolster their case supporting abortion should consider Ben Carson's rejection of sharia discriminatory.

The Constitution's Article Six prohibits a religious test as a qualification for any public office, but that same document contains a First Amendment forbidding the federal government from establishing a national religion. An Islamic president would, by definition, either be an apostate (i.e., a lapsed Muslim according to main-stream Islamic theologians) or refuse to enforce the entire Bill of Rights.

Appealing to the Constitution when you deny its primacy in American law is not merely hypocritical, it's taqiyya for the dhimmi.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Just following orders

The MSM and DNC wagons are circled to protect Planned Parenthood.

In last week’s debate Carly Fiorina spoke of “a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking, while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.”

PP and the Democrat Operatives with Bylines are denying this video exists and excoriating Carly. Put aside the fact that what she said was only inaccurate as an understatement when describing the videos taken as a whole, it’s precisely accurate regarding this video in particular. Who ya gonna believe, George Stephanopoulos, Melissa Harris-Perry and Hillary Clinton - or your lying eyes?

Start at about 5:45. Best watched on an empty stomach.

Of course, any Progressive exposed to this will yell “Selectively edited!” ignoring the fact that over 10 hours of the unedited video were released at the same time. They’ll just be following orders in the #WarOnBabies.

As Carly pointed out, it does speak to the character of this nation, and I cannot think of a better reason to “shut the government down" so it stops financing this horror with taxpayer dollars.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Rapist credits

The real-world judicial system impinges upon the Jared Polis plan.

Representative Polis (D-CO) says that because we can reasonably assume that of 10 accused campus rapists 2 are actually guilty, we should force-transfer all 10 to other universities. One obvious consequence is that the receiving institutions would be enrolling 2 real rapists whose crimes go unpunished. Another is that no one could be sure if they got a real rapist, so they’d have to act as if all 10 had actually committed rape. I’m not sure what that would mean, but I wonder about the legal liability for any university which accepts someone who is subsequently accused of committing a(nother) rape. Surveillance 24/7?

Another result of Mr. Polis’ plan is that 8 accused rapists would be in a position to sue the originating institution. In fact, to preserve what little of their reputation they would have left, all 10 would be incentivized to file suit. Nobody knows which 2 are guilty, so the odds are good for all of them.

Polis does not explain why any university would want to enroll accused rapists. Perhaps we would need to supply an incentive: Maybe something analogous to carbon credits. Think of accused rapists as coal-fired power plants and complainants as newly planted trees. Why not establish a credit system for the transfer of complainants?

Math is hard, but if 1 in 5 campus men accused of rape is guilty, then 4 of 5 of accusations are false. For every 5 complainants transferred into your institution you could avoid accepting 1 accused rapist. That increases your tuition base. Further, transferring all complainants would address a larger proportion of the problem (4 liars become somebody else’s problem), while simultaneously endangering fewer women on the new campus than the transfer of a single rapist.

It does put a whole new group of men at higher risk of false accusations, but who cares?

It also doesn’t put the real rapists behind bars. But that isn’t the point, is it?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

'No, no!' said the Queen. 'Sentence first - verdict afterwards.'

With Representative Jared Polis (D - Boulder, CO) and soon to be former Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton (D - Carpetbag, AR) channeling Iracebeth of Crims, I am reminded not just of Lewis Carroll, but also Joseph Heller and Franz Kafka.

The trial of the Knave in Alice in Wonderland, Clevinger's Court Martial in Catch-22 and Joeseph K.'s year imprisoned in The Trial have much in common with the kangaroo court system Jared and Hillary want to establish.

Carroll:
"If there's no meaning in it," said the King, "that saves a world of trouble, you know, as we needn't try to find any."
Heller:
Clevinger was guilty, of course, or he would not have been accused, and since the only way to prove it was to find him guilty, it was their patriotic duty to do so.
Kafka:
"[I]t is an essential part of the justice dispensed here that you should be condemned not only in innocence but also in ignorance.”
Polis:
I mean, if there's 10 people that have been accused and under a reasonable likelihood standard maybe one or two did it, [it] seems better to get rid of all 10 people. We're not talking about depriving them of life or liberty, we're talking about their transfer to another university.
Yep. They're at liberty to apply to the University of Accused Rapists.

Hillary:
To every survivor of sexual assault… You have the right to be heard. You have the right to be believed. We’re with you.
The 'right' of the accuser to be believed eliminates the rights of the guilty and innocent alike. Who has the "right to be believed?" Well, in Hillary's case, we know who doesn't: Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, Juanita Broaddrick and Monica Lewinsky.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Always good intent they have

Actually, that's not true, as Representative Jared Polis, D-CO and the people who applaud him are demonstrating.

Here's what TITLE IX OF THE EDUCATION AMENDMENTS OF 1972 states:
"No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."
That is called the "intent," which for our Chief Justice of the Supreme Court should be sufficient to uphold the law even as it is transformed into Representative Polis' desired result:

“Every male person enrolled in any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance in the United States shall be subject to summary expulsion from that program or activity if anyone, no matter how wildly specious their complaint, makes an accusation of “untoward” behavior as defined by unelected, judicially untrained administrators acting outside the Justice system and without reference to Constitutional protections. The parameters shall apply retroactively and be recodified contemporaneously with each and any accusation to reflect the suggestions of the three (3) most junior female-identifying clerks at the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights who possess a minimum Body Mass Index of 35.”