“Human beings are born with different capacities. If they are free, they are not equal. And if they are equal, they are not free.”
― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Sunday, February 21, 2016

The horns of a dilemma

In the last week Donald Trump:
  • came out for the health care mandate 
  • defended planned parenthood 
  • blamed GW Bush for 9/11 
  • stood by the idea of impeaching GWB
  • had a spat with the Pope
  • called for our military to dip ammo in pig’s blood
  • urged a boycott of Apple
Add to that his enthusiastic support for corporatist misuse of eminent domain, saying he’ll order our military to kill the families of terrorists, threatening a trade war with China, insulting war heroes, urging his supporters to "punch out" protestors, a clear misogynist history and saying the “F” word at a televised rally.

That's a partial list.

This is a man whose entire policy portfolio consists of the words “terrific,” “tremendous,” “great” and “wonderful” (often punctuated with “very, very” or “really, really”) jammed in front of whatever policy word he’s supposedly explaining. Then he repeats it at least 3 times between self-interruptions describing how Big his Rallies are, or his Lead in the Polls.

33% of those who voted in last night’s SC Republican primary want this man to be president.

So. We’re looking as if we might have a forced choice between a less articulate reincarnation of P. T. Barnum and the lying grifter who literally claims her biggest qualification is what’s between her legs. Unsurprisingly, these 2 are contesting for the lowest favorability rating in either party.

I think Mrs. Bill has the upper hand. When the Dems are finished with their micro-targeted anti-Trump social media videos, it will result in a landslide loss for the GOP.

Not that it would make a huge difference to citizens. Either way we get big government and big spending and paternalistic federal intervention characterized by crony capitalism. Our choice is Brownshirts or Blackshirts.

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."
-H. L. Mencken

Yep.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Small, petty man

Politico weighs in on the exquisitely difficult, sublimely nuanced decisions afflicting our President: Obama to skip Scalia's funeral
The optics of paying his respects to Scalia are tricky for Obama, who would have been the subject of constant cutaways to his reactions and interactions with members of Congress during the funeral, distracting from memorials for the giant of American legal thought.
Now, that's a quite reasonable criticism of how the partisan media might cover the funeral of a truly great man should their "lightbringer" deign to appear at it.

"Look at the crease in his pants!" "I had a thrill run up my leg!"

But even that drivel isn't the point being made. Politico wants to forgive Obama's inability to act as a Statesman rather than abandon his narcissistic cheerleading. It wouldn't even occur to them that making Obama the center of attention at Scalia's funeral would be their fault.

Politico notes in the sub-head that "The president's decision is being played up by some as a snub at a politically fraught time."

Yes, it is a politically fraught time.

Yes, some, including many Democrats, are wondering why this President cannot resist ball spiking and trash talk: "I won Antonin! I outlived you." "I won," is a refrain explaining a good part of why the time is politically fraught.

Recognizing that Politico is struggling to make sense of all this, TOC sent that paragraph to our rewrite department:


"Pictures of Obama chewing gum, high-fiving the Vice President, and mouthing “I won!” during Scalia’s funeral were considered to have too much negative PR potential. Especially in light of the President's upcoming dead-on-arrival nomination for Scalia's replacement.

The opportunity to behave decently for an hour or so at Scalia’s funeral might well have generated some good will, misled people to believe Obama’s humble-brag that he regrets not fixing the partisan divide he exacerbated, mitigated his insult to SCOTUS in his 2010 State of the Union address, and reflected true regret that he filibustered Justice Alito's confirmation.

However, the required behavior was described as “apolitical - so not remotely possible” by an anonymous source: “He can’t be expected to act like a Statesman, so it’s better he hits the links. Besides, how would it look to show up for a mere Supreme Court Justice after he already skipped Margaret Thatcher’s funeral?”"

There, fixed that for you Politico.

There's been some speculation that Scalia's family asked Obama not to attend. I disregard this because it's the last thing Justice Ginsburg's good friend would have desired, and if the request had been made, Obama would surely have decided he must attend.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Antonin Scalia RIP

He will be sorely missed. He did leave us some advice:
It is one of the unhappy incidents of the federal system that a self-righteous Supreme Court, acting on its Members' personal view of what would make a 'more perfect Union' (a criterion only slightly more restrictive than a 'more perfect world') can impose its own favored social and economic dispositions nationwide.
United States v. Virginia (1996)

We Americans have a method for making the laws that are over us. We elect representatives to two Houses of Congress, each of which must enact the new law and present it for the approval of a President, whom we also elect. For over two decades now, unelected federal judges have been usurping this lawmaking power by converting what they regard as norms of international law into American law. Today's opinion approves that process in principle, though urging the lower courts to be more restrained. This Court seems incapable of admitting that some matters - any matters - are none of its business.
Sosa v. Alvarez-Machain et al., 542 U. S. 692 (2004)

Now the Senate is looking for 'moderate' judges, 'mainstream' judges. What in the world is a moderate interpretation of a constitutional text? Halfway between what it says and what we'd like it to say?
Address to Chapman University students (2005).
His death heightens the danger to our Republic in an already dangerous time.

Our lame-duck President knows any appointment he makes should be blocked in the Republican Senate. This means he will make the most outrageous political selection he can imagine. He will rejoice in the spectacle of confirmation hearings in the midst of a presidential election. He will accuse the Senate of not doing its job. He will invoke a vast array of straw men calculated to promote division by race, class and sex. He may threaten some sort of bizarre Executive Order.

Nonetheless, if we are to have a Justice who will support overturning Citizen's United and Heller - chipping away at the 1st and 2nd Amendments - let him at least be the appointee of a Sanders, Clinton or Trump.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

To the Bernie Bros

Time to discover the Liberals Karl Popper and Eric Hoffer. You probably aren't aware of these men, but you should consider their wisdom. You could even do an internet search.

Bernie Sanders' ideas are not vaguely new. There's a body of rational criticism you need to understand if you pretend to intellectual honesty.
"I remained a socialist for several years, even after my rejection of Marxism; and if there could be such a thing as socialism combined with individual liberty, I would be a socialist still. For nothing could be better than living a modest, simple, and free life in an egalitarian society. It took some time before I recognized this as no more than a beautiful dream; that freedom is more important than equality; that the attempt to realize equality endangers freedom; and that, if freedom is lost, there will not even be equality among the unfree."
― Karl Popper, Unended Quest: An Intellectual Autobiography - 1976
"The nineteenth century was naïve because it did not know the end of the story. It did not know what happens when dedicated idealists come to power; it did not know the intimate linkage between idealists and policemen, between being your brother’s keeper and being his jailkeeper.

It is disconcerting that present-day young who did not know Stalin and Hitler are displaying the old naïveté. After all that has happened they still do not know that you cannot build utopia without terror, and that before long terror is all that’s left."
-Eric Hoffer, Before the Sabbath - 1974

Friday, February 12, 2016

Unlearn for Bern

You know, the Bernie voters more and more resemble the demographic contingent that “got clean for Gene.” Minus the clean bit, lacking the <sarc> civility of the Vietnam era </sarc> and adding tribalist whining about the 1st Amendment.

On a whim I checked 'sarc' on Duck-Duck-Go: "Sexual Assault Response Coordinator." In this case, that’s Bill Clinton, Gloria Steinem and Madeline Albright. It's all in how you parse "sexual assault response." Camille Paglia had some thoughts on this - “Sexism has nothing to do with it”.

But back to my point: The main difference between Gene McCarthy and Bernie Sanders is that no one in the 1960's could possibly have run on an overtly socialist platform. But for Obama, no one could run on one now. Bernie's acolytes think the problem is Barack didn't transform enough.

The new generation of students doesn't remember the Soviet Union, hasn't read the Black Book of Communism or The Road to Serfdom and paid no attention to the lessons of Hugo Chavez (much less Mao, Stalin or Castro). Their "war" is fueled by abysmal economic ignorance. Not that the Vietnam era protestors were students of the dismal science, it just wasn't their reason for being, and they couldn't have sold socialism to a wide audience however much protest leaders may have wanted to.

How quickly we forget when the far left runs the government schools.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Self-banned from Twitter

I'm done with Twitter. Account deleted. Here's why.

They're sitting there scratching their heads about why their user numbers are stagnant. Maybe they'll wake up when the user base declines.

Monday, February 08, 2016

Mr. Bill: Sander's supporters sexist

They threatened to deploy cigars.
People who have gone online to defend Hillary, to explain why they supported her, have been subject to vicious trolling and attacks that are literally too profane often, not to mention sexist, to repeat.
Bill Clinton unloads on Bernie Sanders ahead of crucial New Hampshire primary

NOT The Onion.

Real women know their place

"When you’re young, you’re thinking, “Where are the boys? The boys are with Bernie."
-Feminist superhero Gloria Steinem, on why young women aren’t flocking to Mrs. Bill.
I see a bumper sticker: Horny co-eds for Bernie!
"And just remember — there's a special place in hell for women who don't help each other."
-Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, at a Mrs. Bill’s campaign event.
Ms. Albright should know.
"Sen. Sanders is the only person who I think would characterize me, a woman running to be the first woman president, as exemplifying the establishment."
-Mrs. Bill on why she can’t possibly be “establishment:” Because she has a vagina.
Mrs. Bill? Bernie is far from the only one, or Gloria Steinem wouldn’t have been sticking her foot in her mouth up to the knee.
"Sometimes when a woman speaks out, some people think it's shouting."
-Mrs. Bill on her calm demeanor involving gun control.
Sometimes, when a woman screeches for years on a topic, she calls it speaking out.
"Bernie is building a movement, we're told (with little evidence of lasting organization, by the way), but it's a movement whose loudest advocates are entitled young men who heap the vilest abuse on women who don't deign to join it."
-Joan Walsh, writing at The Nation in Jan 2016
It’s a movement lasting a bit too long for Mrs. Bill’s comfort.
"First of all, Clinton only won the women’s vote narrowly in 2008, besting Barack Obama by just 2 percent…

The drop in Clinton’s support among women also makes sense given that we know women don’t merely support female candidates just because they’re women."

-Joan Walsh (same one), writing at Salon in Sep 2015
No, they support female candidates solely because of the candidate's sex because they’re being bullied by feminist SJW hacks who can’t remember what they write after a few months.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

YOU are a Trump donor

Donald Trump makes a big deal out of using his own money to finance his campaign. He mentioned it again last night when he was booed for insulting the audience:
Trump said he was self-funding his campaign, so Republican donors weren't a fan of his candidacy.

"The reason they're not loving me is I don't want their money. I'm going to do the right thing for the American public," Trump said.
Self-funding? Ignoring the immense free coverage he's had from the media, which you paid for with your time watching ads, a lot of the actual money he's using to finance his campaign came from you. The Donald brags about "leveraging" (to use a polite term) politicians, "I've got to give to them, because when I want something, I get it. When I call, they kiss my ass."

He has reason to brag:
None of this (Except maybe the tax avoidance at the Grand Hyatt*, the unreported lobbying** against the Mohawk Casino and the attempt to screw an elderly woman out of her house.) was illegal. All of it shows Trump is a corporatist whore, whose "business" benefits from transferring taxpayer dollars to his pocket.

Trump says this demonstrates corruption in politics. If so, it also demonstrates corrupt "business" practice. He doesn't talk about cleaning up the problem, he just says he's above it now. Because he already got your money.

Doing "[T]he right thing for the American public?" Donald Trump: A consummate utilitarian ethicist.


*When tax receipts from the Grand Hyatt plummeted to $667,000 from $3.7 million the year before, the city budget director asked Auditor General Burstein to review the hotel's financial records. Burstein said the Grand Hyatt, through "aberrant" accounting practices, had understated its profits by $5 million and shorted the city by $2,870,259 in taxes.

"The people who didn't get the foregone taxes were the police, the schools and public hospitals of this city," she said, adding that "Trump leveraged tax forgiveness and clout into a deal where he had essentially no risk at all; there was no downside. Then, having triumphed, he repaid his benefactors by excoriating them as inept, venal and useless."

Although Trump pressured her to kill the audit, Burstein said, she insisted on publishing it.

**In October 2000, Trump and his associates agreed to pay $250,000 to the state and issue an apology because he secretly paid for the ads attacking the Mohawks and didn’t inform the state lobbying commission.

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