Friday, November 17, 2017

Tidbits from Twitter

From glancing at Twitter tonight, I learned that Juanita Broaddrick is calling for NBC to replay the Meyers interview NBC did with her and explain why they held it until after the impeachment hearings.

David Burge has some advice for men in 2017: do not flirt until flirted at, and only then if it's insanely obvious!

Jesse Jackson immediately announces he has Parkinson's after sexual abuse allegations become public about him.

Mine are about once a month!

hat tip Woodsterman

He'll get to the bottom of it!

hat tip Woodsterman

Not the same welcome

Hat tip Woodsterman

Brain development

hat tip Woodsterman

Pausing to thank the meaningless, vast, and ancient universe that doesn’t care at all whether they live or die.

The Babylon Bee features a satirical story about a man who is getting ready to give thanks next week.
CINCINNATI, OH—Local atheist Hal Woodring is reportedly preparing his heart to humbly show gratitude to the cold, mechanical processes that randomly led to mankind’s existence and his own fleeting life this Thanksgiving, sources confirmed Friday.

Woodring plans to bow his head silently before partaking in his family’s extravagant Thanksgiving feast Thursday evening to give thanks to the meaningless, cold, inconsequential universe for preserving him and allowing him to partake in its bounty.

His family members report that he does this every Thanksgiving, pausing to thank the meaningless, vast, and ancient universe that doesn’t care at all whether they live or die.

“Praise Darwinian evolution for the blind, heartless processes that inevitably led to me being able to eat this great meal today,” Woodring had muttered quietly at last year’s feast. “And thank you to those who died instead of my ancestors, so that they would be selected to survive in an endless, cruel cycle of natural selection. I’m truly blessed—no, humbled—that I’m able to partake in this futile tradition at least one more year before my inevitable demise and descent into the great black Lovecraftian void beyond.”

Smart strategy, Franken!, A "team sport ethos," Juan's whines

Greg Gutfeld and Jesse Watters were not on tonight's The Five program. They were replaced by Pete Hegseth and Kennedy. Hegseth made the point that dozens of Republican senators have called for Roy Moore to step down and zero Democrat senators have called for Al Franken to resign. Both the Republican National Committee and the Republican Senatorial Fund withdrew funding for Moore's campaign.

Democrats are calling for an ethics investigation. Those would be the investigations that have taken place in the last decade: investigating 613 allegations, and zero Congress critters have had to resign! Smart strategy, Franken! Millions of taxpayer dollars have paid off the accusers.

Not to be outdone, Juan Williams starts raising his voice, complaining that the Alabama GOP is supporting Roy Moore, as are Steve Bannon and Sean Hannity. Hegseth stood up to Juan: "Why does Juan Williams get to decide whether a candidate stays in or resigns? Juan comes whining back, "Are you guys forgetting the charges against Donald Trump?

Kennedy reminds everyone of Hillary Clinton's role in destroying the reputations of Bill's accusers. Dana agrees and remembers 1997 well: "You couldn't see any women's groups defending Monica Lewinsky!" Why, because Bill Clinton always supported their causes!

Another Juan whine: the tax bill that passed in the House helps corporations. Hegseth was all over him again: "Corporations hire people!" Kennedy added an emotional response to Juan.

Our living planet

Mike McRae reports at Science Alert,
For the past two decades, NASA has continuously kept an eye on our planet's biosphere as it pulses and ebbs with the seasons.

The data is invaluable to researchers, but the time-lapse imagery also provides us with a breathtaking visualisation of Earth's most unique characteristic – life.

The Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) was launched in 1997, and spent the next 13 years looking down on us from its orbit 700 kilometres (about 435 miles) overhead.

The satellite's purpose was to collect data on the bio-optical properties of our planet's land masses and oceans. As it did so, it watched Earth's living colours change with the seasons.
Read more here.


Alex Lockie reports at Business Insider,
A North Korean defector shot five times while running across the border to South Korea has been found riddled with parasites, one of which has never been seen in the country.

North Korean defectors often come over to South Korea with parasites, in one case with more than 30 types of ringworm.

South Korean surgeons operating on a North Korean defector who ran across the Demilitarised Zone between the two countries under a hail of gunfire on Monday have found a parasite in the man's stomach unlike any other they had seen.

The defector, who was shot five times, remained in critical condition after hours in two rounds of surgery, said an article in the Korea Biomedical Review published Wednesday.

"We are struggling with treatment as we found a large number of parasites in the soldier's stomach, invading and eating into the wounded areas," Lee Guk-jong, the physician who treated him, told the Review.

"We have also discovered a parasite never seen in Koreans before," Lee said. "It is making the situation worse and causing tremendous complications."

It's unclear whether the parasite has been seen in other parts of the world.

A professor at a medical school told the Review that North Korean defectors would often come to South Korea riddled with parasites, with one patient having more than 30 types of roundworms in her body.

The problem is common among defectors, the professor said, but may not be reflective of the North Korean population.

But the case of this defector stands above the others - his small intestine is ruptured, contaminated with faecal matter, and infected with parasites, Lee told the Review.

"He has everything that he could have," Lee said.

"It is very likely that the prognosis will be worse than other general trauma patients as he has been in a state of shock induced by heavy bleeding and we expect to deal with many complications."

Some Navy guys are in trouble.

Kaitlin Riordan, of television station KREM in Washington state reports,
OKANOGAN COUNTY, Wash. – Officials with the Naval Air Station Whidbey Island said one of their aircraft was involved in the obscene skywritings spotted in Okanogan County.

Photos sent to KREM 2 by multiple sources show skydrawings of what some people are saying is male genitalia. Some sources have even tweeted pictures of what they saw.

A mother who lives in Okanogan who took pictures of the drawings reached out to KREM 2 to complain about the images, saying she was upset she might have to explain to her young children what the drawings were.

In a statement to KREM 2 News navy officials said, "The Navy holds its aircrew to the highest standards and we find this absolutely unacceptable, of zero training value and we are holding the crew accountable."
Read more here.

Should we repeal the Seventeenth Amendment?

John Daniel Davidson writes in the Federalist,
The Seventeenth Amendment says U.S. senators must be elected by popular vote, instead of by state legislatures. Adopted in 1913 during the height of the Progressive Era, the amendment supersedes the provisions in the Constitution that required senators to be elected by state legislatures.

The idea that state legislatures would elect senators might seem odd nowadays, but creating some distance between the popular vote and the election of senators was crucial to the Founders’ grand design for the republic. The original idea, spelled out in The Federalist Papers, was that the people would be represented in the House of Representatives and the states would be represented in the Senate. Seats in the House were therefore apportioned according to population while every state, no matter how large its populace, got two seats in the Senate.

The larger concept behind this difference was that Congress needed to be both national and federal in order to reflect not just the sovereignty of the people but also the sovereignty of the states against the federal government. In Federalist No. 62, James Madison explained that Congress shouldn’t pass laws “without the concurrence, first, of a majority of the people, and then of a majority of the states.”

John's major argument seems to be that if states elected senators, we would not get senators like Ted Kennedy or Roy Moore. I'm not convinced. Read more here.

Franken's obsessive-compulsive behavior

For many years, Sean Hannity has known the radio personality in L.A. who is accusing Al Franken of inappropriate sexual conduct. Several years ago she showed Sean the photo someone took of Al Franken reaching for her breasts while she was asleep on a plane coming back from entertaining troops. She asked Sean not to reveal it, and out of respect for her, he honored that request.

Sean had his own experience with Franken's obsessive-compulsive behavior, which resulted in Fox News security having to escort Franken out the door.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Can we trust love and faith again?

Regie Hamm writes,
...It feels like we, as a nation, are trying to destroy ourselves. All of our “rushes” seem to have played out. Our collective brain is numb; numb from screens and TV dramas that wrap up in 30 minutes or an hour (or never wrap up at all), and pretty faith that doesn’t feel like anything, and casual sex that has no consequence, and words that never inspire or elevate, and leaders that blame and posture, and music that pounds but never soars, and education that teaches hows, who’s, and whats …but never the whys, and malls that all sell the same trinkets, clothes and chicken tenders, and cars that are safer, and flights that are quicker, and shaves that are closer, and computers that are faster. And in this constant, comfortable noise, the very essence of our collective soul is disappearing.

We are like babies that have been showered with the best toys, cribs, blankets and bottles …but are not being held and loved.

...I want to believe we can trust love and faith again.
Read more here.

New Mexico Democratic Congressional candidate arrested for stalking

At the Daily Wire, Ryan Saaverda reports,
"Police arrested a Democratic congressional candidate on stalking charges after a woman accused him of watching her, following her, and sending her a picture of his genitals.

Authorities arrested David Alcon on Friday at an apartment complex in Albuquerque nearly two weeks after an arrest warrant was issued for him on October 30 in Santa Fe, KRQE News 13 reported.

Alcon, who was running for New Mexico’s open District 2 Congressional Seat, is accused of stalking a woman attending a Halloween party on October 28.

His accuser claims that he sent her repeated text messages "suggesting that he was watching her, other messages professing his love for her, and one picture of his genitals." Later that night, he allegedly began texting her that he was outside of her apartment.

Police arrested Alcon in Albuquerque after they were called to an apartment complex late on Friday afternoon. The Albuquerque Police Department did not give details on what happened when they arrived on scene — only that they took Alcon into custody.

KRQE News 13 added that although it does not appear that Alcon is facing any additional charges, he was previously arrested and convicted in 2007 for stalking a woman."


A second woman has come forward to accuse Senator Al Franken of inappropriate behavior.
In response to the disturbing allegations made against Franken, Media Equalizer and Media Equality Project Co-Founder Melanie Morgan has come forward to recall her own frightening encounter, sparked by a seemingly-mundane and even obscure topic of political disagreement.

Morgan, who was a ABC Radio talk show host for KSFO / San Francisco at the time, appeared August 19, 2000 on ABC’s late night show Politically Incorrect.

She was joined by Franken, William Baldwin, and then-Colorado Lt. Governor Joe Rogers on the panel.
Morgan and Franken had a dispute over the OMB’s budget numbers.

“I was invited and unaware of who his guests were going to be that night,” Morgan said.

“I made a statement about the budget numbers, Franken challenged me, I challenged him back. It was about spending priorities, actually just a mundane discussion. But he obsessed over it.”

After the show, Morgan said Franken wouldn’t leave her alone, insisting on continuing the argument.
“He approached me backstage, angrily called me out on those numbers and insisted he would prove he was right. He wouldn’t leave me alone, he kept following me. As a woman, his presence and proximity to me felt very threatening and intimidating.

“I didn’t realize his creepy behavior after the show meant it would continue in the days to come.
“He approached Carol, the show’s producer and demanded my home phone number, which was a clear violation of network protocol. I had thought that was the end of the story and was shocked when he started calling my home, badgering me repeatedly.

“I became fearful and called Carol to complain and asked her to tell him to back off. But he made another call after that. I thought that he might end up stalking me at my home in Northern California, it was that bad.

“By the third phone call I was outraged and terrified, as he is really disturbed,” Morgan recounted.
Morgan said Franken finally left her alone, but only after she pushed back and threatened “to call the police and make a report that he was harassing me.”

To this day, she says she is haunted by it: “I never forgot that experience and it informed me of his lack of character and obsessive personality. I believe every word Leann wrote.”
Read more here.

"Allegation Nation"

Jessie Watters seems to have taken on the responsibility to be the one who points out the factual inaccuracy of Juan Williams' many efforts to criticize Republicans.

Greg believes the media is failing to take into consideration differences in scale, as we become "allegation nation." The media is throwing it all into one pot and stirring it up.

Greg says the world has moved on without the likes of Alec Baldwin and Joe Scarborough. They are in the entertainment industry, but Trump is better at it than they are. Greg and Kimberley agree Trump is the greatest president ever!

Juan happily cites polls which say that the majority of Americans don't support Trump's tax reform bill. I dare say the majority of Americans have no idea what is in the bill! Kimberley wants Trump to get out into the country and sell the plan.

Greg laments that we do such a poor job of explaining capitalism, why there is inequality. It's about mobility of people moving up or down in the freedom of the system.

A sheriff in Bend County Texas is concerned about "a breach of the peace" because of two signs a pickup truck driver prominently displayed.

A broken system

Richard Pollock reports at The Daily Caller,
More than 100,000 convicted felons or other “prohibited persons” tried to buy guns each year during President Barack Obama’s administration by lying on their applications, but the Justice Department only considered prosecuting about 30 to 40 people each year, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation.

The Obama administration may have publicly aligned itself with anti-gun activists, but it consistently turned a blind eye to prosecute known criminals who tried to buy guns.

A June 2016 Justice Department Inspector General’s report revealed that between 2008 and 2015 the U.S. Attorneys office considered prosecuting “less than 32 people per year” for lying on form 4473, the federal application to buy guns.

Surprisingly, the Obama administration’s harshest critics are gun manufacturers themselves.
Read more here.

Pet Senators

Ace wonders if "bribery" has now been written out of the US Code entirely because of the Menendez hung jury. He writes,
Some tough questions here -- how do we make bribery a crime again, and how do we keep it a specific enough crime that not every donor who comes calling for a favor at a later date is part of a bribery scheme? Because, let's face it, many donors who fork over more than a thousand bucks or so do expect not just an ideological result of their donation, but a personal favor to be called in at a later date. Maybe they don't have any specific request at the time of the donation, but if they find government hostile to something they want later on, they're gonna expect their Pet Senators to do something.
Read more here.

Why he will vote for Judge Moore

Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks, who was defeated by Roy Moore in the primaries, was chased down by an ABC reporter and asked,
“Do you believe Roy Moore over the women?” the reporter asked.

“I believe that the Democrats will do great damage to our country,” Brooks said.

Penny Starr reports at Breitbart,
“Who will vote in America’s best interests on Supreme Court justices, deficit and debt, economic growth, border security, national defense, and the like? Socialist Democrat Doug Jones will vote wrong. Roy Moore will vote right. Hence, I will vote for Roy Moore.”

Read more here.

How many Al Franken victims will come forward?

God above our Constitution? Trump's accomplishments in Asia

Juan Williams is "wrankled" that Roy Moore puts God above our Constitution! I did not know Juan is such a lover of the Constitution!

China has agreed to send an envoy to North Korea.

Juan badmouths President Trump for accomplishing "little" on the Asian trip. Jesse buries him with facts. Juan says Trump got "zip." Jesse begins speaking again, and Juan sarcastically interrupts.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Ammon Bundy and his six co-defendants not guilty

Karina Brown reports in Willamette Week,
A federal jury delivered a resounding acquittal today for the anti-government militants who occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in January, finding Ammon Bundy and his six co-defendants not guilty of conspiring to keep federal employees from doing their jobs.

Supporters of the Arizona-based rancher and his anti-government movement wept, hugged and waved American flags in the streets outside downtown Portland's federal courthouse.

Read more here.

He's no dummy!

Sexual harassment slush fund by members of Congress

Joel B. Pollak reports at Breitbart,
Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd on Meet the Press Daily on Tuesday that the U.S. House of Representatives has paid $15 million to alleged victims of sexual harassment by its own members in recent years.

“We do know there is about $15 million that has been paid out by the House on behalf of harassers in the last ten to 15 years,” she said.

“15 million dollars has been paid out over sexual harassment claims,” Todd replied, somewhat shocked. “So, obviously more than one member of Congress.”

Pressed for details, Speier said she did not know how many members of Congress were involved. She also explained that victims had signed non-disclosure agreements.

“If the taxpayers are involved, don’t we have the right to know?” Todd asked later in the segment.

“I think you do have the right to know,” she said. “But right now, under the system, you don’t have a right to know.”

Speer described a one-sided investigative process that does everything to protect members of Congress — and little to protect the rights of victims: “Right now it takes almost 90 days to be able to file a complaint. And before actually going through the mediation, you have to sign a non-disclosure agreement. And then, you are not represented by counsel, but the harasser is represented by the House of Representatives general counsel.”

Todd admitted that Congress’s proclivity to sexual harassment was an open secret in Washington, DC: “It’s like finding out that there was gambling going on in Casablanca. The environment on Capitol Hill, particularly when I was younger in the ’90s and the ’00s. It was sort of well-known that that environment existed.”

Earlier in the day, Speier testified at the Committee on House Administration that there were two current members of Congress, one Republican and one Democrat, who were guilty of sexual harassment. She did not divulge names.

CNN also reported on Tuesday that harassment was widespread on Capitol Hill and in the surrounding office buildings.

What we can learn from tonight's press conference by Moore's attorney.

At POWERLINE, attorney Paul Mirengoff gives us his assessment of the key aspects of tonight's press conference by Roy Moore's attorney.

"When political power is in the picture, Democrats and feminists “believe the women” only when they accuse political enemies. This was true in 1990s and it’s true today."

At POWERLINE, Paul Mirengoff writes about,
Is there anything in the news more farcical than liberals and feminists saying it’s time for “a reckoning with Bill Clinton”? Clinton was credibly accused of severe sexual misconduct by several women. One of them, Juanita Broaddrick, alleged that Clinton raped her. Her claim was highly credible, inasmuch as she complained contemporaneously to five people.

Clinton also admitted, after brazenly lying about it, to having sex with Monica Lewinsky. The White House intern was barely out of her teens at the time.

If Roy Moore, against whom no allegation of sexual misconduct has been conclusively established, is unfit to occupy one of 100 Senate seats, then surely Bill Clinton was unfit to serve as our president. Yet Democrats and feminists rallied to Clinton’s defense, while shrugging off, if not applauding the fact that the Clinton machine — spearheaded by Hillary Clinton — demonized Clinton’s female victims.

Did any Democrat or liberal media type say “I believe the women”? If so, I don’t recall it.

During Clinton’s post-presidency, Democrats and feminists continued to ignore his predatory sexual history. Even now, when that behavior is mentioned some (like Ruth Marcus) accuse those who bring it up of “what-about-ism.”

Let’s be clear. Responding to the allegations against Roy Moore by citing Clinton isn’t a defense of Moore. It’s an indictment of Clinton defenders for intellectual dishonesty. Unless the Ruth Marcus will to admit to intellectual dishonesty, she needs a substantive answer to the “what about” question.

Some on the left realize this. That’s why they call for a Bill Clinton “reckoning.”

But such a reckoning two decades after the fact won’t cut it. Does anyone believe there would be such a reckoning if Hillary Clinton had won in 2016? I don’t. Bill Clinton can be “reckoned with” now because the Clintons are a long way from power and many on the left want to keep it that way.

Does anyone believe there would be a Bill Clinton reckoning if Roy Moore hadn’t credibly been accused of serious sexual misconduct? Given the timing of most of the reckoning talk, I don’t.

It’s true that Harvey Weinstein had his reckoning before Moore was accused (but only after major obstacles to it were overcome). But Weinstein isn’t Bill Clinton. Sure, he served the left, but others in Hollywood can provide that service. Surely, there are one or two male tycoons, or potential tycoons, in Hollywood who haven’t sexually harassed anyone. Or, here’s a thought — how about a female Hollywood tycoon?

Bill Clinton, by contrast, was indispensable until recently and his legacy is still of marginal interest to many liberals.

I’ve heard it said that if the Clinton sex saga of the 1990s were to occur in 2017, it would play out very differently. Nonsense. Sexual harassment was a major issue in the 1990s and feminists had already staked out the “I believe the women” position. Or have you forgotten the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill drama of 1991?

When political power is in the picture, Democrats and feminist “believe the women” only when they accuse political enemies. This was true in 1990s and it’s true today.

Got it?

Andrew Klavan's podcast today

Andrew Klavan has some advice for Steve Bannon: If you are going to go head to head with a politician like Mitch McConnell, you better make sure you have the political skills to compete with McConnell!

Is the Senate debating ideas? Is it legislating? No? It is investigating!

How on earth does Barack Obama still have such an adoring following? Andrew: His race! Americans felt a lot of shame. Pathological guilt. The Left could not let Barack Obama be a failure. If you criticize Obama you are a racist. Clinging to their virtue!

Grief is a desert that has to be crossed on foot. It is a journey through something across a wasteland. Use the grief to make you a better person and appreciate the beautiful things in your life. Be patient!

"Her manipulatin, lies and bullshit? That's done!"

Yesterday a woman named Beverly Young Nelson appeared with Attorney Gloria Allred to charge that she was a victim of Roy Moore. Her stepson, Darrel Nelson, is having none of it. He posted a video on Facebook, saying:

"She's been in the family a while and she ain't never mentioned this before, until this election shit. I got your back, Judge Moore. We can end this, and I'll hep you do it!" "We need you in that office up there!" "We need you to bring the good book back to church and back to the schools! Our kids need to learn how to pray in school again." "She's wrong for this!" "I don't believe a word she said!" "I believe she's lyin through her teeth...this I do know!" I believe you're innocent of all charges and I believe she's full of shit!" "She's wrong as Hell!" "She's always tried to live pretty high on the hog, so I'd have to guess somebody paid her to get it done!"

Go here to read more and watch his entire video.

"Why must former Vice President Joe Biden habitually smell the hair of the women, little girls, and babies he meets?"

Go here to see lots of examples. "We'll give up our AR-15s, Creepy Uncle Joe, when you give up smelling little girls."

From "tramps," to "alleged victims" overnight!

The media is waking up to the reality that they can't be pushing a narrative about believing Judge Roy Moore's accusers when they have never believed Bill Clinton's accusers! The Daily Caller has a story about how many on the Left are now saying they believe Bill Clinton's accusers and Juanita Broaddrick responded by saying it must be a cold day in Hell!
Referring to the recent accusations against Moore, CNN anchor Jake Tapper noted on Monday that “the accusers of Bill Clinton back in the ’90s were never given the credence and treated with the same respect that these women are being treated and I think that there is something to be said about how society has evolved since then.” Tapper said that “it’s hard not to look back at that period and think” that “[t]he media treated those women poorly.”

That reality is that during Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign just last year, prominent media figures were dismissive of Bill Clinton’s accusers, essentially accusing them of lying.
Read more here.

"This is a microcosm of what they’re trying to do to Trump!"

Rush Limbaugh believes
The Roy Moore Soap Opera Is Really About McConnell vs. Bannon.

...Well, whether Judge Moore did the deed or deeds or not, what’s really happening here, folks, if you really want to know — I mean, it’s a multifaceted search-and-destroy mission here, but what’s really driving this — do not doubt me on this — what’s really driving this is Mitch McConnell saying to Steve Bannon, “Really? You think you’re gonna get your guys elected? You think you’re gonna get your guys elected and me kicked outta here? Really? Seriously? Okay, watch this.”

Don’t forget that Judge Moore, Trump did not endorse him, but Steve Bannon, I don’t know, enforced, chose, got behind, supports, what have you, and Bannon has been very up front about the objective he has, and that is to get Mitch McConnell out of the Senate. Even if all we had was one allegation against Judge Moore, this was gonna be it for Judge Moore, didn’t matter, because this is now being used to send a message to Bannon and his group that you think you’re gonna get rid of me, well, take a look at what’s gonna happen every time you try.

...I’m gonna tell you something, folks. I’m getting weary showing up here and my first objective or first responsibility being to defend people. I’m just tired of it! And that’s what largely much of conservative media has always been ’cause the left is constantly on the march, and every day they’re attacking somebody else or some issue or something that does require defense, because we’re all in the arena of ideas. We’re trying to prevent the perversion of the minds of our country. We’re trying to prevent the pollution of the minds of our country.

McConnell may look like a turtle, he may talk like a turtle, he may walk like a turtle, but the guy is not the turtle. He’s the scorpion, and you are seeing the McConnell scorpion sting right now. And if it weren’t Roy Moore, it would be somebody else that Bannon had chosen to support who had become a Republican candidate with the objective being to get rid of Mitch.

...See, this is the thing about this story that, without even commenting on Moore’s guilt or innocence, it’s so obvious what’s happening here. It’s just patently obvious. They don’t want this guy in Washington. Nobody wants this guy elected anywhere near either political party. The establishment doesn’t. To hell with what the people of Alabama have done voting-wise. To hell with what the voters of Alabama want to happen, that it doesn’t matter. The parties do not want this guy anywhere near.

...This is a microcosm of what they’re trying to do to Trump. They’re essentially trying to say Trump is not fit, Trump is not worthy, Trump is not justified. There’s a coup that’s been underway to essentially disregard the duly constituted presidential election of 2016.

“Senate GOP Campaign Chair Says Roy Moore Should Be Expelled If He Wins.” This is Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado. He’s chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. ...What that means is that the Republicans will kick Moore out if he wins. But don’t talk about it, because that might just make more people vote for him, so they’re trying to keep this quiet. I’m kind of blowing that to smithereens by announcing their intentions here. They are worried about blowback, not because there’s so much support for Moore, but because there is so much anger at the Republican establishment right now that denying them what they want is a significant motivator for Republican voters.

If the Alabama Republican Party formally pulls its support by filing papers, “We no longer as a party support Judge Moore,” then if he wins, the victory is null and void. Did you know that? Well, it is. Merrill further stated that if that happens and Moore receives the most votes, quote, “Our election would be declared null and void and Governor Ivey would have to call another special election, and we would start the process all over again.”

And, of course, what does this mean? It means, so what, the will of the people, so what, what the voters say. Votes don’t matter to us. If we don’t like the guy and we formally renounce our support, the votes don’t matter. These are Republicans. So no matter what the real stories are here and no matter what the evidence is, these guys, these people on the Republican side are making it clear they’re going to prevent this guy from ever being seated in the United States Senate.
Did you know that before 1992 when a lot of this was going on that Judge Moore was a Democrat? You didn’t know that? How about all these people now saying, “Oh, yeah, yeah, everybody here knew about Judge Moore. Oh-ho-ho, yeah, good old boy we’ve known about Judge Moore for a long time.” While he was a Democrat. Nobody said a word. When he supposedly was attracted to inappropriately aged girls, he was a Democrat. For what it’s worth.

...Well, this has long been, if not an actual voiced philosophy of the Republican Party, it’s often been the way that they’ve operated. The Republican Party has always been the party of announced and vocalized family values, and all it takes is one minister to have an affair and there goes the whole idea of family values. It busts it up for the whole party. Jimmy Swaggart out there (imitating Swaggart), “I have sinned before you.” And that’s it for the Republican Party.

No more moral authority to go after reprobates like Weinstein and the rest of them on the Democrat side, so the Democrats get away with it ’cause Democrats never tell people they care about family values. ‘Cause they don’t, unless you redefine what a family is. You can choose your sex, you can choose your family, you can choose your borders, you can choose whatever.

But you see the Democrats are being highlighted, not so much elected Democrats, although Bob Menendez has the same charges against him as a Democrat, and he actually is on trial, and you can’t find a word about it in the Drive-By Media.
Read more here.

Buyers and sellers

Daily Mail brings us this bizarre story.
Undercover police teams from two Detroit precincts ended up fighting each-other instead of crime during a drug operation gone wrong.

Dozens of officers were involved in a mass brawl that saw punches thrown, weapons drawn and one cop sent to the hospital, Fox 2 Detroit reports.

Senior officers have now opened an investigation into the incident which is alleged to have happened on Thursday last week on the city's troubled east side.

The encounter started when two special operations officers from the department's 12th Precinct were working on a drug bust on Andover, a notoriously drug-heavy area of the city.

The officers were pretending to be dealing narcotics in hopes that eager customers would approach before being arrested and having their vehicles seized.

But problems started when another group of undercover special operations officers from the 11th Precinct approached, posing as buyers.

When they showed up and started speaking, the 11th Precinct officers ordered the other cops to the ground - not realizing they were fellow boys in blue.

The rest the 12th Precinct's special ops team then showed up, and officers began raiding a drug house on the 19300 block of Andover.

But scenes quickly descended into a farce with the two teams of police fighting each-other as the stunned homeowner watched on.

Detroit Police Department's chief has been notified, and Internal Affairs is opening an investigation into the officers involved.

The incident is understood to have been captured on a body camera, with footage now part of the investigation. Police chiefs have refused to comment.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

What would you have used, Joe?

Stephen Willeford should not have had the gun he used to shoot the man who shot up the Texas church. That is what Joe Biden said on the Today Show Monday. Ryan Saavedra reports here and there is a video also.

What part did Moore write?

This is the yearbook message Judge Roy Moore wrote to a woman in 1977. Notice that it appears to be written in two different inks. The first ink ends with the word Roy. Another ink was used to write Moore D.A. 12-22-77 Olde Hickory House. Notice also the capital M in Moore and the capital M in Merry. See anything else that looks fishy?

"In 2017 the entire apparatus of the DC system is trying to use Alabama to defeat the existential risk that is Donald Trump."

At The Conservative Treehouse, Sundance explains,
In 2017 the entire apparatus of the DC system is trying to use Alabama to defeat the existential risk that is Donald Trump.

...The swamp is engaged, self-aware and the deep-state part is self-actuated now.

Example: NAFTA Round #5 (Mexico) begins this week: “lest trade disputes create friction with NAFTA-supporting Republican lawmakers.”

Example: “Republicans” control all Senate hearings:

Andrea Mitchell ✔@mitchellreports
For the first time in over 40 years - the Senate today examined a president's unchecked authority to launch a nuclear strike @NBCNightlyNews
4:39 PM - Nov 14, 2017
154 154 Replies 838 838 Retweets 2,914 2,914 likes

Example: Remember when the Senate voted unanimously to block President Trump from making recess appointments? That rule required “unanimity”, a single Republican senator could block the Senate from handcuffing President Trump. Not a single Republican broke ranks.

The professional political class in DC, the UniParty, is not confronting Steve Bannon though he’d probably like to make money off that outlook. The united political apparatus is confronting something far more consequential than the annoyance that Bannon represents; they are confronting the framework of ‘America First’.

That bigger dynamic is what’s adverse to their interests. Bannon is an annoying gnat.

When you accept that difference you are then prepared to ask yourself the question(s):

♦What would/will the professional apparatus do to protect their interests?

♦How far are they willing to go to oppose anything that appears adverse to those interests?
Read more here.

Today's shooting spree

RED BLUFF, Calif. (KABC) -- Authorities said five people have been killed, including the gunman, and multiple others injured after a shooting rampage that started at a home and ended at an elementary school in rural Northern California.

...RED BLUFF, Calif. (KABC) -- Authorities said five people have been killed, including the gunman, and multiple others injured after a shooting rampage that started at a home and ended at an elementary school in rural Northern California.

"It was very clear at the onset that we had an individual that was randomly picking targets," Johnston said.

He declined to release the name of the shooter but said the gunfire began with a domestic violence incident that neighbors reported.

Authorities said the alleged gunman started firing at random residences in the area of Bobcat Lane before 8 a.m.

The man then stole a truck and went on a shooting spree through the community.

He crashed the first vehicle, then robbed a man and stole a second vehicle before being shot and killed by officers he encountered.

The whole situation lasted around 45 minutes, authorities said.
Read more here.

"It’s easy to win when there’s no one running against you."

Bookworm wrote another post yesterday on the accusations against Roy Moore.
She writes at Bookworm Room,
I’m watching with fascination the kill and then overkill with Roy Moore. The GOPers (especially McConnell, McCain, and Romney) are even more hysterical than the Progressives. I can’t figure out if this is Stockholm Syndrome on their part or if they, even more than the Progressives, fear what it would mean to have another Tea Party congress critter amongst them.

...Progressives, not to mention the GOPers, have always been pretty lax about putting up with moral depravity provided that the person’s politics are acceptable. Progressives supported and GOPers cheerfully worked with a man who callously abandoned a woman to die in a car he’d driven off a bridge. Oh, and they either supported or cheerfully worked with a former Ku Klux Klan bigwig. Oh, and they either supported or cheerfully worked with a man who let his prostitute boyfriend run a brothel from their home. Oh, and they either supported or cheerfully worked with a man who is shown in quite a few videos to be someone who excels at creepily touching young women or speaking to them in sexual terms despite their manifest discomfort. Have I forgotten anybody?

...There’s one other thing that makes me doubt the credibility behind these sordid claims. When I look at the perfect timing of these accusations, 38 years into a very public career and far enough along in the election cycle to prevent any other Republican from getting on the ballot, all I can think of is the fact that in Illinois, Obama always ran unopposed. Rather than fighting on the merits, he smeared his opponents right off the ballot. It’s easy to win when there’s no one running against you.

Monday, November 13, 2017

"No, I like the one we have now!"

Today was our daughter's fourteenth birthday. Since I knew we were going to party at dinner at a restaurant in Santa Fe, I made an appointment to get some new tires and an alignment at Firestone at 3 p.m. Of course, they had a sitting area with a table that had magazines on it. Also, of course, above the table with magazines was a t.v. blaring loudly. Ellen's program was on, and Joe Biden was the guest.

There was only one other person seated. She was a woman in her late fifties who had her feet on the table on top of the magazines, adoringly watching Ellen suck up to Joe Biden. When the interview concluded she turned to me and said, "I wish he was President, don't you?" I answered, "No, I like the one we have now!" She turned away and did not look back my way for one-half hour. That was when another woman came in and sat down next to me. The two women knew each other and immediately began a conversation.

Meanwhile, Ellen's program ended, thank the Lord. But what came on next was even worse! A whole hour of t.v. "news" from KOAT, Albuquerque's ABC affiliate. They paid really close attention to traffic. There is no traffic in New Mexico!

Every ten minutes during the Ellen show KOAT had been teasing a story about three kids being arrested for plotting to shoot up the school where my two sons attend. Obviously, I wanted to get the details! After 50 minutes of "news" they finally got to the story of the boys who had plotted to shoot up the school. The reporter said the school would not talk to her about the boys, but that they were in juvenile detention. That's it!

Then the national news came on and immediately began badmouthing President Trump for meeting with Philippine President Duterte who has been very tough on drug dealers. This was a green light for the woman with her feet on the magazines to talk with her friend about how much she hated Trump. ABC showed Kim Jong Un inspecting something. Just then my sons walked in and said, "Let's go to the mall, Dad." We walked over to the mall where I got some ideas of what my sons might like for Christmas presents.

After the birthday party, it was a smooth ride home on new freshly aligned tires.

Andrew Klavan on the witch hunt against Roy Moore

"They're back!"

Hat tip Mike Miles

We need screwdriver control

Fox 31 in Denver reports,
An MS-13 gang member wanted for murder was arrested in Colorado on Friday after he allegedly stabbed a woman with a screwdriver and ran over her leg, police said.

Alex Ramos, 36, an illegal immigrant who was previously deported from the U.S., was taken into custody without incident Friday morning, FOX31 Denver reported.

She likes men!

Bookworm writes,
...having used the bad behavior of a small group of men in powerful institutions to encourage staggering numbers of women to define themselves as victims, the Left has gone on to the logical next step: If all women are victims, then all men are predators. And the one thing we know about predatory men is that they’re toxic. And BOOM! Suddenly, Hollywood’s fall from moral grace has been turned into another weapon in Third Wave Feminism’s burgeoning attack on men.

Me? I like men. I especially like polite men. And I really especially like polite men who tactfully let me know they find me attractive. Is that my innate biological response as a woman or a learned cultural response? I don’t know and, frankly, I don’t care. I just know that, provided my world offers equal work for equal pay, equal opportunity for jobs, and a touch of polite vive la différence, I’m satisfied that Western Civilization has offered me, a woman, the best of all possible worlds.
Read more here.

Moore says he will sue the Washington Post

At Breitbart, Matt Boyle reports on an event in Alabama that was closed to all media except Breitbart! At the event, Judge Roy Moore announced plans to sue the Washington Post, and received multiple standing ovations.
Read more here.

If the GOP establishment wanted to lose, what would it do differently?

Kurt Schlichter writes at Town Hall,
We keep hearing about how angry Trump voters are destroying the Republican Party, but last week’s Schumer-show demonstrated that the people running it would rather run it into the ground than give up their grip on power. The Smart Set managed to get slaughtered on election night – let’s not sugarcoat it, we got creamed. And the dim bulbs in Congress seem determined to somehow turn tax cuts into something Republican voters hate. The GOPe makes everything worse, like pumpkin spice.

Oh, and then there’s Roy Freaking Moore, whose creepitude led to the inevitable lecture about conservative principles, which apparently now include accepting every accusation pushed by our media enemies at face value. We know the guy is guilty of being like Jerry Seinfeld, and he may be worse and actually criminal. If he is, Moore needs to drop and the Alabama legislature needs to redo the rules to get a viable Republican into the race. But we don’t know, and the voters have a right to wonder why the GOPe was so eager to embrace a shaky claim pushed by a media we have seen lie and lie again about Republicans to help their liberal masters. All this makes it hard to come to any conclusion but that the GOP establishment thinks that the only way to defeat the virus of conservatism is to set fire to the party and hope that a few elections from now their Boehner-based, crony trough-feeding paradigm will rise again from the ashes like a K Street phoenix. It’s as if they want to get wiped out in 2018, and that’s the one objective they actually seem capable of achieving.

Gillespie’s loss was no shock – Virginia is a blue state no matter what the hope-springs-eternal crowd keeps saying. What was a shock is that the GOP failed to anticipate the down ticket Democrat turn-out tsunami. A Frisco zillionaire targeted marginal GOP districts, pumped in money and support and caught the GOP napping. A bunch of Republican delegates lost their seats, and not by that much – but by enough. Yet, none of the GOP brain trust saw this coming, and the enemy stole a march on us. Who is getting fired for this screw-up? If the answer is “Nobody,” we might as well pack it in next year.

It’s never good to lose, but losing will teach you more important lessons than winning. We now know that not only are Dems motivated, but they’ll be playing – with money and data support – in every marginal race. We have a year to prepare – are we doing that? What’s our strategy? Who the hell is responsible for coordinating 2018 anyway?

Is the GOPe planning on throwing the mid-term election to teach us uppity rubes a lesson?

...The GOP congressjerks couldn’t manage to undo Obamacare, despite their unequivocal promises, and now they seem intent on passing some sort of tax reform that is worse than not passing any sort of tax reform. What is this insane “taxes on a postcard” fixation? What we care about is paying less – I want a fifty page return if it saves me money. You take away deductions and our tax bills go up – and this nonsense about lowering rates is not going to undo the damage to the kind of people who usually … wait for it… vote Republican. But hey, the corporate rate will drop. Let’s all chip in for that. I know I’m glad to lose key deductions so the big donors can keep more cash.

Now, we could always lower everyone’s rates, and “pay for it” by…brace yourself…cutting spending. Except apparently cutting the budget is off the table. Leave it to the GOPe to decide that the winning Republican message for 2018 is “Tax and Spend.”

...And then there is Roy Moore, an outsider who I would prefer was not the nominee but I am not an Alabamian and I don’t get a say. I don’t know whether he did something 40 years ago, nor do you, but was it a smart move by the GOPe to immediately jump on-board the tumbrel taking him to the guillotine and give up on a Senate seat based upon a mere accusation? We know the case against him – he may well have done it, and there may be more shoes to drop – but why might GOP voters view this ultra-convenient revelation with suspicion? Here are some reasons:

A critical Senate seat is at stake, and this ancient news only dropped after it became impossible to replace him.

Moore denies it.

It is a uniquely deadly charge that cannot be refuted (or proven) except by believing one of the alleged participants.

We’ve seen many false sex crimes accusations.

We’ve seen Fusion GPS paid by Never Trumpers and/or the Democrats manufacture a fake dossier to falsely accuse the President of sex weirdness.

The Washington Post is a rabidly partisan liberal paper and part of a mainstream media whose members have, in the era of Trump, decreed that they are no longer to be objective put instead advocate for their partisan agenda.

We have not heard directly from the woman. Yes, the WaPo article contains alleged quotes, but those quotes are processed through the paper (Raise your hand if you’ve ever been misquoted – yep, that’s everyone). Her claims have not been subject to cross-examination. That makes her WaPo statements hearsay, which is traditionally viewed skeptically if admitted at all.

The WaPo did not reveal that one of the (legal age) girls worked for Hillary. That seems like a potentially relevant fact, right?

The WaPo found this woman when no one else – either in Alabama’s media or among opposition researchers over decades of Moore’s political life – did, no doubt via the extensive web of contacts that WaPo maintains in rural Alabama. Doesn’t that seem…odd? What’s the real story about how this all came out?

I don’t know if Moore is guilty – if he is, the hell with him and let’s replace him on the ballot a la Robert Torricelli – but I know that the facts around this claim should make any reasonable person want to know more before they judge. Except not among the GOPe. In 2017’s least surprising development, John McCain demanded Moore drop out simply because he was accused. Yet when the New York Times accused McCain – he says falsely – of an affair, well, the Blue Falcon didn’t drop out of anything. And Mitt Romney, who always reminds me of a talking weasel wearing a $5,000 suit, had to pipe up and do the same. This was the same Mitt who Harry Reid lied about regarding his taxes so effectively. You’d think they’d both be sensitive to the potential for left-wing smears, but no. We have two Republicans who were both falsely accused demanding that we give up a Senate seat because of an accusation the accused says is false – an accusation made on the pages of one of our greatest enemies no less. Does that seem legit?

What a mess. The Republican Party seems to have no interest in addressing its electile dysfunction. The Democrats are preparing for battle; the Professional Republicans are sulking because their voters won’t obey. They seem not just unable but unwilling to pass the agenda they promised the base. And whenever there’s a narrative damaging to the party to be hopped on, despite reasonable grounds for skepticism, hop on they do. If the GOP establishment wanted to lose, what would it do differently?

No, it wasn't Sven Larson!

Here is the suspect in the Mall of America stabbings. His name is Mahad Abdiaziz Abdirahaman. Totally the name you would expect in Minnesota?

Read more here.

hat tip CBD

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Stabbings by thief at Mall of America

Pat Pheifer reports in the Star Tribune,
A stabbing was reported at Mall of America on Sunday night.

Two men were stabbed in the Macy’s store at Mall of America on Sunday night in what Bloomington police described as “an interrupted theft.”

The victims were taken to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis; their injuries were not life-threatening, Bloomington Deputy Chief Mike Hartley said at a news briefing.

Police arrested a suspect, who was held by other shoppers after the assault. The suspect had minor injuries, Hartley said.

The incident started about 6:45 p.m. in a fitting room of the men’s department at Macy’s. Two men were trying on clothes and walked out of the fitting room to show others in their group. The suspect went into the fitting room and tried to steal some of the men’s belongings.

The suspect was interrupted by the men; he pulled a knife and stabbed the victims. Other shoppers who were with the victims got the knife away from the suspect and subdued him until police arrived, Hartley said.

Hartley said at 8:30 p.m. that the suspect had not been taken to the hospital. He characterized the man’s injuries as “minor.”

What Leftism has done to California

At the Never Yet Melted blog, Fifth Generation Californian Steve Baldwin says good-bye to the Golden State, refuting in the process all the liberal boasting about California’s prosperity under Leftism.
[L]iberals like to claim California socialism is working by pointing to the much-heralded statistic that “California’s economy is the 6th largest in the world” as calculated by the state’s Department of Finance. Indeed, California’s $2.62 trillion economy is larger than that of France, Canada, Brazil, Russia, and Italy. However, that GDP stat does not factor in California’s cost of living, which is 36.2% higher than the national cost of living. As Carson Bruno writes in Real Clear Markets, “using the cost of living adjusted data from the International Monetary Fund and adjusting California’s GDP data provides a better snapshot of California’s economic standing in the world. Doing so shows that California is actually the 12th largest economy — a drop of 6 spots — and actually puts the state below Mexico.”

Moreover, as Bruno points out, Silicon Valley “accounted for 50% of California’s private industry real GDP growth.” In other words, without a few dozen mega profitable high-tech Silicon Valley firms such as Apple, Google, and Facebook, California’s GDP would be significantly smaller.

However, as economic blogger Richard Rider points out, the aggregate GDP statistic is really not a good indicator of a state’s economic health, especially since one industry appears to be propping up the “6th largest economy” myth. California has over 39 million people, more than any other state, so a far more accurate assessment of its economy, Rider writes, would be per capita GDP as compared to the rest of the country. After adjusting the GDP figures to account for the cost of living (COL), the Golden State ends up with a paltry 37th place ranking within the U.S.A., with a $45,696 per capital GDP. Even rustbelt states, such as Michigan and Ohio, have a higher adjusted per capita GDP. Despite Silicon Valley’s high-tech giants, California barely squeezes past impoverished New Mexico. Rider also reports that when one looks at per capita GDP stats for the rest of the world, California ranks 19th, but those stats don’t factor in the COL data; if they did, California would be even further down the rankings internationally.

One should not also assume that high-tech companies are a permanent feature of California’s economy. Already, the extremely high cost of living in Silicon Valley has, since 2016, caused more Silicon Valley employees to leave the state than it has attracted. With a few high-tech companies having left California for other states such as Virginia, Texas and North Carolina, it’s only a matter of time before this turns into a flood.

But it’s not just Silicon Valley employees fleeing California; it’s productive — and job-creating — citizens from all over the state. As Joel Kotkin and Wendell Cox wrote in the Mercury News last April, “the largest group of outmigrants tends to be middle-aged people making between $100,000 and $200,000 annually.”

Indeed, California has done everything possible to make it difficult for businesses and employers to produce goods and services. California now has the highest state income tax rate and the highest state sales tax rate in the country. Our gas tax rate is fourth-highest, but if you add in the 10-12 cent “cap and trade” cost per gallon, we have the highest gas tax in the country. Based on 2014 numbers, California’s single-family residence property tax is the eighth highest in the country with the median homeowner property tax bill 93% higher than the average property tax bill for the other 49 states. As for the state’s corporate income tax rate, it is also eighth in the country. And let’s not forget our small business tax, a minimum of $800, even if no profit is earned.

Overall, the Tax Foundation ranks California as fifth worse in overall tax burden, but the state is especially hostile to its high earners who start businesses and create most of the jobs. Indeed, the top 1% pays 50% of all state income taxes. Moreover, the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council ranked California as having the worst anti-business climate in the country; the American Tort Reform Foundation ranks the state as the “worst state judicial hellhole” in the U.S. and the national Chamber of Commerce rates California as having the fourth-worst business climate.

If California is such a prosperous state as liberals claim, why does it have the highest poverty rate in the nation? According to the Census Bureau, the poverty rate is 23.4%, which is 17% higher than second place Nevada. Indeed, while California has 12% of the nation’s population, it is home to 33% of the nation’s TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) welfare recipients, more than the next seven states combined.

What’s clear is that the producers are leaving the state and the takers are coming in. Many of the takers are illegal aliens, now estimated to number over 2.6 million. The Federation for American Immigration Reform estimates that California spends $22 billion on government services for illegal aliens, including welfare, education, Medicaid, and criminal justice system costs. Liberals claim they more than make that up with taxes paid, but that’s simply not true. It’s not even close. FAIR estimates illegal aliens in California contribute only $1.21 billion in tax revenue, which means they cost California $20.6 billion, or at least $1,800 per household.

What moves your truth-meter?

Neoneocon tells us why
there are motives to make false accusations against public figures and to get a bunch of corroborating witnesses, too. That certainly doesn’t mean the present accusations are false; they may indeed be true, as I’ve said many times. But corroborating witnesses fail to move my truth-meter all that much.
Read more here.

Teaching Millennials to think

Adam J. MacLeod is an associate professor of law at Jones School of Law at Faulkner University in Montgomery, Alabama. He writes at NewBostonPost,
I teach in a law school. For several years now my students have been mostly Millennials. Contrary to stereotype, I have found that the vast majority of them want to learn. But true to stereotype, I increasingly find that most of them cannot think, don’t know very much, and are enslaved to their appetites and feelings. Their minds are held hostage in a prison fashioned by elite culture and their undergraduate professors.

They cannot learn until their minds are freed from that prison. This year in my Foundations of Law course for first-year law students, I found my students especially impervious to the ancient wisdom of foundational texts, such as Plato’s Crito and the Code of Hammurabi. Many of them were quick to dismiss unfamiliar ideas as “classist” and “racist,” and thus unable to engage with those ideas on the merits. So, a couple of weeks into the semester, I decided to lay down some ground rules. I gave them these rules just before beginning our annual unit on legal reasoning.
Here is the speech I gave them.
Before I can teach you how to reason, I must first teach you how to rid yourself of unreason. For many of you have not yet been educated. You have been dis-educated. To put it bluntly, you have been indoctrinated. Before you learn how to think you must first learn how to stop unthinking.

Reasoning requires you to understand truth claims, even truth claims that you think are false or bad or just icky. Most of you have been taught to label things with various “isms” which prevent you from understanding claims you find uncomfortable or difficult.

Reasoning requires correct judgment. Judgment involves making distinctions, discriminating. Most of you have been taught how to avoid critical, evaluative judgments by appealing to simplistic terms such as “diversity” and “equality.”

Reasoning requires you to understand the difference between true and false. And reasoning requires coherence and logic. Most of you have been taught to embrace incoherence and illogic. You have learned to associate truth with your subjective feelings, which are neither true nor false but only yours, and which are constantly changeful.

We will have to pull out all of the weeds in your mind as we come across them. Unfortunately, your mind is full of weeds, and this will be a very painful experience. But it is strictly necessary if anything useful, good, and fruitful is to be planted in your head.

There is no formula for this. Each of you has different weeds, and so we will need to take this on the case-by-case basis. But there are a few weeds that infect nearly all of your brains. So I am going to pull them out now.

First, except when describing an ideology, you are not to use a word that ends in “ism.” Communism, socialism, Nazism, and capitalism are established concepts in history and the social sciences, and those terms can often be used fruitfully to gain knowledge and promote understanding. “Classism,” “sexism,” “materialism,” “cisgenderism,” and (yes) even racism are generally not used as meaningful or productive terms, at least as you have been taught to use them. Most of the time, they do not promote understanding.
In fact, “isms” prevent you from learning. You have been taught to slap an “ism” on things that you do not understand, or that make you feel uncomfortable, or that make you uncomfortable because you do not understand them. But slapping a label on the box without first opening the box and examining its contents is a form of cheating. Worse, it prevents you from discovering the treasures hidden inside the box. For example, when we discussed the Code of Hammurabi, some of you wanted to slap labels on what you read which enabled you to convince yourself that you had nothing to learn from ancient Babylonians. But when we peeled off the labels and looked carefully inside the box, we discovered several surprising truths. In fact, we discovered that Hammurabi still has a lot to teach us today.

One of the falsehoods that has been stuffed into your brain and pounded into place is that moral knowledge progresses inevitably, such that later generations are morally and intellectually superior to earlier generations, and that the older the source the more morally suspect that source is. There is a term for that. It is called chronological snobbery. Or, to use a term that you might understand more easily, “ageism.”

Second, you have been taught to resort to two moral values above all others, diversity and equality. These are important values if properly understood. But the way most of you have been taught to understand them makes you irrational, unreasoning. For you have been taught that we must have as much diversity as possible and that equality means that everyone must be made equal. But equal simply means the same. To say that 2+2 equals 4 is to say that 2+2 is numerically the same as four. And diversity simply means difference. So when you say that we should have diversity and equality you are saying we should have difference and sameness. That is incoherent, by itself. Two things cannot be different and the same at the same time in the same way.

Furthermore, diversity and equality are not the most important values. In fact, neither diversity nor equality is valuable at all in its own right. Some diversity is bad. For example, if slavery is inherently wrong, as I suspect we all think it is, then a diversity of views about the morality of slavery is worse than complete agreement that slavery is wrong.

Similarly, equality is not to be desired for its own sake. Nobody is equal in all respects. We are all different, which is to say that we are all not the same, which is to say that we are unequal in many ways. And that is generally a good thing. But it is not always a good thing (see the previous remarks about diversity).

Related to this: You do you not know what the word “fair” means. It does not just mean equality. Nor does it mean something you do not like. For now, you will have to take my word for this. But we will examine fairness from time to time throughout this semester.

Third, you should not bother to tell us how you feel about a topic. Tell us what you think about it. If you can’t think yet, that’s O.K.. Tell us what Aristotle thinks, or Hammurabi thinks, or H.L.A. Hart thinks. Borrow opinions from those whose opinions are worth considering. As Aristotle teaches us in the reading for today, men and women who are enslaved to the passions, who never rise above their animal natures by practicing the virtues, do not have worthwhile opinions. Only the person who exercises practical reason and attains practical wisdom knows how first to live his life, then to order his household, and finally, when he is sufficiently wise and mature, to venture opinions on how to bring order to the political community.

One of my goals for you this semester is that each of you will encounter at least one idea that you find disagreeable and that you will achieve genuine disagreement with that idea. I need to explain what I mean by that because many of you have never been taught how to disagree.

Disagreement is not expressing one’s disapproval of something or expressing that something makes you feel bad or icky. To really disagree with someone’s idea or opinion, you must first understand that idea or opinion. When Socrates tells you that a good life is better than a life in exile you can neither agree nor disagree with that claim without first understanding what he means by “good life” and why he thinks running away from Athens would be unjust. Similarly, if someone expresses a view about abortion, and you do not first take the time to understand what the view is and why the person thinks the view is true, then you cannot disagree with the view, much less reason with that person. You might take offense. You might feel bad that someone holds that view. But you are not reasoning unless you are engaging the merits of the argument, just as Socrates engaged with Crito’s argument that he should flee from Athens.
So, here are three ground rules for the rest of the semester.

1. The only “ism” I ever want to come out your mouth is a syllogism. If I catch you using an “ism” or its analogous “ist” — racist, classist, etc. — then you will not be permitted to continue speaking until you have first identified which “ism” you are guilty of at that very moment. You are not allowed to fault others for being biased or privileged until you have first identified and examined your own biases and privileges.

2. If I catch you this semester using the words “fair,” “diversity,” or “equality,” or a variation on those terms, and you do not stop immediately to explain what you mean, you will lose your privilege to express any further opinions in class until you first demonstrate that you understand three things about the view that you are criticizing.

3. If you ever begin a statement with the words “I feel,” before continuing you must cluck like a chicken or make some other suitable animal sound.
To their credit, the students received the speech well. And so far this semester, only two students have been required to cluck like chickens.

Politics has nothing to do with it.

At National Review, Andrew McCarthy writes,
...the Trump collusion case is not getting the kid-glove Clinton emails treatment.

Lest we forget, President Obama had endorsed Mrs. Clinton, his former secretary of state and his party’s nominee, to be president. Moreover, Obama had knowingly participated in the conduct for which Clinton was under investigation — using a pseudonym in communicating with her about classified government business over an unsecure private communication system.

Obama prejudiced the emails investigation. Long before it was formally ended, he publicly pronounced Clinton innocent. He theorized that she had not intended to harm the United States. Even if true, that fact would be irrelevant — it is not an element of the statutory offenses at issue, under which several military officials, who also had no intent to harm our country, have nevertheless been prosecuted. (It also had nothing to do with her quite intentional destruction of thousands of emails, many relating to government business — also a serious crime.)

...Manafort has been charged with multiple felonies for failure to register as a foreign agent, an offense the government almost never prosecutes — the Justice Department’s practice is to encourage foreign agents to comply with the law rather than indict them for failing to do so. By contrast, the FBI and Justice Department rationalized their failure to charge Clinton for mishandling classified information by claiming that her offense was so rarely prosecuted that it would be unfair — it would smack of invidious selective prosecution — to charge her with even a single offense. Clinton’s homebrew server system stored well over 2,000 emails that contained classified information, including over 100 that were undeniably classified at the time they were sent. Eight of those involved chains of communications classified as top secret, the classification the government assigns to information the mishandling of which could be expected to cause “exceptionally grave damage” to national security (and seven of these were designated as “special access program,” meaning mishandling could be expected to expose critical intelligence programs and endanger the lives of intelligence sources).

George Papadopoulos is a low-level subject of the collusion investigation who did not commit any crimes in his many contacts with Russia-connected sources. Yet Mueller induced him to plead guilty to a felony count of lying to investigators about the timing of his first meeting with such a source. In stark contrast, while a number of Clinton subordinates asserted their Fifth Amendment right to refuse to answer questions on the ground that truthful answers could incriminate them, none of them was prosecuted. Instead, the Obama Justice Department gave them immunity.

Mueller alleges that Manafort lied to the Justice Department when he finally (in late 2016 and early 2017) filed paperwork under the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA). Although Congress has made the making of false statements in FARA submissions a misdemeanor, Mueller charged Manafort with both this misdemeanor offense and a separate felony (under the statute that generally makes lying to government investigators a crime). Thus, he turned a single offense into two crimes and drastically inflated the potential penalty — well beyond what Congress intended for the offense.

By contrast, several subjects of the Clinton emails investigation made blatant misrepresentations in FBI interviews but were not prosecuted at all. For example, Secretary Clinton’s former top aides, Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin, claimed not to have known about Clinton’s private server system when they were working for her at the State Department — even though there is an email exchange in which they discussed it (and Abedin had an email address on the system). For her part, Mrs. Clinton claimed not to know what the designation “[C]” means in classified documents. As a longtime consumer of classified information, Clinton obviously knew it means “confidential.” Upon becoming secretary of state, Clinton signed an acknowledgment that she had been indoctrinated in the rules and procedures governing the secure handling of classified information. In it, she represented that she had read and understood an executive order — signed by her husband when he was president — that describes the levels of classification, including confidential. Yet, Clinton ludicrously told interviewing agents she thought “[C]” might have something to do with putting information in alphabetical order.

But that’s the way it goes. Often, the Justice Department is so hell-bent on making the case, it will play an intimidating game of hardball if that’s what it takes. On rare occasions, though, it works just as hard to not make the case — to see no evil. We can all be thankful, I’m sure, that politics has nothing to do with it.

Read more here.

The Democratic National Committee is hiring...but don't bother applying if you are a straight white male.

Rusty Weiss reports,
A DNC job announcement for positions in the Technology Department is making the rounds on social media for all the wrong reasons.

The e-mail, which Daily Wire writer Elliott Hamilton says was circulated amongst Democrat insiders, is blatantly discriminatory against straight white males.

Despite stressing that the department is “focused on hiring and maintaining a staff of diverse voices,” Data Services Manager Madeleine Leader wrote that she “would prefer that you not forward to cisgender straight white males since they’re already in the majority.”
Read more here.

James Kallstrom is former Assistant Director of the FBI. Here is what he has to say about Comey, the Clintons, Mueller, and Rosenstein.

A well-timed attack

Bookworm gives her reasons for being suspicious of the allegations against Juge Roy Moore.
1. The timing is suspect. Although Roy Moore has been a controversial figure in the public eye for forty years, this apocalyptic story was never even whispered about before. Instead, it hits now, right in the middle of the sexual harassment zeitgeist. More than that, though, although sexual harassment has been at the top of the news for weeks now, this unexpected narrative “coincidentally” erupted just when it was too late to remove Moore from the ballot and substitute another Republican candidate. In other words, rather than appearing to be a legitimate complaint, it appears to be a classic October surprise — even though it actually happened in November.

2. The story is almost forty years old. As I mentioned with regard to Trump and the stories about him, there is something of a pass for old acts. After all, that’s why we have a statute of limitations for most crimes other than murder: memories and, in the case, mores change. Even assuming solely for the sake of argument that the charges are true, the reality is that, back in 1979, we were in a very different moral cycle. In hippie territory, everyone was having free love, including young teens. And in deep South territory, people still weren’t that far away from Jerry Lee Lewis’s 13-year-old wife. While that 13 year old raised eyebrows, viewing young teens as viable wives or girlfriends wasn’t alien to Southern culture.

3. Paul Mirengoff, no friend of Moore, points out that the woman making the charges is apparently emotionally unstable. More than that, she has a habit of accusing men of sexually harassing her. Maybe they did, especially since she was a vulnerable, suicidal, teenage drug and alcohol addict — or maybe she’s a few cards short of a full deck. This is not a credible witness.

4. I simply don’t believe the WaPo’s reporting in this instance. As I mentioned above, the stories about Hollywood and other media are Progressive on Progressive attacks, so the political angle is absent. Here, however, we’ve seen for the past two years that the WaPo functions as the media arm of the Democrat Party (and, when necessary, of those in the GOP, such as McConnell, who are still fighting a rearguard battle against Trump and Trumpism). When a media outlet is that manifestly partisan, why in the world would people believe it when it publishes a well-timed attack (see point 1, above) to destroy the political opposition?
Read more here.

More on Moore

On Saturday in an interview with Aaron Klein at Breitbart, Judge Roy Moore further addressed the allegations brought forth by the Washington Post.
“Now I want to address something that some people have come here to hear about,” Moore said at a local campaign event. “Shortly after becoming the Republican nominee for the United States Senate, the Washington Post began an attack on the Foundation for Moral Law, on my wife, and on me. For weeks, we read about my salary which they distorted, about taxes where they said we were paid money we never got. But we endured that.”

“Later, they came out and endorsed my opponent in this race,” he continued. “Just two days ago, the Washington Post published yet another attack on my character and reputation in a desperate attempt to stop my political campaign for the United States Senate. These attacks about a minor are completely false and untrue about something that happened nearly 40 years ago. But more than being completely false and untrue, they are very hurtful to me personally.”

“I wanted to make it clear to the media present and the people present, I have not provided alcoholic beverages—beer or anything else—to a minor. I have not been guilty of sexual misconduct with anyone,” he declared. “These allegations came only four and a half weeks before the general election on Dec. 12. Why now?”

“For forty years I have been closely scrutinized in the press and the public media. I have had investigations by the attorney general, I’ve had investigations by the judicial inquiry commission on more than one occasion, I’ve had investigations by the court of the judiciary, I’ve been in five statewide campaigns in which they do opposition research—they do investigations, as you can see in every one I’ve ever run—and three county elections and two major controversies over religious liberty and the Ten Commandments and same-sex marriage,” he continued. “I’ve been investigated more than any other person in this country. That grown women would wait forty years to come right before an election to bring charges is absolutely unbelievable.”

Klein also talked with the woman he allegedly had an inappropriate relationship with over forty years ago. The woman's mother, now 71, also talked with Kelien. She told Klein that her daughter did not have a phone in her bedroom as alleged by the Washington Post.
Read more here.

Donna vs. Hillary, Doctor/Leftist vs. Doctor/Senator

I like Tyrus's take on Donna vs. Hillary. "You both tried to rig the election. You both failed, so now you're telling on each other." The elections last week? "You won a home game!" (Slow claps).

With regard to the "doctor" who broke six of Rand Paul's ribs over what the NY Times calls a "flora" dispute, Dave Rubin asks, "How do you attack a libertarian?" and, "Where's the government now, Mr. Libertarian?" Kat has the solution: "Always mow the lawn with a gun!" Greg thinks it was the loud noise of the lawn mower that caused the good doctor to rage at the good Doctor/Senator.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

A very special bond

Why we should distrust the Washington Post

Have you read Judge Roy Moore's denial?
"I have never provided alcohol to minors, and I have never engaged in sexual misconduct. As a father of a daughter and a grandfather of five granddaughters, I condemn the actions of any man who engages in sexual misconduct not just against minors but against any woman. I also believe that any person who has been abused should feel the liberty to come forward and seek protection."
Don Surber explains here why we should distrust the Washington Post, which broke the story alleging sexual misconduct by Moore.

Let's go for a hike in the canyon!

My sons took a walk this morning in a canyon. Here are three photos they took.

NY Times: Gauzy retrospectives about the idealism, sense of purpose, optimism, intellectuality, and downright sexiness of life under Communism.

Excerpts from more thoughts on a century of communism by Robert Tracinski at The Federalist.
...Countries taken over by Communists, from China and Russia to Cuba and Venezuela, were either plunged from relative prosperity into starvation or walled off for decades from the growing prosperity of capitalist countries—often right next door, enjoying all the same benefits of geography and culture. Think of the contrast between East and West Berlin, between Cuba and Chile, between mainland China and Hong Kong, between North and South Korea.

Communist countries have imposed oppressive regimes telling everyone what to read, think, and say. Scientists could be sent to the gulag for teaching unapproved ideas about genetics. Dissidents have been sent to prison camps, tortured, harassed, locked in psychiatric wards, and simply murdered outright. Artists and intellectuals have fled by the hundreds, when they could, seeking asylum in non-Communist countries in search of the freedom to do their work.

...Above all else, the history of Communism is a history of mass-scale horrors: the terror-famine in Ukraine, Stalin’s show trials and gulags, the mass starvation of China’s Great Leap Forward, followed by the anarchic terror of the Cultural Revolution, the Killing Fields of Cambodia—those are just the low points in a list that can go on and on. It is estimated that in the past 100 years, Communist regimes killed as many as 100 million people.

So why won’t the nightmare dream of Communism die? A recent poll shows that a majority of millennials prefer socialism or Communism to capitalism, and we know exactly where they’re getting their woozy, idealized version of these systems. The New York Times, for example, has been celebrating 100 years of Communism—”celebrating” seems the only word for it—with a series of gauzy retrospectives about the idealism, sense of purpose, optimism, intellectuality, and downright sexiness of life under Communism.

...A key to the problem can be seen even in critiques of this Communist hagiography by conservatives, who remind everyone that Communism “doesn’t work.” That seems a funny kind of understatement, like saying that dousing yourself with gasoline and setting yourself on fire “doesn’t work.” It implies some kind of idealistic goal for which the adherents of Communism choose unrealistic means. But the bloody, grinding history of Communism—and most especially the fact that it went on and on and continues even today, many decades after no one can have any illusions—suggests that oppression and murder is the goal.

The first moral idea is that self-interest is bad and that it is not only good but the very definition of morality itself to sacrifice your own interests to others. That’s why profit and money-making are supposed to be bad. That’s why anything you have that somebody else doesn’t think they have is supposed to be some kind of unconscionable “privilege.” That’s why capitalism has to be expunged, because it’s a whole system built on self-interest.

The second idea, which is the political consequence of the first, is that private interests are bad and need to be subordinated to the collective “public good.” That’s why everything private is bad, from private companies to private schools, and everything “public” is automatically good. That’s why celebrated authors hatch schemes to abolish private education, something only totalitarian regimes have ever done, in order to make sure everybody is “eating out of the same pot.”

The problem with Communism is not that it twisted these ideals or implemented them badly. The crime of Communism is that it took them seriously and implemented them fully, all the way to their logical conclusion. That is what people don’t want to face up to in the history of Communism.

...That leads us to another big lesson of Communism: without individualism, there is no basis for individual rights or any other guarantee of human dignity. The big mistake people make about Communism is to think that it’s just about collectivizing property. It’s actually about collectivizing people. Communist countries impose oppressive systems of censorship and interfere deeply with the personal lives of their subjects precisely because they take seriously this idea of the subordination of the individual to the collective good. They apply it to everything, including the very thoughts in your head, which they also treat as public property.

...If Communism represents the full implementation of a commonly accepted view of morality, we can understand the compulsion to make excuses for it, to claim it’s never really been tried, to forget its disasters and atrocities, to allow only a gauzy airbrushed version of its history, and to desperately wish that if we just tried it one more time and really did it right, we would finally reach the promised paradise.

We’ve done that for a full century, and even longer. After all, Communism was tried on a small scale, in voluntary utopian communities, for more than a century before it failed upward and took over entire countries. It’s time to start grasping the moral lessons before we’re forced to live once more through the nightmare of chasing the Communist dream.
Read more here.