Friday, September 23, 2016

Is Literature Dead?

For John, BLUFWill it still be OK to read the literature of other people?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the pages of The Old Gray Lady we have an OpEd by Novelist Lionel Shriver.

We have Law Professor Ann Althouse examine some of the issues, including the ACLU defense of Neo-Nazis marching in Skokie, Illinois.

But, to the issue, Ms Shriver gave a talk in Australia, to the Brisbane Writers Festival.  In the audience was Ms Yassim Abdel-Magied, born in Sudan and now an engineer and memoirist in Australia.  Ms Abdel-Magied walked out, because she was offended by what she saw as cultural appropriation.  The ever cranky Guardian picked up the story and the rest is history.

So, apparently, we can only write about our own small circle of life, within our race, religion, gender and socio-economic milieu.  We can only write about those things that represent our own cultural background.  The rest is cultural appropriation.  To put it in terms Ms Abdel-Magiedmight understand, if she writes fiction she can talk about engineers, but she would be out of her element writing about chemists.

This, if adopted, would mean the end of literature.

Ms Shriver notes that…

Now the role of oppressor has passed to the left.  In Australia, where I spoke, Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act makes it unlawful to do or say anything likely to “offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate,” providing alarming latitude in the restriction of free speech.  It is Australia’s conservatives arguing for the amendment of this law.
And here is Ms Shriver's sad conclusion.
Protecting freedom of speech involves protecting the voices of people with whom you may violently disagree.  In my youth, liberals would defend the right of neo-Nazis to march down Main Street.  I cannot imagine anyone on the left making that case today.
This reminds me of Turkish President Erdogen and his statement that Democracy is like a street car.  When you get to your destination you get off.

Hat tip to the Althouse blog.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, September 19, 2016

Candidates Switching Roles?

For John, BLUFWell, we still have to endure the debates.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the pen of Cartoonist Scott Adams (Dilbert, back on 15 September, we have a comment on Mr Trump vs Mrs Clinton.  Here is how it starts:
Do you remember way—-way—-way—back in July, when the public thought Trump was the candidate they couldn’t trust with the nuclear arsenal?  That was before we realized he could moderate his personality on command, as he is doing now.  We’re about to enter our fifth consecutive week of Trump doing more outreach than outrage.

It turns out that Trump’s base personality is “winning.”  Everything else he does is designed to get that result. He needed to be loud and outrageous in the primaries, so he was.  He needs to be presidential in this phase of the election cycle, so he is.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton has revealed herself to be frail, medicated, and probably duplicitous about her health. We also hear reports that she’s a drinker with a bad temper.  Suddenly, Clinton looks like the unstable personality in this race. Who do you want controlling the nuclear arsenal now?

You probably thought Trump was the bigot in this contest, until Clinton called half of Trump’s supporters a “basket of deplorables.”  That’s the point at which observers started to see a pattern. Trump has been consistently supportive of American citizens of all types – with the exception of the press and his political opponents.  The main targets of Trump’s rhetoric are the nations that compete against us.  In stark contrast, Clinton turned her hate on American citizens.  That’s the real kind of hate.  Trump is more about keeping America safe and competing effectively in the world. That is literally the job of president.

Remember what Former Sec State Colin Powell said of Mrs Clinton.  She is not transformational.

Why is that important?  Because those folks out in the hinterlands want change.  That is why they voted for Tea Party folks in 2012 and 2014.  That is why they voted for Mr Trump in 2016.  And, if they don't see change they will go for someone in 2020 who will bring change.

Mr Trump, on the other hand, can transform himself and, many voters believe, can transform the nation.  If you like the status quo, go with Hillary.  If not, then The Donald is your candidate. Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Posted September 15th, 2016 @ 10:49am in #Trump Clinton

Saturday, September 17, 2016

A "What If" Question

For John, BLUFGiven how this Presidential Election has gone so far, this is not that far fetched a scenario.  Nothing to see here; just move along.


City Life Host George Anthes let me be a guest speaker at his classes on Wednesday.  As part of my time there I posed the question of how Parties deal with a Presidential Candidate who has to withdraw between the convention and the vote.  I used the Democratic Party, since it is a clean process, without options.  The Democratic National Committee votes on a replacement and it is who wins a majority of the votes.  As a caveat, this is not to suggest that Mrs Clinton has more than a mild case of pneumonia.  It is just the easier case.

The class (and I) came up with four replacement candidates, the current VEEP Choice, Governor Tim Kaine; Senator Bernie Sanders; Vice President Joe Biden; and early Presidential Candidate, Governor Martin O'Malley, of Maryland.

Here is the breakout of class voting:

 Section 1Section 2
Tim Kaine00
Bernie Sanders1722
Joe Biden22
Martin O'Malley00

Which reflected fairly closely yesterday's Rasmussen Poll, "Which Democrat Should Replace Hillary?"

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 48% of Likely Democratic Voters believe Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s primary rival, should be their party’s nominee if health issues forced her out of the race.  Twenty-two percent (22%) say Vice President Joe Biden should be the nominee, while only 14% opt for Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, the current Democratic vice presidential candidate.  Nine percent (9%) of Democrats think it should be someone else.
Regards  —  Cliff

  Fortunately, we have only one recent example, the withdrawal of Senator Thomas Eagleton as Vice President in the 1972 Race, 44 years ago.
  The Republican National Committee can go that route or it can reconvene the Nominating Convention.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Civil Service and Government Performance

For John, BLUFIs the Civil Service a "Fourth" Branch of Government.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This OpEd is by Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds and it appeared in 8 September edition of USA Today.

The focus of this OpEd is the US Civil Service and the role it plays in making Government work.  With the bonus that it helps him decide who to vote for on 8 November.

Here is how Professor Reynolds ends his OpEd:

So if the choice in 2016 is between one bad candidate and another (and it is) the question is, which one will do the least harm.  And, judging by the civil service’s behavior, that’s got to be Trump.  If Trump tries to target his enemies with the IRS, you can bet that he’ll get a lot of pushback — and the press, instead of explaining it away, will make a huge stink.  If Trump engages in influence-peddling, or abuses secrecy laws, you can bet that, even if Trump’s appointees sit atop the DOJ or FBI, the civil service will ensure that things don’t get swept under the rug.  And if Trump wants to go to war, he’ll get far more scrutiny than Hillary will get — or, in cases like her disastrous Libya invasion, has gotten.

So the message is clear.  If you want good government, vote for Trump — he’s the only one who will make this whole checks-and-balances thing work.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Get Up, Get Out, Vote

For John, BLUFIf you vote and leave a blank it does send a signal.  Nothing to see here; just move along.


Yes, I hear a lot about how Primaries are a waste of money, or of Taxpayer money.

But, it is what it is.

We know on the Democratic Party side there is a race in the 18th Middlesex.

All Republicans and Unenrolled Voters who pull a Republican Ballot in Middlesex County can write in Angelo La Civita for Sheriff (in the blank space provided).  He needs 1,000 Write-In votes to qualify for the 8 November General Election ballot.

You need to write the name AND address:

Angelo La Civita
READING MA 01867-3236

Please write clearly and plainly. You may have to bring your own ball-point pen too!

(If you already have a "sticker" you may use that.)

And why a Thursday Primary?

To meet the Federal Rules for absentee ballots for Service Members overseas (eg, Afghanistan, Korea) the Primary had to be this week.  The three day Labor Day holiday ruled out Tuesday, because of the need to set up polling places.  Why make local Government employees work on Labor Day if it isn't necessary?  Thus Thursday.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Secretary of State and Classified Information

For John, BLUFIgnorance is no excuse?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

14 Excerpts From the FBI's Report on Hillary Clinton's Email

This is a report on the FBI Friday Data Dump on the interview of Mrs Clinton by the FBI a while back.  The Writer is Mr Kevin Drumsep and the vehicle is Mother Jones.

I got to the article by clicking through from a 5 September article by local Professor Dan Kennedy, who wrote for WGBH, Five Reasons Why The Media Are Piling On Clinton And Giving Trump A Pass".

Which appears, in turn, to be a follow-on to Professor Paul Krugman's OpEd in The Old Gray Lady, which I blogged about here.

But, back to the Mother Jones article, Mr Drumsep includes this point:

Page 20:  When asked of her knowledge regarding TOP SECRET, SECRET, and CONFIDENTIAL classification levels of USG information, Clinton responded that she did not pay attention to the "level" of classification and took all classified information seriously.
For some reason there are people guffawing at this, but I don't know why.  The plainest reading is not that Hillary had no idea what various classification levels meant, but that she treated all classified information seriously no matter what level it was at.
The only problem with this answer, and this explanation, is that as part of her job, she was an OCA, which I discussed here.  An OCA?  An Original Classification Authority.

Say you work in some basement office in Foggy Bottom and you develop a new way to transmit information in an encrypted manner over a ground wave half way around the world.  What classification would you give this system?  You wouldn't.  The OCA needs to tell you, since it is new.  No derivative classification.  It is new.  Now it might be one of Mrs Clinton's minions who actually gives you the classification (TOP SECRET, Special Access Program L'il Abner)(I made that up out of whole cloth).  But, the minion does this under the authority of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  Shouldn't Mrs Clinton have a clue?

Here is what I wrote before:

Executive Order 13526 of December 29, 2009, "Classified National Security Information", lays out the rules for classification of information, protection of the information and its declassification.

Based upon past understanding [and EO 13526, Sec 1.3 (a) (2)], the Secretary of State has original classification authority.  So, if the United States is in negotiations with Lower Slabbovia over certain landing rights for aircraft engaged in supporting military operations in Afghanistan or Iraq, the Secretary of Stzte could classify the fact of and contents of the negotiations as TOP SECRET, perhaps because the Government of Lower Slobbovia wanted it that way.  In a way she is her own boss.

Hat tip to Ms Lynne Lupien.

Regards  —  Cliff

  I was taken to task on LTC's City Life for using tern term Ms Clinton.  The person wanted me to use Secretary of State Clinton, which seems an over long form of address.  Thus, while I will eschew use of Ms, I will settle for The Old Gray Lady's Mrs Clinton.  If it is good enough for their Lordships at the it should be good enough for the rest of us.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Not Being Partisan Enough

For John, BLUFThis is a case of biting the hand that feeds you.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman, at The New York Times.

Here is his point:

The bad dynamics of media Clinton syndrome:  when search for scandal comes up empty, they keep digging because there must be a pony in there
So Dr Krugman takes the Old Gray Lady to task for not sufficiently supporting Mrs Clinton.  Missing is any discussion of the fact that she was an OCA and can't remember anything about it.  Sure, her minions did all the work, but shouldn't she have had a clue?  But, the thing is, all the reliable sources say she is going to win anyway.  Right? Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff