Sunday, July 31, 2016

Refugees in the Heartland

For John, BLUFChecking on Backgrounds is like when we used to check on the health of immigrants.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

That would be Moorhead, Minnesota, a few blocks east of the Red River.

The web publication is Inforum, part of Forum Communications Company, a media firm based in Fargo, North Dakota.

The lede:

MOORHEAD—A remembrance of the genocide by ISIS of the Yazidi people will be held at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 3, at Trinity Lutheran Church, 210 7th St. S., with members of the Fargo-Moorhead Yazidi community.  Learn about the fate and faith of the Yazidi and how to support them in an effort to maintain their traditions.
Providing refuge to those who have been oppressed, those from communities suffering genocide, is something we should do, as Americans.

Remember the line?

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Yes, that one, from the poem by Ms Emma Lazarus.

Which doesn't mean they shouldn't have to go through the regular paperwork.  Heck, when I fly back into the States I have to stand in line and "present my papers".  Is that just part of the burden of Citizenship that doesn't have to be borne by those who just jump the fence?  And, I assume the risk of the Yazidi returning to the Middle East to fight with Daesh is a lot lower than for other immigrants in Minnesota.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Foreign Policy and 2016

For John, BLUFAn alignment of Mr Trump and President Obama?.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The source is The Daily Mail, out of the UK, and the reporter is Mr Matt Murphy.  The dateline is 29 July 2016.

Here is the lede plus two:

Hacked private emails have revealed how a US Nato chief believed President Obama did not want to engage with Europe or the Alliance over Russia because he thought they were a ‘threat’.

General Philip Breedlove, former supreme commander of Nato, said he feared the White House viewed the bloc as a ‘worry’ because their gung-ho attitude to war could drag the US into another conflict.

In an email to the former Secretary of State Colin Powell, he asked him to help him persuade the President to take a greater role in the conflict with Russia over the Ukraine.

I am not bringing this up because of cyber security or carelessness on the part of General Breedlove or former SecState Colin Powell.  There is nothing inherently classified about the exchange.

What is interesting to me is that it suggests Professor Cornell West is correct when he suggests that former SecState Hillary Clinton is leaning further forward in the fox hole than either President Obama or Mr Trump.  Start World War III.

Put another way, if you like President Obama's foreign policy you would probably be more comfortable with Mr Trump.

And, just to emphasize the point, here is an NPR interview with Ms Nussaibah Younis, Atlantic Council senior fellow, who talks, at the end, about the two candidates and their views on intervention in Syria.

Again, Mr Trump seems to be more aligned with President Obama.

Regards  —  Cliff

The DNC and Hacking

For John, BLUFBut, they don't really understand hacking.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Somewhere on Facebook, Mentally Emancipated has a photo with the following overprint:
So let me get this straight…


The DNC is mad at Russia
because the “think”
they are trying to manipulate
our election by exposing that
The DNC is manipulating our election?
Pretty much.

Hat tip to Neal Crossland.

Regards  —  Cliff

Getting It Wrong

For John, BLUFIs this stupidity or propaganda?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from The Washington Post and Reporters Brian Fung and Andrea Peterson.

The first thing that jumps to mind is why would we be making this information public?  There are only a couple of reasons.  One is because it is part of a sophisticated mind game.  Another is because some other nation is doing this to us and our friends and allies and this is a way of saying "we know what you are doing". However, it does reveal some of our sources and methods, usually a no-no.

The second issue, for me, if the lede:

When Donald Trump effectively called for Russia to hack into Hillary Clinton's emails Wednesday, the GOP nominee's remarks touched off a (predictable) media firestorm. Here was a presidential candidate from a major U.S. party encouraging a foreign government to target American interests with cyberspying — an act that could not only expose national security information but also potentially undermine the actual security infrastructure of the United States.
This is rubbish.  Further it suggests that the Reporters are clueless the ways of EMail.  The 30,000 Emails had already been deleted and wiped away back in 2015.  To think they could be found by hacking is like thinking that by hacking Plymouth Rock we can get information on the diary entries of the Pilgrims.

This looks for all the world like The Washington Post carrying water for Candidate Hillary Clinton by perpetuating a meme that is false and should be known to be false.  This can of activity is why someone like Mr Trump has risen to the nomination of the Republican Party.

UPDATE:  Someone did note that it could have been a move in the budget battles faced every year.  Only so many dollars and a lot of requirements.

Aside from that I have no strong feelings.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The New Yorker Excuses the DNC

For John, BLUFWrong is wrong.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is The New Yorker, and the pleader is Columnist Jeffrey Toobin.

Mr Toobin's brief is that it was small scale chatter, that went nowhere.  And it happens all the time.  No big deal.

He argues it shouldn't happen, but it does.

On the other hand, such chatter on my EMail is one thing and on the DNC EMail is another.  Only the totally bored are going to hack my computer.  The DNC?  a much bigger risk.

Next Mr Toobin will be saying SecState Clinton's private EMail Server, with TS/SCI on it, is no big deal.  If he does I hope everyone who comes across his trail tells him he is a p___.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, July 25, 2016

Putin Did It

For John, BLUFA coherent story is always a good thing, but not necessarily the last word.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Finally, someone who has a plausible idea about why the Russians, if they did, might have released the DNC EMails.  The Reporters are Mr Michael Crowley and Ms Julia Ioffe, and the source is Politico.

Here is the sub-headline:

Behind the allegations of a Russian hack of the DNC is the Kremlin leader's fury at Clinton for challenging the fairness of Russian elections.
And here is the concluding paragraph:
“I think they expect her to win,” said one diplomat with extensive Russia experience, who believes the Kremlin directed the email hack. “But they’re sending her a message that they are a power to be reckoned with and can mess with her at will, so she had better take them seriously.”
I guess if one is sending a signal to Ms Clinton, having one's fingerprints all over it is a good thing.  Otherwise it just looks like terrible tradecraft.  And with President Putin's background in the KGB and FSB that would seem worse than tacky.  It would seem "extremely careless".

Hat tip to the Memeorandum.

Regards  —  Cliff

Ranking of Threats

For John, BLUFJust remember, ISIS is not the big threat.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Washington Free Beacon, by Reporter Alyssa Canobbio, on 22 July.

The first step, if the Bureaucrats in DC, including the Elected Officials, believe HFCs are a major issue, is to eliminate Government Air Conditionimg.  The second step is to reduce air travel for all but the President and diplomatic officials.  And shut down Reagan Airport.

What would Saul Alinsky say?

Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules. You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Actually, I doubt Mr Alinsky understands Christianity and its understanding that we do fail, but our sins are nailed to the Cross.

Going Forth Into The World

TRIGGER WARNING:  People leaving their "Safe Space" to confront the world.
For John, BLUFThe normal line is children grow up so quickly, but maybe they grow up more slowly than their predecessors.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Hitting the Beach

Yes, with the opening of all military jobs, including combat jobs, to women, and the transgendered, someone will present a law suit that says everyone, not just men, should have to register for the draft.

Should Women Have to Register for the Draft? free polls

Good luck to all the special snowflakes out there.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Yesterday a friend of mine, a veteran of a combat assault in the Philippines, said that the boat's coxswain said two things to him.  "Get off the beach as quick as you can."  And, "Good luck young man."

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sound Advice

For John, BLUFWe should all be seeking the Christian power the Holy Spirit brings.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Pope Francis proposed today a beautiful prayer for this week: “Father, give me the Holy Spirit.”
Regards  —  Cliff

The Republican Convention

For John, BLUFThis year all of the old verities must be questioned.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The author is Mr Ed Morrissey, and the date is 22 July.

Traditionally speaking, the Republican national convention would look like a near-total debacle. In the era of television, major-party conventions have become tightly choreographed displays of party unity, bland speeches hailing the nominee, and almost entirely forgotten by everyone except the delegates after the usual polling bump recedes. By that measure, the GOP’s four-day event in Cleveland was a debacle: floor fights, a vanquished primary candidate telling the world from a prime-time main stage speaking slot that he didn’t support the nominee, and a plagiarism scandal that went on at least a day longer than necessary thanks to attempts to rationalize it away.

By any traditional measure, it was a trainwreck, and a wide opening to Democrats to offer a contrast with a traditionally predictable convention in response. Eugene Robinson made that case today in his Washington Post column:

Turns out Captain Ed thinks it might be.

Hat tip to the Hot Air.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, July 23, 2016

PM May Steps to the Dispatch Box

For John, BLUFPrime Minister's Question Time is great entertainment.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Last week the outgoing Prime Minister recalled being accosted when on a tour of New York with Mayor Bloomberg. “Hey, Cameron!” yelled a pedestrian, “Prime Minister’s Questions!  We love your show!”.  The House laughed, but it’s an interesting conceit, and one that is not without its merit.  In the Commons relationships are strained and rivalries are fought out, fortunes are made and reputations are dashed, and season finales see big beasts die – and then sometimes come back to life (if you’re Dirty Den or Boris).  All the while the show goes on.

However, if PMQs is a show, then one couldn’t shake the feeling that today’s was a repeat.  It started off originally enough when John Glen kicked things off and the House turned to see George Osborne sitting just below him.  This certainly was novel:  the former Chancellor marooned on the backbenches, nodding along vacantly in the manner of a hostage going along with their captors’ script.  Michael Gove was stranded in the cheap seats too, perhaps concentrating so hard on learning loyalty – as ordered by the Prime Minister – that he zoned out.  So far, so different.

But then as Theresa May took to the despatch box one couldn’t help but notice her husband Philip beaming down with pride from the peers’ gallery above.  Ah, now that’s when we’ve seen this one before!  It was thirty years ago and back then another Prime Minister’s husband watched a grammar school girl from the provinces who went on to Oxford rip apart a shabbily dressed, white haired old lefty.  Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Yes, the House of Commons is not like Beacon Hill here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  On the other side of the Pond they have the Three Line Whip, but the Members still get to vote on legislation.  Here, in our Commonwealth, the Attorney General decides what the law will be, regardless of the People or the General Court.

Hat tip to Order-Order.

Regards  —  Cliff

Faith Comes to Lowell

For John, BLUFSo much going on and so little information flow.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

"Steubenville East"?  When I hear Steubenville my mind fills with certain concepts, including Ohio, the Franciscan University and Father Michael Scanlan, TOR.  I think of people living their faith.  So, when I saw the byline, but I was doubly surprised.  From The Pilot and their Staff Reporter, Mark Labbe, we have this lede:
LOWELL -- This is the eighth year in a row Brittany Burkins has attended Life Teen's annual Steubenville East Conference, and for her, it's as much a family affair as it is a time to grow closer to Jesus.
Here in Lowell?
Burkins, 22, said she used to help lead the youth group when she was a teenager, but now volunteers her time to work as security for the weekend event, which ran from Friday evening July 15 to Sunday afternoon July 17 at the University of Massachusetts Lowell's Tsongas Center.
Then I wonder why this was happening in my City and I didn't have a clue.

I like reading about it.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Playing Chicken With Nuclear Power

For John, BLUFThis is foolhardy and, I hope, a bluff.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Missed this item from the British Independent when it came out Friday last.  Mr Ian Johnston reporting.

The lede:

China plans to build nuclear power stations in the South China Sea to establish “effective control” of disputed islands, officials have reportedly said.
And, in case you think this is just about the South China Sea, the sub-headline was:
Beijing says Japan should ‘exercise caution in its own words and deeds, and stop hyping up and interfering’ in a dispute some fear could lead to war
But, back to nuclear reactors, where are the Environmentalists protesting this kind of foolish action on artificial islands in a Typhoon alley?

Regards  —  Cliff

Turkey's President's EMail Hacked

For John, BLUFWhile the South China Sea is a problem, Turkey is more of a problem right now, until this settles out.  Oh, and the Baltic States.  Someone suggested this last half year of President Obama's Presidency could be a dangerous time.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The author of this Wired article is Mr Andy Greensburg and the publication date is 19 July.

The good news is that something like this couldn't happen here.

Here is the lede plus one:

OVER THE WEEKEND, the Internet may have saved the regime of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, as protestors organized online to fight a military coup, and Erdogan himself addressed the nation via Apple’s Facetime video-calling app.  Today, however, Erdogan may remember that he doesn’t particularly like the Internet, after all—as hundreds of thousands of his ruling party’s private correspondences allegedly spill onto the web.

On Tuesday, WikiLeaks published what it’s calling the Erdoğan Emails, a searchable collection of 294,548 emails it says are leaked from the AKP, Turkey’s ruling political party, and the organization president Erdoğan led before he was elected president.  Turkish citizens and the world community are still struggling to understand the context of Turkey’s coup and the crackdown that’s followed, all of which could make this alleged Erdoğan leak more significant than the secret-spilling group’s average data dump.  However, at the time of writing, it’s not at all clear yet what exactly the Turkish-language megaleak contains, or if the emails are what Wikileaks claims they are.

The coup in Turkey is troubling at several levels, including that members of the military thought they needed to invoke the old theory that the military was the defender of the constitution.  But also because the situation had gotten to this point.  President Erdoğan is known for having said, when Mayor of Istanbul, that Democracy was like a street car.  When you get to your stop you get off.  And given that the European Union has stiff-armed Turkey from the beginning, one imagines that nothing in that area will improve.  And then what direction will Turkey go from here?  The rest of us in the West (Turkey is, in fact, a Western nation) may find Turkey drifting away, perhaps reducing its support against Daesh and against the Syrian Government, and maybe even leave NATO.  If it continues down a Salafist path, will it begin to side with those who have a more rigid view of how society should operate?  Quite possible.

There are a lot of questions out there.

Regards  —  Cliff

Stifling Deviant Behavior

For John, BLUFDeviant in the sense that he has wandered off the beaten Democratic Party path.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

That would be Mr Milo Yiannopoulos, the Editor of Breitbart Tech. Either the Brietbart Reporter, Mr Ben Kew, is on a first name basis with Mr Yiannopoulos or Mr Yiannopoulos is one of those people who goes by his first name, like Madonna.  The third possibility is one that gives me concerns on my own behalf.  The name is too long and complicated to jump to memory when typing.  I just cut and paste. 
Breitbart Tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos has been suspended from Twitter once more just 20 minutes before his “Gays for Trump” event takes place at the Republican National Convention.

The justification for the suspension is currently unknown, although it could be as a result of Milo’s run-in with Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones on the site.  Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey publicly reached out to Jones late on Monday evening after she complained about “abuse” on the platform.  Milo was suspended despite the fact that he sent no abusive tweets to the actress.

BuzzFeed gleefully reported that the suspension is permanent, citing a statement from Twitter promising a clampdown on “targeted abuse.”  Milo has also received a message from Twitter confirming that that his ban is permanent, copied below.

So, has Milo be a bad boy on Twitter?  The article says no.

The alternate explanation is he is being punished for not conforming to Democratic Party/Neo Progressive norms.

Law Professor Glenn Reynolds, in a comment on this story, asks "Why are Democrat-run institutions such rampant cesspits of anti-free speech homophobia."  I hope that isn't the case.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  The thing is, once upon a time I missed 21 on a 20 question spelling test, misspelling even my own name in the upper right hand corner of the paper.

Ms Ginsburg vs The People

For John, BLUFMaybe it just depends upon whose ox is being gored.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The diocesan newspaper for Boston, The Pilot, has an editorial section called "Echoes".

On 17 July, under the category of Culture, Mr John Garvey, President of Catholic University, talked about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, but also about the Court as a whole.  Here is the sub-headline:

If her husband were alive, she continued, he might have said, "It's time for us to move to New Zealand."
Not the kind of leadership declaration one would expect from an Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court.  Even one looking forward to retiring from that high bench.

Here is how Mr Garvey starts off:

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg caused quite a stir this month by saying what was on her mind about Donald Trump to the New York Times.  "I can't imagine what the country would be -- with Donald Trump as our president," she said.
There are a lot of people who feel like Justice Ginsburg, but they are ordinary citizens, people with an opportunity to vote on who they want in the White House come November.  Some are my friends.  Recently I have come to think that some of them may unfriend me on Facebook before we get down to the end of the campaign.  I hope not.  I enjoy a diversity of opinions.

But, I thought that it was unseemly that Ms Ginsburg, who as a member of the US Supreme Court, with a slight but real possibility of having to rule on a Presidential Election, should comment in the way she did.  Say it to your friends and colleagues, but don't say it to Reporters or Editors at some newspaper, especially one as well known as The Old Gray Lady.

But, the deeper problem is the one Mr Garvey brings up, that the Court has become just another political organ, rather than a more neutral body trying to fit our legal dealings into a frame.  In our case, the US Constitution.  Sure, the Constitution is over 200 years old, but it has internal rules for changing it.  Rules that require the development of a consensus.  Amending the US Constitution by judicial fiat is outside the lines of the game.

Here is how the piece ends:

Since the decision in Roe v. Wade, though, a majority of the court has claimed the authority to make things up.  This has had the natural effect of leading us to see its work as politics by another name.

It's not just Democrats who take this approach.  Republicans in the Senate have held up the nomination of Merrick Garland because, they say, this is an issue the people should have an opportunity to weigh in on.  Donald Trump has floated a list of candidates he would consider in lieu of Garland.  We're voting for the Supreme Court.

This is a bad turn of events, and to my mind, the court has itself to blame.  Its assertion of authority to make law has taken power from the elected branches and undermined the very reasons we have for trusting the court itself.

So, no sympathy for those Democrats who wail that not bringing Mr Garland to the floor for a vote is a violation of the Constitution.  It is how the game is now played.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Actually, a little earlier than that in Lowell, where we are going to introduce early voting for the General Election, but NOT the Primary in September.
  Then there is how the Massachusetts General Court changes the rules for replacing US Senators when the need arises, depending upon who is in the Corner Office.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Making False Promises

For John, BLUFThe Europeans are very short sighted when it comes to Turkey.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from Reporter Chris Tomlinson, today.  The publication is Breitbart.

Who does she think she is kidding here?  There was no way the EU was going to admit Turkey anyway.  Apparently never has been.  And therein hangs a tale.  What if Turkey had been a member of the EU for the last 20 years?  Would we have had this "coup"?

Here is the sub-headline:

The German Federal government and Chancellor Angela Merkel have slammed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for suggesting the death penalty could be brought in for plotters of last weekend’s unsuccessful coup.
And here is the lede plus one:
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition government has spoken out against a possible reintroduction of the death penalty in Turkey. President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, said that the death penalty could be brought back to punish the plotters of the failed coup attempt in Turkey over the weekend.

The German government has said that if Turkey executes the plotters, it would be the end of negotiations for the nation’s potential membership of the European Union (EU), reports Die Welt.

Regards  —  Cliff


Gun Deaths, From FiveThirtyEight

For John, BLUFSince there are other ways to die besides guns, looking at who dies and why might be of value.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

My Middle Brother sent me a link to part of this large set of files at the FiveThirtyEight Blog.  This is the introduction, written by Ms Simone Landon, a former Senior Editor at 538.

The subject is gun deaths.  Here is the lede paragraph:

More than 33,000 people are shot and killed in the U.S. each year.  What each of these deaths has in common is the use of a gun, yet this is not one problem suffered 33,000 times.  The victims of fatal shootings are diverse, as are the reasons for their deaths, but the national conversation doesn’t allow for much complexity.  And that means that for all the grief and haranguing and calls to action, we’re likely missing opportunities to bring that number down.
After some discussion of the dimensions of the problem Ms Landon encourages us to dive into the data and then ends thusly:
We started this reporting with a simple question:  What would it take to bring down the number of gun deaths in America?  Anti-gun advocates insist tighter restrictions are the only way.  Pro-gun advocates say the weapon is less important than who wields it.  More than 33,000 lives are lost in the middle.  Now that we have some perspective — on the scale of the problem and who is hurt most — we’re closer to understanding where we can have the greatest impact.
If you wish to dive into the data, go to the web page where, in the upper left hand corner, is a "Menu".  Look there.  The first item on the agenda is "Gun Deaths in America".  Start there.

Regards  —  Cliff

Terrorists Try to Terrorise

For John, BLUFTerrorism works through fear.  A few events and a lot of propaganda.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Yesterday, in The Boston Globe, Reporter Jana Ransom told us:
A cyber-affiliate of the Islamic State has compiled what appears to be a hit list naming 264 government employees in Massachusetts, officials confirmed Sunday.

The list, which included the names of mostly rank-and-file employees from across the state, was one of three posted Saturday to social media by the group called the United Cyber Caliphate, according to State Police.

The odds of someone being specifically targeted is very small.  Random acts by [something] are much more likely.

State Police spokesman David Procopio is quoted as saying:

At this time we have no intelligence suggesting any immediate threat to Massachusetts citizens in response to this list or for any other reason.
Regards  —  Cliff

  We are told by Mr Adam Ragusea, in Slate that we should never (the Media should never) use the word "Terrorist" because it is now a biased term.  His view is "Avoid labels!  When possible, describe what people do instead of labeling what you think they are."  On the other hand, terrorism is "what people do" when they want political change and have limited resources or support and decide to make people miserable in order to force the change they want.  And the collective term for these people is terrorist.  I wonder if Republican and Democrat are labels, and thus biased?

Monday, July 18, 2016

Oil Glut Coming?

For John, BLUFIf you encounter low prices at the pump, thank fracking.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The sub-headline is "Growth data from China and U.S. buoys crude market".  This is from The Wall Street Journal and Reporter Miriam Malek.

The lede plus four:

Oil prices were steady on Monday, supported by favorable growth data reported by the U.S. and China, but a looming glut of oil products could put pressure on the market, analysts said.

The global benchmark, Brent, was trading up 0.1% at $47.66 a barrel.  Its U.S. counterpart, West Texas Intermediate, was trading down 0.02% at $45.94 a barrel.

Over the weekend, oil prices were boosted by data that showed China’s second-quarter gross domestic product grew 6.7%, higher than what analysts had expected.  In the U.S., retail sales and industrial production rose in June, suggesting a pickup in the economies of both countries, which bodes well for oil demand growth.

Also over the weekend, an attempted coup in Turkey fueled fears that the flow of oil through Turkish straights could be hindered.  The route is crucial for shipping and trading.  This had helped buoy prices over the weekend, but the route is currently operating as usual and prices are unaffected.

But there are signs that an increasing glut of refined products could begin to weigh on crude prices.  The oversupplied products markets, especially gasoline, means refiners will pull back on crude purchases, especially as the autumn maintenance season is only two months away, the New-York-based bank Morgan Stanley said.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Limiting Language

For John, BLUFBut, the Press still makes fun of Mr Trump for his simplified presentations to crowds.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from Slate:
All available evidence suggests that when Micah Johnson sniped police officers in downtown Dallas on Thursday, he intended it as a political act.

During the ensuing standoff, he told police negotiators that he was angry about the recent apparently unwarranted killings of black men by police, and “stated he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers,” according to Dallas Police Chief David Brown.

Johnson could not have reasonably believed that he’d shoot enough cops to actually diminish the capacity of law enforcement agencies to unjustifiably kill black people.  He did it to send a message, to arbitrarily terrorize cops in the way that he felt arbitrarily terrorized by them.

The writer, Mr Adam Ragusea, then goes on to argue "Terrorist Is Now a Biased Term.  Journalists Should Stop Using It."

After banging on about the term "illegal immigrant" for a while, Mr Ragusea ends saying:

Likewise, I think we’ve reached the same point with the T-word. Reuters—a less influential force in American journalism style than the AP—agrees with me. From its style guide:

Reuters may refer without attribution to terrorism and counterterrorism in general, but do not refer to specific events as terrorism.  Nor does Reuters use the word terrorist without attribution to qualify specific individuals, groups or events.
I think that’s the right policy, and the AP should follow suit. Eschewing both terrorists and illegal immigrants alike is in keeping with a broader and widely accepted best practice for journalists:  Avoid labels!  When possible, describe what people do instead of labeling what you think they are.
So, a man, citing allegiance to Daesh, walks into a grocery store and starts killing clerks and we say he is a shooter, but we not say he is a terrorist?  Do we mention he has sworn allegiance to Daesh?  Do we mention that he believes he is hastening the Apocalypse as understood in Islam?  Or is it just about a mass shooting?  Isn't that a politically charged phrase?  Should it be eschewed?

Then, over at PJ Media we have Mr Stephen Kruiser taking on this issue, with the headline "New Progressive Media Lunacy:  'Terrorist' is a Biased Word".

Mr Kruiser wraps it up this way:

The notion that being "too judgmental" when merely referring to terrorists is problematic is quite, well, insane.  This just adds another dangerous layer of make-believe to the denial dance that the press does in concert with left-leaning politicians.

There is a lot that is nuanced in this complex, dangerous world.  Figuring out who the terrorists are and labeling them as such isn't one of them, however.  This is all very simple, and anyone fancying him or herself a deep thinker because he or she introduces complexity to something simple isn't very bright.

I am wondering how we will tie together mass shooting in the name of Daesh with trucks running over a lot of people, with bombs being exploded and killing a lot of people.  What will be the common term to tie these together, along with slavery, forced marriage and rape?

And, regarding the start of World War One, can we still call Mr Gavrilo Princip an assassin?  Maybe not.  Maybe too harsh, too judgmental, too much of a label.

The good news is that twenty or thirty years from now when the replacement for Facebook runs a new version of the vocabulary test, instead of your friends scoring 30,000 words, they will score more like 5,000 words, as their vocabulary will have shrunk.  They will no long have all those "biased words" for describing what is going on in the world.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  The top comment on this article was "we should probably stop using the term "journalist" as it is no longer accurately descriptive."
  Being truthful, I am prejudiced against these folks who are trying to overthrow my way of life, not just kill people who exercise freedom of speech and draw cartoons, or fail to stock halal food, or don't worship the right way, but put us into a straight jacket version of Sharia, as they understand it.
  Of course he did spark a war in which millions of military and civilian personnel died, directly or indirectly.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Disdain for Next Week

For John, BLUFIs there anyone who is acceptable to the Media to talk at the Republican Convention.  Apparently not.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is by a Ms Sarah Scoles and is from the 15 July edition of The Wash Post.

The lede plus one:

On Feb. 3, 1995, astronaut Eileen Collins became the first woman to pilot a space shuttle.  On July 23, 1999, she became the first woman to command a space shuttle mission.  And on July 20, 2016, she will become the first female shuttle pilot and commander to speak at a Republican National Convention.

With its implied support of Donald Trump, this appearance has left many scientists and space experts scratching their heads. Why would someone who rode a rocket through glass ceilings speak at this event?

Dripping with disdain and sarcasm.  Is this the real view of the Media and Political elites, of the Academic elites?

Are scientists and space experts unable to understand that there might be alternative ideas?  How unscientific is that?

Are there space experts and scientists who don't understand that Mr Trump might just win and in that case it would be good that he could look back on his Nominating Convention and think we might ought to put some money into NASA?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Gun Free Zones and Risk

For John, BLUFSo, if you infringe my rights it is at your risk if anything goes wrong.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

"Real Gun Sense: Tennessee Makes Proprietors Of Gun-Free Zones Responsible For Injury While Disarmed"

This is a Red State post from late last month, by Mr Brandon Morse

My note is that it is only if you are a licensed gun owner.  Free riders don't qualify.

This will be interesting to look at in five years.

Regards  —  Cliff

Turkish Coup Comment From UK

For John, BLUFWhen all you have is a hammer, everything is a nail.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is a Tweet from Labour MP Chris Bryant:
Turkey is now and has long been a lynch pin in European and wider security.  Ludicrous Brexit lies undoubtedly contributed to destabilising
Brexit!  Is there any evil it can't bring to us?

Hat tip to Guido Fawkes of Order-Order.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, July 15, 2016

The New Yorker on Mr Trump

For John, BLUFIt is going to be a long, ugly, Summer.  Nothing to see here; just move along.


Well, not exactly.  From The New Yorker from yesterday, we have Mr Adam Gopnik telling us that Mr Donald Trump would be a terrible, terrible President.  In doing this he tells us that the Weimer Republic really wasn't as bad as we have previously thought.  the rise of Hitler was just a terrible right wing thing that can't be explained.
…did not commit suicide—it was killed, by many murderers, not least by those who thought they could contain an authoritarian thirsting for power.
There you go.  Mr Trump is Mr Hitler.

No real mention of the corruption that seems to follow Ms Clinton.  No discussion of, analysis of, her foreign policy failures, like Libya  No discussion of her paranoia that prevents her from learning the lessons of Watergate.

Regards  —  Cliff

  NOTE TO ALL:  No, this is NOT about Benghazi.

A Different Point of View

For John, BLUFThe deaths of Black people at the hands of police seems more concerning that at the hands of other Black people.  Nothing to see here; just move along.


Writer Karen Good Marable talks about how she experiences the death, in Prairie View, Texas, of Ms Sandra Bland, in a Police Cell.  That she was arrested at all is a bit of a mystery to those outside the situation.  She was pulled over for not signally a lane change and then the Police Officer took offense at her attitude, pulled her out of the car and then booked her.

She died overnight, in her jail cell, apparently from hanging herself.  There was a suggestion she presented as unstable, but then there was no suicide watch, which is strange.  I am open to other things going on, but speculation is worthless in this case.

What is important at this time is that Ms Marable, a normal middle class person (her Father a church deacon and her Father in Law who rose of Chief Master Sergeant in the Air Force, no mean accomplishment).  It is how she experiences the death of Ms Sandra Bland that is interesting and worth the read.

Regards  —  Cliff

  It appears she would have been safer driving in Massachusetts, where lane changes are only infrequently signaled.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Arrogance of Power

For John, BLUFMayor Rahm Emanuel (Dead Fish) is an arrogant person who does damage to democracy.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the Instapundit Blog Site, Law Professor Glenn Reynolds says:
DEMOCRATS IN DISARRAY:  Emanuel responds to broadside from Jesse Jackson Sr.  “Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday vehemently denied that he sat on the Laquan McDonald shooting video until he was safely re-elected after the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. accused the mayor of a cover-up in his most blistering attack on the mayor to date.”
The shooting of Laquan McDonald?  A Policeman arrived on the scene and pumped 16 bullets into young Mr Laquan McDonald, who was armed with a three inch blade knife and walking away.  This was almost two years ago.

Let us be frank.  Laquan McDonald was a punk.  On the other hand, he was still a human being and what happened to him was flat out wrong.

Covering up how it happen, by the City of Chicago, only made it worse.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Do we no longer believe in the power of redemption?

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

China Unhappy and Defiant

For John, BLUFThe Chinese didn't accept the outcome.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Early this morning the Beeb published an article with a lot of bullet points on the outcome of the case the Philippines brought against China in the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague over the South China Sea.

Conflicting claims show in this item from Quartz.  In purple is the Chinese Nine-Dash line, inherited from Chiang Kai-shek and the Kuomintang Party.

Very interesting.

And a likely hot spot for some time to come.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, July 11, 2016

The Dallas PD Robot

For John, BLUFRestoring a little sanity to the discussion.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The Source is the web magazine War on the Rocks and the Author is Air Force Colonel Mike “Starbaby” Pietrucha.  Colonel Pietrucha was an instructor electronic warfare officer in the F-4G Wild Weasel and the F-15E Strike Eagle, with 156 combat missions.  He also had two additional combat deployments in the company of U.S. Army infantry, combat engineer, and military police units in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Here is the lede:

I knew as soon as I saw the headline that the “killer robot” articles would start.  That the use of a compact remote-controlled vehicle to selectively eliminate a dangerous, armed killer in a protected position would cause science and technology writers everywhere to collectively gasp and head to their keyboards.  There, they would engage in a spinning whirlwind of predictive doom, calling for new regulations, stoking fears of hordes of government-controlled killer robots, and speculating on the future of civilization.  But all the hyperventilating over this by technologists obscures the fact that robotic devices have been used to deliver deadly explosives for decades — almost 100 years, if you count the Kettering Bug.  Rather than focusing on the robotic delivery of the explosive, it is more useful to understand this as the directed application of a precision-guided munition (PGM) under conditions that clearly called for one.
And the concluding paragraph:
Unfortunately for them, police departments are not routinely equipped with precision weapons.  Fortunately for them, they had the vision and flexibility to build and employ one on the fly, thereby accomplishing everything we demand from a police department under very trying circumstances.  It is very easy, when taking casualties, to lose some element of discipline or control and do far more damage to the surroundings than necessary to contain the threat.  The Dallas Police Department did not set loose a killer robot. They emplaced a charge using a precision method that posed the least risk to their force.  The Dallas police should be commended for their restraint, discipline, and ingenuity in the face of chaos, confusion, and death.  Essentially, they used a PGM under conditions wherein that was exactly the proper response.  My hat’s off to them.
Yes, the Dallas Police held it together during a very trying circumstance, with officers taking effective incoming fire.  And, they showed good ingenuity under stress.

Regards  —  Cliff

  In the Air Force, and Naval Aviation, everyone has a "tactical call sign".  "Starbaby break right!" is easier to get out than "Rambler 2 break right!", and that if you remember you are Rambler Flight this morning and Starbaby is flying the number two position in your flight of four, this morning.
  And, as is standard, The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Air Force or any part of the U.S. government.
  And the next President should consider appoint Dallas Police Chief Brown to a responsible position in the Department of Justice.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Blowback From Director Comey's Decision

For John, BLUFNothing in this world is without some consequence.  Director Comey's recommendation regarding Hunny Bunny will have consequences, which he should have foreseen.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:
Will other careless security-clearance holders get a pass?  Time will tell.
This article is from Mr Steven Nelson, a Staff Writer for US News and World Report.  It is from early last week, but it is still pertinent.  Here is the lede plus three:
Attorneys for people who allegedly mishandled classified information say the outcome of the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton could be good news for their clients.

Though many see a double standard in FBI Director James Comey’s decision not to recommend charges against the former secretary of state who used a personal and unsecured email system for official business, others see possibilities.

Mark Zaid, a defense attorney for national security whistleblowers and people accused of mishandling secrets, says he plans to ask for “the Clinton deal” in the future.

And Zaid says he probably can get it.

And then Attorney Zaid goes on to expand upon his comments.

I believe there is a natural equilibrium and we will return to a reasonable regime for dealing with security breaches, accidental and deliberate, but it will take some time.  In that gap the defense lawyers will have a fine time, mostly getting deals for their clients and when they don't having the fun of seeing the Government squirm.

But, in the end the secrets must be kept and we will see new legislation and we will see recent precedents overthrown.  But, that is in the future.  And, I don't see most people being careless just because The Honorable Hillary Clinton got off.  Most people who handle classified will face administrative punishments for carelessness, if they avoid the criminal.  That could include the loss of a security clearance, which could mean the loss of a job.  For most of us that is punishment enough for a lifetime.

Regards  —  Cliff

Freedom in Education

For John, BLUFYes, the elites are worried that ideas are drifting.  They need to do a better job talking with the rest of us.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

I am quoting this blog post from Law Professor Ann Althouse in full.  The reason is it is short and covers a lot of ground, around the theme of public schools.

The issue here is that there is what some see as a subtle linguistic shift from the terminology "public schools" to "government schools".  At the same time we are seeing an enrollment shift away from public schools.  There have been parochial schools for a long time.  Now home schooling is becoming more popular, with millions of children being home schooled.  Part of that, I am sure, is families where one parent can stay home an both parents are concerned about the quality of education in public schools.

Here is Professor Althouse's post, going from a quote from The New York Times to a quote from Ronald Reagan to a Linguistics Professor (Dr Deborah Tannen) to a Supreme Court Decision from way back in 1923.

Said a woman in Kansas, quoted in a NYT article called "Public Schools? To Kansas Conservatives, They’re ‘Government Schools.'"

Experts are also quoted, including linguistics professor Deborah Tannen, who was reminded of Ronald Reagan's famous line: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government, and I’m here to help’”:

“People tend to trace the demonization of government to Reagan,” Dr. Tannen said. “That’s kind of iconic, how he was using it. He set the government up as the enemy.”
And I'm reminded of the 1923 Supreme Court case, Pierce v. Society of Sisters, that said:
The fundamental theory of liberty upon which all governments in this Union repose excludes any general power of the State to standardize its children by forcing them to accept instruction from public teachers only. The child is not the mere creature of the State; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations. Posted by Ann Althouse at 8:00 PM 96 comments
I like the idea expressed in the SCOTUS decision that "excludes any general power of the State to standardize its children".  I have previously linked to an article ("School and Its Discontents") from The Catholic Worker in which the author says that our public schools still follow the Prussian model from the 1800s, wherein students were prepared to work in factories as replaceable units.  That is a bit of an indictment.

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

  At this point I would like to note that Charter Schools ARE public schools.

MoDo on Hillary

For John, BLUFYes, it is a Faustian Bargain.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Columnist Maureen Dowd—MoDo to many of her readers—has a way with words.  Here is the lede in today's New York Times.
IT says a lot about our relationship with Hillary Clinton that she seems well on her way to becoming Madam President because she’s not getting indicted.
And here is how she ends:
We’re resigned to the Clintons focusing on their viability and disregarding the consequences of their heedless actions on others.  They’re always offering a Faustian deal.  This year’s election bargain: Put up with our iniquities or get Trump’s short fingers on the nuclear button.

The Clintons work hard but don’t play by the rules.  Imagine them in the White House with the benefit of low expectations.

Well, we have seen them in the White House before, but now they have a better sense of what they can and can't get away with, and that isn't even talking the political side.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, July 9, 2016

"Row well, and live."

For John, BLUFIf Lew Wallace hadn't been there things might have turned out much differently.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

How Indiana’s Lew Wallace saved the nation’s capital

This is from The Indiana Star, from two years ago.&nbso; The reporter is Mr Ryan L. Cole.

The lede:

Indiana’s Lew Wallace led a grand life, negotiating with Billy the Kid in New Mexico, serving as America’s ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, and, of course, authoring “Ben-Hur,” one of the most popular novels of all time.  But the most dramatic chapter of Wallace’s story took place 150 years ago on July 9 when his bravery in a little-known Civil War battle saved our nation’s capital.
Someone I know, wrote in response:
For those in the northern Virginia, Maryland, and southern Pennsylvania region, the Monocacy battlefield, near Frederick, Maryland, is worth a visit  It is small and not as elaborate as Antienam/Sharpsburg or Gettysburg but worth the time anyway to visit and get the feel of a classic delaying action.

Additionally, the battlefield is also the spot where McCellan's troops found a copy of Lee's orders regarding his 1862 Maryland Campaign wrapped with cigars which helped shape the outcome of the Antienam/Sharpsburg battle.  Additionally, elements of Meade's Army of the Potomac passed through the Monocacy site on their way toward southern Pennsylvania in June 1863.

History can be fascinating.

Regards  —  Cliff

Best Explanation to Date

For John, BLUFI think Charles Krauthammer has it, Director Comey didn't want to change the course of history on his own.  He is leaving it to the voters.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Yesterdays edition of The Washington Post, an OpEd by Dr Charles Krauthammer.

After reviewing the story, Dr Krauthammer sums up his views:

Prosecuting under current circumstances would have upended and redirected an already year-long presidential selection process.  In my view, Comey didn’t want to be remembered as the man who irreversibly altered the course of American political history.

And with no guarantee that the prosecution would succeed, moreover.  Imagine that scenario:  You knock out of the race the most likely next president – and she ultimately gets acquitted!  Imagine how Comey goes down in history under those circumstances.

I admit I’m giving Comey the benefit of the doubt.  But the best way I can reconcile his reputation for integrity with the grating illogic of his Clinton decision is by presuming that he didn’t want to make history.

I don’t endorse his decision.  (Nor did I Roberts’.)  But I think I understand it.

Maybe Director Comey glanced South, to Brazil and decided he didn't wish to be a part of a similar unwinding of the political process in the United States.

Makes sense.

But, that means it is up to us voters, in November.

Hat tip to the Fortuna's Corner.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, July 8, 2016

Policing Right

For John, BLUFIt takes a lot of work and then it still might not work.  But, the Black Lives Matter Demonstration itself was a model of well done.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From "The Fix", a part of The Washington Post, and Reporter Philip Bump.

Here is the article's second paragraph, quoting President Obama a couple of nights ago:

"Last year, we put together a task force that was comprised of civil rights activists and community leaders; but also law enforcement officials.  Police captains, sheriffs," he said.  "And they sat around the table, and they looked at the data and looked at best practices."
Here is the money quote:
One of the jurisdictions hailed by Obama's task force was the Dallas Police Department — the same agency that the president would mourn 24 hours later after five officers were killed in a stunning attack in the city's downtown.  That attack came at the tail end of a peaceful march organized to draw attention to police use of force.
This is a vast nation and some folks assume every location is the same.  Every location is not the same.  And a lot of folks are trying to make this nation better.  Like Dallas Chief of Police David Brown.

As a bonus, The InstaPundit reported on a study from two years ago, which shows that Caucasians are just ever so slightly slower to shoot an armed Black man as opposed to a Caucasian or an Hispanic.

Regards  —  Cliff

Madeleine Albright on Security in the Dep't of State

For John, BLUFThe idea she didn't understand is ludicrous.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The internet presence, The Cipher Brief posted in its 8 July "Dead Drop" the following:
But what caught The Dead Drop's eye was Comey's comment that:  "While not the focus of our investigation, we also developed evidence that the security culture of the State Department in general, and with respect to use of unclassified e-mail systems in particular, was generally lacking in the kind of care for classified information found elsewhere in the government."  That is reminiscent of charges made 16 years ago when the Department was accused of systemic failure to protect secrets.  The charges stung at the time, causing then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to say:  "I don't care how skilled you are as a diplomat, how brilliant you may be at meetings, or how creative you are as an administrator... if you are not professional about security, you are a failure."
To repeat, "you are a failure." Regards  —  Cliff

The First Humans in the Western Hemisphere

For John, BLUFPeople keep learning more and more and they change what we thought was true.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Who was here before the Native Americans?  That is not an idle question.  It could send archeology in new directions here in the United States, here in the Western Hemisphere. One place to look for a little bit of information is the Gault School of Archeological Research.

Here is an interesting paragraph from their web site:

Currently paleoindian archaeology is in what is scientifically known as a “paradigm shift” or a change in our basic assumptions. Evidence found to date suggests that the old hypothesis is no longer any good but no general consensus has yet arisen on a new one. Archaeologists are looking for new data that could confirm one or a combination of hypotheses that are being proposed. One important possibility is that early peoples could have come by boat down one or both sea coasts. We know that people reached Australia by boat nearly 50,000 years ago and were sailing in the Pacific off of Japan by 30,000 years ago.
As an additional thought, four and a half years ago The Washington Post had an article, " Radical theory of first Americans places Stone Age Europeans in Delmarva 20,000 years ago".  There was even a book, Across Atlantic Ice:  The Origin of America's Clovis Culture.  In my limited exploration of the Gault web site I did not see any indication of interest in this theory.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  No, not John Galt.  He was someone else.

Gun Control Advocate Advocates Violence

For John, BLUFThen there are folks who are just plain over the top.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Mr James Pearce, an adjunct professor at Southern State Community College (SSCC) in Ohio is under investigation for threatening to shoot up the NRA.

Here is his Facebook post on 13 June:

Look, there’s only one solution.  A bunch of us anti-gun types are going to have to arm ourselves, storm the NRA headquarters in Fairfax, VA, and make sure there are no survivors.  This action might also require coordinated hits at remote sites, like Washington lobbyists.  Then and only then will we see some legislative action on assault weapons. Have a nice day.
The source is the blog Weasel Zippers.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Failure of the Sunni Arabs

For John, BLUFThe terrorism we face is from the failure of Arab Sunni leadership to coalesce and move their citizens forward.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is an essay in Mosaic Magazine, by Mr Ofir Hairy, who is vice-president of the Herzl Institute in Jerusalem and head of its National Strategy Initiative.  Publication is recent, being 5 July.

The question being addressed is:

Who or what will replace a century of failed Sunni Arab dominance? What, if anything, can the West do to help shape the future?
Here is the lede plus one:
In 2007, in a seminar room in Jerusalem, a day-long session was devoted to Israeli regional strategic perspectives.  I was among the participants together with several other scholars, a former Israeli interior minister, a future Israeli defense minister, and two future Israeli ambassadors to the U.S.  At a certain point, the talk turned to various scenarios for the regional future and the opportunities or dangers each of these entailed for Israel.  When the possible breakup and partition of Arab states like Iraq or Syria was raised, the near-unanimous response was that this was simply too fantastic a scenario to contemplate.

Now we live that scenario.  The great Sunni Arab implosion that began with the 2011 “Arab Spring” was unforeseen in its suddenness, violence, and extent.  But some, both inside and outside the Arab world, had long suspected that, sooner or later, a day of reckoning would indeed arrive.  (Among Westerners, the names of Bernard Lewis and David Pryce-Jones come most readily to mind.)  Today, those in the West who acknowledge this great collapse for what it is will be better able to face the emerging realities.  But the first and most important step is to recognize that there is no going back.

Someone said "tribes with flags".  So true.

Looking at Daesh, itself, the people who form Daesh believe these are Apocalyptic Times, the End Times.  Like your more fundamentalist Protestant (and Catholic) friends, they believe there will be an end battle, in Dabiq, Syria.  They believe there will be the Antichrist, Masih ad-Dajjal in Arabic.  Then there will be the resurrection of the dead and the separation of the good and the bad.

Regards  —  Cliff

  You do have Protestant friends don't you, who in an unguarded moment talk about the end times?  Or are you more like Pauline Kael, sensing they are out there somewhere.
  And thus we have the Dabiq Magazine.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Presidential Election Gender Gap

For John, BLUFIn other news, "The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey of Likely U.S. Voters finds Donald Trump with 42% of the vote, while Hillary Clinton earns 40%."  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Rasmussen Reports we have a commentary by Mr Geoffrey Skelley.  It is from today, 7 July.

Here is the subheadline:

2016 could see the largest political divide between men and women in the exit poll era
And an extract from the lede:
With four months to go in the 2016 general election campaign, national polls suggest that it’s quite possible that the Hillary Clinton-Donald Trump clash may well set a new record for partisan differences between the sexes.  Since Clinton effectively sewed up the Democratic nomination on June 7, the average gender gap in 22 national polls is 24.4 points and the median gap is 26 points, slightly ahead of the exit poll era record set in 2000…
YearGender Gap

I am not sure I see a dramatic difference for this year from previous years.  For instance, in 2000 there was a big gap, which I assume was due to the charm and good looks of Candidate Al Gore.

Here is the analysis paragraph.

The gender gap has long been an electoral reality in American politics, whether in presidential races or down-ballot.  In most elections, men tend to vote more Republican and women tend to vote more Democratic.  Based on the national exit polls, there has been a notable divide in how men and women vote in every presidential election going back to 1980, when Ronald Reagan helped convert a significant segment of men, but not women, to the Republican Party.  In fact, outside of 1992, every contest since 1980 has featured a gap of at least 10 percentage points.  The all-time record in the exit poll era (1972-present) is 22 points, observed in the 2000 election cycle, when Al Gore won women by 11 points and George W. Bush won men by 11 points.
Regards  —  Cliff

Edward Snowden Update

For John, BLUFWell, by the Clinton Rule, maybe we should back off.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From John Schindler, on his XX Committee blog, 2 July.  Here is the yield:
In the three years since Edward Snowden landed in Moscow, his relationship with his hosts has been a source of much speculation and controversy.  The American IT contractor, who worked for the CIA and NSA until he fled Hawaii with more than a million purloined secret files, has not left Russia since he arrived at Sheremetyevo airport on 23 June 2013, on a flight from Hong Kong.
And here is how the author winds it up:
In truth, Snowden was never all that well informed about American intelligence.  Contrary to the myths that he and his mouthpieces have propagated, he was no more than an IT systems administrator.  Snowden was never any sort of bona fide spy.  There are no indications he really understands most of what he stole from NSA.

The FSB therefore milked Snowden of any valuable information rather quickly.  He likely had little light to shed on the million-plus secret files he stole.  Instead, his value to Moscow has been as a key player in Kremlin propaganda designed to discredit the Western intelligence alliance.

In that role, Snowden has done a great deal of damage to the West.  But he was never a "mole" for Moscow inside NSA.  In reality, the Snowden Operation is probably a cover to deflect attention from the one or more actual Russian moles who have been lurking inside NSA for years, undetected.

Based on the cases of previous Western intelligence defectors to Moscow, Edward Snowden faces an unhappy future.  Whatever happens to him is up to his hosts, who control all aspects of any defector's life.  There no longer can be any honest debate about his relationship with the Kremlin, which has settled the matter once and for all.  Putin and his special services consider Snowden to be nash – there is no question about that now.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Farther Left Applauds Brexit

For John, BLUFIt is a class issue, when you get down to it.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Truth in advertising, the headline from Nation of Change should have read "Why Progressives Must Support Brexit".  But, that is a detail.  What we are seeing is people on the far left (but still Americans) who recognize that the European Union is not about democracy, but rather about an elite that wants the Proles to do what they are told is good for them.

The author of this linked piece is Mr Chris Kanthan and the date is 3 July.

Here is the lede:

Corporate media has successfully portrayed Brexit as an issue primarily about immigration and, taking it one step further, xenophobia or racism.  This narrative has influenced many liberals in America – except for a few such as Green Party’s Jill Stein – to instinctively oppose Brexit.  The truth is far more nuanced, with Brexit being a democratic uprising against an authoritarian and unaccountable European Union, excessive globalization, loss of jobs, reduction of wages and benefits, and destruction of British Middle Class.
Finally, some rational writing about the folks who voted to leave.

The article does tell us about the European Union bureaucracy and the less than democratic governing mechanism.  Here is the windup paragraph:

As for the United Kingdom, it will be wise to stick to the referendum and leave the unaccountable, undemocratic and over-regulated EU that is flirting with imperial goals.  Shaken but not stirred after Brexit, Great Britain will be just fine.
Regards  —  Cliff

Explaining the Comey Presser

For John, BLUFThe facts are now out there, so it is really up to the voters.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the Lawfare Blog we have "Jim Comey's Statement on the Clinton Emails: A Quick and Dirty Analysis" by Benjamin Wittes.  There has been a lot of "explaining".  This is pretty good, except, like many, the author thinks that the reactions are all on the Right.  My reading of Facebook is that the Bernie Crowd is also outraged, maybe more so.  To miss that point is to continue to not understand this election, a problem that is rampant.

Regards  —  Cliff

Gun Confiscation

For John, BLUFThe gun control nuts would shred the US Constitution to gather up all the guns in the US.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

And why is there opposition to "common sense" guns laws?

I give you two.

First there is the belief that the anti-gun folks are really not interested in adjustments to gun laws, but rather are looking to eventually get to gun confiscation, like, as Mr Matt Damon points out, they have in Australia.  Frankly, it is not clear to me that they have gun confiscation in Australia.  They do have stringent laws and gun buyback programs.

The PJ Media article linked above, by Mr STEPHEN KRUISER, links to this article in The Washington Times.

So the logic of gun control, as it fails to stop gun deaths, is that if we just take away all the guns, then everything will be OK.  My personal opinion is that the criteria by which to judge the gun control folks will be when we go English and the police walking the beat are unarmed.

The Second is that in Cities with stringent gun control laws we have a lot of shootings and killings by gun.  And Chicago is the prime example.  Gun control doesn't stop shootings.

Going along with this is the problem of all the illegal gun trafficking.  So, these gun control efforts impact the legitimate gun owners and impact the criminals not as much.  The shooters in Chicago tend not to be legitimate gun owners. : How is gun control working there?

In sum:

People against "gun control" are afraid that as it fails, time and again, to end gun violence, it will progress to demands for gun confiscation.

Gun control doesn't work.

If the gun control nuts are really confident in how the American Public feels about this they should propose a major change to the Second Amendment.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

A Different Crew Views Hillary

For John, BLUFMs Clinton does not inspire confidence at either end of the spectrum.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

(From a Fund Raising EMail)

For those of you wondering, "Nation of Change" is a Progressive organization.  It has been backing Senator Bernie Sanders for the Democratic Party nomination for President.

It's contributors are the usual suspects.  Noam Chomsky, Juan Cole, Alexander Cockburn, E.J. Dionne, Bill Moyers, Amy Goodman, Melissa Harris-Perry, Chris Hedges, Jim Hightower, Naomi Klein, Katha Pollitt, Eugene Robinson and Robert Reich.  This is from a longer list in Wikipedia.

The point of this blog post is to point out that negative opinions of The Honorable Hillary Clinton exist on the "Left" of the political spectrum as well as the "Right".  I have a friend in Kansas who has been, and still is, pushing Bernie, who thinks Hillary is a crook.

Regards  —  Cliff

  An article in Aeon, titled "Everyone was a liberal" discussed the morphing of the word Liberal vs the word Progressive.
  I was going to salt Jack Mitchell's name in there, but then decided I like Jack way too much to do such a thing to him.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Hillary Skates

For John, BLUFBut, he did saw she just didn't follow the rules and common sense.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

FBI Director James Comey says the Honorable Hillary Clinton broke the rules, but not the law.

Now on to the Federal Prosecutors.

Regards  —  Cliff

How We Dress

For John, BLUFFreedom is what it is about.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Ms Sarah Hoyt, at InstaPundit, gives us this item by Amir Taheri in The New York Post on 3 July.

Here is the lede:

In Iran, do as the mullahs say, not as Iranians do.  This seems to be the motto adopted by a string of foreign dignitaries rushing to Tehran in the wake of the mythical “nuke deal” marketed by the Obama administration.
The article has a photo of Australian diplomat Julie Bishop wearing a head covering while in Tehran walking with her Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif.

At raises a good question.  If, on the streets of Lowell we should accept women wearing the hijab, why should Westerners be expected to wear some version of the hijab when in Muslim lands?

Is this some sort of Gresham's Law of female conduct?  If Muslims are around should Western women dress as Muslim women would, rather than how they would dress normally?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  I would like to be clear that I see this as a spectrum and not an either or situation.  Some of the ways women dress down town or in Walmart leave, in my estimation, something to be desired.  That said, this is the United States and they are free, within certain minimal rules, to dress as they see fit.  And that is important.

Daesh Using Terrorism to Impact Economies

For John, BLUFBe alert.  As they say, "The world needs more lets."  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Yahoo News (from Agence France-Presse) and Reporter Katy Lee, we have the following:
Istanbul (AFP) - The tourists are so scarce you can hear their footsteps clattering down the empty shopping street.  Nearly a week after the deadly airport bombings, it is eerily quiet in Istanbul.

The magic of Turkey's biggest city has been seducing visitors for centuries, from its array of historic mosques and palaces to its stunning views over the sparkling Bosphorus.

But for people working in the once-thriving tourist trade, Tuesday's gun and suicide bomb spree represents one more nail in the coffin for an industry already reeling from a string of attacks this year.

"It's disastrous," said Orhan Sonmez as he stood hopelessly offering tours of the Hagia Sophia, the cavernous former mosque and church that is now a museum.

"All my life I've been a tour guide.  Most of us have come to a turning point where we don't know if we can go on. It's tragic."

Restaurants sit empty in the Sultanahmet tourist district, and five-star hotel rooms can be booked for bargain prices.

A friend of mine summed it up this way:
Terrorist attacks against tourist sites appear to be a deliberate strategy.  Luxor in Egypt.  A Tunisian resort.  Istanbul.

Given the role tourism plays in many local economies, it would appear, again, that ISIS and other terrorist groups have figured out how to strike at a key vulnerability, one which would not typically be listed if we were to prioritize by typical national security standards.  Protecting the White House or the Smithsonian?  99% of folks would pick the White House, but these days, it may be that the Smithsonian would be a more lucrative target.

I would add Mall of America or Branson, Missouri, "Live Entertainment Capital Of The World" or "Lost Wages", Nevada.

I have Progressive friends who think that terrorism in the United States (and Europe) is all about the "right wing".  About the Republicans and their looney friends.  We will see.

As an aside, do we have a category issue when a second generation American, who has pledged allegiance to Daesh (or some other foreign group) commits an act of terrorism on our soil?  Is that domestic terrorism or more terrorism as an act of war?

Regards  —  Cliff