Thursday, August 31, 2017

Mattis: Coldheart's right!

“Right now, if I say ‘six’ and the president says ‘half a dozen,’ they’re going to
 say I disagree with him, so let’s just get over that. If that’s the story that some
 people want to write, then they’ll find the way, they’ll sort out something.”

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Thursday pushed back hard against reports that he is out of step with President Donald Trump — particularly on how to deal with North Korea — but also made clear his view that the commander-in-chief can be swayed to change his approach by a strong argument.

“Literally, I’m using the president’s thoughts, and they thought that I was distancing from the president. So I mean, it shows how ludicrous this really is,” Mattis said. “I’m not trying to make fun of the people who write along these lines, but I literally can take the president’s themes and use them and I’m still seen as at odds with the president.”

Many reports also asserted that Mattis was bucking the president’s order on the transgender ban by allowing currently serving troops to stay in uniform during the review period. The order, however, granted Mattis that authority and six months to iron out an implementation plan.

When Mattis announced his transgender policy review, some observers suggested he was delaying the president’s order. But he said Thursday the president would not have given him time to look closely at the issue if he didn’t want Mattis to actually examine it. politico.mattis-trump

Trump Administration doing well with Hurricane Harvey response?

When the worst thing that the media can come up with is questioning whether or not Trump feels enough "empathy" for the victims, or that his wife shouldn't wear heels during a crisis... you have to believe that things are going pretty well.

As many have suggested, Trump put many well qualified people in key areas of his Administration, who are stepping forward as we speak to handle this catastrophe. Those in these key positions seem well prepared, well informed, and the execution has been without complaint to this point.

But there just seems to be a more coordinated effort across the board. Both federal and local authorities are working together, rather than pointing fingers. There has been no politicization of the situation as we saw with Katrina and Sandy.

They say the key to great leadership is how one handles crisis. Whether I am grading on a curve, or the classic percentile scale... I would give the President and his administration high marks so far on this one.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Call to ban the latest "radical right wing group"...

This letter was posted on the bulletin boards at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs: news/campus-flier-suggests-banning-veterans-four-year-universities 
A four-year, traditional university is supposed to be a place of learning, of understanding, of safety and security. However, there is an element among us who may be frustrating these goals: Veterans.

UCCS is known for its number of veterans who are full and part-time students. But these veterans of much of the school prides themselves on may be hurting the university.

First off, many veterans openly mock the ideas of diversity and safe spaces for vulnerable members of society. This is directly in contradiction to the mission of UCCS. Many veterans utter the mantra that they, “do not see color”. But the problem lies in their socialization into the military culture that is that of a white supremacist organization. They have been permanently tainted, and are no long fit for a four-year university.

Second, many students are frightened by the presence of veterans in their classrooms. Veterans usually have an overwhelming presence in the classroom, which can distract other students. This is usually true for vulnerable individual such as LGBTQQI2SAA, who have been known to be the butt of insensitive jokes made by veterans.

Finally, veterans usually are associated with extremists right-wing groups such as the tea party and the NRA. In order to provide a safe place for all students, extremist right-wing groups must be suppressed on campus. This would include their followers: veterans.

That is not to say that veterans should not be allowed an education. Veterans should be allowed to attend trade schools, or maybe even community college. But, in order to protect our academic institutions we must ban veterans from four-year universities.

  • Military veterans frustrate the understanding of safety and security? 
  • The military is a white supremacist organization?  
  • Extremist right wing groups like the NRA? 

You sort of wish this was a hoax, or a joke... but alas... someone (apparently off campus) wrote it, and it was approved by the school to be handed out as a flier and posted on bulletin boards around school. Houston, we have a problem.

Just remember - 3% GDP Growth is a fantasy...

The U.S. economy grew faster than initially thought in the second quarter, notching its quickest pace in more than two years, and there are signs that the momentum was sustained at the start of the third quarter. 
Gross domestic product increased at a 3.0 percent annual rate in the April-June period, the Commerce Department said in its second estimate on Wednesday. The upward revision from the 2.6 percent pace reported last month reflected robust consumer spending as well as strong business investment.

The new face of the Democratic Party

Liberals: Don't blame them. They are the good guys!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

What happens when the "truth" offends?

At the very core of 2017 liberalism is the concept that politically correct should replace the truth in terms of what we strive for in any and all social conversation. By politically correct, what I actually mean is that any and all propaganda from the new brown shirts should replace the truth. Anyone arguing with them (on pretty much any subject), is subjected to the modern day McCarthyism, with accusations of racism and bigotry replacing accusations of communism.

Case in point. The Google employee with an Ivy League Masters degree in biology from Harvard who was fired for making a biological/neurological argument that men and women have different behavior patterns, and that this (rather than google's suggestion that it is inherent sexism and discrimination) better explains the higher percentage of men in their work force. The employee argued nothing that was not backed up with scientific studies, many within the field he earned his masters in, but was fired because the argument (mainstream scientific thinking by many accounts) was seen as offensive by some.

The word "fair" no longer exists in the same form it was taught when I was growing. We lived by the misguided concept that "fair" meant equal treatment for everyone. Today, the liberal definition of "fair" it to make exceptions and special classifications for groups within the liberal coalition. Those who suggest that "equal treatment" (rather than "special treatment") is fair are charged with having whatever "ism" is appropriate from the left.

Example. The military has strict policies against accepting applicants who have existing medical conditions, especially anything (such as diabetes) that would require any form or constant medication. You can be turned down (as I know from personal experience) for having eczema that once required a prescription creme, because such a creme may not be readily available in certain situations. But now it is argued that the military is simply discriminating against someone who is transgender because they do not want to pay for an expensive surgical procedure and daily hormone treatments. Imagine anyone else (who was not transgender), joining the military with a pre-existing condition that requires a surgical procedure and daily medications that they expect the military to pay for?

There is almost no debate anymore that exists from liberals that does not include some form of name-calling, or some declaration of moral superiority for whatever argument they make. They see no reason to explain why their arguments are morally superior. They just are (because they have been told they are). If one has the audacity to ask "why" their arguments are morally superior, the reaction is generally to simply go back to name calling. Ironically, while it's wrong to tell the truth when it offends the liberal sensitivities, using baseless fiction to blatantly call others names is not apparently wrong or insensitive.

For instance... the left tells us that our President was elected because 63,000 Americans are racists (one has to wonder how that is not offensive?). The left tells us that the KKK and Neo-Nazis (estimated to be a few thousands people total) are a general representation of Donald Trump's "base". It's as if they want us to either believe that there is an entirely different set of 60 million GOP voters than what existed in previous elections, or the election of Donald Trump mysteriously transformed 60 million plus GOP voters "into" racists. Deep down, the left cannot possibly believe either argument to be the truth, because there can "literally" be no factually logical argument made to this extent (for either argument). But if you call them on it, then they will double down with the name-calling and pretend it proves their point. They don't seem to see the irony of considering themselves the protectors of decency, inclusiveness, and political correctness, all the while labeling tens of millions of Americans as bigots with pretty much no real grounds to do so.

Bottom line is that the liberal world would like us to simply replace truth, facts, and reality with political correctness and liberal ideals. If you don't agree... well then you can be expected to be called any number of names. Because of course, political correctness doesn't extend to conservatism. Conservatives are apparently the last of the "non-protected" groups of people.

Friday, August 25, 2017

What if there really "was" a wolf in a crowded theater?

Pelosi Explains: There is no constitutional right to assemble
 because you can't yell "wolf" in crowed theater. Who knew? 

Palin vs NYT

So Sarah Palin sued the New York Times for libel after they used the Steve Scalise shooting as an excuse to repeat the previously debunked claims that Sarah Palin was responsible for the shooting of Gabby Giffords. The New York Times has asked the judge in question that the case be tossed. As most legal experts suggest, a public figure suing a newspaper for "libel" generally faces an uphill battle. Generally  the written statements must be egregious, as well as blatantly (and knowingly) false. The word "malice" is often used as the ultimate burden.

Quite obviously blaming someone for an attempted murder is pretty serious stuff. Add in the fact that their own paper had previously written that there really was no link between Gabby Gifford's shooting, and Sarah Palin, and you seem to have both of the technical points made. Whether this established potential "malice" will first be up to the judge, and potentially a jury.

The "defense" at this point has basically been two fold. First, that the New York Times editorial staff apparently did not know that the allegations that Palin was to blame were debunked (the honest mistake defense). Of course, this requires that they admit to not reading their own newspaper. Their other defense has been that what they wrote has been misinterpreted (the I didn't really mean it defense).  The problem with that, is that what they wrote was explicit and plainly written, and specifically does blame Palin.

So, at this point you seem to have many legal experts who are questioning the legal defense being used by the New York Times and many believe that this case may actually go before a jury. Perhaps there just isn't anything "better" for them to argue.

Personally, I think public figures (especially politicians) are fair game for the "most part". But something like this probably does fit the definition of "egregious"  and at this point is knowingly false. Whether the New York Time did this on purpose, or whether it was due to "reckless disregard" -  I would be predisposed to hold them accountable in this case.  If not now, when?

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Scientific Evidence Suggests?

Men to be allowed to compete as women in 2018 Olympics
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed that it would allow transgender athletes to compete in whatever category they wish to participate in during the 2018 Winter Olympics, a report says. 
IOC officials noted that they will not require athletes to compete in categories that match their birth gender nor will there be any gender or sex testing of competitors ahead of the games, Daily Caller reported.
As The New York Times wrote last year, “…the arbitration panel noted, science has not conclusively shown that elevated testosterone provides women with more of a significant competitive edge than factors like nutrition, access to coaching and training facilities, and other genetic and biological variations.”

So the New York Times is peddling "science" that shows no conclusive proof that athletes with elevated testosterone levels (aka: men) will provide any significant advantage competing against athletes who do not have elevated testosterone levels (aka: women).

At least no more than general nutrition, coaching, and training will provide?

Which, apparently means... that "science" suggests that women who eat right, listen to their coaches, and are willing to put in the time to train... will be able to physically compete against men.

Warning: Arguing differently will get you fired from Google.


So this video used to be considered funny

Hurricane Harvey

Anti-Trump experts confused by Trump intentions...

Herein lies the biggest disconnect between many Trump critics and reality.  It would appear that most everyone one of these critics pretty much assumes that Donald Trump is trying to please them, and of course, failing miserably in the process.

I understand, to some degree why they believe this. It's becomes sort of a self-importance circular chain of events. Trump does or says something that his critics jump on. They demand that whatever was done or said, was quite likely the worst thing that any politician has ever done or said in history, and for sure this is the proverbial straw that breaks the camel's back.

Invariably, these same reporters start reporting how the more "reasonable" people in the Trump administration are upset, trying to get him to change, do the right thing, etc, etc. They quote some former Obama administrator or someone else they deem to be credible agrees that Trump is being unreasonable. They may even throw in some never-Trumper like Bill Kristol who agrees with them just for good measure.

Sometimes, Trump may even come back and do something differently (such as the carefully crafted second statement regarding Charlottesville where he specifically condemned White Supremacists). This, no doubt, makes these people believe that he is giving into the exact reasonable behavior they expect because he desperately wants and needs their approval.

But the he goes off to Arizona (in spite of calls for him not to) gives a campaign style rally (where thousands lined up to see him) and these same critics act like he suddenly lost his mind again.

But the reality is obvious. Donald Trump did not get elected by pleasing his liberal critics, the never-Trumpers, or former Obama administration officials. If he had, he'd be a private citizen right now, probably renegotiating a new run on the Apprentice. He got elected by appealing to the people who came to Arizona to watch him give a campaign style speech. He got elected by pretty much doing little else than pissing off the liberal media, the never-Trumpers, and the former government officials.

Crazy? Not when it works.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

While we are at it...

And, of course, the Democratic Party has to go. The party that tirelessly defended slavery, refused to accept defeat after the Civil War, employed the Ku Klux Klan as its militant arm, and enforced segregation for nearly a century after the war ended, should disband in shame. Many of its leading politicians–former Klansman Robert Byrd, William Fulbright (no more Fulbright scholarships), Richard Russell (we have to rename the Russell Senate Office Building), Sam Ervin, and many more–were proud racists and segregationists. Such a party should no longer be permitted to exist.

Liberals now see history as a subjective choice...

The historian Carl Becker wrote that history is what the present chooses to remember about the past. Historical monuments are, among other things, an expression of power — an indication of who has the power to choose how history is remembered in public places.
Actually this is sort of a play off from the old saying that history is written by the victors.

Of course, I don't believe anyone ever believed this particular saying was suggesting a good thing and that anyone was actually advocating that the victors (or anyone else) "should" write history to their liking. I think most people would prefer an accurate telling of events.

I also suppose there are a ton of things about "history" that we would like to go back and change. But pretending that certain things didn't happen, does not really change the fact that they did.
President Trump’s Thursday morning tweet lamenting that the removal of Confederate statues tears apart “the history and culture of our great country” raises numerous questions, among them: Who is encompassed in that “our”? 
Mr. Trump may not know it, but he has entered a debate that goes back to the founding of the republic. Should American nationality be based on shared values, regardless of race, ethnicity and national origin, or should it rest on “blood and soil,” to quote the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Va., whom Trump has at least partly embraced. 
I have an idea... let's let history be history. If it happened, then it's history.

The reality is that our country is not all that old. Our history is well maintained, and that means it includes all of the warts that go along with an accurate history. Any suggestion in 2017 that we are not remembering it correctly is dubious. Any suggestion that history be tempered to somehow conflate with today's liberal ideals of how the world should be... is simply unreasonable and quite frankly openly dishonest.

Good, bad, or indifferent, we all learn from history. In fact, we probably learn more from the bad than we do from the good. To suggest that we just make a conscious choice as to what to remember and teach, seems like a bad idea. I believe it would be an even worse idea if we make a decision to allow "politics" to determine those "choices".

The civil war remains a significant part of our history, and in fact is considered by many to be one of the most influential events. For the states that made up the confederacy, the was a simple reality. Most of the power was wielded by white people, and most of your southern black people were slaves. Recognizing that is not an attempt to insult, humiliate, or otherwise oppress anyone today.

Declaring war on the truth is the true oppression folks. We (as a country) need to start advocating that we make all attempts to be "factually" correct rather than advocate that we be more  "politically" correct.

Oh, and not necessarily just as it pertains to historical events.

A world gone bat shit crazy?

ESPN Pulls Announcer from telecast - because his name is offensive?

Asian American ESPN Broadcaster Robert Lee 

We collectively made the decision with Robert to switch games as the tragic events in Charlottesville were unfolding, simply because of the coincidence of his name. In that moment it felt right to all parties.
It’s a shame that this is even a topic of conversation and we regret that who calls play by play for a football game has become an issue.
Um.... I am not even sure how to react to this one? It's a shame that it's a topic of conversation? How about it's a shame that you "made it" a topic of conversation. So the left is now into "name shaming"? Is that the next thing? Your "name" sounds racist therefore you can no longer perform your functions effectively?

When and where does this end? 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Watch the speech...

But the media says...

The approval rating of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has plummeted to just 18 percent, a survey from Public Policy Polling has found.
The poll, which surveyed 645 Kentucky voters, found that just 18 percent of respondents approved of McConnell’s current performance, compared to 74 percent who disapproved. Seven percent of people said they were not sure.
Voters in Kentucky have a far higher opinion of Trump’s job in office, giving him a 60 percent approval rating. In last year’s presidential election, Trump carried the state by 62.5 against Hillary Clinton’s 32.7 percent.

Some of these Republicans need to wake up and smell the coffee. They are not going to get reelected by catering to the Washington Elitists, or the liberal main stream media. No matter what someone like Mitch McConnell does, he will not win over liberals. He needs to keep his base happy to have any chance of reelection.

While McConnell may think he is winning his war of words with the President, because he listens and responds to the echo chambers of the Sunday Morning News shows, Cable News, and the NYT, WaPo Print media...

The fact is that he is losing (and losing bigly) to the President where it actually matters, with the voters.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Compare and Contrast

  • Americans are killed in raid on our embassy.
  • Administration privately believes it was a terrorist attack.
  • Administration publicly blames YouTube video for spontaneous riots.
  • Administration sends surrogate out to Sunday shows to push Video riot spin.
  • The President speaks about the events seven days later - still blames video.
  • When asked two weeks later if it was an act of terror, Obama states that they are still investigating.

  • Protest and counter-protest turns violent. One person killed. Dozens injured. Many arrested.
  • President comes out same day and condemns everyone involved in the violence.
  • President comes out two days later, gives another formal statement specifically in which he specifically condemns the White Supremacist groups. 
  • At press conference the day after the second statement, he reiterates that after he and his team had reviewed all of the relevant video, police reports, etc... that the evidence shows that there was violence initiated by both the protesters and counter-protesters 

With Benghazi... the left never had a problem with how the Administration handled things. Didn't question why the President's seven day or fourteen day responses. Didn't question why the President wouldn't conclusively state it was an act of terror, even two weeks later. Never "really" questioned why they basically lied to the American public about the cause. No calls for action against anyone.

But with Charlottesville... apparently the fact that the President's statement on the day of the event did not specifically "blame" the right group was appalling (in spite of having almost no information yet). The fact that a second statement came out two days later was deemed as non-responsive and too little too late. Many openly call for his resignation, censurship, or even impeachment.

Bottom Line:

The Obama administration openly lied to and fed the country the story they felt would be the best political story to tell. The President himself was silent for seven days.  Donald Trump came out right way and basically told the truth rather than feed the country with the story that would make the most political sense.  Apparently...  the the left finds it more important that Presidents tell us what they want to hear, than it is to actually tell the truth.

"Looking for an honest answer" - Part II

The NY Time has offered in their editorial that Trump should be censured. I would ask exactly what this censure would look like?
  • You cannot say he didn't admonish the White Supremacists. He made a very specific statement doing exactly that.
  • You cannot argue that his statement blaming both sides is outrageous, as a plurality of Americans agreed  (49%) agree that the Antifacists were at least partially responsible for the violence.  
I think by nature, a statement that only a minority logically takes issue with, cannot be a statement so outrageous that it would require censure. Even if it was reversed, and a small majority disagreed with what he said (or even found it outrageous)...  that would not demand some sort of rebuke.

Has any President (ever) been censured for making a statement that approximately half of Americans agreed with and half disagree?

So if you want a blatant example of the media being "out to get Trump" - look no further than the NY Times suggesting that the President be censured. It's not just slightly over the top, but wildly over the top.

To clarify: Donald Trump wasn't at the protest. He had nothing to do with the protests. He wasn't responsible for preparing for the protests. He wasn't responsible for protecting the people at the protest. He wasn't responsible for either side.

Yet, with one person dead, dozens injured... nobody actually responsible in Charlottesville or Virginia is being called to task. Only the President is being called to task, because some in the media didn't like what he said about the events three days later.

It defies common sense. 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Response to Mr "looking for an honest answer". Part I

So let's respond to the question of the day here...
When I want to honest answer . Others keep saying that the media is out to get Trump . But you never seem to accept the fact that he says somethings outrageous? 
Grammar aside, the question appears to be less of a question, and more an attempt to repute the obvious observation that many in the media are out to get Trump. Apparently, our friend here believes that the media being out to get Trump, and Trump making statements he finds outrageous, somehow, cannot logically co-exist.

Let me be clear. There are many in the media who are "out to get Trump" and the fact that he might make statements that people find outrageous with doesn't change that one bit.
When the bugs me the most is when he said find people on both sides. I do not understand how are you can think that anyone that were in a KKK robes or chanting anti-semantic logos and calling for blood and all this other stuff, why any of them, any single one of them a fine person ? I just don't get that I just simply don't get that. 
I don't like the violent behavior that happened on the other side but they were down there because against Nazis and the KKK and the white superiority movement. Those can be fine people because they are against absolute evil. 
Again, deciphering the gobbledygook that poses as a statement, our friend apparently is making the argument that only people who stand for something disagreeable can be responsible for violence. That those who actually (as a matter of their own admission) use political violence to shut down "fascist speech" cannot be held responsible for the violence that they openly advocate and openly admit to doing.

Apparently the logic is shutting down free speech with violence is not actually violence if the free speech being shut down is disagreeable speech. Apparently then it becomes something different than actual violence. Perhaps some sort of justifiable violence?  An interesting observation, that can only come from twisting yourself into knots trying to justify the unjustifiable.

So in terms of what is and isn't outrageous:
  • Is it more outrageous to blame two groups of people for violence, when both sides actually were ready for violence, willing to commit violence, and actually "did" commit violence?
  • Is it more outrageous to only blame the people you personally have a political disagreement with for the violence, even though you cannot logically argue that both sides didn't commit violence? 
I'll let you decide which is logically outrageous.

(part two will address the NY Times call for the censor of the President)

President's approvals holding steady... maybe even rising.

Now let's be clear, there hasn't been any large swing in the President's favor, and he is still looking at historically dismal ratings. But overall the tracking polls have snuck up a point or two, and the RCP average has gone up 1.6% in the past five days.

Now the "only" reason this is news, is that places like the NY Times and Washington Post have demanding that the issues of last weekend had brought the President's approvals in to a tail spin. The NY Times editorial today suggested that the President's approvals have already dropped south of 35% (a dubious claim that simply isn't supported by fact) and will no doubt drop further (an opinion that is apparently quite obvious to current Trump haters, but not many others).

The Party of BLM and Antifa gets their just rewards...

Alternate title: At least they have the support of reporters from NTY and WaPo 
The Republican National Committee (RNC) expanded its massive fundraising lead over the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in July as the Democrats posted their worst July haul in a decade.
The DNC raised just $3.8 million in July, compared to the $10.2 million raised by the RNC in the same month. While the GOP has no debt, the DNC added slightly to its debt in July, which now sits at $3.4 million.
The Democrats haven't raised that little money in a July since 2007; the party raised $3.4 million in that month.

Quite obviously the message of hate and hate and more hate from the leadership of the Democratic Party (and their cronies in the media) has inspired a influx of indifference towards the Party of hate.

I am sure if they dig deep enough, they can find some way to blame this news on President Trump.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

The liberal media now getting defensive...

It’s Not Hysterical to Recognize the Threat Trump Poses 
    Democracy, such as it is, really is in danger.

By Katha Pollitt

There seems to be a pattern.
  • Trump does something that the left doesn't like.
  • The media jumps all over it, as if it the only thing in the world that matters.
  • There are calls for resignation, impeachment, removal by any means. Much analysis that this was the final straw. 
  • The dust settles, and people start to realize that maybe the personal attacks of Trump were blown out of proportion.
  • The media comes under fire for overreacting.
  • The media defensively comes back swinging by repeating their general issues with Trump.

This article by Katha Pollitt here is the end result of this perpetual loop. A broad lists of complaints about Donald Trump that goes back to things that happened prior to him being a candidate for President. She mentions Russian election meddling. She talks about Trump being a "birther". She talks about Jeff Sessions and the DOJ investigating voter fraud. She talks about Steve Bannon. She even talks about the travel ban.

As if all of this justifies whatever the media wants to say and do about pretty much everything that has happened, is happening, and will happen in the future. The argument seems to be that there simpy is no line that can possibly be crossed that could even conceivably be called a "hysterical reaction" to Trump.

What does it tell you when journalists openly admit that their hatred of Donald Trump is do deeply embedded into their souls, that they see it as justification for pretty much any sort of reporting?

Now nobody would suggest that the matter of the violent protests in Charlottesville is not a matter of national concern. Someone died, dozens were injured, several people were arrested, and most of the nation was upset by the events.

But the reality is that the media spent almost "no time" talking about what happened in Charlottesville. Rather, they spent nearly all their time (in fact one CBS evening news broadcast spent their entire time) talking about Donald Trump's "reaction" to the event. Since when have we ever concerned ourselves less with the effects of an event of national significance than we did with someone's reaction to said events?

Since when is that "really" what people are going to care about?

The reality seems unmistakably simple: The media doesn't really want to cover actually what happened in Charlottesville, because doing so would require that they do more than report everything in general terms that are easy to politicize in the manner that they desire. It is much more politically convenient to define the event in simple to understand terms, provide no actual details that might upset that narrative, and focus solely on something that can be specifically used to attack a President that they (quite obviously) don't like.

Think about it:

Why does the media not want to report on who was arrested and why? Why does the media not want to report on others who were injured and how they were injured? Why does the media not want to question the Governor, the Mayor, or the Police for basically refusing to step in? Why do there a appear to be almost "no in depth" reporting on a matter of such significance?

No... in a manner that has almost nothing to do with the President himself, the media "still" wants to make it 99% about trashing the President. Oddly, they see nothing wrong with this. Lazily, many Americans don't seem to notice the obvious.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Steve Bannon Out !!!

False equivalency argument trivializes violence..

So I am openly stealing the premise of this argument from Scott Adams, who by the way spends way too much time on a video explaining his concept in way too much detail. But his long winded approach aside, he generally makes sense, and this time is no different. 

The argument is fairly simple. The politically approved manner in which our leaders are supposed to respond to a problem is by doing so in descending order of importance. In the case of Charlottesville, the appropriate response would have been the following:
  • Reflect on the tragedy that someone died
  • Offer best wishes for the family and friends of the victim
  • Chastise the individual who committed the act responsible for the death
  • Officially condemn the white supremacists for being white supremacists 
Then, and only then, the argument goes... would a leader be free to then call out (to a lesser degree) any other players who had a hand in what went wrong. In theory (and in all honesty) those who could be called out would be and antifascists, the actions of the police standing down, and perhaps even the local politicians who seemed very disinterested in heading off violence. 

The problem, however, seems two fold. 

First, the President apparently didn't offer harsh enough words for the individual (in the minds of some), and he pretty much skipped step four and went directly to calling pretty much everyone and their brother for what happened. In other word, he didn't follow the normal political script. 

Second, there was an obvious concerted effort on the left to push back on any sort of blame being pointed in "any" direction other than the white supremacists. The liberal talking points argument (as they generally are) appeared to be well coordinated, and was quickly launched by nearly everyone on the left. The argument being that any such attempt to blame anyone "other" then the White Supremacists was a "false equivalence". 

Now logically, the false equivalence accusation might make sense, if you were talking about whether or not you are comparing "ideology" and only "ideology".  For nearly all Americans, there is nothing lower than being a white supremacist in 2017. As much as the antifascists might have an appalling viewpoint, for most it would not rise to the level of being a White Supremacist. When you consider that about half of Americans don't know who the antifascists really are, then it's a no win proposition to compare ideologies. 

However, the President was not comparing ideologies and never brought up ideology. He was simply comparing the actual "actions" of the people involved. This seems to be what fuels the disconnect between those who believe the President's response was totally inappropriate, and those who believed it was entirely appropriate. If you believe he was comparing ideologies, you probably thought he not only missed the boat, but was miles away on dry land. But if you believe he was comparing the actions, then the facts suggests that his response was at the very least accurate. 

So where is the trivializing of violence?  Well, it's obvious. 

By demanding that there was no moral equivalence to the "actions" of those involved... you are making an obvious argument that violence is appropriate, as long as it is directed at the right (or wrong) people. To make the argument that the action of swinging a baseball bat is somehow a morally "different" action to take depending on whether you are wearing Nazi army fatigues or a antifa black mask... absolutely trivialize the action in question. 

If you were being careful "not" to trivialize violence, you would simply argue that swinging a baseball bat at someone you disagree with politically or socially is wrong one hundred percent of the time. You wouldn't demand that there is a "degree" to how wrong it is to commit this sort of violence, depending on whether or not you agree or disagree with the underlying ideology of the person committing the action. 

So the real question becomes... is there a such thing as justifiable political violence?  Are we really ready to throw out the first amendment, and allow someone (politicians, judges) to make choices as to who actually does and does not deserve a bat to the side of the head because their political views are offensive? 

Because that appears to be the argument the left is pushing here.  

The problem exists everywhere, huh?


As I have mentioned a time or two before, we seek to maintain a tone appropriate to civil discourse on this site. It is a tone that comes naturally to most of our readers and commenters. I set forth our guidelines for comments, most recently, here.
Posting comments on Power Line is a privilege, not a right. I review comments for abuse and vulgarity. Most of our commenters have no problem speaking in polite company. However, every day I now moderate comments by commenters who are routinely vulgar. Some commenters appear to be incapable of expressing themselves without recourse to words such as “ass” or “asshole” or “dumbass” or “bastard” or “shit” or “bullshit” or “fuck” or “balls” (of the anatomical variety) or the like and their many colorful variants. “Libtard” is not acceptable here. Inserting asterisks or dashes to mask obvious vulgarities doesn’t cut it.
Our departures from the gospel according to President Trump are not to be deemed an occasion on which to abuse the contributors to this site or the site itself, for that matter. Disagreement is welcome. Abuse is not. Commenters who disparage us in personal terms — for example, “Paul, you are an idiot” — will be banned. Commenters who assert that we are “shilling” for some line or other will be banned. If you seek to disparage John or Paul or Steve or me personally, you are free to do so on a site of your own.
Those of you who employ vulgarity or abuse us personally are cordially invited to take your business elsewhere. If you don’t, we will resort to the expedient of banning you from the comments without notice.

So even on a large blog like the Powerline they tend to run into problems with idiots commenting nonsensical crap.

Scott Johnson is a well known Minnesota Blogger who has had many articles published in the mainstream media, and is often linked on RCP and other sites like that.  The Powerline is a conservative site that currently consists of four different authors, two of them fairly loyal to Trump, with the two others being less so. Scott Johnson is probably the biggest critic of the President on the site, and I am sure takes some heat from their conservative readership.

Scott is also somewhat defensive of critiques regarding the liberal media (which runs rampant on that site). It wasn't until recently that I found out (in a separate correspondence off line) that he has a daughter who works as a reporter for Politico. Well, that would probably do it.

Bottom line is that one has to understand that my expectations of decorum here are no where near as stringent as they are in most places. Quite obviously, most of th0se who criticize me here, would not last a day at a place like the Powerline.... who by the way use the third party comment software I am thinking about using... which would allow a whole slew of comment moderation, up to and including total banning.

Thursday, August 17, 2017


Robert Mueller May Not Be The Savior The Anti-Trump Internet Is Hoping For
A lot of people are counting on special counsel Robert Mueller.
But the online community that's fervently depending on the 73-year-old former FBI director to shake up the Trump presidency may be in for its share of disappointment.
Three months into the job, however, it's not clear what, if anything, investigators may uncover about the president, who has repeatedly denied any improper contacts with people in Russia and has called the special counsel probe "a witch hunt."
Moreover, even if authorities uncover damaging information about Trump or anyone else in the White House, there are serious questions about whether that material will ever be made public, short of an indictment or impeachment.
Regulations governing the special counsel say that at the conclusion of his work, he "shall provide the Attorney General with a confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions." Then, it's up to the attorney general to determine whether releasing some information would be in the public interest.
Another complicating factor: Mueller is using grand juries in Alexandria, Va., and Washington, D.C., and grand jury information is rarely made public.
"It is going to be hard and frustrating to get this information out," said Peter Zeidenberg, a lawyer at the Arent Fox firm who worked on the special counsel team investigating the leak of a CIA operative's identity in the George W. Bush administration.

These are some snippets from an article written by an NPR Justice Correspondent who has made a career in following the FBI, Justice Department, political investigations, and prominent criminal trials. The author does not lend any opinions as to what Mueller may or may not ultimately find, but she leaves open the possibility that it may be nothing. However, the author is clear to the degree that while Mueller might have been given broad investigative leeway, that he will have almost no authority as to what ultimately is done with his investigation.

When Robert Mueller accepted the position of Special Counsel, he agreed to a great number of things, including that whatever is found would be handed off to the Justice Department as confidential. It would then be up to the Justice Department as to what to do next. This would include not only any legal decisions regarding indictment, but also the political decisions on what to release (if anything) to the public. It's very unlikely that anything that is not directly linked to Russian interference, or actually criminal will make it to the press.

In other words, unless specifically authorized by the Trump Justice Department to do so, there will be no James Comey style press conference where Robert Mueller stands before America and pours over everything he found. There may be leaks, there may be implications, but there will very likely be no formal statements made. In fact, unless the investigation finds true cause that convinces the Justice Department that indictment(s) are necessary, we may ultimately hear nothing publicly from Mueller.

Wouldn't that be the ultimate disappointment to so many?

After the full court press...


President's Trump's response (RV):
 - 51%  not strong enough
 - 31%  strong enough
 - 18%  have no opinion

Statues honoring Confederacy leaders (RV):
- 62%  remain as historical symbol
- 28%  be removed because they are offensive
- 10%  have no opinion

The Antifa and their beliefs (RV):
- 5%  mostly agree
- 24% mostly disagree
- 18%  have no opinion
- 50%  wonder who are the Antifa?

So after the media spent more time pummeling the President's response to the violence in Virginia than they spent actually discussing what happened... it would appear that there is a much smaller percentage of people aghast by the President than they likely suspected. While the media would have you believe that this has been he worst week in the history of any President who ever lived (CBS devoting their entire evening news on Tuesday to the cause), it turns out that only about half the country even took issue with what he stated. For, Trump... having only half the country disagree with him must feel like a win.

"So only half the country thinks I screwed this up? I can live with that."

Moreover, it would appear that the country agrees with the underlying cause of the protest, at least in terms of tearing down the statues. Less than a third of the country wants these statues removed (including only 6% of Republicans and 27% of Independents).  A majority believe that they should stay as a historical symbol. This seems to reinforce the eyewitness and video accounts (pretty much ignored by the media) that there were protesters there who were "not" white supremacists, and had reasons (other than racism) for wanting to protect the "historical symbols".

Oddly, NPR/PBS either didn't ask (or didn't report) whether or not the public felt the President was correct when he stated that multiple groups were responsible for the violence. But at the very least, we have pollsters and the media talking about the Antifascist movement, and it appears that they have significantly less of a following than our liberal media apparently thought.

However, not too surprisingly, the public doesn't know much about the Antifascist movement. I am guessing after the events of this past week, along with the "controversial statements" by the President calling attention to them... that this will not be the case moving forward. I suspect that more and more people will start to wonder and start to look into exactly who these people are. Which is at least one positive thing that came out of all of this.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Why do you support the Antifa?

We live in a country now where the freedom to speak is no longer considered a constitutionally protected practice anymore. At least not if your names is Milo, Coulter, Shapiro, etc... 

We live in a country where the freedom to assemble is no longer considered a constitutionally protected practice anymore. At least not if your group hold conservative, religious, or libertarian views.

The reality is that we have a new group of people who wear masks, hoods, and preach hatred and violence... and it would appear that the left absolutely adores them. These are people who roam around the country attempting to use violence and the threat of violence to shut down the view points of people they disagree with. 

These actions are supported 100% by Democrats, liberals, and the media. I have no idea why.

I state this for the record: 

I can never, in good conscience, support (even tacitly) the actions of a group of people who use violence and the threat of violence to shut down the free speech of people they do not agree with. I will not ignore them or their actions, because someone else may offend me more. I will not be "shamed" into supporting their actions for any reasons. 

I will stand by these convictions...  and if you don't like it.. then you can go fuck yourself. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Yes, liberals have become science deniers...

So ever since the James Damore memo circulated there has been a sort of "circling of the wagons" regarding the liberal ideology of a fluid gender spectrum where as a society we should demand that there are no actual differences between the sexes. The ideology suggests that when the only real equality is sameness, that anyone who suggests otherwise has to be shut down and discredited. Especially if such an argument has the audacity to include anything "scientific".

typical angry white alt right attitude
Today I read another piece today from The Guardian where James Damore is declared to be part of the "radicalization of angry white men" as well as an "alt-right hero". All because he pointed out that there are studies within biology, neuroscience, and behavior psychology that suggest there is an actual difference between the sexes. I am not exactly sure how citing scientific studies makes you an "angry white man" or why neuroscience, biology, and behavioral psychology is suddenly part of the "alt right"... but perhaps that is why I am not a liberal.

This author uses the classic argument that because there is an alternate opinion or study that suggests differently than what the original argument or study suggests... that the first study is now "debunked". Ironically, by the same logic, wouldn't the existence of the original study debunk the alternate opinion as well?

Of course the link to the other article that "debunks" the claims, actually admits that the science cited by Damore does exist, but uses a typical straw man logical fallacy as the attempt to debunk it. The author of the debunking piece (who wrote a book called "how science got women wrong") suggests that all of the neuroscience arguments are tied to autism and testosterone. Of course, neither Damore or any of the neuroscientists cite any studies dealing with autism, but rather more specific studies that study brain activity of males and females. I guess the argument is that if you can question "something" that some neuroscientists might suggest, that anything anyone from that field concludes can now be deemed "debunked".  Of course, let's also not forget (as the debunker would like us to do) that the neuroscience study was only one of the many studies Damore included in his paper.

Moreover, the debunker even admits that "are" differences between the sexes, exactly in the manner that Damore and his cited studies suggest, but that they are what she calls the "tiniest of gaps".  But, as pointed out by many others, even small biological and neurological gaps between the sexes can promote tangible differences in behavior. In fact, its fair to argue that in the grand scheme of things, the biological and neurological difference between a person of genius level IQ and someone with well below average intelligence to the degree of mental retardation would be (as a matter of scale) extremely tiny (or almost non-existent).

At the end of the day, science is never perfect. Sometimes it even gets things entirely wrong. But science is supposed to be objective and removed entirely of any ideological beliefs. Any science that is predisposed to prove or disprove something for any reason "other" than the pursuit of the truth is not real science. There is no indication that any of the scientific studies that Damore cited were politically motivated by the alt right or anyone else. They appear to be simply scientific studies that draw a conclusion that runs counter to what certain political ideologies would like to believe.

New report shows Trump team was not interested in meeting with Russians...

The adviser, George Papadopoulos, offered to set up “a meeting between us and the Russian leadership to discuss US-Russia ties under President Trump,” telling them his Russian contacts welcomed the opportunity, according to internal campaign emails read to The Washington Post.

While the emails illustrate his eagerness to strengthen the campaign’s connections to the Russian government, Papadopoulos does not spell out in them why it would be in Trump’s interest to do so. His entreaties appear to have generated more concern than excitement within the campaign, which at the time was looking to seal the Republican nomination and take on a heavily favored Hillary Clinton in the general election.

The proposal sent a ripple of concern through campaign headquarters in Trump Tower. Campaign co-chairman Sam Clovis wrote that he thought NATO allies should be consulted before any plans were made. Another Trump adviser, retired Navy Rear Adm. Charles Kubic, cited legal concerns, including a possible violation of U.S. sanctions against Russia and of the Logan Act, which prohibits U.S. citizens from unauthorized negotiation with foreign governments.

But Papadopoulos, a campaign volunteer with scant foreign policy experience, persisted. Between March and September, the self-described energy consultant sent at least a half-dozen requests for Trump, as he turned from primary candidate to party nominee, or for members of his team to meet with Russian officials. Among those to express concern about the effort was then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who rejected in May 2016 a proposal from Papadopoulos for Trump to do so.

The exchanges are among more than 20,000 pages of documents the Trump campaign turned over to congressional committees this month after review by White House and defense lawyers. The selection of Papadopoulos’s emails were read to The Post by a person with access to them. Two other people with access to the emails confirmed the general tone of the exchanges and some specific passages within them.

This was obviously a disappointing story for the Washington Post to have to write, as it generally suggests that the Trump team was not (in fact) interested in meeting with the Russians. It also may explain some of what John Brennan meant, when he suggested that he saw interaction between Russian officials and the Trump campaign. The problem (from pressing a legal case) is that someone reaching out to "you" is not a crime. Especially when those overtures are rejected.

The entire premise of the Russian collusion conspiracy theory is that the more we find out, the more it will start to uncover evidence of collusion. That the Trump Jr meeting was just the tip of the iceberg, and when we looked below the surface we would uncover the bulk of the criminal evidence.

But it would appear, that the more we find out, the more the entire concept of collusion remains little more than the conspiracy theory it is accused of being.

Monday, August 14, 2017

My final thoughts on Virginia...

Anyone who knows me personally would understand that I am an open minded person who is anything but a bigot. My wife is Korean. My brother's wife is Guatemalan. I have gay family members and gay friends. I have friends who are Jewish. I have friends who are Muslim,. I have more than a few friends who are Atheists. I know plenty of Trump supporters. I know many who are anything but Trump supporters. I personally know several local GOP politicians. I have a brother-in-law who is a Democratic politician. With that as my backdrop I offer the following.
  • In the strongest terms, I condemned pretty much anything that the Neo-Nazi, the KKK, and other white supremacist groups stand for.  
  • I do however, believe that they have the right to assemble and protest. 
  • I have no real opinion on what the black lives matter movement stands for, because quite frankly I don't really understand what it is that they exactly stand for. Most of the time, I am not sure they do either.
  • I do however generally condemn their protest tactics. Shutting down airports, or blocking freeways, looting business, and attacking police are not legitimate forms of protests.
  • I condemn pretty much everything that the anti-fascists stand for. This appears to be little more than traveling to wherever someone they disagree with wants to speak, hold a rally, or otherwise assemble... and then trying to use violence to shut it down. They are thugs. Nothing more, nothing less.
  • For those "counter-protesters" in Virginia who were not part of any of those other groups, I would offer that they had the right to be there and have their say. If I feel bad for anyone, it would be those who may have had peaceful intentions, but got overshadowed by everyone else who seemed bound and determined to make sure the day was anything but peaceful. I question their wisdom, but not their intentions. 
  • As for the local politicians, the local police and other law enforcement. Rather than attempting (last minute) to revoke a permit, or by declaring "that day" that the protests were illegal, you simply missed the boat. You gave out permits to two groups to protest in two different areas of the town. It was your responsibility to make sure that everyone stayed within the guidelines. The fact that law enforcement stood on the sidelines and watched as things spiraled out of control, puts them right up there at the top in terms of "fault" for what happened.
  • Yes, the guy who drove his car into a group of people (and into the back end of another vehicle) should be tried for murder or manslaughter. While he obviously is allowed a jury trial, it seems difficult to see what his defense will be.
  • Lastly, for what it's worth, I don't understand the need to tear down every statue or monuments that deal with historically significant figures or historically significant events that are now deemed politically incorrect or otherwise offensive. Not all of our significant history is good or just. But that doesn't mean that we should simply purge it from existence. Sometimes remembering what we did wrong is just as important (if not more important) than remembering what we did right. Who are we "today" to decide what future generations may or may not want to remember?

Mirror mirror on the wall... white supremacists are the most dangerous of them all.

So since the Virginia violence broke out, many people on the left have been parroting a so-called report from the FBI and DHS showing a rising problem with Extremist violence from White Supremacy Groups. Here is the link:

According to the document:
WSE were responsible for 49 homicides in 26 attacks from 2000-2016 (see figure I), more than any other domestic extremist movement. 

Yes ladies and gentlemen, the White Supremacist extremists have committed twenty six total acts of domestic terror over the past seventeen years, and are responsible for killing forty nine people, including four police officers. 

Overall this represents an overall national average of 0.13 attacks and 0.24 casualties per month committed by the dreaded White Supremacists Extremists. Once has to be curious as to which domestic terror group slid into that second place spot?

To be clear, the seventeen year total of forty nine murders doesn't even qualify as a lethal "month" in the city of Chicago, and comes up just short of the average amount of murders committed in one day (forty four) across the United States.  Between 2000-2016, there have been two thousand seven hundred and seven police officers killed in the line of duty (the number of them killed by White Supremacist Extremist represents 00.14% of the total).

Sunday, August 13, 2017

What changed: Part 1

For the past 200 plus years the United States has operated under the concept of many freedoms, but perhaps the most genuinely endeared freedom of all has been freedom of speech. Not just freedom of speech we agree with, but specifically freedom of speech that we disagree with.

Over the past several decades there may be no greater example of "disagreeable free speech" than what has come from the various White Supremacist Groups, such as the Nazi Party and the KKK. They have routinely held rallies, marches, protests, and generally attempt to do so under circumstances that draw the most attention to their cause. These events have traditionally been met with either some chorus of boos and cat-calls or to an obvious sense of indifference and disinterest.

Ironically, while there is no question that many of these groups have been responsible for more than their own fair share of criminal violence, these assemblies and marches were generally peaceful (or at least they have been up until fairly recently). There was no prevalence of burning of local businesses, looting, or spontaneous assaults on the police.

The reality here is that White Supremacy is a concept that likely upwards of 99% (if not 99.9%) of Americans disagree with. But this disagreement has not led us in the past to believe that White Supremacists should be forced to forfeit their right to free assembly and free speech. We historically continued to allow such assembly, and one might even argue that much like the concept of "burning the flag" has become a symbol of free speech, the visual of KKK members walking down the street carrying signs is an equally powerful symbol of the absolute nature of our First Amendment.

But in 2017 many people seem to be turning their back on this tradition. The new political attitude being displayed today seems to be that these white supremacists should not have the right to even assemble. The argument seems to be (according to those like Governor Terry McAuliffe) that because the content of the speech in question is offensive, that these assemblies promoting this speech are un-American.

My question is simple. What changed?

President's statement...

Have the Democrats become the anti-science party?

Up until the past couple decades or so there was very little wiggle room between what biologists, neurologists, medical doctors, and sociologists had to say about the two sexes. The consensus was that there was pretty clear differences between the males and females, biologically, physically, psychologically, as well as socially.

Ironically, just as biology, neuroscience have discovered modern scientific methods to measure and study many of these differences, many sociologists are now arguing that there are no real differences between genders. These sociologists have determined that any perceived differences are better explained by societal traditions, and societal expectations.

Quite obviously these communities are no longer in sync.

Now given that these disciplines come from entirely different perspectives, it shouldn't necessarily come as a surprise that they may at times clash. As we look at this issue from a modern day political viewpoint, we are entering the perfect storm of scientific/social disagreement.

Biologists are discovering that our genetic makeup is not as random as once thought. They are now finding the existence that the existence of the duplicate X chromosome and the existence of the Y chromosome actually creates two different patterns of genes. Neuroscience is now able to study brain patterns, and are also finding that these brain patterns differ between males and females.

Meanwhile, sociologists are viewing the issue from the observational aspect of a changing society that is attempting to eliminate what they believe to be gender stereotypes (rather than real differences). In 2017, it's not only politically correct to argue that there is no differences between men and women, but it is currently being argued (by some) that we really do not even have two sexes, but rather a gender spectrum.  Quite obviously this is in line with the belief that in some cases biology actually gets the physical characteristics of a person "wrong" (aka - transgenderism).

With the recent Google Damore gender memo causing such a ruckus, we are now witnessing the two political ideologies drawing lines and taking sides. Conservatives seem to be falling in behind the biologists and neuroscientists, while your liberals are falling in behind the ideological sociologists. Given the fact that biology and neuroscience are what would be considered more traditional science, while sociology would be considered more observational and even somewhat philosophical... it may be fair to suggest that conservatives are now becoming the champions of hard science.

Meanwhile, by putting ideology and social desires ahead of the more traditional hard sciences... your liberals seem to be suddenly taking on the role of "science deniers".  This would suggest that its' only a matter of time before the concept of a "science denier" is no longer associated with the uneducated anti-intellectual concept of yesterday... but rather a "science denier" will be seen as the epitome of a forward thinking intellectual not afraid to crash through the barriers of outdated and rigid thinking.

You can count on it.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Violence in Virginia...

Let's be clear here. There are no good guys here, only bad guys. While many would like to see the President take sides in all of this (as Terry McAuliffe  did today)... he did the right thing by condemning the entire event and everyone involved.

Certainly very few people would like to associate themselves with cause of the white supremacists, but that doesn't change the fact that they have the same first amendment right to free speech as anyone else. They have held rallies as long as most can remember, and they will continue to hold rallies into the future. We may not like it, but it is what it is.

Likewise, many are criticizing the self declared "anti-fascist" protesters who assembled with at least the appearance of causing conflict. But shouldn't it be possible to have these sorts of counter protests without the eruption of violence?

Lastly, no matter what anyone thinks of the idiocy of the entire situation, it doesn't justify driving your car into a group of people with what appears to be an obvious intent to do bodily harm. This would certainly qualify as a blatant act of violence and terror, and repercussions should be harsh if the evidence proves as such.

Bottom line: This is one of those situations where everyone is responsible for their own actions. You simply cannot choose to blame other people for your hatred and blame others for actions that come of this hate. Moreover, anyone using this event to attack Donald Trump is simply too involved in their own hatred of the President to see this larger point.

Happy Saturday!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Democrats upset over Trump Judicial picks...

Franken not consulted over Minnesota Judge nominated for Circuit Court  
President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees are ignoring key Senate Democrats as they vie for lifetime appointments to the bench — a break from longstanding practice that diminishes the minority’s power to provide a check against ideologically extreme judges. 
The brewing tension between the White House and the Senate over filling an unusually high number of judicial vacancies is impeding the pace at which Trump installs lifetime appointees to the federal bench — so far one of the president’s few major victories, with his legislative agenda largely stymied in Congress. (politico)

In the case of the Minnesota Judge, I have heard quite a bit about this locally. This is a conservative Judge who is so well respected that he has gotten pretty much universal praise from Minnesota's judicial community.  Even the very liberal former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice (and former Viking defensive tackle) Alan Page approves of the pick. Rumor has it, that he finally did a "sack dance" after hearing about it.... (Bud Grant never allowed such tomfoolery when he was coach).

But neither Al Franken or Amy Klobuchar were consulted prior, and neither has returned their "blue slip" (designed to give approval of the local nominee).  While the blue slip tradition is longstanding, it has (on occasion) been ignored. The buzz in Minnesota is that both are more than willing to give their approval (they really have no justification not to)... but are looking to cut a deal where Trump takes their advice on who he appoints as United States Attorney for Minnesota. Unlikely Trump will appoint a liberal U.S. Attorney to carry out his interests in Minnesota.

The bottom line seems to be that for whatever else is going on right now... the Trump Presidency is making an important impact on the Judicial branch, with an unprecedented amount of nominees for an unprecedented amount of high level openings. The Democrats, of course, are looking to slow roll these confirmations as much as possible. The problem remains that if they decide to push things like "blue slips" too hard, McConnell and gang can simply choose (as they did with the filibuster of Supreme Court nominees) to ignore tradition.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Case in point?

James Damore argued that there were many differences between men and women, including the idea that women prefer to work cooperatively, that they are not as competitive as men, they don't seek the same work related status as men, and on average are more prone to anxiety.

In response to this memo, apparently some of the women decided not go to work. The reason, of course, was that reading the memo made them uncomfortable and stressed them out too much to apparently reasonably function at work.


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Here's a thought about the Google Manifest dude..

James Damore has a masters degree from Harvard in  biology.

Apparently he was working towards a PhD (Doctorate) degree, but hasn't finished the program. One of the requirements to garnering a PhD would be some sort of thesis on a relative subject.  The raging debate (even more raging today) on whether or not seemingly inherent differences between the sexes are due to a different set of chromosomes and hormones (the biological argument), or due to culture and socialization (the social argument) would make for a very interesting subject.

So Damore has stated he will sue Google. Look for him to use whatever settlement he gets to finish his Doctorate, turn the manifest into a thesis, and then the thesis into a book that could be published. No doubt he would use his systems biology background to further explain his reasoning.

As the saying goes... there is no such thing as bad publicity.