July 30, 2016

July 29, 2016

Inside the Democrat convention, malfeasance continued unabated

This video speaks for itself, as of yesterday the DNC was still gaming their own convention.

Friday Musical Interlude - It Ain't Gonna Suck Itself

Quite a suggestive title but a catchy tune by Cracker from 2003.  This live version is from 2011.

July 28, 2016

Free Trade co-opted by progressives

A core conservative principle has always been that of free trade.  Or HAD always been.  Free trade encourages countries to specialize their resources - land, labor and capital - in the areas which they can most efficiently utilize them. That specialization results in the most efficient use of resources, and therefore the imbalance of goods and services is neatly resolved by trade.  Producers are at their most efficient and consequently consumers get the best products as well as the lowest prices.  If pencils cost 50 cents to buy when made in America but 5 cents a piece when made in Vietnam, the other 45 cents can be used elsewhere or perhaps invested in more innovation through the purchase of shares in companies.

All good.

So what went wrong?  Why is Donald Trump heading the GOP into the 2016 presidential election?  He's a candidate who has vowed to build walls to keep out illegal immigrants, he's vowed to exit from multiple free trade deals.  And he won the nomination and has a good shot so far at winning the presidency.

The problem with free trade is two-fold. Firstly, the outcome of signing these deals has had some unintended consequences.  American workers are losing jobs to China, India, Bangladesh, Mexico, and other countries.   That's a natural fallout as resources within America have to be re-allocated to more efficient usage.  People get displaced and that does not get fixed overnight. Nobody in the free trade camp seemed to give that proper consideration when pushing free trade deals.  And without jobs, there is another fallout - there's no money to spend on goods and services in a larger swath of the populace.  This reduces demand domestically for both foreign and domestic goods and probably contributes to decreased efficiency in production. There's potential for a downward spiral in an economy not set up properly to capitalize on trade.

That leads to the other problem on which Trump is capitalizing. Progressives have both co-opted the free trade agenda for their own purposes and distorted the playing field in such a way as to favor trade partners over domestic producers.  On the latter point, tax laws, labor laws, environmental regulation and red tape for things from Dodd-Frank to FATCA etc. make it more desirable for companies to do their work from offshore and simply push product back to America.  In other words Democrats are not business friendly.  They view the business environment as a zero-sum gain - any advantage to business has to (in their view) come at the expense of workers.  There is no concept of synergy  - an environment that enables both companies and workers - among Democrats when it comes to business or the economy at large.  Winners means losers.  There's no "we can all be better off together if..."

Finally, truly progressive Democrats - socialists like Bernie Sanders - are either completely clueless or are actively seeking the destruction of the system that has made America great.  Sanders never spoke about offshoring. He speaks about a living wage.  As if those arguments will create jobs.  It will drive more business offshore because free trade allows it.  They are actively, purposefully seeking the destruction of American capitalism.  They will change America into an also-ran.  They are leveraging the existence of free trade to do so, or are exploiting it's fallout due to trade deals that were not well crafted in the first place, in order to further their agenda.

Trump makes a point about the free trade deals that conservatives and the Republican establishment would do well to heed.  China steals technology.  China pays slave labor wages and does not have health and safety protections for workers that America does.  That does not create a level playing field.  Put the same regulations in place in China that exist in America and then a truly free trade deal would be a fair trade deal.  As it stands free trade with China, is biased trade in China's favor.  Ignoring that fact will eventually spell the doom of the free trade movement.

Addendum: You can read more about free trade with protectionist nations here.

Thursday Hillary Bash - Dems step in Trump trap

Most every Thursday for a couple of years now, I've been publishing notes about Hillary Clinton's scandals and issues in the hopes that it might serve as a reminder when it came time for her renewed march towards the White House. You can find that litany here.

Most recently, it would appear that Donald Trump, either wittingly or not, has laid a clever trap for Hillary Clinton, and her election team has stepped right into it.  It started out with Trump sarcastically comment that he hoped Russia could find Hillary's missing 30,000 emails.  Democrats pounced. They suggested that he was committing an act of treason. The media jumped all over it too.

It would seem, quite simply, that having government emails on an unsecured server has actively encouraged a foreign power to commit espionage. 

So there's that. Some more sarcasm along those lines from Trump and his campaign and supporters should go a long way here.

July 27, 2016

Sanders picks up the pieces and goes home

So Bernie Sanders has left the Democratic party.  Weird, since he just told all of his national supporters to support Hillary Clinton.

Sellout? Fake?  Confused , old man?
The nomination was barely sealed up at the Democratic National Convention before Bernie Sanders, who had campaigned against Hillary Clinton for the party’s nod, went back to being an Independent.

Sanders, who considers himself, officially, an Independent in Congress because his views lean further left than the Democratic party’s platform, caucuses with Democrats. But until declaring an intention to run for the presidency in 2015, he had rarely, if ever, identified as a member of the Democratic Party (he’s been in politics since 1979).

And now, despite pleading with his base to support Hillary, even though they’re concerned that she’s too moderate, Sanders will return to Vermont and to his seat in the Senate, and he’ll do it with no official party affiliation.
The same article tries to defend Debbie Wasserman Schultz as having done her job.  No.  You can't prove Sanders didn't leave because of the DNC's cheating to help Hillary win.  Why would Sanders stick around after that?

Sanders did the right thing.  His mistake was trying to convince people to support Hillary.  There was no reason for that unless he was hoping for a senior spot in her cabinet and was subsequently told he was not going to get it.

July 25, 2016

Sanders sells out, supporters don't

This, is karma for corrupt Hillary:
PHILADELPHIA — Sen. Bernie Sanders sent a text message to the leaders of his delegation pleading with them not to protest on the Democratic convention floor Monday night.

“I ask you as a personal courtesy to me to not engage in any kind of protest on the floor,” he wrote in the text message to his delegate whips. “Its of utmost importance you explain this to your delegations.”

He signed the text, “Bernie.”

Many of his delegates did not heed his warning, as some Sanders supporters interrupted the convention’s opening prayer with chants of “Bernie!” DNC Chair Rep. Marcia Fudge reprimanded the delegates for interrupting her opening remarks when she said she was “excited” to help elect Hillary Clinton and Sen. Tim Kaine. “Excuse me!” she pleaded, as Sanders delegates interrupted her with boos and chants of “Bernie.”
She may have reached her tipping point.  We can only hope at this moment.

July 24, 2016

Sunday Linkaround

Hillary's Nazi salute.  Two can play at that out-of-context game Democrats.   Nice work by 90 Miles from Tyranny.

President Obama's brother is voting for Donald J Trump. For real. He's not on board with Hillary or even his half brother. How terrible do you have to be as a president to lose the support of a family member?

John Kerry is more worried about air conditioners than ISIS but he just can't bring himself to say it outright.

Bernie Sanders is mad at the DNC, but not enough to really do anything about it. But a corrupt DNC and a Hillary Clinton whom the FBI said was very negligent but skated free on being charged for her improper email server and deleting emails (destroying evidence), hand-in-hand speak to a corruption that stinks to high Heaven. Yet Sanders is still supporting Hillary, so his faux outrage is just that, faux.


Debbie Wasserman Schultz has kind of recused herself from her role as chair of the Democratic party's convention this week.  But only for the convention it would seem.  Just like with Hillary Clinton though, there's not likely going to be any repercussions never mind punishment.

Hillary, pathological liar, so says...Politico? Not really, they're just attempting to offer up a spirited defense of the indefensible. It's actually an infuriating read if you have the stomach for such tripe.

The DNC planned to link Trump to the KKK?

Conrad Black offers a great critique of the critiques of Trump, noting quite correctly,
...It reminds me of Tom Wicker’s prediction in The New York Times the Sunday before the inauguration of Richard Nixon in 1969, that the president-elect would “blow up the world,” and by Scotty Reston in the same newspaper about 12 years later that Ronald Reagan would be a complete failure who would ride back to California like a disillusioned cowboy after his first term. As the world knows, but may have forgotten, Nixon ended school segregation and the draft and the endless riots and the skyjackings and the assassinations, reduced the crime rate, founded the Environmental Protection Agency, opened relations with China and a peace process in the Middle East, extracted the U.S. from Vietnam while retaining a non-communist government in Saigon, and signed the greatest arms control agreement in world history with the U.S.S.R. while re-establishing American nuclear superiority, and was re-elected by 18 million votes. The subsequent Watergate nonsense, tawdry though it was, doesn’t alter the fact that his was one of the most successful presidential terms in U.S. history. It is probably better remembered that Reagan produced America’s greatest economic boom of the 20th century and bloodlessly won the Cold War, and was re-elected by 15 million votes.
Over at The Daily Beast Nancy A Youssef breaks down Hillary Clinton's misbegotten tenure at state, including this truth;
If there is a connective thread in Clinton’s tenure, it was an overestimation in the U.S. ability to shape events around the world and an underestimation of the unintended consequences of change.
George Will wants the RNC to be more like the DNC because his man did not win?  Respect lost. Entirely. 

Sunday verse

July 23, 2016

WikiLeaks: DNC did indeed conspire to defeat Bernie Sanders

On Friday, WikiLeaks released,
...a bombshell cache of DNC emails obtained by Russian hackers. Among other things, the documents purport to show the party apparatus favoring Clinton's campaign over the insurgency of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. The DNC did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.

The news took center stage on social media, threatening to upend the Democrats' messaging and steal attention from a chaotic and divided Republican National Convention, which wrapped up on Thursday night. The email exchanges may reopen the wounds of a bitter Democratic primary season, just as the party kicks off its own national conference designed to highlight a unified, energized party.
Surprisingly so far the response from Team Sanders seems, underwhelming;
Bernie Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver said his team was "disappointed" by the emails from the Democratic National Committee leaked through WikiLeaks, which seemed to reveal staff in the party working to support Hillary Clinton.

"Someone does have to be held accountable," Weaver said during an interview with ABC News. "We spent 48 hours of public attention worrying about who in the [Donald] Trump campaign was going to be held responsible for the fact that some lines of Mrs. Obama's speech were taken by Mrs. Trump. Someone in the DNC needs to be held at least as accountable as the Trump campaign."
Team Trump at least, took it for what it was - an affront to a democratic process. Via Twitter:

This should not only overshadow the Tim Kaine pick as VP, it should open the eyes of Sanders supporters as far as the DNC's impartiality is concerned. They should rightly up in arms over it, as should Sanders himself.

WikLeaks meanwhile is concerned that Twitter might be censoring their revealed information too. #TwitterGestapo apparently continues unabated.
If Americans let Hillary win, it might be game over for the United States.

ADDENDUM:  More detail on some of the emails can be found here too.

Twitter Gestapo redux

Gay conservative Breitbart Tech columnist Milo Yiannopoulos was banned from Twitter this week for the horrific crime of giving Ghostbusters a bad review and then teasing star Leslie Jones about it.  It was classified as hate speech.While Milo seems to be treating treating his banning as a badge of honor, it's a dictatorial move by Twitter and should be viewed as such by others. Milo deserves backup, even though he seems entirely unfazed by it.

Twitter has previously kicked off other conservatives because their thought police have an obvious leftist bent and will, over time get all conservative voices off the platform because they cannot handle opposing viewpoints.  So they deem it all hate speech and ban conservatives one by one under a false pretense.

This has to be confronted. Twitter is not be alone in this.  Facebook has the same problem. And of course we all know about Hollywood and the mainstream media issues. And the stranglehold progressive liberals have on education.  And the EPA.  And the IRS.  Institution by institution, battle front after battle front, socialists are seeing to it conservative voice cannot be heard or else will by systematically drowned out by liberal propaganda.

Warning: Language.

Saturday Learning Series - Geography (Czech Republic)

The Czech is in the mail.

And the flag episode follows.

July 22, 2016

Friday Musical Interlude - Turn On Tune In Drop Out

I suspect the message in this song is tongue in cheek, but you can never be sure.  More Cracker (aka Camper Van Beethoven) with Turn On Tune In Drop Out from 2009.

July 21, 2016

CNN continues to try to make disunity the story

At CNN, the anti-Trump narrative continues unabated.  CNN is really going after the 'cracks in the Republican Party'  angle to help the Democrats come November - even to the point of arguing CNN hosts with guests. They want Republicans to continue to fight each other and they want America to see it.  The underlying message is that if Republicans can't even agree among themselves, then clearly Trump is not ready for the presidency, and his message of bringing America together is clearly a false narrative.  That's a great story CNN, but it's mostly manufactured.

Yes, there is division.  The GOP is a party of competing ideas unlike the Democrats lockstep march towards the singularity of acceptable ideas.  Division is actually healthy.  The establishment versus the grassroots is a legitimate debate that needs to happen.  Trump's positions versus Pence's position on free trade, is a legitimate debate that needs to happen.  Ted Cruz' temper tantrum because he feels personally slighted is not a legitimate debate but CNN is trying to legitimize it by lumping it in with the other debates.

But even this represents an opportunity for the GOP.  Because while debates are healthy, coming together is also important.  The best thing that could happen is Ted Cruz and Trump coming together before the election.  If CNN and other mainstream media outlets cover this division, they are setting themselves up for a shocker if Ted Cruz does reverse course and endorses Donald Trump in September, the entire media theme will deflate instantly.

I wouldn't put it beyond the realm of possibility that both Trump and Cruz know that and have planned together to control the story line throughout the summer and fall. Remember, Trump is the master of free media. And Ted Cruz would benefit himself for a future run for the presidency by playing the villain as long as possible just to help Trump win. That would be taking one for the team.  That would be priceless. 

Disloyal Cruz

I'm a big fan of Ted Cruz's political views.  Or more accurately his views on issues - the economy, the Constitution, national security - that sort of thing.  Ted Cruz last night in his speech had the opportunity to be magnanimous, to be a larger than life politician by not holding his tongue and saying that he endorses Trump because the country is more important than his personal issues with Trump.

That would have been a WOW moment and Ted Cruz would have sent himself up prominently for future elections.  

Instead, in his speech and his breakfast Q&A with delegates this morning he came across as petty and small, and frankly disloyal.  And I do no mean disloyal to Trump or disloyal to the GOP, I mean disloyal to America.  Anything other than a full endorsement of Trump is fodder for a Hillary Clinton victory.

I supported Ted Cruz, in this moment I cannot.  America cannot survive 4 years of Hillary Clinton after 8 years of Obama. I think Ted Cruz has failed on two fronts - he's failed his country and he's failed his own political future.

Boycott CNN

CNN talking heads are talking incessantly about the Melania Trump speech that had a few lines that were a bit too reminiscent of a Michelle Obama convention speech. Yes, it's fair game.  But, I've heard in the last 5 minutes that if they'd apologized that everyone would have moved on (yeah right), that the campaign focus was on denial and doubling down on the fight and that is harmful to the campaign.  Of course Hillary doubling down on nothing to see around the email server scandal is within her prerogative. 

CNN also last night was quick to cut away from a number of the videos and speakers at seemingly opportune moments yesterday to nominally discuss important developments.  The news is the convention - speaker involvement should be minimal.  PBS did the same thing but at different points so following along across different stations was mostly possible.

In any case, tonight CNN will likely do no better and has been unimpressive so far during the GOP convention.  CNN talking heads to be fair, did mention a couple of times that Obama himself lifted a lot more of a Deval Patrick speech, and Joe Biden has had plagiarism issues. While I'm not at the boycott CNN stage quite yet, I'm close.

UPDATE: I accidentally forgot to post this on Tuesday but since then CNN has this morning put into high rotation clips of Trump and Cruz exchanging insults.  I get that the Cruz speech which was a non-endorsement of Trump, and that is news.  But CNN is going out of it's way to avoid the speeches by Gingrich and Pence and rather seek out cracks and divisive discussions.  It will be interesting too see if they do the same by seeking out disaffected Sanders supporters during the Democrat convention.

I expect that they will but in such a way as to find reconciled disagreements in an effort to contrast GOP division with Democratic unity.  I think CNN sees this as the issue that will help Hillary Clinton win.  Wait and see.

July 17, 2016

Guilty Hillary; legal definition ignored

Bill Whittle looks at the legal statutes.  According to FBI Director Comey's answers, by the book, Hillary is guilty of imprisonable offenses. So why is she going to go free? Bill Whittle answers that too and the answer is not the Justice Department.

Sunday verse

July 16, 2016

Documentary - Human Harvest looks at China's illegal organ trade

Last week on my commute home from work, I passed a group of protesters on a corner in a heavily populated Chinese area.  One particularly large sign read China is harvesting organs illegally from Falun Gong practitioners. I thought immediately skeptically that while China is not an honest state, this hyperbole from a persecuted group was meant to call attention to their unjust oppression.  But it was still hyperbole.  After seeing a documentary today, I'm willing to state that I believe my initial impression was wrong.  Drastically wrong.

A Canadian documentary entitled Human Harvest investigated China's state sanctioned (or run) illegal human organ trade, which is believed to be supplied by Falun Gong political prisoners. I wish I could share this whole documentary with readers, but I cannot find it online.   It's truly frightening that the communist regime, in fear of any organization that is not them, is actively pursuing anything it deems as a threat to its hegemony.  It's, as the video says, state run murder. It's inhuman. It's genocide.

If you can find the documentary, watch it. Share it.  Turning a blind eye to it is unconscionable.  Falun Gong is an ancient Chinese spiritualism that pursues Truth, Compassion and Tolerance.  That's not a crime, expect apparently it is in China.

UPDATE: I found a link where yo can watch it.  HERE.  Warning it has some graphic parts.  There's a link to petition the U.N. to do something about it.  It wouldn't hurt to see the U.N. do something useful from time to time.

Quick linkaround along with some thoughts.

Just a few links today, because there were a couple of topics I wanted to comment on briefly.

Did Erdogan stage his own coup d'etat in Turkey?  He's clamped down like a Saddam Hussein might do.  That doesn't mean he's not just using a coup as an excuse, but he's not really all that pro-West so in the end it doesn't matter.  

The Nice, France truck terrorist was indirectly ISIS enabled. Again, it doesn't matter how he was radicalized (by himself, or via clerics or via trips to ISIS strongholds).  What matters is that he was radicalized and it hasn't stopped.  Obama and Clinton have done a terrible job since Obama's apology tour in embracing their enemies, apologizing and even denying there's a problem.  Things have only gotten worse since 2009.  I'm no big fan of Bush but remember how relatively safe things were between 2001 and 2008 compared to now?

Along those lines of security doves chickens, remember the Russian reset that Hillary flubbed during the meeting?  Well she flubbed the details too. Since the Russian invasion of Crimea, they continue to be aggressive in the Ukrainian nation.  It's gotten so bad even Obama had to defer to NATO condemnation of Russian action. Thanks Hillary for that reset.  Great insights, smooth move. 

In a similar vein, Hillary's slump in the polls is real. It's not just the one poll.  There's a trend.  And if you look at the battleground states, it's happening in some of the key races. Going into the convention weeks, Trump needs to maintain his non-momentum by ensuring that he does not interfere at all with Hillary's downward momentum and trajectory.  Stand aside and let her continue to crumble.  I'm not sure Trump is capable of staying out of the headlines for a couple of reasons (1. the media 2. Trump).  But if he can, this might be the best time to do it.  Then again, it's convention week.  That's not a time to not toot your own horn.  Maybe he can concentrate on a positive message.  It would provide a great contrast with 'dishonest Hillary'. 

Saturday Learning Series - Geography (Djibouti)

Shake Djibouti?

And the flag.

July 15, 2016

Turkish coup in progress

Armed Forces in Turkey claim they have taken control of the country. This is not necessarily a bad thing for the West, Turkey had drifted away from democracy and towards a more Islamist style rule recently. And of course with a war on it's southern border raging in Syria, a recent bombing at Ataturk airport and even the attack yesterday in Nice France, Turkey has been in a tense situation for a while.
According to Turkish media, the military statement said the army had taken action to: "reinstall the constitutional order, democracy, human rights and freedoms, to ensure that the rule of law once again reigns in the country, for the law and order to be reinstated."

The military statement went on to say that "all international agreements and commitments will remain. We pledge that good relations with all world countries will continue."

The statement came shortly after prime minister Binali Yildirim confirmed that a faction of the military had engaged in what appeared to be an attempted coup.

He called for calm, saying security forces are doing what is necessary to resolve the situation.

Mr Yildirim warned that those responsible for this "illegal attempt " will pay the "highest price."
 Turkey is a strategic geo-political country. Erdogan was not a healthy leader for that country.  If the coup turns out to be successful, I would not be inclined to shed a tear.

Friday Musical Interlude bonus - Oceans

A bonus song today, not part of the monthly theme for music, but since I included his video earlier this week in my thoughts on the police shootings in Dallas, I thought I'd check out. Coffey Anderson. It turns out I like his music.  Here, he sings a religious song, Oceans, even going so far as to explain what it's about. Plus he does a great job on a really good song.

Friday Musical Interlude - Storms

In 2003 Camper Van Beethoven made a song for song cover of the entire 1979 Fleetwood Mac album Tusk.  This is a cover of the beautiful Stevie Nicks ballad Storms. Not nearly as good as the original, but a noble and relatively faithful effort.

For comparison purposes (and because I love the song), here's the original.

July 14, 2016

Mike Pence for VP?

It appears that tomorrow Trump will select Indiana government as his VP nominee.  It's not confirmed yet but the din around it has grown all day.


...that's a dull pick, even for a Republican governor with a 100% conservative rating from the American Conservative Union (a definite point in favor of Pence), the pick is still dull.  Indiana is a Republican voting state.  There's no gain in that regard. In fact, by not picking someone from Ohio or Pennsylvania you could argue Trump actually harmed his chances.  If you believe the role of the VP nominee is to deliver a state's electoral votes. 

And there's also no flair (perhaps Trump feels he has all he needs).  Pence is dull.  Pence is not possessing strong approval ratings in Indiana.  So that doesn't help either.

But it might steady the nerves of the National Review editorial staff. So there's that.

I'm willing to wait and see, because the press has been sop wrong about Trump, they could bew wrong about this too.  Pence would make a good VP, the problem is that he doesn't do anything obvious to help the ticket.  You need to win before you get to hold the position. Maybe Pence can help the ticket if his VP opponent turns out to be Bernie Sanders.  The contrast will be stark.

More to follow.

Thursday Hillary Bash - In pictures 4

July 13, 2016

Progressive Socialist Hypocrisy

Recently I had an epiphany about socialism yesterday.  I have a former boss, whom I would consider a friend, who happens to be a socialist.  He doesn't just talk the talk, he supports co-ops of all kinds, he votes socialist and always takes the socialist/progressive side in any argument or discussion.  He's consistent.  He's also a nice guy, to be fair.  But yesterday I noticed something that I've seen in other socialist people I've known and I think the consistency is enough to say it's a pattern. It may not be universal, but certainly it is common among those of the socialist/progressive ilk.

By way of background, for decades the socialist crowd here in Toronto have argued for more public transit.  Toronto has a great transit system..for 1973.   They've argued that we should move away from cars and to public transit.  It's better for the environment, it's more egalitarian, cheaper than roads, blah...blah...BLAH.

Downtown Toronto has a relatively decent coverage of subways.  The suburbs, not so much.  But since the socialists all live downtown in the city core area, they've suddenly become fiscally conservative.  They think spending money on more subways is an expensive boondoggle.  Instead, those in the suburbs, which represent a pretty significant population, should be satisfied with more surface routes - light rail like streetcars, or buses.  

I've had to commute from the suburbs.  It's dreadful - the driving is bad, and the light rail commute was cramped, prone to breakdowns, slow, and just basically inadequate (to be kind).  But the socialists have the transit they want.

And there's the epiphany.  It isn't really about helping others, it's about helping others collectively, until they get what they want, and then the taps get turned of.  Socialism for me and not for thee. Hypocrisy.

I am honestly not surprised, but it's good to have some empirical evidence to back up what we all know.  As for me being two-faced on public transit, I'm all for more roads, but in most cities there's no will for that option.  Anything to reduce gridlock is welcome respite. In a recent post I also pointed out that working from home and telecommuting will reduce the need for mass transit and more roads.  But we're not there yet. So no real hypocrisy, but if you want to challenge me on that, I'd be happy to expound on it.

Hillary Clinton from Whitewater to Emailgate, there's a pattern

Regular readers will be aware that I have been posting Thursday Hillary Bash posts, designed to outline her scandals and flaws, regularly since 2013.  There's too much to enumerate because she just keeps on scandaling (yes, that's a made up word).  The purpose has been to expose the many reasons she should not be president.  But for those not up to speed, below is a great 26 minute summary video I found recently, that covers off some of the bigger skeletons in Hillary's closet.

Please watch.

July 12, 2016

The Identity Politics chickens have come home to roost

Democrats decades ago found a formula for electoral success by finding different groups or voting blocks, to pander to politically, and gain a sort of fettered electoral support. But the Identity Politics they used to do so is now backfiring. As Reverend Wright once said, the chickens are coming home to roost.

We saw in the Orlando shooting that the homosexual voting block apparently did not rate as highly as the Muslim voting block as the president and others were once again reticent or more accurately unwilling to describe the killings as an act of terrorism perpetrated by a radicalized terrorist, inspired by either a religion or a twisting of that religion (you decide which you think is more appropriate, that is not my purpose in this post).  Why is that the case?  It's probably math, and probably propbability.  Democrats likely feel that by siding with Muslims they gain more votes than they would lose from the gay community and that the reverse would have a more negative electoral result for them in November.

Worse still, in Dallas police officers were killed because the identity politics of isolating groups ultimately pits them against each other.  Make no mistake, liberals once counted union members, particularly those like police forces who are employed by some level of government, among their many constituency groups. But going all the way back to Obama's ridiculous beer summit, it is clear how low they rank on the prioritization pecking order for Democrats. So low in fact, that they are being killed.

I am not for a minute suggesting the president doesn't care about police officers being killed. Rather I am suggesting that progressive liberal politicians, who leverage identity politics to get votes, because they cannot win in the arena of ideas, has created this mess.  Liberals like Obama regret that but have no way out of the mess that they have created, and likely the only way forward for them is deeper into the mire they have caused.  It is a recipe for the destruction of America.  Whether it is willful no longer matters.

Here's a quick explainer on identity politics that is worth watching to better understand it.

Ultimately, the identity politics along with political correctness either will eventually tear apart America, or it must be torn apart itself. People must be viewed as individuals and not as part of a group or groups; to do so is inherently bigoted.

July 11, 2016

Thoughts on the Dallas police shooting (Part 2 of 2)

Continuing the thought exercise on race and police shootings, (you can find Part 1 here), I neglected to mention on Saturday that my thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones of the murdered police officers. The loss of any human life is tragic, but double so for those who selflessly serve others in the community.  Police officers and Firefighters have some of the riskiest jobs around and they deserve our appreciation, not our hatred.


The police walk a fine line in our society.  As a civil libertarian leaning person, I do not want the police to intrude into my life whatsoever.  I don't live in a police state (admittedly in Canada, but the police here are relatively similar to the police in America - more on that later), and I'm sure most people do not want to live in a society like that either.  On the other hand, how often do we see TV interviews with victims or witnesses to a crime saying "the police never came!" or "it took forever for the police to get here!"?  The job itself is often thankless and difficult and finding the right balance for everything from police visibility in your neighborhood to the appropriate level of response to a situation that protects victims of crimes, perpetrators of crimes and the police themselves is something that cannot come down to a formula.

It's tricky.  It's complex.  And a lot of people with a civil libertarian attitude or an inherent bias of their own or a chip on their shoulder do not help matters.

On the weekend I also came across this video made by country music singer Coffey Anderson.  It's simple, it's sensible, and helpful.  Looking at the comments he got a lot of backlash for this video (along with a lot of positive comments).  The negative comments are ridiculous because he's trying to help.

Stop the Violence Safety Video for when you get pulled over by...
What do you actually do when you get pulled over by the police? Here is a video that helps diffuse tension at traffic stop, it gives solid steps into ways of staying safe, and getting home. SHARE this. It's a must for all to see and show to your loved ones.
Posted by Coffey Anderson on Thursday, July 7, 2016
Granted, it seems a little bit police state-y to have to go through this if you get pulled over by police (regardless of your race), but it something we should all think about because it makes the situation easier for all concerned.  If you have no reason to hide anything (okay, maybe you were speeding but you did nothing else wrong), then it's a small price to pay for actually having police around and not so full of adrenaline when you don't need them to be, and prepared to react with force when it is required.  Every little bit helps, and if you aren't willing to do even that, you are just being negative for negative purposes.  If that is the case, I have little respect for your opinion because you are not offering any positive solutions you are merely complaining for the sake of complaining.

Ben Shapiro destroys that position in the video below, particularly from about 2:15 onward (he uses some short-hand arguments that I would take issue with per Part 1 of this discussion, but he is predominantly correct).

The point is do not make this about race, because if there is a problem with police training and how they react to situations, it is not a black and white issue (no pun intended). By that I mean that police are not given one set of instructions to deal with African Americans and another set of instructions to deal with white people. There is no institutional racism unless you count the Democrat party which promotes social policies that relegate African Americans to poverty and social second class by leveraging welfare to perpetuate poverty and single mother households in poorer class. That's not even institutional racism, it's institutional classism.

July 10, 2016

Sunday verse

The media's upset Hillary is still dodging, so where are the tough editorials about her?

I have a question. If the media were serious about wanting to interview Hillary, to have access to her, why aren't they all over yet another Hillary Clinton scandal?  Why haven't they eviscerated her on 8 Top Secret emails being found on her private server by the FBI investigation?  Going after her would force her to have to talk with the media.  She'd have to be accessible in order to share her 'side' of the story. 

But they aren't, so clearly their agenda is to see her elected even at the expense of their profession, and their complaints are the equivalent of crocodile tears.

July 9, 2016

Thoughts on the police shootings in Dallas (part 1 of 2)

It's never as easy as the numbers.  This morning I was surfing around Facebook and I came across a couple of items regarding violence and the police. No doubt it's a hot topic because of the police shootings in Dallas.  First I found this picture and there's a couple of problems with it.

Firstly, the comment added at the bottom of the image, as a commenter pointed out, doesn't take into account the population percentages.  Because non-Hispanic whites represent 62.6% of the population they apparently should account for roughly that percentage in the statistic above. They actually account for 51.75% of the cases where the race was reported (including the unreported race in the denominator is misleading and I have excluded it from consideration.  They could be all white, all African-American or all Asian for example - we don't know).  The comment too is overly simplistic.

African-Americans are over-represented in the killings by police.  However, they are also over-represented in violent crimes committed, accounting for 28% of all violent crimes and 49% of all murders. Given that increased rate of violent activity it makes sense that African-Americans are over-represented in the police killings category, not necessarily because of police intent but because they could have been killed in the process of committing a violent act.

From the overly simplistic graphic above it is impossible to tell if there is a systemic bias of some kind.  Furthermore, the source of that variance in rates of violent crimes is in itself a topic for debate.  Is it born of poverty and desperation? And is that poverty a result of the disproportionate single mother households in the African American community?  Is it a racial bias on the part of African Americans that causes them to be disproportionately violent towards other races?  A chart on CNN is grossly misleading.

What is also missing is the reverse statistic regarding how many police were killed in the line of duty. The video below is also from 2014.  Not only were 108 police killed in the line of duty, how many attempted assaults or murders of police were also committed?  The video below is a reminder of the dangers that police officers face daily.  It is easy to see why, despite the overwhelming restraint police show given how many millions of incidents occur without negative consequences, that there are situations that escalate, and that mistakes can happen.  That is not to say that individual officers cannot be racist, some surely are, just as within any other population.  But to credit all police killings to race is not only overly simplistic, it's intentionally misleading.

Watch the video below and tell me you would not also be extra cautious and perhaps a bit quick to react if you were a police officer.  We ask them to protect us and to sometimes put themselves in harms way to do so.  To expect perfection is unreasonable, and still the vast majority day in and day out perform remarkably close to that level and deserve our respect.

Most will never understand.
Posted by 53 Hours on Monday, August 3, 2015

As I stated in my post title, it's never as easy as the numbers.  I say that as a numbers guy who thinks that numbers don't lie.  Benjamin Disraeli originally said "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." Statistics are a great tool for understanding things, but dangerous when used incorrectly. It's not the numbers that are the problem, it's how the numbers get used that is the problem.  It's kind of like the same notion as guns don't kill people, people kill people.

Part 2 will follow on Monday.

Saturday Learning Series - Geography (Denmark)

Danish anyone?

Flag time.

July 8, 2016

July 7, 2016

Thursday Hillary Bash - In pictures 3

Yep. I'm going there. But only because Hillary did.

July 6, 2016

The Tea Leaves on a GOP convention revolt

Many people, including some I know are arguing that the GOP delegates at the Republican National Convention should vote their conscience and not vote for Donald Trump.  Many of these same people were the ones asking the Republican National Committee to re-write the rules on the nomination process to allow delegates to not vote for Trump.

Set aside the hypocrisy that many of these people were deriding the Democrats for their super delegates being an undemocratic aberration from true democracy.  I wonder if they realize that without the super delegate allocation Hillary Clinton still does not have enough votes to win the Democratic nomination.  

Set aside the fact that in a crowded field of obstinate non-Trump contenders who remained in the race and split the anyone-but-Trump vote, Trump did win the nomination among the primary electorate. It's not the first time the front runner did not exceed a plurality.  This is how the system works. Moving the goalposts  95% of the way into the race is also something conservatives have for decades railed against the Democratic party for doing regularly.  Again, hypocrisy.

Trump Facebook post shows clearly Hillary Clinton is a liar

Donald Trump has posted to his Facebook page an excellent video response to the FBI statement on Hillary Clinton's email server problem. She's clearly lying as the video makes quite plain.

The rigged system may have helped Hillary Clinton escape criminal charges, but the FBI Director did indict her today for her incredible lack of judgment and honesty. Watch her LIE over and over again. Unbelievable! #CrookedHillary #RiggedSystem
Posted by Donald J. Trump on Tuesday, July 5, 2016

I don't really need to add to that self-indictment at all.

July 5, 2016

Hillary Clinton cleared. Wellllllll.......

FBI Director James Comey will not be charging Hillary Clinton with anything, at all. She's free and clear. Well... not exactly.
...Comey's conclusion, which he insisted no politician in the Obama administration was aware of in advance, amounted to a declaration that Clinton and her aides were 'extremely careless' with their handling of classified material, but their actions did not rise to the level of a prosecution.

'None of these emails should have been on any kind of unclassified system,' Comey said.

'Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.. Prosecutors necessarily weigh a number of factors before deciding whether to bring charges.'
Comey is practically spelling out how to attack Hillary Clinton if you are Donald Trump or his supporters or an anti-Hillary Super PAC. The key phrase is 'extremely careless'. How is a Secretary of State acting in an extremely careless manner with state security, and allowing enable her staff to do the same thing, remotely qualified to be president? Answer: She's not.

Donald Trump can hammer on a rigged system, as he should. But it would serve him well to twin that message with one of Hillary not being ready to be president because she couldn't even get the most basic things right at State. It's a two-pronged attack that puts Hillary heavily into a highly defensive position. The system is rigged and it's supporting a status quo candidate even though she can't get the fundamentals of security right.

That will turn off Sanders voters who believe the system is rigged. It will turn on conservative voters who don't like Hillary already but might not be quite pro-Trump. It will at lights flick on the light bulb for a lot of low information voters. Hillary cannot claim to be both innocent and competent in this matter. She's damned either way and it needs to be hammered home with voters over and over again.

July 4, 2016

Happy 4th of July

An Aside for my Canadian readers: the 4th of July, or Independence Day is America's version of Canada Day.  Except that Independence Day involves a fight for liberty, an understanding that taxation without representation is unfair.  Also, in the United States, the French were allies instead of original adversaries and now a cultural variant that requires light treading in any political discussion.

Happy Independence Day my American friends.  Your desire for liberty and justice for all are inspirational to people around the world.  Not all people, but at least those of us who are awake and envious of your liberty (and prosperity).  May your nation last a thousand more years and then another upon another. Treasure what you have, and fight for it - you are unique in human history and should feel pride in your ideals. 

July 3, 2016

Worst. Article. Ever.

I have no doubt that there are many on the left who swallow this tripe whole. Vox has an article on 3 reasons the American Revolution was a mistake. I kid you not.  The author seems to feel that the U.S. would have been better off as part of the U.K. And the reasons are at best, weak. This has got to be the worst article ever written (so far).  The only reason I bring it up is because it would be wonderful for the comment section to get flooded with derisive (but intelligently articulated) comments. Oh, but there's no comments section.  I wonder why.

Personally I can think of myriad reasons that's not the case but let me just throw one at you.  Imagine the United States being dragged into WWII in 1939, woefully unprepared as it was.  It would have increased the chances that the Axis powers emerged victorious.  So there's that.

If you can stomach reading it, take a look and feel free to add your thoughts here instead.

Sunday Verse

Collectivism Crushes

Excessive rules and regulations mandate conformity.  Conformity not only crushes individuality, it also crushes innovation.  How can one innovate when there are regulations about how everything should be?  And with a lack of innovation comes stagnation - an ersatz equilibrium imposed on a world that has not yet been (and never will be) optimized.  So things will ultimately grind to an imperfect halt with institutionalized flaws but perfectly robust rules. Rules that will eventually need to no longer be expanded because with a static world, no new situations requiring new regulation will arise. But everyone will be happy in their safe zones and we'll all be equal in our outcomes and no one will be a racist because, you know, there'll be rules against that.
Nigel doesn't want you making plans for him, E.U.

It'll be a truly flat world and as any bumps come up, they'll be hammered out of existence.  And by bumps, I mean new ideas.  It will become an economic and social straight jacket for the entire world. How dreadful.  How UNprogressive.  

This is exactly why the U.K. woke up to reality and decided they didn't want any part of such a bleak and moribund future.  It's about time.  I thought Margaret Thatcher's spirit had been crushed out of not only the U.K. but even her own political party. Not so.

I'll leave you with Bill Whittle's take on BREXIT and its meaning.  Let's hope this re-found sanity in the U.K. spreads across the Atlantic or is already re-growing the same roots here.

July 2, 2016

Hillary Clinton's weekend of misfortune

Well, it's not Thursday so it's not really a Thursday Hillary Bash, but how can I avoid talking about Hillary Clinton today?  The FBI has interviewed her, and Bill Clinton met with Attorney General Loretta Lynch in secret, and got caught.  The stench of corruption keeps growing stronger.

Did Bill Clinton's meeting force the FBI to move early?  If so, perhaps it was a brilliant move to derail the FBI by making them move early in order to counter an improper meeting with Lynch.   It also puts the scandal in early summer when attention by voters tends to wane.

It also presents a great opportunity for Trump to move up in the polls.  How does he capitalize? Doers he point it out our does he shut up and let her and Bill sink themselves? I don't think the latter approach is part of his repertoire, so look for him to unleash on Hillary all over social media for this.  After all it fits his message on her - she's not trustworthy. 

But I suspect the FBI has been caught without being ready to proceed, or that Lynch, a true corruptocrat will allow Hillary to go free somehow.  
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