Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Non-Indictment of Hillary

Of course it's not quite that simple. The prosecutors that will review the information developed by the FBI could still choose to bring indictments against Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for her illegal activities as Secretary of State.

Of course, FBI Director James Comey said that "no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case." That caused me to wonder just what he meant. Did he mean that the evidence didn't support criminal charges — the impression Comey worked terribly hard to convey? Or did he mean that no "reasonable prosecutor" would proceed with such a case because they would know they would be cashiered by DOJ political appointees if they did?

Actually, Comey said more. He said that

To warrant a criminal charge, Mr. Comey said, there had to be evidence that Mrs. Clinton intentionally transmitted or willfully mishandled classified information. The F.B.I. found neither, and as a result, he said, “our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.”
This is wrong in multiple respects. Here are two:
  1. There are two statutes that apply to the mishandling of classified information as occurred in this case. One of them requires intent, either intentionally transmission or willfully mishandling of classified information. The other just requires the perpetrator be "extremely careless" — i.e., negligent or reckless — in the handling of classified information. And Comey demonstrated that Hillary had been "extremely careless" (his words).
  2. Reasonable prosecutors have brought such charges in the past, including the charges against a former director of the CIA who was indicted for having classified material on his home computer, and was only spared a trial by being pardoned by President Bill Clinton in 2001. And just last year the Obama Administration prosecuted and convicted a naval reservist who downloaded some classified to a personal electronic device but never made it available to anyone else.
There's also the fact that Hillary deliberately had her private server set up, in part to avoid the State Department's security systems.

So Hillary talks about how reckless Donald Trump might be, while she is the one who has demonstrated her recklessness — either deliberate intent or gross negligence — in handling national security information, as shown by FBI Director Comey.

And of course General Petraeus was cashiered for far lesser transgressions.

There are a couple of "take-aways" from this situation. One is part of what else the FBI director said.

After announcing his no-charge recommendation, Comey added:
To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions. But that is not what we are deciding now.
In other words, laws are for little people.
Another likely inference is this:
which translates roughly as "the fix is in."

Clearly "All men are created equal", but some are more equal than others.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Independence Day!

How often have you heard it said "Freedom isn't free!"? Here's something of a meditation on the Fourth of July and the Declaration of Independence, from the late Paul Harvey, that gives additional meaning to this phrase. Early on, he notes that "All others of the world's revolutions, before and since, were initiated by men who had nothing to lose. ... Our founders had everything to lose, and nothing to gain. Except one thing." The video is at Paul Harvey: Our Lives, Our Fortunes, Our Sacred Honor. It's ten minutes long, but that's a really worthwhile ten minutes. Go spend the time. You'll be glad you did.

Happy Fourth of July!
Happy Independence Day!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Reflections on the Brexit Vote

Since the Brexit vote, in which voters in the high-turnout UK referendum, voted to leave the European Union, I've seen a lot of words from a number of commentators. The most laughable to me (somewhat paraphrased) was

The only reason I can think of for people to vote against their economic self-interest is racism.
There are several things wrong with this. The two biggest are these:
  • It's a huge assumption to say voting to leave the European Union is against the economic interests of the UK. This is what the "Remain" partisans claimed, but I don't see that should be given a lot more weight than the claims by the "Leave" partisans that Brexit would be better for the UK economically. Indeed, I would say leaving the European Union would be more likely to be in the UK's economic interests (see below).
  • "Racism"? Really? Racism of Europeans against Europeans? How dumb is that? Europeans are all pretty much the same stock — just ask
Other commentators have said
the votes to leave the European Union came from those who feel they haven't shared in the economic benefits of EU membership.
Essentially, they are saying the Brexit vote result was a matter of "sour grapes." But the statistics don't bear this out. Poll results just before the vote show the difference in voters was between the young who favored "Remain" and the older voters who favored "Leave". Or as one correspondent put it,
Millenial socialists who don’t understand vs. older folks who remember what Britain was.
As if to hammer the point home, here's a picture of one of London's young Millenials.

Aside from the voters who don't think of themselves as British, it seems to me a primary motivation was probably a lot simpler: They simply got tired of the overregulation and stupid regulation coming out of the unelected bureaucrats in Brussels. Little things like orders that a series of popular products could no longer be sold. Little things like a bureaucratic decree that drinking water is ineffective against dehydration. Little things like labor regulations Britain never had (or needed) till they were imposed by the EU to match those in other parts of Europe. A lot of those objectionable regulations are economic, and getting rid of them may well free the UK economy to grow at a faster rate. But it's also true that some of the recent (and projected soon to come) directives are in the "hot button" area of immigration and EU demands that eath country in the Union take their "fair share" of "Syrian" migrants.

In other words, a key issue area — regulatory overreach and objectionable regulations — is the same there and here. But with the Brexit vote there's an additional factor:

Immigrants, Then & Now

This was written by Rosemary LaBonte to the editors of a California newspaper in response to an article written by Ernie Lujan who suggests we should tear down the Statue of Liberty because the immigrants of today aren’t being treated the same as those who passed through Ellis Island and other ports of entry in past decades. The paper never printed this response, so her husband sent it out via the internet.

Here it is as I received it by e-mail.

The Statue of Liberty

Maybe we should turn to our history books and point out to people like Mr. Lujan why today's American is not willing to accept this new kind of immigrant any longer. Back in 1900 when there was a rush from all areas of Europe to come to the United States, people had to get off a ship and stand in a long line in New York and be documented.

Some would even get down on their hands and knees and kiss the ground. They made a pledge to uphold the laws and support their new country in good and bad times. They made learning English a primary rule in their new American households and some even changed their names to blend in with their new home.

They had waved goodbye to their birth place to give their children a new life and did everything in their power to help their children assimilate into one culture. Nothing was handed to them. No free lunches, no welfare, no labor laws to protect them. All they had were the skills and craftsmanship they had brought with them to trade for a future of prosperity.

Most of their children came of age when World War II broke out. My father fought alongside men whose parents had come straight over from Germany, Italy, France and Japan. None of these 1st generation Americans ever gave any thought about what country their parents had come from. They were Americans fighting Hitler, Mussolini and the Emperor of Japan. They were defending the United States of America as one people.

When we liberated France, no one in those villages were looking for the French American, the German American or the Irish American. The people of France saw only Americans. And we carried one flag that represented one country. Not one of those immigrant sons would have thought about picking up another country's flag and waving it to represent who they were. It would have been a disgrace to their parents who had sacrificed so much to be here. These immigrants truly knew what it meant to be an American. They stirred the melting pot into one red, white and blue bowl.

And here we are with a new kind of immigrant who wants the same rights and privileges. Only they want to achieve it by playing with a different set of rules, one that includes the entitlement card and a guarantee of being faithful to their mother country.

I'm sorry, that's not what being an American is all about. I believe that the immigrants who landed on Ellis Island in the early 1900's deserve better than that for all the toil, hard work and sacrifice in raising future generations to create a land that has become a beacon for those legally searching for a better life. I think they would be appalled that they are being used as an example by those waving foreign country flags.

And for that suggestion about taking down the Statue of Liberty, it happens to mean a lot to the citizens who are voting on the immigration bill. I wouldn't start talking about dismantling the United States just yet.

And that's a good explanation of why previous generations of immigrants were welcomed, to one degree or other, while some of the current immigrants — especially the illegal aliens — are not.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Your Democrat Congressmen in Action

In Washington DC today

Total truth. No comment is necessary, but I'll add a comment anyway:

It's very sad to see an icon of the civil rights movemeent attempting to deprive people of their civil rights and leading a demonstration in support of that attempt. He and his fellow demonstrators should be ashamed of themselves.

Update: Having gotten a lot of publicity, having promised to stay till they get a vote (on a bill that couldn't even pass in its first committee), and having engorged themselves on a banquet of food brought in,

these House Democrats have now declared their demonstration over.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

If We Were Violent ...

Total truth. No comment necessary.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Do Background Checks Work?

No they don't and yes they do! Both!! Both answers come from the same speech by President Barack Obama:

This just about sums it up. And yes, this is what he said.

And do you notice? The background checks he says won't work are based on information from our own country, and the background checks he claims will work are based entirely on information from places with no functioning government to collect and report it. I guess President Obama et al. put their faith in Middle East "information" but not in our own country & system and the data they produce.

Friday, June 17, 2016

An Improved Background Check

Liberals and the Left have been insisting we need an improved background check to prevent incidents like happened in San Bernardino and Orlando. Here's one man's suggestion.

A No-Brainer of a Question

This should be a no-brainer of a question, including for all the anti-gun folks and gun-grabbing socialists/liberals/communists. But somehow it isn't.

Is that stupidity or hypocrisy?

Friday, May 20, 2016

Obama Transgender Decree

The Obama White House, along with President Barack Obama's puppet "Justice" and "Education" Departments, has issued a decree that all schools must allow anyone to use the bathroom and locker room of whatever gender they self-identify with on a given day.

This is simply stupid — as everyone with even half a brain knows. One part of this is that "self-identification" — "transgender" or otherwise — is subject to huge amounts of abuse. Here's a small example

But there's more. One piece is the role of political correctness in enabling mental illness and fraud.

So this guy walks into an OB/GYN clinic and demands a gynecological exam. The doctor, a woman, takes one look at him and says, "That won't work. You're a man." The man, however, "self identifies" as a woman and blasts the doctor for being a bigot. "I self identify as a woman," he says. "And I demand to be treated as a woman, or I'll call my civil rights lawyer."

The doctor, not wanting to be called a bigot, proceeds to give the man a fake gynecological exam, playing into his delusional distortions about his own biology and arguably worsening his mental disconnect with his physical self.

This is what transgenderism and "biological subjectivism" has come to in America today... a politically correct demand that everyone agree to participate in the mental distortions of a few individuals who suffer from a psychological disconnect from their biological realities. Such ideologies stand in complete contradiction to the known science on biology and physical reality, and sadly, this mental distortion is now being thrust onto children as part of a sick, demented political agenda to appease the most lunatic fringe elements of the political spectrum. [emphasis in the original}

But it's even worse than that. Let's start with the fact that news stories have cited "transgender" students as young as 3 years old. To think that kids that young have any thoughts at all about sex or gender is just dumb. The only way they would is if those thoughts come from their parents. And that looks like child abuse, causing mental illness in children.

It's not just me saying so. The American College of Pediatricians has reached the same conclusion. Their key findings:

  1. Sex is immutable.
  2. Gender is a social construct.
  3. One's belief they are something they are not is, at best, confused thinking.
  4. Nearly all "transgenders" return to their biological sex. Therefore,
  5. "Conditioning children into believing that a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse."
This means the White House, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Education — through their order to all schools from kindergartens through colleges — are objectively promoting child abuse and fraud, all in support of their left-wing extremist ideology.

It's time for a major change. The nation needs to get rid of these ideologues. Now.

UPDATE: This (below) is an excellent addition to this discussion.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Off the Wall

I couldn't believe it when I saw this image.

Carbon-free sugar?!? Really?!?

This also struck me as truly strange. Just another facet of "politics is strange".

There are also a couple of political/religious questions:

  • Why is it that our children can’t read a Bible in school, but they can in prison? I would also question why the Bible seems to be off limits, but the Koran is not.
  • Why do I have to swear on the Bible in court when the Ten Commandments cannot be displayed outside? It's just another piece of major governmental hypocrisy.

And then there's this. Is it part of the "War on Women"?

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Monday, May 9, 2016

Teddy Roosevelt on Immigrants

Theodore Roosevelt's ideas on Immigrants and being an American in 1907

'In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American. .. .There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag. We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language. And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.'
      — Theodore Roosevelt, 1907

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Some Things I Find Interesting

Here are some images I find interesting. First is a proposal for our southern (and western) border.

These are just a little off the wall. But good.

As noted before, dihydrogen monoxide (DHMO) is a pretty dangerous chemical.

Here's an interesting question.

And then, inevitably for this year, there's politics. I think I agree with this guy.

Here are a couple of examples from this year's campaign.

And this one is good, no matter how you slice it.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

LBJ Changes His Mind on the Civil Rights Act

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been introduced by the Republicans in the 1950s, but had been decisively voted down by the Democrats. Same thing for anti-lynching legislation. So why did LBJ change his mind in 1964 — and get enough Democrats to go along with the Republicans to get it passed? LBJ explained in his own comments:

These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days and that’s a problem for us since they’ve got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we’ve got to do something about this, we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference. For if we don’t move at all, then their allies will line up against us and there’ll be no way of stopping them, we’ll lose the filibuster and there’ll be no way of putting a brake on all sorts of wild legislation. It’ll be Reconstruction all over again.
So it should be no surprise that with all the "help" provided by the Democrats, blacks and the poor are worse off than ever. A commenter on this notes "Given the ultra-racist history of the Democrat party, it is simply impossible for me to believe that no one in the party understood this would happen. This was done on purpose and by design. Black Americans were solidly Republican before LBJ's administration." And I would note that included that famous Republican, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King.

A Blooper

The Albuquerque Journal had a definite blooper — a big error — on page A3 of their print edition of Wednesday, May 4. The headline and subhead read

GOP primary in NM loses luster
Cruz withdrawal eliminates contest

In the later part of the story there's a paragraph that begins "On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Trump will continue ...."

That's a pretty big blooper for a political writer to make!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Just Cute

No comment is necessary.

Economic Ignorance

Governments don't understand economics. That is clear. Or maybe it's just that governments don't care. All they worry about is their budget numbers, without caring caring about the impacts of budgetary decisions. But those impacts make a big difference to those affected by the changes. This is just one example of how.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Protesters Jump the Shark

It seems to me that recent protesters really have little or nothing to protest about. But, of course, they want to protest anyway. Just because — and because they're getting riled up by provocateurs. Here's part of what Victor Davis Hanson had to say about this today:

The country owes about $20 trillion in debt. It will soon not be able to meet its pension and Social Security obligations. After slashing the military budget and raising income-tax rates, the United States is still running unsustainable annual deficits. The world abroad is becoming dangerously chaotic.

Instead of protesting those existential crises, students cry over Halloween costumes, deride free speech as hate speech, devour their own liberal administrators, and dismiss $100 million payoffs as too little.

Guess they're just spoiled children. I hope they eventually grow up.