Category Archives: Politics

Half Time?

I recently watched the State of the Union address. I am not going to review it here, but it made me think about how far we have come as a nation in the past two years.

  • The economy is doing markedly better by every metric that matters.
  • Unemployment is at historic all-time lows, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • We have not become embroiled in any new foreign wars.
  • ISIS has been reduced to a fraction of its former size and influence.
  • We have new trade agreements with Canada, Mexico, China and other nations.
  • We no longer negotiate with terrorists, which is as is should be.
  • We have withdrawn from the idiotic Paris Climate Accords, which would have placed us at a grave disadvantage on us and  would have handed a competitive advantage to developing nations like India and China.
  • The tax cut bill has left us all slightly better off. For some obscure reason, the Democrats are incensed at this.
  • Thousands of jobs that were fleeing the country have returned, and foreign business are moving here.
  • Businesses are hiring, as is evidenced by the “Now Hiring” signs that are popping up everywhere.
  • He fulfilled the twenty-year-old promise to move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Almost three years ago, I forecasted that Donald Trump would win the election. After two years in office, I can think of only two election promises that he hasn’t kept:

  1. The repeal of Obamacare. This is partly thanks to John McCain, and partly due to the fact that that Congress could not come up with a  better substitute. This is understandable, as Prang’s Law of freebies™ states “Once someone becomes accustomed to getting something for free, it is human nature to fight tooth and nail to keep that freebie.
  2. Securing the Border (“Building the Wall”). The same Democrats who repeatedly voted for a secure border fence in the past are stubbornly refusing to fund this effort. Because Trump.

To be fair, he tried as best he could to keep both of those promise, but both of those promises require the agreement of Congress to be kept. I cannot hold that against the President.

While I may not necessarily agree with everything that the President says or tweets, the insane behavior of the left has provided us all with a level of political entertainment that we have never seen. “Trump Derangement Syndrome” is a real and pernicious problem.

After watching the State of the Union address, I am sure of one thing:

This is not Half-Time; it is the end of the First Quarter

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Why Jussie Smollett is a liar

I have been following this narrative for a while. Here are my initial thoughts when the story broke.

Initial Behavioral Inconsistencies

  • He claims to have fought off two attackers but does not have injuries consistent with a vicious attack. What happened?
  • He claims that the assailants said “This is MAGA country”. He subsequently denied saying this. In which universe is Chicago “MAGA Country”?
  • He claims to have fought off two attackers with tuna sandwich in one hand and a phone in the other. How did he do this?
  • He had his phone with him, but did not call the police until forty minutes later, after he got home. Why did he wait for so long to report a crime?
  • He finally called the police about twenty minutes later, after he got home. Why so long? Why didn’t he call the cops on the spot?
  • He claims that the attackers placed a “noose” around his neck, but was still “wearing” it when the police arrived. Why would he keep it on?

Meeting the police

  • Smollett claimed that he was on the phone with his manager when the attack occurred… at 2AM?
  • …but when asked for his phone, he didn’t turn it over immediately. When he finally did, some of the phone numbers had been “redacted”, ostensibly in order to protect the privacy of contacts and people who are not relevant to the attack. Why do you think that you get to decide what evidence is and is not “relevant”?

*Sigh*, first Cavanaugh, now this. Given the total lack of evidence and questionable behavior of the alleged victim, I am convinced that Jussie Smollet is a liar.

Time will tell.

Be Unkind

I have been a member of Stack Overflow for nearly six years. It is a truly great resource for solving IT technical problems.

Recently they announced a change in their Code of Conduct. Whenever I see a change in the rules, I always ask myself “Why?”. I checked it out, and the sub-heading grabbed my attention:

The word “Kindness” jumped off the page. This is a site for people with knowledge to share and solve technical problems. Let’s look at the examples that they gave:

Looking at the “correct” versions, they are far more wordy and verbose than their terse, brief versions. So why the obsession with Kindness? Then the answer hit me:

Girls

The “correct” answers on the right are the kind of flowery, fluffy, unnecessarily verbose replies that are written by girls. I have found that when it comes to writing assignments, women tend to write a lot more than men, and they concentrate a lot more on presentation, while men are generally more terse and concise.

Men are (or should be) raised to be as impervious as possible to insult; “sticks and stones”, and all that. We insult each other to motivate each other. We rag on each other to toughen each other up. No less than an authority than the bible says: “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another“. In another place, it says: “The wounds of a friend are to be trusted“. We live in a harsh reality, but that’s just the way it is.

Girls, on the other hand, operate by a different set of rules. They are highly susceptible to shaming language, and as a result are often far more easily offended. Women say sexist things all the time, such as “All men are dogs“, and we are encouraged to suck it up – and we do. But try saying something like “All women are…” in today’s corporate culture, and you may very well find yourself both unemployed and unemployable. So much for “Equality”.

As a counterpoint, let me take you back to the last century, to an article written by one Eric S Raymond, called “How To Ask Questions The Smart Way“, which deals with precisely this subject:

What we are, unapologetically, is hostile to people who seem to be unwilling to think or to do their own homework before asking questions. People like that are time sinks — they take without giving back, and they waste time we could have spent on another question more interesting and another person more worthy of an answer.

We’re (largely) volunteers. We take time out of busy lives to answer questions, and at times we’re overwhelmed with them. So we filter ruthlessly. In particular, we throw away questions from people who appear to be losers in order to spend our question-answering time more efficiently, on winners.

If you find this attitude obnoxious, condescending, or arrogant, check your assumptions. We’re not asking you to genuflect to us — in fact, most of us would love nothing more than to deal with you as an equal and welcome you into our culture, if you put in the effort required to make that possible. But it’s simply not efficient for us to try to help people who are not willing to help themselves. It’s OK to be ignorant; it’s not OK to play stupid.

So, while it isn’t necessary to already be technically competent to get attention from us, it is necessary to demonstrate the kind of attitude that leads to competence — alert, thoughtful, observant, willing to be an active partner in developing a solution. If you can’t live with this sort of discrimination, we suggest you pay somebody for a commercial support contract instead of asking hackers to personally donate help to you.

Returning to StackOverflow, it is obvious to me that this rule change was put into place for one purpose and one purpose only: to make the site more “female friendly”. The unintended consequence of this change is that the vast majority of contributors to the site will now have to write far more than they need to in order to jump through linguistic hoops to make sure that those with frail constitutions are not offended. Faced with the extra effort, many will simply not bother to respond.This is not a call for unnecessary cruelty; I am all for courtesy, and there are some things that one simply does not say in public conversation. But mandating speech, requiring us to say certain things, is not the way to go about solving this problems.

Ladies, if you are that easily offended, perhaps the Internet is not the place for you.

Ten things that you didn’t know about Roe v Wade

Source: Pixabay

  1. “Jane Roe” was no angel: The woman in the case, Norma Corvey, had been in and out of prison and had already had two children before she was twenty. She was, in her own words “unemployable and depressed”, and when she got pregnant for the third time, she didn’t want the child.
  2. By hook or by crook: At the time, the law in Texas prohibited abortions. She was advised by friends to file a false rape accusation, which she did. The accusation was (rightly) dismissed because she didn’t report the rape to the police at the time. When that didn’t work, she tried to get an illegal abortion, only to find that the clinics near her had been closed down by law enforcement. In desperation, she found a pair of female lawyers who took the case all the way to the Supreme Court.
  3. The case was moot: Norma never had an abortion.The child who triggered the case was put up for adoption.
  4. Roe v Wade was never about “Women’s rights”: The case was heard by the Supreme Court as a privacy issue, not as an abortion issue. The case was fought primarily as a right for physicians to practice medicine freely and with a minimum of federal oversight
  5. The right to life is important: In its ruling, The Supreme Court found that the state’s duty to protect life outweighed the mother’s privacy rights at the point where the fetus was viable. In the 70s, viability was about six months. Today it is abut four. When artificial womb technology becomes available, that will effectively drop to zero, at which point viability will, at least theoretically, trump abortion.
  6. The case was not fought on the morality of abortion: One of the arguments was whether consent to sex equaled consent to parenthood. The court rightly found no such equality.
  7. The trimester model: A woman had the right to an abortion during the first trimester. During the third Trimester, the fetus was viable, and abortion would therefore be murder. the “trimester model” was dismantled in subsequent Supreme Court cases.
  8. It is Constitutional. Sort of…: In its majority finding, The Court deemed abortion a fundamental right under the United States Constitution… even though there is nothing in the constitution that deals directly with the matter. Legitimizing abortion is “a matter of privacy” is a joke, as it does not supersede the “right to life” enshrined in the Declaration of Independence.
  9. Roe V Wade is a bad law: Since the case was settled, many Supreme Court justices have said that Roe v Wade was a bad decision. A prime example was none other than Ruth Bader Ginsberg https://www.law.uchicago.edu/news/justice-ruth-bader-ginsburg-offers-critique-roe-v-wade-during-law-school-visit
    Jane Roe is anti-abortion:
  10. Roe Repented: Norma Corvey subsequently regretted her actions and the landmark case which bears her name. She went on to become a pro-life advocate. Before she died, she created a website called www.endroe.org.

A digital book-burning

I recently meandered across a story called “Alex Jones will never abandon deranged propaganda, that’s why Twitter needs to ban him“. As is often the case for opinion pieces, comments to the piece were neither requested nor required. So here we go…


If untruthfulness was the basis of censorship, half of the liberal media would be in jail. Sadly, there are no laws in this country against mendacious libel as there are in the United Kingdom

Every week the tabloids disgorge a fresh cargo of sex, lies and fanciful tales at supermarket checkouts throughout the land, and nobody seems to get upset. While I voted for Trump in the last election (and I called it five months out) I am not a fan of Alex Jones. I find him to be a blowhard. I have never been a fan of either Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck, though I have agreed with some of their ideas, principles and positions. By the same token, I find Michael Moore to be a delusional blob of feel-good socialism. But they all have every right to speak, write, make movies, and do their thing. And I would oppose any attempt to censor or silence any of them.

Last time I looked, Ignorance wasn’t a crime. If it were, the Bernie-Sanders socialists would be up on charges for failure to understand basic mathematics.

Close but no Cigar, bucko. While you are absolutely correct in saying that Twitter/Google/FakesBook et al are private organizations who can do as they please, that is not the point. The point is that these organizations are blatantly practicing partisan politics while pretending to be politically neutral. To quote Judge Judy Scheindlin: “Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining”

Another true-but-disingenuous statement. First up, the left increasingly uses “Hate” as a catch-all phrase for “criticism that I don’t like“, in the same way that they use Alt-Right to describe “someone I want to describe as a Nazi/Fascist/Racist/White supremacist, but can’t use those terms without looking like an intellectually dishonest idiot“. Most sensible people define “Hate speech” as something along the lines of “Any speech that calls for harm to another person”. By this definition, Maxine Waters’ call to harass Trump’s Staff in public is hate speech, as are the consistent calls to assassinate President Trump. Kathy Griffin’s infamous photo stunt may be a form of hate speech. No liberal media outrage in either case. Liberals, your political slip is showing.
Secondly, the NFL’s decision to ban players from any kind of political grandstanding is right and reasonable; the players are paid to play ball, and the League, who pays their salaries, can do as they please. If players want to play politics, they are more than welcome to do so on their own time. If I walk into a Starbucks wearing a MAGA hat, I should be treated the same way as anyone else. However, if I work there, my employers have the right to require me to remove it or leave. The bottom like here is the same: Don’t mix politics and business.

There’s the H-word again. Whenever you see that word, substitute “WAAAAH! SOMEBODY SAID SOMETHING I DIDN’T LIKE!” Sunlight is the best disinfectant. Let them speak, and let the chips fall where they may.

If there’s one thing that the last few Administrations have taught us, it is that a power that is given to one president is inherited by the next one. That which is created by the stroke of a pen can be destroyed by the stroke of a pen. The use of censorship to silence your opposition may one day blow up in your face.


He’s hitting all the buzzwords here. These people use cellphones and Postal serviced to communicate. Want to ban those as well? And what about the ISIS Recruiters on Social Media, are they being shut down with the same alacrity? Why is “Kill all white men” perfectly acceptable speech, but substituting the word “Black” is somehow racist?

This is just plain dishonest. Is the Post Office answerable for letter-bombs? Is the phone system legally responsible for wire fraud? Of course not. Is Facebook responsible for every DuckFace Selfie? So why is Twitter being held responsible for every tweet? And what, pray tell, is “real fake news”?


I am a firm believer in free speech, as long as it does not infringe upon anyone else’s rights. But that includes speech that I may disagree with. No one has a right to not be offended or outraged. If I don’t like it, I can spend my time, attention, and dollars elsewhere. Twitter has a competitor — Gab.Ai — and a lot of Conservatives, both reasonable and crazy – have moved there.

Bottom Line: The author is trying to suggest that Twitter can and should be some kind of digital safe space. Even if that were feasible, it would be an extremely bad idea.

Rebirth of a Nation

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXPhLXuJ90I

  • What if I told you that Donald Trump was not a Nazi?
  • What if I told you that Republicans are not Fascists?
  • What if I told you that Fascism came, not from the right, but from the left, and always has?
  • What if I told you that the Ku Klux Klan was originally the paramilitary arm of the Democratic Party?
  • What if I told you that,before they became enemies, Adolf Hitler admired President Roosevelt’s Progressive policies, and considered him to be “One of us”?
  • What if I told you that the Nazi Nuremberg laws, which turned the Jews into second-class citizens were based on the Jim Crow laws created and passed by Southern Democrats?

I’m not going to tell you any of those things. I leave that to Dinesh D’Souza, who lays out his case in this engaging film, which I watched a few days ago.

The movie starts with a depiction of Hitler’s last moments in a German Bunker, before answering the question “What is a Nazi?” (Answer: “The German National Socialist Worker’s Party“), defining Fascism (State control and regulation of the private sector), and examining the political and ideological similarities between Hitler, Mussolini and Franklin D Roosevelt.

The movie goes on to examine the life and times of a Republican President who was so controversial and so incensed Democrats that they were openly calling for his assassination and were willing to divide the nation and go to war to bring him down. Sound familiar?

It should… it was Abraham Lincoln.

D’Souza draws parallels between Presidents Lincoln and Trump that are sure to warm the hearts of liberals everywhere.

But don’t take my word for it. Watch the movie. Hear out his claims, and disprove them if you can.

Roe V Wade… for men?

There is a lot of noise coming from the “Loony Left” that President Trump is bent on “Reversing Roe v Wade”. As with so much that comes from the liberal media, this is a complete red herring; he has said no such thing, and there is absolutely no evidence to support this. (Returning abortion decisions to the states is not repeal, it is simply following the constitution). Nor would it be easy; a “settled law” Supreme Court case cannot easily be reversed by Executive Order, the only thing that can stand against it is legislation – and that has to come from Congress.

This got me thinking… instead of reversing Roe v Wade, why not expand it? We live in an age of equality, so why not expand Roe v. Wade to apply to men as well?

Right now you are thinking that the Wizard has lost his marbles. “Men can’t get pregnant, so how can abortion be an issue?” And you would be right, except for one thing: Roe v Wade was not about abortion. That was the practical upshot, to be sure, but the plaintiffs did not fight the case on the morality or merits of abortion-on-demand; they would have lost that argument. Instead, the case hinged on one simple question:

“Is consent to sex consent to parenthood?”

The court, quite rightly, said no, and that was how the case was won. A woman cannot be forced to have a child against her will. So far so good. But by the same token, if a man doesn’t want a child, why should he be forced to pay for it?

The sad fact is that an increasing number of women are mis-using their fertility as a way to collect dollars from wealthy, desirable men. And they are getting it. Some women are getting pregnant for famous sports starts and then taking them to court, often for ridiculous sums. This practice needs to stop.

A few simple changes to the law are all that is needed to fix this:

  • No child support for children born out of wedlock with the father.
  • Compulsory paternity testing at birth.
  • Standardized or itemized child support costs.

Most men would look at that list and find it to be fundamentally just. Many women will consider it fundamentally unjust. But a woman who is pregnant has three ways to avoid the burden of parenthood; abortion, adoption or legal abandonment. Men have none. Even men who are the victims of statutory rape by an adult woman are still on the hook for eighteen years of child support if she gets pregnant. This has to change, otherwise men will continue to disengage.

…or, we can just keep doing what we are doing and hoping for a different result. Good luck with that.

Spot the Racist

Loses job, series cancelled

*crickets*

If one is racism, how is the other one not?

Six of the best

Six Quick and Easy Reforms to Lower the Cost of Healthcare

  1. Make all medically-necessary health expenses fully tax-deductible: Abolish the 10% AGI requirement. Do away with Health Tax Shelters such as FSAs and HSAs. Who loses: the Government and the banks. Who wins: Everybody else.
  2. Get rid of “sweetheart deals” that benefit only Insurance companies: All this “in-network” and “out of network” rubbish need to stop. Once upon a time, insured people paid full price so that the uninsured could get healthcare at zero or low cost. Then the Insurance Companies made a grab for the money that was left on the table. Providers were offered lower, fixed rates with insurance companies. Insurance companies need to pay the same as everybody else. Who loses: Insurance companies. Who wins: Everybody else.
  3. Allow providers to negotiate discounts: Under current Medicare Law, it is illegal for a Provider to offer you a discount. Who loses: The Government and Insurance companies. Who wins: Everybody else.
  4. Require Insurance companies to settle bills immediately: Medical care is the only area where you have no idea what it will cost you until you get a bill, weeks, often months, later. When you go to the pharmacy, you know how much your drugs will cost before you leave. A similar system needs to be implemented for medical care. Who loses: Insurance companies Who wins: Everybody else.
  5. Menu Pricing: Customers have a right to know the cost wherever possible, and shop around if necessary. Who loses: Doctors. Who wins: Everybody else.
  6. Discourage frivolous malpractice lawsuits. The way things stand, Doctors have to pay thousands of dollars a month. That pushes up the cost for everyone. Who loses: Lawyers and folks who want to sue for malpractice. Who wins: Everybody else.

Strike! And be damned.

This just in from the Trump-got-elected-and-I-can’t-stop-crying department.

I recently ran across the announcement for a “women’s strike”, scheduled for March 8th. I must confess that I found this highly amusing for several reasons.

  • The strike was organized by the same folks who organized the women’s marches.
  • As best I understand, the women’s marches were originally supposed to be a global celebration of Queen Hillary’s Coronation Inauguration. Once the unthinkable happened and – shock horror –Donald Trump won, the organizers were unable to get their money back, so like sore losers, they organized the women’s march.
  • If those marches had any effect, I have yet to notice it. The joke that Trump got more fat women walking in a week than Michell Obama could do in eight years is just delicious schadenfreude.
  • A large number of white women voted for Trump? Why? Because is a man. In a world where masculinity is denigrated and maligned by feminism, the culture and the media, a strong, confident, powerful man who works hard, goes after what he wants, and has wooed and wedded some of the most beautiful women in the world is a rare and desirable man.
  • Non-college-educated folks turned out to vote for Trump. Some people (i.e., the Media) trumpet this as “only rednecks who live in flyover states would be so stupid as to vote for Trump” (also known as the “you-must-be-stupid” theory). Perhaps this is true, but it is also true that America’s colleges have become hotbeds of Socialists thinking and, in some cases, indoctrination. It would be interesting to slice this by age; how did college-educated people over 40 vote?

This got me to thinking: what would happen if all of the women simply failed to show up for work?

The first thought that came to mind was a quote from Deep Thought: “And whom would that inconvenience?” What are the commonest career choices for women?

According to the Department of Labor, the commonest choices are secretarial, teaching and nursing.

  • Of those three, the lack of nurses would hurt the most. no doubt about it, people would die… until the hospitals were able to replace them with junior doctors, orderlies and other volunteers.
  • The lack of teachers would not hurt all that much. After all, mommy would be home, and the kids would no doubt be disconsolate to not have to go to school.
  • I’m not sure about the loss of secretaries and clerical assistants. A significant number of those are in Government, and a significant number of those are paper-pushing functionaries. I suspect that in the short run, nobody would notice their absence. In the long term, their employers will either discover new efficiencies that get the job done, or discover that they can get along just fine without you. And fewer Government Employees means lower taxes – double-win!

I then followed that train of thought to its logical conclusion: “what would happen if the men went on strike?

  • No police/military/National Guard: No law enforcement or military? Every man for himself? The thugs would have a field day. If you want to know that they would look like, look no further than the Louisiana Superdome in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina: “Inside the Superdome, things were descending further into hell. The air smelled toxic. People had broken up into factions by race, separating into small groups throughout the building… A few of these groups wandered the concourse, stealing food and attacking anyone who stood up to them….A man had been caught sexually assaulting a young girl. Reports of other rapes were widespread.”  Without law enforcement, women lacking the protection of a man would be at risk.
  • No fire services: If your house burns down, tough.
  • No engineers: Remember those pencil-necked Geeks you made fun of in school? They are now the guys who keep our society running. And the overwhelming majority of the engineers who keep our water, power, communication and sanitation systems operational are male. How long would it be before the power went out? How would all of those smart-phone-addicted women survive when their iPhones ran out of power?
  • No plumbers/heating/Air-conditioning/electricians/mechanics: Good luck when your stuff breaks down.
  • No roofers/builders.construction workers: Nothing gets built either.
  • No truck drivers: Think about this: no food deliveries to our major cities. Stores would run out of food in about three days (the normal gap between deliveries), and then the food riots will start.

Basically, without men, nothing gets built, fixed, designed, manufactured, shipped, transported or defended. And they get no recognition for this.

So go ahead with your “women’s strike” Personally, I doubt that you will get anywhere near the turnout that you expect – the women’s protesters are looking even more deranged than the Tea Party at it’s worst moments. I doubt that anyone besides the media will even notice. Life will go on without you. And some of you will likely get fired. But will that be enough for you to realized that you might be wrong? I doubt it.

I will end with the words of Churchill:

“Do your worst, and we will do our best“.