Attention, whoever in the White House monitors this site. Google ‘Lyndon Johnson micromanagement Vietnam.’Google that RIGHT NOW.From Political Wire:“The U.S. military campaign against Islamic militants in Syria is being designed to allow President Obama to exert a high degree of personal control over the campaign, going so far as to require that the military obtain presidential sign-off for any strike in Syrian territory,” the Wall Street Journal reports.To expand on something I said on Twitter earlier today: considering just how much the Left loves to describe every military action in terms of Vietnam, you would think that more of them would actually have a basic familiarity with the war, its origins, and how we fought it.
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Well this is going to go just great. [Link]
Friday, August 29, 2014
Too busy working on his golf game. [Link]
Board members and investors will want to know what you are doing to try and get the waters calm. If you don’t take definitive action, the startup will die or the CEO gets fired.Same goes for the President of the United States. When the world is crashing around you, that’s not an answer. The time to answer the question with, “We don’t have a strategy yet.” was a year ago.
- What is the US strategy for Russia? They are invading Ukraine and putting pressure on Poland, and Germany.
- What is the US strategy for Syria? A civil war has raged for over a year.
- What is the US strategy for Israel? Hamas has built tunnels and is launching rockets daily.
- What is the US strategy for ISIS? A new terror organization that is well funded and organized is beheading all kinds of people in a Game of Thrones march through the desert to set up a radical muslim caliphate. By the way, 16% of France agrees with ISIS.
- What is the US strategy for North Korea? Always a tense pressure point on the 43rd parallel.
- What is the US strategy for China? Last week, a Chinese fighter jet in a show of strength Top Gun barrel rolled a US patrol plane. They aren’t flexing their muscles for show. China has some serious underlying economic hurt.
- There is a massive banking crisis brewing in Europe, what’s the US strategy?Supposedly, with Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, we had an A team working on these problems. She has pretty much screwed the pooch and I would hate to see how badly she could do as President. At the same time, where has Obama been? It’s not just that he is golfing, but goes deeper than that. It’s not political party differences either, because in a time of crisis, elections shouldn’t matter. CEO’s and Presidents make decisions for the good of the country; not minutiae or teacher’s pets.
Thursday, August 28, 2014
I'm sure it is just a misunderstanding. [Link]
Yeah, I don't believe it either.
I'm the response from President Obama will be decisive and strong.
Yeah, I don't believe it either.
Monday, August 25, 2014
He was going to replace drunken Democrat DA with sober Democrat. [Link]
This should shock nobody.Gov. Rick Perry personally called a well-known Austin Democrat to discuss her interest in replacing Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg days before the public learned Perry was threatening to withhold state funding from Lehmberg’s office unless she resigned.Austin defense attorney Mindy Montford, who previously ran as a Democratic candidate for state district judge and district attorney in Travis County, confirmed her conversation with Perry — which took place in early June 2013, to the American-Statesman and KVUE-TV on Sunday.It should, however, embarrass the excrement of every progressive hyper-partisan who has been using this non-scandal as bitter masturbation fodder. You see, in the realworld smart politicians know that if you’re trying to remove somebody for, say, being a drunken belligerent trying to use her authority to get out of trouble, and it’s somebody who is not in your party, then you can avoid a lot of agitation by simply replacing said drunken would-be bully with somebody else from the same party. This is such an obvious point – and something that both Democrats and Republicans do all the time – that you almost have to wonder why the Activist Left apparently didn’t even think that Rick Perry would act accordingly.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
This will all be over quicker if you just submit. [Link]
Even though it might sound harsh and impolitic, here is the bottom line: if you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you. Don’t argue with me, don’t call me names, don’t tell me that I can’t stop you, don’t say I’m a racist pig, don’t threaten that you’ll sue me and take away my badge. Don’t scream at me that you pay my salary, and don’t even think of aggressively walking towards me. Most field stops are complete in minutes. How difficult is it to cooperate for that long?
Monday, August 18, 2014
Violence has been going down, so why do we need militarized police? [Link]
Over the past generation or so, we’ve militarized our police to protect a public that has broadly become less and less violent.It all starts back in 1990, a time when the country found itself with less demand for military equipment abroad and new use for it back home. Within our shores, the drug wars were escalating; gang violence was surging; and sociologists were warning of sociopathic child “superpredators.” At the same time, the military was starting to shrink as the Cold War ended. Put two and two together and you get the 1033 program, which transferred assets from the military to the police. (Here’s a capsule history.)A bigger flush of money and equipment followed in the wake of the September 11 attacks, the Times reports, when the federal government equipped local police outfits to be the front line of the Global War on Terror:Department of Homeland Security grant money paid for the $360,000 Bearcat armored truck on patrol in Ferguson, said Nick Gragnani, executive director of St. Louis Area Regional Response System, which administers such grants for the St. Louis area.Since 2003, the group has spent $9.4 million on equipment for the police in St. Louis County. That includes $3.6 million for two helicopters, plus the Bearcat, other vehicles and night vision equipment. Most of the body armor worn by officers responding to the Ferguson protests was paid for with federal money, Mr. Gragnani said.“The focus is terrorism, but it’s allowed to do a crossover for other types of responses,” he said. “It’s for any type of civil unrest. We went by the grant guidance. There was no restriction put on that by the federal government.”But here’s the thing. Since 1990, according to Department of Justice statistics, the United States has become a vastly safer place, at least in terms of violent crime. (Drug crime follows somewhat different trends, though drug use has been dropping over the same time period.) The number of murders dropped to 14,827 in 2012 from 23,438 in 1990. The number of rapes has plummeted to 84,376 from 102,555. The number of robberies, motor-vehicle thefts, assaults — all have seen similarly large declines. And the number of incidents has dropped even though the country has grown.
Women make up 70 percent ofAlgeria’s lawyers and 60 percent of its judges. Women dominate medicine. Increasingly, women contribute more to household income than men. Sixty percent of university students are women, university researchers say.In a region where women have a decidedly low public profile, Algerian women are visible everywhere. They are starting to drive buses and taxicabs. They pump gas and wait on tables.Although men still hold all of the formal levers of power and women still make up only 20 percent of the work force, that is more than twice their share a generation ago, and they seem to be taking over the machinery of state as well.“If such a trend continues,” said Daho Djerbal, editor and publisher of Naqd, a magazine of social criticism and analysis, “we will see a new phenomenon where our public administration will also be controlled by women.”The change seems to have sneaked up on Algerians, who for years have focused more on the struggle between a governing party trying to stay in power and Islamists trying to take that power.Those who study the region say they are taken aback by the data but suggest that an explanation may lie in the educational system and the labor market.University studies are no longer viewed as a credible route toward a career or economic well-being, and so men may well opt out and try to find work or to simply leave the country, suggested Hugh Roberts, a historian and the North Africa project director of the International Crisis Group.But for women, he added, university studies get them out of the house and allow them to position themselves better in society. “The dividend may be social rather than in terms of career,” he said.This generation of Algerian women has navigated a path between the secular state and the pull of extremist Islam, the two poles of the national crisis of recent years.The women are more religious than previous generations, and more modern, sociologists here said. Women cover their heads and drape their bodies with traditional Islamic coverings. They pray. They go to the mosque — and they work, often alongside men, once considered taboo.Sociologists and many working women say that by adopting religion and wearing the Islamic head covering called the hijab, women here have in effect freed themselves from moral judgments and restrictions imposed by men. Uncovered women are rarely seen on the street late at night, but covered women can be seen strolling the city after attending the evening prayer at a mosque.
The evidence does not match the witness stories. [Link]
With that, the police still handled the aftermath poorly, escalating tensions rather than defusing them.Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager who was killed by a police officer, sparking protests around the nation, was shot at least six times, including twice in the head, a preliminary private autopsy performed on Sunday found.One of the bullets entered the top of Mr. Brown’s skull, suggesting his head was bent forward when it struck him and caused a fatal injury, according to Dr. Michael M. Baden, the former chief medical examiner for the City of New York, who flew to Missouri on Sunday at the family’s request to conduct the separate autopsy. It was likely the last of bullets to hit him, he said.Mr. Brown, 18, was also shot four times in the right arm, he said, adding that all the bullets were fired into his front.
Friday, August 15, 2014
It is good for you, even if they don't want to admit it. [Link]
So the more you drink—up to two drinks a day for woman, and four for men—the less likely you are to die. You may have heard that before, and you may have heard it doubted. But the consensus of the science is overwhelming: It is true.Although I dispute many of the caveats offered against the life-saving benefits of alcohol, I will endorse two. First, these outcome data do not apply to women with the “breast-cancer gene” mutations (BRCA 1 or 2) or a first-degree (mother, sister) relation who has had breast cancer, for whom alcohol consumption is far riskier. Second, drinking 10 drinks Friday and Saturday nights does not convey the benefits of two or three drinks daily, even though your weekly totals would be the same: Frequent, heavy binge drinking is unhealthy. But then you knew that already, didn’t you? If you don’t distinguish binge drinking from daily moderate drinking, that would be due to Americans’ addiction-phobia, which causes them to interpret any daily drinking as addictive.The global summary of alcohol’s benefits raises a key question: How much do you have to drink regularly before you become as likely to die as an abstainer? We’ll see below.First, let’s address some typical objections to these findings. Of course, abstainers may not drink because they are already ill. Thus the meta-analysis relied on studies that eliminated subjects who are abstaining due to illness, or else contrast drinkers with lifetime abstainers. Additionally, objectors note, drinkers showing such longevity may be wine-sniffling, upper-middle-class professionals (virtually no study has ever found that the type of alcohol consumed impacts these results), people who exercise, eat right, and don’t smoke. To counter this argument, researchers from the prestigious Harvard Health Professionals Study published a paper which found that even men with four healthy life factors (diet, weight, non-smoking, exercise) had one-third to one-half the risk of suffering a heart attack if they had one to two drinks daily, relative to comparable men in each category who abstained.Now let’s turn quickly to four special topics—biological mechanisms; cognitive benefits of drinking; the resveratrol myth; and the answer to our key question: If you drink just a little too much alcohol, doesn’t your death rate shoot up way over that of abstainers? (This is the so-called “J–shaped curve.”)
These things need to happen:Groups on the left and right are uniting behind calls to end what they say is the rise of a "militarized" police force in the United States.They say the controversial police tactics seen this week in Ferguson, Mo., are not isolated to the St. Louis County police department and warn the rise of heavily armed law enforcement agencies has become an imminent threat to civil liberties.
“What we're seeing today in Ferguson is a reflection of the excessive militarization of police that has been happening in towns across America for decades,” said Kara Dansky, senior counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).The ACLU is aligned with Sen.(R-Ky.) and groups on the right who are calling for an end to a controversial Defense Department program that supplies local police departments with surplus military equipment, such as armored tanks, machine guns, and tear gas.According to the Defense Logistics Agency, more than $4 billion in discounted military equipment has been sold to local police departments since the 1990s.“Why are those guns available to the police?” asked Erich Pratt, spokesman for the conservative Gun Owners of America. “We don't technically have the military operating within our borders, but they're being given the gear to basically operate in that capacity.”The Gun Owners of American and the ACLU are both backing a forthcoming bill from Rep.(D-Ga.) that would curtail the sale of DOD weapons to local police departments.Johnson announced the legislative effort on Wednesday, telling colleagues in a letter that, “our main streets should be a place for business, families, and relaxation, not tanks and M16s."“As the tragedy in Missouri unfolds, one thing is clear. Our local police are becoming militarized,” Johnson's office said in a statement.Critics say the Pentagon program is “blurring the lines” between the police and the military in dangerous ways.“When you begin to confuse and blur the lines between the military and police, you get unnecessary violent confrontations, such as what we're seeing in Ferguson,” said Tim Lynch, a criminal justice expert at the libertarian Cato Institute.But Jim Pasco, the executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police, defended the program, saying it has helped law enforcement keep up with criminals."All police are doing is taking advantage of the advances of technology in terms of surveillance, in terms of communication and in terms of protective equipment that are available to criminals on the street," Pasco said.The issue of military-style police departments was thrust into the spotlight this week as media outlets began broadcasting footage of officers in Ferguson squaring off with protesters.Police have been using military-style armored tanks and machines guns to deal with the demonstrations, which began after the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was killed by a police officer in a street confrontation.The images of Ferguson have drawn comparisons to war zones such as Iraq or Afghanistan. President Obama warned law enforcement officers Thursday to stop “bullying” protestors.“They're turning Americans into the enemy,” said Jeffrey Mittman, executive director for the ACLU's Missouri branch. “We are not the enemy. We are citizens, we are protestors, we are Americans. We don't deserve to be treated like we are at war.”Lynch noted a SWAT team in Atlanta recently threw a flash bang grenade into the crib of a toddler by accident, sending the child into a coma.“Acting like soldiers in war zones is not appropriate for American communities,” Dansky said.Military style tactics are becoming more and more common for police departments around the country, according to Adam Brandon, spokesman for the conservative group FreedomWorks.Brandon said he often “can't tell the difference” between police officers and the military.“When I think of a police officer, I typically think of a guy in a blue uniform, he's got a badge, you can see his face,” Brandon said. “But when I see pictures of police today, they look more like special forces units than normal police officers.”“This is an unnerving trend that I keep seeing in American society, where police officers are getting over-militarized, their tactics are getting more and more aggressive.”ACLU's Dansky said the show of strength by police departments tends to escalate the problems that they are trying to contain.“When people see what looks like a tank in their neighborhoods, they start to think they are under siege,” she said. “It's an excessive show of force. It tends to put people in harm’s way and exacerbates the risk of violence.”
- Training to deescalate situations instead of intimidating people
- Training to view people who aren't cops as Us instead of Them
- Always-on cameras that can't be erased or 'lost' to protect cops and citizens
- Removing the paramilitary gear which fosters an occupying army mindset
- Shutting down most SWAT teams as very few cities or towns actually need them and they get overused
I think we can all agree that how Ferguson was handled was wrong. [Link]
We then have an incident that represents all of these problems in a very concentrated form — an unarmed black man was killed by a (reportedly) white police officer who had stopped him as he was walking home. The police have since refused to release the officer’s name. They’ve said they have no intention of releasing the autopsy performed on Michael Brown. Police Chief Thomas Jackson refused to even say how many shots were fired at Brown. (He claimed he didn’t know, though that would be pretty easy to figure out.) Though the police department has body cameras, it hasn’t required its officers to actually wear them. All of this only adds to perception of a Ferguson Police Department that is detached, unaccountable, opaque, and unconcerned with how it is perceived by the community it serves. (Gassing, arresting, and threatening journalistsdoesn’t help with the perception that they feel they’re above transparency.) The police then showed up at a peaceful protest with military vehicles and weapons. If a town’s citizens are reminded over and over again that the law has no respect for them, we shouldn’t be surprised if they begin to lose respect for the law. This isn’t an excuse for the looting and rioting. But it does contextualize what we’ve seen.This raises a question I’ve seen on Twitter and Facebook from a number of people — how should police respond to protest? And how should they respond when protests turn violent?
Thursday, August 14, 2014
When do they take out the attack dogs and water hoses? [Link]
The protests were peaceful for many hours, and turned chaotic when police shot rubber bullets, tear gas (or another form of noxious gas), used an LRAD sonic weapon to blast the crowd with painful sound, and assaulted protesters.I would hope this will be the catalyst to change the militarization of policing in America, but I fear it will require more incidents like this.
From the Los Angeles Times:"Hands up! Don't shoot!" demonstrators chanted as they walked down West Florissant Avenue in a permitted march. Some young men at the back of the group raised their middle fingers as they passed a Ferguson Police Department officer, shouting profanities at him. About 30 demonstrators, who were almost all black, sat down in the middle of an intersection near a line of about a dozen riot police, who were all white.Huffington Post reporter Ryan J. Reilly and Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery were arrested. They were among reporters live-tweeting events in Ferguson this afternoon, and ducked into a McDonalds to recharge their smartphones and other devices. Subsequent tweets indicated they were taken into police custody. Lowery confirms: "Was arrested. Also Ryan Reilly of Huff Po. Assaulted and arrested. Officers decided we weren't leaving McDonalds quickly enough, shouldn't have been taping them." Both journalists have been released, possibly thanks to a phone call from Matt Pearce of the LA Times to the Ferguson police chief, asking why the men were being held."Ferguson chief tells me Lowery and Reilly's arresters were 'probably somebody who didn't know better," tweeted Pearce. Here is video of the arrest.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Why you never see the 'D' when there is a scandal. [Link]
It is such common sense as to be undeniable that basic journalism requires a party label to be affixed to a story about an elected public official, the president excepted. It is the DNA of the “who” in a news report. “Senator Robert Byrd, the Democratic senator from West Virginia, died today.” Take out “Democratic” and try that sentence. It doesn’t work. “Mike Lee, GOP senator from Utah and God’s gift to mankind, coasted to reelection last night.” Ditto.Journalistic malpractice.
It follows that the rule applies to stories about political scandal, precisely because it’s just that — politics. But what happens when that cardinal rule is applied to one party but ignored for the other? Favoritism? Bias? No, it’s far worse than just that. It is a commitment to abide by the rules of journalism with one party and then a deliberate attempt to protect the other, even if it means violating the most basic rules of news reporting.
Now wait a minute, Bozell. What about another possibility? Why can’t it be an honest mistake? Cannot we believe that even if such an egregious violation is committed it might not just be an accident, a reckless, sloppy oversight? If it happened once, fine. Stunning but fine. Twice? I don’t believe in coincidences. The record, however, shows it is much worse than that.
On Friday, September 29, 2006, Representative Mark Foley of Florida resigned after ABC News exposed him for having sent explicit e-mails to male House pages. That evening and on the next day’s morning news shows, ABC, CBS, and NBC all tied Foley to the GOP. “This is more than just one man’s downfall,” Today co-host Matt Lauer solemnly declared on NBC. “It could be a major blow to the Republican party.”
On March 10, 2008, news broke that New York governor Eliot Spitzer had been linked to a prostitution ring. It took NBC News four nights to acknowledge Spitzer’s party affiliation. In its first two days of coverage, Matt Lauer’s Todayshow ran 18 segments on the scandal and never once identified him as a Democrat.
But what happens when a Republican elected official is linked to a prostitute? In July 2007, Senator David Vitter of Louisiana was revealed as a client in the phone records of the so-called D.C. Madam. Every broadcast network ran stories on the scandal and every story underscored that Vitter was a Republican.
The previous month, Senator Larry Craig of Idaho had been arrested at the airport in Minneapolis for the infamous toe-tapping men’s-room solicitation. When the news became public in August, the networks jumped on the story. Every morning and evening news show pointed out he was a Republican. On NBC’s Today, Lauer drilled further, tying him ideologically to conservatives. “Can the right wing withstand yet another scandal involving one of its own?”
On June 16, 2009, Senator John Ensign of Nevada admitted to an extramarital affair. In the following day’s reports, all three broadcast networks covered the scandal and all three reported that he was a member of the GOP. One week later they were back in action, this time giving major attention to the story that South Carolina governor Mark Sanford also had admitted to cheating on his wife. Again the perfunctory declaration that he was a Republican.
Four years later, after weeks of tumultuous scandal involving allegations of multiple cases of sexual harassment involving numerous women, on August 22, 2013, San Diego’s Democratic mayor (and former congressman), Bob Filner, finally resigned. All three networks covered the story in both their morning and evening broadcasts, but only CBS mentioned his party affiliation.
Still not convinced? Okay, so we’ll continue.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Tuesday, August 05, 2014
It's not the House. [Link]
The Senate has not voted on jobs bills sent by the House, any “fix” for Obamacare or a domestic energy development bill. The Senate will not take up a real vote on the Keystone XL pipeline. It will not take up Iran sanctions. It did pass Veterans Affairs legislation and Iron Dome funding, not exactly difficult votes. Other than that, not much of consequence has gone on in the Senate, but not because of Republican objections. The GOP would love to take up many of these subjects, debate them and offer amendments; it is Reid who either won’t take up meaty issues or won’t allow any minority amendments, a practice he has taken further than any modern Senate leader. Speaking to the press on Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said succinctly: “Well, if you look at the last six years, the president and his people, I think, believed they got just about everything they wanted legislatively the first two years.”
In essence, the Senate has become an adjunct of the White House. Reid’s side comes up with no innovative (or even non-innovative) initiatives of its own and doesn’t allow any from the GOP. It changed the Senate rules to rubber-stamp Obama appointees and won’t allow votes on things that will make the White House uncomfortable. It is not that the Senate has been unproductive; that would be an improvement. Rather, it has been counterproductive time and again. It propagates nasty partisanship. “The Senate majority did not want the president to be challenged on anything, which of course leaves him free to pursue his agenda through thebureaucracy, all of whom work for him,” McConnell said. He pointed out, “And of course that serves the president’s purpose because it gives him a Congress to run against and it gives him the freedom of his bureaucrats to pursue his agenda, largely unimpeded by the kind of restrictions on the spending process that Congress would normally write in to appropriation bills if they ever passed them.”
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Judges rule ACA actually means what it says. [Link]
This quote seems appropriate:
"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less."
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master - - that's all."
(Through the Looking Glass, Chapter 6)
Monday, July 21, 2014
A good rebuttal. [Link]
Elizabeth Warren, best known for being a super white lady who pretended to be Indian to fulfill an EEOC requirement, is trying to establish herself as the “Youthful” alternative to Hillary Clinton for a presidential run. This is understandable since Clinton was born in ’47 and Warren was born in ’49, and that’s like seven Prog years.
Anyways, Warren gave a speech and listed off the 11 Commandments of Progressivism.
Since I despise Progressivism to the very core of my being, let’s take this opportunity to go through these commandments together. As we’ll see, most of them sound all nice and fluffy but are actually pure evil, sort of like pulling a bunny slipper over a jackboot. Each one of these is so ridiculous that responding to it would take a thesis, so I’ll just hit the broad philosophical points.