Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Those White House Leakers

For John, BLUFIf you can't loyally work for someone you should quit.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Report: Three White House leakers identified, Trump preparing to fire them

That was Hot Air on 22 May, posted by ALLAHPUNDIT.

Then there is this headline at CBS, two days ago:

While I have more faith in Hot Air than I do in CBS, neither has a story that has been delivered on.  Yes, I do believe there are evil leakers in the White House.  The number I don't know.  The wrongness of it is obvious to me.

Show me the leakers.

Regards  —  Cliff

Who Loses If The Truth Comes Out?

For John, BLUFThis might not end well for the Democrats and the story of the Obama Administration.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media and the keyboard of Michael Walsh, on 28 May.

The Headline says it all.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Pay Inequity

For John, BLUFI hope you are doing your bit for equal pay for equal work.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:
Female chiefs are outearning their male counterparts at S&P 500 companies, but women still make up only 5% of CEOs running those firms
It is from The Wall Street Jouornal and Reporter Joann S. Lublin, today. (Appears to not be behind a paywall.)

I wonder what this means.

Hat tip to The Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Whatever that means.
  Quoting from Wikipedia, "On hearing of the death of a Turkish ambassador, Talleyrand is supposed to have said:  'I wonder what he meant by that?'"

Obscuring the Situation

For John, BLUFDo you realize when you have passed the event horizon when traveling into or out of our Nation's Capitol?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Reporter Richard Pollock, yesterday evening, writing at The Daily Caller. Here is how the story begins:
The Washington Post editors refuse to publicly release the smoking gun “anonymous letter” that serves as the foundation of their sensational charge that White House advisor Jared Kushner sought a secret, back-channel to Russian officials.

The “anonymous letter” was part of a front-page article claiming the president’s son-in-law sought to set up a private communications channel to Russian officials during a discussion with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.  The piece was published Sunday and received high profile coverage throughout the long Memorial Day weekend.

“The Post was first alerted in mid-December to the meeting by an anonymous letter, which said, among other things, that Kushner had talked to Kislyak about setting up the communications channel,” the article’s three authors stated.

WaPo also claimed American intelligence agencies discovered the ploy through an intercepted open phone call by Kislyak to Moscow.  Observers have noted that Kislyak, a seasoned spy, made the phone call on an “open line,” and therefore knew it was likely to be intercepted.

To date, there has been no independent verification the letter is real or that WaPo’s description of its contents is accurate.  The Washington Post editors also never explain why they withheld the letter.

I feel like I am living in some noir movie.  I grant you there are some democrats who think the "Russians Hacked the election", and some who are just malicious, and that there are Republicans who are "Never Trumpers", and some who are just plain stupid.  But, are there no adults in DC?

And why not have Mr Carter Page show up and testify?  Apparently the Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee don't wish to hear from him.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day

For John, BLUFA day to mourn.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

As the line used to be, "There are eight million stories in the naked city."

Veterans are individuals and their families are individuals and how this or that war impacted them varies.

Southeast Asia is my war.  Two tours, one at Da Nang Ai Base, Viet-nam, and one at Korat Air Base, Thailand.  I know fellow veterans from the Iraq War, Afghanistan, Korea and World War II.  But, they are the living.  This day is about those who didn't survive their war.

Just as the West Point Class of 1966 bore the brunt of the Viet-nam Conflict, my Air Force Academy Class of 1964 had the most Killed in Action (KIA) and Prisoners of War (POW).  I know of one classmate who was discharged after a mental breakdown (would we call it, today, PTSD) after too many combat missions.

My wife's first husband, lost in a peacetime training accident, was in the place and time because his unit was on Okinawa, replacing another squadron that had deployed to Southeast Asia for a mission that was never realized.

It is all pain.

But, here in Lowell, the pain continues not just for those who went to war, but also for those of our fellow residents, our fellow American Citizens, who were civilians on the ground in Cambodia and Laos and Viet-nam.  They too suffered and lost relatives and had family relationships broken apart.  And who still suffer from the outcomes of the war.

Today is a day to give everyone some consideration, since everyone gave something and some gave all.

Regards  —  Cliff

Radio Troubles

For John, BLUFGary was right, sort of.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from Market Watch and Reporter Ciara Linnane, on 27 May 2017.

iHeartRadio parent iHeartMedia Inc. is back on the ropes.

The biggest operator of radio stations in the U.S. is having a hard time persuading creditors to get on board with exchange offers covering some $14 billion in debt it badly needs to refinance.  On Thursday, the company extended the offers for a fifth time, as it became apparent that some who were previously willing to participate are now backing out of the deal.

iHeartMedia IHRT, -20.09% , which also owns billboard advertising company Clear Channel Outdoors, said just $47.1 million of notes, equal to 0.6% of the outstanding amount, had been tendered as of 5 p.m. on May 24.  That’s less than the $86.7 million that the company previously said had been tendered as of May 11.

The deadline for the exchange offers has now been pushed back to June 9 from May 26.  The company will use the extra time to continue talks with lenders under two term loan facilities and the holders of its bonds.

“Right now, it’s a game of chicken,” said Chuck Tatelbaum, international bankruptcy expert and senior attorney at the Tripp Scott law firm.  “The debtholders are waiting to see who will blink first.”

Where, in the Eastern Massachusetts listening area, will the Rush Limbaugh show go?  Not that the current signal (1430 AM) is all that strong up here in Lowell now.

The longer range question is if soon radio will just be NPR and local stations playing local music?  That is to say, AM Talk Radio with broad audiences may die, again.

And, this does go to the question raised by Reporter Kelefa Sanneh, who wrote for The New Yorker, back on 24 May, "WHAT ROGER AILES FIGURED OUT."  I blogged about it here.  If Fox News goes and iHeart Radio goes, where are listeners left to go?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  My recollection is it died once and Rush Limbaugh brought it back.


For John, BLUF.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The Kakistocracy Blog, from which this is taken, is a snarky Trump supporting outlet.  That said, this discussion of Baizuo is interesting.  The Blogger has the handle Porter.
That’s why I found this piece to be one of the most unusual and refreshing I have seen in quite some time.  It was written by a Chenchen Zhang, who is a Western-educated Chinese national and presumptive Pokémon character.  Ms. Zhang describes a blossoming phenomenon on Chinese social media that views the white Western left as contemptible popinjays who have even midwifed their own novel Asian insult: baizuo.
If you look at any thread about Trump, Islam or immigration on a Chinese social media platform these days, it’s impossible to avoid encountering the term baizuo (白左), or literally, the ‘white left’.  It first emerged about two years ago, and yet has quickly become one of the most popular derogatory descriptions for Chinese netizens to discredit their opponents in online debates.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Holding the Line

For John, BLUFAn inspiring story.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is an extract from Secretary of Defense James (Mad Dog) Mattis' graduation speech to the Cadets at the US Military Academy (West Point).

The chips were down in the freezing days before Christmas, 1944, when the Nazi army was on the attack in the Ardennes, Mattis said, telling the cadets a story.

“A sergeant in a retreating tank spotted a fellow American digging a foxhole.  The GI, PFC Martin, looked up and said to the sergeant in the tank, ‘Are you looking for a safe place?’

‘Yeah,’ the tanker answered.

‘Well, buddy,’ the private said with a drawl, ‘just pull your vehicle behind me.  I’m the 82nd Airborne, and this is as far as the bastards are going.’”

The secretary added, “You are a U.S. soldier and you hold the line.”

Pride in your outfit is important in the military, and it is important back on Civvie Street.  The 82nd Division is celebrating its one hundredth Anniversary this year.  Its nickname, All American, came from the fact that it was originally composed of soldiers from each of the then 48 States.

But, back to the Private digging the foxhole.  He had a standard to live up to—Sergeant Alvin C York.  And the Howard Hawks movie, Sergeant York, starring Gary Cooper (remember him in High Noon) came out in 1941, in time to inspire folks.  And it must have, since it was the highest grossing picture of the year.

Just to add to the story, the leader on the tank (tank destroyer, actually) was Lieutenant Bill Rogers, the son of Humorist Will Rogers.  They thought about the invitation and then pulled up behind PFC Martin.

Regards  —  Cliff

Portland Murder Deplored

For John, BLUFI am sure there are wackos of all stripes.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the lede plus one:
As Twitchy reported, three men were stabbed, two fatally, in a confrontation on a Portland commuter train with a man who was allegedly shouting anti-Muslim slurs at two young woman, one in a hijab.

The usual suspects weighed in on Twitter, including Hillary Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, and eventually, Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party’s candidate in 2016.

As the article goes on to explain, the perp didn't vote for Hillary Clinton, nor did he vote for Donald Trump.

No, he was a supporter of Senator Bernie Sanders and of Ms Jill Stein.  No wonder Ms Stein and her Green Party did so poorly, considering the way she disparages her supporters.

UPDATE:  Thinking about this some more, I have decided it is President Trump's fault.  He is the one who broke through the PC Barrier and made it possible for people to again express their feelings towards things.  Even Progressives and other people on the Alt-Left side of the spectrum.

UPDATE:  As in the National Bureau of Economics Research paper, From Extreme to Mainstream: How Social Norms Unravel (Leonardo Bursztyn of the University of Chicago, Georgy Egorov of Northwestern, and Stefano Fiorin of UCLA) (Pay Wall), discussed in this article, "How Trump Affected Political Correctness", from The American Interest.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, May 27, 2017

The FBI Use of Bad Intel

For John, BLUFThis should shake your confidence what is going on in DC.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Hill and Reporter Katie Bo Williams, 24 May 2017.

At some level this doesn't make any sense, but at another level it suggests the confusion within the Federal Government toward the end of the last Administration and within the Democrat Party in 2016.

Here is how the story starts out:

Former FBI Director James Comey’s controversial decision to detail the FBI’s findings in the Hillary Clinton email case without Justice Department input was influenced by a dubious Russian document that the FBI now considers to be bad intelligence, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

The secret document, which purported to be a piece of Russian intelligence, claimed that former Attorney General Loretta Lynch had privately assured someone in the Clinton campaign that the investigation into Clinton’s handling of classified information would go nowhere.

But according to people familiar with the matter, by August the FBI had come to believe the document was unreliable — and in fact may have been planted as a fake to confuse the FBI.

Comey made his announcement in July.

The document reportedly described an email supposedly written by then-Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and sent to Leonard Benardo, who is an official with the George Soros organization Open Society Foundations.

According to the document, Wasserman Schultz claimed Lynch had assured senior Clinton campaign staffer Amanda Renteria that the investigation would not go too far.

Yes, I added a bunch of links, since many of you may not be familiar with all of these people and organizations listed above. If this kind of thing was going on then the Federal Bureau of Investigation did, indeed, need new leadership and management.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  And I don't think the DNC is on a better path under Chairman Tom Perez.

Freedom of Religion Limit?

For John, BLUFAre there any limits with regard to Freedom of Religion?  I would think the "first/nose" theory would apply.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from the relatively new web-zine Circa.  The reporter is Ms Allison Maass and the dateline is 25 May 2017.

Here is the lede plus one.  There is more detail on the defense arguments at the link.

For the first time in 21 years a law making it illegal to cut young girls' genitalia will be challenged, claiming freedom of religion as a defense, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Three people have been charged with cutting the genitals of two 7-year-old girls from Minnesota in February.  The defendants, Dr. Fakhruddin Attar, his wife Farida Attar and Dr. Jumana Nagarwala are members of the Indian-Muslim sect Dawoodi Bohra, located in Farmington Hills, Michigan, outside of Detroit.

The balancing act here is difficult.  There is the freedom of religion issue.  There is the question of granting consent.  There is the question of when a child should have his or her path for his or her adult life chosen, and by whom.  There is the child abuse issue.  And there is the issue of different cultures.

My personal view is that FGM should be illegal in these United States.

It is just my Anglo-Saxon cultural heritage showing through.

Regards  —  Cliff

Montana Rep Race Larger Question

For John, BLUFThere seems to be a belief within the "Resistance" that at some point the American People will wake up go Democrat.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

It is The Old Gray Lady, 26 May 2017, by Reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns.

Here is the lede plus four:

BOZEMAN, Mont. — The Democratic defeat in a hard-fought special House election in Montana on Thursday highlighted the practical limitations on liberal opposition to President Trump and exposed a deepening rift between cautious party leaders, who want to pick their shots in battling for control of Congress in 2018, and more militant grass-roots activists who want to fight the Republicans everywhere.

Rob Quist, the Democratic nominee in Montana, staked his campaign on the Republican health care bill, but he still lost by six percentage points, even after his Republican opponent for the state’s lone House seat, Greg Gianforte, was charged with assaulting a reporter on the eve of the election.

The margin in this race was relatively small in a state that Mr. Trump carried by more than 20 percentage points last year.  But Mr. Quist’s defeat disappointed grass-roots Democrats who financed nearly his entire campaign while the national party declined to spend heavily on what it considered, from the outset, an all-but-lost cause in daunting political territory.

This tension — between party leaders who will not compete for seats they think they cannot win and an energized base loath to concede any contests to Republicans — risks demoralizing activists who keep getting their hopes up.  It also points to a painful reality for Democrats:  Despite the boiling fury on the left, the resistance toward Mr. Trump has yet to translate into a major electoral victory.

First let us deal with the lede.  It is a one sentence paragraph.  A sentence of 58 words.  Based on the admonitions I received on Staff Course, that should have been three sentences.  The theory being that no sentence should be more than 20 words.  Only the most skillful writers, the James Joyce's and William Faulkner's of the world, should write sentences of more than 20 words.

Living where I do in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts I have some sympathy for the Democratic Party Activists.  National and State Committees that will not spend money, or cannot, are just frustrating creatures to deal with.  Down at the grass roots we always believe that this time the voters will see the light, if only we spend enough on advertising.

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, May 26, 2017

Christians Are Not Safe in Middle East

For John, BLUFThis isn't a war between Islam and the rest, but there are some out there killing Christians.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Old Gray Lady, this morning, by Reporters Declan Walsh and Nour Yussef.

Here is the lede plus two (Photo at the Link):

Gunmen opened fire on vehicles carrying Coptic Christians in southern Egypt early Friday, killing at least 26 people, according to a church official, in the latest deadly assault on the country’s embattled religious minority.

Bishop Makarios of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Minya Province said the assailants, traveling in three sport utility vehicles, had opened fire on a pickup truck carrying workmen, and two buses transporting worshipers, as they traveled in a convoy to the Monastery of St. Samuel the Confessor.

Bishop Makarios said many of the victims had been shot at close range. The dead included children, elderly people and laborers, he said, and 23 others were wounded.

A friend of mine commented:
If we wanted to “get tough” on ISIS, on radical islamic extremism, we need to go beyond simple condemnation and “our prayers go out to the families.”

I think the President needs to talk about the attack today and pose these questions:

  1. Do blasphemy laws ( in most of the Muslim world) contribute to these attacks?  What do these laws do to stifle debate and encourage hatred?
  2. Do Muslim majority countries, including Egypt, place discriminatory restrictions on the building of Churches? Why? (it is prohibited in Saudi)
  3. Are other holy books, the Bible, the Torah, etc… allowed in Muslim majority nations?  If they are forbidden, does that contribute to hatred?
  4. What are the efforts by each country to check hate talk, sectarian division?
[Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-]Sisi has called an emergency meeting, and I am sure there will be calls for more security. But do Egyptians think that is enough?

These are important questions for the region.  I agree with the President that we should not lecture, not impose our system on others.  But it is time to go beyond the platitudes and get to the factors underlying the atmosphere that tolerates terrorism.  It is time to put this on their plate.

Note the comment, "It is time to put this on their plate."  That is to say, the Sunni majority countries need to own this as their own problem.  This is not the last vestiges of colonialism but a modern day phenomenon that needs to be dealt with by the people living in the area today.

From the American Magazine (with web presence) Defense One we have an April article on ISIS and Egypt, "Why ISIS Declared War on Egypt’s Christians".

If this war spreads, to be neutral will be to be to be complicit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Grade Levels in School

For John, BLUFWould school have been more interesting?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from half a year ago, by Blogger Daniel Lattier, on 4 November 2016.

Here are excepts:

Over the past five years I’ve looked at countless student performance numbers, and almost always, my attention goes to the large percentages of students who are performing below grade level in reading, math, history, etc.  I see these numbers as evidence of the failure of the current education system.

But a recent policy brief (titled “How Can So Many Students Be Invisible?") has brought something else to my attention—something equally, if not more, damning of the education system.  It’s the fact that large percentages of American students are performing ABOVE grade level.

After looking at data from five different, nationally-respected assessments of student performance, the researchers found that “20-40% of elementary and middle school students perform at least one grade level above their current grade in reading, with 11-30% scoring at least one grade level above in math.”

. . .

You see, because the system arbitrarily separates students by age, students of varying academic abilities get put on the same track.  The low performers remain consistently behind, in a constant struggle to play catch-up.  And they’re the ones who get the majority of the attention of today’s schools and education reformers.

But the high performers are also suffering in this system, too.  They’re forced to sit in a classroom for seven hours a day going over simple material and concepts at a snail’s pace. Eventually, intellectual atrophy sets in.

. . .

In their recommendations, the professors who wrote the brief concluded that “the U.S. K-12 context, which is organized primarily around age-based grade levels, needs serious rethinking.”

Our educational approach needs serious rethinking?  You think?  We are in the post-industrial age and we are still using a German industrial age approach to educating our youngsters.

Things to ponder.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

What Roger Ailes Wrought

For John, BLUFThere is only one Fox News and their are no suitable substitutes.  Nothing to see here; just move along.


This is from Reporter Kelefa Sanneh and The New Worker, 24 May 2017.

Here is the lede plus one:

Twenty years ago, Roger Ailes launched Fox News with a simple but effective premise: most news outlets were liberal, and most Americans were not. “I think the mainstream media thinks liberalism is the center of the road,” he once said. “I really think that they don’t understand that there are serious people in America who don’t necessarily agree with everything they hear on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.”

Ailes was right about this in 1996, and he was still right about it last summer, when he resigned from the network in disgrace, amid multiple allegations of sexual harassment. The stories about Ailes that emerged, from a number of women of who had worked for him, suggested that he created, at Fox News, a culture of extraordinary sexual cruelty at the same time that he was creating an extraordinarily successful business: last year, Fox News was the most-watched network on basic-cable television.

But, later the author gets to the key question, which I have tried to extract:
The authors concluded that “Republicans are turning off ESPN.”

But where are they going? Even now, during a period of instability, Fox News finds itself with a surprising dearth of competitors.

Yes, as Fox fades, where are the viewers going?  I am thinking they are moving away from television, toward the Internet.  Is that an opportunity for The New Worker?  I think not, except for me, since I already have a subscription and have not had enough time to read all the articles.  For one thing, The New Worker is implacably opposed to President Trump, or the idea of President Trump, or the outcome of the election back in November 2016, or the Electoral College vote.  They are not going to be picking up those viewers who are leaving Fox News because they perceive it as drifting left, drifting toward Shepard Smith, who used to be perceived as part of the Fox main thread.

This may be Breitbart's opportunity.

Regards  —  Cliff

Carry On

For John, BLUFYet there are hundreds of Muslims living in Lowell and giving no offense.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from noted Canadian Troublemaker and sometimes Rush Limbaugh substitute Host, Mark Steyn, on 23 May, from his Blog.

He is responding to the Headline in The Independent:

There's only one way Britain should respond to attacks such as Manchester.  That is by carrying on exactly as before.
His point is that the Europe we knew is slowing going out of sight, as Europeans adjust to the foibles of Islam.  While he doesn't say it, it would be good for us to start to acknowledge, Islam is not a religion, but rather a way of life.  Islam is life.  And, if we let it, it will push our way of life off the streets.

Here is one of the many interesting paragraphs in Mr Steyn's post:

And so it will prove for cafe life, and shopping malls, and pop concerts.  Maybe Ariana Grande will be back in the UK - or maybe she will decide that discretion is the better part of a Dangerous Woman's valor.  But there will be fewer young girls in the audience - because no mum or dad wants to live for the rest of their lives with the great gaping hole in your heart opening up for dozens of English parents this grim morning.  And one day the jihad will get lucky and the bomb will take with it one of these filthy infidel "shameless" pop whores cavorting on stage in her underwear.  You can carry on exactly as before, but in a decade or two, just as there are fewer gay bars in Amsterdam and no more Jewish shops on the Chaussée de Gand, there will be less music in the air in western cities.  Even the buskers, like the one in Manchester's Piccadilly Gardens today serenading a shattered city with "All You Need Is Love", will have moved on, having learned that it's a bit more complicated than that.
I hope you have not forgotten Charlie Hebdo already.  Never forget Charlie Hebdo.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Impeachment Mechanics

For John, BLUFPretty straight forward.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Nation of Change looks at the question…

Fair enough discussion of the mechanics.

Regards  —  Cliff

Local Government Looms Large

For John, BLUFI wonder what the implications are for Lowell, given our own "chicken" issues?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

It is from FEE and the author is Ms Annie Holmquist, on Monday, 22 May 2017.

Here is the lede plus three:

Should Americans have a right to garden in their own yards?

If you looked at this question, shook your head, and answered, “Of course! Why would we not?” then it would seem there is still some common sense left in the world.

Unfortunately, that common sense doesn’t always extend to the powers that be, and the citizens of Columbiana, Ohio, are learning that the hard way.

According to an article in the Salem News, the city government of Columbiana recently informed citizens that they don’t have a right to plant and maintain a garden in their own yards:

It is like reading the Introduction to the Dash One.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


For John, BLUFIt is going to take a while to get over the election of 2016.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

I blame Mr Stephen Greene, writing at the InstaPundit, for introducing this term, Gleichschaltung, (pronounced ˈɡlīkˌSHalto͝oNG), into this discussion, but it is so apropos, as would be the term, "the new Blacklist" or the term "the new McCartyism, but it is more so, since it seeks to change a culture.

From Wikipedia:

In Nazi terminology, Gleichschaltung (German pronunciation: [ˈɡlaɪçʃaltʊŋ]), was the process of Nazification by which Nazi Germany successively established a system of totalitarian control and coordination over all aspects of society, "from the economy and trade associations to the media, culture and education".
So, we have, from Hollywood in Toto:

By Mr Christian Toto, today, 23 May.

An unexpected confession from HBO's 'Silicon Valley' reveals how Hollywood discriminates against conservatives.

There are plenty of reasons people don’t get parts in Hollywood.

They’re not tall enough. They don’t fit the character in question’s physical profile.  They arrive with a lousy reputation.

The casting director had a bad day, perhaps?

Here’s a new one:  They want the current president to Make America Great Again.  Trump supporters in Hollywood might find work even harder to come by since Jan. 20, according to a revelation by comic actor Jimmy Yang.

And, there is a reference to an article by Reporter Stephen Galloway, on 20 May 2017, in The Hollywood Reporter:

Yes, I have seen this sort of thing.  You are a "non-perso" if you do not denounce and renounce Donald J Trump.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Whither Fox News

For John, BLUFJust goes to show that great men are not necessarily nice men (substitute women as appropriate).  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from The American Thinker, 19 May 2017, by Reporter Peter Barry Chowka.

Rober Ailes is not just out of Fox News, he is gone, having passed away just a few short days ago.

The question is, what is the impact on Fox News of Mr Ailes being thrown under the bus by the sons of Rupert Murdock, who want to be liked by the other kids?  And, more important, really, is where is that, for lack of a better term, Conservative audience, going to go?

This is a long article, of which these are just the first four paragraphs:

The sudden death of Roger Ailes (R.I.P.) yesterday is a grim omen for the network he envisioned and built.  In the wake of the recent upheavals at Fox News, the conservative cable television network’s ratings are experiencing a precipitous decline from cable news leadership for the first time in the history of the channel.  As the rest of the mainstream media continue their efforts to undermine and “resist” the Trump Administration, this development bodes ill for the future — not only of the unique kind of fair and balanced if right of center reporting pioneered by the Fox News Channel (FNC), but of the prospects for conservatives continuing to have a major media platform, maintain power, and advance their agenda in the months and years ahead.

The Fox News Channel launched on October 6, 1996.  MSNBC, originally a collaboration between NBC News and Microsoft, had started three months earlier.  Prior to mid-1996, CNN, the other competitor, was the exclusive cable news outlet in the United States, synonymous with “cable news.”  It enjoyed a long monopoly in the field during which it was able to build its brand at home and abroad.

Lacking the backing of a huge well oiled news organzation like NBC or the tailwind legacy of a sixteen year international presence like CNN, FNC initially had a bit of a shaky start.  But under the guidance of media and political genius Roger Ailes (the FNC CEO and Chairman), the financial support of international media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, and with a clear agenda (“fair and balanced” reporting with a consistent respect for conservative viewpoints), after gaining wide cable and satellite distribution, Fox pulled ahead of its two rivals.  By 2002, FNC had done the unthinkable, establishing itself as the #1 cable news channel in the United States.  Notwithstanding its being constantly derided by the rest of the mainstream media, Fox News’s prime time ratings dominance went largely unchallenged for the next fourteen years.

The Fox News Channel’s innovative and successful approach to presenting the news in the new millennium helped to change the TV news landscape from one dominated by breaking hard news read by mostly interchangeable news readers to a model that relied on opinionated marquee personalities and colorful left/right debate.  Prime time personalities Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, for example, both of whom debuted on FNC the night that it started, continued to host programs in prime time, seemingly in perpetuity. CNN’s “breaking news is king” strategy, and its aging prime time host Larry King, were caught off guard.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Per The American Thinker, Peter Barry Chowka is a seasoned journalist who writes about national politics, media, popular culture, and health care.
  Or will they just retreat further into the Internet?  Will Drudge or Breitbart emerge as the new news leadership.

Internal State Sponsored Terrorism

For John, BLUFMillions dead, for what?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

An Opinion Piece by Mr Jonathan Brent, in The Old Gray Lady.

This isn't just about Vladimir Lenin's use of terrorism to manage the crisis of the Soviet Union at the end of World War I.  It is also about Joseph Stalin and his use of terror in the 1930s and again in the early 1950s, including the "(Jewish) Doctors Plot".

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Boston Pot Center?

For John, BLUFThe General Court dragging this out isn't helping.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Boston Herald and Reporter Dan Atkinson, on Monday, 22 May.

Here is the lede plus one:

Mayor Martin J. Walsh blasted towns looking to ban sales of recreational marijuana despite residents voting to legalize it last year, saying the state Legislature needs to put a halt on plans that could lead to Boston being overwhelmed by suburban pot buyers.

"If they voted for it, they should have a pot shop in their neighborhood, they shouldn't have to drive to Boston for it," Walsh said on Boston Herald Radio.  "I don't think the Legislature should allow exemptions, if there are I think it's unfair and unfortunate.  Shame on them if they do."

Well, he has a point.  The voters voted for Pot.

I would summarize the Mayor's viewpoint as "Let your own neighborhood go to pot."

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

They Still Don't Get It

For John, BLUFDemocrat Operatives with by-lines.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from Saturday a week ago, the 100th Anniversary of the first Fatima Apparition.  But, it is still timely.

Boy does The Old Gray Lady have this one backward.

The Reporters are Mr Peter Baker and Ms Maggie Haberman.

For sure it is the Democrats who can't seem to get past it.

Regards  —  Cliff

  There are those non-Democrats who believe that there are Democrats out there who believe that if they can make President Trump go away Mrs Hillary Clinton will become the President, and all will be calm again.
  Both of whom appear clueless.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Destructive Leaking

For John, BLUFNo good is coming from this kind of leaking, unless the leaker(s) want the Sampson Option, which will hurt their head when the structure collapses on them, and us.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

I had flagged, last week, this Breitbart article by Reporter Kristina Wong, back on Monday, the 15th of May.  I had a chance to talk to Ms Wong this last Saturday and found her to be intelligent and insightful.  Only today did I make the connection, otherwise I would have asked her about it in detail.

Here is the sub-headline:

Current and former U.S. officials, supposedly concerned that President Trump had shared some “highly classified information” with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador to the U.S. last week, leaked that information to the Washington Post in an article published Monday.
The next paragraph is:
However, the report admits that it is “unlikely” Trump broke any laws.
This seems like some sort of insanity.  There is highly classified information, that a US Newspaper puts out there for all to see, based on the fact that the US President saw fit to mention it to the Russian Foreign Minister.  Maybe the President was warning a nation that is a de facto ally in the war on terrorism.  But, now, thanks to a selfish and self-centered leaker, and a cooperating media, it is out there for all to see, including terrorist organizations, although I am not sure terrorist organizations couldn't have winkled this out on their own.

Hat tip to Memeorandum.

Regards  —  Cliff

  A friend of mine wrote this morning:  "Most people agree terrorism involves the deliberate targeting of civilians to create fear for some political goal.  Or something like that.  Meaning attacking a foreign occupying force is not terrorism.  Now acknowledging that does not constitute an endorsement of it."

Russian Meddling—Look Deeper

For John, BLUFThat the DNC didn't protect itself should be reason for, at a minimum, shaming by all news media.  Never going to happen.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The LA Times, and Reporter Ann M Simmons, 17 May—Wednesday last.

Ms Simmons says, in part:

The Kremlin has ridiculed the flap in the U.S. over allegations of possible collusion between members of Trump’s campaign during his run for the White House and the president’s seemingly cozy relations with Putin. Moscow has denied meddling in U.S. elections and political affairs.

Putin warned that the United States’ anti-Russian rhetoric could backfire.

“You know what surprises me? They are destabilizing the internal political situation in the United States under anti-Russian slogans,” Putin said, according to Tass. “They either do not understand that they are harming their own country, which means they are just shortsighted, or they understand everything, and that means that they are dangerous and unscrupulous people.”

The Poster at InstaPundit, Mr Stephen Green, says of the article, and President Putin:
The denial stinks — Putin’s technique is to sow chaos and reap whatever may come from it.  But his analysis of what Democrats and not-just-a-few Republicans are doing to this country is spot-on.
As someone Commented at the InstaPundit blog post:
Vlad Putin....Voice of Reason

Think of how absurd that sounds.

I am one of those open to Seth Rich being the "leaker" to Wikileaks, but I think we need to do some back story and ask ourselves to what degree President V Putin thinks that SecState H Clinton meddled in the elections in his sphere of influence.  Why would President V Putin NOT think that what was good for the goose is good for the gander?  We (the US) do have a history of interfering in elections in other nations.  For examples, see here and here and here and here and finally here, where the key line is "The officer reportedly described the intelligence agency’s effort as retribution for what Russian President Vladimir Putin considered Clinton’s influence campaign against him while serving as secretary of State.")

What was that line from almost a decade ago?

America's chickens are coming home to roost.

But, I doubt the Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, will delve into that issue.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  This is not to say that US Influence Operations in the past (or in the future) are a bad thing.  It is to say that we are on a multi-lane road and some of the traffic is going the other way and that if we are not ready for it, shame on us.  The rest of this is merely theater.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Elites Can't Save You, or Themselves

For John, BLUFWhen the Elites are the problem, the People look elsewhere for help.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The sub-headline:
The elites are the problem.
This is Mr Robert W Merry, in The American Conservative, on 18 May 2017.

Here are two early paragraphs:

When a man as uncouth and reckless as Trump becomes president by running against the nation’s elites, it’s a strong signal that the elites are the problem.  We’re talking here about the elites of both parties.  Think of those who gave the country Hillary Clinton as the Democratic presidential nominee—a woman who sought to avoid accountability as secretary of state by employing a private email server, contrary to propriety and good sense; who attached herself to a vast nonprofit “good works” institution that actually was a corrupt political machine designed to get the Clintons back into the White House while making them rich; who ran for president, and almost won, without addressing the fundamental problems of the nation and while denigrating large numbers of frustrated and beleaguered Americans as “deplorables.”  The unseemliness in all this was out in plain sight for everyone to see, and yet Democratic elites blithely went about the task of awarding her the nomination, even to the point of employing underhanded techniques to thwart an upstart challenger who was connecting more effectively with Democratic voters.

At least Republican elites resisted the emergence of Trump for as long as they could. Some even attacked him vociferously.  But, unlike in the Democratic Party, the Republican candidate who most effectively captured the underlying sentiment of GOP voters ended up with the nomination.  The Republican elites had to give way.  Why?  Because Republican voters fundamentally favor vulgar, ill-mannered, tawdry politicians?  No, because the elite-generated society of America had become so bad in their view that they turned to the man who most clamorously rebelled against it.

Then the author proceeds to list the areas where the elites have their own crisis, in that the votes think that the solutions offered by the elites are not working for those voters.  This is the crisis.  The elites can claim those voters are Les Deplorables, but unless they become discouraged voters, they are a problem.

Then we see the "slow motion coup" in action.  Not the solution.

Now comes the counterrevolution.  The elites figure that if they can just get rid of Trump, the country can return to what they consider normalcy—the status quo ante, before the Trumpian challenge to their status as rulers of America.  That’s why there is so much talk about impeachment even in the absence of any evidence thus far of “high crimes and misdemeanors.”  That’s why the firing of James Comey as FBI director raises the analogy of Nixon’s “Saturday Night Massacre.”  That’s why the demonization of Russia has reached a fevered pitch, in hopes that even minor infractions on the part of the president can be raised to levels of menace and threat.

Ross Douthat, the conservative New York Times columnist, even suggests the elites of Washington should get rid of Trump through the use of the Constitution’s 25th Amendment, which allows for the removal of the president if a majority of the cabinet informs the Congress that he is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office” and if a two-thirds vote of Congress confirms that judgment in the face of a presidential challenge.  This was written of course for such circumstances of presidential incapacity as ill health or injury, but Douthat’s commitment to the counterrevolution is such that he would advocate its use for mere presidential incompetence.

Good luck to us.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Even Rolling Stone is Wondering

For John, BLUFIt reminds me of the quip from Baseball Manager Casey Stengel, "Can't anybody here play this game?".  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:
Amid the chaos of James Comey's firing, new questions about the timeline of his fateful investigation
This is from Rolling Stone, by Mr Matt Taibbi.

Here is a prescient quote:

But it's our job in the media to be bothered by little details, and the strange timeline of the Trump-Russia investigation qualifies as a conspicuous loose end.
And here are the last two paragraphs:
We should care. The uncertainty has led to widespread public terror, mass media hysteria and excess, and possibly even panic in the White House itself, where, who knows, Trump may even have risked military confrontation with Russia in an effort to shake the collusion accusations. All of this is exacerbated by the constant stream of leaks and hints at mother lodes of evidence that are just around the corner. It's quite literally driving the country crazy.

The public deserves to know what's going on. It deserved to know before the election, it deserved to know before the inauguration, and it deserves to know now.

Reporter Taibbi has an itch, and well he should.

Hat tip to The Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, May 19, 2017

SNL Morphs

For John, BLUFAnd this will go on because there are millions (sadly) who think supporters of President Trump are fair game.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

If you are one of Les Deplorables you are a target for snarky attacks; snarky attacks that would never be tolerated against the bien-pensant.  There it is.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Where Are The Others?

For John, BLUFWhat a mess.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The article is from The Washington Examiner The the Reporter is Mr Daniel Chaitin, with a dateline of 17 May.

The appointment was made by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, in his capacity as acting Attorney General, given that A/G has recused himself in this matter.

My question is where are the others?

  • Some appointed to [re]examine Mrs Hillary Clinton's "home brew" server?
  • Someone to examine the allegations that a staffer at the DNC delivered all those EMails to Wikileaks and Mr Julian Assange.
  • Someone to examine the massive leaking to the press of information that should not be leaked from the Executive Branch.
  • Mrs Clinton's Uranium Deal.
  • Others?
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, May 15, 2017


For John, BLUFThis is costing us lives and hundreds of millions.  Is it worth it?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The author of this article is Georgetown Law Professor Phillip Carter and it is published by Slate.

It is about Afghanistan.

And, it is about strategy.  As framed by Phil it is matching Ends, Ways and Means.

I think that the Ends, Ways and Means construct doesn't quite capture it.  I prefer "Matching Objectives, Threats and Opportunities in a Logistically constrained environment."

I do like the Leon Trotsky quote.

According to legend, Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky famously said that “you may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.”

So it is with Afghanistan and the Trump administration, which is reportedly considering a recommitment to the 16-year-old war in Afghanistan, as well as the deployment of 3,500 more U.S. troops.  None of this squares with President Donald Trump’s campaign pledge of an “America First” foreign policy, nor with his healthy skepticism of how America’s long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were managed under Presidents Bush and Obama.  No matter.  The Afghanistan conflict grinds on, and although Trump may not be interested in the details of this war, the war is interested in Trump.

We, as a nation, need to think about Afghanistan, and we need to think about the willingness of certain Islamic groups to use force (e.g., Terrorism) to achieve their goals.

This means that we need to understand how Islam functions and Islam evolves.  Islam is not us, in the sense that Islam is a different socio-political milieu from our own Western World.  Not that Muslims can't be part of our milieu, but an Islamic tribal society does not fit easily into our way of doing business.

If anyone is interested in this, I recommend they read this short article at The Strategy Bridge by Dr Janet Breslin-Smith.

My favorite sentence is:
My argument comes down to this:  we cannot do for anyone what they cannot do for themselves.
To be fair, Janet has been thinking about this for a while and she sees problems in Middle Eastern Muslim Societies.  These are problems that we can not fix.  They must fix them themselves.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Not Seeing The Spin

For John, BLUFToday Democrats can't move on.  Soon no one will be able to move on.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This item from The Old Gray Lady, Reported by Mr Peter Baker and Ms Maggie Haberman, 13 May of this year, is an example of looking at something through the other end of the tube.

The Headline, and the Story, suggest that President Trump has a problem because he can't get past the election.  For a lot of Les Deplorables out there the problem is that those who didn't vote for Mr Trump can not get over the fact that he won, and thus maintain that he is illegitimate.

Funnily enough, the photo with the article is of protestors in front of the White House calling for Impeachment, calling President Trump "Putin's Stooge", and suggesting lies and coverups.  That is to say, President Trump is illegitimate.  No wonder the President thinks folks are out to get him.  And just look at the Democrats in Congress, and out of Congress.  The most outspoken is California Representative Maxine Waters (from near where I used to vote, in the Los Angeles Basin).  One has the impression House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer are not far behind her.

This is a rather long excerpt from the article:

WASHINGTON — In the small dining room next to the Oval Office where he works much of the time, President Trump keeps a stack of color-coded maps of the United States representing the results of the 2016 election.  The counties he won are blotchy red and span most of the nation.

Mr. Trump sometimes hands the maps out to visitors as a kind of parting gift, and a framed portrait-size version was hung on a wall in the West Wing last week.  In conversations, the president dwells on the map and its import, reminding visitors about how wrong the polls were and inflating the scope of his victory.

At the root of Mr. Trump’s unpredictable presidency, according to people close to him, is a deep frustration about attacks on his legitimacy, and a worry that Washington does not see him as he sees himself.

As he careens from one controversy to another, many of them of his own making — like his abrupt decision to fire the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, who was leading an investigation into the president’s associates — Mr. Trump seems determined to prove that he won the election on his own.  It was not Russian interference. It was not Mr. Comey’s actions in the case involving Hillary Clinton’s emails.  It was not a fluke of the Electoral College system. It was all him.

He sits in the dining room or Oval Office stewing over the Russia inquiry that Mr. Comey was managing, arguing to anyone who will listen that the matter is all a Democratic-inspired conspiracy to undermine the validity of his victory.  Even as he was defending his decision to dismiss Mr. Comey last week, Mr. Trump signed an executive order creating a commission to investigate voting fraud in a quixotic effort to prove his unsubstantiated contention that he would have won the popular vote against Mrs. Clinton but for millions of ballots that were illegally cast against him.

Mr. Trump burns with frustration over not getting enough credit for winning the nation’s highest office after having never so much as run for City Council or town alderman.  He ran when pundits predicted he would not, stayed in when they were certain he would drop out, never lost his core supporters and, amid a dysfunctional campaign that was known for self-inflicted wounds, propelled himself to victory over the vastly more experienced Clinton machine.  He expected to be celebrated for it, and that has not happened.

“There’s a lot of anger.  I’ve talked with him about it,” said Christopher Ruddy, chief executive of Newsmax Media and a friend of Mr. Trump’s.  “No other president in history has faced the barrage of press attacks, people calling for him to be impeached before he took the oath of office.”

“I think the way Trump looks at this is — the big club they’ve tried to get at him is the Russia collusion argument,” Mr. Ruddy added.  “Trump sees this as a political attack, not a fair attack on him.”

Read the whole thing and then consider what is going on.  This is important because the contested nature of the November 2016 General Election is getting in the way of working things out inside the Beltway.

Donald Trump is Mr Art of the Deal.  I would say that if you can't cut a deal with Donald Trump then you should probably resign and let someone else try.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Representative Waters said, of the firing of FBI Director James Comey, it would have been fine if a theoretical President Hillary Clinton had done it, but it is bad that the actual President, Donald Trump, did it.

Open Minded

For John, BLUFThere is some hope that the Progressives across our Universities are not going to burn the place down.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The sub-headline is:
Wesleyan president Michael S. Roth on why universities need affirmative action for the study of conservative, libertarian and religious ideas
This Opinion Piece is from The Wall Street Journal.

(Mr. Roth's recent (2014) book is Beyond the University:  Why Liberal Education Matters.) Here is the first part of the essay:

There is no denying the left-leaning political bias on American college campuses. As data from UCLA's Higher Education Institute show, the professoriate has moved considerably leftward since the late 1980s, especially in the arts and humanities. In New England, where my own university is located, liberal professors outnumber their conservative colleagues by a ratio of 28:1.

How does this bias affect the education we offer? I'd like to think that we left-leaning professors are able to teach the works of conservative thinkers with the same seriousness and attention that we devote to works on our own side of the political spectrum—but do we?

It is hard to be optimistic about this challenge in the wake of recent episodes of campus intolerance for views on the right. Would-be social-justice warriors at Middlebury College transformed the mild-mannered political scientist Charles Murray into a free-speech hero, and campus appearances by the Manhattan Institute's Heather Mac Donald and the right-wing provocateur Ann Coulter have been handled badly, turning both women into media martyrs.

Most colleges, of course, host controversial speakers without incident and without much media coverage. In March, for instance, Franklin & Marshall College gave a platform to the Danish editor who published cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad. There were protests and arguments but no attempt to silence the speaker.

Academics worried about attacks on free speech have felt the need to respond, and they have articulated sound principles. Princeton professors Robert P. George and Cornel West recently attracted lots of supporters for a statement underscoring that "all of us should seek respectfully to engage with people who challenge our views" and that "we should oppose efforts to silence those with whom we disagree—especially on college and university campuses."

The issue, however, isn't whether the occasional conservative, libertarian or religious speaker gets a chance to speak. That is tolerance, an appeal to civility and fairness, but it doesn't take us far enough. To create deeper intellectual and political diversity, we need an affirmative-action program for the full range of conservative ideas and traditions, because on too many of our campuses they seldom get the sustained, scholarly attention that they deserve.

Unfortunately, the rest of the article is behind a pay wall.  Alternatively, it is at your local Library.

Regards  —  Cliff

Happy Mothers Day

For John, BLUFAnd Ellen.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Happy Mother's Day to Martha and to Cindy and to Michelle, and all the others.

That is all.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Democracy in Jakarta

For John, BLUFNot everyone thinks about politics the same way.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from the Blog of Law Professor Ann Althouse, out in Madison, Wisconsin.
Basuki Tjahaja Purnama was given a 2-year sentence (which he will appeal), and he is now in jail, the NYT reports.
Bivitri Susanti, head of the Jakarta chapter of Indonesia’s Association of Constitutional Law Lecturers, criticizes the application of the law:  “It’s not about the speech itself and whether it’s condemning Islam itself.  It’s about whether society believes it’s wrong or annoys them.”

Mass rallies were organized calling for his arrest, with some zealots demanding that the governor be put to death.  Many analysts said that the protests had been orchestrated by his political rivals and that they were a strong factor in his 16-point defeat in last month’s election….

Among Indonesia’s population of 250 million are more than 190 million Muslims, but there are also smaller, influential minorities including Christians, Hindus and Buddhists.

“First, this verdict is really intimidating for minority groups,” said Tim Lindsey, director of the Center for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society at the University of Melbourne.  “Second, it tells Muslim politicians that they should try to use the religion card in other elections.  Religion has never been absent,” he continued, “but this is a real shift. This has been building up for a long time.”

From the Comments at the Althouse Blog (Commenter being "exhelodrvr1") we have this:
That's why we should increase Muslim immigration - it would speed up the process of implementing those ideas.
Here in these United States we have options:
  • We can ignore this as taking place in Indonesia, based on an assumption that nothing that happens in Indonesia ever flows back over to the United States.
  • We can claim that this is just some aberration and not of importance to our overall understanding of Islam.
  • We can put this down to a political party which just uses whatever is at hand to throw at the opposition, telling ourselves that such thinks can't and won't happen in these United States.
  • We can realize that Islam is not just a religion, but also a political philosophy.
  • We can shrug our shoulders and decide that it can't happen here.

Does anyone else have an option?

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

Fatima Third Secret

For John, BLUFFaith is a pilgrimage.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This story is by Reporter Andrea Gigliarducci and published in the Boston Archdiocese Weekly, The Pilot

Fatima, Portugal, May 12, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- The third secret of Fatima deals with past events, but at the same time its call to conversion is always current, always up to date, said Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State emeritus.

In an interview with CNA, Cardinal Bertone spoke about the third secret of Fatima, how the decision to release the secret was made, and his memories of his three meetings with Sr. Lucia, the longest-living of the three shepherd children who had been the custodian of the secret until it was released by the Vatican at the request of Pope John Paul II.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima’s appearance to three shepherd children in 1917. Pope Francis is making a two-day pilgrimage to Fatima May 12-13 to celebrate the centenary and to canonize two of the children, Francisco and Jacinta Marta.

The “third secret of Fatima” refers to a message during the apparitions predicting suffering and persecution of the Pope and the Church. Unlike the first two secrets – a vision of hell and a prediction of World War II – the third secret was not initially revealed by Sr. Lucia. At first, she said that Mary had not yet permitted her to reveal it to the world. Later, the Vatican chose to keep it secret until 2000, when it was finally revealed.

The Fatima apparitions “confirm some encouraging news,” Cardinal Bertone said, “that the Mother of the Son of God Incarnated and Our Mother does not abandon humanity in the course of history. She is present, and watches over humanity as the spokesperson and guarantor of God’s Mercy. She is the mediator of salvation.”

On his way to Portugal for his 2010 apostolic trip, the cardinal noted, Pope Benedict XVI stressed that in addition to referencing the suffering of Pope John Paul II, the third secret points to realities involving the future of the Church, “which are gradually taking shape and becoming evident.”

That means, he added, that “the vision implies the need for a passion of the Church, which naturally is reflected in the person of the Pope, yet the Pope stands for the Church and thus it is sufferings of the Church that are announced. The Lord told us that the Church would constantly be suffering, in different ways, until the end of the world.”

There is much more at the Link, above.

Regards  —  Cliff

Trump Resplendent?

For John, BLUFLife is hard.  It is harder when you are a Democrat.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

I am not keeping up.  It seems Washington Post Blogger Chris Cillizza, "The Fix", is now with CNN as Editor-at-large.

Much has been written about how President Trump's election has had a profound impact on the Republican party.   What's drawn less attention — but deserves more! -- is how Trump is affecting Democrats.

Sure, we've seen coverage of how Trump's election has emboldened the liberal left whose call for confrontation at all times has become the rallying cry of the party.  (This New Yorker profile of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer describes the rapid evolution from compromise to confrontation well.)

What's drawn less attention is how Trump's presidency has convinced liberals that every bad thing whispered about any Republican is, by default, true.  Consider that in the last week alone, liberal outrage has been sparked on (at least) four occasions by alleged incidents that simply aren't accurate.

Then Editor-at-large Cillizza goes on to discuss the four.

Mr Cillizza doesn't use the term "Trump Derangement Syndrome", but it is "Trump Derangement Syndrome".

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Fatima Today

For John, BLUFAs an aside, the Influenza Pandemic was good for business.  Some 3 to 5% of the world's population died.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The Reporter for this Old Gray Lady report is Mr Raphael Minder.

Today is the 100th Anniversary of the first appearance of the Virgin Mary to three children at Fatima, in Portugal.

This news story is about the Pope in Portugal canonizing the two sibling, cousins of the older Lúcia de Jesus dos Santos.  They died during the influenza pandemic that devastated Europe, and the world, following World War I (1918-1919).  Francisco Marto died at home on 4 April 1919, age ten, while Jacinta died in a hospital on 20 February 1920, age nine.  The case for Sister Lúcia, who died in 2005, is still being processed.

By the way, the Holy Father asks us which Mary we know (Source is ZENIT):

“Pilgrims with Mary… But which Mary?”  Francis called on those gathered to consider.

“Do we consider her ‘a teacher of the spiritual life,’ the first to follow Jesus on the ‘narrow way’ of the cross by giving us an example, or a Lady ‘unapproachable’ and impossible to imitate?”

To us, is she “a woman ‘blessed because she believed’ always and everywhere in God’s words (cf. Lk 1:42.45), or a ‘plaster statue’ from whom we beg favours at little cost?” : Or is she “the Virgin Mary of the Gospel, venerated by the Church at prayer,” or “a Mary of our own making?”

And, here are "Three ways to obtain an indulgence for the 100-year Fatima anniversary".

UPDATE:  There is someone out there predicting that World War III will start today, the 100th Anniversary of the first Fatima Apparition, and that it will end on 13 October, the 100th Anniversary o the last of the Fatima Apparitions.  RECOMMENDATION:  Pray for the conversion of Russia.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, May 12, 2017

Looking to 2018

For John, BLUFThe Democrats think that repeal of "Obama Care" will hurt the Republicans in the 2018 elections.  I think they could be wrong.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:
The fastest way to lose Congress is by not repealing ObamaCare.
This is the Editorial Writers of The Wall Street Journal.  This is from earlier in the week.  Here is the lede plus one:
Barack Obama emerged from his short-lived political retirement on Sunday to call on Members of Congress to show the “political courage” to preserve ObamaCare.  But wait.  That plea doesn’t square with the deluge of recent stories predicting that Republicans have doomed their majority in 2018 by voting last week to repeal ObamaCare.  How does it take “political courage” to oppose something that everyone claims is politically suicidal?

Perhaps because the predictors of Republican doom could be wrong.  The midterm election is still 18 months away, and many events will intervene that could influence the result.  But even if the campaign does turn on repealing ObamaCare, we’d argue that the politics are better for Republicans if they pass their reform and fulfill a campaign promise than if they fail and then duck and cover.

I think the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal are correct to the extent they say that the Republican Base is expecting the Republicans in do the repeal and replace of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

For the Republicans in Congress to back off will hurt them in 2018.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  The WSJ has a firewall, but this seems to be the firewall free version.

PP&ACA Not Working

For John, BLUFTransparency is missing in the area of healthcare.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This from the Blogger, The Writer in Black, at the eponymously named The Writer in Black Blog.

This is a statistical look at how we deal with pre-existing conditions.  Here is a helpful paragraph on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:

It’s not risk sharing like standard insurance.  It’s wealth transfer taking money from those who got their insurance before they had expensive medical conditions and using it to provide for those who waited.
That is it.  Insurance is about spreading unknown, but anticipated risks amongst a normal population.  The authors of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act assumed that young, healthy people would buy insurance, thus helping to carry the burden of the overall system.  They didn't, notwithstanding a tax on them for not having purchased health insurance.

If we need catastrophic health insurance and insurance for those with pre-existing conditions that are very expensive then we need to tax all of our citizens to fund this health care.  The PP&ACA is not a fix for this problem, as the slow but steady exit of insurance companies like Aetna shows us.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saving US Health Care

For John, BLUFAction needs to be taken, but the Republicans are disunited and the Democrats are in a Zombie state.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Walter Russell Mead, in his American Interest piece yesterday, mentioned that the Aetna Insurance organization is pulling out of the remaining states where it officers under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  That is not a good sign.

Here are two key paragraphs:

In any case, the thing that is slowly killing Obamacare, with or without Republican help, is the same thing that is making it so hard for the GOP to come up with an alternative:  American health care costs too much.  Solving this problem isn’t just about litigating the merits of Obamacare or Trumpcare; it’s about ensuring that the American people have access to the health care they want and need while keeping the country solvent.

We can’t do this all at once by some mighty government fiat—or, for that matter, through a blind faith in private markets.  It took two generations for us to work ourselves into our present mess, and it will take time to work our way back to a sane and sustainable system.

And I don't see how the advocated "single payer" solution will fix anything.  That is changing the premium payer from the individual to the Federal (or State) government, with the money for such payments coming from taxes or from increased federal debt.  That does nothing to get costs under control.  If you want to see how that will work, think the Department of Veteran Affairs.

As Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds says, "What can't go on won't go on." Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  And aren't some establishments still waivered from having to participate in the PP & ACA?

Thursday, May 11, 2017

But Who Watches the Watcher?

For John, BLUFIs there some natural upper limit to the number of Special Councils we can have at any one time?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from The Fiscal Times and columnist Ed Morrissey.

Captain Ed seems to want to do the Judgment of Solomon thing and impose two Special Councils, one for the Russian "Hacking" and Collusion imbroglio and one for the Mrs Clinton Classified EMail gross mishandling brouhaha.

I don't think we need even one, but if Senators Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin are so distraught, then I think this would work for me.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Remember, the Blogger at Captain's Cabin, who broke the Canadian vote buying scandal a few years back?
  Yes, I know that is so last year, but it provides balance and shows that everyone is equal before the law.  And that there was no past favoritism.

What Really Changed at DOJ?

For John, BLUFIf it is the "Russian thing" then President Trump appears to have jumped from the frying pan into the fire.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from The Washington Times and Reporter Tammy Bruce, Thursday, 11 May 2017.

Here are two interesting paragraphs:

The fact is this:  With the firing of Mr. Comey, Andrew McCabe is now the acting FBI director.  About Mr. McCabe’s wife, the Daily Mail reported:  “Before McCabe was appointed as the Deputy Director of the FBI, his wife Jill McCabe ran as a Democrat for the Virginia State senate in 2015.  Her campaign received funds from the state Democratic Party and a political action committee run by Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe.  McAuliffe is a close friend of the Clintons and before his group, Common Good VA, donated to McCabe’s campaign, Hillary Clinton headlined a fundraiser for the PAC.”

Even without this Democratic partisan waiting in the wings to take over the FBI, it’s clear no investigation at the FBI is quashed because the director leaves. No matter who takes the helm, the work in progress continues.

I will be interested in seeing who the President nominates to be the new Director of the FBI and how the US Senate responds to this nomination, providing advice and consent.

The other thing to consider is if, absent leaked information, we would ever know of the gross carelessness of Mrs Hillary Clinton in handling classified information.  Would we ever know about how the Democratic National Committee mistreated Senator Bernie Sanders during the 2016 Primaries?  Would we ever known about the sleaze at the DNC Headquarters?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Marine Le Pen, Socialist

For John, BLUFLabels are being slapped on things with no regard to the things or the labels.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

On Democracy Now (LTC, Channel 8), just now, they had a clip of US Senator Bernie Sanders saying that French Presidential Candidate Marine Le Pen was a right wing person.

Does the good Senator understand that she is a Socialist?

Probably not.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Comey Memo

For John, BLUFI think the case is pretty straight forward.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

At this above link, from The Wash Post, on 9 May 2017, is the 9 May Memorandum from Deputy Attorney General Rod J Rosenstein to the US Attorney General, Subject "Restoring Public Confidence in the FBI".

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Trump's Real Sin

For John, BLUFTrump didn't just win, he rejected the values of the Progressives.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from a site known as American Greatness, by Dr Mark Bauerlein, a Senior Editor at First Things and Professor of English at Emory University,

Here is an excerpt that sums up the thesis:

Which brings us back to Donald Trump.  Why do people hate him so?  Because he won’t accept this appointed condition.  He has no white guilt.  He doesn’t feel any male guilt, either, or American guilt or Christian guilt.  He talks about the United States with uncritical approval—’America First’—and that’s a thought crime in the eyes of liberals.
Here is how Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds sums it up:
He rejects their assumed position of moral and intellectual supremacy.  Which is both fair, and painful, because that position has always been a lie.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Crisis in Cameroon

For John, BLUFThere is nations coming together and there is nations with the majority trying to change the minority, against the will of the minority.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Crisis in Cameroon

Lowell Resident Fru Nkimbeng has been on City Life talking about the problem in the nation of Cameroon.  The nation was originally an amalgam of Francophone and Anglophone areas, separate in language and legal approach.  However, the separation of the two portions has been eliminated by the majority Francophone controlled central government trying to impose its views on the minority Anglophone.

This will be discussed by a panel of experts on this Thursday, 11 May, at Lowell Telecommunications Corporation (LTC) at 7:00 PM.

The location is 246 Market Street, here in Lowell.  Nearby is the Leo Roy Parking Garage.

It should be an interesting panel discussion and worth your attending.

Regards  —  Cliff

  The Anglophone portion uses Common Law and the Francophone uses "Civil Law".
  I would be there but I have to be at the meeting of the License Commission at the same time.