Archive for Mind Games

Democrats v Bill of Rights

Peter Roff on Freezing Free Speech — “Democratic senators are trying to put the First Amendment on ice.”

This coordinated attack on what the Democrats are calling the “Web of denial” is a hideous affront to the right of a person or an organization to hold and to propagate an opinion running counter to the political interests of the powerful. That those participating are making use of the tactics they accuse their opponents in the climate change debate of using would make for delicious irony were the stakes not so high.

Whitehouse and company understand well they cannot yet make a difference of opinion a criminal matter. They can however make it a costly one – and they are not above using the resources available to them as officers of the United States government to do it. No matter what your beliefs about climate change you should all be sickened by the spectacle. Open debate is healthy, but that’s not what this is. It’s an effort at oppression, the kind many of our forebears fled in deciding to first come to America.

If you can’t make it illegal, you can at least make it costly to oppose you. The assault on the Bill of Rights by the Democratic Party is indeed “a hideous affront.” What is frightening is that it is a major political party supported by a good portion of the citizenry.

update: the minions are falling into line: Calling out the Koch Brothers. Note the picking of a personal target and how it is rationalized and defended in the comments. 

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Victory Disease

History is not a closed book and the WW II battle at Midway illustrates both how new understanding can be gained and how old stories are similar to new ones. In Explaining the “Miracle” at Midway, the idea of “Victory Disease” illustrates behaviors readily visible in many of today’s political arguments.

The authors also faulted Japan’s lack of ingenuity in using battleships as close escorts for the navy’s carriers, an overemphasis on quality over quantity in naval aviation, the lack of radar on Japanese vessels, and, perhaps most important of all, Japan’s sufferance from “Victory Disease”— the clouding of judgment resulting from the many easy victories of the early months of the war. “There is an irrationality and impulsiveness about our people which results in actions that are haphazard and often contradictory,” Fuchida and Okumiya conclude. “Indecisive and vacillating, we succumb readily to conceit, which in turn makes us disdainful of others. . . . Our want of rationality often leads us to confuse desire and reality, and thus to do things without careful planning.”

[T]he Japanese defeat was not the result of some solitary, crucial breakdown in Japanese designs. It was not the result of Victory Disease, nor of a few crucial personal mistakes. Rather, what appears is a complex, comprehensive web of failures stretching across every level of the battle—strategic, operational, and tactical. . . . They were the end products of an organization that failed to learn correctly from its past, failed to plan correctly for its future, and then failed to adapt correctly to circumstances once those plans were shown to be flawed.”

There is an irrationality and impulsiveness about our people which results in actions that are haphazard and often contradictory.” “Our want of rationality often leads us to confuse desire and reality, and thus to do things without careful planning.” If you don’t see these human characteristic behaviors driving modern politics, you may need to look in the mirror and do some introspection. It isn’t a “Victory Disease” but rather a narcissism and a defense of self that is an inherent part of identity run amok. It is a bit too much confidence that one’s perceptions are entirely correct, such a confidence that allows no objection even when reality is offering one.

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Perfecting Hindsight: Chilicot version

It’s another ‘report’ to establish moral superiority by bashing and trashing leadership in unpleasant world affairs. This time, it is Tony Blair as the victim for supporting George Bush in the Iraq war. Not that it isn’t countries under examination, it is specific political leaders. Andrew Rawnsley reviews Ten things that Chilcot’s verdict reveals about Tony Blair and the Iraq war. One of the first things to consider in this review is the axioms that show bias.

What he can’t bring himself to say is: “If I knew then what I know now, of course I would never have taken Britain to war in Iraq.” Some react to his defiance by putting it down to self-delusion, denial and vanity. The most important reason is this: for Blair to accept that the entire enterprise was a mistake would be to say to the bereaved that their loved ones died in vain for a terrible folly.

“Folly” ? Notice the many ‘qualified’ assertions about this folly.

Chilcot concludes that the legal basis for the invasion was “far from satisfactory” and confirms that the cabinet never tested the advice from the attorney-general … On the other hand, the war was never condemned by a vote of the UN and the occupation was subsequently given a form of endorsement in post-invasion resolutions passed by the Security Council creating a framework for Iraq’s future.

Up to the cusp of the invasion, key members of the cabinet could have acted to stop British participation in the invasion. Any one of John Prescott, deputy prime minister at the time; Gordon Brown, chancellor; and Jack Straw, foreign secretary, could have halted it by resigning. … The late Robin Cook was the only member of the cabinet to quit

Even the original premise is qualified in item 10.

10 Could an Iraq war ever happen again?

That seems unlikely after the defeats in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some policy thinkers worry there could be a sound case for intervention in the future and it won’t happen because the scars are so deep. Strategy is a mess. After the horrors in Iraq, Britain, with France and America, took a different approach when genocide was threatened by Colonel Gaddafi in Libya, using air power but not deploying troops. That form of intervention-lite has turned out badly. The failings in Iraq and Libya resulted in reluctance to intervene in Syria when anti-regime protesters rose up against the dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad. Even when he unleashed chemical weapons on civilians, parliament refused to sanction British intervention at the first time of asking. More Syrians have died since that conflict began in 2011 than Iraqis have died since the invasion of 2003. Non-intervention can be every bit as blood-stained as intervention.

The “scars are so deep” but these scars do not come from the war in Iraq but rather the political war at home. It is a political war driven by fantasy and hate and personal desires that run so deep as to stimulate massive reports trying to defend them by ignoring reality. That ignoring reality isn’t so much a creation of a new one as an emphasis on just one aspect of the whole. This is like the desire for a socialist dictatorship supported by ignoring the human suffering that results any time it surfaces.

The ‘other side’ of the Iraq war angst is in the Authorization to Use Military Force passed overwhelming by the U.S. Congress and in the U.N resolutions regarding Iraq and in the recent history of the late 20th century. These factors cannot be swept aside in ad hominem moral preening trying to pretend that humanity is what it is not.  History makes it clear that “Non-intervention can be every bit as blood-stained as intervention,” 

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False prophets

Luboš lets loose every now and then about false prophets in science. This time he thinks: Pesticides needed against anti-physics pests — “Their activity got too high in the summer.”

There’s absolutely nothing new about this particular rant – it’s the 5000th repetition of the anti-string delusions repeated by dozens of other mental cripples and fraudsters in the recent decade. To make things “cooler”, he says that many string theorists would agree with him and to make sure what they would agree with, he promotes both Šmoits’ crackpot books at the end as the “recommended reading”.

This particular rant has been read by more than 45,000 readers. The number of people indoctrinated with this junk is so high that one should almost start to be afraid to call the string critics vermin on the street (my fear is not this far, however). I am sure that most of them have been gullible imbeciles since the rant was upvoted a whopping 477 times. Every Quora commenter who has had something to do with high brow physics disagrees with Muller but it’s only Muller’s rant that is visible. Quora labels this Muller as the “most viewed writer in physics”. Quora is an anti-civilization force that deserves to be liquidated.

A more accurate formulation is that Mr Siegel doesn’t want to see any arguments in favor of grand unification because he is a dishonest and/or totally stupid prejudiced and demagogic crackpot. But I guess that Siegel’s own formulation, while totally untrue, sounds fancier to his brainwashed readers.

The number of individuals just like him has grown astronomical and they produce their lies on a daily basis without facing almost any genuine enemies.

It’s not only in string theory that you have the ignorant posing as experts pontificating nonsense. It is not only in arcane fields of study or science or technology that such people are doing their thing, either. String theory, climatology, genetics and farming, vaccinations, nutrition, criminal violence, and even the law all have false prophets garnering followings of the gullible. 

It wouldn’t be so bad if it was all nonsense but money gets spent, people suffer and die, and the followers waste so much. It does seem that the activity is rather high this summer.

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Flawed inflammatory: the GMO argument

Sarah Hartley seems a bit confused in an Opinion: Why scientists’ failure to understand GM opposition is stifling debate and halting progress.

Genetically modified crops are safe for human consumption and have the potential to feed the world and improve human health, scientists have been telling us for years. On June 30, 110 Nobel laureates from around the world signed a letter demanding that the environmental pressure group Greenpeace stop its campaign against GM crops. How many people must die before we consider this a “crime against humanity”? the letter asks.

Note the selection from the letter and remember that this is an opinion about scientists that fail to understand. Also note that the question is factually accurate and reasonable although it is a confrontation to denial.

Our research has identified five requirements for advancing a responsible debate about GM crops. These are a commitment to honesty; recognition of the values underlying the practice of science; involvement of a broad range of people; consideration of a range of alternatives; and a preparedness to respond.

This is nice, but such advice should start at home. How can there be “a commitment to honesty” when a whole litany of dubious allegations and logical fallacies are presented in support of the opinion? How is calling the letter “inflammatory” be considered honest? How are these “requirements” considered relevant when they appear more to be accusation by innuendo and presented that way because the accusations have no merit?

It is clear that the scientists accusing Greenpeace of crimes against humanity feel deeply frustrated about what they see as shackles on a technology that for them has clear benefits for the world’s poor. However, by signing the inflammatory letter, they reveal a flawed and naïve understanding of the debate. This approach is likely to result in further agitating and polarising the debate rather than achieving the desired outcome. Indeed, some may even see these scientists as using their privilege and authority to promote a particular technological solution to a political problem.

The quote provided refutes the accusation here showing that the opinion is based on flawed perceptions chosen to support a bias. That is supported by labeling and judging the Nobel laureates with words such as “flawed and naïve” and asserting that it is they who are “agitating and polarising” and using “privilege and authority.” The opinion also describes health and nutrition as a political problem and maligns technological solutions.

The fact is that the opposition to GMO is based on promulgating fear, uncertainty, and doubt and shows no consideration for the damage its efforts do to integrity or even the physical human condition. Hartley’s concerns about the scientists are misdirected. She chooses the easy target and, in doing so, demonstrates that she is a part of the problem and not a part of the solution.

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Up the ante

The Ace of Spades describes on of the tactics of denial in Trey Gowdy to Comey: As a Former Prosecutor, Didn’t You Routinely Establish Intent By Citing a Defendant’s Voluminous Lies Told to Cover Up Her Actions?.

No matter what you probe Hillary did, Comey ups the ante for what he claims must be proven, then says it’s not proven.

This is a variant of the technique of changing the rules or moving the goal posts during the game in order to avoid losing. 

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Trump Dissonance

Some get it. Consider Byron York: How Trump speaks. Some folks are beginning to notice that Donald Trump is different. Others, like ‘reporters’ in the mainstream propaganda machine, appear to remain clueless. The clueless don’t want to admit that, maybe, they are a bit weak on understanding so they go on attack and demean, humiliate, and castigate. In doing so, they are missing a phenomena.

Instead of a prepared stump speech that he gives over and over again — the standard diet for political reporters covering the presidential race — Trump instead has chosen to deliver a stream of consciousness performance designed to capitalize on his celebrity, to entertain, to attack opponents, and to address the actual issues in the race. And most of all, to keep his audience awake and paying attention.

People aren’t offended by the bragging because they sense it’s part of the act, and they appreciate the occasional touch of humility.

Still, amid it all, Trump manages to cover some of the bases of a conventional political speech. In Cincinnati, he devoted the first part of the speech to attacking Hillary Clinton in light of the Obama Justice Department’s decision not to charge her in the email affair.

Trump interspersed issues throughout the Cincinnati speech. As always, he never discussed specifics of how he would handle any given issue, choosing instead to talk in terms of goals.

But here’s the striking thing, whether the attendee is a loyal Trump fan or not: After all of Trump’s rambling and meandering, after one discursive aside after another, many of those attending still manage to come away from Trump’s speech with concise and focused takeaways.

He communicates in a way far different from what the political world is used to — but he communicates.

it’s clear Trump faces an enormous, perhaps insurmountable obstacle in getting his message out. He clearly believes he is a great communicator, and he is in fact a very good one. But as a political speaker, Trump is so far outside the box that he has virtually overwhelmed the senses of those reporting and analyzing the news, making it difficult for some voters who haven’t actually seen him to get a clear picture of his appeal to supporters.

A key is to consider behavior. In one column from Erik Erickson who thinks We Have Betrayed Our Founders, for instance, one can observe:

“The biggest problem is falling into the ‘both sides do it’ fallacy and not making crucial distinction about differences. That is especially important to do when the options are not attractive.

“For Hillary, his recitation is witness (lied, jeopardized national security). For Trump, it is judgment (swindled, rigged, dog whistled). That shows a crippling anti-Trump bias.

“Another problem is the ‘vox populi’ logical fallacy in asserting a growing consensus that Trump would be a disaster. That also falls into conflating the known (Hillary) with the unknown (Trump).

“Then the ‘both sides do it’ again in “allegiances now to themselves”

“As for Trump’s character, I think Erickson is off base. People I trust that know him, such as Limbaugh (and Savage) and his extended family and ex girl friends, tell a different story. His campaign tells a different story. His funding solicitation tells a different story. The angry and irrational response to Trump from certain quarters also tell me a different story.

“Demagogue is not, IMHO, a proper label for Trump. Calling Republicans the “adult party” is nonsense when looking at how they have responded to elections and as an opposition party in Congress.

“What Erickson also misses is that the Founders saw our country as being run by citizens, ordinary folks who are not career politicians. Trump fits that bill. Hillary does not.

“Trump is also a much better fit for a moral person than Clinton but it takes a close look at the ‘swindle, rigged, etc’ judgments to understand this.

“Erickson also bypasses the fact that Trump won the nomination over a stellar field of competitors and did so by following the rules. The need is to understand why Trump gets the support he does and you won’t find that by taking the road that Erickson is following.”

There is cognitive dissonance and many who thought they were on top of the game are showing significant behavior anomalies in trying to handle it. Time to get off the high horse charging around waving sabers and put the weapons aside and get down with the masses to figure out what is really happening. 

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Selective reasoning

A functioning legal system means that written law is applied consistently. In the U.S. recently, this concept has been taking some abuse. The FBI v. Clinton is the topic of the day but it is not the only example. Madison Gesiotto says Liberal justices espouse Second Amendment argument in Texas abortion regulation case.

Essentially, what he is saying here is that more laws will not deter lawbreakers from committing crimes.

If they are going to use this reasoning to declare abortion regulations unconstitutional, they should stop denying its validity when raised to support the Second Amendment right of U.S. citizens to keep and bear arms.

One can only help that as gun control cases make their way to the Supreme Court that it will be difficult for these justices to distance themselves from the reasoning used in Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt.

However, as we have seen in recent years, the law doesn’t always apply to everyone, and the left has a way of unapologetically picking and choosing reasoning that is politically expedient.

On the Clinton front there Andrew P. Napolitano: The Department of Political Justice — “Once again, the rule of law exempts the Clintons.”

What has become of the rule of law — no one is beneath its protections or above its requirements — when the American public can witness a game of political musical chairs orchestrated by Bill Clinton at an airport in a bizarre ruse to remove the criminal investigation of his wife from those legally responsible for making decisions about it?

It is obvious that a different standard is being applied to Mrs. Clinton than was applied to Gen. Petraeus and the others.

Unless, of course, one is willing to pervert the rule of law yet again to insulate a Clinton yet again from the law enforcement machinery that everyone else who fails to secure state secrets should expect.

Why do we stand for this?

The thing is, these sorts of things are not only in the upper levels of government, they are in local clubs like the WBCCI, an Airstream RV club. Stand up? It seems that that takes too much work and creates too much unpleasantness. Club Directors ignore malfeasance? Why worry about the club corporate charter? That’s like in Venezuela where they went for socialism and a dictator and didn’t think the current food riots were any risk to consider. What might (historically has) happened is far off so don’t worry, be happy. It’s not going to happen to you and who cares about the other guy.

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Voter Fraud

It’s another partisan issue with Democrats insisting fraud doesn’t exist and voter qualification is unnecessarily discriminatory. John Hinderaker describes one case of Voter Fraud Alleged in Minnesota. As per usual, there are efforts from the Democrats to make evidence collection difficult but what has been found so far is telling.

Here in Minnesota, a case is pending in our Supreme Court that challenges same day registration and various actions by our Democratic Secretary of State that have enabled illegal voting. I haven’t yet had time to evaluate the plaintiffs’ legal arguments, but the factual allegations are explosive

The lawyers representing plaintiffs in the case have done a great deal of digging, and have come up with names, dates and places–illegal votes that likely swung Minnesota elections toward Democratic candidates. The illegal votes that plaintiffs have been able to document are only a small fraction of the actual total

Minnesota’s Secretary of State, Steve Simon, has tried to frustrate investigation into illegal voting by refusing to turn over either to polling places or to the plaintiffs in the lawsuit the complete list, which the state maintains, of those who have lost their voting rights. It is hard to see any possible reason why this list should be a secret, other than the Democrats’ desire that convicted felons, who overwhelmingly vote their way, get away with voting illegally.

This fact is particularly explosive:

MVA found 941 ineligible felons who were allowed to vote in 2008 alone, exceeding the 312 vote margin separating DFL candidate Al Franken and GOP Sen. Norm Coleman after a grueling recount.

This is stunning. It was Franken’s razor-thin “victory” over incumbent Senator Norm Coleman that allowed the Democrats to ram Obamacare down the throats of the American people. If we assume that 80% of the 941 ineligible felons voted for Al Franken–a conservative assumption, as nearly all convicted felons are Democrats–then Franken’s victory is attributable to voter fraud. And the 941 ineligible votes are just a fraction of those that could have been identified if the Democratic Secretary of State had not stonewalled, refusing to turn over the full list of ineligible voters.

Fishing expedition? Witch Hunt? Or an actual cause for investigation? Democrats see this particular issue one way and Republicans another much like in the Benghazi case or the Lerner case or the Clinton Foundation case or Fast and Furious or …. How much “there” is really there and what difference, at this point, does it make?

The pile under the rug seems to be getting to tripping hazard status and the reluctance to lift the edge to clean out the problem seems to be getting more adamant. Something will break sometime.

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More death from the left

One side effect of the environmentalists’s movements has been death, especially in the population of the poor and disadvantaged. Since Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and the termination of the use of DDT to control vector born diseases, the health and welfare of the silent classes seem to be of little concern. This is generating some pushback. See Scientists Scorn Greenpeace’s Deadly GMO Scare Tactics

A group of 107 Nobel laureates signed onto a letter calling out the environmental group Greenpeace for its longstanding opposition to genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

The letter pays particular attention to Golden Rice, a GMO that, the letter states, “has the potential to reduce or eliminate much of the death and disease caused by a vitamin A deficiency (VAD), which has the greatest impact on the poorest people in Africa and Southeast Asia.”

And yet, and yet…Greenpeace doesn’t approve. Worse than that, the group’s eco-activists have actively mobilized against its cultivation in the developing world (where it’s needed most), spreading fear and misinformation that’s lead to incidences of targeted vandalism against Golden Rice field trials.
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The Nobel laureates’ letter concludes with a question: “How many poor people in the world must die before we consider this a “crime against humanity”?” From where we’re sitting, consigning hundreds of thousands of poor children to blindness and contributing to millions of otherwise preventable deaths every year certainly seems to cross that line.

The issue is one of ‘responsible use’ but the debate is plagued by binary position of yes or no. Yes, Carson had a point but no, total banning of all pesticides was not the most effective choice. Tugging on heartstrings with scary anecdote and hyperbolic exaggeration is not a proper way to present a point of view either. 

You can take the Malthusian approach, figure that all resources are limited so the human population must be limited, too- by force if necessary. An alternative is  to look at history and see that human ingenuity tends to solve problems if allowed to do so and human population is self limiting when fears of starvation and impoverishment are reduced. 

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targeting the opposition

The scandals brew. Bill Clinton and AG Lynch have a half hour discussion in an airport – this raises questions because it is the prosecutor hobnobbing with the husband of an individual under criminal investigation. Then there is the AG that dropped the efforts against Exxon even though a coalition of 17 other Democrat AG’s promise to plow on. These are only two ingredients in the noxious brew.

Paul Bedard describes: Fox targeted by FEC Dems in first-ever vote to punish debate sponsorship

Finally making good on long-harbored anger at conservative media, Democrats on the Federal Election Commission voted in secret to punish Fox News’ sponsorship of a Republican presidential debate, using an obscure law to charge the network with helping those on stage.

It is the first time in history that members of the FEC voted to punish a media outlet’s debate sponsorship, and it follows several years of Democratic threats against conservative media and websites like the Drudge Report.

The punishment, however, was blocked by all three Republicans on the commission, resulting in a 3-3 tie vote and no action.

Then the IBD opines about the IRS Scandal: No End To Lois Lerner’s Lawlessness.

It’s now apparent, if it wasn’t before, that the Internal Revenue Service — which was created solely to collect revenues due the government, not to persecute the administration’s political enemies — has become a kind of rogue agency.

Its chief, John Koskinen, is being threatened with impeachment for not telling the truth in testimony before Congress. But Lerner, more than even Koskinen, has become a symbol of IRS arrogance and illegality.

So it looks like Lerner broke the law — again. But will she be punished? Not likely.

President Obama’s Justice Department already passed on prosecuting Lerner in 2015, despite strong evidence of criminal wrongdoing. IRS chief Koskinen, who is less guilty and less implicated than Lerner in all of this IRS skulduggery, is more likely to be impeached than Lerner is to be brought before a judge.

Loretta Lynch’s Justice Department, it seems, is just as politicized these days as the IRS.

One wonders just how long this sort of behavior will remain acceptable and how long the Democrats will continue to mount a solid patisan effort in trying to block investigations, persecute investigators, and otherwise defend and deny. The Benghazi investigation provides another clear example of this effort to whitewash a dirty fence.

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The problem with the courts

William J. Olson and Herbert W. Titus take a look at a SCOTUS ruling that medical precautions in abortion are unduly restrictive in Whole Woman’s Health: Justice Thomas Exposes the Court’s Corrupt Abortion Jurisprudence. A dissent describes a broader view of just where the problem in the SCOTUS decision lies.

Justice Thomas concluded: “Our law is now so riddled with special exceptions for special rights that our decisions deliver neither predictability nor the promise of a judiciary bound by the rule of law.” Concluding with a frontal assault on balancing tests, Justice Thomas warned: “As the Court applies whatever standard it likes to any given case, nothing but empty words separates our constitutional decisions from judicial fiat[.] … If our recent cases illustrate anything, it is how easily the Court tinkers with levels of scrutiny to achieve its desired result.”

“The Court has simultaneously transformed judicially created rights like the right to abortion into preferred constitutional rights, while disfavoring many of the rights actually enumerated in the Constitution. But our Constitution renounces the notion that some constitutional rights are more equal than others. A plaintiff either possesses the constitutional right he is asserting, or not – and if not, the judiciary has no business creating ad hoc exceptions so that others can assert rights that seem especially important to vindicate[.]”

In other words, the courts have become so politically active that the only way to tell what decision they make is to examine the political ideologies of the judges. The actual law has very little to do with anything anymore. 

Think of the movie Red October where a captain orders that the safeties on a torpedo be turned off is the first two attempts did not get the desired results. That is what is happening with the courts: the safeties for governance are being turned off. In the movie, we found out why the safeties were there. Let us hope we avoid analogous results from court actions to remove the safeties on government.

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Tactics and kindergarten

It was a set up job trying to get the opposition into a ‘no win’ scenario. John Sexton describes the tactics in Paul Ryan: I won’t tolerate another sit-in from Democrats.

After Democrats held what the Speaker of the House has called a fundraising stunt last week, some Republicans have recommended he file ethics charges against anyone who violated House rules. Ryan doesn’t seem ready to go there quite yet but he did tell WISN news that if Democrats try it again his response will be different … The Hill reports that Ryan chose not to have Democrats removed from the House floor last week because he had heard that was exactly what Democrats were hoping would happen

Speaker Ryan was put in an impossible situation by Democrats who were clearly hoping he would walk into a trap set for him. Had he cleared the House, Democrats would have turned an argument over a failed gun control bill into an argument over race and civil rights. … Any reaction by Ryan will be portrayed as a racially-charged overreach against a civil rights icon. So it’s hard to see how can Ryan ever win this showdown because whatever he does the media will ensure that he loses.

The same media that has been consistently dismayed by every government shutdown driven by Republicans was giddy over Democrats turning the House floor into an Occupy camp. Despite the clear breaking of the rules and Ryan’s restrained response, the media gave Democrats’ glowing reviews.

In other words, as long as people buy into this behavior, it will continue.

Then there’s the idea that Democrats release their own Benghazi report.

Democrats on the Select Committee investigating the Benghazi attack released their own report on the matter Monday. The report is intended to undercut the forthcoming report by the majority on the select committee which is expected to be released this summer

The report is 339 pages but fully 50 pages of that is dedicated to attacking the Republicans on the committee directly. The report offers 12 recommendations, 3 of which are aimed at the select committee itself.

Democrats have apparently produced exactly what they have accused Republicans of attempting to produce, a completely politicized Benghazi report.

And, if that isn’t enough, consider Jazz Shaw about Washington state to begin teaching “gender identity” in Kindergarten.

Earlier this month another dubious milestone was reached in the state of Washington, already home to many such distinctions. We learned that beginning in the fall of next year, kindergarten students being sent off to school for the first time will be learning about more than the A,B, C’s and which juice box to select before nap time. Teachers will begin instructing the five year olds on the ins and outs of gender identity… just in case they didn’t have enough to be confused about already. (Daily Caller)

Before going any further, allow me a moment to offer some advice for all the parents in the Evergreen State as well as young couples considering procreating. Get out. Pack your things and rent a U-Haul or whatever it takes. Flee the state. There is nothing left worth fighting for there and you should really strike out and find a job somewhere sane.

Childhood is confusing enough and setting off on the path to adulthood is a road with many pitfalls awaiting you. Having the state engage in this sort of destructive behavior should be criminal, but it’s now treated as the new normal. This idea probably works wonderfully to indoctrinate a new generation of Democratic voters, but the damage they may potentially leave in their wake is a tragedy in the making.

It seems that there may be a pattern or correlation here. Throwing a temper tantrum on the floor of the House is a tactic for 2 year olds. So, perhaps, they see kindergarten students as being their peers and that is why they push gender identity and sexual fantasies on these children.

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Using the courts as a political weapon

A unanimous SCOTUS ruled on The McDonnell Case: Another Study in Criminal Law as Democratic Partisan Warfare. Clarice Feldman explains.

It’s common for those unhappy with a decision to criticize the partisanship of the judges involved, but the weakness of the case, which was evident when it was argued in the Supreme Court (and during the trial itself), and the fact that it was reversed unanimously warrants a raised eyebrow. It comes on the heels of the reversed prosecutions of then-Senator Ted Stevens, Governor Rick Perry, House Majority leader Tom DeLay, the IRS war on Obama’s opponents in the tea party and other conservative groups, and the outrageous trampling the rights of those who worked for and supported Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. This case and those matters lead to an inescapable conclusion: With the endorsement of partisan juries and/or judges, the Democratic Party seeks to and will use the power of the prosecution to destroy Republican political leaders and anyone who supports them.

The law was thus rather well settled on this point, and neither the prosecution nor the trial and appellate courts gave it the required deference nor exercised any reasonable (or fair) judgment on the salient issue.

In the meantime, McDonnell’s political career, finances and family have suffered greatly by this strained reading of the law to cover conduct which the Supreme Court and ordinary common sense supports was not criminal , but rather ordinary and perfectly proper official conduct.

What I would bet on is that Democrats will continue to stretch the criminal law for partisan advantage, and that, if elected; Hillary will appoint prosecutors and judges willing to continue to mount such legal warfare.

“Warrants a raised eyebrow?” That seems to be a bit of understatement, especially in light of the previous post about a cohort of partisan AG’s going after the First Amendment for the cause. The Left, and the Democrats, loose many and suffer many casualties but they keep going, keep at it, knowing that there will be an occasional victory and another small push forward in the cause.

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Don’t need no stinkin’ data – we have our imaginations!

This falls into the ‘never let a catastrophe go to waste’ department. Michael Mann, scientist: Data ‘increasingly unnecessary’ because ‘we can see climate change’.

Leading climate doomsayer Michael Mann recently downplayed the importance of climate change science, telling [the Democratic Platform Drafting Committee] that data and models “increasingly are unnecessary” because the impact is obvious.

The panel’s draft, which now goes to the full platform committee for approval at a meeting July 8-9 in Orlando, Florida, includes a recommendation to call for a Justice Department investigation into “alleged corporate fraud on the part of fossil fuel companies who have reportedly misled shareholders and the public on the scientific reality of climate change.”

The recommendation, adopted by unanimous consent, comes on the heels of a campaign by 17 attorneys general — 16 Democrats and one independent — to pursue Exxon Mobil Corp. and its supporters for climate change “fraud.” At least three attorneys general have issued subpoenas to Exxon.

Exxon is challenging subpoenas issued by the Virgin Islands and Massachusetts attorneys general, denouncing the probe as a fishing expedition that violates the company’s free speech rights.

Any flood, any big storm, any unusual weather, provide meat for claims about being able to “see climate change.” You’d think a person with the credentials and position of “Mann, scientist” would be well aware of the problems of perception and bias in measurement and, especially with his previous problems with statistics, especially careful about phenomena that are not simply measured.

It is telling that the pattern persists. Deceit and a lack of intellectual integrity in espousing a position, a call for the suppression of fundamental rights, moral preening, and the platform of the Democratic Party. Modeling that party with this pattern yields much more verifiable outcomes than climate models provide.

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Political fact checking: tool of the trade

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. calls is a Fact checker fandango — “Research of the record fails to trip Trump.”

Mr. Potato Head was working with CNN’s posse comitatus to bring down Mr. Trump for his revelations about Crooked Hillary, but it is they — the so-called fact checkers at CNN — who were brought down.

After last week’s speech, it appears Donald Trump’s charges against Hillary Clinton are absolutely copper bottom. CNN’s “fact checkers” should be retired. Like all politicians, Mr. Trump might occasionally exaggerate a trivial matter. Hillary lies repeatedly on things that matter.

It is an interesting use of “copper bottom.” That comes from efforts to keep the hull of wooden sailing ships free of barnacles and other sea creatures that destroyed the hull and reduced sailing efficiency. Here, the implications are that the ‘fact checkers’ are analogous to the barnacles and other destructive creatures.

The tragedy is that so many are willing to go so far in trying to defend the indefensible. Calling themselves “fact checkers” is doing a disservice both to facts and to checking for integrity and honesty.

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Rights? What rights?

Democrats Attack 3 Of The 10 Amendments In The Bill Of Rights — An IBD editorial explains.

Democrats have long expressed frustration, if not outright contempt, for the Constitution whenever it hinders their ability to enact some new government program. President Obama has repeatedly complained about the “messy” process the Constitution’s co-equal branches created, and has several times acted as though the Constitution’s limits on the president’s authority simply don’t apply to him.

But the fact that a major U.S. political party — which still considers itself mainstream — is now willing to specifically target amendments designed to protect Americans from tyrannical government control is alarming, to say the least.

Then there is the SCOTUS ruling that allows reverse discrimination, despite laws for equal treatment. What next?

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Utah v. Strieff, does SCOTUS have a racism problem (tell me it ain’t so!)?

Jazz Shaw thinks The Fourth Amendment wasn’t created to protect the guilty but one SCOTUS case got some riled.

The Libertarians are up in arms over yet another Supreme Court decision this week which involves the question of when police are allowed to use evidence of a crime in the prosecution of a suspect. In a five to three ruling which crossed the normal ideological battle lines of the SCOTUS justices, the court found in the case of Utah v. Strieff that evidence of a crime discovered during a traffic stop could be used if the suspect has an outstanding warrant for an unrelated offense. (New York Times)

The responses from Justice Sotomayor in her dissent and from the Libertarians who are bemoaning the death of the Constitution are equally maddening, though for different reasons.

An officer with a gun. (Every lethal force encounter between police and minority suspects)

No one can breathe. (“I can’t breathe” Eric Garner)

Until their voices matter. (Black Lives Matter)

This wasn’t a Supreme Court dissent. It was a series of excerpts from a Black Lives Matter diatribe in a case which wasn’t even addressing questions of profiling or any other related issue.

In this case, Shaw is illustrating racism by example. Paul Mirengoff describes how those illustrating racism and calling for decorum and such might be expressing projection in A penny for your thoughts — “Here’s the measured response of a British leftist, Laurie Penny, to the Brexit:”

“So, here’s the thing. This was never a referendum on the EU. It was a referendum on the modern world, and yesterday the frightened, parochial lizard-brain of Britain voted out, out, out, and today we’ve all woken up still strapped onto this ghost-train as it hurtles off the tracks.”

There is, of course, more to the Brexit than the desire to curb immigration by low-skilled Europeans. Many Brits wanted to wrest control of Britain’s destiny from EU bureaucrats. In other words, they wanted much more say than the EU will allow them in determining what the “modern world” will hold in store.

They shall have it. No wonder leftists like Penny are incensed.

The Brexit vote also prompted outrage at xenophobia and other such contemptuous moral failings. As with the similar flailing against Trump, the level of the outrage says more than the allegations and accusations.

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The most amazing. Trying to catch up with the Clintons

Bruce Bialosky: The Worst Part Of The Email Scandal

The most amazing part of this entire scandal is that Mrs. Clinton maintained the email and personal server for the four years she was Secretary of State and it never became public. It was not until the State Department turned over eight emails to the House Benghazi Committee in August, 2014, that the world learned of clintonemail.com. This was more than five years after the domain was established in January, 2009, during Mrs. Clinton’s approval process in the U.S. Senate.

Not one person questioned this practice publicly. Not one met a Washington Post reporter in a dark corner of a garage and whispered how the Secretary of State was using her own email on her own domain and exposing nationally-sensitive material to tawdry or dangerous elements on the internet. This scares the wits out of me and it should scare the wits out of you. The Obama Administration was running such a cabal that no one challenged this questionable behavior.

In speaking to colleagues about this matter, they asserted various rationale for this lack of response. Most of their rationale centers on the fact that whoever it was, whether they be people in her department, the White House staff or other people in other departments, they were essentially afraid of challenging Ms. Clinton.

As I said this is the worst part. A major part of our government and hundreds of our employees refused to blow the whistle on an obvious dangerous behavior. That should scare us all.

Then there’s Lloyd Marcus trying to explain to his brother that experience in Washington D.C. is not necessarily a good thing. Hillary: Savant of Washington Insider Corruption.

Hillary is well-schooled in DC insider corruption, becoming a multimillionaire while crushing little people along the way. Though she portrays herself as a champion of women, Hillary’s history confirms that she is the complete opposite.

Hillary has learned how to put her political best interest above American lives. This was exposed in the bestselling book and accompanying movie, 13 Hours, which tells the horrific account of how Americans were left to die in Benghazi.

Hillary has learned how to create a charity in which only 10% goes to the people she claims to champion.

Hillary has truly mastered the technique of portraying herself as a champion of various groups while stabbing them in the back.

My low-info voter brother’s time is consumed coaching kids football and working a full-time job. He gets his news from mainstream media. His only knowledge of Hillary’s email scandal is the media and Democrat operative’s spin that says evil Republicans are out to get her. My brother does not know that as secretary of state Hillary broke extremely serious national security protocols, putting American lives at risk.Government employees with far lesser violations have been thrown into jail. Hillary has learned that being a Democrat in Washington permits her to arrogantly function outside the law without consequence.

It is out there in plain sight just like the temper tantrum of Democrats on the floor of the House of Representatives trying to raise funds with a faux 60’s sit-in advocating overturning the Bill of Rights. But, instead of being aghast at such behavior, it is praised and lauded.

Worried, yet? Or are you one of the plurality that is wondering what all the fuss is about, one that gets angry at those who think there is a problem here?

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Why do they do that? Bureaucrats and Organization Directors, too.

The Coyote Blog takes on Government, Arrogant Ignorance, and the Power of Incentives.

As most of you know, my company operates parks on public lands, so I work with government agencies a lot. Years ago, from this experience, I coined a term called “arrogant ignorance.” It comes from numerous times when government employees will be completely ignorant of some process, perhaps even their agency’s own rules and procedures, but will fight to the death any suggestion that I might be able to enlighten them or that they are doing something wrong.

For a while, people had me believing that I had just rediscovered the Dunning–Kruger effect. But I am now convinced that this is not the same as my “arrogant ignorance”. And the difference between the two highlights a key point about failure of government I have made for years, which is that government does a bad job not because the people are bad, but because it hires good (or at least average) people who have terrible incentives and information.

But my concept of arrogant ignorance is not really a cognitive effect, I think, but rather a symptom of incentives. The problem with most government jobs is that they have no service or output metrics so that they are instead judged mainly on conformance to procedure. And even that is not quite correct, because most agencies I work with do not even have formal standards or quality review processes for their employees, at least below the executive level.

I want to take an aside here on incentives. It is almost NEVER the case that an organization has no incentives or performance metrics. Yes, it is frequently the case that they may not have clear written formal metrics and evaluations and incentives. But every organization has informal, unwritten incentives. Sometimes, even when there are written evaluation procedures, these informal incentives dominate.

This isn’t a phenomena restricted to government employees. For example, see the 2014 Acceptance Speech by incoming WBCCI President, Joe Perryman and WBCCI life member Phil Pons Presentation on Leadership and Presentation Concerns for WBCCI. The WBCCI governing board has been accused of Arrogant Ignorance for a long time and many of the incentives for board members are the same as the Coyote describes for government employees. The WBCCI does have a service metric – its membership and participation – but it does not appear that the organization leaders can connect this to their own behavior even though presidents such as Perryman have laid it out for them. The leaders show themselves to be “completely ignorant of some process, perhaps even their agency’s own rules and procedures” yet blindly dedicated to “informal, unwritten incentives.”

So, I try to learn from this. One thing, for example, I always do is ask myself when someone who works for me screws up, “Is this really my fault, for not training them well.” A surprising number of times, the answer is a reluctant, “yes”.

A business that wants to continue to exist must learn like this. Any organization that wants to remain healthy must do likewise. Business, social organization, or government all need leadership and responsible executive behavior to remain viable and useful.

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