Free Markets, Free People

Bruce McQuain

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The sky ISN’T falling? What the hell, Chicken Little?!

I know this is going to come as a shock … shock, I tell you … to many old time readers of Q and O, but the apparent feelings about global warming among most scientists is  … wait for it … skepticism.  Oh, my:

It is becoming clear that not only do many scientists dispute the asserted global warming crisis, but these skeptical scientists may indeed form a scientific consensus.

Gasp.  And it is a peer reviewed no less:

Only 36 percent of geoscientists and engineers believe that humans are creating a global warming crisis, according to a survey reported in the peer-reviewed Organization Studies. By contrast, a strong majority of the 1,077 respondents believe that nature is the primary cause of recent global warming and/or that future global warming will not be a very serious problem.

The survey results show geoscientists (also known as earth scientists) and engineers hold similar views as meteorologists. Two recent surveys of meteorologists (summarized here and here) revealed similar skepticism of alarmist global warming claims.

Well, to one group, it’s science.  To another it’s a religion.  I’ll go with the scientists.

Meanwhile in Topsy-Turvy world, it’s now the attempted murderer who is the “victim”  because … race:

An Ohio State University (OSU) student who attempted to go on a stabbing spree last month before being gunned down by a nearby officer has been added to a protest list of non-whites “wrongly” shot and killed by a police.

The OSU Coalition for Black Liberation is a campus protest group on OSU’s main campus in Columbus. The group held a rally Wednesday to protest the death of young black men at the hands of police, and read off a list of non-white men who had been killed by police in the last two months. Among the names read off was that of Abdul Razak Ali Artan.

Hey, had it been a white guy, why he’d be excoriated for being a racist murderer and this would be just another example of the violence of the “white devil” (exercising his privilege no doubt).  When racist ideology is involved, it is the skin color that matters, not the deed, so this is just “another young black man” killed at the hands of an obviously racist white police officer.  Or that’s how they’d prefer he served their purpose.

We’re not the only country with freedom of speech issues.  Consider the Netherlands:

A Dutch court has convicted populist anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders of hate speech charges at the end of a trial he branded a politically motivated “charade” that endangered freedom of speech.

Presiding Judge Hendrik Steenhuis said the court would not impose a sentence on Wilders, saying that the conviction was punishment enough for a democratically elected politician.

The charges stem from a 2014 incident in which Wilders led supporters to chant that they wanted “Fewer! Fewer! Fewer!” Moroccans in the Netherlands.

If I had to guess, the Judge was slightly ashamed of having to preside on such a matter, thus the “no sentence” decision.  Freedom is in jeopardy everywhere.  Like what he says or not, freedom of speech isn’t about saying stuff you agree with, but the ability to say things others don’t agree with.  “Hate speech” is another of those devices government and other groups attempts to impose to shut down speech it doesn’t agree with.  So they criminalize speech and they get to decide what is or isn’t “hate speech”.  Convenient, no?

Some bottom line stuff in regard to “legacy” and a “failed presidency”.  This pretty much says it all in three sentences:

If Obama’s policies had improved the economy, people would feel confident about their ability to find new and better jobs, buy houses, pay for their children’s educations, afford retirement, and live with a financial cushion. If the Affordable Care Act had lived up to its name, people would feel more reassured about their ability to get the medical help they need at a price they can afford. If Obama’s counterterrorism policies worked, Americans wouldn’t have been left shuddering at attacks in San Bernardino and Orlando and Boston and Chelsea.

Glenn Reynolds takes a much deeper look and concludes:

Up to now, comparisons with Carter were a tool of Obama’s critics. From now on, they’re likely to be a tool of his defenders. Because as bad as Carter was, Obama is shaping up to be worse. Much worse.

Indeed.

~McQ

“Remember the Maine!”

Before we let it slip notice, today is Pearl Harbor day.  Someone recently suggested we need to “get over” Pearl Harbor.  Really?  I’ll get over it about as soon as I get over 9/11.  Never forget.

Don’t know if you’ve been watching this North Dakota pipeline nonsense, but this isn’t about “native rights” (it’s on private and federal land) or “water protection” for the Standing Rock tribe (a new water intake goes into service 70 miles downriver this month).  It’s about lawlessness of a type we’ve seen quite often during this presidency:

So what is the pipeline dispute really about? Political expediency in a White House that does not see itself as being bound by the rule of law. The Obama administration has decided to build a political legacy rather than lead the country. It is facilitating an illegal occupation that has grown wildly out of control. That the economy depends on a consistent and predictable permitting regime seems never to have crossed the president’s mind.

Hopefully we’ll see the rule of law reestablished relatively soon and fewer of these tantrums.  But then, we’re going into to a Donald Trump administration so we all know better than that.  They’re going to protest and pitch fits about what he had for breakfast for 4 years.

Speaking of “fake news” the usual suspects have been spreading it for decades according to a new economic analysis recently published:

“Conventional wisdom — as reported in many major newspapers and media — tells us the U.S. economy is ‘recovering.’ Well-meaning economists, academics and government officials use the term ‘recovery’ when discussing the economy, implying that growth is getting stronger. The study finds there is no recovery. Since 2007, U.S. GDP per capita growth has been 1,” according to Gallup Chairman Jim Clifton.

“As this report makes clear,” added Council President Deborah Wince-Smith, “productivity growth is in a serious multi-decade-long slump that is dangerously close to stalling completely.”

If the media wants to regain its credibility it needs to begin reporting the hard facts of what Americans are really facing economically instead of collaborating with government to continue to spread what I consider to be falsehoods. Start reporting the facts.  Start doing the hard work of journalism.  Quit being a publishing tool for government propaganda.  Then, maybe, people will again invest some faith in what you have to say.

Meanwhile in the land of the fragile snowflakes, college courses for which someone is paying good money.  Such as “Racial Capitalism” at Williams College. Course description:

“This class will interrogate the ways in which capitalist economies have ‘always and everywhere’ relied upon forms of racist domination and exclusion.”

Because, you know, capitalism couldn’t be race neutral, could it? Other courses of note – “Queering God: Feminist and Queer Theology” at Swarthmore which, I’m sure, will be extraordinarily useful in the post-college world. The University of South Carolina’s “Ecofeminism”, because, well, feminism needs to be relevant everywhere. Middlebury’s wonderfully tolerant class entitled “White People” where, one assumes you will study white people and learn how to shame them. And finally, at the home of the Florida Gators – “Black Hair Politics”. No. Really. That’s the course mom and dad are paying big bucks for Jr. to study. I imagine somewhere in there is a day or two on “cultural appropriation”.

The world gone mad.

~McQ

 

The joys of swamp draining

In case you’ve wondered why “drain the swamp” resonated with Trump crowds, this paragraph describes it succinctly and well:

For most Americans, in other words, a glitzy Washington, D.C., is not a healthy Washington, D.C. A gleaming, prosperous industry town usually makes for a cheerful sight, but not when that “industry” revolves around taking other people’s money — truly mind-boggling amounts of money! — and transforming it into subsidized incompetence, black-hole accounting, and a leading export of sanctimony.

There are those  who claim you can’t look at a government budget the same way you do a business or household budget.  Well, yes, yes you can.  Rule number one – you don’t spend more than you have.  Period.  Full stop.  Otherwise you finally end up with unrecoverable debt and like it or not, someone will have to pay for that.  Our enlightened leadership has tried to kick that payback can as far down the road as they can, well, far enough that it won’t effect them or their reelection chances in they lifetime.  Their, yours and my grandkids?  Aw, screw em.

The point, of course, is scads and scads of our money goes into this swamp called DC.  And not much of any use comes out – certainly not when compared to the money that goes in.  Oh sure, we get plenty of intrusion, lots of poorly thought out regulation and a smug group of elected officials and hangers on who are sure they know what is best for the rest of us.  A swamp.  Drain it.

I’m definitely with Billy now that Nancy Pelosi has been reelected the minority leader in the House.  She is indeed the gift that keeps on giving.  Her latest was to say she didn’t think the people of the US wanted a new direction in politics.  Apparently she was asleep when all the voting for president took place and missed the resounding message the American people sent via the election of Donald Trump.  No, Nancy … don’t listen to the naysayers on your side.  Keep doing what you’ve been doing.  Please.

A very interesting look at China’s economy and why it isn’t at all as robust as China would like you to believe.  Hint: it has to do with where the wealth is concentrated and it isn’t in the hands of the people (which is, by the way, the most efficient means of fueling an economy and building real wealth).

Meanwhile, in another socialist paradise, we have the latest indicator of how well it is going there.  The scene is on the Columbian border:

Women from crisis-hit Venezuela are crossing the border in droves and selling their hair in a Colombian border town in order to afford scarce basic necessities such as food, diapers or medicines.

The trend, which has taken off in recent weeks, is another sign of the oil-rich country’s deepening crisis amid shortages and spiraling inflation that have millions skipping meals and forgoing costly medical treatment.

This is both pitiful and pathetic and driven by that one word that no one wants to seem to pin to the problem: socialism.  Unfortunately, it’s a reoccurring disease in Central and South America.

The usual end for a poorly thought out (and poorly researched, apparently) decision.  All with your money.  Because … global warming:

Three windmill-like turbines loom motionless over the city of Port Angeles’ new Waterfront Park.

The $107,516 spires stand immobile more than two months after they were erected and more than a year after the city council approved them.

Once they are working to generate electricity, they will produce so little power — $1.50 worth of electricity a month in savings — that at least one council member is regretting her decision to purchase them.

Ah, isn’t that nice?  Of course, there’ll be few consequences and precious little accountability when all is said and done.

And finally, banning booksbecause “racism”.  No, really. And I’m not talking about 1938 Germany.

Context? History?  Yeah, what an outdated concepts.

To Kill a Mockingbird and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn have been suspended from the curriculum in some Virginia schools, after a parent complained about the use of racial slurs.

Note the term “a parent”.  That’s right, apparently one, single parent found the books offensive without appreciating the history of the era or the huge point each of the works makes about race.  Nope, we must go back in time and expunge offensive words because apparently we have a new right that trumps all – the right to not be offended.  Oh, and we get to use that right to deny everyone else the pleasure of these books.

And you wonder where these delicate snowflake SJWs come from …

~McQ

That Irony thing again

“Rolling Stone”, the magazine that was responsible for the UVA rape hoax story, among many other stories which seriously lacked credibility (and that’s being kind), thinks government should be involved in monitoring and preventing “fake news”.

The man responsible for publishing one of the greatest media hoaxes in recent memory thinks it might be a good idea if the government provided the press with subsidies to help it fight fake news.

Jann S. Wenner is the co-founder and publisher of Rolling Stone magazine, which published a story on Nov. 19, 2014, alleging that “Jackie,” a student at the University of Virginia, had been gang-raped as part of a fraternity initiation.

The report was proven to be totally false, however, and “Jackie” a wild fabulist, but not before UVA suspended the fraternity and the university itself suffered a major blow to its reputation.

Brilliant.  Further on he suggests a “subsidy” to Obama during an interview:

In an interview published this week, Wenner wondered aloud in a conversation with President Obama whether the federal government should provide media with subsidies to help them combat the rising tide of fake news stories on social media.

Dude … “the media” is responsible for as much fake news as anyone, as demonstrated by your own magazine. It’s like they’re a goose and they wake up in a new world every day.  No memory, no shame.  Of course he and Rolling Stone are getting their rear ends sued over their “fake news”.  Maybe there will be a little accountability in this case.

Speaking of fake news, the government also publishes its fair share.  Like the latest unemployment figures.

While the unemployment rate dropped and the economy added another 178,000 jobs, the number of Americans out of the labor force hit a record high last month.

According to the Labor Department, 95,055,000 Americans were out of workforce in November, meaning they were neither employed nor had made an effort to find work over the previous month.

That 4.6% unemployment rate? It’s statistical nonsense.  It’s a farce.  The labor participation rate is the lowest its been in decades and the reason their unemployment number is down is because more people have fallen into the statistical no-man’s land of dropping off the unemployment compensation rolls.

And this is the organization that goofy publisher of Rolling Stone wants to help curb “fake news?”

That irony thing … it keeps slapping the clueless around for the entertainment of us all.

~McQ

 

White women can’t be feminists because … white supremacy

The new “war on women” is gearing up … and it’s going to be very entertaining.  Why?  Because it will all on the left as they try to redefine feminism without white women:

University of California, Los Angeles students were treated to a dinner dialogue this month on the topic of “white feminism” and its relation to white supremacy.

The “White Feminism” dinner dialogue was hosted by the campus Intergroup Relations Program, an administrative center that seeks to educate the UCLA community on issues of “social identity, interpersonal, and intergroup relations/conflict, prejudice reduction, and social justice.”

Celia Cody-Carrese, an Intergroup Relations Center intern who helped put on the event, told The Daily Bruin that organizers chose white feminism as their topic because they think feminism has traditional ties with white supremacy, noting that the term “feminism” is most frequently applied to white women, while the concerns of black women are generally treated as a separate, racial issue.

Mitali Gupta, a UCLA Senior who attended the event, told Campus Reform that feminism’s link to white supremacy was indeed discussed during the meeting, adding that she agrees that such a connection exists.

One of the things we’ve seen any number of times is the left go after its own.  Feminism is now in the process of being hi-jacked.  It seems, given this bit of information, that there’s a new purity test for being a “real” feminist and white women aren’t acceptable because of  … white supremacy or something.    Not to worry … just watch, more redefining will take place in the future where, oh I don’t know, lesbians can’t be feminists because they don’t really think like “real” women or something.  Except lesbians of color – they’ll make at least a temporary exception for them.

Is this OPEC’s last gasp?  We sure hope so:

The oil price rally sparked by an OPEC-Russia deal to cut output is likely to be short-lived, say traders in Asia, because the agreement may only draw more supplies from storage tanks and more crude shipments from the United States.

And even without increased supplies from elsewhere, if the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia do reduce production by 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) as pledged, the cuts would not be deep enough to shrink a glut that began to build in mid-2014, traders said.

The cut by OPEC will be largely offset by increases in U.S. production where the rig count has already increased,” said India Oil Corp’s Director of Finance A K Sharma.

Damn that capitalism.  Drat that free enterprise.  Screw those entrepreneurs.  Oh and curse that word, “fracking”!

I love this.  And it was accomplished by private firms on private or state leased land with no, and I want to emphasize the word “no”, help from the feds – well, except trying to slow it or stop it.  Result?  The looming death of a price fixing cartel.  Competition – a wonderful thing.

The Windy City – suffering under blue governance for decades and with strict anti-gun laws passes the 700 homicide milestone for the year with a month to go.  In this case, the “McDonald Effect” is at work:

In a year of relentless violence, Chicago has hit another gruesome milestone, exceeding 700 homicides on Wednesday for the first time in nearly two decades, according to official Police Department records.

The 700-mark was hit when a 25-year-old man was fatally shot about 6:20 a.m. at 93rd Street and Cottage Grove Avenue in the Burnside neighborhood, said Frank Giancamilli, a police spokesman. Then at about 8 p.m., a 24-year-old man was shot and killed at 6800 block of South Cornell Avenue in the South Shore neighborhood, he said.

And speaking of records:

Nearly 4,050 people have been shot, a 50 percent jump from 2,699 victims a year earlier, according to the department statistics. Shooting incidents rose by comparable figures, to 3,315, up 49 percent from 2,224 a year earlier.

One has to wonder how Mayor Rahm Emanuel is going to keep from letting this disaster go to waste.

Meanwhile, in Democrat-land,  Nancy Pelosi survived an attempt on her leadership position in the House (I’ve come to agree with Billy that this is perhaps a gift to the GOP) and apparently the party has decided the answer to their stunning loss on election day is to become even more extreme by putting Keith Ellison in the DNC chair. And Ellison’s past – ignore it (that’s the “Clinton effect”). Well, a lot of them … but not all:

And [Ellison’s] past statements about Israel and his writings backing such provocative figures as Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan have become a ripe target for those who would like to block his path to the chairmanship.

“The United States foreign policy in the Middle East is governed by what is good or bad through a country of seven million people,” Mr. Ellison said at a 2010 fundraiser, the audio of which was published online this week by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, a website that largely carries conservative commentary. “A region of 350 million all turns on a country of seven million. Does that make sense? Is that logic? Right?”

Marcel Groen, the Pennsylvania Democratic Party chairman who is the son of Holocaust survivors, said he found those kind of remarks troubling. “Mainly for me, his view of the Israel-Palestinian issues, I want some clarity,” Mr. Groen said.

“Troubling”.  Want “clarity”.  Why in the world would anyone believe that some statement from Ellison designed to smooth ruffled feathers would be anything but disingenuous rhetoric to attain a position of power.  Tiger. Stripes.  Etc.  Ellison is no friend of Israel or Jews – and, given his past statements and support of the Nation of Islam, you can take that to the bank.

Ah, life in America … always an adventure.

~McQ

 

Time to sit old Nancy down

So, will we finally be rid of Nancy Pelosi?  My guess?  Probably not.  She’s one of the better arm twisters in Congress and she’s already coopted Tim Ryan’s push for newer and younger blood in leadership positions.  That’s not to say there won’t be a heck of a fight, brought on by the continuing anger at the election’s results among Democrats:

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), facing a challenge from Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), is seen as the heavy favorite in elections on Wednesday to keep her top leadership spot, where she’s been perched for the past 14 years.

[…]

“The level of frustration in our caucus is as great as I have seen it,” Ryan said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Well they should be justified given the beating they’ve been taking at all levels (especially at the state level).  Pelosi may end up being the scape-goat for Congressional Democrats, but the man they can all thank for their condition resides in the White House.  The Democratic House vote will be by secret ballot, so given that, all bets are off as to whether she can survive the vote.

Hey, I know … make Keith Ellison the new Minority Leader in the House.  Then he’d be the combined head of the DNC and the House. That’d be … perfect!

It’s that irony thing again.  Guess who now is interested in investigating voter fraud and abuse?  Why those who said there was no such thing previously:

We should all want to know the final count of this election, which was closer than many people realize, and identify any voter suppression or irregularities that are subverting our democracy,” Rodell Mollineau, a Democratic operative who previously advised Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, said Monday in an interview.

These people just can’t help themselves.  Next thing you’ll know they’ll be calling for a picture ID at polling stations to prevent voter fraud.

Meanwhile, more on the threat that doesn’t exist from the religion of peace.  Ohio State:

A Somali immigrant who injured 11 people at Ohio State University in a vehicle and stabbing attack before he was shot dead may have followed the same path to self-radicalization as militants in a number of “lone wolf” attacks, U.S. officials said on Tuesday.

The Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility on Tuesday for the attack.

Yes it is that shocked face again.  Recently ISIS has been putting out ideas and tips for killing infidels.  This particular attack seems to be patterned on those murderous ideas.  But, hey, nothing to see here, and after all, ISIS is the JV.  Don’t worry.  Be happy.

I found it hilarious that Justin Trudeau, PM of Canada, has finally gone too far with his remarks on the death of the murderous communist dictator, Fidel Castro.  Apparently, the “long honeymoon” is over:

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will not attend the funeral of Fidel Castro, his office said on Monday, days after Trudeau’s warm comments about the late Cuban leader sparked a backlash.

Trudeau referred on Saturday to Castro as a “remarkable leader” and expressed his sorrow at the death of “Cuba’s longest serving president.”

Trudeau acknowledged on Sunday that Castro had been a dictator as political opponents called on him to boycott the funeral.

Outrage and mockery about Trudeau’s fond words for Castro, who had been an honorary pallbearer at the funeral in 2000 of Trudeau’s father, former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, has threatened to end the Liberal leader’s long honeymoon.

Canada’s Obama – leading them down the same dusty trail to decline as we’ve been following for the past 8 years.

As for the incoming administration, this is a definite NO!  The whole point is to back government out of our lives.  Freedom is messy and dangerous, but it is much preferable to a police state:

The FBI, National Security Agency and CIA are likely to gain expanded surveillance powers under President-elect Donald Trump and a Republican-controlled Congress, a prospect that has privacy advocates and some lawmakers trying to mobilize opposition.

Trump’s first two choices to head law enforcement and intelligence agencies — Republican Senator Jeff Sessions for attorney general and Republican Representative Mike Pompeo for director of the Central Intelligence Agency — are leading advocates for domestic government spying at levels not seen since the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Note the term “domestic government spying”.  Not without three things rigorously applied – Constitution, probable cause, due process.

~McQ

Ban knives!

Again, that irony thing that seems to stump the left.  Shot (no pun intended):

Local law-enforcement officers have confirmed the name of a man who they say injured at least nine people on the Ohio State University campus this morning by running a car into a group of people, then slashing others with a butcher knife.

Less than a minute after the attack, an OSU police officer shot and killed the man.

A knife (and a car).  People were saved by  … a gun.  OMG … what if it had been a “gun free” campus and police were also required to abide by that rule?

Chaser:

The suspect has been identified as Abdul Razak Ali Artan, who was a student at Ohio State.

No explanation of the irony needed I hope.

~McQ

Karma’s a bitch

And that’s precisely what the actor who lectured VP-elect Mike Pence is finding out.  The evidence?  Past tweets.  So much for his ability to lecture from any moral high ground.

Let freedom ring.  Because, you know, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg really, really, really thinks it’s important.  Except when it comes to China:

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, has cultivated relationships with China’s leaders, including President Xi Jinping. He has paid multiple visits to the country to meet its top internet executives. He has made an effort to learn Mandarin.

Inside Facebook, the work to enter China runs far deeper.

The social network has quietly developed software to suppress posts from appearing in people’s news feeds in specific geographic areas, according to three current and former Facebook employees, who asked for anonymity because the tool is confidential. The feature was created to help Facebook get into China, a market where the social network has been blocked, these people said.

Or, “Hey, China, yes, I’m willing to sell my soul and my integrity, not to mention the people of China, for a spot of business … thank you!  Here’s your censorship tool.”  Yo, Mark … don’t you try lecturing anyone in the future either.  It’s a bit like claiming your political opponent is a homophobe while doing business (or accepting donations) with countries that execute gays.

Another bit of government supported “science” down the tubes:

 “After controlling for age, sex, outdoor play and other factors that affect both vitamin D levels and weight, they found that children who drank one cup of whole milk per day had a vitamin D level comparable to that of children who drank 2.9 cups of 1 percent milk, but their body mass index was lower by 0.79 points. The higher the fat content of the milk they drank, the lower the children’s B.M.I. and the higher their vitamin D levels.”

Oops.

Want to read something dripping with “clueless elitism”?  Here you go:

Three days after the election, my wife and I were shopping at the Fairway Market in Red Hook, Brooklyn. For those unfamiliar with it, Fairway is a less corporate, more co-op version of Whole Foods, offering pretty produce and exotic cheeses that don’t come cheap. The mood in the store was glum. As in most of Brooklyn, people stared ahead, moving slowly, still in shock from the political earthquake of Tuesday night.

After getting our Brazilian Arabica ground for drip (I know, I should really use a French Press), Libby and I walked towards the organic maple syrup. That’s when it started. I suppose there had been music playing in the store, but I hadn’t noticed until a familiar guitar lick pierced the air and a soft voice said, “Turn it up.”

Libby and I both stopped and looked at each other. “Seriously?” said my wife, a very disappointed Clinton supporter. She started gripping her soft Tomme Crayeuse a little too hard. By the time Ronnie Van Zant’s drawl started in with “Big wheels keep on turnin’,” everyone in the store was standing in shock. Brows were furrowed, people mumbled to each other. The song seemed to get louder as one of those New York moments happened, when everyone was thinking the exact the same thing.

A woman in her fifties, wearing a Love Trump Hates button, turned to her Brooklyn-bearded husband and said loudly, “This is unbelievable!” She found the nearest store clerk, a young woman in a green apron who was staring up at the ceiling, looking for the invisible speakers blaring this message from the other America. “This is so inappropriate,” the woman said. “Can we turn this off?”

I’m laughing so hard I’m about to cough a lung up.  Do those people even know where Alabama is, much less what it is today?

Meanwhile, in the rule by “phone and pen” world of Barack Obama, a federal judge stepped in to say, “yeah, not so fast, Skippy“:

U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant of the Eastern District of Texas, whom President Obama appointed, imposed a nationwide injunction against the rule Tuesday at the request of 21 states, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups.

Business groups cheered the decision as another rebuke of the Obama administration’s penchant for regulation and for extending executive power.

“The Labor Department’s overtime changes are a reckless and aggressive overreach of executive power, and retailers are pleased with the judge’s decision,” said David French, the National Retail Federation’s senior vice president for government relations.

The judge said the Labor Department regulation exceeded the authority granted it by Congress, which he said gave Labor the right to define which workers are considered salaried but only based on the duties they performed, not by how much they made.

Or, “put down your pen and hang up the phone, you’re done here”.  And in a couple of months, COMPLETELY done.

Thank you, Lord.

Have a great Thanksgiving, folks!

~McQ

Jimmy Carter on Steroids drinking a Red Bull

Has everyone else noticed how real people out here in flyover land are trying their best to pretend that the recent election really wasn’t that big of a deal and the world is continuing to spin just fine?  Or said another way, they want their world to return to “normal” – whatever that may be.  My guess is you won’t have to worry about what is being discussed around the Thanksgiving table, because they’re more than tired of the election and aftermath.

Oh, by the way, before I forget it, here’s an interesting read on Political Correctness in Scientific American.  I haven’t quite digested it yet, but I find some of it compelling and some of it … not so much.

With the Alt-Right convention in DC where, what, 200 yardbirds showed up to pretend to be “Trump’s People”, the media is in a frenzy.  I wonder what ever happened to this?

I’m very interested in a Mattis led Department of Defense.  Talk about a sea change from the last 8 years.  For one, I can’t wait to see the Navy Secretary shown the exit door.  I’m also pretty sure that most of the social engineering that has taken priority during those 8 years would likely cease pretty quickly.  The man does not suffer fools, stupidity or things that detract from the military’s primary mission lightly.

Is anyone particularly surprised that our worst president ever is pretty sure he’ll break tradition and speak out after he leaves office.  I’m not.  He is a narcissist, and they don’t need, they crave attention.  And trust me, an ex-president sees an attention deficit – a huge one – immediately.  Nope, he’s going to be Jimmy Carter on steroids drinking Red Bull.

Speaking of surprises, or rather the lack thereof, how about this?

No participant in the 2016 presidential election fares well in the Pew Research Center’s post-election voter survey: the candidates, the parties, and the electorate itself all receive historically poor marks from respondents. But the most despised institution of them all is the news media, which scored lower than ever before.

You know the “First Law of Holes”, right?  When you’re in one, quit digging.  The media either doesn’t know it or chooses to ignore it, given their post-election behavior.

Finally, a qualified “well it’s a start” hat tip to Texas:

A bill filed for the 2017 legislative session would modestly reform Texas asset forfeiture laws and close a federal loophole that allows law enforcement to avoid state restrictions on the practice.

Sen. Juan Hinojosa (D-Dist. 20) filed Senate Bill 156 (SB156) on Nov. 14. The legislation would make it more difficult for the state to win asset forfeiture cases by raising the burden of proof the state has to meet from “a preponderance of the evidence” to “clear and convincing evidence” that the asset was linked to criminal activity. The new law would still allow police to seize assets without a criminal conviction.

While the reform is somewhat modest, it would represent a step forward and set the stage for more substantive reforms in the future.

More please.  Faster, please.  Asset forfeiture is one of those tools that law enforcement use that is rightfully described as “unAmerican”.

~McQ

There are now 2 sides in the culture war

A little history for you.  A professor has pinned down the origins of political correctness and my guess is it won’t come as much of a surprise to most of you:

“The notion of political correctness came into use among Communists in the 1930s as a semi-humorous reminder that the Party’s interest is to be treated as a reality that ranks above reality itself,” Dr. Codevilla writes in the Fall 2016 issue of the Claremont Review of Books.

Dr. Codevilla indicates that the politically correct directive began word-of-mouth as a running joke that communists told each other that went like this:

“Comrade, your statement is factually incorrect.”

“Yes, it is. But it is politically correct.”

Dr. Codevilla goes on to point out the purpose of PC:

“Why does the American Left demand ever-new P.C. obeisances?,” Dr. Codevilla asks. “In 2012 no one would have thought that defining marriage between one man and one woman, as enshrined in U.S. law, would brand those who do so as motivated by a culpable psychopathology called ‘homophobia,’ subject to fines and near outlaw status.”

“Not until 2015-16 did it occur to anyone that requiring persons with male personal plumbing to use public bathrooms reserved for men was a sign of the same pathology. Why had not these become part of the P.C. demands previously? Why is there no canon of P.C. that, once filled, would require no further additions? Because the point of P.C. is not and has never been merely about any of the items that it imposes, but about the imposition itself.

This is an ideological perversion that is rampant on the left.  You have no problem seeing it as the foundation of identity politics and all through academia which introduced it to a new generation and has been responsible for nurturing it to the extreme.  There is no question in the mind of any observer of PC that the intent is control.  The problem, of course, is as it gains more and more control  over the islands of its influence, it loses more and more touch with reality and the consequences of believing your echo chamber.  This election and it’s impact in those islands of delusion completely validate the point.

Secondly, the insistence on ideological conformity alienates huge swaths of the population that the left should be trying to woo and persuade.  Those people get tired of and eventually resent their concerns being trivialized, categorized as “xenophobic”, “homophobic” or “racist” and dismissed with an arrogant hand wave.

[T]he response to Trump radicalizes certain distressing and counter-productive intellectual tendencies and argumentative habits that were already all too common among liberals long before the election — tendencies and habits that contributed in important ways to Trump’s shocking triumph at the polls on Nov. 8.

I’m talking about the propensity of liberals to deem certain political opinions automatically illegitimate, out of bounds, and unacceptable.

Or said another way, the refusal of liberals – especially those stranded on their echo chamber islands (like academia) – to listen to the other side is killing them, politically.  But they refuse to listen and continue to believe that anything that doesn’t conform to the bubble’s PC code is trash.  Trash of the worst kind.  Vile trash.  Evil trash.  So sayeth the keepers of PC.

Here’s the chaser:

The urge toward exclusion is a perennial possibility of politics. That’s because politics takes place on two levels. On one level is the back and forth of partisan conflict, involving persuasion, argument, electoral battles, triumphs, and defeats. On this level, pretty much anything goes as long as it abides by the rules of the political game. But there’s also a second, more fundamental level of politics that involves a competition over who gets to set the rules, the boundaries of what is publicly acceptable, in the first place — and precisely where those boundaries will be positioned.

The most obvious example of second-order politics in the American system is the judiciary, and especially the Supreme Court. Until the Obergefell decision in 2015, for example, the American people were engaging in a free-flowing debate about same-sex marriage, with some people in favor of allowing it and others opposed, and public opinion shifting rapidly in the “pro” direction. That was politics conducted on the first level. But then the Supreme Court stepped in to declare gay marriage a constitutional right. That was second-order politics in action: Suddenly the rules were changed, with the “pro” side summarily declared the winner throughout the nation and the “anti” side driven — and permanently excluded — from the political battlefield going forward.

But second-order politics isn’t only found in the formal strictures of a Supreme Court ruling. It comes into play when prominent institutions in civil society (such as mainstream media outlets, universities, corporations, movie studios, and other arms of the entertainment industry) informally unite in deciding that an issue, or a specific position on an issue, is simply unacceptable because it crosses a moral line that leading members of these institutions consider inviolable. Over the past several decades, a range of positions on immigration, crime, gender, and the costs and benefits of some forms of diversity have been relegated to the categories of “racism,” “sexism,” “homophobia,” “white supremacy,” or “white nationalism,” and therefore excluded from first-order political debate.

If liberals want to understand why their power in the nation’s first-order political institutions has gone into such steep decline, they might want to consider the possibility that it is partially a reaction to the enormous power they’ve wielded in recent years at the second-order level.

While they may not understand that completely, they do seem to sense that their “second-order” politics is about to take a beating as well.  Americans traditionally resist those who attempt to impose their way on them.  They certainly resist being dismissed as some sort of monster because they disagree.

The election was more than a warning shot in the culture war.  It was a declaration that one-side doesn’t intend to meekly stand by and accept the PC shaming attempts of the other side.

And that, my friend, is a good thing for all.

~McQ

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