Free Markets, Free People

stray voltage

Stray Voltage

Heather Mac Donald explodes the “Black Lives Matter” myth – the myth the Democratic presidential candidates have decided to embrace:

For starters, fatal police shootings make up a much larger proportion of white and Hispanic homicide deaths than black homicide deaths. According to the Post database, in 2015 officers killed 662 whites and Hispanics, and 258 blacks. (The overwhelming majority of all those police-shooting victims were attacking the officer, often with a gun.) Using the 2014 homicide numbers as an approximation of 2015’s, those 662 white and Hispanic victims of police shootings would make up 12% of all white and Hispanic homicide deaths. That is three times the proportion of black deaths that result from police shootings.

The lower proportion of black deaths due to police shootings can be attributed to the lamentable black-on-black homicide rate. There were 6,095 black homicide deaths in 2014—the most recent year for which such data are available—compared with 5,397 homicide deaths for whites and Hispanics combined. Almost all of those black homicide victims had black killers.

Police officers—of all races—are also disproportionately endangered by black assailants. Over the past decade, according to FBI data, 40% of cop killers have been black. Officers are killed by blacks at a rate 2.5 times higher than the rate at which blacks are killed by police.

Read the whole thing.  Again, as with global warming, the facts don’t fit the theory.  And, as usual, the facts don’t matter when they bump up against election year rhetoric, ideology and the need to pander for votes.

The Washington Post’s Catherine Rampell has apparently noticed what’s going on at colleges and universities these days and has noticed a number of surveys which conclude:

Today’s students are indeed both more left wing and more openly hostile to free speech than earlier generations of collegians.

She notes that the surveys are mostly taken among incoming freshman and makes and interesting observation:

One parting observation: Remember that these survey questions were asked of newly matriculated college freshmen. That is, students are setting foot on campus already more liberal, more protest-happy and more amenable to speech restrictions than their predecessors.

Which suggests that colleges themselves are not wholly responsible for rising liberal and illiberal tendencies on campus — even if they do sometimes aid and abet both trends.

 Interesting point.

As for sources of indoctrination, how about this:

From the University of California, Irvine, “Teaching Climate and Sustainability: A Faculty Skills-Sharing Workshop”:

This workshop aims to engage, inspire, and support faculty members from across disciplines who are interested in voluntarily infusing relevant climate change and/or sustainability concepts into their courses. The overall goal of this curriculum program is to boost climate change/sustainability education at UCI, especially targeting those students for whom climate and sustainability may not be a focus.

Any guess as to what “theory” they’re pushing in terms of “climate change?”

Oh, and an incentive to indoctrinate.  You bet:

Incentive: Participating faculty members receive $1000 for completing the workshop and subsequent course revision. Faculty will also receive an additional $200 for attending a follow up Faculty Networking Event on Friday, November 4, 2016 to showcase their revised course material (note: revised courses do not need to be taught by November 4, 2016, however, course materials will need to be updated to include sustainability by this time).

Never mind that at a minimum, the AGW theory is controversial at best, here we have a ideological pressure group paying teachers to revise their courses and insert this controversial and obviously deeply flawed theory as “truth”.  It doesn’t get any more blatant than that.

In the “LOL, BS talks and money walks” department, the DNC comes through again … for Hillary.

The Democratic National Committee has rolled back restrictions introduced by presidential candidate Barack Obama in 2008 that banned donations from federal lobbyists and political action committees.

The decision, which may provide an advantage to Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, was viewed with disappointment Friday morning by good government activists who saw it as a step backward in the effort to limit special interest influence in Washington.

With that and the Super Delegate game, they can now pretty much rig the game anyway they want too, can’t they?

Meanwhile, the war against CO2 is going … badly:

A new report by the oil giant BP shows CO2 emissions significantly growing, despite huge gains in energy efficiency and countries forcing more green energy onto the grid. It looks like economic growth in developing countries, like China and India, will overshadow global warming regulations in rich countries. “Despite the slowdown in emissions growth, the level of carbon emissions continues to grow, increasing by 20% between 2014 and 2035,” BP reported in its latest energy outlook.

That’s one reason these drastic rules in the US against CO2 are a fool’s game (yes, the one’s the Supreme Court issued a stay on).  Developing countries aren’t playing, and with them not playing, the desired result – less CO2 – isn’t happening.  What will happen though is economy strangling regulation if we allow it.

Have a great weekend!

~McQ

Stray Voltage

Explaining the Trump phenomenon – I think this is pretty close:

“American presidential elections usually amount to a series of overcorrections: Clinton begat Bush, who produced Obama, whose lax border policies fueled the rise of Trump. In the case of Trump, though, the GOP shares the blame, and not just because his fellow Republicans misdirected their ad buys or waited so long to criticize him. Trump is in part a reaction to the intellectual corruption of the Republican Party. That ought to be obvious to his critics, yet somehow it isn’t.”

The GOP more than shares the blame, they are the direct reason a person like Trump has traction.  Gutless, spineless and afraid to do what they were elected to do election after election has finally turned on them.  They’ve been warned for a while.  The rise of the Teaparty should have given them a clue, but it was business as usual for establishment GOP types.   This last Congressional election and their ineffectiveness while in the majority appears to have been the last straw.  Trump is their creation, and they still don’t understand why.

Speaking of Bernie and why his socialism is attractive to so many, I think this is pretty close as well:

“In the same way that a Ponzi scheme or chain letter initially succeeds but eventually collapses, socialism may show early signs of success. But any accomplishments quickly fade as the fundamental deficiencies of central planning emerge. It is the initial illusion of success that gives government intervention its pernicious, seductive appeal. In the long run, socialism has always proven to be a formula for tyranny and misery.”

We’ve actually seen “the long run” in the late and unlamented Soviet Union.  We have examples with us today via North Korea where famine and poverty stalk the population constantly, Cuba, where they live in the ’50s and work for $20 a month and Venezuela, where it failed utterly and the population is now trying to dig out from under the ruin.   But Bernie supporters, apparently, think his version will work.

In the “thank the good Lord” department, this:

President Obama is not interested in sitting on the Supreme Court once he leaves office, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Thursday.

If you think he’s been a disaster as a president, imagine the damage he could do on the Supreme Court.

Interesting.  When given a choice:

The number of dues-paying workers within the state’s labor groups has fallen steadily since GOP Gov. Scott Walker signed his signature legislation, 2011’s Act 10, which repealed most collective bargaining for most public workers. But new federal statistics show that trend intensified in 2015 after Walker and GOP lawmakers followed up on Act 10 by approving so-called right-to-work legislation last spring….

In 2015, 8.3% of Wisconsin workers, or 223,000 in all, were members of unions. That was down sharply from the 306,000 people, or 11.7% of the state’s workforce, who belonged to unions in 2014….

Labor unions are another thing the left isn’t “pro-choice” about.

ICYMI, Al Gore’s apocalyptic predictions expired recently.  Yup, Manhattan isn’t submerged in water (unless you want to count the latest footage in frozen precipitation) as he had predicted 10 years ago.  David French does a riff on the doomsayers:

Gore’s prediction fits right in with the rest of his comrades in the wild-eyed environmentalist movement. There’s a veritable online cottage industry cataloguing hysterical, failed predictions of environmentalist catastrophe. Over at the American Enterprise Institute, Mark Perry keeps his list of “18 spectacularly wrong apocalyptic predictions” made around the original Earth Day in 1970. Robert Tracinski at The Federalist has a nice list of “Seven big failed environmentalist predictions.” The Daily Caller’s “25 years of predicting the global warming ‘tipping point’” makes for amusing reading, including one declaration that we had mere “hours to act” to “avert a slow-motion tsunami.”

Indeed.  But the fact of the epic failure of their predictions, they will simply reinvent themselves as they always have.  Here’s French’s chaser:

Can we ignore them yet? Apparently not. Being a climate hysteric means never having to say you’re sorry. Simply change the cataclysm — Overpopulation! No, global cooling! No, global warming! No, climate change! — push the apocalypse back just a few more years, and you’re in business, big business.

Dead on.  Anyone remember who was one of the first investors in the carbon trading scam?

It appears that deploying other Clintons just isn’t quite working out as Hillary hoped.  Bill has been playing to small rooms and Chelsea, well, let’s just say she hasn’t much drawing power, or so it appears:

Chelsea Clinton hosted her highly-hyped Soul Cycle fundraiser for her mother in New York City on Wednesday afternoon.

The $2,700-a-head event, which offered just 60 seats at the popular cycling studio’s Tribeca location and promised guests a photo with Chelsea, was expected to sell out quick while raising some easy money for the Hillary Clinton campaign but was ultimately a flop.

Apparently they fire sold some of the seats at $50 each at the end to fill more and ended up with less than half the bikes filled.  This should have been a slam dunk in NYC if Hillary has the pull most think she does in the city.  Or else it’s Chelsea.  Or both …

The Trumpless debate?  Apparently about the same viewership as the previous debate with Trump included.   Make what you will of that, but regardless, Trump gave his opponents an open field last night and, at least as I view it, came off as a petty, spoiled brat throwing a tantrum.  Like I said, my view.

Have a great weekend!

~McQ

 

Stray Voltage

Oh, Canada:

On Wednesday in Ottawa, Justin Trudeau was sworn in as Canadian prime minister. He wasted no time in announcing his newly chosen cabinet of exactly 15 men and 15 women, which fulfilled a campaign pledge he’d made about gender equality. One reporter asked Trudeau why the perfect male-female split was so important to him. The prime minster’s response: “Because it’s 2015.”

Translation – the best qualified for the job is a 20th Century concept.  In the 21st Century, it’s what you have (or don’t have) between your legs that matters.  Heh, yeah, governance won’t suffer.  Trust them.

Hillary Clinton signed a non-disclosure form concerning classified material?  Say, didn’t David Petraeus sign one too?

As the nation’s chief diplomat, Hillary Clinton was responsible for ascertaining whether information in her possession was classified and acknowledged that “negligent handling” of that information could jeopardize national security, according to a copy of an agreement she signed upon taking the job.

A day after assuming office as secretary of state, Clinton signed a Sensitive Compartmented Information Nondisclosure Agreement that laid out criminal penalties for “any unauthorized disclosure” of classified information. …

Meh.  We know this isn’t going anywhere soon, if ever.  And besides, “what difference does it make now.”  She’s a Democrat after all.

One very important reason we need the Idiot-in-Chief out of office as soon as possible:

The picture being painted by Obama’s soon-to-be-former advisors is one of a president paralyzed with indecision. He is being increasingly tested by the world’s bad actors and revisionist powers and has little resolve to act early and decisively. That is an impression that was confirmed by Reuters in October. They reported that the president was similarly incapacitated by the People’s Republic of China’s brazen decision to create new islands that would function as naval and air bases in the middle of the contested Spratly Islands late last year.

* * * * * * *

As the fruits of Barack Obama’s feckless approach to foreign affairs ripen, and the conflicts that he sought to resolve only deteriorate, the president’s advisors are increasingly training their fire on him. In the final year of this administration, that trend is only likely to intensify. If the Obama era is going to be remembered as the period when the seeds of chaos and conflict were sown, surely more creatures of Washington are going to emerge to make sure that they do not take the blame for sowing them. A president who has so perfected the art of throwing others under the bus is about to get the same treatment.

He’ll get a dump-truck load of criticism in the near future as the rats desert the obviously sinking ship.  “Pathetic”, “weak” and “indecisive” will some of the kindest descriptions this man’s legacy will reap.

Camile Puglia calls out the feminists and SJWs on the transgender issue:

“I think that the transgender propagandists make wildly inflated claims about the multiplicity of gender,” she said.

“Sex reassignment surgery, even today with all of its advances, cannot in fact change anyone’s sex, okay. You can define yourself as a trans man, or a trans woman, as one of these new gradations along the scale. But ultimately, every single cell in the human body, the DNA in that cell, remains coded for your biological birth.

“So there are a lot of lies being propagated at the present moment, which I think is not in anyone’s best interest.

“Now what I’m concerned about is the popularity and the availability of sex reassignment surgery, so that someone who doesn’t feel that he or she belongs to the biological birth, gender. People are being encouraged to intervene in the process.

“Parents are now encouraged to subject the child to procedures that I think are a form of child abuse. The hormones to slow puberty, actual surgical manipulations, etcetera. I think that this is wrong, that people should wait until they are of an informed age of consent.

Child abuse as well as abusing any thinking person’s intellect.  They radical left has vastly over reached on this one.  And that’s a good thing.

And what is wrong with the way public policy is formulated today?  Well, it could be as simple as this:

The first lessons I teach my economics students are about means-and-ends and tradeoffs. I tell them that whenever we analyze a policy matter, whether it’s the minimum wage, health care, ivory hunting or abortion, we have to ask ourselves these questions. First, do the chosen policies achieve the desired goals? Second, what tradeoffs do we face with regard to a particular policy; that is, are there alternatives that would yield better results?

These kinds of simple questions often are ignored by policymakers and the public.

Instead, today the party is considered first and foremost and alternatives are hardly ever considered. If it is deemed good for the party, damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.  Thus the mess in which we find ourselves.

Have a good weekend.

~McQ

Stray Voltage

Glenn Thrush thinks Donald Trump symbolizes the “crisis for control of the GOP“.  Frankly, I think Trump symbolizes the complete disenchantment the right holds for the establishment GOP.

I’ll believe it when I see it:

The FBI investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s unsecured email account is not just a fact-finding venture — it’s a criminal probe, sources told The Post on Wednesday.

The feds are investigating to what extent Clinton relied on her home server and other private devices to send and store classified documents, according to a federal source with knowledge of the inquiry.

“It’s definitely a criminal probe,” said the source. “I’m not sure why they’re not calling it a criminal probe.

“The DOJ [Department of Justice] and FBI can conduct civil investigations in very limited circumstances,” but that’s not what this is, the source stressed. “In this case, a security violation would lead to criminal charges. Maybe DOJ is trying to protect her campaign.”

Whitewash or actual probe?  Seeing as how Democrats want to continue to hold the White House (despite hard feelings between Clintons and Obama) and DOJ has simply become a political tool in the last 6 years, I have no confidence that it will, in fact, be an actual probe.  Look for a whitewash report at a critical point in the campaign.  We know how it should go.  I sincerely doubt that it will actually go that way.

No I won’t be watching the GOP “debate”.  I have no interest in the race at this point, especially with 17 candidates, most of whom are clowns and all of whom will be trying to shoot themselves or the other guy in the foot.  And I’d be careful to committing to a drinking game this time around.  You may end up not waking up for 3 days.

Perception is reality for many, and in the case of the Planned Parenthood vids, the Democrats are on the ugly side of perception with their continued support of the organization.

Democrats like to talk about the importance of being on the “right side of history.” This phrase was invoked frequently during the same-sex marriage debate. Yet when faced with a series of videos detailing grotesque human rights abuses against unborn children by Planned Parenthood Federation of America doctors, Democratic Party forces have eschewed all concern for historical or moral rightness.

Pope Francis has correctly described the unborn as “the most defenseless and innocent among us.” But in the sordid tale of strategic crushing of the unborn to better harvest their hearts, lungs and livers, many Democrats have incredibly cast an organization with a roughly $1.3 billion annual budget in the role of the innocent and defenseless. Hillary Clinton emerged as Planned Parenthood’s highest profile protector Monday, decrying the “assault” against her allegedly helpless campaign donors.

This goes way beyond the “right to choose”.  And, until Democrats realize that and dump their support and defense of Planned Parenthood, they will remain on the ugly side of this situation.  Here’s hoping they remain as tone deaf as they’ve been so far.

Secret language we’re supposedly not “allowed” to see,  $150 billion going to Iran which both acknowledge “could” be used to fund terrorism and now this:

American intelligence has detected Iran attempting to sanitize Parchin, the military site where the Islamic Republic is suspected of carrying out tests on detonators that could be used to trigger nuclear explosions, Josh Rogin and Eli Lake of Bloomberg View reported on Wednesday.

Meanwhile the supposed Secretary of State of the United States whines about trust and who will be to blame if the vote goes against the deal:

“The ayatollah constantly believed that we are untrustworthy, that you can’t negotiate with us, that we will screw them,” Kerry said. “This”—a congressional rejection—”will be the ultimate screwing.” He went on to argue that “the United States Congress will prove the ayatollah’s suspicion, and there’s no way he’s ever coming back. He will not come back to negotiate. Out of dignity, out of a suspicion that you can’t trust America. America is not going to negotiate in good faith. It didn’t negotiate in good faith now, would be his point.”

Because, you know, the Iranians can always be trusted to uphold their end of the bargain.

Aw, what the hell, give him a Nobel Peace prize.  After Obama’s it and $1 will likely buy you a cup of coffee in most places – except Starbucks.

We see any number of Social Justice Warriors who try to redefine words to fit their agenda.  As we’ve pointed out repeatedly, words mean things, specific things.  This article about, of all things, pizza, helps to handily illustrate the point:

Because last week I made the mistake of asking her for a marinara – which is a simple tomato and garlic pizza – with the addition of mozzarella.

As soon as I say the words, Emanuela looks at me with disbelief and, in retrospect I realise, disgust.

“You can’t have a marinara with mozzarella,” she says. “It doesn’t exist.”

“What do you mean, it doesn’t exist?” I reply, oblivious to her hostility, since she’s quite aggressive at the best of times. “I’d just like a marinara but with some mozzarella on top.” Unwittingly I make matters worse by miming her mozzarella-sprinkling action.

“La marinara is a pizza rossa,” she states frostily. “A pizza rossa is made with tomato and without mozzarella. So you can’t have a marinara with mozzarella because there’s no such thing.”

If one is allowed to redefine the meaning of things, words or whatever as it suits them, real communication is impossible. And that’s precisely what SWJs want. The ability to redefine words to mean what they want them to mean and to shut you up. It’d be nice if we would all tell them that the definitions of the words they try to use “don’t exist”.

~McQ

Stray voltage …

Excuse me while I ramble.

–Are the unemployment numbers “cooked”?  Well, let’s put it this way, the math required to make such a drop possible doesn’t seem to be supportable.  IBD did a little of it for us:

The economy created just 114,000 jobs in September, yet the number of people employed somehow rocketed up by 873,000 and the number of unemployed plummeted by 456,000.

Point?  There weren’t 873k jobs created in September.  But the BLS did manage to find 360k new jobs that somehow weren’t counted, according to them, between March of 2011 and March of 2012.  How convenient.

There may very well have been 456k who were dropped from the unemployment rolls.  In fact, there may have been more.  But the combination of the two numbers is a 1.3 million job swing.  That “swing” is what it would take to drop the unemployment rate that much.  Now it is entirely possible 456k  or more were dropped from the unemployment rolls.  It’s that first number you need to question.

–Have you ever seen a more pathetic performance by a side that lost a debate?  Instead of admitting their guy sucked that night, it turned into a “he lied” or “he cheated” montage that seemed as though every pundit on the left, both on line and off line got one of two alternating sets of talking points.

Look, Obama was terrible that night.  Like I said, I’ve gotten the distinct impression that Obama loves the perks of the office, but isn’t real crazy about the job.  He loves to campaign, but as political Barbie would say, “governing is hard.”  He has no problem accepting accolades, but simply doesn’t believe he should have to do anything to earn them.  And finally, he’s worse than a 3rd grader about trying to blame everyone or everything else for his shortcomings.

That all caught up with him the other night.  For the first time in his life, he had to stand there and face the music about his record.  He was shown how much of a failure he was in no uncertain terms and, frankly, I think he was stunned into a lethargic performance.

2nd debate?  Oh he’s going to be a tiger in that one, but will it matter?  Over 50 million tuned in to watch this last one.  My guess is they’ll be lucky to get half that for the second (I think the VP debate – the anticipation is just, well, overwhelming – will draw more viewers).  The 1st debate was the critical debate.   That is where the undecided went to decide.  Mitt Romney got to talk with them unfiltered by the media.  And of course, the media then had to deny that was the “real” Mitt Romney because they had spent so much time over the intervening weeks building a different one in their narrative.

–Is there more of a scandal right now (Fast and Furious is an ongoing one) than the Benghazi Consulate murders?  We’re fed a line about the attack there being about a video when those of us with more than two brain cells to rub against each other knew, upon hearing even the sketchy early details, that it had nothing to do with a video. For heaven sake it was 9/11 on the year that Osama bin Laden had been killed.  AQ was going to do something and like all organizations with even semi-competent leadership they knew to pick on a place that was incredibly weak.  Thus Benghazi.

We get all sorts of denial from the administration, sticking with the narrative about the video, while it became more apparent as every new detail leaked out that it was anything but a spontaneous demonstration.  Finally, when they could deny it no more, they sorta, kinda admitted it was a terrorist attack.  Well some of them did. Others weren’t sure.

Benghazi had asked the State Department a reported 13 times for extra security … and been denied.  It was about as secure as your house.  It was full of sensitive information.  And all of that has to be assumed to have been compromised (why such information was kept in such an unsecure location remains a mystery, because the media won’t ask).

Finally, the administration sends in the FBI, weeks after the incident and the FBI team stays there a total of 12 hours.  12 freakin’ hours.  You think that bunch is at all interested in getting to the bottom of this?

And don’t forget, this next debate is going to be about how strong Obama is in foreign affairs.

His Middle East initiatives have crashed and burned, China’s feels it can bully our ally Japan and Russia is all but thumbing their nose at us as pertains to Iran, and this is his strong point?

Hate to see his weak point …oh, wait … we’re living it.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

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