Monday, June 18, 2018

The Howling About Separating Illegal Immigrants From Their Kids Is Just An Attack On Enforcing Immigration Laws

"The Trump administration is currently under attack by people from both sides of the political aisle for trying to actually administer federal law as written by Congress. The law, of course, is federal immigration law and the problem is that an alliance of administrations, Republican and Democrat, decided, for different reasons, that ignoring illegal immigration, or making a show of enforcing it for us rubes who are concerned about it, was preferable in every way to actually enforcing the law of the land.
Unfortunately, the Trump administration seems set on carrying out President Trump’s campaign promises and that is causing angst everywhere. And predictable hyperbole.
This is, as I see it, the situation. It really isn’t complicated. It is a very basic exercise is what in military operations is known as “branches and sequels.” (Keep in mind that persons following the law and presenting themselves at border crossing points and declaring they are seeking asylum are not separated from their children. This is solely about illegal immigrants.) Actions take place that lead to either alternative steps or next steps.
When people cross and they are apprehended, what do you do? Do you send them back across the border, if they are Mexican, and let them try again at some other place? If they are other than Mexican (OTM), do you detain them or do you cite them an let them go? Or do you, as has been our policy since April 18, detain all crossers, charge them with a misdemeanor offense, get a guilty plea, and deport them?
If you are asking why anyone would bother showing up for a hearing that will result in their deportation rather than simply disappearing, then you have just identified the key reason why we are unable to control illegal immigration.
If you want to detain illegals then you have to decide what to do with them. Unaccompanied adults isn’t a problem. Unaccompanied children, like those who swamped the border during the last couple of years of the Obama administration, really aren’t a problem either. The problem is minors accompanied by adults, who may or may not be related to them, which are classified as “families.”
When a “family” is apprehended crossing illegally you have a whole new range of problems. The adults are going to be charged and processed and deported. What do you do with the children while this happens? You have three options. You can parole the children to relatives already residing in the US legally. This brings with it another array of issues. Before the government can do that, it has to do at least a cursory background check on the “relatives” to ensure they are related to the children and that the home is suitable. So you still have the “what do we do with them now?” problem. You could, in theory, establish “family” detention centers. This, of course, brings its own difficulties.
We know a non-trivial number of the adult members of these family groups aren’t actually related to the children, they are smugglers. Statistically, a certain number of the adults will be criminals. How do you run a co-ed (“mothers” and “fathers” will be detained here) facility with children and protect the vulnerable from being assaulted, sexually or otherwise? What about those cases, which exist, of children being brought across in sex trafficking operations? Do you want to house them with their captor?
This leads us to the obvious solution in which the paramount concern is the safety of the child. Your options are either a pre-certified foster care facility or a more industrial scale mass detention facility. In both cases, “families are ripped apart.”
At one time, we conservatives mocked liberals for trying to make policy based on feelings. And yet, in this case, that is exactly what is happening. If you read Laura Bush’s op-ed today, it is a triumph of feelings over reality. At no point in the op-ed does Mrs. Bush pose a solution..other than returning to the status quo ante where crossing into the US with children was a get-out-of-jail-free card if you were apprehended. What the Trump administration is doing is correct. If Congress doesn’t like the optics, Congress should act. We should not make people who drag their kids across the border into martyrs of government oppression. These people have exactly one person to blame for their kids being taken away for a few days. Themselves.
Placing adults of unknown background and children in a detention facility together is going to lead to a lot of very bad things happening. This will lead to another outcry about the inhumanity of detaining “families” altogether. This will lead to the return of the catch-and-release policy. This creates more DREAMers. And makes crossing into the US with children the preferred method of travel. 
It is difficult to view this debate, and who is saying what, and not come to the conclusion that this is more of a reaction to the Trump administration’s attempt to be serious about protecting our borders than it is about anything to do with separating children from alleged parents. It is much more about preventing the Border Patrol and Immigration from doing their job than it is about any kind of humanitarian impulse."

Friday, June 15, 2018

Leftist Lesbians Share The Truth

In light of the recent Court victory for freedom of religion in the face of the Gay Goons, one picture says it all:

Ace of Spades blogger Oregon Muse nails it:

"Look at the sign in the photo...No doubt the person holding it is a brainwashed progressive, but despite that, I actually agree with it. Because if it were "about the cake", homosexuals can easily find other bakers to design wedding cakes for them. It's not like Christians have a lock on the bakery business. It's not about baking a cake, it's about forcing your political enemies to submit to your terms and then rubbing their faces in it. Normal people can easily imagine a country that is big enough to serve both groups, where the owners of bakery 'A' do not want to do gay weddings, but bakery 'B' down the street is happy to do gay weddings, and there needn't be any quarreling about it. Everybody can live happily side by side. But progressives don't want this. The very existence of people who think differently than they do fills them with mindless fury. Even if the country were divided between 99% progressives and 1% normal people, the progressives would be constantly whining and crying about that 1%. Because in their view, forced unanimity is better than freedom."
And worse than that, in some cases, we must affirm their delusions too--OR ELSE:

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

For What It's Worth: California Primary Voting Guide

Election time again, although I wonder if I should bother. In the past, I always thought that if I did not vote, then I had no right to complain about the aftermath. However, FOUR recently changed aspects of voting have changed my thoughts on this:

1. The “Top Two Open Primary”, or legally the Nonpartisan Blanket Primary, which means that the top two contenders face off against each other in the General Election of November.

This system is vulnerable to chicanery and “sabotage voting”, and a well-entrenched incumbent can effectively “pick” his or her opponent for the November election, by covertly lending “Support” to whom said incumbent will easily defeat in the General Election. The corrupt weasel Governor Evin Edwards of Louisiana (another state that has such a wretched primary process) did this in 1991, allowing an otherwise inconsequential creep named David Duke his 15 minutes of fame.

We need Real Primaries again, where Republicans pick a primary Republican, Democrats pick a primary Democrat, and other parties pick whoever they pick for their party primaries.

2. Voting by mail.

The potential for outright fraud, with “late discovery” manufactured and mailed in ballots and everything else, is significant here. As if “Motor Voter”, also known as the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, which made in-person registration less likely and also opened the door to more voter fraud, was not bad enough.

3. A moribund California Republican Party....

....which could not even bring itself to get a nominee on the ballot for my State Assembly district and my House of Representatives Congressional District. If I had known about this in advance and it was not too costly (in terms of either money or time) to do so, I would have thrown my own name on the ballot, even with no chance of winning, just for giggles. Maybe when I can retire—if I am still in this state and have not given up on California altogether and moved to Reno—I will see what I can do if I have time to throw at it.

On the other hand, in several races, more than one Republican is running for that office, dividing their minority party’s primary vote and insuring that it is Democrat vs. Democrat in the General Election of November, given the “Top Two” Open Primary mess described above. Moreover, in the Governor’s race, rather than champion an experienced Assemblyman or State Senator who has come up from the trenches, they chose another wealthy dilettante from another state (See Governor Endorsement below).

For many points of view, there will need to be a “Pre-Primary” in order to pick the champion of said point of view in the Official Primary. The California Republican Party could have decided which one of theirs to officially endorse in the “Political Party Endorsements” section of the Official Voter Information Guide, but could not get itself together to even do *that*.

4. For State ballot Propositions, the full and complete “TEXT OF PROPOSED LAW” is no longer there in the Official Voter Information Guide.

This former staple of ballot initiative Propositions, with the changes to (and strikeouts of) existing laws as was appropriate and necessary, is no longer presented with the summary of each ballot initiative Proposition in the Official Voter Information Guide we receive, and you have to send away for it.

While for many initiatives this is not necessary, as the initiative is simple and summed up well by the Legislative Analyst Summary and by the Official Arguments For And Against said initiative, in some cases it really does---and still no doubt will—pay to “read the fine print”, or the exact Text Of the Proposed Law, as the case may be. I sense the proverbial wool will be pulled over our eyes as a result, and perhaps we should just NOT have ballot initiatives or Propositions anymore and just go back to our representatives in the State Assembly and State Senate as was originally intended in the California Constitution, before the whole Populist idea of Initiative and Referendum plebiscites began in the late 19th and early 20th century, but that was a long time ago. We probably should repeal the 17th Amendment and no longer have direct election of Senators too, which would cause more things to be resolved at the state and local levels, but that is a done deal.

As a result, the temptation to not bother with this is strong. On the other hand, Nick has a tradition to uphold! So on I go…..

GOVERNOR: Travis Allen

Of the two major Republican candidates with an actual chance on the ballot, Mr. Allen’s stances against so much of what has ruined California are refreshing, and he is in the State Assembly 72nd District, so he understands how “The Bill Mill” in Sacramento actually works, or does not work.

Unfortunately, it appears that rather than pick Mr. Allen, the Establishment of the California Republican Party, such as it is, has decided to endorse John Cox, another wealthy dilettante from another state who has not seen how legislation works its way through “the Bill Mill” (or often does not).

And what is truly sad about this is that, had the California GOP united behind one candidate, a Republican Governor might actually finish second in the “Top Two” Primary and be a possibility, given the FOUR major contenders running in the Dem lineup dividing up their vote:

1. The utterly smarmy Gavin Newsom (Dem-Stalinist)

2. The Reconquista 5th columnist Antonio Villaraigosa (Dem-Trotskyite)

3. The slightly better Delaine Eastin, whose record as State Superintendent of Schools was lackluster at best

4. The somewhat better John Chiang, but as a former State Controller and now Treasurer, he really ought to know better about California’s rickety finances.

Leave it to the California GOP Establishment to insure defeat. But we might as well show our support for Travis Allen and make it clear to them that we do not need another wealthy dilettante parachuting into California, and what we really need is a candidate coming up from the State Assembly or State Senate, who knows how hard it can be to be a minority party, and how laws are created.

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR: David R. Hernandez. NOT to be confused with Democrat Ed Hernandez who is also on the ballot.

Sadly, the Dems are lined up behind Eleni Kounalakis, while the Republicans appear to have an “Amateur Hour” going on here, with 5 different and not well known contenders, so as with the Governor’s race above, this is probably a done deal. Still, I think Mr. David R. Hernandez, NOT Ed Hernandez, is the best of the lot. His webpage here, and his Facebook here

Anyone with a slogan “Make California Great Again” is awesome, anyone Mexican American who has not been demagogued on the immigration issue is awesome, and anyone who brought himself up by the proverbial bootstraps from humble origins is awesome.


An actual election law attorney will be very helpful here, and he is one.

CONTROLLER: Konstantinos Roditis

TREASURER: Greg Conlon

Greg Conlon has tried for this office before, and lost before, to John Chiang in 2014 and to Phil Angelides in 2002 before that. He has also tried for the US Senate, the State Senate, and the State Assembly. A “happy warrior”, who gets back up when he is knocked down. Let’s give him one last hurrah. Although I will say that another Republican contending on the ballot, Jack Guerrero, seems like a nice younger fellow, and I wish him luck after Greg Conlon retires.



Another veteran of the California Political Psychic Wars, like Greg Conlon for Treasurer above.

U.S. SENATOR: Erin Cruz

Again it looks like “Amateur Hour” of multiple candidates from the GOP here. I wonder why GOP veterans, like Mr. Greg Conlon and Mr. Steve Poizner above, didn’t throw their hats in the ring here! And what is truly sad about this is that, had the CA GOP united behind one candidate, a Republican Governor might actually finish second in the “Top Two” Primary and be a possibility, given the two major contenders running in the Dem lineup dividing up their vote:

1. The “Very Old Guard” Dianne Feinstein (Dem-Stalinist)

2. Another Reconquista 5th columnist Kevin DeLeon (Dem-Trotskyite)

Anyway, of the amateurs, I find Ms. Cruz most appealing, and NOT because of her relative youth and beauty. She was a Tea Party activist back in 2010, and I heard her speak there first. I like her stances. And, when the Dirty Dems falsely claim that anyone with sensible border policies is somehow anti-Latino, then it is good to have a telegenic Latina lady advocating them.


His leading opponent, Tony K. Thurmond, is endorsed by Kamala Harris and all the teacher unions. I will leave it at that.


PROPOSITION 68: Bonds for Parks - NO, in fact hell NO.

First, nothing is more annoying than a proposition that claims to have “water supply” provisions, that does not build a single dam to store it. Acquiring more watershed park area is not truly increasing supply.

Second, the State cannot maintain the vast parkland area it already has. It probably should be selling off the parks that hardly anyone enjoys, or which have no known endangered species, and making them productive ranches or something similar again.

Third, Bonds, meaning DEBT, are only appropriate when an actual capital intensive but long lasting project, like a Dam, HINT HINT, is to be built. Borrowing for current maintenance of existing parks is folly.

Fourth, too many initiatives like this were approved in the past, and we are still paying those off. Vote NO.

PROPOSITION 69: Promising to spend New Transportation Revenues for Transportation Projects – NO.

In the past, I would have voted YES. In fact, in the past, WE HAVE voted YES on initiatives like this. But it turned out those initiatives were toothless, and so is this one. Moreover, in the past, initiatives like this were “bait and switch”, where voters were promised freeway and other road improvements, but instead, were given light rail showpieces that didn’t go where most commuters needed to go. Worse, will the “high-speed” (sic) choo-choo, that won’t be high speed as it is going from SF to LA via Bakersfield, Tehachapi, Lancaster, and Palmdale, get bailed out from this?

PROPOSITION 70: Legislative Supermajority for Carbon Tax Fund spending – YES.

Sometimes, in his own special wacky way, Governor Brown takes on elements within his own Democrat Party. And this initiative is one of those times.

I like the idea of a “rainy day fund”, and a supermajority requirement for new spending, even if Governor “Moonbeam” Brown is behind this, and the carbon tax is based upon speculatively flawed “Climate Science” computer models that have been wrong for two decades now. (I remember the climate models that said water vapor from jet planes, and sulfur dioxides (besides causing “acid rain”), would block out sunlight and cause a New Ice Age).

Governor Brown has long wanted to create a “rainy day fund”, given that California’s “progressive” tax system, as burdensome as it is on most of us, still depends upon a handful of key industries and wealthy citizens for the majority of its revenue. If software apps and motion pics have a bad year, so does the state in terms of revenue. And the state economy is much less diversified than it used to be. Of course, this begs the question of how this “rainy day fund” would actually work: Money in the bank earning miniscule interest? Buying up and paying off the billions in bonds California has outstanding?

Anyway, Republican Assemblyman Chad Mayes, although he no doubt thinks the carbon tax is flawed and horrid, decided that, if there IS to be such a tax, then let it finance Governor Brown’s “Rainy Day Fund”. And so he and Governor Brown both wrote the argument for the initiative in the Voter Guide. And I LIKE IT! Let’s sequester the money from this tax and use it to buy back California bonds.

And the opposition to this initiative? Various “environmental” leftist lobbies that want the money for their pet projects.

PROPOSITION 71: Delays Effective Date For Ballot Measures – flip a coin???

Given that so many initiatives are subject to court fights after they are approved, and given the increased delays (and fraud risks) of more voting by mail, I suppose this initiative may be OK. Or may not matter. If you have a good argument for voting YES or NO, let me know.

PROPOSITION 72: Less Property Tax Assessment of “Rain Capture” systems – YES.

While “rain capture” systems are a piss-poor substitute for real dam building, they still have their place, and we should not jack up property tax assessments on people who install them.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Samantha Bee: So who really IS the "feckless c*nt"????

If anyone is a "Feckless C*nt", it would be Samantha Bee, for advocating a return to immigration policies that let gang members like MS-13 cross the border with impunity.

And if Samantha Bee was put at the tender mercies of MS-13, her c*nt would end up, well, something more than feckless.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Trump’s 'lack of decorum, dignity, and statesmanship'

Trump’s 'lack of decorum, dignity, and statesmanship' By Marshall Kamena, Mayor of Livermore, CA.

My Leftist friends (as well as many ardent #NeverTrumpers) constantly ask me if I’m not bothered by Donald Trump’s lack of decorum. They ask if I don’t think his tweets are “beneath the dignity of the office.”

Here’s my answer: We Right-thinking people have tried dignity. There could not have been a man of more quiet dignity than George W. Bush as he suffered the outrageous lies and politically motivated hatreds that undermined his presidency.

We tried statesmanship.

Could there be another human being on this earth who so desperately prized “collegiality” as John McCain?

We tried propriety – has there been a nicer human being ever than Mitt Romney?

And the results were always the same. This is because, while we were playing by the rules of dignity, collegiality and propriety, the Left has been, for the past 60 years, engaged in a knife fight where the only rules are those of Saul Alinsky and the Chicago mob.

I don’t find anything “dignified,” “collegial” or “proper” about Barack Obama’s lying about what went down on the streets of Ferguson in order to ramp up racial hatreds because racial hatreds serve the Democratic Party.

I don’t see anything “dignified” in lying about the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi and imprisoning an innocent filmmaker to cover your tracks.

I don’t see anything “statesman-like” in weaponizing the IRS to be used to destroy your political opponents and any dissent.

Yes, Obama was “articulate” and “polished” but in no way was he in the least bit “dignified,” “collegial” or “proper.”

The Left has been engaged in a war against America since the rise of the Children of the ‘60s. To them, it has been an all-out war where nothing is held sacred and nothing is seen as beyond the pale.. It has been a war they’ve fought with violence, the threat of violence, demagoguery and lies from day one – the violent take-over of the universities – till today.

The problem is that, through these years, the Left has been the only side fighting this war. While the Left has been taking a knife to anyone who stands in their way, the Right has continued to act with dignity, collegiality and propriety.

With Donald Trump, this all has come to an end. Donald Trump is America ’s first wartime president in the Culture War.

During wartime, things like “dignity” and “collegiality” simply aren’t the most essential qualities one looks for in their warriors. Ulysses Grant was a drunk whose behavior in peacetime might well have seen him drummed out of the Army for conduct unbecoming.

Had Abraham Lincoln applied the peacetime rules of propriety and booted Grant, the Democrats might well still be holding their slaves today.

Lincoln rightly recognized that, “I cannot spare this man. He fights.”

General George Patton was a vulgar-talking.. In peacetime, this might have seen him stripped of rank. But, had Franklin Roosevelt applied the normal rules of decorum then, Hitler and the Socialists would barely be five decades into their thousand-year Reich.

Trump is fighting. And what’s particularly delicious is that, like Patton standing over the battlefield as his tanks obliterated Rommel’s, he’s shouting, “You magnificent bastards, I read your book!”

That is just the icing on the cake, but it’s wonderful to see that not only is Trump fighting, he’s defeating the Left using their own tactics. That book is Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals – a book so essential to the Liberals’ war against America that it is and was the playbook for the entire Obama administration and the subject of Hillary Clinton’s senior thesis.

It is a book of such pure evil, that, just as the rest of us would dedicate our book to those we most love or those to whom we are most indebted, Alinsky dedicated his book to Lucifer.

Trump’s tweets may seem rash and unconsidered but, in reality, he is doing exactly what Alinsky suggested his followers do. First, instead of going after “the fake media” — and they are so fake that they have literally gotten every single significant story of the past 60 years not just wrong, but diametrically opposed to the truth, from the Tet Offensive to Benghazi, to what really happened on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri — Trump isolated CNN.. He made it personal.

Then, just as Alinsky suggests, he employs ridicule which Alinsky described as “the most powerful weapon of all.”... Most importantly, Trump’s tweets have put CNN in an untenable and unwinnable position. ... They need to respond.

This leaves them with only two choices. They can either “go high” (as Hillary would disingenuously declare of herself and the fake news would disingenuously report as the truth) and begin to honestly and accurately report the news or they can double-down on their usual tactics and hope to defeat Trump with twice their usual hysteria and demagoguery. The problem for CNN (et al.) with the former is that, if they were to start honestly reporting the news, that would be the end of the Democratic Party they serve. It is nothing but the incessant use of fake news (read: propaganda) that keeps the Left alive.

Imagine, for example, if CNN had honestly and accurately reported then-candidate Barack Obama’s close ties to foreign terrorists (Rashid Khalidi), domestic terrorists (William Ayers & Bernardine Dohrn), the mafia (Tony Rezko) or the true evils of his spiritual mentor, Jeremiah Wright’s church.

Imagine if they had honestly and accurately conveyed the evils of the Obama administration’s weaponizing of the IRS to be used against their political opponents or his running of guns to the Mexican cartels or the truth about the murder of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and the Obama administration’s cover-up.

So, to my friends on the Left — and the #NeverTrumpers as well — do I wish we lived in a time when our president could be “collegial” and “dignified” and “proper”? Of course I do.

These aren’t those times. This is war. And it’s a war that the Left has been fighting without opposition for the past 50 years.

So, say anything you want about this president - I get it - he can be vulgar, he can be crude, he can be undignified at times. I don’t care. I can’t spare this man. He fights for America!

Friday, May 04, 2018

Neil Cavuto, Pantywaist

Lest you think that Fox News is pro-Trump all the time, or even most of the time, along comes Neil Cavuto with his pearl clutching and myopic virtue signaling.

Go clutch your pearls, Neil. That you even dignify trivial tacky matters from over a dozen years ago, back when "The Donald" was a private citizen and had yet to enter politics, says so much.

We know about his messy private life past, and we don't care. It has nothing to do with his actions in the White House over the last year and a half.

The Clintons set that bar over two decades ago, and frankly The Donald has undeniably raised it from where they set it.

How the Russian collusion myth was hatched by Team Hillary immediately after her loss

The Russian Collusion mythology is the most dominant story in the news media and has been for the past eighteen months… dating back to November 7, 2016. And when one examines the contemporaneous reporting by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes in their excellent book Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign.

Allen and Parnes had incredible access to the entire Clinton campaign infrastructure because their book was really meant to be a historical account of the triumphant campaign for the first female president in American history.

As we know, it didn’t work out that way. And the authors’ account of the immediate aftermath tells us much about how the media were spoon-fed the collusion narrative: (emphasis added)
“She’s not being particularly self -reflective,” said one longtime ally who was on calls with her shortly after the election. Instead, Hillary kept pointing her finger at Comey and Russia. “She wants to make sure all these narratives get spun the right way,” this person said.

And if the Clinton campaign was good at anything, it was making sure narratives were “spun the right way.” So, the entire team, within 24 hours of the devastating loss, assembled to hatch the story. The scene, as painted with amazing detail by Allen and Parnes, sounds like a writers’ room for a television drama. The creative writing team throwing lots of story ideas around to see which one the consensus likes the most.

That strategy had been set within twenty-four hours of her concession speech. Mook and Podesta assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument.

In Brooklyn, her team coalesced around the idea that Russian hacking was the major unreported story of the campaign, overshadowed by the contents of stolen e-mails and Hillary’s own private- server imbroglio.
Of course, the plan would only work if the media took the bait. They had that angle knitted up. All they had to do was focus their anger and ire at their friends in the press and accuse them of being at fault for Trump’s victory.

They also decided to hammer the media for focusing so intently on the investigation into her e-mail, which had created a cloud over her candidacy. “The press botched the e-mail story for eighteen months,” said one person who was in the room. “Comey obviously screwed us, but the press created the story.”

“It was all your fault,” they’d say to their pals in the press. And now, they had to make good.
Listen to the pertinent passage from the audio book that I played on my radio program on WMAL in Washington DC.

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Stephon Clark and the Black Liar Marxists

Read the whole thing. The usual suspects are trying to burn the city of Sacramento to the ground and trying to make another "Dindo Nuffin" (who, in fact, DID do something) into a martyr.

Unwarranted Certainty

The Stephon Clark case is far from unambiguous.
April 4, 2018
Public safety

Stephon Clark, holding a cell phone, was shot by police eight times and killed while in the backyard of his grandmother’s house in Sacramento. Black Lives Matter activists have seized on the story as the latest instance of a police war on young black men. But even at this early stage, facts should give us pause before rushing to judgment on the culpability of the officers involved.
Al Sharpton, not unexpectedly, disagrees. While speaking at Clark’s funeral last week, Sharpton said of police, “They have been killing black men all across the country. . . . it’s time to stop this madness.” But it’s far from clear that the officers who shot Clark acted unlawfully, or that the victim’s race played a role in the shooting.
The publicly available evidence is unclear as to whether the police who shot Clark knew of his race at the time, let alone that it influenced their decision to fire. Responding to reports that someone was smashing windows in the neighborhood, the street cops were directed by officers in a surveillance helicopter to Clark’s location. Body cam footage and helicopter video demonstrate that the incident took place in pitch darkness; it was the first night after a new moon, and the only illumination on the scene came from the officers’ flashlights. On the audio of the original 911 complaint, the operator asks the caller “is he black, white, Hispanic, Asian?” The caller responds, “He had a hoodie on. I couldn’t tell, ma’am.” The helicopter video shows that the officers weren’t face-to-face with Clark for more than a few seconds before firing, a period in which their attention was focused on what they apparently believed to be a gun that he was carrying. When the officers made their way up the driveway, Clark turned his back to run away. It wasn’t until he began walking toward officers in the backyard that they might have had an opportunity to see his face.
Most media coverage has pointed out that Clark was unarmed when he was shot. That does not preclude the possibility that officers sincerely (and reasonably) believed he was armed. What the police were thinking matters. Videos of the encounter show police entering the backyard of the house. Upon turning the corner around the back, the lead officer clearly stops short and then retreats behind the side of the house, yelling “Gun!” He pulls his partner backward into a covered position. The two cops then peer around the corner with their weapons drawn, and, from cover, fire ten rounds each, fatally striking Clark, who looked to be walking toward them. That the officers took cover after crossing the threshold into the backyard, and then fired from that position—as opposed to shooting from an exposed position—suggests that they thought Clark was armed. This chain of events weighs against the presumption that their actions were criminal. None of the media coverage has focused on either of these two points, both of which raise the possibility that the two officers (one is black) who shot Clark did so in response to what they reasonably perceived was a threat of deadly force posed by a suspect (race potentially unknown) who had been backed into a corner and was holding an object, mistaken for a gun.
Much has been made about the fact that the officers muted their body cameras after being directed to do so, seemingly by a superior officer, following the shooting. Yet once the shooting happened, the cops were under no legal obligation to make statements on the record without legal representation, given the possibility that they might face prosecution. These protections, codified in the Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the Constitution, are available to everyone, including officers of the law. Moreover, statements made in the immediate wake of a stressful situation can often be unreliable, as a review of relevant literature has shown.
None of this is to say that the two Sacramento police officers who shot Stephon Clark are innocent. But to speak about the March 18 shooting as if it were a clear case of murder, motivated by racial animus, is both unhelpful and unwarranted, given the facts currently available.

Monday, February 12, 2018

I don't miss George W. Bush anymore

Juliette "Baldilocks" Ochieng says it better than I can:

"A few days ago, Former President George W. Bush said this:
Americans don’t want to pick cotton at 105 degrees, but there are people who want to put food on their family’s tables and are willing to do that. We should thank them.
This brought to my mind the old slave-owner justification for black slavery. I’m not alone.
Bush put a 21st-century spin on 19th-century plantation owners’ pleas that they needed imported chattel African labor because American workers were neither acclimatized to heat nor inexpensive enough to pick cotton in scorching Southern temperatures.
Additionally, gentleman-farmer Hanson points out that there is more than one area in which the former president demonstrated his cluelessness.
To wit, cotton picking (which I used to do as a child in the 1960s on my father’s small 40-acre cotton allotment) has been widely mechanized for over 50 years. And agriculture now only accounts for about 10-20 percent of illegal alien labor. 
Mechanization has revolutionized farming, even in crops once deemed impossible to automate such as nuts, olives, raisins, and delicate Napa Valley wine grapes. New computerized and laser-calibrated breakthroughs will likely mean that even soft fruit and vegetables will soon be mechanically picked, matching ongoing labor reduction in weeding and irrigation.
Read the whole thing.

Bush’s defense of illegal aliens – essentially a criticism of Donald Trump – wasn’t a surprise to me, though his location while doing it, in Dubai, was(!) After all, as president, he advocated the proposed Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007, which put many of his defenders in near revolt, including me.

Also, I remember when neither the former president nor most of his representatives would even try to rebut the Liberal/Leftist attacks on that administration and its policies. They left that up to the New Media: conservative bloggers. Stupid us.

After Barack H. Obama became president, GWB remained silent about his successor, even when the former repeatedly blamed him for bad things that happened from 2009 to 2017. I understood GWB’s stance at the time, and it also made me think that he was being consistent; he had little to say about his own predecessor, one William J. Clinton, even in the wake of the horror in 2001 which, in my own opinion, was the crowning achievement that rested on the many Islamic terror attacks on the US which occurred during the Clinton Administration and went unanswered by it. (That opinion is why I voted for George W. Bush in 2000.)

The silence during his own administration and the silence during the Obama Administration seemed characteristic of GWB. He let his actions do the talking, or so it seemed.

But now Trump's presidency seems to have loosened GWB’s tongue.

Bush's criticism of President Trump itself isn't the point; it’s where he did it, his own hypocrisy, and most importantly, what his criticism is.

I have blogged here about how hard it is to get a steady job here in the sanctuary state that is California even with skills and experience. (I’m pondering a possible 2019 escape.) What about the other Americans citizens here who don’t have skills and experience – especially the very young? I guess they don't matter.

George W. Bush thinks we should all thank the illegal aliens for picking the fruit and vegetables that I can barely afford, does he? (I’m a huge berry fan. Strawberries run over $3 a pound. But if I wanted to eat shit, literally and figuratively, pennies.)

And, it’s a safe bet that the families of Katie Steinle, Jamiel Shaw II, Kayla Cuevas and Nisa Mickens would have two words other than 'Thank You" to say to illegal aliens and to George W. Bush.
On the other hand, one of those words *is* probably ‘you.’ Co-sign.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

End State and Local Tax Deductions? Think again!

    I am waiting to see what the Senate does, but so far, for the first time with this Administration, I am not pleased.

    The proposed legislation to overhaul the messy tax system does have two very good points:

    (1) making corporate taxes less punitive so American industry does not go overseas. Even the high (individual and family) taxing Euros understand this concept, as their corporate taxes are low.

    (2) It is also wonderful to eliminate the messy and convoluted Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), something even people like me who prepare tax returns for a living often find surprising.

    The original motive for the AMT in 1969 was to insure that some wealthy individuals who had completely sheltered their income, often in government bonds, still had to pay up. However, inflation since then has now subjected millions of taxpayers to this byzantine mess.

    And frankly, if some wealthy Americans want to own nothing but Government debt, good for them. The rates of returns on such bonds are substantially lower than normal securities, and I would rather have wealthy Americans own the national debt than wealthy foreigners.

    However, there are some Republicans who are just giddy about removing or limiting itemized Federal deductions for state and local taxes, thinking they are punishing those higher tax (presumably Democrat) states. They really should think again:

    1. Don't we want more governmental programs handled at the state and local level. Frankly, I would be happy to watch all state taxes spike up, if, in return, certain Federal departments were abolished, and their functions returned to the states where they belong. (Education and Public Health as two examples). If we discourage state and local taxation, we discourage (New) Federalism, which is what I thought Republicans were all about.

    If government aid programs are to exist, they should be at the state and local levels as much as possible. Federalism matters.

    2. Lots of Republicans in "red" states pay higher state, local and property taxes too. A "tax cut" that causes the tax bills of millions of individuals to jump up, people who played by the rules as they best understood them, for decades, is political suicide. The people such a gambit hits are those like me who zealously itemize--and we vote Republican.

    Well, we vote for Patriots first, Republicans Second, and yes, lots of political bozos have an (R) after their names, but you get the idea.

    3. As my father has discovered, deducting medical expenses is something that typically does not happen for most taxpayers, but when it does, it does "Bigly", as The Donald would say.

    4. Moreover, isn't this double taxation?

    I know this idea seems like political dynamite to some pundits, but they really need to think it through, please.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Partial Obamacare Repeal? Think STEP ONE....

So many True Republicans are wailing and gnashing their teeth over an incomplete repeal of Obamunist Care that Trump is now behind.

Let me humbly suggest a better way to look at this:

Those or us disappointed with this partial repeal, although we are absolutely correct, should instead cheer it as "STEP ONE" and get to work on Steps 2 through....10?

The left didn't get to Obamunist Care outright. They had Medicare, Medicaid expansion, Medicare Part D, covering minor out of pocket stuff like birth control, covering this for this group and that for that group, etc.

Trump is a wheeler-dealer. We all knew that. He wants to partially repeal and declare some kind of victory.

How to handle that?

Get to work on a better bill that repeals more Obamunist crap, implements more market forces, brings health insurance costs down, avoids the "moral hazards" from "Pre-existing condition" caterwauling to demanding minor things like birth control be covered by insurance (gee-what would oil changes and car insurance cost if oil changes were paid by 3rd party car insurance?), and so on.

And pass it and let Trump bask in the glory of signing THAT.

And so on, and so on, and so on.

Yes, dishonest Demunists and wimpy RINOs/Cuckservatives/Vichy Republicans will always be in the way. Duh. We knew that from the get go.

Just repeat after me: STEP ONE.....

NOTE: Don't think "half a loaf is better than nothing", which implies we are done with it.

Think STEP ONE, which means another bill to undo more Obamunist damage. And another, and another.

Or think, "Get the ball rolling...."

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Celebrate Valentine's Day--Leftists and Islamunists hate it!

I used to be very cynical about Valentine's Day. Another day to sell stuff, I grumbled, and I was embittered and cynical about romantic love back then.

However, as Jamie Glazov eloquently points out, any event that both Leftist Dupes here and Islamic Savages over there bitterly oppose MUST have some good in it! They both bitterly oppose it for the same reasons as well, reasons that go beyond mutual hatred of Western Civilization (although that obviously is a motive as well).

Happy Valentine's Day!!!!!

Today, February 14, is Valentine’s Day, the sacred day that intimate companions mark to celebrate their love and affection for one another. If you’re thinking about making a study of how couples celebrate this day, the Muslim world and the milieus of the radical Left are not the places you should be spending your time. Indeed, it’s pretty hard to outdo Islamists and “progressives” when it comes to the hatred of Valentine’s Day. And this hatred is precisely the territory on which the contemporary romance between the Left and Islamic Supremacism is formed.
The train is never late: every year that Valentine’s comes around, the Muslim world erupts with ferocious rage, with its leaders doing everything in their power to suffocate the festivity that comes with the celebration of private romance. Imams around the world thunder against Valentine’s every year — and the celebration of the day itself is literally outlawed in Islamist states.
This year, for example, the Islamabad High Court in Pakistan banned the celebration of Valentine's Day in public places, and at an official level, and prohibited all electronic and print media from covering any festivities or mentioning of the occasion. Several cities across Muslim-majority Indonesia, meanwhile, banned people from celebrating the day. In the city of Surabaya, a group of school students, which included many girls wearing the hijab, denounced Valentine's Day. In Muslim-dominant Malaysia, the group The National Muslim Youth Associationdirected females not to use emoticons and perfume in a pre-Valentine's Day message.
Last year, Pakistan also banned Valentine’s Day, calling it an “insult” to Islam and warning that "strict" action against anyone daring to celebrate the day in any part of Islamabad. In the past, Valentine’s Day activities were disrupted by Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakistan's main religious party, but in the last two years the state and court now get involved to ban celebration of the day. Back on Valentine's Day in Pakistan in 2013, supporters of Jamat-e-Islami took to the streets in Peshawar to vehemently denounce the Day of Love. Demonizing it as “un-Islamic,” the Muslim protestors shouted that the day had "spread immodesty in the world." Shahzad Ahmed, the local leader of the student wing of Jamat-e-Islami, declared that the organization will not “allow” any Valentine’s Day functions, warning that if Pakistani law enforcement did not prevent Pakistanis from holding such functions, that the Jamat-e-Islami would stop them “in our own way." Khalid Waqas Chamkani, a leader in Jamat-e-Islami, calls Valentine's a “shameful day.”
These Islamist forces in Pakistan cannot, of course, completely succeed in preventing couples from showing love to each other on this special day, and so many Pakistanis still cryptically celebrate Valentine's Day and exchange presents in secret.
In Iran, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia last year, and as always, Valentine’s Day was outlawed. Under the Islamic regime in Iran, for instance, any sale or promotion of Valentine’s Day related items, including the exchange of gifts, flowers and cards, is illegal. The Iranian police consistently warn retailers against the promotion of Valentine’s Day celebrations.
Over the years, Islamic religious leaders and officials in Malaysia have warned Muslims against celebrating Valentine's Day. In Saudi Arabia, the morality police outlaw the sale of all Valentine's Day items, forcing shopkeepers to remove any red items, because the day is considered a Christian holiday.
Malaysia and Saudi Arabia are carrying the torch for the Indonesian Ulema Council in Dumai, Riau, and for the Education, Youth and Sport Agency in Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara, both of which issue a dire warning each year to people against celebrating Valentine’s Day, stating that the Day of Love “is against Islam.” This is because, as the Indonesian Ulema Council 2011 judgment explained, Valentine’s Day takes young people into a "dark world.”
Malaysia's State mufti chief assistant Mat Jais Kamos always keeps his mind focused on that dark world and so, in 2014, a few days before Valentine's Day, he ordered young people to stay clear of celebrating the Day of Love: “The celebration emphasizes the relationship between two individuals rather than the love between family members or married couples," he affirmed, and department officials backed up his command by distributing leaflets to remind Muslims of the 2006 ban on Valentine’s Day issued by the state fatwa council. In Islamic Uzbekistan, meanwhile, several universities habitually make sure that students actually sign contracts promising not to celebrate Valentine's.
All these Islamic outcries against Valentine's Day reflect myriad other efforts to suffocate the day of love throughout the Muslim World. For instance, in Aceh province in Indonesia every year, Muslim clerics issue stern warnings to Muslims against observing Valentine’s Day. Tgk Feisal, general secretary of the Aceh Ulema Association (HUDA), has stated that “It is haram for Muslims to observe Valentine’s Day because it does not accord with Islamic Sharia.” He has stressed that the government must watch out for youths participating in Valentine’s Day activities in Aceh. One can only imagine what happens to the guilty parties.
As mentioned, the Saudis consistently punish the slightest hint of celebrating Valentine’s Day. The Kingdom and its religious police always officially issue a stern warning that anyone caught even thinking about Valentine’s Day will suffer some of the most painful penalties of Sharia Law. Daniel Pipes has documented how the Saudi regime takes a firm stand against Valentine’s every year and how the Saudi religious police monitor stores selling roses and other gifts.
Christian overseas workers living in Saudi Arabia from the Philippines and other countries always take extra precautions, heeding the Saudis’ warning to them specifically to avoid greeting anyone with the words “Happy Valentine’s Day” or exchanging any gift that reeks of romance. A spokesman for a Philippine workers group has commented: "We are urging fellow Filipinos in the Middle East, especially lovers, just to celebrate their Valentine’s Day secretly and with utmost care."
The Iranian despots, meanwhile, as mentioned above, consistently try to make sure that the Saudis don’t outdo them in annihilating Valentine’s Day. Iran’s “morality” police sternly order shops to remove heart-and-flower decorations and images of couples embracing on this day — and anytime around this day.
Typical of this whole pathology in the Islamic world was a development witnessed back on February 10, 2006, when activists of the radical Kashmiri Islamic group Dukhtaran-e-Millat (Daughters of the Community) went on a rampagein Srinagar, the main city of the Indian portion of Kashmir. Some two dozen black-veiled Muslim women stormed gift and stationery shops, burning Valentine’s Day cards and posters showing couples together.
In the West, meanwhile, leftist feminists are not to be outdone by their Islamist allies in reviling — and trying to exterminate — Valentine’s Day. Throughout many Women’s Studies Programs on American campuses, for instance, you will find the demonization of this day, since, as the disciples of Andrea Dworkin angrily explain, the day is a manifestation of how capitalist and homophobic patriarchs brainwash and oppress women -- and push them into spheres of powerlessness.
As an individual who spent more than a decade in academia, I was privileged to witness this war against Valentine’s Day up close and personal. Feminist icons like Jane Fonda, meanwhile, help lead the assault on Valentine’s Day in society at large. As David Horowitz has documented, Fonda has led the campaign to transform this special day into “V-Day” (“Violence against Women Day”) — which is, when it all comes down to it, a day of hate, featuring a mass indictment of men.
So what exactly is transpiring here? What explains this hatred of Valentine’s Day by leftist feminists and Islamists? And how and why does it serve as the sacred bond that brings the Left and Islam together into its feast of hate?
The core issue at the foundation of this phenomenon is that Islam and the radical Left both revile the notion of private love, a non-tangible and divine entity that draws individuals to each other and, therefore, distracts them from submitting themselves to a secular deity.
The highest objective of both Islam and the radical Left is clear: to shatter the sacred intimacy that a man and a woman can share with one another, for such a bond is inaccessible to the order. History, therefore, demonstrates how Islam, like Communism, wages a ferocious war on any kind of private and unregulated love. In the case of Islam, the reality is epitomized in its monstrous structures of gender apartheid and the terror that keeps it in place. Indeed, female sexuality and freedom are demonized and, therefore, forced veiling, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, honor killings and other misogynist monstrosities become mandatory parts of the sadistic paradigm.
The puritanical nature of totalist systems (whether Fascist, Communist, or Islamist) is another manifestation of this phenomenon. In Stalinist Russia, private sexual pleasure was portrayed as unsocialist and counter-revolutionary. More recent Communist societies have also waged war on sexuality — a war that Islam, as we know, wages with similar ferocity. These totalist structures cannot survive in environments filled with self-interested, pleasure-seeking individuals who prioritize devotion to other individual human beings over the collective and the state. Because the leftist believer viscerally hates the notion and reality of personal love and “the couple,” he champions the enforcement of totalitarian puritanism by the despotic regimes he worships.
The famous twentieth-century novels of dystopia, Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We, George Orwell’s 1984, and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, all powerfully depict totalitarian society’s assault on the realm of *personal* love in its violent attempt to dehumanize human beings and completely subject them to its rule. In Zamyatin’s We, the earliest of the three novels, the despotic regime keeps human beings in line by giving them license for regulated sexual promiscuity, while private love is illegal. The hero breaks the rules with a woman who seduces him — not only into forbidden love but also into a counterrevolutionary struggle. In the end, the totality forces the hero, like the rest of the world’s population, to undergo the Great Operation, which annihilates the part of the brain that gives life to passion and imagination, and therefore spawns the potential for love. In Orwell’s 1984, the main character ends up being tortured and broken at the Ministry of Truth for having engaged in the outlawed behavior of unregulated love. In Huxley’s Brave New World, promiscuity is encouraged — everyone has sex with everyone else under regime rules, but no one is allowed to make a deep and independent private connection.
Yet as these novels demonstrate, no tyranny’s attempt to turn human beings into obedient robots can fully succeed. There is always someone who has doubts, who is uncomfortable, and who questions the secular deity — even though it would be safer for him to conform like everyone else. The desire that therefore overcomes the instinct for self-preservation is erotic passion. And that is why love presents such a threat to the totalitarian order: it dares to serve itself. It is a force more powerful than the all-pervading fear that a totalitarian order needs to impose in order to survive. Leftist and Muslim social engineers, therefore, in their twisted and human-hating imaginations, believe that the road toward earthly redemption (under a classless society or Sharia) stands a chance only if private love and affection is purged from the human condition.
This is exactly why, forty years ago, as Peter Collier and David Horowitz demonstrate in Destructive Generation, the Weather Underground not only waged war against American society through violence and mayhem, but also waged war on private love within its own ranks. Bill Ayers, one of the leading terrorists in the group, argued in a speech defending the campaign: "Any notion that people can have responsibility for one person, that they can have that ‘out’ — we have to destroy that notion in order to build a collective; we have to destroy all ‘outs,’ to destroy the notion that people can lean on one person and not be responsible to the entire collective."
Thus, the Weather Underground destroyed any signs of monogamy within its ranks and forced couples, some of whom had been together for years, to admit their “political error” and split apart. Like their icon Margaret Mead, they fought the notions of romantic love, jealousy, and other “oppressive” manifestations of one-on-one intimacy and commitment. This was followed by forced group sex and “national orgies,” whose main objective was to crush the spirit of individualism. This constituted an eerie replay of the sexual promiscuity that was encouraged (while private love was forbidden) in We, 1984, and Brave New World.
It becomes completely understandable, therefore, why leftist believers were so inspired by the tyrannies in the Soviet Union, Communist China, Communist North Vietnam and many other countries. As sociologist Paul Hollander has documented in his classic Political Pilgrims, fellow travelers were especially enthralled with the desexualized dress that the Maoist regime imposed on its citizens. This at once satisfied the leftist’s desire for enforced sameness and the imperative of erasing attractions between private citizens. As I have demonstrated in United in Hate, the Maoists’ unisex clothing finds its parallel in fundamentalist Islam’s mandate for shapeless coverings to be worn by both males and females. The collective “uniform” symbolizes submission to a higher entity and frustrates individual expression, mutual physical attraction, and private connection and affection. And so, once again, the Western leftist remains not only uncritical, but completely supportive of — and enthralled in — this form of totalitarian puritanism.
This is precisely why leftist feminists today do not condemn the forced veiling of women in the Islamic world; because they support everything that forced veiling engenders. It should be no surprise, therefore, that Naomi Wolf finds thehijab "sexy". And it should be no surprise that Oslo Professor of Anthropology, Dr. Unni Wikan, found a solutionfor the high incidence of Muslims raping Norwegian women: the rapists must not be punished, but Norwegian women must veil themselves.
Valentine’s Day is a “shameful day” for the Muslim world and for the radical Left. It is shameful because private love is considered obscene, since it threatens the highest of values: the need for a totalitarian order to attract the complete and undivided attention, allegiance and veneration of every citizen. Love serves as the most lethal threat to the tyrants seeking to build Sharia and a classless utopia on earth, and so these tyrants yearn for the annihilation of every ingredient in man that smacks of anything that it means to be human.
And so perhaps it is precisely on reflecting yesterday's Valentine’s Day that we are reminded of the hope that we can realistically have in our battle with the ugly and pernicious Unholy Alliance that seeks to destroy our civilization.
This day reminds us that we have a weapon, the most powerful arsenal on the face of the earth, in front of which despots and terrorists quiver and shake, and sprint from in horror into the shadows of darkness, desperately avoiding its piercing light.
That arsenal is Private love.
And no Maoist Red Guard or Saudi Islamo-Fascist cop ever stamped it out — no matter how much they beat and tortured their victims. And no al-Qaeda jihadist in Pakistan or Feminazi on any American campus will ever succeed in suffocating it, no matter how ferociously they lust to disinfect man of who and what he is.
Love will prevail.
Long Live Valentine’s Day.

(To get the whole story on Islam’s and the Left’s war on private love, see Jamie Glazov's book United in Hate: The Left's Romance With Tyranny and Terror.)

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Obamacare taxes to repeal

From the AP / Modesto Bee, today. Let's look at them one by one:

A look at the $1.1 trillion in taxes over 10 years imposed by former President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. The revenue helped pay for the law's expansion of coverage to millions of Americans.
The revenue estimates are by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and Congress' Joint Committee on Taxation. They could differ significantly from whatever Republicans propose in their effort to erase the law and replace it:
—3.8 percent tax on investment income over $200,000 for individuals, $250,000 for couples: $223 billion in revenue over 10 years.
This first one is not surprising for Democrats--Tax other people to pay for subsidizing health insurance. However, as the overwhelming majority of people already insured have discovered, their insurance costs have still skyrocketed. Why? Perhaps we should examine other taxes below for a reason why....
—tax penalty on larger employers not providing health insurance to workers: $178 billion.
This one appears to be the stick to eimployers, as well as a carrot to the health insurance industry.
—annual fee on health insurance companies: $130 billion.
And here we go. We want health insurance to be more affordable, yet we impose taxes upon providers, which they will pass on in higher premiums, which will only drive the price of insurance up? How utterly counterproductive this is.
—0.9 percent Medicare surtax on income over $220,000 for individuals, $250,000 for couples: $123 billion.
In effect, Medicare is now being "means tested" with this action, not in terms of who receives it, but in terms of who pays extra for it.
—"Cadillac" tax on value of high-cost employer provided health insurance: $79 billion.
And here we go again. So if an employer has a generous health care and health insurance perk for their employees, the Obamunist government wanted to punish them. So benefits for these no longer lucky people will be cut. How utterly counterproductive this also is.
—deductibility of medical costs exceeding 10 percent of people's income, raised from prior 7.5 percent threshold: $40 billion.
So when people get hit with a catastrophic emergency, they will find it much harder to deduct it on their income taxes, if at all. "Affordable Care Act", my ass.
—tax penalty on individuals who don't obtain health insurance: $38 billion.
The Obamacare idea here was to compel more people to buy health insurance in order to spread the costs.

And yet, the age upon which dependent children can live on their parents insurance has been raised all the way up to 26! Now while it is true that people 18-25 make few demands upon the health insurance system (other than anti-depressants, a notable exception), the effect of Obamacare, with its sop to Millenial Generation college and postgraduate kids, was to reduce the number of people paying into the health insurance systems, despite this act of punishing affluent people who did not buy health insurance.
—annual fee on makers and importers of prescription drugs: $30 billion.
And here we go again! We want prescription drugs to be more affordable, yet we impose taxes upon said drugs, which will only be passed on in higher prices, which will only drive the price of them up? How utterly counterproductive this is.
—2.3 percent tax on makers and importers of some medical devices, exempts consumer products such as eye glasses: $20 billion.
And here we go again! We want medical devices to be more affordable, yet we impose taxes upon said devices, which will only drive the price of them up? How utterly counterproductive this is.
—$2,500 annual limit on employee contributions to flexible spending accounts for medical costs (cap grows with inflation): $32 billion.
Here's a thought: Why not treat Medical Savings Accounts like IRAs, with unused benefits that can be carried over--and invested--year after year? Naw
—10 percent tax on indoor tanning services: $800 million.
This is like a smoker's tax, only it is a sunbather's tax. Is there proof of sunbather's abuse and massive skin cancer outbreaks? And even if so, wouldn't measured doses in tanning beds be better than variable doses of laying around in the sun outside?

Although I must admit, while I have argued against excessive tobacco taxes before--past a certain point the taxes become punitive penalties rather than revenue raisers--here, they actually WOULD make a degree of sense, helping to finance health insurance and health care while discouraging an unhealthy behavior.

And frankly, since there is a push to legalize pot, THERE is a place to impose an array of new taxes, that could go to finance state and local health care programs for the poor stoners. After all, if tobacco smoke is bad for the lungs, how is weed smoke not?

Read more here:

Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Left's New Fake Narrative: "The Russkies Did It!!!!"

Kudos to David "Iowahawk" Burge for pointing all this out in a series of Twitter tweets:

To summarize and rephrase him as best I can:

Anatomy of the Left's Fake News scandal:

1. John Podesta, like 100% of everyone who has ever had a email account, received a password phishing email. He fell for it.

2. According to some accounts, the phishing email had Russian fingerprints/ characteristics in its metadata. This has yet to be proven, nor does using a global internet server somewhere else prove that its orgin was that area.

3. Whatever the case, the password purloiners downloaded his emails, which eventually got into the hands of Wikileaks, who made them public. These emails revealed a rather unsavory person with an interesting taste in art and interesting wealthy friends who had frequent sex with minors on their own small island, part of the US Virgin Islands, but more importantly,

4. The emails were revealing frequent out and out collusion and strategic planning between the Democrat Party and "objective" journalists. Mostly embarrassing to media.

5. At the time of their release (October, before the federal Presidential election) they were hardly covered by any media, and largely dismissed as a big fat nothing.

6. Not one of the people whose emails were revealed has ever disputed their authenticity.

7. Fast forward to December, and a lost Democrat federal Presidential election. The October nothing has now magically transformed into "vote hacking" and "election hacking."

8. New Leftist narrative: treasonous Trump operatives conspired with Putin to hypnotically mesmerize Clinton voters into pulling the wrong lever.

9. This is not from Alex Jones or angry conspiracy kook Facebook uncles, it's from the NYT, the WaPo, and our beloved State Radio, NPR.

10. How effective has this been? If polls are to be believed, 50%+ of Democrats believe the Russians literally modified vote tallies. (Then again 50%+ of Democrats actually believed Obama's "Hope and Change" rhetoric, and believed that a man who spent his whole life stoking and amplifying racial and class divisions could somehow heal them.)

11. And you know what? None of this is a really a defense of Trump, let alone Putin. It IS an indictment of our garbage narrative-driven media.

12. It shouldn't have to take a drunk internet nobody to point any of this out, but hey, here we are.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Primary elections: What we owe Donald Trump....

I want to address what we, as patriotic, Constitution-loving Americans, owe Donald Trump today.

Because we actually owe him a great debt.

Due in large part to Donald Trump, the grassroots effort that began with tea parties in the streets of America a few years ago has grown and morphed into a massive movement that has the potential of shifting our nation. Trump has personified and embodied an underground current of discontent with the Establishment -- a distrust of government that spans party lines.

So here's what we owe Donald Trump today....

We owe Donald Trump our thanks for giving a voice to a massive Outsider movement, slaying the dragon of political correctness, elevating the importance of several core issues, and taking down the "chosen" Establishment candidates.

So we owe Donald Trump our thanks. Mr. Trump, take a bow.

But here's what we do not owe Mr. Trump...

We *do not* owe Donald Trump our votes.

If you're like me and millions of patriotic conservatives in our land, you've been struggling with two sentiments. You know from the facts that Trump is not a conservative. After all, he has more consistently supported Democratic candidates over his lifetime than Republicans. Until very recently, Trump was far to the Left of distrusted GOP RINOs like Mitt Romney on core issues like immigration and healthcare, to name just two.

And let's be honest about Mr. Trump's deportment. He's a hard-driving, verbal killer -- a brash and at times vulgar candidate who has turned this campaign into a reality TV show.

Yet something inside of you has been telling you that Trump just feels right. Finally, someone with the internal fortitude to stand up to the bully of Big Government!

And you're right. We've been maligned by the Left and betrayed by the GOP Establishment. Trump just feels like the right guy to stick it to the system! But let's be honest and acknowledge that Trump is not, nor has he ever been, a limited government conservative.

So here's my advice: understand what you owe Donald Trump today. You owe him your thanks. But not your vote. Be thankful for Trump because his candidacy and his impact on this presidential race has done something truly amazing...

Trump has created real space and a real opportunity for a real conservative to win.

And who is that candidate?

Ted Cruz.

Rush Limbaugh called Cruz "the closest living thing to Ronald Reagan we're ever going to have in our lifetimes. I don't know what more I can say about Ted Cruz."

Cruz's record and his rhetoric back up Rush's statement. Perhaps most importantly, Ted Cruz is the best qualified among the three GOP leaders to actually nominate to the Supreme Court originalists who will interpret and not re-write the Constitution.

So, yes, we owe a great debt of thanks to Donald Trump. He is the first public figure to represent on a truly national platform the growing grassroots Anti-Establishment movement which may well be the last, best hope for our nation.

So, as you go to the polls, give a hearty "thanks" to Donald Trump.

But vote for the strongest conservative in the field: Ted Cruz.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Donald Trump Is Shocking, Vulgar....and Absolutely Right!!!

Tucker Carlson, to his credit, nails it. And coming from the Politico, that's saying something.

No, he's not my first choice; at this point, Ted Cruz is.

But it is nice to hear someone say the Truth, loudly and proudly.

* * * * *
Donald Trump Is Shocking, Vulgar and Right

And, my dear fellow Republicans, he's all your fault.
By Tucker Carlson

About 15 years ago, I said something nasty on CNN about Donald Trump’s hair. I can’t now remember the context, assuming there was one. In any case, Trump saw it and left a message the next day.

“It’s true you have better hair than I do,” Trump said matter-of-factly. “But I get more pussy than you do.” Click.

At the time, I’d never met Trump and I remember feeling amused but also surprised he’d say something like that. Now the pattern seems entirely familiar. The message had all the hallmarks of a Trump attack: shocking, vulgar and indisputably true.

Not everyone finds it funny. On my street in Northwest Washington, D.C., there’s never been anyone as unpopular as Trump. The Democrats assume he’s a bigot, pandering to the morons out there in the great dark space between Georgetown and Brentwood. The Republicans (those relatively few who live here) fully agree with that assessment, and they hate him even more. They sense Trump is a threat to them personally, to their legitimacy and their livelihoods. Idi Amin would get a warmer reception in our dog park.

I understand it of course. And, except in those moments when the self-righteous silliness of rich people overwhelms me and I feel like moving to Maine, I can see their points, some of them anyway. Trump might not be my first choice for president. I’m not even convinced he really wants the job. He’s smart enough to know it would be tough for him to govern.

But just because Trump is an imperfect candidate doesn’t mean his candidacy can’t be instructive. Trump could teach Republicans in Washington a lot if only they stopped posturing long enough to watch carefully. Here’s some of what they might learn:

(1) He Exists Because You Failed

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.

Consider the conservative nonprofit establishment, which seems to employ most right-of-center adults in Washington. Over the past 40 years, how much donated money have all those think tanks and foundations consumed? Billions, certainly. (Someone better at math and less prone to melancholy should probably figure out the precise number.) Has America become more conservative over that same period? Come on. Most of that cash went to self-perpetuation: Salaries, bonuses, retirement funds, medical, dental, lunches, car services, leases on high-end office space, retreats in Mexico, more fundraising. Unless you were the direct beneficiary of any of that, you’d have to consider it wasted.

Pretty embarrassing. And yet they’re not embarrassed. Many of those same overpaid, underperforming tax-exempt sinecure-holders are now demanding that Trump be stopped. Why? Because, as his critics have noted in a rising chorus of hysteria, Trump represents “an existential threat to conservatism.”

Let that sink in. Conservative voters are being scolded for supporting a candidate they consider conservative because it would be bad for conservatism? And by the way, the people doing the scolding? They’re the ones who’ve been advocating for open borders, and nation-building in countries whose populations hate us, and trade deals that eliminated jobs while enriching their donors, all while implicitly mocking the base for its worries about abortion and gay marriage and the pace of demographic change. Now they’re telling their voters to shut up and obey, and if they don’t, they’re liberal. 

It turns out the GOP wasn’t simply out of touch with its voters; the party had no idea who its voters were or what they believed. For decades, party leaders and intellectuals imagined that most Republicans were broadly libertarian on economics and basically neoconservative on foreign policy. That may sound absurd now, after Trump has attacked nearly the entire Republican catechism (he savaged the Iraq War and hedge fund managers in the same debate) and been greatly rewarded for it, but that was the assumption the GOP brain trust operated under. They had no way of knowing otherwise. The only Republicans they talked to read the Wall Street Journal too.

On immigration policy, party elders were caught completely by surprise. Even canny operators like Ted Cruz didn’t appreciate the depth of voter anger on the subject. And why would they? If you live in an affluent ZIP code, it’s hard to see a downside to mass low-wage immigration. Your kids don’t go to public school. You don’t take the bus or use the emergency room for health care. No immigrant is competing for your job. (The day Hondurans start getting hired as green energy lobbyists is the day my neighbors become nativists.) Plus, you get cheap servants, and get to feel welcoming and virtuous while paying them less per hour than your kids make at a summer job on Nantucket. It’s all good.

Apart from his line about Mexican rapists early in the campaign, Trump hasn’t said anything especially shocking about immigration. Control the border, deport lawbreakers, try not to admit violent criminals — these are the ravings of a Nazi? This is the “ghost of George Wallace” that a Politico piece described last August? A lot of Republican leaders think so. No wonder their voters are rebelling.
And frankly, Tucker, even the point about cross-border crime--which includes rape--is the hard truth.
(2) Truth Is Not Only A Defense, It’s Thrilling

When was the last time you stopped yourself from saying something you believed to be true for fear of being punished or criticized for saying it? If you live in America, it probably hasn’t been long. That’s not just a talking point about political correctness. It’s the central problem with our national conversation, the main reason our debates are so stilted and useless. You can’t fix a problem if you don’t have the words to describe it. You can’t even think about it clearly.

This depressing fact made Trump’s political career. In a country where almost everyone in public life lies reflexively, it’s thrilling to hear someone say what he really thinks, even if you believe he’s wrong. It’s especially exciting when you suspect he’s right.

A temporary ban on Muslim immigration? That sounds a little extreme (meaning nobody else has said it recently in public). But is it? Millions of Muslims have moved to Western Europe over the past 50 years, and a sizable number of them still haven’t assimilated. Instead, they remain hostile and sometimes dangerous to the cultures that welcomed them. By any measure, that experiment has failed. What’s our strategy for not repeating it here, especially after San Bernardino—attacks that seemed to come out of nowhere? Invoke American exceptionalism and hope for the best? Before Trump, that was the plan.

Republican primary voters should be forgiven for wondering who exactly is on the reckless side of this debate. At the very least, Trump seems like he wants to protect the country.

Evangelicals understand this better than most. You read surveys that indicate the majority of Christian conservatives support Trump, and then you see the video: Trump on stage with pastors, looking pained as they pray over him, misidentifying key books in the New Testament, and in general doing a ludicrous imitation of a faithful Christian, the least holy roller ever. You wonder as you watch this: How could they be that dumb? He’s so obviously faking it.
They know that already. I doubt there are many Christian voters who think Trump could recite the Nicene Creed, or even identify it. Evangelicals have given up trying to elect one of their own. What they’re looking for is a bodyguard, someone to shield them from mounting (and real) threats to their freedom of speech and worship. Trump fits that role nicely, better in fact than many church-going Republicans. For eight years, there was a born-again in the White House. How’d that work out for Christians, here and in Iraq?

(3) Washington Really Is Corrupt

Everyone beats up on Washington, but most of the people I know who live here love it. Of course they do. It’s beautiful, the people are friendly, we’ve got good restaurants, not to mention full employment and construction cranes on virtually every corner. If you work on Capitol Hill or downtown, it’s hard to walk back from lunch without seeing someone you know. It’s a warm bath. Nobody wants to leave.

But let’s pretend for a second this isn’t Washington. Let’s imagine it’s the capital of an African country, say Burkina Faso, and we are doing a study on corruption. Probably the first question we’d ask: How many government officials have close relatives who make a living by influencing government spending? A huge percentage of them? OK. Case closed. Ouagadougou is obviously a very corrupt city.

That’s how the rest of the country views D.C. Washington is probably the richest city in America because the people who live there have the closest proximity to power. That seems obvious to most voters. It’s less obvious to us, because everyone here is so cheerful and familiar, and we’re too close to it. Chairman so-and-so’s son-in-law lobbies the committee? That doesn’t seem corrupt. He’s such a good guy.

All of which explains why almost nobody in Washington caught the significance of Trump’s finest moment in the first debate. One of the moderators asked, in effect: if you’re so opposed to Hillary Clinton, why did she come to your last wedding? It seemed like a revealing, even devastating question.

Trump’s response, delivered without pause or embarrassment: Because I paid her to be there. As if she was the wedding singer, or in charge of the catering.

Even then, I’ll confess, I didn’t get it. (Why would you pay someone to come to your wedding?) But the audience did. Trump is the ideal candidate to fight Washington corruption not simply because he opposes it, but because he has personally participated in it. He’s not just a reformer; like most effective populists, he’s a whistleblower, a traitor to his class. Before he became the most ferocious enemy American business had ever known at the time, Teddy Roosevelt was a rich guy. His privilege wasn't incidental; it was key to his appeal. Anyone can peer through the window in envy. It takes a real man to throw furniture through it from the inside.

If Trump is leading a populist movement, many of his Republican critics have joined an elitist one. Deriding Trump is an act of class solidarity, visible evidence of refinement and proof that you live nowhere near a Wal-Mart. Early last summer, in a piece that greeted Trump when he entered the race, National Review described the candidate as “a ridiculous buffoon with the worst taste since Caligula.” Virtually every other critique of Trump from the right has voiced similar aesthetic concerns.

Why is the Party of Ideas suddenly so fixated on fashion and hair? Maybe all dying institutions devolve this way, from an insistence on intellectual rigor to a flabby preoccupation with appearances. It happened in the Episcopal Church, once renowned for its liturgy, now a stop on architectural and garden tours. Only tourists go there anymore.

(4) He Could Win

Of all the dumb things that have been said about Trump by people who were too slow to get finance jobs and therefore wound up in journalism, perhaps the stupidest of all is the one you hear most: He’ll get killed in the general! This is a godsend for Democrats! Forty-state wipeout! And so it goes mindlessly on.

Actually — and this is no endorsement of Trump, just an interjection of reality — that’s a crock. Of the Republicans now running, Trump likely has the best chance to beat Hillary Clinton, for two reasons:

First, he’s the only Republican who can meaningfully expand the pie. Polls show a surprisingly large number of Democrats open to Trump. In one January survey by the polling form Mercury Analytics , almost 20 percent said they’d consider crossing over to him from Hillary. Even if that’s double the actual number, it’s still stunning. Could Ted Cruz expect to draw that many Democrats? Could Jeb?

It’s an article of faith in Washington that Trump would tank the party’s prospects with minority voters. Sounds logical, especially if you’re a sensitive white liberal who considers the suggestion of a border wall a form of hate speech, but consider the baseline. In the last election, Romney got 6 percent of the black vote, and 27 percent of Hispanics. Trump, who’s energetic, witty and successful, will do worse? I wouldn’t bet on it.
(In fact, when I remember that Governor Pete Wilson won a GOP record of about 30% of the African American vote in California for his stance on illegal aliens, and STILL won the usual 1/3 of Mexican American Republican voters, I have to wonder how many American-born "people of color" really like the illegal alien invasion either.)
But the main reason Trump could win is because he’s the only candidate hard enough to call Hillary’s bluff. Republicans will say almost anything about Hillary, but almost none challenge her basic competence. She may be evil, but she’s tough and accomplished. This we know, all of us.
But do we? Or is this understanding of Hillary just another piety we repeat out of unthinking habit, the political equivalent of, “you can be whatever you want to be,” or “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”? Trump doesn’t think Hillary is impressive and strong. He sees her as brittle and afraid.

He may be right, based on his exchange with her just before Christmas. During a speech in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Trump said Hillary had been “schlonged” by Obama in the 2008 race. In response, the Clinton campaign called Trump a sexist. It’s a charge Hillary has leveled against virtually every opponent she’s faced, but Trump responded differently. Instead of scrambling to donate to breast cancer research, he pointed out that Hillary spent years attacking the alleged victims of her husband’s sexual assaults. That ended the conversation almost immediately.

It was the most effective possible response, though more obvious than brilliant. Why was Trump the only Republican to use it?

Republican primary voters may be wondering the same thing. Or maybe they already know. They seem to know a lot about Trump, more than the people who run their party. They know that he isn’t a conventional ideological conservative. They seem relieved. They can see that he’s emotionally incontinent. They find it exciting.

Washington Republicans look on at this in horror, their suspicions confirmed. Beneath the thin topsoil of rural conservatism, they see the seeds of proto-fascism beginning to sprout. But that’s not quite right. Republicans in the states aren’t dangerous. They’ve just evaluated the alternatives and decided those are worse.
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You know, the popularity of "The Hunger Games" books and movies should have been a hint to the Washington Establishment. I recall the excess in the depictions of "the Capital" in The Hunger Games when reading this Tucker Carlson piece.

No, they aren't *quite* sacrificing us Middle Americans in such a fanciful and shocking way as they tried with Katniss and her friends.

But they are, in fact, doing so.