Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The real issue with the Mueller investigation...

...is not that he's hired a bunch of people who contributed to Hilliary's campaign or are otherwise obviously biased towards the left, but rather that key people in his investigation are spending large amounts of work time on politics, indicating that they are not only biased, but are also incapable of addressing allegations and evidence fairly. 


Which suggests that not only Peter Strzok and Lisa Page ought to be under scrutiny, but also Robert Mueller and Rod Rosenstein.  To ignore obvious conflicts of interest like this is something taught, really, in the first year of law school--and does not need to be taught to many even before they enter law school.  Time to drain the swamp.



Monday, December 11, 2017

Why politics is so brutal these days

The Alabama Senate race provides an excellent picture.  Prior to the allegations against Roy Moore, he was up by about ten points....after they came out, his opponent was up by about the same....but a few weeks later, Moore was again up by about ten points....and apparently now, for reasons I do not entirely understand, Doug Jones is up by the same margin again.


Whatever you think of either candidate, the simple fact is that if voters are that fickle and easily manipulated, the political process will feature a lot of manipulation along the lines of what we've seen.  And you know what?  We deserve it if we won't critically evaluate allegations in light of their sources, timing, and other verification or refutation.  Sad to say, it's biting the whole country on the rear, and it's exactly how "the swamp" appears to be holding its own.

A bit of a side note

I am not one to compliment Chicago much these days, with corrupt government and inept sports teams and the like, but having spent last Saturday there with the family at the Christkindlmarkt , two blocks west of the Marshall Field's flagship store, and having enjoyed lunch at Geno's, I must confess that no other city I've been in does winter style like Chicago--bright scarves, etc..


To make up for that, I got to spend about an hour in scenic downtown Gary due to mechanical problems on the South Shore Line.  Oh well, the more things change.....and it gave me time to digest my pizza on the way home, too.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

How to destroy a man

I got to thinking about the case of Peter Strzok, an FBI employee who is at the center of both the Hilliary Clinton email scandals and the Robert Mueller special investigation, and beyond this excellent set of questions and links from Powerline, it strikes me that James Comey and Robert Mueller have conspired to destroy the man.


Not that Strzok escapes guilt for his own part in these actions, of course, but let's walk through his recent career.  Apparently a prominent counterintelligence expert, he was put on what appears to most observers to be an open and shut case against Hilliary Clinton, and that with the caveat that one could not come to the obvious conclusion that Mrs. Clinton had destroyed 30,000 government records (or more) and stored classified data wrongly hundreds of times.


In the Mueller investigation, he was put on the case not to investigate links of the Trump campaign with the Russians--there apparently are none of interest--but rather to put Trump associates through a full body cavity exam and drain their financial lifeblood one billable hour at a time until a Mickey Mouse conviction or two could be obtained.


Now even though Strzok appears to be quite the partisan, I'm guessing that he was suffering from a crisis of conscience and quite frankly a lot of boredom, and couldn't talk with his own wife about this.


Enter Lisa Page, with whom he can talk, because she works in the same office.


Yes, Strzok is responsible for his own actions, but at the same time, Jim Comey and Bob Mueller share some blame for making him vulnerable to this kind of temptation.


Update: apparently it gets weirder.  Apparently not only did Strzok himself conclude that Michael Flynn's testimony was truthful, but he and Page also apparently exchanged over 10,000 messages.    It boggles the mind that he got anything done, and it may be that Strzok did indeed have a conscience and was trying to cope. 

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

A time for gratitude

It strikes me that just as "fact check" abuses and the like indicate clearly that a great portion of the media has been weaponized on behalf of the left, abuses at the FBI like the case of Keyser Strzok detailed by Mr. D. indicate that vast portions of the federal bureaucracy have also been weaponized on behalf of the left.


Why gratitude?  Because the first thing that is necessary in war is to know your enemy.  As Mr. D.'s post illustrates, the rot necessarily goes a lot past Keyser Strzok to the people who signed off on his writing, including James Comey and Robert Mueller. 


The big thing that comes to mind is that the traditional method of investigating these things seems to be to spend a whole lot of time investigating the out of things when we already have clear, yet minor, offenses committed by many.  It strikes me that instead of holding off for months or years waiting for big offenses to be determined, just start with the little stuff and see what people mention when their feet are held to the fire.  The worst you can get is for people like Huma Abedin to be unemployable in government circles again, which is in itself a win.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Half-baked

To do a little bit of more serious thought regarding the planned Senate and House tax cut plans, I figure I ought to link to an article about them, and evaluate the plans in light of a few principles.


The principles are simple.  First, a man ought not be taxed on money he needs to support his family, including pending actuarial cataclysms with Socialist Insecurity, Mediscare, Medicaid, and the Health Insurance Deform Act.  Second, tax cuts ought to be balanced with spending cuts, particularly on the many things government does that really don't help (e.g. hybrid car subsidies, windmills, subsidies for daycare, etc..).  Third, they ought to be permanent to create a sense of economic continuity and planning.  Fourth, they ought to simplify the tax code, since our current system has hundreds of billions of dollars in compliance costs. 


OK, so how does the plan do by these criteria?  The first item, the doubling of the standard deduction does make taxes simpler (few would itemize) and does reduce taxation of money people need to live.  Unfortunately, that is largely undone by the elimination of the dependent exemption, which could be critical to avoid seniors dying on a diet of dog food in a puddle of their own waste when SS and Medicare/Medicaid collapse.  The elimination of the dependent exemption is that further complicated by family tax credits and an expanded, two part tax credit.  What the GOP is doing here, really, is eliminating lines on the 1040 that lack forms and replacing them with lines that require multiple forms.  Not good on complexity there at all, and definitely not good for people supporting disabled and aged relatives, or for people with kids in college.


The damage is compounded with modifications of the estate tax and medical deductions, where the GOP missed a golden opportunity to make HIDA/Obamacare irrelevant by making either all health care costs deductible or none of them. 


To wrap things up, many of the cuts are temporary or delayed, hindering economic planning, and none of the cuts are balanced by spending cuts that desperately need to be made.  Come on, the GOP can't make the case that the kid flipping burgers ought not be required to help a lawyer pay for his )(*&)(&)( Tesla?  Or that the kid sweeping floors at McNeilus Steel ought not be paying for the owner's windmills?  Seriously?


I'm as conservative as they come, but I really think the GOP needs to go back to the drawing board on this one.

Friday, December 01, 2017

The District of Columbia, translated

Perhaps the best way of understanding the plea bargain of Michael Flynn, in my view, is that because information that was illegally released suggests Flynn did not tell the whole truth to the FBI when the FBI, without clear cause, used that illegally released information to start their investigation, the entire Trump administration is in danger because they, having won the election, were doing their job and talking with foreign diplomats.


And people wonder why we're cynical about our government.  Crikey.  We have a herd of people in our intelligence agencies and the FBI feloniously leaking information, people in Mueller's investigation feloniously leaking information, and a former FBI director feloniously sharing his notes with a judge, and it's Flynn that gets punished? 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

How to deal with North Korea?

One thing that caught my eye about the escape of "Sergeant Oh" from North Korea was that his stomach was filled with uncooked field corn, and was infested with worms; quite a bit of neglect considering he was part of a theoretically elite unit.  This would imply, really, that the country may be quite a paper tiger held together by a core of only a few hundred people.


This, in turn, implies that Charlton Heston showed us exactly how to deal with North Korea in the 1961 film El Cid; the city of Valencia (actually filmed in Peniscola) rebels against the North African garrison when the besieging army throws not rocks, fire, or dead animals into the city, but rather bread. 


Just might be crazy enough to work, and with a bit of luck, Sophia Loren might do a cameo.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Pure brilliance

First, BMW has proposed, apparently, clear plastic tubes for bike riding.  Because no cyclist ever has a "jacket" he can put on if it's cold or wet, and certainly no cyclist ever likes to feel the breeze in his hair, and by no means would cyclists put in clear plastic tubes fear that someone would use that contained environment to stage something like a sarin gas attack.  No way, no how, right?


Hey, I want to avoid riding my bike on the streets of Shanghai as much as anyone, and because of that, I don't go to Shanghai.   Problem solved without paying to keep a thinly insulated tube climate controlled and safe from cultish terrorists.


And on the truly light side, somebody at Fox goobered this article asking why airlines make you put up your seats and windows for takeoff and landing.  After all, who doesn't want to depressurize the plane and suffer 500mph breezes in flight?  Obviously the flight attendants need to tell us all to put the windows up, never mind that there really is no way of opening them. (the article actually refers to the window blinds....)


And an update; the Washington Post "Fiction Check" gave Vice President Mike Pence three "Pinocchios" for something that was objectively true.  Oddly, their objections--on the grounds that labor force participation ought also be taken into account--never seem to have been made when Obama was President, and when labor force participation was even lower.  Gosh, why is that?


This humble blog awards the Post and its "fiction checkers" ten manure spreaders filled with Washington Post fake news for its combination of lying, hypocrisy, and blatant political bias. My apologies that I couldn't find a picture of a spreader fashionably adorned with the Post's logo. 


And in other media news, the shocking revelation that media types knew about John Conyers' sexual harassment for years, but mysteriously could not find any way of acting on that information, say by printing it in the newspaper or putting it on the evening news.  They also earn the "spreader of shame" for their classy work.  After all, democracy dies in an avalanche of media bovine scat.



Monday, November 27, 2017

How is this legal?

Apparently the Martha's Vineyard home favored by the Obamas for their vacations, and owned by an Obama backer, is on the market for nearly $18 million.  Now if we calculate that rent on such a property would be somewhere between 0.1% of value/day ($18,000) to 1% of value/month ($180k/month), how, exactly, can we assume the Obamas could have afforded the $45k-126k/week rent on this place?  At 7000 square feet, it's not as if the Secret Service would have been paying for most of the rent, after all, because the President and his family would have been using a great portion of the home.  The article also mentions that a getaway favored by the Clintons sold for $29 million recently.


Seems to me that the vacation homes used by Democratic Presidents seem to heavily subsidize the left, which suggests to me that these "brother in law" prices are in effect...bribes.  If it's not illegal, it should be.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Close to greatness

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh (bane of Bears fans when he was in Chicago) is claiming that his team is close to greatness.  Well, as far as I know, the Buckeyes are still 190 miles away in Columbus, but perhaps he's referring to the Spartans in East Lansing, a mere 64 mile drive?  I'm pretty sure that he's not referring to State College or Madison, both of which are about 390 miles away.


Oddly, the closest to football greatness the stinky weasels get this year--unless they beat the Buckeyes of course--is the 45 mile drive to the home of the Motor City Kitties.  So I'm thinking Harbaugh is showing some clear signs of having participated in Michigan's "General Studies" program.  And go Bucks!



Friday, November 17, 2017

Whine of the day

Hilliary Clinton, one to make a big deal of how one ought to accept the results of elections--at least prior to November 2016--is apparently still trying to cast doubt on the legitimacy of Donald Trump's win.  It is as if she is unaware that many voters, including this one, might have seen her illegal server and dealings with Russian uranium companies as a bad sign.  It is as if she's forgotten that she didn't even bother to campaign in crucial swing states.


Or, it is as if she knows that "journalists" for fish-wrappers like Mother Jones aren't going to point out these obvious facts, and that she'll be able to keep getting six figure paychecks for content-free "speeches" to the already persuaded.  Honestly, I can see a bit of bias in journalism, but maybe, just maybe, we ought to be open to the obvious?

Thursday, November 16, 2017

On the lack of touch

Helen Smith links a great piece about how our current horror of being accused of sexual impropriety, probably along with the nation's dismal marriage rate, is leading more and more men (and all of us) to be brutally isolated from physical touch.  Along these lines, it reminds me how encouraged I was when my daughter came back from a short term mission trip to Spain, and she and the other high school girls had decided they'd greet each other in the Spanish way--with a kiss, just like the New Testament describes no less than five times. 


Most of us probably wouldn't be comfortable going that far, but there's a tremendous amount of good to be had from simple touch. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Some good points here

Here is a very good piece on the difficulties faced by fundagelicals (like myself) in the age of Roy Moore.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Asking the right questions

In a 60 minutes interview detailing her experiences with former doctor Larry Nassar, Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman goes at least halfway through a "five whys" root cause analysis to approach the question of why this issue has remained relatively quiet for decades.  Notice that she answers the question of "why didn't people speak up?" with "because they were afraid to", and then she asks the question of "why were they so intimidated by the culture?". 


Count me jealous--not only an amazing gymnast, but a natural for the various professions of problem solving.  Well done, Aly.  Anyone who works with children ought as well to note her question, and take steps so nobody ever has to ask it regarding their organization.