Friday, May 17, 2019

Too true

The Babylon Bee reports that a caravan of pre-born babies has escaped to artificial wombs and stolen their mothers' cars to make it safely to freedom and safety in Alabama.


Yes, for the humor impaired, this is satire, but at a certain point, Roe v. Wade does need to be challenged, and it will be done with a law like Georgia's or Alabama's.  Probably wasn't wise to eliminate exceptions for rape and incest, but at some point, it will need to be challenged. 


One big mistake I think the laws' sponsors made, though, was trying to get the laws passed simply because they had the votes, and not after seriously trying to make the case that there is something obscene about things like keeping abortion clinics open (and medical clinics closed) in poor neighborhoods by routing Medicaid recipients to Planned Parenthood for birth control and the like.  Laws that pass without establishing a consensus are awfully hard to maintain.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Where'd the 4th Amendment go?

One of the most interesting questions that comes to mind with the attempted full body cavity exam of the President by House Democrats is whether there is any limitation imposed on Congress by the 4th Amendment, or at least by the principle that there must be a justifiable reason for a demand for evidence.  A new tactic by Comrade Pelosi is to demand it under the threat of impeachment


Now this is yet again more evidence that Pelosi is not the sharpest knife in the block, as even she should know that without a clear piece of evidence, the Senate is not going to vote to convict, but for those of you who value the opportunity to have decent men and women in public service, you'll want to oppose those who want to impose a legal "full body cavity exam" when there is no clear evidence of wrongdoing.  Fishing expeditions are for fish, not for people.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Missed it

According to Russell Moore, I have apparently missed my midlife crisis.  I guess I am going to have to come up with another great reason pathetic excuse to get myself that $10,000 carbon fiber bicycle

Friday, May 10, 2019

Pure genius!

Somebody is spoofing bottled water while creating a brand just perfect for punk rockers by selling canned water from the Alps as "Liquid Death Spring Water."  Looks like something that I'd be glad to take to yoga class.  That is, if I did yoga besides "downward dog doing something inappropriate for the living room." 


Yes, you can buy it on Amazon.  I just might get some, just so I can drink from a can of "liquid death" at group meetings.

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

New York Times: Doxxer?

That's about the only conclusion I can come to with the recent New York Times article about President Trump's tax returns.  They say the returns were provided by someone authorized to have them, but that doesn't change the fact that if the person is in government, releasing them without proper cause is a felony, and even if the person is outside the government, it's generally a crime.  Certainly H&R Block would reconsider an employee's  employment status if they found out an employee was shopping such information around, and notify authorities.


It strikes me here that it's very interesting that the media couldn't talk with people who knew Barack Obama in college, or find an indication of what his grades might have been at that time, but they can induce people (perhaps Michael Cohen?) to break the law to release Trump's tax returns. 


Can't exactly say they're not biased, can we?

Monday, May 06, 2019

Life and times of the unobservant

New Jersey "Senator" Cory Booker is endorsing a national registration of gun owners, apparently first of all ignoring the fact that such national registries were used to disarm victims in all of the major genocides of the 20th century.


Now that I can sort of forgive--Booker's degrees probably don't include history--but what is telling is that Booker, a lawyer, appears to be not only unclear on the Heller and McDonald decisions, but also appears to be unclear on the fact that where they exist, state and city gun owner registries do not appear to have a measurable impact on crime rates.  For example, the Illinois FOID program is entirely compatible with huge crime rates in Chicago, East St. Louis, and elsewhere.  It is as if criminals are people who do not obey the law.


It also is worth noting that when we think of the mass killings which get a lot of press, almost all of them are the first major crime by the perpetrator, which means that either the national registry would fail to help the problem, or it would require a fairly lengthy psychological evaluation that would wrongly prohibit many people who pose no threat from exercising their legal right. 


Even then, you've got the reality that a lot of people seem to "snap" into a psychosis or other disorder that leads to violence--the long and short of Booker's proposal is that huge amounts of treasure and liberty would be squandered for little gains in public safety--or possibly losses in public safety, as, again, criminals are defined as people who do not obey the law.


It's especially galling in that there are two wonderful known ways to greatly reduce carnage on our streets.  First of all, shift police from traffic patrol to things like murder and rape investigations, and shift resources to make sure things like rape kits are properly analyzed and catalogued.  Second, stop paying people to have children outside of wedlock.


Or is that too much to ask? 

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Now here's an interesting question

Attorney for sexual abuse survivors John Manly links a very interesting article that deals with the detection and punishment of child pornography.  It's saddening to consider the poor guy who has to look at the stuff, and it's not surprising that those who look at child porn are also likely to molest children, but the thing that raises the most question is why black men are only 3-5% of those convicted of possession, trafficking, and the like--when they are 12% of men overall. 


You could argue it's poverty, but if so, Hispanics are also strongly likely to be poor--and about 2/3 of blacks are middle class or upper class as well.   Now I admit I'm working from stereotype, but I have to wonder whether the (again, stereotypical) preference among blacks for more prominent "features that become prominent after puberty" (hips, breasts) inoculates them against child porn.


Is it possible that doing what both feminists and traditionalists have been pleading for for decades--to redefine beauty away from the "Twiggy" standard--might put the kibosh on this perversion?  I don't know, but it's worth a look.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Snort

Apparently some clowns in Philadelphia have stolen half a million bucks worth of colonoscopy probes from a hospital.  So we would infer either that there is a market out there for back-alley colonoscopies, or somebody has a level of sick I don't even want to consider. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Good news from Paris

Apparently the organ at Notre Dame escaped damage during the fire.  Especially interesting to me is the notion that the instrument ought to be played during the restoration to keep it healthy.  I'm guessing that this will NOT be done while the masons are restoring the vaulted ceiling!


On the flip side, talk about a great job--restoring one of the premier cathedrals of the world while listening to its organ being played.  Well, great except for the possibility that said vaulting might be fairly unstable and dangerous, of course.

Votes for felons?

Apparently some of the Democratic candidates for President are all in favor of letting convicted felons vote, including those who are still in jail.  It really boggles the mind; these guys are in jail for various kinds of assaults on their fellow man--physical, financial, drug related, etc..--and Democrats seem to want to allow them to continue their assaults on society by how they vote.


Of course, the big reason Democrats want to allow felons to vote is because they believe those felons would vote predominantly for Democrats.  Makes one wonder, really, whether we ought to rewrite the Democratic Party platform as "we victimize you". 


In other fun news, Hilliary Clinton has come out saying that if Donald Trump were not President, he'd be being prosecuted for obstruction of justice.  Now for starters, the woman who "lost" her Rose Law Firm billing records until the day after the statute of limitations expired, and who evaded prosecution for her server based on a rather novel interpretation of the law by Jim Comey, really ought to be lying low for a little while, I'd think.


But more importantly, she's showing her status as either not very smart or a demagogue here, as any halfway intelligent person knows that the entire case Mueller might have made against Trump hinges on....actions Trump could only have taken as the President.


Nice rhetorical flourish, Mrs. Bimbo Eruptions Team, but let's try reality for a while.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Now there's brilliance

New York City mayor DiBlasio has argued that steel and glass buildings ought to be banned due to perceived energy inefficiency.  Lost in his argument, really, is the fact that despite the fact that even "Thermopane"/"low-E" glass has abysmal insulation value, big buildings like the World Trade Center and the Sears Tower do not have boilers for heating because lighting, people, and the like heat them.  They run air conditioners year-round, and hence those big glass windows are actually a feature, not a bug--they allow heat to dissipate. 


Plus, the masonry that characterizes Gotham's iconic brownstones and other historic architecture has about the same "R" value--about 2.4/12" thick--as thermopane windows.  So DiBlasio's proposal would, if implemented, have about the same effect as it would if all of New York City's residents decided to live like the mayor--driving a big SUV to work each day, living in a big mansion, and the like.

Missing your Easter basket?

Apparently the Easter Bunny got involved in a brawl in Orlando, Florida this year.  So if your Resurrection Day treats were a little bit scant this year, you might know why now.  No word if he spent time in the pokey, but obviously fights like this are going to make it more difficult to deliver Easter baskets.  And if you follow the link to the local coverage, evidently the Easter bunny knows him some serious Anglo-Saxon words, and you can see the poor guy who will be known forever as "the guy who got beaten up by the Easter Bunny". 


It reminds me of the time when my brother and I, along with my cousin, found that a rabbit had burrowed into our basement while my mom and aunt had gone out to eat.  They arrived to find us all downstairs, and when my aunt asked her son what we were doing, he happily announced (at about age six) that we were hunting the Easter Bunny.


Upon which my mother and aunt wondered if they'd underestimated how much they'd had to drink that evening.  The good news is that the offending rodent was safely captured and released into the wild after getting stunned by a piece of plywood we'd put across an open doorway (it was otherwise hidden by a curtain). 

Thursday, April 18, 2019

A cure for drug addiction?

Researchers have found evidence that alcohol-dependent rats drank less after being given a dose of oxytocin, the "cuddle hormone."  One might wonder whether getting oxytocin in the normal way might be helpful, too.  I'm telling Mrs. Bubba that we've got to do what it takes to prevent addiction. 

Picture of a bad witness

Or, in some regards, a witless witness.  Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen is, after being convicted of crimes including perjury, saying that he's going to fill in the blanks of the redacted Mueller report.  Neat trick, knowing first of all that part of the redactions involve classified information, so if he filled in those blanks, he'd get some more time in the pokey for revealing that.  Going further, another portion of the redacted information is privileged testimony from grand juries, and if he revealed that, again, more time in the gray bar hotel.


Finally, you've got the simple fact that Cohen isn't privy to what is going on in the Attorney General's office, so he has absolutely no clue about redactions besides a hunch about those involving himself.  So he's doing nice theatre, much like fellow crook Michael Avenatti, but it's nothing that should be taken seriously.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Another imploding edifice

Apparently a "chain" of seven abortion clinics in New Jersey is set to close because its owner--who may not have been aware he owned the clinics--has lost his license to practice medicine.  Interestingly, the previous owner has also lost his license to practice, and the current owner was found to have had improper sexual contact with patients in 1993.  Both the current and former owners are also, quite frankly, geriatric. 


Now perhaps competition from Planned Parenthood--owner of about half the "market share" in this atrocity--is partially at fault, but at another level, it stands to demonstrate what I've noted before; that in terms of financial viability, abortion is on very shaky ground.  Just a little nudge--requirements they must adhere to standard practices for medical care, requirements to report likely cases of statutory rape, loss of state and federal subsidies or Medicaid coverage--and a great portion of that edifice collapses.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Yikes

As Notre Dame burns--losing at least its roof, time will tell on the vaulting--one thing that strikes me is that either they didn't dare put much water on the fire because one could end up destroying the whole structure, or the city of Paris needs to invest in some fire trucks with some serious water cannons.  The pictures I saw indicated only a few hoses getting water to the area which was burning. 


Put gently, as tragic as it is to see this damage to a priceless historic edifice, getting out of that fire was likely simply an orderly retreat from the stairs up to the towers and out of the sanctuary. Lots of physical damage, but hopefully there won't be too many injuries or deaths.


Now look at those pictures, and notice how many buildings of similar height (apart from the towers and roof) surround Notre Dame.  Imagine trying to get out of one of those in a narrow staircase at night while the Paris Fire Department has trouble putting water on those flames. 


Again, either the structure wouldn't do well with that volume of water, or somebody needs to invest in equipment that will put water and fire retardant a couple hundred feet above the ground.  It wouldn't hurt, either, if the rebuilding of Notre Dame added some "sprinklers" and used non-flammable materials like steel.


And rebuild they will; remember that after the USAAF performed their "mass urban renewal program" in 1944 and 1945 in Germany, almost all of the great churches of that were destroyed (usually the roofs caved in, including vaulting) were rebuilt.  As a rule, you can hardly tell--which should be some consolation to those who, like me, are saddened by this damage to a cultural icon.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Why black rifles matter

It's been interesting seeing the Democrats, especially Rep. Swalwell, arguing for a complete ban on large magazine semi-automatic firearms because of their killing capacity.  Why so?


Well, at the same time, this is what I see:


  • The left is all but endorsing infanticide
  • Significant portions of the left are endorsing euthanasia.
  • Disagreement is greeted with shunning and even an endorsement of some form of re-education
  • At least a fringe of the Democratic Party is endorsing Communism--e.g. Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez, etc..
  • Swalwell all but endorsed nuclear war against the U.S. population if they didn't give up their guns.  He walked it back, but sometimes you trust the first thing he says.
Now given the heritage of things like this--those who remember the history of the 20th century might come up with some examples of how policies like these went wrong--one would hope that they might understand precisely why conservatives are loath to give up legally owned firearms. 

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Clarified for the deliberately obtuse

James Comey has apparently claimed that he has no idea what Attorney General Barr was referring to when he claimed that the Trump Campaign was being spied on.  Well, we're here to be helpful, so we'll spell it out in big letters so Mr. Comey can read it.


U.S. Intelligence Agencies were collecting data about the Trump campaign. 



There you go.  Not quite sure why Comey is unclear on this, as it was his job for a few decades to work with intelligence agencies and the like, but again, we're here to help.


Alternatively, Comey is lying his heiney off, which is probably the better assumption.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Just mind-boggling

I just received a note from the Home School Legal Defense Association (to which I belong) noting an upcoming set of hearings on the question of whether social services workers can perform a strip search of children without a warrant.  Apparently circuit courts are divided on this issue, and it just boggles the mind.  You can not go into someone's home without just cause or a warrant, but you can take off a kid's clothes?  Seriously?


And needless to say, this explains a LOT about why many parents don't open the door for social services workers without a warrant.  The HSLDA notes that being forcibly disrobed, especially by non-medical personnel like social services workers, can cause PTSD in the same way that sexual assault does. 


We've come a long way in the past 20 years in our understanding of the 4th Amendment, but this case makes it very clear that we've got a long way to go.  There are certainly times when social workers investigators do need to see a child's skin to see if it's torn, cut, or bruised, but quite frankly, those marks don't heal up in the hour or less it takes to get a warrant. 


Moreover, a friend of mine who got his degree in social work noted that social work was (in his opinion) the easiest degree in college--maybe, just maybe, we ought to have the examinations done by people who actually know "from Shinola" about "bedside manner" (so as not to cause needless trauma) and what bruises, cuts, and the like actually mean--people like doctors, NPs, PAs, and nurses?


I guess I'm dreaming here, but that would seem that there are some obvious improvements to be made.

Canadian government school logic?

Apparently, in Canadian shades of American Lampoon's Vacation, a family decided to keep their dead patriarch in the car for the drive home because they were afraid of "U.S. health care costs."  Someone needs to explain to them, apparently, that it is undertakers, not doctors, who work with the deceased.  Put another way, a quick stop at the hospital for the ER staff to say "yup, he's dead" and get a signed death certificate probably doesn't cost that much. 


Looks like Canadian education is giving nothing up to U.S. government schools, to put it mildly. 

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Now this would be fun

Congress-critter Adam Schiff is apparently still claiming that there is evidence that President Trump colluded with the Russians.  Now that's very interesting, because what that means is that either Schiff is withholding evidence that ought to have been reviewed by Robert Mueller and his team, or Schiff has (illegally) reviewed the evidence collected by Mueller.


Which is to say that Schiff is more or less admitting that he is guilty of obstruction of justice.  Throw the book at him, President Trump!

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Advice missed

In an otherwise excellent article about how to avoid and deal with carjackings, Brett and Kate McKay of The Art of Manliness ignore two important strategies for avoiding car theft:


  1. Your vehicle should be a rusted out, 22 year old pickup with a bent front bumper and a dent or two.
  2. Your vehicle should have a manual transmission.
I figure that if someone steals my ride and gets caught, his punishment might be to drive it for a while.  One disadvantage of driving a rusted out pickup, by the way, is that police officers occasionally give you a close look while you drive by. 

Unplanned

Tired of those controlling the gate deciding what movies you're going to see, not see, and the like?  Maybe make a gentle but emphatic point to them by going to see a movie they don't want seen.  It's called Unplanned, and it traces the journey of Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood volunteer who repented and allowed God to transform her life when she realized what Planned Parenthood was really about. 


Bonus points if you follow it on Twitter to annoy their gate-keepers. 

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Truth

As baseball season returns, Americans recover their faith in God's goodness.  Getting over basketball, football, and some weird game with a flat ball on the ice and lots of fighting....go Cubbies!


And Brighton, Colorado strongman Brian Shaw (not the former McNuggets coach, ballet dancer, or flat ice ball player) tries to eat the entire Taco Bell non-vegetarian menu and finds....that his view of "Get the Runs at the Border" is about the same as mine.  Key phrase:  I don't know what that one was."  Yup.


He did much better at Chick-Fil-A, of course.  That restaurant is, per the Babylon Bee, another sign of God's goodness.  Somehow it resembles a Trump brunch for national champion football teams.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Speaking of midlife crises?

Apparently Illinois prosecutors have decided, despite ample video evidence that would persuade this possible juror (if I were an Illinois resident, which thankfully I am not) of Jussie Smollett's guilt, to drop charges in exchange for him forfeiting bond in the amount of $10,000. 


There are two levels at which this is obnoxious.  First of all, you've got the reality that every second devoted to this case was a second not devoted to solving Chicago's horrendous rate of real crimes.  Shouldn't Smollett have been required to personally apologize to a few dozen grieving mothers on the South Side for diverting resources that could have solved the murders of their children, along with providing real resources (not just ten grand) for solving these crimes?


Second, it's worth noting that when politically favored defendants get sweetheart deals when dealing with their politically motivated crimes, you are going to get more of the same.  National Review's editors argue this here, and hint at what Michelle Malkin argues here; that the "fix" was led from some very interesting people who held important roles in Barack Obama's campaigns and administration.


The really nasty side effect of all this is that when people get the notion that the justice system doesn't work for them, they start working things outside the justice system.  You can see this, ironically, in Chicago, where large numbers of residents of poorer sections of the city will not work with police--a big factor driving hundreds of murders annually.


Congratulations, Illinois, on ignoring the requirements of justice, yet again.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Ouch

Attorney to the (nevermind) Michael Avenatti continues his midlife crisis from by getting arrested for attempting to extort $20 million from Nike.  Perusing the article, it strikes me that he appears to have been under the impression that Nike had no lawyers who might be able to refer his threats to the FBI and other governing authorities. 


Needless to say, he should have just retired with the money he had and bought the Camaro or carbon fiber bicycle. 


If he could have afforded it, of course.  One has to wonder how long this has been brewing--Avenatti has gone from being a spectacularly successful lawyer to a laughingstock, seemingly in the space of less than two years.  How did he go from winning cases with a payout of hundreds of millions of dollars to declaring bankruptcy for his business over $28,700?

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

The real question

Apparently, the "sexts" between Amazon head Jeff Bezos and his paramour were provided to the National Enquirer by her brother.  Now for the questions which nobody seems to be asking, but have got to be on somebody's mind besides myself:


  • What kind of girl not only sends and receives sexts, but provides copies to her brother? 
  • What kind of brother, upon receiving said sexts, decides to forward them to the Enquirer instead of staging some kind of intervention for his sister's well-being?
  • What kind of idiot, upon learning this, decides to continue dating this girl when he's learned the hard way about how sick that family is?
I am hoping and praying that the answers to this are not more general than the obvious three names, but I am not confident in this.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Missing one big thing

Apparently the Houston Public Library system had a registered sex offender participate in their "Drag Queen Story Time" program because they forgot to do a background check.  Well, almost, but I'm under the impression that one of the parole conditions for sex offenders is that they are prohibited from such interactions with children.  So what we have here is not just that the libraries failed to perform a background check, but also failed to report a likely violation of parole to police.


And they want us to believe, having failed in these basic responsibilities, that they've done the homework to demonstrate that drag queens in close contact with kids poses no risk.  Not buying it, to put it mildly.

It would be a nice touch, really

My thought, when reading this article about the arrest of a man for forcible rape, featuring his mug shot with a host of scratches on his chest from his victim, is how nice it would be if, instead of scratches, those were bullet holes.  Just sayin'. 

Friday, March 15, 2019

What I've been saying for years

Due to the fact that many pieces of clothing my children, in particular my four daughters, have worn were given to us by others and then worn by more than one of our children, my wife and I joke that by the time our family is done with clothes or toys, they really should be given to a non-charity called "Ill will" instead of Goodwill.  Turns out that in part due to the efforts of recent "clean up your home" experts like Marie Kondo, Goodwill agrees.  They are apparently receiving huge amounts of junk, and some of that, when sent to starving people in Africa, is being rejected.  No kidding.


(if anyone from Goodwill is reading this, my apologies for my family's likely failures to separate out "Goodwill" quality items from "Ill Will" quality items, by the way)


Two realities are obvious here.  First, there is a point where you just use something as a rag, throw it away, or recycle it.  Just because it's in your home doesn't mean someone else will want it.  Second, there is also a certain point to remember that if you don't want a lot of junk in your home, it helps to not buy it or otherwise receive it at all. 


Put other ways, if you want to have something worth buying in the stores, it sure helps if you skip buying things that aren't worth the time spent shopping.

Right back at ya, AOC

Demo-dingbat Congress-critter Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has railed against "thoughts and prayers" because they are not sufficient barriers for human evil, and ignores the fact that New Zealand gun laws parallel what her party desires for the U.S.  So the question for her is this; if your desired gun laws won't even work on an island nation like New Zealand, precisely how would things be better in the United States?


Praise God, by the way, for the man who probably greatly reduced the death toll by retrieving his own firearm to chase the assailant(s) away.  I am sad that the man was not able to spare the police some time and effort by helping them to assume room temperature right there.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Now there's a shocker

Apparently the Showtime show "SMILF" has had a number of "abusive on-set behaviors". 


I mean, who would have expected a show whose title represents a woman as having only one value to have the cast and supporting workers act as though.....people have only one value?  Really, I haven't been so shocked since the "Naked" juice company had a sexual harassment scandal.  This may be hard for people in the Hollyweird left to understand, but sometimes, you can see these things coming. 

On the light side

I've noted for a while, with some amusement, that one big theory about why allergies are a much bigger deal today than before is that kids aren't eating enough dirt anymore.  Now an allergist from Denver and others are arguing that to keep healthy, you need to eat your boogers


Nearly four decades after the song was released, we finally have the solution to the conundrum discussed by Weird Al in his song "Gotta Boogie."  Sorry, Mom!



A bit on FBI Priorities

One thing that strikes me as odd in the recent kerfuffle over people falsifying entrance exam scores and bribing coaches to get into elite schools is the simple fact that really, people were not hurt that badly, and it was simply a nouveau riche way of doing what old money has been doing for over a century--getting children admitted by making a large donation.  Really, the main difference is that the old money is making much bigger donations, and is making them openly.


So what ought to be done about this?  As I see things, the big deal is that very successful parents of children of lesser motivation or ability want to provide for their children, but they know that the estate tax precludes giving them a large inheritance.  Hence they must get a "certificate of success" from a school meaningful to their peers.  It won't do if little Bobby or Jane go to community college and then transfer to a second tier school; no, to achieve their goals, they've got to go to a place like USC, Stanford, or Yale.    So the old strategy--train children of lesser ability to handle inheritances well--has been replaced by sending them to more elite schools.


The second thought here is that college matters too much, and that's brilliantly illustrated by the jobs for which college used to be optional.  The building trades, acting, music, secretarial work, and a lot more used to be handled in apprenticeships.  Perhaps if we returned this training to that level, college would return to a more normal level of importance.


Finally, there is the reality today that to really "make it big", apart from playing sportsball, singing, or acting, it really helps to reach the higher levels of organizations, and our society is structured, sadly, to promote the interests of those big organizations--inside and outside of government.  To get to those higher levels, it helps to have graduated from a "premium" college.  Solution?  Maybe we cut back the size of government and stop granting corporate welfare and see where life takes us.


What should not be done; further FBI investigations.  Quite frankly, doing this instead of investigating Hilliary Clinton's server, Lois Lerner's actions at the IRS, and the like makes a mockery of justice.  Let's get the open and shut things first.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

And it starts?

After Randall Margraves, father of some of Larry Nassar's victims, tried to assault Nassar in the courthouse in my wife's hometown, I wondered when someone else might actually figure out how to settle the matter outside the courts, where there are no metal detectors.   Well, we may have our first case, as a laicized priest in Nevada has been shot and killed.


And if indeed the perpetrator in this case is either one of that priest's victims, or a loved one of one of that priest's victims (or those of other priests), I must confess that were I a potential Nevada juror, I'd have trouble convicting.  Just as importantly, it strikes me that the bishops and that guy in Rome need to come up with a plan, quick, to get as many pedophile priests in prison where they may be safer.  As Frederick Douglass is said to have said, those denied justice at the soap box, ballot box, and jury box may seek it in the cartridge box. 

Now this is interesting

A former basketball coach from Newport Beach, CA, has been indicted and is now providing evidence that he helped at least 50 young people gain entrance into colleges for which they were not qualified by falsifying entrance exams and the like.   What would be very interesting, in my view, is a look at the graduation rates of these young people.  If they graduate at about the same rate as qualified students, we would have to wonder whether (a) they're getting a lot of help passing classes or (b) those prestigious schools aren't as tough as they're made out to be.


It's a disgrace that people are gaming the system, but if it shows the system to be a fraud, this could work out really well.


Update: Mr. D. notes that what is bought at prestigious schools is not the education, but access to the alumni.  It strikes me that this is part of why so many rich people support the estate tax--with kick-backs and favors from friends, those with access to powerful friends can always get back the money they may have paid there.  Those who earned their money in less prestigious circles, not so much.  It ensures, really, that the intellectual class will have an even more disproportionate say in national life, whether economic or political.


Update 2: if people can pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in return for big advantages getting into elite schools, don't they already have access to those alumni/elite networks?  Is this "crime" simply an example of "A fool and his money are soon parted."?

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

This ought to work out well

Dick's Sporting Goods, having irritated the nation's gun owners by refusing to sell firearms to legal buyers under the age of 21, is now doubling down by ending the sale of hunting equipment (rifles, shotguns, ammunition, targets, reloading supplies, and I presume clothing) altogether, and will be replacing Reebok shoes and apparel with a "store brand".  Now I don't know precisely how Reebok is doing in market share these days--parent company Adidas had an 11.4% share in 2017--but somehow the prospect of generic shoes and clothing doesn't exactly fill me with expectations of high quality, to put it mildly. 


Or, put differently, Dick's is circling the drain at this point.  Really, it's what you get when you forget that the fathers and grandfathers (and often mothers and grandmothers) of the teens who buy your gear for basketball and soccer.....hunt and take the 2nd Amendment seriously. 


And to draw another picture, my town of Rochester has seen the closing of Sports Authority, Dick's Sporting Goods, and Gander Mountain, and the lone survivor for "big box" sporting goods is Scheel's, which features homage to Ronald Reagan 50 feet from the front door. 

Friday, March 08, 2019

But where are the cats?

Budweiser has come up with an ad campaign worthy of their beer by updating their 1950s/1960s era advertisements for the modern age, replacing home cooked meals with takeout Chinese and pizza, and eliminating the husband in at least two of three advertisements.  In the third, neither woman nor man wears a ring, so it's arguable that the husband has been eliminated in all three advertisements.  Also worth noting; she's still at home in all three advertisements.  She's just lost the comforts of home her grandmother had.


At the same time, Bugweiser ignores the fact that one of their ads has a nice reference to a larger can of beer in honor of the "Indian Summer Pow-wow", so they've ironically "strained at a gnat and swallowed a camel" by ignoring very real issues for Native Americans while downgrading the social structures desired and cherished by most women and perpetuating stereotypes about modern women--in particular that they can't cook.


You might suggest that their "women's day" effort might as well have been created by men's rights activists, except that the women portrayed are not 50 pounds overweight and feeding their cats.  Take a bow, Bugweiser.   I'll be protesting on behalf of women everywhere by not drinking Bugweiser.   Solidarity with women everywhere--not to mention with my taste buds--demands nothing less.



Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Just askin'

With the Democrats completely ignoring the 4th Amendment limitations on search and seizure as they go on what can only charitably be described as a "fishing expedition" against President Trump, blithely ignoring the Heller and MacDonald decisions which made clear that certain levels of gun control are not legal, and getting (repeatedly) spanked in the courts for obvious anti-religious bias in state regulations (e.g. Colorado vs. Masterpiece Cake Shop), the question arises about which Constitutional protections they might actually care.


So far, I've got that they haven't infringed on my 3rd Amendment right not to have troops quartered in my home, but I'm not even sure of that.

Monday, March 04, 2019

How deep is the rot?

I don't know, but Judicial Watch apparently just found that none less than the late Senator John McCain's staff counsel Henry Kerner--now employed by the Trump administration--encouraged the IRS to audit people until it became "financially ruinous". 


If we wonder why the expressed will of the people never seems to get anywhere, look at that again.  The system works effectively for itself.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Here's the reason

Proposed reforms of Title IX sexual assault and harassment procedures from the Department of Education and Secretary Betsy Devos have gotten a lot of press for supposedly tilting the field in favor of the accused, vs. that of the accusers.  High on the list of complaints are that the DoEd would require hearings and the opportunity for cross examination.


Now, having heard a story or two of the antics of defense lawyers in cross examination, I can appreciate why many would despise and fear it.  Some people are, indeed, just total jerks, and that's putting it very mildly.  However, former Trump attorney Michael Cohen has inadvertently done us a service through his otherwise pathetic Congressional testimony by wandering into the standard trap of cross examination.


Specifically, while appearing to blatantly violate the tradition of confidentiality between lawyers and their clients--a confidentiality mirrored in attorney-client privilege--Cohen appears to have wandered into the standard trap set by hearings and cross examination; like all liars, he found it difficult to tell the same lie twice, and in doing so, a couple of Congressmen compared his testimony to his sentencing statements and decided to refer him to the DOJ for charges.


Now many will see this differently than Jim Jordan and all, but circling back to the topic of sexual assault, remember that most sexual assaults have precisely two witnesses, the accuser and the defendant.  Sometimes physical evidence makes eyewitness testimony less important, but as a rule, it comes down to that testimony.


And if you end the practice of hearings and cross examination, what you end up with is the danger spoken of in Proverbs 18:17; the first to state his case seems right until another comes forward and cross examines.  In other words, it tends to give the decision not to the right person, but to the best "BSer" or the person with the best political connections--the very picture of a kangaroo court, really.


I have some real concerns with the DeVos plan, starting with the notion that a university would not be required to take action for off-campus crimes, but requiring a hearing, cross examination, and a reasonable standard of proof are not among my concerns.

Brilliance out of Virginia

The First Lady of Virginia seems to be working extra-hard to help us forget how her husband tacitly endorsed infanticide in discussion over an abortion law under consideration in Richmond by handing out cotton balls to black students as they toured the governor's mansion. 


And across the Potomac in Maryland, a Prince George's County Democrat is under fire for using a racial slur in after-hours events. 


Finally, in a further demonstration of brilliance by Democrats, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has lashed out at those who pointed out the burger her chief of staff was eating--after she came out against the eating of beef.  For reference, there are some ecosystems that need to be grazed to be healthy, so I'm at a loss as to how responsibly grown beef is necessarily an environmental liability.  But that said, AOC clearly falls into the category of environmentalists who can't do math or science, so no surprise there. 


(or economics, and that's even funnier)

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Amtrak Donner Party

No, thankfully it didn't end in cannibalism, but the 182 passengers on the Amtrak Coast Starlight learned the hard way that, yes, Amtrak is indeed run by the government.  Stuck in Oakridge--about 15 miles from Eugene and Chemult and an abundance of help--people were left on the train for 36 hours, running out of necessities like diapers, feminine products, and the like.


Those who endorse more passenger rail and less air travel need to remember that this is, indeed, what we're signing up for. 

A striking confession

Now the Democrats (and a few Republicans, grrr....) who voted to kill a bill to enforce the 14th Amendment guarantee of due process to all born alive won't admit this, but I suspect that there is something bigger going on than just protection of a few abortionists who admit doing late term abortions.


Rather, I suspect that what's really going on is that late term abortions are in fact somewhat common even at abortuaries that don't officially do them, and moreover that a fair number of abortionists out there find it easier to end some infanticides outside the uterus because doing it inside increases the likelihood that they'll perforate the uterus and send the mother to the ER.


So if you make that unconfessed but widespread "hidden factory" a criminal offense, there are any number of horrors that will become known--and imperil the entire pro-abortion movement.


Pro-lifers, take heart.  We are seeing, implicitly, the real face of abortion, and if we keep our ears to the ground, we are going to eventually listen to someone who will confess what is really going on.  We are closing in on the end game of Roe v. Wade.

Friday, February 22, 2019

About that need for more gun laws

A study has found that fully 75% of Illinois FOID revocation notices are not returned with a signed affidavit that the firearms have been transferred/sold to parties who are eligible to own firearms.  Once again for the pro-gun-control left; before you tell me that we need new gun control laws, maybe we ought to start by enforcing the laws that we have.  Just like Parkland, just like Sutherland Springs, and just like any number of other cases where known criminals victimized the innocent with guns they never should have had.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Yes, I'm highly offended. Or not.

Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins has caused quite the furor by saying that he understood precisely why LeBron James left Cleveland about five minutes after he landed in Miami, and apparently my fellow Minnesotans--most of whom bemoan the weather from time to time--are upset because Cousins has become a true Minnesotan by doing the same.


I, of course, am highly offended that Cousins decided to take his talents to the Vikings instead of having a rendezvous with greatness at Halas Hall.  Or, given his fairly weak season last year, maybe I'm not that offended. 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

On shipping container homes

A lot of press has been given to the notion that, due to the structure already existing in a shipping container, that they are an ideal candidate for making small, affordable homes.  What is true is that they do keep out the elements, and that they are relatively affordable--you'll pay somewhere between $2000 and $6000 for a 40' long, 8' wide container. 


That noted, take a look at the below video to see why shipping containers really won't become the housing type of the future.  While the below is smarter than most tiny homes, not having a dedicated set of wheels below it, the builder ends up using some fairly specialized cutting tools to add doors and windows, and then ends up framing it in with standard 2x4 framing, reducing the home in size by about a foot in length and width. 


In other words, what he got for that $2k-6k was essentially siding, shingles, and...a likely horrendous water vapor issue.  Keep in mind that the outside of a shipping container keeps water out and in for a ~30 day transit by sea.  However, siding and Tyvek on a standard home are designed to let water vapor out to prevent mold in the walls.


To fix that, you've got to add another $1000 or so to upgrade standard fiberglass batting to closed cell foam.  In other words, the ~ $1000 he would have spent on shingles and siding is now replaced by $3000-$7000 for the container and specialized insulation. 


Worse yet, to get ~ 230 square feet of home, he's got an extra 30% of wall area (heat loss), a flat roof (water leakage again), and a choice of either a very low ceiling or low insulation in the attic--where it matters most.  There are great ways to make a compact home, but this isn't one of them.



Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Unprintable

...what, you might ask?  My thoughts with regards to the fact that apparently 225,000 "rape kits" (samples of evidence collected from scenes/persons of sexual assault) remain unprocessed, and in thousands of cases, evidence collected in such "kits" has been destroyed, thus making it impossible for victim and accused alike to get justice. 


I'd wondered what the numbers were, and thank you to Michelle Malkin for providing an estimate.  It also stands to reason that if we want to do something big regarding sexual assault, getting funds together to get these kits processed, and making the data available in a nationwide database available to police, prosecutors, and the lawyers for the accused or convicted, would be huge.  We can differ over some specifics like the structure of Title IX and the like, but hopefully we can all agree on this.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

too true

The Babylon Bee reports that Baptist churches are still holding fast to their theological distinctive of pretending not to drink.  Too true, as my wife responded to my suggestion that we try a "hot toddy" to deal with a nasty cold by mentioning that a bunch of her friends on Facebook--mostly fundamental Baptists--recommended exactly the same thing.  It also reminds me that when a former "pastor" of ours pretty much drove us to drink (by harassing us with KJVO materials and being basically legalistic), I insisted that the beer my dear wife had purchased for us be kept openly in the fridge, not hidden. 


Which is a long way of saying that I can go fishing with Gino without him finding another Baptist to come.  And if you're curious, I don't know for sure, but so far, so good.  A friend of ours from Liverpool claims that the germs get drunk and fall out of your nose while you're sleeping. 

Friday, February 08, 2019

Separated at birth

I was reading Powerline today, and it struck me that Congressman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has a lot of the same vocal characteristics as Lena Lamont from Singin' In The Rain.  Let's compare: here's Ocasio-Cortez as related on Twitter, and of course, the immortal Jean Hagen.




I think it's a match.  Ms. Ocasio-Cortez definitely has a voice made for silent movies or the newspapers.


Thursday, February 07, 2019

More pure genius

AAA has tested electric cars glorified golf carts at 20F to 95F, and found that when one actually uses heat and cooling to keep the occupants comfortable, range drops by 40% at 20F and by 17% at 95F.  One can only wonder what would have happened here in Minnesota, where low temperatures hit -30F recently. 


It illustrates the benefit of internal combustion; gasoline engines (a) do not need to carry both reagents around (gasoline and oxygen, oxygen is about 2/3 of the weight) and (b) the waste heat from an internal combustion engine is actually quite useful whenever the mercury goes below 60 or so.


It also illustrates the deceptiveness of the EPA, which calculates "MPG-e" values which do not count the power added efficiency (typically 30-35%) of a power plant.  So when you see 90 MPG-e, it really means at best equivalent to 30mpg, and in winter, we're really talking about 18mpg on average-with excursions down to ~ 12-15mpg in Minnesota in February.


Just a little bit worse than my 1997 GMC Sierra with 5.7liter (350 cubic inch) V-8.  And we haven't even started to discuss the environmental cost of the batteries--about an additional 0.1 kG of carbon dioxide per mile driven.  Once again, "environmentalist" all too often means "person who cannot do math or science."

Brilliance in design

I heard about this while driving to work this morning--evidentially some geniuses at Gucci produced a 689-pound ($893) "balaclava sweater" with the balaclava (face mask) portion printed to resemble caricatures of black people from 100 years back.  Now for starters, you've got the obvious objection, which is "does no one at Gucci remember why this kind of thing was obnoxious?".  Apparently the answer to that one was "yes".


Also amusing to me, as someone who wears a balaclava at times to deal with Minnesota winters, is the fact that when it gets good and cold, one's nose runs, which puts a fair amount of boogers on the inside of the balaclava.  Then, when you come inside, you of course will need to either fold the balaclava down around your neck (exposing the boogers for all to see) or squish it down around your neck, sliming your whole neck with your own snot. 


Best of all, since it's 100% wool, it's probably dry clean only.  We are talking serious genius in design here.  It reminds me of this little skit.



Ford vs. Tyson

No, not a boxing match from the 1980s (I don't see that Mike Tyson ever fought anyone with that name), but rather a comparison of the sexual assault allegations of Christine Blasey Ford vs. that of Vanessa Tyson.


Things that are the same include one place of work (Stanford University), political implications, and even the legal firm handling both clients.  That last bit does raise the question of whether they're simply good at what they do, or whether they're driven.  But that noted, there are some huge differences in the stories that push Tyson's story much closer to "enough evidence to arrest" or "enough evidence to indict".  Let's list them.


  • Tyson is accusing a fellow Democrat.  There is no obvious political "hit" to be had here.
  • Tyson is not waiting for an opportune time for a political "hit", and is not working with Dianne Feinstein Nifong.
  • Tyson's story is partially corroborated by the accused, who admits some sex act took place.
  • Tyson has named time, year, setting, and place of the crime.
  • Tyson has not named witnesses who denied ever seeing such a thing.
  • Tyson has not conducted an inadmissible polygraph exam, then refused to provide the records of that exam.  Nor has she referred to therapy records and then refused to provide them to investigators.
  • Tyson has not lied about being afraid of flying, or about an extra front door in her home.
Now the cases may become far more similar as things unfold, and quite frankly I'd love to see Tyson file charges in Massachusetts before the statute of limitations expires this year so that the matter can be handled in a real court of law instead of the court of public opinion.  As things stand now, however, I've got far more confidence in Tyson's story than I did in Ford's for these reasons.


The question, then, is whether there is meat to the story, or whether the law firm has simply gotten smarter.  Again, I'd like to see the case in the hands of a Massachusetts prosecutor.

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Yes, treat it as a criminal matter

I realize I'm being a bit repetitive here, but I've just seen some more evidence that the recommendation I'm giving to children's workers at my church--take it to the police because they have huge resources, subpoena power, the capability of collecting physical evidence, and finally because if it's in their hands, they take the blame when something is dropped--really ought to be applied fairly uniformly at colleges, high schools, and universities.


How so?  Well, Title IX actually reads this way:  No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.


The argument for including discipline for sexual assault and harassment under this law is simply that, since colleges do have student codes of conduct, that they ought to take action regarding sexual assaults and such committed/alleged by students.  So far, so good.


Now the question is, then, absent subpoena power, collection of physical evidence, and quite frankly experience, whether the schools have the expertise to do this well.  Well, my alma mater and her archrival, the University of Michigan, have shown that their best and brightest seem to have slightly less expertise in this area than a small town police department.


How so?  Well, Michigan first; they've responded to a court decision requiring cross examination of accusers to be permitted by requiring that the accused do the cross examination himself, a violation of best practice in the area that goes back at least to my childhood, not to mention the proverb "A man who acts as his own lawyer has a fool for a client."  Take a bow, Ann Arbor.


Not to be outdone, Michigan State has decided that their response to the Title IX changes is going to be to deny the need for cross examination at all, as if the (Constitutionally required) right of confronting evidence does not matter.  They've also upped the ante by claiming that "preponderance of evidence" is an adequate protection of the rights of the accused, as if activists in the Title IX office wouldn't tend to tip that one way or the other. 


The upshot of all this?  If schools are going to ignore legal best practices and Circuit court rulings, some court in the future is extremely likely to decide "given this abysmal level of competence, maybe we'd better get rid of the regulation in toto."  There would be great humor value in this if healing for the abused wasn't at stake.  But it is.


Again, let's treat this as the criminal matter that it is. 

Friday, February 01, 2019

Heads are spinning?

Apparently the latest debacle for my alma mater is a DoEd report noting various violations of the Clery Act, a federal law which requires reporting of various crimes, especially sexual assault.  Now that's a big deal, as at its heart, the Clery Act simply requires taking all those Title IX reports and making a database.  Ignore the Title IX reports in the Clery Act compliance documentation, and you're in trouble.


But that noted, let's walk through things.  You've got Title IX, the Clery Act, other federal regulations and agencies, state mandatory reporting laws and agencies, and more.  A picture of "how to report" at MSU, moreover, detailed dozens of offices where one could report things, and....the end result is that you've got so many hands in the pot and so many rules with which to comply, heads ought to spin.  It's no way to get justice for those who have been hurt, whether by real sexual assault or false reports.


Once again, it looks like a huge simplification of the Title IX/Clery/etc. apparatus needs to occur.  Yes, train staffers to take allegations seriously, and with the exception of student behavior code violations that are not criminal, that generally will mean informing the person that the complaint is a criminal one and ought to be taken to the police--and that the university will suspend the accused when an arrest or indictment occurs, and expel upon conviction.  "Where to report" would also be a simple document; you can talk to any full time employee of the university, who will generally tell you to talk to the police and offer to go with you.


Worth noting is that that plan eliminates about 98% of the kerfuffle over the DoEd's plans to revamp Title IX regulations.  If we want to take sexual assault seriously, let's take it seriously already. 

More on the pro-abortion left

And yes, I am saying pro-abortion, not pro-choice, and this interesting column by the Indiana AG notes why.  New York is allowing non-doctors to perform them, removing virtually all restrictions on why they may be performed, and a lot more.  Since I have personal evidence that getting a few signatures for an abortion in extreme cases ought not be difficult--doctors who recommended supplemental screens for my wife were also on the board of local crisis pregnancy centers--this is clearly about abortion for any reason until the day the child might be born, and really after in some cases.  It is also, as I've noted before, about aligning the cost structure of an abortion clinic with the fiscal realities, as nurse's pay is about a third that of an obstetrician's. 


Never mind the little detail that one just might want someone in attendance who was skilled at suturing and such in case something went wrong with a prenatal infanticide.   Are these people about women's rights?  Let's ask that after the first few incidents where a mother is rushed to the ER when the nurse in attendance can't stop the bleeding.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

The new Democrats

In Virginia, Governor Northam said this about his view of what constitutes an "acceptable" limit to abortion:


If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen.  The infant would be delivered.  The infant would be kept comfortable.  The infant would be resuscitated if that's what the mother and the family desired.  And then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.



In other words, Northam has basically come out in favor of infanticide, and here's the kicker; the (expletives redacted) is a pediatrician.  Worse yet, check out the text of the 14th Amendment;


Section 1.  All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.  No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States, nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.


Your move, Virginia Democrats.  Unless you want to be known as the party of murder of the innocent, I suggest you move to remove Governor Northam from his current job--and remove his medical license as well.  And if you don't, you can shut up about morality until you do.


Really, what appears to be going on here is that, faced with likely constriction of Roe V. Wade, especially after Justice Ginsburg retires, the left is attempting to get as much protection for prenatal infanticide as possible.  They are, however, obviously overstepping moral boundaries for even most people who are pro-choice.


Update: I usually don't post pictures of honkies in blackface or Klansmen on my blog, but since one of them appears to be Gov. Northam, I'm making an exception today.  Apparently his dedication to class, morality, and good taste goes way back.







Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Getting ready for Valentine's Day

My daughter played this for me today.  Seems about appropriate, maybe I'll put together a few more.  Yes, there will be, Lord willing, some Weird Al involved, too.



Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Not even if they were all Democrats

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has decreed that every North Korean citizen must produce 100kG (about 221 lbs) of human waste each day.  My first thought was that not even liberal/progressive Democrats produce that much, and my second thought is that perhaps the North Koreans could benefit from buying shiploads of "Colon Blow Cereal".


Third thought is that if each of 25 million North Koreans were actually to produce 100kG of waste daily, that would be nearly 8kG of waste per square meter, enough to cover the entire country 1cm deep in human waste, almost as much as you'll see in San Francisco.  Maybe we should send our bums to North Korea to help out.


Really, anyone who would endorse Communism or socialism needs to come to grips with the fact that their five year plans generally ignore not only the laws of economics, but also biology, chemistry, and physics, and that those writing them are blissfully unaware of what the consequences of "success" would be.


Or, put more bluntly, they're making "manure" up.



Friday, January 25, 2019

Yes, Senator Schumer, I've learned a lesson

In response to a three week agreement to re-open the government, Senator Schumer has stated that he hopes President Trump has "learned his lesson", as if he's some kind of benevolent schoolmarm guiding the public good.  Well, I don't know about the President, but I know some things about Chuck Schumer.  He's fine with:


  • 50,000 serious non-immigration crimes per year, including 2000 murders annually, committed by illegal immigrants.
  • A trillion dollars of welfare spending per year, much of it brought on by increased competition for low wage/unskilled jobs by illegal immigrants.
  • Half a trillion dollars in costs of illegal drugs, many of them moving across a porous southern border.
  • Spending the same amount of money for measures that can be ignored or circumvented instead of measures (like a wall) that work without human interference.
If you vote for Democrats, this is what you are voting for.   And if you do, maybe drop by some of the homes of the bereaved and tell them how good it was for them to have unfettered illegal immigration.  Say hi to the Steinle and Singh families for me, and let us know how it went.


Friday, January 18, 2019

Dripping with something else

Apparently you can now buy a Yugo or Trabant on Amazon. 

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Dripping with class

The couple who called 911 when Jayme Closs found them after a months-long abduction is saying that the young lady ought to get the reward for her return since she freed herself.  Now as much as I'd also agree that the couple could also be said to deserve that reward because they did indeed risk a confrontation with the kidnapper--allegedly the murderer of at least two people already and the horrendous abuser of one in addition--I've got to take off my hat to a couple who are willing to forgo this reward to benefit this young lady.


This is especially the case when I consider that Closs' family is going to need resources not only to feed, clothe, and house her, but also, I'd presume, to provide mental health services for her as she deals with whatever trauma she endured.  I might even smile and suggest that part of that money ought to get her a puppy if she desires one.  Hopefully some smart person in the area knows how to make this happen. 


And I dare suggest that if I were to walk past her rescuers' home, I just might be overcome with the fragrant scent of class, and ecstatically so.  Well done.

This should smudge her makeup

Not only has DHS noted that yes, the Capitol building can indeed be secured for the State of the Union speech, but the very question of why a building half filled with Democrats and their guests ought to pose a hazard to President Trump ought to make us wonder whether anyone is safe as long as Nancy Pelosi has the gavel. 


Also on the light side, the Babylon Bee notes the hilarity of the "least masculine society in history" acting as if an excess of masculinity is our biggest problem.  To that point, while I was more amused than offended by the recent Gillette advertisement--it struck me as rather wooden in its obvious axe to grind--it did show me that my family may be overpaying for razor blades, so we're going to give Harry's a try.  Plus, I've been using my grandfather's safety razor for years now, also using blades not made by Gillette/P&G. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

It is a mystery

One has to wonder precisely how any atheist manages to remain atheistic when he knows full well of the existence of bacon.  H/T Babylon Bee


Or, as Benjamin Franklin once wrote:


We hear of the conversion of water into wine at the marriage in Cana, as of a miracle.  But this conversion is, through the goodness of God, made every day before our eyes.  Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, and which incorporates itself with the grapes to be changed into wine; a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The mystery of investigation

One of the things that is most fascinating, and appalling, about the ongoing "manure show" that is the scandal surrounding Larry Nassar's crimes is the question of how over 80% of sexual assault complaints go nowhere with investigators--and that of the 31% or so where a complaint is actually made to the police.  For reference, about 18-19% result in an arrest, 3-4% result in an indictment, and about 2% result in a felony conviction involving jail time.  Conversely, about 2-10% result in the police deciding that it was a false accusation.


Speaking to this is this recent tweet by the attorney for many of Nassar's survivors, John Manly.  He notes that the documents he's read indicate that survivors were told that if they spoke up, it would endanger the police investigation--and this apparently kept many from going public with their complaints.


What this says to me is that a lot of people simply do not understand how the criminal justice system works--when told "there is an investigation", shouldn't our immediate response be "tell me who the investigating officer is and I'll be sure to talk to him."?  And if the person we're talking to hedges, shouldn't we just say "Well, the offence occurred in such and such town, I'll just give them a call right now."? 


In other words, despite our civics educations (or lack thereof), it appears that for a huge portion of Americans, the criminal justice system is a mystery.  Perhaps if we took things seriously and told people how they go from a crime to a complaint, and how a complaint becomes an indictment, and an indictment becomes a conviction, we would get somewhere. 

Friday, January 11, 2019

A gift that keeps on giving

Not content with endorsing minimum wage policies that killed her favorite coffee shop, using UBER for her campaign's travel while endorsing (supposedly) the rights of union cab-drivers, and wearing $3500 outfits while complaining that she couldn't afford an apartment, Demo-dingbat Congress-critter Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been found to have failed to pay workmen's comp for her campaign staff.


Democrats, this is the face of your party. 


Update: Democratic Congress-critter Pramila Jayapal is telling Ocasio-Cortez "hold my beer" by claiming that President Trump wants to have an America that has no immigrants or people of color.  I'm sure that this comes as something of a surprise to Ben Carson, Elaine Chow, and Nikki Haley, not to mention Melania and Ivana. 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

A great reason for border security

Having voted for President Trump for a variety of reasons, starting with the reality that his opponent really needs to be living at 1000 University Drive SW, Waseca MN 56093 (look it up), I am also feeling obligated to note when he makes a factual mistake today. 


In his recent speech, he claimed that one in three female illegal immigrants is sexually assaulted on their way to the U.S.   Numbers uncovered by CBS, which hilariously was trying to "refute" his claims, indicate that the real numbers are 60-80% of women and about 17% of men, numbers which make the U.S.'s already horrendous rates of sexual assault (about 25% for women) pale in comparison, especially when we consider that these assaults are more or less guaranteed in a few short weeks (or days) of the victims' lives.  Read the whole report by Mollie Hemingway for a lot more appalling mistakes by the MSM, by the way.  Yes, President Trump was wrong, but not in a way that undercuts his message.


It suggests, really, that our response to illegal immigration ought to certainly involve a border wall and other enhanced enforcement (e-Verify for all employers, enforced), but then ought perhaps to involve shooting the "coyotes".  Two thirds of women raped in a short time by these guys is just horrendous, and we ought to infer that there is Hell to pay among immigrant communities due to this.

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Fact check? Nope, "changing the subject"

I'm going to only link to this one, but it seems that just about every "fact check" of President Trump's speech last night succeeds only in changing the subject.  Confronted by a quarter million crimes being committed by illegal immigrants last year?  Change the subject to the fact that some of those crimes were immigration crimes and link to a study that didn't see overall rises in the per capita crime rate.  It's not like more capitae against which the crimes are committed means anything, except for the fact that it does. 


Going further, point out that the native born also commit crimes--um, that was in dispute?  Really?  Concerned about the fact that illegal drugs are indeed being carried across a largely unsecured border?  Don't worry, most of those drugs arrive by air or sea. 


Brilliant example of changing the subject, I guess, but if that's going to be the ethics of the left, they can shut up about the matter, forever.

Now this is funny

The University of Virginia has apparently punished a sorority for requiring its members to.....study a whole 25 hours per week.  Now one can quibble over whether every member indeed requires this much study--the rule of thumb I remember is 2 hours study/work outside of class for every hour in class--but it is hilarious that the university, well aware of the real issues within the "Greek" system like alcohol-and-drug-soaked parties and resulting harassment and sexual assault, has decided to censure a sorority for emphasizing the reason they're supposed to be enrolled. 

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

This will leave a mark

A few weeks ago, Harvest Bible Chapel pastor James MacDonald (and the elders) decided to sue journalist Julie Roys and four others regarding the blog "The Elephant's Debt", a site which details various abuses of Harvest Bible Chapel, the larger Harvest Bible Fellowship association of churches, and of MacDonald himself.  Yesterday, MacDonald's lawyers requested that the lawsuit be withdrawn after losing a motion to keep certain documents private. In response, The Elephant's Debt has written a response--a response I consider justified--that can only charitably be described as savage. 


 Now ignoring the realities of 1 Corinthians 6's prohibition of lawsuits among believers, and in particular James 2:6's description of rich people (MacDonald certainly qualifies) dragging those who are poorer into court, what can we learn from this?


First of all, listen to your lawyers.  I would be surprised if a body like Harvest didn't have a few among the elders, and of course they hired lawyers to file the action.  If these guys didn't warn MacDonald and the rest that "discovery" is like a full body cavity exam, they should be disbarred.  Otherwise, MacDonald needs to step out of ministry for a while if he didn't pay attention. 


Second, listen to your lawyers.  I would also be surprised if Harvest's lawyers didn't ask to see the evidence MacDonald and the elders wanted to present to prove libel--to knowingly promote falsehoods with malice, since MacDonald is a public figure--and if he didn't have the goods to make the case, again, the lawyers should be disbarred if they didn't warn him, and MacDonald should resign if they did.  We have enough harassment lawsuits as it is.  James 2:6.


Third, listen to your lawyers.  They would have told him that he would have little chance of getting significant damages from the defendants, and that (if the evidence existed) simply presenting the evidence would likely suffice to silence the criticism.


Fourth, read the evidence for yourself.  If it doesn't make your case, don't take it public in the first place.  The request to keep that evidence quiet shows MacDonald and HBC elders ignored this basic principle.


Fifth, if you don't want something to become public, don't do it.  If you look at Julie Roys' writing and The Elephant's Debt, you will very quickly notice that their evidence consists of publicly available documents, HBC internal documents, and testimony from those who have left the church. 


Sixth, a functional dictatorship (MacDonald has a 50% vote on the elder board; nothing happens without his consent, really) is a truly awful way to run an organization.   Let's be honest here; Roys' sources were either on the elder board, or were employed by HBC.   They went to Roys because they were not willing to risk the big boss' wrath by expressing reservations within the organization--just like we see in the District of Columbia, really.


Really, MacDonald has more or less admitted that his lawsuit was merely a way by which he might extract revenge against his detractors, and in doing so, associations he theoretically cares about are paying a heavy price.  His Walk in the Word radio show is being withdrawn except for online, Harvest Bible Fellowship is now separated from Harvest Bible Chapel, and quite frankly, since WITW (and MacDonald) are also affiliated with Moody, it's going to leave some significant marks on Moody as well.   James MacDonald needs to make some big apologies, and then step away from pastoral ministry for a while to consider how to fix the mess he made.


And that assumes that this mess is not going to get a whole lot worse.  One of the big issues at hand is that a major backer, a man who married into the Van Kampen family that runs mutual funds, left after reviewing a partial audit of their books.  Guys like that don't just resign over bad news, since they've seen that before.  They resign because what they saw invites law enforcement to take a look.


Update: sixth, listen to your lawyers when they explain to you that suing a lawyer (Ryan Mahoney) and an investigative journalist (Julie Roys) is the worst possible situation for making a libel lawsuit stick, as they know libel law well and moreover will make you pay for handling evidence recklessly. I dare suggest that this is a consequence of MacDonald really having no one who could keep him accountable for at least the past decade and a half. 

Friday, January 04, 2019

Pure brilliance?

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has just come out endorsing a plan to (a) pretty much end the use of fossil fuels and (b) tax high earners at up to 70% to fund it.  In parallel brilliance, a Muslim congresswoman from Dearborn has, ostensibly to stand against bullies, used some of her first comments in office to threaten to "impeach the mother******".  Sounds a lot like Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez never learned about the mobility of capital in her "economics" degree, and like Congress-woman Tlaib is in serious need of a dictionary and a mirror.


Just the new hands?  Nope, first thing Nancy "The Knife" Pelosi did was to file a bill trying to overturn a Supreme Court 1st Amendment decision.  Good luck with that one, Mack, but as for me, I think our gal's done something rash.  Worse yet, she apparently thinks that Congress has power to unilaterally amend the Constitution, and has filed a bill to end the electoral college and limit pardon power.


Democrats out there, this is what you are voting for.  Maybe think about the matter a bit?


On the bright side, as someone who dislikes UCLA, I can almost approve of Bill Walton's suggestion that would make John Wooden spin in his grave; appoint Barack Obama as head coach of UCLA.   Nothing says "most successful program in history" like a coach who famously missed 20 of 22 shots in a public event.  If he's qualified, so am I, but really, my history of throwing up bricks really qualifies me more for Scottish Rite than it does to sully the legacy of John Wooden. 

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

I can only be confused

On New Year's Eve, my church showed a recent movie about Mercy Me's Bart Millard, I can only imagine, in which his journey from being an abused child to CCM stardom is profiled--if perhaps fictionalized a bit.  One thing which really stuck out for me is the movie's notion that there is a group of "godfathers" in Nashville more or less policing the industry, weeding out groups which are technically proficient but not "genuine." 


As someone who has heard a fair amount of CCM that can only be charitably described as "mumblin' and moanin' with a metronome", this surprised me to a great degree.  We have this Politburo of quality control, and the result is "Jesus is my boyfriend" dreck?   The suggestion is as if Deming's work resulted in not Toyota, but Yugo.


So I started thinking about musical greats outside of CCM and what they do.  Put gently, pretty much all of classical music and opera is, per the movie's objection to Millard's early work, "singing someone else's song", and nobody seems to have been bothered.  In the same way,  Van Halen's album Diver Down is mostly covers as well, and a large number of songs you'll hear on the radio are written by someone else.


That brings me back to the question of exactly what those "godfathers", which in the movie include Michael W. Smith among their number, are doing with a prescription of "singing your own songs".   Now perhaps my esteem for Mr. Smith is affected by his nauseating song "Breathe", but it strikes me that perhaps the problem with CCM is that, indeed, they are singing their own songs.


How so?  Well, consider what you learn when you watch great performers and sing their songs.  It's about tempo, volume, tone, how you position your body, facial expressions, and the whole nine yards.  In other words, musicality and performance.


So if indeed the CCM brass are encouraging this, it's no surprise that they're not producing a worthy product.  They're telling bands to short circuit the process of learning the trade.