Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Great genius from the ICC

WIth regards to the ICC's allegations that Israel is "using starvation as a weapon of war", it turns out that the Israelis have allowed 500,000 tons of food, medicine, and other humanitarian supplies into Gaza since the war began in October.

We might joke that, given up to 500 pounds of food aid per man, woman, and child in Gaza being available, that the Israelis are not using starvation, but rather obesity and gout as weapons of war against Hamas.  It is the same war that the supermarket and Mrs. Bubba's cooking wage on me, but I'm not sending Mrs. Bubba to Den Haag for obvious reasons.

Keep waging war on me, Hy-Vee and Mrs. Bubba!  Burp.

Seriously, this is one big reason that I don't want the United Nations anywhere near the administration of justice.  You get the brothers of pedophiles like Karim Khan coming out with ludicrous indictments like this for political reasons.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Great moments in progressive thought

The latest tirade against Clarence Thomas by the New York Times is, apparently, that he's too close to his wife.  Now one would think after President Trump's embarrassments, not to mention L'Affaire Lewinsky and a host of other truly scandalous behavior by politicians, that commentators would start to think that it is a good thing when a public figure is devoted to his wife, but apparently not.  

I guess, given my relationship with Mrs. Bubba, I will be seen as completely incapable of assuming any position of prominence by the progressive left.  That noted, given my stances politically, I kind of knew that already.  My hunch here is that this is yet another one of those selective stances by progressives.  It's bad if a conservative is close to his wife (because they might make a lot of babies in addition to laws progressives don't like), but it might be tolerated in a fellow progressive.

More on the Bragg/Trump/Merchan trial

Apparently one of the top experts on federal election law, a law upon which Alvin Bragg's prosecution persecution of former President Trump lies, was denied the opportunity to speak openly on the complexities of that law in the trial under the logic that only the judge gets to instruct the jury on the intricacies of the law.  This is, in my view, one of the chief weaknesses of our current trial system; if a judge decides to "neglect" to explain the law accurately, as is exactly the allegation against Merchan, then the judge can swing a verdict in favor of one party or the other.  If lawyers and expert witnesses are not allowed to comment on the law, one also must wonder precisely why defendants are afforded the right to representation.

Suffice it to say that the more I see, the more I realize that "Judge" Merchan and Alvin Bragg's entire team need to be disbarred.  Again, I'm not a huge fan if President Trump, but they're gleefully railroading a man when Bragg's predecessor, the FEC, and the DOJ all declined to prosecute.  That should mean something.


Friday, May 17, 2024

Good news for Friday

Check out this report where a mugger decided to attack the wrong couple, and paid dearly for it.  

For those about to rock, we salute you!

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Something which has always amused me...

....is how radical Islamists, most of whom are of Arabic descent, choose to decry Jews as the "brothers of apes and pigs."  To which those who take Genesis 12:3 seriously might respond "Now remind me, precisely who was the brother of Isaac?".  Not quite sure why an Arab would make that argument, to put it mildly, as even the Qu'ran establishes this pretty clearly.

Also on the darkly amusing side, Gregg Jarrett of Fox News has noted, along with Bob Costello, that former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's testimony in the current criminal case contradicts his testimony at Trump's trial for falsifying business records.  One might infer that Cohen's testimony in both cases ought to be thrown out in toto, which is of course exactly what I'd suggest given Cohen's 2018 conviction for perjury.

Really, is this all that complicated?  We know that Cohen is a liar, so anyone thinking of building a case off his testimony can move on and do something productive instead.

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Awesome

Apparently, the Social Security trust fund runs out in 2035, and I will, Lord willing, hit 67 in 2036.  So on the off chance that someone on either side of the aisle will actually give up demagoguery and listen to reason, here are some realities.

  • There is no such thing as a foolproof lockbox that will preserve the value of Social Security funds.
  • There is no such thing as a politician or bureaucrat who can be trusted to fill out proxy forms for the benefit of investors.
  • If there isn't a sufficient economy to pay benefits, neither can the government tax the non-existent economy (via taxes or borrowing) to pay them.
  • If the government tries, it risks a hyperinflation like that which ravaged the Weimar Republik in Germany and brought the Nazis to power.
  • The best thing you can do is take reasonable steps to create an economy that grows, and enable people to take care of themselves.
As I've noted before, the chief flaw of Socialist Insecurity and Mediscare is that it tells people that the government will pick up the tab for their retirement, and hence the traditional ways of dealing with the years where one will be unable to work as one once did are degraded--having children, developing family and neighborhood relationships, and the like.  So what do we do?

  • Reduce COLA formula by 1%.  Yes, it's painful for those on fixed incomes without outside sources of income, but it's easier to plan for this than for a 17% (or more) drop in 2035.
  • Tax reform.   If indeed the cost of compliance with the tax code is hundreds of billions of dollars, we can save a LOT by going to smarter ways of taxation and improve our ability to take care of ourselves.  I'd suggest starting with a 10% revenue tariff (doubled for nations that don't respect IP rights) and a $30/ton of carbon tax for fossil fuels, and an accompanying drop in income taxes.
  • Retirement reform and reform of tax-privileged accounts.  Instead of HSA, FSA, IRA (Roth and standard), college savings accounts, and more, why not allow people to merge these accounts and use them multiple ways?  Then eliminate RMDs and make it fully heritable.  If you save well, you get to take care of the next generation.

All in all, government needs to realize that they are not the solution here, and the main thing they can do is get out of the way.

Thursday, May 09, 2024

No, thanks

Just saw an article noting that a chef had decided use "Aztec culinary tradition" to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.  Since the major Aztec culinary tradition I'm aware if is ritual cannibalism after human sacrifice, no, thanks!

(seriously, a good portion of modern Mexican cuisine derives in part from the more respectable parts of Aztec cooking, like the use of chilies and chocolate, but sorry...could not resist...)

Wednesday, May 08, 2024

Let's get the disbarment courts going

I am not a huge fan of former President Trump, nor do I endorse his character, but if indeed Alvin Bragg's case against President Trump does not actually describe the crime of which he's accused, and if indeed Bragg's calling "Stormy Daniels" to the stand has nothing to do with whether this crime might have occurred, we need to get the disbarment courts going for Bragg, his team of 15 attorneys prosecuting the case, and of course the judge who should have spotted these obvious flaws and stopped this whole charade.  

The reality here is that the "crime"--misrepresenting spending on hush money--is a misdemeanor, with the statute of limitations expired for over five years, but the damage done to Trump and the public (who are paying Bragg and his staff of course) amounts to many felonies.   Bragg, his staff, and Judge Merchan should all really be imprisoned for what they've done, especially Bragg, but realistically speaking, the best we can hope for is that they all be disbarred.

And when, Lord willing, the disbarment train stops in New York, it needs to head south to Georgia for Fani Willis and her team.  There are very real reasons to put politicians on trial--I can think of some fairly obvious sale of influence by our current President--but when prosecutors have "creative new ideas" on how to prosecute unpopular politicians, they are generally weaponizing the courts, and need to be removed for life from the legal profession.

Tuesday, May 07, 2024

Worst possible, except for all the other things

British actor, an atheist, makes the claim that the Bible is one of the "worst books ever".   Well, worst ever, except for being the wellspring of the thinking that made Western Europe and North America some of the most humane culture out there, instead of leaving Mr. Cox to paint himself blue and throw innocent kids on a bone-fire, I guess.  And except for the--ahem--institutionalized atheism that generated the world's worst genocides in the 20th Century.  

Monday, May 06, 2024

Great moments in environmental research and regulation

If you read this article carefully,  you'll probably notice what I'm noticing; the studies that prove that gas stove use causes unsafe levels of nitrogen oxides in home air does not mention something that most kitchens in the country have; a ventilation fan to the outside. 

It strikes me as very interesting that the researchers miss something I've had in every home that I've owned, save one that didn't even have natural gas service to the building.  It's almost like they're starting the so-called "research" with the end goal in mind, that of eliminating good cooking from the country.

Friday, May 03, 2024

Great moments in cultural awareness

Apparently, the "lost & found" page for the pro-Hamas, pro-Nazi demonstrators at Columbia includes an entry where the owners of Heinrich the Piglet lament the loss of his suicide vest.

So apparently the neo-Nazis at Columbia see nothing amiss with naming a piglet "Heinrich" (nice German name) and making a hog an emblem for jihad.  With friends like these, the only worse enemies Hamas could have are the IDF and Mossad.

And really, when thinking about this, it strikes me that if those who chant "from the river to the sea" need to be reminded that what they're cheering for is the destruction of a mostly Jewish nation of ten million people.  

Note to those who do this; just put on your swastika armbands already and start chanting "Sieg Heil".  Wave around your copies of Mein Kampf while you sing the Horst Wessel Lied.  Want to be a....words not suitable for this blog....then have at it, but be honest about who you really are.

If, on the other hand, you're a sane person, raise a cold one to the brothers of Pi Kappa Psi at UNC and their Greek brothers and sisters who stepped in and protected the U.S. flag from the Nazis.  Maybe even contribute to the party they're planning, as it should be a lot of fun.

And of course, pray that some of them get better taste than "White Claw", but that's a side note.

Thursday, May 02, 2024

Expectations and the "trans rights" movement

It strikes me that one thing the "trans rights" movement does not grasp is the relative nature of "unclothed encounters" between people.  

To draw a picture, when two men or two women encounter one another in a fully or partially unclothed state, they have, assuming a rate of homosexuality of 3% or less, very low odds (0.09%, one in a thousand or so) that both of them will be looking at something they are sexually attracted to in a state which suggests that sexual relations could happen.

However, when two people of the opposite sex encounter one another in a fully or partially unclothed state, the odds are 99.9% that at least one of the two people in that encounter are attracted to the sex they're looking at.  Add more people, and of course the odds become virtually certain.

Now with due "respect" to rude jokes about appearance, what this means is this; when people of the opposite expose more than a certain amount of skin, a degree of sexual tension is inevitable.   It is, at its core, what's going on when actresses and musicians of modest ability but spectacular beauty put that beauty on display; the attempt is being made to divert the rational mind and engage the hormones.  It works.

And so when I consider the reality of "trans women" entering womens' only spaces, it's obvious that this sexual tension is being created, and the relevant question is whether or not they are aware of this tension, and if they are, whether or not they care.  At a certain level, we would suggest that people are intentionally breaching womens' only spaces in a way that is....much like "flashing"....a level of sexual assault.

Inside and outside of sports, it's time to make it stop.


Wednesday, May 01, 2024

What is wrong with Russia?

A Russian Iskander missile, accurate to within 30 meters and loaded with a cluster bomb,  hits a building used as a school, killing at least five people.  Double bonus is that the owner has been historically pro-Russian, so one wonders what he did to tick off Putin.

But to the point, you have to wonder what on earth is wrong with people who would launch a cluster bomb at a school.  This is why military academies have a fair amount of coursework regarding war crimes...well, at least in the civilized world.  Maybe that's not the case in Russia.

Monday, April 29, 2024

Paging Disraeli, or Twain, or....

"Lies, damned lies, and statistics" comes to mind as I contemplate this study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics.  Why?  Well, I presume the underlying data are accurate, but notice how the data are presented; as  a percentage of total murders, not as a raw number.  

So as a public service, here are the raw numbers.  Approximately 1700 women were murdered by intimate partners in 2021, and approximately 960 1080 men were victims of the same crime-approximately 36% 39% of the total.  For comparison, in 2017, the numbers were approximately 1500 women murdered (13% higher) by intimate partners, and about 700 men were murdered by intimate partners (about 37% 50% higher).  (corrections due to my initial math error)

For comparison's sake, overall population grew by only 2% in this period in our country, so we would infer that the "Violence Against Women Act" is doing a great job of ensuring violence against women--and men.

So why the misleading way of presenting the data?  My hunch is that there is a cultural imperative in the BJS to present domestic violence in the same way the Duluth Model does; as an almost exclusively male phenomenon.  But when we look at the actual data, we see that unless the LGBTQ+ community is doing a huge proportion of intimate partner violence (and we'd need to review some Supreme Court cases, ahem), we must infer that both sexes are likely to commit this particular crime, and our approach is simply not working.

Let's start by taking a look at the actual data a bit more closely.  What portion of the deaths are of spouses?  What portion involve adultery? What portion are unmarried couples?  What portion are of prostitutes and johns?  What portion are "couples for one night"?  

Sometimes, we need to take our blinders off and look at data.

Thursday, April 25, 2024

More on the Title IX debacle

   ...from the National Review editorial board. As I noted yesterday, it's not just an attack on women's sports, but on women and men in general, really anyone connected even tangentially with any school receiving federal funding.

A side note here is that this is a big reason why home educators really shouldn't want school vouchers; what the government funds, it controls.  "He who pays the piper calls the tune" and all that.  

Side note from the side note; if indeed social workers are working with the schools to transition children without their parents' knowledge or consent, five will get you ten that they're going to be trying to do this with kids who aren't even in the public schools soon.  Really, as government bureaucrats try to redefine "sex" on behalf of the LGBTQ+++ community, nobody's rights are safe.  

That is, for what it's worth, also what wiser people were saying when Obergefgell vs. Hodges was being decided; that there were clear implications where the protection of same sex mirage by the government would have tremendous implications for the reach of the 1st Amendment.