Monday, July 30, 2018
Please, Please, Please Keep This Up, Democrats
My office is just across the street from local ICE HQ. There have been short lived, pretty pathetic demonstrations outside it over the years, but this one looks more professional. They have tents and banners and safety vests and pre-printed signs and everything else a grass-root movement like this needs.
Viva La Raza, indeed! You go, demonstrators. Please be there every day until November 6.
This Is Rich
Project much, lefties?
It's supposedly in Colorado, but no one says where.
(h/t this isn't happiness, again)
UPDATE: Steven Hayward at Powerline notices the historical disconnect here.
Both Clever and Funny
Most of the anti-Trump stuff out there is mere invective and as funny as SNL has been for the last 30 years or so. But I liked this one. Very nice.
(h/t this isn't happiness)
Saturday, July 28, 2018
One of the differences between International Socialism (Communists) and National Socialism (Nazis), besides the nationalism, is that no one every says, "of course it failed but that's because no one has really tried actual national socialism."
(not my original thought but I can't find the source)
Thursday, July 19, 2018
Recent Democrat Perfidy
When it comes to stabbing our allies in the back (figuratively), the Democrats are experts. I'll explain below.
To judge from the lamentations of their women these past few days, the only thing Trump could have done in Helsinki last weekend to satisfy the Democrats would have been to pull out a side arm and shoot Putin in the head. Anything short of that apparently was treason to the newly rabidly anti-Russian left.
Part of the fake outrage turned well past 11, was that Trump had "undercut" the NATO alliance and helped Putin by being mildly critical of some of the members (or was that the worst thing ever before the Helsinki conference? It's tough to keep track of the outrageous Trump actions).
Yeah, Trump was trying to get the NATO members who've been slacking on their promise to spend a mere 2% of their GDP on defense (our spending on just the defense of NATO members approaches 4% and dwarfs the rest of the members' spending). The President's attempt to get them to spend more so they have more warriors and more war equipment with which to take on, well, the Russian threat is clearly helping out Russia. Any fool can see that.
But as tiny a nothingburger as Trump's verbal "undercutting" was, it pales into microscopic insignificance compared with the actual betrayal of allies the Democrats are guilty of. To keep this to a moderate length, I'll only go back 50 years.
South Viet Nam was our ally against the Communist invasion from North Viet Nam in the containment war we fought along side them in the 60s and 70s. The Democrats started that war. Under a Republican President, Nixon, we moved all our fighting troops out, won the war, signed a treaty and then helped, mainly with close air support, the South Vietnamese successfully fend off a treaty-breaking serious invasion from the North. Meanwhile, the Democrats were passing bill after bill which prohibited us from doing anything to help defend South Viet Nam including not being able even to sell them munitions. Saigon fell April 30, 1975. Then the real suffering in the South began.
Cambodia was also our ally at the same time and also a victim or the Democrats' back stabbing legislation to prevent any sale of war material to South East Asia and when the Cambodian military ran out of ammunition, the Khmer Rouge marched into Pnom Phen on April 17, 1975 and the Communist victors started a program of political murder of approximately 2 million Cambodians.
In Libya, Gaddafi saw what had happened to Saddam Hussein ostensibly over Weapons of Mass Destruction and decided to make nice. He helped us against the Jihadi network and on December 19, 2003 began turning over his chemical weapons and nuclear program components. We rewarded this helpful behavior by bombing him staring March 19, 2011 (along with European air forces) and by late October, 2011 he was killed by forces we supported. Wait, who was the President who helped remove the dictator of Libya so that afterwards all was sweetness and light? Was it that traitor Trump?
Czech Republic and Poland stuck their figurative necks out for us and gained Vladimir Putin's anger by agreeing to help us contain Russian aggression by seeding Russia's western border with anti-missile weapons centered in those two nations. Then in 2009 we told the Russians, no we're not going to do anything to degrade your ability to threaten Europe with nuclear annihilation. Putin is still angry with the countries who agreed to be our allies. And who was the "flexible" President who helped out Putin and left our allies high and dry? It was Trump, wasn't it.
Iraq was our enemy in the 1st and 2nd Gulf Wars but after we overthrew the really nasty dictator Saddam Hussein, they were our allies in trying to keep the nation together after Hussein was deposed by us and they helped in combat against the Jihadis there after. All we had to do to keep the peace and save our allies in Iraq from losing to the Jihadis was keep about 10,000 troops there and continue to provide the Iraqi forces with air power. But in 2009, we pulled completely out and ISIS took over about 1/3rd of Iraq and then the real suffering began. Remind me, who was the President who abandoned our allies in Iraq in 2009?
The Ukraine was where the USSR had a lot of its nuclear weapons so when the International Socialists gave up the Soviet Union ghost and fell apart, the Ukraine had the third most nuclear weapons in the world within its borders (and probably not actual control of firing them off but we've never been sure they couldn't have taken over control after the fall). So our nation, Russia and the UK (and others who joined in later) tried to coax the Ukraine to give up the Soviet weaponry. Knowing how the Russians had treated them and might treat them again, the Ukrainian leadership was not eager to disarm and give the weapons to Russia. But we basically told the Ukraine that we would protect them from the one country that wanted to invade them and beginning on December 5, 1994 they disarmed. Nothing much happened until February 2014 when Russia seized the Crimean Peninsula and invaded and took control of a large part of Eastern Ukraine. Neither we nor the Brits did a thing to help out the Ukrainians. Who was our President then?*
* Obama may have spoken about our undying support for the Ukrainian people but he refused to send the country any weapons to help them fend off the Russian invaders. Under Trump we are actually supplying them with weapons including lots of effective anti-tank weapons. That's how in the pocket of Putin Trump is, he's giving the Ukrainians weapons with which to kill Russians. Putin must have something on him to make him do such a bad thing for our ally.
It's always better to look at actions a politician takes as opposed to what he or she says. It would appear that all the Democrats care about is mere words.
Saturday, July 14, 2018
What's the Russian translation of Ham Sandwich?
First, Mueller, back in February 2018, filed an indictment against Russians and Russian business entities for "conspiracy to defraud the United States" which I didn't know was a real thing. That hasn't gone so well. It seems more like a PR stunt than actual criminal justice as Russia was never going to extradite any of the named and involved individuals. But one of the entities charged hired lawyers in America who entered their unconditional appearance on behalf of this one accused, pled not guilty and demanded speedy trial and discovery of all the evidence the feds had. Oops. That wasn't supposed to happen. The trial was recently delayed 90 days by agreement of the parties but eventually the Mueller team will have to put up or shut up (and, if the latter, dismiss the indictment against the one actually fighting back). That last would be embarrassing. It's almost completely out of the news now but it's not gone away.
Now, Mueller has indicted 12 Russian government types for hacking the DNC and John Podesta's computers and stealing a lot of very embarrassing e-mails which Assange via Wikileaks was happy to dole out in batches in 2016. It might be partisanship on my part, but I have never believed that the Russians did any such thing. Clearly, Podesta opened up his hard drive due to a "spearfishing" probe, and somehow or other, the DNC e-mails got to Wikileaks. But who did it? How can you tell who did any hacking?
I've read the recent indictment. Long on evidence about the details of what it takes to hack a computer. Little shorter on evidence that the 12 Russians charged were indeed the Gucifer 2 who gave the e-mails to Wikileaks. The computer geeks (and I use that term affectionately) have looked at the possibility of downloading over an internet connection all the data that Gucifer 2 obtained. I have no knowledge of what one of them, Bill Binney, is talking about so this could be nonsense, but he tells us the amount of data taken could not have been accomplished over the net based upon the time-stamped files downloaded. The time-stamps are apparently really important. So, if Binney is right it's more likely the e-mails came from downloading onto a physical drive, like a thumb drive. I doubt that Russians in Russia could use a thumb drive on a computer in America. Ergo, it had to have been an inside job of some sort. I'm not on board with the Seth Rich conspiracy theory. De mortuis nil nisi bonum.
I would feel less skeptical about this new Russian indictment if I knew for a fact that the FBI forensic teams have actually examined the DNC computer (or server or whatever) to see if there were traces of hacking in it that looked Russian, assuming hackers leave evidence of national origin behind when they hack things. We've been told that happened but, as far as I can tell, that opinion came from a foreign company and not from the FBI computer crime lab. I also would feel better about this not being a PR stunt if I knew that, at least once, an FBI special agent had talked to Assange in England about how his outfit got the information. Seems like a normal investigative thing to do. Well maybe not with our current FBI. They decided Hillary Clinton's innocence before they talked to her and other important witnesses. So there's that.
Anyway, if I were licensed to practice before the Court where the indictments were filed, I would seek to defend one of the Ruskies pro bono and demand the discovery. Then the fun would start, I believe.
Friday, July 13, 2018
I've had recent arguments about whether the Nazi's accurately described themselves with their name, National Socialist and German Worker's Party. The historically ignorant ones I've been arguing with know that the Nazi's were right wing so their name using Socialist must have been some sort of mistake. Right, they were so stupid they couldn't even get their name right. On the other hand, they were patriots for their evil nation, but patriots none the less, and patriotism is generally uniquely on the right as the left tends to be internationalist. The lengthy list of socialist things the Nazis implemented during the dozen years of their existence as the ruling party in Germany doesn't seem ever to sway the historically ignorant from stupidly believing the Nazis were right wing and, indeed, far to the right, extremist right wingers, at that.
I generally just shake my head muttering "moron" repeatedly.
But regarding the near equal evil of Imperial Japan during the same time frame, it is very difficult to tell which party vying for power during the 30s was right wing and which was left. I have to say left and right just don't make a lot of sense regarding Japanese politics at that time. They were all ultra-nationalist and lukewarm lefty (all supported socialist like government programs). Here's the only real distinction I see between the Minsieto, the Shakai Taoishuto and the Tohokai, which among them had about 60% of the political parties' membership before 1940:
The biggest party thought that Japan was a superior nation with citizens superior to anyone else on Earth but opposed actually invading foreign nations. (I guess they kinda ignored what was already going on in Korea and China).
The other parties thought that Japan was a superior nation with citizens superior to anyone else on Earth and advocated invading all the inferior countries and killing and/or subjugating the inferior people there.
It's the political principals of the second group that was made the official policy of the Japanese Empire in 1940 when Japan became a one party nation by decree.
Awful lot of party leader assassinations during the 30s. I'm sure that didn't help things.
The Anti-Science Party
Tuesday, July 03, 2018
Judicial Activism Versus Judicial Restraint
Although I think the man is very intelligent, and I give him full marks for his pretty consistent support of the First Amendment, Law Professor Erwin Chemerinsky, now at Boalt Hall, (the law school at Berkeley), is still lefty blindered and somewhat ignorant of history. And he displays it fully here in an article (very long) called A New Era for the Supreme Court.
We'll just visit some of the low points. First, definitions: Judicial Activism is defined as a "philosophy of judicial decision-making whereby judges allow their personal views about public policy, among other factors, to guide their decisions."
Judicial Restraint, on the other hand, is the opposite and defined as "judicial deference to the intent of legislation, strict interpretation of the Constitution, and strict jurisdictional interpretation of the law."
OK, on to the article. Professor Chemerinsky starts with this:
The just completed Supreme Court term will come to be regarded as the beginning of a new era in constitutional history: a time of a very activist Court that aggressively follows the conservative political agenda.No, not activist. Just the opposite; aggressively following what the Constitution demands.
Did the 5-4 victories for the Rule of Law involve the Justices
No, there was none of that.
Does the professor supply any evidence of activism? Let's look.
Regarding the Janus case, the professor writes:
But the Court also held that non-union members do not need to pay the part of the dues that support the union’s political activities. The Court explained that it would be impermissible compelled speech in violation of the First Amendment to force non-union members to support political activities with which they disagree.
Chemerinsky says this application of the heart of the First Amendment on free speech was activism because it would upset precedent (Oh my!) and tear up a lot of local laws regarding the forced political speech the previous decision (Abood) allowed. So overturning bad precedent is judicial activism? Good to know.
Regarding the travel "ban" case, Trump v. Hawaii, the professor writes:
By a 5–4 decision along ideological lines, the Supreme Court reversed these courts and upheld the travel ban. Writing for the Court, Roberts said that the 1965 law prohibiting discrimination in issuing visas was not controlling because of an earlier federal law that allows the president to suspend entry of “immigrants or nonimmigrants.” It is strange that an earlier law is seen as superseding a later one, especially when the purpose of the 1965 statute was to stop the federal government from having immigration quotas by country, which tragically kept many fleeing the Holocaust from entering the United States.
There are two different rules about statutory construction. One is "specific overrules general" and the second is "later overrules earlier." I have never been able to perceive the circumstances that require one of the two to be employed rather than the other one. But more specific statements of law are held to overrule general statements passed into law at a later date. And it happens a lot. So it's not odd at all. And is there anyone arguing that Trump was trying to introduce "immigration quotas" by the temporary delay in granting entry visas to both those immigrating and those just visiting? No, of course not, so the original law allowing the President to do just what Trump did would certainly be more specific than the 'no discrimination' law designed to prevent quotas on immigration. It kind of jumps off the page to anyone not subject to political tunnel vision.
Erwin goes on: "Neither [Janus or Korematsu] had any basis in terms of national security. There was no evidence linking Japanese Americans to any threat to the country then, nor any linking immigrants from the designated countries to terrorism today."
But you don't have to have evidence of a crime or proof of evil intent to stop someone at the border. You can stop people when you have a situation where it is reasonable to take action because, in the case of Japanese-American internment, there was evidence of Imperial Japanese efforts to create from the Nisei spies and saboteurs, and in the current case, the governments of the named countries are so dysfunctional, that we could not trust anything the governments said, assuming the governments gave us any information at all, regarding their citizen who wants to come here. It is always good to know if the person who wants to travel here was in prison for Jihadi activities or not, narco-trafficing or not, sexual assault or not. Information like that helps us make rational decisions about handing out visas in the first place.
And here's the big finish: "What will it mean to have five very conservative justices whose jurisprudence is based on the Republican platform? I have no doubt that there will be five votes to overrule Roe v. Wade, five votes to declare all forms of affirmative action unconstitutional, five votes to eliminate the exclusionary rule as a remedy when police violate the Constitution."
Here is where the professor is his most partisan. An honest legal scholar would admit that Roe, and the pure bullshit it was based on in Griswold, was monumentally bad legal reasoning and a prime examples of judicial activism. Moving on, I can't help but think that, as Chief Justice Roberts wrote,“The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” So Erwin's complaints about stopping affirmative action seems to my ears to be supporting racial discrimination forever. (Sorry, Asians, you're just too talented and smart to let into Harvard). And haven't we hit Justice O'Connor's 25 year limit yet? And, finally, it has always been a close call whether the damage done by the exclusionary rule, releasing the guilty to create more victims of crime, outweighs the good it does in keeping the police honest. These are not questions based on any political platform but are the result of the law's interaction with the real world. An honest scholar would admit the lack of political content contained in dealing with these Constitutional questions.
So shame on Erwin for groundlessly accusing the originalists and Kennedy of partisan jurisprudence.