Twitter opposes censorship now. Go Figure?

AKA: Twitter sets itself up for liability suits

I’m not really sure what to say to this one.

Ok … except that this reminds me of that scene in 1984 where there is a rally in Oceania and the enemy suddenly shifts from Eurasia to Eastasia.  It happens right in the midst of the rally and the crowd follows along like blind lemmings.  Followed by the official history being revised.

I was told by a literature teacher, some years ago, that 1984 had been dropped from his district’s curriculum.  The reasons?  Too difficult and no longer relevant.

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The Single Biggest Mistakes Progressives and Democrats Are Making

Watching the feeding frenzy through the last week going after Trump is really driving home just how out of touch the hard left really is.  I keep hearing terms like “Trumpism” or the “Trump movement” being talked about.  More importantly, it’s discussed in terms of something that Trump created or helped to create.  These Democrats and progressives have it completely backwards.

Donald Trump did not create this movement.

This movement created Donald Trump.

Continue reading

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The Elements of a Coup

I’ve heard a lot of comments on “coups” recently from all sides.  I’ll admit I’m running from memory that is rather old, but if I remember, this is what pretty much defines authoritarian coups.

  • Take advantage of, or create, a crisis/emergency.
  • Use the crisis to build a state of unrest.
  • Using that state of unrest, subvert or undermine the political process to take power.  This need not be through violence, though it often is.
  • Create at least a veneer of legality to justify the actions.
  • Criminalize the prior governing body.
  • Take control of the means of public information.
  • Criminalize the expression of dissent and opposing opinion.
  • Suspend civil liberties for the duration of the crisis.
  • Establish authoritarian rule as a necessity to manage the crisis.

These are bullet points rather than numerical sequences because they don’t necessarily have to occur in order.  However, I’m thinking back through history and I can’t think of any case outside of one outlier back through Roman times where these aren’t the elements of a coup.

The one outlier is Cromwell in the early/mid 17th century.  Of course, that part of history is a rather bizarre bit of history.  Something only the British could have. 🙂

Anyway, I would suggest looking at what group(s) are following this model.  Hint:  it’s not Donald Trump, libertarians (lower case “ell”), or classical liberals.  I’m watching actively for those later points to start showing.

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General thoughts on the resurgence and management of COVID-19

Ok. Here’s the deal. I said back in April, it doesn’t matter if the virus fades. There WILL be a resurge. At the end of the day, you’re not going to beat evolution/natural selection. Population medicine is not a pretty discipline. The focus should be on protecting the especially vulnerable. The problem arises when people in this field take the idea of “Do no harm,” but fail to take into account the big picture. At a policy level, this is something that is impossible to do. It’s an easy trap to look at the immediate harm of getting sick, and as a healthcare provider you’re driven to do something about it. It’s hard to explain to the layman, but it’s something built into you.  This is especially true of your rank-and-file physician.

What happens, though, is you get hyper-focused on that aspect of it. You miss seeing the harm those policies might do by extending the crises rather than managing the burn-through in a population. Continue reading

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Why this clinical scientist opposes masks

Umm… just to clarify. This isn’t a picture of me. It’s a category A hazmat suit here for satire.

Why don’t I wear a mask?  Or when I do, it’s a folded chiffon scarf? This answer is a bit long. It’s not a matter of political position, but clinical efficacy.  It’s also not a new debate.  I’ve found references of the tensions on the subject going back to the Spanish flu of 1918.

You’ll notice in the list, I’m not basing arguments on what CNN or FNC or any talking heads. These are all serious scientific positions. As one clinical article puts it:

“In conclusion there remains a substantial gap in the scientific literature on the effectiveness of face masks to reduce transmission of influenza virus infection. While there is some experimental evidence that masks should be able to reduce infectiousness under controlled conditions, there is less evidence on whether this translates to effectiveness in natural settings. There is little evidence to support the effectiveness of face masks to reduce the risk of infection.”

What evidence there is for natural settings is not significant. And, before someone chimes in with the “But if there is any chance…” argument, all that does is show that you don’t know what the term means. Anybody who understands the phrase, “Is not distinguishable from random error,” will not even try this argument. Besides, there is clinical evidence of the harm and that same argument can be thrown back at you.

Basically, you don’t take an extreme action on a “just in case.” Good practice is that you protect your most vulnerable populations or high risk populations.

So if you wonder why the CDC technical guidance says both yes and no at the same time and is filled with caveats, or there are disclaimers on masks in the store regarding their usefulness, these are some of the reasons why. Continue reading

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More bad ideas from The Week

The Week has one of the worst ideas of the day:  William Barr is in contempt. Congress should send him to jail.  Well, it’s not just their idea.  It seems to be catching on with the AOC left.

There’s reasons that Democrats are limiting their actions to pontification where Barr is concerned. At this point he hasn’t done anything that *can* be held in contempt.

His testimony yesterday was essentially political posturing on all sides. If Democrats try to go with contempt on that, they’re going to lose when its challenged. They *don’t* want that optic.

His “no-show” today is cannot be subject to contempt. Not only is this not under subpoena, this was a Q&A meeting that Barr *offered* and Nadler changed the format of at the last moment. The meeting was an opportunity to answer their questions, not face a prosecutorial styled interrogation more suited to an impeachment hearing. If they tried to charge contempt on that, they would lose again but with the added price of the witch hunt label being confirmed in the public eye.

Failure to produce the full un-redacted report *could* be subject to contempt, but will almost certainly fall to the inevitable motion to quash. The “less redacted” report which has only the minimal redactions demanded by law is already available to anyone with the sufficient security clearance to see the intel information. Access is necessarily controlled, but it is available and nobody on the Democrat side has gone to see it. Between this, privacy laws, and national security requirements, the Executive will win that challenge with the same price to Democrats as above.

Holding *anyone* in contempt, in general at this point, is an extreme risk and very low return proposition under the current structure of the inquiries. Between arguments of executive privilege and this being an abuse of subpoena power for political purpose and a lack of actual impeachment proceedings, then pulling in so many of the public statements by Democrats, the administration will be able to make a strong case on at least one and likely both defenses. That bucket of KFC at the House hearing sure didn’t help.

To change the equation will require the House to actually begin impeachment procedures. In that framework, much of the arguments above go away. However, there’s a reason Pelosi, Hoyer, et. al., are trying to calm down the calls for impeachment. It’s more than just knowing they would lose in the Senate trial. My gut feeling is that the House isn’t even sure that they could deliver on passing the Articles. There’s an old legal adage that you never ask a question for which you don’t know the answer.

This is rapidly turning into a lose-lose scenario for the Democratic party. With the current Democratic voices that are getting the press, there may not be a clear path out, either. They put all their eggs in the basket of taking down President Trump and failed. They are now trying to break the inevitable retaliation of the counter-investigation as to how all this got started. And they are at the mercy of their hard Left that won’t let them change course.

The end result, I suspect, is going to be a second term for President Trump, a hugely weakened Congress, and at least one – possibly two – more of the more progressive SCOTUS justices placed by the President.

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Thoughts on the word “Outdated.”

“The Electoral College is outdated.”

“The Second Amendment is outdated.”

We’re even starting to hear, “The First Amendment is outdated.”

Isn’t it odd that the definition of “outdated” is anything that stands in the way of progressive socialism? I’m more inclined to suggest that – based on its historical performance – that it’s Progressivism that is outdated and that the Constitution was far ahead of its time. It’s like it was designed for the challenges to liberty today.

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A Solution for Youth Violence

There really is a relatively easy solution to the problem. One that is right on many levels. A common sense way.

We need to ban anyone under age 21 from marching or protesting and any efforts to advocate for the same on social media should be subject to criminal investigation.

There are the clearly obvious reason for this. Children under 21 are not psychologically mature enough for such responsibility. Actually, research puts that age at 24, but with so many other elements of society putting the majority at 21, it would be hard to place the ban at 24. Protesting far too frequently ends up in violence with millions of dollars in damage and people being injured or worse. We’ve seen this repeatedly over recent years in campuses and cities throughout the country when protests turn into riots.

But there is another form of violence from which such a common sense restriction would protect our kids. There are those that would use our kids as soft targets to manipulate and whip into frenzies in order to advance their own issues. Since kids lack the emotional maturity to discern this for of abuse, we have a moral obligation to protect them from such harm. Harm that can often be physical. Just ask those wounded in Baltimore. Or Ferguson. Or San Francisco.

Ultimately, this common sense control does not truly infringe these kids rights. In fact, it preserves the right by helping them to survive until they are old enough to exercise it responsibly, if they so choose. It is an easy and practical solution to a crisis to unnecessary violence that we need to seriously consider.

Postscript: If this idea disturbs you, consider that this is no different than any other right protected by our Bill of Rights.

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Kurt Schlichter’s Latest Gun Control Commentary at Townhall

Kurt’s latest commentary – Thoughts and Prayers for Anti-Gun Freaks Grieving Over Death of The Narrative – is an absolute must-read.  It doesn’t happen often, but Kurt left out some very important and relevant facts to this topic.

In the last year, Progressives have been responsible for more violence against Americans than anyone from a middle-eastern religion. Consider:

* Violent anti-Trump Leftist tries to assassinate Republican congressmen and seriously wounds several, including Rep. Scalise.

* Ex-government employee shoots up a Country-Western concert full of police and military.  Do we even have to guess which side of the aisle this guy was from?  If nothing else, you can tell by how quickly this story was buried.  Odd for what was the worst mass murder in American history short of 9/11.

* MIlitant atheist attacks and murders churchgoers in Texas.  Yeah, you can bet he was first in line to vote for Trump last year, right?  The story is going to disappear as much for this as for his being stopped by a good guy with a gun.

* Rand Paul attacked and seriously injured but an Anti-Trump neighbor.

This doesn’t even take into account the attacks, beatings, vandalism, and rioting from the Antifa creeps.  Though I will note that they tend to restrict their activities to cities and campuses where the right of the people to defend themselves and/or fight back is systematically denied.  Those who know me know that I’ve been predicting this direction since the Bush 2nd term.  In 2012 after Obama’s re-election the violence became unavoidable, in my opinion.  It was then just a matter of how much and who shot first.

If you want to understand why Progressives seem so supportive of Islamic terrorism, this is a good example of why.  They have far too much in common.  Expect things to continue to escalate.

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Understanding the Conservative Lefty

I’ve gotten a few instances of the “Who are you to say …” type of challenges, here and elsewhere.  I’ve noted in the past – i.e. the “About” page, a bit about me and my worldview.  However, I’ve yet to really say to much about my “street cred” in my writing or what skills I actually bring to my analysis.

I haven’t done this for two reasons.  First, political opinion – and its expression – is a fundamental right of all Americans.  I have not need to display my credentials in order to express an opinion and I have every right to have that opinion judged on the basis of its merits, not by my educational background.

The other reason, it I find it a bit embarrassing to discuss myself in that respect.  It is far too easy to come off sounding like an insufferable know-it-all, to borrow a phrase from Professor Snape.  I’ve put off the inevitable for a some three years now, but I’ve reached a point where I had best address it.  After the break, that is.  If you have to know.  Continue reading

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