Monday, May 25, 2015

NCAA softball match erupts into spontaneous singing of the Star Spangled Banner

From Cliff Thies: 

Before the NCAA Softball Regional game between the University of Louisiana-Lafayette and Baylor University (May 19), it was announced that there would be no playing of the National Anthem. (This was the third game of the day, and the National Anthem had been played prior to the first two.) 

The fans had another idea. They sang the national anthem.

Republicans salute our Veterans and remember those who have fallen in battle

Editor's note - Clifford and I, both Veterans, salute our brothers and sisters in uniform, and express our condolences to the families of fallen Vets. (Dr. Thies is a former Captain in the U.S. Army - Vietnam era. I am a former sailor in the U.S. Navy - 4 years sea duty, including the Persian Gulf on the USS Kittyhawk CV-63 and the USS Luce DDG-38.)

Fmr. leftwing Feminist prude in Tech industry goes full-blown libertarian

Now favors a more positive, free market approach to changing attitudes 

From the Washington Examiner, "Woman who helped launch the current uproar over sexism in tech is sorry":
In 2013, Elissa Shevinsky wrote an article titled "That's it, I'm finished defending sexism in tech." The article was based on her concerns that a major tech expo would open with a presentation with an app called "Titstare," which, as the name implied, allowed users to take photos of themselves staring at women's breasts. 
Shevinsky had been in the tech industry for a decade at that point, and said she had put up with sexism all the time. She concluded her article by writing that one of the solutions to the problem was to get more women in tech. Her article received 40,000 views and was shared around the web, helping to spark a debate about the lack of women in the tech industry...
Bitchin' and moaning "can be authoritarian"

Because of the movement she helped create, Shevinsky has been described as a "social justice warrior" — a usually derogatory term applied to those who engage in hostile arguments in the name of righting a perceived social injustice. Shevinsky is now sorry for whatever role she played in creating all of this outrage and silliness. She's sorry, she writes in her new book, Lean Out, and she adds that her initial position was "flawed." 
"I'm glad to come out in 'Lean Out' and say that my original essay — the one that has been the foundation for people assuming that I am [a social justice warrior] — was deeply flawed," Shevinsky told the Washington Examiner. "I do see sexism and gender issues, a culture war, in Silicon Valley, but the knee-jerk responses (recruit more women! attack the men!) are not the answer." When asked what she would say to those who would accuse her of telling women to go elsewhere, Shevinsky explained that she wanted a free-market approach to reforming the tech industry. 
"I'm not saying that men and women should be separate, but rather that we should control our own destinies," Shevinsky said. "Complaining can be effective but also authoritarian, and often unpleasant for everyone involved. Building something new can be even more impactful, and I believe it's a healthier approach."

Victory for radical libertarians over the Feds in mining stand-off?

BLM backing down from threats to take over miner's property

From Eric Dondero:

It sure looks like it. Though, it's a bit too early to tell for sure. 

From NBC News, KOBI Channel 5, local, 
Oath Keepers standing down from Sugar Pine Mine, awaiting appeal decision
Armed members of the Oath Keepers in Josephine county are standing down from the Sugar Pine Mine in Galice tonight. Last night the Interior Board of Land Appeals announced that they will grant the mine owner's request to place BLM enforcement on hold. 
The stay will last until a decision is made whether or not the BLM holds surface rights to the mine, or decides whether those rights were grandfathered-in to the mine's owners. 
The Oath Keepers tell NBC 5 News they're happy the BLM is taking the right steps and they're in the process of moving their security people away from the mine and down to the staging area.
Note - Oath Keepers was founded by former Republican Congressman Ron Paul staffer Stewart Rhodes.

Sont tous les sondages inclinés gauche?

Republicans behind within margin of error on the eve of elections, most times means they're likely to win

by Clifford F. Thies 

Writing in La Presse, André Pratte says that all the polls, not just those in the recent UK election, are biased, favoring left-wing parties at the expense of right-wing parties. He cites recent provincial elections in Alberta and Quebec, this year's election in Israel, and last year's Scottish referendum on independence, in addition to the UK election where the actual results were shocking in view of the pre-election polls. Pratte says this bias is because older voters who tend to vote conservative are more reluctant to share their voting preferences; and, that the intellectual elites beat down conservatives, describing them as reactionaries, haters, greedy, racists, homophobes, Christians, and uninspired when it comes to their sexual position of choice. 

Here in the US, serious bias was found in the 2004 and 2008 polls, both pre-election and exit polls. Some people attributed the bias to clumsy efforts by poll-takers, such as by hiring mostly left-of-center interviewers and not rigidly controlling whom to interview from among those exiting the polling place. Others considered the polls indicative of voter fraud. 

The conduct of polling was interrupted by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, plus there are indications of significant last second changes in voting intention making it difficult to say anything definitive concerning the polls in that cycle. We know that in 2014, the polls were far off in many Senatorial and Gubernatorial elections (or, Goobernatorial in peanut producing states, as given here). 

Consider the following crazy ridiculous off-the-wall and statistically impossible results as compared to "eve of the election" polls: 

  • AR-Sen 17 point actual Republican margin of victory versus 8 point lead in the polls
  • AZ-Gov 12 versus 7 
  • GA-Sen 8 versus 3
  • IL-Gov 5 versus -2 (i.e., the polls showed the Democratic to be ahead) 
  • KS-Sen 11 versus -1 
  • KY-Sen 16 versus 7
  • LA-Sen 12 (in the run-off) versus 5 (pre-first round) 
  • MD-Gov 5 versus -5
  • ME-Gov 5 versus 0 
  • SD-Sen 21 versus 12 
  • VA-Sen -1 versus -8

In other closely-monitored races, the difference between the actual result and the predicted was within the Margin of Error, sometimes to the Republican's advantage and sometimes to the Democrat's. But, in NO case was there an outcome outside of the Margin of Error in the Democrat's favor. This bias conforms to the bias discussed by André Pratte in La Presse. 

Because of frequent huge errors in the polls, the Republican should not be counted out even if down by twice the Margin of Error in the eve of the election polls. In Illinois, the Republican was supposedly down by 2 points, but won rather comfortably. In Kansas, the Republican was down by 1 point, and won in a landslide. In Maryland, the Republican was down by 5 points, and won by 5 points. In Virginia, the Republican was down by 8 points - 8 POINTS! - and came out in a photo finish.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Dem insiders now openly discussing alternative to Hillary Clinton

Fmr. White House official to OC Register staff columnist: "Hillary's campaign is going to implode"

From Eric Dondero: 

And so it begins... Unfortunatly, the staff columnist of the Orange County Register gives no names. But three "former White House officials" is pretty high up there. 

From OC Register, Carl Cannon, "If Hillary Clinton fails, how about Joe?":
For those who care about good government, this is problematic. Eight years ago, Bill and Hillary Clinton hadn’t yet perfected the sophisticated money-making operation that has Republicans salivating and Democrats fretting. 
The details are only now coming to light, but the scheme seems to work like this: Huge corporations and wealthy individuals – and foreign governments – donated millions to the Clintons’ foundation, while also paying Bill huge speaking fees, and then turned around and lobbied the administration in which Hillary was a high-ranking official for various favorable decisions that would generate great profits. The projects we’re talking about range from transnational oil pipelines to uranium mines. Democratic Party professionals are understandably worried about the atmospherics. 
On Thursday, I had lunch with three former White House officials, all Democrats, who were discussing possible alternatives. “Hillary’s campaign is going to implode,” one of them said. The question was who could pick up the pieces. None of my lunch companions gave any love to the three Democrats who have expressed interest in running against Clinton. (If you’re keeping score, that’s former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, former Virginia Sen. James Webb and former Socialist Bernie Sanders, currently representing Vermont in the Senate.)
Editor's comment - Why is this so important? Simple fact: If Hillary drops out, low info Kim Kardashian/Oprah voters will be completely disillusioned.  Do you think that waitress, or that stay-at-home welfare moocher is going to be motivated to come out for Joe Biden, or some no-name former Governor from Maryland?  

Singer Lisa Loeb: Forget the grad school ladies, forget the overachieving fast track in the corporate world, better to make babies when you're young

From Eric Dondero: 

Well, well. Call it a triumph of simple human biology over "enlightened" 2015 political correctness. Lisa Loeb doesn't go into details, but it's clear, giving birth in her 40s was much more difficult than she could have ever realized. 

From Huffington Post, "Lisa Loeb: If You Want Children, Do It Sooner Rather Than Later":
"I hate to say it because I want women to be able to do anything whenever they want, but if you want to have your own child, it's something that you really do need to focus on -- the sooner, the better," she says in the above video from "Oprah: Where Are They Now?" 
Having children earlier in life, rather than waiting as she did, is advice that Loeb has offered to her younger friends who seem to be debating their family timeline. 
"I have friends who are getting into their later 30s and they don't have kids yet, [but] they want kids," Loeb says. "I say, 'Sometimes you need to make decisions about how you're spending your time.'"
Oh, and she married a Jew boy named Roey Hershkovitz. They had two kids when both were in their 40s. 

Just a cruel fact of life: A guy's schmeckle works just fine well into late life, unlike a female's ovaries. 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Who stands with Rand?

H/t The Blaze
by Clifford F. Thies 

According to the 4th Amendment of the Bill of Rights, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." With regard to the first part, there is some wiggle room since the people are only protected against "unreasonable" searches and seizures. 

In its first telephone wiretap case (Olmstead v. United States, 1928), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the government did NOT require a warrant. But, in a subsequent case (Katz v. United States, 1967), the Supreme Court ruled YES a wiretap requires a warrant. Significantly, a physical intrusion was not necessary to necessitate a warrant, only an expectation of privacy. The widespread use of passwords and encryption in email messages, financial records and electronic fund transfers would seem to make our digital communications, records and transactions covered by the 4th Amendment, just like our phone conversations. 

The second part, the necessary characteristics of a warrant, seems to prohibit the bulk collection of information. I say "seems" only because the U.S. Supreme Court has not yet ruled on the matter. But, the next highest level of court, the U.S. Court of Appeals, the Second Circuit thereof, has ruled and has declared the bulk collection of data to be illegal. The ruling came on May 7th. It was a singular victory for the rule of law and a testimony to the wisdom of having an independent judiciary. The judges of the Second Circuit said that bulk collection was never authorized by Congress and wasn't even known to the American people until Eric Snowden blew the whistle on the government. President Obama, as a candidate, said he opposed massive wiretapping, but changed his mind when he put on the ring of power. 

Today, he could immediately put an end to this illegal operation. But, no, he asks Congress for authorization to so he can continue bulk collection of information. The toadies over in the House of Representatives did Obama's bidding. Yes, that's correct, Obama and the House Republican leadership. Over in the Senate, the Republican leadership was all set to pass the House bill without debate, sending it to the White House for the President's signature. The bill includes a "compromise" on bulk collection of information. Instead of the NSA routinely gathering and data-basing phone calls, internet messages, financial transactions and what have you, these would be kept by the providers until subpoenaed, with the subpoena collecting all records "relevant" to whatever the government is suspicious. No need to identify the person, place or thing to be seized. It was reported that the judges of the Second Circuit laughed at this idea.

Accordingly, on May 21st, during debate on a trade measure, Senator Rand Paul, when he was recognized, began what turned into a 10 1/2 hour speech on privacy. It was awesome. The physical aspect of his speech was truly impressive. The intellectual component engaging. His intent was to gain the attention of the nation, the people of which are overwhelmingly opposed to the government spying on them. Just as the establishment politicians of both parties covet power, the people of both parties, as well as independents, are opposed to the government's overreach of power. Then, on the evening of May 22nd came two votes. First, on approving the House bill, the motion to close debate and proceed directly to a vote (needing 60 votes), failed 57 to 42. A second vote, to close debate and proceed to a vote on a short extension then utterly failed 35 to 54. 

Joining Rand Paul on the first vote were 40 fellow Republicans and independent Angus King of Maine. To be sure, some of the "nay" votes were from Republican security hawks who opposed any curtailment of the government's bulk collection of information. All 44 Democrats, independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and nine Republicans voted "aye," some of them thinking the so-called compromise was the best that could be achieved. On the second vote, most Senators flip-flopped. All the Democrats voted "nay," as did the two independents, Rand Paul and nine other Republicans. The only Senators standing with Rand both times were Mike Crapo of Montana, Steve Daines of Montana (photo), Mike Lee of Utah (photo), and Jerry Moran of Kansas. 

Politics makes strange bedfellows, especially when you're a libertarian. The Senate will return to the matter on Sunday, May 31st, the day the Patriot Act is set to expire.