We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Monday, July 24. 2017
Bear chases 200 sheep over cliff edge
Where was the shepherd?
Killing feral horses
Falling in love with your friend’s spouse?
Charlie Gard And The Experts
Vatican archbishop: All should accept that global warming is a fact
Hot Temperatures In Summer Have Been Declining For Decades
Former UN climate chief: Only three years left to save the planet
Ozone Hole was life or death issue
The 'Amazon Washington Post,' and Why It Needs to Be Destroyed
ICE Plans Crackdown On Teen Gang Members, Which Is Apparently A Bad Thing Or Something
Dear Sanctuary Cities: ICE Is “Open For Business”
AN ANTI-KOCH RAMPAGE AT WAKE FOREST
Professor Wants to Combat Merit by Basing Admissions on Lottery
A Word of Thanks From a Welfare Recipient
‘Buy American’ has little meaning in today’s world of globalized supply chains
Remembering a WSJ Pulitzer winner: Joseph Rago’s column on the wacky comparisons between Trump and ‘1984’
Will Progressive Democrats Abandon Busybody Dream Of Perfecting Humanity?
To read Frank Rich and Maureen Dowd is to return to highschool, where eye-rolling is argument, and lack of style is a sin.
Mueller found the man (Trump), now he’ll find the crime - If Bloomberg News report is accurate as to expanded probe of Trump, then we’re heading into Soviet territory.
Germany: NO GROPING, DAMN IT!
A New Look at the Death of Europe
Poland appears to be dismantling its own hard-won democracy
Dutch Euthanasia is “Killing”
Israeli 'mental first-aid' method offered to attack victims abroad
Operation Good Neighbor: Israel reveals its massive humanitarian aid to Syria
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Love reading the articles and links and always thankful for what y'all do but I'm very skeptical of anything from the Washington Post or NY Times or any MSM outlet.
for instance the Polish article. Wonder if they would be so upset if a Far Left group had more power. Doubt it.
Thanks again for all you do. I try to tell lots of people about the page. Just wish there was a tip jar somewhere to help pay for things.
Basically, anything that reports an "anonymous" or "unnamed" source you can pretty much assume is fake. If a source is not identified, that means neither the "source" nor the media has the integrity to stand behind the story, so it is worthless.
Jim: Basically, anything that reports an "anonymous" or "unnamed" source you can pretty much assume is fake. If a source is not identified, that means neither the "source" nor the media has the integrity to stand behind the story, so it is worthless.
That is overly broad. There is a difference between being skeptical of anonymous sourcing and simply rejecting it as false.
Journalists develop relationships with people in government. Quite often those sources have ulterior motives, but even then, the information may be accurate. It is quite possible for journalists to be played (e.g. aluminum tubes and Iraq), but other times, anonymous sourcing has revealed information of some importance to the public (e.g. Deep Throat). There are legitimate reasons why sources don't want to be named, and journalists have to evaluate the trustworthiness of their sources.
Generally, the greater the number of independent sources, the more specified the source, the more reliable the information tends to be. The track record of the journalist or media outlet should also be considered; for instance, do they retract a story when it is shown to be false? Listen to the response to the story. If the denials are vague or non-responsive, it suggests that the story is close to the truth.
Or you can just be making it up, which has been the case with almost all of these stories. No attribution--no credibility, that should be the rule.
Remember that story about the Yemen raid producing no intelligence? Journos were super-psyched about it when it broke on Twitter - "10 SOURCES!" Then named sources contradicted it. Sad.
Jim: Or you can just be making it up, which has been the case with almost all of these stories.
As an example, let's look at a current news story. Kushner just confirmed previous reports that he met with Russians connected to the Kremlin during the presidential campaign; and that he sought to set up a communications line at the Russian embassy to bypass U.S. channels.
Yep, and he's voluntarily testifying to the Sente committee.
Meanwhile, Glenn Simpson, whose Fusion GPS firm has been tied to anti-Trump efforts and pro-Russian lobbying, will not talk to lawmakers in response to a subpoena, the leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committe said Friday.
"Simpson's attorney has asserted that his client will invoke his Fifth Amendment rights in response to the subpoena," Grassley and Feinstein said.
drowningpuppies: Yep, and he's voluntarily testifying to the Sente committee.
The claim was that anonymous leaks should be considered false, when, in fact, the leaks have largely been true, especially on the broad story. And the leaks have forced the Trump Administration to slowly admit to facts once those facts can no longer be denied. In particular, they had claimed for months that there were no contacts between the Trump campaign and the Russians, and that was just not true.
The claim was there was no collusion.
So far there is no evidence, circumstantial or otherwise, that any collusion occurred.
Kushner is testifying to that while under oath.
drowningpuppies: So far there is no evidence, circumstantial or otherwise, that any collusion occurred.
This subthread concerns the reliability of anonymous sources.
Where was the sheep dog? A Pyrenean or Spanish Mastiff preferably.
So the term "Sheeple" comes to mind. Blindly following others. Sounds like a lot of stupid progressives I know. Or in fake news the bear could represent Russia, the sheep would be all of those who will lose healthcare under the republicans, or they could be grany being pushed off the cliff by Paul Ryan, or... wait aminute we need to get Mueller in here to investigate.
" ‘Buy American’ has little meaning in today’s world of globalized supply chains." There is a lot of truth in this and it has been true for a long time.
Take it from someone who had the aggravation of dealing with Conflict Minerals legislation. The last thing you want is "Made in America" legislation that is the equivalent of Conflict Minerals, in regards to paper work. OTOH, like Conflict Minerals, it would create a new consulting industry and a lot of fake useless make work paper shuffling jobs (albeit of the electronic kind).
"A Word of Thanks from a welfare recipient"
It is a good thing that people like this feel empowered to use youtube to express their feelings. There are still too many people who buy the left wing meme that welfare is necessary to help the poor and feed the hungry. It's not. Welfare is and always was a simple trade of free stuff for votes. That is bad enough and reason enough to end it but it is so much worse as this woman demonstrates. It turns them into useless, uneducated, unproductive dregs of humanity. What the left does to the welfare underclass for their votes is inhumane and should end. It is the modern version of slavery and is disgusting.
There will always be an underclass and if we must help them than we must do it in a way that improves their lives and not destroys it. Replace welfare with workfare. Allow them to know the satisfaction of working productively and to learn what it takes to survive and become self sufficient. Save their children from being raised by these human throwbacks and instead give them real parents and role models to grow up with.
workfare = job. I'm all for it. I'm all for charity. I am totally against any kind of welfare or subsidies. They are just a way of enslaving working people for the benefit of those who don't work. Why should we expect people who got that deal to have any respect for their slaves. They enslaved the rest of us and didn't even have to spend a dime. The slave owners of old didn't even get that deal!
Will Progressive Democrats Abandon Busybody Dream Of Perfecting Humanity?
FLASHBACK: Hillary Clinton Ordered Mueller To Deliver Uranium To Russians In ‘Secret Tarmac Meeting’
Sam L: No surprise that you're good with that.
In other words, you can't explain why it's a problem that the U.S. provided Russia with a ten-gram sample in order to determine the source of the stolen material.
Russia manufactures its own highly enriched uranium, with stockpiles of about 679 tonnes.
Lets see... Compare a secret meeting to deliver uranium to our avowed enemy vs Trump telling a joke about the Russians having Hillary's emails... Hmmmmm! I can't decide which is worse. Of course knowing the back story that Hillary sold off 25% of the U.S. uranium supply to Russia for a huge kickback which the Clinton's money laundered does kinda tip the scale towards the dirt bag Hillary.
I have an idea! Let's appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary's/Bill's crimes and set no limits into what they investigate. Someone like Judge Jeanine Pirro who would no doubt be scrupulously honest (as opposed to Mueller who is clearly biased and out to unconstitutionally overthrow an elected president).
I like it. Trump should fire back. Hell he should get a prosecutor to investigate Obama too and Rice and Eric Holder and other's on his staff/cabinet. A dozen special prosecutors, maybe two dozen. Fight fire with fire.
GoneWithTheWind: Compare a secret meeting to deliver uranium to our avowed enemy vs Trump telling a joke about the Russians having Hillary's emails
The transfer of the uranium was due to cooperation between Russian, Georgian, and U.S. law enforcement, and entirely appropriate.
Katy Tur asked whether Trump had "any qualms" about asking a foreign government to hack into a U.S. system. Trump said, "Nope. If they have them, they have them. Trump wasn't kidding.
GoneWithTheWind: Let's appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary's/Bill's crimes and set no limits into what they investigate.
Both Clintons have been extensively investigated over decades.
Z: Katy Tur asked whether Trump had "any qualms" about asking a foreign government to hack into a U.S. system. Trump said, "Nope. If they have them, they have them. Trump wasn't kidding.
Which "U.S. system?" You mean there could have been a "U.S. system" that contained subpoenaed information (Hillary's deleted emails) that the FBI was trying to find other than Hillary's private email server that the FBI had? Since the FBI had the server, it was offline and therefore not "hackable."
This is one of the more stupid attack lines the Democrats and their sycophants have advanced.
mudbug: Since the FBI had the server, it was offline and therefore not "hackable."
As we know that the Russians hacked the DNC, it is possible they also had already hacked the Clinton server. Trump was clearly asking for the Russians to release emails they had stolen.
In the first place, you are taking Crowdstrike's word that it was the Russians. They were hired by the DNC and neither of us know the actual details of their agreement. The DNC hasn't allowed the FBI or any intelligence agencies to inspect their server which is suspicious. Without independent corroboration, especially from the FBI or an intelligence agency (which was under Democratic control) Crowdstrike's report doesn't actually shed any light on the situation.
In the second place:
Z: ... it is possible they also had already hacked the Clinton server. Trump was clearly asking for the Russians to release emails they had [already] stolen.
Here, you make my point. Thank you.
Trump was clearly asking for the Russians to release emails they had stolen.
Even if your mischaracterization were true, so what?
mudbug: In the first place, you are taking Crowdstrike's word that it was the Russians.
No. Western intelligence services from many countries have identified the Russians as the source of repeated cyber-attacks against the U.S. and European countries.
mudbug: Here, you make my point.
We certainly grant the point.
mudbug: Even if your mischaracterization were true, so what?
Inviting an adversarial foreign power to interfere in a U.S. election by releasing emails they stole is a threat to U.S. sovereignty and to its democratic institutions.
Kidz, you're mixing up your attributions again.
Nevertheless, even if your mischaracterizations were true, please explain how U.S. sovereignty and our democratic institutions were threatened.
drowningpuppies: please explain how U.S. sovereignty and our democratic institutions were threatened.
Seriously? The Russians broke into the DNC and stole internal documents. Of course it's a threat to sovereignty.
So you won't or can't provide an answer as to how U.S. sovereignty and our democratic institutions were threatened.
Handwaving is not an argument.
We had free and open elections, did we not?
drowningpuppies: So you won't or can't provide an answer as to how U.S. sovereignty and our democratic institutions were threatened
What? We just did. Breaking into the DNC to steal emails is a direct violation of national sovereignty, and a threat to democratic institutions.
An overly broad non-answer...
Even if your allegations of Russian hacking are true, in what way were U.S. sovereignty and our democratic institutions threatened?
Did we not have free, fair and open elections?
Handwaving is not an argument.
drowningpuppies: Even if your allegations of Russian hacking are true, in what way were U.S. sovereignty and our democratic institutions threatened?
Are you just trolling? How is foreign government agents breaking into the DNC not a violation of sovereignty?
Well, you made the accusation and your only answer was it threatened U.S. sovereignty and our democratic institutions because "we say so".
Did we not have a free, fair, and open election?
If so, how was our sovereignty and democratic institutions threatened?
drowningpuppies: you made the accusation and your only answer was it threatened U.S. sovereignty and our democratic institutions because "we say so".
Not because "we say so", but because foreign agents violated U.S. law by breaking into computer servers on U.S. soil with the intent of interfering with the internal matters, elections, of the U.S.
sovereignty, the authority of a state to govern itself.
sovereignty, the authority of a state to govern itself.
So the U.S. no longer has the authority to govern itself?
Our democratic institutions are no longer valid?
Did we or did we not have free, fair and open elections?
drowningpuppies: So the U.S. no longer has the authority to govern itself?
That's the point, of course. Foreign agents violating the law to break into servers on U.S. soil is a threat to that sovereignty, as already stated.
No, the point is y'all cannot answer simple questions.
Her Thighness lost and y'all are looking for excuses.
There's no evidence the Russians interfered with the election of Donald Trump nor colluded with his campaign nor threatened the sovereignty of the U.S. or our democratic institutions.
drowningpuppies: There's no evidence the Russians interfered with the election of Donald Trump
You are being inconsistent. Your question presupposed Russian interference.
The vast majority of experts in the field of cyber-security disagree with you. Indeed, intelligence agencies in the U.S. and Europe agree that Russia has embarked on a policy of cyber-warfare against other countries, including fragile new democracies in eastern Europe.
Did we or did we not have a free, fair and open election?
You keep tap dancing around the answer.
Please see the response below.
drowningpuppies: Did we or did we not have a free, fair and open election?
Whether the U.S. election was fair and open (though not its legality) is still a question under investigation. We know a foreign adversarial government surreptitiously interfered in the election. What is not known is how far they infiltrated into the Trump campaign. However, we do know that senior members of the Trump campaign met with Russians closely associated with the Kremlin as "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump".
The reason this is important is because there is every indication that the Russians will continue to use cyber-warfare against democratic countries, including against the U.S. and Europe, an attack on sovereignty and a threat to democratic institutions. The Trump Administration is ignoring the importance of this issue, leaving the U.S. and its allies vulnerable to further attack.
Yet several intelligence officials from the Obama administration — former CIA director John Brennan, former FBI director James Comey, and former director of national intelligence James Clapper — asserted that they had found no evidence of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign to rig the election.
drowningpuppies: Yet several intelligence officials from the Obama administration — former CIA director John Brennan, former FBI director James Comey, and former director of national intelligence James Clapper — asserted that they had found no evidence of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign to rig the election.
Brennan: I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals and it raised questions in my mind, again, whether or not the Russians were able to gain the cooperation of those individuals.
We now the Russians were the source of the hacks of the DNC, which they were using to interfere with the election. There is evidence they were also probing voter ballot systems. We also now know that Trump Jr. was willing to collude with the Russian government.
No, this proverbial "we" knows nothing but assumptions based on biased media reports from anonymous sources and a smear campaign supplied by Fusion GPS and promoted by disgruntled Democrats and Obama holdovers.
Has the DNC handed over their "hacked" server yet to the FBI?
Well why not and don't repeat that bullshit about Crowdstrike, m'kay?
Could it have something to do with the Awan clan's access to said server?
Y'all really need to keep up.
#188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.1 drowningpuppies on 2017-07-28 09:22 (Reply)
drowningpuppies: No, this proverbial "we" knows nothing but assumptions based on biased media reports from anonymous sources and a smear campaign supplied by Fusion GPS and promoted by disgruntled Democrats and Obama holdovers
Hold it now. You referred to Brennan. We merely quoted him. So you deflect, again.
We know that senior members of the Trump campaign met with Russians closely associated with the Kremlin as "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump".
#188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.1.1 Zachriel on 2017-07-28 09:49 (Reply)
Re the ozone hole. Remember that Freon was banned because of the ozone hole and it was all based on computer models. Alas, the ozone hole ignored the computer models and continued to do whatever it wanted to do.
"iGen is also growing up more slowly than previous generations: eighteen-year-olds look and act like fifteen-year-olds used to."
Interesting. My friend has a daughter who is 14 and I am frequently struck by her lack of development (very sheltered, emotionally immature, no interest in dating, never done any paid work). Her behavior and reactions are those that I would consider to be that of a twelve-year-old. It's like she should be entering seventh grade instead of starting high school in a few weeks.
I always just thought that it was due to poor parenting (Mom and Dad are her 'friends'), but apparently it's a much larger thing. Or maybe there's just a lot of really poor parenting going on.
With regard to the admissions lottery idea, I've actually thought for several years that a lottery might be a fairer system than that currently employed by elite universities as a means of selecting applicants. My aim in arguing for that--unlike the professor cited in the article above--is NOT to do away with merit as a criteria, but rather to create more transparency in the process.
In other words, rather than awarding people extra points for "cultural diversity" (or whatever the current fashionable trend may be at the moment), admissions offices would have to set concrete minimum standards for admissions.
For example, imagine if an admissions office spelled out clearly: you must have a GPA of at least X, your course work must include so many credits in these fields and we expect they would include at least so from among the following AP courses, your SAT score needs to at least be in this range, and you must meet certain requirements in terms of extracurricular activities.
This article from the Atlantic a few years ago makes a similar point, as do the comments by Jeff G. and Larry K. beneath it.
SAT score. That's what prevents your idea from becoming a reality.
Don't expect this to change.
I imagine you are referring to the fact that members of certain minority groups would have a dearth of scores over that threshold, whereas some groups (Asians) are over-represented at the high end of the score distribution. Of course the logic behind the sort of lottery I describe is that either the school would set the cut-off high enough so as to eliminate a number of applicants, or they'd have to acknowledge that students with a much lower score than they like to report are routinely admitted on the basis of ethnic status or because they check off one box or another (athletes, etc.).
Of course, they could do what one of the commenters on the Atlantic article suggests and have a sliding scale linking grades and SAT scores with a certain admissions percentage, but then, of course, they'd probably still end up admitting fewer members of the minority groups they want because many more students would be deemed qualified.
Why not restrict/eliminate all non citizen enrollments first? Simple question. If there isn't enough slots in our higher education system for our own citizens why allow any college to enroll foreigners and non-citizen residents to even apply?
"Where was the shepherd?"
At home, in bed, exhausted from the effort of getting that stupid bear to chase his worthless sheep over the cliffs so he could claim government compensation for a herd of prize sheep.
Old western Canadian farming joke: How do you change a worthless scrub bull into a very valuable champion bull? Answer: Have him hit by a train.