Friday, July 26, 2019

Relativity Bites

Where does the cart go, relative to the horse? Democrats seem to be having a hard time figuring that out.

They have decided that it is essential to impeach Donald Trump, but they are having trouble coming up with a specific crime upon which to base the impeachment. They keep throwing shit against the wall, and all of it just slides down and lands on the floor. Except that which they throw in the fan. We all know where that ends up.

They also pursue racial equality by claiming that white people are evil. Somehow, they cannot see how that misses the boat.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Due Process

I made the mistake of watching the Mueller testimony on NBC this morning, and so was forced to hear Jake Tapper yammering about the “vast right wing propaganda machine” afterward. Fortunately, I had already finished my coffee by the time he came up with that one. I also got to hear about the Democrats on the panel, “failing to counter falsehoods from the Republicans” on the panel.

Here are some of the “falsehoods” that the Democrats “failed to counter.” I would actually have enjoyed seeing them try.

One Republican questioned why Mueller had gone to such a major effort to say that the investigation was unable to prove beyond doubt that Trump was innocent of obstruction of justice. Given that our system of justice requires a prosecutor to investigate and prove guilt, not innocence, because the latter is presumed, it was strange for the report to declare that, “If we had found enough evidence to declare him innocent, we would have said so.” In fact, no such evidence is actually needed.

He went on to refute Mueller’s claim that the investigation could not make a determination of guilt or innocence because of an OLC policy that a sitting president cannot be indicted, given that Mueller had made a determination on the issue of complicity with Russian meddling in the election. Claiming that the OLC memo permitted Mueller to make a decision one issue but prohibited him from doing so on another issue is indefensible.

Another Republican made the point that even if Trump did interfere with Mueller, he was not obstructing justice since what Mueller was doing was not justice. Given that Trump knew that he had not been complicit with the Russians, he was actually trying to prevent Mueller from perpetrating an injustice. I’m not sure there’s a valid legal point here, but for someone who thinks of justice in terms of right versus wrong… I’d say the Democrats were wise not to argue this point.

Yet another Republican pointed out that Mueller’s report acknowledged that Joseph Mifsud lied to the investigation not once, but at least three times, but that he was never charged with lying to investigators. Most of the people who were indicted were indicted for lying, but Mifsud, who started the whole “collusion” mess, was never charged for lying. This questioner wanted to know why, which Mueller refused to say, and suggested that it was because Mifsud was actually a founder of the conspiracy to begin with.

Democrats beat the drum endlessly about Trump’s efforts to fire Mueller, or have him removed, but even Mueller admitted that firing the head of the investigation would not have stopped the investigation. He admitted that he himself interviewed “very few” of the witnesses, so it’s pretty hard to say that firing him would even have hindered the investigation. It’s pretty hard to claim Trump's animus for Mueller as “obstruction,” then, and no one even claims that Trump tried to disband the investigation itself.

Democrats were the ones more prone to introducing falsehoods, with several of them charging Trump with witness tampering based on phrases including things that “could support an inference” of some evil intent or another. Let me repeat that concept upon which they want to convict President Trump, namely that something could support an inference that…”

We don’t need no steenkin’ “due process.”

Mueller was all over the place with his inability to charge Trump with obstruction of justice. First he said that it was due to an OLC memo that a sitting president cannot be indicted. The implication of that seemed to be that if he was not president he would have been indicted, which caused him to get that “deer in the headlights" look and stammer out a different answer.

The second answer was that due to that memo he could not even evaluate the evidence as to whether or not it constituted a crime. If he concluded that it did, said so, and did not indict, it would be unfair because in effect the president would be charged but would not be able to defend himself in court.

(That sort of conflicts with the fact that he did evaluate the evidence on “collusion” and say there wasn’t enough to indict. It also begs the question of why, if you cannot even evaluate the evidence, are you spending two years and tens of millions of dollars collecting it?)

Anyway, his thing about self defense sounds very noble, but he seems perfectly okay with accumulating as much garbage as he can and dumping it out for public consumption and then pulling a Pontius Pilate by washing his hands and saying, “Here it is, and I’m not going to comment on whether he’s a crook or not. Hint, hint hint, wink wink.”

Which sounds impartial, but actually makes him an asshole.

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

A Couple of Thoughts

An article today says "brain waste is cleared most effectively when sleeping on one's side," so people who sleep that way have less trash in their brain and are less prone to Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other brain diseases. I'm not so sure about that. I sleep on my side, but I have Parkinson's and, according to my wife, my brain is full of all sorts of trash.

On a related note, my since she retired my wife is on a house organizing spree. She's doing a very nice job, and I'm loving the results, until she told me that she is "throwing out everything that's old and worn out." I found that statement rather alarming until she assured me that no, that did not include me.

Interestingly, she did not claim that I am not old and worn out, merely that she is not throwing me out.

Sunday, July 07, 2019

Pushing Their Agenda

The “big one” occurred at Daytona today when Clint Bowyer attempted to pass Austin Dillon for the lead and Dillon attempted to cut him off to prevent the pass, a move known as “blocking,” causing a wreck which destroyed some twenty race cars. Blocking is against the rules in most forms of auto racing, but not in NASCAR, where it is very common.

And very destructive, as today’s wreck illustrates, which is why most forms of auto racing have rules prohibiting it. I’ve never quite figured out why NASCAR refuses to prohibit it, and they’ve never offered an explanation.

When the wreck occurred the announcing staff went to great length to offer reason why they thought Dillon was not blocking. The reasons included that when Bowyer crossed Dillon’s rear from right to left it somehow caused Dillon’s car to turn left, but only after Bowyer then pulled up alongside him. They also said that Dillon did not go left on purpose, but that Bowyer’s car being nearby had caused Dillon’s car to go out of control and Dillon was just, “saving the car.” A third explanation was that being passed caused a loss of control which caused Dillon to become, “just a passenger.”

When somebody gives you no fewer than three reasons for something, you can be pretty sure than none of them are true. When you are telling the truth, you only have one story – you don’t need three.

Sure enough, the drivers involved sort of destroyed the announcers’ fantasy when interviewed while the carnage was being cleaned up. Bowyer said that Dillon was not only blocking, but that he did so twice. Dillon himself admitted that he was blocking and that yes, it was pretty stupid. The announcers were sort of nonplussed by that.

The announcers had been prating all day that blocking was a feature of racing at Daytona; that it was exciting, necessary, and in fact entirely desirable. They were even severely critical of one driver for not blocking when another driver attempted to pass him for the lead, and succeeded.

So when Dillon blocking Bowyer caused a massive wreck, if the announcers had been willing to admit that he was blocking it would have destroyed their little fantasy about how wonderful a feature blocking is at Daytona. They would have been pointing out that it had just caused a massive wreck.

This all proves that the announcing crew for NBC is no better than the one at Fox. They are more concerned with pushing their agenda than they are with informing the viewer as to what is happening.

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Making Points Backwards

My blogging diminished for a while because there seemed little that was really worth talking about, but the Democratic primary election process starting up has produced an embarrassment of riches. This thing is a real clown parade.

Today’s thought is Kamela Harris and her thoughts on what she should do as president to “protect and defend the constitution” of the nation. Pertinent to the point I plan to make is that the constitution specifically says that all powers not specifically designated to the federal government are reserved to the states.

Harris stated this past week that she believed that yes, the federal government should return to imposing federally mandated school busing. She didn’t say so specifically, but one would assume that she wants that done by the Department of Education, since she used the phrase “return to” and it was the DoE which did it in the past. Her reason for the need for it was that, “is that if the states won’t do it then the federal government needs to step up.”

This is not an argument about what is right or wrong about school busing, it is about the federal government and its power over the states. Harris’ position would seem to indicate that she sees states as nothing more that geographical divisions of the nation, and does not acknowledge the right of states to exist as political entities, acting in accordance with the principles and beliefs of the people of each state.

This is the same person however who, as Attorney General of California, informed the law enforcement community of that state, all law enforcement agencies, that they were not required to comply with federal laws or assist federal officers in dealing with issues related to persons in this nation without permission. She went even further and said that not only were they not required to do so, but they were specifically forbidden to do so and, since hers is a “sanctuary state,” they were permitted to hinder the efforts of federal officers in their efforts to enforce federal laws.

Again, this is not an argument about what is wrong or right at the border, but is about the balance of power between federal and states. This action makes it very clear that Harris believes states have the right not only to act politically in accordance with their own principles and beliefs, but to do so in direct opposition to federal laws.

She is inconsistent. Not only does she say on one issue that states are sovereign, while saying on another issue the federal government is, but she is inconsistent in a manner precisely backwards from where she would be if she were reading the constitution.

The issue of immigration control and naturalization is specifically designated to the federal government by the constitution, and yet Kamela Harris claims that her state can ignore the government’s laws on that issue and follow its own policies instead.

The constitution is silent on the issue of education, leaving that as an issue to be controlled by states, and yet Harris is adamant that states do not have the right to implement their own policies in the conduct of that process.

I think we all know what the real problem is here. The real problem is that she is not thinking about these issues at all, but is simply using them as “stalking horses” in a manner that will pander to constituencies and secure votes for her path to the presidency. They are merely talking points to be used as steps toward the power of the White House.