Thursday, June 20, 2019

Reparations not for slavery

To understand the current call for reparations.

Reparations is where people who never owned slaves, whose parents never owned slaves and whose gradparents never owned slaves...

Pay cash to people who never were slaves, whose parents never were slaves and whose grandparents never were slaves...

Furthermore… Some of those who pay had ancestors who fought - some died - in the Civil War to free the slaves….

And some of those who would receive had ancestors who owned slaves. Some of these have white great grandparents who owned slaves, including Barack Obama. (His great…grandfather George Washington Overall owned slaves in Kentucky The Guardian.) And there were free black people who owned slaves. 

It doesn’t make any sense at all to me. What do all those congresspeople want? And why?

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Boz Scaggs - a great star still going

I saw Boz Scaggs live in New York City in 1971 or 72. He was great then and - wow - 47 years later he still is and at age 75 is traveling.

Scott Johnson at Powerline reports on several live performances and recordings and has some video links.

Powerline Blog

Monday, June 10, 2019

America: #56 In Mass Shootings

No. The US is not above all other countries for mass shootings. We are way down the list. The “researcher” who claimed that the US has 31% of the shootings with only 5% of the population conveniently made little use of non-English-language sources. In the NY Post John Lott and Michael Weisser dig in:

Lankford’s claim received coverage in hundreds of news stories all over the world. It still gets regular coverage. Purporting to cover all mass public shootings around the world from 1966 to 2012, Lankford claimed that the United States had 31 percent of public mass shooters despite having less than 5 percent of the population.

But this isn’t nearly correct. The whole episode should provide a cautionary tale of academic malpractice and how evidence is often cherry-picked and not questioned when it fits preconceived ideas.

Lankford’s study reported that over the 47 years there were 90 public mass shooters in the United States and 202 in the rest of world. Lankford hasn’t released his list of shootings or even the number of cases by country or year. We and others, both in academia and the media, have asked Lankford for his list, only to be declined. He has also declined to provide lists of the news sources and languages he used to compile his list of cases.

These omissions are important because Lankford’s entire conclusion would fall apart if he undercounted foreign cases due to lack of news coverage and language barriers.

Lankford cites a 2012 New York Police Department report which he claims is “nearly comprehensive in its coverage of recent decades.” He also says he supplemented the data and followed “the same data collection methodology employed by the NYPD.” But the NYPD report warns that its own researchers “limited [their] Internet searches to English-language sites, creating a strong sampling bias against international incidents,” and thus under-count foreign mass shootings.

Does Lankford’s paper also have that problem?

 Yes. .

Lankford’s data grossly undercount foreign attacks. We found 1,423 attacks outside the United States. Looking at just a third of the time Lankford studied, we still found 15 times as many shooters.

Even when we use coding choices that are most charitable to Lankford, such as excluding any cases of insurgencies or battles over territory, his estimate of the US share of shooters falls from 31 percent to 1.43 percent. It also accounts for 2.1 percent of murders, and 2.88 percent of their attacks. All these are much less than the United States’ 4.6 percent share of the population.

Of the 86 countries where we have identified mass public shootings, the US ranks 56th per capita in its rate of attacks and 61st in mass public shooting murder rate. Norway, Finland, Switzerland and Russia all have at least 45 percent higher rates of murder from mass public shootings than the United States.

"Why does the U.S. have a relatively low incidence of mass shootings compared with most other countries? One possible answer is our widespread gun ownership, combined with liberal concealed carry laws. Would-be mass shooters in the U.S. tend to gravitate toward ‘gun-free’ zones like schools, where they know they will have the only weapon. In most public places in the U.S., unlike most other countries, a would-be shooter faces the material possibility that he will not be the only one with a firearm. If we did away with the folly of the ‘gun-free zone,’ our numbers would probably be even better."

(Via.) America: #56 In Mass Shootings | Power Line:

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Didn't China sign the Paris Climate Accords?

"As we speak, President Trump is negotiating a trade deal with China. 

I hope that he's reminding China why the U.S. pulled out of the Paris Climate Accords.  President Trump was right when he said that the agreement had no enforcement mechanism against countries like China.

This is the latest about China and their 'commitment' to environmental concerns:  

Chinese factories are pumping tons of dangerous chemicals into the air despite an international agreement intended to halt the destruction of the ozone layer, a study released on Wednesday said.

Two provinces in China have been cited as a source of a spike in emissions of a globally banned chemical chlorofluorocarbon, according to the study, published in the journal Nature.

‘This is a huge problem,’ a State Department official told the Washington Post. ‘If it’s a problem in another country, we’re also going to be suffering.’

I'm sure that it impacts other countries but does China care?  I don't think so, and that's precisely why the Paris Accords are flawed."

Didn't China sign the Paris Climate Accords?:

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Obstruction score card - Bill Clinton 4, President Trump 0

Bill Clinton was investigated by Independent Counsel Ken Starr. Starr reported that he found evidence of eleven cases of obstruction of justice; four of them cited were perjury in court deposition, perjury before grand jury and two cases of interfering with a witness. In the Mueller investigation he did not report any such violation.

Below Bob Barr who was a Representative in 1997 explains the difference:

Bob Barr: Trump shouldn’t be impeached, but Bill Clinton’s impeachment was justified – Here’s why | Fox News:

… The House Judiciary Committee hearings established as well, and also among other offenses, that Clinton ‘corruptly engaged in … a scheme to conceal evidence that had been subpoenaed in a federal civil rights action brought against him.’

Contrast the extensive record of specific acts by President Clinton to corruptly influence ongoing legal proceedings in federal court (the Paula Jones case and the independent counsel grand jury proceedings), with the obstruction currently alleged to have been committed by President Trump.

All allegations of obstruction leveled at Trump arise from something far less legally substantive than the circumstance under which Clinton was impeached. There is no legal proceeding against Trump in which he has been alleged to have corruptly acted; there is only an investigation (of collusion with Russia) by Mueller that found nothing prosecutable against the current president.

Moreover, there are no civil proceedings targeting President Trump in which he is alleged to have corruptly acted, as existed in the 1998 case against President Clinton.

Clinton did far more than lash out at his tormentors, who included Starr. And Clinton’s actions went far beyond indirectly urging his tormentors to stop mistreating him and those in his administration. These allegations are the essence of the obstruction charges House Democrats now seek to advance against Trump.

I realize all this is complicated and may be hard to follow. But the bottom line is this President Clinton interfered in a judicial proceeding against himself, and President Trump did not. For this reason, Clinton deserved to be impeached but Trump does not.

The Founding Fathers deliberately made the impeachment process very difficult. They did not want impeachment used as a tool to enable Congress to easily remove the president over policy and political disagreements.

Congressional Democrats opposed to President Trump have every right to vote against his legislative proposals, to challenge his actions in office with lawsuits, and to work to defeat him in the November 2020 election. But right now they don’t have grounds to impeach him.

Former Rep. Bob Barr was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Georgia from 1995 to 2003. He is now president of the Law Enforcement Education Foundation. 

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Counting all the votes in Florida

Florida is counting and recounting votes for senator and governor. We hear over and over “We just need to count all the votes.” From the Democrats on behalf the of candidates who are behind. I oppose what they want to do. Because they don’t tell you something very important: when they say that they mean to count illegal ballots and invalid ballots.

Illegal ballots. Only registered voters can vote. Noncitizens cannot vote. 
- You can vote only once; a second vote in the same election is illegal. 
- Felons: In Florida it is very difficult for a person convicted of a felony to regain the right to vote, so it is illegal for most to vote. (This provision is about to change.)

Invalid ballots. There is a deadline for mail-in ballots to arrive; a late ballot is invalid; cannot be counted. 
- Signature: The signature when voting is checked against the one collected when registering; non matching signature makes the ballot invalid. (Washington has a process to allow the voter to correct an error on this.)
- There surely are other actions that make a ballot invalid.

So when Honorable Chuck Schumer of New Your says “Just count all the votes,” he is demanding the county officials of Florida to violate the law they work under and count illegal and invalid ballots.

So what?? Every illegal or invalid balot cancels out the vote of one legally registered citizen. They cancel out your vote and my vote.  I say count all legal and valid ballots/votes and none of the others.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Eclipse - we saw it!

We drove to central Oregon to the see August, 2017 total exlipse of the Sun. (About 360 miles each way.) We reserved a hotel in The Dalles, Oregon, over a year in advance. We paid more than we usally pay, but they honored their regular rate and did not try to gouge us.

Totality was at about 10 am. So we had breakfast at the hotel and left at about 7 am. We would have aimed for the eclipse center at Mitchell, Oregon, but having a nursing mother (and 3-week-old son) along, she required a shorter trip. So I assumed a group of 3 adjacent parks about 10 miles SE of Fossil, Oregon would provide us public bathroom. On arrival we found a campground with bathroom and an open meadow perfect for viewing. About 150 people joined us, including a group who set up a 10-inch telescope set up for sun viewing and gave everyone a chance to use it. Almost everyone had protective glasses of various sorts (My son-in-law sold for $10 a pair he paid $2.00 for!) and some had pin-hole viewers - trivial to make; a paper plate with a pinhole will do,

It was spectacular. Amateur astronomers present had phone apps that gave the instant of totality to the second, so they shouted out when it was safe to remove glasses, then when necessary to put them back on. Totality creeps up... It gets darker and darker... then the dark sun has a halo around it that is not uniform, but has some streaks. Spectacular!!

It is an experience of a lifetime. It's worth traveling 720 miles and two nights in a nice hotel. This was my second. In 1979 there was a total that we only had to drive 110 miles from Seattle to view so I took off from work to go see it.

(This was in my drafts for over a year.)

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Sound Transit lied to Legislature and voters and ...

Sound Transit lied to the Legislature, lied to the public and violated the Washington Constitution.

According to a study by the Washington Senate when they got permission for the huge Sound Transit 3 tax increase. Dow Constantine (King County) and other board members told the Legislature in 2016 that the highest amount it wanted was $15 billion, then asked the public for $54 billion - more than 3 times as much. Constantine lied. Sound Transit exec Peter Rogoff coordinated lobbying by multiple groups to the Legislature, violating the prohibition of lobbying by public agencies.

Marilyn Strickland (Tacoma) and the ST board mislead voters about the size and scope of tax increases. And what has the public seeing red: ST misrepresents the value of your car in calculating the annual car tax. That is hitting people this year, and hard!! Their schedule is based on manufacturers suggested retain price, which is more people pay. The difference is often 10% and sometimes much more.

Tim Burgess’s predecessor Mayor Murray (Seattle) and the ST board improperly gave the Yes campaign the emails of 172,000 people. They said it was an accident. Yeh… they know better. But  no ST employee was disciplined for that violation of law … oh it's just a convenient mistake. The State Public Disclosure Commission joins in the guilt on this one. Lead by Anne Levinson, they said “Oh, maybe the disclose was unintentional.” But for people like you and me the intent doesn’t matter, just the violation.

The violation of the Constituion is too technical to be of interest. My source for this is a Senate committee chair, but many Demos feel violated also.

Senator Padden

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Medicaid has big troubles - now!

Politician logic: Since Medicaid is going broke let’s put more people on it. Man on the street: But won’t that double the crisis? Politician: Yes, I mean maybe. But… I get points for covering more people. (Even if they don’t get the care they need, I get to say “they have gained insurance.”)

The intent of Medicaid was to help the poorest Americans. Its costs were rising before Obamacare. but Obamacare caused the increases to be even steeper. And the needy are getting poor care and poor availability.

Meanwhile it is not serving those it was intended for. While Illinois expanded the population eligible, 800 of those previously eligible died - died - while on waiting lists, according to Foundation for Government Accountability.
A start would be refocusing Medicaid on its original mission of caring for the poor and those unable to do it for themselves. That means changing the program’s incentives to allow people more responsibility for their own health outcomes. It also means giving states the freedom to explore options like health savings accounts, direct primary care for Medicaid patients, and systems to remove enrollees who abuse the program.
WSJ Requires subscription, I am afraid.

What’s particularly perverse is that ObamaCare pays states more for the able-bodied adults newly covered under the Medicaid expansion than for people with serious disabilities under the original program.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Founders of the US. Original documents

For American history lovers Jay Cost at the Weekly Standard highlighted the current online resources for documents of the founders. Article: Founders’ Keepers. The occasion is the new or newly completed Founders Online at US National Archives. And he gives some other valuable sources.

The big one: Founders Online at US Archives

Three more important ones:

And one university press digitizing books:

Friday, March 17, 2017

The ban of DDT killed millions of people

The US banned the use of DDT in 1972 and millions have since died due to that decision. Seattleite William Ruchelshaus was EPA administrator and made that decision. He did do despite the science. Yes, despite the science, not because of it.
EPA appointed Administrative Law Judge Edmund Sweeney to evaluate DDT. In 1971-2 he conducted a seven-month hearing. EPA actually participated, testifying against DDT! 
Judge Sweeney, after 80 days of testimony from 150 expert scientists, ruled that DDT “is not a carcinogenic, mutagenic, or teratogenic hazard to man” and does “not have a deleterious effect on freshwater fish, estuarine organisms, wild birds, or other wild life. There is a present need for the continued use of DDT for the essential uses defined in this case.”
Ruckelshaus in April 1979 told American Farm Bureau Federation that he imposed the ban for political reasons. And millions died. 

The UN World Health Org allowed limited use of DDT in 2006 and several African countries are using it to combat malaria, so Ruckelshaus’s damage now continues at a lower level.


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Alabama Democrats support Senator Jeff Sessions for Attorney General

President-elect Donald Trump chose Senator Jeff Sessions to be his attorney general. Senate hearings have started today.

The headline charge against him is over 30 years old and very thin. That he had called a black man “boy,” and said positive things about the Ku Kux Klan. Sessions denied the charges and there was no supporting testimony at that time. in 1986 - 30+ years ago.

In Alabama there are a lot of good words about him. A group of black pastors from Alabama held a press conference Monday saying they know him, have worked with him for years and that Sessions is a good man who has done good things. Quote from CNS News:
 … “We know in Alabama who Jeff Sessions is,” Bishop Kyle Searcy, senior pastor of the multi-racial, nondenominational Fresh Anointing House of Worship in Montgomery, Ala., told CNSNews.com.
“And it’s important to me that the truth comes out about him,” he added, “that he’s known for who is, he’s known for the good things he’s done in Alabama. 
… Also speaking at the event organized by the Family Research Council (FRC) was Rev. Dean Nelson, director of African-American outreach for FRC's Watchmen on the Wall, a ministry to pastors, and chairman of the board for the Frederick Douglass Foundation.
Nelson noted that Sessions helped prosecute and insisted on the death penalty for Ku Klux Klan (KKK) member Henry Francis Hays, who had abducted and killed a black teenager. 
“Senator Sessions has consistently demonstrated respect and care for people of all races while serving in his home state of Alabama,” Nelson said. “He has, in fact, worked relentlessly on the side of desegregation and justice.”
And at my favorite blog they have found similar support.

Power Line has several testimonials at - The down-home truth about Jeff Sessions

Power Line has more at Son of civil rights leader prosecuted by Sessions endorses him. Even though Sessions prosecuted his father he says Sessions was always fair.

He has been in the Senate for a long time. The Demo senators know him. I hope they will treat him fairly. 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Cookies?

This site uses cookies, because it is at Blogger. The European Union requires that every web site in the world that is seen in the EU post a warning and, in some cases, a request for permission if using cookies. Google tells me they provide such a notice on this, my blog. But I am responsible to make sure it is seen. But, but since I am outside the EU I cannot see it. So I can't make sure it works, even though I am responsible.

I almost appreciate Google helping me comply with this. But, but, but I can't know whether or not I am complying.

Giving thanks

Today is the day we stop to give thanks. To think of what we have received and who it came from. Then we are supposed to say so - "the giving" -  but I don't do very well on the action part.

I thank God for my wife, my family, our church and our community of Lake Forest Park, WA.

Church: New Hope International Church in Bellevue, WA

Family: I attended the retirement party for my brother Rick yesterday. He worked for Seattle Pacific University for 18 years.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Growth

Growth of our economy brings more jobs, higher paying jobs and challenging jobs. We need it badly.

This year Hillary Clinton offers more Obama stagnation. The 2008 recession ended in 2009, but we have little growth since. Obama's drop in the unemployment rate is NOT due to more people working but to people giving up on the job search and sitting on the side line.

Donald Trump is far from perfect, but he is far, far better than Mrs. Clinton on jobs and the economy.