On August 13, 2015, I predicted in my blog that Donald Trump had a 98 percent chance of winning the presidency based on his persuasion skills. A week earlier, the most respected political forecaster in the United States—Nate Silver—had put Trump’s odds of winning the Republican nomination at 2 percent in his FiveThirtyEight.com blog.

Scott Adams, Win Bigly

Trump is to persuasion as a rapist is to seduction.

June 6, 2021

Rackets

Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business and eventually degenerates into a racket. (Eric Hoffer)

Sic transit the Gay Rights movement.. Everything the author says about Stonewall in the UK is equally true of the Human Rights Campaign in the U.S.

May 26, 2021

They drank the Kool-Aid

Earlier this week, an Ipsos/Reuters poll found that 61 percent of Republican voters believe the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump” and 53 percent think Donald Trump is the actual President.” Just over half agreed that the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol was led by violent left-wing protestors trying to make Trump look bad.”

Via The Morning Dispatch

May 26, 2021

Bitcon

Bari Weiss lends her Substack to a Bitcoin debate. Balaji S. Srinivasan says Bitcoin Is Civilization. Michael W. Green makes The Case Against Bitcoin.

I understand Bitcoin a bit better now. Still won’t go there.

May 15, 2021

Trump’s right. The election was fraudulent.

DENVER — A Colorado man suspected in the death of his wife, who disappeared on Mother’s Day 2020, is also accused of submitting a fraudulent vote on her behalf for Donald Trump in November’s presidential election, newly released court documents show. Barry Morphew told investigators he mailed the ballot on behalf of his wife, Suzanne Morphew, to help Trump win, saying all these other guys are cheating,” and that he thought his wife would have voted for Trump, anyway, according to an arrest warrant affidavit signed Thursday.

Wire Reports in the Lafayette Journal & Courier, May 15.

May 15, 2021

Of ransomware attacks:

In the golden age of piracy, governments responded to the pirate threat in all sorts of clever ways. One response was the issuance of letters of marque and reprisal”—mentioned in the U.S. Constitution—which granted private captains the authority to wage war on our enemies. Our 21st century enemies are doing that already. Perhaps as a great cyberfaring nation, it’s time we do likewise.

Jonah Goldberg

May 15, 2021

Liddle Donny

Here’s what this really comes down to. Cheney’s ouster is about one thing, and one thing only: Liddle Donny Trump’s feelings. Liddle Donny couldn’t take the fact that Sleepy Joe” wiped the floor with him in November … Liddly Donny is throwing a tantrum down in South Florida, and all of his butt boys in Congress are rushing to coddle him.

Tim Miller

May 15, 2021

Whence Covid?

In a comprehensive piece on Medium, longtime science journalist Nicholas Wade digs into what we know—and what we still don’t—about the late 2019 genesis of SARS-CoV-2 in Wuhan. There are two main theories about its origin. One is that it jumped naturally from wildlife to people. The other is that the virus was under study in a lab, from which it escaped. It matters a great deal which is the case if we hope to prevent a second such occurrence,” he writes, noting there is no direct evidence” for either theory, but that most of the clues point toward a lab leak. It’s documented that researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology were doing gain-of-function experiments designed to make coronaviruses infect human cells and humanized mice. This is exactly the kind of experiment from which a SARS2-like virus could have emerged. The researchers were not vaccinated against the viruses under study, and they were working in the minimal safety conditions of a BSL2 laboratory. So escape of a virus would not be at all surprising. In all of China, the pandemic broke out on the doorstep of the Wuhan institute.”

The Morning Dispatch: Is Vaccine Tech Too Precious to Patent? - The Morning Dispatch

May 7, 2021

Return to Normalcy

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster on Thursday ordered the state’s Department of Employment and Workforce to cease participation in federal and pandemic-related unemployment benefit programs, effective June 30. McMaster said employers in the state face an unprecedented labor shortage,” which he attributed in large part to the $300-per-week federal unemployment insurance boost.

The Morning Dispatch

May 7, 2021

GOP publicly besliming itself again

45 (he who shall not be named) has been on the warpath again, and Republicans are cowering and talking again of ousting Liz Cheney from leadership for refusing to go along with THE BIG LIE lie:

If Cheney is ousted, McCarthy will be the feckless House Republican leader who acted as the toady enforcer of [45]’s dangerous election lies. Every Democrat can say, with a straight face, that in Kevin’s House, lying is a litmus test for leadership.

Amanda Carpenter, Kevin McCarthy: Master of Strategery

This may not be the best commentary on the kerfuffle, but I’m not going to waste my day trying to find a better one. (It’s not my party. It hasn’t been my party for 16 years. Its folly is one of the things in the world I cannot change, however important a healthy two-party system may be. How atavistic is it of me to spend non-trivial time as if it were!)

May 5, 2021

Bugbears

I just bought Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals in full expectation of finding much of interest in it, despite the book’s bugbear usage by the Right. Anyone who got an acknowledgment from Jane Jacobs in The Death and Life of Great American Cities can’t be all bad.

May 3, 2021

Words to live by

Politics can make people crazy, especially these days. For the latest evidence, consider its insidious spread to Jeopardy!,” the game show heretofore loved by millions.

Last week Jeopardy! contestant Kelly Donohue put his index finger and thumb together in an OK sign, with three fingers extended, during the show’s introduction. Uh oh.

It seems some progressives are on constant watch for this gesture as a signal of white supremacy because it has allegedly been adopted by some extremist groups. Within a few days, hundreds of former Jeopardy! contestants signed an open letter explaining that Mr. Donohue’s gesture, whether intentional or not, resembled very closely a gesture that has been coopted by white power groups.”

Mr. Donohue said he had signaled the number three because he had won the show three days in a row. He clarified his meaning in a Facebook post, but he apparently didn’t abase himself sufficiently in the view of the concerned game-show participants. Most problematic to us as a contestant community,” they wrote, is the fact that Kelly has not publicly apologized for the ramifications of the gesture he made.”

Mr. Donohue then posted a statement regret[ting] this terrible misunderstanding” and condemning racism in all its forms. We hope, for his sake, that the latter declaration appeases the troubled sensibilities of the, uh, contestant community.

We aren’t sure what inspires this manic search for racial guilt, whether intentional or not,” but as a form of mass hysteria it is itself a sign of an unhealthy political culture. As for Mr. Donohue, his total winnings amounted to $79,601. He has earned every penny, not least for giving a whole new meaning to Double Jeopardy.

Mass Hysteria for $2,000

I have read that one of Jordan Peterson’s maxims in his new book is Don’t apologize if you’ve done nothing wrong.”

May 3, 2021

I’m not sure EWTN sees what I see in this swag:

May 3, 2021

What could possibly go wrong?

Americans Can’t Get Enough of the Stock Market

Individual investors are holding more stocks than ever before as major indexes climb to fresh highs. They are also upping the ante by borrowing to magnify their bets or increasingly buying on small dips in the market.

Wall Street Journal, 5/3/21.

May 3, 2021

Do better, Journal & Courier

Front page of my local newspaper, above the fold, is the news that Racist post on County GOP Facebook elicits backlash.” The post was genuinely and frankly racist — no mere dog-whistle. And my former party is entirely too hospitable toward yahoos and atavists.

But the County was Brown County, in Southern Indiana, roughly two hours from us. And it was a Facebook page, fer cryin’ out loud, where presumably any jackass, including enemies, can post.

This story’s placement was partly a function of the steep decline of my local paper and its increasing reliance on stories from other Gannett newspapers in Indiana (and from Gannett Corporate HQ). But we form our impression of the world from, well, glimpses and impressions left by things we generally have no time to analyze and blog about.

Do better, Journal & Courier.


Americans Can’t Get Enough of the Stock Market

Individual investors are holding more stocks than ever before as major indexes climb to fresh highs. They are also upping the ante by borrowing to magnify their bets or increasingly buying on small dips in the market.

Wall Street Journal, 5/3/21.

What could possibly go wrong with leveraged stock market bets”?


May 3, 2021

All we like sheep

All we like sheep … have gone astray.

April 19, 2021 · All we like sheep ...

Tucker Carlson?

Ain’t got time for dat.

April 14, 2021

In Frederick Douglass Foundation, Inc. v. District of Columbia,  (DDC, March 26, 2021), the federal district court for the District of Columbia refused to enjoin enforcement of D.C.’s Defacement Ordinance against two groups that organized an anti-abortion demonstration. Protesters attempted to paint or chalk the streets with their slogan Black Pre-Born Lives Matter.” The court rejected plaintiffs’ free speech, equal protection, RFRA and free exercise claims. Plaintiffs claim that the Ordinance is enforced in a viewpoint discriminatory manner in that Black Lives Matter” and Defund the Police” protesters were not prosecuted. The court said in part, however:

It seems far more plausible, rather, that law enforcement opted against enforcing the Ordinance [against Black Lives Matter protesters] in light of the foreseeable risks of intervention in the moment — e.g., inflaming what may well have already been a tense, fervent, and chaotic protest scene.

Religion Clause: Anti-Abortion Protesters Lose Challenge To D.C.’s Defacement Ordinance

The Court here is probably realistic. But I’d have been comfortable with the opposite result because public officials primp and preen as supporters of Black Lives Matter” and Defund the Police” protesters instead of admitting they’re powerless to stop them.

March 31, 2021

G.K. Chesterton was amazing:

[T]hose who believe in the invisible order are now the last custodians of the visible one. G.K. Chesterton predicted more than a century ago:

Everything will be denied. Everything will become a creed. It is a reasonable position to deny the stones in the street; it will be a religious dogma to assert them. Fires will be kindled to testify that two and two make four. Swords will be drawn to prove that leaves are green in summer. We shall be left defending, not only the incredible virtues and sanities of human life, but something more incredible still, this huge impossible universe which stares us in the face.

Margaret Harper McCarthy, The Equality Act Is at War With Reality - WSJ

March 31, 2021

Mama, don’t let your babies grow up to be adjuncts

Why I Wouldn’t Recommend Adjunct Teaching at Law Schools Now.

Note well the second reason.

But cancel culture doesn’t exist. No sirree!

March 22, 2021

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