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Friday, March 31, 2017

Personal Update

(For politics, please scroll down)

March 30 was not one of my better days!

I tripped on uneven concrete steps at a house where I'd gone to look at a secondhand television, pitched forward from the bottom several steps, and planted my face in the street.

Blood everywhere.

As hard as I hit that asphalt, it's a wonder that all my front teeth weren't knocked out!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The U.S. Senate And The 2018 Midterm Election


Since the AHCA was pulled from the House floor, many GOPers have been in mourning.

But perhaps all is not gloom and doom — except, of course, for those who will have to endure health insurance woes in the form of soaring premiums and limited provider options for those insured by ObamaCare.

From It was a good week for the GOP. But it could have been great (March 25, 2017 opinion piece by Hugh Hewitt, not a diehard Trump supporter)
...Democrats face a potential disaster with 25 of their seats up in 2018 and only eight of the GOP incumbents campaigning....
The entire essay is copied and pasted below the fold for those of you who do not have a subscription to the Washington Post.  All emphases mine

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Clichés

(For politics, please scroll down)

Good ol' clichés. Well, maybe not so good. Lack of originality!


Aside from being both unoriginal and boring, clichés can be thought-terminating:
In his 1961 book Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of "Brainwashing" in China psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton introduced the term "thought-terminating cliché".[15] This refers to a cliché that is a commonly used phrase, or folk wisdom, sometimes used to quell cognitive dissonance. Though the clichéd phrase in and of itself may be valid in certain contexts, its application as a means of dismissing dissent or justifying fallacious logic is what makes it thought-terminating.

Lifton wrote:

"The language of the totalist environment is characterized by the thought-terminating cliché. The most far-reaching and complex of human problems are compressed into brief, highly reductive, definitive-sounding phrases, easily memorized and easily expressed. These become the start and finish of any ideological analysis."[15]
In George Orwell's 1949 novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, the fictional constructed language Newspeak is designed to eliminate the ability to express unorthodox thoughts.[16] Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World society uses thought-terminating clichés in a more conventional manner, most notably in regard to the drug soma as well as modified versions of real-life platitudes, such as "A doctor a day keeps the jim-jams away".[17]

In her 1963 book Eichmann in Jerusalem, Hannah Arendt described Adolf Eichmann as an intelligent man who used clichés and platitudes to justify his actions and the role he played in the Jewish genocide of World War II. For her, these phrases are symptomatic of an absence of thought. Arendt wrote, "When confronted with situations for which such routine procedures did not exist, he [Eichmann] was helpless, and his cliché-ridden language produced on the stand, as it had evidently done in his official life, a kind of macabre comedy. Clichés, stock phrases, adherence to conventional, standardized codes of expression and conduct have the socially recognized function of protecting us against reality, that is, against the claim on our thinking attention that all events and facts make by virtue of their existence."[18]
A few irksome clichés from recent television broadcasts:

(1) "at the end of the day"

(2) "oh, and by the way"

(3) "shared values"

(4) "going forward"

(5) "We need to have a conversation about...."

What other clichés permeate the conversation today?

Monday, March 27, 2017

FEATURED QUESTION: The Demise of the AHCA (Bumped to the top)

Friday afternoon, because there were not enough votes to pass the House of Representatives, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan pulled the bill for Phase One of the American Health Care Act (AHCA). Ryan stated:
"I don't know what else to say other than Obamacare is the law of the land. It'll remain law of the land until it's replaced," he said. "We're going to be living with Obamacre for the foreseeable future."

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Musical Interlude

(For politics, please scroll down)

Enjoy Giuseppe Verdi's String Quartet In E Minor:


[from the excellent site Musical Musings: about this piece and its composer]

Friday, March 24, 2017

Recommended Reading

See How Islam Is Different from Other Religions by Shadi Hamdi, from the June 13, 2016 issue of Time Magazine. The essay is copied and pasted in its entirely below the fold in case you do not have a subscription to the magazine.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Brutal Sexual Assault At Rockville High School

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've heard about this recent story: Rockville High School Rape Suspects In Country Illegally.

Excerpt (emphases mine):
Sanchez Milian [age 18] is originally from Guatemala and was attending the high school as a ninth-grader, reports WTOP. Court records say Sanchez Milian arrived in Montgomery County seven months ago after having been questioned in Texas by border patrol agents in Texas and issued a notice to appear in front of an immigration judge.

Gov. Larry Hogan weighed in on the topic Monday night [March 20, 2017] when he condemned the Maryland House of Delegates for passing what he called "an outrageously irresponsible bill that will make Maryland a sanctuary state and endanger our citizens." Hogan vowed to veto the legislation if it reaches his desk.

On WBAL Radio Tuesday, Hogan said, "This was a brutal and violent rape of a 14-year-old girl in a school in Montgomery County and there are so many unanswered questions. How was an 18-year-old who was already picked up for crossing the border illegally apparently able to be in class with a 14-year-old girl?"

While Maryland agencies generally follow 48-hour detainers issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Montgomery County is one of three jurisdictions named in an ICE report this week for having declined an immigration detained, he said....
Read the entire article HERE.

Wikipedia has this short entry, which states, in part:
The system is legally prohibited from denying education based on immigration status.
I'm no fan of Tucker Carlson and his irksome quizzical facial expressions, but this interview is worth watching:


Baltimore City Councilman Cohen has guzzled gallons of Koo-aid!  But so have many others, who are willing to sacrifice their own children to the false god of diversity.

Related: Trump is sending judges to 12 US cities to speed up deportations.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Comey On Capitol Hill

Mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer, philosopher Blaise Pascal (1626-1662)

I didn't watch all of FBI Director James Comey's March 20, 2017 testimony on Capitol Hill.  Of course, I've seen snippets of video and the screeching headlines.

Is THIS accurate?
FBI’s Comey Doesn’t Deny the FBI Is Wiretapping Trump: 'I just can’t talk about anything that relates to the FISA process in an open setting’

The FBI is leaving open the possibility it sought -- and perhaps attained -- a wiretap of Donald Trump's communications.

When addressing the controversy over whether the Trump Tower was wiretapped during the Obama Administration, the FBI director, James Comey, tread carefully, acknowledging there is an investigation into Donald Trump's campaign's communications with Russia, but said there is "no evidence" to support Trump's tweets exactly as written.

Comey notably left open the possibility that it had, or still is, monitoring Trump communications.

When asked whether the FBI sought a FISA court warrant to wiretap Trump's team, Comey simply said he cannot comment on anything FISA related.

Here's an excerpt from Comey's question and answer session with Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.):...
Read the rest HERE.

Another question: What facts were presented in Comey's testimony?

Circa News reporter commenting on Comey's testimony:

Monday, March 20, 2017

So Sick Of The Blame Game

Such as what the placard in this graphic expresses:


The legacy of Howard Zinn, who, among others, made the term "American patriotism" a dirty word.

See THIS and THIS about Howard Zinn.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Art vs. Cell Phones

(For politics, please scroll down)

What are the odds that they're looking at information about Rembrandt's 1642 painting The Night Watch as opposed to checking their Facebook or Twitter status?



Larger version of The Nightwatch below the fold.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Unanimous Agreement On This Definition?

One of my Facebook finds:


In my view, our Founders made what could well be a fatal mistake: no Constitutionally-mandated term limits for elected public servants.

The term-limits rules for the POTUS were added many years later — via the 22nd Amendment, ratified in 1951.

Do you see any possibility that the Congress will impose any term limits upon themselves? I don't. They're too busy getting the rake off!

Congress critters get elected once, and they're set for life. At public expense (i.e., taxpayers' dollars).

Career politicians are a plague upon the land!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Rachel Maddow's "Revelation"


Evidently, there's no there, there. But I have a few questions at the bottom of this blog post.

From CNBC (dated March 14, 2017):
On her Tuesday show, Rachel Maddow teased a scoop: She had Donald Trump's 2005 tax returns. It was the first time his federal returns would be released.

Small digression: MSNBC's Maddow didn't have them. Investigative reporter David Cay Johnston got them, and went on her show to talk about it.

Anyway, when she finally revealed what was in the taxes, it was not a huge deal. Trump earned about $150 million in income in 2005, and paid $38 million in taxes....
Read the rest HERE.

According to today's Drudge Report:
TRUMP PAID HIGHER TAX RATE [25%] THAN MSNBC COMCAST [24%]... MUCH HIGHER THAN OBAMA [19%]... AND BERNIE [13%]
According to this source:
...“It is totally illegal to steal and publish tax returns. The dishonest media can continue to make this part of their agenda, while the president will focus on his, which includes tax reform that will benefit all Americans,” the White House said in a statement.

Maddow, however, said that “for the record, the First Amendment gives us the right to publish the return.”...
Read the rest HERE.

According to Time, the two pages released are stamped "Client Copy."

Question 1: Who leaked documents stamped as "Client Copy"?  Trump himself?  His accounting firm?

Question 2: Is it actually legal to leak a person's tax return documents or any portion thereof without that person's consent or without a subpoena?

Monday, March 13, 2017

More Microaggressional Absurdity

The absurd promotion of "white guilt" continues apace — as does the creation of more fragile little snowflakes.

From Heat Street, dated March 2, 2017  (emphases mine):
Scripps College, a prestigious women’s school outside Los Angeles, is promoting the idea that non-white students must be given monetary compensation for the “emotional labor” of having to deal with so-called microaggressions.

Campus resident assistants at the school are hanging up two sets of posters titled “Emotional Labor 101”: one for whites, and another for minorities, whom the posters dub as “victims of emotional labor.”

[...]

The posters mirror what you might find on social media—where social justice warriors often demand financial recompense for calling people out, and yell at others to “educate themselves” when taken to task for their statements.

Here are the aforementioned posters (Click on the image to enlarge it):


Read the rest of the Heat Street article HERE.

Just what America needs, right? More division.

Pfffft.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Musical Interlude

(For politics, please scroll down)

For this weekend, enjoy Sonata For Viola da Gamba No. 3 In G Minor BWV 1029 by J.S. Bach (1685-1750):


The three movements of this sonata:

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Recommended Reading

See Everyone Already Hates the GOP’s Obamacare Alternative.

Excerpt:
...The bill repeals most of the taxes and penalties levied by Obamacare—including the taxes on medical devices and tanning services (lovingly known as the “Snooki tax”). And it drops the cap on how much employers can deduct for providing healthcare plans for their employees.

[...]

There even appears to be a hidden “backdoor” health insurance mandate...

[...]

...[M]issing from the plan were several of Donald Trump’s campaign promises: competition for health insurance across state lines, an expanded health insurance market, and a reconfigured prescription program that lower the price of key drugs.

The measure has already been lovingly labeled “#Trumpcare” by social media. For those that can decipher the bill’s complex language and weird scheme of tax credits and salary caps, none of it seems palatable....
Read the entire article HERE.

Is healthcare reform the Gordian Knot?

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

About The Past Few Days...

Video posted by ZipADee in the comment thread to this blog post at Adrienne's Corner:


Related reading #1:The Flight 93 Election (dated September 5, 2016). Excerpt:
2016 is the Flight 93 election: charge the cockpit or you die. You may die anyway. You—or the leader of your party—may make it into the cockpit and not know how to fly or land the plane. There are no guarantees.

Except one: if you don’t try, death is certain. To compound the metaphor: a Hillary Clinton presidency is Russian Roulette with a semi-auto. With Trump, at least you can spin the cylinder and take your chances.
Read the rest HERE. Read it now.

Related reading #2: The Destroyer of Worlds (dated March 6, 2017). Excerpt:
...Both parties wanted to see Clinton win. The Republicans, at least the leadership, liked the setup under Obama. They got to pose as rock-ribbed conservatives fighting Obama, without ever having to do anything. Democrats liked that Obama was just issuing executive orders and bypassing the parliamentary process. The Washington ecosystem was at equilibrium as long as everyone on both sides played their part.

[...]

A long time ago I pointed out that Trump was The Mule, the character from the Asimov novels. Trump is the destroyer of worlds, not because he has some grand vision of the future and wants to plow under the existing order to make room for his utopia. He is the destroyer because the old order can only exist if Trump does not exist. His rise to the White House is the nullification of the established order. It’s why Washington is going for total war to destroy him. They see it is a matter of survival.

It’s probably too late. The Mule has arrived.
Read the rest HERE. Read it now.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Ah! The Irony!

One of my recent Facebook finds:



From The Patriot Post (click image to enlarge it:


Hollyweird is becoming more irrelevant by the day. But the Hollyweirdos don't see that reality.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Way To Go, Granny!

(For politics, please scroll down)

Feel-good story for this break-from-politics blog post.

Video below the fold.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Shadow Government?


Baseless conspiracy theory? You decide.

Summary:
[T]he Obama administration sought, and eventually obtained, authorization to eavesdrop on the Trump campaign; continued monitoring the Trump team even when no evidence of wrongdoing was found; then relaxed the NSA rules to allow evidence to be shared widely within the government, virtually ensuring that the information, including the conversations of private citizens, would be leaked to the media.
Read the details HERE at Conservative Treehouse.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Stats For Trump (With Addendum)

With a hat tip to Infidel Bloggers Alliance:


A difference of more than ten million viewers between Trump's speech of February 28, 2017, and the Academy Awards of February 26, 2017.

ADDENDUM

Shamelessly taken from When #THELEFT RESISTS, who are they resisting? Who are they trying to overthrow? by Epaminondas of Infidel Bloggers Alliance:

They are BOLSHEVIK.

We Voted.

When the #THELEFT calls for obstruction of justice special prosecutors what are they trying to stop?





   
Make no mistake.
They believe THEY MUST RULE.
REMEMBER what happened at the end of the civil violence..~81BC

Today the YMCA banned 24 hour cable news from it’s workout rooms. It is easy to understand why.
Convincing will be a forgotten thing, an idea held by unicorns.
Schumer, Perez, Schiff, Pelosi … these people are monumental fools. There is ALWAYS another election to make your case, but this effort will establish precedent.

AND JOHN LEWIS I CALL YOU OUT FOR YOUR PART.

History will be vengeful and cruel.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The "SOTU" Speech Of February 28, 2017

Did Trump reboot his Presidency last night?

Van Jones — of all people — seems to think so:



President Trump's full speech is HERE.



The reaction of the Democrats in the Congressional chamber:

(hat tip to Infidel Bloggers Alliance for this graphic)

The Democrats were particularly unhappy at this point during the speech:
Others gasped in audible disbelief when he announced the formation of a government department to assist victims of illegal-immigrant criminals.
Why was that statement from Trump particularly objectionable? Since when has helping the victims of crimes become objectionable?