Want to raise your Victim Value Index? Blow something up

The Sultan of Knish explains how to trade your ability to modulate the violence of a slice of your rainbow for a seat at the political table.
Progressivism is a revolution in slow motion, and revolutions need revolutionaries. Disruption is more than just grievance, it's violence. Those who are willing to ruthlessly attack the status quo clearing the ground for revolution are the ones who go to the head of the line and the dais of honor on top. A little murder and mayhem, and progressives will trot out "moderate" versions of the murderers and mayhemists, usually linked to them, and offer to represent them and tamp down the violence in exchange for meeting their demands.
Anyone who is shocked that the left would make common cause with Islamists has forgotten the Black Panthers. From the left's point of view they are doing the same thing by bringing on board a group with some revolutionary energy and a willingness to overthrow the system. Associating with them gives the left some revolutionary cred and the supposed ability to turn the violence on and off.
* * *
September 11 and its aftermath is why Muslims have gone to the top of the Victim Value Index. The left may swear up and down that they are interested in Muslim civil rights, but if the Muslims were Sikhs, they would merit a place somewhere in the back. Before Muslims began prominently blowing things up in the United States, the left barely paid any attention to them. Once they did, they began outweighing every other group in the country because killing 3,000 people is the gold standard of revolutionary mayhem.

Why should you have to be a citizen to vote?

Seems unfair, doesn't it?  Next step:  allow absentee voting by non-citizens.  It's really hard for some of them to get here, and they encounter unconscionable delays at the border.

Six Democrats crossed the aisle to support this week's GOP-led House "motion to recommit" to clarify that non-citizens should not be allowed to vote in federal elections:
Van Drew-NJ
One Republican broke party ranks to vote against it:  Justin Amash (Michigan). Republicans not voting were Crawford (Tennessee), Dunn (Florida), Rodgers (Washington), Rogers (Alabama), and Stivers (Ohio). Democrats not voting were Clay (Missouri) and Sean Maloney (New York).

Motions to recommit are rhetorical devices. The minority party is given one last word on a bill, which typically is phrased as a "but of course we don't really mean XYZ" statement. They are often submitted at the last minute and look like a soundbite for political ads. Two of the defecting Democrats, however, told reporters they didn't mind voting for an opposition soundbite if they agree with it.

Did Amash support illegal voting, or was he opposing the gamesmanship? I take him for a libertarian-maverick type who adopts eccentric positions like opposing federal funding to address the Flint water-poisoning crisis. He probably doesn't really favor voting by non-citizens, but might easily reject a tactic that offended him.

Redactions and transparency

We're having a small dust-up in my county over redacting routine documents that traditionally have been supplied to the public in advance of commissioners court meetings.  Redaction is a tactic I remember well from my days of practicing law; in the hands of the unscrupulous it is nothing short of wholesale hiding of documents under the guise of needing infinite time to review them for privileged information that must be painstakingly protected.  I view with favor any reasonable attempt to remove genuinely confidential information before publishing a document.  I view with suspicion any redaction project that drags on endlessly and results in the withholding of potentially explosive disclosures.

In a lawsuit, the interesting point often comes when one side manages to get the sealed documents in front of a magistrate for a private review.  Counsel who have been hiding damaging facts by mischaracterizing them as privileged can be unmasked this way, and their credibility permanently damaged.

I read these articles with interest, therefore, about Devin Nunes's surprisingly successful though frustrating campaign to combat strategic redactions in the Russian collusion saga.
I will be traveling until after St. Patrick’s day.

Illusions of Progress

The LA Times is very critical.
President Trump, now in the third year of his term, is struggling to maintain the illusion of accomplishment as some of his biggest promises remain unfulfilled.

...diplomacy with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un collapsed in Vietnam last week...

No new miles of any barrier have been built during his presidency and a Republican-controlled Senate is poised to join the Democratic-controlled House in rejecting his declaration of a national emergency to pay for an installment.

Also, Trump is lately hailing progress in trade talks with China as if a landmark deal were imminent. Yet... In another blow to Trump’s trade promises, on Wednesday the Commerce Department reported that in 2018 the U.S. trade deficit grew to $621 billion, a 10-year high, and the gap with China set a record — defying the president’s vows to reverse the trend.... unlikely to include any enforceable end to China’s practice of requiring American companies to transfer technology and intellectual property to Chinese partners as a condition of doing business in the country....

“People are perfectly aware he lies all the time and that he boasts and probably delivers only on a fraction of those things. But because so many Americans have become deeply cynical and think that no politician ever delivers on their promises, they may discount what he promises but still think that that is a better bet than politicians who don't promise anything.”

Mounk added, “It’s essentially, ‘Well, he didn’t really bring back manufacturing jobs, but he tried.’”
The biggest one of all is the promise to get immigration under control. Illegal immigration is at record levels, most of them now families rather than singles likely to return home later. The Trump administration has been forced to return to catch and release policies as the courts forbid them to do anything else except for family separation, and the Congress moves to cut the number of beds for detention anyway.

One might in justice say that everything he promised to fix is worse.

It isn't cynicism about politicians keeping promises that is preventing him from 'paying a price,' though. It is that everyone can plainly see that he is the only one actually trying to fix these things. As the article notes, the Republican Senate is planning to void his emergency declaration -- even as the Republican Senate failed to pass Obamacare repeal during the first two years of his term. The Democratic House is fully committed to mass immigration, to the point of trying to eliminate ICE in order to prevent any future deportations.

For two years, Republicans had undivided control of Congress as well. Where is e-verify? Where are sanctions for employers of illegal workers? Where are those miles of wall, which might have become a budget item before now?

If President Trump pays no price for his failures, it will be because we can see that the whole government -- both political parties, and the entrenched bureaucracy -- are striving against him at every turn. It's not "at least he tried," it's that he's nearly the only one who isn't trying his damndest to do the things we don't want. For all his flaws and failures, about which this page has hardly been silent, where is the better alternative?

Do I wish he was more successful at all this? Yes, I do. Do I blame him? Only occasionally -- the DPRK issue, for example, more than the others. Often his successes are miraculous, given that the whole government is working to stop him.

Bread lines

Jeff Tucker reminds us that supply-demand imbalances can be cleared by long waiting times instead of price hikes, where monopolies prevent the natural expression of prices.  In this case, the monopoly is the natural effect of a tiny number of specialized workers who know how to repair antique clocks.  In part because they're proudly "not in it for the money," prices don't go up, new repairmen don't enter the market, and people wait years to get their clocks repaired.

Missed Days

March 4th was National Grammar Day, apparently ...

So when is National Vocabulary Day, huh?


In Chicago, the first Monday in March is Casimir Pulaski Day, in honor of the immigrant Polish cavalry officer who became known as "the father of the American cavalry" during the Revolution. There is also a federal observance for him on October 11, which is the day in 1779 when he died in the Siege of Savannah.

What else have we missed recently?

Intersectional Popcorn

Democratic House resolution to defuse the Omar controversy postponed, as several of the young left activists turn on Nancy Pelosi.

"Nancy Pelosi is a white feminist. White feminists are white supremacists. Nancy Pelosi is a white supremacist."

This is working out well. By all means continue this path of identity politics and 'intersectionality.'

Lee Van Cleef

"The Bad" was a pretty good guy.
Van Cleef took his high school diploma early, at 17-years-old, so that he could enlist in the United States Navy in 1942.

After basic training he attended the Naval Fleet Sound School where he trained as a sonarman. Van Cleef was first assigned to submarine chaser USS SC-681 and spent the next 10 months looking for German U-boats around the Caribbean. He then joined USS Incredible, a minesweeper of 530 tons.

One of the most dangerous moments for him happened during the invasion of southern France, in which the USS Incredible was attacked by numerous German Human Torpedoes.

Van Cleef found himself in a life-threatening position though his courage and skill not only saved him but he was also awarded the Bronze Star for his service.

From January 1945, the minesweeper operated out of the Soviet base at Sevastapol, Crimea, to clear mines in the Black Sea. Next stop for the USS Incredible was Palermo, Sicily and then Norfolk — before finally reaching Pearl Harbor.

Odysseus at the Mast

Scientists discover a shipwreck far below the surface that looks very much like the one on a famous vase from ancient Greece.

"Nothing" Is A Wide Country

An editorial piece:
Nothing is more incompatible with Jewish thought and history than Peterson's deliberate insensitivity to the effects of hate speech. The political correctness he and other conservatives malign has, rightly, raised the social and political cost of prejudice - and not yet far enough
I don't especially care about Petereson, and I don't have any special insight into Jewish thought or history, although I have read some of the major philosophers -- Maimonides and Gersonides, say. Even from my very non-privileged perspective, though, I'd say that I can think of a few things that would be more incompatible. Denial of God, for example; denial of the covenant with Abraham; materialism.

That last one's kind of important. Lots of materialists around these days. But sure, let's focus on raising the costs of unpopular speech. That'll work out great for religious minorities.

Should We Stay Or Should We Go?

The Syria two-step continues.

Antisemitism Done Right

If you're going to be Antisemitic, don't be coy about it and leave people in doubt about how you really feel. Go all out, like these Belgians.

Political polarization by county

Maps of the U.S. showing the intensity of the disdain with which Republicans view Democrats, and vice versa, by county.  My own little county is pretty mild.  Florida and South Carolina really stand out as polarized next to their neighbors.

Mountains to the Seas

I'm more of a mountain man, but I can definitely appreciate this initiative.
Seasteading was conceived more than a decade ago out of libertarian enthusiasm for the possibilities of improving governance through an explosive proliferation of new polities. Building modular floating "land" on the high seas, its advocates argue, would increase our ability to escape the depredations of existing governments.
Yeah, I can see it.

BB: Voting is Self-Defense

"I don't particularly love the party I usually vote for, but hey! They're a little less likely to one day outlaw my faith," he told a friend... "I don't really care to win the culture wars or anything. But the candidates I support tend to be slightly more prone to just leave me alone."

At publishing time, Christians who abstained from voting were silently thankful that people like Michaels are willing to do the dirty work of voting in self-defense.

Swords in the News

Shades of Burnt Njal.
A man with a sword was shot and killed by police in Mount Holly on Saturday after he set a home on fire, jumped from the second story and tried to run away, multiple media outlets reported.

Mongols MC Keeps Patch

A Federal judge has ruled that the government's attempt to force the motorcycle club to stop wearing its trademark is unconstitutional under two separate amendments.
Nearly two months after a federal jury decided that a notorious motorcycle club must forfeit the rights to its trademarked emblem, a judge on Thursday nullified the verdict, finding that seizure of the intellectual property was unconstitutional.

In a 51-page ruling, Federal District Judge David O. Carter said the government’s strategy of trying to devastate the Mongols motorcycle club by confiscating its treasured Genghis Khan-style logo would violate the group’s First Amendment right to free speech and the excessive fines clause of the Eighth Amendment.
That may be the first echo of the recent unanimous SCOTUS decision barring excessive civil asset forfeiture schemes. The First Amendment grounds were expected, but that application of the Eighth is new. This effort to prosecute the club at the club level was more successful than some previous efforts, however, as several individuals were convicted of specific crimes. Those convictions were upheld.