January 21, 2020
And the troubles continue at the VA.
From the article:
The inspector general's report based its conclusions on the region of VA hospitals that includes 1.6 million veterans across Florida, south Georgia, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. VA officials in that region referred more than 206,500 requests in 2018 for community care at clinics outside the VA network, with veterans facing a 56-day wait on average before receiving care, according to the report.The problem is essentially that the VA is trying to put lipstick on a pig. When governments run things like health care they do a very poor job of it.
Our vets deserve better.
Our old friend Daren Jonescu pens a nice essay on Marxism at his website.
Here's a brief taste:
Every step of real movement is more important than a dozen programmes.
Letter to Bracke (1875)
There is the principle driving all modern progressive politics. It explains why there is not a literature department in the developed world that does not reduce allpast literature to "evidence” for neo-Marxist theories of systemic oppression and capitalist enslavement of the masses. It explains why we speak so matter-of-factly of a progressive ratchet — why late modernity tends always in one direction, indefatigably, such that ideas regarded as subversive radicalism in one generation become universally granted preconditions of all possible political thought in the next, though no one can point to the moment when this fundamental transformation occurred.
Between capitalist and communist society there lies the period of the revolutionary transformation of the one into the other. Corresponding to this is also a political transition period in which the state can be nothing but the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat.
Critique of the Gotha Program (1875)
And if this transitional period should turn out to proceed so gradually as to devour centuries of human civilization; to necessitate the annihilation, by the "transitional” dictatorship, of hundreds of millions of human lives; and as a byproduct of its progress, to reduce the majority of the human race to brutish irrationality, materialistic hedonism, and bloodless greed — if all this, and more of a similar tenor, should prove necessary for the sake of pursuing the untested speculative fantasy of the communist ideal of a withering political hierarchy? Well, then so be it! Let the two-hundred-year universal conflagration begin! Because maybe, just maybe, if Karl Marx was right in that book he wrote in 1875 — in spite of so many of the practical aspects of his theory having been revealed as completely false through the intervening history — the eventual outcome might indeed be a stateless communist utopia, which could, in principle, if he was right, lead to universal happiness; or not, since of course no one can know the real results of implementing a theoretical model that has never been even remotely attempted. But still, it’s worth a shot, right?
Here is an article I hadn't caught from last month.
From the article:
I wrote about Yovanovitch previously here at the Aviary. She is one of the point men in this whole thing and needs to be investigated.
At any rate, if the Senate intends to call witnesses then they need to put people like her on the stand and grill her hard.
Fact check: ironic. Fake green lunacy strikes some poor Australian. If you think that "green" policies didn't make the Aussie fires a catastrophe ... think again.'In 2004, Liam Sheahan was charged A$100,000 in fines and legal expenses after clearing land around his hilltop property in Reedy Creek, Victoria. Five years later that property was the only structure left standing in the area
Rupert Darwall on Twitter
How much can doubling CO2 really heat the planet? Observations and musings on a rainy night.
Top and Bottom of the Atmosphere
January 20, 2020
The Left has really outdone themselves, jumping multiple sharks with this one!
Yes, researchers are now saying Global Warming is racist! Or racism causes Global Warming, or at least imposes it on the poor and people of color.
From the article;
Jeremy Hoffman of the Science Museum of Virginia, and Nicholas Pendleton, a former student at Virginia Commonwealth University, also contributed to the study, which was published in the journal Climate on Monday, January 13th. The researchers examined the relationship between summertime surface temperatures, which were derived from satellite imagery, and historical housing policies, specifically 'redlining,' in 108 cities in the United States.
Neighborhoods with less green spaceand more concrete and pavement are hotter on average, creating 'heat islands.' In an earlier study of Portland, Oregon, Shandas and colleagues found that lower-income households and communities of color tend to live in heat islands. They found similar effects in other cities, and they wanted to know why.
To explore this question, they looked at the relationship between 'redlining' and surface heat. Beginning in the 1930s, discriminatory housing policies categorized some neighborhoods—designated with red lines—as too hazardous for investment. Thus, residents in 'redlined' neighborhoods were denied home loans and insurance. These areas continue to be predominantly home to lower-income communities and communities of color. While the practice of redlining was banned in 1968, this study aimed to assess the legacy effects of such policies within the context of rising temperatures.
The study found formerly redlined neighborhoods are hotter than all other neighborhoods in 94% of the 108 cities studied. In particular, the researchers found that redlined neighborhoods across the country are about 5 degrees Fahrenheit warmer, on average, than non-redlined neighborhoods. However, in some cities the differences are much more stark. For example, the cities of Portland, OR, Denver, CO and Minneapolis, MN showed the largest heat differences between redlined and non-redlined areas—as much as 12.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
"The patterns of the lowest temperatures in specific neighborhoods of a citydo not occur because of circumstance or coincidence. They are a result
of decades of intentional investment in parks, green spaces, trees,
transportation and housing policies that provided 'cooling services,'
which also coincide with being wealthier and whiter across the
country," said Shandas. "We are now seeing how those policies are
literally killing those most vulnerable to acute heat."
Yes, if you live in urban areas you are going to experience the Urban Heat Island Effect more than if you live in suburbia. But come on!
This is intersectionality. Tie multiple left wing concepts together into a monistic whole to make them unassailable.
And it also is about U.N. Agenda 21, which calls for just the kind of green spaces being bandied about here.
These people are nuts.
Researchers at Columbia University have published a study arguing that half of the 20th century atmospheric warming in the Arctic was caused by ozone depletion.
From the article:
A study published today in Nature Climate Change by researchers at Columbia University examines the greenhouse warming effects of ozone-depleting substances and finds that they caused about a third of all global warming from 1955 to 2005, and half of Arctic warming and sea ice loss during that period. They thus acted as a strong supplement to carbon dioxide, the most pervasive greenhouse gas; their effects have since started to fade, as they are no longer produced and slowly dissolve.
Ozone-depleting substances, or ODS, were developed in the 1920s and '30s and became popularly used as refrigerants, solvents and propellants. They are entirely manmade, and so did not exist in the atmosphere before this time. In the 1980s a hole in Earth's stratospheric ozonelayer, which filters much of the harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun, was discovered over Antarctica. Scientists quickly attributed it to ODS.
Scientists at Columbia's School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory used climate models to understand the effects of ODS on Arctic climate. "We showed that ODS have affected the Arctic climate in a substantial way," said Lamont-Doherty researcher Michael Previdi. The scientists reached their conclusion using two very different climate models that are widely employed by the scientific community, both developed at the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research.
Considering that almost all planetary warming in the last century occurred in the latter part of the 20th century, this seriously calls into question the notion that carbon dioxide is the culprit. In fact, this drops the warming well below the margin of error.
How long can the charade of carbon dioxide as the primary driver of climate be maintained? It continues to fall apart as new research shows CO2 has less and less to do with anything.
Navy pilot Chad Underwood, another decidedly non-kooky individual, had remained mostly quiet about his own November 2004 UFO encounter until last year, mainly because he wanted to dodge being "attached to the ‘little green men’ crazies that are out there.”
"At no point did I want to speculate as to what I thought this thing was — or be associated with, you know, 'alien beings' and 'alien aircraft' and all that stuff," Underwood told New York Magazine, explaining why it took him so long to speak out. "It is just what we call a UFO. I couldn't identify it. It was flying. And it was an object. It's as simple as that."
END OF QUOTES
RICHMOND, Va. —Stacks of chain-link fencing, white-covered tents and rows of metal detectors were in place Sunday night around Virginia's Capitol in Richmond, ahead of Monday's widely publicized gun rights rally.
Richmond, once the capital of the Confederacy, has been on high alert for days following threats of violence, including claims of a militia storming the Capitol to protesters weaponizing drones.
The fear, though, wasn't enough to keep Maryanne Martin or her husband William away.
"All of our freedoms as Americans are under attack. We have to stand up for our rights."— Maryanne Martin, protester
"All of our freedoms as Americans are under attack," Martin told Fox News. "We have to stand up for our rights."
The Martins, who live in Baltimore, Md., drove 160 miles to Richmond Sunday morning and spent much of the afternoon walking around the barricades in place around the Capitol.
"We wanted to check it out today," she said. "If you ask me, it's a bit of overkill."
There had been concerns that white supremacists and anti-fascist activists would face off in Richmond but one of those activists, Molly Conger, tweeted Sunday that "there is no counter-demonstration planned for the january 20 (sic)convergence of armed militias on virginia's capitol. please, please encourage anyone you know who is thinking about counter protesting this event to stay away from downtown richmond on monday." (sic)
It's a long article and well-worth your time to read it. Found here, https://www.foxnews.com/us/security-measures-heightened-as-thousands-head-to-richmond-for-large-gun-rights-rally one thing that's either left out or under-emphasized is mention of the fears on the Right that the Left, or even the Governor himself -- Ralph "Coonman" Northam -- will stage an attack that will justify his otherwise overkill State of Emergency, which resulted in his being able to prevent law-abiding citizens from bringing their guns to a gun rally.
The rally coincides with the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, which is typically a chance for everyday citizens to use a day off work to lobby their legislators. However, the threat of violence largely kept other groups away from the Capitol, including gun control groups that hold an annual vigil for victims of gun violence.
Not content with saying a vote for Trump is illegal, NBC is now calling the Second Amendment rally in Virginia a "white supremacist" rally.
From Warner Todd Houston:
NBC ‘Reporter’ Pushes Lie that Virginia Gun Rally is Really a ‘White Supremacist’ Event
January 19, 2020
NBC is declaring conservative votes unconstitutional and is calling for the disenfranchising of voters who don't support the Bright and Beautiful.
From the article:
Noah Berlatsky Trump voters motivated by racism may be violating the Constitution. Can they be stopped? Republicans and Democrats alike have been unwilling to reprimand voters or to hold them accountable. But racist voting isn't an accident.
By Noah Berlatsky
If the Trump era has taught us anything, it's that large numbers of white people in the United States are motivated at least in part by racism in the voting booth.
Some politicians deny the evidence, no doubt because they don't want to alienate white voters, including prejudiced ones.
Other commentators try to parse whether Trump's racism will be a winning strategy in 2020. Terry Smith, a visiting professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law, offers a different response in his new book, "Whitelash: Unmasking White Grievance at the Ballot Box."
Rather than excuse racist voters or try to figure out how to live with their choices, he argues that racist voting is not just immoral, but illegal. The government, Smith says, has the ability, and the responsibility, to address it.
This sounds radical. But Smith argues that it's in line with the Constitution and with years of court rulings.
For example, Smith points out that racist appeals in union elections are illegal and that an election in which one side uses racist appeals can be invalidated by the National Labor Relations Board.
Similarly, in the 2016 case Peña v. Rodriguez, the Supreme Court ruled that when a juror expresses overt bigotry, the jury's verdict should be invalidated. ,,,
So how can you tell when voters are acting out of prejudice?
Again, Smith says, employment discrimination law provides a useful analogy. In discrimination cases, courts look for pretexts. If someone gives a reason for a hiring decision that is obviously false or makes little sense in context, the court has good reason to believe that prejudice or bias may have influenced the hiring decision.
Trump's unprecedented, compulsive, easily documented lying during the 2016 campaign made him an irrational choice. It's reasonable to conclude that voters were willing to swallow the falsehoods because they liked what they heard: overt racist appeals and incessant lies about rising crime rates. Research has since suggested that plenty of Trump voters were indeed strongly motivated by racist resentment and anti-immigrant animus.The Left and their media allies are boldly going into the final frontier, the open advocacy for ending elections because they don't go the way our leaders want.
Yes, it is tyranny. Lenin would be proud.
Hat tip: Infidel Blogger's Alliance.
Good news! You now own your own puddle again.
Dr. Jay Lehr tells us the Trump Adminislration has rescinded the Obama policy of calling drainage ditches "navigable waters".
From the article:
The outraged property owners , farmers and trade groups won a nationwide stay of the amended CWA in 2015 by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals only to have it overturned by the Supreme Court in January of 2018.
It mattered not how far from a stream your puddle existed. Five miles, ten miles or more, that water and the land containing it was no longer in your control. Anything you wished to do on that land required approval from EPA and in most cases the hiring of consulting engineers to fill out applications to satisfy the stringent requirements initiated by EPA.
This regulation has wreaked havoc on farmers and ranchers desiring to alter the drainage on their property. In the process of suing those breaking this law, EPA has destroyed families and bankrupted businesses. I have met some of these unfortunate people, all the more unfortunate if they chose to fight this egregiously over reaching government agency.
On December 12 of 2018 the Environmental Protection Agency under the direction of Trump’s new Administrator, Andrew Wheeler, along with the Army Corps of Engineers proposed a clear, understandable, and implementable definition of "waters of the United States that clarifies Federal authority under the Clean Water Act. Unlike the Obama administrations 2015 directive, the new proposal contains a straight forward definition that precludes control over the puddle in my backyard or yours. Final wording of the new rules that will amend the Clean Water Act should be complete early in 2020.I don't like it; the supposedly "right wing" SCOTUS should have declared this policy an abomination. As it stands, the President giveth and a future President can taketh away. This is only a temporary fix to a long term struggle.
But just think what would have happened had Hillary Clinton won the Presidency and cemented the Obama policy in place.
The hydrological cycle, like the atmosphere, is the ultimate in elastic clauses; it can be used to justify any and every power grab. We share water as we share air, and both are being used as tools to destroy free markets and private property.
But I'll take a win when I can get one. This is indeed good news.
I had feared the tire ruts I put in my logging trail road at the Ozark Hilton would wind me up in hot water with the EPA; those ruts filled with water when it rained. I could have lost my land over that.
On the eve of the impeachment trial the GAO has made a very political intrusion into the case. Their claims have no factual basis. Just more swamp dwellers.
Four Observations Concerning the GAO Decision
An article in the Federalist discusses how an American grocery store helped win the Cold War .
From the article:
On Sept. 16, 1989, Boris Yeltsin was a newly elected member of the Soviet Parliament visiting the United States. Following a scheduled visit to Johnson Space Center, Yeltsin and a small entourage made an unscheduled stop at a Randalls grocery store in Clear Lake, a suburb of Houston. He was amazed by the aisles of food and stocked shelves, a sharp contrast to the breadlines and empty columns he was accustomed to in Russia.
Yeltsin, who had a reputation as a reformer and populist, "roamed the aisles of Randall’s nodding his head in amazement,” wroteStefanie Asin, a Houston Chronicle reporter. He marveled at free cheese samples, fresh fish and produce, and freezers packed full of pudding pops. Along the way, Yeltsin chatted up customers and store workers: "How much does this cost? Do you need special education to manage a supermarket? Are all American stores like this?”
Yeltsin was a member of the Politburo and Russia’s upper political crust, yet he’d never seen anything like the offerings of this little American grocery store."Even the Politburo doesn’t have this choice. Not even Mr. Gorbachev,” Yeltsin said.Yeltsin was horrified to realize how poor socialism had made his country.
Poor and inefficient.
When I was in college my Russian teacher - a Soviet defector - spoke of grocery stores. Seems it took the better part of a day to shop.
You had to wait in line to get in. Once inside the stores were divided into multiple departments, and you didn't just go to a shelf and pick something up,but rather you waited in line to ask the department clerk for an item. IF they had anything at all, that is! You bought it regardless of what was available because you could trade with neighbors for stuff you needed.
At any rate, you stood in line, received a bill from the clerk, then went to the checkout and paid. Your bill was makrkd "paid" and you went back into the department line to actually get your item. You had to do this over and over, for meat, produce, canned goods, dry goods, etc. Of course, usually there was only one selection if that in each department.
I remember reading about some Russian hockey players who had defected. The first day one of these players went into a store he gasped, grabbed a cart and began piling everything into it. He couldn't believe that the stuff would be there the next day!
Yeah; socialism is WONDERFUL!
Vagrants in California have turned beaches on the American and Sacramento rivers into cesspools.
From Canada Free Press:
The American River had been named by John Sutter. The Swiss immigrant went bankrupt when his land was overrun by gold prospectors. The new invaders aren’t trying to get rich. They already are. The benevolence of the state’s government in Sacramento means that they get everything for free.
Sutter’s son had founded Sacramento. And Sacramento’s Democrat majority is ‘unfounding’ California. Now the filth of its social welfare policies is fouling the confluence of the Sacramento and American rivers, where explorers once marveled at an expansive landscape, vagrants have set up tent cities.
E. coli levels at beaches are supposed to be at 88 or below, and anything over 1,000 is supposed to lead to a beach closure. At 500, there’s a 10% chance of gastroenteritis and a 4% risk of febrile respiratory disease. But at Discovery Park, the numbers went as high as 2419.6 in December 2019.
The E.coli levels had climbed so high that labs could no longer even properly measure them.
Discovery Park is a convenient getaway for Sacramentans. More recently however, visitors describe mountains of trash, waste, and needles. "Don’t walk, wade or swim without shoes, used needles have been strewn throughout the park,” one Californian wrote. "I found crack heads, hookers, and crazy people screaming obscenities and throwing punches at anyone who came too close,” another described.California is becoming our first Third World state.
The problem is that the people will get infected and spread this around. It's going to go all over the country. At what point will the federal government step in? Certainly this has repercussions to interstate commerce.
I've heard of Big Sur, but Big Sewer?
January 18, 2020
Virginia city official brings AR-15-style rifle to council meeting – triggering some colleagues
Wait for it...
The move by Portsmouth Councilman Nathan Clark came as the council was to consider making the city a "Second Amendment Constitutional City” – placing it in symbolic opposition to gun-control efforts underway in the newly Democrat-controlled state Assembly.
The proposal, debated before a capacity audience in the council chambers, passed 4-3, according to the Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk.
Clark’s gesture also came as the state prepares for a controversial gun-rights rally scheduled for Monday in Richmond, the state capital.
But he apparently angered at least two members of the council in Portsmouth, an Atlantic coast city about 97 miles from Richmond.
The council critics said Clark should have told them in advance that he planned to bring the weapon – and one of them asked Clark to apologize for not doing so.
"It was a disgrace, disheartening and an embarrassment,” Vice Mayor Lisa Lucas-Burke wrote to the council Thursday, according to the newspaper. "Most of us were blindsided by the display.” Lucas-Burke was among three council members who voted against the "Constitutional City” designation. The others were Councilman Shannon Glover and Mayor John Rowe. Glover had complained of being blindsided by Clark's gesture, the report said.[...]
Clark himself did not respond to the newspaper’s request for a comment. But the paper reported that Clark had issued a press release announcing his plan to bring the weapon to the meeting. [Emphasis added]
New research proves what conservatives have been claiming for a long time, namely, that the disparity in prosecutions and sentencing between whites and blacks in America is not a coefficient of racism but rather a function of the severity and barbarity of the crimes committed aka blacks commit more and worse crimes.
Well, well, well; we've been told for a long time - and public policy has been moving toward emptying prisons as a result - that it is just racism that causes disparity in prosecutions and sentencing. The article continues:
The new study, led by Christopher Robertson, a professor of law and associate dean for research and innovation at the James E. Rogers College of Law, involved a controlled experiment with prosecutors, asking them to examine the same hypothetical case but changing the race and class of the defendant.
The study, administered online, provided prosecutors with police reports describing a hypothetical crime, which the researchers designed with assistance from experienced prosecutors. All details of the case were the same except for the suspect's race—either black or white—and occupation—fast-food worker or accountant—to indicate the suspect's socioeconomic status. Roughly half of the prosecutors received one version of the case; the other half received the other.
The study allowed researchers to "really isolate the prosecutor's decision-making in a way that mere observational research wouldn't allow," said Robertson, whose co-authors are Shima Baradaran Baughman of the University of Utah and Megan Wright of Penn State. The paper was published in the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies.
The outcomes the study looked for included whether prosecutors charged a felony, whether they chose to fine the defendant or seek a prison sentence, and the proposed cost of the fine or length of the sentence.
"When we put all those together, we see the same severity of charges, fines and sentences across all the conditions, whether the defendant was black, whether the defendant was white, whether the defendanthad a high-class career or a low-class career," Robertson said. "Differences in the actual outcomes—in the actual behavior of the prosecutors—is what we would have expected if they were biased. But since we see no difference in the outcomes, we concluded that they were not substantially biased."Will this end the drive to reduce sentences and equalize prosecutions? Do black thugs hold their hands in the air and say "Hands up! Don't shoot!" and get shot down anyway because they were walking while black?
Interesting; obesity, diabetes, and heart disease may be catching.
From the article:
So, you might be fat because you have a disease! That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
Guess it wasn't all those paleolithic factories and SUV'S after all.
Just goes to show there was no pastoral paradise prior to industrialization.
By investigating the African fossils, we can see a drastic reduction in the number of large carnivores, a decrease that started about 4 million years ago. About the same time, our ancestors may have started using a new technology to get food called kleptoparasitism, he explains.
Kleptoparasitism means stealing recently killed animals from other predators. For example, when a lion steals a dead antelope from a cheetah.
The researchers are now proposing, based on fossil evidence, that human ancestorsstole recently killed animals from other predators. This would lead to starvation of the individual animals and over time to extinction of their entire species.
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