Latest News

Political Hay

Trump Is Winning the War on Political Correctness

By 1.7.16

Donald Trump has declared war on political correctness. And suddenly the Washington Post realizes Trump is winning the war.

This is a war that could not be won soon enough. To borrow from one of history’s terms for World War II, the war on political correctness is “the good war.” Here’s an excerpt from the Post story the other day, starting with the headline:

Why Trump may be winning the war on ‘political correctness’

Cathy Cuthbertson once worked at what might be thought of as a command post of political correctness — the campus of a prestigious liberal arts college in Ohio.

“You know, I couldn’t say ‘Merry Christmas.’ And when we wrote things, we couldn’t even say ‘he’ or ‘she,’ because we had transgender. People of color. I mean, we had to watch every word that came out of our mouth, because we were afraid of offending someone, but nobody’s afraid of offending me,” the former administrator said.

Another Perspective

2016: Positive Prognosis?

By 1.7.16

As luck would have it, we made it through another year without a successful energy grid attack by the medieval fundamentalists or Russian antagonists who are seeking to paralyze America into darkness and powerlessness. 

On October 15, 2015, U.S. law enforcement officials publicly revealed information on hack attempts at a national conference of American energy companies focusing on national security concerns.

“‘ISIL is beginning to perpetuate cyberattacks,’ Caitlin Durkovich, assistant secretary for infrastructure protection at the Department of Homeland Security, told company executives,” reported Jose Pagliery at CNNMoney.

“Terrorists are not currently using the most sophisticated hacking tools to break into computer systems and turn off or blow up machines,” stated the CNNMoney report.

John Riggi, section chief at the FBI’s cyber division, concisely summarized the current condition: “Strong intent. Thankfully, low capability.” The deficient capability, however, could be short-term. “The concern is that they’ll buy that capability,” cautioned Riggi.

Special Report

A Year of Living on Our Knees

By 1.7.16

“What I’m about to say is maybe a little pompous but I’d rather die standing up than live on my knees.”
— Stéphane Charbonnier (a.k.a. Charb), Editor of Charlie Hebdo, Interview with Le Monde, September 20, 2012

Just over two years after making that statement, Charb would be murdered along with 11 other people by the Kouachi brothers at the headquarters of Charlie Hebdo in Paris in what was France’s deadliest terrorist attack in decades until the ISIS attacks in Paris just 10 months later. Of the dozen killed that day, eight were members of the Charlie Hebdo staff.

A Further Perspective

Crocodile Tears From the President

By 1.7.16

In a passionate — indeed, at one point tearful — speech Tuesday, President Barack Obama announced that he was taking a series of “executive actions” on gun control.

We can all sympathize with the pain and loss suffered by the victims of gun violence and their loved ones. But sympathy is one thing; diagnosing the nature of the problem is another. And devising effective remedies that respect the natural rights of law-abiding citizens — in this case, as articulated in the Second Amendment — is even more difficult.

Many of the president’s proposals are not controversial from a legal standpoint. For example, he is asking Congress to fund 200 additional ATF agents to enforce existing gun laws. He also seeks $500 million to increase access to mental health care.

Letter From San Francisco

Snitch vs. Snitches

By 1.6.16

“They went to the toilet and they scraped the bowl,” defense attorney Tony Serra railed during his closing arguments for client Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow, 56, who stands accused of murder and racketeering. Chow, you may recall, was caught up in a March 2014 federal sweep that netted 26 other defendants, including former California state Sen. Leland Yee, who pleaded guilty to a racketeering charge last year. Serra finished his analogy with the conclusion that federal prosecutors produced a few “scumbags” willing to testify against Chow in return for lenient sentences. “Homicidal maniacs, some of them,” they are not to be trusted, Serra warned.

Main Street U.S.A.

The Obama ‘Legacy’

By 1.6.16

He’s going! He’s going! The Constitution provides that even the rowdiest celebrations of political indulgence end on a date certain.

The Obama bacchanals wind down in 12 months. A new host — to be identified before the end of the year — will take over. All we know in the meantime is that the cleanup bill, to whomsoever presented, will be large.

Meanwhile, as 2016 began, Barack H. Obama was thoughtful enough to remind his fellow countrymen of the “legacy” he leaves the cleanup crew.

Item No. 1: Gun control. Obama this week proudly announced a package of presidential initiatives aimed, so to speak, at reducing the number of murders committed with firearms. The package includes requirements for tighter licensing of gun dealers and enhanced oversight of buyers.

Points to notice:

Another Perspective

Hollywood Fails to Spotlight Its Own Abuse

By 1.6.16

“Continuing my walk I reflected that a Church which could inspire such confidence in a child, making its priests, even when unknown, so easily approachable could not be as scheming and creepy as so often made out. I began to shake off my long-taught, long-absorbed prejudices.”
Alec Guinness, Blessings in Disguise, referring to an incident during filming of The Detective (1954)

The recent film Spotlight should be commended for featuring the Boston Globe’s storied investigative team and their Pulitzer Prize winning reporting that, as Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston, said in a late October statement to the Pilot, forced the church “to deal with what was shameful and hidden.”

Special Report

Another Camille and Overdue Bills

By 1.6.16

Today, Camille Cosby was scheduled to appear in a deposition relating to a lawsuit against her husband, Bill Cosby. But a federal judge agreed late yesterday to an emergency request filed on Monday by lawyers representing the Cosbys to delay the deposition, pending an appeal on whether she should testify at all. But the Crosby saga is far from over and has profound implications for the Clintons.

Seven women who allege Bill Cosby sexually assaulted them brought this particular lawsuit. A few hours before New Year’s Eve, Federal Judge David H. Hennessey had denied Camille Cosby’s motion to quash the deposition based on spousal privilege and that her testimony would be an “undue burden.” He noted she might have relevant knowledge, especially as Cosby’s business manager. Cosby’s leading-from-behind lawyers should have had her abrogate that post long ago.

Cosby himself has said, “People would rather deal with me than with Camille. She’s rough to deal with when it comes to my business.” Sounds like something Bill Clinton might say about Hillary.

The Current Crisis

Rahm, I Tried to Warn You

By 1.6.16

Chicago has always struck me as one of the most affluent cities in the world. Growing up in Chicagoland I saw little poverty in the city at the foot of glistening Lake Michigan. I am sure poverty was there, but Chicago in the 1960s seemed rich and abundant with opportunity. Alas, that was long ago. Chicago is still affluent at least on its north side and in the environs around Michigan Avenue, the city’s Magnificent Mile. Yet, statistics tell us something different when we consider Chicago as a whole. Its poor neighborhoods are desperate.

Read the headlines from the city that two generations of Daleys governed effectively. Young males, usually blacks, are dying on the streets often from run-ins with the police. For a certitude, they are acting recklessly, carrying weapons, often knives and guns, but the cops are acting aggressively. Just the other day a young man, agitated and carrying a baseball bat, was shot to death by a cop. Obviously Chicago cops are dangerous. Moreover, city government seems to be covering up for them.

The Public Policy

Sowing the Seeds of Discontent in the West

By 1.6.16

There are real and deeply serious issues underpinning the “standoff” at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon — both having to do with the idea that liberal appellate court judges, at the behest of federal prosecutors and agenda-driven bureaucrats, can send people back to jail after they have completed their initial sentences, and with the more general issue of the public policy problems surround federal ownership of massive amounts of public lands in the West.

It must be stipulated at the start, however, that the armed occupation of an empty federal facility is fundamentally unhelpful to the process of finding solutions to either, and, in fact, is nothing more than a distraction to serious discussions of those solutions. But solutions need to be found, since the problems surrounding the standoff (especially those pertaining to public lands) have been festering for decades.