Saturday, December 31, 2016

TrumpLand and Clinton Archipelago

Vivid Maps has created a pair of revelatory maps
using IDW (Inverse distance weighted) technique in ArcGIS.
(See also their post on the 2016 U.S. presidential election results in three maps…)

Friday, December 30, 2016

Voter ID: Apparently not allowing minorities to cheat is a form of racial oppression

We can thank Jill Stein and her hopeless recount effort for bringing about at least some positive change in our election system
writes Benny Huang.
In the face of incontrovertible evidence of voter fraud in Michigan’s most populous county, the Michigan House passed a much needed voter ID bill. Unfortunately, the Michigan Senate will probably not vote on the bill this session. Pray that they get to it in the New Year.

The bill is long overdue though it won’t fix the particular problem discovered during the Michigan recount. Here’s what happened: when state officials reviewed the Michigan vote tally they began to notice an odd trend at polling places found mostly in Wayne County, the heavily Democratic area where Detroit is located. At some polling places more ballots were cast than names checked off the voter rolls.  The problem was particularly pronounced in Detroit where 247 of the city’s 662 voting precincts counted more ballots than voters. The city was rife with broken seals on ballot boxes, a strong indicator that ballots were either added, removed, or swapped out. According to a spokesman for Michigan’s Secretary of State, election staff attributed irregularities at polling places in Detroit to human error. Apparently there’s a lot more “human error” in big corrupt cities than in other places.

“There’s always going to be small problems to some degree, but we didn’t expect the degree of problem we saw in Detroit. This isn’t normal,” said Krista Haroutunian, chairwoman of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers. I’d venture to say that she’s likely wrong on that point. This degree of suspicious irregularity is probably very normal—for Detroit.

The excess ballots should be considered the absolute minimum level of cheating. There may have been other forms of chicanery layered on top of that—voter impersonation, for example, or non-citizens voting. Those types of voter fraud are more difficult to detect especially when people in power have a vested interest in turning a blind eye. Liberals will deny that any such thing took place but of course they’re also denying the blatant ballot-stuffing, sheepishly explaining it as “human error.” The lesson to be learned here is that Democrats always deny and minimize voter fraud when they’re the ones behind it—which happens to be most of the time. Their denials are nothing but meaningless noise.

What then can voter ID law do to clean up this mess? Not much. Voter ID is intended to stop voters from misrepresenting themselves not crooked poll workers from fiddling with the ballots after they’ve been cast. Voter ID is not enough. The real solution to the problem of voter fraud is to break the backs of the corrupt urban Democratic machines that run most of our big cities.

That won’t be easy of course, and it will be downright impossible as long as Loretta Lynch and her Department of “Just-Us” is around to protect them. The current administration views any effort to restore integrity to our chaotic elections as a furtive attempt at disenfranchising minority voters. Apparently not allowing minorities to cheat is a form of racial oppression.

 … Just don’t expect the corrupt Democratic machines to go softly into the night. They will sue, they will protest, and they will slander good people with spurious accusations of racism. They will make those of us who care about electoral integrity wonder if it’s really worth the fight. I assure you, it is.

We don’t have much time. There are midterm elections in two years and another presidential election two years after that. If the Democrats learned anything from their 2016 debacle it’s that they didn’t cheat nearly enough. Next time they’ll really cheat their asses off—worse than Bill Belichick, I mean.

Cheating is a long-standing tradition within the Democratic Party dating back to New York’s Tammany Hall. Some of their world-class cheaters have included Lyndon Johnson in Texas, Richard Daley in Chicago, and Honey Fitz in Boston. They’ve elevated cheating to an art form.

In 1965 we passed the Voting Rights Act which enabled federal officials to crack down on corrupt Democrats in the rural South who engaged in voter intimidation while conveniently doing nothing about corrupt Democrats in the urban North who engaged in voter fraud—and sometimes voter intimidation as well. Though the law wreaked of northern hegemony, it was sold to the naïve public as a sincere effort to keep election officials honest.

It was the age old story of our nation—we northerners using the federal government as the means and racism as the pretext to force our will upon southerners. Sure, there was a problem in the South; but there was a similar problem in the North and the federal government didn’t post outsiders at our polling places to babysit us. We northerners were permitted to run our own elections which were then, just as they are now, hopelessly tainted with corruption. Southerners, on the other hand, were placed under some adult supervision—by which I mean Yankee supervision.

Voter fraud is very real. Anyone who tells you otherwise either benefits from it or is simply foolish. I’ve noticed that a curious kind of circular logic surrounds the crime of voter fraud that doesn’t apply to other kinds of crime. The fraud deniers refuse to consider any incidents of voter fraud because no one has proven to their satisfaction that it ever happens more than a few times per election cycle in disparate locations. Mere “anecdotes,” they say. They then cite a lack of convictions for voter fraud as proof that it never happens. I wonder if it ever occurs to them that there aren’t many convictions because no one is on the lookout for it and anyone who tries to stop it is smeared as a racist?

 …  Examples of voter fraud abound. In Indiana, the state police are investigating the Indiana Voter Registration Project for running what appears to be a massive absentee ballot scam in 56 counties. Stay tuned for some final resolution on that one. A CBS affiliate in Los Angeles found 265 deceased Californians who had apparently voted from beyond the grave. In Virginia, the Public Interest Legal Foundation discovered 1,046 non-citizens on the voter rolls in just the eight counties that responded to their request. In Wisconsin, A Hillary Clinton surrogate bragged on camera about busing voters around to vote at multiple polling places.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Who raped and trafficked teenage girls in Coventry? Evil "men," we are told

Why is it that I do not feel like I am wrong, or unfair, or racist, or guilt-ridden when (I guess that must be what I am doing) I racially profile the Five men [who] have been convicted of sexually abusing and trafficking six teenage girls in Coventry?

The "sex gang" of "evil" men treated victims "like pieces of meat," we are told by the BBC.
Waqaar Khan, Kadeem Bourne, Kenan Kelly, Marcus Woolcock and Zahid Chaudhary were accused of almost 40 offences, Warwick Crown Court heard.

Ringleader Khan befriended the girls, aged 15 to 17, on social media before picking them up and forcing them to have sex, sometimes filming it.

West Midlands Police described them as "brazen, calculating and evil".

The court heard the men took the girls, some of whom were in care, to secluded areas of the city and sometimes gave them alcohol or drugs before abusing and trafficking them for sex.

One girl, aged 17, said she was knocked out by one of the men and came round to see them watching a video of herself being raped while she was unconscious.

[Detective Chief Inspector] Ian Green said Khan came to the attention of police in March when he was a mutual "friend" on the accounts of several vulnerable young girls in the city.

When police subsequently examined his phone, officers found thousands of text messages containing "sexualised conversations and several videos of graphic sexual abuse".

The girls identified the other men and a "comprehensive investigation" was started.

"It was the brazen nature of their offending that they actually thought they were untouchable and these girls wouldn't report it through fear," Mr Green said.
I wonder why on Earth these men might have thought they were untouchable?!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Economic Dependency and Feelings of Victimhood: What Exactly Is the Precise Subtext of Hope 'n' Change ?

Perhaps the best quote about Michelle Obama's hopelessness comes from Ann Althouse (thanks to Glenn Reynolds).
“Michelle Obama seems to confuse the past and the future in a strange way that relates to a criticism of Democrats one often hears: Their political strategy relies on maintaining economic dependency and feelings of victimhood. To say you must have hope is — think about it — a euphemistic way to say you must continue to feel needy.”

Yes, He Can: Yes, Obama Could Have Won a Third Term; But Not for the Reason He Thinks

Actually, it is entirely possible that Barack Obama may be right when, as Fox News reports, he says that, had he been able to run, he could have won a third term in the White House.
Describing his confidence in an America that is “tolerant” and “full of energy,” Obama said: “I am confident in this vision because I'm confident that … if I had run again and articulated it, I think I could've mobilized a majority of the American people to rally behind it.”
However, he would not, might not, have won again because of who he is, or because of what he stands for, or because of what his programs contain.

The victory would be because of decades of efforts by "neutral" and "independent" "journalists" (aka Democrats with bylines) in the mainstream media to whitewash (sic?) the Apologizer-in-Chief and members of the Democrat Party as well as the policies they stand for.
“I know that in conversations that I've had with people around the country, even some people who disagreed with me, they would say the vision, the direction that you point towards is the right one,” Obama told Axelrod, defending his assertion.
The truth is, that if reporters were generally fair and neutral and balanced, you would be hard-pressed to wonder if a member of the Democrat Party could ever win an election again.

Let's get down to basics:

What do the Democrats stand for?

Helping the victims of society while bashing and berating the members of society who don't want to help same, punishing the latter in all sorts of ways, not least by increasing their taxes.

In other words, they think of everyone as children: innocent tykes who must be protected, along with spoiled, ill-behaved brats who must be given dressing-downs and be punished by having (parts of) their allowances removed.

What do the Republicans stand for?

The Republicans don't want to help blacks, they do not want to help women, they do not want to help Latinos and immigrants, and they do not want to help gays and transgenders.

Just as the Republicans do not want to help… (wait for it)… whites and males and straights!


Because they think — they know — that the average man, woman, person, is a grown-up, an adult who can be expected to manage his or her life without dramatics and intervention by hordes of professional politicians and armies of career bureaucrats, or too much thereof.

Isn't this what the revolution of 1776 was all about?

Isn't this what the constitution of 1787 is all about?

We Americans are grown-ups!

And we expect to be treated as such.

Related: Another thing the mainstream media might have
found out about Obama's past had he been a Republican

Michelle Obama's Response Is Far Worse
Than Saying Life Under Trump Is Without Hope:
She Considers that Americans Are Kids
in Need of a Father Figure for President

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

"The only thing surprising about Barack Obama's latest blow against Israel" wrote Thomas Sowell, in… 2011 (!), "is that there are people who are surprised"

The only thing surprising about Barack Obama's latest blow against Israel is that there are people who are surprised
wrote Thomas Sowell back in… June… 2011 (Obama's general approach to foreign policy — selling out our allies to curry favor with our adversaries)!
Whether as a radical student, a community organizer or a far left politician, Barack Obama's ideology has been based on a vision of the Haves versus the Have Nots.

 … Israel is one of the Haves. Its neighbors remain among the Have Nots, despite their oil. No wonder that Barack Obama has bent over backward, in addition to bowing low forward, to support the side that his ideology favors.

Israel is not simply to have its interests sacrificed and its security undermined. It is to be brought down a peg and-- to the extent politically possible-- insulted. Obama has already done all these things. His latest pronouncement is just more of the same.

Whether at home or abroad, Obama's ideology is an ideology of envy, resentment and payback.

 … All of this is consistent with Obama's general approach to foreign policy-- selling out our allies to curry favor with our adversaries.

My four favorite memes among those chosen by Powerline's Steven Hayward to illustrate Thomas Sowell's thoughts (thanks to Ed Driscoll) are reproduced in this post.

Which brings up a question:

Wouldn't it be great if somebody in the Trump administration would nominate Thomas Sowell to become 2017's choice for the Nobel Prize in Economics?
Related: • "The poor" are the human shields behind whom advocates of ever bigger spending for ever bigger government advance toward their goal

• "If you look at the first 100 years after slavery, black communities were a lot safer"

Let's end this post with a Thomas Sowell quote from November 2008:
[Barack Obama has] accomplished nothing other than to advance his career through rhetoric
says Thomas Sowell (thanks to Frank) as he speaks with Peter Robinson (6:00),
and it reminds me of a sophomore in college who thinks he can change the world because he's never had to run anything.

Good-Bye, Princess: Carrie Fisher Is Dead at 60

Incredible: at only 60, the Star Wars movies' Princess Leia is gone…

Now, some of us are feeling really old!
Carrie Fisher had just come out with a new part-time autobiography, The Princess Diarist, besides appearing in a surprise cameo, with one brief line or two, as her younger self in the final scenes of Rogue One… (Thanks for the Instapundit link, Ed Driscoll)

(Somewhat) Related: What was the one single biggest plot hole in The Force Awakens?

Update: 14 Other Movies Featuring Star Wars Actress Carrie Fisher

Monday, December 26, 2016

Oppression Olympics: AIn't it a nice change to see the victimhood pathology eating away at the grand coalition of the oppressed rather than at our nation as a whole?

The University of California’s “Students of Color Conference” ended in disarray earlier this month
notes Benny Huang,
with various racial, ethnic, and religious groups vying for the “Biggest Victim” prize. Though it was intended to foster thoughtful discussion about issues that affect minorities, the conference devolved into a “safe space gone wrong” according to The Daily Bruin’s Jacqueline Alvarez.

Rather than hating white people, the various groups turned on each other. “[T]he conference eventually turned into a kind of ‘oppression Olympics,’ where students argued over which minority group was oppressed the most rather than finding solidarity and understanding amongst each other,” wrote Alvarez. One point of contention was the conference’s theme: “Fighting anti-Blackness.” The whole conference was geared toward America’s premiere victim group, blacks, which displeased some members of other groups. When one student asked why other groups’ issues weren’t being discussed a black student replied that blacks were the most oppressed which elicited a negative response from a Muslim student who said that her people were being bombed in the Middle East.

I don’t know about you but I find this whole story very entertaining. It’s a nice change to see the victimhood pathology eating away at the grand coalition of the oppressed rather than at our nation as a whole.

Modern progressivism is an identity politics stew consisting of divergent groups that don’t always agree. What binds them together is a visceral hatred of Western civilization which they associate with white people, Christianity, capitalism, individual rights, and “the patriarchy” (men). They’ve shown great progress in vanquishing all of these things.

The Left has an obsession with tearing down the status quo, a task it has been engaged in for more than two hundred years. Armed with rhetorical sledge hammers they go about smashing everything they see. Smash monogamy! Smash the patriarchy! Smash capitalism! Smash this! Smash that! Smashing is what they do best and for that the Left deserves to be called a demolition crew.

Leftists won’t admit this of course. In their own minds they are building a better, more egalitarian future. But in order to usher in that future they must first demolish Western civilization and sweep away the wretched rubble. This task has become their fixation. So focused are they on undermining the current order that they’ve almost lost sight of their supposed long term goal of building an earthly paradise in its place.

In all likelihood, they never will get around to the construction phase of their strategy because the demolition phase will never be complete. Consider for a moment their obsession with racism. Leftists perceive it everywhere and concoct phony examples of it where it doesn’t exist. Here’s a good example: Just before the election, a black church in Mississippi was torched and spray-painted with the words “Vote Trump.” Police have since arrested a man named Andrew McClinton for the heinous act. Who is this scoundrel? A klansman, perhaps? Nope. McClinton is a black member of the church. This man actually burnt down his own spiritual home just to make a point about the imaginary racists who live in his head.

In order to sustain our hysteria about racism the Left needs to provide teachable moments from time to time. The Mississippi church burning was one such moment. The lessons they wanted us to learn from it were that white supremacism still reigns supreme and that we must continue smashing it with all due ferocity. Therefore, demolition is still called for—and always will be. There’s never a good time to declare victory in the war on racism.

Unfortunately for them, a movement so tightly bound up with destruction runs the risk of devouring itself from within.

… We conservatives should take every opportunity to point out that the Left’s many strange bedfellows don’t have much in common. Sometimes we do illuminate the absurdity of a movement that counts both Muslims and homosexuals as members. Don’t “gays” know that most Muslims hate them? Many don’t. But we haven’t done a good enough job explaining to Muslims that homosexuals hate them too. We might want to mention that after the social justice warriors complete their incremental criminalization of Christianity they’ll have all the right precedents in place to do the same to Islam.

“No fair!” shout the Leftists. “That’s the politics of divisiveness!” Yes, I suppose it is. But they started it.

 Conservatives want people in this country to unite behind a common national identity—as Americans—whereas  liberals want to split the population into many different groups based on sex, sexuality, class, race, and religion before bundling the majority of those splinter groups into a coalition that will act as a battering ram against the dreaded System. They really don’t like it when we try to dilute the glue that binds their various constituency groups together.

 …/… I do believe that Trump was trying to split the Obama coalition but that’s okay because it richly deserves to be split. Black people’s interests are not the same as Hispanics’ interests and on the issue of illegal immigration blacks’ interests are in fact diametrically opposed to what Hispanic advocacy groups demand. Our unsecured borders have worked out great for dishonest employers but not for blacks who have found themselves competing for entry-level jobs with people who will work for less.

Trump was not, however, trying to drive a wedge between blacks and Latinos but rather between blacks and illegal aliens. There’s a difference. Perhaps it’s time for blacks to ask themselves where their true interests lie. What exactly do they gain from illegal immigration? Nothing, as far as I can see.

There are other reason why blacks should not rejoice in the booming Hispanic population, many of whom came here illegally.

 … Van Jones doesn’t like people messing with the “Obama coalition” because his goal is to unite black and brown against white. Am I guilty of wanting black and white to unite to against brown? No. I want Americans of all colors to come together against illegal alien invaders—not all of whom are Hispanic. This is our country. It belongs to a multiracial group of people called Americans and we decide who may enter our house.

The coalition of the oppressed is in fact very fragile. Don’t hesitate to do everything in your power to aggravate its inherent schisms. Their goal is to destroy Western civilization so don’t feel bad about wanting to destroy their contrived sense of solidarity.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

When conservatives appeal to the Bible, we hear the inevitable “you can’t impose your morality on other people”; but social critics are quick to (mis)quote the Bible when they can make it seem to support their quirky political views

Twitchy's Brett T deadpans that ABC News political analyst [is] shocked that Christians didn’t treasure his gift of politicizing the holiday (thanks to Ed Driscoll).
Why would Christians be uncivil to ABC News’ chief political analyst on Christmas Eve, of all days? It’s impossible to know for sure, but his contribution to the holiday might have something to do with it.
Ah, the gift of politicization that absolutely no one asked for! Just chuck that over in the pile with the “Joseph and Mary were homeless” lectures from Hillary Clinton and Al Gore and Jesse Jackson and …

Every Christmas, liberals who despise the Bible and the message of the Bible try to find something from the Bible in an attempt to advance some liberal cause based on the Bible
writes Gary DeMar (while ignoring
the Bible when it addresses same-sex sexuality/marriage and killing of unborn children).

As usual, they get it wrong, similar to the way they get the Bible’s “my brother’s keeper” message wrong.

At first, the Christmas story became a political message about homelessness. Then liberals claimed that when Mary and Joseph could not find a room in Bethlehem – you guessed it – it’s just like today’s refugee problem. Never let a contrived Bible story go to waste.

The problem with the refugee analogy is that Joseph was not a foreigner seeking refuge from his homeland since he was from Bethlehem, the place of his birth. He was a citizen of Israel. As we’ll see, the existing government was oppressing people. In this case, through taxes.

The latest claim has been made by ABC News chief political analyst Matthew Dowd who tweeted the following:
“Let us remember today 2 immigrants, a man and his very pregnant wife, sought shelter & were turned away by many. She gave birth in a manger.”
  … You can’t be an immigrant in your own country.

Jesse Jackson was the first liberal to turn Christmas into a political propaganda piece. It was in the December 26, 1988, issue if Jet Magazine. The title of the article was “Jesse Jackson Tells the Real Meaning of Christmas.”

He made the same claim in 1991 when George H. W. Bush was president. He repeated his “homeless couple” theme at the 1992 Democratic National Convention

Barbara Reynolds, a former columnist for USA Today, scolded the “Christian Right” for opposing government welfare programs by appealing to the birth narrative of the Bible: “They should recall,” she writes, “that Jesus Christ was born homeless to a teen who was pregnant before she was married.”

Hillary Clinton, in comments critical of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s homeless policies, sought to remind the easily manipulated and ill-informed that “Christmas celebrates ‘the birth of a homeless child.’”

Rev. William Sterrett told The Providence (RI) Journal that the true Christmas story is about the poor and needy. “We have a very clear picture about the whole thing,” Sterrett said. “But the truth is Mary and Joseph were homeless. She gave birth to Jesus in a barn. This image captures the essence of a Christmas story because you cannot get any poorer than that.” There’s no evidence that Jesus was born in a barn.

Pat Nichols, writing for The Berkshire Eagle (Pittsfield, MA), concludes, “At the core, the story of Christmas is about a homeless couple about to have a baby. It is a story about poverty that most of us never experience, people with little more than they carry on their backs and a donkey to provide transportation.”5

Have these people ever read the Bible? The Christmas story is set during a time of government control, high taxation, and political oppression (what we would be getting more of if Hillary had been elected in 2016).

 … Politicians and social critics are quick to quote and misquote the Bible when they can twist its message to support their quirky and dangerous political views.
When conservatives appeal to the Bible, we hear the inevitable “separation of church and state,” “you can’t impose your morality on other people,” “religion and politics don’t mix.” But they are quick to impose their distorted view of biblical morality on the rest of us through the power of civil government.

The Advent story, in addition to being a demonstration of God’s love toward sinners, is also about how taxes hurt the poor and government decrees can turn productive families into the disenfranchised by enacting and enforcing counterproductive laws.

Kitten in the Breadbasket

My parents' 3-month-old cat
joins us for Christmas dinner…

Merry Christmas, everybody!