The Federalist reports that Nancy Pelosi wants to keep churches closed. When asked to comment on her archbishop’s statement that the state and local governments’ restrictions on worship violate the First Amendment, the Speaker said,
With all due respect to my Archbishop, I think we should follow science on this. And again with faith and science, sometimes they’re countered to each other.
Mrs. Pelosi is wrong in multiple ways in her statement. First, there is less science involved the medical response to the Wuhan virus pandemic than many people imagine. Good medicine, like good engineering, uses scientific knowledge and principles to the extent they are available and applicable to the case at hand, but sometimes a new problem must be dealt with without existing good scientific knowledge available. Guesswork based on experience may or may not give an optimal solution, and some guesses will be wrong. Today’s news about Nashville’s wrongheaded response in closing certain business is just one example of how fallible public health officials, mayors, and governors have been. Continuing to act as if a failed hypothesis is correct in bad science.
Second, while her invocation of science is bad science, her theology is even worse. Without exception, apparent contradictions between what we think we understand from science and theology wind up being caused by a lack of clear understanding of what one or both of them are trying to tell us—or from asking one of them to answer questions about which it has no answers. Science tells us how. Religion tells us why. (See the posts under the Science and the Bible tab in the menu above for more on this point.)
Third, her due respect for the pastoral authority of her Archbishop requires that she submit to his spiritual leadership. If she can not or will not, she has a limited range of options. She can go full Karen and speak with his manager. The Pope would probably take her phone call. (Come to think of it, she might even get support from Pope Francis.) Her other honest choice is to leave the Catholic Church. I expect she will do neither.
The voters of San Francisco are getting what they voted for. Good and hard.
Over the past few years, the Gentle Reader has seen references to three Rule 5s here at Hogewash!—
Stacy McCain’s Rule 5—Everybody loves a pretty girl.
Saul Alinsky’s Rule 5—Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 5—Often mentioned when Brett Kimberlin violated it in many of his court filings.
Today, the Senate Homeland Security Committee authorized subpoena for John Brennan, James Comey, James Clapper, and others to testify. The committee had held off issuing subpoenas to avoid interference with U. S. Attorney John Durham’s investigation into the Russian Collusion Hoax.
Over the next few weeks we will probably be seeing the application of another Rule 5—Invoke your Fifth Amendment right to silence when you’re under indictment.
Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen. OK, a bit behind schedule, but more or less on track.
And Donald Trump’s America contains the following:
Kate Brown’s Oregon which contains
Ted Wheeler’s Portland
Jay Insee’s Washington which contains
Jenny Durkan’s Seattle
Gavin Newsom’ California which contains
Eric Garcetti’s Los Angeles and
London Breed’s San Francisco
J. B. Pritzker’s Illinois which contains
Lori Lightfoot’s Chicago
Andrew Cuomo’s New York which contains
Bill de Blasio’s New York City
Tony Evers’ Wisconsin which contains
John Antaramian’s Kenosha
In fact, Trump’s America contains 50 states with thousands of their own political subdivisions over which the President of the United States has no direct control of local affairs—but the local elected officials should. Whether local officials do or not exercise control or whether they are effective or not is generally not a federal question.
The California Assembly has passed a bill to set up a a task force to look at the question of slavery reparations. The bill now moves to the state Senate.
Slavery was not legal in the California under Mexican law when it became a territory of the United States in 1848, and slavery was never legal in the territory afterward. In 1849, a black man who had been brought to the territory as a slave won a court case that resulted in his freedom and the legal precedent of the official non-acknowledgement of slavery in California. It entered the Union as a free state in 1850.
California was a part of Mexico before 1848, and Mexico outlawed slavery in 1829. Prior to 1829 (under both Spanish and Mexican rule), the indigenous people of California were treated as de facto slaves by the Hispanic settlers.
So the history of California is such that if any reparations for slavery are owed, they are owed to the members of the various Indian tribes of California—and they are owed by the Hispanics in the state. It’s probably a safe bet that essentially none of the legislators who voted for the bill are aware of their state’s actually history of slavery.
I’m pleased that Mrs. Hoge and I left California 30 years ago.
I’ve been sued for defamation by people who didn’t like what I wrote about them here at Hogewash!, and I’ve won all eight such lawsuits. Some were won on technical issues, but I won the ones that were decided on their merits because I had told the truth in my reporting.
Because there are enough wrong/evil/stupid things that the bad guys do, there is no need to make up lies about them. Because there are enough real conspiracies in the world to be investigated and reported on, there is no need to invent fake conspiracy theories. Indeed, outrage over shoddy or outright fake reporting can wind up being used by the bad guys as a smoke screen to keep the public from seeing truthful adverse reporting.
Kevin Clinesmith’s guilty plea to making a false statement related to an application for a FISA warrant renewal against Carter Page reveals some of the truth behind the Russia Collusion Hoax and a part of the Deep State’s involvement therein. Reporting about the actual facts supported by actual hard evidence in the Clinesmith case helps the public understand some of what it needs to know about the Deep State.
OTOH, the recently released Shawdowgate video appears to be poorly sourced. It presents allegations from a couple of individuals with murky backgrounds that are unsupported by hard evidence. In theory, the allegations, or some at least, might be true, but the lack of journalistic rigor leaves the story it reports open to attack. From what I have seen so far, such attacks are probably justified.
I believe that the Deep State is real, that it contains some bad actors, that they interfered in the 2016 election, and that some of them will be caught and held to account. Truthful, fact-based reports about that situation will help the public hold politicians and bureaucrats accountable. Spinning tales of fanciful conspiracy theories or knowingly false narratives plays into the Deep State’s hands.
When I was a kid back in the ’50s, my mother would occasionally shop at the A&P store at the junction of Natchez Trace and West End Avenue in Nashville, Centennial Park was across West End from the store, and my little brother and I would go across to the park and hang out in a playground. I can remember that there were street car tracks in the center of West End Avenue. The tracks hadn’t been used since just before World War II when the last street cars were replaced with buses.
Then, one day in the mid-to-late ’50s, they had repaved the street, and tracks were replaced with a wide pedestrian traffic island.
That was just one small part of the ongoing conspiracy to make it difficult to continue to use obsolete technologies. The next thing you know, they might start removing unused mailboxes from street corners.
… and it hasn’t been for almost a decade. The Obama administration began phasing out paper checks in 2011, and since March, 2013, all new applications for Social Security benefits must include sign-up for electronic payments to a bank, credit union, or a savings and loan account or to an EBT card. The only exemptions are for people with certain disabilities such as as mental impairment or who live in remote geographic location where electronic payments may be prohibitive. I received my first Social Security “check” in 2013 by direct deposit.
You’d would think that a mentally competent person in her late 70’s would be aware of how she receives her Social Security benefits, but the Speaker of the House seems to think that checks are still being mailed. She sent this as the opening paragraph of a message explaining why she was calling the House back from the August recess in order to vote on the “Delivering for America Act” to prohibit the Postal Service from changing levels of service from what they were on 1 January, 2020.BTW, the “Delivering for America Act” could be a dumb idea on multiple levels. An improvement in service is a change; are improvements forbidden? Also, there was no mail delivery on New Year’s Day, 2020. Without mail delivery, it’s going to be hard to use mail-in ballots for the November election. (OTOH, that may be feature rather than a bug.)
One of claims that Brett Kimberlin made in several of his LOLsuits was that truthful reporting about him had harmed a business relationship between Justice Through Music Project and the U. S. State Department. The TKPOTD for three years ago today dealt with that claim and posted a copy of the State Department’s response to a Freedom of Information Act request about any such relationship.
* * * * *
One of the things that The Dread Pro-Se Kimberlin has claimed in some of his LOLsuits is that the truthful reporting by my codefendants and me harmed a relationship between Justice Through Music Project and the State Department. He claimed to have had a business relationship with the State Department’s International Leadership Program to teach foreign activists how to use social media. As part of my preparation to defend those LOLsuits, I filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the State Department asking for the details of Kimberlin’s work for them.
TL;DR—We won’t admit to having anything to do with him.
* * * * *
Yes, well, that’s from the State Department, and the FOIA request deals with activities when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, so it may be that information was on a wiped server in some bathroom closet. Or it may be that Kimberlin is no longer seen as useful by that element of the Deep State. Or he could have been lying. Or perhaps the correct conjunction to use is and.
Here’s what may be the money quote from the en banc rehearing of the In Re Michael Flynn mandamus petition at the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit today. In explaining why the list of reasons for dismissal given to the trial court were sufficient but not necessarily exhaustive, Acting Solicitor General Jeff Wall said—
The AG sees this in context of non-public information. It may be possible that the AG had before him information that he was not able to share with the Court.
Last night, documents related to the case number 15-cv-07433 in the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York were unsealed pursuant to an order from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. The case is styled Virginia L. Giuffre v. Ghislaine Maxwell. The suit is a defamation case centered around statements Mrs. Guiffre made about Ms. Maxwell and her association with Jeffrey Epstein. Maxwell had moved for summary judgment in the matter, claiming that the undisputed facts demonstrated that she was entitled to win the case as a matter of law. The judge found there were disputed facts which should be tried by a jury and denied the motion. The judge’s opinion and the evidence submitted to the court by both sides for and against the motion had been sealed. Reporters sought to have the record unsealed. Various people mentioned in the evidence sought to have it kept sealed. It’s now unsealed with minor redactions such as the names of underage children.
I’ve downloaded the files.
After a quick skimming, the evidence seems to confirm some of the things that many people suspected about the case. Certain people and organizations may see their reputations affected negatively. One of those organizations is the FBI. I plan to have a post about that later.
Sarah Hoyt has a thoughtful piece over at PJ Media explaining why she expects the current playacting at revolution by the Left to fail. She argues the false premises of the marxist philosophical worldview of the Left has so distorted their perceptions of Reality that they can’t understand why their efforts to bring about Utopia keep failing. In frustration the Left is throwing a tantrum because things aren’t “fair.”
They expect that the “99 Percent” will rise up in solidarity with them to overthrow the “1 Percent” of capitalist oppressors. However, it’s the Left that won the slow revolutionary march through the institutions over the past fifty years. It’s Leftists who now make up most of the “1 Percent.”
Real revolutions, not the left’s pretend theater, are not “and the people rose up.” That’s usually the last stage. Real revolutions are caused by living conditions/ways of making a living changing so dramatically that ideology must follow.
Communism and socialism were – though heads-on-pants insane – well suited to the mentality of mass production and mass movements.
They’re fish out of water in the 21st century. Which is why every move they make turns against them. Their heads are full of a society that no longer exists.
I’m not saying they’re not a danger, particularly in the areas – geographic and social – they control. What I’m saying is that they’re losing that control.
Read the whole thing.
In effect, proles who thought they had been guaranteed a spot in the Outer Party and had a shot at making it into the Inner Party are raging because their Fill-in-the-Blank Studies did not qualify them for anything other than struggling to service a significant debt on a barista’s wages. One part of the left is revolting against another.
This has happened before. During the middle years of the last century, the international socialist fought the national socialists in Europe. Sarah Hoyt argues that we’re now seeing the death rattle of the Left’s revolution rather than its birth pains. I hope she’s right.
OK, there are a few crazies among some of the city councils that are acting to defund their police departments, but none of the serious politicians on those bodies actually intend to defund the police functions they view as important. Someone has to enforce the Inner Party’s political will with violence when necessary and with the threat of violence at all times. You can call the city employees who do that “cops” or whatever else you wish, but the function of guarding the Inner Party and enforcing its will will always be one of the key functions of government.
Granted, funding may be reduced for some employees who maintain order among the proles for a while, but as long as there is no disturbance of the Inner Party’s calm or challenge to its rule, that’s merely a tactical detail to be administered by the Outer Party bureaucracy.
After all, if there’s no one around to enforce the law, people might go to the grocery store without wearing masks. Or refuse to pay taxes.
The Houston Chronicle reports that police and firefighters responded to the Chinese consulate last night because of reports of smoke. Witnesses in nearby apartment high-rises told police that people were burning paper in what appeared to be trash cans.
The consulate has been ordered closed by Friday afternoon.
A personal note: One of the activities I supervised while in Viet Nam was a classified communications center. This incident reminds me of the care we had to take for certain kinds of documents and the detailed plans we had to destroy the center and its contents if necessary. The fact that a modern state would not have provided one of its consulates with the capability of quickly and reliably destroying key documents would have been puzzling to me if the Chinese had not previously demonstrated their incompetence in keep a bio lab safe and secure.
The LA teachers’ union has announced that they don’t want to go back to work teaching kids who are physically present in classrooms until certain demands have been met. Among those demands are mandatory mask wearing in the classroom, a moratorium on charter schools, and defunding the police. They claim their demands are driven by a concern for safety.
The COVID-19 pandemic in the United States underscores the deep equity and justice challenges arising from our profoundly racist, intensely unequal society. Unlike other countries that recognize protecting lives is the key to protecting livelihoods, the United States has chosen to prioritize profits over people. The Trump administration’s attempt to force people to return to work on a large scale depends on restarting physical schools so parents have childcare.
In Los Angeles, this means increasing risk especially in Black and Brown working communities, where people are more likely to have “essential” jobs, insufficient health care, higher levels of preexisting health conditions, and to live in crowded housing. Meanwhile, the rewards of economic recovery accrue largely to white and well-off communities that have largely been shielded from the worst of the pandemic’s effects.
The profits vs. people cant in those paragraphs seems to be more about power than safety.
However, the real clue to what’s going on may be the teachers’ signing on to the campaign to defund the police. At first glance, it seems odd, setting one public employee union against another—until you consider the broader situation in California. The State of California is broke. The CALPERS retirement system isn’t properly funded. Unemployment checks are being delayed for lack of funds. State revenue is down because unemployed people don’t pay income taxes and make fewer purchases to generate sale tax revenue. And the state is now entering into a second shutdown, so the state’s revenues will continue to collapse.
It won’t be long before California and its counties and cities will no longer be able to pay all their employees. They will have to choose who to let go from among their host of teachers, bureaucrats, firefighters, and cops. Gentle Reader, given the current crime wave, who do you think the Inner Party will choose to keep to the bitter end? If the teachers’ union wants to preserve as many jobs as possible, it’s going to have to find ways to suck money out of other portions of the education budget. Reduction of physical plant expenses is the low hanging fruit in such an exercise.
In Germany, under the law, everything is prohibited, except that which is permitted. In France, under the law, everything is permitted, except that which is prohibited. In the Soviet Union, under the law, everything is prohibited, including that which is permitted. And in Italy, under the law, everything is permitted, especially that which is prohibited.
While I’m drinking my second cup of coffee this morning, I’m seeing comments on various social media suggesting that one of the things that should happen if blue cities #DefundthePolice is the abolition of security details for elected officials. I doubt that would happen. Indeed, I expect those would be among the very last police details to be cut.
Whether at a local or national level, the whole purpose of being in the Inner Party is to exercise power, and that power is exercised via the Outer Party bureaucracy to keep the Proles in line. The Inner Party will always try to have sufficient resources in place to protect itself and enforce its will, so there will always be a place in the Outer Party for those enforcers. Department A4 of the Gestapo was Protective Services. The KGB had its Close Protective Services directorate.
Outer Party resources may be shifted about, and that may reduce policing of certain activities among the Proles, but the Inner Party will always try to deploy sufficient resources to protect its interests.
… but given the world’s experience with every other marxist revolution, we might want to be careful about what changes we make in American society and how we make them.No Cambodians, Zimbabweans, or Venezuelans were available for comment as this post was written. However, several Czechs and Poles noted their experience was that making political systems more like our has reduced oppression in their countries.
The Overton Window is the range of ideas which are considered acceptable for public consideration and debate. It moves around as the climate of public opinion changes.
President Trump’s speech at Mt. Rushmore was an attempt to move the window upward to include a more respectful view of the Enlightenment principles generally held by the Founding Fathers and away from the Postmodern Neo-marxist worldview underpinning much of the turbulence in America these days. I hope he was successful. I’m not sure that he was. Oh, he did a fine job of rallying the people who already agree with him, but he was preaching to the choir.
Let me extend that metaphor a bit. I’m not sure how effective he was as an evangelist, one who brings good news to the unconverted. There are a large number of Americans who have come to believe the marxist fallacy that everything can be defined as a power struggle among various identity groups, and that someone else’s is the result of privilege and oppression. They want what they see as their turn controlling the levers of power, and many of them are willing to tear down the current system in order to change things.
What many of them don’t understand is the difference between the ideals of the American Revolution and so many others—the people have granted power to the government so it may serve them not rule over them. Those who wish to be change things so that they can become part a new ruling class need to look at the history of those other revolutions. Only a few of the revolutionaries become part of the nomenklatura, and even fewer make it into the Inner Party. The rest become the proles in a failing society.
The good news these folks need to hear is that the American Revolution produced a melting pot society where everyone’s positive contribution has a chance to prosper. It’s not a perfect society, but it’s the best humanity has come up with to date. Events such as the Minneapolis riots or the failure of Antifastan in Seattle are hitting some with a dose of Reality that may show them the folly of their worldview.
It will be interesting to see how they react.
Meanwhile, I hope President’s speech successfully framed some of the questions to be considered by the public between now and the Third of November.