Ignorant or Malicious?


John Hinderacker has a post over at PowerLine looking at the question of whether Ilhan Omar’s statements are the result of a lack of familiarity with English (as Nancy Pelosi has suggested) or whether she is using a form of Progressive Newspeak. Specifically, Hinderacker examines Omar’s complaint that President Trump is dehumanizing people by referring to them as “illegal aliens.”

In point of fact and as a matter of law, the President is correct in his language. The law [8 U.S.C § 1101(a)(3)] defines alien as “any person not a citizen or national of the United States.” It’s illegal for such persons to be in the United States unless properly admitted as residents (with green cards) or visitors/refugees (with visas). Aliens who are in the country illegally are breaking our laws, they are criminals, and they are subject to legal sanctions, including deportation.

There are two possibilities here. One is that Omar is poorly educated and is unfamiliar with the common English word “alien.” That could be. The second possibility is that she, like so many liberals, is trying to bully the rest of us into adopting their vocabulary, even when it does not accord with common usage, common sense, or, as here, the law.

Normally, I’d be inclined to shrug and say, “Embrace the power of AND,” but I believe the balance of the evidence weighs on the second choice. That opinion is strengthened by Omar’s repeated misstatements of the facts and by statements made by her allies among the current freshman class in the House of Representatives such as She Guevara (aka Alexandria ¡Ocasio-Cortez!).

No, we aren’t dehumanizing persons who law enforcement has probable cause to believe have crossed our borders illegally by detaining them until they can be processed by our immigration and legal systems. No, we are not placing them in concentration camps.

Dachau was the National Socialists first concentration camp, opened in 1933. While it was not nearly as brutal as the industrial scale death camps run by the SS (or perhaps as Stalin’s gulag), it was a place of terror, torture, and forced labor for the internal enemies of the state. None of the facilities holding detained immigrants here in the U. S. are remotely analogous to places like Dachau.

I don’t believe politicians like Omar and ¡Ocasio-Cortez! are stupid. I think that they’ve been rewarded for making outrageous claims that fit the narratives believed by enough voters in their districts to get them elected and that they believe they can get away with such loose talk on a national stage. I also believe that their claims will become more radical as they react poorly to fact-based pushback.

The Green New Derp


Much of the initial pointage, laughery, and mockification of ¡Ocasio! She Guevara’s Green New Deal Derp has been about cattle farts and high-speed railways to Hawaii. My first reaction when I heard about the proposed elimination of the fossil fuels wasn’t to think of my car because I was cooking at the time—on my gas stove.

I grew up in Nashville, the heart of TVA country, in a house with an electric stove. My mother loved it because it was easier to manage than the coal stoves she learned to cook on. However, gas stoves are even more responsive than electric. Because of the thermal mass of the element in an electric “burner,” there can be a significant delay between turning a knob and a change in heat delivery. OTOH, a gas flame’s heat output quickly tracks the flow setting. When we built Mrs. Hoge’s kitchen that she used for teaching and her personal cheffing business, we installed a 6-burner gas stove with a 36-in oven along with a 27-in electric wall oven for small baking jobs. (A 36-in gas oven is great for two turkeys at a time, but it’s overkill on a pizza.)

The other significant modification that we made to stately Hoge Manor was to replace the electrical radiant heating with a gas furnace when we switched from window air conditioners to central HVAC. The house is much more comfortable, and the heating costs lower. Oh, and we switched to a gas dryer while we were at it. The water heater is still electric.

We switched from electrical heating and cooking in order to improve the energy efficiency of our house. The Green New Derp would be a Great Leap Backward™ for me.

BTW, I’m an Electrical Engineer.

Congress can pass legislation, but “ye cannae change the Laws of Physics.”

Politics Ain’t Bean Bag


¡Ocasio! She Guevara has come on rather forcefully in her new role as a Congresscritter. Her gaffes have been a marvelous source of pointage, lagughery, and mockification from the Right, but they been a real irritant to many on the Left. She and her chief of staff have made comments about recruiting candidates to run in the 2020 primaries against sitting Democrat politician who don’t toe her political line. As Jeff Dunetz reports over at The Lid, establishment Democrats are talking about recruiting a primary challenger for Ms. Ocasio-Cortez.

The newbie’s involvement with a group called Justice Democrats, an extreme leftist PAC that believes in primarying any Democrat who disagrees with their platform is setting her up for failure. Recently Ocasio-Cortez was featured in a Justice Democrats promotional video pushing a program to recruit other far-left progressives to run for Congress.

So far their biggest faux pas was to go after the #4 person in the House Democratic Caucus, Hakeem Jeffries did not please the Congressional Black Caucus.

Ah, the problems of Intersectionality and competing identity-based power struggles complicated by issue-based demands …

Any internal party fight against Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would be interesting. And if she is sent back to whence she came, she will become a textbook example of how leftist extremism is creating a Democratic Party civil war.

I’m buying more popcorn futures.