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Muddling Through

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Member since: Fri Jun 13, 2014, 06:54 AM
Number of posts: 18,858

Journal Archives

Kavanaugh Confirmation Won't Affect Supreme Court's Legitimacy

Good read.

"These are not the best of times for the U.S. Supreme Court. But whether or not Judge Brett Kavanaugh is ultimately confirmed, and despite the intense heat of the moment, the court’s fundamental legitimacy need not be, and should not be, put in question.

For well over two hundred years, the Supreme Court has helped commit the nation to the supremacy of law. That commitment is a precious achievement. It safeguards liberty, and it holds off authoritarianism.

It unifies Republicans and Democrats. It brings together judges appointed by such diverse presidents as Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Donald Trump.

In thinking about the Supreme Court, we tend to focus on largest constitutional questions, which can split people, and judges, along partisan lines – affirmative action, campaign finance, abortion, same-sex marriage. But most of the work of federal judges, and of the Supreme Court itself, never reaches the front pages."

Balance of article at the link:
Posted by Muddling Through | Sun Sep 30, 2018, 07:47 PM (0 replies)

Michael Moore slams ex-wife's lawsuit as a 'smear campaign'

Oh, my. Some animals certainly appear to be more equal than others.

"Documentarian Michael Moore says his ex-wife’s lawsuit against him is a malicious end-run around a sealing order in their ongoing Michigan arbitration case filed to “smear” Moore in the press, according to new court documents.

Kathleen Glynn, who is also a filmmaker and has worked on many projects with Moore, divorced him in 2014 after a 23-year marriage.

Earlier this month Glynn filed a lawsuit against Moore in Manhattan Supreme Court claiming that he was stiffing her on profits from their joint movie projects.

Moore’s lawyer, Kenneth Warner, wrote in court papers filed Friday that Glynn sued in order to publicize information that would have remained sealed and confidential if their case had stayed in the Michigan court."

Balance of article at the link:
Posted by Muddling Through | Sun Sep 30, 2018, 07:28 AM (4 replies)

Kavanaugh On Flight 93

Good read, very on point.

"A reader writes:

I’ve been intentionally tuning out all things Kavanaugh today – because really, what will I learn? – but I found it instructive this morning to revisit the famous “The Flight 93 Election” essay that Michael Anton wrote. These two paragraphs jumped out at me:

A Hillary presidency will be pedal-to-the-metal on the entire Progressive-left agenda, plus items few of us have yet imagined in our darkest moments. Nor is even that the worst. It will be coupled with a level of vindictive persecution against resistance and dissent hitherto seen in the supposedly liberal West only in the most “advanced” Scandinavian countries and the most leftist corners of Germany and England. We see this already in the censorship practiced by the Davoisie’s social media enablers; in the shameless propaganda tidal wave of the mainstream media; and in the personal destruction campaigns—operated through the former and aided by the latter—of the Social Justice Warriors. We see it in Obama’s flagrant use of the IRS to torment political opponents, the gaslighting denial by the media, and the collective shrug by everyone else.

It’s absurd to assume that any of this would stop or slow—would do anything other than massively intensify—in a Hillary administration. It’s even more ridiculous to expect that hitherto useless conservative opposition would suddenly become effective. For two generations at least, the Left has been calling everyone to their right Nazis. This trend has accelerated exponentially in the last few years, helped along by some on the Right who really do seem to merit—and even relish—the label. There is nothing the modern conservative fears more than being called “racist,” so alt-right pocket Nazis are manna from heaven for the Left. But also wholly unnecessary: sauce for the goose. The Left was calling us Nazis long before any pro-Trumpers tweeted Holocaust denial memes. And how does one deal with a Nazi—that is, with an enemy one is convinced intends your destruction? You don’t compromise with him or leave him alone. You crush him.

I can’t stand Trump. I didn’t vote for him and for the moment don’t plan to in 2020. But where else to turn? What we have learned in the last two weeks is that the left will crush anyone who does not support The Agenda. Our elite institutions will crush The Agenda’s opponents (take it from me – I work in a university, where I have to maintain a careful silence about virtually everything). Do we really think this will stop with Kavanaugh? Do we really think they won’t come for all of us? I have a son – what am I supposed to tell him? “Be romantic and treat women well… but also get a notarized consent contract for every interaction you have.” What kind of world is the left pushing us into? We all act shocked at China’s new “social credit” surveillance system, but does anyone doubt it’s coming our way? Does the left not see that the endpoint of this road is total surveillance and records of all interactions?"
Posted by Muddling Through | Thu Sep 27, 2018, 06:57 PM (1 replies)

Yale StudyThere are probably twice as many illegal immigrants living in America as commonly believed


"How many illegal immigrants are currently living in the U.S.? The number often used when discussing the topic is around 11 million. For instance, last year Pew Research published “5 facts about illegal immigration in the U.S.” which states, “The Center’s preliminary estimate of the unauthorized immigrant population in 2016 is 11.3 million.” But according to a newly published study by Yale University, the actual number may be double that or possibly even higher:

Immigration is the focus of fierce political and policy debate in the United States. Among the most contentious issues is how the country should address undocumented immigrants. Like a tornado that won’t dissipate, arguments have spun around and around for years. At the center lies a fairly stable and largely unquestioned number: 11.3 million undocumented immigrants residing in the U.S. But a paper by three Yale-affiliated researchers suggests all the perceptions and arguments based on that number may have a faulty foundation; the actual population of undocumented immigrants residing in the country is much larger than that, perhaps twice as high, and has been underestimated for decades.

Using mathematical modeling on a range of demographic and immigration operations data, the researchers estimate there are 22.1 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. Even using parameters intentionally aimed at producing an extremely conservative estimate, they found a population of 16.7 million undocumented immigrants…

The approach in the new research was based on operational data, such as deportations and visa overstays, and demographic data, including death rates and immigration rates. “We combined these data using a demographic model that follows a very simple logic,” Kaplan says. “The population today is equal to the initial population plus everyone who came in minus everyone who went out. It’s that simple.”"

Balance of article at the link
Posted by Muddling Through | Sat Sep 22, 2018, 07:34 AM (2 replies)

She MUST withdraw! Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez caught in a HIGHLY problematic situation [pic]


If Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s stunning ignorance on, well, everything doesn’t disqualify her from political office, this definitely should:
Posted by Muddling Through | Tue Sep 18, 2018, 04:05 PM (5 replies)

Democrats Have Made Sure That Brett Kavanaugh Will Never Get A Fair Hearing

"Without the emergence of new evidence, we will never know if Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation against Brett Kavanaugh is true or not. And there’s nothing Kavanaugh can do or say that will clear his name. If you’re a man, a single uncorroborated account that dates back to 1982 is all your political critics need to accuse you of attempted rape.

There is also no possible outcome in which Democrats will concede Kavanaugh’s innocence, or even concede that we can’t really know what transpired on that night 36 years ago. Republicans can accede to as many hearings as Democrats demand, and it won’t alter any of the liberal rhetoric or perceptions of partisans. Republicans could put Kavanaugh’s classmates under oath and have them deny that anything inappropriate or criminal occurred that night, and it will not matter. It will not matter if 65 women come forward and attest to Kavanaugh’s sterling character — in fact, for Democrats, it’s merely confirmation that the judge is covering something up. It doesn’t make any difference that, as far as we now know, there’s no pattern of bad behavior from Kavanaugh into adulthood (unlike say, Roy Moore or Bill Clinton).

We also know there will be no genuine due process in the Senate circus. Kavanaugh, who’s said he’s willing to speak to the judiciary committee, will never get a fair hearing. This is by design. Whether Ford’s accusation is true or not, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein orchestrated the leak and subsequent release of Ford’s letter, not merely to sink Kavanaugh and level accusations in a way that would make it difficult for the judge to defend himself, but also to try and delay Republican efforts to confirm any nominee until after the midterms. Even now, leading Democrats on the judiciary committee are arguing that any hearings featuring Ford should be delayed.

There’s no other explanation for the timing of leaked letter. The senator claims the allegations are “extremely serious and bear heavily on Judge Kavanaugh’s character.” Yet, according to reports, Democrats were in possession of Ford’s letter for months and sat on it. Feinstein personally met with Kavanaugh and didn’t bring up this “extremely serious” charge of sexual assault. Why not? She could have asked him about the allegations while keeping the accuser’s name confidential. Democrats submitted over a thousand questions to Kavanaugh on the record, and not one of them were about whether he had ever engaged in any “extremely serious” behavior. Feinstein also had Kavanaugh sitting in front of her, under oath, during public Senate hearings, and never asked him about his alleged behavior."

Balance of article at the link:
Posted by Muddling Through | Mon Sep 17, 2018, 06:01 PM (7 replies)

How 9/11 Made a European Upper-Middle-Class Radical a Conservative

Interesting read.

"On September 11, 2001, I was sitting on the floor of my sister’s living room, babysitting her one-year-old daughter. We were lazily playing, with the afternoon news on the TV in the background. The first thing I noticed was how the anchor’s voice changed. The woman was saying “Wait, wait,” while staring to the side of the camera. There had been a horrible accident, she said, as I watched the smoke pour out of the first tower. When the second plane hit, I hoped beyond hope she was right.

I had just gotten back from a year in France. A few months earlier, I’d been standing in a crowded bar on Place de Clichy, celebrating my 20th birthday. I remember that night, although several bottles of bad white wine say I shouldn’t. I was surrounded by my peers, other upper-middle-class liberals who had fled to Paris to fulfill their fantasy. We had come to this historical city to live the life of songs and books and Technicolor movies. We were radicals. We were heroes. We were going to change the world.

The people with me in that bar were a random sample of the political atmosphere of Europe at the time. Militant feminists, pro-Palestinians, members of the autonomic environmentalist movement, and your run-of the-mill anti-government thugs. Having a friend who had been jailed for rioting was as necessary as a Malcolm X T-shirt and a back-pocket paperback of Catcher in the Rye. I gladly picked up that uniform, just as I picked up rocks and banners knowing that this was the ticket to ride.

Raised in a family of academics, this was a natural evolution on my part and a result of a serious political interest. I identified as an intellectual and as a political thinker with a critical mind. What I failed to acknowledge at the time was that my country was a controlled environment and that the spectrum on which political analysis took place was limited. Not unlike The Truman Show, where the choices you think you are making were already made for you long ago, and any dreams of a different fate are swiftly corrected."

Balance of article at the link:
Posted by Muddling Through | Sun Sep 16, 2018, 06:45 PM (1 replies)

Why everyone should be angry at what Feinstein did re Kavanaugh, and why everyone is not

Good read.

"There are many things wrong with the accusation against Brett Kavanaugh that Diane Feinstein publicized recently. The vagueness of the charges, their antiquity, and the suspect timing, to name a few.

But the one I want to focus on now is the anonymity of the accuser,

There is a reason why one of the pillars of our legal system is that the accused—in a court of law—is given the right to face his or her accuser. This is true not just in sexual crimes but in others as well, and it’s even true when a child is the purported victim, although sometimes there are special ways in which children are protected from having to face their alleged perpetrators.

Anyone who bears legal witness against someone is identified and subject to cross-examination and the other tools in the lawyers’ kit. The purpose is not to be mean to victims, although the process can indeed be very stressful. The purpose is to protect the rights of the accused, which is considered (or used to be considered) one of the most important principles of American law."

Balance of article at the link:
Posted by Muddling Through | Sat Sep 15, 2018, 05:43 PM (9 replies)

Another Brutal Review of Nancy MacLean, Democracy in Chains

"As readers will recall, Duke history professor Nancy MacLean wrote a widely-publicized book, Democracy in Chains, that purports to be an intellectual history of the late public choice economist James Buchanan, and his asserted vast influence on current American politics. Critics, most but not all of them libertarians initimately familiar with Buchanan's life and legacy, have been harshly dismissive.

MacLean and her defenders have suggested that she and her book have the victims of a Koch-inspired libertarian ideological campaign, and that "real historians" would support MacLean. (MacLean, by the way, while dismissing her critics as ideologically motivated libertarians, never mentions her decades-long activism with the far-left International Socialist Organization, for which she wrote an article as recently as 2012.)*

Thus far, "real historians," as in Ph.D. historians with positions in academic history departments, have been, to their shame, almost entirely silent in the face of this controversy. So I was pleased to hear that Stanford's Jennifer Burns, author of a well-written and, more imporant, informative and fair biography of Ayn Rand, had a review of Democracy in Chains forthcoming. I expected at the very least a fair review, but understood that academic norms are such that it might not be as negative as I think is justified.

Welp. The review is brutal (but you will need an account with an academic library to view it). A few choice excerpts:"

Balance of article at the link:

Link to review:
Posted by Muddling Through | Sat Sep 15, 2018, 08:04 AM (3 replies)

Canadians. Canadians.....................uh, where'd they all go?

Anyone seen any Canadians posting here lately?

Posted by Muddling Through | Thu Sep 13, 2018, 01:01 PM (20 replies)
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